February 2021 – Hello by Tiffany Belle Harper

Some time out has helped me fall in love with ‘blogging’ once more. I used to write here for my own comfort and sanity. Sometimes asked ‘what’s my niche?’ As here is not about one specific thing. But hey, a blog can be about anything or nothing. It’s a place that’s free to store or share. I am 55 and I have never had a fixed routine. I have a ‘free spirit’ where some like constancy, we hate it. Of course, I have my anchors in loved ones to include pets. But my life has changed so significantly these last few years It has ‘in turn’ made me think about what I share online.

I work in the public eye, whereas previously I was entirely nomadic. Embracing a ‘get up and go’ to a cottage or hut to explore new ‘natural’ territory alone. No fear. I would put up a tent on a hill and think nothing of sleeping in rough and rugged wild territory.  I cannot do that as much now. But then I am lucky I ever had the chance to exercise my freedom to the full extent. I am really thankful as this freedom has made me who I am. Sometimes unmanageable and very honest about how I feel and how things affect me.

If you can’t tell the truth, then what is the point of having a tongue. It is disappointing our fingers on a keyboard have made so many real people voiceless. We can be any type of thing on the internet, even an animal. Time draining, fat consuming and a portal to addiction. Though, without a doubt, it is good to escape when we can remember it’s not permanent. That we do all have a life of some kind waiting for us to live. And that is not necessarily on social media. It is about balance. A healthy balance that makes us feel complete about our lives each day. Each hour. Each time we feel depressed or alone in our hearts.

There are alternatives and choices. Even during lockdown. To bake, do the gardening, craft, take a walk, to learn a new skill. To look through our junk and see if there’s something we could make from our rubbish. To upcycle. To be inspired by influencers who have positive activities for which we may engage. There are no heroes – we are all worthy of doing great things, regardless of how life makes us feel. As long as you sleep at night knowing you have made your day work for you, that is all that matters. To sleep well with your conscience and self-gratitude. You are worth it.

I always have blogs in my head, but I think I became distracted more by social media. It made lazy, that coupled with a fear of sharing ‘the real me’ publicly. But then life is short, we should never feel so oppressed that we hide away. That’s when depression and deep thinking set in. We can put ourselves into a lonely black hole where nobody can find us. And we can only see algorithms and the same faces over and over again.

It is not weak to share how we really feel and who we truly are. It is our birth right. We all have a voice. There is no such thing as a perfect life or ‘lifestyle and there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ family or relationship. We are born with these imperfections and then we go through life gathering our own experiences to manifest into something more focused for our own destinations. The greatest gift of all is love. With love comes security and focus to try harder. Be better. To know we have the right support. To allow for mistakes and to be patient. To not be judged. To listen and learn from different viewpoints.

I have been making soap, wax melts. I have a business in Blackpool where I lease a business in hospitality. I have gone on to buy my own place that is ‘work in progress’ and I still write and love photography, plus tech. These are my hobbies.

We are in lockdown. I do not disagree with this. I do hate that so many people are losing their livelihoods, I want to help them all. It is a terrible predicament. But we must ride the storm until we can control the death rates and illness that comes with the virus before us. That said there is also an epidemic of mental health issues not to mention ailments and life-threatening diseases not being addressed because of the focus on the pandemic. We need to come together and support where we can. Check out those hiding away. The quiet ones.

Nonetheless, I realise that firstly, before anything else, I need to look after me. We open our doors and heart; we get eaten alive. This can leave us depleted. Love is when we give and take. Less is More. I hate to feel smothered or obliged by those who expect me to dance on eggshells. My personal ‘heart people’ are on one hand. ENOUGH. The rest is work and focus. It’s tough being in business. Especially in this climate of such great upheaval. But we need to listen to nature. She is telling us she wants our help collectively.

Friendship and love are about accepting our free ways and not trying to disfigure them. I have spent much of my life on a guilt trip I am ‘not‘ doing enough for others, most of whom would do fuck all for me but then we do not give to expect and equally we can only give so much. All that baggage is gone. And I must stay on track! Less is More …

Please read here with me as much as you can and look at my other posts, because I want to talk with you about crafting. I want to rant. I want to show you what I am doing in Blackpool. My blog (since 2014) is sporadic and has no system but It’s my space and I love to be around people as much as I enjoy my own time. Thanks for dropping by. You can subscribe to my blog and it will be sent directly to your inbox! Please get involved. Also for special offers and latest news on my hotel. I do meet my online friends. I am a very ‘real’ person! But we must wait for life to heal.

So finally, here’s a couple of cheap meals. I found these pots of mash potato in Heron Foods. I think I paid about 40p. They are just delicious. And then I made a leafy salad with jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, onion, Mexican relish and grapes! It barely touched the sides .. tasted SOOO good – yom!  Look after yourselves. Money or not, we can eat on the cheap.

Even when I am at work where I can cook anything, I go in favour of hot pots. You can make a huge bowl of whatever you want to last for a couple of days, when kept in the fridge – better still, freeze it or share with friends. I tend to buy frozen bulk vegetables now, also frozen fruit as when I am on my own, I hate to throw excess away, but if you do, veg and fruit make great compost and the birds like fruit too. I will soon share some of my hot pot baking. We are what we eat and baking at home improves our personal carbon footprint. Less packaging a happier planet! Says me the hypocrite with a pot on my PC of potato. But hey … I believe it’s the first pot or packet I have purchased in a long time. (Mash being one of my favourite comfort foods).

Tiffany Belle Harper. X