Believe. Engage. Flourish

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Believe. Engage. Flourish

‘We were not created to be barren or unfruitful. We were created to blossom and flourish. Nobody starts a garden with no expectation of seeing it sprout and blossom. You have to make the decision to break through the barriers and break up the ground. This process is vital so that what you plant in the garden of your life will flourish and produce much fruit. We live below our privileges when we do not blossom and produce fruit in our lives.’

Jamelle Sanders.

dc60b9fce1027faf414479e016a87b57--passion-flower-floral-arrangements Georgianna Lane

have an admission to make.  Once, or twice, I resort to the monster that is Amazon and ‘Paris in Bloom’ by Georgianna Lane was worth it.  I have fallen in love with her work – her photographs are uplifting and inspirational and oh, so romantic.  I fall in Love with the world again.  

I can also sit in my little nest for days and ogle over beautiful pictures and pretty places and dream … so good at that, but I need to flourish, and in order to do that, I need to re-establish belief in myself, go out and engage, and if I am positive enough, work hard enough, I can do just that … flourish.

So what could be stopping me?

Flourish rosesNo idea is an original idea … no success started at great.’

  • The good old Fear of failure – like the albatross around the neck
  • Not always sure what it is that I want to do?  Got many ideas, too many?
  • Out of ‘connection city?’  Don’t have the contacts, the local roots so ‘who you know’ could be a problem.
  • Age related ‘am too old for this’ holding me back?
  • How to begin a new chapter when it is so difficult to let go of the previous one?

To flourish in any aspect of your life, you need to flourish in every aspect of your life.  Begin with the personal, and we know that there have been bumps and sadness (we have lived that long) which may have brought about a numbness of heart, a slowing of pace, a dullness of life.  So begin with the things you love, small things, like nature, hobbies you may have put aside, family relationships, friends … put these in order and your work will benefit.  Starting again with a new business, wanting to change, if you are strong enough in yourself, in your daily life, you will have the courage to change and grow in business too.

One thing I realised, after all these years in a new country, in a tiny home, is that I have never quite called it home.  This is the start, to create a real home for my family, not simply been living here.  So, am off to get myself a pin board to create a visual inspiration tool, create a small space that is my office to work in, bring out the boxes still tucked in the garage and break up my day between work, staying active and have fun. The whole package is on offer.

No longer just working days, or resting days, but days that allow me to flourish.  Once accomplished, the belief intact, it is out to engage with the world.  In this new act of flourishing, of giving to myself and others, that the flourishing will emit far further than myself.

Be more that just be.  Flourish.

Images Georgianna Lane @parisinbloom #parisinbloom @davidaustin 

 

 

No day is the same, and we learn … London you beauty.

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Charlotte-6-1024x683  The Vagabond, Charlotte Street

Some say they sniff Autumn in the air … and I shall ignore them.  The sun is out and reporting from my office balcony with the sun still high, pj’s on (I heart NY T from my daughter and my son’s longs) the view over the lake is stunning.  

It has been an London day.  We all have opinions about this city, she has been trying at times as you know, but then there are days like today when you just have to go … yeah.

My day going into the city starts like this:

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It’s not rush hour (poor wee souls) but the time when I find the tourists confused. ‘Did they say get off here for The All England Tennis Courts?’  Yup, keep walking I nod and smile … good to have the turf sown up.  Metro in hand, music in the ears and there is something about the subway I will never lose my fascination for.  Rocking on the tracks, rocking to the music. And walking fast – this is my gym, London is, walking fast is the trademark of belonging – don’t waddle we do, we stride with purpose.

Met a friend at The Library in Covent Garden.  The Library is an exclusive club – women who do business meet up in Private Clubs, it beats the endless meeting up in coffee shops. Behind a door that continues to perplex the tourists for there is not real entry, the Library is an eclectic mix of decor and architecture.  

fullsizeoutput_7619fullsizeoutput_761b Go electic at the Library

Afternoon trip to Covent Garden – I know it well, it never ceases to amaze.  And wow, the new Petersham Nursery shop is open! For one who pops into Petersham all the time, and I mean ALL the time, this is a gift. Vintage french furniture, flowers abounding, a deli – feel almost like the local has had a little part in the success.

fullsizeoutput_761efullsizeoutput_7622 Petersham shines …

As if this was not enough, off to Mysteries with Paula.  Paula is a PR guru in London and her Hothouse meetings are brilliant.  So, she takes me to Mysteries – for an education on Tarot reading, crystals and that sort of thing, which this c’est moi, has little knowledge of.  But I do recognise the Tiger’s eyes.  Gosh, we used to pick them up on the dirt roads in South Africa or the Scratch patch in Cape Town.  When the little card says ‘ a tiger’s eye is a talisman for travellers, gives confidence and reminds one of the strength within … well, there we go, bought some for the whole family.  

