Tag Archives: share your world

Although Worlds Apart, Always In My Heart

I was a little confused when I saw the SHARE-YOUR-WORLD posts appearing in my WP Reader this week. Bloggers seemed to be answering completely different questions. But when I saw the original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post from Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, it was clear that this week we had a choice:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/08/10/share-your-world-with-a-twist-8-10-2020/

Well, partly because I was completely in the dark about what the first questions meant, I chose the questions I understood!

Globe, Earth Day, Earth, Planet, World

Questions

Would You Rather Live 120 Years That Are Comfortable But Boring, Or Live Half As Long, But Have An Exciting Adventure Packed Life?

I would like to live forever.

I would like to live forever and enjoy satisfying work (caring for our beautiful home, growing our own food, caring for animals and teaching children), the joy of seeing the planet and all creatures thriving, the blessing of family and friends who are secure, loved and healthy, and the peace that comes from knowing that there is no disturbance to goodness.

living

Exciting and action packed. I know that the best days of my life were the days when hundreds of volunteers worked together on clean-up projects. I know from experience that getting to know other volunteers, working with them to produce something beautiful, and at the end of a hard day’s work, eating good food, chatting, laughing, singing and dancing together are fully satisfying experiences.

Woman, Riding, Horse, Animals, MareI would love to live forever and gradually travel to the many different parts of this earth and get to know fellow members of my human family. I would love to enjoy experiences such as building a boat from scratch and sailing in it. Swimming with the dolphins. Horse-riding through open country. But rather than working to earn money to buy my own personal paradise now, I want to work with the rest of the human family to see the whole earth a paradise. I could not enjoy being in my paradise bubble while other people live in squalor. Seeing desertification reversed so that parched ground blossoms.

I am not sure what else I would need to qualify my life as exciting and action packed. I don’t know what else could be more wonderful than working with the rest of the human family to make this earth the paradise home it is supposed to be.

What’s Something That Overwhelms You?

Nurse, Stethoscope, MedicineSome of the things we are pressured to do at work are ludicrous. Sometimes I feel as if we are threatened to do them. They are essentially the parts of our role that have nothing to do with patient care, but a lot to do with obtaining money from the pockets of Joe Public.

I am not going to enlarge on that right now…but I am not a corporate, profit making, sales person. I don’t see Joe Public and think “Ka-ching!” So whenever a senior staff member pressures me to pressure Joe Public into something that is going to make money – I find it overwhelming.

What Do or DID You Take For Granted?

Public toilets.

Sign, Bathroom, Restroom, Symbol, IconI have always been a walker. During the lockdown, my walks became much shorter than normal, partly because I was working for six days a week, and I was tired, so short walks became the norm for me. On my day off I had lots of housework to do, but I sometimes wanted to go for a long walk.

Going for a long walk without being able to use the bathroom on route was a fearsome prospect. It kept me close to my little nest whenever I ventured out.


Please feel free to share some gratitude moments or thoughts you’ve had recently.

Goldfinch did something special. I am so grateful to him for making my day!…my month! He is loved. He is so lovable.

So I am going to do something special to show him how much I appreciate him.

It’s All Happening

Well, it’s all thanks to the internet that we are able to share a little of our world each week, and it’s all thanks to Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, who faithfully provides us with a list of questions each week. Melanie’s post below contains this week’s questions:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/08/03/share-your-world-8-3-2020/

Connection, Worldwide, Connected

Questions

What will finally break the Internet?  Do you believe it can be broken at all?

During the past few months, I think a lot of us may have appreciated the internet more than ever. We could keep in touch with our loved ones,, work from home, join online exercise clubs and keep ourselves sane because our electronic device linked us to so much of the world.

Beyonce, Entertainer, Singer, CelebSometimes when I open up my computer there are a bunch of notifications I am totally uninterested in, and I have seen titles such as “Beyonce Breaks The Internet…” I never understood what that meant until a friend told me that when a famous celebrity launches something new and millions of people all try to view, like, comment at the same time, there might be technical issues.

Technical issues is only one aspect of what can go wrong with the internet. We’ve all known what it’s like to have slow broadband or to have lost our wifi signal. Or what about if our electronic device is the problem. I think some of us have become kind of dependant on the internet. Some of use it everyday. It’s a useful tool, It’s obvious why it has become so popular. It speeds everything up.

What might change the use of this tool, (or have it disbanded all together)? A complete change of pace for mankind. If we don’t need to operate at the crazy pace that has been perpetuated for the last few decades, we may return to doing more ourselves. I personally do think it would be nice to do more ourselves and not be so dependant on the internet. I would prefer if neighbours and communities really knew each other rather than being shut away in their own boxes and connecting with strangers who live thousands of miles away.

Ipad, Tablet, Technology, TouchI think the internet is a useful tool, which in the right hands is positive, but some of us have lost all balance in the use of it and now our use of this tool has threatened a healthy life – a life built around family and community, that helps our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

I suspect that mankind are headed for trouble worse that anything 2020 threw up. Divisive factors are mounting. The internet is clearly a tool that has been used by some people to spread panic and propaganda.

Anyway…what was the question? Internet – broken? Well…it could happen!

 

What are some ‘red flags’ to watch out for in daily life? 

Red Flag, Warning, Beach, OceanRed flags…does that mean warning signals? I guess I live my life in a fairly simple way. I have never developed any trust in this “system”. It’s not that I am disillusioned. I just saw from a very young age that while it provided a some stability and that we did need some kind of framework for justice, healthcare, education and other forms of welfare, I saw from a very early age that it was faulty.

It is like a house that is riddled with dry rot, infested with termites. There is mold growing up every surface, cracks are appearing in all the walls revealing how much corruption has set in. Every time something goes wrong, a leak in the roof, a burst pipe, or a broken window, a quickfix shoddy repair is administered.

But at the moment it is what we have. It provides a degree of shelter and security. The real issue is the foundation. This entire economic political system is built on the idea that humans are qualified to rule each other. They are not.

Kid Rock, Concert, AuditoriumSo, as I walk through life, living with very few possessions, drawing enormous joy from this beautiful planet, focusing my time on what I can do to be helpful to others, be content, joyful and do what is good and kind, whenever I come across people with big political ideas or commercial ambitions, those seeking fame, fortune or glory…I just turn away and let them get on with it.

I am suspicious of people who like glory and fame. I see it as an ugly trait, one that can cause people to put themselves first and forget others. So all sorts of forms of “superiority” I find questionable. I don’t think nationalism is healthy. I don’t think it’s healthy when people rate their success on how much wealth they have amassed or how many certificates of education they have acquired.

