Saturday, November 26, 2011

cafe conversation

When I was very young, a long time ago, my father used to write me stories. When he was in hospital for a long time, he wrote a series of fairy stories for me which I still have. Sad to say I do not have the letters which he wrote when on train journeys; tales of spies, shady characters and romantic ladies who shared the train with him (or so he wrote, using all his imagination).

Nowadays, I delight in eavesdropping snatches of conversations in cafes. hairdressers and shops. Perhaps, some day, I'll write them down. They are innocent fun, harmless and charming.

Just one of the reasons I love my Saturday afternoon jaunts.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

misty sunset

Wish I had a picture to go with this. Was driving home just after sunset and it was a beautiful sight - lacy black bare branched trees against misty stripes of varying greys, pink and light turquoise. Wow.

What a beautiful day too: I sat at a pavement cafe in mid November! Somehow jingle bells from a shop I walked past didn't seem quite right.

The songs on my car radio were autumnal choices too: stories of things lost or not quite gained. But that's life I suppose.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One voice

"One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world." Barack Obama

In Remembrance Assemblies this week I spoke to the students about thankfulness, remembering and hope. We need to be thankful because, in the words of a young soldier on the news this week, that each day is a gift, not a given. We need to remember, because if we forget we can repeat mistakes. We must have hope.

"What is true of the individual will be tomorrow true of the whole nation if individuals will but refuse to lose heart and hope." Mahatma Gandhi

But these things are not easy. Each of us sometimes forgets about the gift of our life. I don't just mean the gift that we have life but the gift that our life brings to others. A kind colleague wrote to me recently: " ... you find time to give boosts to my confidence; I'm not sure you realise how inspirational you are ..." Well, I am probably not truly inspirational but I am pleased that I have sometimes given her a boost. If I was not around, someone else would probably have done it but still I am grateful that I was able to give that gift on this occasion. And sometimes, we repeat mistakes - because we are human, but we try again. And the last one can be the most difficult, even when the sun is shining in a perfect blue autumn sky.

Can your voice change the world? Well maybe it can change a small part of it. When heart and hope are feeling a little wobbly, you have to find one thing to hold on to. I tell my students that when they are in an exam and feeling a bit overwhelmed, take three minutes out to imagine a favourite place (real or imaginary) and to use all their senses to imagine what is there. It is a calming tip that I use myself when I need to boost that hope thing.

Wishing you all peace.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

a week of crafts and flowers

It was a misty morning when I set off for work today (yes work on a Saturday, well I don't have to often and some people always do). I was a bit glum but I'd done the laundry, the washing up, and put the rubbish in the bin. And whilst doing this last one I saw a sight for sore eyes: this little flower bravely holding on amongst the twigs and leaves of Autumn:

I've been upcycling a bit lately too. Started with some rag rugging made from Mum's old pillowcases::
Moving on to some junk shop finds to use as a legacy note/scrap book:
and today some charity shop scarves made into cushion covers:
And the moral of the story is: when it's a grey day, look for some "sunshine", keep busy, create, and if you can feel virtuous by recyling all the better :-)