Falling In Love In The Fall

fall.jpgI won’t see Jack this weekend 😦 However, I will see him next weekend! Which will be strange, because I will be with him the nights the clocks go back. I met Goldfinch two years ago on the last Saturday of October, the night the clocks go went back an hour. Aaaaah sigh! So many memories of that thrilling night when he walked in! And it was thrilling! I don’t think I am ever going to forget it!

Still finding it strange that I love two men. I am trying to let it resolve itself naturally, just as Goldfinch said would happen. I am falling in love with Jack more and more every day. I always loved him, but now I am falling in love him – which is different, as many of you will no doubt agree.

It is time for the weekly SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post in response to the questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind.

I have chosen to skip a couple of questions from the list this week (the answer was basically a big NO to both of them) and concentrate on the questions for which I had something more interesting to offer.

So you can see the full list of questions in Melanie’s original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/10/14/share-your-world-10-14-19/

QUESTIONS:

Why do we have such trouble telling our loved ones that we love them?  Do you have that kind of communication issue with your loved ones?

ralph and annieOh I have no issues with declaring my love! Nor my appreciation. I try to make sure everyone in my life, family, friends, colleagues know that I have fond feelings for them, and I tell them specifically what I appreciate about them.

In fact, if I am having difficulty warming to someone, I ask myself what are the positive qualities this person has, and then when I am next with them, I try to voice that.

If there’s one thing I want to give to everyone in my life – it is love. Telling them I love them is only a small part of that. I don’t understand why anyone would hold back. Love is good, really good! Life without love is just an empty existence.

pearl and annieThere are people who are desperately deprived of love. I think we should take every opportunity to mark our speech and behaviour, especially the way we treat others, with love. Saying the words, “I love you!” or “You mean the world to me!” or “What on earth would I do without you?”…or a million other ways of saying it, is important.

Humans thrive on love! It is an area we should never hold back in!

Do you donate to charities?  Of your time, do you feel money is the only true gift, or other? 

construction clothesSince I stepped foot on a construction site at the age of sixteen, volunteering for charities has been at the center of my life.

I have always worked part-time to earn my bread and butter and have shopped for clothes in charity shops and kept my needs and wants to the minimum, in order to give most of my time to charities.

For five years I was a full-time international volunteer. I did not receive any wages at all during that time. However, other people were generous towards us, giving us something towards our travel costs, or to buy winter clothing. As volunteers we tried to give whatever money we had left back to the charities we were working for (they provided us with basic accomodation and meals).

roofersThere are lots and lots of charities out there. I think if anyone is asking for contributions, it is wise to ask about their charity registration, unless it is a charity you know are legitimate.

Personally, I wouldn’t give money to just any charity. I would have to agree with the cause, trust that the charity use their donations properly and that they are not political or military. (I respect that governments can do whatever they want with our taxes.) As some of the assignments my colleagues and I have been sent on is to go into areas where military conflicts and political fighting have wreaked havoc and caused unimaginable damage and heartbreak – I would be careful to avoid funding those who are often contributing to the mess we go in to help to fix.

projectsBecause of the effects of the head injuries I received the night I was attacked, I can’t be involved in construction projects currently, nor can I be sent abroad. So instead I work on non-construction roles in connection with community projects closer to where I live and I help with administration tasks, including all the planning that is required for projects. I miss the kind of assignments I used to be involved with.

at work.jpgJack has two assignments overseas in the new year. He has been involved in a huge local project here for the past few months but that is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. That’s why he has been able to see so much of me. But al that will change once this project is over. He could be sent anywhere in the world for any length of time. The future for Jack and I is slightly complicated. So I will have to get used to him being abroad for weeks at a time 😦 That will be hard!

GRATITUDE:

This week please share a photo or image of what ‘harvest’ and “Autumn” mean to you!

spiffing.jpgI think “harvest” is an American thing. Is it something to do with “Thanksgiving”? But we do certainly have Autumn here in England! I will be honest with you, I love spring and summer, so I am not exactly jumping for joy when autumn creeps in. But just for you Melanie, I will try to think positively about autumn!

What does it mean to me? Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • walking in the woods
  • snuggling up on the sofa
  • sipping hot chocolate or gingerbread lattes
  • apple and cinnamon cake, pie or crumble
  • rainy days, grey skies
  • boots and rain-coats
  • butternut squash soup
  • darker evenings
  • secret rendezvous in the countryside

Well…I hope I got into the spirit of autumn! Here is more to set the scene for falling in love with fall and during the fall!