Sunset, Dawn, Nature, Mountains

We, the human family, have an assignment, to clean up this earth, look after each other and all other creatures so that everyone can thrive. So when I see people working towards their own goals, their own importance, their own desires…it all seems not only futile, but damaging.

There are way too many people trying to be KING!

 

What’s the silliest thing someone has argued with you about?

I don’t really do “arguments”.

Food, Popcorn, Snack, Movie, Corn, EatBut Goldfinch thought I was nuts for liking sweet popcorn whereas he prefered salty popcorn. I let him win that argument because he is gorgeous.

There was a guy who came to work who was dishing out his opinions on politics and all sorts of subjects. We were baffled by him. He told us that there is no such thing as global warming and that mankind has been burning up carbon since the beginning of time and there is no problem with it.

I had a patient recently who did not like that I was wearing a face mask. She accused me of being stupid and then said, “You don’t really think the coronavirus is real, do you?”

I have my views…but I don’t jump into debates with people who don’t share my views. With people I know, and who know me, I might ask questions if what they have said does not make sense. They are only questions so that they will think about what they have just claimed. I am not trying to be challenging. But if something does not make sense, I will ask a question and leave them to work out the answer.

spriaWhat I am trying to say is…there are situations when somebody will say express an opinion that I may not agree with…but rarely is it appropriate to argue with them. I can’t start arguments with patients and visitors!

There are times when I have had a difference of opinion with someone I love. That is harder. But they are not silly issues, they are quite deep issues. I love them though, and I would only ever be happy with a calm discussion, where we are both able to express our views and use reason. Once voices are raised, I shut it down and suggest shelving it. What we do agree on is that we love each other.

 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve found lying on the ground / side of the road?

Strangest? Hmm.

We found a packet of what appeared to be some sort of illegal drugs – called the police.

Fly Tipping, Rubbish, Garbage, CrimeNear to the town I grew up in, it was really sad that there was “fly-tipping” in some of the pretty countryside around. We sometimes went walking along beautiful rural lanes, and turning a corner saw old fridges, mattresses, washing machines, sofas just dumped at the side of the road, which was really upsetting. How can people do that? Why oh why?

Nearby, there is a neighbour who sometimes leaves things on the front wall of their property with a notice saying that if anyone wants those things they can take them. Often it’s horse tackle. I have seen them leave crockery and oven dishes, candelabra, plant pots, a bike helmet, skipping rope…all sorts of little oddities. They seem to have regular clear-outs and donate them to “Joe Bloggs” as he walks past their front wall.

I can’t think of anything stranger than those at the moment.


Please feel free to share your photos, stories, poetry, or memes that promote gratitude! 

I think I have mentioned this before…but my little nest is deliciously cool on a summer’s day. We had some very hot weather here recently. Last Friday, I had some things to do, and Jack and I rose early so we could leave the house in the morning. We came back around lunchtime when the heat was really building. Walking into my little nest was like walking into a big refrigerator.

On a hot summer’s day…this little nest of mine is wonderful to hide away in. Feeling so cool cool cool!

 

Sharing My Fridge And The Rest Of My World

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/07/20/share-your-world-7-20-2020/

Questions

Where Do You Not Mind Waiting?

waitingWHERE? If I have to wait, it’s not the timing that matters to me, it’s the comfort factor and having something to distract me. I can wait in the warm, sat in a comfy chair, and preferably with a book…for as long as you need me to.

Once I was stood up. Where had he told me to meet him? He said he would pick me up outside the train station. I had passed through the ticket barriers, so when he wasn’t there, I could not go back in and wait in the warmth of the waiting room. No, I was out in the cold. It was the end of October. It was cold. It was dark. When I used the payphone to call his number, there was no answer and his voicemail was not functional.

sdfgergI was wearing stilettos, a pretty dress and a thin coat. Guys were leering at me and asking me if wanted to go home with them. I did not know that area at all. I was shivering. I bought a hot tea from a kiosk outside the station. I drank it to warm myself up. Then I needed to go to the bathroom. But they would not let me back into the station to use the ladies unless I swiped my ticket. That meant going home and giving up on him coming to take me to the restaurant where he claimed he had a table booked.

Eventually I gave up on him. Over three hours after he said he would pick me up from the train station! I passed back through the ticket barriers used the bathroom, then boarded the next train homeward bound.

When I reached home, there was an email from him explaining why he had decided to cancel the date. He sent that email around an hour before we were supposed to meet. He knew I did not have a mobile phone. Anyway…I cried. Then I sent him a very gracious message. I think he was very surprised I was so nice about it.

One, Adult, Woman, Lovely, GorgeousI also think that being sure that the person or event you are waiting for is DEFINITELY ON THE WAY makes a difference. But if you start to doubt, or lose hope then you start to feel like giving up. That’s what happened with Jack. I was battling to keep my belief in him. Others were telling me to give up on him. The passing of time for me was torture. I wanted to believe that eventually we would be at peace. In hindsight, we needed that time to heal and grow before we could move forward.

All I can say is…I am so glad I waited for over four years (which truly felt like a lifetime!) for Jack to make contact and make peace!!! Once the person or event you have been waiting for finally arrives, you forget how long you had to wait. The sense of relief and reward is immense.

What Is In Your Fridge Right Now?  (you’re not required to give a comprehensive list)

Oh…ok…let’s have a look then!

TOP SHELF:

  • Basil, Pesto, Green, Organic, Mata bottle of sugar free lemonade
  • a box of 6 eggs
  • two blocks of Feta cheese
  • half a block of Parmigiano Reggiano
  • a tub of my homemade pesto
  • a tub of soya cream
  • a tub of single cream (for Jack)
  • a box of with all of my nail varnishes
  • a tub with a tropical face mask inside it

MIDDLE SHELF

  • IMG_0255two packets of vegan cheese
  • a bowl of red fruits salad (Jack made it for us – isn’t he a gem!)
  • a bowl of home-made hummus
  • a jar of mayonnaise
  • two cartons of lacto-free milk
  • a packet of coffee granules
  • leftovers from the meals I prepared for Jack and I over the last two days – a tub of veggie soup I made and a spanish tortilla

DRAWER

  • a cantaloupe melon
  • Vegetables, Veggies, Pepperstwo red onions
  • a white onion
  • two carrots
  • rocket
  • parsley
  • mint
  • kos lettuce
  • bell peppers
  • half a cucumber
  • some celery
  • chillies
  • spring onions
  • a few charlotte potatoes

DOOR

  • four eggs
  • half a tube of tomato puree
  • goat’s butterPink Wine, Champagne, Celebration, Pink
  • a jar of tahini
  • a jar of harissa
  • a jar of fruit chutney
  • a jar of lemon marmalade
  • a jar of black olives
  • open bottle of sugar free lemonade
  • a bottle of white wine
  • a bottle of rose
  • a carton of lacto-free milk
  • a bottle of elderflower cordial

I have to say…I am pleased you asked me today about my fridge…it is looking pretty healthy at the moment! I just re-read your question Melanie – you said we are NOT required to give a comprehensive list! I didn’t notice the word NOT!!!

