Wednesday, June 30, 2010

365 Days, Day 23

I was very excited to have a comment posted! Thank you, Aileen! I thought I'd be a bit gutted if NOBODY replied! Aileen when are you going to start your 365 days 'challenge'??

“Never by reflection, but only by doing is self-knowledge possible to one.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

“Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” (Barbara De Angelis)

I don't give myself enough real moments of solitude or self-reflection, such important part of my holistic self... Don't worry: I shan't start ruminating and reflecting here. I think the self-reflection needs to be practiced in a calm quiet place aided by Nature. So what I need to do is set time aside every so often, take a walk down to the forest and sit in a quiet, still place and... reflect. But having said that I am not self-disciplined enough! I will find things that need to be 'done' rather than going off for solitude. I will procrastinate. I will first need a cup of coffee(!). I will have doggy-do to clean up and sanitise the floor. If I do get to go and sit quietly in the forest, my reflections will take on a mind of their own. I will start out rationally and follow my breathing, slow and even. My mind will go inwards and I will look at a 'flame'. I will see the orange blue of the flame... then I will think of a dress made of orange and blue organza floating in the wind. Spiralling. Billowing. Like washing on the line- I don't have a washing here, not like the one in Estelle Street, at the back of the house outside the laundry next to the studio. The studio where I used to paint and do my art projects. I loved the little family-tree amphora I made. About 50 of them...

AND THAT is how my 'reflection' goes!! My mind has a path of its own! Perhaps I need to tame it, tie it down. Hhhmmm. Tying. Binding. I loved my bound Barbie project...

OK!! I am going now. To make some coffee.

(Would still love some feedback)

Realisation: perhaps no-one [except Aileen :) ] reads my blog!!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

365 Days, Day 22


"If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?" (Stephen Levine)

[Although I have borrowed this quote - I would like YOU to respond to these questions by posting a comment below, PLEASE!]

Had my first ever telephone interview today for a job (one of many, many jobs I have applied for) ! Not sure that I made a good impression though, however it all goes down to experience.
Communication is so important, specially when you are away from friends and family, so an unexpected text or email is like a little present (hint-hint)...

"The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate" (Joseph Preistley).

“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.” (Sue Patton Thoele).

PLEASE communicate with me- I am always ready to listen.

Had hair cut today, even though I am growing it! I am considering changing the colour and becoming more "normal"... sort of coppery red. Decisions, decisions! Would love to know what YOU think about this(!) ===> Communicate!!

Communicate with me soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010

365 Days, Day 21

“Sometimes in our confusion, we see not the world as it is, but the world though eyes blurred by the mind” (Unknown)

Sometimes as you get older, life is a bit blurry around the edges. We get bogged down by the blurry overwhelming mundane boring necessary things right in front of our noses. We forget to look at the bigger picture.

Actually it's just as well things get blurry as we get older: Tom still thinks I am the same "gorgeous" (!?) slip of a girl he married. Mwhahaha, little does he know that I have become all floppy and gravity has taken it's toll. But if he THINKS I am still gorgeous, then that's what I am! Thanks Tom for always loving me and boosting my confidence, and carrying me, and for being my best friend. Love you forever!

Spoke to Aliki today on Skype; she lives in Athens now. After 9 years away, they are moving back to South Africa. She commented on how, at our age, it is difficult to make friends in a new country... I agree with that: it is hard. But I have made a few friends here: thanks Gill for taking on a blurred-round-the-edges-South-African as your friend :)

And thanks Sherell And Stussy for our continued friendship and always including us in family-times: love you X

Sunday, June 27, 2010

365 Days, Day 20

“I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities" (Dr. Seuss).

“I reject your reality and substitute it [with] my own” (Adam Savage).

Some days feel surreal. Today has been a wonderfully scorching HOT summer’s day in South England! It could be a lovely summer’s day back in South Africa. Tom has been uncomfortably hot, but I love it. We have had an easy day at home. Couldn’t watch the end of the football: too depressing. We took Lily for her first ever walkies, to Tilgate forest. She couldn’t walk very far, being so tiny. She brought a teeny stick back with her, and is now flat on her back in her basket, fast asleep.

I am feeling that I need

more nonsense

in my thinking

I am looking at life

too seriously:

what has happened

to the silliness and fun…

I shall recapture it

I shall make a net

from moth-eaten


dyed purple

attached to a twig

from the forest

I shall wait in a corner

and leap out

and capture


Saturday, June 26, 2010

365 Days, Day 19

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle
Everything I do is stitched with its colour.
[W.S. Merwin]

If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. [Claudia Ghandi]

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell. [Edna St Vincent Millay]

Lily is still the focus of our attention at the moment. It is hard work having a new puppy in the house!