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

him and me.jpgI am back in London and have a few days of work ahead, including working on Saturday. But it has worked out well, because he has events to attend on both Friday and Saturday. So we will spend Sunday, Monday and Tuesday together…here. Yes, I know! It is very exciting. We are going to stay mostly cocooned (I learnt that word from Cyranny recently), but we will need some fresh air…so when it’s dark, we can go walking and see some of this area. Probably on Monday and Tuesday during the day, we can walk in the woods. It will be much quieter then. But no local restaurants or bars – not yet – it’s just too early. I have a few things to keep us entertained..besides the obvious.

dean nyc.jpgHe is coming to see the little nest for the very first time. I have told him he needs to come on public transport! Which he did not like at all. But parking is a problem here. And if anyone saw his car and him out there renewing the guest parking permits…no, it’s not acceptable.

I have given him a route to follow to reach my little abode discreetly. There are two buses he could take from the tube station. One stops on the main road which is always busy. The other one turns into a narrow lane. If he gets off there and takes the little path with a turnstyle, he can reach my place without passing anyone easily. When he understands how crazy busy this place is especially at the weekend – we have lots of tourists in this part of London – I am sure he will understand to trust me when I tell him to use a particular route. If he just follows my instructions…. goodness, this is Jack. Something is bound to go wrong!

shall iI am becoming really house-proud (even more than usual!) because of him coming to stay. I am picking out recipes from cookbooks and trying to decide what to make. Unlike Goldfinch, he does like coffee flavoured things. I found an amazing recipe for an espresso cheese-cake which I tempted to try.

Aaaah – I do miss Goldfinch. I remember vividly the first time he came to visit me in the little nest. I remember how his visits always prompted me to transform into a domestic diva!

Well…to distract me, I shall focus on my answers to this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD. Take a look at the original questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind , in her original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/10/07/share-your-world-10-7-19/

QUESTIONS:

Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) a good thing, a bad thing or a mixture of both?

They are tools. Just like a telephone or a computer or an aeroplane. They can be used, utilised, useful. It all depends on whose hands they are in. I was never even a user of Facebook, and yet saw photos of myself and horrid comments about me from people I did not even know. If somebody used an aeroplane to drop bombs on people…that plane becomes a deadly weapon. When people use social media to cause devastation to others, with malicious motive…those tools become harmful.

toolsI have never used Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat. But I used to have a smartphone (two years proved it was a very big mistake, so now I have a very basic phone), and when I first had it, a friend downloaded Instagram and Whatsapp. The misuse of these tools by other people, was the reason I got rid of the smartphone.

What concerns me is those who feel justified in launching explosive, damaging content on these social media platforms. They perceive an enemy, and they want to drop bombs. They want to lash out and hurt others. They don’t understand that they come across as quite mad. There are wars, feuds going on as we speak…all on social media.

Are you camera shy or do you pose for the camera with confidence?

posingI am a complete contradiction in my attitude towards cameras and photographs.

If I see someone pull out a camera, initially I feel nervous. But I will pose, and I am such a poser! Shameless. I don’t know what comes over me. It’s the same when I am performing on a stage. If a camera or a microphone appears anywhere near me…I will perform, without fear.

However, I hate to see photographs or videos of myself after they have been taken. I am terribly unphotogenic. I always look drunk or confused.

photos1One of the things that I found tremendously challenging in the past, and I know I will in the future is that being with the man who everyday I realize is as close to a soulmate as I will ever find, means cameras. He loves taking photos of me, and of the two of us together. But in the future, it will get worse. He often is the subject of photos that end up online in some form. If I am with him, I might end up in some of those photos. I am dreading it.

I don’t hate my body. But I do hate to see my body in photographs. Really hate it. It has a terrible effect on my confidence. It’s something I need to discuss further with him. He is going to need to look after me in that regard. I don’t want to be miserable because I see awful photos of myself in online news of any form. Please if you see a caramel blonde on the arm of  popular entertainer, who is renowned for working with charities, don’t laugh at her imperfections – for she has many.

Is there anything you’ve kept from younger years for sentimental reasons alone?

IMG_20181114_165943I have one sentimental trinket. My glass frog that came from the south of France. I was in my late teens when we visited Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes and St Tropez. My glass frog is the only sentimental object I have kept….except…

Up north I have a case full of all the personal letters I have received over the letters. I just didn’t want to throw all of the lovely words that I received from friends and family away, so I kept them. Perhaps one day, I am going to have to part with all of those lovely letters, but it is hard to imagine it right now. I also have never deleted a personal e-mail. I keep them all. I would probably have kept all the text messages I had ever been sent, if it wasn’t for the limit the phones I have used have been able to hold.

I guess to me words have also held more sentimental significance than things.

Do you like to decorate for different holidays?

The short answer is NO.

But that is because we don’t do commercial holidays. My family has become more like an empire. There are around one hundred relatives in Wales, another hundred spread across Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside. Then there are those of us who live a reasonable distance away from the epicenter of the family. I have relatives in Scotland, Lincolnshire, London, Gibraltar, and others who serve as volunteers in Africa and in Asia.

family party 1

Commercial holidays would be a nuisance if we let them interfere with our family life. And the expense would be ridiculous. So we don’t. We make the most of every occasion we can be together. Chatter, food, music, laughter, dancing and all good things. But not silly gifts and decorations.

