And so Life Continues

Well the new year has started with a bang.  The holidays are over and kids are back at school.  My youngest has started high school now and for the first time in about 23 years, I only have to go to one school each day.  Never thought I would see the day!

Besides that, as you all know from my previous post, I am getting divorced.  Hubby and I have reached an amicable agreement and we are working together for the good of the kids and I suppose our relationship as well.  So I am really pleased we can be grown up about it all.  We saw the divorce lawyer last week and he is drawing up the relevant documents.

I am currently staying in a little cottage near to home.  Must admit I quite like being alone.  I was terrified of being alone and am amazed at how well I have adapted.  Now that we have made the decision to get divorced, I have had to start thinking a little more long term about where I am going to live, so I started looking at places to rent and quite honestly I was not particularly impressed with anything I saw.

I spent Saturday looking at the property section of the newspaper and found a lovely 3 bedroomed apartment for sale.  It is brand new – just been built and I have made an offer on it.  In theory I move in on the 1st of April.  The biggest challenge here is I need to find the money to furnish it.  I am really excited about it!  In theory this is what my estate will look like (hope so anyway)

I’m travelling for the rest of the week and will hopefully have some nice pics to share on my return.

Lanthie Ransom

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An English West Country Paradise…

Hi there, dalecooper57 from Diary of an Internet Nobody here, I hope the new year is treating you well so far.
I have to admit that I’ve been neglecting my duties as a guest contributor to Lanthie’s blog recently, so I asked her if there was any theme in particular that she’d like me to write about.
After some thought she said; “How about Paradise, you could include some of your amazing photos” (see how I slipped that compliment to me in there?)
Well that sounded like a pretty good idea, (doesn’t involve much typing for a start) and after all everyone seems to like photos taken in the countryside near our home in the West Country.
So I have put together a compilation, taken from the many different photo-blogs I’ve posted about locations in and around North Devon and Cornwall, Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, and some others that fall into the “art and sculpture” category, but that nevertheless feature the same beautiful natural settings we’re so lucky to be able to enjoy, almost on our doorstep.
The shots are taken from places ranging from Tapeley Park House near Bideford, Exmoor, Watersmeet and the Valley of the Rocks, and heading down onto Dartmoor and further west to Cornwall.
If you would like to check out many pictures from these and other locations in beautiful rural Devon and Cornwall, including details on their history and more, please visit the photography section of my blog.
{Note: I have discovered a potentially useful new blogging app, which I am trialling with this post, so please forgive the lack of artistic placement of photos}

Tapeley Park House and Gardens

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Watersmeet gorge

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Valley of the Rocks.

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Marwood Hill gardens

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Dartmoor ponies, Bellever forest, Dartmoor.

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Iron age Clapper bridge, Postbridge, Devon.

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Carn Euny ancient monument, Dartmoor.

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Zennor church, Cornwall.

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Abandoned tin mine, Cornwall.

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Yeo river valley.

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Chagford mythic gardens.

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Broomhill sculpture gardens.

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Damien Hirst’s “Verity” statue, Ilfracombe harbour, Devon.

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I hope you enjoy this selection Lanthie, it’s a pleasure to be back on Life Cherries again.

All the best,
dalecooper57.

Letting my Secret Out

As you can probably all tell, I have not been blogging much lately.  Not to mention that I sit down almost everyday and try to write, and nothing comes out.  I just cannot write.

The fact is that I have been going through a few personal issues and because I have not been able to speak about these publicly, I have not been able to write anything.  Anything I do write about just seems trivial.

We all have to make certain decisions in life which are life changing. And I have recently had to make some of these life changing decisions.  

I suppose a few decisions fall into this category such as:

Deciding what you want to become in life 

This involves having to sit down and think about what you want to spend the rest of your life doing.  Do you want to go to University for instance and study to become a doctor or architect or lawyer or some other similar profession.  Or maybe you want to go into childcare or healthcare.  Or perhaps you want to meet your knight in shining Armour, get married and spend the rest of your life in marital bliss.  It is pointless studying to become a lawyer when in fact you want to be an architect so this is a decision that affects your future and has huge implications.

