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Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Eve 1968

17th Dec 2018

One Christmas long ago when we sisters walked to Midnight Mass.
We were happy to be out in the snow, in the dark.
Every year we would pray that it would snow for Christmas . It very rarely did.
So this was special and It felt quite magical.


Christmas Eve - 1968

Three sisters – 
exhilarated, excited, eager,
giggling, gabbling, gibbering,  
clad in cozy, coats,
warm,  winter, woolly  hats 


Image result for pictures of churches in the snow
 furry,  frost - free mittens  
and  wellies, in khaki  green-
step out from over-heated   house
Three sisters –
 leave behind,
 and don’t mind,
the atmosphere,
they leave it there
They are out, in the
 cold, crisp night.
 Christmas Eve.
 Snow stars sparkle 
underfoot
 crystals, luminescent in rays of moon.
Soft flakes flutter down,
 like dancing angels
 melt, on upturned faces.
They trudge on slowly,
Perfect white beneath, 
crunching, crackling
leaving foot-shaped indents
heads held high ,
 they are free,
 for now.
In the distance -
 lights of the church,
 draw them onward
the singing of carols 
brings some joy 
to sisters,  sad,  souls
they forget, 
for a while 
what’s left at home, 
at that house.
they find their seats.
they are here for
 Midnight Mass





Sunday, December 9, 2018

St Nicholas


Image result for picture of st nicholas

9th Dec 2018

We could hear the drums before we left the car park. Following the noise we found huge crowds gathered in the square, all there to celebrate the Feast of St Nicholas. A large man dressed as St Nicholas in red robes with a mitre on his head and a crozier in his hand, sat in a makeshift, decorated carriage waving gently to all who passed by.

Children from many of the schools around Canterbury were there dressed up in costumes such as bishops and angels and carrying placards with encouraging words on or  lanterns . Such a colourful sight. Some of them were part of the music team, giving renditions of Little Donkey and O Little Town of Bethlehem among others. 


This was yesterday afternoon and I was with my daughter and four grandaughters. The little one's looked this way and that , dizzy with the spectacle. 


After ten minutes or so the procession started with us taking a middle position in the group, musicians  in front and behind.   I was impressed as we walked through the city that the streets were lined with onlookers cheering and waving. 

Slowly we made our way to the Cathedral, stopping for a while outside to gather the people together. 
The singing and drumming continued as we drifted in . We managed to find seating near the front and settled down as we waited for the schools to take their places. 
After Carols, prayers, readings and a sermon, we ended the afternoon drinking hot chocolate ( handed out freely) in the Cathedral grounds. 



I add my post from last year. 


6th Dec 2017

Aren't the days moving swiftly through December ??? We'll be in January before we know it and Christmas will be just another one of the many that we've celebrated over the years.

I want to share two blogs with you. I hope you take the time to look at them as I think they are wonderful. They are by two of my daughters, one of whom says that I am biased. Well, of course I am, but that doesn't take away from the fact that there is some great  content there.

They write very differently ... well, you will see:

godwheresthemanual.wordpress.com

and

adventuresfromthesofa.wordpress.com

I hope you enjoy them. Please let me know what you think. Or, better still, leave a comment on their blogs.

Now, I'd like to tell you another story about a homeless man. The weather has been bitter these last couple of weeks, the nights being particularly icy. It was on one such night , last week, when the temperature was below 6 degrees c that a homeless man died on the streets in Birmingham . So, so sad...

But that is not my story. My story starts last Saturday morning in Oxford.

We turned up early for our grandaughter's confirmation at the Oratory, and,  passing a man sat at the gate, walked through to the big doors at the entrance where we got talking to a very jolly chap who was waiting to talk to the priest. It turned out he was going to be getting married later that day. I left my husband talking to him while I went into the church.
When I came out hubby was with the man at the gate chatting away.

I felt a bit awkward as I always do with homeless people . You know, not quite knowing what to do.
Anyway I was dragged into the  conversation which was about homeless shelters. This tall man, who was standing now, his long, tangled, matted hair falling over his shoulders ( a Billy Connolly look alike),  told us that they charged for them and he didn't usually have the money to stay in one . Well, I thought, what homeless person would, living hand to mouth on the road and all that.

Then he and my husband proceeded to tell me of the good fortune which befell him while I was in the church. How the chap getting married that day had asked him what size shoes he wore - unfortunately his feet were two sizes too big -and then what size waist he was. Ahh , better luck there.  And what about corduroy, did he like brown corduroy. Of course he did . Reaching in his holdall bag,  the  "soon to be married" took out a smart pair of trousers and feeling in the pocket found a ten pound note. "It's your lucky day," he said beaming and handing him both the trousers and the money.
As the man of the road told  me this tale , he also had a huge smile on his face.
At this point I took his hand in mine to see how cold he was. He was cold...

