As you can see from the above picture, there is clearly something ‘wrong’ going on at the moment.
As you can see from the above picture, there is clearly something ‘wrong’ going on at the moment.
A little bit of sunshine, however small, is always an excuse (or maybe a motivation?) to get some washing done and out. I’m feeling such a lot better physically that I’m starting to dream of all sorts of wonderful things that I could get done but seeing as I had to put today’s (small) load out on the line in three shifts, I’m forced to accept that I must still be realistic. It’ll be small steps. One step at a step. But I’ll get there. Hopefully. I was beginning to worry actually.As you already know, I wear a Western hat. In summer, I wear a straw version. This is more of a traditional shape than my black felt one and the long brim takes a bit of getting used to. And the rustle can be very loud in my ‘ears‘ too! I like a sensible, shady hat in the sun.
This is my first pair of adult sunglasses that I got a few months back. Back when I first wore glasses in my pre-teen days, I had a giant pair of pink plastic sunglasses (you know the ones, with the thick black plastic lenses) that I wore stylishly over the top of my oversized multicoloured splattered plastic glasses. I’m glad that eyewear fashion has moved on considerably since then! When I started wearing contact lenses a few years ago, I realised that I could now finally wear sunglasses (never mind fashion, they have their uses). I couldn’t find any to fit. Much like normal glasses frames actually. So I’ve had a couple of children’s plastic sporty style frames but they’ve never fit very well, they kind of assume that children’s heads are totally spherical so the glasses have a very pronounced curve and they also seem to think that children’s noses are ridiculously skinny so they never sit on my bridge properly. Well, I don’t think I have a fat nose. (Paranoid thinking starts here). Of course, wherever I go, my knitting comes too. (I’ll show you what I’ve been working on another day, I promise). I enjoy sitting outside in the sun (as long as my head is covered) so I load up my chair with my latest knitting project (the cup holder is very handy for yarn balls) and get my Vitamin D top up.
You’ve got to make the most of the sunshine.
Do I dream? There are the terrifyingly real nightmares that drag me down into an abyss of muddled darkness where the images and thoughts of my mind labour through an Escher-like treacle, flashbacks and subtle reminders from the subconscious attempting to make sense of the crazy, messed up world that I live in. I skip through no fields of daisies. I dream lucidly sometimes too, most often conscious only that I am dreaming and that I’m desperate to wake, to be free and to shake off the cold fingers of the night still grasping at me and trying to pull me back down.
There are other dreams too, a blend of the practical and the wishful. I dream of paying the bills on time. I dream of doing the things that need doing. Quite often it just remains fantasy.
To accomplish great things, you must not only act but also dream, not only dream but also believe.
- Anatole France
Wise words, I wish I could carry them out but I dream of no future and I believe in little.
A few weeks ago, Just Be Enough prompted us to share our dream day. I couldn’t think of anything, find an answer within myself so I left it and got on with not doing very much, as I do of late. But the prompt stayed with me and I found myself reflecting on the subject regularly.
When we speak of dream days, perhaps it is of trips to mouse-eared theme parks that our minds turn to. Some elusive, magical destination. Something out of the ordinary. (Mouse-eared theme parks hold no appeal for me, I’m not a fan of plastic commercialism or of rides that torture and terrify me and keep counsellors and osteopaths in business).
But the posts that came in from other readers were revealing. Time and again, the same theme appeared. And it wasn’t mouse-eared and there was no park attached to ‘theme’. It was heart-warming and it got me thinking some more.
It was about people, often the people who are most precious to you, that everyone wanted to spend time with, to reconnect, to appreciate and to be with.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
The furthest I can dream is of having a day off, a day away somewhere in the sunshine, somewhere warm where I can sit, probably with my tent nearby on a campsite field, and knit or read or spend a little time just being me, just being in the moment with no pressures.
But if this was a magical dream day then I’d like a little more. I want some other people to be there. I want some good food to share with them. And I don’t want to be the one making it. I want sit down with those people and talk.
