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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What’s News?

I wanted to celebrate the fact that Getty has made millions of images free to use and that WordPress has done some tweaks to make it easy for us to do this…but the site is probably overrun by enthusiastic bloggers because it was not available for ages!

I thought it would be interesting, on the back of International Women’s Day, to see what kind of photos would come up when I searched for “women“.

The images that emerged gave a far from “international” representation, and so many were of young women shopping, having coffee together, working out or partying! You can draw your own conclusions from that, I can’t claim to have trawled through all 10492 pages resulting from my search and I most certainly did not take scientific statistics based on the pages I did look at.

I can only say I did quite enjoy looking through the site, and will be enjoying it in future I believe. I’ve always enjoyed visiting Getty images exhibitions when I’ve had the chance to drop by. The debate over them making images so readily available for free use is a hot one… I’m not going to enter into any discussions or assert any opinions on anything mentioned above under the pretext that raised blood pressure would not be beneficial to me right now… any excuse to be lazy. But feel free to say your piece ;)

I’d just like to know whether anyone did this while they were pregnant (see below)? I must say, having started my antenatal classes recently, I was really relieved that the other couples don’t seem to have swotted up too much on all the available (overwhelming) information out there…

I’m preferring trying to up my R&R quota… but does that mean I’m in denial? I think today, the baby has mainly been listening to BBC News on repeat in the background whilst I’ve been continuing my attempts at organising my life doing lots of filing and tidying my desk… an ongoing losing battle perhaps…


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Feeling lazy but lively

I did want to publish a woolly post today. It’s long overdue. And I had an idea for a Meaningful Monday post last week… but promptly forgot what it was… I’ve been missing you guys, but am feeling increasingly tired and weighed down by a very lively creature in my belly that I can’t wait to meet. Not long to go now…

I’m not personally dancing that much these days… but I hope this video spreads a little of the joy that gorgeous blue sky, with wispy hints of cloud stretched across it, on a whole day full of sunshine has been making me feel today. And this is how I feel about my London Town too. I’ve been feeling a bit WOW today in short… hope that you enjoy what essentially is a Cadbury’s chocolate advert. Ahh well, maybe Cadbury’s will send me a few bars of Dairy Milk just to make my day unbeatable? HAha… a girl can dream big :P

I hope you are all well…Take care! xx


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Extract of peace

What a wonderful experience. Working at the computer doing something tedious and listening to Jamie Crick on ClassicFM. Movement 9, Agnus Dei of Eternal Light: A Requiem, by Howard Goodall starts playing. As the beautiful peaceful music floats around me, rain starts falling from the heavens. Such a balm to the soul! Aaah tedium, you cannot steal my peace :)

Quoted from my Facebook page just now… just want to share it everywhere – have a blessed week!


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Distraction and procrastination

Anyone else find that summer is a difficult season during which to concentrate? There is so much life happening around, that I often forget what I was in the middle of. (Not that I am complaining – don’t get me wrong. After half a year of languishing in winter, I would not dare complain! )

Yesterday evening, I was trying to concentrate and get some tasks sorted:

I must say it was more than difficult. The sun was shining, the sky was beautiful and blue. I just wanted to be outside. Besides, there was a cat prowling about the garden as intrigued as I was, by a bird that was making a racket. It was a blackbird that I caught sight of for a while as it perched on a low roof, but could now no longer see. It was relentlessly “becoming more excited” (scroll to the end of the linked page and you’ll see what I mean).

Such a drama unfolded before me, it was hilarious. The cat was prowling about the garden with great poise as though it was on an undercover mission. Suddenly, a thud against the back fence startled me from my thoughts. There had been a failed attempt to grab the offending creature – which incidentally did not stop calling. The cat swiftly flattened itself against the ground darting its head from side to side as though pretending that it never lost its dignity. It settled and flexed as though unsure as to whether or not pouncing again was a good idea.  Eventually, having held several different stances and come to no clear decision, it opted for the classic decoy tactic, darted at speed across the garden and leapt over the fence into next door’s.

Oh and it re-emerged not long after, prowling about again, lifting its paws stealthily with each stride in the parched grass. Hunter-like. As the bird continued to call unperturbed.

Until some children burst out of a neighbouring house into the garden screaming, pursued by a grinning grandfather wielding a water pistol.

