A Valentine in the Time of Corona

So it’s 14 February 2021. That Hallmarked calendar day of Cupid…

And it’s 8 years since I published a book about the multi-faceted feelings and phenomena of love.

At that point in my life I’d been single for a year. The year before THAT I’d manifested a dream man, along with a whirlwind romance, marriage proposal and engagement ring.

But then the man changed his mind and that was that. Cupid dropped his quiver of arrows and shot a canon ball through my heart instead…

So I had to hurt and lick my wounds and carry on. To hide and heal and find myself.

As part of that process I felt compelled to challenge myself to be the writer I knew I had been born to be. And in thinking about how I would accomplish this, the idea to write about LOVE hit me like a thunderbolt. And not only of love like the coupledom I had lost, but in all of its’ vast and glorious complexity, weaving in and out of the multi-coloured strands of my life.

So I set out to explore love, to seek it and see it. And where ever I sought it, I found it. And as I did, I wrote it all down. It was a cathartic, joyful and expansive experience. And just like that I had written my first published book, ‘Peachey Letters.’

I can’t tell you that I’ve lived happily ever after since that time. In truth there IS no happy ending. I’ve carried on with my life. I tarried with romance again, but it was halting and shifting. And so I’ve climbed the mountains of my life, then ran down into the valleys, with family and friends, and, so often, on my own.

And I thought to myself, ‘it’s better this way. I have my OWN way, all the time.’ There will be no more heartaches or complications for me, instead I’m free, in every way, to make my own choices, without compromise. And after so many years of being this Miss, I decided, with graceful acceptance, that I couldn’t be anything other than on my own.

As I knew that love was all around and within me, I lived without regret. I didn’t need it in one romantic dimension, but to experience it in every way – whether sometimes dark and sometimes diaphanous in form.

Then COVID came and lockdown landed.

At times I felt isolated, then at others a happy hermit. And I promised myself that if someone passed through my thoughts, I’d reach out to and check in on them. In doing so I had every shade of response that can be imagined, from reconnected joy, to nonchalant indifference.

But there was an exception… One person I thought of, but wouldn’t reach out to. Someone I’d cared for in the years in between writing my book and the present day. Sadly it hadn’t worked out for us. So I could only imagine, after more years had passed, that he had moved on, would have found love. Would not want to reconnect. I was afraid of going there.

Throughout this curious time of Corona, my life continued to ebb and flow. I had tragedies, triumphs and 1000s of daily transactions.

Then one day I discovered a text I hadn’t read. It had been sent months before, but I’d only just received it, on an old device I had just happened to turn on. And it was from the very person I’d thought about, but avoided…

Then, to my surprise, after much time, many texts, walks and talks had passed, I became someone’s Valentine again, with red roses and romantic declarations.

That’s been just gorgeous. And yet, you know, it’s a day in the life, not my whole life. I feel blessed to be able to celebrate love in that way again, to add it into the mix of every conversation, realisation and transaction that goes on in my life. Because when I look for it, in every person, situation or station, all coming together in the fabric of my consciousness, love is always there.

So if you’re reading this, love could mean everything or nothing to you. You could be feeling full of it or sore for the lack of it. But know, whatever your ‘status’, that you ARE love, in so many ways: YOUR ways. You deserve love. To give and receive it. To know it is within you and around you, in everything. Red roses are truly beautiful, yet a kind word, a smile, or an act of thoughtfulness are precious acts of love beyond price, too.

And since you are all LOVE, then finally and naturally, it’s time to wish you a very Happy Valentines Day x ❤ x

Your Valentine – Sorted

Love is in the air! Cupid is hiding around the corner, arrow poised and ready for Valentine‘s Day, which is now fast approaching…
Have you got the perfect gift for your partner yet? I can help…
heart feb 15
And if you haven’t met the Mr or Ms Right in your life yet… Where do you find love?
Read my book Peachey Letters and find out…
Book Cover Tiny
I currently have a Valentine special offer… You can buy the paperback on Amazon for £11.99 or as a Valentine’s treat you can get it on my website – here for just £7.99 including P&P… Happy designated Day of Love!
Featured in Psychologies Magazine and The Lady, it is also honoured as a Finalist in the International Book Awards 2015.

Here is just a small sample of the feedback that ‘Peachey Letters’ has received so far:

Wow! Beyond words, your writing is wonderful, your insights an inspiration, the gift of a Goddess & an honesty that is humbling … Your bravery is bold & simply brilliant. Thank you. ~ Lucie Bradbury

It’s fabulous the way you are able to express your feelings with sensitivity and humour, a real talent … your writing is so wonderfully poetic whilst at the same time being merrily mischievous, …  ~ Liz Ivory

What vivid pictures your words paint. It is never easy to put your feelings into words. Your deep feelings and gut reactions bubble up naturally seemingly beyond translation. Your words have become the sparkle in my eyes and the sun that shines through the window every morning beckoning me to wake, I love your writing. I always have, and I always will. ~ Vaibhav –India:

Rarely have I read such exquisite passion, such positivity, such zest for life has I have in your love letters. You express yourself so well, as you find just the right words for thoughts, feelings and experiences that so many of us find impossible to capture, or even know exist. You have THE GIFT … And you have imagination too. A mind able to fly and to dream. To truly know, to see in your mind’s eye, how beautiful things could be… if only… Yet, even in this imperfect world… a world fall of faults, pain, failings, evil and just plain indifference, you still see and appreciate the beauty. ~ David W

What a gift that is – coming through all your life and coming to this point of deep peace and love. And you’ve had the honesty to share it. I just feel so touched and humbled.  Thank you with all my heart. ~ Lyria Normington

Your letters are touching and inspirational – and so amazingly well written, they made my spine tingle …~ Lis Protherough

Making a perfect Valentine gift, the book takes the best posts from this blog, adds new content in and wraps it all together in a satisfying structure – that will make you feel the love, entertain and enlighten you.

