There are times when it's wise just to give in and retire to bed.
Take care (especially if eating outside!)
The damp chilly greenhouse may have been Covid-safe, but I now have a horrible cold.
There are times when it's wise just to give in and retire to bed.
Take care (especially if eating outside!)
..eat them outside I wrote on my Making It Through November list.(nearly there!).
Well after yesterday's eating outside experience I am waiting for a brighter day. A freind and I had coffee and cake in the greenhouse. It was freezing!
.. towards a long term goal....
My longest term goal at the moment is a solo exhibition in October 2021. The venue is booked, the show has a title - Let It Snow - I have titles for the many (as yet unpainted) works which will be required to fill the space, and today I took note of a piece of music I was enjoying which I had not heard before, and have decided I must have playing at the private view.
Here it is. footsteps in the Snow by Debussy. Magical.
Even a baby step towards your long term goal is preogress, or perhaps you would like to come up with a long term goal? I like to have something to plan for and look forward to..
Unlike making amends, this is easy I can think what would make my day and do it for someone else. I can be a bit more open-hearted all day. I can be more generous with compliments, with my smiles, my time, my thanks, my tip....
You can make my day by leaving a comment!
Don't be shy.
and help yourself to a piece of fruit...
..I said in this post something about distinguishing my own reality from the media reality.
Byron Katie in her book Loving What Is has interesting things to say about reality -
Reality for me is what's true. The truth is whatever is in front of you, whatever is really happening, whether you like it or not.
She described her own reality - Woman sitting with a cup of tea. In stressful times I check in with myself like this, sometmes several times in a day, asking What is my reality?
Woman sitting at laptop by the light of a lamp. Warm, fed, clothed, sheltered, safe, happy. and In the present.
For a few moments not fretting about the past or worrying about an imagined future, or thinking things should be different than they are. Grounded in reality. Loving what is.
I feel it keeps me honest with myself, and perhaps it keeps me sane!
What is your reality? The chances are that if you are reading this you are basically okay.
Part of mine as I write this is the heavenly scent of these hyacinths which fills the room and feeds my soul.
Thinking of you today PennyL!
..are my extravagances! You can get away with a lot on the housework front if you have candles and flowers I always think...
I do spend on them, but I also grow and make my own. My favourite scented candles to buy for winter are St Eval Orange and Cinnamon, and White Company Fir Tree. I stock up with M&S tealights if they are on offer. and £2 pillar candles from Morrisons supermarket are very good and long lasting.
Have you ever made candles? I've only made my own wax candles once but it was worth the effort, and the ice candles were easy to make with children and spectacular on the doorstep when guests were expected! (They are easier when made with a large and a small paper cup.)
Winter is special and, although it will be different, I am going to try to make Christmas special too.
Oh, this is a hard one.
To make amends you first have to accept that you were wrong in some way.
Then you have to have the humility to say so to the person you wronged.
And think if there is a way a way of putting it right.
As I said in the list only you can handle this one.
But to clear it from your conscience might set you free....which means forgiving yourself perhaps.
You know that I love it when you talk to each other in the comments, but I just want you to be aware that Weebly doesn't know how to handle it and the replies can get all out of sync. Don't let that put you off!
..on all the stuff you have been clearing? Mine is currently stacked up waiting for decisions to be made. Sell on eBay or Gumtree? Give away on Freecycle? Donate to the charity shops and let them make the money? If and when they are open of course.
I am better at spending it than making it lately, though not on fun things - chimney repairs, chimney sweep, decorating, fence repairs, shed repairs. A new bird table and bird feeder were fun buys though...
I am putting three small collages into a local exhibition - a few sales would be very welcome! I love the poster by Brian Phillips.
Sorry - photos would have been more fun with birds in them!
..on my list I wrote
think of a way.
Can you help me out here
I can't think of a way!
I did write a little sign saying Merry and Bright but there's something wrong with my camera...
Camera working - Google knows how to fix everything!
I should add I can do comfortable, I can do content, and even happy much of the time, but 'merry' on my own seems an ask too far...
