Posted in achievement, Art, Change, Commitment, Debate, Development, Environment, goals, Health, Health Promotion. Diet, Ideas, Liberation, Modern society, Personal Growth, Psychology, Skills, Thoughts, Writing

Mindfulness: the Way to Declutter your Head.

I was in a newsagents last week when I spotted a new magazine called Breathe:it was the first issue.

  This magazine is written for a growing sector of readership, just like myself,whose desire is to enhance their physical,social and mental well-being. Designed to include four aspects of living: wellbeing, mindfulness, creativeness and escapism, the magazine is beautifully presented and covers a wide range of related topics, all of which are highly interesting and fresh in presentation. I am already eager to see the next issue on sale, September 22nd and have it marked on my calender. 

But what does it say about the reading habits, especially of women, and of a movement ( gathering an ever greater momentum ) where there are now courses and qualifications for a different type of practitioner? I am talking about the subject of mindfulness, and the interest clearly is growing enough for a publisher to create a new magazine, to include this subject, to live calmer, less stressed and more meaningful lives- lived in the present moment.

For someone who has experienced anxiety and stress, sufficient to have produced depression in the past, mindfulness is helping me now in a number of ways; the main benefit being in the unclutering of the mind. This mental dejunking has had several spin offs and I would like to share those here:

It keeps my anxiety into perspective and I will only focus on a concern in the present moment. A worry about a potential, confrontational meeting, regarding a thorny issue next week, can wait until then.

It has empowered me in my relationships. I am finally shaking off the need to be liked. Believe me, this has taken me years! I can be proud of who I am and have no need to seek others approval. I recognise my own power and this power has yielded results, so that gives me more courage to be assertive. This spiral is on a trajectory of only one way which is up. This excites me.

It has helped me to think more creatively. As a result, I am now starting to doodle mindfulness scribbles and pictures. I intend to share some.

It has helped me develop new hobbies. I have taken up drawing and really enjoy it. It does not matter about the level of skill. When I draw I forget everything. The concentration of the drawing keeps me totally in the present.

As a result of drawing, I have taken up postcard colouring. This is a nice spin off. This has brought joy to my family – so much so that one has been framed. This has brought me happiness, knowing that such a simple thing can bring other people joy.

I listen more, but realise I still don’t really listen at all well. There are gaps in people’s conversations that I don’t always pick up. This has been a shock. I am tuining in more to people and can respond better to them. Challenge yourself on this next time you listen to someone. Is your mind mentally on to the next task of what to cook for dinner?

I have started meditations and have returned to a much simpler form of Christian faith which includes prayer. I am beyond astonished that how these prayers have been recently answered. I search out quiet space, churches, under skies, on my walks for these types of moments. I am grateful so much for this.

I have found time to take up blogging again and to really think about what I want to write. Words jump out of my head randomly for future blog post. In the space of my mind, a book idea and even its title is already taking shape. I just need the belief to write it now and to say I am good enough to do it.

I have uncluttered the house. This has been going on for two years now since moving and embraces the minimalist movement. I like simplicity and space. Even my clothes tastes have changed. I like minimalism and follow Joshua Becker and his minimalist blog site.

Over thinking for me has been a real problem. I think too much most of the time. This is a hard habit to break. Recycling your thoughts have a shelf-life. Sometimes, you just have to bin the trash once and for all.

So these are the main changes and observations to date and these won’t be by far the end, of that I am certain . In the meantime, I am looking forward to reading Breathe and wish the magazine every success. My close friend tells me that when you are in tune with your heartfelt desires, things like books find you. I wish I had found mindfulness years ago but am glad to have discovered it now.

Go out and find out for yourself. You might be in for a few surprises! I would like to hear what you find.

 

Posted in Environment, goals, Home, Ideas, Modern society, Thoughts

Reducing Energy Bills.

My husband wanted me to post this to my followers on twitter and our followers elsewhere on the internet re: an idea to reduce your energy bills.

