#TeamDuke aka #TeamDurky. Right here right now


“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

“You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you haven’t done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savour it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you’ve lost them forever.” – Wayne Dyer

And so, we are here again. And again, the blog will grow from an idea for a title to a mind blast on what is occupying the minds on the Team.

Welcome to another visual cascade from our step outside the back door. The Step is getting quite busy, as #TeamDuke evolves into a new guise. Like Doctor Who, we have disappeared momentarily, only to reappear, bigger, better, stronger, happier and raring to go.

So, what’s it all about Alfie? Those under a certain age will wonder what the hell I’m on about. Me too. But, then, not really. Let’s continue.

Oh what a circus, oh what a show. Another song reference that will leave some scratching their heads.

But, actually, the circus has left town and an air of calm has descended. The one thing Ben and Liv have craved all year has arrived this week in the shape of them seeing their mother for the first time in a year. A blessed relief all round and an opportunity for them to reconnect, talk, express emotion – rationally – and to find a way to move forward. Simple! I’ll leave it there. Not my show, but I am pleased for Ben and Liv. My inspirations. Perhaps, we can all now move forwards.

Right, and here we are, right now and with a blog to take shape.

As the regular reader will know, this year, I have published a series of blogs charting 2017 for what I affectionately refer to as #TeamDuke. This all started with the blog, creatively called ‘#TeamDuke’. I really marvel at where I pluck these amazing blog titles from.

My plan was, and still is, to use these blogs to provide an insight into our lives, our development, our fun, our sadness, our anger, our happiness – and so on, in the hope that people enjoy the read but, more importantly, take some inspiration into their own life. To realise that there is light after dark. To believe that, by being true to yourself when life throws you a lemon, you can meringue the most of your situation (think about it. It’s not just an 80s dessert) and create a happy life.

A big theme has been around mindfulness; around living in the present moment and celebrating and embracing all on the good things in our lives.

And, for #TeamDuke, a major celebration has been our grown into our alternative name – #TeamDurky. We will always be #TeamDuke but the alternative name recognises the importance of significant changes in 2017.

I’ve written before about Audrey. I’m blessed, yes blessed, to have Audrey in my life. I am lucky to have found Audrey. We had worked together for years, shared a common interest in music, family, and some more, deeper, mindfulness thinking. But, circumstances – with perfect timing – allowed us to explore what life would be like together. Awesome! Audrey is now so much part of the family, as are all parts of Audrey’s own family. So, that gave us #TeamDurk.

And, then, along comes Gaby – into Ben’s life; into #TeamDuke. And, again, she is such a wonderful addition to the family. Fun, caring, and seemingly always reading to make chocolate orange brownies! Brilliant, and so welcome on-board.

So, that gives us #TeamDurky. Just wait for the Christmas blog – #TeamDurky ready to eat turkey (although veggie options available for Eilidh). And, what a Christmas it will be!!

This, of course, does not ignore the rest of #TeamDuke – the family and friends who have always been there for us. One of the most important lessons I have learned is to realise that people are always there for you – but, sometimes, you need to use your voice; to say ‘help’. That said, these days it will be more a case of ‘how can I help you?’. Let’s not forget, it’s a 2 way thing.

In the right here, right now – family and friends have never been more important. Why? They’ve always been important, but I’ve learned to celebrate and be grateful everyday to recognise their presence in our lives.

As I’ve just said, using your voice is so important. Silence can become like a self imposed solitary confinement. But, then, using your ears is more important – maybe to hear a call for help, or maybe to hear that you need to reign your neck in and shut up.

I know I wear my heart on my sleeve and on occasion maybe engage mouth, or Facebook before engaging brain. Thank you to those who have heard or read and guided me gently back to a state of normality. As I said, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m passionate in my beliefs and perhaps, just occasionally, say too much.

I know some blogs have caused a raised eyebrow, or perhaps caused a jolt to some readers. My intentions are never to cause hurt or upset. I do write from the heart. I write as a reflection on what I see and what I feel. I write to reflect on #TeamDuke. If my words cause others to reflect, then good. That’s all. But, hurt has never and will never be the intention. If that ever changes, I’ll make sure the blog carries a ‘here comes the hurt’ warning.

Right now, here where I sit – close to the ground – the view is good. #TeamDuke has evolved; Ben and Liv are happy. Their prays have been answered. Me? I’m very happy. How couldn’t I be? Audrey has brought magic into my life. And, I hope that gives hope to those who think there is no hope. I did, how wrong could I be? There is somebody for everybody. Life has moved on and I like it being something just like this.

I’ll end with a few words lifted from an awesome song by Kodaline – I Wouldn’t Be: –

“I wouldn’t be the human I am. Without the friends that let me fly and help me land. Our foundations go deep. I’ll always have a place to sleep. I wouldn’t be who I am.”

It’s a great song and as a whole it is a celebration of family and friends – just like the previous 1,000 words.

And, so I will close this latest tiptoe through the fields of bold that is #TeamDurky, right here, right now. Love to all in the Team. Love and hope to all – full stop.

Dedicated to Ben, Liv, Audrey, Gaby, Eilidh, and Liam. Not forgetting Zeekee and Ringo x.




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