"Give him my gloves,"  said my husband . He had let me borrow his gloves earlier . I feel the cold more than he does.
And of course your man  was delighted to get the gloves too.

He wasn't there when we came out after the service and I just hope that he is still doing OK and that he will survive through the winter.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Twelfth Night

7th Dec 2018

We always try to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas finishing on the feast of the Epiphany - 6th Jan.
Here's a little memory of sorts from around that time:


Twelfth Night  
                                                                                                                     
“Careful Rob, they’ll break,” Mary takes the golden bauble from him and gently places it in its box.

“Actually, do these ones.” She passes him a small, carrier bag with a picture of snowmen on and puts a pile of soft, felt decorations in front of him.  He works happily, his little hands pushing hard down into the bag to make sure they go in. Big sister, seven and little brother, eighteen months are good friends and are helping take the tree down, it being the seventh of January. The activity won’t hold Rob’s attention for long. Later on, when he’s seven, he’ll be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a relief to me as I thought I was just a bad mother.

 I hear the others in the dining room, playing the new Manopoly game. That’ll keep them busy for while.  It’s our annual gift for the family, to mark Twelfth Night, our mini Christmas that ends our festivities.  This year, 1991, I’m glad to be putting everything away. If I don’t see another turkey till forever, that’ll be too soon and the puddings and cakes all gone – good.  With all that and looking after my mother in law, who is ill and living with us, I am looking forward to some “ordinary” time.

“Mum, where do these ones go?”  she holds up a red bell.
“In here,” I hand her the appropriate box.  
“Ninished,” some of the contents fall into my lap as Rob throws the bag at me and runs off to join the others.

I take the felt Christmas tree, put it to my face and remember that day in December, two years ago, when we sat at the dining room table – Kate seven, Mary five, Liz three and Joanna one and sitting in the high chair and spread before us, scissors, felt, glue , sequins , needles and cotton, card and crayons.  Jim, seventeen and Emma, sixteen were out, as usual, their friends being much more important to them, than their family. That day we’d just heard hat their nan had a tumor on the brain and with the prospect of taking responsibility for her long term (no idea how long) care, I was glad of the distractions of being creative with the little ones.
“I can do it myself, mum,” Kate grabbed scissors and green felt and started cutting.
“Look, I’ll just draw the shape for you,” she was fiercely independent, still is. She cut as close as she could to my line.  I cut Mary’s Christmas tree shapes, one green and red white.
“Here, sew the sequins on like this,” after showing them how, Kate takes a sequin and threaded needle and gets on with it. Mary pulls the needle through as I sew with her. In between times I cut shapes out of card for Liz and Jo to colour.

When a green and a red Christmas tree have enough sequins sewn onto them I put them together and button stitch around the edge to finish them off. Kate sews round hers with red cotton.

I sit pondering, the felt tree in my hand, wet with my tears.  






Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Uncles

4th Dec 2108

Last Friday I went to the cemetery to visit the grave of my mother and father. It was just me and my husband. My sister couldn't meet me there that day. I texted my uncle who lives nearby and told him that I was near. He said pop in for a cuppa.
I looked around in the area I knew their ashes were buried. Fallen leaves and other debris hid the spot and it took me a while to find the black stone plaque.
My husband went off to get water and cleaned the granite, which revealed the gold writing and rubbing the wet from my eyes, I whisper, yes, that's just right.
We say a prayer together, then I spend some moments in silence thinking of them and of how time doesn't take away the longing to be with them.
After not more than half an hour we left I walked to the car , my head jumbled with memories and the wish for more memories.
What an hospitable greeting awaits us at my uncle's. My aunt is there too, getting ready to go to work . She stops to talk with us . While we have tea and lemon cake , my uncle's favourite, he tells me, I quiz him about my grandfather, who was in the IRA. I find out among other things that he joined when he was sixteen. Just a lad, I think.
As we drive away a little while later we ponder on the importance of family.

And I was reminded of my uncle who lives in Ireland and who I wrote a poem about when he visited  Mum for the last time before she died.
Here it is again:


Oct  2015
This poem was inspired by a couple of hours spent with my Uncle going for a walk in North London.


Mid Morning Walk With Uncle

To the right or to the left,
New steps to take.
This way or that -go left.
A robin, friendly reminder, joins us,
Going before with joyous song.
We stop, admire the rich beauty -
A Japanese Red Dragon Plant,
Exotic,  glorious in Autumn sun .
But don't interrupt the story.

