Happy Winter Solstice. Quote of the day is ..

“Look after yourself as you can only teach/look after others if you are well and your wells of wellbeing are full.”

Sent to me by a lovely head teacher of a inner city primary school that comes from Jenny Mosely and her Circle time model. I have been reminded twice by this particular head teacher to slow down and wait before  returning to running choirs until my well of well being is full, and to be honest it really is not. I had a particularly full on first half of the year, what with one thing and another and had felt a bit like I needed a sabbatical after a wondrous end of term concert in July which I single handedly constructed with the 3 current choirs and  a little help from a lots of people where we sang Keeping Faith. I was getting to the point where I felt like I wanted people to stop looking at me which is a bit tricky when you are at the front waving your arms around. ha ha .

I did not allow myself the luxury of taking care of myself enough, and preparations for the Autumn term were well and truly in place when my only mother became unwell and died so unexpectedly  my whole world just crashed around me. It took at least 10 weeks for me to get out of shock and continuous crying and now I just miss her and Christmas is sort of cancelled  – still cry everyday..that will be a curious day when I realise I did not shed a tear.

I was lucky to have so many people sending me love and prayer so was not alone, and  was prepared to do the massively stormy journey that grief can take you – though I had no idea how stormy it was going to be. ( When is this ever going to end? is a cry many people who have experienced loss will recognise and the feeling of waking every morning feeling sea sick) The amount of grief  can so  be linked to the amount of  love and I was very close to my mum and she would have been here with us at this time of year so like many people the time of year like so many times…( I  even have a Thursday problem now) is poignant.

I am doing a slow re-entry back into choir land. Next term starts with  one  lunchtime choir so I don’t sink into some sort of hermit-land depressive place and am going to spend some time regrouping and writing and have some quiet time where no-one is looking at me and I don’t need to be the one doing the looking after. I can be quiet and wait for the inspiration  to come to me, of which I have no doubt it will return . Once I have the energy again, as someone said, I will remember how much joy I got out of being with  people and us all singing together, but for now, what with there being constant rain and no sun and everything seems to say  hibernate hibernate  I am doing just that. It is a lesson to be learned and as yet I have still not really learned the one of knowing what I need to keep the old well of wellbeing full. Will keep on working on it. If your work involves teaching or caring for others it is so important. In some countries teachers have a sabbatical every several years which makes so much sense, and if you have ever had a job which entails looking after others( which includes being a parent or a partner or a friend) you will know just how draining it can be if you are not looking after yourself so take care my friends, grab the oxygen mask first.

As It is winter solstice I am scattering our Winter Solstice song everywhere I can as it is the only day really that we can sing it with utter here and nowness. take care x





Just managed to put finger to keypad as the last 2 months have been really grim. My mum died suddenly and I was so not ready. It has been full time grieving here in between arranging a DIY funeral ( more about that later, contact me if you want more info), a full on village hall celebration that I arranged almost single handedly, driving over 2000 miles ( not me as I don’t drive..thank you Andy..and I am worst passenger ever having spent most of my life travelling on London Buses at 8 miles an hour) . It was just as mum would have liked it – her folk choir sung, the dementia choir she helped with sung, me and my siblings sung, but she was not there and I have been utterly devastated and continue to be. I am staring loss in the eye and not shying away from the feelings, as I know that feeling them ( and not caring that perhaps I should be smiling by now and everyone is bored  of my grief) is really important for me. If you are about to have your first Christmas without someone  you loved deeply I think it is important to acknowledge the loss properly. I can’t be doing with people saying ‘they would not have wanted you to be upset’.  I feel losing my mum has, as the next in line to meet my maker, I have permission to do and feel what I want. And I will if I can.

Reading a great book about being an  Adult Orphan by Alexander Levy and do really encourage you all to be ready for the eventuality when a second parent dies that it might completely take you but surprise. Also having that feeling that your parent is strong and sturdy and will live for ever, then they just leave.

But more to the point after 2 months of solid crying and depression and all last night managed to finish a video that I filmed before mum died and am putting it out and hope you will get a chance to watch it and share it and have a look at some more cheerful videos on my 3 Bucket Jones youtube channel and even ……SUBSCRIBE


Here is is…it feels apt for the current climate and the feeling of being surrounded by crazy narcissists . Also posting the one before  which still make me shed a little tear which I videoed at the same time with the wonderful Siggy. And just to say no mascara in fact no make up of any kind was harmed during either of these videos..one day I might fancy a bit of slap on…my choice really. take care all x