Monthly Archives: December 2013

Thank You

Just before I turn the laptop off for the year and go and veg in front of a movie, I would just like to say a great big

thank_you

to everyone who has followed/liked posts/commented on/stumbled upon this blog over the past year.

May you all have a truly wonderful 2014. May it be full of peace, joy and happiness.

Blessed be.

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Goodbye 2013

… and hello 2014.Happy New Year

Seriously, the amount of people I’ve met who have said to me “next year has got to be better than this year,” is amazing.

And to be honest, I’ve got to agree with them.

For me, this year kind of sucked big time, for all kind of reasons.

The one constant beam of happiness in my life has been, and always will be SC, and for that I am eternally grateful.

As for the rest,Β it happened for a reason, good or bad. I don’t regret anything. At the end of the day I survived everything that life threw at me.

And I won’t look back, because that’s not the direction I’m travelling.

As a person I learned and I grew.

I’m looking forward to all the new adventures that life has in store for me in 2014.

And all I have to say is:

“Hello world, I’m back!”

 

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10 Things I Want to do in 2014

Now, let me state from the outset this is not a list of New Year Resolutions.

It is just a list of things I would like to do during the coming year – some off the bucket list, some not.

So , here goes, in no particular order:

  1. Read Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” – I’m up to Chapter 5, still another 98% to go according to the Kindle.
  2. Learn to speak Spanish – so I can understand and answer back. I’ve already bought a ‘speak-a-long’ CD which is pretty good, so I’m hoping to finish that and practice with some of the mums at school – who, thankfully just happen to speak Spanish πŸ˜‰
  3. Learn to play the piano – at least learn how to read to the left hand line of music and know where the notes go and bash out a simple tune.
  4. Take a singing exam – just for fun.
  5. Learn to knit and actually knit something!
  6. Go and see Mamma Mia – dressing up optional πŸ˜‰
  7. Try and do one of my exercise DVDs every day – yes, this might actually be straying into resolution territory, but I have some 10 minute workout DVD’s which are great and I am sure I can squeeze 10 minutes in a day … somewhere πŸ˜‰ Need to work on my core strength – at the moment it sucks and a better core will help my posture in ballroom – apparently πŸ˜‰ It might also tilt my pelvis back into its proper alignment – miracles do happen!
  8. Train my chimp so I can actually get things done as opposed to constantly doubting myself and my ability and end up doing nothing.
  9. Make and try a different soup each week. It is one of the few ways I can get SC to eat vegetables, and I’m a little tired of mud soup. I have just bought myself the Covent Garden Soup Company “365 Soups” book, so there should be some I can try πŸ˜‰ Looking at maple roasted parsnip soup for next week, or I might try brussel sprout soup πŸ˜‰
  10. Start writing my book – long shot one. I have a couple of good ideas, I just need to put them into some sort of coherent structure and plan it.

So, there you have it. 10 things I would like to get around to doing in 2014. Hopefully 75% of them are achievable and I will keep you updated of progress made.

What would you like to do next year?

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Friday Poem – Inspiration

This poem is by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), an American author, poet, philosopher and lots more besides.SteveJobs

My understanding from what I read is that if you feel inspired to do something, don’t do it half-heartedly, do it whole-heartedly and passionately. Let all your senses be awakened so your soul can sing.

Love this quote by Steve Jobs, an amazing and very inspirational man.

Go do something amazing πŸ˜‰

Inspiration

Whate’er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
Though all the Muses lend their force,
From my poor love of anything,
The verse is weak and shallow as its source.

But if with bended neck I grope
Listening behind me for my wit,
With faith superior to hope,
More anxious to keep back than forward it;

Making my soul accomplice there
Unto the flame my heart hath lit,
Then will the verse forever wear–
Time cannot bend the line which God hath writ.

Always the general show of things
Floats in review before my mind,
And such true love and reverence brings,
That sometimes I forget that I am blind.

But now there comes unsought, unseen,
Some clear divine electuary,
And I, who had but sensual been,
Grow sensible, and as God is, am wary.

I hearing get, who had but ears,
And sight, who had but eyes before,
I moments live, who lived but years,
And truth discern, who knew but learning’s lore.

I hear beyond the range of sound,
I see beyond the range of sight,
New earths and skies and seas around,
And in my day the sun doth pale his light.

A clear and ancient harmony
Pierces my soul through all its din,
As through its utmost melody–
Farther behind than they, farther within.

More swift its bolt than lightning is,
Its voice than thunder is more loud,
It doth expand my privacies
To all, and leave me single in the crowd.

It speaks with such authority,
With so serene and lofty tone,
That idle Time runs gadding by,
And leaves me with Eternity alone.

Now chiefly is my natal hour,
And only now my prime of life;
Of manhood’s strength it is the flower,
‘Tis peace’s end and war’s beginning strife.

It comes in summer’s broadest noon,
By a grey wall or some chance place,
Unseasoning Time, insulting June,
And vexing day with its presuming face.

Such fragrance round my couch it makes,
More rich than are Arabian drugs,
That my soul scents its life and wakes
The body up beneath its perfumed rugs.

Such is the Muse, the heavenly maid,
The star that guides our mortal course,
Which shows where life’s true kernel’s laid,
Its wheat’s fine flour, and its undying force.

She with one breath attunes the spheres,
And also my poor human heart,
With one impulse propels the years
Around, and gives my throbbing pulse its start.

I will not doubt for evermore,
Nor falter from a steadfast faith,
For thought the system be turned o’er,
God takes not back the word which once He saith.

