Sunday, 27 January 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - week 2 - Safety and Security

picture copyright: Susan Seddon Boulet

I have been very blessed through my life to always be loved and protected, not only by my family, but by friends as well. In fact many of my friends have become my adopted family, with some being held so close to my heart it hurts when I think how very far away they are today. I have forged bonds so deep through circumstance, be that travelling through a foreign country or depending upon each other during our hours of care for other people, that whenever I have felt lost or alone I have know always that somebody, somewhere loves me and that there will always be someone there to pick me up when I fall.

But never have these special bonds held me back and taken from me my independence. My father, the wisest man I know, has always said that he knows he cannot save me from making mistakes and even if he could it would be unfair to do so. He knows instinctively that if he were to wrap me in a bubble and keep me from harm I would never grow. It has been so hard for him at times to stand back and watch me struggle through things on my own, making mistakes he could see before me and fighting the unfairness of the world around me - yet each and every time he has stood by, watching and waiting for me to turn to him, knowing that only when I ask should he act. And I have always known, without a doubt, that when things fall apart and I feel I can go on no longer, as soon as I turn he will be there, ready to pick up the pieces alongside me, brush me down, pat me on the back and see me back onto the path. His love is, for me, the ultimate expression of a father whose love and protection understands that mistakes are a part of life and trying to banish them from my life would do more harm than good.

And that love reminds me of an even greater security I have in my life - my belief in the unconditional love of god, the universe, the angels, spirits and all that live in our world. I don't know what your own personal belief is in regards to the unseen energies in our world, but for me they have always been a great influence in my life. Through the years I have learnt to see each mistake, each hardship as a chance to learn and grow, a chance to build up compassion for others in similar situations, to understand that life is made up of both aspects - good and bad, light and dark, health and sickness, joy and sadness... and through the years I have come to see the blessing in being allowed to experience both sides of life. Without my most painful experiences I would no more understand my happiest times than I would an expression of love without ever having experienced the lack of it. And without those trying times I would have no idea of how strong I am or just how loved I can be.

But the one thing that keeps me going through both the good times and the bad is the knowledge that on all levels I am loved and protected. Nothing can harm my essence, so long as I remember the love sent to me from all sides. I might forget this, I might feel like a helpless victim at times and I have certainly felt like I may never find my way through the pain at certain moments in my life - but each time some part of me has come through to remind me of the safety that will never be taken away from me. And so I leave you with the following poem that I wrote some years back, which seems to fit this Sacred Sunday posting so well it's as if I wrote it knowing one day it would be shared this day with you.

Safe in your arms
You hold me tight
whispering sweet love songs
until my heart breaks.
You give me time
with bated breath
as my world unfolds before us.
With tender love and gentle grace
you hold my hand
and let me go.
And now I know
love awaits me there
safe in your arms.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Recipe disasters

Ok... so sorry for leaving you all hanging from that last post. Work called and I had no time to finish my post again!

So these cakes of mine - not what I planned at all but rather scrumptious (so I am told). I had wanted to bake a spelt flour carrot cake for New Year's Day to take to T's parents' house. We were going to have dinner with his parents and his sister and brother-in-law whose house we had been staying at and I thought it would be nice to take a little gift. And as I cannot eat wheat I thought the spelt flour would work (for those of you who don't know spelt is an ancient form of wheat so unlike all the other non-wheat flours which require crazy adaptions to the recipes to make them work, spelt flour is pretty much the same as wheat - and I can digest it even though I can't digest wheat - weird that and something I attribute to the genetic modifications of wheat in the 70s).

So I got everything ready, only to find I was lacking baking powder. Here in the UK we don't all keep baking powder in the cupboard because we tend to use self-raising flour. So that's what I did... I went onto the self-raising and threw the plan of making a me-friendly cake out the window (it wouldn't be the first or last time I've baked something I couldn't then enjoy lol). So I got the carrots to prepare, only to discover that the only grater I could find in the entire kitchen was a parmesan one... oh how long it took me to grate all those carrots on such a fine grater!! But I finally got there and added the oil (instead of butter), sultanas, walnuts, sugar and flour and mixed until my arm felt like it might drop off and then mixed some more... then into the oven it went.

