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"I'll Stop Procrastinating Tomorrow!"

Some of us hit the ground running in the morning and dive headfirst into a busy day, accomplishing, overachieving, burning through tasks like there's no tomorrow (and if there wasn't going to be a tomorrow, frankly I'd just as soon not work my backside off today).

Others of us drag ourselves out of bed and stumble through life, doing what we want, doing some of what we must - leaving all kinds of things for another day.

And then there are others who are in between somewhere, which is probably best anyway, as extremes are never good and balance in all things is a really good plan.

If you're at all familiar with my books or my blog, you'll have heard me go on about taking breaks, about leaving some things for another day, another time. You'll have heard me say, in essence, "Don't do today what you can put off till tomorrow."

And here I am today, saying the opposite. Today, I want to talk about procrastination. So how can I keep telling you to slack off and have some down time, and then I turn around and say, hang on a minute, quit goofing off and get back to work?!

Well, it's not too complicated really.

Let's start with the basics of procrastination. There are loads of reasons why people keep putting off things that need to be done, whether it's household tasks, mundane errands, tedious stuff at work, difficult conversations with people or anything else they'd rather not do. And just as burning the candle at both ends and in the middle isn't good for anyone, neither is being at the other end of the spectrum and just leaving things undone as a regular occurrence.

The reasons for both behaviours will be emotional issues that could stand healing because whether you're a workaholic or a procrastinator, both are destructive and will keep you from being all you're meant to be - which keeps you from happiness and fulfillment.

Why do people procrastinate? For some it is an issue of control. If people feel like they have little or no control in their lives, they will sometimes delay doing things that are expected of them. It's a form of passive aggression, a way to say "I'll do it when I'm good and ready, and not when you tell me, or not when you want it."

People who are notoriously late for everything often fall into this category, as well.

Sometimes people procrastinate because of self-sabotage. This can have all kinds of roots but they run deep and can manifest in numerous ways over the course of a lifetime. Shooting oneself in the foot is usually the result of low self-esteem, feeling undeserving of good things, or believing that you're not meant to be happy. So you set yourself up to fail in order to validate what you believe about yourself.

For people who don't feel worthy of having a wonderful life, they will often do things that will make certain things go wrong as often as possible. They might "lose" a document or "forget" to meet a deadline that could give them a better job or some opportunity that could benefit them.

Procrastination can sometimes be the result of fear. It allows people to avoid facing their fears of failure, success, confrontation, the dentist, bad news from the doctor, telling a partner "It's over" and a million other things.

But not facing those situations doesn't make them go away. Avoidance only allows the fear to grow stronger as it takes on a life of its own, and often ends up blown way out of proportion - and then procrastination seems an even better idea. The chicken-and-egg cycle continues, sucking the energy out of anyone who is caught in it.

The more they put off, the heavier the burden, as 'thing' upon 'thing' piles up, one on top of another, on top of another, leaving them feeling completely overwhelmed with 'stuff to do' but not having any idea where to start. And for those people who live in a constant state of procrastination, that's an awful lot of negative energy to willingly add to their lives because they don't want to face their fears.

If we're going to have productive and happy lives, it is essential that we see to the boring bits of life - and sometimes it means facing the scary parts, too. Often, the thing we fear never happens anyway and meanwhile, we've been holding ourselves back from the possibility of success and happiness. When we don't 'take care of business' in our lives and just let things pile up, we're deliberately adding more stress, more worry and more negative energy to the mix. Nothing good can ever come of that.

Being a workaholic is not good. Neither is procrastinating. It's never good to live in an extreme situation of any kind; it is unnatural and unhealthy. The key to finding balance is to understand when something is causing you harm.

Whether you're doing too much or too little, if it's to your detriment and is causing problems in other areas of your life, then something needs to change. It's hard enough to find happiness in this life with all the obstacles that are thrown at us. But we don't have to make it harder on ourselves by being out of balance because of the choices we make.

If we ever hope to find happiness, it has to begin with a point of balance between work and play, between responsibility and 'goofing off'. If procrastination is a problem in your life, perhaps start with the simplest things. Make a list of everything you know you need to do, and find the ones that you think you can tackle without too much trouble. Keep working away at that list and as you see things getting done, you'll feel the load lighten and your energy increasing.

