Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's Feast - #185 AND Friday Fill-ins

The Chef at Friday's feast is still on holidays, so this week, I've used the questions from a feast I missed a few weeks ago. If you'd like to play, use these questions or go over and select your own feast to use.

What does the color dark green make you think of?

Just now, it made me think of a coat my sister had when I was a teenager, and when she stopped wearing it, she passed it on to me. I thought it was so elegant. It was dark green, stiff velvety fabric, and it had a dark green "fur" collar. It was warm and felt wonderful. I wore it until the day a woman with the word cheap written all over her admired it as I stood at a bus stop. Never wore it again.

How many cousins do you have?

I need my fingers and toes, and back to my fingers to work that out. Four Touhys, three Horrigans, three Quanes, one Coughlan, three O'Farrells, three Eatons (that's on my mother's side). And then three Maguires and seven Hipwells on my father's side. That's 27. I'm in trouble if I counted wrong!

My sister is the eldest of all those grandchildren on my mother's side, and now that all my aunts are gone, and my Mum's in a nursing-home, she's become the matriarch of the clan. She keeps in touch with everyone, organises gatherings, passes on news of happenings. Most of my cousins are now parents, so there are second-cousins to be added to the list, but that would be too much! So I won't. I love getting together with cousins, because they're people who know where you come from. We shared so much in childhood, it's common ground, and for many of them, having lost their parents now, it's really important for them to still have that link.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how honest are you?

I'm a 10, but only in appropriate situations. I mean, I don't share everything with everyone, but what I say, I mean. I might say nothing, but sometimes that's saying a lot!

Main Course
Name something that is truly free.

Well.... "Money can't buy me love", can it?

Using the letters in the word SPRING, write a sentence.

Some people rarely invent new goals.


If you're playing along, let me know. I'm going to be away (visiting family - catching up with a few cousins, too, hopefully!) over the weekend, but I'll look in next week!



AND... I've obviously gotten bitten by the Friday Meme bug. There's another one I've spotted in a few places, and I'm joining in today - because I have a lot of packing and sorting to do before I leave for the weekend, and I'm a procrastinator! Here's the Friday Fill-ins


1. For me _death____ is the opposite of creativity.

2. _The Kite-Runner____ was the last excellent book I read.

3. I like fill-ins because__ it's something new to try_____.

4. In nature I like looking at _all of it - trees, birds, flowers, water, clouds____.

5. _____ should win the US elections. (I don't feel entitled to express an opinion. You all know who you should vote for)

6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was _Oh... need to go see my sister soon. Can't remember____.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to_having dinner with my two sisters, tomorrow my plans include _offering a SoulCollage(R) session to friends____ and Sunday, I want to _spend time with my Dad and visit my Mum____!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The 123 meme

I got tagged by Nonizamboni at Peacock Blue to do the meme whereby I'm meant to:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

Well, the first two books I picked up - "The Gift of Therapy" and "A Perfect Mess" both had chapters that ended on page 123 - with fewer than five sentences on that page! Can you believe it?

The third book is "The Female Brain" by Louann Brizedine, MD, and here are the 3 relevant sentences:

"Using the body odor of men and the noses of women, Jan Havlicek of Charles University in Prague has hatched a controversial theory about pheromones and the female brain. He found that ovulating women who already have partners preferred the smell of other more dominant men but that single women showed no such preference. Havlicek argues that his findings support the theory that single women want nurturing men who will help raise a family..."

Umm... who to tag? I'll name five people, but if you'd like to join in too, please do, and leave a comment to say you've done so! And if you're one of the people who have already done this meme, my apologies for tagging you again.

1...Julie, the Celtic Lady
2....Sharon, at Grey-Haired Coed
3.......The Queen Bee
4... Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes
5.....CJH at It's the Little Things

Would you like to know what exactly is controversial about the theory?

I thought so.

He goes on to say that "...once the home is secured they have the biological urge to sneak around with men who have the best genes." !!!!! Could it be true?


Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Sunday Stroll

Aisling, at the Quiet Country House, invites us to go for a stroll each Sunday, and to post some pictures to share. Ideally, the stroll would be around my own garden, but since I've still not gone out there to tidy up properly, and since there is evidence of dandelions, docks and other unexpected things, I'm not posting pictures of the devastation that is my back garden today. My stroll took me out around my neighbourhood - as far as the postbox to post a letter and back. It was a bittersweet little walk, because as I set off, I realised that the last time I'd walked the first part of that route had been to take Trixie for her last walk before her demise last September. Part of me had just avoided retracing that path, but it was good to do it today. I discovered some neighbours have gardens that are even more out-of-control than mine. Some have hedges growing right out onto the footpath. One has an old rowboat quietly rotting under a willow-tree, while grass grows up through the holes in the base. My fence needs repainting, but it's still intact. ... Noticing these things lifted my mood a little.
But noticing these things lifted my heart a LOT:

It's whipping around in the wind, so all you can see is a yellow blur, but that laburnum is glorious and I love to see it. The house in that plot has been demolished, but it gives me hope that the trees haven't been ripped out.Look at that veil of creamy-white blossom! Do you know what hawthorn smells like? Stick your nose into the branches below. There's a superstition that hawthorn or Mayblossom shouldn't be brought into the house - but I'm not sure if it's during May, or once May is over, so for safety's sake, I just leave it on the tree!The horse-chestnut is still showing its candleabra with the lovely flush of pink.
I noticed that this oak has grown into a really sturdy tree from the little sapling it was when we moved to live here just short of 13 years ago.
And that even though it's hard to get the paper-thin petals of Rosa Rugosa to stay still enough in the wind to take a decent picture, their scent was on that breeze too. Heavenly!
Finally, along this path I noticed another big change that's happened over the past few years. There's no litter! There are leaves and twigs blown down in the wind, but no plastic bags or sweet-wrappers. In fact, I didn't have to step over any dog-poop either! 45 minutes, strolling in the sunshine, with the breeze blowing... I should do this more often! Maybe next week, I will have some pictures from my own back-garden, but I'm glad I got out and about a little way this afternoon. Hope you enjoyed the stroll!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Quitting

March 24th, 2000, I quit. It was a long time coming, but even in the moment of quitting, the moment when I stubbed out my last cigarette, I couldn't know, couldn't be sure and certain, that that was the last one ever. I'd had failed attempts to quit in the past (longest was 3 weeks - acupuncture; another time I lasted 10 days on nicotine gum). When it came to the quitting that actually held, I did it very calmly, with no great big lead-up, no big preparations, no announcements that I was going to quit (the previous ones had come back to haunt me with recriminations from my son and my husband when I'd gone back to the cigarettes again, so this time, I approached it very quietly). One thing I did do was to quietly let my herbalist friend know that if his offer to fix me a little bottle of something to get me over the cravings was still good, that would be very welcome. He did fix me a bottle of foul-tasting stuff, and a few times a day, I mixed a spoonful with warm water and downed it with a grimace, but it helped, so I stuck with it, just for a couple of weeks.

It actually took about 3 months for me to start to feel human again. It's really hard to describe what I felt like during those months. Not quite here on planet earth most of the time. Like every cell in my body was vibrating and calling out for nicotine (literally, the tips of my fingers, the skin on my face - sensitive in a way I've never experienced before or since - ugh!) I came to believe what I was feeling was the regeneration of nerves. Possible.

I felt lonely. I longed, longed for my old friend, my comforter, my pal, my cigarettes. I didn't know what to do with myself; didn't know how to sit and relax, didn't know how I could read a book, watch a TV programme, make a phone-call, write a letter, have a cup of coffee without a cigarette. In fact, so strong was the association in my mind between coffee and cigarettes, I had to quit coffee too. Decaff wasn't an option, as the flavour of coffee set off the craving for a cigarette to go along with it.

Eight years. I say I'm "eight years clean". That's what it feels like. My house is a smoke-free zone now. Oh, but I still love to catch a whiff of a just-lit cigarette. (Aaah - that heavenly smell!) There are times that I know I could be vulnerable to temptation: on holidays, especially, or if I find myself among a couple of smokers who are really enjoying a smoke (though - watch - how often are they even really conscious of what they are doing?) But the other smells. Stale smoke. Smoke on someone's breath. No. I'm glad I'm "clean" of that.