I ask you, how is one possibly to get any work done in such an environment? And how can such a small creature as a blackbird, produce such a resonant sound?

Here’s something calming in case you need it. A great familiar soundtrack for summer… happy weekend! 


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WOW Wednesday: the creative spirit

I’ve given myself a little bit of a break from the blog over the past week or so. I just needed to think about other things in life other than blogging, although I’ve missed it. Thank you for dropping by even though I haven’t posted any fresh content. I really appreciate that you have used your precious time to stop by and read. Welcome to all new visitors!

I’ve given the WOW Wednesdays series an even longer break I must admit.. but I haven’t stopped saying “wow!” In fact, it’s those little wow moments that inspire me to keep moving onwards and upwards, even on those days when I feel like I’ve tripped over and slid on my backside down the slippery slope I’ve been trying to scale and ended up at the bottom again. So I thought it would be a nice way to get back to the blog this week:

I recently stumbled across some videos that made for fascinating watching. They each show different kinds of creative projects I found inspiring. Instead of just pinning them, I wanted to share them here. I’m simply going link them up below. I hope they bring some inspiration to you midweek. My favourite is the last, because it is a story of a great collaboration. You might want to watch the finished music video first (linked below) and then watch the one of the making of it which is the one I’ve included here. Up to you!

Which is your favourite and why?

(Oh go on, this advert is cool too.)

(The HQ version is here but I’d recommend watching the above first for a great performance – if you don’t mind whooping students!)

(The finished music video is here.)

Take care and have a peaceful and productive remainder of the week. Just one more weekend until Easter! Do you get Easter holidays where you are? If you gave up something for Lent, how is it going?


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Frivolous Fridays: Get your groove on!

OK. If you have not thought of what to do this weekend, here’s a suggestion. How about making some music. This Incredibox webby app is great. You can’t beat box? Well, let me introduce to you some dudes that can:

Squeeze some lemons by this is lemonade on Incredibox

Screenshot of my dudes: click through to groove to my composition!

It’s really fun, I was hooked. And if you are really proud of yourself, you can pay €0.69 to download your masterpiece. Here’s mine.

Happy weekend! :)


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Monday blues and the British weather…

It is truly autumn here in London, although some would call it winter. Even though the sun really worked hard all day Friday and the skies were a beautiful gorgeous blue, it was cold.

Monday Blues

There was real drama in the colours and the clouds were truly amazing. But it was cold. In fact, it was chilly indoors. Not just out.

Monday Blues

I was thinking about my blog and some line about the weather was about to enter my head. I was wondering how often this happens to people who are not British. On our beautiful isles, the weather plays such an important role that we watch it with huge interest. We devote very artfully crafted pieces of journalism to describing the minute changes in temperature, movements of air pressure, currents of warm or cold air travelling over our little island from neighbouring land masses. Weather forecasters are household names. No one has forgotten the legendary Michael Fish have they?

From one day to the next, the weather can change drastically, affecting everyone’s mood and influencing simple decisions. My colleagues will watch the clouds as lunchtime approaches and decide whether or not to dive out early to buy food before a downpour is unleashed. While I, on the other hand, prefer to bring my lunch so I do not have to worry. The quality of the light coming through the windows changes dramatically with the weather. A peek of sunshine and the whole place feels brighter, lighter, happier… grey clouds make you feel more tired, more gloomy, lethargic. Rain makes you wish you never got out of bed in the morning at all.

Otis redding – sittin on the dock of the bay (link via Soundcloud) 

Well. It’s Monday again. After the wettest summer for a century or so apparently, in spite of the beautiful Olympic and Paralympic sunshine (lest we forget) it’s now crisp and cold. Some days we have had the beautiful sunny skies that we enjoyed this weekend, but mostly it’s been wet and miserable. I’m officially in denial and playing a different soundtrack to nature. Also, work’s been a bit weird lately. “Looks like nothing’s gonna change…” so I’m thinking of making some changes myself  – instead of stressing, I’m chillin’ today…

Does the weather have as great an influence on your part of the world? Does it affect your mood as much as it can mine I wonder?