We walk on, uphill,  breathless
Slow our pace,
Enjoy sky - blue, clear
In still air,
words struggling to escape
And  reaching  the top, stop
Only for a moment,
To quiet the pulse,
But don't interrupt the story.

How far shall we go?
We'll see now, just keep going,
Maybe we'll reach the village.
All topics keep the
Conversation - the tale-  fresh:
The house with the huge gated driveway
Double fronted and double garage -
Double your money.
But don't interrupt the story.

The ruin of a Church left forlorn,
In the graveyard,
Seems right somehow.
Centuries of ordinary life
Witnessed by these stones-
We imagine ancestors.
The chap who bought four burial plots -
Just to make sure.
But don't interrupt the story.

At last we reach our goal-
The village high street.
Let's stop for a bit before we head back.
The pub or a cafe.
No, not Costa, not Costa...
Ahhh,  There, a sweet little place,
Hidden from view,
Cappucino £1,20.
Yes, that'll  do,
But Don't interrupt the story.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Busy

26th Nov 2018

I'm Really Busy

Today I've been keeping myself busy :
Church this morning
Weekly shop, stopping to chat with a friend we meet.
Help husband with the santa sleigh he's making
Discuss the art work needed with one of his clients
Cook three large chicken casseroles, one for today and two for the freezer - the preparing of the vegetables took such a long time.
Write birthday and anniversary cards and go post them 
And rice, yes rice pudding would be nice - especially as we've been given a 20 kilo bag.

But it's all PROCRASTINATION!!!

It's surprising how many things you can find to do when you should be working.
So, I'll just stop there because I promised myself I'd give a few hours to my writing today and time is running out with the deadline the day after tomorrow and no spare time tomorrow to get to it.
So, buy for now.
If I finish, I'll be back
And what are the rest of you lovely people doing.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Nothing Much Changes

25th Nov 2018


Just thinking of coming to the end of November. Where has that time gone.
Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent , the start of a new year in the Church .
Some words :


Nothing much changes
She puts her bins out with rhythmic regularity every Tuesday evening at five.
Her little grey audi drives off next morning at eleven and returns an hour later,
I swear to the minute, with her weekly shop.
The same afternoon it goes out again, always at three - back she comes at five,
walking that bit taller - hair cut,  washed and curled, by Miriam
Nothing much changes
On Thursday’s at twelve a taxi stops and out gets Olive, her friend come to lunch. She wears a purple hat and often brings flowers
On Thursdays too, the gardener turns up, in his red van, between one and half past- she’d quite like Derek to be more precise.  
Monday’s if it’s fine her washing’s  on the line by nine o’ clock and her windows are cleaned on the first Monday of every  month
Nothing much changes
On her birthday, in the afternoon, her brother comes, her son and daughter too, all dressed up and bearing gifts and not just one or two.
They stay till late and through the wall echoes the sound of memories and happy times shared.
No, nothing much changes.
Except today, early in the morning, in the dark, thirteen minutes past six it was , she was taken off in an ambulance.
A little while later I phoned her brother.
She’d died, he said, she didn’t suffer.
A brief moment - a light extinguished - an empty house.
Everything  has changed


Monday, November 12, 2018

Red

12th Nov 2018


I can't believe it's been four months since I wrote anything on my blog.
Life has been busy since the summer.
Also, I was unwell for months with a viral infection that laid me low.
I am, however seeing the wood for the trees now and am champing at the bit, with a
lot of willingness but few ideas.
I have decided to return to my Writing Group where I hope to get some inspiration.
The colours today as I walked along were such a wonderful sight. I love the yellows, the reds, the oranges as well as the browns and greens. in fact if you look closely you see all the colours there is, because that what the natural world is like and this time of year emphasises all of that.Image result for autumn scenes



Red

I thought of you this morning as I often do
The situation made me laugh and weep, it's true

I tried the door of another car, it was red, after all
Then I noticed I was wrong and heard  my husband call

It's not even the same make as ours, he says,  as if that makes a difference to me,
just like dad he raised his eyes, and waived in his hand, the key

And then it was that I remembered a particular time
when in you got beside a stranger - he was in his prime

You were both surprised at first and lost for words
dad knocking on the window just made it more absurd

You explained yourself as best you could, leaving nothing out
"his fault for parking  in front of the butcher's," without a doubt

It still makes me chuckle a bit you see
It makes me think that's so like me





Thursday, July 19, 2018

Looking at You

19th July 2018

Looking at You

I look at you on that day, more than sixty five years ago. No idea what was in store for you both. You stepped out on an adventure of love to build a life. 
You were to have three children, thirteen grandchildren and the great grandchildren are still coming. In your rich lives you created many memories and have been part of numerous lives. 
Today I look at you here, ma and pa, and I miss you.