Tom and I did a bit of gardening later this evening once the heat of the day had passed. He mowed the lawn while I trimmed the hedges.

We now have a 'cage' for Lily so she has her own little bedroom where she can escape when she wants to.

Spoke to Mum and Dad on skype; Dad looks so pale and frail. Wish I was there to give you support... Sending you both my love and prayers. X

Spoke to Ada on skype to and introduced Lily to her in between the webcam working and not working. Ada gave us some tips on puppy training.

Spoke to Kyle last night on skype. Oh I so wish I could be there for your Birthday, my boys... You would think after this time I would be used to not having you nearby - but I still ache for your company.

This is for ALL my family and friends back in Africa: my heart is aching for all of you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

365 Days, Day 18

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am [Author Unknown].

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face [Ben Williams].

We fetched little Lily today: so we have a new member of the family! She is precious, very loving and wants to be cuddled all the time.

It was a long drive - 3 and a half hours each way to Derbyshire. Lily slept for whole of her leg of the journey. Back home she has discovered the garden, her little pink ball and her basket with blankie and toys. She reminds us of Nina...
Hmmm a big responsibility. And a sign to us that we are staying here...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

365 Days, Day 17

British Summer!

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time. [John Lubbock]

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. [Albert Camus]

We have had a few lovely days of sunny warm weather - am loving it!
I haven't worked this week at all, a bit worrying financially, but I have loved being able to be with Ariel. Ari and I had a picnic in the garden for lunch consisting of olives, cheese and a plum...
I remember the satsuma plums that we used to eat from Nan's tree in her back garden, the taste infuses my memories, I remember swimming at Nan's house in the summer, with extended family lounging on Stan's immaculate lawn; later the energy levels would wax and we would play rounders or some ball game with the adults... There was generally a sweet, dripping watermelon consumed at some stage in the day.
Summer is different here...

I have become a bit obsessed with my paintings... Every time I walk past I see something that needs adjusting. And I somehow manage to get paint all over myself, in weird places- my forehead underneath my fringe, the bottom of my dress, my wrist...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

365 Days, Day 16

Today Ariel (still feeling poorly!) wanted me to come and lie outside in the sun with her on a blanket. My immediate thoughts were: can't do that now, have washing/cleaning/painting to do... How often does one's 19 year old daughter ask you do something as beautifully simple as lying outside together on the lawn on the grass under a tree? How many more times am I going to be privileged enough to have her ask me that? I gathered (colour co-ordinated) pillows, blankets and scarves and went to join her. My little blessing, you have no idea how much I adore being with you, and being even a tiny part of your life... Thank you for times we have had together and the times we will still have together.
Bloodline. I yearn for my boys...

the churning
the waiting
the restlessness
below the surface
the cocoon silk
ever stronger
will unfurl
when the time
is right

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

365 Days, Day 15

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!” [Marilyn Monroe]

Ariel bought 13cm heels- I don't know how she walked in them never mind danced the night away! But they ARE very beautiful! (Only girls will understand this)...I made the mistake of wearing a pair of Ari's heels to her exhibition (I had never worn them before) - I got a huge blister on my left foot that still hasn't healed! Advice for us girls: when you go out in heels, have a spare pair of flatties on hand for emergencies! Been watching the football: a very exciting game, but very tenseful!! Ari made me leave the room because I make her nervous when I scream! Pfft: a gentle ladylike little murmur is all I utter... Well played Bafana Bafana!!

We bought a bed for little Lily and a teething toy and a collar and leash and a squeaky toy and a ball with a bell and a water and food bowl. She
is going to be SUCH a spoiled little puppy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

365 Days, Day 14

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”[Peter Drucker]

Day at home today - with my little princess! Except she is feeling awful: she has a very sore throat and has a high fever, so she has spent the day sleeping or feeling miserable.
Heard from Lily's owners: we can fetch her on Friday! So... plans are being made about a basket and a little travel 'cage'.

Ariel has some important decisions to make...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

365 Days, Day 13

Last night we attended Sherell's party: it was held on Tony's farm down by the river. There was a marquee in the middle of the field with a table set with white and silver and a glass candelabra. Tres elegant. What a lovely evening: met some really interesting people and creatures [Noodle stole the show!], and caught up with Sherell and Tony, Stussy, and Nuschy's lives a bit...
Spent the night at a very 'rustic' guesthouse... Didn't sleep other than surface-dozing: I was freaked out by the place the moment we walked in... some very strange energies lurking there...
Came home with our car loaded with Ari's 'worldly' belongings!
Home safe and sound with our precious one!

365 Days, Day 12

On Friday was Ariel's end-of-year exhibition: we thought her installation was the best! Her work was polished and has her quirky touch to it.
It was a long 7 hour drive down to Cornwall, but worth it to see our Precious!

