Saturday, 30 January 2010

One World, One Heart - A Global Event

I am participating in the One World, One Heart event.
This was dreamed up by A Whimisical Bohemian,
and is l believe in its third year.
If you visit her blog, she has a full list of participants
on her sidebar.


Basically all you have to do is visit a participating blog,
leave a comment and you will be entered into a draw.
Some participants are offering several gifts.
No catches. No gimmicks. No sales. No links.

In the One World, One Heart event
I am offering
to one lucky winner the following two gifts...

a Vintage 1960's silk scarf signed 'Richard Allan'
a Vintage 1960's Glitzy Evening Party Bag

The event close on 15th February 2010
and l will announce FFF's winner then.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

My Sky

I promised last week I would post farther views of our
journey through the cattle pass over
Bealach na ba
(9km road av6.8%) to Applecross

this is a higher view from where we were last week
still looking back towards Torridon

this is the view from the top over to the islands of
Southern Skye, Rum & Eigg

me & the teenagers

Rua Reidh Lighthouse near Melvaig

12 miles north of Gairloch

all taken late August 2007

For more skies, visit hosts/hostesses
Sandy Carlson, Louise, Sylvia, Klaus, Wren, & Fishing Guy

Friday, 22 January 2010

My Sky

3pm winter skies
view from the Rotunda
Tullie House
over western Carlisle skies

(I just noticed this is my 301st post,
I wouldn't have thought l had enough waffle inside me.
I was very wrong!)

For more skies, visit hosts/hostesses
Sandy Carlson, Louise, Sylvia, Klaus, Wren, & Fishing Guy

Monday, 18 January 2010

Miscellaneous Monday #5

The Pass of the Cattle
was the only road linking Applecross peninsula
with rest of the world until late 20th Century
still one take ones heart in ones mouth whilst climbing
Bealach na ba

a single lane, yet two way, hairpin road
rising 2,054 ft
we passed in awe a lone cyclist just before the summit

Looking back over the winding stream, Loch Carron and Plockton
I took this leaning out of the car window
without zoom
but always with va va voom

Friday, 15 January 2010

My sky

Cemetery chapel, behind our home,
taken over the 9 foot hedge,
standing on a footstool,
very precariously!
For more skies, visit hosts/hostesses
Sandy Carlson, Louise, Sylvia, Klaus, Wren, & Fishing Guy

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Love thyself

The decks are cleared, the pine needles are all vacuumed up (well almost all) the nativity carefully wrapped and stored, the baubles and tinsel are boxed. Presents are now all placed in their appropriate owners quarters. The snow that lurked unusually long here, is melting. The roads that were thick sheets of transparent ice have turned into a slate slush. The -19' temperature is now only a memory. I hope. I've thrown out the last of the cake, mince pies and Stollen, as I was the only one eating it. The waste pains me but as I must have eaten my body weight in cake, this mustn't go on.

I'm not a fan of New Year resolutions because l can't hack the pressure. I know it's self serving but it's not worth it unless it is a positive pressure. Instead I resolve to build upon the last couple of years' progress, to be a calmer, kinder, more compassionate and a better tempered person. To achieve this goal, I decided that instead of running myself ragged and mentally jagged and trying to people please my way out of the paper bag that is my world, l had to start being good to myself. First and foremost. Yes l know it's been said by many, over and over, but until it dawns on you as a kind of original thought of your own. You can't own it, nor live it.

So to start the new year off with good news; I got the job I was interviewed for just before Christmas. Which really means that I carry on doing the job at the Museum, but now I have tenure; a permanent contract. Great!

I am now officially a heffalump and if I say so out loud, here it may even push me back to yoga and pilates sometime soon! I have booked myself a ticket to see Rufus Wainwright in April at the Sage and to see Rodders (Stewart) in May at the Metro Arena. I have pencilled out time for Kent trips to the folks and a potential return to the Isle of Wight with the kids in July. I will try to repeat my recent London trip around May time, so I might be able to sit in the parks and gardens and spend more time languorously people watching. There is a fab Exhibition due at the V&A Costume Room, so that is a must see also.

Painting, writing, reading and thinking. All must do's. I won't mention my work, housework, chauffeuring, cooking and all. That's all a given. In the spirit of this post's title, this is my plan and you never know everything else may just magically follow!

Love Thyself
Who will speak words of love to you, if you do not speak them to yourself?

Arise every morning and give thanks to the Power for your life,
your awareness, your creativity, and all that you hold dear.
Then speak words of love to yourself.
As you love yourself more and more,
the fountain within will flow more readily and persistently,
until it overflows the bricks and mortar of your heart-well
and brings forth life in all the corners of your garden.