These people are nearly all dead now, there are one or two who are still alive, there are some that I have never met. I want to sit them down and around my table, to talk with them and hear their stories. There are some women in my family (whichever side or line) who have been incredibly strong and taken amazing journeys out of the ordinary, not just in place or distance. I want to ask them about it. I want to find out how they felt. Some of those people I will expect them to leave their innate prejudice of me behind. We will talk on my own terms, equal. Others will, with me, have to break down walls of cultural and linguistic difference. I have been separated from a family culture by the generation above me, by someone who was perhaps trying to better than their roots. I appreciate roots. I love stories. I want to hear. I want to connect. I want my father to be there too. I want to say goodbye. And I want to hear his stories too. Because I’m afraid of forgetting them and I always promised myself that I would write them down for him.
We will pass dishes and there will be meaningful, easy flowing conversation. I will find the right words to break down barriers, I will find my place amongst these people and I will belong.
~ Trigger Alert ~
I’ve written about Spring before, mentioned it in other posts but I can’t help returning to the subject again. Well it does come around at least once a year, after all, and this year we’re having several attempts at it, or so it seems. Maybe it is my favourite season but I haven’t really thought of it like that, I don’t play favourites, however my moods do rise and fall with the weather, well to some extent as well as to their own particular vagaries too. A little more sunshine, a little more warmth and the world feels like a better place. Or at least a place that I can deal with or face up to better.
This is what Spring does to me and my heart.
Spring encourages a curious, and, in my case, an unusual, strain of optimism. Spring can feel like new beginnings however much you’re dreading the rest of the year. Spring brings hope whatever the circumstances. Spring sends my spirits soaring. Spring makes my heart beat a little faster.
That is what Spring does to me and my heart.
But there is another side to Spring.
Spring, like all the seasons, is a milestone, a marker in the year for various anniversaries. There are things that I try to keep hidden from my conscious self, things that aren’t filed neatly in the filing cabinet of the mind ready for recall (my mind’s not like that anyway, as you might have suspected) but tossed hurriedly from sight, pushed away on dusty shelves in an attempt to forget. Thoughts and memories that I would rather remain unbidden. As the temperatures rise and the sun shines strong again, these are the things that start to gnaw away at my mind and heart. My heart beats a little quicker in Spring, not because of anticipation, but because of anxiety. I am lost and hurt and afraid and broken all over again. My heart aches without really knowing why until unwillingly I do some mental arithmetic. I make the effort to forget but it still surfaces, my hearts know the dates better than any diary.
This is what Spring does to me and my heart.
When the day dawns bright and sunny, your soul warms and your spirit soars. I have hope and optimism again, I want to do so much inspired by the sunshine and also motivated to make the most of whatever passing rays come my way. But sometimes the mind is bright and active whilst the body is still struggling with fatigue. Whatever the combination, I love the sunshine.
Look at what the sunshine made me do this morning:
We love waffles but it takes a particular kind of mood for Mr Waffle Maker to be persuaded to wield his magic with the handblender, a batter bowl and a waffle machine. Sunshine has some very powerful effects!
We added vanilla and almond extract to our batter and then decided to add in some ground almond because we loved the almond-y smell so much. That and my jar of ground almond doesn’t get too much exercise at the moment! We used 100g ground almond to 400g plain flour and although they came out beautifully light and airy, they didn’t have a very strong almond flavour though so I might have to experiment another time with a different ratio. I gently warmed some frozen fruit with a splash of rum * and threw on some runny yoghurt (Greek style would have better shape for food styling purposes!) then the fruit and some ground almonds. Perfect! (Husband prefers to lather his with a patented more chocolate spread than waffle ratio then complains that it’s rather rich, why put fruit on them?!)
As an aside, I love the rich colour of berry juice. That is until I get it on something that I shouldn’t have. The rich reddy-purply-pinky colour is one of my favourites and stains the waffles beautifully.
I didn’t have the energy for the spring cleaning projects that I keep envisaging but I’ve got a few things done today and there’s a bowl of leftover waffle batter to tempt me for the rest of the week!
The world seems to divide into two camps: the optimists and the pessimists. Which are you? Why?
Sometimes it’s because of our life experiences. Sometimes we can’t see how a situation can ever change, that run of bad times just seems never ending and can you really risk dreaming? Sometimes dreams can be heartbreaking and soul-destroying. Or do you have the strength to go on hoping and dreaming?