Apart from Making Merry there is being merry - in the sense of being tipsy from drinking a bit too much - will try not to go down that road!
Hopefully we can all be merry by Christmas? That's a big ask too this year.
You probably know the starfish story...
so, what difference can I make today?
Half way through November, how are you doing?
The list has meant I have had meals at a beautiful table, too much cake, a wish that came true, though I've not had the starry night experience - so much rain!. There has been lots of music, silly jokes, a donation (through sudden tears) to the hospice where Barry was cared for, and lots of flower arrangements. I have plenty of time and used some of it to finalise my Desert Island Disc selection over a couple of pleasant evenings. I made a promise to myself to use my word for the year to support me every day, and I made contact with more people (I had to be brave and risk rejection...). I have made up my mind to keep going till the end of November with it.
There are still problems and dark days - a funeral I couldn't attend, but this daily focus on achieveing something helps me along, makes me stronger.
All the restrictions are for the sake of helping one another after all, and though still some way off an end is in sight.
And the forest is still beautiful, even on a rainy day
..about something you have been dithering about.
Do you find yourself thinking 'I could just do it tomorrow' these days? Especially if you are in lockdown?
Such daily dithering over small decisions had become a habit until recently when my word for the year came to my rescue. My word is stronger (did you choose a word way back then?). What a choice for this challenging year! But wouldn't it be wonderful if I feel a stronger person at the end of it?
So when I found myself thinking Will I do this now or will I just leave it till tomorrow ' I made myself ask Would it make me stronger to do it now? The answer is not always yes, but it usually is!
Would it make me stronger to deal with this issue?
Would it make me stronger to take this action?
I can ask this question of almost any thought and yes, I feel more positive, more active and happier.
It might be tthat you have been dithering over a big important decision. Try asking this question and think of the relief you will probably feel when you have made up your mind!
I think my duck is looking longingly at this beautiful lake...thank you Liz!
Blue Zone researchers say that 5 - 6 hours of social contact each day is common among the happiest and longest living people on the planet. Currently some of us are lucky to get 5 - 6 hours a week!
So maybe we can all help by making contact with someone. Perhaps someone we like but have not been in touch with for a while, or with a neighbour, or someone who lives alone. It can make all the difference in the world to everyone's wellbeing and is free, easy and takes little time. It can even be as simple as making eye contact over your mask. A call, a text, a smile, a card, a wave, a comment here :-) Or a regular letter to anyone you know who doesn't for whatever reason use the available technology.
I think this is a really important contribution. Would you agree?
You;ll be glad you did.
It's very rarely that if I push myself to make a little more effort I regret it afterwards.
They say A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.
Well I call them wild flowers, though those reeds are definitely weeds and the alchemilla has become a weed, but I do need to make more effort here, and I'll be glad I did come Spring!
I was interested in this article by Mariella Frostrup about the escalation of intolerance she sees, and the volatiltiy of emotions (see second paragraph of her reply). Big challenge, big effort required.
Publlc promises are not often demanded of us today. To love honour and obey, to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, on my honour I promise that I will do my best.....
Politicians make them publicly all the time, rather rashly it sems to me..
Promises kept engender trust but broken promises cause many a heartbreak and much shame, so it's important to think carefully about what promise I will make.
I have in mind a small private promise to myself. One that will improve my life, or someone else's, one that will make the world even a tiny bit better, one that will make me happier or more content, and importantly, one that I know I can actually keep.
Will you make a promise?
I've been thinking this over for a couple of days and have decided what my promise will be (of more later...)
Do you find that walking helps you think clearly? As it was a nice mild morning I walked to The Egg Shack up the glen....
for something you really want to do is the eighth item on my making it through list. If you are one of the millions who are still working hard to keep our countries functioning this is especially important for you! And harder I expect.
I have more time than I have had for years, but the things I really want to do that don't involve friends and family, I have rather lost sight of...
There are lots of things I ought to do, and am doing - putting my house in order is feeling good as I get many neglected jobs done. But I am finding it hard to think of what I really want to do. I want to overcome the mental and physical lethargy that threatens all the time, and my list is helping with that.
