Tuesday, December 27, 2011


As for many folks, I suppose, at the end of the year I reflect back and look forward. Whenever I have a performance appraisal meeting, my boss always asks me what have been my successes in the last year – my mind always instantly goes blank! It’s a bit like group photographs – I quickly look to see if I don’t look too awful and based on that I may or may not spend time looking at the rest of the picture. It’s too easy only to see, hear or recall the negative, the not so good. It’s all too easy to take the blame when things go wrong or to worry about the worst happening. It is too easy to rail against fortune.

Despite knowing these things, I don’t expect to change overnight. I am not going to make a New Year’s resolution to ‘always look on the bright side’. I’ll just keep trying.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.
Dalai Lama

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
Dalai Lama

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

Dalai Lama

After those quotes, one from a novel might seem a bit strange but I liked it:
“It felt strangely grown-up too, as though that’s what being an adult was – the ability to know which secrets needed keeping. And which lies will save the ones you love.(Matt Haig: The Radleys)

Secrets and lies are not really good things, though sometimes, in life, we learn that silence is the best policy. We don’t have to say out loud everything we are thinking.

And keeping busy is always a good thing. As I posted on Twitter recently,  my dad never let me say I was bored- ever - it has been a lesson for my life.

In a recent e-mail chat I posited this (what do you think?): moving away from secular notions of ‘goodness’, which are still relevant and shouldn’t be belittled, I do feel that we all have to keep working at transformation through kindness, even when it seems hopeless and indeed, sometimes it is fruitless but we need to keep trying – perhaps for the sake of our own sanity?

I am not always kind, certainly not in my head, but I’ll keep trying. I don’t always keep busy with useful, positive activities; I’ll try to do better. I will remember that there are times when it’s best to stay quiet.

And I'll keep Cornwall close to my heart.

(sorry I cannot remember which website this pic came from)
And I'll be in the garden if you can't find me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Harissa and Hastings

Back from a smashing day out in Hastings with two best friends. Picked them up at St Leonards, drove to the Sheds in Hastings, then coffee, a mooch about, a nice lunch, more mooching, more coffee and then dropped them back at the station.

All I bought was two tins of Harissa paste from a great Moroccan shop and a little tiny present.

Seriously, what could be nicer than spending time with good friends? The weather doesn't matter and everyone around seems to feel the happiness you exude.

I saw this Wordsworth poem in a cafe, and liked it:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. --Great God! I'd rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├Ęd horn.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

chocolate ginger

Chocolate ginger always reminds me of my Dad - he loved it! The holiday season may not really be about stuffing ourselves with goodies but I cannot see how it's a bad thing if a sweet (or four) reminds me of Christmases Past.

Bought a few new shiny baubles this year but haven't put them up yet. I did get this nice gel burner too and have put it on display already.

Christmas Past - tangerines in stockings and midnight vigil with my Mum (no-one will go with me nowadays). Everyone I loved close to me geographically.

Christmas Present - a time to get in touch with friends and family spread so far around the world. It's sort of my 'job' to keep everyone together - self-appointed :-)

Christmas Future - the whole point about being human is that we do not know what the future holds. Maybe this time next year we'll be millionaires! Or maybe we'll have forgotten any unhappinesses, stresses and strains of 2011 ... because, after all, who knows what a year will bring to our perspective?

Flames are lovely for helping us reflect aren't they?