A lot of the holidays are based on ancient fertility worship or sun worship or wrapped up in quite shocking ideas. I am shocked that people call some of these holidays “Christian”! They have absolutely nothing to do with him!

GRATITUDE

Do you feel you’re a strong person character-wise?   Also, if you do have a gratitude thought or picture you’d like to share, please feel free!   The world can always use more positive vibes!

strong man pose (2)Some of my characteristics and traits are strong. That is partly due to training. My parents raised us well, so I have some healthy habits, qualities and attitudes that I take great pride in. However, one of my strongest characteristics is that I am a generally mild, gentle, easy-going type of person. I try to get onto the level of whoever I am with. I am sensitive to the feelings of others, I adapt to them. I am tactful and diplomatic.

So in some ways I have a certain strength of character, but it doesn’t come across as strong-headed – does that actually make any sense? My strength is my mildness! And I am sure that is an invaluable asset when it comes to Jack.

_____________

…And something that was positive…well, I was thinking about a lovely positive comment that Melanie left me earlier this week about love and marriage. Hold on…let me find it. Here it is:

LOL Mel. I’m of the opinion that being in love takes YEARS

off both the clock and the mental age… ❤

I loved that! Suddenly the idea of getting hitched doesn’t seem so scary after all. No, I am not getting married yet. All though this is all happening very quickly…not that quickly ok!

Taking It On The Chin With A Grin

stressI have been spending time with “him”, which is just wonderful. Work is wonderful. I have a relative who is very ill, and it is a hard to see what she is going through. But the whole family (there are a lot of family), and many many friends are all making sure she knows how much she is loved!

I was chatting with “him”, and he was telling me about a challenge he was dealing with when we were living together. One of his very close relatives was battling cancer. He didn’t tell me back then, he didn’t tell any of us (six of us shared a huge flat). Just a couple of his close friends knew at the time. He was feeling it at the time, it was stressing him out a lot. But all we saw was him being cheerful and charismatic – as ever. He is so good at cracking on with work and keeping everyone happy, there are often no visible signs of stress. He says that stress did affect his relationship with me. It went terribly wrong, and he just did not have the emotional energy for it because of everything he was juggling.

fave memory.pngFunny how sometimes you just don’t realize what those close to you, those who you love, might be going through. He said he loved the atmosphere in our flat. We had lots of pizza nights (with real home-made pizzas). There were some great times in that flat. I wish we could have had more! In some ways, what happened between him and I cast a shadow over the fun in the flat. He and I went from awkward to hostile. Anyway…it is all in the past. We can only learn from hindsight. It means a lot to understand more about why he was so weird back then.

These are the thoughts on my mind as I turn my my attention to preparing my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post. As I have skipped one of the questions, please check out the complete list of questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, in her original post:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/09/30/share-your-world-9-30-19/

QUESTIONS:

questI have decided to skip the first question that was listed in this weeks SHARE-YOUR-WORLD.

Having been the victim of some of the serious crimes listed, it just lowered my mood so much thinking about it, I decided I would negate to answer the first question. But I will say this…filming a real crime for entertainment purposes – insane!!

So moving on…

If someone asked to be your apprentice and learn all that you know, what would you teach them?

having a blast.gif“All that I know”…well that would take about five minutes – not much of an apprenticeship! I am not an expert in any subject really, I am a jack of all trades (or apparently the term for a woman is “a jill of all trades”) kind of person. So it would be an apprenticeship with a huge variety of content, but none of those subjects would be studied in depth.

My apprentice would complete the training exactly like me – a really good “all-rounder”, who likes to smile a lot, and has a million stories to tell because of all the projects she has worked on and the fascinating people she has met.

And most of all my apprentice would learn how to make sure that everyday, come what may, is an absolute blast!

First think of a product. Now, what would be the absolute worst brand name for one of those products?

butter on your bumOh…the product that came to mind was toilet paper…as for the worst possible brand name…maybe I will skip this question too!!! But my friends have chuckled often at some of the features of toilet paper we have seen on supermarket shelves:

SHEA BUTTER TOILET PAPER – who wants to put butter on their bum?

RECYCLED TOILET PAPER – nice!

SUDOKU TOILET PAPER – really?

CAMOUFLAGE TOILET PAPER – now that’s just nasty!

But it doesn’t end there, you can buy valentine’s toilet paper, musical toilet paper and toilet paper printed with personal photographs, we have seen photos of politicians, military figures, pop stars…the list goes on. It’s all rather disturbing!

I think instead at this point, it would be more educational and positive to watch an instructive toilet paper origami video:

If you enjoyed that there are many many more toilet paper origami videos online!