As you move through the process, examine the feelings that come up and if necessary, find a good counsellor or even a self-help book to assist you.

And one last thing: Don't be thinking, "This is a great idea! I'll do the list later!" If it's a great idea and you want to get moving in your life, feel better and be happier, do the list now.

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Your Vulnerability Is Your Greatest Asset

It is time to risk sharing your feelings and stop fearing the judgement of others. You might fear letting people see “the real you” but if you always let this stop you from truly being yourself, you will never know the full extent of your capabilities and gifts.

Rather than keeping your feelings to yourself so no one can judge you for them, you would be better served by learning to trust that you are entitled to feel however you want to feel. Sure, some people might disagree with you or even criticise you, but so what? 

You don’t have to let it bother you. They can feel however they want - and so can you. Your thoughts and feelings are a reflection of who you are and no one has a right to judge you. 

In fact, more often than not, when people are spouting angry, judgemental nastiness at others, they are really talking to themselves. Let them rant all they want; you don’t have to take it on board unless what they say really hits home and stirs something in you that you know you would love to change or improve.

Some people will understand and appreciate your feelings; others will not. Just as you can relate to certain people and their situations, no doubt there are others that you just can’t figure out no matter how hard you try. At the end of the day, all of us are essentially the same. All of us feel fear, hurt, anger, and embarrassment as easily as we feel love, joy and happiness. 

When you hold yourself back from others and don’t let them see the truth of who you are, you don’t let yourself see it either. Better to come from a place of having faith and confidence in yourself for being who you’re meant to be, and bravely letting the world see who that is. 

By allowing yourself to be vulnerable and authentic, you will connect with the world in a much more deep and meaningful way. 


Don't Let Excuses Block Your Path to Happiness

So. You're thinking of doing something that's difficult. Or perhaps you think it's impossible, or that it won't be particularly successful.

Maybe it's something you have to do, even if you don't want to do it. Either way, you're having trouble figuring out how on earth to do it.

You come up with an objection. There's this "thing" in the way and that's why it won't work. Maybe someone offers a solution; you might even think of your own. But then there's another "thing" in the way, another roadblock. And the longer you sit there, dreading doing it (or dreading that it won't work), the less you're inclined to try.

Instead, you keep coming up with one obstacle after another. And the hours and the days keep ticking along right past you.

Still, it needs to be done, or you really want it to be done, but nothing has changed, although you do have a lovely selection of obstacles, roadblocks and excuses stockpiled for future reference.

There will always be a reason not to do something. Whether you want to find it or not, there will always be yet another potential problem standing between you and a difficult challenge.

It won't get easier if you drag your heels. It will only grow in your imagination, becoming much more of a mountain than a molehill and the longer you put it off, the more difficult it will seem.

I was always one to encourage my children to try something new. When they hesitated, unsure about whether or not they could do a particular thing, I asked, "How will you know unless you try?" 

That seemed reasonable to them and all of them would try without another thought - and usually with very positive results. All except for one of them, that is. For some reason, one of my sons would always say, "I can't!" before he tried. It took a fair bit of convincing to get him to believe that maybe, juuust maybe, he could.

If no one ever tried anything new, we'd still be sitting around waiting for Thag to chisel a wheel out of a chunk of stone. Sure, there will always be failures but so what? The successes are worth the attempts, and besides, you only fail when you stop trying.

Samuel Johnson summed it up rather nicely: "Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."

Exactly. You can sit around and come up with one objection after another, as long as you want to avoid actually doing something. But that'll never get you anywhere.

Don't let excuses block your path to progress and success. They'll only send you down a very miserable detour on a dead-end road.

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Your Perspective Changes Everything

Once upon a time, there was a man who was traveling on a pleasantly warm day. He walked for many miles and eventually saw a little house at the side of the road, where there was a woman working in the garden.

"Good morning, Ma'am," the traveller called with a cheerful grin.

The woman looked up from her work. Peering at the man suspiciously from under her sunhat, she squinted in response.

"I'm just on my way to the next town," he continued without missing a beat.  "I was wondering, could you tell me, please, what kind of people I'll find when I get there?"

The woman's face puckered as if she'd just eaten acid-covered lemons. "Oh, they're awful!" she said, shaking her head in disgust.

"Really?" said the man in surprise, waiting to hear more. But the woman returned to her work in silence.

After a few moments, the man went on. "What's so awful about them?"