I have been wanting to finish my Desert Island Discs selection for a while, so maybe I should do that so that if I suddenly get famous and they invite me onto the programme I will be ready. :-)
What do you want to make time for?
Time for a snack, and pears are at their juicy best.
Or sweet clementines from Spain? Tree ripened and hand picked, in a wooden basket.
I adore flowers. There;s no such thing as too many as far as I'm concerned and I have posted hundreds of photographs of flowers in the house. So much joy! But also on a deeper level, beauty that sustains me.
Do you have flowers in your house?
I grow them, paint them, buy them and pick them from the fields and shore and hedgerows. I can be as thrilled with a tiny branch in a jam jar as an extravagant bouquet, and love both.
Lately I have been buying a mixed bunch from the supermarket and dividing it into small posy glasses (shot glasses I bought ten of them for 50p each in a Habitat sale once upon a distant time). One sits by the kettle, one by the bed, one on the bathroom window ledge, one under the sitting room lamp...with a twig or two from the garden a £3 bunch can go a long way.!
They are the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning.
A little spark of joy to start the day.
What could be nicer?
Will be thinking about you tomorrow PennyL.
Give because it makes you feel good! I have heard that attitude criticised , but I don't agree that it is impure or less worthy. We are few of us saints, and if two people are happier - the giver and the receiver, so much the better I think.
Having just given myself yet another haircut - I am getting quite good at it - I thought I would donate what I would have spent on haircuts since my last professional one in February.
As well as cash (around ten billion pounds is donated to charities in uk each year) we can give time, love, smiles, a hand, advice, support, attention, gifts.....or the benefit of the doubt. There are a million ways to give, and we are all giving, all the time.
It's one of the loveliest of human traits, without which let's face it we would not have survived, and it's especially touching from a young child. At a school fundraising fair at Heather's primary school I admired this little plastic necklace and she instantly bought it for me with her pocket money. It gives me a warm feeling in my heart every time I look at it and wear it.
If you didn't laugh you know you might cry.
Here is a collection of sick jokes - they are all about coronavirus!
Some good, some awful.
This one from a friend did make me laugh
If you want to have a big family dinner at Christmas kill a turkey and invite 20 people to the funeral.
And a wry smile at this one
I'll tell you a coronavirus joke, but you'll have to wait two weeks to see if you got it.
Know any good ones?
..on my make it rhrough list is make music.
Time for an update on my Desert Island Disc choices. (See under Simply Listen in sidebar.)
So far I have Beethoven, Mozart, Oscar Peterson and Pablo Casalsand I have been enjoying some of your choices too.
I could not miss out this one which lifts my spirits every time and makes me long for Italy.
I suggest full screen and full volume!
What do you think?
...upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Or so the old song goes. Everything your heart desires will come to you.
I listened to twelve versions of the song and I couldn't find one I liked enough to share. Now I wish I could get it out of my head! I have been humming it, singing it and whistling it for days.
So, I will go for the real thing. You know how I like the real thing. I am watching the weather waiting for the first starry night, when I will wrap up warm and sit on the porch with a drink and choose which wondrous star to wish on.
But the wish of course, must be secret, or it won't come true..
Cakes and memories;
Though not quite in the Proustian manner I have been remembering cakes past...
Home made cakes to die for at Open Garden days in English villages, pasteis de Belem near Lisbon. rasberry torte in Berlin (Scottish respberries!), Mary's Pavlova at the Christmas Tree parties, ricotta lemon cheesecake from the Co-op in Venice (on the cheese counter - I didn;t realise I was buying cake!), sticky baklava in Cyprus, warm fondant fancies from Betty's on a very hot day at the races in York.
We all have our favourites and our special cake memories. I still have some coffee and walnut cake in the freezer which I made for the visitors I hoped could come. I did share some with a friend who came on a rainy day so we ate it sitting in the greenhouse.
Today I made marble cake which also freezes well.
I've had a lovely cake day and it's taken my mind off you-know-what! Thinking of our American blog friends.
Did you make a cake?
Would love to know your special cake memories.
Don't miss Gwendoline's chocolate cake recipe in the commentson this post.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)