On KAL’s and Snails and Beach Walks

The second post on the Washington Meet-Up is still in the works – there seems to be too much else going on to actually sit down and finish it……….. but I will, I know you are dying to hear more!

But I did get this Lace Leaf KAL project finished.  The second colour arrived and is the perfect complement – what do you think?   I’m really pleased with this scarf, it’s knitted in bamboo cotton yarn and made to be part of an ensemble for my YD.  This means I’ve also successfully completed my first KAL albeit a little late!

Pink Lace Leaf1  6May

 

I knitted it a little smaller than the pattern called for as I wanted it to be just a scarf rather than a shawl – and oh, the fabric is so soft and gentle.  I love knitting with bamboo yarn!!

Pink Lace Leaf 3 6 May

Pink Lace Leaf 5 7 May

I’ve also finished my lady snail painting – meet Ms Snail:

Ms Snail

Ms Snail is about to begin a journey, via snail mail, to Claudia in the UK for her 365 Days of Snails.  Follow the link if you are intrigued and have an artistic snail to share.  I found it quite interesting making this painting – I ended up feeling slightly kinder to the snails who inhabit my Boston Ivy and Jasmine vines…………

I’ve also assisting my YD in setting up her first ever blog.  An aspiring photographer and our official photographer here in Contented Land, she has bitten the bullet and decided to join in the fun at WordPress.  It’s a work in progress, but there is already two photo posts published.  If you are at all interested, pop over to ‘Let’s See What I Can See’ and see what you think about what she is seeing!

Yesterday Siddy went to the beach on a gloriously warm and sunny May day – here are some shots taken by our official photographer

Siddy with sand on his nose

Siddy with sand on his nose

Pauline&Siddy

 

What a difference a week can make, we are totally enjoying some unusually placed hot summer weather here, the weather gods appear to be a little discombobulated…….  I’m sure they will work it out soon, in the meantime Siddy and I are chasing seagulls, sniffing the sea air and wandering along the sandy shore.  Happy Days!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Another Week – Another Update!

Good heavens!  It’s the 1st of May already – the year is racing away on me again!

I’ve got a post half written telling you all about the next part of the trip – but life and playing in my art room is getting in the way of my completing it ……..

Thank you for all your supportive words and shared stories around my hearing loss.  It’s not 100% cured yet but is showing definite signs of improvement – an old, old friend from long, long ago read the last post and got on his white horse and galloped to my rescue.  He is a homeopath in Germany these day [if you are there and need one just let me know, I can recommend him thoroughly] His suggested remedy appears to be working, I’m maybe only a foot or so under water now.  On the chiropractic side my body has never felt more well oiled and smooth working  –  I’m very fond of my chiropractor too, even though he does inflict severe pain whilst aligning the bits!

Thanks Alexander, thanks Tat!!  <3

I’m painting – I did this one as my response to a Life-Book lesson published two weeks back with a most talented lady named Jenny Lee Wentworth.  Her approach quite delighted me and I want to do more work with her in the future.  I watched her lesson and a few days later sat down and started work without referring back.  I still have to go back and see how far off the mark I was.  Pretty far I think – but I liked the freedom it offered, even if I did come back into my own way of doing things really strongly…..  This was a lesson in coming to form through layers of colour – no outlining or sketching involved.  I am wanting to get to a closer resemblance of real people rather than this semi whimsical style – maybe I’m half way in that process………….

opyright Pauline King 2015

Copyright Pauline King 2015

This painting is about half finished

Half completed  'Ms Snail'

Half completed ‘Ms Snail’

As you can see, it’s sitting firmly in its ‘ugly stage’ in this photo.  You may be relieved to know she is already looking better, but has a ways to go still.  It’s destined for the UK if I like where it gets to by the end – if not it will just get painted over and I’ll start again.

In really exciting news, I got suddenly and most surprisingly presented with a new phone by my YD a couple of days ago.  It’s a Samsung Android, the one-before-the-very-latest version.  Now I’m a modern woman ……….  No more getting into scrapes whilst travelling and having no ability to contact my friends without it being a very long convoluted process involving texts being sent half way round the globe and back again – you know the story……..  I can do it myself now.