If You Could Only Speak One Word Today, What Would It Be?

THANKYOU

(Which technically is two words – I know! But THANKS makes less impact.)

Would You Rather Be Trapped In An Elevator Full Of Men With BO Or Three Soaked Dogs?  (this is with the codicil that C-19 doesn’t exist)

Are we talking about smells here?

Dog, Swim, Paddle, Water, SplashIf I am going to be trapped in an elevator…which could potentially be for hours, I would choose the dogs. Wet dog is a horrendous smell. I love the way a wet dog does not realize the stench it is emitting, and they bound up to you all like, “Come on, don’t you want to play with me?” But as they dry off, the smell lessens. As a housekeeper, the worst of smells was wet football boots, which we always described as intense eau d’wet dog.

When it comes to BO…it’s not nice, but because I have worked in healthcare for many years, my nose has adjusted to all manner of human generated smells. However if we were trapped for a long time, and the elevator was full, I suspect the body smells would get worse.


An Attitude of Gratitude

Please feel free to share something good about last week.  

The highlight of last week was undoubtedly….

flyer2

I am so grateful to all the wonderful WordPress bloggers who made it a very special blogging party. It was colourful, energetic, musical, and delicious international family fun! It was an absolute joy to be a part of!

https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2020/07/20/thank-you-for-a-perfect-day/

From The Eyes Of A Child

Children, Togo, Group, People, BlackSo this week, I started to think that it would be better if we were more like children. Children who trust those who are responsible to care for them. I am not sure why adults complicate things so much, bickering and questioning and grumbling.

I also had a wonderful reminder of how special people are. He sent me some videos from the area of Africa he is in at the moment. Jack is washing himself and his clothes with a bucket of water. But wow – the singing and the joy from the people he is working with, training them in skills that will benefit them and their communities for many years to come. When you watch videos of beautiful smiles they become infectious. I am so glad Jack is filming so much.

Something else that is cheering me up, is working on my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post this week. The questions are of course from our fabulous Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Take a look at her original post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/04/13/share-your-world-4-13-2020/

QUESTIONS:

What do you do to get rid of stress? 

ewrhgiInstant fix for me is singing. I always knew that singing was good for me, but recently even more so. I especially find songs that are about gratitude help me. There is a line in a song that my friend’s daughter sings over and over that I often have in my mind often as I walk to work (not knowing what the day at work will involve). The line is “when each morning I wake, I remember to take, just a moment to thank Him for this day“.

I find the media would make me drown in stress if I did not severely limit how much I watch. I usually try to just watch some of the BBC Breakfast show because I think they do a great job of keeping their show balanced. But sometimes it means I am leaving my little nest with my heart gripped with worry. So…I start to sing. I love the effect it has on me. I can feel my face start to smile and my heart feels as if it is being healed of all soreness. By the time I reach work I am ready to face absolutely anything that comes.

Kids, Children, Face, Smile, ChildhoodI should explain, my friend is from mainland China. She is teaching her little children to know their Creator. The song was something I saw them singing and so I wanted to know if it is available in English. It turns out it is an international hit.

I was amazed to find an incredibly long list of languages it has been recorded in…including Welsh! I showed it to a Gujarati speaking colleague who started weeping because she thought it was so beautiful. I have to admit, I have been moved by some of the children’s songs I have discovered, teaching children about what life is really made of.

I also sent it to Jack, who was able to play it in one of the more than fourteen languages spoken in the area he is working. He played it to the children and a day later he send me a video of them singing it. Wonderful!

A long time before the current challenge the world is facing, I have learnt to accept that the injustices and suffering in the world are temporary. Death is temporary. They will be undone. Death will be undone. I often dwell on the joys ahead. The joys ahead help me cope with the stress of human independence now. I can’t wait to see a happy healthy human race, who live without fear of violence, disease or any other threat.

In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife?

ughjdsafI don’t believe that myself. But it has fascinated me to visit museums in different parts of the world and to see ancient burial sites unearthed revealing the belief that you could take things with you into an afterlife. In Sweden we saw evidence that people were buried with family, servants, horses and all manner of luxuries and practical objects like tools.

Our Creator has promised to restore life, not possessions, to those who have died. But there is a silly part of me that imagines being laid to rest with my private journals next to me. The only reason is to keep them private. All my silliness, all my worries and my dreams and wishes, laid to rest until the moment I wake up again.

I realized long ago that every thought, every feeling, every tear, every smile was observed by someone who loved me more than anyone else did. I am not afraid because I am sure that if I was to be in the grave for a while, I would be kept very safely within the memory of my Creator until it is time to wake me up.

I have always just hoped that if I went to sleep before the end of the corrupt system, my loved ones would know not to worry about me. I had one major near death experience the night I was attacked. I remember thinking how important it is to make sure the people in your life know how special they are to you. Let them know how very wonderful they are to you. Don’t leave them with any guilt or regrets. Confirm your love so that they remember you with great fondness.

What’s the opposite of a koala?

I don’t know. A pike perhaps?

Do I have to explain my answer?

Koalas live in Australia. So I was thinking of a creature that lives here in the UK. They may have pike in Australia – I should Google this really.

Koalas live in trees. I know because I saw them myself – so gorgeous! Pike live in the water.

Koalas are incredibly cute. Pike – not so cute, in fact they can be pretty aggressive.

Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves I believe. Pike eat mostly other fish, smaller fish or large fish and sometimes even other pike.

What’s the creepiest tech out there?  

uihvhI am not very ofay with tech to be honest. But some people have some kind of app that allows them to track someone else’s phone. I can see some advantages of this. Tracking your teenager might seem a sensible idea. But in other circumstances, I find it a bit creepy.

Aren’t there some weird apps that alter your appearance? I think some of them make you into a cat, others age you. I don’t know…the more I think of these weird apps, the more glad I feel that I don’t have a smartphone.

