Friday, May 19, 2017

A Guide to the Archaeological Sites of the Isle of Man - My Review I LOVE IT

A Guide to the Archaeological Sites of the Isle of Man by Andrew Johnson & Allison Fox which has just been published is simply the best guide you can have in my opinion.

Okay so being an oldie just one minor thing I don't like and that is the distance measurements being Kms or whatever they are, which to me any many of my generation might as well be, well anything because I don't understand them. Should have also done it in sensible measurements like yards and miles. However the guide is so detailed that once you're more or less in the right place you'll find what you're looking for.

The guide starts off with some of the long history of the Isle of Man particularly that which is covered by the guide. Very interesting as this gives a good over-all view and wets the appetite for what is to come.

What I really about this guide is that it is has a page showing the symbols useD and includes wheelchair symbols. While I don't use one that is handy for me as I use a stick so I know from a glance that the site might need extra care in getting to it. There is extra detail on each site but these symbols are great as a quick reference.

The guide is set out in Parishes, and when you arrive on the page of the Parish there is a map showing where the sites are in that Parish as well as other information like the population of it and the main towns within.  This I found great as it means you could if you wanted set out to see all the sites in a Parish and plan your route to find them. I can see many people now like myself tick off the sites until we've covered all those mentioned.

The detailed information on each of the sites is great, just enough to tell you about and not too much to bore you as some guides do (human and books). If you are interested then the further reading section tells you all what you need to know.

You don't have to be a history buff to have this guide, as you could use it just to get out and explore the Isle of Man, by why just do that when you could visit the sites mentioned.

It is rare that I read any guides but this goes to the top of my list of them. It really is that good. So well done to Culture Vannin and to the authors on this super book, which will be great loved and used and taken out with us, along with the birds wildlife and other books we take out, we'll need a trailer or bigger car at this rate.

If you live on the Isle of Man or unfortunate to live else where, or are coming to visit us here, then this is a must have book for you and your friends and family, in fact for every one everywhere; including any visiting Aliens from outta space - As I was advised, read it when you can't get out and read it when you are heading out to visit the site or when you're there at the site to get more information on it.


Friday, May 12, 2017

Goodbye Boogie thanks for love - Hello Kev

Yesterday 11 May 2017 I said goodbye to Boogie, that is the email address that I have had with Manxtelecom since 1997. As stupid as it might seem I shed a tear at doing so, because Boogie has been such a large part of me, in that he was my security, and he was the innocent part of me. Boogie was the child part of the character I created Boogiestarman. While the man part of this was a cold lonely resentful, even hating part of me, Boogie was the child was just loved and wanted to be loved. The Star was Marc Bolan, he whom I loved and who showed me never to give up, because eventually you will be loved and you can achieve all that you want if you work hard to get there.

As I reasoned this for myself, I saw that I was holding on to the past, the child who loved and wanted to be loved was now here having both of those things. The star is now in the millions of years but his light shines reminding us all not to grow too old to rock'n'roll and our lives should be lived to the full. The Man is no longer resentful, for thanks to the counselling, love and understanding that they have, the real man has grown through.Perhaps more importantly, the love I have of maat and for Holy Mother Maat, enables me to forgive my past and all the wrongs in it and even forgive those who did them and myself as well.

I will always love, both Boogiestarman and Boogie, for they helped me to survive, perhaps in many ways they were both the caterpillar and chrysalis, that enabled Kev to come through. So no, this is not a re-invention of myself or my turning my back on my past and those who I loved then and still do now, it is just me being free to from the weight of it and able to fly with out fear.

So thank you dear Boogie, you opened the world to me and now it's open I am going to enjoy it.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

As you are - from Human by Rag 'n' Bone Man You wrote my heart thank you.