I smoked for 28 years. Cigarettes were my constant companion. They were with me through all my teen years, all my adult life. I'm ashamed to say they were with me during my pregnancy and in my son's early years. The moment when I realised I had to quit was one that could have come sooner. But I don't see any point in castigating myself for that. I've quit now and that's what counts. I finally decided I had to break the hold "the fags" had on me when a friend was enquiring into the degree of my addiction, and I admitted I couldn't go to bed at night if I didn't have at least 2 cigarettes ina box. I knew I wouldn't sleep for fear that I'd wake in the night and need a cigarette. I had gone out to shops at 2 a.m. to buy cigarettes. I had to have them. I admitted that if I had to, I probably would steal for them. I didn't think I'd kill for them, but I knew that I would steal. That was the moment I knew I had to, I just had to, quit.

For Other Sunday Scribblings on Quitting, go HERE

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Feast

The Chef is on vacation from Friday's Feast this week, but Tina, one of the other participants has offered some questions to exercise us this week. Thanks, Tina!

Appetizer: Wii, Playstation or XBox?

I'm a sad case. None of the above. Once upon a time there was a Nintendo something... Playstation? ... in our house. I was a Gameboy fan when my son had one. ("One more turn... I'll help you defeat the baddie if you give me one more turn") When I had a chance to play Mario many years ago, I enjoyed it, but without young people in the house, I'm unlikely to acquire any of the above. I've been watching what DS2 does for Nicole Kidman's brain, and thinking I need that, but resisted temptation so far.

(Am I going on too long about this question?)... I did meet Wii lately, visiting my brother. His two boys had just acquired a Wii and were busy populating it with a lot of Mii(?)s. Daniel sat staring very intently at me, and then at my son, and it took me a while to figure out what he was at... He was deciding what were the essential characteristics for a Mii like me and G. Well, he had to expand the waistline on My Mii, and added a carefully-placed mole on the forehead - just like mine. The resemblance was uncanny! I was highly amused!

Soup: Would you ever go skydiving?
No. Simple answer. Never. Ever.

Salad: Name a sequel that you think is better than the original movie.

I can't think of a single one. I know conventional wisdom says Godfather II is the best, but since I'm not a great fan of those movies, I can't say. It will come to me later, maybe.

Main Course: Share your most wonderful birthday celebration.
I have to say it was my 50th, last December. I just knew I wanted to have a party, and that I wanted to have it in my home, and that's what I did. My two wonderful sisters came up to be here, and to help with shopping, cooking, preparing, and without them it wouldn't have been such a great night. My friend K from years back travelled, too, and another 25 friends from my writers' group, my work, my women's centre, my Baha'i community joined us for an evening. My son was here, with a girlfriend. My home is not huge, so my guests were spread out between 3 rooms (of course, mostly in the kitchen!). I played a compilation CD of 80's music that one of my brothers had sent, and the atmosphere was such fun! We ate chilli, chicken, Persian rice, great salads and a table of wonderful desserts. I felt spoilt and delighted and loved with all the gifts that came - flowers, jewelery, books, two lovely vases, ... many little treats and sweet things. It was a wonderful night.

AND... it didn't end there, because the most fantastic gift came from my son, who treated me and my two sisters to a weekend in Paris. As December isn't a good time for a trip like that, we deferred it to May, and went just a few weeks ago.

So, my 50th Birthday celebration has lasted right into this year. I feel like I'm celebrating all over again now. Thanks for asking!

Dessert: If you dare, post a picture of yourself making a silly face. Since I can't take a picture of myself right now (can I?), I'll just share one of the many where I'm caught looking wierd. Usually it's all crooked-mouth and squinting eyes.

Well... I am blowing bubbles. And that's Daniel on my lap helping out!

Let Tina know if you play along this week, and/or leave a comment at Friday Feast.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Passing on an award.

I've been honoured with an award by two of the bloggers whose blogs I admire and greatly enjoy. Judy, at Cheery Tomato Productions, awarded me the Excellent Blog Award "for inspired and inspiring writing", and the blogger known to me only as Inkberry Blue offered me the same award, as a blogger "who creates lyrical, heart~felt, honest and inspiring posts". I feel doubly honoured as much of my output in recent times has felt to me like it's been limited to Friday Feasts or bits of silliness.