A couple of hours later it still wasn't cooked through to the middle *sigh*. Either my recipe was flawed or it just wasn't baking because I'd put it in the top part of the oven. I have only rarely used electric ovens so it could have been that but I think it was more likely to be the recipe because the one in the cookbook I used was so far removed from the one I have used previously it was almost another type of cake entirely!!

So at gone 10pm on New Year's Eve I threw out the spoiled cake and started afresh, this time on a recipe I didn't need a cookbook for - the good old Victoria sponge. It's a good job I didn't need the recipe book because it called for 6 eggs - SIX EGGS?!?! I'm sorry but no cake I have ever made has used that many eggs!

I'm sure you all know the basic cake recipe, but just in case you don't, it is usually 6oz flour, 6oz buter, 6oz sugar and 2 eggs. Nice and simple. Cream the butter and sugar together, fold in the flour and eggs, mix well until creamy with a good dropping consistency and place in a greased pan and bake in the oven until golden brown and springy to the touch.

The end product was, to my relief, a success. There was me telling T that I couldn't cook but I was a fantastic baker and the very first cake I baked for him was a disaster - oh the shame!! So in order to prove to him that it was just a fluke I decided to bake some ginger biscuits for him to take home to his family after he visited me this weekend. This was another recipe I had tried before with much success and so I knew it should work out well.

Again I was going to use spelt flour, but guess what... my spelt flour was now out of date *pouts*. So again it was back to the good old self-raising. But what was this? We had no self-raising... good job I now had baking powder and could make the biscuits with the plain flour in the cupboard lol. One day I will have a fully stocked baking cupboard, just you wait and see!

I cannot show you a picture of the finished biscuits because I don't have a camera - but they went down well with all who ate them so I am assured they tasted good. Below is the original recipe taken from my Lincoln Cathedral Cookery Book and then the adapted recipe (which is also one and a half the amount in the original because I wanted extra biscuits. My version was not of a consistency that would roll into balls, so I just plopped dollops of the mixture onto the greased trays and they still came out crunchy round the edges but chewy underneath so all was well!)

The original recipe by Ann Marsh of Lincoln

8oz self-raising flour
2 5ml teaspoons ground ginger
pinch salt
8 oz demerara sugar
4 oz butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk

Set oven at 325 F/170 C/ Gas mark 3. Sift flour, ginger, and salt and add sugar. Rub in fat. Add beaten egg and milk. Mix well and form into 36 balls. Place on greased tray and flatten a little. place a split almond on each and bake for 30 minutes.

My alterations

12oz plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 5ml teaspoons ground ginger
1 5ml teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt
12 oz demerara sugar
6oz butter
1 and a half eggs, beaten
1 and a half tablespoon milk

prepare as above.

Let me know if you try the ginger biscuits and how they turn out.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Cakes and biscuits

First of all I'd like to say thank you to everybody who has left me comments over the past week or so. I have loved reading each and every one and would have loved to reply too, but it has been a rather busy week and my time online has been a bit limited.

I just wrote a post about my baking over the past few weeks but I lost it at the last moment and have to run off... so I shall try and get it rewritten over the next couple of days - pop back for a ginger biscuit recipe and tales about how I finally got round to baking the abover cakes!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Sacred Life Sunday week 1 - life is sacred

I am very excited to be beginning my (hopefully) weekly Sunday posting, exploring the Sacred in my life. Sacred Life Sunday is something I stumbled across at the beginning of last week and thought I would join in with. Too often I find myself having random musings which I find no place for on this blog, so Sundays will be my day for considering the Sacred and Divine. Even more than this, it will remind me to truly value what has been given to me in this life and make me focus on how truly blessed life can be.

