You were not born to give up easy …

Do you ever think of yourself as a heroine?  Times maybe, often not.  Life just shatters the spell I guess … and we fall and fail and then the music comes again.

I know you dance in the kitchen when no-one is watching.  When the playlist pops up and the rhythm takes hold.  Guess what, that thing about dancing like no-one is watching works sometimes.  We have the moves, do the thing and all of sudden the mountain seems doable don’t it?

So it’s Saturday night and yes, I am with pj’s, face mask and music. Nothing like the days of heading for the night out, but the night in can be just as amazing!  Week done, hard work and who wants to go out to prove ourselves right?  We do our little jig on the quiet, with pleasure and take stock of where we are right now. Great place to be, empowering sometimes, on our own … taking stock of our worth.

Did something different today.  Ascended the heights of a building I don’t like too much, going up many floors I didn’t feel for – its not the height thing, but the thought of too many movies growing up that had Towering Inferno’s and such.  Not a good thought and the Sponge Bob building never on my scale of lovely places in the city. But I did it. I went sky high for a friend, and stood there, gazing at the skyline and thought, another coup. 

We spend so much time climbing don’t we?  We build lives, careers, family dreams and past ‘I wish I could have done this and that’ and we get there, or we don’t, and then we come crashing down at times. Those down times stick … we forget the highs and mud stick is what we become when it’s hard. It is a lonely place.  At times.  At our age, hard is not the word for it. Lost maybe?

Still, I climbed and saw and stood there and then it got me thinking. 

Heroines fly.  They soar and don the cape and bust the world.

Frigging make it happen, despite the odds.

Despite the curve balls, the twists and unforeseen villains who lurk in the shadows.  At the highest point today, rather nervous and timid in the scope of all that was all around me, my life seemed, well small.  Maybe even for a moment, insignificant.  And then it dawned on me – I was part of that history that lay below, my story did count and will if I make take the option to make it.  When you stand so high, so very high, and everything seems so small below you,  your problems do to.

Countless individuals never got to go high.  But you are different.  We have options some never did. Centuries of women just survived and now you may feel like them, but I stood there and I realised … in this time, at this moment, we do not give up easy … we adapt.

Look at the situation and if it’s not so good – go with it.  It will make you grow. There was a time I thought, I cannot go on, and I did, because I had the choice in this modern age to do so.  Everyone struggles, in the past, and now.  But unlike those in the past, we are more able to make the change.  And soar again … believe me, soar again.

On my little balcony, past office of ‘where the hell am I going to go’ and ‘life sucks’, it is now my office of ‘ you were not born to give up easy’. You can make a difference, don the cape and be a superwoman if you want to.

I conquered the fear of height today.  After that, the view was awesome and I realised, I belonged in that view.

Just saying.  To the wonderful woman who wrote saying it seems impossible, I am telling you, dancing in the kitchen, it is. You were never born to give up easy … you were born to make a difference, and most of all, to be the legend you are are.

Go dance in the kitchen. Make your own playlist and dance like EVERYONE is watching! You are worth every move …

Image: Living loving hobart

 

Its not always about us. We have a job to do …

‘Here I am, trying to find my feet and totally forgot those following in my footsteps.’

Struggling is an egocentric occupation.  We are immersed in our own, each grappling with issues at this age that may have been the broken winged dove and though futile at times, let’s just say we have the experience to make a difference from here on, forward.  And we do…

The past few days, oh Lord, help me but I have had this Wilson Phillips song beating a path through my brain – you know the one ‘Hold on’, the catchy, ‘Bridesmaids’ theme – hold on, boom, boom and things’ll go your way. And of course, let’s be honest, the line really pounding away is … You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness
You got yourself into your own mess … ‘  mmm … really … what gives … mmm.  And we keep going upsticks with some truth and hopefully some solutions.

But, and but is all important here … it is not always about us.  Never before has the younger generation been so stressed, so unable to deal with sadness and global scrutiny as before.  I live in a city with so many young, talented and gifted young people … unable to cope with life.  With the challenges of proving themselves, making their mark, earning well and being happy … and failing on all counts for the stakes now, are so much higher than I remember.