Frowning and pursing her lips, the woman looked up with an exasperated sigh, obviously not appreciating the interruption. "They're terrible. They're miserable, unfriendly. You can't trust 'em as far as you can throw 'em! You'd do well to stay away and go somewhere else!" she warned.

"Well!" said the man, raising his eyebrows.  "Thank you very kindly. I wish you a good day."

"It'll be just as awful as those people are! I have all this work to do, and in this blistering heat, too!" she scowled.

The man nearly disputed her comment on the weather, as it was only pleasantly warm. But he thought better of it, tipped his hat and carried on.

A little while later, he came upon another little house at the side of the road. A woman sat on her front porch, rocking in an old chair with a cat in her lap.

"Good morning, Ma'am!" he called.

"Oh, good morning to you, sir!" she called back. Gently putting the kitty on the porch, she rose and walked down the path to meet him. "I'll bet you could use a cool drink," she offered, opening the gate.

"Why, yes, Ma'am, I really could. Thank you," he replied.

"Please sit down in the shade on the porch and I'll be back in a minute," she offered, gesturing toward her chair.

The woman returned a few moments later with two tall glasses of icy lemonade, "Where are you headed, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Oh, just up the road to the next town," he replied. "Tell me, what kind of people will I find when I get there?"

"Oh, they're lovely!" the woman enthused. "Very kind and helpful! The friendliest people you could hope to meet anywhere!"

Sipping on his lemonade, the man smiled.

(Photo courtesy of Johan Stydom, 

Should Those Skeletons Stay in the Closet?

Do you have any secrets? Of course you do. Do you ever wonder if you should tell someone? Perhaps you wonder about telling just some of those secrets. But you probably decide to keep them to yourself. And that's likely for the best.

Everyone has them. There's a part of ourselves that only we know about and no one else does. It's one of the four 'windows' of personality. There's also the part we know about ourselves and others know, too. There's the part that others know about us and we don't. And the part that we don't know about, and neither does anyone else.

Sometimes when we do something that isn't very nice, or is shocking, or could hurt others if they knew about it, we feel compelled to tell someone. Easing a guilty conscience may do some good for the person who blabbed, but getting it off your chest and dumping it on someone else is not necessarily helpful and, in fact, it can be quite destructive.

If and when you feel compelled to tell all, to spill your guts about that really stupid thing you did when you had a few too many, or you were feeling really vulnerable, or just being plain foolish, remember this: Clearing your conscience is not a reason to tell such things.

When you release yourself of the burden of what you did by telling someone else about it, you are handing the burden to that person, whether or not he/she wants it. It might leave that person with a moral or ethical dilemma. Or it might present awkward problems because of the judgement of others who will never understand. It may cause permanent damage to your relationships.

Ask yourself why you want to spill your guts. Are you doing it to ease your conscience? Will there be anything achieved by 'fessing up? Will it improve anything? Alter the course of someone's path? And if so, will it be altered in a positive way or a negative way?

If nothing is to be gained by telling your secret to someone, you might want to rethink doing it. If someone will be hurt by it and no good can come from sharing it, what's the point? You still did whatever it was in the first place, you can't change that, and in all likelihood, letting that sleeping dog lie is probably for the best.

When we do things that later become our 'skeletons in the closet' and cannot be fixed or changed, they can at least do some good by serving as quiet reminders of difficult lessons learned. Everyone has a dark side; each of us is capable of greatness and of awfulness. When we've crossed the line into awfulness, best to learn from it and refocus on our potential greatness.

Some things are really better left unsaid.

How to Climb The Mountain That's Staring You in the Face

Have you been to hell and back a million times in your life? Have you felt like you were standing at the base of a mountain, your destination the other side of it, but not seen one bit of figurative climbing gear to be seen? - not one harness, not one descender, nope, not even one little crampon?

I know what it's like to look up at the top of that mountain. You feel like you'll never get there - but you know you have to do it; there's no turning back. So now what?

If it's too much to look up, turn your attention to the base of the mountain. You'll feel a little less pressured if you just focus on what you can achieve right now in this moment, and leave the rest to unfold as it will.

I know that sometimes when I've glanced up at that mountain top, I've felt immobilized. I've wanted to give up before I started. So I just grabbed onto the first bit of rock I could reach, picked up a foot and found a little step up. As long as I continued to do that, I made progress. Looking up was not an option. I could afford to look only at what was directly in front of me.

