Sometimes I Sits and Thinks …….

Sometimes I sits and thinks

And sometimes I just sits ……

                                                ~  AA Milne


I have been contemplative for a whole month.  I didn’t realise it until I arrived at the epiphany last night.  I was busy telling myself to get on with  ….. something, anything really.  I have a dozen projects at varying stages from starting off to half way through and only one of them has made any progress in the last four weeks.

I was sitting and thinking – or just sitting.  Or gardening and thinking, or just gardening.


Sometimes I was driving and thinking – but mostly just driving.

And then I was introduced to a new blog.  My pal Frank held a blog party and I went along and met some lovely and interesting new folks, including Robin and I read this on her blog

I want to be magic.  I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.  I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree.  Or under a hill.  I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing.  I don’t want to pretend at magic any more.  I want to be magic.                                  ~  Charles de Lint


I heard myself take a sharp in-breath as I read these words and something deep, deep down inside of me sat up and smiled.  I have so much magic in my life and I want to be magic too.  I want to experience what it is like when I live every day looking into the world around me and seeing the magic in nature, in people, in events; knowing anything is possible and trusting in it and keeping that in the fore-front of my mind.  It is time, said the deep-down, smiling some-one, to stand up and be counted; to put your money where your mouth is; to walk the talk and live in the trust.  It is time to put aside all doubt, all fear and celebrate what you know to be true.  Life is a miracle and it works in you and through you and is found in every one and everything – the seen and the unseen!  I know these things, I just don’t always allow myself to live in them and with them.

I went to bed and slept fitfully.  My head and heart were tingling with excitement and possibilities and newness and potential and wonder.  Somewhere during the night I realised I had been sitting and thinking and sometimes just sitting, letting everything settle and just be, because now was the right time to simply live in the magic.  And, as always, someone else had to proffer me the way forward.  Alys had asked me if I thought procrastination was sometimes a cover for fear.  “It’s always a cover for fear!”  I had replied and heard myself. Thank you Frank, thank you Robin and thank you Alys!

And did you notice, right there we had an example of magic in action!

I have been learning a poem.  Inspired by my friend Christi who taught herself a multi-layered, beautiful poem in three short weeks, I blundered about picking and discarding and not quite finding the right one until another blogging friend, Kerry, posted this on her site

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree 

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes  dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of linnet’s wings.


I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds from the shore;

While I stand on the road way, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

~ WB Yeats

When I first heard this poem spoken, many years ago now, I wept.  For me, the perennial gypsy, it has always represented my longed for home, my safe haven – my place on earth.  Now I have learned it and say it to myself many times a day and let it be part of me along with the new acceptance of magic.

I am ready to begin work again!  And this morning, just to solidify the whole deal with another sprinkle of serendipitous magic my fat-bottomed friends posted a ‘Getting Fierce GOALFEST’ which I bravely/foolishly/fool-heartedly/wisely/positively/magically joined in with and vowed – VOWED –  to complete the mixed media painting that has been languishing around in the art room and various other rooms of the house for some three months and which is destined for my dear friend, the lovely Alys.  I have until the end of the month………

The lovely Orlando is recovering well from a bout of spray poisoning which included a quite spectacular bout of projectile vomiting.  The lovely Siddy is off getting his first hair cut – and incidentally only his second adventure sans mumma ever.  I wonder how he is doing, but I did get this post up and out in record time without him!

And to finish, here are a few more shots of Siddy helping with the gardening.5 sept


13 sept


6 sept

14 sept

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did  🙂






Unexpected Gifts

‘What day is it?” asked Winnie-the-Pooh

“It’s today.” squeaked Piglet.

“My favourite day!” said Pooh.

I popped out for just a short time late yesterday afternoon and when I returned home a box was sitting at my door.

Not being a slacker when it comes to opening packages I had it opened and emptied in a flash, then I took a moment to check the address [an ever-so-slight tinge of concern had raised its head: was it actually meant for me?] and my eyes fell on a name I know well, so I continued ………

I pulled out the packaging and found two tiny envelopes


and inside, two tiny cards:


Beautifully hand made with care and attention to detail:


After reading the beautiful messages and with tears in my eyes, I began unwrapping the parcel, and immediately knew what was in it.

