Heart To Hearts

what you are.jpgThere is a verse that I often think about when I am talking with friends and colleagues.

“…out of the heart’s abundance his mouth speaks” – LUKE 6:45

Sometimes, the conversation is dominated by clothes, shoes, handbags. At other times, the conversation is all about challenges at work. Or what is going on with our family or in our love lives. I can’t talk about Jack yet. But I am sure I will do a lot next year.

I try to remember that sometimes it is a good idea to try to steer the conversation in positive directions. I dislike unkind gossip, I shut it down.

But I have been thinking a lot these past few months about what really matters, and more and more I try to ask my friends what they think is the purpose of life, what they believe the future holds, how will we see a clean earth, free from corruption, on which everyone feels cared for.

careful1.jpgIt’s very interesting to hear my friends give their opinions. I did an online course recently, and I have been sharing what I learn with my friends. All over London me and my friends have been looking at scriptures on their phones or i-pads. We’ve been reading about God’s Kingdom and it’s manifesto. It’s so refreshingly different from the baffling election news. We are smiling at the thought of this beautiful planet being under the care of our Creator.

Jack and I have had lots of fascinating discussions too. I told him I prayed about him and it was shortly afterwards that he saw me and decided to call me. He said he has prayed about me too. He said he prayed many times about what he should do. It sends tingles down my spine to think that all of that time, when I thought he was my enemy, Jack was praying, and I was praying. Our Father heard those prayers and knew the right time to answer them.

It’s all much more interesting than designer handbags. In fact, I realized long ago, I have zero interest in designer handbags. I am fascinated by prayer. I would love to learn more about the miracle of prayer.

Coffee With Caramel

latte mugsA chap came into my work premises the other day. He was very polite, but apologetic at the same time. He asked me if I would be kind enough to make him a cup of coffee.

I didn’t even ask questions. I just did it. I told him I would go and put the kettle on and explained we only had instant coffee (Nescafe Gold). He didn’t say anything, but I just presumed from the way he was dressed and groomed that perhaps he couldn’t buy a coffee at the cafe across the road. It’s cold here in England at the moment. It was a pleasure to have him come in and sit and drink a coffee with me. I even put the idea into his head that he might find writing about his life satisfying.


He told me exactly how he wanted his coffee. I made it for him and he drank it in front of me. We didn’t have any biscuits or anything to offer him to eat. (I’d already eaten my sprout sandwich a few hours before.)

I was chatting away (like I do) about coffee for the most part. I just wanted him to relax. He kept on apologising. I told him at one point I had no idea what he thought he needed to apologise for. He said he loved the way I spoke (Goldfinch might say that was like a chatterbox without an OFF switch), which is kind of your quintessential English chitter chatter, and one of those voices – nobody can quite place my accent, and I have a soft kind of tone to my voice. He thanked me for being so friendly and chatting with him. He told me that I helped him to forget all his problems.

robin anxiousThen he began to tell me some of the abusive comments that had been directed towards him by people passing. He also indicated that he had been into several of the shops and businesses on that road and asked for a drink, but he had been turned away elsewhere. And I have to say, I believe him. He didn’t tell me what it was, but he indicated that he has had a devastating situation that has stripped him of everything. He said the hardest thing is just trying to find the will to live.

And then he left. He thanked me again and he said “kindness means everything”.

Cup Of Tea
I took this one!

I don’t know his story. But I am sure he has one. He wasn’t with me long enough for me to learn how he has come to be walking into a random office to ask for a warm drink. But there is sure to be a story. He didn’t ask me for money. I didn’t have any money myself (I only take my debit card around with me), and there was no way I could take money from the petty cash (I don’t work for that company – I was temping to cover someone’s holiday). All he asked me for was a coffee. And he ended up with the drink and a fifteen minute conversation with a bubbly blonde who is never lost for words.

neignoursI work with charities, wonderful charities, that provide services and assistance, sometimes education and training to a variety of people, including those who might have lost their homes for one reason or another. In fact when I was a full time international volunteer – and lived in a huge apartment with a lawyer, a celebrity, an accountant, a joiner and an IT whizz (all working on an unpaid basis for charities), one of the lads next door, Micky, turned out to have an amazing story.

dinner chatHe also was living in a apartment that he was sharing with other volunteers. One day we invited him for lunch with some other friends, and my best friend Marta (the psychologist) joined us. Micky was so friendly. I loved how great he was at meeting new people and chatting with them. Such a gregarious cheerful lad. It turned out Micky had been homeless for several years, and had slept in various places such as back alleys and outside department stores. Anyway…he decided to volunteer for a local charity project, near to where he was sleeping rough. He loved it! He was trained in many areas of construction. He was such a lovely, hard working young man, he was selected to receive some very specialist training.

Several years later, he qualified to become an international volunteer, and here he was living with the rest of us. We were all equals. I loved that. I absolutely loved that we were all equal. All valuable. All from different walks of life. None of us being paid a penny. All working hard, eating together, living in the same basic accommodation, under the same rules.

volsI was told that two of the most important assets a volunteer can have is AVAILABILITY and HUMILITY. Anyway…I digress.