This is one decision I have never really had to make in life.  You see I am one of those people that just never had to sit and think about what I wanted to become or do one day.  I suppose the main reason for this is that I am pretty easy going and flexible.  I can do anything and I love the fact that I have been and get to be involved with all sorts of different jobs and projects.  I have an absolutely amazing resume if you look at what I have been involved with.  None of this would have been possible had I decided to pick one thing.  I love the challenge of doing something new and getting involved in the out of the box projects.

A friend has recently asked me what I want to do in life – i.e. I am currently sitting with the world at my feet and what do I want to do with it.  I cannot tell you how much I have thought about this question and I still cannot answer it.

I love to blog and I cannot imagine life without my blog.  I also know I want to help people and more specifically women.  Although I know I will do this, I also know I will not make a career out of it.  But there is a huge synergy between my blog and being able to help women and this will become a reality.  This is also something I can do from anywhere in the world and does not restrict me.

So what do I want to do from a career perspective one may ask?  I want to do it all.  I want to do whatever presents itself.  I know where my strengths lie and I like a challenge and I like to get involved in projects where I know my strengths will be utilized.  And sometimes I like to get involved in something totally different where I am out of my comfort zone.  This is what challenges me and keeps me motivated to learn new things.

Deciding where you want to live

So once you decide what you want to do and you have the necessary skills, you get to decide where you want to do it.  Some of us decide to do it in our home town and never venture out into the big wide world.  Some of us get presented with opportunities to move to a whole new city or country and make a new life there.

I have been lucky enough to live in various cities and countries and I have yet to find myself unable to adapt or appreciate my new surrounds.  I have lived on secluded islands and I have lived in big cities and both have been amazing experiences.

So where do I want to live?  Again I have no desire to restrict myself to a specific place.  I would never have met the people I have or seen the places I have been to had I decided on a specific place.  

So the reality is, my home is wherever I hang my hat.

Meeting “The One”

Some of us have the opportunity to meet a partner and eventually decide to spend the rest of our lives with these partners.  Some of us also find ourselves in long term relationships that never actually go anywhere.

I have a few friends who have been living with “the one” for many many years but have never taken it any further.  Generally you are are either content with your relationship and it doesn’t go anywhere, or the relationship moves forward and you end up getting married and starting a life together, or you decide that the relationship isn’t really going anywhere and agree to part ways.

This too is a life changing decision and there are many other decisions that go hand in hand with these decisions.  Do I say yes to that proposal?  If so, where are we going to live, do we want children, how many children, how will be look after them or afford them?  There are so many questions one can ask.

Some of us get married in order to get out of a situation we find ourselves in.   I grew up with an alcoholic mother.  I won’t digress here about it but I was presented with the opportunity of getting married at 17 and I grabbed at the opportunity.  Deep down inside I knew he was not “the one” but it would take me away from a life I didn’t want to lead anymore.  Anything was better than the life I had.  So I got married.  I could say it was the worst mistake of my life but in fact it wasn’t – even though I found myself divorced at the ripe age of 18.  It provided me with the opportunity to have a life which was far better than what I had.

Deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone is not an easy one as it restricts and affects any future decisions you make so you better be sure that you chose wisely.

Children

Do we want to have children is another life changing decision.  And it is a major decision as once you have children, many other decisions are not available to you anymore or they restrict future decisions to a huge extent.  You are no longer able to decide what is right for you.  You have to decide what is right for the greater good of your partner and children.

Imagine getting offered the job of a lifetime in a city you always wanted to move to, but it is not the best for other members of your family or they don’t want to move.  Or imagine being in a job you hate but having to suck it up and put a smile on your face everyday when you walk through the door to your office as it offers a pay check at the end of the month which supports your family.  Or perhaps you have a dream which you will never be able to realize as your partner does not share in your passion.

Ending it all

Yes, sometimes you need to decide to end things.  This may be a dream job that you are no longer
happy in doing.  Or finding yourself in a marriage or relationship in which you are no longer happy in.  Or waking up one day and realizing that you find yourself in a life that just happened without you knowing and you have no control over.

And this is the situation I now find myself in.