You know sometimes in life you just have those moments when the thoughtfulness and caring and generosity of spirit shown by another rips your heart wide open – this was one of those moments.

In December last year I read and commented on a post published by the lovely Alys over at Gardening Nirvana.  Alys had just made her first mixed media banner and I was inspired by it, but eventually ran out of time to create something similar – we had a bit of a conversation around it – if you really want you can read it here:

The creative work of Alys Milner from her very first mixed media class now lay spread out on my table


Orlando popped up for a look-see and I moved it out of his way and we had a small, quieter version of our happy dance before I, in a soft and thoughtful mood, began preparing my evening meal.

Soon I turned around to see this:

“Whaddya mean I can’t sit on it?”


“I can’t see you so you can’t see me!”


Only thing for it – hang it up somewhere – I have just the place!

[But please, ignore the mess – there are several projects in varying stages of completion at the moment – it’s hell in here!]


Isn’t it just perfect?


And there it shall stay until there is a need for it somewhere else 🙂

Now, at the risk of sounding maudlin or soppy I will finish with these thoughts:  I have long been a fan of and participator in many Random Acts of Kindness.  It has only been in recent months that I have been the recipient of so many RAKs from so many people whom I have never actually looked into the eyes of or actually touched – yet feel I know quite well.

I am left almost, but not entirely, speechless by the kindness, the generosity and the creativity of our blogging community –  Yes, I have been the recipient of so many wonderful gifts recently – yet the greatest of these gifts is the wide flung arms that give virtual hugs on a daily basis and the friends who uphold and meet my spirit with theirs in complete openness and acceptance.

It surely is a wonderful thing!

Blessings to Alys and all my lovely Bloggie friends!!  🙂

Where Have I Gone?

Today I got a message on my last post made 19 days ago.  The message was from my blogging friend katyoparty over at ArtOutWithYourHeArtOut   The message said: “Where are you?  I’ve missed your posts!”  

What a good question – where am I?

As I pondered what to say in response I rejected all the reasons I might normally give – busy with clients, busy in the art room, busy reading, busy listening to self improvement CD’s, busy with family, busy with Orlando, busy playing slotomania on facebook …….

The truth is I’m not busy, I’m evading.

I’m evading the season, the weather, the emotional pulls that revisit at this time every year,.  I’m in survival mode.

And I’m barely making it.

My work as a life coach means I help others find a path through their troubles, I teach them how to change their thinking from glass half empty to glass half full.  I encourage, I make them exercise their emotional muscles, I give homework and never accept excuses when they try to fool themselves or feed me red herrings.  They tell me I am a good life coach.  I know I change lives, I am their mentor and none of them know when I am wobbly.  I don’t let them see it.

But it’s really hard to coach yourself!

Having chosen to leave my ultra busy and over extended previous existence to become more quiet and contemplative in my daily life, I live far away from my life long friends and I have no family except my two beautiful and loving daughters.

I’m struggling with a question that goes something like this:  how do I remain grateful for all I already have while wishing for something more?  The longing for my family to be closer geographically tips me out of my contentment with what is.  I become impatient and discontented with my situation.  I lose the art of living in the moment, which is my greatest treasure.

Katy’s caring comment went bang straight into my heart.  It came at a moment when I was feeling especially vulnerable having just read a couple of posts.  One on dealing with loss and the other a really good Johnny Cash quote which hit home quite strongly.  

I was on the verge of making the decision to pull myself up by the shoe laces, white knuckle it and get over myself.  At a time when I felt really alone and really tired of being alone and really fed up with yet another year when the shadows from my past start to gather about and attempt to drag me back to a place I left long ago.

And somehow that question made it all alright.  In this strange and still somewhat alien blogosphere someone notices your absence, someone cares enough to say hey, how you doin’?  And a shaft of sunlight blazes into the place where my heart huddles coldly and reignites it.