Seaside poem

19th July 2018

Seaside Poem - just for fun

Every day I visit the shore
Each quite different to the one before.
If the trees are still and all is calm
I shine  like glass, a deceiving  balm.
On these days I especially look forward to
Children splashing and crashing the blue.
I oblige their frolics with my happy spray
And again the splash and giggle and play.
Yachters out for a spot of sailing
And further out fishermen whaling.
While I hold myself still and as calm as can be
They give the whales chase and sing merrily.
They have no idea I’m part of their crew
Making an effort, doing all I can do.
I’m little thought of most of the time,
So I love it when I can whip up my brine.
On blustery days I race into the coast
Huge arms of waves making the boast
That I am strong and make no mistake
If you're in my way, I’ll crush you like cake.
I bring debris with me, I throw it around
Flotsom and seaweed spread on the ground.
My angry time, brown and green churned
May do some damage but if you’ve learned
To keep your distance and always beware
We’ll get on fine,
And you’ll keep your hair.


Friday, June 8, 2018

Blue Irises

9th June 2018

May and June A meadow full of beautiful blue irises

I really cannot believe that we're nearly in the middle of June. I had so many plans to enjoy the last weeks of May and the month of June - my favourite. Not that I'm not enjoying them , no, but I had intended to make the most of the longer days by getting more walks by the sea and spending more time out of doors. Playing tennis with the grandchildren etc etc...
It's still my plan, but now I have less time and I feel as if we only have a few weeks ( which we do) before the days start to draw themselves together, giving us less daylight hours. I mean,  in seven or eight weeks time it will be dark by eight or nine.
I'm not a sun worshiper or anything but, I do like the months of May and June - just saying y'all..

I am looking out at the pond from the, now "shared",  studio and I see tall Irises, their blue flowers with no effort at all reaching heavenward. Radiant and glorious they fulfill their purpose.

I Set Out To Meet You 
I set out to meet you
not sure I'm going
I put my trust in the instructions
A light bag slung over my shoulder
containing a bottle of water,
and small cheese sandwich,
and sandals on my feet
for the day is mild.
I pass the factory on the left,
stop, listen,
machines break into the birdsong
quench it -  momentarily.
And rats scuttle in front of me.
I move on ,
 second road on the left
a residential road with its avenue of trees
and anonymous inhabitants
behind net curtains.
Hidden eyes follow
to the end , when I  turn
and walk down a country lane
until I reach the pond
where I wait .
It's where you told me to be.
Clouds gather and I notice
I'm getting wet.
I stand under a tree
but the clouds move swiftly,
turn black.
The rain comes down.
But then I see you.
I slosh through mud , quicken my pace
clothes dripping and heavy
Now you see me and rush to meet me
And together we walk on








Monday, April 23, 2018

Window Shopping

12th April

A response to The Wasteland , by T.S.Eliot. 
I have used some of his lines throughout this poem.

Window Shoppers 

Last year for three months it was a bookshop,
Then for nineteen weeks, the owner was very precise  -  a florists,
Long departed, no forwarding address .
For many months it stood empty, memory and desire stirring - walls burned green and orange,
 framed by coloured stone.
Today, newly painted in purple gloss, no sign of dross or moss, the offices of a law firm.
Next door is the Corner CafĂ©, chairs spill out onto pebbles and pavement summer sun reflecting sky upon glass tops.
On rainy days you will hear a chatter and a clatter, from within.
Through the window you might see little groups huddled together around small tables
Elegantly laid with tea pots and china cups and saucers
And here is where town councillors often went and drank coffee and talked for an hour.
The two shops next to the cafe both hollow sepulchres  - long left  - grubby from want of human touch 
Nothing to attract the attention of the window shopper. 
But beside them,  New Look - glass front displaying  goods , enticing  you to step past the doors
Through which you see racks of colourful clothes and a few staff members, hovering.
Up and down the street,  people wander, most out for a stroll , not to buy, just to look
As one might go to the woods or the mountains.
No need today to rush about the shops  to find those items that we need 
All Important purchases can be made from the comfort of our homes, on any number of electronic devices
The High Street has become a leisure activity
"Let's have a walk around the shops”  -  people say.
A museum of past times - you ought to be ashamed to look so antique.
What a wicked pack of cards for shopkeepers , dealing as they do in profit and loss
With rates going up and would be customers  only window shopping.
Soon they will be gone - ruins tolling reminiscent bells
And I will show you fear in a handful of dust.



