Sunday, 21 August 2016

Setting Small Challenges

I am in awe of people that set themselves huge challenges and achieve them.  However, I am not in the correct mindset to undergo anything too challenging at the moment.  That doesn't mean that I do nothing, instead it just means that I set myself small attainable goals.

Recently, I set myself the task of looking for seven words, mainly adjectives and a few more unusual nouns, in the English Dictionary and learning their meanings over seven days.  Each Saturday I put a new list of words and their description on the fridge so that each time I am in the kitchen I can learn a few words in between doing the cooking and other chores.

Here is an example of words for week 1:


I won''t include their meanings here and I don't suppose I will ever have the chance to use the word Oubliette* in a conversation!  I am hoping that an increased vocabulary will give me an added advantage when it comes to filling in job applications!

I am going to set myself a few more achievable challenges this week such as learning something new in jewellery making and cooking something I have never cooked before (fried chicken was a first for me a few weeks ago).

If you are inspired by this and in the mood for setting yourself a small challenge, let me know what it is in the comments below.

*A secret dungeon with access only through a trapdoor in its ceiling.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Design Dilemmas

I think we sometimes take for granted how much effort designers, artists, creators put into their work.  The bracelet above took me many hours to get to an acceptable design with many mistakes made along the way.  I suppose I could say that the bracelet is a prototype and already I can see loads of areas for improvement.  I think the crystal beads for this design are too weighty for the micro macrame and tend to tip the bracelet forward.  It also needs another two 'bead stations' to put the design in proportion.  All these trials and tribulations are needed in order to grow and improve each time we do/make something.

My garden has been a bit of a trial and tribulation recently.  The slugs and snails have been overwhelming in their presence this year and on one occasion last week I collected 205 slugs and snails from around the garden in one hunting session.  I am saddened that just a few woody stems are all of what remains of my dahlia 'Happy Days' after the gastropods took a fancy to it. Happy Days for them indeed!

I am getting the urge to retreat.  There is no holiday again for me this year for various reasons and I really do need a break away from routine and people.  My 'retreat' may have to take place in the form of meditation.  I just need to take my mind elsewhere if not my body.  I make sure that I am the first up every morning so that I can enjoy the house in peace.  I really do enjoy solitude and to be honest a regular family holiday with beach, noise and partying really isn't my thing.  A tranquil hideaway with a babbling brook, a cosy cottage and nearby places to explore would be my ideal getaway but it remains just a dream.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Kitten Visitor

It is refuse collection day and on my way to bringing the bins back in from the pavement I walked by a lovely kitten chomping away on the grass coming through the cracks in the driveway.  I don't think it could have been more than a few months old as it still had a gangly appearance where it hasn't quite grown into its front legs.

This chance meeting brought joy to my morning.  The kitten stayed for a bit and chased a grass seed head that I pulled across the ground.  The curious kitten poked its head around my front door as I went in the house to grab my camera.

I don't know where the kitten came from or who he/she belongs to.  I just hope it stays safe in its exploration of the neighbourhood.  I wish it was my kitten.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Making Swatches

I've been making swatches of my favourite set of watercolour paints.  I feel inspired to take up water colour painting again after a break of a few years.  My source of inspiration is my watercolour artist friend Anne from My Giant Strawberry who has demonstrated to me that with practise comes perfection.

It is lovely to have my interest rekindled.   Watercolour painting is like an old friend.  I have dabbled with acrylic paints but they really are not 'me'.  With watercolour the paints just glide across the paper as you move the pigment and water.  The results are unpredictable but is not life?

I may not blog as much as usual while I get reacquainted with my paints, brushes and paper but will be sure to let you know of any progress I make.

Sunday, 17 July 2016


My flaws are my strengths

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


For many years I have been interested in astrology, 'alternative' medicine, medical herbalism, aromatherapy, crystal healing, spirituality, meditation, mysticism, folklore etc.  I would even take shamanism on board but have yet to find my animal spirit no matter how hard I try. However, one of the things I have yet to be convinced by is channeling.

