So got excited the other day at the news that mcdonalds had their monoply game out again. (that is my board right there!)

I began to get excited thinking of the large meals, and prizes we could win but the chance of winning the big prizes or just extra fries excites me.. but this is my guilty pleasure, and we all need guilty pleasures right? it’s like covert gambling with an excuse to eat more (sorry slimming world)

The thought of getting grand central station prize of…. 10% off a product oo exciting!

The lure of potentially winning and being a winner is appealing. I want to be a winner!

I notice that that our lottery is a double or triple roll over, that’s awesome, as I would love to win that. My mind boggles at what I would do with the money, a yacht, a holiday, what new friends I may have!

I would get a big house with cinema, games room, swimming pool and car, well cars, 4×4, a sports car, a city car, a van, I have always wanted a van, and be a van man, quad bike, speed boat……

This kinda got me thinking… What is it that makes us a winner, what does success look like, feel like?

It is possible have never experienced what it is to be successful or a winner.

I think I won a running race when I was about 6, and I got a swimming medal once… Wow I felt on top of the world, maybe that’s what being a winner feels like, that rush that glow!

But then does it matter if we are not a winner? Is life about winning and losing or is it about surviving?

Is life perhaps like a game of mcdonalds monoply?

This reminds me of that question of whether a glass is half empty or half full.

Now I know a few drinkers who would actually argue a half measure of drink is actually no good at all.

Sometimes I wonder if I am living a “half measure” life.

Should I be happy with my lot in life, the cards I have been dealt? Surely I should be more gracious when others are worse off?

I used to live my life feeling a failure, and to a degree there are elements where I still do, but the difference between success and failure is whether you pick yourself up and try again when your chips are down.

I appreciate there will be those that may disagree or whoose experience is different.

I used to despise the “have’s” as I was a “have not” however now I realise if I strive, if I work hard, if I want something enough I can get it.

Maybe just maybe… to quote a great british sitcom character.. “this time next year rodney, we will be millionnairres.”

Stay strong folks, never give up!

Pssst.. For what it’s worth, I believe we are all winners in our own way, some of us just don’t believe it yet.
“Even if everybody says it’s impossible, with determination, there is always something you can do. The last thing is to give up without trying
Bangambiki Habyarimana.

This a photo of a cafe I sometimes go to near me!  I think the words are great!

Write a dream, live a dream!

I have come back from a vacation away and promised myself no work or no going on my  cell phone apart from to take pictures.

I thought it would be hard, but I promised myself a rest and rest I did, swimming, walking, climbing and reading and even den building.

It was nice to enjoy the things I like to do without the constant battles that life throws.

I wish every day could be like this!

I want to afford what I want, without having to worry about the cost, and know how to do that!

I’d love to be financially free, escaping maybe that traditional job, the stresses and limits it can bring, instead work on my terms as I still need money, as I am still feeling quite poor:)

If you are thinking If I can afford to go on holiday, I am not that poor – let me tell you, it took a lot of saving and budgeting.

I began dreaming about career, maybe several. Options are good right!

I need to have higher aspirations!  Focus and Perspective!

Today I imagined my office on the beach just sitting and watching the waves. Maybe I could sit and write to make money, maybe inspire and encourage others.

I pulled up a chair, (that chair, I took that photo) then I thought why not?

So I sat with coffee and began to write and dream.

I don’t know what your dreams are but I hope you get chance to live yours if you are not already. If not maybe NOW is your time!

It’s hard work, but honestly if I can try to do it, anyone can.

You do not even have to walk in someone elses footsteps, create your own…

Keep dreaming, and never give up on your dreams!

Are you feeling Poor today?

Amazing YOU!

“I can do something amazing today” Ginsters pasties

(thanks Ginsters pasties)

Do you believe that you can, and would you want to? Do you care?

This is my corner of insperation and positivity that I face every morning.

Every morning I look, yes look, for ways to do something or be amazing, it is great for mindset.

It means I’m looking for opportunities to make a difference whether it’s kind words or actions or “can do” attitude or helping someone.

I am a work in progress and at times it’s hard to be humble and bite my tongue with folks, when all I want to do is rage, especially when I am accused of something I did not do.

I’m reminded by an old school song.

“make me a channel of your peace”

Today, I hope I can be a person of peace and bring peace and comfort to someone who may be in need today.

What are you doing today? anything amazing?

Retreat or surrender?