It’s an easy yet satisfying read, which sees love in everything we do, crossing the boundries of the huge themes of life, and the tiny, trivial minutiae of it too.

Buy the paperback on my website – here for just £7.99 including P&P…

Or get it from Amazon for £11.99 and from all great book websites around the world.

You can also buy it in Kindle

Any which way, you and who ever you give it to, will LOVE it!

With love from
Sandra
Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life
~ Finalist in the International Book Awards 2015
~ Featured in Psychologies Magazine and The Lady

 


Cats – on Love, Life and Litter

Cat Heart

So here I am writing a month of blogs and so far they have been cat themed – I am testing and trying out ideas for a new book – ideas for content, for tone, and inspiration…

Three years ago I set myself a blog challenge – to write a Love Letter to Life every day of that romantic month. I completed that challenge and my first book Peachey Letters was born. So that was a whole month of Love Letters – to many and varied aspects in my life. This time, I have only one preoccupation and that is a feline one. Just what can cats teach we humans about Love, Life and Litter? And so the calendar has wound round again to the 14th of February – Valentines Day, so here I am, once again, writing about love.

When it comes to cats and love, like everything else, they pretty much have the whole issue sewn up.

So how do cats do love? I guess the very first object of love is the mother and just like humans they are dependent upon a female adult to nourish them and start to teach them life’s lessons. Mother is the source of food and a warm furry belly to cuddle up to and fall asleep securely within those paw walls.

But the first real lesson in love we can divine is how a cat loves itself. Cats have an innate sense of contentment and care in just about every movement and moment of their lives. They are born with self assurance, which is nurtured by their mother, and reinforced by their fellow kittens. See how, from the earliest age a kitten takes care of itself – taking the utmost pleasure in licking, nipping and grooming its’ coat. Witness their closed eyes and concentrated demeanour and feel their satisfaction at a job well done, and their smuggery at being so beautiful.

To see a kitten or cat of any size, who is feeling secure and happy, at rest, is to witness a complete ease with their own body, and the soft sensual delight of stretching and curling in to endless tangles and poses that belie complete contentment.

Cats love their bodies, they enjoy their bodies, they take care of their bodies.

Whereas in a cat you will see a constant pleasure in the physical, with me it is a love hate thing. I glance in the mirror and see both good and bad. I see fat and I see ageing. Sometimes I see ugly looking back and me, and often I will see beautiful. And whilst I do not have the constant uncritical contentment in my body that a cat does, I do like to take care of this earthly temple that holds my soul. I exercise, I eat well, I rest, I prioritise my self care. In this way I really do think cat. Well… sometimes… sometimes I’m a couch potato, sometimes I eat wrongly or too much, but in being the head of the Pride I get to have more choice, I get to try and to push the boundaries, in all areas of my life; whereas my cats take a more tried and tested route – simple self love and contentment. In truth I am love with the blissful ease of simplicity, yet often I over complicate so many things in my life. There is, most definitely, a lesson in that…

So moving on from self love, why and how do cats give love? Now, much as I am a misty eyed lover of my moggies, I am also a realist. I know it all starts with cupboard love. I know that as the purveyor and opener of tins, pouches and packets, I hold the power. But I am not the only one who feeds the Peachey Pride. Whom so ever in that hungry moment feeds them, has their undivided and ravenous attention… And has, for those few gobbling minutes, their gratitude.

Then they’ve eaten and then they move on…

I, perhaps in a romanticised, self important way, like to think that food is just the starting point and that they also love to give and receive love and affection and in fact, demand it from me.

All my cats want to be stroked, petted and fussed, and they leave you in no doubt about what they want from you. You get head butted, kneaded, mewed at, stamped on and nudged. They want affection and are delighted to receive it, showing their pleasure as purrs – the ultimate expression of cat happiness.

As I have grown in age and wisdom I have got so much better at asking for what I want in love, yet always I can do more, think more cat…

I am not so blind as to think that I am the only human my cats will exchange such loving energy with. But it is from me that they demand the most affection, and in the happy repetition of giving and receiving of it, we form a bond, it strengthens our ties – and that is all part and parcel of how to love well.

As humans, I know that we have different ways of expressing, of giving and receiving love, and only some are about touch and affection.   As various as we two legged creatures are, there are different bonds that brings us together; there are different acts of love, and not just the obvious Valentine ones of roses, cards and chocolates. So, to love well, observe what gives pleasure and feedback and give those back, as your acts of love.

All of my cats love differently, all in their characteristic ways and they show me how to best love them – to be scratched just there – ah bliss! To be offered up a soft trusting belly to tickle, to be allowed onto a lap and also, at times to leave them alone, to let them have their own space, so that all in good order, there can be loving shared space.

I am getting better at asking for how I want to be loved. Just like my cats, I gravitate more naturally and spend time with those who see me and love me for who I am and who, in return show me that I am respected, liked and / or loved, in what ever context I will conjoin with them in.

Now in this regard, I am most definitely and most lovingly, thinking cat

♥ Happy Valentines Day, to all two legged and four legged creatures, every where ♥

PS: Did you know that a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, cats and all?  I’m completely biased of course, but it makes a purrfect present, for you or the cat lover in your life… You can buy it from book websites any where in the world, including Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)