Did I mention the Tea Shop? Let’s overdose on Tea here.  Based in Neal’s Yard, if there is a certain tea you want – it is here.  Sniff, sniff, smell and sniff at all the aromas till I just go back to the Rooibos – or redbush, or roibus as the English like to say.

Daughter says to meet at Vagabond in Charlotte Street for an after work wine.  I keep thinking Vulcan (no idea why) and struggle to find, but what a find it was.  In my naivety I can only describe is thus, and I must say the staff were very patient with me when I kept saying … what … how…by myself…no ways!  Thus:  A wine bar where all the wines are behind glass, right in front of you, with tubes rising from the necks of the bottles.  You buy a card, put down a deposit and get a glass.  A sort of do it yourself tasting thing.  As you wish, you simply slot in your card, select your wine and bingo, you have wine! Choose from any country, red, white or rosé – now why don’t more people think about it? 

fullsizeoutput_762c  Wine on tap. And they serve Biltong.

Now I am back on my balcony.  I have spent an afternoon in a Library, smelling tea, talking crystals, side-stepping tourists and drinking wine in a trendy wine bar.  Back in the flat, the Dribuddy is a new thing to combat the Chinese laundry look.  Sputnik like I hear her buzzing in the background.  The fact that the washing machine gave it’s last, deathly and audible throes does not worry me for I have had a London day.

In this city, it is a never stop finding the new, experiencing it all and feeling alive day. I shall say, it was a good day, don’t you think?

Image: vagabond

 

 

A little bit of perspective …

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6675370c20532372d02c4799b7cbfc88--warrior-woman-tattoo-i-am-a-warrior Thoughts on a Sunday evening…

Someone said the other day. ‘ I cannot believe you do so many things!  Travel consultant, wedding and events planner, concierge around London, mother and … waitress.’  Let’s call the last one as we know it, the waitron thing may be PC but ultimately, waitress is what it is.

How do you do it all?’ she asked.

Then a friend sent me a link to an article about resilience in one’s later life.  Overcoming pain and all that in our Silver Street part of our lives.  It was a great article, and I read most of them.

‘How do you do it all?  she asked.

Seriously, what is the alternative?

We get on with it.  Adapt or die as Pieter Dirk Uys would say.  We adapt … or we die.

Today the shift at the cafe required hours of standing, or rather running around. Busy, busy, busy.  Times I am guilty of frustration at small errors made.  I make mistakes myself, but rather than freak out, I keep telling myself … this is not an emergency ward, the toast may be late, the eggs too runny – I am the one with the ‘don’t sweat the small stuff attitude’ and ultimately the customers just want a friendly face, a great meal and time to socialise with their friends.  

Now seeing the whole shebang from the other side, times I want to literally pull up a chair next to a customer who is yelling and rude, and even remind myself when I expect too much, that these incredible women have lives outside the doors and more:

  • These people I work with in the cafe are doing two jobs at the best of times.
  • Sometimes they have long shifts and leave the cafe to go to work somewhere else.
  • During the week, they work full days and supplement their incomes on the weekend.
  • They are often in London alone, have no close family and send their money home.
  • And these incredible young women, working untold hours, have stories I don’t know of.

I don’t have to do this to survive.  I do this because it puts me in touch with the real world and I see stories unfolding, everyday, and it humbles me.  And I learn. The once princess of all goes to work because I enter a world I knew little about, a cauldron of cultures, creativity and youth.  Many of these young people will work their entire lives to better their situations.  They laugh at my stories of huge homes, maids and fancy holidays yet ask advice on what they should do, how they might one day have a business of their own.  I learn from them.

These women, so much younger, my children’s age, are happy but wanting more.  I hear my own children’s voices in them.  Its tough out there.  Pain happens.  Days they struggle a little more than most.   Like diamonds, they are strong and resilient. When I think of my journey, I know it has made me more understanding, more aware.  

Tonight, Sunday night, I am on my office balcony in London.  Cinderella of sorts.  And in this Silver Street, I am all the better for learning from younger women who teach me that life is for them, for moving forward, for appreciating all that you have been given and never giving up.

Never in my past life of luxury would I have known the blessings of being part of something that an apron, throwing the lattes,  could bring.