Now I'm to pass the award on to just FIVE of the blogs that inspire and delight me. This is a difficult choice, as in creating my bloglines feed list just yesterday (Finally, finally, figured out how to do that!) I discovered that there are 100 - yes, one hundred! - blogs that I check in with on a regular basis, each of which attracts or interests me for a different reason, and all of which have their own charm. Back in February, I was given a "You make my day" award by Deirdre, at Writing Anam Cara, and I passed that award on to ten of the bloggers whose posts lift my heart and inspire me. I'd invite you to go back to that post (HERE), to see who I passed that award on to.

So, this time, I'll not include any of those bloggers - special as they are to me - so that I can introduce you to five others who touch me in some way, and I'll have to make a fairly arbitrary choice!
1 ...Laume at Beach Treasures was counting down, in a most entertaining and informative way, to a trip to London and Paris, when I encountered her blog. As soon as I commented that I was planning a visit to Paris, she emailed with some really helpful information for me, and followed up with more. I love her photos, and her art blog, too. As is the way with many of the blogs I visit, I can't recall which twist in the path led me to her door, but I'm glad I found her blog.
2 ... Olivia, at Happyluau writes with deep honesty about her life and her search for healing, peace, understanding. She is inspiring to me in her openness and honesty - and she has a lovely sense of humour.
3 .... Terri, at Tinkerings, shares her life in photos and her beautiful art and uplifts my heart in the sharing. She is part of a very wide circle of creativity and I get to check in with all of that when I come to a new post on her blog. Her descriptions of outings with her grandgirls, in particular, always touch me with her appreciation of their presence, and the simple activities they all enjoy together.
4 .... Meg Casey has a huge, open heart and shares from it in prose that is absolutely beautiful. I know my words would be inadequate to explain, so you should just go read.
5 .... Teresa, at Knitting the Blues, has a fairly eclectic blog with a mix of her life, movie lists, knitting (obviously!), and I love the friendly, homely atmosphere she creates there. I think I probably encountered her during One World One Heart week, and kept going back.
These are five of the excellent blogs I love to visit. I've left out some great Mommy blogs that give me the vicarious thrill of potty-training and new words. I've left out some great crafty, amazingly creative bloggers. I've left out poets, gardeners, photographers, seekers, preachers, elders, teens, Christians, Muslims, Wiccans and in-betweens. I've had to leave out so many of the great blogs I love to visit, but I hope all of you will visit some of my blog-friends that you haven't met before, and say hello.
That's what it's really all about!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is the day...

I was in the shower at 6.50 this morning, and the thought struck me.... At just this time 22 years ago, I became a mother. That's right. My son was born May 20, 1986.

I didn't see him today. He's away celebrating and visiting one of his oldest friends in Edinburgh. Last year, he was in the middle of exams, and wasn't doing any celebrating, but as it was his 21st birthday, I couldn't bear to let the day pass without seeing him, so I drove to Dublin, we had lunch, and I drove back. It was worth it, to be with him on that day.

This boy (man!) is so special. Of course, every son is to their mother. Well, he is! And I'm so glad he's in my life, and so proud of him.

At just this time 22 years ago, I was lying in a state of exhilarated bliss staring at a little blue-wrapped bundle in my arms, singing a nonsense-song to him, with words that ran along the lines of "You're my baby, I'm your Mummy, You're my baby boy, my bonny, bonny baby boy, and I'm your Mummy...." and wondering how the nurses could expect me to ever want to sleep, ever close my eyes and shut off that view of the most perfect being that had ever been seen on planet Earth. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world.

I still do.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

A meme

Diane, at Faith in Community has tagged me for a meme. Bits of it have appeared in other memes, but I'm playing along again:

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago: (Wow!) In May 1998, I was finishing two courses that have had significant impacts on my life. I was completing the 12-week Artist's Way this week (with which I credit major changes in my life, including much of the work I've done since then and the publication of my poetry collection); And I was finishing the coursework for a 6-month Introduction to Counselling and Listening for women - which led me into a Diploma in counselling, degree in psychology, and my current work counselling young people.

[Answering this question has sent me back to the journals I was keeping at the time, and a couple of hours of reading over entries I made during the month of May - Thanks for the trip down memory lane!]

