Friday, 31 July 2009


A Poignant Story of Forbidden Love, betrayal and Tragedy......

My grandmother use to tell me as often as she could that on the night I was born it was bitterly cold with hundreds of frozen Icicles, every possible size hanging firmly and attached to every building, tree, fence and ledge. I knew my memory of her would never fade... I can see her now, as she would pause in deep thought then her recurring story would continue; your laboured mother cried out your name... Nadya... she screamed... Call her Nadya, for with her birth I want there to be hope...

In my beloved Russia I was a young peasant girl. We were owned by our masters. We lived on their country estate where they continued on a daily basis to treat us badly. After many a gruelling day, in the dark evening I would collapse onto my blanket on the floor in the barn. I would silently weep, praying to die where I lay; there was no future for me, the future held nothing but fear.... It was 1856 I was 19yrs of age. My grandmother was old...very old... she was sick. I was so very worried about her dying, leaving me in this awful place. My mother had died shortly after giving birth to me; I had never met my father. My grandmother was all I had, she had brought me up, took care of me and now she was sick.

“Grandmother, are you ok” I whispered through the darkness. I could hear her breathing heavily.

“I’m fine child, now quiet” grandmother started coughing, rising from her bed slightly to grasp her water from the floor.

“I will get it for you grandmother”

“I told you child I am fine”

“Stubborn is what you are grandmother” though the darkness I could almost see her eyes smile.

“Sleep Nadya, we have to be up extra early, the master’s sons return tomorrow from the War".

I'd heard about these brothers. They had been brought up by their own grandmother, spending holidays with their parents. They had been away in the war for 4 years. In the big house I had often heard the mistress (who suffered bouts of depression) cry out, exclaiming it was a wonder her boys were alive at all. The master would lovingly embrace her, telling her warmly they were Russian men, they were strong... oddly enough this was the only sign of warmth I had seen from the master

“Goodnight Grandmother, please get well”
“Child what have I told you, do not make an elephant out of a fly” Very soon I heard her breathing a little less heavy, I closed exhausted eyes.

The night time hours sped past in a flash before I knew where I was, I found myself in the big house cleaning with strict orders to attend the kitchen at 6.00am. My grandmother was in the kitchen already. The house was alive with activity. Things were in place for the big homecoming. I was in the kitchen at 5-50am looking towards my grandmother for my duties.

"Morning Nadya how’s you today?” I turned sharply to see Varinka.

“I’m fine” Turning away with speed, I disliked Varinka so much, a strange woman, she frightened me. I looked over to my grandmother who had her eye on me.

“Varinka, go get me the sausages from the chiller” Varinka continued to stare at me.

“VARINKA, NOW” screamed my grandmother. Varinka moved slowly, her eyes still shining towards me, her movement slow and emotionless. Once she was out of earshot I gratefully rushed over to my grandmother.

“She is scary, why does she look at me like that”?

“She is a strange one this is true” The door opened slowly, Varinka appeared with the meat. I busied myself with the pots, getting out of her way was how I had lived for the past 10years, today would be no different.

“Come” grandmother cried “we must make a good impression today, the men are returning from war, the masters are content”

This was true I had never seen them so happy. Today I had not been kicked. We all continued working hard in the big kitchen anticipating the arrival of the brothers. We heard the screech of the horn from the front gate; this was our signal to prepare, meaning the men had turned into the driveway and were now on their way towards the house.

Being pulled from the kitchen by my grandmother, I was impatiently drawn to the majestic hall where we had been fiercely warned, we must stand to greet the men as they entered the house. We all stood with our hands folded across specially washed crisp white aprons.
I was shaking when I heard my grandmother utter under her breath, “lower your eyes Nadya, do not look at them” Instantly I cast my eyes downwards focusing on the rich red carpet, looking instead at the patterns of the grand design rather than risk raising my eyes in case I was thrashed. My eyes were still on the carpet as we witnessed a high pitched scream from the mistress as her boys walked through the double doors of the grand entrance.

It was so very hard to keep my eyes lowered whilst the commotion of the greeting was in progress. quite literally against my better judgement I raised my eyes in time to witness the brothers walking towards me, In slow motion I shyly made eye contact with one of them... his mother screamed, flying towards me with her hand poised to slap, flinching I cowered ready for the onslaught of her anger when against my will I automatically flicked my eyes up. I witnessed her son grab her raised hand, gently chastising her, he pulled her away from me firmly. She embraced him laughing. I sighed with relief. He looked back, nodded discreetly and I swear he was smiling.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Self-Esteem Part 2.....

I’m no expert, just another human being. I can tell you this, I have been through a lot. I'm lucky I simply choose not to regret a thing... It’s my humble opinion that my own trials and tribulations have made me who and what I am today.... Along the way I discovered so much... I recall with clarity the heart stopping moment I realised for the 2nd time in my life; my self-esteem was not just on the floor, it was in the gutter... Then I discovered, after 32years of marriage, I had become invisible not just to my family but actually in the real world I didn’t even exist (these are my own thoughts) I had no friends, my life was in the toilet along with my feelings.....

