Tuesday, 31 March 2020

TCWG SHort story Journal 4

Finding Solace

Hello everyone,

just a quick entry today ,
Here is my poem for the day by John Dryden (1631 - 1700) an English poet born in the delightfully named town of Alwinkle in Northamptonshire.
He lived through the Plague and the Fire of London.

As if the cares of human life were few
We seek out new,
And follow fate which would too fast pursue.
See how on every bough the birds express
In their sweet notes their happiness.
They all enjoy and nothing spare,
But on their Mother Nature lay their care;
Why then should man, the lord of all below,
Such trouble choose to know
As none of all his subjects undergo.

I hope you like it and find solace in reading a verse that makes us listen carefully to the birds singing on a spring day and fill our hearts with joy.

Just a reminder to wash your hands. This was the first thing we were told to do to protect ourselves. In Italy sixty seconds, In Britain sing happy birthday twice. I love washing hands with little ones, watching the bubbles get more and more abundant and making squishy noises.
Some people made fun of this, of course we wash our hands, how absurd to be told to wash our hands, but of course we don't wash hands afte the shopping, or touching a door knob, or a hand rail or pushing a lift button, well now we do, now we must.

Monday, 30 March 2020

TCWG Short story Journal 3

Essential tips,

Look after your physical, mental and spiritual health,
Eat well, simple and nutritious meals
Boost your immune system.
Sleep well
Try and keep a good timetable, going to bed and getting up at the usual times.

Try and get physical exercise, if you can go out for a walk, run or cycle ride keeping your distance from other people.
If you cannot go out then dance to some music, follow the exercises that our broadcast on television, anything to get you moving.

Look out for your neighbours and try and help anyone who needs it, if you are able to shop for the vulnerable.

Don't drink too much alcohol smoke or sugary drinks.

Try not to sit in the same position for long periods.

Look after your mental health.
Talk to people you know and trust.
Talk to others in your community.

Listen to music,
Read a book
Play a game

Get your information from reliable sources once or twice a day.

We must work together as one.

When you feel afraid remember these words from Martin Luther King
'Fear knocked at the door, Courage went to answer, There was nobody there.'

And this one which has helped me so many times over the years

Where you do not find love, put love - and then you will find love,
St.John of the Cross

TCWG Short Sories Journal 2

United we Stand

Good morning everyone. It's Monday. always a sort of hopeful day I think.
First of all thank you Val for reading and commenting. Val has a heartwarming and fascnating blog called Vallypee blogspot and has written wonderful books , a lovely one called Watery Ways.

Back to the present today because one of the pieces of advice we have been given by people in authority is to think about the present, clean your house, tidy your drawers, they say.

People in England ask me why we have more of a tragedy in Italy. Maybe, but who knows, the very charm of Italian life, what makes living in Italy with Italians is its enemy, but I don't know. One thing is certain that Italians love being together, hugging, kissing and shaking hands even if they had only seen each other an hour or so ago.
Every morning off we go to buy the paper, crowd into our favourite coffee bars, jostling for the best brioche. Large family gatherings at every opportunity.
The secret of  a happy life could be summed up as 'lots of cuddles and everyone together for Sunday lunch.
Now all those coffee bars are delivering free cakes and brioche to the hospital workers, the restaurants and shop immediately set up home delivery and wine tasting events online.

Kindness and helpfulness abounds as always here. I know so many wonderful people who already were doing all they could to help those in need.

Our lives are ones of shifting priorities, sometimes some people need us more than others, we can't be all things to all people even if we would like to.

As a child phrases like, 'united we stand, divided we fall', 'All for one and one for all', ricocheted round my head reading  books such as Little Women and the Three Musketeers. In our family we loved 'bundles', the moment my mum called out 'Who wants a bundle'' we would rush to her and huddles together, the dog in the middle. Sometimes it would just be her and me, but always, always it was like being in a fortress of love.

My husband suggested I made my journal entries brief or people wouldn't have time and energy to read them.

Here's my thought for today, people need people, we need each other. We need to live in communities where we can help each other and accept each other. A country could be judged on how well it is functioning if it is looking after the vulnerable, the children, the elderly and those in difficulty, whilst letting those who want to work hard and make loads of money are free to do so and enjoy it.
What do you think?

Sunday, 29 March 2020

TCWG short story Journal 1

Last week I called an elderly friend to wish her a happy birthday. She was actually quite excited by this change in events, people were being kind to her like never before. She's used to being on her own at home and was enjoying the spring sunshine in the garden. She'd been out shopping and in Marks and Spencer they had given her the roses that were left over and some chocolate eclairs. She was delighted and told the girl at the till it was her birthday. The roses were stunning just perfect for her birthday, the sun was shining, her fridge was full, people were ringing up to see how she was that she hadn't heard from for years. She'd even been given a Christmas present that someone had forgotten to give her.
When I put the phone down a lump came to my throat, a sadness came over me, why do people have to wait for a common enemy to show how much they care?

Saturday, 28 March 2020

TCWG Short Story Journal 0

Hello everyone,
I haven't written on this Blog much in the last few years. For those of you who followed me from the beginning you might remember that my daughter set this blog up for me so I could write a Blog instead of countless emails to my grown up children. For a long time I wrote about my own life, about the poems, songs, anecdotes, the people I love and who have accompanied me along the way, my love of nature, the sunset, the sunrise, a bit less often that, and then something strange happened. I stopped wanting to share myself, to bare myself as my cousin said.
I started to write short stories instead, so I could still write about what I hoped would be useful as sort of life lessons but I could use a bit of poetic license, exaggerate to prove my point. I discovered I loved writing short stories, they were more detached than my Cappuccino and Brioche Blog, I could make things up.

That is just a preamble to introduce myself, because now the leader of my writing group has suggested we all keep a journal for this terrible world wide tragedy.

The first entry of my journal can be found in my short story blog because I put it there by mistake, it's about my brother, if you would like to read it just click on the link to my short story blog.

This is my second entry

Ever since I can remember I thought about what if, what if I found my self in a certain situation, what would I do? How would I feel?
This way I wandered lost though woods like Hansel and Gretel and thought about how I would save my brother, I had nightmares about the Snow Queen and how horrible it would be to lose someone's love.

Once I left the world of childhood and fairy tales and started reading newspapers and watching the news I suffered imagining how I would survive, how I would protect those I love.
My head filled up with useful tips about how to survive an avalanche, by thrashing yourself about to create a huge space around you and then when you stopped, spit so you could see which direction to dig yourself out. If you were in a cable car on your own and for some reason it stopped and you were left dangling there all night then a huge repertoire of songs, poems and happy thoughts would help you .
Watching the film Titanic broke my heart imagining my dad or my husband in later years standing bravely on deck and waving at us in the lifeboat, smiling and saying not to worry he'd be fine and see us soon.  Being taken hostage, another horrific situation. Not being able to see very well without my contact lenses, and so on.
All this rambling just to say we must all have our own survival techniques tucked away inside. This could be a simple as closing your eyes and thinking of all the people you love, of imagining a favourite place to be and engaging all your senses. It could be doing something practical to calm your mind.

This all sounds like a lot of nonsense so please forgive me, I will try again tomorrow.

This is my second entry