What ridiculous and untrue, yet slightly plausible, theories can you come up with for the cause of common ailments like headaches or cavities?

headacheGoodness…every morning I have head pain when I wake up. I have occasionally made up comedy reasons. I remember telling my family, friends, or Goldfinch things like these:

IT’S THE LITTLE PEOPLE IN MY HEAD PRACTICING THEIR RIVERDANCE ROUTINE

THE MOTHER SHIP IS SENDING AN ENCODED MESSAGE, THE PAIN WILL STOP AS SOON AS THE DATA TRANSFER IS COMPLETE

IT’S BECAUSE I AM SO BRAINY, MY HEAD SOMETIMES HURTS BECAUSE MY SKULL IS TOO SMALL AND THERE IS NO WHERE ELSE FOR MY BRAIN TO GO

IT’S YOUR FAULT, YOU HAVE BEEN MAKING LOVE TO ME IN MY DREAMS ALL NIGHT, NOW MY HEAD IS IN PAIN RECOVERING

fml-yoga-jaw.jpgHowever…that middle one…it’s not all that funny it turns out. I have had exactly that problem (not being “brainy”), inflammation of my brain tissue…has caused my brain stem to go the only place it can…downwards. This is part of the reason I have been in hospital a number of times with major issues, after I was attacked and received multiple severe blows to my head.

But hey…we do try to keep a sense of humour do we not!!! Adversity – take it on the chin with a grin! Nothing damaged that can’t be fixed eventually. I’m sure my Creator has it covered.

Here is a great ditty from Edgar A. Guest:

WITH A LIFT OF [HER] CHIN AND A BIT OF A GRIN

WITHOUT ANY DOUBTING OR “QUIT IT”

[SHE] STARTED TO SING AS [SHE] TACKLED THAT THING

THAT COULDN’T BE DONE AND [SHE] DID IT!!!


GRATITUDE:

If you’d like to, please share a photo or an example of gratitude that you have.  Thanks!  

IMG_20180722_123051 (2)I am especially grateful at the moment to this wonderful man, who lives far far away from me, but who is still a very important part of my life.

He is like my bestie at the moment. None of my nearest and dearest know about the recent development with my ex-flatmate. But my beloved friend on the opposite side of the planet has been very lovely about things.

Initially expressing some concern, because he knows what happened in the past, remarking that I have a great capacity for forgiveness (hey how can you not when you know what others have forgiven you for?) and reassuring me over and over. He wants me to be happy.

Supportive, kind, lovely, gorgeous…he is a very special man – and I am not going to stop loving him. I am so grateful for everything, the exciting romance, the adventures in the bedroom, and his friendship, which means so much to me.

I know I am going to have to draw some lines, some borders in my heart…the 10,100 miles make it easier to keep my focus on the man who is here, the man I know is as close to a soul-mate as I will ever find…but I do not ever want to stop loving the gorgeous Australian who helped so many internal wounds heal. He has been a special part of my life…and he will always be.

 

Blue Sky Thinker

always.jpgI already know I tend to be very light-hearted, but I learnt something else about how my friends view me this past week. Even during dark times in my life, I have had a tendency to focus on what makes life sparkle.

Somebody told me the other day that I am a “blue sky thinker”. I wasn’t sure what that meant at first. But he said it is very refreshing, so I am taking it as a compliment. Blue is better than orange, or puce – yes puce really is a colour. If you are not sure you could always google it!

Well…I hope you find my “blue-sky thinking” as refreshing as he did, in my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD POST!

Take a peak at the questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, in her original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/09/23/share-your-world-9-23-19/

QUESTIONS:

When was the last time you face palmed?   

ouch.pngI am not really a “face palmer”. I am really struggling to remember doing that at all. I don’t like touching my face, incase I make my skin greasy or ruin my make-up. I do fidget a lot with my hair.

But I think people “face palm” when they are embarrassed – is that correct? Well…I regularly have embarrassing situations occur, only I find I am just not very easily embarrassed these days. I can laugh things off very quickly and move along.

When is censorship warranted?  Ever?

Oh wow…there are so many people spouting out nonsense, I am sometimes surprised it is so easy to start a cult, get voted into political office or become an “influencer” and get pay-outs from retailers and fashion designers for telling people that they should all be wearing puce and studded chokers – ay karumba!

quote8Freedom is a responsibility. People can think and say and do what they want, but they also have to be prepared to accept the consequences. In the privacy of one’s mind, or the relative privacy of one’s household, I think it is healthy to express your thoughts and feelings, in a healthy way.

However, if I build a platform and a sound system, so that people can broadcast their thoughts and feelings to a wider audience, and then a user is irresponsible and belligerent. I might use my free will to remove the platform, and dismantle the sound system, or just not allow that person to use them again.

I know some might cite a sinister side to censorship. The thought of a government, for example, controlling the information resources their population has access to may seem kind of barbaric. I am not going to give my opinion on that as I do not have any political agenda.

censorBut at the same time, I do not object to some kind of regulatory body, assessing how people are handling the responsibility that comes along with the ability to publish and broadcast on an international public domain. The problem is, how do you make sure that regulatory body is politically neutral and unbiased?