You’re far braver and stronger than I can ever be.
I don’t want to get disappointed, or hurt. If I set my sights low then I’m safe. No disappointments, no hurt. (It’s rarely that simple is it though?) I know that all a hundred and one major disasters will happen on my holiday and when they don’t, anything above that is gonna be a bonus. It’ll snow. So it’s rains, well that’s better than snow. Pessimism has kept my slightly more sane and safe but sometimes it can make the world very limited.
So do I dare to dream? Do I embrace the fact that anything could happen tomorrow, including the good? Do I dare to hope that things are going to go well again in the future? The future, not a future. Concrete and tangible, not a fantasy neverworld. A future that might just be around the corner.
My glass has been empty. Maybe it’s time to start filling it.
After all it can be something of a vicious circle. You have to be optimistic, you have to dream, you have to believe, you have to take the risk for good things to happen. Usually good things happen because you are in control of yourself and your life, because you’re proactive and seeking the good times. If you sit around waiting for things to happen, then you’re just drifting and your life is in other hands. If you’re proactive and appreciative, you can find good times even when the going is tough and the world seems dark.
Today there is sunshine in my world. I hope I can save a little and carry it with me.
We live in town but it’s a fairly quiet neighbourhood, we have our own garden even though we live in a flat and the sunny, warm weather is back so out I head.
It is quiet. The main noise of the day is children playing in various other gardens, calling to each other and occasionally getting upset with each other. One child counts the start of hide and seek: twenty eight, twenty nine, FORTY. I smile.
We don’t see many songbirds; pigeons, starlings and crows are the main visitors to our garden unfortunately. There are also magpies but they don’t seem to come into the gardens very often and seagulls (or more accurately, urbangulls) wheel frequently overhead. They’ve been quite quiet so far this year though. The buzzards are back over town this year, soaring in the blue sky until they’re tiny dots and seeming to effortlessly float high in the thermals. They mew, a faint sound that carries far and wide. You can hear them more than you get to see them. There is a near constant background of bird chirping, fairly distant as there aren’t many immediate trees. A crow passes overhead, a purposeful flight, chaw-chaw. A pigeon crash lands with a thud on the fence, the fence creaks slightly and he rustles his feathers. He wants the bird food and is slightly displeased with my intrusion into HIS garden. Pigeons aren’t the most graceful of birds, it’s almost as if they were never designed to fly! A giant manmade jumbo jet seems to have more success with landing and take off compared to these guys. He returns fairly often during the afternoon to glower at me. His landing and take off skills don’t improve.
Every so often someone will come out and yell, justly or otherwise, at a child, animal or partner, a harsh roar against the tranquility of what passes for a summer afternoon.
There is little traffic noise, occasionally something goes down the narrow road behind the houses, cautiously. Sometimes the traffic further into town catches the breeze right and can be heard; the whine of a motorbike, the beep of a horn, no sirens though.
The school beyond stands quiet. It’s the school holidays. Otherwise the shrill shouts of teenagers hanging around (they’re too old for ‘play’) the school field and grounds would echo regularly at break and lunch. The rest of the day would be punctuated by the school bell and the PE teacher’s whistle.
The odd insect zooms past, a bzzz in the ears and gone. A honeybee who burrows briefly into the grass then changes his mind. The big black spiders that look like someone has just drawn a big black stereotypical spider in felt tip march up and down the fences, silently but still making their presence known to the arachnophobic. Once or twice a butterfly flutters through.
Sometimes someone turns their music on, or just up. It funnels out of open windows and doors. The endless electric beat of dance music does annoy me, it’s more of a pulse echoing through the buildings than a distinct sound, but this afternoon it’s rock music. Not quite so bad. After all everyone’s entitled to enjoy the sunshine as they see fit.
As evening comes a nearby television set is turned on. Television from a distance always sounds like it’s being broadcast in a strange, foreign language. Occasionally you catch the odd word that stands clear and distinctive against the mumble; Lancashire, police, ginger. Funny enough, the adverts sound clearer than most of the programmes.
When darkness eventually falls and I have to go in, the daisies have closed up their heads for the night and look like galaxies, vast oceans of star filled galaxies, strewn across the black lawn.