If I ever go anywhere ever again…….

It is not the latest super dooper-cooks your breakfast kind of smart phone, but it is an extremely clever and on-to-it kind of smart phone and is probably capable of doing way more than I shall ever require it to do – and it takes really nice photos.

Here’s Siddy peering into it – probably ascertaining if it is edible ….

Siddy King 30 4 15

Siddy King 30 4 15

Look at those eye lashes!   And another one

Siddy 30 4

this is his really serious ‘Whatyadoin’ Mumma?’ face.

Now I might actually get around to taking photos for the blog instead of getting where I’m going and saying “Blast, I forgot the camera again!”

If you are up with the play – and why shouldn’t you be? – you may remember I’m knitting a lovely pinkish lacyish shawl with a KAL [Knit-A-Long] group.  I mucked it up a bit when I had to frog a row – then two – and oh dear, three ……  I’d decided to gussy it up a bit by adding in a deeper pink for contrast along the edging and was undoing a row.  Sigh! Now I am waiting for that other colour to arrive.  In the meantime I got all carried away with myself and decided to use the Indian Silk on this pattern too…..  This is where that is up to.  It’s like knitting with a strand of cotton and will take, I am told reliably by Claire who knows about these things, double the amount of 8 row repeats to get a decent sized wrap out of……  but it will be so pretty and light and airy and just a little bit blingy too …..  I just might be spending the entire winter knitting it!

IndianSilk1

Here’s a tiny shot of the detail – just casually snapped with my new phone you understand…………

IndianSilk detail

And that’s kind of where we are at this week folks – it’s cold and dreary and already winter here in the far south of New Zealand.  Orlando is sporting a magnificent thick white undercoat which I take to mean it’s going to be a cold one!  When he comes down to ground level I’ll try and capture a shot of him showing his new winter coat ……

tiggie2 nov14

And here’s a little bit more of a Siddy-fix for those who love him

Until then – thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

 

Friday Thoughts

I have been having trouble with my hearing.  I think six times up and down in planes in a ten day period was a bit much for my delicate Eustachian tubes and they have become resolutely and immovably blocked.  I have done steams, nasal sprays, ear sprays, all the exercises and then some, hung myself upside down and hummed loudly – you name it, we’ve attempted it!

As I hit the ten day mark and if anything the hearing loss is worsening, I am resorting to chiropractic care to try and get everything moving again.  This is a man I have an enormous respect for and his ability with understanding the body and what happens when it is even slightly out of whack is quite amazing.  My body is apparently quite a lot out of whack!  Time will tell if he has success.

In the meantime I am gaining a whole new respect for and understanding of, what being ‘hearing impaired’ is like.  I used to think a slight loss of hearing maybe wasn’t such a very bad thing, given the inordinate amount of noise in our daily lives – which just goes to show that I equated deafness with silence.

This world is not silent!  It is accompanied by an on-going high pitched hum that only I can hear.  It is like listening to people talk while six feet under water.  There is a ring of exhaustion around my head from having to listen carefully and work through the constant high pitched hum.  I am aware of the space between my ears in a new and quite unpleasant way.  There is a weight in my ears I never knew was there.  I can hear my bones creak and crack, every swallow made in my throat. the sound of myself chewing food.  I hear the throb of blood moving through my head that keeps pace with the beat of my heart.  I am forced into a noisy, internal world that is quite solitary.

I noticed today that I was relieved I met no-one on my morning walk with Siddy.  The intensity required to conduct a simple exchange of pleasantries is getting too much for me.  I understand now why some people just give up on the polite, phatic exchange and opt for avoidance of others.

How many ways can you say ‘I’m sorry, can you repeat that?’ in any conversation without driving the other person bonkers.  Lip reading is an art I am quickly learning and guessing what is said also forms part of it.

It’s not a pleasant world to be trapped in!  And as there is always a silver lining to every experience we have, mine is that I shall have much more understanding and empathy for the deaf and hearing impaired from this point on.

My enforced solitude means I am making good progress on my Lace Leaf KAL which is over on Mollie and Claire and I am up to date I think – these photos were taken a few days ago.