The body is broken after such a long shift, but the spirit is better than ever …

Why we all need pain … seriously?

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You know, maybe you don’t, but when you are in the proverbial corner, sobbing the eyes out at your miserable life, in the dark hours of the morning, you, like me, start reading ALL the inspirational stuff of ‘how to get your life back’ or ‘beginning again in your fifties’ sort of stuff.  Ted talks comes to mind.  Grabbing at anything positive until the sun rises and the Amazon returns to your camp.  Did it all the time … when I couldn’t face the reality of what was, what a sh…t storm my life had become.  It works. I was not alone.

But, and I have pondered over this one for a few days, when an article comes along, well meant it may be, that says …’Why we all need pain’ – I just could not buy into that one.

For starters – NO ONE needs pain. Pain is horrible, insidious, breaking of body and spirit, just bloody awful. NO ONE needs pain. Not ever.  And I say this because:

  • We spend our lives avoiding it.  Make decisions NOT to inflict it on others and try not to ever be the recipient of it.  
  • It happens, but it is never a good thing.  So you get through it, grow, change direction, not from a positive place, but from a ‘have no bloody option’ place.  
  • Spend your life guarding your children from it.  From the bullying at school, the humiliation of coming last, being chided and mocked – you build castles, fortresses, to protect your children from it.
  • When life happens and pain comes, your children are part of it.  Do you want to tell them, darling you need pain to grow?  I don’t agree – you need optimism and praise to grow, pain distorts, lessens, breeds suspicion. Your children become hardened from pain inflicted upon them.  You do too.
  • Some parts of life involve pain.  Losing your parents, a natural phenomenon to deal with. Your child no longer wants your hugs and prefers being dropped off at school away from friends in the growing up phase.  Natural pain. Getting older, natural pain. Family pets dying, natural pain.  Losing your job – sort of natural pain.
  • Inflicting pain on others. Not natural.  I have done this and regret it dearly, but do I turn to those I hurt and say ‘ Pain is good for you, I have done this for you to grow’ , of course not – I have to live with it and make it better to avoid further pain.
  • I quote: ‘By shifting the focus from yourself to something else, you’ll learn how to gradually let go of your pain and move on.’ Should we not be doing this anyway?  Believe me, when pain comes to stay, there is nothing or no-one in the wallowing but yourself.  Not capable of focussing on anyone else, even puppies, it is all about moi and how you are going to get through the day. Look at literature etc, those in pain, wrote only for the angst – were they going to do charitable acts, visit the elderly etc.  When pain and depression strikes, it is all about you, and only you, and how to put your feet into the shoes in the morning.  Pretty much useless to anyone else.
  • Some forms of pain, like a terminal illness is the worst kind. There is no growth, only despair – don’t sugar coat it with platitudes of growth and insight. It’s scary and awful and no-one should go through it.
  • Physical pain like childbirth and triathlons are a means to a better end. Opted for pain.  Any other form of pain, unexpected or deliberate in giving is rubbish pain.

So, pain may make you re-evalutate, grow, change direction but it is never without scars.  

Scars are never pretty, never.  Even if you cannot see them.

Scars fade. We do move on, and we are optimistic and enthusiastic about life when the time comes. We are never the same when pain takes hold of our lives – and I for one, do not welcome it. Life is too precious to inflict or receive pain.  Let us rather not patronise pain – let us seek to avoid it.

I love reading uplifting articles, need them at times, but let us be realistic and tell it like it is. Pain is bad for everyone.

Image: Arianna Huffington

 

Domestic central D-day

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a5a1ef700126da1d86d24b022fa3608b need an espresso to wake up properly.  Needed three before I put on the gym clothes (yup, them gym clothes) to tackle the lego house this morning. Times a quick tidy will do and times when you can spot the muck out of the corner of your eye at night on the glass of wine and know … it’s time.

D-day for domestic crap. Heavy duty cleaning required. For a woman who likes a plan:

  • Armageddon oven.  Ovens are places where food likes to be cremated and lie there.  Cremation station. The odd wipe and dab will do but every now and then, its time to wrestle with the metal and God knows, this is a job for Bear Grylis.  Ever prepared, did the toxic spray last night.  Nearly f …king killed me, the fumes, lordy, the fumes. Near death by oven cleaner.
  • Broom cupboard and bin.  If left non-sterile, the future home of little mice. Must avoid mice.  Attacked by ironing board, found an ocean of plastic bags (I will use one day) and compartmentalised – one for rubbish, one for re-cycling and one for those pretty used Nespresso caps.