“This is a generation rapidly losing faith in their ability to achieve their goals in life, who are increasingly wary of and disillusioned with the jobs market and at risk of leaving a wealth of untapped potential in their wake’ Telegraph April 2018.

The pressure is immense.  Flashback here to moi, fifties born boomer and that final matric day.  Mother says … ‘darling would you like to go to University?  Get something useful behind you before you marry and have a family of your own?’ Oh yes, for sure.  Of course, what to do with the time in between, a nice job, money for rent, petrol and drinks with friends.  Seems good, think I will study Drama, or Humanities, or Law and then all will be sorted.

Did I do the same with my children?  No. It was, study child, be the best you can be, create your own business, be successful, get that pension in place and when you are a millionaire, maybe then you can buy the restaurant/guest house/ villa in France and so on.  It was the way it was and not apologising for it, but in the stopping and thinking, I believe our children, the Millennials did exactly that – they worked hard, hectic school hours, studying, extra curriculums and for some university … and now our super achievers are in crises. The world is levelling and the dream is crumbling.  The need to achieve and be … be perfect at everything is a burden cloak suffocating rather than letting them fly.

Let’s face it – no-one expected us to be perfect by thirty. A millionaire with a trust fund and five figure salary, with future children in the rights schools, a mortgage paid off at fifty and a seventeen hour work day. How did this happen?  Did we take our own failure and insecurities at this age to project it all on our children?  Did we find ourselves incomplete and expect them to be so before they turned forty?  Do we want our incomplete dreams to be their complete ones?  We lived in small enclosures of life, they live with global comparisons – and happiness comes second to success it seems, and in that we look behind to find sad young people, who strive, and fail and feel that in the failing, they are half of what they should be.

They were watching us.  They still are.  They thought us perfect and when the dream shattered and mothers, fathers and others stumbled in the path, they were there.  Mine, well, they were the catchers of mom, the consolers of hurt and carers, for which I will be forever grateful and so this is what I am saying …

Maybe it was good that we, at this age, get lost.  The picture perfect person has cracks too.  Maybe it is good that they know that we are human.  For maybe, in the human mess that is us at times, we also teach them that it’s ok to just be … well human.  That it is not all about achieving but living .. with good times and bad times and in the end, good times again.  That by falling, and standing up again, we are showing them that it is fine to be fallible, weak and lost at times.  Not all perfect all the time.  Maybe life is not about the success, but the road to saying, even we, with all our experience and knowledge, still have a lot to learn.

I don’t want to live in a world where young people are stressed and afraid.

Where the job is everything and success is a stamp that means nothing.

Thinking now… maybe the best lesson I can teach my children, and those young, beautiful young and stressed people, is that life gives us highs, and abject lows, and then the highs come again, not with success, with money or status, but with love as the thread that goes through it all.  Love your job, love your place, if you want more, let it be because you love it, go further because you love it and when you finally, pause, remember that all the little things you do, the people, the hobbies, the home, the garden and the small moments are those you can love.  Fail, yes, falter, yes, we did too … and if we can inspire you, let it be because we were human, young and still young at heart.  We need to inspire our followers at our feet that the ground will be sandy, rocky, steep at times … but always worth it.

If I can inspire these stressed, striving and beautiful young people through my example, it is to not be ashamed of my story, but proud that in my small way, love got me up from the floor, out of the shadows, stepping behind the wings and when it all comes to the light … I loved growing, more than being the best, but being the best one can be. Holding on is great when you realise it.

We have a job to do.  Knowing we are being watched, let’s inspire the younger ones to know that life may bring baskets of lemons, but lemons are the most beautiful fruit in the orchard.

Image: Pintrest.

Working harder than I ever had before, and others are thinking of retirement at this stage … what gives?

If I must start somewhere, right here and now is the best place imaginable.   

Richelle. E. Goodrich

Tell you what gives.  I just added to the CV list. Right now I can claim to have at least four different jobs. That’s what gives.  And more so … I’m telling you it’s possible.