KAL2 15 4

I am knitting with a bamboo yarn that is deliciously soft and silky.  The Indian Silk yarn didn’t suit this pattern so I am saving it for something else.

KAL1 15 4

I love the pretty leaves and now I know where I am by sight in the eight row repeat pattern things are moving along quite smoothly.  Though I have just spotted there is a mistake in the centre leaf on the left side…………  I am not frogging again.  I have frogged at least three times back to the beginning and any imperfections can now stay in place!

I want to show you my beautiful sea dragon, Arthur.  He arrived soon after I returned home from my American Interlude.  He comes from Wales and was made especially for me by the divine Dr. Snail of Happiness fame.  These are her photos and you may admire her pristine work and delicate finishing touches all you wish and if you want to see more, go here.

The photos on the dark background are true to colour, the last two shots give you some idea of the detail that has gone into this magnificent beast.  Just look at those cute webbed feet – I am a little in love!

dragon2 dragon1 cropped

dragon13 dragon12

And for those of you who love him – here is the first photo taken of a happy and exhausted puppy the day his mumma came home to him

17 4 asleep 1

I must remember to take my camera on our walk tomorrow – the weather is beautiful and autumn is at her best.  I love having the images of spring still in my head and knowing that we live in harmony – autumn really does reflect on the youthful vibrancy of spring, only in an older, wiser more muted version of what once was.   It is quite lovely!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

American Interlude: The Journey

I live in a country whose main claims to fame include periodical world domination in the game of rugby,  being the first country to give women the vote [in 1893], steadfastly and obstinately remaining nuclear free since the Act of 1987 and a population of sheep almost four times that of the human count.  We are a people of humble outlooks, given greatly to ‘doing it ourselves’, surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and generally pretty well travelled.  Apparently we are considered ‘up there’ in owning the latest technologies and are fairly consistent in contributing great personages into any given field on the worlds stage.

Well Known NZers

This post is not about any of those things or persons.  It is a simple story of a simple country girl who goes to a land far, far away and the adventures that befall her on the way.

Thursday 2nd April:

Wake at 4.30 am, farewell sleepy kitty, bundle happy puppy into the car, drive to YD’s place and bundle her into the car.  Hurry to airport to catch the red-eye to Auckland, transfer to International Departures and wait patiently for flight to LAX.  Flight to LAX is almost an hour late departing due to some missing information in ‘the paper work’.  Eventually the missing information must be found, for we set off with a cheery pilot who is pretty confident he can get us there not too far behind schedule. It is now just after 4 pm.  We fly east over the Pacific Ocean, soon descending into darkness.  There is just an almost full, brightly glowing moon to keep me company.  It becomes light some ten hours later and in another two the vast city of Los Angeles is beneath us.

We fly over LA for what seems hours as the gigantic quilt of roofs and straight lined arteries unfurls itself beneath us.  The unchanging, greyish vista seemingly goes on and on forever – but of course, eventually we land.

LA from the air

Disembark, get through passport check, customs check and change terminals again – be a bit anxious due to the late arrival, but make it through okay.  Wait for flight to DC, enjoy a spot of people watching and give a silent cheer when the flight leaves on time.

Snuggling in my window seat and flying in cloudless daylight for the first time I enjoy the aerial views offered of a vast vista of undulating red ground, grey mountainous terrain and widespread patches of snow.  I have no idea where I am as my individual TV doesn’t work and the days of in-flight magazines appears to be over.  I guess maybe the Rockies, or Colorado – I realise my intuitive knowledge of American geography is not as sharp as I maybe thought – and then I simply become content with admiring the scenery.

Colorado from air

Thick cloud gathers as we approach Washington DC and I lose my view, but we have arrived early due to an over zealous tail wind.  And now, 36 hours later, here I am finally, standing inside the airport, wondering which way to go now – and it is still the evening of the 2nd of April.

And I am tired, thirsty and need a bathroom NOW!

I spy the sign and make my way in.  I’m the only person there.  I use the facilities, throw cold water on my face, look at myself in the mirror, shrug and walk out.  There’s nothing to be done with that degree of exhaustion!