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Frivolity and friendship (2)

This is my second award nomination post in a series of four this season :) Here’s the first, and here’s one I did earlier

And here’s a little snippet of my life today: I stumbled across this song during the Paralympic Games. I was drafting a post with the lyrics in, but hey, just check them out yourself on the YT page. It’s a super duper cheesy song and I have some days when I like cheesy. this is lemonade is about giving things another try, one more time, and another time, and again…and again. Even after you have given up. Just one more time.

Forget what lies behind you
Heaven walks beside you
You got to give it one more try
One more time

So here’s another thank you to the lovely Laura Williams of North Highlands Art who nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award. One of the wonderful blogging friends out there, who inspire me! Go check out her blog and her wonderful talent that I mentioned here.

  • One Lovely Blog Awardyou and mie – I’ve a million things pinned that I want to make from Cherie’s crafty ideas!
  • Shared joy is a double joy – Addia’s heart-warming photo blog full of lovely snapshots from life in Sweden. And there’s more to see on her Pinterest boards too!
  • Carr party of five – Lis is one witty, bubbly, lady who writes quirky and cheering posts!

 

The one thing I love most about blogging is the people behind the blogs that I have “met”. All the bloggers I am mentioning in my awards nominations I have held conversations with in the comments, by email, twitter or even on Pinterest. I am going to be presumptuous and call them friends. Having just passed the sixth month mark of blogging, and having falling off the blog wagon for the month just gone, I can say that this friends-making is my biggest incentive for writing and writing again!

Hello friends! Thanks for reading, for sharing your inspiration and for your continuing support :D

FF: Mitt Romney must be envious LOL

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I present to you the loony Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. I bet Mitt Romney is wondering how Boris got away with saying all that (in fact, made everyone chuckle – even those that don’t like him very much).

I just had to post this for some comic relief. The tension is mounting as the opening ceremony is approaching and it’s all getting very exciting. I’m almost ready. Need to put the food in the oven :P

Door Keys


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All psyched up to go home

Last week, on my way home, I actually took a seat on the train. I was ill equipped to occupy myself in a useful way as usual, so I just sat and stared at random patterns and adverts.

About two stops into my journey, a man in his thirties or so got on. He had in-ear buds plugged in and tinny beats emanating from his head to the rest of the passengers. I suddenly realised that all the men in my section of the carriage, bar one, had their ears stopped up with various portable speakers. There were two other sets of nondescript ear buds. One young crisply suited male had a spotless almost glowing Beats by Dr. Dre halo clamping down on his ears. Another two had black-coloured headphones in a similar but less trendy style (the kind that could double up as ear-muffs). Another man slouched against one of the high seats at the end of the carriage, his head drooping as he dipped in and out of a fitful snooze.

My mind quickly referenced an article I had read recently about athletes training and psyching themselves up to motivational music. I wondered what these guys were getting ready for. The music did not seem generally to be of the kind that helps you to relax judging by the sounds from some of the headphones and the bouncing chins of the other wearers whose music I could not hear. (Notable exception could be the guy who was semi-conscious.)

(I must say I wouldn’t mind having one of these Bose QuietComfort 15 headphones for every Tube journey. I stepped foot in a Bose shop for the first time a couple of weeks ago out of curiosity, and recommend that anyone that has not tried these does so for the pure amazement value. Once you have experienced them, the attached price tag will no longer surprise you. I can imagine if I had a pair, every Tube journey in future would be like an out-of-body experience!)

That day’s observation did bring to mind the fact that there is a different story behind each person with whom I rub shoulders, literally or metaphorically, on my daily commute. We may all wear a similar uniform. We may even enjoy similar tastes in music. Each of us probably sports a familiar blank look as we meander home by various means. But we each go back to a different place and life can be very very different behind each door that we severally close behind us at the end of that journey.

Door KeysFor some, on the other side of the door is a refuge from the world. For others, to open that door is to leave a refuge behind for the night. For still others, the door opens a gaping hole of emptiness which envelops that person until he emerges again the next day. Then there are those we do not realise have no doors to journey to and live a expertly fabricated deception that we so readily believe. We can live so closely alongside one another, and yet, we can be such solitary souls.

I have no deep insights to offer on this trailing thought. I’ll try to remember to make lemonade and share it around while I know how. I am just glad that behind my closed door, I can open up this world here from time to time, and see your smiling and encouraging faces.

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