Whatever it is that you're facing, find the first rock that you can handle and take that small step. Leave the biggest, scariest rocks if you can, and get some of the smaller ones out of the way first.

Soon you will feel a bit of relief. Your anxiety will diminish; you will feel stronger. It will reinforce your belief that you must not, under any circumstances, look up, not just yet. To do so might be paralyzing. Forward movement and momentum are paramount. So just keeping grabbing for one small rock at a time, and don't look up.

Before long, you will feel ready to tackle the most challenging rocks. They might not put you at the top of the mountain right away, but you'll be well on your way to reaching it. You might even be able to look up after that. Because the beauty of it is, you'll also be able to look down and see how far you've come.


Need Help Saying "No"?

Do you need more Vitamin N?

What's Vitamin N, you ask?
It's the ability to say, "No."
It's absolutely essential to your good health, to your well-being and to your happiness - just as surely as all the usual assortment of vitamins and minerals are necessary for you, too.
How often do you find yourself saying "Yes" when you really mean "Oh, please, NO, I really do NOT want to do that!"? How often are you deciding whether to go through with a commitment you felt obliged to make, or to dream up some palatable excuse as to why you can't go through with it?
Oh dear, such a waste of energy, and so damaging to your own health and life on all levels because of the negativity associated with all of that.

Why is it that some of us have such a hard time just saying "NO"? Why is it that we worry about "hurting someone's feelings"?

The truth is, you can never "hurt someone's feelings." We choose our feelings and how we respond to the events and people around us. We can decide whether or not to feel happy or peaceful just as easily as we can choose to feel insulted or angry.

So forget the notion that if you tell someone "No", you're "hurting their feelings." They can be respectful of your decision - or they can take it personally. That's their business, not yours. If they truly care about you, they'll appreciate your honesty and your ability to stand up for yourself. They'll respect you for it and might even take a lesson or two from you for modelling these attributes.
Your time is precious. It's your most limited resource. Every time the clock ticks, your remaining seconds, minutes and days become that much more valuable. You can't get back time you spend on people or events that don't add anything of value to your life in some way.

Even worse is spending them on people and events that add negativity

Why would you choose to do that? Would you want that for the people you love? You ought to be at the top of that list.


Don't get me wrong; doing things you don't particularly like but doing them out of love and a desire to help someone adds value to your life. I'm talking about something else entirely.
And beware the dangerous question, "What are you doing on Saturday afternoon?". This is a common way that people begin a request for a favour or to have you accompany them to some event that they would love but you would not.

If you're someone who asks questions in this way, you might want to rethink and say, "I would really appreciate your help/company for (whatever) on Saturday afternoon. Are you available/interested?" That would be much more respectful than boxing someone into an awkward and empty corner.
When someone asks you, "What are you doing on _____?" the best answer is "I don't know, I'll have to check my calendar. Why do you ask?"
Should you feel obliged to make an excuse as to why you aren't able to attend an event that is of absolutely no interest to you, for example? No. You don't have to be interested in all the same things as anyone else. You can just say, "I'm glad you're excited about it and thank you for thinking of me. It's just not for me."
You owe it to yourself and to the people who love you to say "No" when it's what you really want to say. Self-love and self-care are two of the best gifts in the world.



How to Grow Your Very Own Big Problems. Or Not.

Once upon a time, there was a little problem. Like all the other little problems, this one hoped that someday, he would grow up to become a big problem. And if he could be a really lucky little problem, he would get to join the military and might even become a Major Disaster.

He had an enormous fear of failure so he paid close attention in class, keeping his vision for the future uppermost in his mind. The first thing he learned was that his mortal enemy was the light. He would be most vulnerable in plain sight, out in the open. He must do his best to remain hidden, where he would feed on the darkness and with any luck, someday he could achieve his ultimate military goal.

His teacher said that his best chance of survival depended upon finding quiet People who had lots of carpets, under which they would stash any problems they could find. With plenty of darkness under carpets, there was always a feast fit for a king and any little problem lucky enough to live in such a place would grow very quickly in size and strength.

One day, the little problem found that he was on the sweeping end of a broom and whoosh! - there he went, tumbling and rolling well under a beautiful Persian rug. How exciting! Finally, he would have a chance to become a big problem!