Every once in awhile the come along a person who seems to have been in your head and says the things you feel. This has happened to me recently. I heard Human the single by Rag 'n' Bone Man and was blown away by it and his voice so I looked on line and discovered more of his songs. It has been a very long time since I got this excited about anyone, so as soon as I had enough money I went and got his album Human. Not able to contain my excitement I played it in the car on the way home. Aly and I both loved most of the tracks, but not all if we're honesty, on first hearing as some seemed a bit draggy and preachy. We both loved Human and Skin which in our opinion anyone who doesn't like is someone who doesn't like choccy, yes that bad. As we were playing I was reading the lyrics and taken back many, many, years when excitedly I would rush out and get the latest T.Rex album and read them! To my amazement Aly, also did the same thing and we both agreed it was the best album we's heard in years.

On the whole album there is one song that stood out for me and made tears come to my eyes, for here someone was singing about how I felt about Aly! How the hell did they know that ?? Well, it is not about her as he's never met her or me, but you all know what I mean. That song is called As you are. Now I am going to quote from it and please note that these lyrics are copyright to Rag 'n' Bone man and are not my words.

You raised the lights when it was frightening
You calmed the storm when it was rising
You found me there where I was hiding
All I have is here and now

It was these first lines that made me want to cry as this is exactly how I feel about Aly, she did these things for me, stopped me from being frightened and still does. She does calm my storms when the abuse I went through threaten to swamp me. She did find the real Kev who was hiding deep inside afraid to come out for various reasons . Yes all I have is here is and now. Most importantly it is all I want and nothing more.

If the ground beneath our feet has disappeared
I'll be here beside you, always be right near you
Remember me, won't you?

This is me asking if things go wrong please stay, which I know she will and has done so.

I know we've all got our problems
And it's a blessing that we made it here so far
If you lay here in these arms tonight I promise
I promise to take you, take you as you are

This is how I felt about Aly when I first met her and we both really felt about each other - for they about acceptance of the other as you are.

When I was reaching out in the dark
When the streets below just looked so far
When I forgot everything that I was
All I needed was your love

These for me are the "killer lines" For the abuse that I had made as a barrier around me so I couldn't be touched by others and so many said there was a barrier and I forgot how to love and how to be me, the real me, all I needed was to be loved. I think we all need that someone, some one who can make us feel safe enough to be ourselves, not to be afraid of who we are, someone that loves us as we are,  not what we show the world or what others think we are but the one who really knows us.  Yes these lines made me cry for I realised that all I needed was Aly's love and then Kev could be Kev at long last.

Need Your Love So Bad will always be "our song" for it was playing when we met and we play it every year as we remember that moment when we fell in love. Yet this song As You are, is perhaps the mature version of that, how through the years we've realised just how deep our love is and how we both really just needed someone to love us as we are and nothing more.

So Mr Rag 'n' Bone Man thank you, for saying what I have been trying to say  to my wife - nowt more to say than that .

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Healing & Closure? Not really just learning how to cope

Yesterday I read a really interesting blog by my dear friend Alex on Closure and I agreed with her conclusions on it. If we close something or seek to close  it then we are saying it never happened and therefore I believe we learn nothing from it.  Last night, I was shouting for my wife as memories came flooding back of the abuse I went through. Aly had to use the key words that we have so I would return less frightened to this time and not remain there, but still I had to get up for over an hour and defrag my Ba to remain here and get back to "normal" me.

Now some think, well you've had counselling surely you can now put those things in the past surely you must be healed. Well the truth is, that I am not healed in any way shape or form, for counselling is not time travel it cannot go back and prevent every abuse I went through from happening and if it could would I really want it to?

Why would I not want the abuse never to have happened? Surely any sane person wouldn't want to have been raped and abused mentally and psychically as I was. Well in honesty I can't really answer that question, because that happened to me it is part of my history, part of what made me, me. Would I be less of the Kev I am if kevin  had not gone through that or would I ever have become Kev? Would I have been able to become merimaat and have accepted the love of Holy Mother Maat and most importantly of all would I have seen the need to change and been able to love as I do now?

It might seem strange to some, but being abused has given me so much that I know others do not have. It has shown me how I needed to change and to stop being abusive to others as I know what that feels like. Strangely, it has also taught me how to love in the correct way, not the right way, for my abusers love in the right way, the right way for them. This is not the correct way, which is loving for others not for yourself.