More Nespresso.

  • Descaling kettle and Nespresso machine.  Tea tastes like descaling medicine and Nespresso now confused as to descaling or coffee.  Small nespresso cup overflowing on the wrong cycle. Quadruple espresso.
  • Stove and surrounds.  Hate trying to clean around the fiddly bits.  Can think of a hundred ways would rather fiddle than break nails on gas outlets.  The shine as promised from granite shine, does not shine, but streaks, like my highlights. Over it.
  • Fridge.  I have a Bridget Jones fridge.  Dead cheese, withered celery and six bottles of wine.  Rather easy to clean.  Amazing how the fridge door looks like a murder scene, so many fingerprints, all the time.

More Nespresso.

  • Washing machine and dishwasher.  There is gunk there that would make a slimy pond look lovely enough to dip in.  Soap build-up.  Wish my confidence had so much build up. Pity no-one will see the shiny insides of my machine, but I know.
  • Top of cupboards.  Well, who knew dust would congeal to state of cement? 
  • Floors.  I have a fixations with fluff and dust.  London specials both.  Brush, mop and on the knees to wipe clean and get into those little crevices – I hate my life.

Too early for wine.

54c131321d66f_-_hbx-cleaning-habits-de-s2 My kitchen and living room – NOT.

Serious workout happening here.  Luckily I have my gym clothes on.  Need to tone the coffee, add some froth.

  • Drawers and shelves.  Treasure finds.  Magazines dating back to the Millenium (not quite), expired invitations and that every handy roll of string and elastic bands.  I have never needed the string or elastic bands, but just in case.  Like the instruction manuals from equipment long dead.  Like the pretty blue ceramic pots which once housed my favourite yogurt and I cannot throw away.  Like just about everything we keep, for one day, which never comes. 
  • Bathroom.  Now this I clean all the time.  All the time, except that shitty hard water that mocks me after every shower – wipe as you will, I will return.  Hate hard water.
  • Shampooing of hair brushes, wiping the necks of toothpaste, scrubbing the loo. Sorting make-up worn past sell by date, arranged earbuds, make up brushes, tossed empty conditioner vessels and added to the death of the planet with enough disinfectant down the drains.  In fact, there is now enough cleaning liquids in my home to give me a total high.  Candles to kill the smell.

Under the beds, re-packing of cupboards, tossing clothes (for one day you know) and sorted out the washing.  Is there anything else, if so, the weak, massively palpitating heart will not, I fear, survive more today.

Note:  Apart from the obvious workout, clean, shiny home and frequent rage, cleaning on this level is great for thinking.  You can vent all your frustrations, plan, swishy to the music and clear the head at the same time.  I now have a vacant brain, right arm muscle improvement and painful knees, but I am done.

Wine O’ Clock!

images-73 Damn, I knew I had forgotten something …

Images pintrest, housebeautiful

 

The nestling and being a mommy

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4908cc2969a91e7f66a2d2f61d13c321--bird-paintings-watercolor-paintings  curious thing happened this afternoon.  Perched in my ‘office’ balcony, I noticed those walking along the sidewalk stop, look, one even took a photograph, and walk on past a ‘blob’ before them.  My eyes are not as sharp as they used be, but I could swear it was alive.  

A nestling, all small body and tendril feet, all yellow beak and few feathers sat, fat, squat and squeaking on the sidewalk, fallen from the nest too soon.

What do we do? What do I do? Go sigh, this is a problem I know not how to deal with.  Baby has fallen from home.  Cannot even see home high up high.  What to do with the nestling who will surely not survive but cannot walk away.  Me and animals.  Most of us and animals (except for those who leered and left) and memories of my childhood attempts at being a vet with all those baby birds.  Pushing pulp of bread and milk on match sticks down their throats – I think they did all die.  We had a bird cemetery in our garden.

My childhood heart did not cope well with dying baby birds.  Oh my God, how I cried. Prayed so hard. 

Picking up baby,  lice crawled over my hands – are these birds really infested so much?  The chirping did not stop, but more so, I could hear an echo to its cries. Mother was close.  In a box I popped it, as we do on a bit of paper towel and placed it back on the lawn to observe from my ‘hideout’ up high.  And called the vet.  Bring the baby in.