It does concern me that people can type your name into a Google search engine and find things about you. That’s the reason why I choose to maintain my anonymity. I don’t know what else I can do to eradicate the unkindness that spread years ago when Jack and I first came into contact and then when he moved into our apartment. He does not seem to think it is possible to eradicate all of the unkindness either. He has always said that people move on to someone else, they get bored, they forget what it was that interested them and who it was they were being unkind about.

I guess the point is…all these technical applications are tools, but when they fall into the hands of a creepy person, they become creepy and sinister.

GRATITUDE IS AN ATTITUDE

What method are you using to find your smile right now? 

esuthrdtFinding my smile? I look in the mirror and there it is! My whole face is a big smile because I have been smiling for a lifetime. Maybe it’s the deep joy and excitement about the future that no challenge can eradicate.

People. People make me smile. The people I love, my family and friends who are all being wonderful – and I mean by that, they are all being obedient and trusting of the direction for their protection. I sometimes wonder why so many people question so much that is done for their good. Well, it is either because they do not trust those making decisions or they think they are not being dignified with full accounts as to the entire decision making process. Neither are my family going to extremes. They are rational and content with what they have. But like beautiful children they are doing exactly what they were asked to do over a month ago – they are staying at home. The younger ones shop for the older ones. Family life (amongst my roughly 200 member family) is taking place over the phone and over the internet.

Hat, Fashion, Style, Happy, Man, HipsterThe guy who keeps on turning up at our practice (he has always been prone to anxiety and is a frequent visitor to our practice, but I am worried that his anxiety is climbing to new levels) who is covered in PPE beyond belief. I am not sure whether he is preparing to go deep sea diving or moon walking…but his PPE is a reflection of how scared he is of catching the …you know. Bless him – I always make sure I have a little chat with him. He has a place in my heart now – the little lamb!

I smile when I see other people smiling. I love to see people happy and healthy. It reminds me of what all this is about. We want people to be happy and healthy and safe. As another of the songs my friend’s daughter has shown me confirms – we are a world wide family and the more we love each other, the happier it will help us to be. We – the human family – we are beyond borders. Soon the whole earth will be united under one government that makes decisions that will help the earth and all of it’s inhabitants thrive!

Forever Learning About Love

Different Nationalities, Children, HumanI have tomorrow morning off work – which will be good for me. I might even go out for some government mandated exercise. Well…only if I wake early. I don’t want to end up out at a time lots of other people are out exercising.

I decided to open a bottle of rose that was in the back of the cupboard. I have diluted it with lemonade, which is quite nice actually, and I am going to sip it while I finish off this post, which I did start last Monday and have been working on little by little.

It is of course my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post! The questions are from our lovely Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Find her original post and all the other bloggers who have shared their world with us in Melanie’s post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/04/06/share-your-world-4-6-2020/

Questions

If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make them?

I think that I am very fortunate to have had such excellent parents who helped us learn how to react to mistakes properly. I wrote about one of my memories in this post: Kid In The Kitchen

I remember very fondly how my parents trained us to understand what to do when we realized we had done something wrong. They were so gentle and so loving. They helped to develop our little consciences and shaped us to love doing what is good.

Archery, Hobby, Target, Woman, ArcheryWe all make mistakes regularly. We all miss the mark. We may have to tidy up any mess we cause and try not to make the same mistakes again. Often it is our internal conscience that alerts us to mistakes. None of us like the feeling of having erred.

Some people struggle though. They suffer extremes of guilt for even minor mistakes. Sadly, that is sometimes because people did not have loving parents or teachers who helped us to respond in a balanced way to mistakes. On the other hand, there are those who seem to feel no remorse and whose conscience seems to have become callous.

A balanced view…of ourselves, of mistakes, of others and their mistakes, is a great asset. We are always learning!

How do we know that pleasure is good and pain is bad?

I am guessing we are talking about physical sensations of pleasure and pain?

Montana, Sunset, Dusk, Sky, CloudsWe are material beings. We have been designed in such a way to gain pleasure from our senses. We were designed to enjoy pleasure.

Our sight perceives great beauty in the colours and spectacular nature that makes up our home.

Our sense of hearing derives pleasure in the trickle of a brook, in birdsong and in the laughter if a child.

Lavender Field, Flowers, Purple, FloraOur sense of touch derives enormous pleasure from a snuggly blanket, a cool breeze on a hot day, and from sex.

Our senses of smell and taste relish the delights of freshly made bread, floral scents and sweet caramel.

Pain is often an effective alert that something is wrong. We all know physical pain if we touch something hot, or try to lift something heavy.

We also know emotional pain when we do something hurtful and feel bad inside. Reacting to that pain and addressing the situation helps us to avoid a harmful situation again. We learn from pain.

What problem or situation did TV / movies make you think would be common, but when you grew up you found out it wasn’t?

I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. What did I think was common as a child and later on realized wasn’t? I can’t think.

Fire, Explosion, Danger, Hot, FlameHere is something from real life that was common in the town I grew up in. Every primary school in our town was set fire to by kids. The school I went to was completely destroyed. The same year another school was completely destroyed. We had to be transported on hired buses across town to large high schools with spare classrooms. Three other schools were partially destroyed.

When I grew up I realized that for a town to have a flurry of arson like that, where every primary school is vandalised by pyromaniac children, probably resentful of teachers who had given them too many detentions, was not normal! My learning experience was highly discombobulated by our school being burnt down! Still ended up with top grades though, so it could not have been that bad!

If you drive, do you speed when no one is watching?  Have you ever run a red light late at night on purpose, particularly if it doesn’t seem to change very quickly?  If you don’t drive, what minor law may you have broken?

Beautiful, Car, Driver, Face, FashionI do have a driving license. I used to drive a lot. But I have not been behind the wheel of a car since I received severe head injuries the night I was attacked.

But I was a careful driver. I love life. I felt the responsibility of driving. You have life and death in your hands. I do remember accidentally driving through a red light at around four o’clock in the morning in Liverpool. It frightened me and made me realize how risky it was to be driving when I was not yet fully alert. That was a mistake I never wanted to repeat.

psdfafdHave I broken any minor laws? Not deliberately.

Although…there may have been an occasion when I got a bit overly affectionate with Goldfinch in the woods. Well…the thing is…no, I better not start that sentence because there is no way I am going to be able to finish it!

I’m not going to say a word more about that though! I have learnt from that mistake!

Gratitude

What positive things are you finding to do to occupy your time right now?

aoisdfIt is work that is occupying most of my time at the moment. But that is a positive. I am part of the National Health Service. That makes me feel purposeful.

When I am off work, I take great pleasure in cleaning my lovely little nest. I also love talking with friends and family. It feels good that we are all looking after each other.

