Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Just So Pretty

I just had to share these beautiful flowers!
They were supposed to have been delivered 
for Christmas

but instead, as I was in hospital,
the florist delayed bringing them so that I could have some lovely spring flowers ...

...when I arrived home!

It seems that every time I look at them
I see another little flower
hidden away

and it so delights me!

I am continuing to improve......... 
after my last stay in hospital

but I have to go to Swansea (60 miles away)
on Thursday
to see the spinal consultant
about the next stage...
(i.e. fusion..)
of my journey into (hopefully) painless living!

It is 5 years this Saturday
since this all started 
and I would like to get some sort of life again!

I have learnt so much
through all of this..
mainly about myself .....
and some of the things I've learnt I haven't liked!

I'm not saying that I'm a saint...
I have whinged and felt very sorry for myself!

but these times of not being able to go out...
of having to let others
do the things I used to do so easily...

because I can no longer manage...

Of having others do things differently 
from the way I like to do it...

I suppose I'm talking about..... 
no longer being in control??!!

It has been so difficult...

and, yes, I've grieved over losing my ability to go and walk our glorious coastal paths....
(why on earth didn't I do it more....
appreciate it more..
etc... etc..
while I could)

I've grieved over people not listening
to what I have asked them to do 
and then 
totally ruining
the plants that I had spent years training 
to tumble
over the wall....
etc... etc..

but...through all this...
I hope that I am emerging a better person
who is not so full of herself
and her abilities
but is able
to know herself and her needs more fully

and, I hope, 
be more aware of others and their needs.

I know that I spend more time
in the moment....
just enjoying where I am and what I have
now that I am not rushing here 
or there.

There is so much to see and enjoy
out there...

This is the moon yesterday morning
I just thought it looked lovely!

I'm sorry that I seem to have rambled a bit
but that is just where I am today

I hope that
wherever you are
is just where you need to be today!!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

How Green Was My Valley

Last week my son repaired our video recorder
so one evening
we decided to watch a film
that I had been wanting to watch!

For sometime I had been telling myself that I should read the book as it is a classic.
A tale of life in a Welsh mining village
as told by a 60 year old
looking back on his life as a boy.

It was in black and white 
......but that didn't detract from it's story.
Also the Welsh accents were appalling
but even that didn't detract from its impact on me.

It was filled with wonderful Welsh singing
the songs 
that were sung so much in the chapels those days...

I have found myself dwelling on it so much over these last days that I felt I needed to share my thoughts

It won 5 Academy Awards
and showed life at the beginning of the century, I suppose, and the disintegration of family life

At the beginning
we saw the family together coming home 
from work in the mines.
The values of family life......
adult sons and daughters sharing 
the same small home.

All sitting round the table to eat with Pa at the head of the table carving the roast 
and Mam seeing all was just right 
before she too sat down

Pa so much head of the family while Mam really was the ruler...a matriarchal society!

It made me think of my own Welsh Grandparents
and the similarities....
with adult children living at home 
and going out to work

             The family coming home from work
Grandad, his lunch box under his arm, coming home                        from work on the docks
Aunt and uncle coming home from their workplaces...

Granny at the end of the table 
(no one dared to sit in her seat)......
That's where she always sat to talk to people, read the paper, do her crochet....
that was her place!

Grandad always sat it the corner,below the Grandmother clock, smoking his pipe,
reading his paper..
always there for a cuddle or to talk to.

A family together..
Chapel on a Sunday morning, a walk after lunch and 
Granny preparing tea 
and cutting the bread and butter 
so thin 
you could see through it
whilst she listened to the Welsh hymn singing 
on the radio

The other thing that struck me about the film 
was the sense of everyone belonging to each other 
in the village......
something happened to one family and the rest were always there to help and support.
I remember so clearly that being the case
where my grandparents lived

The film just brought so many memories...
things I hadn't even realised that I was taking in as a child when I stayed there.

I am aware that I am jumping around a little 
but the other thing that hit me between the eyes
was the way the boy in the story experienced a similar experience to that of my husband.

It really opened my eyes and made me realise how I had been brushing off the stories he had told me
and not really understood what he had gone through
and for that I feel sorry!

In the film the young lad was clever and had won a place at a school in the other valley.
He had to walk there
and when he arrived his shoes were dirty.
The other children mocked him
and fought with him
(it seemed encouraged by the teacher)!
and, in fact, the teacher bullied and beat him too.
The little boy was told he shouldn't be in school with dirty shoes and said,
"They were clean when I left home, Sir!"

The family farm that Hubbie was brought up on.....
Indeed where my own children
were brought up....
and now my son's boys too...
is two and a half miles from the nearest school.
The farm lane is tarmacked now...
but, when we were first married, 
was three quarters of a mile of potholes and, in places when it was wet, the surface was like a riverbed.

This is Hubbie

Hubbie had to walk to school 
six days a week!
Most of the children were from the town
and he used to get bullied
because of his dirty shoes.  He recalls leaving his boots and changing at the top of the lane but it was still a long walk from there!!