My thought was simply that I can’t bear that some people are treated with such a lack of kindness and dignity. I hate that some people speak abusively to others. (And on a side point…I am not political, but I find it very uncomfortable that more bloggers are using insulting terms when referring to others who do not share their political opinions – what’s going on guys? We may have a particular opinion or belief, but dismissing anyone who does not think the same way in degrading terms – that’s not a nice thing to do – at all!)

breakfastaWhen the truth is – we are equal. I long for the day when every human will be dignified as a valuable member of the human family. That guy who came into work the other day.. he was my family and yours too. A cup of coffee is nothing – is it? But from the sound of things, it is rare that anyone will give him the time of day. I think I need to make sure I always have some biscuits, or something foodies in my back pack. I felt lousy only being able to provide coffee. Next time he comes, I’ll try to do better.

Now We’re Talking!

When I was growing up we did not have a land-line at home. I think I was around thirteen years of age when Dad decided it was time we had a home telephone. It got me into serious trouble and taught me a lesson I would never forget!

Although I am honestly grateful to my Dadda for teaching me that invaluable lesson!

I also learnt that some people use telephones for sorting things out and making arrangements, or friendly conversations of a sensible length; whereas there are others who have very different ideas when it comes to telephone conversations. My friend Kat was unbelievable! She could go on and on for hours without waiting for me to respond or ask her any questions. I started to dread her calls because I could not figure out to end a telephone conversation with Kat! I love her very much! But I prefer her in person rather than on the end of a telephone.

Why am I telling you this?

Well….I have been tagged by the lovely Dr Tanya, the creator of Salted Caramel to take part in a “3.2.1. Quote me!” challenge with the superb theme of CONVERSATION:


If by any chance you are not familiar with the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” challenges, please check out the original post from Rory, creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

321 Quote Me – Conversation

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector – thank you Dr Tanya!

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

My two quotes (with a third thrown in at the bottom because I just could not resist it!):

I was at work the other day, when this young man in his twenties came in and stared at me in surprise. He exclaimed he had never seen me before! I confirmed that I am fairly new.

This young man was one of the chattiest chatterboxes I have come across. He was amazing! He just went on and on and shared numerous snippets from his life-story.

But he went on and on and on and on and on (like Ariston!) and I became kind of embarassed. I had so much work to do! It came to a point when I started to do some work while I was listening and nodding. Which is rude isn’t it! But it didn’t put this champion chattterbox off at all. He carried on and on and on and on! Then a couple of clients came in and stood patiently waiting to speak to me, and they too looked incredulous at this young man who was now sharing some surprisingly personal details quite openly! Sooooo awkward having to explain to him I really needed to crack on with work and see to the clients who had arrived.

Bless him! Do you know what he said? “It was so great talking to you, I will come back again so we can carry on talking, you’re lovely!”


Now with that first quote, I might have come across a little bit anti-conversation. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love conversations!

I like a chatter. I like a laugh. But I love a deep conversation. I love listening to friends and workmates when I ask them what do they believe? Since I was a little girl I have had a hunger to discuss deep subjects.

There are some people who are really really difficult to have deep conversations with. Either they shy away from them, or they are aggressive and belligerent and adamant they are right and noone else can be. They seem to lack the ability to contemplate and reason on deep subjects.

However, I realize that to some, their treasured beliefs are like major construction supports – they have helped to build their character and outlook on the world. Even if you disagree with someone, you cannot wade in and start attacking a person’s most sacred beliefs – shatter and crush all that impels them!

Don’t be the proverbial bull in a china shop! If you sincerely think someone else is wrong and feel you have the best motive in wishing to adjust their perceptions…it is much better to give them an alternative to consider and allow them to do the pondering. Throttling someone by mocking, trashing, obliterating their beliefs is just cruel and could have very serious effects on another person’s state of mind. A person may cling to their treasured beliefs because a person they adore like their parents have taught them since childhood. Discussion should not be a demolition derby!


Now I know this challenge only calls for two quotes, but I am going to throw in a third because I could not resist it!

I have realized that one of the major things I find attractive in a man, is the ability to have a good conversation. I am not talking about the kind of  champion chatterbox I mentioned earlier.

It is wonderful when you find a man who is capable of the art of conversation – for it is an art, and requires practice to excel! I love the conversations Goldfinch and I share. We can easily have an animated exchange on an array of subjects and show enthusiasm for each other’s interests. It is very easy for those conversations to lead to feelings and more and more affection – a good conversation is far more intoxicating than the finest cologne!  I have to say, a man who can have a good conversation makes himself incredibly attractive – AM I RIGHT LADIES?

If you are a teenage boy this might be the last thing you want to hear! But practice practice practice! Because by the time you are thirty-five, you are going to need to have developed this art. Nobody is going to forgive you if you just grunt whenever someone asks you a question. And you need to be able to show interest in another person’s thoughts and views. That means learning to listen and ask questions to show you are interested. Now is the time to make a fool of yourself practising. I know it must be horrible if you find it awkward and embarrassing – but if you can persist, you will see that people will find you endearing as you try to show interest in them. You will become a girl magnet – because it is such a lovely thing to have a good conversation with a man. And hey – if you fork out and pay for her cappuccino, she will be even more impressed.

I know there are some extreme feministos who might be infuriated by some of this – but hey, I am just being honest, if a guy asks me if I want to go for a coffee, and I don’t really want to, I am just saying yes to be kind, him paying for the coffee is a nice thing. He has an hour to impress me by his conversation skills – I am not picky about what he wears – jeans and a T-shirt is fine. But he needs to have showered and combed his hair. If he can convince me in that hour that I am going to enjoy meeting up with him again and again, then I am more than happy to split future bills 50/50.


My Three Nominees

So that is my take on the theme of CONVERSATION.  To carry on the “3.2.1 Quote Me!” challenge I nominate the following bloggers: