Counting My Blessings

br.pngYesterday was a good day. It was a good day. For many reasons it was a good day. From waking up to see a message from Goldfinch in my inbox to collecting my beautiful brown sourdough bread from the bakery.

I was supposed to start work at 11am. I decided to start at 9am – don’t tell a soul – so that my colleague would have some help. I won’t get paid, but it does not matter. It felt so good to be helpful. It felt so good to see his face light up when he realized help had arrived. It was very busy again. But we did so much work. I am working today too with my manager and another colleague. We will be able to get a lot done whilst closed to the public (we are closed on Sundays).

vreasmWhen I finished work, I passed a shop that I go into about twice a year. I buy a particular product from them. It is a big tub of lavender lotion which says it makes you sleepy. I have almost finished one pot and I decided to go in an buy a new pot. The lady at the counter told me I had just made it on time. They were about to lock up and they will be closed for the foreseeable future – basically until the government say we are passed the danger zone with the …you know. As I paid for my product we started chatting away. She seemed anxious, so I gave her a few little “words of wisdom”.

Anyway…she ended up giving me a carrier bag full of products for free!!! She was so so sweet. She said I was the first person who had made her feel hope. I bought one product and left with hundreds of pounds worth of her stock because she felt better after we had chatted. I could not believe it. She was so kind. I left feeling really overwhelmed.

Oats, Cereal, Cereals, Breakfast, FoodThen I headed to the supermarket. I am used to seeing empty shelves now. At 6pm I was not expecting to find much, and I am glad to say the supermarket was virtually empty of shoppers as well as products. I have seperated all the non-perishable foods I own and put them at the back of the cupboards just in case I have to self-isolate. I go into the supermarket now just to buy fresh food (and to see if there is any toilet paper). I came away with the last bag of salad on the shelf, vegan sausages, a vegan pizza, some fresh pasta, basil, parmesan and pine nuts so that I can make myself some pesto and…a packet of maple syrup and date granola. I will admit I bought some granola on Wednesday. I am not hoarding granola, but I could not resist the thought of maple syrup and dates, so I bought it now. I used to only have granola once or twice a week, but at the moment I am having it every day with either just hot water or with stewed pears (yum!) and I love it! Granola for breakfast, home-made sandwich for lunch, and something with salad for my dinner – fresh pasta or whatever is left on the shelf by the time I arrive at the supermarket.

saodaI had another little shopping victory today. Antibacterial hand soap!!! Not for me. I have soap. But my sister can’t find any up where she lives. She has been looking for a fortnight and has not found it anywhere. So, I said I would look out for it. I have been looking out and so far not seen it…until today. There it was bright blue antibacterial hand soap waiting on the shelf for me to come along and take it home with me. She is trying to teach her kids to wash their hands regularly but they have only had hot water. Well…now they will have soap. I am sending a large bottle of alcohol gel hand sanitizer up to her as well.

Grass, People, Couple, Man, WomanAaaaah sigh! It was a good day. Jack was waiting for me in his car when I arrived home from work. We went for a walk keeping a couple of metres apart. It was strange but we talked about it before. I need to be a bubble of isolation so that I can do my job. He has been trying to keep himself in a bubble of isolation all week because he is heading to a country which has so far less than a handful of cases of …you know. He and I had our last evening together before his flight tomorrow without the physical affection we both longed for. Sad hey! He drove back to his place after our fond verbal farewell. He said some beautiful things to me. I was rather lost for words I am afraid to say. He also brought me back four of the toilet rolls he took last week. That is good. I am pleased with him for that.

So….you see each day you give…and somehow at the end of the day you are better off and happier than you were at the start of the day. We are living through a crisis. Work is intense. But somehow, I have never felt so loved and so glad to be alive. I am sad that I don’t know for certain when I will see Jack with the world being a state of topsy-turviness. But I am counting my blessings. He is a wonderful man who wants to use his life to help others. I would like to live happily ever after with him (and have a hot fling with Goldfinch every once in a blue moon – don’t tell either of them I said that! I am joking!)

baslesI have a job that is keeping me busy. I will be in a position to help out financially any of my family who struggle during the coming hardships that may affect them in coming months. I have amazing colleagues. I have an amazing family and circle of friends, most of them volunteers who are keeping in touch. All of my belongings fit into a suitcase (and a carrier bag of creams, lotions and potions from a lovely lady who owns a fancy soap shop), but I have everything I could ever possibly need and more… and now… I have four toilet rolls to add to the one that I had left in my bathroom.

