“Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, “I don’t want you to hire me – and I don’t care for jam.”
“It’s very good jam,” said the Queen.
“Well, I don’t want any to-day, at any rate.”
“You couldn’t have it if you did want it,” the Queen said. “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.”
“It must come sometimes to ‘jam to-day‘,” Alice objected.
“No, it can’t,” said the Queen. “It’s jam every other day: to-day isn’t your other day, you know.”
“I don’t understand you,” said Alice. “It’s dreadfully confusing!”
“That’s the effect of living backwards,” the Queen said kindly: “it always makes one a little giddy at first –“
Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Have you ever been to a cemetery and found that on top of several headstones is a haphazard pile of small pebbles?
It’s a Jewish custom to place a pebble on a headstone to show respect for the departed. They are called ‘Stones of Remembrance’. What’s the origin of this custom? There are many theories, but this is my personal favourite … Continue reading Looking back, I know that this time too will pass
“I’m busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest!”
Dolly Parton in Straight Talk (1992)
When you’ve managed to stay super busy for some months and people around you need your help, family needs you, you travel, learn a language, plan and dream – it can all be hugely rewarding. Probably almost enough to fill another void. Continue reading Asking the difficult questions
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Have you ever imagined telling a personal story or making a confession?
In the small hours of the night, when the seeds of the story begin to germinate, somehow the telling sounds better in your imagination. Such was the pattern of my thoughts a few nights ago, when I lay choked up with emotion and puffy-eyed, and Hubby suggested that I finally tell this story.
Deep disappointment is both difficult to carry alone and equally heavy to tell. Yes, we have told our immediate families and a couple of close friends. They have supported us in the best way they know how – sometimes helpful, at other times not so helpful, but always heartfelt. Continue reading When worlds collide: our fertility story without a happy ending … yet!
“Today, given a 35mm camera and a built-in exposure-meter, anyone can be an expert photographer, but it was not so easy fifty-years ago…. Clicking the shutter even once was a serious business that had to be carefully thought out beforehand.”
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
I’m eavesdropping on a table of paint-spattered construction workers in my local cafe. As they hungrily devour their ‘full English’ they are cross-examining one another’s attempts so far at keeping to their new year resolutions.
Have you made some new years resolutions? After examining my own year in photos, the mantra, ‘get back into my photography’, seems to ring out boldly and would appear on my list if I had one. I have long neglected my photography and sadly my big Nikon and expensive lenses have spent a shameful amount of time in the spare cupboard. The curse of the iPhone – so very small and convenient – sadly the results are somewhat disappointing. Bear with my poor efforts as I take you through my year in pictures:
We saw the new year in (2014/2015) with a group of special friends in a cottage on the cold Yorkshire moors doing a murder mystery dinner – in full costume and character. “Such fun!” (Miranda voice).
Continue reading 2015: my year in pictures and snippets
“It is my duty to help them solve the mysteries in their lives. That is what I am called to do.”
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
This morning I walked out of my front door to find that winter has officially arrived. My cardigan might just as well be a bikini for all the warmth it offers me. The cold that I have up to now been able to fend off by finding a sunny spot, putting on another layer or having a hot cuppa has finally found its way into my bones. When I get home later I will set up the heating.
No more denial. Continue reading ‘Why’ is a crooked letter and you can’t make it straight
“How many of us begin a new record with each day of our lives? To me it seems only yesterday that my whole life ended with my new hope, and that truly I began a new record. So it shall be until the Great Recorder sums me up and closes my ledger account with a balance to profit and loss.”
Dracula by Bram Stoker
I have had many hopes and dreams in my short life, some of which have weighed heavily on me and have haunted me – hopes I’ve shelved, hopes I’ve not dared to voice, hopes I’ve boldly proclaimed – hopes upon hopes.
Hopes are flighty things, like butterflies, they are beautiful and colourful and hard to pin down. Sometimes they flit into our lives in surprising ways and then flit right out again. Sometimes we keep getting a glance at them, that ‘butterfly’ feeling rises up inside, and then it passes out of reach so that we wonder if it was even there at all.
Continue reading Hopes, dreams, prayers and the people you meet on the way
“The room door opened, and Mrs Waterbrook, who was a large lady – or who wore a large dress: I don’t exactly know which, for I don’t know which was dress and which was lady – came sailing in.”
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
I’m sorry to keep coming back to Dickens, but this one was a priceless nugget under a pile of clippings which I have fished out on the auspicious occasion of my return to the gym.
I also love a giggle and thought you might like this description.
For a very good reason, Continue reading Back to the gym
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I started writing this post on Monday. It began with:
“Devastated. Test taken. Test failed.”
I walked away from that draft to do something too unimportant to mention and when I came back to it this morning, I find myself removed from the lines I’d written. It’s a strange anachronism to be confronted with my very own ‘ghost of Christmas past’ – ‘Nyamazela yesterday’ was ready to give up, ‘Nyamazela today’ has picked herself up again. There is no rhyme or reason to this. Continue reading Life’s little contradictions
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
“Under certain circumstances, there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. From five o’clock to eight is on certain occasions a little eternity; but on such an occasion as this the interval could be only an eternity of pleasure.”
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Still waiting and counting the days. 5 days until the big ‘test’. 7 days until building completion and I can finally clean up my house. 11 days until my birthday – I thought I’d include that, but I’m not really counting. 18 days until my family arrives. I wait, I wait, for a very important date!
The only way I’m able to deal with the current wait is to pop the kettle on and have a cuppa. Join me if you like.
p.s. Though frustrated, I’m trying not to wish time away as I firmly believe it’s the only time we have. It’s precious.
Continue reading Tea and the waiting game!
“Whereas a woman – whether she is interested in babies or microbes or husbands or poetry or servants or parallelograms or gardens or Plato or bridge – is fundamentally and always interested in clothes.”
Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster
Have you ever played the waiting game? If you are part of the human race then most likely you have. I am on day 3 of a 2 week wait. So far it’s not been too bad. I’ve laid low as per doctor’s orders and done next to nothing, but I’m not very good at that. I’ve followed the suggestion to ‘Be still and know that I am God’ as the psalmist says, but I’m not very good at that either. I’ve made myself some yummy food, which has been pretty successful actually.
Today I’m trying a different tactic – a shopping mall.
Continue reading Waiting … still … and tea … always