Tough times

‘… more than ever hour after, our work is never over’

These are lyrics by Daft Punk, a catchy little ditty hey! Today I have been thinking about how tough times make us stronger, and why that is a good thing. And why striving to better yourself is not just a strength, but also a necessity. None of us are without our sad stories to tell, our tragedies and our travesties. The way of taking ownership of this is by teasing out the silver lining from the grey sky and figuring out exactly how you can be pro-active at preventing this happening again, or learning from it, growing from it.

Easier said than done right? During my High School years I was hopelessly head over heels with an older boy, who (other than on a few fleeting, fumbling occasions) never took too much interest in me. 7 years I swooned and moped. Then I grew up, moved out, and got over it. Now I feel fondness and understanding for a time in my life when I was learning and finding my own way. But it took 7 years to get there, and that’s a long time. If you’d told me at any occasion over those 7 years that it would one day be something that resulted in me being wiser I’d have laughed in your face, but now I know. With age comes wisdom. Although even by the time all is said and done and I’m a little old lady I’m not quite sure I will have got there yet…!

Now I know that some things you can’t change or fix, and they will never make sense. Like death. I could never tell you, as could no-one else, why death is fair. But whether it is fair or not, there are just some things you can’t explain. You’re not supposed to understand some things. The strength is accepting that you can’t understand it all. I think you’re not supposed to be able to understand some things. But the thing that is really vital in situations you have no control over, is to draw out some kind of silver lining, some kind of understanding that can make something good happen.

If bad things didn’t happen then how would we know when something good has happened? And if something REALLY bad happens, then as human beings we’ll be able to understand when something really GOOD happens. I’m a big believer in Karma, and I think that ties in really closely with this.

So, have bad things happened to me? Yes, but probably no more than your average person on the street. Have good things happened to me? Yes! And I think more than your average person on the street! Why? Because by taking ownership of something bad and making it good makes for a bigger smile and a lighter heart.

I think trying to better yourself is really important in life. I’m sooooo not perfect, in sooooo many ways. My tongue is quicker than my brain, I bite my fingers to shreds and once I’ve made my mind up on a person there’s really very little that will ever change my opinion. So what is the silver lining? Having a quick tongue also works well when comforting a friend, biting my fingers to shreds is better than self-harm, and I’m protecting myself by not letting bad people into my life. But the challenge is this – how can I take those bad things, remember the silver lining, and still do my best to change for the better? It’s no easy task and one I’m yet to master (who knows if I ever will) but hey, do as I say, not as I do.

Silver lining can also be people when you’re having a rough time. Your friends, family, even your pet can be Angels in times of need.

So to summarise? Grit your teeth, take the bad and make it good. And if you find how to do it easily, let me know ­čÖé



Today, sadly, me and my man went to bury our baby gecko Cleopatra Ionia, the smallest and newest member of our family who we found had sadly passed away on Wednesday. We went to Chorlton to lay her to rest under a tree next to a stream in the most central part of the park. While we took it in turns digging the hole, we both separately noticed a friendly looking older man with white hair and a beard who had settled for a break from his bike ride on a bench nearby. He had obviously noticed what we were doing but mostly ignored us, and seemed to be enjoying the weather and taking in his surroundings. I noticed him and wondered if my fella Nav had, but nothing was said. He went off on his bike but returned a few minutes later to sit on the bench again. I felt very comfortable with him being there, and quite reassured thinking that he knew what we were doing, and he probably visits the park regularly, and it was nice that someone would come here from time to time that was aware that the area was special.

It was only later in the day that Nav asked me if I’d noticed him, and what I thought about it. I replied with my thoughts above, and told Nav that I was sure he was an Angel watching over us. Nav said he thought it was a little strange how he seemed to vanish. A look of understanding passed between us both, and I was over the moon that Nav had recognised something that I feel often in my life – that sometimes people I meet, or people I know of, are Angels.

Now, just to clarify, I believe in God (in personal faith, not organised religion), I believe in Angels in human and supernatural form, I am open to the possibility of other supernatural beings (e.g. ghosts) although I am yet to experience one, I think there are bad forces in the world although I’m not convinced by the idea of The Devil. I’m very interested in what other people think about these things in relation to themselves, but I’m not very interested what people think about my beliefs and assertions. They’re mine, I don’t need to explain them, I certainly don’t try and convince anyone to agree with me. Live and let live.

So, I think this man on the bench was an Angel, sent to watch over us in a time of need. Over dinner this evening, we discussed the idea of Angels and who, if anyone, are living Angels. So I am going to list three of my Angels here. One I know, one I kind-of know, and one I definitely do not know. Now I’m not just going to list my friends and family. Because my fiance, my rainbow girls (effectively rainbow coloured bridesmaids for my upcoming wedding) and my family go without saying that they are a blessing.


Mags is one of my rainbow girls. Last year I experienced the worst week of my life. Without going into detail about the cause, this was a time in my life where I was at my weakest and most vulnerable, a total mess, and didn’t know what to do. Mags dropped her entire life for me for days on end, was consistently there to support me, would meet me at the time and place of my choosing any time of day or night, and spent hours listening to me figure it all out. Without her I don’t know what I would have done. She was selfless, understanding beyond words and my saviour in my hour of need. I will never forget what she did for me and the way she did it, and I am blessed to have her as one of my rainbow girls.

Zara Khalique

Earlier this year, I started noticing stickers all over Manchester with inspirational, motivational quotes on them ‘Be honest’, ‘Count your blessings.’ I posted the photos on facebook and asked anyone if they knew who was behind them. Funnily enough, a friend of a friend knew Zara, the founder of and it was her that was putting them everywhere, promoting positivity and tolerance. A few weeks after I noticed my first sticker, I lost my temp job, something which sent my world a bit wobbly. But on my way to a new job interview, I found the stickers ‘Be positive’ and ‘You are beautiful’. I sucked up my nerves, held my head higher, and aced my interview. I’ve never met this chick face to face, and in a funny way I don’t mind if I never do, because she’s played a special part in my life without even meaning to.

Frank Warren

Frank Warren is the founder of I read the site weekly, and it’s caused me to totally re-evaluate my relationship with a family member. I wrote a secret about this person, and by actually putting into words something I felt in the back of my head was a real turning point for me, in realising that my secret was totally unacceptable and wrong. I never mailed him the secret, and I keep it hidden away as a reminder that changing your thought processes can actually change your attitude and therefore behaviour.

I see other Angels almost weekly. Kind people, doing and saying kind things. I keep my eyes and ears open for Angels all the time because I think they can pop into your life at any time, and often are so subtle that you’ll miss them unless you’re smart enough to look out for them. Some other Angels I know are my Dad, Mrs Kennedy my old English teacher, Konrad who we met in Germany and Marcella my gorgeous Dutch dragonfly.

Do you have any Angels that have touched your life?