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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Awesome Planet

It’s been a crazy week so far. The weather goes without saying. But they say that full moons do things to people too. It’s only just got to the middle of the week, but I’ve come across too many people losing their cool this week, and getting unreasonable with others. It’s just inspiring to see the other end of the spectrum.

“Super Storm Sandy” as the media have now named it, has left so much devastation in its wake, it is quite humbling. A completely unstoppable force. However far human civilisation progresses, when it comes to nature, we can have nothing but respect. Watching footage of huge trees being completely uprooted by howling winds just leaves me awestruck. There has been such deep loss and destruction, but it is a mercy that we can see so much of that kind of footage – the fact that those trees fell onto the people’s cars who were filming and not onto them, is something to be thankful for.

Wind Map by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

Wind Map by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

I was introduced to this wonderful map yesterday, which has been created by the two leads of a Google research project. They specialise in creating visualisation graphics. The map is mesmerising and a clever way to visualise the force of the wind over North America. It helps me to  stop and remember just a little bit, how insignificant we humans are, in the context of this awesome planet. And by awesome, I do mean it literally. Especially yesterday!

We humans do need to remember our place. We are not in charge. We should not behave as though we think we are. When others do, I resolve to not mirror such attitudes in my own behaviour.

I hope that you and your loved ones are well. Take care and stay safe wherever you are in the world. Thank you for passing by today!


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Mulling it over

It was a bit of a rubbish week last week. Although I managed to finish my first scarf by Friday and am now wearing it. I ran out of wool to make the length I wanted for a scarf… but the wool is out of stock, so instead, I sewed it up and made a cowl 🙂

I guess I have to learn to do that more often. Be prepared to change course more readily. Take action to make things better even when they don’t turn out the way I would have hoped.

It’s all been coming to a head recently. Somehow things are a bit more intense and rubbish than usual. Although, let me get one thing straight right now… I’d not swap being me, for anything else. Some days I don’t even have the energy to feel depressed. But those moments bring me through to a clarity afterwards that I have to pounce on and get creative with!

I’ve been feeding off some of your incredible posts lately, and they are helping me to get some of my thoughts in order. Here’s a couple I found inspiring at just the right time – and by inspiring, I mean, they challenged me personally and helped me to take a step back and a deep breath:

Be happy in the moment, this moment is your life. The title says it all. I’m not going to get all self-help and “hippie” (quoting Sarah) on you here. I was simply reminded that now is my life. Not yesterday, not tomorrow. Right now. And I have to do something with now, or it’s going to leave me.

Morning walk on the Detmold countryside. Wendy took me on a beautiful walk through her lovely photos. It’s the kind of walk that I relish and haven’t been on for a while. She shared some of her own thoughts on life at this point in time. She ends with “Carry on…” Enough said. Life never stops, you’re either going backwards or forwards.  Sometimes it’s the former, sometimes the latter… either way, we carry on for as long as we have the strength to.

Apple, by Addia

Apple, by Addia

And. I have been meaning to feature this photo for some time now. It’s by the lovely Addia who was so sweet as to send me the original and allow me to feature it here. I feel happy every time I look at it. I just love the intense colour of the apple. But it’s so exposed, vulnerable, all open and half-eaten. I guess its fragility and intensity against the gritty grey surface that it is lying on is what makes it so beautiful for me.

I feel so alive when I see something so beautiful.

So here we go again, I’m rooting for you to go out there and keep on keeping on too! Have a good week.

Candy Floss Hat


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Wonder Wool

OK…so I’m a tiny bit late to the party. National Wool Week was last week. But then, I was ill. Aaah. But, I’m still in the recovery position this week. The near-solid slime, glueing together my ENT passages is showing no intention of shifting. Sorry, tmi. At least my sexy voice has left me. Unfortunately, that means the only external clue to my being under the weather has dissipated, and I appear to be well enough to do all things.

Well. I haven’t been blogging so much. But the thing is, as I hinted here, I have been getting cosy with this:

Candy Floss Hat

I love wool. I picked up knitting and crocheting again last winter. It didn’t seem to make much sense, seeing as wool is expensive in the UK. And Primark is cheap. And let’s not beat about the bush, I am also expensive when it comes to hiring myself to knit. I recently bought some four jumpers at £6 each. Whereas, the total amount of money spent on that is not enough even to buy me the wool required to knit myself a jumper.

Candy Floss Hat

But in short, I will knit because I want a good quality garment. Even though synthetic yarns are cheaper, I will only bother with good quality stuff, because otherwise I can buy it for cheaper in the shops. Even if it is not Primark. I will buy synthesised yarns, but only when the synthetics add to the texture of the yarn. I will only do this, if it is good quality and it does not make up the majority of the fibre.

Candy Floss Hat

So. When a friend of mine requested a warm woolly hat, I took the chance to knit this. My head is massive (I have big empty braincells). So sorry, I am not modelling it. But I hope you’ll agree, that pompom is like candyfloss. Beautiful, wonderful, super soft merino wool. It’s also my first foray into thick and thin. And with the same yarn, I am knitting myself a scarf. It’s getting chilly, and I’m almost done. I will soon be the envy of you all 🙂

I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves the good old sheepies. I LOVE WOOL 🙂 And to prove it, as well as the abovementioned scarf, I have two others on the go:

Scarves

I’m also researching baby blankets, I have a plan to deliver a hat with a surprise gift inside! Any pattern ideas? I’m thinking I might crochet it. I’m so excited 🙂

Candy Floss Hat


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TGIF!

I’m very thankful to have made it through the week. I hope your week has been alright too. Thank you for your well wishes, I’m still sneezing a lot, so you may be more at risk of becoming ill than me now, if you come anywhere near me. I‘m on the mend though! 🙂

image

Funny how some humble Hobnobs and a hot cup of tea can bring comfort to a soul. This was tea-time today. I don’t know why, but merely looking at the oaty crumbs makes me happy!