And so, I spent most of this week looking forward to this day, but once it arrived I was unsure as to where to begin. I didn't want to write masses that detracted from the sheer beauty of simplicity - sometimes the most sacred things in our lives are the simple things we overlook. It is so easy to become so entwined with the latest scientific theories, fantastic gadgets and sweet-talking guru that we forget that in fact all we ever needed was already in our hands. Life is given to us, without explanation, and the simple wonder of how a grain of sand is formed, the child grows in the womb or the tree blossoms each spring can be all we need to remind us of the sacred blessing that is life.

And so I leave you with this beautiful poem, which I recently re-discovered, that sums up for me the complete sacred-ness of life itself. Enjoy!


You were made
under the sea
your ear gives you away.

You were made
in the calyx of a rose
your skin betrays you.

You were made in heaven
your eyelids as you sleep
cannot disguise themselves.

You were brought to me
by a giant kite
his wings stir white

on my face still.
Never say you grew
from a seed in my body

the dandelion brought you
the spring brought you
a star with brilliant hands

delivered you
leaving his light in your eyes
as a seal, and a promise.

Jeni Couzyn

Wednesday, 16 January 2008


T just sent me the photos we took at New Year with his mum's camera and also told me he is bringing it up with him at the weekend so I am going to make sure I take enough pictures to keep blogging with pictures for some time - YAY!

And so, here are the photos I promised in this post of our New Year Collage - enjoy!

So this is what happens when I haven't had a camera in soooooooooo long - I just go crazy and forget how to take normal pictures tee hee. This shot was taken during our cutting session on New Year's Eve...

It was midday by this point I think but I was being totally lazy and still sitting there in my pjs, after eating my Coco Pops (haven't had them in years lol) and watching T demolish what was left of the bacon, eggs and mushrooms for brunch!

Ahhhh I finally made it into my clothes (well it was the evening by the time we got to this point... we were gluing the final pieces as the bells rung out the New Year!

T being so wonderful and creative - I can't believe that he enjoys these things as much as I do *gasps* (Did you notice the pink post-it note on the drawer in the background? His sister left us loads - including a "Drink me" on a bottle of wine lol)

And that's the final product *sighs*. It is everything we want to create in our life and should currently by stuck on T's wall opposite his bed so he can see it each morning. But as I managed to bring the Blu Tack we bought for it home with me it is still sat in the corner of his room... not the best of starts then?!

And that's just a picture of me and T because I have yet to have a good photo of the two of us and I am so happy this self-taken one actually turned out well! He's only just got those glasses - before he had rimless ones so it took me most of the New Year period to get used to seeing him in them hehehe

There are more photos, loads of them, but I will keep them for later posting :o)

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Oh how I wish I had a camera

Because then I could show you all sorts of things...

Like what my darling T looks like

And the peg bag I made for my mum for Christmas

Or the baby blanket I am making for my sister's friend's current bump

I could even show you the scarf I just started crocheting to send to Germany, including how my first row was too tight, as usual, and how I tried to combat this by dropping a stitch in a later row and how this was a big mistake because the row was in triple crochet stitch and I now have a very visible "mistake". I could even tell you how instead of being a good little crocheter and going back to rectify the problem I carried on and added a stitch in the next single crochet stitch row *sigh*... and all because I have three scarves to make in a short length of time...

So maybe it's a good thing I can't actually show you my error... because then you might just have to step in and tell me that I just have to go back and change it even though I am now about ten rows further along my completely pattern free scarf that will probably be completely wrong by the time I finish... go on... you can say it... what a bad little crafter I am!!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Just because...

I didn't want you left with just a random dream to read about I thought I would share something nice... so here's a poem for you, chosen from a random bag of paperwork I still have to sort through (have I mentioned I am on another one of my "spring cleans"?)

This one was written during a play rehearsal when I was in Russia... as the play was 3+ hours long and I only had 5 lines throughout the whole thing and had only been graced with one sheet of the actual play (they could have at least given me the whole scene I was in!!) I spent many hours sat, trying to find something to amuse myself with *quietly* so as not to disturb the rehearsal that was going on...

One day I suggested that my friend give me 3 things to write a story about. "Be as random as you like - I like a challenge" I said... so she was. Her three things were: 1) Cabbage fields, 2) pink elephants, and 3) Marlon Brando.