Hello to everyone from the UK.

We have put this link here for your benefit so that you can get a cheaper price for your energy bills:

 

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/the-big-switch#petition

Please look at the 38 degrees shortcut and show this to your friends, relatives and neighbours.

See the video by Jonathan Maitland from ITV on:

 

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/the-big-switch#petition

Thanks From David and Helen.

 

 

Posted in Climate Change, Debate, Environment, Modern society, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Blog Action Day on Climate Change Oct 15th 2009

For those of you who know me on Twitter, I am concerned and passionate about climate change and what is going to happen to our planet if we do not reverse the trend of consumption, increase in green house gases, which most of us have heard as carbon dioxide, and reduce our waste and “carbon foot print”. That  means how much each of us is contributing to global warming by the way we travel, live, by, bin as rubbish, recycle our waste and use our natural resources.

I had occasion back in May to attend a superb evening where the speaker was an authority on the enviroment and climate change and this is another blog which you can see here. 

Carbon dioxide is the most widely produced green house gas. Our modern living of driving cars, operating machines and dependency on oil results in this gas been released into the atmosphere and in simple terms causes the air to warm and global temperatures to rise. If the temperature rises too much then this would have a drastic effect on sea-levels, weather, contributing both to extreme weather conditions. Floods as well as drought in different parts of the world.

Scientists have predicted when the earth may experience certain temperatures rises which would become permanent. Hot climates would become desserts, Europe would experience tropical conditions and warming seas would become acid lakes killing of marine and other bio-diversity. These are just a few examples.

My friend- a scientist, recently said we should have been doing something about this 30 yrs ago. Alternative power will not be ready before 2050. He said that unless we did something very drastic to cut our energy, the lights and power will begin to go out in six to ten yrs.

basically, he said we are already in big trouble. We will not have enough energy to go on giving us unlimited power sources.

If the temp rises to 6 degrees C then life on this planet is no more as we know it. 80% of all life will cease.

We have all been told about this, though we may not wish to acknowledge it. Many people think it is not going to happen to them. The attitute appears to be: there is enough life left to see them out. That is a selfish attitude to take.

We must act and we must act now. Some would say:

” Well, what can I do?” we are already doomed.

Each person can do many things to reduce the rise of green house gases and help preserve this planet. In the end, if we don’t, nature will have its own victory in the end. The human, like a little parasite will be wiped out by floods, war and famine as people scramble to food, land, and more temperate climates- the ones that are left. People in Bangladesh will be no more, as their country succumbs to the rising tide.

WAKE UP EVERYONE. The clock is ticking and time is running out.

At least make a start and begin to do the following TODAY.

1) Use energy-efficient light bulbs.

2) Grow your own food and waste less. This helps energy reduction in the manufacturing food process and cuts down on air miles that food has to reach us.

3) Cut down on bin waste- landfill waste omit methane- a deadly greenhouse gas.

4) Save Water.

5) Turn off appliances on standby.

6) re-cycle and re-use.

7) Stop spending and throwing away needlessly.

8) Have a compost bin.

9) Cook your own food- less packaging.

10) Use energy efficient saver plugs.

11) Change your energy, eg electricity to green sources- Wind turbines.

12) Have a water barrel in your garden.

13) Line your loft and insulate your house- a common loss of heat and contributes to green house gases.

14) FLY LESS. Use trains, buses and buy a hybrid car which uses part battery to run it and save you energy costs.

15) Invest in a wind farm.

16) Use companies that have green ethics and credentials.

17) Look up your nearest Transition Town initiative. A growing movement of towns springing up all over the UK committed to local sustainability and to reduce our dependency on oil.

But most of all national government need to help ordinary people implement these measures as some-many could  argue that this costs money of which is a prohibitive factor.

I could go on but that is a start.

Please don’t put your head in the clouds. The CO2 cloud is here and it is going to consume us all to extinction.

It may be already be too late but that is no excuse. Prolonging the effects of this means we may buy ourselves more time on that clock to halt this climate change. We can’t sit by and do nothing.

