The Meltdown

Tiny orbs perfectly frosted

To the last remnants of shadow they cling

Winter is fading away

Their icy empire is vanquished by spring

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

 

This was in response to THE ELEMENTAL CHALLENGE hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/elemental-writing-challenge-april-19/

Thinking Cool Thoughts

It is very warm here in London. I am at work and trying to keep cool. I am drinking one glass after another of water and trying not to run around, but to stay calm and chilled.

And I am imagining that crystal clear water in that cool cascading waterfall gathering into a refreshing plunge pool at it’s base. The appeal of diving into cold water right now seems so delicious.

Just over three hours of work to go. Can’t wait for a cool shower when I reach my little abode.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

This was in response to THE ELEMENTAL CHALLENGE hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/elemental-writing-challenge-april-18/

Squeaky Clean And Ready For Sleep

After a day out in the smog and smoke of London I come home covered with a dusting of filth. I can tell its entangled in my hair, peppered on my clothes and clogging up my pores. All the dirt I have brushed against or absorbed into my skin making me look shabby and dull.

Once I am in my little nest, my haven from the big chokey smoke outside, I turn on the shower or sometimes the bath taps…and soon I submerge myself into cleansing water washing away all the grime.

Swan, White, Nature, Water Bird, Water

Image by pixel2013 from Pixabay

And now that I am glowing and squeaky clean, wrapped up in flannel pyjamas…it is time to say goodnight, and hope wherever you are you have peace.

I need to get myself to sleep, but I am so excited about the thought of being with Goldfinch soon. So I have just warmed some cashew milk and honey and I am hoping it will make me sleepy. Good night and thank you for your wonderful comments.

 

This was in response to THE ELEMENTAL CHALLENGE hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/elemental-writing-challenge-april-17/

Where We Imagined Ourselves

nye bevanI have mentioned a few times that my sisters and I were competitive swimmers when we were younger. We swam at least three times a week, straight after school (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Every trip to the local swimming pool lasted for several hours. We would swim up and down, up and down, up and down, length after length, mile after mile. The local swimming pool was a 25 metre long pool.

wigan swimming poolWe also swam regularly in Wigan which had an Olympic sized swimming pool. (Sadly that pool was demolished some years ago.)

There was a problem that was the downfall of a competitive swimming career for the three of us. None of us were competitive. We just loved swimming. My parents would never have fostered a competitive spirit in us. But we were all strong and fast swimmers – especially Milly. Well, Milly was faster than all the other swimmers in her age-group. I probably had the most stamina. I never tired out. I have swam for five hours continually and not wanted to stop, except that the staff blew the whistle to say they were closing soon.

We had a strict swimming coach who used to yell at us with instructions to improve our stroke. I remember her shouting at us to go faster and push harder and kick more firmly. We did what she told us, but none of us had any particular taste for winning. For a long time, we kept on winning races. I upset one of the neighbour’s children when I raced against her and ended up beating the rest of the children by about half the length of the pool. All those hours and hours of practice meant we were very swift through the water. She was so upset she told all the other kids in our street that I cheated – I don’t see how I could have cheated without anyone noticing…but it just contributed to my growing dislike to racing.

swimmingOne by one we all told Mum and Dad we did not want to race anymore. We still loved swimming, but competitions were taking the pleasure out of something very special to us. All three of us little ones were total water babies. My favourite memories are our time playing in the water before and after we were under the charge of our scary swimming coach.

We imagined ourselves to be swimming in the sea. We could all hold our breath for a long time and we swam with our eyes wide open in the chlorinated water. We sometimes pretended we were fish and just wriggled our bodies through the water the way fish move through briny oceans.

Image by joakant from Pixabay

 

We used to swim along the bottom of the pool normally at the deeper end of the pool pretending to be mermaids. We often played a game with either a coin, a hair bobble or one of locker keys. One of us would drop it on on the floor of the pool and the other two would comb the entire pool in search for the object as if we were diving for treasure.

paradise 1We sometimes used to pretend there was a shark that we had to escape from, or we used to try to jump up out of the water pretending we were dolphins. We danced in the water like synchronised swimmers and we performed all sorts of somersaults and twirls in the water. To us the water was our playground, and we felt totally relaxed within it. We imagined all sorts of watery games that entertained us for hours. I don’t know what the life-guards thought of us three girls.