Five things on today's "to do" list:
Hang out the whites.
Take in the other laundry
Pair up the socks
Call my Dad
Get my files ready for tomorrow

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
Buy a property somewhere isolated near the sea and create a spiritual/creative retreat space for women; have my back-garden landscaped; fund a fantastic writers' centre in my town; get myself a cabin in California; properly fund my local women's centre; get another dog and pay someone to babysit them when I couldn't be there.

Three bad habits:
1...Daydreaming (about what I'd do if I was a billionaire)!
2...Allowing piles of books/papers to build up on my kitchen table and living-room coffee-table
3...Procrastination of certain tasks (currently tidying the garden, and clearing those two tables!)

Five places I've lived:
1...Newbridge, Co. Kildare (birthplace. Left at age 3)
2...Limerick city (age 3 to 21)
3...Sligo (21 until 38)
4...Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (38 to present)

and to make up the 5th... Hillegom, Holland for the summer of my 19th year.

Five jobs I've had:
1... Bulb-packer in flower factory, Hillegom, Holland
2... Cook in a prison
3... Payroll clerk/ general ledger clerk/ assistant accountant
4... Tutor/facilitator in adult education courses
5... Counsellor

Five people I'm tagging for this meme:
(oooh! Will they want to do it? Will they say "Oh No! Not another meme!"?)

As some bits of this meme have already appeared in previous memes, and as some people may not feel in the mood, I'm tagging five people, and saying from my perspective, participation is totally optional. OK?... (But if you do play along, leave a comment to let me know, would you?)

1... Becca, at Becca's Byline
2... Lila, at Indigo Pears
3... Tammie Lee, at Spirithelpers
4... Ell, at Pomegranate Tiger
5... Rick, at Hamguin's Hide-Not


Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Feast

What is the nearest big city to your home?
When you add the word "big" there, that causes me some confusion. We don't have any big cities (by American standards) in Ireland, so I'm going to ignore the word, and tell you that the nearest city to where I live is Derry, on the beautiful river Foyle (pop. 105,000). I travel there 4 days a week to work, and I love the drive at every time of year.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?

Really depends on whose secrets they are! Professionally - very well! - I'm a 10. Being honest though, I've busted out and told other secrets a few times, so in personal relationships, I'd say I'm an 8 or 9 as a secret-keeper.

Describe your hair (color, texture, length).

My hair is thick and neither straight nor curly. (Do we say kinky?) It's shoulder-length, cut in layers and it's a rich chestnut-brown, which is my natural colour, but is now being maintained with the help of chemicals. I like my hair, although it takes a lot of work to dry it in such a way that it will sit nicely and shine, and not be a complete ball of frizz. I inherited my hair from my mother, and I like that.

Main Course
What kind of driver are you? Courteous? Aggressive? Slow?

I drive just up to the speed limit, and am usually courteous, even magnanimous at times. But I do get annoyed with people who do dangerous things, and I frequently talk at other drivers - although they don't know what I'm saying... "Put down that phone... What's wrong with your indicators? ... Are you thinking of turning there? ... What on earth are you doo-o-o-ing?..."

When was the last time you had a really bad week?

I'm glad you asked me that, because I can't remember! Isn't that wonderful? I have tiring weeks, demanding weeks, even at times stressful weeks, but I can't say I've had a bad week (as in misfortune or such events) in a very long time. That feels so good! ... Yes, I've been having a problem with my motor insurers this week, but somehow, I'm not stressed over it. I'm dealing with it. Making the calls. Doing what has to be done. I feel good knowing that.


To play along, or to taste a few more feasts, go HERE


Monday, May 12, 2008

What's in a Name?

Peta, over at CreateCraft has asked that people post about the inspiration for the name of their blogs, and go comment to let her know they've posted. There's a giveaway of a knitted scarf involved.