To the little bit of backtracking.  Life did not work out the way I planned. But perhaps … in hindsight … ah well, it didn’t and is that bad thing, a good thing or just a life happens thing?  I don’t regret it, am sorry it changed, wish it better and making it so.

Finding myself, at this Silver Street stage, on my own and beginning again, and in this transformation, getting out there again, working harder than I ever thought I would have to, hustling and loving it/hating it and just doing it. A year or so ago, I was almost homeless, aloneness, desperate and wallowing. Unable to see the future or even make the first move in dealing with it.  And then I thought, it really is up to me, which for someone who had, well, almost it all .. was a very scary situation to be in.  I had a sort of career which I still love but it was always a hobby and not a full time earning situation.  Worked from home, and those walls began to close, tight and claustrophobic at times. I needed to engage, outside of the walls.

Then something interesting happened.

I took a chance.

Seeing an ad in the window of a local coffee shop, I offered my services.  At first they thought I was enquiring for someone else … no … me, and of course the job was open so they had to take the chance on me, and me on becoming a, do they still call it a waitress, or waitron, not sure, but I had committed to a job in a cafe.  The first few months was me, at this age, trying to keep up.  Broken body, tired feet, forgetting orders, but what I did have was experience in engaging.  Being more than just behind the counter, but chatting, remembering tastes, names and conversations.  So what if I messed up the order, we at this age, well, we just say sorry and how is your new puppy? A year and half later, this job, though menial to some has given me a new community and I welcome each morning I enter to fresh croissants and fabulous coffee. Love it, despite the odd ‘what is this poor old woman doing working in a coffee shop? sort of staring. I have found another family, work hard and earn little but gain much.

The job gave me my self confidence back from a broken road.

The people I meet have seen more in me than just the apron.

I am a master of the latte.

I find customers have become friends.

It’s a very long way from my past life but my children are proud of me.

So, I was now travel consultant, event planner and latte thrower.

Last week, I added to my CV once again.  Contacted by a friend, who had a client who was seeking just the right person to join her company.  Thought of me, a lovely meeting and I am now a tour guide in London. Fits in perfectly with the cafe, the early morning and late evening at home travel business and best of all, gives me flexibility in my working life to enhance my personal life.  Having so many different jobs, is possible. I love the different schedules, the challenges they bring, the people I meet and the diary that is mine.  Working harder than ever before … at this age!  When others are thinking of retirement.  Interesting not so? Am willing to put in the hours, do the research, compartmentalise each job and give each true dedication.

How long will it last?  Who knows.  The body is not what it used to be, the future is still vague to say the least, but what I am trying to say is … if you are at that sticky point, that Oh my, I don’t know what is to become of me, I have no confidence or doubt my ability to grow … this random fifty year old something is getting up and out there.

And you can too.  The job may not be what you thought you would do, it may not be the life you had, or wished you still have, but if the lemons came at you big time, at any stage of your life, starting small, doing the small stuff and making your days busy, filled and purposeful, you will find a new kind of empowerment. Just enough to get you planning again, out there with people again, knowing you worked harder than you ever have before and you are doing it for yourself this time.

Pride.  Interesting thought. In the mistakes, the losses, the loving and the losing, it’s not about pride … it’s about working hard to get that back.  The you back. And it is possible. That’s when pride comes … when you take the fall and stand up again, in any way you can.

We all struggle, at any age. This one, just a little more taxing.

Gosh, starting again at this age is tough, but it is possible. Believe me.

Images Pintrest, Greenorc

 

Gone too soon: Michael Jackson on your 60th birthday.

I grew up with Micheal Jackson. I remember with such clarity the day he died.  Was in Paris in 2009, beginning a lovely trip through the continent and heard the news, and something in me died too that day.

Not sure what it was, but it haunted me. Despite the tabloids and drama that became his life, I suddenly felt bereft that some of the music that measured my life here on earth, was going to be silent.  Another case of a sad death in my time. From the Jackson Five, the ‘Puppy love’ to ‘Thriller’ it was the background to, well me. The loss seemed a wasted life of another icon at the time.

