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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Trees



Well, I have been away for a few days respite. There has been major family drama going on, so I went away for a few days to get a break. I was going a bit manic to cope with the stress, and wasn't sleeping over the past fortnight. I'm back home now, refreshed, and hopefully more positive about the situation I cannot change.

I think "acceptance" of bad situations and the hurdles that life throws at us, is easier said than done. Some people are like Willow trees...able to bend and flow with hostile winds; and a lot more flexible than those who are more like the solid Oak tree lol!

I am definitely an Oak tree. I read somewhere that coping with change depends on the emotional investment you have in the situation.

At the moment my 87 year old nan is moving from her bungalow opposite my mum, to a flat nearer my uncle. My uncle has never got on with my mum, despite my mum trying to develop a relationship with him. My nan has Alzheimers- brought on by the loss of my grandad last May- and the flat she's moving to is not suitable for her needs. My uncle has been making lots of hostile allegations against my mum (including abuse and theft), who has been the primary carer for my nan, grandad and myself for the past 15 years. It's all very messy and very emotional.

My nan is very vulnerable and confused, and is not in a position to make decisions for herself. There are also lots of people around who I fear may take advantage of her once she moves away...for example, she has a "friend" who is constantly asking for money. My "emotional investment" in the situation got on top of me recently, so I had to have a few days away. I'm upset about the treatment of my mum, who seems to have been made into a criminal, when she has been the only one there to take care of the family; and I'm upset that my uncle has come swooping in at the last minute and upset things within the family (he only returned from spain two years ago).

I know this has happened in other people's families, so we're not the only ones. I guess you can't choose your family. I'm working on trying to accept the situation and support my mum. I'm also trying to learn to be more flexible, and look at ways of communicating/releasing my emotions in more contructive ways. I'm just praying the situation fizzles out soon, but I'm sad that it feels as if we've lost my nan so soon after my grandad.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Julian of Norwich & Her Cat


I live in a seaside town, approximately 45 minutes away from the city of Norwich, in eastern England. I went to school and university in Norwich, but at the time, I didn't really appreciate the culture (apart from bars and nightclubs!) and heritage of one of the oldest cities in England.


I decided to read a bit about Norwich and its history recently, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear about Julian of Norwich and her cat. Julian of Norwich was a 14th century English mystic and anchoress who, in 1373, voluntarily confined herself to a cell, or "anchorhold". In that cell, in the sole company of her beloved cat with whom she is most often depicted, she devoted herself to prayer and contemplation for the needs of the Church, the citizens of Norwich, and for the whole world.

Julian was born in England in 1342 during the time of The Black Death. The plague led to bad social conditions and oppression of the poor. There was a shortage of labour, high taxes and bad harvests. Unrest in England led to the Peasants Revolt in 1381. Religious persecution was also rampant and many people were put to their death because of their religious beliefs.

An "Anchoress" was a person called to a solitary life, but one that was not cut-off from the world, but one anchored in it. She anchored the Light of God at that spot on the earth amidst the darkness of life around her. Her life was one of prayer and contemplation; a life highly thought of by people of the time. Julian never left her cell. She had a servant who brought her meals and she kept a small garden with high wall that insulated her from the ordinary life of the time. She listened through a curtained window to those passersby who needed counsel.


The only other living soul who entered her space was her cat. She was allowed a cat for purely practical reasons; To keep the rat population at bay. Unbeknownst to the outside world however, she had a close relationship with her beloved cat. They would sit for hours in Julian's garden in contemplation and prayer. Julian and her cat together anchored the Light during one of the darkest periods of history.


As a cat lover, I can surmise that it was her own animal companion that provided the blessings of tangible love and tactile comfort throughout the years spent in prayer and contemplation. I know how much Jet comforts me and seems to understand what I'm thinking and feeling.

Fat But Happy, Like Buddha...


For many years I struggled with body image issues and two eating disorders. I think a lot of women have reached crisis points in their lives where stress and sadness can lead them to make unwise decisions, and eating disorders are one form of trying to control your world when everything else seems out of control.

I'm not going to waffle on about causes or solutions, or take a trip down Memory Lane with you. I just wanted to share some inspirational words I found on one of the many websites I visit.