I hope something simple makes you smile this 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 (4) …and finally, for now…

Thank you everyone, for being so enthusiastic about the award nominations thus far. It certainly has been fun writing these posts. It has also helped me to get back into the swing of things, especially since the past few weeks have been exhausting and not all that pleasant. I’ve definitely been feeling very under the yucky weather.

Having already taken a couple of days sick leave at the beginning of the week, I sat up in bed one morning towards the end of last week, and was almost knocked backwards with a horrible dizziness and nausea. Thinking that I was perhaps very hungry, I dragged myself woozily downstairs to make some breakfast and tried to eat it. Half-way through my muesli and not feeling any better, I tried to put my head on the table. That usually works on dizziness right? Nope. I felt so ill, and yet the nausea was not the kind to make me want to throw up. It was horrible. I lugged my body back upstairs and crawled back into bed. I stayed there for another age and finally got up gradually around four in the afternoon. Actually, this time of year, I think we call that evening over here.

I hear that my symptoms were down to a bug that’s going round. I haven’t apparently been the only one to be KO’d by this monster. It took me days to get over the feeling of dizziness. I didn’t dare drive or anything. Hopefully that bug’s defeated for the winter. Hope those of you falling towards winter out there are wrapping up warm and are not inhaling germs from people who indiscriminately sneeze into others’ faces. Ugh. So inconsiderate. And disgusting. Please icky people on the Underground, smother your germs.

Aaanyway public health announcement over and, without further ado, let’s get onto the final award. The first three nominations posts are herehere and here. And the first ever, almost five months ago, is here. So feel free to check these out too for some great weekend reading, if you haven’t already done so!

The supremely creative Matt Gajdoš of Mister G Kids, in his nomination spree, put me forward for the Kreativ Blogger award which I graciously accept with thanks. More about his blog here and here! And in the spirit of all things creative, here are my three nominations:

Kreativ Blogger Award

  • All About Ami – Stephanie is about as sweet as her delightfully cute amigurumi creations. If you love crocheted things, you will love this site. And there will be a long awaited first addition to the family this month, how exciting!
  • How About Orange – Jessica, a graphic and textile designer, has a bright and fresh blog  featuring craft projects, lots of inspiration for people who like to create and not a little bit of orange.
  • ziggyshortcrust – Last but definitively not least, the blog of my first blog friend ever. Ziggy is a friend of elves for a start, but there is so much more to discover than first meets the eye. For a start, she elfed my imaginary daughter for me. Just check this out to see what I’m talking about for yourself.

Thank you to everyone for taking your time to read and comment and like. Welcome to friends old and new! I do really appreciate your being here. Have a restful weekend.


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Please help!

If you are following my blog through your WordPress reader and this post appears in it, please simply click like. My reader is still dodgy and I was wondering whether I’m the only one 😥

Thank you!

Super Thursday

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Apparently today is called Super Thursday in the publishing world. The highest number of books are published on this day each year, in time to be purchased for stuffing into our Christmas stockings. I just loved the idea of a super day. It’s not been that super at all today. We’ve had grey skies and drizzle all day, bit of a damp, dreary, limp and wimpish Thursday if you ask me. However, well.. the BBC news says it’s super…so, how about we take a breather, make a cuppa and make the rest of it super eh?

I thought it would be fun to share the best piece of spam I’ve received in my comments to date. Actually, I wasn’t too sure it wasn’t genuine, except for the fact that it was linked to some random website full of nonsense. I mean I am wonderful, tremendous and frankly super, although I have been finding myself to be kinda boring recently. So…technically… this could be applicable to me:

Hello, you used to write wonderful, but the last several posts have been kinda boring! I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

LOL. Oh, and when one has a day off…one tends to over compensate by taking too much time over melting cheese and such like. Today, I ate chunky peanut butter, ham and cheese toasties with a fried egg and a side salad of tomato and sweet yellow pepper.

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I’m curious to know – will you be gifting an e-reader this Christmas or are you a traditionalist when it comes to books? Do you still read newspapers or are you more likely to frequent news sites or perhaps you read everything on an app? Have a super Thursday!

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What are you looking forward to today?

I wasn’t brought up on McDonalds or any fast food options that are so readily available today. McDonalds was an extremely inefficient way to spend the family’s limited resources. In fact, it still is today in most European cities. A standard meal in London is definitely not cheap.

I do still treat McDonalds like a special treat now in adulthood. It always feels special to bite into their “French Fries” and I feel lazy and overindulgent if I eat there more than once in a while.

But let me not hide the fact that I am almost due another free tea…I guard my sticker cards as though they were real currency. Each time I get a cup of tea, I don’t relax until I have safely added the sticker to the collection in my purse. I’m not usually partial to fizzy drinks because they make me feel bloated (although I do always make an exception for a nice cloudy lemonade). However, eating a McDonalds meal with a cup of tea definitely feels very civilised and grown up.

McDo's

McDo's

 

McDo's

My favourite sauce. Not only do I like the taste, I love the recent update in packaging. The hot pink makes me happy!

So today, I am not sharing anything particularly creative with you (although I have something fun I can’t wait to show and tell soon). I am simply going to confess that I’m really looking forward to going window shopping and having a McDonalds meal of some sort after work tonight. And…if you see some girl standing in front of the menu for ages, unable to decide what to get, that could possibly be me. It often gets to the point where the staff behind the counter have given up calling out to me and are just looking at me funny. It is supposed to be fast food after all…except that it is never fast on my end. I am still that little girl for whom eating fast food counts as a special treat 🙂

What are your simple, special treats?