I went to sleep and drifted off into sweet sleep and dreamt about climbing trees and swimming in a beautiful lake. I am dreaming of this earth being a paradise and both the human family and all other creatures being happy, healthy and safe.

Life is sweet!

Thank You For Your Patience

This year 2019 – I have had much to be thankful for. Indeed I am so grateful for the wonderful that has happened, it has fueled a long long list of posts expressing my excitement and astonishment at times.

thanksBesides the spectacular events of this year 2019, I have all the wonderful that I have had for many years – a gorgeous and loving family, friends who are fun and supportive and delightful, a sweet home, and although my possessions are very few, I know I have more than I need of everything. I was thinking of turning this post into a long list of everything I am thankful for, but I have already read a hundred posts from other bloggers like that, and so I thought I would mention something else I have turned out to be thankful for.

I have mentioned in other posts that I have had this cold/chest infection…it’s almost three weeks since it started and I am still coughing. Anyway, it has turned out to be very helpful. Why? – you may ask.

typisWell…you may know that I have been writing my very first long fiction project. My series about Annabelle Riley. I think there are over eighty sections so far. I never expected it to be this long. Since I began Annabelle’s story I have been wondering how it was going to end. I am going to say something that I am hoping you will understand: SO MUCH OF HER STORY HAS WRITTEN ITSELF. It just kept on flowing out of me. But how would it end? I did not know for a long time.

I thought I had finished her story. On Monday I will publish a part called “Contentment”. That was supposed to be the end of the story. But although it is a nice section, it didn’t feel right. I knew that was not the end. The problem I was having was, I have been so happy in myself for weeks (ever since Jack invaded my life) that I couldn’t get my head into gear to work on a more realistic ending to the story.

Then I developed this yucky gunky cold/chest infection. It was just what I needed! I have felt so exhausted and weak while I have been ill, that I finally was able to think about the battle that Annabelle has been fighting for years. She may have had some positive developments in her life, but I realized that just because her life was going well, it didn’t mean that she was better.

So finally, I realized that there had to an unexpected twist to her story. I also needed to concentrate on the relationships she has with Robin and Chris. Throughout the story, I was wondering how the relationships between them were developing and why. But the twist in Annabelle’s story, puts a new perspective on those relationships.

fighters.pngI found that this stinking cold lasting so long has helped me think more realistically about the challenge that Annabelle faces. I am thrilled with finally being able to bring her story to completion and to leave it without too many loose ends. I am hoping now you will feel the story ends on a positive but realistic note.

I started writing this story at the end of July and I believe that when it is finished there are around one hundred parts! One hundred parts! Crazy! I have loved developing characters, letting dialogue lead the story, and imagining how a young woman with a mental health issue that she has been trying to hide for years would progress, as the people she loves and that love her, appeal to her not to give up.

Woman With Orange Petaled Flower on Her LipsI am proud of Annabelle Riley! And thanks to this persistent cold, I am especially proud of the end of her story!

Thank you for your patience as I have weaved my way through her story. Thank you for all of the amazing support and encouragement from all of you who have read, liked and posted wonderful comments. I have been so touched by those comments and it has impelled me to try to do Annabelle justice and make sure that her story ends on a real but rewarding note.

There are about twelve parts scheduled to be published, bringing Annabelle’s story to an end. I even have a section exclusively for her series within the menu section on my blog. It is called “ANNABELLE RILEY – LEARNER AT LOVE”, which I find a very tempting title for her story. I really hope you enjoy the way her story ends.

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This was my response to the writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore

Writing Prompt #47

C’est La Vie! Quelle Surprise!

Will you Share Your World along with other bloggers by answering this week’s questions?  Take a peek at Melanie’s (sparksfromacombustiblemind) original post which contains this week’s questions:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/10/08/share-your-world-10-8-18/

Do you prefer Apple (‘I’ products) or Android for your technology ‘fix’?  

tabletWell, as I am unwilling to spend any cash on technology, I am not particularly picky.  I am grateful for all the hand-me-downs that have come my way.