Tend to measure my life in music.  Songs that take me back, take me high, strutting to, songs to be sad to.  The personification of the 70″s, 80’s and so on.  From the LP days to the streaming that is now, I cannot imagine my life without music, the theme song to my own small existence. And he would have turned 60 today, a milestone birthday that looms before me.

Just wanted to say, miss him.  Heartfelt him and thank you, up there, wherever you are, safe I guess from it all – you were a teacher to me.

Gone too soon.

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me.

Gone too soon and Happy Birthday.

Image Evening Standard

 

To childhood friends. Bless them and keep them.

And Fox is saying hello this evening. ‘Hello’ I whisper.

I have written before about my true blessing of having childhood friends still with me at this time. For over fifty years of life, a pocket full of friends who shared the early times, the grazed knees and bicycle jaunts, still remain, and it is to them I return for validation when life gets just a little too much.

To find more are spilling into my life. Thank you Facebook for today, whilst planning my trip home, a message from a friend I grew up with, wanting to say ‘hi’ again. The swimming forever friend who, and I did not know, has been through much, and meeting up with her again when I go ‘home’.

What was interesting was her message.  She is happy, fulfilled, and yet longs too for the connections of those who knew, not only her, but her family.  Parents passed. I have not seen her for nearly thirty years and the connection is as strong as ever.  And I am keen to hear it all … the journey.  Like mine.  Those days of whispering about who we will marry (had to be dreamy) , how many children we will have, how successful we shall be – and now, bless us, how much we just want to return to the roots.

Believe me, it is not about missing.  Not about being disappointed in how things turned out, how life has handed us love and lemons.  About the halcyon days of wonder is what we reach for.  The clean slate days. We want to connect for we remember the parents, the childhood homes, schooldays and all that.  We want to be close to purity. Our purity in childhood. And talk about life in-between. Be proud of what we have become, the children we have raised, relationships we had, the paths followed, to in a sense, bring us together again to say ‘ we did ok’ and have someone else say ‘wow’ you did ALL that and good on you.

To talk of our parents.  Of Sunday afternoons in a small town. Of sports days and how terrible we were at hurdles. First crushes and surfboard necklaces that meant we were going steady. Of nuns on bicycles and those awful matric dance dresses. We want to remember stealing peaches from the neighbours, swimming in rivers and Gatsy themed birthday parties. Television crush idols. When just breathing was enough. Just being was enough.

I did not know she had lost a sister. One I remember and life let me forget.

Did the ballet lessons pay off?

Did the education pay off?

Did love happen?

Did we become the people we thought we would?

Doesn’t matter.  We lived.  We loved. We are still the same, deep down and we want to know.  We want to connect.  We are blessed if we can.

Growing up in a small town does this.  We had nothing else but each other and when life and times move us into different places, into other avenues, it is really good to go back and just say ‘you knew me’ and perhaps, just perhaps, those are the friends we have to be with at this stage. Friends who sang the songs, danced in the living room, wrote in the diaries and went to the drive in. To dream of better.

And perhaps we did get ‘the better’.  We did live the dream.  And old friends, childhood friends are the validation that we came from that to this, and make us proud.

Childhood friends have a bond that transcends to lifetime friends.  And I am so blessed to still be able to say .. you knew me well, and you are still here.

Images: smartgirlsgroup, relationsmatters

Mama Mia, here we go again …

‘I don’t know how, but I suddenly lose control, there’s a fire within my soul.’

 

To the island of Vis. The film location of ‘Mama Mia, here we go again‘ want to go and live there, Vis. Third time watching the movie that has, all of us, and I mean all of us, wanting. Happy, sad, on the edge, by the sea-side, all about love wanting to live there. It is one fantastic, piece of entertainment.  I found myself singing, crying uncontrollably (it’s the mother thing) and determined to move to such a place, so much so that I came home and googled Vis. Croatia tourism board in supreme delight. I wonder how many are googling properties in Vis with the hope of being Donna?

Dare I say, escapism is good. Grand in fact for the soul.  Should be more than that. Removes us from the daily grind and should the tempest of escapism lay there, it may ignite some soul searching, with the music of course, into the doing.  For there are times we lament our lives, and circumstances and just wish for beach and gorgeous decor, complete with friends and love in the deal.