The thing is, when I went back outside, mother was right there, feeding her nestling and flitting about in panic.  She did not care for my presence, her mind on her young one.   A neighbour found another, we put them side by side, all the while mother close, on the grass, up and over, diving and darting with bits of food.  Together we made the decision to place the babies (at least they are together now) on the top of the hedge and pray for the best.  Let nature take it’s course sort of thing.  And I hear little now, hoping they are asleep and plans are being formulated (the vet told me this) for the mother to get them back to the nest.  How, but how I wonder.

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More than that. I keep thinking about the mother.  God will decide on the young.  The mother, I saw such panic, and such bravery in her angst. Protective instincts in overdrive, loss and panic. As small as she was in this big world, nothing mattered but her young.  

am an overprotective mother.  I have hovered, or helicoptered, around my children for they are my purpose.  This is part of my dilemma.  When and how to let go. For too long I have been the centre of their Universe, and they mine, and what happens now when they are grown and gone.  And how fortunate that I had them close, not scared and far from the nest when they were young.  The horror some mothers have had to endure, like bird mother, I cannot imagine. 

We speak of animals and letting nature take it’s course.  The world will take my children elsewhere.  So difficult for moms, and dads.

sit here now, praying that they will be safe, those little nestlings, and mom will make a plan. The neighbours have been to check, I listen for sounds but it is quiet. Going to pray hard tonight.

Images pintrest, crookedhouse

Popping with positive ideas – and you?

Petersham

Petersham

 “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” 

— Winston Churchill

Like Churchill, I am well acquainted with The Black Dog.  We are great friends though times, like when the summer is truly here, the dog must to his kennel.

One of the many things that arrive in the summertime in the city, are pop ups.  Spontaneous shopping, eating and discovering new things and I love the fact that it gives others the opportunity to show their talents and sell their creations.  Pop up is such a good analogy, now you see it … refreshing and optimistic. As are the ideas flooding into my head on a daily basis.

Quotes on change

So, a few things I have decided to try, or new ideas I am working on this week:

  • Getting one new app on my phone that is useful.  @camscanner.  No matter where I am I can scan documents without the hassle of finding a scanner. Love it, love it. #cool #useful #scan
  • Milk art. Soon I shall be able to make interesting art on the top of the coffee.
  • Writing an article for a friend’s blog on re-branding in your fifties.
  • Instagramming at least once a day which makes me look for opportunities in everyday life.
  • Ditching the old make-up, clothes and files I thought I would use again … one day.
  • Going without sugar. This does not include wine, which is medicinal.
  • Planning a day out, or a vacation in December, getting in early.  This does not include my trip to Paris which is my thing at Christmas time.
  • A new playlist on Spotify.
  • Going to bed earlier and getting up super early to give myself that extra hour.
  • Planting up my ‘office’ balcony.  Added a David Austin ‘Litchfield Angel’ to the pot after mermaids demise. rosa_lichfield_angel_david_austin_roses_lg It was the ‘Angel’ in the name that did it for me.
  • Committing to one ‘quiet and relaxing’ activity per day.  Be it gardening, embroidery, reading or sorting out photographs.  No noise, no distractions for an hour.
  • Begin watching a new series and buying a new book. If you have any ideas, most welcome.
  • Writing for an hour a day, without distraction which is not essentially relaxing but forms a dedicated routine.
  • Taking off my wedding rings.  I am no longer married but sort of hung onto that one for a while, habit, and a clear signal that I was not available. I am still not available but the rings seemed a little redundant and my heart knows who it loves anyway. This was a big pop up moment.
  • And whatever else that is new and untried within my path this week.

If you are as much of a procrastinator as I am, mornings begin with ideas and evenings with nothing accomplished, most of the time.  This week is different – I have listed my endeavours and will endeavour to execute them, which give purpose and positivity.

Just think of the things I could do next week!  And you!

Images fine gardening, pinterest, success.com

After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world. Christian Dior

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1459537177-jaclyn-journeyAngeliqueSmithPhotography Kraak 3CF-188-960x1443Carla Coulsen

After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world. Christian Dior

When I was little, my friends and I would wait for the banksias to bloom.  Small white and yellow roses forming an arch over our garden gate.  Transformed to brides, the petals were confetti.  Petite, and pretty stuff happening in our lives.

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”
–  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

We have loved blooms ever since. Have longed for spring ever since.  My mother planted daffodils, tulips, freesias and blue iris’ in the garden.  Hyacinths in pots in the house. Roses bloomed as did my childhood dreams.  Fridays were for fresh bouquets.

I follow the same pattern. No matter where I am, the attraction of flowers enhances a window sill, pavement, corner stand – art in nature.