When we were younger, we realized that if our phones were confiscated – we had done something bad! Hopefully, we were helped to see why what we had done was of such great concern to our parents. I am not sure people really learn the lesson nowadays – they just grumble about how their rights to freedom of speech have been violated.

mediaI do believe in rules, based on principles. I believe in respect and love. People who promote what is harmful and hate-filled may be relying on laws upholding freedom of speech and thought and freedom of the press etc. There may be a legal framework allowing the publishing or broadcasting of questionable content currently…but not all things legal are necessarily good.

cuckoo.pngIn this world, entangled in complex issues, I understand there are a huge array of opinions and views and beliefs. But I think things are pushing forward to a pivotal point, when fundamental issues will come to the fore, and others pale into insignificance.

With freedom comes responsibility and accountability. Having free will does not mean escaping the consequences, and it does not mean avoiding being held to account for the harm that one has causes. I accept that any fashion designers currently promoting puce as the colour to wear for winter might not like my earlier comments. I willingly accept the consequences. Perhaps I won’t be made welcome at London fashion week at all.

If there were commandments for the modern day world, what should (could, would) some of them be?  Get creative!

Commandments! Ay karumba! I don’t know if these are commandments or my Caramel Cross Code for life. Top of the list is a classic…because it will never fail!

LOVE OTHERS AS YOURSELF!

smiler 1YOU ARE NEVER FULLY DRESSED WITHOUT A SMILE

IF YOU ARE RELUCTANT TO FORGIVE, REMEMBER WHAT OTHERS HAVE FORGIVEN YOU FOR

ALWAYS CHOOSE KINDNESS

FLOSS OR DIE

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD, GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP SO YOU CAN DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN

EXPECT NOTHING, APPRECIATE EVERYTHING

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO ADMIT YOU TOOK A WRONG TURN AND CHANGE DIRECTION

STUPID IS STUPID DOES

food1STOP BEING UNGRATEFUL, HALF OF THE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET LIVE ON AROUND $1 A DAY!

RECYCLE OR DIE

PEOPLE DO NOT REALLY CARE WHAT YOU KNOW, THEY WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE

AVOID DEBT LIKE THE PLAGUE – IF YOU ARE IN DEBT, YOU ARE A SLAVE

SET TWO ALARMS IN THE MORNING

THE GREATEST IS THE PERSON WHO MAKES THEMSELF A SLAVE

and it poursBE PREPARED FOR ANY WEATHER

BEWARE OF HALF-TRUTHS, THEY MIGHT SOUND OK, BUT THEY LEAD TO NOTHING

GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE

BE A PEACE MAKER

LIFE IS SACRED, DO NOT WASTE IT!

LIFE IS PRECIOUS, DO NOT HARM OTHERS OR TAKE RISKS

LOVE LOVE LOVE – DO NOT HOLD BACK! LOVE CONQUERS EVERYTHING

What did you Google last?

resto.jpgOh…what did I google last? I think it was “PUCE WINTER FASHION”….oh, nope, I am wrong. Apparently the last thing I googled was “LA DAME DE PIC” because I have an appointment there soon.

Before that, “BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER”, something I am researching for my long fictional writing project. We are nearly at the end of the Annabelle Riley story! I bet you’re all wondering how long this saga is going to go on for. I just need to make sure it is not too Disney.

Gratitude is an Attitude

annie drinking coffee

I would like to give coffee a mention this week. I have been burning the candle at both ends for the past few weeks. I am so grateful for coffee. Without it I would have been dysfunctional!

I am also thankful for make-up as it has hidden my tired eyes and made me look half-decent.

In addition I would like to express my gratitude for music…I have had a song in my heart everywhere I have been and it has been wonderful. Despite having had a lot going on, Melody Finch is singing and laughing and dancing her way through this wonderful life.

 

Listening And Learning Can Be Lovely

perfect vision.pngIt’s been an eventful week! So I am late again with this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post. I love the chance to share a little of my view of the world at large and my own little but lovely world. The questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, are always just too good to resist. So I had to make sure I finished my post before the weekend was through. Here is Melanie’s original post, so you can take a look at the original questions and all the great posts from other bloggers who participate in SHARE-YOUR-WORLD:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/09/16/share-your-world-9-16-19/

QUESTIONS:

Are we losing the art of listening in comparison to simply hearing?

careffulYes, this is an interesting question indeed.

I always understood the word “listening” to mean that you hear and act, or hear and obey. In fact somewhere I have read that in some ancient languages the same word was used for “listen” and “obey”. I always thought hearing could be more passive. Whereas, I have always understood the process of listening to demand that you fix your attention on something and respond or act on what is heard.

careful1There is a lot of noise in this world, it’s hard to avoid hearing that “noise”. But to choose to fix your attention on something or someone and to heed such…well, that can require some effort and conscious choice.