Friday, June 18, 2010

365 Days, Day 11

Just rushing past today, off on an adventure:
  • Driving down to Cornwall to go to Ariel's end-of-year exhibition, and to fetch her and all her belongings [yay! she's coming home]!
  • On Saturday driving up to Shipston-on-Stour for Sherell's big five-oh.
  • Back on Sunday.
So tomorrow's blog will only happen o Sunday. I am taking my camera so will take pics!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

365 Days, Day 10

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” [Maya Angelou]

My philosophy in life is to: be kind, to do what I do in life with love. What goes round comes round: karma.
Every morning when I go have to go and 'teach', I take a deep breath and think: do this with love. I am respectful, polite and friendly to the students. It really amazes me that this does not work on many of the students: I feel quite 'abused' by the end of the day. The lack of respect many of the students have for adults, and lack of self-respect AND lack of work ethic makes me deeply sad...
I don't feel like I am making a "difference" in their lives... Very sad.
I shall carry on regardless with my cheery outlook and journey along my life-path, weathering the humpy-rumpy parts of the road and the smooth parts.
And come out stronger at the end... at the 'end' of this life??

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

365 Days, Day 9

Small Things Matter
To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.

Whatever, whatever, whatever!
But seeing that tiny little lady bug [unexpectedly] while I was taking today's pics - really made my day. It was a little delight for my soul. I think we adults need to make time for seeing something in the world through-a-child's-eyes each day!
I am using the little bug as a way of appreciating each of my little 'blessings' that I have in my life [even though they are ALL far away at the moment - even Tom!]. Thank you Universe for each blessing that I have been given or lent!

Right, off to fold washing now...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

365 Days, Day 8

Had an awful day at school today, am exhausted. Days like today remind me why I don't want to teach full-time and desperately want to find another career!

Monday, June 14, 2010

365 Days Day 7

Today's weather has turned out to be lovely. I was going to get stuck into the garden + have a creative day... But have become bogged down with household chores! Washing, ironing, hoovering etc.
I had a job choosing today's picture, there are some gorgeous roses blooming in our English garden at the moment and I have some close-ups pics of them. BUT I have chosen something else random to post for today, because I am feeling random! Now that the 2 hour ironing session is over, it is time for a cup of coffee [I really miss my 'special' South African Nestle White Chocolate coffee sachets which I can only get in SA!!] and then I will try wielding my brush in paint again...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

365 Days, Day 6

Went out to town today, then to B&Q, then Hobbycraft and finally off to Tulley's Farm, where I had a delicious amaretto latte and Tom had a pot of tea! Their fruit and veggie displays are always so inviting... This one's for you, Dad, because I know how much you love cherries*!
*Mum and Dad visited us last month and we were shopping in Tescos, when we noticed that Dad had disappeared... we found him in the fruit section eating a few discarded/leftover cherries from the bottom of a plastic crate! And there he was inviting the onlookers to join him. He says he has never tasted such delicious cherries as those!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

365 Days, Day 5

This is my entry for today. I am busy, in between 'life', with four paintings at the moment. Today's pic is one of them in progress... I am battling with my painting at the moment, having excuses like: brushes aren't the right size, don't have my special easel that oupa made for me, or my palette etc etc. I think, being a perfectionist, I feel that these paintings are not good enough and never will be! - so am blaming my tools, instead of my lack of ability...
By sharing one of my unfinished paintings, I am baring my soul a little...

365 Days Day 4

Oops, was so busy watching the football yesterday that I forgot to load my picture, so will do an early one now for Day 4. Thanks Doug for reminding me!
This is Simphiwe, my fairy from South Africa (named by the ladies at the checkout counter at Lifestyle, when I told them I was bringing her to the UK and she needed a name). She is guardian of my flowers here in the UK.
She must have witnessed one of the neighbours' cat having a meal of a bird early this morning because there are feathers all around the lawn. Poor pigeon...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

365 days Day 3

I had to 'teach' today then came home and taught an English lesson, so have just taken a photo of an object on my desk. It somehow represents the stifled creativity I am experiencing at the moment... so it seems quite apt.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

365 days Day 2

Day 2.
I must admit I take more than one photo and then select ONE, which is quite difficult for me to do. Today's pic is of the Alium plant which has bloomed but is now spent. I think it still looks good.

Not working again today, so am at home and am having a 'writing' day: catching up on newsy emails and things which require sitting still and writing. Also have to complete poster for the play with a very long name.

Tom has left for Denmark, so I am all alone again...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

365 days Day1

I got this idea from someone on Facebook - to take and post 1 photo everyday for 365 days. this is a little mini do-able challenge for me.
So here is Day 1's picture