My first ‘real’ bouquet denoting love was in my freshman year at University.  Signed ‘Muffin.’ So not romantic – I loved the flowers and forgot about muffin.  Did you get a secret Valentine’s rose?  I remember every detail of my wedding bouquet. The roses at my children’s christening.  Flowers sent by my sister when I turned fifty, in a new country, feeling a little lost. We do that, don’t we, remember the flowers given by those we love and cherish them.

“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.
–  Claude Monet

No matter where I live, rich or poor, my house is filled with flowers.  I need them like air.

Poets know about the power of flowers.  Playwrights do. Artists do. Any occasion warrants these beauties and why am I writing about this tonight?

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”
–  Emma Goldman

Because I could post a thousand pictures of flowers … and wax lyrical about the qualities of a single petal, but I want to say … if you are feeling a little lost, a little down, a little unvalued … I am sending you a bouquet of blooms for you are worth it.

Carla's Wedding flowers

Images: ,jacelyn journey, Angelique Smith, Carla’s wedding

I need Dusty tonight.

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Can I say, I sensed terrible news?  A sleepless night, watching the horror at 4am and by 5am all the messages began coming through.  Are you safe, are your children safe … ping, ping, ping.

We are all safe, but none are safe in this radical, fanatical onslaught of insanity that taints and bloodies our streets with the lives of our children. I am sick of it all, sick and tired and so wary of it all – we are not safe. We are tired, but we are not frightened.

I just hope that all those sad, deprived lunatics who think Nirvana awaits with a thousand virgins for them arrive in the afterlife to find grotesque, haggard, withered and septic hag like virgins to spend eternity with. Macbeth hag virgins. And I hope the hag virgins boil them in bile, just enough not to let them die, but to rot, rot and rot in everlasting pain.  I am that angry. Tomorrow I shall be calm.

I want Dusty tonight. Dusty soothes me.  I have many favourite musical soothers but tonight Dusty will do.

The thing is. The thing is I find it is not just attacks of violence that make me weary.  Witnessing criticism and others hurting others on a daily basis drags my heart down, down and down into my weary feet. At work today, impatience brought insult, customers, unaware of the hard work are easy to judge and throw their unkindness about.  The dishwasher stands for eight hours over a sink and cannot satisfy fast enough. Children with no manners throw tantrums and end up being rewarded.  Bad manners abound in a small space and as I drag my stampeded, battered body and soul home, I wonder at how quickly others judge, ignore, neglect and hurt to the point where animosity and indifference become the norm.

So I need Dusty tonight. A little soul in little things. Moments to sit back and reflect on whether I have said something hurtful today; forgotten how to be kind.

When attacked, we rally with human kindness and solidarity but why do we wait for tragedy to be kind and nurturing?

Sitting on my little balcony, with Dusty, and I am learning. My children are safe tonight, other parents mourn and thinking, what am I really doing to make it better?

Dusty, lighten the mood please …

PS little spider is doing well beside me.  Her web blew away but she is, as I hope to be, resilient.

Image Rock hall of fame

Manchester, London, Paris, Nice, Istanbul, Damascus … the world.

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IMG_4909 Evening Express. 24th May 2017

I went to the city today. I went into London. Our security alert is critical following the slaughter of innocents in Manchester on Monday night.  Murdered by a possessed young man who dreamt of something I can never fathom, and my grief for the parents, friends and colleagues of those killed and wounded will stay with me.

My children had to go to work.  Many thousands did the same and life does not stop, regardless.  Evil is never far, and I did hesitate, as I did times before, and then with the weather as beautiful as this, I went into the city.  The presence of our British police was everywhere and I, rather than fear, am comforted by it.  They work tirelessly to protect us, and God knows how many attempts have been thwarted of which we do not know.  Friendly, all. Helpful, always.  The enemy now do not announce the battle, but steal their way into happiness to kill.

There was nothing noble in my gesture to go into the city.  It is my home and I had errands to run.  Believe me, as one who has lost two family members to murder, I am not naive.  What I do know is that when it happened, I wanted more than anything for normality, never the same person, but a sense of normality.  So I went to the city, the first real day of summer, to find the worshippers of rays littered across the parks. London is strong and a lovely place to be.

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Of course I am vigilant.  My children have learnt how to travel on the public system and be alert.  But we cannot deny our children the opportunity to live, to go to concerts and meet friends.  Go shopping, to school or the playground. So you fanatical, unfaithful madmen, I cannot see you, will not hide from you but carry on for those you stopped.

Now if Trump came to London, I might stay home.