Someone might think they are listening…however, there is so much bias and prejudice in their heart, they are only mentally arguing regarding what they have heard. (Which might not seem like a bad thing, if it seems utter nonsense.) So, it can take great effort to prepare yourself to listen with retention.

careful2A very skilled listener may also be able to not just hear and respond to the words spoken, but to discern the tone of voice and other indicators of what a person is actually feeling…regardless of their choice of words. I often think of my parents. They were very good at listening. Even when I didn’t say how I felt or voice my concerns, they knew something was wrong and they listened to what I was and wasn’t telling them. They were deeply interested. Someone who is really interested in something or someone tends to be a much better listener.

Listening is a marvellous skill…to be cultivated and trained. It can mean your very life!

How often do you openly discuss with friends or here in WP with your readership topics that make you feel uncomfortable or may be taboo or stigma laden?

Oh my friends and I discuss all sorts of fascinating subjects! There are no limits to the topics and subjects we handle.

i cant drawHmm.I would say that my site is on the whole light-hearted and lively. I hope you find CRUSHED CARAMEL (LEARNER AT LOVE) that way. But I am not afraid of interesting questions. I am aware that on certain subjects there are diverse opinions, and I do appreciate that in stating my own opinion on a matter, there is a possibility that someone who disagrees with such may feel alienated.

Sometimes other bloggers might raise interesting questions, and I may choose to attempt to provide an answer. But I would be cautious. Whenever these “provoking” questions come up, I do try to be careful and considerate. I would not wish to be belligerent or cause any offence.

Do you think that these discussions should be freely discussed and written about more?

toxicHmm. I am not afraid of engaging in subjects that are difficult to discuss, because I am careful in how I approach them. However, if you tackle a subject and express your opinions in a manner that could cause someone else to feel threatened and intimidated, or offended, well, naturally you may expect to lose some readers. You can decide for yourself whether you care about that. I am sure that the main reason that I am invited to so many dinner parties is that I have that training in tact, discretion, diplomacy that means I can be at any dinner table, and part of any discussion without causing any offense or embarrassment.

I am careful to remember that a person may have deeply treasured beliefs and views that are holding them together, and that have helped them to endure all manner of challenges in their life. Their faith and their hope may be very sacred to them. Presenting your own beliefs or views in a respectful and reasonable manner allows someone to consider them. Make your expressions palatable though. If you deliver your opinions like punches…you’ll entertain those of like-mind, and alienate others.

dem.gifIt is cruel to turn on someone else’s deeply treasured views with a sledge-hammer and leave them with nothing. If you are the kind of debater that aggressively seeks to demolish all other possible opinions that differ from your own and have no regard for causing another person to crumble…well – I hardly know what to say to you! Maybe that’s why I don’t see you at dinner parties! I wonder if it is really more important to win arguments or win hearts. Is it more important to always be right, or to be kind?

Did you have a nickname as a child and if so, what was [or what is it now]?

me at 9Jo.

I needed a tomboy name. Melody is rather girly. Jo seemed more fitting for my character. I was a tree-climbing, football playing, pond-wading, scaffolding invading, rope swinging kind of a girl.

Jo is part of my middle name. So Jo it was.

Why is there still ‘stuff’ we simply just don’t understand despite our progressive world?

child“Progressive” – I am not so sure that is the word that would come to my mind when I contemplate this “world”. I consider it more along the lines of “lost” and “estranged” from our Creator. Trying to learn about creation, while ignoring the purpose of the Designer and Creator, is always going to lead humans to wrong conclusions, some of which are very harmful.

Humankind are crying out for help. I have every confidence that we will learn and understand and progress forever, under the loving guidance of our Creator. We are all learners at love.

What is your most essential kitchen tool?  (Can be a person you know.  For the non-cooks in the crowd).

I absolutely love my food processor. I love making hummus and pesto. I love making coleslaw and being able to make biscuit crumbs for the base of cheese-cakes so quickly.


Gratitude Question:

Who is one blogger you really admire and why?

There are so many bloggers who I admire for all sorts of reasons. It is really hard to single out one. So I will give you three for a start. If you follow their blogs and have any idea of their personalities and qualities…you will know exactly why I mention them. But I could easily supply another thirty bloggers who I truly admire.

Are you one of those curious types who wants me to give a reason for why I have mentioned these three…well, I will try to explain. We all face challenges at some point, I draw huge encouragement and inspiration from the way people deal with challenges they have faced. Endurance, determination, fighting spirit…and a remarkable way of communicating and chronicling how they have dealt with challenges. Hats off ladies – you are all awesome!

ashleyleia ashleyleia – Mental Health @ Home

The Greatest Wealth Is To Live Content With Little

baked beans and toastLast night was a very happy contented little evening. I felt happy tired. Happy tired is such a nice feeling. After a lot of walking, I came back last night to my little nest and I had baked beans on toast for my tea! I replied to a few e-mails and called my sister. Then I watched “The Great British Bake-Off” and then I finished my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post. Lovely questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, in this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD, as you can see from her post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/09/09/share-your-world-9-9-19/

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QUESTIONS

What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery or came into a huge fortune?