Even today, I often wish the swimming pool was empty so I could play like I did as a child, diving and dancing to my heart’s content. But instead I have to swim like an adult…up and down, up and down.

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This was in response to THE ELEMENTAL CHALLENGE hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith:

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/elemental-writing-challenge-april-15/

It Was Not My Eyes Leaking This Time

My mad moment of the week, which somehow I forgot to mention before now.

I was at work last week – either Thursday or Friday – it must have been Friday. It was probably some time around four o’clock in the afternoon because I had done all the work there was to do and I was waiting for clients to call in.

I heard a strange creaking noise above me. It seemed to be the ceiling. It is quite a high ceiling. The building is old…I don’t know how old, I am guessing Victorian. We occupy the ground floor and the enormous basement below – which I think would make an amazing night club. Not that I would want to work in a night club – not my scene – been there, done that. One of my uncles owned a night club out in Tenerife or Ibiza –  can’t remember which, I will ask my Dadda when I see him next week. I think it was Tenerife.

Anyway…back to work…

….so it started with the ceiling creaking, and then a while later I heard a soft thud several times in a row.

It was water, drips were landing on my scarf which I had draped over a chair. I looked up and realized water was drip drip dripping from the ceiling and it was coming through one of the light fittings.

I immediately called my manager and then the owner of the company. My manager advised me which business operated above us. I had to lock up our entrance and wander along to their reception area which is further down the road (it is a very big building that houses several businesses).

I walked into the reception of this other business which is on the ground floor, below a stairwell that leads up to the rooms and offices above. I told them where I worked and explained that water was coming through our ceiling and that they were above us.

The female receptionist looked startled. The male receptionist looked alarmed and bolted up the stairs. I told the female receptionist that I was going to head back to our premises and asked if someone could come and see for themselves what was happening in our office.

About fifteen minutes later, the male receptionist came to see what was happening. He said that so far they had not been able to identify the source of the water but they were going to ask their handyman to get on the case. He looked up at the water dripping from our ceiling. I asked him if it was dangerous.

He said: “No, I am pretty sure the ceiling won’t cave in.”

To which I gave him a “not impressed” look, and said said that it was actually the water coming through an electric fitting situation that I was concerned about.

Well, he went back to his business. I asked if they could keep me updated as I needed to report back to my manager, and said if I had not heard them before we closed, I would come back to see them when I locked up our premises. I decided to move anything important out of the office and into another room we use which had some storage space free.

Nobody came back. I emptied the bucket and placed it back under the dripping water. One of the men who work for the company I am employed by said he was going to be nipping in later that evening and I had asked him to check on the dripping water and make sure the bucket didn’t overflow.

I went back to the reception of the business that occupy most of the floor above us. Nobody was at reception but there was a bell to ring. I rang it and waited for a couple of minutes before ringing the bell again. A man appeared at the top of the stairs and told me to take a seat and that someone would come as soon as they were available. I had places to be, people to see, I quickly retorted, “I can’t wait, I need to go, all I need to know is has the water leak been sorted out?”

Then the male receptionist popped his head round the corner and claimed that it had been sorted out.

I told them that water was still dripping through the ceiling. The gentleman at the top of the stairs said I didn’t need to worry. “It’s historical now.”

I asked him what that meant.

“The water leak is historical. It’s over. We have sorted it out.”

I asked him plainly, “so I can tell my manager that despite the water still dripping through the ceiling, you have sorted it out?”

“Yes” he said confidently.

“Thank you, I will let her know.” I turned around and walked out of their reception area muttering under my breath, “Historical? More like hysterical! Thanks for being so helpful!”

Anyway…the good news is the ceiling has not caved in. But it’s up to management to deal with the whole situation now.

I am too much of a softie to deal with men trying to fob me off with nonsense.

 

 

The Feathered Friend Who Upset This Water Baby

Here I am chilling out with a scrummy breakfast and catching up on the last episode of “Poldark” which somehow I missed…don’t worry I won’t say a word about what happened just in case you are planning to watch it at some point.