The only thing I wish I had more time for is my third book. I would love to have it all finished and published. Just over 80% is complete, but I have lots of ideas that I want to add. I have even been trying to develop ideas for the front cover. It’s something I am very eager to find time for.

iadhfais

I have been editing and updating my first two parts. I am becoming rather the perfectionist about it all. I might drive myself crazy spotting spelling and grammar mistakes!

 

Oh But We Still Have Strawberries And Cream!

Wimbledon, Final, Tennis, Centre CourtI had a sudden thought today…maybe there will be no GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF this year. I did say maybe…I have no idea what will happen. The Olympics have been postponed, Wimbledon Tennis Championships have been cancelled and I have no idea what is going to happen with football, but everyone knew Liverpool were going to win – hey!

Moving on…before any supporters of other football clubs take issue with my last statement…this is my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post. Right now my world is mainly playing out at work (#I ❤ NHS). But there are other things I can tell you about. Thank you to Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, for providing great questions. This is Melanie’s original post:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/03/30/share-your-world-03-30-2020/

QUESTIONS

Pancakes, waffles or French Toast as your breakfast favorite? 

Waffle, Tea Time, Dessert, WaffleOooooh – right now I am thinking waffles. Yeah, right now I would pick waffles. Smothered with some luscious topping – we could put strawberries and cream all over a waffle – whether we have tennis to watch or not! Ooooh yummy! The problem with me is that I just love variety. I have very few favourites. I would get bored too easily with a favourite. If I have waffles today, I would would not want them tomorrow.

If Jack was here, I would say pancakes. He loves trying to make pancakes for our breakfast.

But I have not had French toast for ages. It sounds very appealing. Maybe I will cancel the waffles and go for French toast instead.

asaussaI prefer a savoury breakfast to a sweet though, to be honest. I had a yummy breakfast today. I did not think I was having enough protein in my diet recently. So I decided to make some scrambled eggs. I had them with an onion and chive bagel with sundried tomatoes. It was delicious.

I don’t usually buy bagels. They are an occasional treat. But I have been working so many hours, doing my bit for the NHS, that when I saw a pack of bagels left on the shelf at the supermarket, I thought it was perfectly appropriate to treat myself.

My advice for you is, during this time of stress and worry, treats are not a bad idea. Especially little treats. Little inexpensive treats. They brighten the day and lighten the load. This situation is feeling like a marathon stretching ahead of us. So let yourself have little treats and highlights to cheer yourself during these tough times.

I decided I would take a photo of my breakfast for you. It tasted much better than it looked!

IMG_20200402_080321

Do you think a person’s name influences the person they become?

Maybe. I think my name may have influenced me in some ways. I didn’t always like my name, but now I do. I think it has a pleasant connotation.

Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?

Glass, Water, Reflex, Reflection, DrinkWhat are the “things” we are talking about? People everywhere have a slightly different outlook. There are the glass half full and the glass half empty types. Some see the positives, some see the negatives. Some see problems, others see solutions. Some see a crisis, others see an opportunity. Personally I am a bit wary of anyone who is extreme in their thinking either way.

posaiaPeople who will insist everything is great make me think they are delusional, whereas those who only see doom and gloom are exhausting. I prefer someone who keeps a balanced perspective. Someone who sees the end goal, but is able to recognise challenges and think about how to adjust or deal with them effectively, so they can continue towards that goal.

I have so many thoughts on this, I don’t know which direction to go in. But at the end of the day, no matter what any of us individually think of something, our own perspective may be limited. Once all aspects of something are manifest, a more accurate judgment can be called.

Is math(s) something that humans created or something we discovered? Is looking at reality mathematically an accurate representation of how things work?

Hmm. I am not sure I understand the second question entirely.

My first thought when I read this question was the Periodic Table of Elements. What we have discovered about the mathematical laws in the building blocks of every substance known to us is quite breathtaking. The order and precision are humbling.

Periodic System, Chemistry, Science

Mankind has remarkable capacities for learning. Humans have remarkable potential when it comes to researching, discovering, contemplating, comprehending and being inspired by the natural world around us. It is no accident. Creation is no accident. The more we learn about creation the more we learn about our Creator. Our magnificent Creator – who will soon undo all of the damage caused by human independance, including death.


GRATITUDE

What are you grateful for right now?

I read this question and my mind flooded with lots of things. So I am going to give you a little list of things I am grateful for:

  • awaoawIt’s a fifteen minute walk to work!
  • Blue skies
  • My parents trained me to work hard
  • I have wonderful colleagues who are working very hard and very long hours at this time
  • My manager is a great trainer
  • I have very comfortable work shoes
  • We have plenty of PPE where I work
  • There are lots of volunteers who want to help the most vulnerable in our community
  • There are the prettiest tulips growing in the garden
  • Masterchef
  • Singing
  • I found toilet rolls back on the supermarket shelves this week
  • jdsodscThe older members of my family and those with chronic conditions that make them vulnerable are all obediently self-isolating. They are taking the direction very seriously
  • The younger members of my family are doing a great job of cheering us up with their videos
  • My bed is really comfy
  • My legs are very strong
  • The bakery at the end of the road reserve a dark sourdough loaf for me every weekend
  • I have a wonderful hope for the future – that life will be restored to all those who have gone to sleep. It helps me know that all of the precious members of the human family who are suffering are going to be safe in the memory of our heavenly father. He is longing to heal this earth and wipe the tears from our eyes. The future resurrection will be the most wonderful era in all human history.  – “I have hope toward God…that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. – ACTS 24:15

areadasf

Blessings, Braces And Boxes

balsoaI had a burst of energy when I came home from work on Saturday. So I used it to do some housework, send some emails and work on a few posts to be published during the course of next week. I was disappointed that I didn’t find time to work on last week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD questions, but I am pleased that this post is all ready and just in the nick of time!

These were the questions that fabulous Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, gave to us in this week’s SHARE-YOUR-WORLD, and this is her original post where you can find all the other bloggers who have taken part:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/03/23/share-your-world-3-23-2020/

Questions

On A Scale Of 1-10, How Strict Were Your Parents?

I would not use the word strict about my parents. However, they did provide what I would describe as training and a wonderful example for us.

Adult, Mother, Daughter, Beach, KidsMy parents were great. They are great. If they were strict we did not know it. They trained us, they spent time with us. We learnt from them, we copied them. They not only gave us advice and guidance, they lived in such a way that we would want to do what pleased them. They were and are lovely. I think some people misinterpret the word “discipline”. Discipline should not be about punishment. It is about training and educating, shaping someone and preparing them for life. My parents prepared us for the day when we would have to make our own choices that we would be accountable for. They provided the best possible start in life for us.