Well…it certainly would not be the lottery. I don’t agree with gambling in any form. So a huge fortune would have to find it’s way to me through some other legitimate means – I can’t think how.

fat catsHow much are we talking about when we say “a huge fortune”? I have never earnt more than £10,000 a year. (If you know nothing about me, that’s because since I was sixteen years of age I have spent most of my time doing voluntary work for charities.) So in my mind, I have a top limit as to how much money it is appropriate for one person to possess. Beyond a point, it becomes disgusting. I do not agree with people having millions. I think it is grossly absurd for the economy to allow that to happen. There is no way I am going to give up work completely. Work is satisfying. To know that you went to work, you earned your bread and butter. The food you eat you bought because of your own toil. There is a sense of reward there.

walkers legs.jpgI wiped out almost all of my savings on my trip to Australia in the summer, so it would be nice to replenish my savings, so that I wasn’t having to eek everything out so much. I was always told you should have three months rent in the bank. I don’t want to actually buy a house (I understand that people might want a sense of security, but what’s the point of investing in this system?) and I don’t want a car, I like walking because it keeps my legs looking lovely and if I need to go far, London’s public transport system is great. I have more clothes and shoes than I can fit comfortably in my wardrobe. Charity shops have kept me well-supplied.

food1.jpegSo I reckon if I take the three months rent, another £1000 so I can go to Australia again without scrimping and saving…well that’s all less than £3000. So anything more than that, I need to share out. I would make sure people I love and know have what they need, three months rent etc.

I know which of my friends are materialistic in their thinking. Why would I feed that ugly trait? I am not going to buy luxuries for anyone. But I would like to make sure none of my loved ones were in debt and that they had what they needed. How can anyone of good conscience and sound mind really enjoy wasting money on luxuries, when there are so many people who are wasting away with malnutrition? I would probably check with Goldfinch if there is anything special he would like – it would be so nice to be able to afford to buy him something special. But I would keep within a sensible limit. Just because I love him, I am not going to express that love by lining coffers of greedy retailers.

important quote.jpgThen with the rest of the money, I would give it to the kind of charities I love working with. Charities that use both donations and their assets very carefully and do things that actually make sense. There are lots of “causes” out there, many of which I don’t think are particularly effective. But charities that don’t just throw relief at people in need, but go into areas and provide useful training and facilities, education and empowerment. Make that money have longer lasting effects. That way the money could actually touch and make a difference to the lives of many, actually many millions of people.

Which decade do you think had the best sense of style?

Ooooh…tough question! I am not sure. But I do like fit and flare dresses even now, so it makes me think of the dresses from the fifties. I am not going to be argumentative about this though. 

Would you rather be half your height or double your weight?

stillsWow…even tougher question! I am not perfect. But I am content as I am.

If I had to choose between those two options, I think I would go for being half my height. That would make me two foot and ten inches (I think). I think I would always be wearing high-heels!

I don’t like the thought of being double my weight at all. I think I would be more sensitive about being way past my recommended weight than I would be about my height, (or lack of it).

Although I just asked a friend about this, he said choose the weight of course. You can’t really do much about your height (other than wearing stilettos etc) but he says you can diet and exercise and lose the weight. Isn’t he a clever clogs!

If you wanted to get away from everyone totally, where would you hide?

so cuteWell my little nest is a pretty effective hide-away. I feel very cut off from the outside world because my front door is completely hidden from passers-by.

The moment I leave my little abode, there are people everywhere. This is London baby! We are all squished together here. Where in London can you go to get away from everyone? Only your own little nest really. It is nice to have a little space to yourself when everyday you are crammed in with thousands of strangers, all packed like sardines on buses or trains.

GRATITUDE

What do you do that you love?  

All sorts! I love cleaning and ironing. I love work, especially the voluntary work I do. I love putting on my steel toe-capped boots and working on construction projects. I love getting dressed up in beautiful dresses (that I found in charity shops) to go to special events. I love e-mailing friends across the country and in other countries. I love walking/hiking. I love cooking and baking. I love making my own pesto and my own hummus each week. I love physics. I love gardening (I only do the basics, but I love being out in the garden working away). I love swimming – always have! I love being with friends. I love karaoke. I love making love to Goldfinch – am I allowed to say that? 

So many things that I do that I love! Life is so so so beautiful!

No Rain On My Parade!