Now before you ask, Marlon Brando was a major fav of our Russian group and he turned up in a lot of our Russian tales (as in tales we told each other in order to learn our Russian vocab - we had 10 words a week we had to use in the tale). So it was no surprise that he came up once again... but how would pink elephants and cabbage fields work?

Here is the product, written in about 20 mins, and laughed about for much longer - I hope you enjoy it!

Down by the stream, in the middle of the wood
where the mushrooms grow and the food's all good,
there you will find the most amazing scene -
a herd of elephants; pink, white and green.

The elephants see each day as a game -
they'll run and they'll joke, jokes so good and so lame,
the elephants, they will laugh all day long
but one little 'phant thinks something is wrong...

So off on his travels this little 'phant goes
but where he is going, no elephant knows,
they watch his tail swish as he trundles away
maybe they'll meet him again one fine day.

The elephant who was so pink and so small
wanted to wander, to see and know all,
so wander he did from east to the west
up north and down south - to see all was the best!

He wandered and wandered through all kinds of weather
over hills and through dales, through the pink and blue heather,
through the fields which in winter were covered in snow
and fields where in summer the cabbages grow.

But this poor little elephant never did find
that thing that was missing to his little mind,
one day he was ready to give up the fight
when suddenly a man came into his sight.

The man and the elephant came face to face
the elephant's heart started quickly to race,
the man stuck his hand out to meet little 'phant
who offered his trunk to the man with a pant.

"What is you name?" asked the man with a smile
the elephant stopped and thought for a while,
"I really don't know," he said, truly wishing...
"I think I have found what I feel I am missing!"

"What are *you* called?" asked the 'phant of the man
"Marlon Brando," he said, "my mum was a fan!"
"Of what?" asked the 'phant, knowing nothing of stars
"Of a man in a film in a land not too far."

"Oh!" cried the 'phant and he jumped with delight
"I might take that name, really I might."
"Why not?" asked the man, "if it makes you so happy,
It's such a fine name for such a fine chappy!"

And so with a name that suited him well
the elephant started for where his friends dwell
"I've found what I'm lacking, now I can go home
oh how they will smile when the see how I've grown."

And so as he came to that place in the wood
where the elephants play and life is so good,
he heard a great cry of delight and such joy
from every small elephant, each girl and each boy.

"What did you see, dear friend, what did you learn,
did you find what it was that you yearned?"
"Yes," Marlon cried, "It's the simplest thing,
it's a gift for you all, it's a gift that I bring!"

And so little Marlon gave each one a name -
never were two elephants called the same,
and today as they play in the depth of the wood
each one has a name that is strong and so good!!

Copyright Amanda Fisher 2005

Dreams... like the films of our times

Do you ever have dreams that seem as if they should be showing on the movie screen rather than in your own mind? I do!

Let me tell you about last night's dream, because it sure did make me laugh when I woke up...

I was with T (although neither he nor I were who we really are, it truly was like we were playing characters, yet were so in character we forgot we were actually different people, does that make sense?). Our whole reason for being was to stop a wedding which would be happening the next day. Our reasoning? T's father was a mobster and if we didn't stop the wedding his evil plan would come to fruition and we would all suffer for it.

So we were in this massive house and it was the middle of the night before the dreaded day. I don't know what we were going to do exactly, but we were planning something. Then T's aunt arrived and although she was initially oblivious to it all (and we thought she would ruin our whole plan) a strange accident with the way her bed was made up meant that she caught sight of something she shouldn't have done in a room she shouldn't have been able to see into. Suddenly she was our greatest ally and along with some random teenagers (dunno who they were) we set out for the streets.

But before we got there we had to go through a maze of walls and passages, passing through each doorway in the right order - if we didn't the whole thing would turn on us (it was alive!!) Thankfully we made it out on to the streets but we split up and I could not remember where T had parked the car. So I got my phone out to call him, but that was a big mistake!! There were gangs of people, living on the street, under the artificial light that meant that night (which was THEIR time) never came. They saw the mobile and came after us, so we ran back into the maze...

