You probably know the starfish story...
so, what difference can I make today?
You probably know the starfish story...
so, what difference can I make today?
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.
Close on the heels of the sadness I feel at the current situation is a vague feeling of guilt.
Especially if I find myself enjoying something! Lying in the hammock, reading philosophy at breakfast, sowing sweet pea seeds. A friend was enjoying the sight of the bluebells near her home until she remembered all those stuck indoors without access to such sights.
It's not logical. (Guilt implies culpability.) Did I start this pandemic? No. Am I doing what my government tells me to do? Yes. Basically they are telling me to keep out of the way, and therein lies the problem. I am left feeling useless and redundant, and guilty at doing nothing.
Lotta wisely decided to swap 'g's guilt for gratitude and I do indeed feel grateful for my very privileged position, and I want not just to feel gratitude but to show it in some way that might help those bearing the brunt of this horrible pandemic.
Ideas please! Talking with friends who are alone, donating to charities whose work is needed more than ever but who have lost sources of income like charity shops are two things I can do, but there must be more....
The beech leaves I picked nearly a week ago have gradually opened their fresh green leaves....
There are not many posts in this category (as I have said before we were taught to be modest about them).
I went out for a walk at dusk and found the road like a river although it had not rained very much, so i investigated and found the ditch which runs along the roadside blocked. Although by this time it was getting dark I couldn't resist going back to the shed for a rake and clearing the leaves and mud that were blocking it - the satisfaction of hearing the water gurgling along again was worth it!
And I got a nice photograph of the house from a different angle as I walked back home almost an hour later..
Don't be shy and tell us of your latest good deed!
NB I'm sorry that sometimes my replies to your comments do not appear directly below but get mixed up and appear in the wrong order. So confusing Weebly!
The good news is that we have raised £1669.60 in our Swim a Mile for Barry fundraiser for Ardgowan Hospice. To the swimmers and to all those who donated so very generously - THANK YOU, YOU ARE A WONDERFUL FORCE FOR GOOD IN THIS WORLD!
The sad news is that Cath, who many of you will know has been a regular commenter on this blog for years now, has had an accident which means she cannot write at present, and needs a lot of rest and care to start on what may be a tough road to recovery. I miss her thoughtful comments, links to new (to me) poets, interesting questions and gentle humour, as I am sure you do, and I know you will join me in wishing her well - it may take patience, strength and determination - but we know you have those qualities in spades Cath!
Know that we are thinking of you and look forward to you coming back to join us here.
On the ferry home tonight.
Wonderful colours, patterns and textures at Scalpsie Bay on the Island of Bute.
I helped with the local beach clean this morning where we collected a lot less litter than in previous years. It could be because there have been fewer big storms this winter, though I like to think it may be because people are becoming more aware and careful....
Have you noticed a difference on a beach or in the countryside near you?
Have you heard of a reverse advent calendar?
Every day you put something in a box and on Christmas Eve you give it to a food bank or similar..
Nice idea for the children and not too late to start?
This outrageously over-the-top escapist gorgeousness is one of my favourite film clips.
What is yours?
I'll start with why shall I?
When I lived in Oxfordshire we spent every weekend from April to October of our first year there visiting gardens open under the Yellow Book scheme. It's a marvellous way to get to know a new area. We had a wonderful time! There were so many to choose from (we often managed several in one day), they were varied and fabulous - grand country estates to tiny back yards in the city and we were struck by the generosity of the gardeners. If it was sunny people would put out rugs and cushions and encourage you to stay a while, the cream teas were to die for, the plant sales were irresistible. I do think gardeners on the whole are very sharing people.
When I came here to the shores of Loch Long on the west coast of Scotland and developed the garden, I realised how many good gardens there are tucked away and decided it was pay back time, so I invited some gardeners to apply to the Scottish Gardens Scheme with me. (This is our fourth time opening.)
I do it to raise money for causes I believe in and in gratitude for all those visits we made.
And I do it because it's the best possible incentive to getting all those projects done!!
I'd love to hear from anyone who has opened their garden (or is thinking about it!)
You will find more posts about opening the garden under Simply Grow June 2012 and June 2010 if you have time for a browse.
I'm enjoying this book by Susannah Conway
'What's the kindest thing I can do for myself right now' is a question she suggests we ask when stressed.
'I can take each day as it comes, and if it's a day that needs a little extra sugar sprinkled on it then so be it.'
More about this intruiging book anon but here is some heartwarming news: Fifty four boxes have arrived at the Syrian refugee camp in Bulgaria and the warm clothes were distributed today. Gil Clasby sends a big thank you on behalf of her Syrian friends. See here and here for the story..
All this talk of treasured objects makes the plight of those who have lost theirs all the more harrowing. Whether in floods here in UK or because as refugees people have had to walk away from all their belongings, it's hard to really comprehend what that means. I look around and try to imagine having had to walk out of the door, away from my lovely home, my job, my country, carrying my children and little else.
My youngest daughter was so moved by an interview on radio (also see here in the text) with a British woman Gil Clasby, who lives in Bulgaria and volunteers every day at a refugee camp for Syrians, that she persuaded her work to pay for the transport of a palette of urgently needed warm clothes. What are needed most right now are men's jackets and coats, men's trousers, men's shoes size 8 + and women's jackets and coats. If you live near me and have any of these to spare, do drop them off or call us and we'll collect them this week.
We recently had our annual beach clean and collected 20 bin bags of litter!
Cath commented that this seems a lot.
It is a lot.
Our village has almost a mile of beach to clean, strung out as it is along the shores of the loch, from the houses on the far left of the photograph to where I am standing at the sandy beach, and because it is a sea loch litter gets washed in with the tides. (Some of it also gets washed out again..to land on some other beach, or to come back to ours another day!)
Winter storms are particulary bad for depositing rubbish on the shore paths as well as the shore itself.
It's a horrible job.
But if we don't do it, who will?
I hate litter.
20 bin bags of rubbish were collected from the beach and the shore path today - exhausting but satisfying for the 15 or so volunteers, some from other villages, who came to help.
As the first flowers come out in Coronation Wood (click top right for more photographs) we had another bonfire and a barbecue, and made a start on a natural sculpture inspired by the wonderful work of Andy Goldsworthy.
Tired but happy tonight....
Next up is Simply Eat - I've really made progress here....
I Googled 'Good Deeds' and found more than 3 million results. A lot of sites with names like Do A Good Deed A Day and Random Acts of Kindness, sites where you can post your good deeds, and, strangely, a chiropractor and numerous dentists offering prizes for doing good deeds!! (A computer and/or free braces..) Chiropractors? Dentists?
And I thought you were meant to expect nothing in return!
Well, that's what I was told..
This is getting too complicated - I think I'll just keep it simple and keep my good deeds to myself.
Charles Lamb 1775 - 1834
'The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.'
I don't have much under this category, do I? Does this mean I don't do many good deeds?
Or does it mean I am modest about them as we were taught to be when we were young!
I pick up litter from the shore path - does that count? But I am actually having difficulty thinking of other recent good deeds. I guess a good deed is something over and above ordinary kindness and neighbourliness. It's going that extra mile - for someone else. Or perhaps being gracious about doing something you don't really want to do. Or putting someone else's need before your own?
I'm not quite sure what a good deed is really....
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)