Sitting in the cinema with our popcorn, we are transported.  We don’t think about the reality of child care, school bullies, tax accountants and those months of winter when these idyllic places are empty. We only think of vistas and decor, sublime meals and evenings with passion. And then we leave to the gum lined streets and the tube. Okay by me, because in that moment, in that one and a half hours of going somewhere else, we were back in the seventies, with the fashion and careless wanderings. I am crazy about the fashion!

Is it so bad to just let go? To stop worrying about the house, the material things, the heaviness of life and pack a little suitcase and just go … no matter where, but just go?  Would I do it, would you do it? I wonder.

This ‘Dancing Queen’ was my era!  I do believe I need to dance to this song and skip down towards a beach rather soon …

So what am I trying to say here?  Everyone is embracing the movie – the flash back to the seventies and getting all inspired by it. Should I find the dungarees and do the same?  Should I be inspired enough to take the gist of the whole thing and go … there is a world out there for me, one I know but never really had the confidence to explore? Can we, in Silver Street, still take a chance?

Got to get me some dungarees …

 

Thank you for the music.

Mama Mia, here I go again … my, my I could never let you go.

Never …

Images: The bbc and daily mail.

The Summer of 2018. You know how we like to talk of the …

The foxes are loving this hot summer. The nights in particular.  They crash into my sleep with voices unabated.  Are these sounds of passion I wonder, or loneliness, calling for a mate, I don’t know but sounds rather like the former so I shall resolve to think they are very happy little foxes.

Sleeping in the hottest summer in London since … is another story.  Sans air-conditioning, the double glazing does little to help.  Let’s just say I am capable of a cold shower at four in the morning, when the sun comes up. Despite the ever complaining about the weather humans, I am loving it, glow intermittently and make sure optimism is ever at the fore when climbing onto the tube.  All sorts of happiness surrounds me in the summer, even my herbs are flourishing on the balcony.  The rose tries valiantly to bud with singed leaves.

I reckon its all in the attitude.  And preparation to cope with the hottest summer since … and as write from my little balcony, golfers are pinging away across the road. I can hear the shank shots a mile away and instinctively duck for fear of instant death by golf ball, a little sorry that I never really took up golf back in the day – who knows what joys have escaped me? Still, about to go into the city, delighted that my little crossbody bag from Guess is all I need. Purse, lipstick, diary and pencil – cool – what a difference from the winter collection.

Best little summer dress from Cotton Hill in Cape Town.

Two other favourites to get me in the summer mood and must haves are:

Avéne Thermal Spring Water – you have no idea how refreshing a spritz every now and then, like a cool lover’s breath on my face and neck.

My staple summer fragrance,

Bobby Brown’s ‘Beach’.  This reminds me so much of my holidays on the beach as a child, an electric mix of sand, saltwater and sunscreen in a bottle.  Sadly, the fragrance has been, it seems, discontinued as Bobbi has left the company I am told, and taken her favourite fragrances with her.  Needless to say I am scouring the city for what will be a stock pile of this loveliness.

I like anywhere with a beach. A beach and warm weather is all I really need. Rob Gronkowski

If I cannot be on a beach, I shall wear the ‘Beach.’

London in August is quiet, in the suburbs, that is.  The tourists flock and feint around the tourist destinations, but most Londoners are away during the school holidays.  We notice this at the café and in truth, I don’t mind the calm. Having to not wear a suit and be in corporate London is something else I am grateful for.  My ‘too in my space’ neighbours upstairs have moved out and I wait to see who will lie above me in the future (such a horrible thought actually and why flat living is something I wonder if I will ever get used to!)

At last a decent a stylish coffee shop en route to the Tube.  DeRosier Chocolates and Coffee Shop is going to be a favourite ‘getmycoffeefix’ even though it may be hard to resist the free chocolate tastings on the top of the counter.

So, left the water for the bees on the garden table. Not the sugar water which it seems has been a bit of a fake entry, but I have had a number of bees attempting to sip from my wine glass in the evening, so leaving them some water instead.  Great big bumbles here in the UK, still find them fascinating though I could have done without the lonesome buzzer and foxes last night thank you very much!