There is nobody on the walk way.  It’s empty.  There’s only me, wondering where to go to find my bags and my friends.  It dawns on me we never actually said where we would meet.  I had assumed that like home, it would be when I wandered off the plane onto the walk way of the airport.  Apparently I was wrong.  Everyone else knew where to go and has gone there.  Undaunted I set off at an almost brisk pace.  I follow a tiny yellow sign that says ‘baggage’ and points to an escalator.  I go down and find myself on a train platform.  I don’t want to catch a train so I go back up.  I walk the walk way looking for signs.  There appears to be no more that say ‘baggage’ so I way lay the first person who has appeared wearing a high-vis jacket and ask.  He looks at me oddly and points to a small yellow word hanging high above my head.  ‘Baggage’ it says and has an arrow pointing straight up beside it.  He speaks to me, but his accent is thick and I cannot understand – clearly he has also not understood me as my accent is equally thick – and he took a lucky guess.  I smile and say ‘Thank you.’  He frowns at me and hurries off.

dulles walkway

I walk less than briskly back the way I have come.  I feel I walk a long way, I am very tired but I keep my eyes up, watching for those little signs and finally find one.  ‘Baggage!’ it says firmly and has an arrow pointing to my left.  It is pointing straight at the escalator I have been down before.  I know there is a platform down there and a train and nothing else.  Once again the hall is empty of helpful looking folk.  I do not fancy asking the two kids who are roaring with laughter over something on a cell phone and who look like they might be nine or ten.  So I sigh and descend the escalator once more.  Simply because I don’t know what else to do.

dulles train

Photo credit: Stacey P. Fischer Dulles Airport Train

There is a man standing on the platform.  I say to him querulously ‘Do I have to catch a train to get to baggage?’  Like it’s his fault.  He nods and scampers away.

The train comes and I get on.  I realise I have no idea when to get off but I figure if the worst comes to the worst I will just stay on and catch a nap.  The train stops right beside a sign that says ‘Baggage’.  I get off.

I know which carousel to go to, for that was announced on the plane.  I wish they had thought to say ‘Catch the train to the Baggage stop’ as well…….  My flower painted suitcase is sitting on the floor beside the empty carousel.  My fellow travellers have all been and gone and I have obviously missed my welcoming friends.

Now what?

Any body else in this situation would have already whipped out their smart phone and called their friends, quickly arranging a meeting place.  I do not have a smart phone.  I only have a moderately average phone which I thought I would not need to use here as I would always be with people.  I forgot about this bit.  My phone is not loaded with any useful  information, maps or numbers for a dilemma such as this one.

I look about for a help desk, a person who looks in any way ‘official’.  There appears to be nothing and no-one.  I know I am too tired to be thinking straight – and I wander up and down looking for somewhere to sit and collect myself.  There are few seats and all are occupied.

I go outside to the pick up and drop off point and lean on various of the giant concrete lumps that litter the pavement.  I talk to a woman with a thick Spanish accent who assures me everyone waits here.  She is soon whisked away happily in a small car. Other folk lean also and eventually a car swoops in and whisks each one of them away. I watch the quiet or joyful reunions and meetings and cheer myself up, sure there will be one for me soon enough.  I study the cars looking for faces I know – but they aren’t there.  Finally, all my fellow loiterers are gone, over an hour has passed since we landed and I just know I have been forgotten.

I hunt for Julia’s address and can’t find it in my trusty organiser.  I groan at myself – I can’t believe it, I’ve forgotten to enter it!  I pull out my less-than-smart phone which I thought I would not need to use here, turn it on and send a text to my daughter in New Zealand. Now, after years of being told I will one day regret not ‘up-grading’ like the rest of the country, I regret!

But, as always, good fortune is with me.  My daughter, working night shift, receives my text immediately and she sends a text to Alys.  Alys receives that text immediately too.  She calls Boomdee.  ‘Something awful has happened’ she says to Boomdee, ‘Pauline is alone at the airport….’    In this same instant the airport PA system roars into life and a disembodied voice urges me to take myself to the baggage carousel where my friends are waiting for me.

My friends have been waiting for over an hour.  They have found the only official person in the entire airport and have been trying to talk him into putting out the call for at least a half hour.  He keeps telling them to wait, I will be here soon.  They keep waiting inside and I keep waiting outside.

