Sunday, June 26, 2011

reflections down by the river

Went to Rye today and walked up a cobbled street after lunch by the river.
Don't know why but I started to think about a typical weekend form my childhood or early teenage. It would have included at least some of the following ingredients .....

At some point we'd have gone for a walk and done a fair bit of hedgerow foraging. Dad would have told me the names of all the wild flowers and something about them. Don't ask me how he knew all this having himself grown up in the East End of London. He was the epitome of an enquiring mind. He would also talk about country lore and the weather and so on.

Every Saturday without fail, we would go to the local lending library. We would read whilst there and also bring books home.

Entertainment was varied. Dad loved the Old Grey Whistle Test on TV so I was allowed to stay up late for that. Sometimes, we really did sit around and read plays and poetry aloud or Dad would help me make props for school plays. He also made up some great ghost stories himself!

We might play Cribbage or Dominoes or Dad and Mum might tell stories of their own childhood. We might listen to the radio or I might need help with my homework - especially the Latin and French, or even the Maths. Mum might be at the sewing machine and showing me how to turn sheets sides to middle.

So I grew up to be interested in plants, self sufficiency, history, stories, plays, art, philosophy, religion, Mathematics, languages, music.I never really shared Dad's love of politics or boxing - though I'll still watch both of those kinds of 'matches' if the occasion arises!

I wonder if I'd have been very different if childhood had been different? I like to think I'll try to find an interest in a wide range of topics or themes. It's almost always worth the effort!

Thanks Mum and Dad.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

in the garden

Lovely day (between showers!) so I have mostly been in the garden!

the veg beds

the wild bit

mock orange blossom

the bog garden

rockery plants

colourful pebbles on the rockery


kiwi through tunnel window

Saturday, June 18, 2011

worthwhile exercise

Thought I'd try this little exercise after reading

It was a worthwhile exercise. Haha you thought this was going to be me taking up sport!

1. Notice what captivates you.

In my reading list I currently have some stuff about doing research, a few novels (easy to read/feel good ones mainly, though not all), some books of poetry and quotations.

I suppose it’s the ones that spark ideas for me that really grab my interest. But I do love a bit of escapism as well.

2. Take your life inventory, reflecting past callings.

I sort of miss having some study related activity. I have decided really not to do any more for some time though. I want to put more energy into writing.

I also miss my more creative activities like painting and sewing. Perhaps I should actually go back to some of those – or take up something similar.

I still love my gardening but I have realised it is the design aspect I like most so I am going to re-vamp the front garden when I have a nice long period of time to do it properly.

3. Journal on what your calling is (fifty things!).

Planning Sharing Caring Efficiency Testing Music Obsession? Equality

Ideas Promoting Praising Strategic Experimentation Imagery Building Opportunity

Creating Linking Reflection Hope Discussion Multi-generation Developing Seeking

Designing Enabling Reflexivity Optimism Debate Talking! Credit Mystery

Writing Leading Speculation Passion Recording Listening A voice for all Friendship

Learning Showing Consideration Innovation Pictures Guiding Equity Love

Reading Helping

4. Ask others what they think.

The place for comments please

5. Use your values as a guide (What’s whispering in your ear? What will you do about it?)

Maybe I just need to spend more energy on aspects like linking people’s ideas and development together – I mean, matching them together so they each know what the other is doing. This can be done face to face and through writing, and other media.

Still thinking – oops didn’t put that one in the table above!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

oops there goes another rubber tree plant

I can't remember where I saw the saying: if you let go of an impossible dream, you leave room for the possible to happen.

Every so often I get those little moments where I realise that (with all the optimism in the world) I am day dreaming about something quite impossible - or so nearly impossible as to make it more or less the same thing.

So it makes sense, doesn't it, to stop wasting time and energy on that activity? Or does it? It hurts to let go, we all know that. It requires effort too. Sometimes, you just don't want to. The Buddhist way of looking at this dilemma might be that the fruit tastes so good that even though we know it is bad for us, we keep going back for a taste.

And what part does hope play? If we let go the dream, are we saying all hope of that is gone? If we keep a shred of hope tucked away in a corner of our minds, are we 'cheating' in saying we let go the dream?

I suppose that these are the times when I find it best to just try to stop the day dreaming and just see what happens - que sera sera, as my Mum used to sing to me when I was little.

(I am not recommending this necessarily for others who have much greater problems on their minds, much greater and more important hopes and fears. This is just me with my fairly small bits of day dreaming. It's not about the bigger issues.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

a day in the garden - despite the rain

I did manage a bit of gardening today, planted a few flowers out, bit of mulching. Then I sat for quite a while under the umbrella and read but eventually the rain got too much and I had to come in. So I brought a few flowers in with me - and I'll take them to my office tomorrow to keep the holidays going just a little while longer. The scent of the pinks (dianthus) is amazing.

So just some reading now and then I suppose an early night as it's work tomorrow.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's just a bowl

Couldn't think of a good title for this post because I am mixing up quite a lot of stuff in it. First of all here's the first bowl of cherries from the cherry tree. It's also the first year I've gotten to any of them before the critters that live in the garden! The background is my old kitchen table, as usual.
This morning I have spent a happy hour or so (so I was thinking of 'Happy Hour' for the title of the post) ironing rectangular items - quite satisfying in a slightly geeky way. Here you can see linen that dates back to my mother and grandmother alongside my stuff from the 70s and 80s, and a few newer bits as well.
Yesterday, being the last weekday of the half term holiday, I took myself off to Whitstable. The last time I was there I was a bit down in the dumps, all for reasons that were nobody's fault but my own. It was the start of my seaside trips that lasted all through the Autumn of 2010 and began again a couple of weeks ago. I grew up by the sea and had a favourite boulder that I would sit on when a bit out of sorts with the world. I've recalled that the sea always makes me feel better. Is it the salt air, the vivid colours, or the adrenaline boosting power of the waves? Who knows.

Yesterday was a gloriously sunny day, though the sea looked a bit choppy, and I sat for ages with a coffee right by the board walk. I love that board walk in Whitstable - fishermen's huts, shingle, a bit of sand, and windswept but hardy little flowers. I think these are wild geraniums (Cranesbill) - if you look carefully you'll see the sweetie wrapper that I didn't spot till after I had taken the shot.

I was tempted by the oysters but the poor lad in the booth was working alone and every time there looked like a lull another group appeared so I didn't in the end.

Here are another couple of Whitstable photographs.

Then last evening I learned how to play my i-phone music through the hifi and I also read a detective novel (Sam Casey if you're interested).

So nothing philosophical in this post. Just me enjoying myself. Someone told me a while back that it's OK to do that now and then .....

Life is just a bowl of cherries after all.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You ask me why I buy rice and flowers

Confucius: You ask me why I buy rice and flowers? I buy rice to live and I buy flowers to have something to live for.

I had a lovely day out with two best friends in Brighton today, the sun shone and ... I forgot my camera! We had a lovely chat too with a lady in a shop who said the three most important things in life are to read, to write and to dream. That lady should get a blog, I think. This poem was displayed in her shop:

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft, And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one and from the dole, Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul” Muslih-uddin Sadi
Friends, defintely something to live for.
On those times when I have felt that I was plummeting out of control, there was always a helping hand that appeared over the precipice to haul me back up again - thank you.
On the way, I had a good old sing-a-long with the radio. When it got to the Beach Boys ...
God only knows what I'd be without you
If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

Well I looked at the glorious Sussex countryside and thought of all that does make life worth living (even when we are dealing with those people who are EGR - extra Grace required (Jim Jackson)) - and I smiled.