One of my favourite astrologers has recently taken up channeling.  I have watched her for years on YouTube and she has been a proficient educator in astrology whom I have respected and admired greatly. I have watched her videos with an open mind but fear that her recent videos on channeling have caused me to question all the information she has historically told.  I am a curious creature and I have watched her to the point of believing what she is doing now is farcical.  She claims to be channeling Pleiadians (who come from the Pleiades star cluster and navigate other Worlds through human consciousness).  If you look on line you will find loads of information on Pleiadians should you wish to explore this further.

When she channels the Pleiadians she pulls lots of funny faces and laughs continually in a very posh English accent.  I just don't get it.  Apparently they are very happy and want us on Earth to be happy too.  She now channels the Pleiadians when she is painting and produces the art whilst under the instruction of them.  She tells the viewers that they are telling her which colours to pick up and where to put it on the canvas.  She produces attractive abstract style paintings with acrylic paints, a canvas and a sponge.  I wasn't surprised when people inquired about buying them and behold she has already successfully sold them.  She even told of one occasion when she put a painting behind her bed at night and the next day all her health problems had disappeared.

I have always thought I was open minded.  I no longer think a lot of things I once thought.  I feel as though the wool has been pulled over my eyes and a woman that I once had such high regard for leaves me feeling confused and duped. 

I will end by saying that the videos are fun to watch but in my eyes it is all an act.  Like a magician deceives it's audience I believe that is what she is doing.  The fact that she is profiting from channeled paintings makes me determine furthermore that it is a scam.  Maybe she is confusing channeling with being inspired.  If she said she was inspired by aliens of other realms that would sit OK with me.  The fact that they show up on demand is not convincing me one bit.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Job Centre

I took myself off to the job centre today for the first time in almost 2 decades.  Debating whether or not to take my umbrella – I decided to – just in case.  My intuition was spot on and the rain fell heavily resembling marching soldiers on the pavement and fast flowing rivers along the road.  I sought shelter the opposite side of a tree to another person sheltering there.  Car driver’s beeped their horns at oncoming traffic and struggled to see through the windows.

When I almost reached the building a stench of vomit filled the air.  I imagined a drunk or some low life spewing up outside and then I spotted the food waste collection truck.  On this humid day it was one of the most offensive things I have ever smelled.  My trousers were soaked through from the rain and my newly cut hair shortened as it frizzed up holding water.  I entered the building.

Inside a handful of people were sitting in chairs back to back in the middle of the room.  The circumference was filled edge to edge of desks with computers.  There was not a soul to a desk.  Immediately in front of me two young women with lanyards sat chatting and a security guard stood at the side.  They seemed shocked when I approached them to talk.  I’d inquired if they had any information, leaflets etc., on being self-employed.  They looked aghast when I told them I wasn’t on benefits but was seeking more information on working for myself.  One of them had a quick rummage through a concertina file on a shelf behind her back the other ran to side of the room to find a colleague to speak to.  Both were fruitless with their searches but advised me to look for jobs on line or to sign on to unemployment benefit. 

As I left the building the stench of warm vomit permeated the air once more as the food waste truck stood outside the train station chewing up its contents.

I  hadn’t been walking 5 minutes when something caught my eye across the road.  A large man was lying on his side on the pavement at the bus stop, his entire face coloured red with blood.  People were bending down to help him as a party of school children were fixated on him from my side of the road.  I tried to block their view as they passed me by.  I went over to the bus stop and asked a woman on her phone if anyone had called for an ambulance.  She said she was doing that right now.  The man was flat on his back and I couldn’t help but feel he should be in the recovery position in case of choking but the group seemed to have matters under control.  I saw flashing lights in the distance and helped to flag down the paramedics.  It seems that he had just fallen over in the street but my initial reaction was that he’d either been in a traffic accident or shot in the face.  Nothing surprises me nowadays.

On my journey home I felt depressed and wished I hadn’t left the house.  I kept thinking of that poor man bleeding on the pavement whilst the heavens opened.  For all my wishful thinking and daily gratitude practice I cannot shake off the dark shadow that is my constant companion.  The sucker of joy.  My misery parasite.  It seems we cannot live without each other.