I've mentioned in a previous post where my Blog name came from. It's firstly, because I'm Irish (green, you know!), and when I was scouting around for a name to use, and just beginning the whole amazing adventure that is blogging, I felt very unschooled and Green, afraid of appearing silly or naive - Green, right? Plus, while I don't have a zero carbon footprint, (I drive a petrol-thirsty car, and I travel by air whenever I get a chance to go abroad, but there are good reasons for both, related to financial constraints and sanity), I do care a great deal for the environment. I'm Green(ish). I have a worm-compost bin. I go to the bottle-bank, the can-bank, etc. I do not replace appliances unless they have died. I snuggle in a blanket rather than crank up the heat. Most of my lightbulbs are CFL. OK, OK, I don't always buy local food. OK, maybe I'm only slightly Green(ish), but I'm entitled to the name. And Lady? I don't appreciate being called a lady anywhere else. Elsewhere, I'm a woman. I figure I earned that title. But here, for some reason "lady" seemed to fit... So, there you have it, the thinking behind the wildly original and creative title for my blog..... GreenishLady.

Interesting question, Peta. I often wonder, but seldom ask, so thank you for asking. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the answers!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Telephone

His voice is deep, his tone business-like, almost brusque. If I didn't know him, I'd probably not feel very welcome to leave a message after hearing his "greeting": "Hi. This is G. You've missed me. Leave a message". But I do know him, have known him all his life, so I do leave a message: "Hi. This is your Mum. I've missed you. This is a message." Ho, ho, ho.

He calls later. "What's up?" It's nothing. I just wanted to hear his voice. I just wanted to check in, see how life is, ask how his holiday in Florida was, tell him we're invited to my neice's 30th birthday party, that my week went well, that I'm still enjoying the after-effects of the trip to Paris (and to thank him again for such a wonderful gift), ask is he settling back into normal life, let him know how his grandparents are... just a Saturday evening chat.

It only takes a few minutes. That's us and the phone. That's me and the phone. I'm not known for long, long, chats. There are a few people with whom I can have long conversations - I'm thinking K, I'm thinking M, ... oh... and another K - but the material is usually generated by the other person. I'm along for the ride.

I didn't always have a phone at home. I grew up in a house without a phone (like most of our neighbourhood). Mrs. Hegarty across the road, who ran a little salon where she turned elderly ladies' hair blue or mauve, had a payphone in her front porch, and she was really accommodating to anyone with an emergency, dispatching one of her sons to whichever house to receive a call.

We used phone-boxes to make essential calls - but there weren't really a lot of people to call. If my cousin couldn't make it to work, I might be the one who had to call in for him. (I still don't know why that was. He had brothers. He had a dad who could walk to the phone-box more easily than walk to my house with the message that I had to make the call.... What was that about?)

Phone phobia. That's what it was about. We got a phone for my grandmother. She'd wait until someone came to visit to dial a number for her. She mistrusted anyone who called her. The phone was there for emergencies, but I doubt she'd have used it. In fact, if she did feel at all strange or unwell that March afternoon in 1983,as the stroke that finally killed her was coming on, she didn't pick up that phone to call 999. She sat in her chair and waited.

When I started work, I had to get comfortable with talking to people on the phone. Calling suppliers, customers, the tax office... Learning the etiquette. Realising that tone of voice is crucial. But I've never really gotten to love using the phone. If I've got to make any kind of a call to officialdom, I have to steel myself for it. When I had to spend half-an-hour on hold to my insurance company last Friday (Aaaaagh!), I almost went crazy listening to that really pretty rendition of a really pretty tune over and over, over and over.

I decided I had to have a phone at home on the day I brought my son home from hospital as a newborn. I realised I'm going to be here in the house, alone with this defenceless, vulnerable, tiny little person. Anything could happen! I have to be able to summon help - ambulance, police, fire service, hosts of angels, friends, relations. We had to have a phone installed. And we did. For my son, who has grown up, and who now carries a mobile phone with the greeting:

"This is G. You've missed me. Leave a message."
Other Sunday Scribblings on the topic of Telephone will be found by Dialling HERE

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pangea Day

Are you watching Pangea Day? Get on over there! Watch! It's wonderful!

Or, just go watch This Little Film. You'll love it. Believe me.

Now I discover you can sign the Universal Declaration on Human Rights HERE


Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday's Feast

When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?

Yes, I like to think I do. I've got lovely memories of the sudden smiles of strangers, the "Hello"s people might exchange as we pass on the street. One woman approaching me on a Berkeley street, while I was exploring and obviously looking through newborn eyes at everything, had the hugest, most welcoming grin on her face, and delighted me with her "How you doin'?" greeting. Did I smile? Oh yes, and I answered "I'm doing just fine! Just fine!"