So my hearts all a flutter and my mind breathes, as stillness and silence tease me away from work “people” situations, life.

I’m going to escape and retreat to a retreat centre all by myself.

Check this out.. It sounds lush.

Quiet waters….

I can imagine it now listening to the lull of gentle water lapping at the side, country side location miles away from my location away Away Away… Yay.

A quiet reflective rustic lunch and grounds to walk around, my own slice of spiritual escape pie served on a plate of serenity.

Things are happening, have happened and I feel like I just need to stop…. Get off the life wheel if only for a few hours.

Retreat is not the same as surrender far from it however in this occasion the two sit side by side like a married couple meant to be and I’m just going to surrender.

I’m surrendering to life, to the cosmos, the universe, karma, God I have no idea, but I know I can’t sustain and maintain where I am at.

Will I come back changed? – I’m hoping so.

Will I be renewed? – sounds scary.

Will I shed tears? More than likely.

This my friends, is my therapy before I implode or explode or both.

I am away for a week next week, so I doubt I will be on here. I aim to have a cell phone fast… No social media, no surveys, no work just time away in woods and swimming pool slides and feeding squirrels and just returning to nature and breathing. I doubt if it will be a holiday or a holy day but….. Perhaps I can gain breathing space and perspective or not.

As lent comes to a close, I look forward to easťer..

Perhaps a season for new life.

Love you all.

New life.

As it’s mothering Sunday here in the UK, it’s often tradition that daffodils are given or bought, although of course many other bunches of flowers are also sold, but I wondered what was the significance of the daffodil, so I did some research.

Here is what one site says..

Symbolising new life and re birth, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring. Though their botanic name is narcissus, daffodils are sometimes called jonquils, and in England, because of their long association with Lent, they’re known as the “Lent Lily.” connecting the daffodil to not only a sign of winter’s end but a lucky emblem of future prosperity is found throughout the world. In Wales, it’s said if you spot the first daffodil of the season, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth, and Chinese legend has it that if a daffodil bulb is forced to bloom during the New Year, it will bring good luck to your home teleflora

Today I take my hat off in respect to all those mothers, the good, the bad, the in laws, the Foster mothers, adoptive mothers, surrogates, mother like figures, those that are not with us.

Whatever the relationship, I hope today that bridges can be built, relationships be restored, that love can be found for even the hardest of relationships and a moment can be spared to think of those people in our life.

A huge thank you to my own.


Choose Life.

This is rather a sensitive subject so I apologise.

Do we get to choose life or death, in our own life, and how do we live, (if you do) with those feelings that almost whisper you to… How do I put this sensitively… “End everything”

New years eve I was sat in my car over looking the cliff. It was late, it was dark, no one around, an urge to just put my foot down was strong.

Looking back in life there have been other occasions where life was bad, and I was looking for a way out.

The sad thing is, when I shared this with who I would consider the most important people in my life the response was on the lines of.. “how selfish”

If you have ever been in this state of mind you would know that such a response rather than draw you away from those feelings and intentions actually push you closer.

My favorite response is the “attention seeking” one!

In some ways I both envy and pity such people. I pity their ignorance, their lack of empathy and understanding yet envy them that they have maybe never been in that place.

So today I was thinking about this subject, if and when I get like that, do I really want to end things or is there something internal or mentally that I just need to get out my system?

Perhaps life is…

Throwing too many balls – we might need to let some things go!

Perhaps we are trying to please too many people – you cannot please everyone.

Perhaps we are overwhelmed – are we taking on too much?

Perhaps we are struggling with seeing the wood through the trees,

Perhaps we need someone to listen…….or something completely different.

There are times I’m in that place and I feel I have no one to share this with. Friends will say “I’m there for you” which offers some comfort but we don’t want to drag them into our issues, and to be honest sometimes we don’t know what we want but there’s something inside screaming or crying.

I don’t confess to have the answers. I just know that this is one of my battles.I wish I had advice or wise words or a solution to make the feelings go away and medication won’t do it, but instead:-

Isn’t it amazing though, that some people just don’t know you or get you? How does that make you feel?

If you are in that place or know others, then don’t go through this alone.

 I sit and stand with you beside you, no words, and I understand, I understand.

When I can’t go to people, I turn to poetry or writing which is a huge step for me as I would rather just self harm or break things. Use creativity and expression to be creative and express.

Please spare a thought for those who are struggling, or if it is you and need to chat please get in touch.

Peace be with you.


