Norway: Nyama, the King and the big boulder … and the VOH

“Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10km return climb to Kjeragbolten Sitting on my bottom, edging my foot onto the boulder and trying hard not to look down at the 3200ft abyss below, I had one of those out of body experiences.

On the one hand, a more sensible Nyama looked on from a safe distance wondering almost out loud whether anyone had ever fallen to their death on this spot. She also seriously doubted whether in fact the Nyama on the rock really did have it in her to stand on the Kjeragbolten. Continue reading Norway: Nyama, the King and the big boulder … and the VOH

A high five to my brother and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to teachers all over the world!

“You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses. . . I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death — if you aren’t as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

school trip to New York
Me on Brooklyn Bridge on a school trip to New York in  2007

This last week the talk has been all about schools.

My brother flew from Zambia to London last week for an interview for a chemistry position at an independent school in the north of England.

He got the job!

There are so many ‘God-incidences’ linked to this interview, making it one of those unmistakably surreal, faith-building answers to prayer that some of us occasionally get to experience in this lifetime. What a privilege and a joy to be part of the ‘team’ to get this family of 5 to the UK – though they are not here yet and there are still quite a few hurdles ahead for them. Continue reading A high five to my brother and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to teachers all over the world!

‘Why’ is a crooked letter and you can’t make it straight

“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

Asking questionsThis 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

Hopes, dreams, prayers and the people you meet on the way

“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

Hopes and dreamsI 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

1st September

“Cords of saliva would collect on her lips; she would draw them in, then open her mouth again. Her mouth seemed to have a private existence of its own. It worked separate and apart from the rest of her, out and in, like a clam hole at low tide. Occasionally it would say, “Pt,” like some viscous substance coming to a boil.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

new seasonTuesday’s 1st September inspiration: a beautiful description from a novel which blew me away with its beauty at the time of reading it as a teenager, and still does. Some of my readers will know that part of the reason I write a weekly blog (occasionally more frequently) is because I want to live my life with purpose, on purpose, reflecting on life’s ups and downs and to be accountable. A little Birdie, my Hubby, my writer sister and my faith inspired me to start.

The other reason is because they say that if you want to call yourself a writer you need to write every day. Nyamazela.com accounts for 1 or 2 days a week. Continue reading 1st September

Working freelance from home

“A little note about grammar. I know it and I love it, but I haven’t always followed it in this book. I start sentences with ands and buts. I end sentences with prepositions. I use the plural they in contexts that require the singular he or she. I’ve done this for informality and immediacy, and I hope the sticklers will forgive me.”

Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential by Dr Carol S Dweck

Freelance work from homeStill wondering at and unpacking the massive, life-changing concept of Dweck’s Mindset, I’ve decided to tackle one of my serious weaknesses – procrastination and busyness.

The ‘growth mindset’ approach says that:
1. I don’t have to stay the way I am (which in fact echoes beautifully with my theology as well).
2. I can improve, through hard work and practise, in an area that I value.
3. I have no idea what my potential (ceiling) really is. Continue reading Working freelance from home

Life’s little contradictions

“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

Tea always helps

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