No doubt in years to come we shall still be talking of the Summer of 2018, the hottest summer since …

 

Bigger dreams in small spaces.

Mmmm,  sweet, sweet baby – for baby you are.  Small and tender, but you shall grow into a beauty before long.

In this new existence, well not so new, but perhaps new in understanding, I live small.  Very tiny life in fact.  In a big city.  What was once a life in a big private space, is now a small private space in a big surrounding.  Fought it for too long and complained like the troll on the bridge, but no more.

Have been fixated on a TV series featuring Monty Don, called ‘Big dreams, small spaces.’ My reality, though stubbornness and past gardens had me doing nothing with my space.  Confined space was what I saw rather than something which could be amazing if I just got up from the sorrow chair and actually did something about it.

Here these folks, like me (some have a little more space, you know those narrow long back gardens so typical of terraced houses) and grim in the neglect, with Monty’s help, transformed what was rubble and concrete into a living space.  So what what I thinking?  Wasn’t it turns out.

Ok, think even smaller, but that is not the point.  I have a park across the road, complete with lake and background music of wildlife. My ‘Litchfield Angel‘ from David Austen has severe sunburn and my herbs are blown to seed, most of it on the floor. Matters not, I have inspiration to create a balcony garden in London.

Any suggestions?  How would you transform a single, narrow space into a garden? Would welcome any ideas x

It goes further than this.  Transcends to bigger dreams in small spaces i.e. my two bedroomed flat.  Looking at it now it cries beige but I shall say taupe for a better sounding term.  Pretty, we restored the entire apartment, but been like this through the tsunami of the last few years.  So bigger dreams on the way.  And taking my love for beautiful gardens as inspiration.

More on the flat later.  With garden centres such as Kew, Petersham and all the gorgeous parks and letter stamp London greens, I am actually going to build a mood board to create my balcony garden.  It may be bigger than my balcony, the mood board that is, but purpose, purpose my dear is what it is all about!

Big dream, small space – what a cocktail.

Images Gardenista, pintrest, David Austen

 

 

Come back little diary, come back …

And she was dreaming, and in that dreaming, the diary got lost today …

It is a disaster!  A malady of note.  And such a day of all days.

Truth is, today was one of those, will get the life sorted today, days. Empowered with all sorts of ideas and plans in the making.  Such a big sigh escapes me now, for in the planning in a cafe, I returned home to find my diary is missing.  It is a tragedy.

My ‘other’ child is out there somewhere.  Too late to call.  Not sure about you, but a visual diary, is my life.  Seriously, my life in a book with weeks and years and collecting.  I am lost without her.   Since I can remember I have kept a diary.  None of the google calendar stuff for me, but a tangible little life book that has my appointments, my daily notes, my life.  Everyone knew that and it was to the diaries for immigration information, birthday reminders, work shifts … basically everything that is my life, is in those books.  As far back as twenty odd years ago, and this year is somewhere tonight and I pray I can find it, for like my arm, missing it will be missing a limb.

The crazy thing is that I had all out in front of me – for the empowering day. I was going to invest in transport today, she thought, my choice of transport … so my mind began to wander to those lovely Pashley bicycles, the ones in Duck egg blue with a little basket in the front.  Or maybe a Vespa, to imagine me putting through Tuscany, or the South of France, or just London (the quieter streets where the buses could not take me out sort of thing.)  And a car, I dreamed of a little but cute car – maybe a Fiat 500 that would make me think of Italian towns and pretty colours.  Told you I was being practical in my thinking, but others may disagree. Truth be told, I don’t do practical very well – aesthetically speaking, I want pretty in my life right now.  But to dreaming I succumbed.

And in that, oh my word, in my age of putting everything in the right place in my handbag (cause we do tend to misplace at times) I frigging must have left the diary behind at the cafe!

She is not a happy bunny tonight and will search for the missing child with the hope of finding her soon.  It happened once before, I left my diary in my hotel in Paris, only to have Christene post her back to me, with great relief.  My diaries are stacked in a drawer for reference and a map of my life, so I do hope this one, 2018. will return to join her sisters.

