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.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I missed this week's Sunday Scribbling prompt of "Language" because I was away for the weekend - hearing the same language I speak, but in a different accent. My sisters and I were in Manchester.

Do you know of L.S. Lowry? We went to visit the centre which houses an exhibit of his paintings, saw a film about his life and work, and really were so delighted to have had a chance to encounter his art up close and in its original setting.
It was a special weekend for us, for a number of reasons. We were helping the youngest of us celebrate a special birthday. We were enjoying something we'd planned for a long time, and we got to meet a cousin we'd never met before. - A wonderful afternoon of sharing, of laughter, of discovery and illumination, and really the highlight of the weekend for all of us, and something we knew would have made our mother's heart fill with joy. (In fact, I think she had a lot to do with that reunion.)

Strolling past the city Art Gallery, we happened to spot a banner inviting us to go see "Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci". We didn't need a second invitation! What a treat.

And then, on Saturday evening, another great treat... We're all three fans of "Dancing on Ice" - as spectators, not participants, I might add. We were really lucky that our planned weekend coincided with the visit to Manchester of the 25th anniversary Torvill and Dean Bolero tour. What a show! We whooped and cheered, gasped and clapped along with a huge, delighted crowd. I'm afraid the only video I can find isn't good quality, and wouldn't give you a sense of the event, (well, there's a little bit in that link above, so do click there) which was spectacular in every way. Magic is the word!
Less than 48 hours, delayed flights... the stuff of travel, and still, it was a great weekend. We made excellent choices in restaurants and accommodation (thanks to the sister who is a wizard at internet searches!).
It was all a gift. I feel very, very blessed.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Jamie, at Starshyne Productions, has a Wednesday event called Wednesday Wishcasting, for which she poses a question - what is your wish? - and invites us to post about it, and others to support that wish. This week, she asks "What do you wish to clear from your life?" and the question fits for me right now especially, as there are new curtains and bedlinen waiting for my bedroom, but the whole effect will be spoilt if I don't clear out the pile of clothes that has been gradually growing there over the past year. Clothes that no longer fit or suit, that have become worn, threadbare... that are due to go for recycling, in other words. I wish to clear them OUT!

And, I wish to clear out the boxes of college notes that are taking up space in the attic. And the bundles and bundles of papers from committees I've long since left; notes from classes I won't ever be repeating. Then there's the clothes my son left behind because he has no intention of ever wearing them again. Then there are paperback novels that won't be read again in this house. And there are so many vinyl records.

And in the garden... broken pots, debris from winter, plants that didn't survive.

I think that's enough to be getting on with. And that's just in my physical environment!

I wish to find the energy to begin to clear all these things, joyfully and easily from my life. Thanks for asking, Jamie!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Another Meme

It's been a while since I've done any memes, and this is one I hadn't encountered before. Becca's invited anyone who wants to to respond, so I'll take up that offer. If you'd like to answer these questions, please do, and let me know you've done the meme, won't you?

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.
2. Tag eight other un-tagged people.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT OBSESSION? Obsessed might be too strong a word, but all I know is, with lots and lots of music to choose from, I still keep finding myself listening to Fred's album, Go God Go, much more often than anything else. Even when I've switched the iPod on with the intention of trying something new. I think that's close to obsessed.

GOOD FIKA (coffee) PLACE?. Cafe Blend. They know I like a cup with a handle I can actually fit my finger in, and they oblige. They serve fairtrade coffee and the most amazing Tunisian orange cake. And great nutroast with salad. We're very lucky to have such a great place in our town. They know customers' names. They watch for when you've finished eating, and bring your coffee at just the right time.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU HUGGED? My friend Denise, saying Goodbye and Happy Easter, after we'd met for coffee yesterday at the above-mentioned Cafe Blend.

DO YOU NAP A LOT? I love an afternoon nap! I get up early on workdays, have to travel 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours each way, and come home mid-afternoon some days totally drained of energy. I surround myself with cushions, a chennille throw and a soft mohair throw, and put on some nap-music... 20 minutes is enough usually. Sometimes longer. I love it.