ACT NOW. THANKS

 

This blog has been written in reponse to Blog Action Day on Climate Change.  see http://www.blogactionday.org/

Posted in Debate, Environment, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Why I Enjoy Walking

I enjoy walking and decided on my evening walk tonight to express a few thoughts as to why I enjoy this form of exercise. You know how you just do a thing sometimes, thinking you know why you enjoy it, but have never sat down to fully explain why to yourself, let alone to anybody else.

That’s what I found this evening when I decided to return to my blog and wanted a simple uncomplicated theme, to kick start me into writing my thoughts down once more with the question: why do I like walking?

For me, it is often the feeling of un-restriction, the freedom to wander both in steps and daydreams. On Twitter, my profile starts off by explaining that I am a daydreamer. I love to wander everywhere in my thoughts and ponderings. I think about the day, people, events and then as I gaze around my surroundings, I often place people with a connection with what I see.

I love the peace that an country walk gives me and I prefer to walk alone, though I do enjoy walking with other people as well. Sitting on my favourite fence, half-way threw my walk this evening, I sit and listen to the quiet. You see, I am often most of the time with people and get very little time to myself. There is chatter, noise, music, voices. Bramble barks, the news is on. Someone is calling me for their attention because they want to show or ask me something etc.

My time on my walks is a chance to de-clutter all that noise from my mind. It then gives me space to think and reflect on things. I make decisions on my walks, have planned assignments and even written them in my head-well the gist of them anyway. I have formed letters, written lists and thought of phone conversations and ones I need to make.

Tonight, I have observed the dragonflies overhead, the lilac heather on the pathway, heard a sound of a plane, traffic in the distance. The rustle of the trees and several dogs barking not so far away. These sounds  both being a subtle and then a louder noise layering over each other. The former being the closest, the latter being in the distance.

On my walks, as all my Twitter friends know, I look at the sky and the various clouds. I stop, gaze upwards and just be still for awhile. I love sunsets, another reason why I enjoy a twilight walk. We have some marvellous skies here in Norfolk, UK. 

My walks are often about 30 mins, rarely more than an hour. I can walk longer but this length of time is often just enough for me, unless I am planning to go out further  and see something different. Then I am happy to walk all day.

 I enjoy talking the dog for a walk. It’s companionship without chatter and the need to be other than just yourself. The dog doesn’t mind if you feel a bit glum or just don’t want to say a lot. She doesn’t notice if your drift off or lose your way-which is rare. She is happy to go wherever you go. There is no conflict over time or having a teenager in tow, itching to get back home because she is bored. Bramble, my dog  is quite happy to fit into my walking arrangements and usually makes little demands, unless she pulls at her lead or chase a rabbit. I wanted to get another dog simply because it makes you get out and exercise and I do enjoy walking my pet.

Walking is also one way I can get out and take pictures. A good excuse both to meander and take the camera at the same time. I can have a double enjoyment then. I like to share my life with people, that is so important to me, so I think I enjoy the photography because this is one way of sharing what gives me pleasure, not just what I do, or where I go with other people, but how I am connected to my surroundings and the world in general.

 Walking can be the perfect way to start a conversation. I often find on my walks I stop and talk to fellow dog walkers, or back at home enjoy relaying what I have done or seen discovered on a journey. If there is a photo to back this conversation up on flickr, then so much the better.

In Conclusion, tell me in your own words why you enjoy walking and why? Where do you walk and how often? Anything else that this walking does for you? I enjoy it for it’s simplicity and simply to often unwind after a hard and intense day at work. I can see how I have transerfered this pastime now into running. But the running I shall leave for another blog.

It’s feels good to be back to blogging!

Posted in achievement, Change, Climate Change, Debate, Environment, Learning, Modern society, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized

An Evening with a Speaker

Yesterday evening was very exciting. I nearly didn’t go. It had been a surprising up-hill week in someways. It shouldn’t have been. I had only been working since Wednesday. But that was the problem. Having enjoyed a lovely long weekend, I just could not get back into work.