Only to find that T's aunt took a wrong turn and ended up in the lake with pepper on her, pepper which the pirahna/leech type things were attracted to. Oh my, we had but seconds to get her clear...

We saved her and I remember saying "don't you KNOW what will happen if you're not careful?" and we heard the gangsters catching up on us and I panicked and then woke up...

Now, if you're still reading this and haven't thought "what is that girl on?" then congratualtions - you now know just how my crazy little mind works... tune in tomorrow for the next instalment *giggles*

Thursday, 10 January 2008

This cooking malarky

I caught the cookery bug over Christmas. For years I have dreamt of being a good cook, but the thought of trying something and getting it wrong and my recipients either starving or being poisoned terrified me... as did the thought I would end up as stressed as I have seen my mum get because I know I am as big a perfectionist as she is *blushes*

However, under the wonderful guidance of T's mum over the New Year I cooked up a couple of dishes for him coming home from work and enjoyed doing it so much that I wanted to carry on and also have a few tried and tested recipes under my belt for when I move in with him later in the year.

So today I got out my cookbook and, not being confident enough to try something completely new, I cooked one of the recipes T cooked for me over New Year. And as my dad is currently in Mexico and my sister in Cambridge it was just me and my mum eating it, so a lot less pressure.

It actually went well... I had my favourite new cd playing whilst I chopped, fried, boiled and simmered and 50 minutes later I had whizzed up a lovely stew type dish made with cabbage, chick peas, butternut squash (which I have NEVER cooked before) and streaky bacon - YUM!

We didn't have any mustard which the recipe called for, so I kinda just added extra black pepper and some mixed dried herbs and it seemed to work (though it wasn't quite as tasty as it was with the mustard it did have a lot of flavour to it!)

I am well chuffed with myself, my first cooking test-run of the year (I'm no counting the time I was with T as this year as it seemed to be a time of its own lol) went smoothly... yay for me. I wonder what I shall cook tomorrow...

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

New Year Meme

This is unashameably stolen from Chas.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

I did a lot of things in 2007 that I'd never done before - worked in a nursery, was asked to write a blog on Celtic Reiki, opened (and then closed) an ebay shop, sold some books, made my own poetry books and sold some of them, opened an etsy shop and listed a couple of items but never sold them, tried to start a small venture selling bits of work... FELL IN LOVE... I could go on and on and on - 2007 really was a year of change and new experiences for me!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Well my New Year's Resolutions tend to be promises to myself rather than a resolution to change (see previous post) - so I promised myself a good year with lots of change and moving into a life I want and leaving the hurt of the past behind... I guess I kept to that one - go me!!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My cousin's girlfriend had a baby but I still haven't seen it and that was back in April (we're not that close to my cousins)... other than that no - but I still saw lots and LOTS of babies *big grin*

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My Great Aunty Joan died in March - I hadn't seen her in years but she will always be in my heart - she was very special to me in her own way

5. What countries did you visit?

For the first time in years I didn't travel to any other countries - I did move house and cities though

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

My own home. I house shared for the beginning months of the year and longed for my own place. Then I had to move back home when I realised I was actually *losing* money working at the nursery! Now that my debt is paid off and I am growing closer and closer to T all the time I am aiming to move back to Cambridge to get a small flat with him come the summer months - I cannot wait!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

hmmmm somewhere along the line I lost question 7 *shakes head*... anyway... my biggest achievement I would say was standing up to my manager and deputy manager when I felt that their practise was not the best for the babies and finding the courage to stick my neck on the line for the welfare of those in my care. I knew I had done a good job when I saw how sad some of the parents were that I left and that some of them still keep in contact today!

