this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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Treasure Trove Thursdays : Sunshine and kisses

A little snapshot of my bank holiday weekend. Nothing unusual apart from going to the wedding of a lifetime. Full of tears and laughter, I haven’t attended a more special wedding in my life. I’m currently feeling a little bereaved because it was just the most delightful and wonderful day, but it was over all too quickly.

I was in spring cleaning (more like office organising) mode all last week:

shredding

There is still plenty of work to be done but there are some colourful and pretty side effects of sorting through paperwork. Even though this went straight into the recycling!

peeling

On Sunday, there was a big meal to be had, during the preparation of which I had the opportunity to compare three different vegetable peelers. I’ve never really used any in the style of the colourful ones. The all-metal one was mine, inherited from a previous landlord. Having more than one peeler in one’s possession makes a lot of sense if one does not want to prepare meals alone. I have in mind to acquire a new cheerful plastic one sometime soon!

kissing

…and Monday transported me to the “epic” wedding (not my usual word for a wedding, but one that’s been banded around Facebook ever since the big day!) It was truly special day for me personally, a really meaningful event that I’m not expecting to forget for a long time to come.

lilac ivy

As a real bonus, the wedding took place in the most beautiful setting, which we were able to take full advantage of  and relax in. Absolutely perfect. Only thing that could have improved it for me, was remembering to bring my sunglasses! We had some beautiful sunshine, it’s something special after the long long winter. Every ray of sun is like a sparkle of magic and makes me feel so alive.

paper bag candlelight

I’m still glowing from the beautiful day. Pity it was a work day afterwards and we could not stay on till very late as we had quite a way to go afterwards.

Did you have a bank holiday? How was your weekend? I can’t believe another week is almost over again. We’ll be half-way through the year soon and I feel like the year’s barely begun. Anyone else feel this way?


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How can I not smile, when there’s not a cloud in the blue sky? The butterflies are fluttering about in a mesmerising mating dance. A gentle breeze sways branches that were just dead and bare only a few weeks ago and are now decked with colour. There are two things that make my City irresistibly beautiful: clean, unstomped snow… and glorious sunshine. It may have been a long winter this year, but after the cold, dark days where you just want to hide under your duvet for months the sun brings a burst of energy, and if you just let go a little.. you could go a bit hyper. Better not then.

I have to say that although the UK is officially in Northern Europe according to the UN, we do have a relatively mild climate. Our winter days are tortuously short and often bitterly cold, but our summer days are beautifully long and can be wonderfully balmy. I live for those long summer nights, when you can still see a hazy blue in the sky at 9pm and sleeping feels like a waste of time.

McDonalds litter notice - love where you live

I can hardly believe that it’s already May. Today, the sun is shining. I’m looking forward to summer, although I know I’m getting ahead of myself. But I reserve the right to treat any sunshine as a sliver of summer. So today is summer. It’s pretty much as summery as it gets here anyway. I have a wedding to attend this Bank Holiday weekend. I hope that the sun saves enough energy to shine through for the happy couple.

Have any of you had the first BBQ or picnic of the year yet? I really feel like dining al fresco… I hope you get a share of the sunshine this weekend, even if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s quickly approaching winter…


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Sing!

I didn’t know that there was an official song for the Diamond Jubilee. It tickled me to imagine the Queen sitting in her car with her iPhone, blaring out the music from the back seat and singing along with Prince Philip on their way to the Epsom Derby this morning. It’s a catchy and uplifting (cheesy) song. I can just picture Her Majesty emptying her lungs and belting out the chorus…and swaying in time, maybe waving the royal handbag above her head, both white-gloved hands in the air. Must be a nice change from hearing “God Save the Queen” for the last 60 years.

I was wondering if the song was a gift from the Queen to her subjects, but turns out it will be on sale and some of the proceeds will go to the Official Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

What isn’t there a song for? What’s the official Olympic anthem going to be? I haven’t been keeping an ear out for it. I hope that it’s good. But I had better step away from the computer now and watch that those scones don’t burn otherwise when HM turns up later, there’ll only be the cucumber sandwiches on which to dollop the clotted cream and that won’t do (even though I can definitely eat clotted cream like some do peanut butter – straight out of the tub with a spoon!)

Well, I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far. Even if you, like me, are not planning on hovering around street parties to see if there is any free food going… Apparently Scotland is due to get most of the Jubilee party sunshine amazingly! Bet the Queen was wishing she could have stayed at Balmoral and had a good knees up there, without all this traipsing around ;)


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Magpies and a good reason to blog

I am writing on a rainy bank holiday. I have a yucky sore throat. I have been thinking happy thoughts about blogging!

The reason why I started blogging is not unique. I was touched by Amy’s post on her cozywalls blog last week (take a look, it’s full of treats!) in which she explains:

I started this blog at a particularly uncozy time in my life. The point was to focus on the GOOD TIMES. Of course, life is not always cozy, but I wanted to put my good memories together in one spot so as not to dwell on those things that are beyond my control.

I could not have put it any better myself. Amy is one of those precious people who are giving me that lift at the end of a difficult day, inspiring me to be bolder in what I attempt to do, reminding me of things I used to love doing but have put down because I simply forgot about them or have been told for too long that they are not “important” or “useful” things.

Many blogs are polished and pretty and there are even people out there who criticise some bloggers, accusing them of being “fake” or “staging” their blogs. However, the more I read, the more I appreciate the number of people who are using the confines of their blogs to collect the best and worst parts of their life experiences and reach out to others to encourage or find encouragement.

This morning as I was clearing away last night’s dishes, I had the privilege of seeing a magpie up close as it hopped right past the kitchen window. Magpies are my favourite birds. I love their elegant tail feathers and their backs that shimmer and delight with the flashes of rich blues and greens.

Magpie

Magpie illustration from RSPB

The average lifespan of a magpie is three years, according to the RSPB, although some are known to have lived for much longer. This fact made me think. I’d never before thought about how the magpie I had just been watching might imminently cease to exist. After all there aren’t lots of dead birds lying around everywhere. I see these chattering creatures gliding about effortlessly every day in the expanse that is the sky above our heads.

As I watched the magpie this morning, I remembered this quote from DH Lawrence:

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

I remember when I first came across these words, many moons ago as a teenager. They were inspiring, but oh so impossible to emulate. Perhaps you don’t get bogged down by the negative things in your life ever, but I’m still on the journey to try and make each day count without it being all about me and my little worries. It’s definitely worthwhile, and it’s getting ever more exciting as I add to my own hoard of beautiful memories and sparkly bright treasures!

Thank you for sharing this journey with me!


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Oh Google, yes, that’s hilarious…

Just a quick post for your entertainment…if you like Google’s Easter eggs, then this is one of the most fun or annoying interactions with the search engine yet….have you tried it? Just go to Google and type in zerg rush as the search term…then enjoy…Do you know anyone who works for Google? I’ve always thought it sounds like one of the most amazing places to work, if you’re a properly paid up tech geek.

Below is a screen shot of my first attempt. I think it will be my last – I don’t really fancy getting RSI. You’ve been warned!

Happy May Bank Holiday to my UK readers and anyone else having a Monday off…don’t spend it all indoors clicking! If you do have the misfortune of needing to, trust Wikipedia to have a document on Google fun throughout the ages :) Have a lovely weekend!

Zerg Rush

Zerg Rush – Google’s latest Easter egg

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