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I am the enthused editor of the lifestyle, culture and interiors magazine The Home Style Directory. This journal is a smorgasbord of things that fascinate my tiny brain! I was enlightened about the sexiness of wp by Michael a fellow staff member. So now I come to conquer!!…Or indeed play conkers, whichever is most viable.

In our unfailing support of entrepreneurs and creative souls, ALL our various Communities thrive on soulful interaction, but as the numbers become stacked against me here at The Journal, apologies if I haven’t been able to reply at first *hallo.* I’m stubborn. I usually get there!

I’m a stickler. I usually get there!
If you are a creative head or have a business perhaps you would appreciate hanging with the team at our Members Division, (see magazine). I know they’ll totally look after you.

Get Away To Nature


An escape from the grind! Located in the village of Comporta, an hour drive from Lisbon, Cabanas no Rio is a lovely romantic escape for those in love with nature. It is designed by architect Manuel Aires Mateus and consists of two wonderfully restored fishermen huts. One is an elegant double bedroom with en-suite bathroom and the other is a living room with a small well-appointed kitchen, both overlooking a stunning landscape.

Can you see yourself here? Or is it a little TOO rustic for you?

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The Frog And The Tower

frog 2
The Race

There once was a bunch of tiny frogs who arranged a running competition, (you know how frogs do!)  The goal was to reach the TOP  of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. Then they were off!

No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower and they began to yell things like:

Oh, WAY too difficult!!”
“They will NEVER make it to the top”.
“Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”
The tiny frogs began collapsing one by one, but there were some that were managing to climb higher and higher.

The crowd continued to yell:

“It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”


Giving Up

More tiny frogs got tired and gave up. But one frog continued higher and higher and higher.

The froglette naysayers began to take notice. This one wasn’t giving up!

At the end, every other frog had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog who, after great effort, was the only one who reached the top!
All of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it?


How Did The Frog Do It?

A contestant asked the tiny frog who had succeeded how she had found the strength to reach the goal?

It turned out…that the winner was deaf.

The point to remember when trying to conquer the world(!) is





His Eye Is On The Sparrow?

cwt edtJesus


The other day a ‘man’ set fire to a litter of kittens.

Remember the drug addict who sold her toddler for drugs? The child was raped and killed?

What about the parents who left their toddler in a blazing hot car to die…on purpose?

What about the millions of animals boiled and skinned alive so someone can look ‘good?’

How about the airline recently shot out of the sky?

His eye is on the sparrow, but not on these subjects?


Help Me Out Here!

School me.

Is this old gospel song more symbolic nice words that at the core don’t really mean anything?

How would you clarify this simplistic query of religion and faith to an alien if you had to?


Lyrics: His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home

When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me



Strength Or Weakness Is A Choice

I ain't beaten yet wop logo 3Hey y’all! In my career I’ve met a lot of achievers, both famous and not so famous and I loved collecting their stories. One thing they all had in common was an absolute blind refusal to give up when the load became too heavy.
The ability to pick oneself off the ground…(yet again!) and dust off the seat of our pants is in all of us. If you are experiencing tough times this little series of stories is for you. For some folk, who seem to have been handed it all on a plate, their stories will surprise you!


WHO? : Lisa Hoodless / Charlene Lunnon

ARE? : Best friends and survivors.

SAID? : ‘It’s not the worst thing that has happened to me.’



When British children Lisa Hoodless and Charlene Lunnon were ten years old they were kidnapped by convicted paedophille, Alan Hopkinson, tied up and held prisoner whilst being repeatedly raped in sessions lasting up to ten or more hours. The UK was gripped by their double kidnap in 2000 and their story is revisited every time something shamefully similar happens such as the story of American paedophile victim Megan Kanka or Sarah Payne in the UK.

The girls were going to school in East Sussex and their abducter had nearly hit the young Hoodless with his car. When he jumped out to check on her, it was quiet and the opportunity presented itself, so the paedophille grabbed the young girl and proceeded to cram her into his boot. Lunnon in shock and not wishing to run off and desert her friend, had stood still giving Hopkinson a double kidnap opportunity, which he took. Lying together in the boot the girls comforted each other convinced that they would be killed. It says a lot about our society that at the age of ten Lunnon already knew that there was a sexual motive behind their abduction.


Rape Sessions

The girls eventually ended up at Hopkinson’s dirty flat where they were both tied up. He would then choose one or the other to take to his bedroom and rape for lengthy periods at a time whilst the other girl could hear the crying pleas for the pervert to stop. He had told them about an imaginary mad man that lived next door with his dog and threatened to introduce them as a means to keep them frightened and compliant.


The Survival Plot

The youngsters even plotted to kill him and when he left would searched in vain for a knife, but they had all been removed as had all the door handles.


The Kill Plot

Suddenly, on the third day of captivity, Hopkinson seemed to acquiesce to their constant requests for freedom and allowed them to have their first bath, returning their school uniforms to them.

He drove them to a cliff with the intention of pushing them off and Lunnon remembers being dangled close to the cliff as he laughed. Then, unpredictably, at the last minute, he changed his mind deciding that he would like more time with them and drove them back to his flat.


The Capture

Hopkinson’s capture was as bizarre as the man himself. Following a complaint from neighbours about his behaviour towards their children, the police had knocked on his door to follow up on the story. Hopkinson, thinking that the jig was up quietly opened the door and informed the police that he had the two missing girls in his front room.


Grrr! Why YOU ain’t beat yet!


You are not beaten because very early on, following their rescue, the two young girls made a decision that they themselves would not be beaten or defined by their experience. Today they live relatively normal lives with their partners and child bereft of self pity or any unnecessary over analysis of what happened. Indeed the thing they seem to have deplored as much as the kidnap was the therapy that was forced upon both of them!

HoodlessLunnon2Children have amazingly innate coping mechanisms that I believe is underestimated by adults. Part of that mechanism is to just get on with the normal stuff. They have a great ability to normalize situations.

By having to attend counseling they were repeatedly brought back to an event that to them was behind them, why bring it back again? Indeed many NLP practitioners like myself believe that if something was so bad the first time why relive it? The young girls didn’t need an adults idea of closure or repetitive over-analysis, they needed and wanted to play with their friends and toys.

Children Can Teach

Horses for courses, but it is worth investigating if by constantly identifying oneself with a negative period or an illness or an occurrence, you are not dis-allowing yourself to simply move forward…like a child would – if allowed.

It is interesting to note also that today they feel somewhat apologetic that they are not able to satisfy other people’s needs for them to behave as victims by breaking down and sobbing every time they are asked to recall the incident. Indeed they have chosen to understand that they are much the better for it!


They are insistent that it is down to the individual to assign importance to the events in their lives. It is a choice. Lunnon gave the title quote in an interview with the Times saying in addition, “What happened, it’s not half my life, it’s not even that,” and she had clicked her fingers to emphasize how much significance she was awarding the event compared to the rest of her life, “It’s not the worst thing that has happened to me.”



Can we make a large elephant in our lives diminish to the size of a mouse by not affixing the expected (very modern poor me, me, me) drama to it, rendering it much more….‘copeful?’



Elegant Mountain Villa


More gazing straight out into the ocean. This time from a magnificent mountain villa! Take a look at this incredible home at the click below.meditteranean villa pan




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See more pics of this stylish home tour here.