Sunday, April 15, 2018

From Where

15th April 2018

Here are some ramblings in response to Origens , by Imelda Maguire:


From Where Do I Come

I come from the edge of the city,
that suburban, semi-detached, quiet place on the hill,
from a father who was orphaned before he could speak, 
who remembered the bomb shelters, the ration books.
From a father who was himself evacuated during the war.
I come from that "we worked hard to get here"  place.
My father proud to have had an education, 
proud to have become, "blue collar"
to have left the trowel behind him.
I come from the stock of women
who made more of what they were given,
who rose  from the soil of ancestors. 
From a mother who ran, ran barefoot 
from  want and hunger.
Who spent her life adding to her funds,
working hard for her money, saving her money,
afraid somehow, it might evaporate.
I come from that country of alone, 
where all physical needs were cared for 
but my heart was a barren waste,
where the hope of my father hung round my neck
a noose strangling my own true longing. 
But
I come from a family of fighters 
Chains are loosened and the battle goes on 






Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Music of Life

11th April 2018

As the noise in the church hall buzzed around us while we prepared dinner for fifty, with the accompaniment of clattering pans and tinkling glasses and happy laughter, i was reminded that this time last year I was just getting over a problem I'd had with my hearing. It's interesting how much you notice different sounds and appreciate them when you've been struggling to make sense of the world whilst "locked in" your own quiet space. It's earily isolating. It has given me an empathy with those like some of the people we served today who suffer so much with hearing loss.
Last year I wrote a poem about it:


9th April :
For a few months I have been troubled with poor hearing. It was probably wax and has since cleared up - well almost. Whilst not being able to hear that well I discovered how much I value ( or should value) that particular sense.

The Music of Life

It occurs to me to be thankful 
That I can hear those particular sounds.
His soft voice -  a whisper,
"Are you awake?"
Delicate singing of birds greeting 
The day.
Welcome sound of water running 
In the kitchen,
Kettle boiling,
Cups clattering,
Tinkling of spoon,
Music playing - radio 2, 
Soft steps on the stair,
When he  brings the tray
With morning tea.

Miranda Kerr Blessings 3-Piece Set

Buzz of bee circling the garden,
Water bubbling in pond 
Disturbed by fish.
Engine of aeroplane 
In distant blue.
Revving of neighbours car
Like clockwork.
Fluttering sound of trees 
Rustling leaves in breeze.
Shrieks of joy from children 
Two gardens down.
And the doorbell ringing
Calling me urgently 
To come and answer 

For all the above 
And much, much, more,
I am so thankful






Monday, April 9, 2018

Encounter

9th April.


Here is the first flower this year on our pond. A sign of hope that spring in definitely trying to break through. There are green leaves also on my rose bushes and they are thrusting forward with new growth .
It was a special moment as I waited for just a few seconds before taking this picture. An encounter with a fresh beginning, right at the start of the promised unfolding .
It's a funny thing the idea of encounter.
How many ways can we make an encounter? There must be many.
I encounter peculiar people when travelling by train to London.
I'll just tell you about one.
For the most part nobody gives eye contact, preferring their newspapers- the Metro, the Daily Mail, the Gaurdian - or their phones on which they watch endless episodes of their favourite soaps or they might be on their laptops and tablets where they tap away as if the world as they know it would collapse around them should they dare to look away from the screen.
But occasionally someone will pick me out , will try to talk to me. Yes, quite odd. And it doesn't depend on weather or not I'm reading my book or looking at my phone. I must have something about me that says, "yes, she looks as if she's desperate to hear my story"
Anyway, last week I had to change trains and while waiting for the next one, standing quietly by myself, a lady started a conversation - just about trains and waiting . As our train pulled into the station i thought ( and hoped) we would go our separate ways.
But no!
She had saved me a seat  ( so kind, you might say)!
So, for the next two stops I listened to her tell of her great excitement about her friend's 40th birthday which was where she was headed. They were going to be going to a spa at a local hotel and then back to the house of her friend to watch films  ( Paddington Bear, no less), drink Prosceco and laugh , yes they were going to do a lot of laughing , she assured me.
I said very little , but by the time we arrived at her stop it was like she thought we were "best friends"!!
"How lovely to meet you," she beamed, "I hope you have a great weekend."
I said goodbye politely and settled back with my soduko puzzle for the last part of my journey.


So, was that a "real" encounter, bearing in mind that at the end of it she knew virtually nothing about me??