The photo prompt from Meet The Bloggers just popped up on my screen and I thought I would take a closer look at the photo.

Share photos or stories of how you chill out

There is no doubt that for me water definitely helps me to chill out.  I am a total water baby!  My sisters and I were competition swimmers…but for the most part now swimming helps me to relax.  I had a taste of scuba diving in Turkey – extraordinary!  I would love to have the opportunity to try that again…and again and again!

I love boats.  Any kind of boat really.  Some of my friends own narrow boats which they keep moored on nearby canals.  Many a blissfully peaceful afternoon has been spent on the canal.  Other friends have sailing boats which which we have used on holidays up in the Lake District.  Or I love just hiring a rowing boat with a friend and relaxing in the middle of a lake.

Dream of a life-time: building a boat with my husband (who as of yet is an enigma and does not know I exist) and then sailing around the whole world as slowly as possible so we can get to know everyone along the way.

When I zoomed in on the middle of the photo I spotted a pelican…which sent my mind down this direction:

At the moment circumstances do not allow me to build a boat…but I still make sure I spend plenty of time near water and boats.  One of my top films of all time is “Finding Nemo” (I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but how could I resist giving it another mention with a photo prompt like this?)

Apparently, an oyster catcher is sitting on top of the boat in the photo above.  But when I first looked at it I thought it was a seagull.  Which again brought me back to “Finding Nemo“.

Seagulls are one of the few animals that I am not on the friendliest terms with.  I always found them a bit intimidating on trips to the seaside…but after we were mugged in Llandudno (in North Wales) by a gang of seagulls – they are really in my bad books.

Alright, maybe “mugged” is a bit of an exaggeration.  But they were flying into us and trying to seize our sandwiches out of hands while we were eating lunch.  We have a video of a seagull who glided in and snatched a chicken drumstick out of the hand of a friend of ours and flew down to the wooden boards of the pier and tucked into it, just a few feet away from where we were sitting.

Ha – feathered friend indeed!  More like feathered foe!  So yes…I feel totally chillaxed when I am near water…until any seagulls appear that is!

via Tuesday Photo Prompt – Chill Out — Word of the Day Challenge

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/tuesday-photo-prompt-chill-out/

Canolfen y Dechnoleg Amgen (That’s About As Much Welsh As You’re Going To Get Out Of Me I’m Afraid)

Just a stone’s throw from the cottage belonging to some family members is a site we have not been to for ages…and we decided as it is was close to the town we were visiting today we would take a visit with Little One.

Our destination today was the:

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Centre for Alternative Technology

Yes, that’s right, just behind the welcome desk which is on the same level as the car park, there is a cable car up to the rest of the site.  Here in Wales, they are very considerate of English folk who might not be use to walking up mountains every day.

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As if this not enough excitement for little one!  And for me!

It makes me laugh that when you read the information leaflet, it makes the center sound as interesting as reading the information on the side of a cereal box, or the back of a utility bill.

The reality is that not only is the center very interesting and of relevance to just about anyone at all who lives in a house, or uses electricity or takes showers or eats food…

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The VIEWS…the Center is worth a visit just for the views alone if you are really not interested in any of the information presented.

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I wish I had a better camera to take better pictures for you…there is nothing like your own eyes though to see Wales for yourself.

I took about fifty photos today of exhibits and my family as we toured the buildings displaying information, the gardens and all sorts of displays, and fun exhibits.  In addition we stopped off at the mostly vegan cafe and shared a vegan chocolate cake and a vegan lemon drizzle cake.

Then there was the playground…and the slide – my niece was in her element!  Oh she had fun.  A one year old child makes everything a hundred times more fun.

We learnt all about the origins of CAT (Center for Alternative Technologies), energy efficient construction techniques, how to conserve and make wise use of resources, including electricity and water, how to grow your own veggies and herbs, and there was a huge amount of information on all the alternatives to burning fossils fuels.

I don’t want you to tire of my holiday photos, so I will try to put together a little collage so you get the idea of what we were up to today.