Thank you for caring enough to send that message Katy.  I am here, and I will be just fine now.

And I bet you never expected to get a response like that to your friendly enquiry!  🙂

Orlando’s Revenge!

Last night, as you may have previously read, I went out for the evening to the historic Carey’s Bay Pub to watch YD eat an enormous Seafood Platter…..

Orlando doesn’t much like it when he is left home alone on a cold winter night.

He has no one to keep him warm.

Even though I leave on the lights, the heating and the music for his comfort and enjoyment.

I even make sure it is just the right music – he doesn’t much care for Bruce Springsteen for instance, that usually means the vacuum cleaner is coming out and he doesn’t much care for the vacuum cleaner either.

I have a play list on itunes which should be titled ‘Orlando’s Music’ it contains a variety of music from Faith Hill to Josh Groban; Bob Dylan to Ronan Keating and Delta Goodrem to Kris Kristofferson and even a bit of Adele, Alfie Boe and a few early Claptons.  Nothing too loud and driving as it offends his sensitive hearing …….

Any way, all this is supplied for the comfort of the spoiled rotten little fella – but still when I came home I found him on my dining table, curled up to a dish of potpourri.

Orlando is not allowed to sit or lie on the table.

No one is.

Here is proof that Orlando takes no notice of me:

Orlando and potpourri 1

Orlando and potpourri 2

Look at the tilt of those ears – those are the ears of a Guilty Cat!  That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Cat Who Knows He Is Doing Wrong – But Isn’t Going To Move!

The crystal dish does not usually sit on the table, it was left there when I was practising my photography yesterday.  It is filled with potpourri and those balls and roses have sandalwood  and other essential oils in them.  

Orlando likes those smells and often buries his head into the bowl – when it is on the bookshelf which he is allowed on –  which sends all the bits rolling about all over the place…..

These photos were taken this morning.  I think he spent the night there.

He is still cross that I went out and left him home alone!


Taksim Square Turkey

I have chosen to live a quiet and meditative life.  I have no TV, I do not read the newspapers or log on to current events channels.  I don’t like the media and its consistently negative and fear inducing stance on daily and current events.

However, those events that I do need to know about are placed before me and I practise sending peaceful and loving thoughts where they are needed.  I don’t do this in an ostentatious manner, I just do it quietly as I go about my daily tasks.

My blog is the one public place where I keep it lighthearted and kind of inconsequential – it’s my fun stop, my place for keeping track of crafty creations and as I have discovered, a place for making new friends across the globe – a modern era version of the pen-pals we had as children I guess.

I have been holding the events in Taksim Square in my mind these past few days – but this morning George Takei posted a moving message and a video that encapsulates through pictures and music these unfolding events, and while I was in the shower [does it happen for you this way too?] I had the idea to write this post, and share the idea of a series of moments ………………..

I’d like to suggest that sometime on Friday 7th June, between midday and midnight, you watch this video and then sit quietly for 30 seconds and send your prayers and/or heartfelt intentions for a peaceful settlement to this place and these people.

That’s all – it will take maybe 4 minutes of your time and will have an impact on the outcome.

If enough people do it there will be a 24 hour period where there will always be peace sent to Taksim Square and strength to the citizens of Turkey who are standing against despotism.

Now I don’t have many readers of my blog so I’m not expecting to change the world – but I am hoping to reach a few folk who may spread the word – So please, share this message and the video with as many people as you can – and click ‘like’ to let me know if your intention is to take part.


I am aware that others are already undertaking moments like the one I am suggesting – I do not mean to step on any toes.  My intention is purely to make one more person aware of the human rights and freedoms that are currently under attack in Turkey.


Orlando Finds A Lemon Pip

The other day as I have already told you in the last post, I was making hummus; and as he had finished posing for his little friend through the window, Orlando now sat at my feet, waiting for any dropped goody to play with……

This can be another of those fraught times – he has inadvertently tasted several black peppercorns, and being a bit like Winnie-the-Pooh, who is as we all know, a bear of very little brains, has not learnt from these nasty experiences and still enthusiastically chases anything that falls from my mixing, blending, chopping and stirring.