I was surprised to win a tablet from a pharmaceutical company after completing a bunch of training modules – I am not 100% sure how you would describe it.  But it can be useful on occasion.

I had to have the charging socket repaired after a helpful sales assistant accidentally destroyed it.

What’s something on your personal bucket list?

I don’t really have a bucket list. Just to stay alive and avoid any other head injuries! My number one aim in life is to resume my normal routine back in my home on the other side of London, my career, my world of friends and projects.

I have rarely had a list of experiences I wanted to enjoy (I think that is what a bucket list is)…they just happened, unexpectedly, usually due to the tremendous kindness of someone else. Most of the spectacular experiences of my life were utter surprises, which probably made them even more special.  Those experiences include scuba diving, sledging with huskies, riding snow-mobiles, riding quad-bikes, skiing, abseiling, gorge climbing, zip wires, jungle treks, horse riding, driving a sports car and visiting many fascinating places.

I don’t know, I have had some wonderful wonderful experiences…but the highlight of my life has been the special people who brighten everyday and make my life far from routine.

Special experiences are one thing, but special people are worth a million times more! I would be content with the most mundane and plain days with people who make life sparkle by their very presence.  They sprinkle delightful surprises throughout your life like stars across the skies.

What would you name your boat if you had one?   The Unsinkable 3? The Please Don’t Sink? Your choice! Also, what would it look like? Do you want a motor yacht, a sailboat, or perhaps a dinghy?

I am torn between “THE GREAT ESCAPE” and “THERE SHE GOES”…or maybe something else…I would probably decide after we have finished building her.

But I have no doubt she will be a sailboat, as romantic a sailboat as you ever did see!  She will be a labour of love, built by my own hands and perhaps the man who is going to share the voyage around the world with me.

Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?

Boring? Oh…that’s hard.  Every character has their interesting layers despite any appearance of being boring. The only people who are setting themselves up for ingrained “boringness”, are those who are no longer willing to learn, and are completely closed-minded to any other way accept their own.

However, I know there are characters that would seriously jar with me.  Someone like Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair.  I cannot fathom her self-interest! I would find her a challenge to say the least. I doubt I would be able able to tolerate her for long. Unless she surprises me by having more unselfishness than she portrays.

Her one redeeming action is trying to convince her friend Amelia to finally see sense and appreciate the adorable Captain (Major) Dobbin.

And finally: 

What brought gratitude, a smile or laughter to your life this week?

A last minute decision from Goldfinch to flutter down to London to be with Caramel!

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/fathom/

FOWC with Fandango — Routine

I Would Love To Get My Steam Iron Over That When She Has Finished Her Swan Lake Routine

Jumping

Hey ho October here we go!  What better way to start a month than by answering the questions from “SHARE YOUR WORLD” hosted by sparksfromacombustiblemind as you can see from her post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/10/01/share-your-world-10-1-18/

Questions:

What’s your go-to for unwinding after a stressful event or day?   Can be someone or something – music, pets, family or whatever you choose.

My current accommodation feels like a “hide-away”.  It is behind two huge locked gates and when I disappear into my little abode, I feel safe from the outside world – as if nobody can get at  me.  Even better is that because the property is so big, we don’t seem to get any mobile phone reception, which is also a way to feel I am escaping the demands of the outside world.

ironingSo just arriving and feeling safe within my little nest helps me start to relax.

One of the things that makes me “de-stress” almost instantly is ironing. It’s like straightening out all the complications and creases in one’s life, problems melt away and everything is orderly and neat and and ylang ylang secented.

I love the calm that descends over me when I am ironing!

The plane you’re flying in is going to crash, no survivors.  If you had one song you could listen to before it happens, what would it be?  (credit to NewEpicAuthor for this one).  Please share the link to the song if you can.

What’s that song…you know the one with the bloke who thinks he can fly?…Errrm let me come back to this one…I have fogotten who he is.

I can’t let my mind go there! The whole scenario of plane about to crash, no survivors…it is too awful and it has happened…I can’t let my mind imagine how awful it must be. I am going to think happy thoughts about planes so that I don’t have fear of flying over 10,000 miles to visit Goldfinch in Australia.

