Friday, 24 April 2009

Different Strokes from Different Folks

This is my first go at the challenge posted on this site. Every couple of week a new photo is posted and artists of all experience and ability (although to me they all look amazing) have a go at interpreting it. You can see the original photo and other interpretations here.

I think it was a hard one to do as my first challenge with but I am quite pleased with the result.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I am 40

I made it. My life has now begun apparently.
Best comment of the day - "40! I thought you'd be about 30" said by a child I teach. I immediately gave him housepoints for being so observant!
Best gifts - all the love and well wishes from friends and family. And....a trip to go and see mum in Crete!
Made cakes for the staff room - they went down well.
And look what my lovely family did for me this morning....

I am so blessed.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Still creating

A few recent pages from my journal. I am joining the Everyday Matters group which I hope will inspire my journal entries, encourage me to challenge myself and stop me worrying about 'getting it right'.

Last day of my 30s!

Today I am 39. Tomorrow I will be 40. 40! I never thought I'd be 40. I'm quite pleased actually.

Tomorrow I will be grown up.

I will be confident.

I will be able to speak to strangers on the phone and not feel inferior.

I will be able to 'do' my hair.

I will be able to walk in high heels and wear the correct clothes for the occasion.

I will carry a handbag that matches my shoes.

I will know what to do with a chiffon scarf.

I will remember to send birthday cards and not leave them 'on the side'.

I will not panic about parking the car.

I will no longer lick out the cake mix bowl but leave it for my children.

I will not laugh when my husband farts.

I will not find toilet humour funny.

.......will I heck as like! But I am hoping and expecting that 'Life Begins..' How exciting!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

An Easter break

We went away with Auntie Wen and Uncle Al for Easter. We stayed in a chalet by the sea in Seasalter, Nr Whitstable, North Kent. A glorious time was had by all!

Beach huts near Whitstable

Fishing - they caught a stone and seaweed!

Just had a slap up breakfast at a nearby cafe

Making bead decorations

No, we had not been drinking .... much!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Interview (part two)

We've been away for a few days (more about that later) so apologies for the delay in answering the second half of Lisa's questions.

3. Do you have a favourite speech that gives you chills even just reading about it? (I have a dream etc)

Gosh, when I saw that question I quaked a bit. A favourite speech! Am I that deep, intelligent and insightful to have a favourite speech?! Of course I know Martin Luther King Jnr's (the main bits) but I' be hard pressed to think of any others. Oh - I know "Ask not what your country can do for you.....etc" by Kennedy. But does it give me chills? Not really.

And then it came to me. A speech that gives me chills and moves me to tears. It inspires me to do better and to keep going in hard times. It reminds me that there is a bigger purpose to life and that I have a part in it, as we all do. A speech by a faithful servant who found himself out of his ordinary life, fighting to save that life and all he holds dear. It is from The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers by Samwise Gamgee:
Sam Gamgee: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

4. Oranges or lemons?

Well that's a much easier one. Lemons, no contest. Lemon cheesecake, lemon pudding, lemon drizzle cake, lemon curd, lemon meringue pie, lemon and garlic marinade on meat - I could go on. I love lemons. When we get to Australia I really would like to grow a lemon tree. The thought of harvesting my own lemons ..... mmmmm!

5. Handwritten letters, or email?

That's quite a tricky one actually. I do like the immediacy of email. The way you can just write a short note, attach a photo, press send, and it's there. It's great for keeping in touch and I have no doubt I'll be using it lots and lots (sending and receiving) when we move. But there is something romantic (with a small r as well as a big R) about writing and receiving a handwritten letter through the post. To spend time constructing a letter feels so nice - you give the recipient attention even though they aren't there. And of course you really are sending a bit of yourself. I still have letters from friends and family that they sent while I was in America about 20 years ago. Just seeing them reminds me of their love for me and their attempts to cheer me up through homesickness. I also still have letters from my (now) husband from 14 years ago, that he sent me while he was away, reminding me of the very beginning of our relationship.
So I guess I'd say letters, there's nothing as exciting as finding a handwritten envelope in amongst the bills and junk mail. But, as someone about to emigrate, I am still very grateful for the invention of email.

Well that concludes my interview. Thanks so much to Lisa for the questions - I really enjoyed thinking about my answers. I will throw the gauntlet down now for anyone reading this - if you'd like to take part in an interview for your blog then let me know via comments and I'll happily think of some questions for you!

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Interview (part one)

Lisa from the Tin House has sent me some interview questions. I think the point of sending questions is to get the interviewee to think about and post about things they probably wouldn't normally do. If so then Lisa has done a great job because I have been pondering my questions all weekend! I may not get them all answered at once but I will answer them.

1. What situation gives you near-perfect peace?

It is Spring (or a British Summer will do quite nicely), I am outside, in the countryside. Corfe Castle in Dorset, Shepstor on Dartmoor, Wembury Beach in Devon, The New Forest, anywhere there is wide open space. The sun is out, but isn't too hot. There is a soft breeze. There are some people about but not too many and they aren't really anywhere near me. I can feast my eyes on the glorious scenery, pretty much drink it in. My children are able to run about and play, enjoying jumping, hiding, climbing, searching, with freedom. I may have a book, I may chat away with my husband, I may be hiking ,I may just close my eyes and feel the sun on my face.

That is near-perfect peace for me.

2. Top 5 paintings

Oh my gosh, this is a hard one. I'm not sure I have 1 favourite painting, let alone 5! I adore other people's work and can spend ages looking at paintings, enjoying the way they may have used colour or captured a scene. But I don't really remember or take note of the painting. I do have one original painting done by someone in Lyme Regis - a friend of a friend whose name I have forgotten and whose signature is too hard to read. It's of one of my favourite subjects!
Excuse the odd angle - I was trying to avoid the reflection of the flash in the glass.
I also really like a painting called Autumn Dawn by David W Young which I would love to have. It really captures the mood of Dartmoor to me.
Those are the only two specifics I can think of. I tend to prefer watercolour and I tend to like paintings of people and places that mean something to me.
If I suddenly think of 3 more favourite paintings I shall be sure to let you know!
More interview questions later - must get on!