For 5years...... Yes everyone, 5years I took a back seat in life. Oh I tried all the usual stuff I tried to speak with family etc but with very little effect because back then I found it hard to communicate plus they were happy and for them life appeared to be full.... The problem quite obviously was mine. I took stock of the situation and decided if it was my problem then I had to deal with it...

I knew I needed to find myself but then quickly realised, I didn’t really know who I was so how could I possibly find me... Soooooo with a sharp intake of breath and remembering to breath, I started at the very beginning... And I do mean, the beginning... I started off by asking myself What I wanted, needed.... and dreamed of... I asked myself what had brought me to this crossroads in life... The many loaded questions I checked out through that 5 year period, were a blur....
My plan was to go back to my childhood... Then I had to come forward in time... I had to check everything. I realised again clearly at some point one of the main problems had most definitely been 'I was not true to myself ' I said meaningless things to people, family and friends and strangers... It wasn’t me; it was what I knew they wanted to hear. I was scared to be me in case I hurt upset or offended people. I felt like I had been totally obliterated. I wasn’t blaming any one, the blame lay with me. On the whole it was my problem; I decided to deal with it.

After many years of just thinking, I realised I had to change the situation it took me some time to discover before I progressed further that I had to learn to love myself.... I even questioned what was there to love? ... slowly then surely, I realised I was an ok person, I wasn’t cruel, I cared about people, the environment and the world, I lived within the law and I wanted to make a difference.... I was always eager and ready to help. I’m convinced it was when I started my present role that I started the healing process....
A good way to start, it may sound silly but write down a list of your strengths. What are you good at? What do people commend you on? What makes you excited? Do what you can to enhance these natural talents, build on them each day. In turn, utilize your talents and abilities to help those around you. If you do this already then recognise and tell yourself, you’re a good person, believe it ... you will eventually know, you just didn’t realise it before... That’s what I did and then a magical thing happened... I started to like myself, I followed this on and started liking the things I did as well as actually liking the things I said...

Try your best to ignore negative thoughts. Each person’s worst critic is not even one step away. We are all our very own worst critics. When you feel yourself starting to criticize your own actions or critique your own performance, push down these negative thoughts, throw them away, instead, think of positive aspects. For each negative thought that surfaces in your mind, try to create a counter positive thought. Learning to accept who you are, warts and all and knowing its ok to make mistakes, just like ts ok to experience failures, after all we're only human. Knowing that each and every one of us goes through embarrassing situations is another way of thinking things through and dealing with it....
I know now... something I didn’t know way back then, I have the most amazing capacity for getting along with people, any age and from all walks of life.... I'm aware some people won’t like me because unfortunately I also believe we are all made up of chemicals and some of those chemicals just don’t mix.... but on the whole, I know 100% I will be liked, loved, wanted, needed... and again most importantly that gloriously magic word loved... you know what?.... that last sentence will, does and has more than made up for all the stuff that I've been through....

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


My goal with this article is to stoke up your self-esteem...

On this wonderful journey through life I have noticed even the most outwardly confident people, can and do suffer from low self-esteem. We all know self-esteem can improve with age. The most important thing to improving self-esteem is to accept yourself for who you are, for me that's been the longest journey.....

I know from my own personal experience also talking with other people that we all feel at times, other people around us have more self-confidence then we do. As a teenager I had my own insecurities, eventually I developed a surefire way of making friends. I learned very early on it was important to be real and genuine making sure they knew I was sincere and loyal.

I already possessed these qualities, so once I realised I had a hunger or need even instinctual urge to be accepted and admired I very quickly realised its all part of the human condition to be loved, needed, wanted and accepted. At one time I use to feel like a drug addict and to this day I still get an instant high when someone compliments me. I have learned to accept this is part of my own personality trait.

I use to judge the world about what people said and not about what they do. We all get older and with that some of us get wiser. The one thing I know is this, I have learnt from reading, observing and experience 'if you seek the approval of your friends, boyfriend, teachers, peers & bosses at all costs then you effectively no longer exist you become a mirror of how they see you.

Self-esteem I feel largely consists of being loved-accepted and valued by others and by ones self. Low self-esteem however, leaves us with a consistent feeling of 'we're not worthy of our friends or partners and if this were to continue, it could make you feel uninteresting, having a negative impact on relationships as we would then continue to become much more needy and passive.

In researching... I came across this reference to the above..... If you agree with the following statements you need to work on improving your self image and confidence levels.