9. What was your biggest failure?

My business venture... when I came home I was all set to start creating my own personal gifts (little frameable prints and greetings cards of my poems decorated with watercolour - they are lovely, if I may say so myself, but time and time again, although I truly believe were I to find the courage I could succeed, I just chickened out. I hope to improve on that this year!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

ummm well I still have problems with my digestion sometimes and my endometriosis has in recent months started playing up (I don't know if my coil has stopped working properly or it's just the hormones as I start a new relationship but it's painful and I had the first period in over 2 years and I'm too scared to go to the doctors for fear that once again I'll be told to stop wasting their time - I hate that I daren't go with queries because even when I've been so ill they have told me to stop making a fuss and it's too upsetting - I truly believe we should be able to go to the doctors without fear of being ridiculed... ok let's not go there...)

11. What was the best thing you bought?

hmmmmm I didn't really buy much at all last year 'cos I had no money... the WORST thing I bought was my new laptop which I needed for work (my old one was over 5 years old and falling apart literally) but the laptop has been nothing but trouble since buying it, it is clearly faulty, and yet the chain store I shall not mention has been so ridiculously awkward about it I am ready to quote them my consumer rights and use some rather foul language if I'm refused what I'm entitled to (a refund) once more!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

T's. He has been the most supportive, caring and perfect friend and then partner I could ever have wished for. When we first moved on from friends to bf and gf I completely freaked... I couldn't even handle kissing (I'm funny about my mouth) and I was sick with worry (literally). He stuck around (even when I locked myself in the bathroom) and made sure I was aware that he would take things as slowly as I needed. Since then he has lovingly and patiently helped me overcome so much and I even cried in his arms over New Year and I haven't cried in front of anyone for about 10 years!!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The media when they covered the Madeleine McCann story... I know that they helped spread awareness, but being the media they went *too* far in my opinion... I mean I can think of no loss worse than the loss of a child and no guilt greater than what the McCann's must be placing upon themselves day after day and yet the media just look for more and more juicy tidbits to add to the furore... it makes me sad, angry and causes me to lose faith in the amount of empathy and compassion we possess in society...

14. Where did most of your money go?

My bank to pay off my overdraft.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Two things - the thought of setting up my own mini-business and my new relationship (only in that particular order because that is the order in which they happened - obviously it would be the other way round for levels of excitement lol)

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? "

"Lifted" by Bliss - because I was listening to it one day and it just spoke volumes to me - it was like the song was quoting my relationship with T... the words "to be lifted, to become all that you see in me" is just perfect because T loves me so wonderfully I feel I can be all that I am with him and he finds all the good bits I never even knew were there! Needless to say I got right on with making him a copy of that particular bliss album. (If you pop along to this page you can click on the speaker by the song Lifted to hear those very words. I adore Bliss and another of my favourite songs of the year was "You" from the same album - to hear a long sample of this go here and play the first sample. This song, to me, symbolises all that I believe to be God.)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:? a) happier or sadder? ?b) thinner or fatter? ?c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier by far! I am perhaps the happiest I have ever been right now
b) Thinner - I have lost quite a bit of weight lately (unintentional of course) and am thinner than I have been since I was about 15.

c) Richer (though I am still very poor lol)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Meditated, trusted my abilities and also that all would be well, and practised Reiki.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying... I spent many long hours, days even, sitting and fretting over the future and life itself.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I spent Advent with my family, Christmas Day at home, Boxing Day at my Aunty's and then with T and his family and Boxing Day - New Year's Day with T, house-sitting for his sister and then New Year's Day til the 5th January at T's parent's house... it was a lovely Christmas!

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

Need you ask?!?!?! For the first time ever (ok I've fallen for people but never really, truly been in love before... this is something else!!)

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Hmmm I didn't really watch a lot of tv at all this year... even my favourites like Strictly Come Dancing I didn't watch religiously like I normally would because I was too busy travelling to see people and working.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope... I don't tend to hate people... I find strong emotions difficult... I have occasionally hated people, don't get me wrong, but usually I settle for mild dislike...

24. What was the best book you read?

hmmm I read a few books this year and all were good in their own right... the best were the first two Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Let The Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred Taylor and The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don't know if I made a musical discovery - but I did meet Lucinda Drayton from Bliss, which was wonderful! Hearing her sing in person was even more powerful than on cd - I cried!!