Anyway, I decided to go with Mr E  to see Jonathan Neale, a climate change speaker ( author of Stop Global Warming, Change the World) who was speaking at the old Quaker’s Meeting House in King’s Lynn. It was bit of a dash, the tea dishes had been cleared five minutes before heading out the door. Boy, it was worth it.

Jonathan spoke with a clear American accent, a voice of  mighty expertise dripping from his lips. He spoke with passion. He held us and interested us. He spoke with such an insightful view. The little meeting house was packed. He did not drag on – 25 mins in total, but we could have listened to him all night. Question time next. I was not shy in the least. I held up my hand and asked.

” Given that you state that 40% of carbon dioxide is absorbed by plant-life and oceans, as examples, how will  this figure be affected by the Indonesian rain forests and those of Brazil being chopped down at an ever alarming rate? Surely, this figure will be reduced, say over the next 10-20 years? ”

We gave him all our questions, on mass and he selected a few to answer. Mine was the first to be answered. His answer surprised me. Yes, it would be noticeable but not to the extent I had thought: interesting.

Afterwards was just as good as the event itself. Drinking tea, some of us, me right up there in the group, gathered around him and talked some more. Two other guys, I and the speaker, talked about population expansion and it strayed into women’s issues. I also spoke to an ex-teacher who had taught in Zambia. Our conversation was mixed around Charcoal holding in Carbon Dioxide and his thoughts over girls education. He had taught environmental science.

And, if that wasn’t enough, I also learnt the history of the Friends building by someone before the meeting. I was eager to impart this information to my dear friend Geoff who loves Listed buildings, of which the Friends Meeting House is grade II listed, C16- 17th and has stones within it from the old priory. It used to be a pub called The Old Hulk.

What a night it was. From that meeting I met a Humanist and I hope to attend a Humanist meeting on the 24th June, all about global education.

This may float very few people’s boats. But crazy or not, it’s certainly floated mine all the way down the  Quay where the Friends house is situated nearby.

A great evening. And Mr E got a lot out of it too. But that’s his tale and not mine.

Posted in Change, Climate Change, Debate, Environment, Home, Modern society, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized, Writing

Earth Hour

I was looking foreword to lighting my candles this evening to celebrate and recognise Earth hour at 20.30. The glass bowl for floating candles, not used for awhile, had centre stage on our dinning table this evening. At 20.30 I looked out of my window to see if people in our neighbourhood were observing this hour too. They were not.

I was disappointed. Perhaps, they had not heard about it. But it had been on the six o’clock news this evening. Not judging anyone but perhaps they simply didn’t care or didn’t want to bother. What ever the reason, I discovered one very lovely thing about this year’s Earth hour: simply the peace.

We had turned our TV and computers off too. The candles were errie but the quietness was bliss. My daughter and I sat together in the twilight. We were waiting to pick my guy up from work. We read in the candlelight, me looking at course work and my daughter at a magazine. We had a drink and talked quietly. Our conversation took us back to the Victorian times where pastimes in the evening would have been books, conversation, writing letters in the candle light or playing cards.

We didn’t want this Earth hour to end. But it did and then with husband back from work, the flurry of the microwave and the brewing of tea.

The important point to make. We can bury our heads in the sand, but this is truth. We have less than 100 months left to save our planet from irreversible global warning causing sea level rises, flooding and other environmental impacts and damage. Tonight, let that be suffice for now. Have a think about it. It will happen unless we all do something NOW!

Just wanted to share a few thoughts about Earth hour this evening.

Posted in Change, Debate, Environment, Learning, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

September

September has always been one of my favourite months of the year- the second favourite being May. For some, this month may herald a time of fading hopes of a summer that never was, the chill of the fresh late summer or the early autumn air which feels cold, as winter will soon be upon us once more. So why does September fill me with so much hope and pleasure rather than gloomy thoughts of falling leaves, fading light and foggy trees? This little blog explains why.