They are brilliant company. People in our town loved them because they helped others. They trained us to do the same. I don’t remember being fearful of them. There was a lot of love and kindness at home for most of my childhood. I love the memories I have of being trained in household chores. If you did a job well, the reward was praise and you were entrusted with more responsibility (ie more important work) and then pocket money.

momesI do remember occasionally being told off for being naughty, but it usually came with questions from my parents about why I had done something and then they would reason with me about why it was wrong and why I should not do it again. They made it clear that I could choose how to behave, that I could control my behavior. They showed me that we choose who we are. They showed me how to react to mistakes and weaknesses and how to become a stronger and better person. I still remember how they shaped my thinking with beautiful reasoning that touched my heart and made me want to be a nice person.

I think the main reason we would be in trouble as children was for squabbling with our siblings. My dominant impression of my childhood is that my parents allowed us to be children. They helped us feel valued and useful. Rather than praising us for high grades in school work, they praised us for acts of kindness and generosity. They gently encouraged us to blossom, rather than putting pressure on us. They set the example. We saw them reading and studying, we did the same. Any kind of recreation or entertainment was a family event, so they knew what was going into our minds. They wanted to nurture good in us and protect us from harm.

assoaLife was never about what we could not do. It was about what we could do. They filled our time (outside of school) with ways we could show kindness to our neighbours or others in our town who might be lonely or struggling. They also made plenty of time to play with us. They encouraged us to be active (we swam for many hours a week and we only gave up the local swimming club when our trainers there were putting pressure on us to be more competitive as we did not want to be competitive) and Dad taught us to climb trees and took us jogging and played sports with us. Mum is more of a walker than a sportsperson. But she also loved taking us outdoors. We would often go for rambles and picnics with mum.

My parents had seven children to rear on a very low income but they made plenty of time for volunteering with local charities. That made a huge impression on me. I saw what real joy involved. My parents beaming smiles are an inspiration. They are a very hard working couple who care about others. They are kind, generous, modest, sweet, mild, humble and joyful. They are outstandingly reliable and faithful. I am very blessed to be the child of a wonderful couple.

Girl, Teenager, Young, Beautiful, TeenAll of us children had a grumpy teenager moment (except beautiful Milly). My parents must have found it difficult when we no longer wanted to communicate with them. But they never gave up. They could guess some of what was going on in our minds and hearts and they carefully appealed to us.

When I was fourteen I started working for a record company and going to live music events in Manchester and all over the North of England. I learnt for myself in my teenage years that everything my parents had taught me was true. That filled me with respect for them. They told us the truth. Their training and guidance was in my heart and it empowered me to reject what I could see was harmful and turn my back on people who had chosen degraded practices.

I made my own choice. I wanted to be like my wonderful parents.

 

What Wastes The Most Time In Your Day To Day Life?

I try not to waste time. I am a big believer that you ought to make the most of each day and show your appreciation for life.

But having said that, there are things I do that are more important that others. I prioritise on the more important things. The lesser things I still manage to make time for and I enjoy them. I don’t consider those lesser things as a waste of time.

You probably have seen one of those pictures showing that if you put the big things in first, then you can often add lots of other smaller things around them. But if you concentrate on all the smaller things, it is less likely you will have room for the big things.

What am I trying to say? I guess that time management and learning to prioritise are very useful skills. Some people pack an extraordinary amount into each day because they know how to make the most of every minute. They often have time for work, play and rest and still manage to keep in touch with friends and family and enjoy relationships.

The only things that waste time are those that are harmful and reckless. They waste other people’s time too. I can’t abide the idiots who make prank calls to emergency services.

Do They Bury People With Their Braces* On?

oarhsaI have no idea.

I have been with a number of people when they died. After the Doctor came and issued a death certificate, we would do a number of things before the undertakers would arrive. As many of them were older, we usually put their dentures back in. I don’t know why exactly. We usually washed our patients and put them in a clean nightdress (or another article of clothing they had chosen) and brushed their hair neatly. Then the undertakers would take them away. I always presumed they didn’t make any additional changes after what we had done.

Why Does A Round Pizza Come In A Square Box?

Session, Pizza Shop, AcusticoI have had as many square slices of pizza in my life (when you live and work with 800 people everything is done large scale) as slices from a round pizza.

Is this question a joke? Or a serious question? It reminds me of that expression I heard when growing up…”for being obedient people might call you a square, but if you are obedient you are going to be a-round for much longer than they are”.

Pizza – round. Box – square. Why? Because it is cheaper to make square cardboard boxes? Is that a sensible answer? Packaging design is not something I give enormous thought to I will admit.

Cue the Pizza Hut song!

 

Gratitude  

Share something you are grateful for right now

llkaunxaI am grateful for my lunch tote, my thermos flask and my water bottle.

I started using them just over four weeks ago. I could see what was developing in other countries and I so I decided to stop using public transport completely. I also stopped using the kettle and microwave at work or going out to buy lunch.

Every night I come home from work and make my sandwiches for the next day. In the morning, I fill up my water bottle and then make some fresh tea or coffee for my thermos flask.

They have been very helpful in helping me stay in a little protected bubble so I could be fit and strong for work.

You should see me on my way to walk, swinging my little lunch tote and singing to myself to cheer myself up before the demanding day ahead.

 

Protecting The Precious

My parents are in their seventies. Jack’s parents are in their eighties. Goldfinch’s parents are in their nineties. We are going to do everything we can to protect them and support them and love them. They are precious to us! This weekend is all about Jack’s parents. I am hoping it all goes well. I really want it to go well.

Although I am absent again for another weekend, I have been working little by little on my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post and I am pleased to be able to schedule it to be published during my weekend.

The SHARE-YOUR WORLD questions are provided by wonderful Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, and this is her post for this week:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/03/09/share-your-world-3-9-2020/

Questions

Are you a sweet, sour, tangy or other type of person?  Take that as you will!

carmaI think if you ask anyone who knows me, they are going to say sweet. Afterall…I am Caramel!

My mum is very sweet. She is so very very sweet. She loves people. I think I have inherited her sweetness and love for people.

I love people. I love people. Some might see harsh, rude, ignorant, selfish…I see neglected, unloved, lost and lonely. All I want is for people who have suffered to be loved the way they ought to be. I want people to thrive. I want them to learn how wonderful life should be, how wonderful our planet home should be and what they need to do to contribute to that.

happinessIf you dig deeper and deeper into Caramel what you will find is a hope for the entire universe to be at peace and all to thrive on love and joy. I have all sorts of quirks and oddities, my strengths and my weaknesses, the things I am proud of and those I am ashamed of, the lovely parts of me, the naughty parts of me. But at the end of the day, I want very wonderful things for the entire human race – don’t you!

