Being truly grateful........

After what can only be described as a somewhat different kind of year for us all, I find myself even more than usual, being reflective and grateful for so many simplicities I have before me.


The sounds of the nocturnal birds being taken over by the stirring of the day creatures as I begin to stir and awake. It's pitch dark outside and again chilly, a clean zero degrees.

We have no street lights so it's dark, but wow we get to see so many more stars.

I look for the opposites. For every disadvantage, must have an alternative advantage.

After jumping up and taking a hot shower, rapidly dressing to then emptying the ashes from the tray of the wood burner, (poele) going down into the meadow to dump the ashes, not knowing what I will walk into. Last week it was heavy foot stomps and luckily running away. The torch shone round to show a pair of eyes of a Roe Deer. So pleased it wasn't a wild Boar!!

Tray now empty so now to get heat into the house.

The contrast of the cold air outside blanketing my face, neck and hands heightening my senses.

You can't help but be drawn to look up and be blown away by the stars above. With no light pollution, there are so many, how insignificant are we really!!

To return into the house and feel a comforting warmth allowing me to let go of tension and our basic instincts of self-protection and survival. A very welcomed comforting embrace of warmth and security.

How grateful am I to have a roof over my head and not be sleeping on the streets, exposed to the harsh cruelness of winters grip.


My day has just started and I am already grateful.

I am alive and my day is full of new opportunities.


To then set about making hot drinks and breakfast, flicking switches and almost taking it for granted. Smells of coffee intensifying and filling the kitchen. Believe me, we have had so many power cuts here in 2 years, namely down to trees interfering with power lines that they have now fixed. Solve the problem before it becomes a problem? It's been a culture change for sure lol.

Taking electricity for granted........ we certainly don't.

It's a luxury to walk around with heating and lighting. But you can never have enough torches lol.

From being in the job where you can find yourself down ditches or in confined spaces in the smoke or dark, torches make a huge difference, for us to see and for those, we are rescuing, for they can see a light shining through and have hope.

Having hope is a powerful tool. Do not let go of this.


I have attended so many incidents on the 25th Dec and New Years Day and throughout the festive season where I have returned to the station and then home to my kids and been humbled and blessed to have all this. I've felt guilty. Sitting watching my kids unwrap presents and enjoying the comfort of a chair and warm house cuddling into them watching films. But always hidden it from them.

We are isolated from reality, either in our cars with music on or homes, shutting out the world, until it's smacking us in the face, it is all too easy to ignore.

This year is a year that cannot be ignored by any of us.


In the Service, we've been out all day where we've had storms, dangerous structures and roof fires from lightning strikes and even lightning hitting a church bringing down masonry onto the congregation below, to standing inside a huge fireplace cutting out a beam that had caught fire whilst the family carried on eating their Xmas meal in next room......HO HO HO,

to putting out fires and leaving a family with nothing more than a few items and clothes from a house fire, sifting through remains and wardrobes to salvage clothes and belongings that are just smoke damaged and then attending car accidents, removing people from their vehicles and from the most obscure resting places after leaving the road, both day and night, to being on duty and having the station open as a collection point for peoples generosity, as they donated for those who had been affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami.

When you have witnessed so much loss of material things and of life you then realise how fortunate we really are.


Please don't feel doom and gloom, this is about taking stock of what we have.


As per my last blog, this is about ........PRESENCE............................not PRESENTS


Presence of mind........ to stay positive and see the good we have in the world, there are way more good people in this world than the news lets on!

Presence of Family and Friends...... something I will not get to have again this year, but this is partly my choice for living abroad, and sadly choices of travel have been somewhat stifled!!

My kids hopefully know how much I miss and love them. I am sure I will squeeze them tight and cry when we next meet. But that is with joy for having such amazing children xxx

We still have CHOICES................


Choices to stay positive and see the beauty of people and the world

Choices to reach out to Family and Friends, telephone or video links

As my mother used to say before passing,......... " none of us are guaranteed a tomorrow"


So I choose to stay positive and hopeful that 1 day soon I will be hugging my kids, family and friends.

I choose to send out my heart with gratitude and joy.

I choose to live as best I can every day and accept I cannot change everything.

I choose to encourage others to heal and keep going and for others to achieve their dreams.

Reach out if needed to whoever you need.

Be there for each other.

We have Choices to be Grateful for life's simplicities


Keep well and safe and enjoy every day we are blessed with.