"You must accept that as your body is the only one you will have it is precious and you must learn to live with it, value it and take care of it.

The body not only influences the mind, but vice versa. This is a human connection that cannot be broken. It can be manipulated though, and you must ensure that this is only done by you.

There are lots of ways that you can learn to be more confident with your body, however, the best way to is to just decide to be. Focus on your positives. Stop comparing yourself to others. You can guarantee that the majority of them are just as unhappy as you feel you are.

Eat well, rest well and most importantly exercise. Endorphins are the best thing in the world to make you feel good, no matter what is happening in your life."

I think I agree with most of that, although I know how hard it is to fit exercise in with everything else we have to cope with on a daily basis. I guess the key message is P.M.A.- or Positive Mental Attitude. There is a famous quote (by someone I cannot remember now lol!), that most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be...I think this is so true.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Proud To Be English




I received this in an email from a friend. It's one of those "forward to your mates" type things, so I thought I'd post it on here as well.

I LOVE being English and I'm really proud of my heritage and culture. I think this poem is so true, and so sad.


From: The Queen's Royal Lancers Website

Goodbye to my England, So long my old friend
Your days are numbered, being brought to an end
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh that's fine
But don't say you're English, that's way out of line.

The French and the Germans may call themselves such
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don't say you're English ever again.

At Broadcasting House the word is taboo
In Brussels it's scrapped, in Parliament too
Even schools are affected, staff do as they're told
They must not teach children about England of old.

Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
The pupils don't learn about them anymore
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons ?
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.

We are not Europeans, how can we be?
Europe is miles away over the sea
We're the English from England, let's all be proudS
tand up and be counted - Shout it out loud !

Let's tell our Government and Brussels too
We're proud of our heritage and the Red,White and Blue
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack
Let the world know - WE WANT OUR ENGLAND BACK !!!!


I also don't mind being called British (yes yes, I know it harks back to the British Empire...call me a snob and throw rotten veg at me, whatever lol!).

I also say I'm from The U.K.....gets very confusing. So for good measure I'm sticking in our British flag as well :)

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Rainbow Bookshelves






So, there's this amazing group on flickr where members have posted pics of their bookshelves arranged by colour.


Since I had some spare time this avo, the idea of cheering up my study space excited me so much, I had to go and rearrange my two small book cases! I know, how lame lol! Anyhoooo...I think it looks a much more happy room, and that has to be a good thing during dark, dreary January.

(My two small bookshelves- colour designed and happily revamped :) - are the top two pictures)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

James Kuhn Faces










James Kuhn is an artist with a thousand faces! Every day this year, Kuhn has created 365 wonderful masterpieces, and then shared them via his myspace and flickr pages.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Tattoo - Foot







I finally got another tattoo last Wednesday, yey! I've been trying to decide what to get for ages, and as it was half term last week, I went out and treated myself.

After much soul searching and trying to find something meaningful to enhance the temple that is my body (as if lol!) I acted a bit out of character, and decided to go with something purely frivolous and trendy...and I cringe as I type, but it's also inspired by someone I don't particularly love....Nicole Richie ...arrrrggghhh!

Still, it's a cool tattoo, and I'm waiting for it to heal. It looks really pretty and didn't cost too much, so it was a quick fix until I can afford to get a more detailed one.

The reason I'm blogging it is, although it's quite small, it hurt like a mother f*£%er!!! For anyone considering a tatt on their foot/ankle...be warned! I like to consider I've got a fairly high tolerance to pain, and none of my other tattoos made me squeal like a little girl, but I felt as if someone had taken a lit match and was trying to carve fire into my foot. Honestly, it was a real bum clencher lol!

The worst part I would say was the cross on my foot, and the chain around the outside of my ankle. The inner ankle didn't really hurt (just like a normal scratch...nothing major. It was more like my other tattoos.)

Sooooo, I'm glad I've got it, but I won't be rushing into another one on my foot very soon (call that never lol!). My wise friend Rachel says that it's akin to childbirth....something that hurts like a bugger at the time, and you swear you'll never do it again, but you forget about the pain....and then do it again after all. Hmm, think I might still need some convincing on that one...and I'll probably have to be dragged to the tattoo parlour for my next one lol!

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