Looking back, I know that this time too will pass

memorial stones on grave“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

Sense of humour failure (SHF)

Sense of fun“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A friend of mine officiated a wedding in the United States recently. This is how she described her day:

“Everyone was in great spirits,” she said. “There were about 18-20 of us. But I was the only person wearing a mask and there was no social distancing.”

“It felt like unprotected sex all day long. Aaaahhhh!!!!”

Continue reading Sense of humour failure (SHF)

Summer staycation

Book cover“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

There’s a very bad joke that goes something like this …

“Where are you going for your holiday?”
“I’m going to Romania.” (pronounced remain-ya)
“Wow! That’s exotic.”
“No, I’m going to ‘remain-here’ – get it?”
“Ah … not so exotic.”

[best said in a strong South African accent] Continue reading Summer staycation

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?

London 1665: an old story, retold in 2020

“Again he shook his head. The world’s gone mad, he thought. The dead walk about and I think nothing of it. The return of corpses has become trivial in import. How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough!”

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

1665

I’ve just finished reading Old St. Paul’s: A tale of the Plague and the Fire by William Harrison Ainsworth (1841), which, as I mentioned last week, details the 1665 plague of London, culminating with the Great Fire.

Several hundred years later, here I am (you are) in plagued-London (fill in the name of your city here).

Even if you are not a lover of classic novels, you will appreciate this … the parallels are simply uncanny! Continue reading London 1665: an old story, retold in 2020

Locking down the little details

“I think of every little trifle between me and Dora, and feel the truth, that trifles make the sum of life.”

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Cauliflower seedling in soilHave I mentioned that bedtime is my favourite time of the day? It runs in the family. We are an early-to-bed-family … not necessarily early to rise. My Mama gets so excited for bed that she squeals when she burrows under the covers. I’ve inherited that habit too.

One of my bed time wind-down habits is reading.

My current tome is Old St. Paul’s: A tale of the Plague and the Fire by William Harrison Ainsworth (1841). The details of 1665 London, during plague times bears much resemblance to COVID-times, I’m afraid, though also with an awful lot of Continue reading Locking down the little details

Stuckhome Syndrome

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery (Green Gables books)

X-ray butterflies in my stomach
Source: Google

We are well into 9 weeks of lockdown in the UK.

Some restrictions are beginning to ease.

But many people are afraid to go out, afraid to let their children go back to school, afraid to venture back to work.

A kind of ‘stuckhome syndrome’ has taken hold.

I get this.

What started off rather uncomfortable and restrictive, has become comfortable, safe, the new normal. Continue reading Stuckhome Syndrome

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

A life

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”  

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

SharonOur neighbour has passed away.

The last time I saw Sharon she was her usual vivacious, smiling self. She excitedly told me that she and her husband, their grown up sons and girlfriends were leaving on safari in Botswana that week. She couldn’t wait. She clasped her hands across her stomach as we spoke and I noticed that it was distended.

She must have seen that I’d noticed. After a few seconds she quietly told me that the cancer had come back.

“I’m starting treatment at the Royal Marsdon when we’re back from Botswana. I’m in really good hands,” she said. That was September. Continue reading A life

Married bliss

The Princess Bride film cover“I am your Prince and you will marry me,” Humperdinck said.
Buttercup whispered, “I am your servant and I refuse.”
“I am you Prince and you cannot refuse.”
“I am your loyal servant and I just did.”
“Refusal means death.”
“Kill me then.”

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Ingredients: 2 or people, 1 x home, 2 x personalities, 2 x jobs, multiple roles

Optional, add to taste: animals, children, car, nanny, cleaner, housework, garden, dreams, personal tastes and interests, humour, neighbours, income, parents-in-law, siblings, illness, personal space and long-suffering.

Method: fold ingredients together carefully, heat gently, do not over-cook.

Warning: some ingredients expire within 28 days.

Continue reading Married bliss