When a teacher said to him why didn't he clean them with a hose he said, "What's a hose?"
He didn't know...
they didn't have running water...
only a well...
The teacher gave him the cane for being cheeky 
and answering back....!!

Another similarity that hit me about the film
is that two of the sons were
earning less and less in the mines as work became scarce and left to seek work in America.

I think I shared in a past post
that Hubbie's father went to America
we thought in 1912
but our discoveries are moving on apace 
(as I will share in another post) and we now know he arrived in 1914!

As you can see there were so many things that gave me food for thought

I wonder if there is a book ...
or a film..
that has done the same for you.......??!!

Sunday, 13 January 2013


You know how it is....
you're talking with a friend and suddenly.......
at the furthest corner of your mind....comes 
Wisp of Remembrance.

It curls itself
slowly around the corner of your thoughts
like the delicate tendrils of a sweet pea
half remembered....
almost like the ghost of a half remembered dream....
while you are still talking
your mind tries to tease the verse to give away a little more of itself 
so that you can see whether it really does apply!

Having fluttered in your memory
the few fragments of words are loath to expose themselves further to the light of day
and shyly
flirt with your memory
until you say something like...
"Do you remember this verse.......?"
At this point
and because you're not sure whether
you've 'got it right'.....
you're taking a chance.........

This is what happened to me a few weeks ago...
I can't even remember the occasion....
but I do remember the verse
I finally nailed it and was able to look it up...
since then I've thought about it a lot...

It was "IF"

(by Rudyard Kipling)

and the little fragment that 
seemed to mean such a lot.....
and which I have tried to think and live in these
last few weeks

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run
Yours is the earth and all that's in it,"

I feel that.... with this post...
I'm taking a chance with you , my blogging friends...

as I am not showing you........ 
my glorious Pembrokeshire
nor am I sharing...
the china that I love to use....

This time I am opening up............ 
and sharing some of myself!!

These last few months 
as I have become more housebound
I have started to ask myself
'how fulfilling is my life?'

As a counsellor
both during my training
 and when I was training others
I used the Myers/Briggs Personality Types
to enable people to discover more about themselves
and also, when they were trained,
about their clients

Last summer
as part of a team building exercise
we used it again
and this time I was on the receiving end.
This time I took it, not as I can or could be.......

......but as I am now.

I knew I was really an introvert 
but could make myself
be extroverted

Now I decided to look at who I really am
and what I need out of life
right now

As the poem says...
"If you can dream..and not make dreams your master
If you can think..and not make thoughts your aim"

As I am here at home these days...
I am starting to dream again
and get in touch with what I need ....
and what pleases me.

I've been given these flowers I've shown above.. 
and really enjoy having them in the house
they touch something deep within..

Something to do with
Filling " the unforgiving minute"
Stopping to really look and allow their beauty
to touch a needy place within...

As I arranged them in the vase one broke off
so I found a little vase and went
into the garden
to find a little greenery
to go with it
as I cut a little Pittosporum
and a touch of the Winter Jasmine

I loved its colour against the deep red of the rose

I paused.....
in the winter sunshine......
and thought...

"What is this feeling
that I have
in this minute 
as I enjoy the crispness of a frosty day
the warmth of the winter sunshine
and the birds playing at their feeders....

and I realised.....
It was....


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cats Sleep Anywhere

A couple of months ago
when I was reading Meredith's blog

I noticed her cat sleeping on the bookcase and looking like a bookend!
It reminded me of a poem that my younger daughter learnt at school.

Cats Sleep Anywhere
(Eleanor Farjeon 1881 - 1965)

Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair
Top of piano, window ledge, in the middle, on the edge
Open draw, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don't care!   Cats sleep anywhere.

Since then
I have had my other daughter's cat,
as a lodger, while they were in a rented home

See my earlier post

I knew virtually nothing about cats
Yes we did have feral cats on the farm but
a cat in the house.....
Let's say
she was getting me trained nicely
when she left at the beginning of December
and I do miss her!

She determined where she would sleep

and I followed behind her...
and moved her bedding accordingly

She had liked to sleep behind the farm overalls
(can you see her blanket on the right?)

But, once the boiler was lit
that is where it had to be..... so our towels
could no longer dry there!

If I went to sit in the garden room
she would sit on the window sill outside
looking sorrowful
until I could stand it no more and let her in!

and then she would sit on the back of my chair
tapping my shoulder with her paw
and nudging me with her head

So...yes I miss her
I'm telling my family please don't think
to buy me another
I don't think I could take more training!!

I am feeling a little better
and so have picked up the crochet that I started, while I was feeling so ill,
before I was admitted to hospital

It's the Ripple pattern
found at Lucy's Blog Attic24 Neat Ripple Pattern

I have read others say that it's very relaxing
if you need something gentle to do
and I must say that
I'm enjoying it

Before I went into hospital
I was offered a recliner chair.....
and by the time I came home it had been installed
and my lamp beside it
It is just so cosy and exactly what I needed!


I know it's a bit late but I would like to wish you all
a Happy, and Healthy New Year!!

I'm linking withShare your cup Thursday