Counselling didn't heal, or provide closure for neither of those things really exist, they are just words we use as we learn to be in the present not in the past. This is all that people do, learn to live in with events that have happened they are never undone  never closed, never forgotten, nor for many every truly forgiven. You learn to cope and accept that there are times when you can't do so and you have the right not to do so and you're allowed to fall apart.

As for me well, I do forgive for that is maat and that is love. What I have done to others as a result of being abused, burns my Ib and my Ba is troubled by, which is also maat. Yet this abused one now can love and give love not because they have to but because they want to do so. I have not closed my past or been healed from it, it is there and I learn not be what/who I was from it, not to be abusive. Strangely, I have also learnt not to make any judgements on those who abuse, for they might be mentally/emotionally ill or have been abused as I was.

So in the end we are never healed, never have closure, we just learn to cope and not to go back and live in the past, which I some might say is healing and is closure.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Beautiful Aly

My Beautiful Aly
the years have flown by in the twinkling of an eye
and now we are in our golden years
The bloom of youth has blossomed
and the autumn of middle age gone
now the winter of our sixties is here
The mirror doesn't lie 
 nor the white hair 
nor the wisdom lines
we both share
Where once was north 
now is deep south

Yet you still are my Beautiful Aly
My Beautiful wife
My Best friend 
My Lover  okay 
that I can no longer say

My love you will always be
My Beautiful Aly

(c)merimaat 23 March 2017

Friday, March 03, 2017

It was 20yrs ago today Traa dy Liooar

20 years ago we left the UK for the last time and started our new life on the Isle of Man which was in our hearts and became our home.
 20years ago, we and it were very different. The Isle of Man was mostly Manx both in people and in the shops and services, it was how Lancashire used to be we kept remarking. The Manx people were warm and welcoming and every body willing to help us and wanted us to succeed. People would tell us the best place to shop for such and such and tell us things about the island that tourists never knew. We soon learnt much about the history, not the history in the books, but the real history of the people. Who was in the wedding cake and where they came from, much of this was really funny, but people were open to us. Okay, some could say they were nosey, but as much as we learnt about the Island and about the people, they got our history as well even down to, it seemed at times our DNA! We soon learnt the truth of the saying that if you sneezed in Douglas then someone in Peel would say bless you. Perhaps the biggest thing we learnt was that if you were honest and really wanted to make the Isle of Man your home, the Manx would help you, but if you in any way put up a barrier you were a "comeover" and there was a boat at 9am.

So much has changed since we arrived, to be blunt not for the best in so many of the changes. Now the wonderful Manx shops in Town are fast becoming a faded memory, with the few remaining ones like the dying embers of once warm fire. Now you can walk through town and not see as many familiar faces or it take you 3hours to do your messages as you catch up with old friends. Now we have unheard of crime and we lock our doors and cars and even our once fully Manx companies are now owned by off islanders. It has not completely gone and I hope it never will, but it seems to be heading that way as Morecambe did,the rose of Lancashire with a heart of gold, became the jaded old lady sitting on bench remembering better times when the world was younger and people loved her. I really hope my beloved Island home doesn't become the grumpy suspicious old man reflecting on his youth when he was the envy of the world.

20 years on this is our home, while the blood of Lancashire flows through our veins it does through a heart that is made on the Isle of Man. For this is our home and the only place that we would ever want to be until we pass to the great place beyond and then our passing will be to Ellan Vannin.  In so many respects, I am more Manx than anything else, for it was here that I was helped on my journey from the abused kevin to Kev. For as much as the island has changed, the greater changes have been within ourselves. It is funny when we do the quizzes that come up about how Manx are you and we score 100% on them, we sometimes think and say do you remember when we used to think how can anyone say its far to Ramsey and now we plan to go there.