This poem from last April deals with the desire for encounter:

The Mountain

I build a mountain , monument to passions,
Daily piling on more earth,
The soil of attachments,
Keeping me from getting close
To you

So much now stands in the air between us
That space that isn't space
Filled as it is with life's distractions
 I cannot hope to crawl close
To see you

And suddenly all seems like dust
A pile of nothing but rubbish
And what's important,  I now see
Is how will  I get  near
To you

So, with teaspoon, I dig at the face
Of the huge mountainside
Little by little arm swinging in rolling rhythm
I throw the dirt behind until I get
To you




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

50th Birthday

4th April 2018

This poem from the challenge last year gives a good image of how difficult it is sometimes to get out and have fun. I remember clearly not wanting to make the effort. And of course it was a brilliant evening and I could have turned up in a track suit and would have been just as warmly accepted.





Burgundy Red

The  pile of clothes grows on the bed
With it, deep inside, so does my dread.
I want to go, yes, I want to,  that's for sure
But how am I going to get out the door?

A fiftieth birthday a milestone to celebrate
So I have to be there, she is a best mate .
And I know when I manage to get myself out,
I'll enjoy the whole thing , of that there's no doubt.

So I find stretchy trousers-sleek, comfy and black,
At least I'll be sitting - won't look like a sack.
With my old  retro top in burgundy red
And lipstick that matches, there by my bed.

Now I'm ready, but don't want to be the first one there,
Debating whether to stand and wait or go sit on a chair.
So I leave the house past  the time we have set
To meet at the restaurant, so I know I'll be met.

What a greeting I get when I walk in the door,
Champagne on the table and more on the floor.
The intention , it's clear, is to have a good crack
Laughing all evening to the moon and back











Hope at Easter

3rd April 2018.

I am amazed to discover that I there have been over 40,000 visits to my blog!! Yes, I know, hard to believe, isn't it ? Well it's all down to you, my lovely readers. I feel I have let you down lately though with the frequency and quality of posts. But...

Last year I was doing the "Poem a Day In April" challenge. I can't do it this year but thought I'd just take a look back to see how I got on. Most of the writing I've not looked at since.
Here is the one from this day last year:


 Past Bones

Keep hold of that thread,
Let it hang from ancestral  bones
Giving meaning to who we become
Every movement has its reason,
The flower, growing in timely season,
Where what has been
Has come to this,
This, the softness of the present
The delight of now
Hold on to that thread,
Portraying past bones
Though not too tightly
For, each moment inform's the next,
Each thread must be snipped,
Left behind 


To free the mind


Comment:
Reading this in this season of Easter makes me think of the Hope that we have now with thoughts of the resurrection . Letting go of the past but not forgetting. Moving forward freely without letting the past hold us back.  It has a certain sense of freedom to it.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Activate - Open Your Eyes

26th Mar  2018

I'm going to try this picture prompt and the six story challenge together.
Today's word - "Activate"








Open Your Eyes

You might want to close your eyes,
not look back.
Or hide under  rose bush
forget the rack.

See, there is no darkness which
 can erase
those images which caused  your
mind to craze.

But activate those neurons now
open your eyes
turn, be brave, face the windows
of their lies.



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

25th Mar 2018

My ten things of thankful for this week:

1. I had a  spiritual uplift on a morning of recollection . A quiet time to put things in order with myself and my God and to learn how to live more in the moment .

2. I am thankful for the priest who is always inspired to share a beautiful wisdom about living as a Christian in the world today.

3. And for the friends there who share the same Faith and are walking the same path. We have an incredible bond
4. On the same day on the way home, I enjoyed a walk by the Thames, taking in the reflected images on the glittering water, so pretty in the afternoon sun.

5. On the train journey home I met a lady who was full of life and gave  me some great entertainment  with her chatter and friendliness

6. A few days later I was asked by a friend to help her when she went into hospital for a minor op. She only wanted me to collect her but I felt honoured that she felt able to ask me .

7. When we got to her place she was a bit unsteady so I stayed with her and enjoyed a few hours of tea , biscuits and chatter.  It was a pleasure to be able to be of some service to her., especially as I know how difficult she found it to ask me. And it made me think that in general in society we need to help each other more and not expect that someone else will step up . We are the ones

8.I was so thankful this week that my son and his fiance , who have been living with us for a year, are finally going to be able to move out. We had the walk around of their new house on wednesday and next week they get the keys. There is a lot to do so they won't be out for another few weeks, but the end is in sight for them and for us!

9. And I am so thankful that i made it to the writing workshop this week. I have missed so many friday afternoons. But I have been so grumpy about not getting to my writing that I decided that it was going to be a priority. I always have a struggle to get to it and did have to miss an extra choir practice ( It's Easter soon!). And that is the reason I'm here writing this now. Because I've been energised. I needed it.