1. I'm my own worst critic.

2. I often feel I need to please others more than myself.

3. More often then not, I don't say what I think because I'm anxious of what others might think of me.

4. I would probably describe myself as a 'perfectionist'

5. How I feel about myself is how others treat me.

6. I usually go along with my partners and other peoples wishes.

I don't wish to harp on about associated personality traits, such as fear or failure disapproval and of making mistakes... lets leave that to the experts and whether you want to delve that bit deeper into the issues surrounding low-self-esteem.


I found not only does the quest for approval distract us from engaging in experiences that could genuinely raise our self-esteem levels by giving us that sense of achievement, the indecision we often feel is really our fear of failure.
I read somewhere that T.V. Hypnotist Paul McKenna's simple solution which by the way I like ... Is "Self-Confidence is at the core of self-esteem" In the long term borrowing your confidence - your good feelings from somewhere else prevents you developing inner resources. We all want to be appreciated, we must therefore learn to stop relying on the external factors, learning instead to develop behaviour that encourages others to value your behaviour, valuing yourself and appreciating your own qualities....
Its sad when someone has Low self esteem... a lot is learned as a child and how one is brought up and valued by parents, carers this certainly has an incredible impact on us. In my own role at work I cant empathise enough the importance of praise, praise and more well as encouragement and lashing of unconditional love.... I also feel despite how we are brought up, its never to late to feel that special warm inner glow knowing we are wanted, needed and importantly loved.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Watch this space my Friends....

I have many thoughts, feelings, emotions and ideas.
The Problem... the tick tock of time. I dont seem to have the luxury of lots of precious spare time to sit, stare, wonder and share.... but I will... Then my work will begin. In the pipeline I have and there will always be more stories... I can faintly hear you all shouting more...more...more... Ultimately my dream is to be that 'story-teller' you know, the one you're dying to hear more about...

My list is endless I want to talk about health & wellbeing those two particular issues are close to my heart. I'm a qualified health and beauty specialist...Aha... not many of you know that little gem.

I would also like to discuss and share thoughts deep or otherwise around all sorts of different issues .... Thoughts that might provoke disucssions, even mail. Or hopefully I may be able to give you a different idea or even a new train of thought, one you might not even have considered. ... Those of you who know me; know I am the soul of discression. I care about people and I have the strongest sense of fairplay.... I love all our individual quirky differences and I believe we are all unique. I hope that qualifies me... Obviously I know my own limitations. I also know my skills and qualities, so I'm well aware when its time to refer on, seeking professional advice and being able to hold ones hands up and say listen this is the deal it's soooooo important...

It's also my personal opinion, (I have many) this world is a big beautiful place, for some people its just too big... meaning they dont have that hand to hold... Let me share this with you... there was genuinely a time (many moons ago) when I desperately needed a warm loving hand to hold but sadly I didn't have that option, I had to be brave, go it alone. Looking back it was so unnecessary... everybody needs a friend, a sign post, a helping hand... If we help one person then we have done well.....

I have ideas around 'life' ... meaning being able to share strategies to aid our coping mechansim etc. I'm working on a self-esteem project at the moment and looking forward to sharing it here soon on my Blog....

I'm also hibernating ideas around beauty magic... have you ever heard of Liz Earle? ... when I was doing my training, I use to read her books like they were my bible... so full of wisdom and simple recipes for skin health... The list is endless. I'm feeling really enthusiastic about all the possibilities... so much to do and the fun in sharing & caring is the ultimate payment....
Mwah xxx :-) Be Back Soon ....

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Its My Birthday ....

It’s my birthday.... another year older and inside I’m screaming to be heard.... I know from personal experience in this great big wide wonderful, crazy, world... there are a lot of good, honest, decent people who live their lives in a balanced, honest way.
BUT... there are also people who are fragile, damaged through no fault of their own... this can disable them enormously making them feel emotionally inadequate, causing low self esteem which leaves them with no confidence... I say all this for a reason...
Life is too short to look back in the past... If you have ever listened to anything then please listen to this.
Do yourself a favour... what I ask is not always an easy thing to accomplish or even remember especially in our hectic, busy lifestyles. Try to consciously Open 4 things in your life... it will aid you as you make footprints in the sand...

Open your arms wide... to enable yourself to love, support, hug, and hold. Do this even if someone once pushed you away....

Open your ears... to hear good as well as bad stuff... really listen and act appropriately. Even if someone once told you to ‘shut-up’

Open your eyes wide... so that you can see around you to realise the beauty that surrounds us and when you see something dark, don’t close your eyes and ignore, make yourself deal with it. Do it my friend even if you’re really afraid, remember... there is always someone who will hold out their hand.

Open your heart... to open this is to let love in when you subsequently allow it to flow out, this somehow magically turns you into a stronger person. If you have love in your life, it usually follows you will have love inside. To share that special gift will enhance yours and someones elses life... behind the scenes this usually has a knock on effect that very often you dont get to see but the person you affected is the richer for having known you....These things are needed to hear, see, feel, hug and hold... Do it... one day you will look back, you will know your presence made a difference.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Night Watcher.....