(This is the beach 2 mins a walk from me) N.B all photos are my own.

A few years ago in my usual non wisdom I decided to try and paddle back in my kayak 10 miles across the sea home. I hadn’t done any serious canoeing /paddling for a long long time since my youth but here I was with a new kayak 🛶 thinking I could do it baring in mind I had driven their to start with and only intended to dabble with my paddle in a small cove not the open sea.

Off I set.

The sun was warm and I enjoyed the exercise. Before too long my arms began to ache, the tide was getting stronger and here I was paddling against it towards my destination.

I was totally unprepared as the weather began to turn, the waves got bigger, I had no phone no money on me no way of calling for help as there was no one around and I was a distance from shore as the waves took me further away.

As my strength drained and conditions worsened I began to panic, I was out of my depth and one stupid decision was looking like it could have been my last.

In the distance I see a beach and people so with the last remaining ounce of determination I fought the tide and collapsed on the beach. I had no idea where I was and still miles from home.

A local cafe owner took pity on me and let me use the phone where I called for a lift.

On this occasion it worked out OK but could have gone wrong. I am glad I tried and although I failed to reach my target despite a lot of odds against me I wasn’t far off, I learned some valuable lessons.

I think about the go with the flow or go against the tide analogy quite frequently and one route is definitely easier but what do I learn? And is it the better way?

I have to admit going with the flow is not my natural way, I always seem to have to fight against something and often I come out beaten or worse for wear so I ask myself is it worth it?

I find that when I go with the flow, sure its easier but then for me it just doesn’t feel right.

Just because others do something or say something should I follow?

If someone tells me a “fact” should I just accept it?

I’m wondering what others experiences are of when they feel they’ve gone with the flow or fought against the tide how it made them feel.

The odd thing, despite what I have said, is that on occasions I feel like I’m doing some things in my own strength and I am getting no where and it feels like a battle and it’s only when I let go draw back or threaten to give up that suddenly its almost like magic that “thing” I have been battling just seems to ease. Perhaps you can relate to this?

I think 🤔 I’m stuck in pondering as to which approach is better. I have to admit the older I get the easier I want life to be, so I am trying to find ways of reducing risk or stress.

A wise person once said, “choose your battles wisely” and I believe this.

If you are facing a battle today, then I am thinking of you. I hope that you find a way of equipping yourself or have the strength to know when to pull back.

Retreating is not a sign of weakness it’s a time of regaining strength, tactics and reevaluating the cost or consequences.

Peace be with you.

Please feel free to comment or get in touch or even share. <><

This is the place I call my “Thinking spot” That is my fave beach and bench and my loyal hound.

Photos are taken by me and subject to copyright and permissions. Alexander Simmonds Photography.

This is a pic of the back of a collection box of a charity I support, and I am still a member of. Read more about them.  If you contact them, tell them Captain Steve Simmonds sent you. I do not get commission but I might get a free coffee if I visit.

“Player Pupil”

.I went to a lovely Animal conservation park, and my favorite was just watching these fish swim round and I was mesmerized by the water falls. As I watched the fish, my mind began to wonder about a new game on my phone.

Best free android game on my phone by far is called “fish for money”  As it’s a fishing game I have to fish for rewards, the bigger and harder to catch fish, the bigger the reward, but how do you fish? how do you make easy money? Well I am no fisherman, and there is nothing easy about this game, but I was lured by the make money videos:(

The aim is to get far enough in the game so I get paid cash at the end. (I do not think an end actually exists, the game is actually quite painful i am finding yet I still play – Am I the only one who plays games on my cell phone.)

Now the stupidity of it is, is that I could make more money doing probably alot of other things than playing on it so why do it?

This is what I reflected and learned just from playing a game on my phone.

I like it, it takes my mind off things, it gives me goals and objectives and rewards and incentives. –I have never been one for any of those things.

It teaches me endurance, patience, hope, and a desire to increase what I have – New life lessons for me!

As with life though it has its pitfalls, it crashes, I’ve lost all my money (game money) I’ve had to start over, and to be honest it’s quite a painful and time consuming process with little reward. – Now that is my life right there!

So there I am trying desperately to catch the next big fish and sometimes I’m successful but mostly not, yet while trying to catch these I’m missing out on the smaller fish which are easier and less time consuming but I’m ignoring because I don’t value the reward.