I found myself with some spare time (yayyyyyy!) on Friday afternoon, so I thought I would give my attention to working on a few posts before going out in the evening. I am in a happy, mirthful mood at the moment. Jack has cast a bit of a shadow on last week, so I decided this weekend will be devoted to fun with friends! London here we come!!!

fun london.gif

One of the posts I wanted to make sure I finished before the week was over was my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post in response to the brilliant questions from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Here is Melanie’s original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post for this week:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2019/09/02/share-your-world-9-2-19/

Let’s begin shall we!

“I’m going to live!

Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter 

Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade

Don’t tell me not to fly…”

Questions

When you’re 90 years old, what do you suppose will matter most to you?

What is 90? If you are planning on living forever, at 90 life is only just beginning!

working togetherBy the time I am 90, I hope to be married to a wonderful man, who is my best friend. I don’t want to live alone I have decided. But neither do I want to marry an eeeed-yat! I think I will be too young to want to have children or a permanent home, so I am kind of hoping he feels the same way at that stage.

I would hope he and I are travelling in the international restoration work after this corrupt system has gone. It will be wonderful working to restore paradise and helping to build homes for resurrected ones. Seeing the whole earth thrive and all it’s creatures healthy and secure. Whenever I think about the future I feel overwhelmed with happiness.

living.jpgSomebody used to say to me (my memory is blank as to who it was) when you are 86, 385, 672, 581 years old, do you still think you’ll be keeping track of your age? Do you think we will have stopped using the greeting “How are you?”? Do you think you will remember falling out with someone over a misunderstanding? Or do you think you will be celebrating all of the wonderful friends you have? All of the satisfying work you have been involved in? All of the tears of joy you have wept since humans have been living in harmony with the way they were designed?

What’s the best way to spend a rainy afternoon?

I ought to say reading the posts from other bloggers on WordPress – oughtn’t I?

disasterIf I was on my own home, at my little nest, I would probably make sure the whole flat was spotlessly clean and that I was up-to-date with all my laundry and ironing. I would probably make a dish like a curry or lasagne to freeze and perhaps bake something. I would catch up on my e-mails to all my loved ones. Then I would relax either with a medical book, a novel, or I might even be tempted to find something watchable on television (TV is the last resort).

rainy dayBut if I was out and the rain changed my plans, I would head for a museum or gallery in London. I might go to a department store and pretend I am interested in make-up for a wedding. They will give you a virtual make-over if they think you will come back and spend money. My entire annual budget for make-up is normally around £10 per annum. I might wander in and out of charity shops looking for bargains. I am sure I would find a cute cafe with comfy seats, to drink soya cappuccinos in, and hope they had something tempting to eat. I might reply to some text messages – I am hopeless with my mobile phone., but I do tell everyone to ring my landline if it’s important.

I have answered the questions as if I was alone. Eight times out of a ten I would have company. But it is nice to have some time alone occasionally – to let the brain work out all the input it has taken in. We do have a significant number of rainy days here in England, so I am an expert in how to make the most of a rainy afternoon. Rain doesn’t spoil fun, it just changes the fun!

What is one thing you don’t understand about yourself?

differentErm…I guess the only thing that I find hard to understand about myself is my memory after my head injuries.

My family have often suggested I am different after the head trauma I received. It was disconcerting, no, upsetting, when I first picked up on their comments. What is it about me that they feel I have lost?

memory1.pngFor the most part is doesn’t bother me, but my family seem to find it upsetting at times that I don’t remember people and other things I apparently should do. I have realized on occasion that people I was talking to were a bit distressed that I had no recollection of them at all, when apparently we used to be close friends.

Memory is a funny thing. I remember so much from childhood. But the memories of my twenties are very hazy. I would love to recover them. Because I feel sometimes as if I have lost some of me.

Anyway memory is a fascinating subject to me, especially since I received the blows to my head that night in the park.

When was the last time you tried something to look ‘cool’ (hip), but it ended in utter embarrassment?   Details?

How can I possibly answer this question? The truth is, in case you didn’t already realize it, Caramel is the height of “cool”!!! And she has been since the age of five! I still have the rock chic look going on. Always in sunglasses (after my head injuries, the sunglasses are a life-saver!) and now with long caramel blonde hair.

bananaepisode

Can I ask you an honest question? Is it really all that cool to be known for wearing a collection of sparkly long-sleeved leotards during stage performances, making Linda Lusardi look drab? I don’t think I have a single pair of tights (panty-hose) than are ladder-resistant enough to tempt me into displaying my well toned pins!


GRATITUDE/I’M SO THANKFUL!

This is an opportunity to share a picture, a story or event that shows your gratitude.

great1I was thinking today about my first manager in a practice I used to work in when I first moved to this area in December 2016. I always knew she was a good manager. She trained me very well in a field I had no knowledge of at all – I knew nothing! And I am very grateful to her for all her patience. Suddenly it is very useful to me that all of her training has stuck in my head!

Great managers are exactly that – GREAT! They can make your life at work so enjoyable and rewarding. I have had the occasional numpty as a manager, but on the whole I have been very privileged to have worked with some wonderful people.