Boomdee is on the phone with Alys as I stagger around the corner and, recognising her immediately, lift one hand in weary greeting.  ‘She’s here!’  I hear her say to the phone and Julia comes rushing towards me, arms out, scooping me into a warm hug, words tumbling, so relieved the wayward traveller has at last revealed herself!

There is a joy that surges forth in a happy dance when you find your friends after a long wait.  I feel it there and it wants to bounce about joyfully, but extreme exhaustion has set in and it flutters aimlessly inside me before settling down quietly for a wee rest and a cup of tea.

I have arrived!  Julia and Boomdee are here and even more delightful and beautiful than I have ever imagined and our Bloggers Funfest will begin – just as soon as I have a wee sleep ……………..

woman-sleeping-on-suitcase

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Bloggers, Cherry Blossoms, and Memorials

thecontentedcrafter:

I loved spending time with Lisa – she is a delight and so knowledgeable about DC! I think her next career choice could be DC Tourist Guide ….

Originally posted on arlingwords:

In the past week, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people whose blogs I follow. It’s been amazing. They came from nearby in Virginia as well as California, Canada, and New Zealand. We began with a lunch party organized by Laurie of Life on the Bike who then whisked Alys, Kelly, and Pauline away to Radford for a few days.

The blossoms that have their own festival! The blossoms that have their own festival!

On their return to DC, they wanted to see the Cherry Blossoms down at the Tidal Basin, so I met them at their hotel in Dupont Circle and proceeded to walk their legs off. First we visited Einstein at the National Academy of Sciences. Since I work nearby, Einstein is often a lunch companion in good weather.

Kelly had some things to impart to Einstein.  He seems to be listening. Kelly had some things to impart to Einstein. He seems to be listening.

Then Alys took this photo of Pauline, me and Kelly schmoozing with the great man. Then Alys took this photo of Pauline, me and Kelly schmoozing with the great…

View original 284 more words

Bloggers: The Most Incredible Gathering of Friends!

thecontentedcrafter:

Hi all! [waving happily from South-West Virginia] We are so happy here! Our days are spent talking, laughing, eating, [drinking some too] meeting so many great people over good food in great dining establishments and wondeful homes …….. It is just like meeting up with old friends and picking up on old conversations – I feel so very fortunate to be part of this adventure! Have a look here to see some photos of the gang …………….

Originally posted on Life on the Bike and other Fab Things:

We’ve all said it, and many of you have as well.

WordPress Blogging has become so much more than we ever thought it would be.  What started out as travel diary, forum for writing, sharing of photography, enlightenment about art, gardening, or crafting, or keeping up with family has become a community of international friends.

Over the last several days, 8 WP bloggers from 3 countries and 2 states, have met in various locations to continue in person, the relationships that have been forged through the world of blogging.

IMG_2142-2

Laurie, Boomdee,  PaulineAlys, and Julia in Old Town Alexandria.

We marveled that while most of us had never met each other, we talked and laughed as if we’d known each other for years.

Which, of course, we had.

IMG_2185-2

Laurie, Stacy, Boomdee, Alys, Lisa, Pauline, and Patty in Georgetown

What might have seemed unusual to…

View original 143 more words

Friends of the Heart

If you read this soon after publication, I am on my journey somewhere between the far South of New Zealand and the East Coast of the USA to spend ten days with four other WordPress Bloggers.  During this time there will be opportunities to meet up with other bloggers who will travel shorter distances to spend some time with us.

It’s very exciting, more than a little amazing and somewhat magical!

Before I go I just wanted to say thank you and to share a few thoughts – which for some reason, I feel are important to say at this time.

Thank you to all of you who have left messages and shared in the fun and enormity of this short, unexpected and totally spectacular adventure I am about to undertake.  None of us have said much about it – but this is a trip that has been gifted to me by the incredible generosity of a group of fellow bloggers.

The word ‘lucky’ is often offered up to me these days.  It is not a word I choose to use very often.  I prefer the word ‘fortunate’.  I have come to see that I live a most fortunate life!