Do you have a diary like me?  A tangible life voice with all the messy, lovely, interesting stuff that is sort of your entire life in a book? Then you know how I feel tonight – lost a little. Being positive though,  come back little diary I pray.  I need you more than ever … you are the practical in my dreamy world.

Images Pashley, eagle diaries

Creative dreaming on a rainy afternoon.

Creativity is nothing but a mind set free.’

Torrie T. Asai

In all the years I have been an inhabitant of the soft, yet gentle rains upon this island, I can count less than five times I have heard thunder.  This week it happened twice – thunder, lightning and torrential rain.  Waking up in the middle of the night kind of rainstorm.  We had a real topic of weather conversation at hand and it did not go amiss.

For many, the highly priced homes, were flooded.  Years of building basements below the water and sewerage pipes, below the water table led to overworked flooding pumps in basements and the need for coffee and conversation with fellow basement flooded friends was essential.  Yesterday evening, sun blazing and having dinner along the river, darling daughter barely had time to say ‘look’ before a sheet of angry rain crossed the river and diners headed indoors, perplexed at the freak of nature at hand, only to return minutes later to blazing sun and soaked tables, in order to continue dinner. Such is the weather here, unpredictable, and all.  There is a reason the British discuss the weather more than their health and families – it remains the very factor our lives and happiness is based on. I do miss those South African thunder storms.

This morning the rain continued unabated, but I was to another call from the Estate agent.  You may remember that my little flat is now firmly on the market and I am subjected to random visits by scrutinising potentials – remember this from long ago.  A flurry of cleaning ensued, by moi, between working.  So I decided to give myself the afternoon off – I needed sanctuary, beauty and of late as has been my habit, it is to the V & A I took myself, with the proverbial brolly. Long gone are those days I worried about the hair – I live in England for goodness sake!

At it turned out, most of the world thought it a good idea too.  My eldest detests crowds but me, I stride in London as a Londoner does, tut tutting at the loungers, the stop and look at the mappers, the buggies and screaming children.  I nudge the bewildered, nod at the buskers (cannot give money to everyone, please) and as for the tour groups, let’s just say, London bootcamp with dealing with those, is paying off.

At last I am saturated in genius. To Constable, to Degas, to Morris, to ancient mastery in Silver and Gold. The Ocean Liner exhibition is still on, Winnie the Pooh over.  Frida and ‘Making Her Self Up’ coming soon. I succumb to the Pistachio and Carrot cake slice and a hot coffee before venturing as I have done so many times, and yes, there is always another passage, another room to discover.  This afternoon, the quietest of these was the tapestries.  The telling of stories in woven beauty of pastoral scenes, battles and mythological creatures.  Must have spent a long time in front of the three fates today – the giver of life, the decider of the length of it and the snipper of that thread – death, all women in Umbrian tones, laced with gold and silver thread.  For me, looking at something I could never, ever hope to achieve, is my education and belief in the essence of talent. Of creative genius.

And I leave inspired, like you cannot believe. No matter how small our lives, how insignificant we sometimes feel, if we put yourselves in a place of inspiration, it will permeate our own lives.  It will awaken our too long forgotten talents and urge us to take action. It could be in a garden, a gallery, in our own homes, the truth is we sometimes need to look outside our little realms to find our talents ignited.

 

Degas.  A passion of mine. But am I also in love with these heavily embellished frames?  I am. Wish I had a hundred of these, around mirrors, around art in my own home.  Maybe bringing back these frames could be a vocation? 

Leaving in the busy end of day life in London, walking to the bus, the rain had lifted.  All around me flowers were drenched and glowing.  Flower sellers were creating bouquets for ordinary people to take home, peonies, tulips, delphiniums and roses on every corner.  In my bag, a bunch of flowers, a baguette and a bottle of wine (of course) but in my heart, so many ideas of what I could do if I put my mind to it.

What inspires you?  Do you push to see things in a different way.  Do you have talents lying latent in your storage of genius?

Bet you do.