Wish you were here with us in Wales!

 

Without Water I Would Wilt

There was a young woman on the bus today gazing at me…I tried to ignore it.  I started to feel rather uncomfortable.  I recognized the look in her eyes.  I was nervous that she was eyeing me up with the glint of lust in her expression!

At last, I noticed it was not me she was looking at, it was my water bottle.  The little cogs in my head began to turn.  She was thirsty!  There I was sipping at my sparkling water without a thought to my fellow passenger.  As soon as it clicked in my mind that I was making her abstinence from food and water a bit difficult by sitting there and guzzling in front of her, I felt so guilty.

When I considered that the young woman who was sat near me on the bus must have been very thirsty on this hot hot day…I did feel guilty of being insensitive.  I slid my water bottle in my bag and I did not have another sip until she had left the bus.

I should have known.  I have several co-workers who are fasting at the moment.  I knew a little about their fasting.  I knew they don’t eat any food during sunlit hours, but they can eat after sundown, which of course at this time of year is pretty late.  Until this year, I was not aware that they don’t drink any water though.  It is really hot here…of course nowhere near as hot as many of the countries where millions of followers of Islam live.

Ay karumba!  I would struggle.  In this heat, I do have much less appetite for food, but I consume twice as much water on sunny days.  In fact, if I stop drinking water during this glorious weather I wilt.  Years ago, I spent some time in Ghana…I realized then my utter dependence on water just to stay alive!

One of my co-workers made me laugh telling me about her own experience of fasting.  That day they knew that sunset would be officially at 8.58pm.  She said before that time they start cooking.  Everything is ready for the meal.  They lay the table, put out dishes containing their meal.  The whole family sit around the table watching the clock.  Then as soon as it is 8.58pm….woooolf!!!  They start scoffing.  She did make me giggle imagining her and her family around the dinner table like that.

She explained that fasting during the daylight hours helps them to think about those who are poor and do not have food and clean water.  Fasting helps them to be mindful of the poor and generous to them and teaches them to appreciate what they have.  She said there are spiritual benefits and it purifies their inner person.

Of course, it is commendable to think about those who struggle to obtain their basic needs.  It brings tears to my eyes when I remember a man we met from Liberia who had travelled to Ghana to flee from violence.  His wife has been killed in an outbreak of violence.  We met him and his six children.  I will tell you all about them in another post, such a special day to meet this inspirational and appreciative man.

I must admit…being aware of the injustices of this world makes me feel very uncomfortable at times…I really thought our family were poor until I had the opportunity to do some travelling and then my eyes were opened.  Every teenager that grows up in Western Europe or North America or in any other country abounding in far more than we ever could really need…should travel…and then they should never whinge about not having the latest i-gadget or snazzy sneakers…how petty and insignificant those things seem after you have seen countries where people live on around $1 a day!

For many years, I have loved visiting beautiful estates and National Trust properties. When I was younger I used to imagine myself floating around in a pavlova style dress, as if I was the lady of the manor.  Please tell me I am not the only one!  However, as I learnt more about history and how this enormous wealth was accrued, often on the backs of atrocities like the slave trade…the more I learnt the more guilty I felt about being born in a land that has such a shameful history.

I know it is complicated…I know things are not black and white…but for me I think that as long as I know there are injustice and suffering every moment of every day, inequality on a deplorable scale and that there is an agonizing outcry of “why?” and “when will this end?”…I am always going to feel a sense of guilt living in a land where things are relatively easy.

Surely you agree with me, that guilt will always be there while things are not fair.  I long for the day when every single member of the human family, no matter which land they were born in, which language they dream in, or the shade of their skin…will be safe and happy and healthy.  A world where nobody will go thirsty or hungry again.  I long for the day the whole earth is at peace.  I am no relation to John Lennon…despite my Liverpool roots.

I just know it in my bones that this world is not right…and it will not be right until every inhabitant of Planet Earth is thriving without feeling guilty that others are scraping by just to keep their families alive.

Every member of our huge and delightfully different human family drinking life to the full…no shame, no pain, no fear, no guilt, no anxiety, no hatred, no prejudice…

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Guilty