What is one thing you’re really, really good at and not ashamed to admit it?  I worded that deliberately because aren’t we taught to be humble and not pushy about our achievements? Celebrate your ability!

I am good at following written instructions…

When I bake it turns out well, because I don’t experiment…I follow the recipe!

If I can read how to do a task and see the instructions written down, I can usually carry out the task rather than being told what to do or shown what to do.  My mind seems to be wired for learning that way.  Written instructions are so much easier to follow for me.

Over the years I have won trophies, prizes, medals for swimming, maths and karaoke (singing).  But lots of years of practice and training from others have gone into any accomplishments in those areas.

Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?

In all honesty, I don’t have a lot of either money/valuables or pictures.  My possessions fit into a suitcase.  I have very few pictures/photos.  I want to be able to up sticks and go back to my home on the other side of London whenever it is possible (and from there to be sent anywhere in the world there is a need for volunteers). I am still a concern because of the strange results from my CT scans.  But I feel ok…so I have to be patient and wait for them to give me the thumbs up that I am ok.

I am not afraid of losing things.  They are just things. They are not worth getting upset about.  Oh hold on…maybe I would miss my iron and ironing board!

I am afraid of not having a purpose, not having inspiration or motivation, not having special people and memories and experiences and values that shape who I am. That would make me feel truly lost.

It’s not losing things that frightens me, it’s losing myself.  Losing my way in a world that seems to be obsessed with money/valuables. I certainly don’t see any need to worry about capturing every moment in a selfie or through a lens.  I just want to live every moment with gusto!

And lastly

What were you grateful for or something that made you smile during the past month?

I am grateful that it did not rain at the weekend.  It meant that we could saunter along through the woods for hours on dry ground and the sunshine and gentle breeze made it such a perfect day for walking.

I am deeply grateful for a wonderful Goldfinch who flew into my life almost one year ago and has made me feel like flying ever since!

In Summary:

Loves To Iron

Likes To Fly

Lives Out Of A Suitcase

Loves Her Goldfinch

Likes To Follow Written Instructions

Lives Each Moment With Gusto

 

 

Oh I have got him – the flying guy:

Grateful For A Sunset Sky With A Twist Of Lime

I am going to try my hand at this week’s SHARE YOUR WORLD questions, which is currently being hosted by Melanie B Cee… over at sparksfromacombustiblemind as you can see in her post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/09/17/share-your-world-9-17-18/

This week’s questions are:

What Is Your Favourite Beverage? 

20180513_170008-1

I love variety.  I can’t stick to one thing.  But occasionally I go through a stage of having a favourite. My favourites change regularly, but these past summer months this has been my favourite beverage:

BELVOIR FRUIT FARM LIME AND LEMONGRASS CORDIAL

It has been so refreshing to drink throughout the hottest summer we have had in over thirty years.

But now that there is a chill in the air, my tastes are already changing and I have started to enjoy steaming hot cups of tea again.

What Is Your Interpretation of ‘The Golden Rule”?  Are there ramifications to breaking it?

All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.

It is one of the most widely agreed on and simple yet profound pieces of wisdom ever recorded.  Putting it into practice is well worth it, but you have to remember that in this world where not everyone lives by it, there will be times when you feel disappointed in the behaviour and actions of those around you.

If everyone did practice it…well, there would be no crime, no war, no abuse, no discrimination and no fierceness.  Paradise!

Sunrise person or sunset person? 

Oooooh so hard to pick!  But I guess I have caught a lot more spectacular sunsets than sunrises partly because of my waking hours.

Do people in modern society anthropomorphise animals too much?

I think it is cute…

My only worry is when someone can’t enjoy normal relationships with other humans because they feel nobody understands them as well as their cat or dog.

My sister Mandy did exactly that during a tempestuous phase she went though as a child.  She had a little suitcase permanently packed and ready so she could run away from home with her best friend, our pet cat Tamara.  She used to dress the cat in dolls clothes and talk to the cat.  She did not feel as if anyone understood her or loved her as much as the cat did.

and finally

What Were You Grateful For During the Past Week?

I was extremely grateful and relieved to discover that Goldfinch was not ignoring my messages.  He was abroad and did not have his personal phone with him because of the cost of calls abroad.

Love or hate this song – here is how it made me feel: