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Sunshine and showers


I was born at 2.30pm which explains why I was never an early morning person or so I thought until I conditioned myself to get up at the crack of dawn. Human beings have an incredible built-in mechanism which allows them to get used to most things and to program our minds however we want, even in matters of the heart. I've been thinking of a former French boyfriend quite a lot in the past few weeks. When that happens it usually means the person in question is wondering about me too. I think we were madly in love once- I use the word 'think' because more than twenty-five years have passed since we met. Were we? Who knows? The fact is we're not together and much has happened in both of our live...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  669 Hits

The Ultimate Advice for Dads

I know what you're thinking dads, how does a woman know how to be a man, much less a dad? Well, I'm not a man, or a dad, but I do know about my Father, the one who created you in His image, and likeness, and who also gave a woman to you to help you be the best man you can be, why, because you are one. When God created a man, he saw that a man cannot be a man without a companion, and a support to help him succeed. Hence, I am here to tell you that you don't have to be afraid to be a dad. You don't have to worry about being like your father or not be as good as your father. For you are already equipped to care for and lead your child to greatness. So how do you care for your children and lead ...
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  585 Hits

'Clean eating' = AAaaargh!


I watched the lovely Ella Mills on you tube the other day out of curiosity as the 'clean eating' movement was garnering criticism in the press. She was making a 'risotto' by puréeing squash and pouring it over rice. That ain't a risotto, honey. That's puréed vegetable mixed with boiled rice. Risotto is made with Arborio rice, stock and takes time over a gentle heat. It's a bit like calling me Sophia Loren when I'm obviously not her. I despair and have much experience of being a vegetarian- I used to live on soya mince and other 'good' stuff. Having been brought up eating bloody steak I eventually relented and returned to my carnivorous ways when I began working in London where the pace is re...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  788 Hits

My favourite things


Every once in a while I find something in an antique fair that makes me go: 'Wow!!!' and I literally just have to have it. Here's an example: A disjointed hare. Around where I live, these hares are meant to bring you good luck. Isn't he lovely? Pride of place in my study where I simply cannot stop smiling when I see him. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  697 Hits

Radio- how to make an idiot of yourself publicly


What great fun I've had doing radio over the years!   Sam at Susy Radio, Ridge Radio and Meridian FM. Whenever I have a nervous guest- all my shows are live- I suggest that they think of the interview like having a cup of coffee with a mate and having a good chinwag. It always works and they relax completely. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  726 Hits

Of memories past.


'Yes, it was very good and glad you think so too.' This is a conversation I had with an old lover- I was 25 and he was 50, it was thirty years ago and our romance lasted for years. I had heard he was suffering with cancer and we renewed our contact. When I look back at all those years gone by and the way my life has turned out, I recall that he was the one lover who mattered a great deal. He taught me a lot about nature and about the excess of too much rum and sex. At his weekend forest home he had fashioned an open-air shower with a pipe from a nearby stream which poured cold water over you. Mountain crabs would nibble at your toes as you stood in this makeshift 'bathroom'. A chemical toile...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  766 Hits

The Hunt turns my legs to jelly


I was walking down the main street in our little 17th century village today when all of a sudden the most tremendous roar of horses hooves sounded suddenly behind me. As I turned around I had barely ten seconds to step out of the way as the local hunt, some fifty of them, so magnificent in their green tweed jackets, blazed past me along with their pack of foxhounds, gleefully chasing after them. Both lanes of traffic instantly ground to a halt to allow the thunderous ensemble to pass by. It was all quite a sight which literally took my breath away. If there was a fox somewhere in the mêlée, running for his life, I did not see him. I have to admit that the sight of the hunt is breathtaking to...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  692 Hits

Beef and onion pie to soak up the alcohol, of course & New Year's resolutions


This weekend I shall be imbibing rather a lot of booze as most other Brits will as we welcome in the New Year. At my age and with my life experience here's my advice for the New Year: 1. Follow your own drummer: yourself. People will let you down, use you as  convenience and everything, including their interaction with you is relative and based on their own needs. Learn to be wholly self-sufficient. 2. Remove all toxic people from your life- don't murder them but walk away from them. Repeat after me: if someone doesn't make you happy, it's time to say goodbye. 3. Expect the worst- that way you'll be pleasantly surprised because if you have high expectations of others, you'll fall hard on you...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  700 Hits

A Story of Mushrooms


Found on my walks and photographed as they lay. Photos copyright SvD. Photos copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  687 Hits

The true meaning of Christmas


At this time of year there is a sense of frenetic urgency to overspend and overindulge almost as if without excess Christmas would be neither festive nor joyful. I would like to remind everyone that Christmas is about the Christ. Whether you are atheist or agnostic, Christian or Muslim or Jewish or whatever, the derivative of the word 'Christmas' is 'Christ'. The 25th day of December is associated with the birth of Christ, the son of God who was born of a virgin mother. The resonance of the idea of a Christ being is both powerful and moving. This was a man made of flesh and bones like you and I, and who was chosen by God to suffer and die. In the story of Christ we are essentially reminded t...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  670 Hits

Portobello mushroom and meatball broth


I get home from work at around 6.30pm which doesn't leave a lot of time to make a wholesome meal. I have recently begun making broths- a cross between a hearty full throttle meat-and-two-vegs and a light soup- using meat from my organic boxes delivered once per week. I love these boxes where you never know what you're going to get and you have to be as creative and in tune as possible in order to make nourishing sustenance out of them. Last week I created a lamb and spinach broth and this week: pork meatballs and portobello mushrooms. The pork mince was so light that it moulded effortlessly into balls (never press or squeeze too hard or you'll end up with dead weights). A pinch of thyme, sal...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  610 Hits

On a clear day you can see forever...


...both metaphorically and if you open your eyes wide enough. This morning on my walk: Glorious Northamptonshire. Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  581 Hits

Questions for Cathy #13: Has There Been a Spike in Infidelity Due to Technology?

I’ve passed along info before re: infidelity and technology; perhaps the reason I continue to cover this topic is because it’s so widespread. Hopefully a word will be read, or an impression will be made, to help curb the incidences. I’ve not asked our resident LMFT, Cathy Chambliss, whether she’s experienced an upsurge in clients due to this issue. Overall, it seems to be wreaking havoc within some romantic relationships. Inquiring minds want to know: Has there been a spike in infidelity due to technology? Cathy: I don’t know if there has been a spike in infidelity due to technology, but more people are getting caught due to technology! The internet and cell phones h...
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  570 Hits

A Christmas Story- if ever you're down, read this


This story was sent to me by my friend, Hardip Barot (in his own words): 'I remember 3 years back bought one homeless guy free beers(!) and a bottle of wine with some dessert to go with it. To my surprise he gave me a gift of an expensive tie with tears in his eyes and said if I don't accept it, it will break his heart. Man, it touched me. He was all alone and thanked me for expressing kindness. I truly cherish that Christmas. I still have that tie. I dont wear it because it seems he must have stolen it from somewhere but looking at it, it reminds me of a cold Christmas night in Shoreditch..with only him on the road..at dawn..in tears and for me, Christmas was truly celebrated that night!!!'...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  660 Hits

My latest article on The Huffington Post


06 December 2016 Photo copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  415 Hits

A Story of Feathers


All taken on my walks and found as they lay. Photos copyright SvD. Original link
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  633 Hits

Surviving Christmas On Your Own


This Christmas marriages will break up, old lovers will commit to one another, new lovers will find each other, families will argue, children will hate their presents, vegetarian guests will stick to spuds and sprouts, and granny will overdose on sherry. These people will all have something in common: each other. There is another side to Christmas that is overlooked: those who are alone. The elderly who have passed their use-by date, the divorced singletons who are persona non grata by virtue of being solo, the homeless, and those too impoverished to celebrate Christmas at all. Each of these people will feel desolate and unhappy on Christmas Day - please think of them. For those who are alon...
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© Words and photos copyright Samantha van Dalen

  650 Hits

Infidelity Holiday Help

It’s a well known fact, or so statistics claim, that infidelity during the holidays is common. Buying presents and trying to keep up with the Jones’ can create stress; office parties with alcohol flowing and flirtations growing, foster reckless behavior; resentments that build during the year may culminate with acting out; and all the feel good of the season may remind someone of what they don’t have, so they seek to find. These are just a few examples of what may prompt someone to be unfaithful during the “most wonderful time of the year”. Hopefully this will not be a part of your reality, but should you find yourself in a compromising or challenging situation, and if your mate is refusing ...
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  617 Hits

Questions for Cathy #12: What are the Top Three Reasons for Infidelity?

I realize that limiting top reasons for cheating to three is simplistic (unfortunately, there are a multitude!), but I thought it would be easier to digest and perhaps make a reasonable impression–I can only hope. As a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, Cathy sees infidelity in many forms. Here’s the bite-sized version of my inquiry. I asked: What are the top three reasons for infidelity? Cathy: The top three reasons for infidelity based on my experience are: a. Unhappiness in the relationship and not having the skills to handle it, or make it better. Someone becomes so unhappy that they start to feel connected to another person .   b. Their spouse has checked out se...
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  541 Hits

Fight or Flight: One Woman’s Story of Betrayal

This story was initially posted on ICN (Infidelity Counseling Network: http://infidelitycounselingnetwork.org . A highly valuable free call-in service for those affected by infidelity. Also listed in my Resource section). The story bears repeating. This woman experienced a rush of many emotions when she found out her husband cheated on her, with several partners. She also went into PI (private investigator) mode. Did any of it serve her? Did she choose to fight, or take flight? Her words may sound familiar. There is much to be learned here. Fight or Flight Six years and one week ago, I overheard my husband on his cell phone. He was speaking to a woman. It was Tu...
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  679 Hits