In memory of Chester

1516209186400.jpgOn the 8th of November 2017 we lost our boy. Words cannot even begin to describe how much we will miss you. We were truly blessed to have you in our lives; you were the best dog anyone could have wished for. Cheeky, energetic, so affectionate and handsome. People would stop to admire you, calling you an asset to our family. You absolutely were. You came into my life at a time when things were very dark and you opened my eyes again. On every walk we took you allowed me to see true beauty in our surroundings again and to enjoy the girls and watch their love for you grow.
   In the short time we spent together you were by my side every hour of the day, cuddling me in bed when I felt bad, going on boat rides, joining me for pub lunches and discovering endless walks around canals, woodland, beaches, hills and corn fields. You were in and out of the vets but we gave you the very best of everything; you deserved it. All you wanted to do was please people and all I wanted to do was hug you tight forever until the dark thoughts disappeared. Now you have been cruelly taken from me and I can’t see what good can come from such heartbreak 💔 You were my dog, I will never ever forget you x We love you Chester. Say hi to Rio for me in doggie heaven and enjoy running around those fields

 — feeling heartbroken.

Calm after the storm

I have been so pleasantly surprised by people’s reaction to my dear friends and followers post on Facebook. I was really bowled over by how open and honest people were with me about their own personal struggles. I received many likes and posts and even two personal messages. I still find it perplexing that some people didn’t want to support me publicly on my page. One of my dearest friends came foe coffee the day after and said she didn’t feel comfortable with discussing emotions on  social media. I immediately felt defensive and told her I had nothing to be ashamed of and that I was no longer willing to hide my true character and my struggles. She is quite an old fashioned character and never likes to talk about emotions. In fact she likes to focus on the negative of most situations. She seems surprised by my struggles as she saw my as daring and competent and said she would never dare of taking her rather challenging children out for coffee and cake whereas I am always out and about with my two plus puppy.

I really feel it is based on the expectations you had whilst growing up. I personally grew up with a very competent, confident, multi tasking and glamorous mother who makes most things look easy. She doesn’t like to talk about difficulty emotions and feels it makes herself vulnerable of she reveals too much of herself. Therefore I grew up in an environment where I couldn’t open up to my Mother about difficult subjects such as periods and sex.

I thought about posting on my Facebook page thanking people for their support but I thought against it.

I wanted to ask why out of my 144 Facebook friends only 33 liked my post and 15 commented. What does that say about those remaining 96 people?

That they are willing to read all the other utter rubbish on Facebook but not comment on my post? That they don’t have an opinion? That they are more acquaintances than friends? Even the friends that didn’t comment saw me in passing and inadvertently started talking about mental heath, it was so refreshing! How sad it is that I blocked my immediate family through fear of how they might react. I am proud of myself and the tidal wave that has been created as a result of my voicing my struggles. I am proud of the small triumph that occurred the day I decided to open up my heart and my life by posting on social media.

I just wanted to say to those 96 people that even if you don’t want to comment just post #imwithyou so I know you stand with me in supporting my campaign to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and get people talking about it.

I understand the disadvantages of social media, don’t get me wrong. We all post images that we hope will represent an image of what we wish to convey to the general public. they were often colourful, exciting and adventurous and certainly do not convey our true feelings be it feeling low or depressed. Believe you me if I posted photos that accurately represented my feelings 24/7 people would unfriend me pronto. They would be both colourful, sometimes black and white, sometimes screaming but hopefully mostly smiling with sheer joy that i have created such a beautiful little family and I am loved. I won’t apologise for that I’ posted. It reflects peoples narrow mindedness and ignorance if they wish me to shut up and not talk about how I feel.

Did I make you feel uncomfortable? Good! There are too many people suffering in silence and we will be able to prevent such people harming themselves or worse still taking their own lives if they were encouraged to talk.

What does Mindful Bakes offer?

This is the post excerpt.

I hope this post makes you want to read on and learn more about me and why I set up mindful Bakes a year ago.

 

I am absolutely passionate about working with children; teaching them new skills and educating them to eat healthfully, be mindful of what they are putting in their bodies and also where their food has come from.  I want children to be mindful of how they feel when they’re baking, they’re not focusing on the latest television programme or tapping away on mobile phones or playstations. Baking requires your full concentration and effort so there is not much room for anything else. All the anxiety and distracting thoughts have to be put aside whilst you create your masterpiece. It also doesn’t need to be a masterpiece at all, cooking is subjective so there is no right or wrong, it is a learning process and if at first you don’t succeed you try, try again!

 

I am also passionate about being creative and artistic and I think that can be incorporated into cooking. I am not great at icing cakes and I do not place a huge emphasis on the final look of a product not the taste but i think it’s the process that went into creating that bake that is important. How did it make you feel? Did you enjoy it? What was challenging? What could you have done differently?

 

so I set up my cookery school in February 2017 and invited children of all ages through my front door to bake with me, creating both sweet and savoury bakes. I ran 4 sessions a day at 75 minutes each from 10am till 4pm and we were pretty fully booked every half term. During term time i would invite ore school children through my doors and offer the same sessions.

 

This summer I am offering something a little different that I hope will work. Each session will include a chefs hat, recipe card, use of an apron and unlimited soft drinks. All sessions apart from the 75-minute sessions will include a hot meal. Breakfast club which includes breakfast from 9:30-10:45am. Lunch club is 11:30-14:30 and afternoon tea club from 14:00-16:30 I am also running my popular 75-minute sessions. New for this year are my mindful bakes meets mindful arts sessions-bake in the morning then do art in the afternoon! This is an all day sessions from 10-16:00 and includes a hot lunch. Tuition is from Steve Pierce-Smith, a reputable artist living in Devizes. i have chosen four locations accross Wiltshire; Devizes, Collingbourne Kingston, Collingbourne Ducis and Grafton