I have not been happy for a very long time.  It is not that I have been unhappy.  I had everything I could possibly want.  But  although I have a beautiful home, the most amazing children, a husband who loves me dearly, a job which pays the bills and I am happy doing, I was not fulfilled or happy.

So I have found myself reflecting on my life recently and have made the decision to get divorced.

You see, after my first marriage, I was left broken.  I met a man who provided me with the option to have a life which was better and more fulfilling.  Did I love him?  This is a question I ask myself now.  I don’t think I was capable of love or knew how to identify love at that point in my life.  I just went with it.

And I eventually found myself married and before I knew it I had 4 children.

Now I am not regretting any of this as life really has not been bad to me and I cannot tell you how amazing my children are.

But I have realised that somewhere in all of this, I never once questioned what I wanted in life.  I just went with it.  Perhaps because I am so easy to accept things.

So having come to certain decisions, I find myself more fulfilled and happier than I have ever been.  For the first time ever, life is clear to me and I know what I want.

Hubby (or soon to be ex-hubby) and I have found mutual ground and are working together to finalise matters on good terms.

I now have the world at my feet and happiness greets me every day.  

I will be writing about this in more detail in future posts.  Maybe not specifically relating to my experience but in my search of happiness, I have spoken to so many others with similar experiences and I would like to share some of these with you.

Lanthie Ransom

I gave my Son a Playboy

Hubby brought home a Playboy magazine the other day.  Something I have not looked at for years.  A day later it was laying on my pile of magazines to read along with my Fairlady and Cosmo.  A little strange as this sort of mag usually sits on Hubby’s pile for a lot longer.

So of course I grabbed at the opportunity to have a look-see at the HOT NAKED BABES!  And “read some of the articles”.  And about 2 minutes later I had finished.

I felt quite let down actually.  There were a few naked pics and quite honestly I didn’t look at any of them and say “Oh, If only I was 18 again!”.  And I wasn’t very impressed with any of the articles either.

I remember when a Playboy magazine had a certain appeal to it.  Men would kill to get their hands on one – especially here in South Africa where it was banned.

You now get to see more revealing pictures on billboards here.

I ended up putting it on the kitchen counter and Hubby noticed.  He asked if I had finished reading it.  I gave him my opinion and he agreed.  He then picked it up and headed towards the paper re-cycling bin to put it in the trash. I stopped him and suggested we give it to our 16 year old son to read.  I mean why not.  My son has access to the www and I am sure perv’s over a lot juicier pics than this (or should I pretend my 16 year old would never look at naked pics of women).

Lanthie Ransom

Bringing in the New Year

There is no better way to bring in the New Year than with friends you have not seen for many many years.

I had the privilege of living and working in Brunei some years ago.  I was based in Bandar Seri Begawan.  Bandar Seri Begawan is home to one of the most beautiful Mosques I have ever seen.  I’m posting a pic of it but won’t elaborate too much more on Brunei as it is not really relative to this story.

Back to my story ……

We heard via a relative who lives in Dubai that an old friend who was with us in Brunei was in Dubai just before the New Year and he was on his way to South Africa.  (Wow that’s a mouth full)  So we contacted him via email to find out if he was indeed here.  He duly replied saying he was here in South Africa – spending a few weeks in Durban.  He also mentioned that another friend from Brunei was in South Africa – she became a close friend of mine while we were based there.

I managed to get a contact number for her and she was here for a few days and staying in a town not far from us.  So I gave her a call on Monday last week and we arranged to meet over the weekend as she was going away for a few days, leaving New Years Eve and back on Friday.  She was driving to Clarens and spending a few days in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park at the Golden Gate Hotel and Chalets with her kids.

Hubby and I thought it may be a good idea to fly down to Durban on Friday for the day and see our other friend there.  So we called him and he said he was also going to Clarens.  So we decided to be really spontaneous and also drive to Clarens on New Years Eve and join both friends and their families there and bring in the New Year together.

It is not often I get to see some of the remote parts of my beautiful country and I thought I would share some of the pics I took.

Hope you all had an equally rewarding New Year’s eve.

Lanthie Ransom