Is 2020 trying to tell us something?

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if they keep quiet, the very rocks and stones will cry out.”

The Bible, Luke 19:37-40

VirusWhat if 2020 is not really the car crash it seems to be?

Just a thought …

Things really stopped and went quiet for a while, didn’t they?

And now the cries are loud and big and scary … and demand to be listened to!

What if 2020 is a cry for help, a call for change?
Continue reading Is 2020 trying to tell us something?

Something lacking

“Across the veld were those hills of the Klein Karoo, rolling up and dipping down like waves. On and on, like a still and stony sea. I picked up my melktert and bit off a mouthful. It was good, the vanilla, milk and cinnamon working together to make that perfect comforting taste.”

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew

tea and ruskRecipes. Hmmm.

I don’t fit into normal size clothes, I’m told by my Hubby that I ‘always’ make changes to an item I order on a menu. And though I can cook well (I’d say) and can improvise a pretty tasty meal out of random leftovers in the fridge, I’ve never been able to strictly follow a recipe, without some degree of substitution.

I’ve leave the baking to real experts – my sister-in-law, my mother, CharliesBirdla boulangerie, Phyls Kitchen rusks.

This is why I do not bake.

That is, until today… Continue reading Something lacking

Paperless, office-less business in a time of the Coronavirus

“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

Kermit panicsWho knew?

Who knew?

There I was waxing lyrical about 2020 and all its promise. It did hold promise. It did. Elections were over. New, interesting enquiries were coming in. We’d taken on a promising new trainee broker. We had travel plans. Some of Hubby’s more difficult deals looked like they were moving forward. It was an exciting time. Continue reading Paperless, office-less business in a time of the Coronavirus

How I fixed my sleep … without sheep

“Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it. I drank more and continued my mantra. ‘Stop thinking’, swig, ’empty your head’, swig, ‘now, seriously empty your head’.”  

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

Larson cartoon animal humourDid you know?

The first reference to counting sheep is found in a twelfth-century Spanish book, Disciplina Clericalis by a lad called Petrus Alphonsi. It’s a collection of fables in which the author tells one humorous tale about a King and his Story-teller counting sheep. Apparently counting sheep was a widespread practice in early Twelfth century Islamic countries, which fascinated and influenced our dear Mr Alphonsi. No doubt a shepherd or five was known to fall asleep during this monotonous daily routine …

Et voila! The origins of a completely useless remedy for insomnia.

So you can’t sleep? Neither could I – on and off for almost 10 years!

Now I’m sleeping like a baby. Continue reading How I fixed my sleep … without sheep

Speak to me 2020

“I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end. (Jo March)” 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

mouse on stepsMy Dad was desperate to retire.  He wouldn’t admit it, but work was challenging and he wasn’t coping. He had many plans for his retirement years. But he was also anxious. After all, he’d worked since he was 16.

On his last day at work I gave him a card.  “How exciting,” I’d written. “To be on the cusp of a new season, a new chapter in your life!

For months, even years later, in deep thought, he’d often say to me, quite out of the blue, “I’ve thought a lot about what you wrote in my card. A new chapter … I’ve got to make the most of it.”

After he died I found that card with a few other precious things he’d kept in his bedside table. Continue reading Speak to me 2020

A funny old time

Mama in a huge plaster cast
Big foot and our new little cousin.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

“Come home, Babes. All is forgiven.”

This is the WhatsApp message I received from Hubby about 10 days into my recent 2 week break in South Africa.

I didn’t go because South Africa won the Rugby World Cup, though they did. Nor because it’s dark and cold in the UK, which it is. I didn’t go to check on our house, although I did that. I went because Continue reading A funny old time

5 Weeks ‘Into Africa’

“I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across the these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up, near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold.”

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (pen name of Karen Blixen)

Karen Blixen Out of Africa“We paid £3 for a haircut in South Africa,” we told our flamboyant, full-of-opinions, Irish hairdresser in London some years ago.

[This, when he quoted Hubby £45 for a men’s short back and sides.]

“WELL! … I don’t exactly live in a frickin mud hut, do I?” he pointed out.

[He had a point.]

“So, are we cutting today or not?” he asked us, waving the scissors around. Continue reading 5 Weeks ‘Into Africa’

Being a grown up

“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Birthday cakeBrain: There’s that animal I’m very familiar with, with mane and big teeth!
Brain’s word identification software: Lion!
Mouth: Goat.

True story. Continue reading Being a grown up

Visits in my dreams

“Logic cannot comprehend love; so much the worse for logic.”

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church by N.T. Wright

I’m in a resort. I go to the loo. Somehow this process is convoluted and slow as I’m carrying shopping bags and cannot find my mobile. When I come out the whole location has changed. My brother hands over the ‘looking-after’ responsibilities and we venture into a music shop. More obstacles – a gutter too deep, crowds, too much noise – and now suddenly we’re not in a shop we’re in a stadium and I’m trying to find a way to climb out of the camera box. I’ve lost him again and the search I’ve carried out so many times begins anew … Continue reading Visits in my dreams

Une étape à la fois

“If I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, it stands to reason that I’m going to get there. I’ve begun to think we sit far more than we’re supposed to.” He smiled. “Why else would we have feet?”

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

SleeplessnessTime travel – the stuff of fantasies.

Or nightmares?

If I could go back 300 years, I’d stroll onto a beach, lay out my towel and strip down to my orange bikini. Wide-eyed people would stare, aghast. “I’ve come from 2018,” I’d ‘reassure’ them. “This is modest beachwear in 2018. In fact, on the Costa del Sol they’re not wearing anything!” Continue reading Une étape à la fois