Much of Life Still Gleaming

What a difference a week makes.

This week I have actually felt happy. Sure, I’ve been down in the hole again too. Being unable to stop crying while at soft play for breakfast with the kids was a high point….. But on more than one occasion this week I have actually felt joy. It was amazing.

So how have I done for indulging my passions this week?


Three Lions.jpg

I have the football World Cup to thank for part of my joy. Something I never thought I’d say, as I’m not a football follower – Wimbledon is more my thing. But I do like a good tune, and Baddiel & Skinner’s “Three Lions” is fantastic. Such an uplifting and happy song. I played it on my way home from the school run mid week, and actually danced down the road, for the first time in months. It feels like Helen is nearly back!


The 4th of July raised emotions as it inevitably reminded me of my American adventures and had a certain “this time last year….” sadness. But the date is all about freedom, and my goodness I’ve been enjoying that this week. IKEA furniture may not be everyone’s first choice of a symbol of freedom, but this week I bought a new bed. And gorgeous new bedding. My bestie and I put it up on Saturday and it is glorious. A symbol of luxurious freedom, and also a place of safety. I love it!


After reading my last blog post, a friend shared her Kitchen Dancing playlist with me, and the first song was “Start Wearing Purple” by Gogol Bordello. Reminded me of my belly dancing days – shook and shimmied to that one a few times with Michelle Pender and co!

Plenty of my favourite songs are still out of bounds, but I have been able to listen to a fair few this week without trouble. And of course now and again a good cry is essential. At those times I have one or two songs which provide instant tears – sometimes a useful and healthy thing.


This is all excellent timing, as I have a 3 hour drive down to Bedford for the River Festival this weekend, and I will need some good tunes to keep me company. As Shell Hadley tweeted:



I think by now I’m one of the few British people not thoroughly fed up with the heatwave. I know that I have friends and family members for whom this weather is actually detrimental to their health, and for their sake I hope it rains soon. But I can’t deny it, this weather is just such a bonus for my health and mood. Still grateful for the sunshine!


It has been entertaining to see all the attention that Gareth Southgate has received, with his waistcoat and emotional maturity. We women are simple creatures really! Having watched all the “Suits” there is until 18 July, I have been really enjoying “White Collar”. The elegant and handsome Matt Bomer in beautiful clothes, flanked by Tim DeKay and Sharif Atkins? Funny lines and fast paced stories? Another easy to watch sexy show that is keeping me happy. And helping me to escape when I’m not feeling all that safe.

Matt Bomer

It’s hard to feel safe on a hot day – the cuddly hoodie, fluffy slippers and hiding under the duvet aren’t really an option! But Netflix keeping me company is, and like I say my new bed is a haven. I am learning new tricks all the time for maintaining my emotional safety, and as ever the support and guidance of my friends is a constant in that. Having them all there in my phone whenever I need them is so comforting.

From this weekend though I will be able to see more of them in person, as I embark on the first of my summer weekend trips around the UK to see people I haven’t seen in some time. Sometimes passionate, sometimes terrified, sometimes even stable, whatever my emotional state look out Britain, Helen is going to be on tour!


July 2018.

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

Remember I said I love the sunshine?  I am a happy cat in this weather – even though it means the boys don’t go to sleep until around 9pm.  This heatwave is doing me the power of good.  And this week has been better than the last, for sure.


If you read my last blog post you will know that I am measuring my weeks by how much I get to indulge my passions, as I climb my way out of a change / upheaval / heartbreak hole. Sunshine is being well covered – thank you Mother Nature!  And I am pleased to tell you that Music and Dancing are making a gradual reappearance.  Which makes me feel a lot more like myself.

A lovely and sensible friend of mine helped me to get my appetite back on track at the beginning of the week, and that of course made a big difference to how I was feeling.  The next morning I found myself singing the title of this blog and decided to find Buster Poindexter and his Banshees of Blue on Spotify and let it rip.  Next thing I was dancing around my kitchen.  And kitchen dancing has been absent for me for too long a time!

The boys are still insisting on the cartoon themes playlist as often as possible, but I do now have some more adult music I can stand to listen to as well.  I say adult, but it’s a playlist of 90s classics put together with the help of my old school friends from the days when we would party at the end of our exams.  I don’t think I can really call The Macarena and Love Shack grown up music, but it is a step up from the theme tune to Darkwing Duck at least!

Love Shack

I had to drive over to Alder Hey to pick up some medicines for David on Thursday and that 90 minute round trip was soothing, even though I must admit to crying most of the way.  Having spoken to friends I know I’m not the only one who uses alone time in the car to let out the emotions.  I might love Driving but it’s not always because I’m cruising along with my tunes on.  Sometimes it’s just a private space to process things.

Freedom is easy to come by these days – I am free to make my own choices about most things in my life, and I’m enjoying creating the home that I want and dividing up my downtime.  A huge win for this week was that on Friday night I actually slept well for the first time in a long time.  A decent night’s sleep makes such a massive difference.  I have felt able to tick off lots of jobs this weekend and make progress on projects that I wouldn’t have been able to face a week ago.  So things are coming together.

As for Sex well firstly I have promised a dear friend of mine that if ever I decide to blog about my sex life it will be under a pseudonym!  Fear not, I’m not going to be providing updates!  But I have been thinking about two relatively distinct sides of my personality, that I’m sure we all have, and their viewpoints are most marked when it comes to thinking about future relationships.  First there is Adult Helen who is going to sensibly wait until she has recovered from her last relationships before she thinks about re-entering the fray.  She is going to learn how to be on her own, as she has never really done that before, and she needs to process everything, reflect and build a life that she wants.  She now has a clear idea of what she wants out of a relationship and is willing to be patient and give life time to unfold.  And she is keeping her alcohol intake to a minimum, because right now alcohol just exacerbates emotional vulnerability and makes sensible choices more difficult.

Verucca Salt

Meanwhile however on the other side is Princess Helen.  Princess Helen has no patience.  She bears a striking resemblance to Verucca Salt, in both mental age and attitude.  Princess Helen doesn’t understand why she can’t drink to excess, dance on the tables, grab whoever is passing and let someone else pick up the pieces afterwards.  She is pretty terrified of being alone forever and doesn’t want to listen to reason.  She wants to scweam and scweam until she’s sick a la Violet Elizabeth and thinks that is the way to bend the universe to her requirements.

Princess Helen and I frequently have words.  Adult me is just about retaining the upper hand.

Oh, and as a final note on sex, I came across this project via its Facebook page the other day: The OMGYes website says “Women’s sexual pleasure has hidden in the shadows for too long. It’s time to get it all out in the open.  There’s so much that’s been left unsaid, unasked, and unknown. All because of a taboo that, we believe, will look absurd in a few decades – the same way taboos from the 1950’s about oral sex and homosexuality are absurd to us now. We want to accelerate that transition.  OMGYes is an entirely new way to explore fascinating, useful and fun information that’s been uncovered in new research. Let’s lift the veil and take an honest look at the specific ways women actually find pleasure.”  Sounds good to me.  The women involved in the research were aged 18 to 95.  Just that age range makes me happy.

So in summary I am feeling a lot safer at the beginning of July.  Calmer, physically healthier, more in control.  Still sad and sometimes fearful, but I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore.  Hopefully that will remain the case – even when the rain finally arrives.


July 2018.