Tuesday, 31 March 2020

TCWG SHort story Journal

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

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

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

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?

TCWG short story journal

Hello everyone,

When I told my son that I was going to try and write a journal for my writing group we talked about the difference between a diary and a journal. A diary is more to do with facts and is a daily account of  events. A journal is more personal, more private and involves feelings and emotions and doesn't necessarily have to be written every day and can indeed contain multiple entries for one day.
I'm going to back a bit before going forward. The year started off quite dramatically didn't it? It all seems a long time ago now, but the Bush fires in Australia and other traumatic events together with ongoing concerns of climate change, world poverty, and all the other other terrible things were already causing distress. Then one day in January we were shown on the News people in China confined to their homes in order to stop this terrible virus. We watched in dismay as they wished each other a happy Chinese New Year across the town. We were made aware that the danger was spreading. Friends came to stay and had their temperature taken at the airport before they could enter the country. My friend postponed her birthday celebrations because she was afraid, we were all afraid of this invisible threat. I remembered the fear of Chernobyl, how I followed the instructions we were given hoping to protect my loved ones.
We are doing the same now. All we can do is follow the instructions.

Everyone is trying in their own way to cope, to deal with this. Some through humour, some through sharing videos and sayings. Poems and writing from hundred or more years ago abound, showing that people have been through situations like this before. Everyone is trying to find a way.
Our immediate reaction is probably to do what we can to protect and help those around us. Trying not to watch the news too much, trying to keep positive and calm and love each other. Trying to protect our mental and physical health.

We already knew that there was a lot of suffering in the world, those who could were already trying to help. The difference with this terrifying threat is that we can all do something to help, by staying at home, by following the rules.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

TCWG Short Story Journal

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

Sunday, 26 January 2020

If LIfe is a song, Love is the music

If music be the food of love,
play on,
Give me excess of it that
The appetite may sicken,
and so die

So opens Twelfth Night by Shakespeare, it's rather self-indulgent but we all know what he means, in love as in other matters of the hear it helps if we can lighten up
If music be the food of love… then I'll have a Mozart sandwich,' Rowan and Martins Laugh in, and we laughed along glad we had paid enough attention a school to enjoy the joke.

Really though what I wanted to talk about today was how music can catch you unawares, music can make emotions erupt deep within you like a volcano spilling over from your heart and soul and make you happy or sad or sometimes just remind you of who you really are and the essence of what you wanted to be.
Some music can make you feel so melancholic bring tears to your eyes, bring back memories that had been hiding and you were totally unaware that they were even there.

We've all got a soundtrack to out life, we've all got songs from out favourite eras that never fail to make us feel all the passions and hopes flourish again in our spirits.

Here's mine for today, ' Do you love me?' Brian Poole and The Tremeloes,
I'm ten years old again, flinging myself around in a frenzy and feeling happy and full of love.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

With a Little bit of luck ...

The word 'lucky' has never been one of my favourites. Seldom have I told anyone I think they're lucky.  Luck of course is random and unexplained. Luck can be obvious, like where you are born, what family you are born into, which country you are born into, health wealth can be considered luck.
I have a niece who has a very demanding job with people in difficulty and she says that she was so lucky with her family and childhood that she wants to give something back.

As we all exchanged New Year greetings and wishes and wrote messages and texts saying happy New Year, Peaceful New Year I was struck by one that was sent me which wished me a lucky New Year and it started me thinking about that word and realizing that I don't like it because I am a bit afraid of it.

Like most people I probably feel lucky if I'm looking for a parking place and one comes free, or the bus that I'm waiting for is the first to arrive, or if all the traffic lights are green and I just sail into town, but I'm wary of the word 'luck.'

This summer on holiday with my brother and his wife I got stung by a jelly fish, nothing so terrible you might think, but my knee swelled up and I started googling 'jellyfish stings' but my brother had some antihistamines and gave me one and the knee went obediently back to normal. Later on in the summer I got a splinter from my brother's garden furniture and my sister-in-law said how nice it was to have me around because I absorbed all the bad luck.  I looked at my brother and thought how happy I would be to take away any bad luck from him and well jelly fish sings and splinters on the scale of things are quite acceptable and my brother's granddaughter played nurse and made me better.

All this is just to wish all of you that follow my blog a very happy New Year and a pinch of good luck to protect you, and if you do get a splinter or a jellyfish sting may you have someone who cares who can make you better.