WHAT’S FOR DINNER? I have no idea. I'm travelling back to my hometown today, staying at my Dad's. Usually I have something fixed by my sister, or get a takeaway on the day I arrive, but today, I have some leftover Shepherd's Pie I could bring with me. I think my Dad would like it, because I made it with lamb (his favourite meat), not my usual beef.... So yes, maybe that's what's for dinner.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT? In the supermarket yesterday afternoon - carrots, onions, frozen petits pois, cholesterol-busting spread, coffee, a pack of hot-cross-buns, some sesame-poppy-seed thin crackers, and three bargain easter-eggs, to make sure I'll have enough to share with nephews and little niece.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Occasional traffic. Wind in the trees and the chimney.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE WEATHER? Sunny, not too breezy. A perfect May day.

WHAT’S ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE? I don't have a bedside table. I have a deep shelf behind my bed. There you'll find a gooseneck lamp, a daybook of Baha'i readings, my gratitude notebook and 3 pens, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (started it about 2 weeks ago, but haven't gone very far yet for some reason), box of miscellaneous jewellery, tube of cream for hands and feet, a little colour-changing egg-light...

SAY SOMETHING TO THE PERSON/S WHO TAGGED YOU? Becca, I'd love a chance to hear you play your music somewhere, sometime!

IF YOU COULD HAVE A HOUSE TOTALLY PAID FOR, FULLY FURNISHED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU WANT IT TO BE? This is not easy, but assuming I'd also be given a means of travelling to that house often, then Northern California it is for me. Sea or mountains, don't mind, or in the Sacramento delta. I've seen so many places there that I love... Just pick me up and plop me down over there, and I'd be happy!

NAME THE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT. Well... there's nothing I absolutely cannot live without in reality, but some of the things that make my life so much more full are: all my family, friends, poetry, SoulCollage,

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE IN YOUR HANDS RIGHT NOW? A magical cream that cures psoriasis and dermatitis.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE GUILTY PLEASURE? I don't feel guilty about it - Chocolate, these days.



WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BECOME AS A CHILD? A teacher, and as a teenager, a psychologist. Many years later, when I found myself facilitating creative writing classes, it dawned on me that my first ambition had been realised in a roundabout way, and when I graduated with a degree in psychology age 48, my second one was achieved. Now I teach psychology part-time, so that's both combined!

WHAT DO YOU MISS? Because I now live alone, sometimes I miss having someone there in the moment, to comment on something exciting or interesting I'm reading, think about or notice. I watched President Obama's inauguration alone, and would have loved someone there to share the moment. [But mostly, mostly, I am perfectly happy in my own company. There are just those moments...]

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (stalled, as mentioned before). Just about to start The Power of Now by Eckhart tolle, having finally read and gotten why people are raving about A New Earth recently.


FAVOURITE MOVIE THIS PAST YEAR? Mamma Mia! Four cinema visits, and got it on DVD too. The first thing that made me feel happy after my mother's death last summer

FAVOURITE BOOK YOU’VE READ THIS YEAR? Water for Elephants. Loved it enough to recommend it even to people who are very fussy about their reading matter.

[oops... I answered them all, and forgot to replace a question, so I'll add one... hmmm]

A CHILDHOOD COMFORT FOOD THAT YOU STILL HAVE SOMETIMES? Mashed potatoes, baked beans and fried eggs.

Thanks, Becca! No specific tags…just join in if the spirit moves you
Update Tuesday 14th April. This meme was borrowed and posted on Sunday Stealing - a meme blog, and there are 57 other participants linked there... so if you're interested, go on and see what Judd has put together over there. Thanks, Judd!


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - Celebrate

I celebrate my son's homecoming after seven months away. I celebrate a chance to sit at a table and eat with him.

I celebrate my sisters, and our appreciation of one another. I celebrate that each of them reaches out to me and will be there for me whenever I need them.

I celebrate Spring's glistening greens, banks of primrose, blackthorn in a mantilla of cream blossom. I celebrate lambs on spindly legs.

I celebrate my country and the chance to travel through it, witnessing her small beauties and the great.

I celebrate music and beauty. Yesterday's witnessing of Quidam - a celebration of everything in life that touches the heart and soul. I celebrate the chance that brought us there. I celebrate the gifts I am offered over and over again in my life.


Find other Sunday Scribblings celebrations HERE

Labels: ,

Friday, April 03, 2009

This weekend...

Good things:

Yesterday, I'd just been looking at a clip on YouTube of Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas, wondering if I'd ever get a chance to see them. Literally minutes later - a call from my sister to say she'd won 3 tickets to see their show in Dublin tomorrow! (I didn't even know it was happening)

So, this is the show we get to see. With our other sister.

And my son comes home.

Two really good things.