Does the whole coronavirus phenomenon worry you?  Or are you more a “meh – it’s just another severe flu scare” type of person?

Hmm. That’s a good question. It’s an important question.

From what we know of the virus so far, I personally have little to fear if I was infected myself. Someone of my age can expect a relatively mild illness that lasts for around a week or so.

However, I have grave fear for the wonderful vintage generation. Those who have inspired and encouraged us and been there for us when we needed them – well they are at great risk.

I am concerned because although I have seen some people panicking, I have also heard others make remarks that indicate they don’t think it’s a big deal. I was talking to a man in his seventies today. He said he is self-employed and there is no way he is able to give up work. He also said he would not want to be told he could not see his grandkids. He is worried about his holiday in May. He does not want to be told that he can’t go by the government. I came away from that conversation wondering whether he gets what is happening, what is about to happen.

We are being asked to take very seriously the advice on handwashing regularly and thoroughly. Currently here in the UK, we are being asked to strictly self-isolate if we have a fever or a cough. It seems very likely that during the weeks and months ahead we will be asked to take further measures. It may well be particularly our older generation who are asked to self-isolate. We are mindful that this could be very challenging for their emotional health. We are being asked to think of everything we can to cheer them up and make them know how much we love them, how precious they are to us.

There is great concern for our older generation. They will be worst hit. We want to try as much as possible to reduce the peak of the outbreak, “flatten the curve”, delay the spread (it will spread, but we want it to spread slowly rather than rapidly). Why? Because many of our most vulnerable will need intensive or extensive hospital care. We want to make sure that care provisions are available.

This is not a time for panic. It is not a time to horde toilet rolls. But it is a time to listen and obey. It is very important to be unselfish. It might be inconvenient, there may well be financial losses, but we are all much more concerned with the loss of life ahead. Some of the most wonderful people we know, people who have worked hard for decades, reared families, been steady and reliable, generous and hospitable, shrewd and practical – so many of that special generation who saw things like the second world war, rationing, and many challenges and changes – we now want to protect them as best as we possibly can.

They are a wonderful and priceless asset to us. Even before the weeks and months ahead, I am already sensing the sadness and grief to come. Your older family members or neighbours are at great risk. So please please please take this seriously. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. If you have a fever or a cough please please please self isolate.

When was the last time you were snooping, and found something you wish you hadn’t?

Snooping! Me! Never!

Well…I was not deliberately snooping. I was helping a friend to move some furniture around their office. I was with them the whole time moving things as per their directions. They asked me to open a drawer to look for something. This friend had obviously forgotten that they had hid some slightly embarrassing material in that drawer. It was a photo of a woman’s derriere from a particular angle.

As soon as my friend saw my face, he jumped across the room to close the drawer! He was obviously embarrassed. I tried not to make too big a deal of it. Although I was shocked to see the photo myself, it did not surprise me that he had images that I guess would fall under the category of pornography. He is a guy who likes women (note I deliberately used the plural). By the looks of things, he likes a nice round derriere.

But it was his office, his desk…none of my business.  Still I laughed.

What’s the most pleasant sounding accent in your personal opinion? Everyone has a pleasing accent to someone!

Ooooh…I do love an Australian accent nowadays.

I have some colleagues who are French. I love to listen to them chatter away. Their conversations sound so beautiful. I often have no idea what they are talking about – it could be the price of bread for all I know. But it sounds poetic and romantic and sigh…just lovely.


Gratitude

Your chance to share your joy!

Joy…My joy! Ahhhhhh! Life on planet earth!

I see the earth thriving, and all it’s creatures thriving. I see war, crime, disease and death as long forgotten. I see all the damage done since Adam’s choosing independence from our Creator being undone.

My hope and joy is anchored on the Creator, the giver of life. He alone can undo the damage. He alone can restore life to those who have lost iit unjustly. He alone can wipe our tears and heal our hearts.

There is nothing, nothing, that he cannot undo.

Lighter And Brighter

londsprIt’s getting lighter each day. Despite the grey rainy days, I have noticed the days are getting longer. Today is looking delightful, and I suspect I know the reason why.

On this glorious day of Jack’s return, I am trying to make the time go faster by doing finding little tasks around my flat and adding to some of the unfinished posts in my drafts folder, There are a couple of award posts taking me ages to complete. But they will be finished eventually – little by little.

But my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post for this week has been much quicker to finish. Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind, has given us some light bright lovely questions this week, as you can see from her original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post below:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/03/02/share-your-world-3-2-2020/

QUESTIONS

Can you bake a cake?

If I have a recipe in front of me, then yes, absolutely – I CAN BAKE! Without a recipe, I would not know where to begin. My brain does not retain baking instructions. I just read and obey baking recipes and it almost always works out a treat!

Here were the cakes I made last year for THE 2019 GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF!!!

What’s one thing that can instantly make your day better?

My sister Milly calling me. Any of my family calling me really. But I am especially close to Milly.

There are lots of things that can make the day better – from blue skies, to people’s smiles, flowers in bloom, the smell of the local artisan bakeries. There are so many little lovely nuggets of delight everywhere I go.

When you were a kid, did you eat the crusts on your sandwich or not?

saI think I did actually. I also remember going off white bread at a very early age and preferring wholemeal. My parents told us to eat up every crumb.

We were very active children. Most children are active I suppose, but I think we were especially active. Three times a week we would go straight from school to the local swimming baths. We would be there for anywhere between four to six hours swimming up and down, up and down. We climbed trees, we  played football and all sorts of other energetic activities. We needed our food to keep us running round like that.

memsoOne of my favourite memories from childhood is when Mum would take us on impromptu picnics in the summer. She was studying for her Open University degree in psychology. In the summer she would make jam sandwiches and pack a big carton of milk into cooler. Then Mum, Mandy, Milly and me would head up to the county park behind out house. She would find somewhere to lay her picnic blanket so that she could study in the sunshine, while us three girls were climbing trees and playing Hide and Seek. Happy memories. I don’t remember any of us being fussy about crusts.

Memories! I want picnics with Jack to build happy memories!

What’s something your family would be surprised to learn about you?

I can’t think of much that my family don’t know about me. I don’t have an answer really. Am I supposed to be springing surprises on my family?


GRATITUDE IS AN ATTITUDE!

Please feel free to share some gratitude from this past week!

llosprriThe thing I am most grateful for at the moment, is that Jack is back with me in London! I have missed him so much!