You are beautiful.
You are unique.
You are my wonderful creation.
Love yourself each day before the pink dawn has lost its blush.
Love yourself as the noonday sun purifies the heavens.
Love yourself in the velvet shawl of twilight.
Repeat these words to yourself:

"I love you more than anyone in the world.
You are an infinite, immortal being.
You know only abundance.
You are the most wondrous creature in the world to me.
You are divinely beautiful.
You are wonderful and magical and you have the gift of Love."

Then will the sparrows and swans
drink from your hand, praising your kindness.
The forest will be cooled by your generous waters.
Your name will be a blessing on the lips of all who thirst.


Love thyself

Love thyself most and best
Love thyself day and night
Let no feared word cause thee
To hate thyself
Love thyself last and first
Love thyself more each month
Let no scared howl cause thee
To doubt thyself
Love thyself more and more
Love thyself loud and long
Let no bad dream make thee
Mistrust thyself
Thyself is all you'll have
From cradle to thy grave
Love yours enough to make
Us love ourselves.

the words of Woodie Guthrie

Monday, 11 January 2010

Miscellaneous Monday #4

Ducks or Geese?

old smithfield st market, Manchester

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

No snowman

Today is another snow day, which means the kids are home, Larry is home, all work appointments cancelled (he's been home since the 19th!) I now have five days off from today (the Museum never closes) and l'm dying to be home alone. Christmas is over, I know because I cut the cotton, weaved the fabric, cut the cloth and MADE the frigging tee shirt. So all right already. It's over. Gone. Done. Drunk. Shovelled. Eaten our body weight in cake and pies. Happied & Merried myself to death. Yes, even after my post about loneliness I need to be alone now. I won't be lonely. I won't be sad. Just alone. One day please. Pretty please.

Last night water started gushing out through the back of the boiler shortly after l heard it emit a slow texan whine. We turned it off and contacted British gas. We joined the queue of people waiting and waiting in a not very patient, stiff and starchy British way, for a service engineer, our slot is booked for tomorrow. With modern insulation, the house has maintained it warmth over night. As it had been switched to constant for three days and like most people in this country after a rare 2 weeks of snow it too has been beaten into submission. Schools are closed. Shops shut. Motorways decorated with empty cars and lorries. And boilers fut! Don't even get me started on the issue of GRIT!

The house is now freezing. Outside it is an ice rink again. More snow is forecast. I haven't seen the grass here since Matewala, (sorry old family joke) which means forever!

In the late 60's I lived in Pointe Claire, Montreal, Quebec and boy did we experience real winters. BUT we were prepared! Chains on the tyres, roads ploughed. We still got to school daily. People got to work, by car, train bus. Life did not stop as we knew it. I do remember our fish froze in their bowl though! The frozen St. Lawrence river had car races on it. Or was that a dream? We walked the sidewalks with snow piled up high to our heads either side. We fell about into its soft drifts. All sounds dampened by the deep snow. You knew where you were in Canada, with the weather. In fact in most things. The brave and the free. I recall it all fondly. Hot summer, a week or four of Autumn, then winter bit. Spring lasted but a short while then into heady summers. Loved it. Really! I experienced the same thing in upstate New York. Life just cracked onwards.

Earlier l was on the phone complaining I was cold and would be better off at work, (on so many levels). She commented I should go and make a snowman to warm up and have some fun. Then it dawned on me hard. The kids haven't made one this year! Shown no intent, no interest, just happy and no school. I asked them, shall we go and make a snowman? They both looked up only with their eyes, through their long lashes and half scowling half with mockery, said in unison 'Nah Mum!' as if, WTF was l thinking. Another moment of childhood. Gone.

It must be cold. I am always hot. In the sense that I am always flushing. It's my age. I've just changed into warmer clothing. I'm wearing thick jeans, a cashmere long baggy jumper, a cashmere cardi and a large pashmina. Uggs on my now warm toots! Sitting in front of the one gas fire. Everyone else is in their own room, in bed, under their duvet, online. The modern family unit, apart and together!

Not a snowman in sight.

The year the sea froze
1963 Hampton, Herne Bay

my dog Butch on the far left

Me & my Dad (JP) 1963
Hampton Promenade
Herne Bay, Kent

Monday, 4 January 2010

Miscellaneous Monday #3

whilst waiting for some shops to open in Kensington
(it was going on 10.15am)
I marvelled at some of the windows and contents
and not at a certain reflection...

click to enlarge , if you must