I appreciate this is just a game, but some say life is a game you just gotta know how to play and get through or win. So I reflect as I chase my goals that I need to appreciate the little things whilst still aiming for the big things.

I got chatting to a friend who’s renovating their house and it’s taking blood sweat and tears and investment but the transformation is incredible. I’m jealous and in awe n wish I had the skills to do what they did, but alas.

So I’m pleased for them yet secretly sad inside until a voice whispers to me, “you may not transform houses but you do transform people.”.

I’m finding myself draw back a little these days, stepping back from people or situations that would previously wind me up and just re-evaluating my relationships with folks.

I’m reminded to continue to invest in people, and so I look for ways to encourage, lift, help, others as so many have helped me – Maybe I am more of a fisher of souls:)

God bless y’all n thanks for following and reading.

Losing sight.

Do you ever have one of those days where you just can’t find the things you need. Perhaps normally you wouldn’t think about them or need them, until.. You lose one thing, then another and it appears you have lost everything and you begin to go out of your mind!

Sound familiar?

Tonight is one of those moments, I’m moving things I’m turning the place upside down, I’m fretting… If only I took better care of things, if only I appreciated what I had.. And I am looking and looking.

Great effort is then put into this search and finally all that was lost does get found-phew peace restored.

So what do I learn from this.

Perhaps I learn that I need to take better care of the things I love.

In my distractions and busyness I lose sight of what’s important.

So now my space is a mess and every part of me wants to friek out.. But instead…..

  1. I see it as an opportunity to tidy up the trash

2. start putting things into place

3.bringing things together

4.  bringing order to the chaos.

I can learn that mess whilst messy doesn’t have to control me, I like this.

Slowly I begin to rebuild.

Fancy a chat

Have you ever lost anything or anyone? How did it make you feel?

Did you get those things back?

what do you miss most about them?

God bless ya folks and thanks for reading and following my journey.


Walls Hurt.

a photo of a shingle brick wall along a beach

Some walls in life are necessary and life saving

I was asked to give a friend a lift to work. This was nice, we chatted.. All good.

I get to work and… It’s work so I am ready in work mode with what needs to be done, and then I’m thinking about the things I need to do out of work when all I want to do is sleep, and then I get phone calls from estate agents (I am trying to sell my house) I get lots of calls.. and then I can’t find a work receipt, and I need this piece of paper, I need something off my phone and my battery is dead, and I just feel like I am hitting wall after wall now.

Do you ever get those days? Have you ever wondered how to deal with stress?

I get back in my car, and car share again.. And we laugh and put the world to rights, and I see my friends frown turn upside down and I feel lifted.

I pull up to the estate agents, and this is huge because a contract awaits (always always read the small print, if there is something you can’t read or understand you ask) and in black and white there are the figures and costs.

Now, I am no good with numbers and letters but I am reading figures, big numbers with zeros, and then I see that little three letter word v. A. T which means more zeros, and then there’s solicitor fees, more zeros, and I’m beginning to sweat. I notice they also want exclusivity. I put that pen straight down, and say no. I am not going to sign this, and I explain why.

I leave and my heart sinks, its heavy I won’t lie, so I go home, and I’m hoping that maybe I can watch or do something to lift me.

I get talking to another estate agent, their fees are lower, they have more resources, more local, their method of communication is my preferred style, happy days…. I then get a call from the exclusive ones saying we can lower fees and are happy if you want to include other agents..

Now this is getting crazy right here right. Suddenly I have things to sign and look at.. But I’m hungry so decide to leave it..

I’m starting to cheer up, but I want more, so I’m like God, I just wanna be.. I dunno have a warm feeling inside.

And as I reflect over my day, I think back to another collegue at work who said.. “do you remember that saving thing you told me about… Guess what we are doing it in our house after you told me about it.” and I’m like that’s cool but if you invest that in an ISA or a high interest account out the way.. guess what, you have made more money and how good would your Christmas be..” wow how that girl smiled.

So my recent research came in handy.

Then I get a friend asking me for advice about their life, and let me you tell this person is one smart cookie, and she is asking me for advice.. It’s humbling folks, but nice, and lifting feeling valued.

So I am writing this and my old self says. Kick back, put your feet up relax, you’re tired and I’m listening.. Oh I am listening.. But I’m finding myself writing about my day so I can encourage someone else.. And plus.. I got work to do.

Peace and love good people.

Thanks for popping by,

Steven Alexander

photo of blog writer steven Alexander

Taking time out is Time well spent

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