I love the light in September. There is no longer the harsh summer glare. The light appears to be softer to me, but just as crisp and clear as a mid-summer’s day. Of course there is still plenty of light for an early evening stroll and dusk is still after eight pm. It is usually not very cold; our September months can be dry and sunny. You can walk out into the garden without a coat and can come back from a stroll, without the inevitable mud and splatter on your shoes, that can so often accompany a winter walk.

For me, as a lover of nature and also being a florist I adore the colours, fruits and berries that this month brings with splendid and abandonment. The blackberries are every where and we seem to have a particularly plentiful crop this year. I love making fruit crumbles and pies when time allows. My husband says that autumn can be so depressing with the leaves decaying and everything dying within this season. However, I do not see death at all in this month, with the forthcoming rotting of the leaves and the bare arms of the trees. For in the melting away of this year’s layer of dust and time, there heralds a new beginning just around the corner.

This month is the start of so much which feels like peace, order and a newness to me. Firstly, it is the start of the new academic year. Children returning to school and students returning to college or soon to go to univeristy. A new time table of adventure. I have always loved that glossy, clean feel to a new and un-opened text book or reference material. It gives me shivers now to think about it. You open the page which is pristine, a blank canvas in which to imprint your future goals and hopes.

In the wild, animals are busy preparing for a new start. Where I work I can see the squirrels foraging and collecting acorns to bury, so they can eat all the winter through. Flowers and plants may look tired and dying but this is only to lay the foundations of perhaps a stronger more thicker plant or bloom next year. How many of us plant snowdrops, traditionally planted in September, to see a beautiful white carpet after Christmas?

So for me I will continue to enjoy this month in all its rich splendour and perhaps, I may encourage you not to look ahead at the gloom of winter (though that can equally have its charms) but think of this month as a new dawn and a happy time.

Enjoy your September! I will.

Posted in Change, Environment, families, Home, Modern society, Psychology, Relationships, Thoughts

Cleaning

Today, I want to write a little about cleaning. Boring you say! Yes, cleaning is tedious, repetitive and time consuming. Like relationships you just have to keep scrubbing away hoping the dirt will come off eventually. so today, I am talking about cleaning, but then again I am not talking about cleaning. After writing Reflections and also the Field of Bricks, a certain abrasive, determined streak has developed in my attitude to cleaning both in the house and in my relationships, but most of all in the way I cleanse myself from now on.

Yes, I have spend many hours on my days off cleaning; the carpets yet again, the washing, infact the place has had a mini makeover. However, this has been more to do with; I want this place to look decent for me now, to have an organised tidy environment in which to conduct my life. Then I can arrange my life, within the context of my family, around this. If I work hard then I want the place to look decent when I get home at night. Suddenly, everything feels a whole lot better because I am in charge now of my own life.

When I wrote the Field of Bricks I felt very out of control, but now there is a certain order. I took control, made lots of phone calls, got things mended, erected and rubbish taken away. The grass is cut, the fence to keep the dog off the garden is up. The garage still needs a bit of work but it is coming along nicely. My beautiful summer house erected for my flower arranging is a neat haven of chairs and covers, tidy and dusted where I can listen to the birds and drink tea. My dressing table is smelling sweet and my jewellery in all their little boxes. My handbag has been cleared of truck and paper and is light again.

My old clothes are being binned, the shabby underwear having seen better days. The old is out, the new is in. There is going to be a new cleaner sexuality about me, clothes laundered well, nice lacy knickers and matching bras sets, (that’s a first), shoes cleaned. The wardrobe is next on the hit list. My husband and I have agreed to buy one new item of clothing a month. Too much effort has been expended on just doing and buying for the daughter, now its our turn to look decent.