Here is what is in my heart to say:

I live my life very simply and quietly these days.  I’ve been there, done that, in terms of making my mark on the world, from needing to prove I am worthy of the air I breathe to more latterly, wanting to make a difference just because I can.   Those of you who read the first installment of my memoir back in September 2013 know I’ve travelled a route from hardship, anger, frustration and blame to one of acceptance, responsibility, forgiveness and love.  I work hard at it!  I struggle, I fall down, I get it wrong again and again – then I get back up and stumble on….   I have been gifted a life that allows me to understand that life is what I make of it and that there is more depth and magic to all our lives than the modern western world would have us believe.

My life has taught me many things – these are some of them:  I believe that as we sow, so we reap.  I believe life is a circle and that life is also a classroom.  I believe all life is connected from the particles of the big bang, to the silent creative energy that preceded it that we collectively know as God or the Void or Nothingness or the Inversion  –  or whatever other shape, description or scientific term [or sci-fi term] you prefer; to the commonality of our basic needs and feelings and talents.  I believe we are here to learn the dynamics of being a soul living a physical existence and it is not easy.  A sense of humour is necessary!  I believe we need each other to know who we truly are and who we can truly become.

Collage 2

I also believe it is imperative that we not try to make any body else think, feel or see the way we think, feel and see.  We all walk a different path.  We come from different cultures who raise us with different values, different spiritual beliefs, different religions.  We have different life influences gifted genetically, environmentally and socially.  It makes the world a wonderfully vibrant and exciting place.  None of it is wrong – it is just different.  We should cease judging people based on age, gender, preference, religion, culture, appearance, education and perceived ability.  We should walk a mile in another’s shoes – or bare feet!  We should travel and meet these other people in other cultures and experience their life styles.  We should stop thinking we are best, better or superior to any body else – or any animal for that matter.   It simply isn’t true.  We are just different.

[And I should stop saying ‘should’!]

As the French say say so eloquently “Vive la difference!”  [Please put on your best French accent for that quote to atone for my lack of written accentuation.]

I learn slowly. I learn by examining my feelings, reactions and behaviour at the end of every day.  I take responsibility for the good and the bad events of my daily life.  I sigh and forgive myself for the million blunders I made, the judgments that were too quickly and harshly made and the words that were unkind.  I know I will have better days practising these skills.  I know hard times will pass and I know easy times will also pass.  I look for the joy and try to be grateful for every day and if not everything in it, at least something!  I know life is not about pursuing or finding ‘happiness’.  I know happiness is already here if I remember where to look for it.  It is all about CHOICE ~ about choosing to be happy, right here right now, no matter what.  I know that the voices in my head, those things we refer to as ‘our thoughts’, often lie to me.  They have the power to make me unhappy, sad, angry, fearful or depressed if I do not challenge the message they put out.  I know that when I turned down the volume and challenged the messages sent by the ceaseless blither in my head I found peace and a quiet joy.  And the more peace and joy I felt, the more of it life has sent me.

It’s all about changing the firing patterns of your brain – nurturing those neurons – which ones are you building more of, the angry ones the fearful ones or the happy ones?  ‘Use it or lose it’ applies here!  

Collage4

This is the big secret that folk are seeking.  It’s not about garnering wealth, power and material goods.  You truly won’t be any happier at a deep, fundamental level when you have that new car, new husband, new job.  Studies have shown that within a short amount of time happiness levels return to where they were before the material event that granted your wish occurred.

Basically we have two feelings coursing through our systems – fear and love.  Anger, hatred, bigotry, control, nervousness, just to name a few, are all fear based.  Serenity, peace, forgiveness, acceptance, tolerance, empathy, to name a few more, are all love based.  We have the choice where to base our attention, which to feel.

It’s really about choosing  to be happy with what is and who we are, right here, right now.  In any given moment our lives are just fine, if we do not feel okay, it is only our thoughts that make it less than perfect.  Being regretful or angry about the past or fearful of the future stops us experiencing how great Now is, or how great we are, coping with a less than delightful Now.  And then we miss the opportunities to know ourselves better, learning and growing through our experiences in life, walking our paths to become the best possible version of ourselves.