10.And the biggest thankful is that it was a dear friend's 50th birthday and her and I and three other dear friend's celebrated by going away for the night. I could have spent the whole ten thankfuls on just this one thing. So much joy - walking by the sea together, having a meal together ( by the way the food was excellent - I had sea food chowder which is a huge dose of thankful in itself), talking together, drinking together - All so good...

There you are folks ...

Friday, March 2, 2018

Ten Things of Thankful

2nd March 2018 


Ten Things of Thankful

Let's see, what can I be thankful for?

1. Where I live we are having bad weather and there have been many accidents on the roads because people are not driving slowly enough in the icy conditions.
So I'm really thankful that I haven't had to go out at all today. I do hate the cold!!!
2. Following on from that I am enormously thankful that our heating is working, although I don't have the thermostat too high and use blankets and extra clothes to keep warm too.
3.And again, I am thankful that there is still a little food in the freezer so we don't have to worry. And my husband is currently getting our supper - fish , chips and peas- yummm.
When I go into London I sometimes bring food with me to give to the homeless/rough sleepers that I meet on the way. I hope they are all warm and well fed today. How they manage in the cold weather is beyond my understanding. And the homeless population continues to grow in the UK !!!!
4. I am thankful for the gift of seeing . Because of it I can write , enjoy colour, melt at my husbands smile, marvel at the sheet of ice that has now covered the snow and is so pretty with it's unusual meringue like form.
5. I am thankful for the hot water with lemon that I have just drunk and delighted in the deliciousness of such a simple beverage. I have been trying to drink less coffee and have discovered that I actually like hot water with a hint of lemon. I even ordered it ( much to the amusement of the waitress) when we went out for our anniversary last week. And we weren't charged for it!!! I think it must be better for my health too, which is a bonus.

And there I need to have a break to ponder  because I can't think of anything else yet..

6. OK, well , I'm thankful that my son and his fiance have made it home safely and I don't have to worry about them any more today.. I do still have two others I'm worrying about though. My daughters shift finishes at eight this evening . But all safe so far...☺☺
7. I am so  thankful that I can walk on my own two legs without any problem and
8. That I can use my hands to write this - albeit a bit of a ramble of nonsense, but at least I can...
9. Also I am thankful that my children care about each other and try to help each other. It's such a blessing and just what I think success is as a mother.
10. It has been hard to think of ten things today. I haven't been feeling good . So number ten is : I am thankful that I got to write my ten things of thankful because it has helped me to appreciate that I do have a huge amount to be thankful for . Has it helped my mood? Yes, a bit ...

Frozen sea today:
Image may contain: sky, snow and outdoor


 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Yellow Rose


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1st March 2018

Today is St David's day, the patron saint of Wales. How is it that we are already in March? Oh well, time is forever unfolding our lives for us .







I am joining in with the six sentence story this week, having been out of action for a while. Lost my mojo a bit ... The prompt is the word, "Transfer"
Anyway, all of my visitors from across the globe, let me know how you are and what's happening in your place.. 


 Yellow Rose

It had been a long , cold winter with weeks of snow that had stayed around for over a month and this March morning was showing the first signs of a promise of change for the better, with a few crocuses dotted about.
Lucy sat at the kitchen table, cup of tea cradled in her hands , her body gently being warmed by the easterly sun, while she gazed out at her small garden and itched  to get out there and start tidying up.
So, putting on  her wellies , she threw open the door and marched down to the shed where she rooted around for her gardening gloves, a spade, secateurs and, most importantly, her kneeling cushion.
Now, all  ready,  she began to dig a hole under the kitchen window where she intended  to transfer her yellow rose bush, which she had been desperate to move since the end of last summer and which in her mind should have been there all along.
Lucy worked on the hard ground, standing upright  every now and again to take a breather until she had reached a foot down,  when all of a sudden the spade stuck something, which, at first Lucy thought was a large stone, but when she bent down to investigate she was taken by surprise and fell to her knees, mouth open.
What could it mean,  she pondered as slowly she removed dark earth from what she now could see was a bone, a human bone, probably an arm and were there any others buried with it?


Image result for pictures of small rose bushes

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Pitch

8th Feb 2018

Since last posting on my blog I have had a new great grandaughter, which is such a great blessing. Unfortunatley they live rather a long way from us, so it'll be a while before we meet her. I'm mega proud, though, of my grandson and his wife who are such a loving couple and can't wait until we see them . 
Also, yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of my dear mum's death. I miss her more as time goes on. Will that continue?

Anyway on with the six sentence story.
Today the prompt is "pitch" ...
Let me know what you think...