My daughter has been going to a junior gym and I am enrolling too. My husband may do this also. I am still fighting with the swimming lessons and don’t intend to give up. so, you see this blog is more than just cleaning. I am not saying this is a five minute wonder or a new start, though it kinder feels that way. I have had many false dawns in this area of my life before but this time it is do or die.

The big test now is when I am at work. Usually, things then start to slide but I intend to keep on top of it all, a little each day. My time management has never been a strong point, always rushing but not being as productive as I could be. Today, I have done two hours of cleaning, (husband helping), two loads of washing – the lines are crammed full there are no pegs left, doing a bit of flickering, (photographic website) and writing a blog before lunch time.This afternoon there is a birthday present to buy and fathers day cards to post, well in time for the weekend. So, I will hit town before the school day finishes.

Back to work tomorrow for six days and only one day off next week before I am back to work for another two. That is my eractic shift pattern in my profession. Then I have got three days off, hair dressing appt booked and my daughter and I will have a chill out Saturday then. The agenda is to begin the clothes shopping ready for the holiday next month. Definitely,  good cleaning has been going on both internally as well as externally. What ever happens in the future, it pays to be ready and that means now for the time being, living life more like I have just done this last week.

After, all there is only one life. No, you don’t want to spend all your time cleaning but you don’t want to live in a muddy corner either. Time to take stock, start living and look ahead to the future.

 

Posted in Climate Change, Debate, Environment, God, Human Rights, Modern society, Politics, Religion, Thoughts

Climate, Church and Abuse.

My friends know me for my eco stance and concern over the environment, so I should welcome the Church of England taking the moral line over this issue; calling on us to have a duty to protect and help save our planet. After all, as Christians, surely we are custodians over God’s wonderful planet and living creation-if indeed he created it. (The jury is out on that one folks but for now we will assume he has.)

However, whether the Church has just decided to go eco to gain some brownie points either socially or politically, an article in the Times today exposed the Church of England to some very negative press over the issue of climate change and linking this to a recent headline abuse scandal. Here is an extract of the newpaper report.

Survivors of sex abuse by Christian clergy today responded with anger and shock to the Church of England bishop who said that everyone who failed to act on climate change was as guilty as Austrian child abuser Josef Fritzl.

Victims accused the bishop of being “facile and demeaning” towards Fritzl’s daughter, who was kept in a cellar for 24 years, raped repeatedly and who had seven children by her own father.

The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Rev Gordon Mursell, an expert on Christian spirituality and near the bottom of the hierarchy of Anglican bishops, said that people who ignored global warming were, in effect, locking their children and grandchildren into a world without a future and throwing away the key.

 Need-less to say there has been much criticism of these comments from survivers of sexual abuse and a calling to account of the sex scandels and abuses within clergy ranks and communties.

I found this analogy utterly astounding and think it is so off beam and off the planet. What ever is the church thinking of making such a suggestion by suggesting this kind of linkage? It just seems absurd to me. The Bishop went on to qualify his analogy stating that people needed to realise that doing nothing to save the planet for future generations were as quilty as Fritzl abusing his own daughter.

No wonder the pews are emptying in many C of E churches if this is what is being preached. Where is the credibility in this? The gross insensitivity of the comments. I wonder what old Archie Rowan Williams think to this one, as the Church of England is publishing its own report complaining of the quality of its clergy.

What an own goal! As more and more reports of child sex abuse in the Catholic priesthood and other Christian denominations are exposed, I think the whole report is rather a hoot and a corker. If this is the Churches thinking around such an emotive and sensitive subject then what else must it indeed think about other highly contentious subjects.

In conclusion, I quote one final extract from the article:

It is with horror and shock that survivors sexually abused as children or as adults within Christian churches and by Christian clergy and ministers should hear their own bishop declare that perhaps buying oranges from South Africa is the equivalent to being locked into a dungeon and being raped repeatedly for 20 years by an evil father.

Sums it up for me that. It makes the Church look quite ridiculous. Now what did I say about the quality of Church leadership and accountability? Oh, I remember now. That other blog I wrote. Proves a point in a way I think.