Sometimes we suffer really awful things – the loss of loved ones, attacks on our bodies or souls, things that make us question the purpose of life.  It is hard to see any joy in that right?  For myself I know that though it can take many years, and be a long and pain filled process, I will eventually find myself again, richer for having survived, endured and grown through the experience.  My empathy factor is deepened and I can, at the very least, be there for someone else.  And I am often grateful for that!

This is why I say that our experiences – the good and the bad –  are opportunities for growth. Sometimes bad stuff happens to release something for us so we can move to the next level – ‘there is always a silver lining’.  Sometimes it takes a while to find it.

When we understand that we move into trust.  And living in trust that everything will work out the way it is meant to work out just makes everything so darn easy!

Here is a recent example from my life:  I get in a blither when having to travel alone.  It doesn’t matter how short the journey, I am uncomfortable and the level of my discomfort rises according to the length of the journey.  I know where the fear comes from, but that doesn’t seem to help.  It seeps upwards slowly but surely and begins to tinge the adventure with a sour hue.  The fear is often voiceless, but when I dig a bit and uncover it, it is all about ‘what if’ and ‘back when’, ‘look out’ and ‘don’t trust’.  When I hear that last one ‘Don’t trust’ there is an enormous shift in me.  Fear evaporates and a sort of peace descends once more.  Because ‘don’t trust’ is anathema to me.  That is the path to insanity.  I acknowledge the past and it’s many hard adventures in trust and know I have moved on.  No need to go back.  Whatever happens will happen whether I go fearfully or confidently.  I have the power to call in the experience I will have and the manner in which I will deal with it.  I’d rather follow the advice Nanette gave me in the comments of the previous post and look up and out, prepare myself, ask for help as required and trust that this part of my journey will be just as wonderful as the parts where there are friends travelling with me.

I’ll let you know how I do on that!

But really, where I am going with all this is that I have been surprised by the extent to which blogging has corroborated my life choices and beliefs.

The world is full of wonderful people and many of them blog!  I have met so many amazing folk.  In many ways when we share  bits of our lives, our thoughts, our feelings and experiences it is like sitting down with a good friend over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and doing what women are really good at – sharing!  It doesn’t matter all that much that it is done virtually.  Back in the ‘good old days’ we did it via letter writing with the responses taking weeks to make it across the miles, be read and the next missive written, mailed, received and read …..It was called having ‘pen pals’.

Here in our speedier modern world we ‘blog’.  For me it has widened my quiet world out again and brought in your amazing personalities to brighten my life, make me smile, frown, think, empathise, sympathise, reach out, condole, laugh, share my thoughts, opinions and feelings and begin to uncover you – the real you.  Getting to know you is a very real joy for me.  Friends of my heart.  You all have encouraged me in my journey as an artist, the encouraging words, the patronage, the enthusiasm have been wonderful gifts to me.  I have blossomed and bloomed beneath your kindness and eloquence.  You have encouraged me to return to old crafts and pick up new skills.  I have read books you recommend and listened to music you sent my way.  I follow your adventures and misadventures with interest and applaud when you arrive somewhere wonderful……..  I am so grateful to be getting to know every one of you!

And now I’m off to meet up with a small selection of my special friends and to have whole days when we can just be together and drink coffee and tea and maybe a wine or two and enjoy each others company, pick up on some of our on-going conversations and deepen our understanding of each other and share whatever is in our hearts.   Magic!

It is my first trip to the USA, my first time living amongst American accents – my travel agent warned me some would not be understand my broad, flat Kiwi twang.  I am practising trying to remember to speak higher in my throat and with a bit of a lilt and quite a lot slower than I normally do.  I’m rather afraid I sound a little like Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara  :-)

There are cultural differences and social differences and language differences.   I’m looking forward to exploring them all with these women who are so dear to my heart!

And again and again I ask myself, how does it get any better than this?

Here, to finish, are my beloved babies, my little fellas, my boys.  Wrapped in warmth and love and trustingly placed into the loving care of my equally beloved YD while I swan off on my latest adventure.

pets collage

Forgive me if you don’t receive an immediate response to your comment or if you don’t see me on your blog posts for a couple of weeks.  Normal service will resume soon.  :-)

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!