Describe the flooring in your home. Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?

I recovered all the floors in my house less than 2 years ago, ripping out and dumping old, stained and worn carpet. I replaced it with oak boards in living-room and hallway - warm and welcoming when they're nicely swept clear of dust. My study/office has purple twill carpeting. My kitchen has vinyl that most people mistake for genuine stone flags. On the stairs and landing, a tweedy beige/cream carpet. In the guest-room, a plain deep-rose-pink carpet and in my room purple carpeting that's soft underfoot. My little therapy room has a plain gold carpet. I don't like patterned carpets, so got my wish with either wood or plain colours throughout the house. Bathroom has a mosaic-tile patterned vinyl. Complete picture?

Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.

I'm imagining India: immediate IS.

Main Course
Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?

Yes. I remember people at school about whom I heard the whisper "She's adopted." It seemed the only way someone could be an only child.

I have an adopted first cousin, about whom we were all told "She's been specially chosen to join our family".

My cousin and his wife have just returned home from Vietnam with their new daughter, Kate Nu-Thi, who is a beauty, a wonder, a delight to them and to all of us.

When I realised I would not have more children, adoption was a question for my husband and I. He honestly said he wasn't sure he could feel the same about an adopted child as he did about our son. In retrospect, it seems it was a wise thing that we didn't go ahead and try to adopt a daughter.

The person who always comes to my mind when I think of the topic of adoption, though, is a friend who was raised as an only child by a rather bitter and not very affectionate adoptive mother. This friend has always expressed her sense of loneliness, and her envy of my sisters and I for having one another. She longed all her life for a sister. In recent years, she has learnt that her birth-mother has five daughters, with whom she is not allowed contact, and her birth-father, who is now dead, was also the father of five other daughters. She has ten sisters, none of whom know she exists. It just seems the cruellest of situations to me. So near and yet so far.

Name 2 blue things.

The recycling bins used in our area, and the feet of the blue-footed booby.


By the way, the post with my Paris pictures is HERE. Something went wrong whereby when I started to change font-size, I couldn't, couldn't get it changed back to smaller. So, I'm not shouting at you, just in case you think I am!

If you want to find all the other Friday Feasts, go on over HERE Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Tastes of Paris

Paris had its share of wonderful things on show.

Umbrellas that looked like the cutest little ladies wearing boots. Sweet.

Artists sketching a Rodin here and there
(Here, outside the Musee de l'Orangerie..... Oooooh. Those Waterlilies!)

A street of quaint apartment buildings, where it seemed you could stretch out your hand and touch the geraniums in your neighbour's window-box.

La Tour d'Eiffel.... of course!

and Oh!... Monet's garden at Giverny

Sacre Coeur at Montmartre, (and the square full of artists with their wares hidden behind the basilica)

The wonderful, beautiful River Seine (and a dinner thereon at night ... Special, so special!)

And, though some may think it blasphemous of me to say it, a truly religious experience at "Laduree" salon de thé and patissier. See that pastry at the front? It's called the "Divine". The ones at right and left rear are known as "Religueses".

We felt very blessed to experience such delights!

These are mere glimpses, tiny morsels of the wonders we encountered. I cannot share with you the sound of birdsong at Giverny or the scent of wisteria falling over a wall. I cannot show you the fire-juggler we encountered in the square before Notre Dame on Friday night. The beauty of the water-lily paintings at l'Orangerie has to be experienced in situ. The sight of the architecture of Paris as evening gives way to night, and lights begin to highlight its magnificence anew I cannot share either; nor the delight we all felt when at 10pm as we returned from our dinner cruise the Eiffel tower began to sparkle and twinkle like a fairy-thing. I can only tell you that Paris was worth waiting 34 years for! I'm so glad I got to return, and to share it this time with my sisters and my friends.
In the course of the three days we each exclaimed quite often how lucky we are, how very lucky and fortunate to have been there, to have met such charming and kind people, to have witnessed so much beauty.
I'm only sorry I cannot truly share it with you, but I hope this glimpse goes somewhere towards that.
[Added later: While I can't give you the full experience, some people on Youtube have managed to capture the twinkling Eiffel tower. There's a visit to Giverny with some nice music HERE (Couldn't find the birdsong... so sorry!)

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