Posted in Doglovers, Environment, families, Home, Uncategorized

Porridge

This is the first of two blogs concerning the plight of man’s best friend. The other when finished, will sit along side this and will focus on a very alarming news report. For now this is today’s tale. 

Today I visited a prison for dogs. Yes, that’s right a dog’s prison and battery farm all in one. We have a dilemma with our approaching holiday. What do we do, with our then nine month old labrador puppy, by the time our holiday arrives? Some very dear friends are willing to look after our dog but a near miss-hap with their new cat puts this into question. So we have explored the idea of a dog kennel. There have been already recommendations of this particular place, several miles from where we live. The reports of other owners dogs loving it there and not wanting to come home seemed appealing and eased our conscience.We wanted to take a further look. People can just show up to view, another good sign that this kennel was well run and the animals cared for. Indeed, the website also looked very good and inviting.Our holiday problems were going to be sorted out easily.

Our other dog, who died last year was lucky, she always had a accommodating home to go to. When she became too old to go there, and the lady in question stopped running her service from home, our pet came with us, and holidays were accommodated to her needs too. We are a family and that means the dog was part of that equation. What is right for one , has to be right for all of us and that includes our pet. No questions asked. 

With a new puppy young and full of beans a time of re-appraisal was possible. Could our new pet become accustomed to kennel life? And this would solve a lot of headaches with what to do with her for the odd weekend away and any annual holiday. Arriving, we were shown inside the grounds and waited while another couple had come to collect their pet. You know when you and your partner just look at each other, make the connection, speak the same language with out uttering a word. We both shook her heads. No way was our dog coming to town here.

Rows and rows of kennels, lines of animals. The noise, oh the noise. The dogs were making such a row, jumping at the mesh cages, saying “get me out of here”. We imagined our little dog in this sterile, caged concrete environment. We could see her little face, the turned down ears and wanted to walk away there and then. But being polite we didn’t. We inspected the cells, made some kind gestures to the dogs and wanted to take everyone of them home with us. We could have filled our car boot up with them all and sped off.

The people helping to guard the place were lovely and obviously cared for animals. The feeding quarters were clean, it was well-organised, no smells. The kennels were clean, the dogs healthy. There was an organised regime of medication needs; they took dogs in season, families of dogs housed together (Interesting these dogs were quieter because they knew each other). The prices were reasonable and all dogs had to be vaccinated. There was a running area and the dogs were exercised daily. You could not have asked for more. BUT, it was like a battery farm prison, it was not anything like a warm, home routine. How those dogs ever slept I don’t know. Some were left up to a month if their owners were away for long periods. As my husband said to me: “we have to remember a day for us is like a week in a dog’s life”. I can’t believe those dogs could have been happy staying there.

The dogs may not be served porridge but their normal dog food, however, we felt upon leaving that these animals must have felt like they were  ” doing time”. I was expecting far less dogs, more separate individual kennels where the animals got some peace and quiet. This was just intensive dog homing and sadly profit has a lot to do of this I feel, though appreciating over heads must be high in running this place 24/7.

We returned to our pet, all eager to see us, saying: “looks like your coming to Somerset after all” and now will be looking at dog friendly hotels, guest houses and cottages. We just have one huge problem with this. We have booked and paid for tickets to attend the rock event T4 on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare and a dog can’t attend such a venue. This is for our teenage daughter to be Incorporated into our holiday. We have considered finding a kennel there, just for the day, and if anyone out there knows where we can find a good one nearby, please do let me know.

Finally, after this experience we said to each other. Why don’t we offer a home for Holiday and over- night service for other dogs. One dog at a time, who likes other dogs, vaccinated and toilet -trained. I am sure we could make an income from the demand which would offer individual home care from committed and loving pet owners.Not that we would do it for the money but for the pet-owners peace of mind and a happier time for the dog separated from its owner. On that note concerning separation, that will lead nicely into my next blog: The Dog is Not for Rent.