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Monday, 29 October 2012


today i have 

kissed a friend a fond farewell,

consoled another housebound through injury,

and wished yet another the returns of the day.

i worked through the cold this morning,

soaked in unexpected sunshine at lunchtime, 

and drove home using headlights in the dark.

i arrived home to a house smelling sweetly.

pulled on a favourite jumper to keep warm.

and poured over pictures of last week.

i always think every picture tells a story, 

somehow this is the one that sticks.

so as we get on with dinner and our evening,

remember my friends,

you are loved.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Extra hour

This morning I opened up my mail, and there was a marketing message from Fat Face, but the first sentence started 'What will you do with your extra hour to-day?' following the clock change last night.
It got me thinking. My normal reaction when the clocks change is to immediately think I can have an extra long lie in (the habits of a lazy English student have never left me).
This morning though I had to be up at 6, as it was farewell to a German exchange student who has been with us all week, so new time it is now only 10am, it feels already like it should be mid-day.
We all long for extra time and space in our lives- to-day we have the gift of an extra hour of time. So what will you fill it with? More jobs? sleep? Space to read and reflect? Spending time with friends and family?
As the darkness of autumn and winter draw in, this is the day of the gift of time, and I intend to make the most of it. To-day will not be filled with washing, and work, to-day I will enjoy the space, make the most of the calm and be thankful.


Saturday, 27 October 2012


Tonight it was freezing, but it didn't stop us going out for an early firework show. Standing with several layers on, hats, gloves and feet going numb,  it was still worth it.


can you see it?

this week has, at times, blindsided me. there has been bad alongside the good. through it all there has been a sense of contentment. a contentment to be where i am right now. i may not see through the situation i find myself in but i am happy, happy within myself. 

as i have gone about life this week i have again noticed the trees. this tree i shared with you a couple of weeks ago has turned from this: 

to this:

this tree at the bottom of my neighbours garden has turned from this: 

to this:

as i looked at the photos this morning i was looking at the colour changes, the leafs dropping, proof that the season is indeed waning and winter is drawing in. but what i saw was something i missed. perhaps you saw it? (you might need to click to make the photos bigger) with fresh eyes i realised i caught a bird in flight in the third photo. i can honestly say when i took it i didn't see it. i didn't see it when i uploaded it from my camera to the computer. i didn't see it until i was comparing which shots to include here and even then i was still focusing on the tree. it made me think you can focus so much on one thing, something you think is so important to your story that you forget to see what is right there in front of you. it might be smaller than you. it might be quicker than you. it might seem less vibrant to you but it's there, waiting. waiting for you to see it. sometimes we need to look harder, other times it jumps up and down and waves its arms under our noses to get our attention. on more than one occasion this week things have happened that i have not expected. life is a journey with twists and turns, the interactions are what make it. look for them, you may not always understand them but good or bad life is richer for them. 


Wednesday, 24 October 2012


tonight we are holding loved ones, especially little loved ones close. 


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Long term plans

Well, after months of talking about  it since the Olympics I have finally done it, and made a long term plan. This is a plan that goes over several years, and accepts that it is not as I'd want it now.
So what you might ask have I done? Well, last year we moved house, and the house we bought was covered at the front by a 'Virginia Creeper'. For those of you not up on plants it has lots of green leaves, no flowers, but what makes it special is in the Autumn the leaves turn a beautiful shade of red.

However, there is one problem with this. The rest of the year it is just green, but also it takes on triffid style tendencies to the extent of growing tenderils over the windows, and even when cut back it will not be thwarted in it's attempt to take over every available part of wall and window space.

I love wisteria's and have always looked longingly at the houses in spring that are covered with the hanging purple flowers, and the effect of the cottage garden created. We talked to our gardener, to grow a wisteria at the front of our house will take at least 10 years, now that's a commitment to get what we want. However, providing the unexpected doesn't happen there is every chance we will still be living here in 10 years. So, the Virginia Creeper has been dug up, and a wisteria has been planted. At the moment it looks small and has a lot of wall to cover. However this is about putting down roots, leaving our piece of nature as a legacy that in 15-20 years time will hopefully look awesome in the spring.