This beautiful Island still enhances us as still amazes us with its beauty and it's many, many hidden gems. It still can lift our hearts and make our souls soar as we breath in the fresh clean air. We can still go to our special places at night and gaze at the wonders of the universe. Still get a proper Manx welcome in many places and still find our quick five mins turn into an hour, still get the skeet. The unfathomable Traa dy Liooar of the first day has become thankfully part of our way doing things. The two that came here to start afresh in our second year of marriage, not only found a fresh start but a home and the place where we belong. Perhaps the biggest compliment that we have been given to us is when people say Well I never knew you weren't Manx !

Traa dy liooar. T'eh taishbyney yn traa kiart. Time Enough, It shows the correct time. I think I shall have on my grave stone, for the correct time to do anything is when there is time enough. So 20 years ago was the correct time for us to have time enough for Ellan Vannin to become our home. Now we are Aly from the Parish of Ballaugh and Kev from the Parish of Malew , different names and in many ways different people thanks the magic of this jewel in the middle of the Irish Sea.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis for my friend Anne

Yesterday I heard the sad news that my friend Ann had been told she has   Myalgic Encephalomyelitis so today I am writing this to help her and may be just help others. These are just things I have learnt and how I deal with things.

Medication; have pain killers, but only use them when you REALLY need to do so. Antihistamine tablets are valuable fight against things as is folic acid, remember M.E. attacks the body each day and these help fight the worst of it. Get regular check up for your thyroid as this is also attacked by M.E.

Light and Sound: get lower wattage light bulbs, turn down the light on your lappy or pc and adjust the brightness of your TV. Get "black out " curtains to cut out the light at night. Artificial light is particularly stressful for M.E. sufferers. Natural sun light can be filtered, if you wear glasses get anti glare coating, wear a hat that shades your eyes and if the sun is very bright then sun glasses help. However natural sun light is good for you and helps with M.E. so adjust things so you can get out when you are well enough. Sound you have little control over apart from making adjustments in your own home. It is very painful and I haven't found a solution apart from being able to get out to someone peaceful to try and relax and even then that is only possible when you feel up to it.

Brain fog, well write things down so you remember them and try to explain to loved ones that it happens and they need to be aware of it. Again I have not found a work around this and when I have I can't remember what it is. Don't worry when you make mistakes and can't see them, a good spellchecker can help, but sometimes just call the thing you can't remember a thing.

It is important to "listen to" although it is something none of us do, what your body is telling you. If it needs to rest it needs to rest. Usually I find my throat starts hurting when I have reached my limits and know I have to rest. All of us push ourselves beyond this because we want to be normal, however you have to accept that you are now disabled and not like you used to be. There are days when you can do things at first but this goes down to hours, so do what you can in those hours and rest when you can't.

Accept the fact that sleep will not improve your mind or body functions, it is just a slowing down not the relaxing refreshing thing you have been used to having.

Establish routines; this is the most valuable lesson I have learnt. I have a routine in the morning of getting up and making coffee and feeding IsisKitty and using social media and then resting. When I can remember I eat at the same time each day and shower at the same time. Having this routine helps me and gives me a reason to get up even when I don't feel like it or am not capable of doing so. In between the routine I do have to rest and in truth most of the day is resting.  Try to go out at least once a week for if you do not do so it is very easy to be afraid of doing so and retreating from life.

Every body is different because as with any disability Myalgic Encephalomyelitis affects us all differently. There may be times when it does seem so bad and others when it is really, you just have to live through whatever it brings you. You have to accept that you will not recover from it and your live will never be the same again, that is hard. HOWEVER THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO IS LET IT TAKE "COMPLETE OWNERSHIP" OF YOU AND YOUR LIFE - IT IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE NOT WHAT YOU ARE. STAY POSITIVE

I hope some of these things help, but each of us find our own way. I went from being a very active out going person to one who now can really on communicate through social media and not even then on my worst days and most of that is copy and paste. Yes I do my blog and try to keep to my routines, but this week I've not really been able to do. After 10 years of starting with it and now knowing it is having more attacks on my body I know what to expect more or less, but each of us is different, so your pathway will be different. Just remember you are living with it, and do your best.