Another part of this game is that when the chased object – and it must be said, the smaller the better – disappears under the fridge, the stove, or even the floor mat, my expected position is that of retriever.

This too can be fraught as I am not always willing to stop what I am doing immediately to retrieve the lost object.

Orlando signals he is waiting by constantly peering intently into the gap and purring encouragingly at me.  Should I show no signs of retrieving the object of his desire there is usually a sad little whiffle of disappointment before he goes off  and finds his baggie of nepeta and beats that up.

This day was different however.  I had the camera at the ready, having got it out in the hopes of getting one of him greeting his little friend through the window – but as I was too late and the moment had passed it now sat ready to go on the kitchen counter and I sprang into action….

Yep, that's a lemon pip alright ....

Yep, that’s a lemon pip alright ….

Just a wee tap ....

Just a wee tap …

Now, where's it hiding?

Now, where’s it hiding?

Mmmmmm - nepeta

Mmmmmm – nepeta!

I see it - hiding under my baggie

I see it – hiding under my baggie

Oh oh ....

Oh oh ….

About this time, remembering I wanted to teach myself how to upload to You Tube, I had flipped  the camera to record mode – and I caught the last part of the game – the bit where the lemon pip has been scooted under the cooker.  Though the quality is very poor, [I’m sorry, apparently my camera is inferior!] if you listen carefully you can hear him purring away encouragingly beneath the whirring of the device …. But as I was holding the camera I couldn’t play my expected role of retriever, so despite my words of commiseration, the sad little whiffle of disappointment may be just heard at the end …..

Thanks for dropping by today – I hope you enjoyed seeing Orlando at play.

A Story For Cat Lovers …..

One morning last summer, quite early in the day, when Orlando was sitting in his accustomed place keeping an eye on the neighbourhood, a small child’s voice floated through the open window “Mummy, mummy look at the pretty kitty…”  I heard mummy’s voice agreeing and urging the child to keep going while Orlando sat calmly watching it all.

Obviously this became a bit of a routine which I was not aware of as, some weeks later, I just happened into the room and heard through the same open window the little boy’s lamenting cry to his mother “Mummy, mummy, where’s the kitty gone, mummy?”

Mummy had no idea, but even as she spoke said kitty appeared from nowhere and springing across furniture, bench tops and stove, raced to reach his waiting admirer.

I heard an excited squeal, “There he is mummy!” exclaimed the child “Look mummy, there he is!”

Mummy’s murmured reply was incomprehensible – but watching my ‘kitty’ sit up very tall and straight and puff out his handsome chest while gazing softly into the far distance sent me off into a fit of giggles and I had to leave the room – who was it that said animals have no concept of social interactions?

This morning I was busy in the kitchen multi-tasking away quite happily – cooking a new batch of cheese and oat cakes and making hummus for my daughter when Orlando suddenly and with no warning sprang across furniture, bench tops and stove to the window.

Even as I squeaked my concern and disapproval I realised by the way he positioned himself who was there – and sure enough a happy voice announced to the whole world  “There’s the kitty mummy.  Hello kitty!”

Kitty sat up tall and proud, puffed out his chest and gazed into the far distance with a long, slow blink.

Orlando at window

I’m so proud!

Have a great day and thank you for stopping in!

Order Restored

I worked like a mad woman – but it still took several hours to sort, re-catagorise, move around and move around some more.  When I at last found my desk tops they were filthy – covered in dust from all the edge sanding that has gone on in preparing my box to look like an old book.  Also I had been cutting out some intricate dies that left a layer of minute confetti sprayed across all surfaces….. and, lets face it, it got away on me  I’ve been on a series of creative binges without stopping to clear up in between projects.

I’m a Virgo for heavens sake – we like organised and we like clean!!

Anyway – here’s some pics, can you see the difference?