For now I'm taking the step and going for the 10 year goal. If I can start with plants who knows what will be next, but it's a step in the right direction.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Evening Gift

After a day of household jobs, out on an errand I was given an unexpected evening gift.



Webs Part 2

This morning was foggy, but as I left the house the spiders had been busy again, and the effect was stunning. From far away the webs just looked like a haze of white, up close the interconnections and weaving was beautiful.

And it got me wondering- so often life can feel so messy. Conflicting demands of work, home life, kids activities, homework and church so often mean that by the time I get to the weekend it feels like a lot has been done, but nothing quite as well as you would want it. Too often there is not enough time, tiredness arrives and tempers fray. It's Saturday, and the washing baskets are overflowing, the hamster needs cleaning out and food needs to be bought, I am not organised.
In yet I can see beauty in other's lives around me; small things that are done that make a difference to other people, those connections even if only via text that make a difference in the week. Maybe too often we don't step back and see the overall pattern, the paths that are made and gain that sense of perspective. There is beauty within the haze, that is being created within our fragility.
Now on with the washing.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

it got me thinking

have you ever felt as if you are walking backwards, uphill, through treacle, pulling a buggy containing two children and a pack on your back with everything you need for you and them for at least one day, if not the whole month?

sometimes life can be hard. there are always periods that hit you harder than others. jane refers to them as seasons. i like that. the idea that they should last no longer than three months.

this season has been long (longer than three months) and harder over the last couple of weeks. the kind of hard that is perceived as never catching a break. now, don't get me wrong, there are people who have it a lot harder than i, in fact i can think of two right now. but sometimes when reserves are low, tiredness creeps in and everything is magnified. it's true what they say; sometimes things really do feel worse in the dark.

yesterday was a busy and long day. i was told on more than one occasion that i looked tired. last night my smile and pithy response thinly veiled my annoyance at what i thought was stating the obvious and not at all helpful. after a nights sleep i realised it was people genuinely showing care and concern for me and how could i have thought as i did?

it got me thinking. 

what else have i missed over the last two weeks? what else have i glossed over whilst caught up in the worry of my own troubles?

i recalled;

the evening i turned up at my sisters house at my nephews bath time. at the shout of "auntie emma" i popped my head round the bathroom door; two enormous toothy (and not so toothy) smiles excitedly greeted me. i saw and felt the love for me.

a work email sent routinely chasing daily business matters. a divergence in conversation complementing my words enabled me to let go of my fear and share this on-line space with my acquaintance. i was bowled over by how my thoughts, expressions and photographs in the land we call blog had touched them, caused them to re-asses what they were doing, resolving to take that well deserved days holiday, it was, after all, their birthday. i experienced overwhelming encouragement.

the night i sat amid tears and finally let go of my worry and asked for help. realising that my independent streak is not always as good a streak as i perceive it to be. i was met with a listening ear, reassurance that they knew how i felt, honest advice and a hug i wanted to melt into and stay there. i was met with kindness, acceptance. of me.

the smile raised as my seven year old niece asked "how old do you have to be to go on telly?" her six year old sister followed the enquiry with "when you are on a tv show do you live in the telly?" i was reminded of the innocence of children, their lack of fear of asking questions. reminding me to stay inquisitive.

jane sharing the post she wrote last week on letting go on the blog that inspired her and i to realise what we were holding onto. i found the blog through a friends activity on facebook (thank you helen). when jane's post was shared there (producing in a spike in our views from the usa) i logged on to like the page. an email of thanks to me for liking, resulting in an email of thanks from me for writing. actions that encouraged us both. i was reminded how a simple act of interaction can cause a chain reaction.