He was thrilled to meet all the other little problems that were hiding under that carpet and being quite the extrovert, he planted himself right smack in the middle of all of them. With plenty of darkness to keep him well fed, he grew rapidly and it wasn't long before he felt his first thump in the head when one of the People tripped on him.

"Oh, goodie!" he exclaimed. "I'm growing up! This is progress!" And he and all the other growing little problems laughed and giggled amongst themselves.

After a time, there wasn't much room under the carpet any more. The problems had melted into one another, just like cinnamon buns that had been too close together on a pan and had risen and blended, one into the next. They had grown so large that the People had to use ladders to climb over the big lumps in the carpet.

One day, while everyone was having an afternoon nap, the growing little problem was awakened by People voices. They used words like depression, worry and fear.

"Oh, no!" he thought. "We were so close to becoming Major Disasters, and now we're doomed!"

Alarmed, he woke the others as quickly as possible. The frightened problems lay quietly while they heard words like "financial troubles" and "no work". They heard about illness and too much stress.

The more words they heard, the more the carpet was pulled back from the edges of their hiding place, gradually exposing them to the light. The unfortunate ones on the perimeter went first, shrivelling and shrinking the very moment they were out in the open.

Horrified, the not-so-little problem watched as one by one, his friends died and then vanished right before his eyes as the carpet was lifted closer and closer to where he lay in the middle. And there was nothing he could do but lie there and wait his turn.


This Psychic Will Never Want Your Business Again

As a young girl back in the Dark Ages, I experienced a rather powerful and disturbing introduction into the world of being a medium. After dreaming that my two best childhood friends were dead, I couldn't shake the awful feeling that hung over me like a suffocative black cloud as I dressed for school.

At breakfast, I told my parents about the dream and was puzzled by the peculiar expressions on their faces. My dad left the kitchen, returning momentarily and placing a morning newspaper article in front of me.

It was true. The girls were dead. Their entire family had been in a dreadful collision with a train during a blizzard.

It was bad enough to receive this shocking news. Making it so much worse was the frightening dream. I was terrified; I had no idea what to make of it. Back then, there were no psychic fairs, phone lines, television shows or books.

Over the following years, my abilities continued to develop naturally. In time, I began doing informal readings and eventually I did them professionally, including doing approximately monthly "psychic phone-ins" on the BBC as well as doing stage work as a medium, connecting audience members with loved ones in spirit. I was also a reader on one of the UK's top international psychic phone lines, which I have to say was the most soul-destroying job I ever had.

"What will happen when his wife finds out?"

"When is he going to leave her?"

"Is my idiot abusive boyfriend going to come back to me?" (Okay, my words, not theirs, but that was the bottom line of about 80% of the phone calls)

And then there was the very first call I ever received on the phone line: "Should I fold my business and go bankrupt?" Yes, really. He was fully expecting me to give him an answer (I did not - but rather, convinced him to contact a financial advisor).

I loved readings that were about mediumship - connecting people with those who had passed to the spirit world. But those calls were few and far between. And even then, there were the ones who wanted to test. "Ask him what our secret word is so I know you're not a fraud."

During the many years I did readings, I was always delighted when I could draw on my professional experience in social work and counselling, and truly help clients who were open to improving their lives, the ones who needed someone to show them options, a new perspective, help them find their power - those were the people I loved as clients. Those readings were more about guidance and direction than they were about wanting someone to predict the future and hand them the answers that they should have been figuring out for themselves.

But with most people wanting me to tell them what to do and how to do it, or expecting me to take responsibility for their major life choices, some time ago I decided that I would absolutely not do readings any more. Instead, I offer what I like to call "intuitive guidance." I use my powerful intuition as a guide while implementing my counselling skills and life experience in helping clients wade through the issues and make their own decisions.

And there's the key: Their decisions. Not mine.

I knew one lady who was going to any and every reader she could find. I told her to stop. I told her she had all the answers she already needed; she just didn't like what they were telling her to do (leave an abusive marriage). But she continued to throw her money at readers, having anywhere from five to ten readings in any given week!

Sadly, there are some unethical readers who will think of such poor desperate souls as "repeat business" for as long as possible, taking advantage of their vulnerability and distress. I prefer to be of service, to be honest, and to say something that will truly help them to help themselves - including to stop having readings every six minutes!