26. What did you want and get?

A boyfriend!

27. What did you want and not get?

A new camera as mine broke and I miss it SO much... I love taking photographs and there is so much I would love to post about and can't because I can't SHOW you!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

That's too easy - "Stardust" of course... sooooo romantic, really funny... and the first film I went to the cinema to watch with T!

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I can't actually remember what I did... it was so long ago... but I do remember I turned 23!

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Meeting Tim whilst I *still* lived in Cambridge... or perhaps I should say being able to afford to continue working at the nursery so I could still be living in Cambridge... but then again so much wonderful stuff has happened since maybe that isn't true... and I don't believe I would have met Tim if I *hadn't* left Cambridge - sort of like it was fated for it to happen this way so we would be forced to create a strong friendship first!

So maybe success in my mini-business venture... hmmm that's a hard one to answer because the more I think about it the more I realise that actually 2007, for all it's faults, was actually perfect - because everything happened for a reason, I'm sure!

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

Lacking... I had no money to buy new ones (even second hand ones) so I am still wearing clothes that are years old and now far too big for me *sigh* I wore a lot of skirts because they are more feminine and easier to get away with when they are too big than trousers are, I always find!

32. What kept you sane?

This is going to sound like I'm preaching, but I'm not... what kept me sane was my faith that I am looked after and everything happens for a reason, that there is a plan and everything bad thing that happens is only happening because it plays a role which I might not yet understand...

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

David Tennant (as The Doctor) - oh he is just so funny and you can tell he adores his job... I find those two things (humour and enthusiasm for life) more attractive than anything else!

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Hmmmm I don't know what happened this year, I am very bad at following politics... but I guess I have ALWAYS been against ID cards (is it just me being paranoid or does all the info they want on the UK ID cards remind you too much of books like The Handmaid's Tale and 1984 and also history when people have been segregated and even killed based on who they are and what religion/genes they have?) It makes me shudder just to think of how easy it could be for this information to be abused and with the loss of personal data of so many people by major companies in the UK coming to light recently it has just fuelled my rage about it all!

35. Who did you miss?

The babies I used to look after and their parents - I cannot begin to describe how very much I miss them! I also miss the family I used to work with in Berlin!

36. Who was the best new person you met?

T, of course!!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.

Sometimes, though you may not like it, you just have to swallow your pride and do something you might not really like, in order to get to where you want to be.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Another one from Bliss... this one got me through Russia and it helped me this year too

"No more time to waste, no more excuses, gotta reach out your arms and embrace the sun. No more time for self-pitying abuses, gotta stand up and shout and say 'I am the one'. 'Cos there's been too much holding on and talk of being free - gotta jump off that cliff and be who you were born to be!"

Sunday, 6 January 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I try to make a resolution each year - it seems like such a lovely idea - and I try to always make it something I want to do to make it easier to stick to. One year I made the resolution to let go of all the old rubbish I was holding on to (emotionally wise) and let the new good stuff in... that was the year I found an online community who I love dearly (and have met many members in real life) and the year I went to Germany and had a wonderful time. Last year I made the resolution to start living my life as I wanted to live it and not let other people's expectations stop me - and it was the year that I tried many ventures and began to realise what it was I really wanted in my life. It was also the year I began the most wonderful relationship of my life *big grin*

This New Year I didn't make a resolution - rather I made a collage with my love. We sat on the kitchen floor of T's sister's house (we were house-sitting) and cut up old copies of Country Living magazine and the National Trust magazines I had lying around and made an A2 sized collage of all the things we want to create and attract into our lives this coming year.

It took us hours yet it was the most pleasurable thing to do. We discussed our hopes and dreams with each other and found photos and phrases to express our wish of my move back to Cambridge, the finding of a home for ourselves, the success of T's new job and the finding of a good job for me, plus the time to invest in our house and our families.

I shall update with a photo once T emails it to me - it really is the most beautiful thing (to me). So this year there is no resolution - just a dream - that the collage of our love may come true. *cue the sniffing into tissues and gagging at the soppiness of that last sentence - hehe*