It felt as if to welcome Jack back to England, the rain stopped, the sun came out and the sky turned a beautiful blue! Jack is back…the world is a happier place for it!

Jack and Caramel…happy times ahead! He will be next to me again tonight.

 

In The Dark

I am late again! So much to do, so little time! I don’t like to miss the weekly SHARE-TOUR-WORLD questions provided by Melanie, the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. This is her original SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post:

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2020/02/24/share-your-world-2-24-2020/

Questions

What do you think of best friends of the opposite sex?  Or to put it another way “Can men and women ever be platonic friends?  Doesn’t sex always get in the way?”  

platonicI don’t want to be dogmatic about a question like this. But a lot of the relationships I have had with men have ended up with one or the other of us developing a crush on the other at some point. If the feelings are not reciprocated, then sometimes it’s been no big deal, other times it has become awkward.

I have lots of friends who are of the opposite sex. But best friends? If I was so close to a man to call him my best friend. I think there would be an attraction there. Touch…you know hugs and sitting close together and hands…it can so easily lead into more. Before you know it…I fear we’d be at it like rabbits!

What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome?

Some of you might recall that for over eighteen months this blog was called CRUSHED CARAMEL. I changed it just a couple of months ago because a situation that had crushed me was resolved to a large extent.

gosI faced a situation that was new to me. I didn’t face bullying at school. I was on the school sports teams and in Set One for everything. I had lots of friends. But I was just over thirty when I started to be the target of what I can only describe as teasing that developed into something very malicious. It started because of Jack taking an interest in me. At first it was just teasing from people that knew us.

That teasing advanced though. As it spread, it warped into something very different from teasing. I was called so many cruel names. I was called a tart, a slapper, a slut, a slag, a whore, a witch and other names. In addition I was called miserable, ugly, fat and grotesque. People claimed all sorts about the relationship between Jack and I, especially after he moved into the huge flat I was living in (six of us shared an enormous flat. We had our own rooms and bathrooms but shared a massive kitchen dining area.

cruThe worst of the comments came from strangers in their comments on social media. Social media is not my world, but friends showed me what was being said about me. I became upset and I made a hash of addressing the issue with Jack. I was too emotional. He wanted me to ignore what was being said. But I found it hard to.

Looking back the worst comments came from strangers. But people I saw every day, friends and colleagues were teasing me. Most of the teasing from those I knew was fairly innocent, it was more along the lines of Jack and I being a couple (even though we weren’t) but some of it was becoming outrageous. The people who were allowing their humour to become more and more shocking were laughing, and I think they thought I was laughing along with them.

annie disappointedThe truth is, I found it hard to separate the outrageous teasing from my friends from the vicious insults that came from strangers. It was two years of not being able to go anywhere without someone mentioning Jack and I. (He and I were not even on speaking terms.) It seemed to be an inescapable situation.

Over those two years of nastiness, my self esteem eroded, my relationships with friends suffered as I started to resent the comments they were making about Jack and I. I kept on pushing myself, I was working at least 40 hours a week as an international volunteer. I was pushing myself to socialize with people, even though I didn’t feel like it. I was also swimming twice a week, running for around fifteen miles a week (three or four times a week I would run), playing basketball and going to a boot camp. I was hardly eating. I hated the photos other people had taken of me without my permission and posted on social media.

By the end of those two years, I was battling despair. I thought Jack hated me. I had no idea who was my friend, who I could trust. I hid the situation from my family because I did not want them to know how much I was suffering. One night just after my birthday, I felt that I could not go home. I had seen Jack four times that day, and I could not bear to see him again, it hurt so much. Instead I went to a park and sat on a bench and cried.

distressedWhen I arrived it was light (it was the end of June, when the days are longest), but I sat there lost in my sadness until it was dark and there was nobody around me. At some stage a man sat next to me on that bench. Anyway…I don’t feel like writing about what happened, but the next morning a security guard found me unconscious and my head bloody.

So, my answer to this question is…all of this was a struggle to overcome. It took some time to rebuild Melody Finch. But look at the outcome…Jack and I have ended up in love! Who would have thought!!!

What is the darkest thought you’ve ever had? What about the darkest thing you’ve done that you’ve never told anybody about? 

illDarkest thought? I don’t really know. I think my thoughts had been darkening during those two years I mentioned above. I had come to feel I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up ever again. But perhaps it was worse when I was in a hospital bed a couple of days after I was attacked (a security guard found me in the bushes and called an ambulance) and feeling desperately sad. I felt very alone.

Throughout the previous two years, I had kept going despite the cruel things said about me. I kept giving, I kept on pushing myself. But I remember when I was in hospital thinking to myself that there was nothing left to give. I felt completely hollowed out.

loneThe two years of bullying I had endured before the night I was attacked had fractured so many relationships with people around me in London. My thoughts had gradually darkened and it had insidiously pushed me more and more into a state of emotional isolation from people I knew. Constantly putting a brave face on and pretending I was happy, when the truth was that I was crushed by the cruelty.

So at first, I did not know who to call. I didn’t want to be a burden to my family. I knew they would be devastated by what had happened. But I remember a passage from Psalm 139 came into my mind. Memory is a funny thing isn’t it? But at that moment, I could recite every word from Psalm 139, including the verse:

Even the darkness would not be too dark for you,

But night would be as bright as the day;

Darkness is the same as light to you.

daI remembered a friend of mine explaining that we might feel trapped in a state of mental darkness, unable to see any bright future, swamped by gloomy thoughts. That kind of darkness can be a scary place. But our Creator can see our situation as clear as day. he knows exactly what it will take to help us to recover.

Those words brought me enormous strength when I needed it. I realized that my sister Mandy was the person to call. I was sure she would be less emotional than the rest of my family and that she was very practical. That’s what I needed right then.

What is your least favorite food?

broaBroad beans. I have been vegetarian since I was six years old, but the one vegetable/legume I cannot get on with is (or should that be “are”?) broad beans!

Other than that, I don’t really have any strong dislikes. I love variety. I won’t eat anything that used to have a face…and I try to avoid broad beans wherever I can. I love trying new flavours.


Gratitude

Share a thought, write a story or poem or share a meme about gratitude.  If you’d like to.  As with the other questions, this is optional.  

I wanted to share this for a little while. I have a postcard perched on to of the alarm pad next to my front door. I look at it almost every day. It is a lovely thought to leave the house with. I never know what the world is throw at me. But, I am ready for it.

I am not a fan of cheesy quotes…but I love this one, and the way it lifts my spirits everytime I leave my little nest.

IMG_20200301_185244