I cannot tell you how it was that I caught the attention of the night-watcher. However I can tell you this.... I remember at that time I was ceaselessly poor.
I went hungry. Where possible I did odd jobs... I lived on the city streets. Times were tough. I carried my life around in a plastic bag, its handles continuously curled into barbed wire which incessantly cut into my skin. Its contents were meagre. With this I portrayed a miserable existence.
I didn’t require a lot to live. My needs were few, I was happy to know my mind still held on to its thoughts; those were mine and mine alone.
On the night in question I shivered... I recall thinking “there goes someone walking over my grave’...
The feeling continued and continued then continued some more.... It fluttered across my mind that I was about to be mugged.
Eventually stopping, I looked around the dark deserted street... I didn’t see a thing. Carrying on my way, I felt incredibly uneasy my fear constant. That pinprick of doubt ensured that through a small hole I witnessed my own fear, flooding inside me like an army of ants swarming all over my body.
At the end of the street before I turned onto the main road I heard a deep sigh, I felt as if someone were hiding in the doorway.
“I know your there” I said rather bravely.
“Do not follow, I have a weapon, I will use it if I have too”
I turned right onto the main road I distinctly heard a scuffle from behind... quickly turning, I scanned the perimeters. I was feeling extremely alert. I knew I was about to be faced with the fight or flight syndrome.
Staring hard through the darkness which was faintly lit by widely spaced streetlights, I saw no movement. I was about to go on my way when... He stepped out of the alley....
He stood 6ft tall, Black eyes with red pinpoint pupils and a slash for a mouth. He sneered towards me; I further observed his hooked claws for hands which were neatly folded across a wide chest... Its hair was like a lion’s mane, he wore a long coat which strangely floated behind him despite there being no breeze.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Secrets & Sins .......

A beautiful yet haunting story about a baby girl who is adopted into a privileged life only to discover a dreadful secret on her 21st Birthday.

Sleepily opening almond brown eyes, stretching her long-lean body across cream silk sheets. Clarissa pointed her fingers and toes to their absolute limit. Hmmmmm, enjoying her stretch... it felt good. Smiling she quickly jumped out of bed, sprinting to the bathroom to shower whilst at the same time wondered excitedly what her special day would bring. It was her 21st Birthday. Smiling again she shivered with delight, she loved surprises, presents oh yes and not forgetting parties.

Once in the shower, feeling it's powerful jets of warm water wash over her... Clarissa's mind drifted back to another birthday, it was her 7th... Her parents had gently broken the news to her that she was adopted. she genuinely didn't mind, as long as nothing changed because she was a happy little girl with a very special family. She clearly remembered they told her she was special too... She had been chosen which had made her extra special. They raised her with so much love and attention. Clarissa's adoptive mother Crystal, was a successful freelance writer working from home. Her father William, was a famous architect he worked for an extremely lucrative company in the city. Their lives were prosperous.

Now fully dressed, bounding down the spiral staircase like a 10yr old Clarissa almost bumped into her mother as she rushed through the dining room door...
"Sorry Mum, didn't see you there" she cried.
"It's ok my darling, happy birthday" smiled her mother.

"Happy 21st Birthday sweet pea" her father shouted out from the dining room table.

"Awww thanks dad, I'm so looking forward to the party tonight... I need to eat and run"

"Your always dashing here and there" her mother admonished.

Clarissa noticed the beautiful fresh flowers on the dining room sideboard.

"Wow there gorgeou who bought those"?

"Their from your father. To both of us" she handed Clarissa the card it said.... '
For my two darling girls, have a wonderful day With all my love' xxx

Her mother pointed over to silver and pink helium balloon swaying in the warm air in the dining room. "that's from your father and I" mum winked.

Clarissa with toast and tea in hand, headed over to her parents, planted warm kisses on their cheeks. Clarissa stopped eating her toast to hug herself.

"What time do we have to be at the hotel for"?

"7.30pm sharp" her parents cried out together, both laughing. Clarissa could hardly eat her breakfast she was so excited.

The day went in a whirl of appointments and shops... At 7.00pm that evening, Clarissa in her bedroom put the finishing touches to her appearance, she heard her father shout for her to her to join them for a glass of champagne.

Walking elegantly down the spiral staircase her father stood in awe... "I have never seen you look more beautiful" he said handing her a glass of bubbly.

"Oh wow" her mother said "you look so... so beguiling"

"Come darling, we have a specail gift for you it will look gorgeous with that beautiful red dress" She took the square black & silver box from her fathers out stretched hand. Opening it nervously, Clarissa cried out with joy when she saw the most exquisite ruby red matching necklace, bracelet & earrings. T.B.Continued ....