I will not doubt the love untold
Which not my worth nor want has bought,
Which wooed me young, and woos me old,
And to this evening hath me brought.

My memory I’ll educate
To know the one historic truth,
Remembering to the latest date
The only true and sole immortal youth.

Be but thy inspiration given,
No matter through what danger sought,
I’ll fathom hell or climb to heaven,
And yet esteem that cheap which love has bought.
___________________

Fame cannot tempt the bard
Who’s famous with his God,
Nor laurel him reward
Who has his Maker’s nod.

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Can you name the songs these 5 lyrics come from?

It’s the post-Christmas lull, and I thought I would get the little grey cells working.

I’ve been doing aΒ quiz today – unscrambling anagrams of country names – I seriously don’t get out much πŸ˜‰ And I thought I would post 5 lines from 5 pop songs (could be from any era) for your sheer amusement, if you are feeling a bit bored πŸ˜‰

So, here we go, name the song and artist:

Song 1 – “Sometimes you feel afraid” – “I made it through the rain” (Barry Manilow)

Song 2 – “Never meant to ever hurt nobody” – “Girl with the heart of gold” (REO Speedwagon)

Song 3 – “Now there’s only emptiness, nothing to say” – “Knowing me, Knowing you” (ABBA)

Song 4 – I guess I was wrong” – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (Deep Blue Something)

Song 5 – “I’m gonna be the one that gets it right” – “Don’t feel like dancin'” (Scissor Sisters)

Good luck – I’ll post the answers on Sunday evening – happy song hunting πŸ˜‰

Edited 1st January 2014 – hope you had fun finding the lyrics πŸ˜‰

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Starter or Dessert?

When you are out to dinner, would you rather have a starter and a main, or a main and a dessert?cheesecake

To be honest, I’m generally a main and dessert girl.

“Dessert is the whole point of the meal.” (Simply Irresistible, 1999)

As far as I’m concerned the sweetness of dessert sates the appetite, whereas not having one can leave you wanting something else even when you are feeling F.T.B. (full to bursting!)

Not eating chocolate (yes, I know, total freak aren’t I) sometimes the dessert choice can be limiting, but I’m a sucker for cheesecake.

Vanilla cheesecake with mango sorbet – heaven on a spoon πŸ˜‰

Or, if it’s winter and I’m sat by a roaring open fire it has to be crumble and custard – I had raspberry and peach the other week, it was delicious πŸ˜‰

So, what do you prefer – starter of dessert? And what is your favourite?

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What does Christmas mean to you?

Chaos? Spending too much? Eating too much? Parties? Family get-togethers? Arguments? Magic? Children? Loneliness?Nativity-Scene

The list is endless.

Christmas means something different for everyone.

Christmas is a celebration, not of commercialism, but the birth of Jesus.

For me, Christmas means hope.

Hope –Β that the world will eventually become a better place.

Hope – that new beginnings will lead to a bright new day.

Hope – that I will find my way again.

What does it mean to you?

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Friday Poem – A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

This week’s poem is “Endymion” by John Keats (1795-1821) an English romantic poet and one of the main figures of the 2nd generation romantic poets alongside Lord butterflyByron and Percy Bysse Shelley.

The first line of this poem is extremely well-known and the poem itself is very descriptive and vivid. The meaning behind the poem is for people to realise true beauty and not just go by outward appearances, and then capture it with memories, photographs and other means, in order to remember for ever what was once.

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

 

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Stars

…the twinkly variety!stars1

This morning when we went down for breakfast there was a lovely full moon lighting up the kitchen and in the moonlight we could also see a few stars.

“Mummy,” said SC, “all the stars are planets.”

“That’s right,” I said. OK, so astronomy is not my best subject, and I know that there are different grades of planets, etc, but I didn’t want to confuse him!

Anyway, he continued, “Even though stars are planets they aren’t round like the moon is.”

“Oh, what shape are they then?” I asked.

He didn’t answer, but merely draw a star using crosses on the window, followed by a 5-pointed star.

Why didn’t I know that stars were that shape in reality?

 

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What do you do when you need a call of nature in the middle of nowhere?

…because my problem is that I cannot answer that call of nature behind a bush.woods

It’s a big problem.

I have tried. My sister (an intrepid adventurer) advised me the best way to do it. I was even given a book about it (I didn’t even know such books exist). But despite my best endeavours, it is always a complete dis-ar-ster dar-ling (said in my best Craig Revel-Horwood voice)

I have tried, but the last time…well, it’s a story at any rate πŸ˜‰

I was out in the middle of nowhere in Europe on a hike with Mr Wrong No. 1. We’d stopped for lunch by a river which was running through the wood. Obviously water needed recycling, for want of a better expression, and there was nowhere to go except behind a bush.

Now, knowing I was rubbish at this I decided to completely (behind the bush I hasten to add) remove my clothing from the waist down – I mean the place was deserted – and just get on with it. All was fine, until a young local man, on a lilo of all things, floated down the river, noticed me behind the bush and shouted “hello there!”. Cue me turning a very dark shade of beetroot from me feet to the top of my head. Called hello back, and dived down again to quickly get dressed and avoid any further embarrassment πŸ˜‰

So, these days when nature calls and I am not near a facility, I just grin and bear it until I am, even if it is a couple of hours later.

On the plus side it is does my pelvic floor muscles a power of good πŸ˜‰

On the negative side it does make it incredibly difficult to laugh for fear of – well I’ll leave that to your imagination πŸ˜‰

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