And although I love doing readings as a medium, if people are going to show up and test me I'm not interested. It's not a parlour trick and I'm not here to prove anything. Therefore, I will only do readings spontaneously when spirits randomly come through with a message.

Life is tough enough without giving up your control and your major life decisions to someone that you hope is accurate and ethical in offering a potential view of your future. If you're just looking for some reassurance, go to a trusted friend or a counsellor. If you want to know if you should fold your business, talk to a financial advisor or an accountant - not a psychic on the other end of the phone, for Pete's sake!

And do you really need to ask what's going to happen when his wife finds out? She's going to be seriously pissed! And if she sends him packing, he'll be so immersed in divorce hell that he isn't likely to want to be with you. After all, you will have become the scapegoat for why it all went tits up.

And no, he isn't ever going to leave her. As long as he can have his cake and eat the damned thing too, why would he rock the boat with a painful divorce, mess up his finances, and only get to see his kids part time?

If you're going to see a reader, go with the idea of seeing it as a counselling session. Look at the possibilities for your future; see what feels right in terms of the potential outcomes of your various choices. If you've found a reputable reader, you will have a compassionate and patient ear in someone who will be willing to guide you through resolving your own issues, instead of telling you what you should do about them.

Don't put your life and major decisions in the hands of someone who may or may not get it right. Otherwise, you're just asking for mountains of trouble. They don't have to live with the consequences of their advice. You do.

The Journey

The hitchhiker stands at the side of the road, a duffel bag at his feet, backpack slung over his shoulder, an arm extended.  At the end of it, his request for a lift appears in the form of his thumb pointing in the direction of his destination.  He waits, hopeful. He puts on his most winning smile with the approach of every car, every van, every lorry.  The smile slides from his face, dissolving into his slumped shoulders as he sighs and waits for the next one, slightly less hopeful with each vehicle that passes without stopping.

After a while, he picks up his duffel bag, resigned to the fact that he’s not getting anywhere and it’s time to move on.  He knows he’ll get tired from walking and carrying his belongings, but he’s pretty tired of standing there, too, wasting time, his destination seeming further away than ever.

‘Right,’ he thinks. ’Let’s move on.’ Determined to reach his destination, he sets off, humming and whistling now and then, as it’s a pretty decent day and all things considered, life is pretty good.

He hears the approach of a vehicle, turns toward it, brings out the winning smile and the accompanying thumb, but again he must keep walking. ’No matter,’ he thinks. ’I'll get there.  Someone will stop.’

A while later, a truck comes up from behind and slows, eyeing the hopeful hitchhiker suspiciously, and making our traveller peer back equally so. Sizing each other up, and making their decisions, the driver picks up speed without stopping and the hitchhiker is relieved. He trudges along, hoping for better luck next time.

Clouds move in. The wind picks up. The rains come. Our hitchhiker is not deterred. His situation is unpleasant but what’s a little water? Or even a lot? Dejection and discouragement swirl round him, dancing and teasing like naughty little boys who rush forward to poke him, then dart away and laugh. Ignoring them with visions of reaching his destination, he continues to put one soggy foot in front of the other and keeps going.

Cars come. Cars go. The rain falls harder. The temperature drops, and so do the hitchhiker’s spirits. Hesitation wraps itself around his weary legs, weighing them down like sandbags of doubt. Thoughts of turning back roll through his mind, each one heavier than the last. It would have been so much easier to not have set out on this journey, to have stayed where he was comfortable.

Comfortable, yes. But not particularly happy.

But would he be any happier when he reached his destination? Of this, he could not be certain. He knew only that he had to discover the answer, whatever it might be. Going back was not an option; there was nothing for him there. Nothing but familiarity and a gnawing, aching emptiness that could no longer be filled by complacency.

A lorry stops. The driver leans across from his seat and opens the passenger door.

“Get in!” he calls to the shivering man. ”You must be freezing!”

“You’re right, mate, I am! Thanks!” comes the grateful reply as the traveller climbs inside.

The two drive on together, stopping for a greasy burger and chips, some strong, hot coffee around mid-day, before going their separate ways as the lorry driver can take the hitchhiker no further.

With hopes renewed and his belly full, our traveller stands once again at the side of the road, as his thumb and his most winning smile make the silent request for another lift toward his destination…