last night i went to choir practice. for the first time we tackled singing in the rain. realising the song is sung as a solo by gene kelly in the film none of us knew the harmony. our pianist patiently drills the part on the piano and sings along with us. did i mention i was tired? this morning, still in the fog of exhaustion, i remember the harmony, well, most of it along with the timing. i am glad i laughed and let go of the tiredness to embrace the moment. i am rewarded by realising that being the sum of the parts can be just as rewarding, if not more so, than standing alone.  

what did i miss?  that if we let go and are willing to be open to new experiences, work hard when required, be willing to be taught by and to teach others, then maybe, just maybe the backpack we all carry will feel lighter.

tonight i am sat home alone. heating on full blast, i am fully clothed with added jumper and socks under a blanket at my computer. i am shivering but my cheeks and forehead are hot. i know that all i need is an early night and a lot of fluids. but tonight i am grateful that despite a temperature and advancing headache all feels better this evening. i don't have to wait for the morning. the darkness holds no fear tonight.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Welcome break

After the issues in the week, it was good to get away at the weekend.  We piled in the car and went to the beach, the sun shone,  and even though the signs of the end of the season were visible, a paddle in the sea still tempted.
After the beach coffee was needed- and a haunt found with a great collection of lights, plus time for shopping in between.

It was the perfect escape after the week, and though I may be practising learning to let go, the time provided an opportunity to still enjoy time together. 


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Letting Go

This week has been one of those challenging weeks. Ellie is in the last year of primary school- and as a move towards the independence that will come with secondary school she has started twice a week walking home with a friend.
Things haven't gone particularly smoothly, and mistakes have been made, to-days mistake ended in tears.  My natural reaction at that point is to go to 'if I had been there it wouldn't have happened', and then immediately go to the guilt. I also want to protect; maybe Ellie shouldn't walk home without me anymore, or at least not for a few months.
In yet, without allowing independence there is no opportunity to learn from mistakes, to do that 'growing up' of dealing with new situations, and learn from what happens.

At the moment I am following a series of readings on letting go; and it strikes me again how easy it is to keep hold of things, to live in the comfort and security of what we know.  As a parent I find it hard to let go of my children- I still crave their time, energy and conversation, yet I have to let go, knowing that this is so important to the route to adulthood.
At work it is sometimes hard to let go of things you have invested so much of yourself in, yet this week I have done that very thing. It is part of having to adapt to change, to not cling on.

Tonight I was given some acorns.

It was a reminder that as acorns become oak trees, so also we can grow to become the people we are meant to be, however old we are. I think letting go is part of that process.


this mornings internal jukebox


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

late night, early morning.

last night i walked to our local off license, i realised i needed to be in a warmer coat. this morning i opened the bedroom curtains to see frost on my kitchen roof, sparkling in the early morning sunlight. i was late to bed last night but i woke early. wearily i dragged my tired bones downstairs. i was hit by a shaft of light in my hallway illuminating my christmas flowering cactus, budding, building up to dazzle in the coming months.

in the kitchen again sunlight holds my gaze. i am drawn to the beautiful tree that is at the bottom of my neighbours garden. i am in awe as it continues its autumnal display.

adding a scarf alongside my coat i leave for work. i think of jane as i observe two spiders webs spun on my gatepost glistening with dew in the morning sunlight. my car sits on the sunny side of the street. mother nature having done the defrosting for me, i turn it around, exchanging waves with a neighbour who waits for warm air to kick in and clear his fogged windows.

arriving home tonight i am greeted by the smell of a neighbours newly painted front door.

walking inside, i cast off the day. sitting cheerily in my living room; the sunflowers i bought as a treat for myself this weekend.  

settling in for the evening; the oven goes on to cook dinner, a glass of wine is poured, a reminder is set on the tv. an early night is calling but not before watching the semi finals of the great british bake off. a quiet evening after a full day. tonight sleep will come easy. i was glad tonights plans were subject to a friends raincheck.


Monday, 8 October 2012


Over the last few weeks I have noticed more and more spiders making their homes in the garden. To-day it has been wet all day, and the dew drops are hanging in the air, as if illuminating the webs, nature on full display.

I'm still looking for the spiders......