Pitch

"I've been driving for hours now and my eyes are closing, so we'll just have to stop and pitch the tent here," Tony said, pulling off the road and into what appeared to be a small open space nestled in woods and situated below a mountain. He turned off the engine and the silence was immediately filled with the  rushing sound of a nearby waterfall, which oddly, made the place seem less lonely.
"OK, but it'll be hard to find a suitable spot in the dark. We'll need to keep the car lights on while we  work and I'm scared Tony and will we be safe here?" Linda gave  him a worried glance that went straight through him, but he tried to hide the fact that he too hoped they'd stay hidden until they could set off again in the morning. 
Together they fumbled about in the boot of the car, dragging out a small two man tent, which they managed to erect quite easily, only taking  fifteen minutes for them to be sorted and ready for bed .
They didn't bother to blow up the beds  or get changed and just wriggled into their sleeping bags, switched off the small torch and lay there, neither of them expecting to get any sleep after all that had happened to them in the last forty eight hours.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wage

11th Jan 2018

The prompt for six sentence story today was "wage"


How Much?

How disappointing to find that, even though we women, in England at least, gained the right to vote on the same terms as men as far back as 1928, that in a very real way women are still being overlooked and treated as second class citizens.

We have the right to vote and that's great but the struggle still goes on and  I was surprised to discover a few days ago, there is a very real gap, 18% in fact, between men and women when it comes to the wage they receive for doing the exact same job.

It doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever and whilst I was amazed  that this still happens I was amused by what a group of women ( with a few men supporters) did to draw awareness to this injustice.


They came up with a cunning plan and taking over a bar for an afternoon proceeded to charge what they called a man tax, justifying a surcharge on orders for men only of 18%, with the explanation that this was only fair as they had already had the extra money in their wage packet.

It caused some uproar and lots of hilarity, but the message mostly got home, with many men being happy to come on board for the sake of the publicity, while others however refused to pay up .

These last did not get off lightly though, as the hidden cameras show that the waitresses  deducted from their order what they considered to be about 18% and so,some men had part of their drink or meal removed and of course, were not at all happy - so funny to watch  and such a good way to get the point across.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

TToT

6th Jan 2018

Today folks I'm joining in with the Ten Things of Thankful brigade. If you want to do this too just put it into google and away you go. Then link up to share with the others.
The idea is to look back over the last week and find ten things that you can be thankful for .

So, let's make a start:

1 Firstly I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family - yes, there's a lot of us but I love each and every one enormously and am so very proud of them. 
2 In particular I am thankful for my darling husband of forty five years who is such a treasure . Always there for me or any of our loved ones. 
3 I am thankful that I live by the sea. I went out twice this week for walks with my gorgeous daughter.
4 I am thankful that I got three new writing journals for Christmas - that'll keep me going. 
5 I'm thankful that I got to a writing for wellbeing workshop yesterday - it always inspires me, hence...
6 I am thankful for having some time to myself today - not much, but it was needed and valuable.
7 I'm thankful for that radio programme that I got to enjoy - it was totally unexpected.
8 I am thankful that, although I've put on a few pounds over the Christmas time, I couldstill get into that dress i wanted to wear today - I did wonder if I would. 
9 I'm thankful for the comments that some lovely people have posted on my blog these last few days - it's always so uplifting to know that somebody is reading the rubbish I write.
10 I'm thankful for my friends  - whom I love and must try to see more often 

Well, that just dribbled out .
Now it's your turn.
It does make you think .
It also makes you realise that there are so many things that are good in your life.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The twelfth Night

5th Jan 2018

Happy Christmas all . Nice to be able to still say it...

The Epiphany

Not everyone will agree with me but I take today as the twelfth day of Christmas and therefore as tonight the twelfth night and the Eve of the Epiphany.
Some people think that tomorrow is the twelfth day.
It all depends from which day you start the counting. If Christmas day is day one or if day one is the first day after 25th.
Anyway, I , along with some others begin on the day itself , which makes today, 5th Jan, the twelfth day .
And tomorrow will be the celebration of the coming of the Wise Men to visit Jesus , Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and end the Christmas season , although I keep the crib up until 2nd 0f Feb which is the Feast of the Presentation - the last time the babe is mentioned in the Gospels.




Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Eleventh Day

4th Jan 2018

Joining the six sentence challenge today x


celebrating Christmas.



The Eleventh Day

The eleventh day of Christmas
I look at the sad limp tree
And wonder should I take it out
now,- convenient for me
Lights off, branches droop 
Reach to the floor now
decorations  precariously hang
how do they stay there, how?
But then I start to look anew
And see the story behind
the love  that it brought us
And so I change my mind
I'll leave it for a few more days
till the kings have come to call
I'll put the lights on later too
Giving cheer to one and all.