The long shot - notice the tower of boxes is missing?

The long shot – notice the tower of boxes is missing?

The back desk - usable space for sewing, die cutting, hot gluing and more...

The back desk – usable space for sewing, die cutting, hot gluing and more…

Major sort out in this corner.  Now all stamps, dies, patterns and papers are accessible.

Major sort out in this corner. Now all stamps, dies, patterns and papers are accessible.

Craft Room 8 Cleaned

We have clear working space again ………….. and even Orlando is happy – though he leapt off his chair when he saw the camera coming towards him – modest chap!

Blogging – A New Community Concept

I finally got around to signing up for the Freshly Pressed  posts – I’m slow on the uptake sometimes, I just live in my own wee world….. It has taken me a while to figure out that some of the bloggers I follow are using the weekly and daily prompts to express themselves, to practise the art of  photography, poetry, writing – whatever it is they are into, and I have been so impressed with many of the posts I am reading on a regular basis.

Inevitably I decided to join in too.

And this has meant that even more of my time has been spent drifting about in the blog-o-sphere getting to know a few more folk, dipping in and out of lives like a ghostly eavesdropper….. sometimes leaving a message, sometimes not.  Sometimes remembering to click ‘follow this blog’ and sometimes not [which I know will lead to a moment of angst when I want to find that post or person again.]

I’m new at this stuff and have been amazed at the world that exists here – I wrote a post a couple of weeks back titled I Like Blogging!  where I attempted to explain all the unexpected delights I was discovering, and now those delights just keep on increasing.  

There are so many interesting people out there – it feels like I can sit in my wee home and meet the entire world!  I’m in danger of never actually doing anything ever again – I may just spend the rest of my days sitting in front of my computer, reading about all the things other people are doing and experiencing!

I enjoy posts from all kinds of people, on all kinds of subjects and I especially enjoy a good chuckle, if not a belly laugh.

But – and now I’m getting to the point of this post – more and more I am reading autobiographical posts that are heart-wrenchingly honest and open and wounded and raw.

I have read posts that leave me sitting silent at the final word, or saying ‘Wow!’ out loud – posts that remind me of – or take me back through –  my own life experiences, posts that make me sit up and take notice, posts that move me to tears.

Some posts deserve slow and careful reading to truly take in the events, to taste the descriptions, to hear the music, to touch the soul of the writer.

All are open and honest and trusting that their words will be read with respect if not full understanding and empathy,  

I read their words and I meet the soul of the writer – the shining being who is suffering or who has suffered, and who is over-coming and is learning and growing and becoming stronger and wiser.

Pain gives us the opportunity to grow and mature and become better people.  Through pain we may learn our life-lessons, to develop our empathy and intuition and perhaps even get an inkling of an understanding of our reason for being here.  Painful events do not define us, it is what we do with those events that we will be remembered for.

This then is the real gift of the blog-o-sphere.  In our fast paced, ever moving, technologically driven modern time when community is fast becoming an endangered concept, and more and more people live outside of the accepted ‘norm’ the blog-o-sphere offers a new community – an enlarged extended family of people interested in people, supporting and caring, empathising and listening to each other.  

So I remain impressed, I am enchanted and most of all I am uplifted to see that here there is a safe platform for expression of personal pain and a community that allows that expression and responds in kind with affirmations, sympathy, empathy and sometimes even [the kindest of] humour.

Rock on bloggers!

And if you knew all this before I apologise for taking up your time – but thanks for reading to the end 🙂

And I promise this is my last post about my thoughts on blogging 🙂

Have a great day and reach out to someone who needs to hear your voice, feel your empathy and touch your soul.

Beverly Sills – Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life – Victor Herbert – YouTube

Beverly Sills – Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life – Victor Herbert – YouTube.

Please read the previous post with the title ‘Oh, Sweet Mystery of Life’ then come back to this if you want to hear what I tasted ……………[yes, that is correct] click on the blue script.  I wanted to put this at the bottom of the post, but seem to be unable to do so – requiring some further education on the art of creating a blog page!