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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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.

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!

This gallery contains 10 photos


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Frivolity and friendship (3) …with a facelift

As you may be able to see, if you are not viewing my page on a mobile device, I gave the blog layout a makeover this past week. Well, some WordPress contributor has given me a big hand really. It’s more my style than before. I hope that doesn’t disappoint. The pink-ness and ribbon-ness of the last dabble was not me at all. I’m not at all cute in real life. Just as cheesiness usually makes me cringe. I do love buttons though. But well, I love white and clean and crisp. So. This is more me. And more of me will probably emerge as time goes on…as I also get bored of me from time to time. We shall see.

There, that was a little peek into my mind. Now onto the important task of nominations to award number three of four. The first two nominations posts are here and here. And there was one way back here as well. I don’t want you to forget those others. And as I said, watch out for a new page – I’m working on it!

Thanks again to Matt Gajdoš of Mister G Kids who nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. I featured him initially here and again here. Do not hesitate to take a look at his wonderful comics of the kids he teaches. Matt is super talented. I’ll forgive him just this once for initially thinking I was a man…seeing as he’s given me the opportunity to nominate some lovely bloggers as follows:

Versatile Blogger Award

  • Chez Chloe – Wendy’s delicious blog full of travels and great adventures in the kitchen.
  • hillsandhotchocolate – Roxy is a midwife who will not be kept indoors. Visit her blog for a wonderful breath of fresh air!
  • ANXIETY & BISCUITS – Need some sharp British humour? I found Chris when he was FP’d and couldn’t stop laughing clicking all the way backwards through his posts 😉

So there you have it. Another mini sample of the things I love in the vast blogosphere. Ugh what a word. Sorry. Just had to try using it. Bleugh. It leaves a horrible taste in my mouth. I won’t be using that again. I hope you enjoy the little stash of blogs I’ve collected, enjoy your weekend reading!


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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 😀


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Rain, rain go away…

I’m sitting at a window, looking out at a blue sky with puffy clouds in it. For two days running, the weather forecast for London has been somewhat incorrect. The heavy rains they threatened yesterday did not materialise. Thankfully. There was a bit of drizzle. That’s all. Today, there were supposed to be white clouds with some sunny spells…it’s mostly been nice bright blue skies decorated with puffy clouds and sunshine.

Am I complaining? No. In some parts of the country, there has been enough surface water for some to take to jet-skiing. Not good. Summer is definitely over. For now. The sunshine does not bring warmth, and we’ve had chilly winds all week. Monday was absolutely freezing. The rain was like ice. Sort of.

Ode To Summer

So I just wanted to brighten things up a bit. Thoughts of summer are definitely in order. Just reminiscing about some of the colours of sunshine. And I’m hoping some of you who read this from up north are ok, in the midst of all the devastating flooding 😦


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Phew…

I’m back! Well, I’m feeling a bit tentative, as I’m going to have to adjust my schedule a little again from Saturday. However, I want to be back, so I’m here!

I’ve actually climbed back into relative normality for almost two weeks now, since falling off the blog-wagon, but just could not bring myself to write. Instead, I took solace in catching up with the hundreds of posts that I’d missed over the month. It’s got to the point where I just could not wait to get back into writing – I’ve missed being a part of the community and making my contribution to the conversations.

It’s been too long. When I was in the middle of catching up with things, this cartoon stopped me in my tracks:

What’s your Question, Honey? By Matt Gajdoš

What’s your Question, Honey? By Matt Gajdoš – featured with permission

I’m sure this was actually a portrait of me, whilst faced with the prospect of blogging again. It’s from one of my favourite bloggers, Matt Gajdoš whose blog I featured here. It made me smile and feel that I wasn’t alone, even if it might mean my peers are the elementary school kids that Matt teaches. Hey, if they can do it, so can I right?

And then, talking about inspiration, there is Laura Williams, a super talented artist who draws the most beautiful portraits of horses and dogs (here‘s one of her latest that I love – it’s not even finished and it looks amazing already.) Note, she’s just started accepting orders for commissioned pet portraits for Christmas. Really, do take a look. I love how her portraits are so soulful and alive. I always feel as though I can reach through the screen to stroke the animals and they will respond! Not only is Laura very gifted, she’s also most generous. She nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award whilst I was away doing nothing to my blog. I’m so thankful for your encouragement, Laura!

I have been owing an award post for a while now, since Matt of the above nominated me irrationally for a few at the same time. (I can’t believe that post was way back in June…uh…sorry for the delay Matt, and thank you again!) I’m sure there is some big award rule out there that says you can’t do that, but I’m not going to complain.

I thought writing about other blogs would be a great way to return to writing, because the community of lovely blogging people and the great stuff out there is what makes me want to keep on keeping on. So I’m going to start a real awards train – I’ll spend 5 posts nominating blogs I enjoy that for me, can be described by those awards, starting hopefully from next week (because if I don’t hit publish in the next five minutes, I will never get started again!) I’ll be breaking every rule in the book in the process as I don’t have anything exciting to write about me, and I’m not going to look up each award’s rules for how many people you’re allowed to nominate…I’m going to wing it!

Happy weekend! Thanks for having me back and for reading even though I’ve been so quiet. I truly truly appreciate it 🙂


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FACES

Many apologies to any sufferers of arachnophobia out there reading this. I am not a huge fan of spiders, but I usually only panic if one drops down in front of my face or onto my bed.

I feel uncomfortable finding spiders in places I feel they don’t belong – like in the bathtub – but I’m perfectly ok with them outside. A bit like how I love wildflowers in a meadow of tall grasses, but I know people will disapprove if I allow my own patch of ‘green’ to become so unkempt!

Out of all the small multiple-legged creatures on this beautiful planet, spiders are my least un-favourite – here in the UK at least, where wild mushrooms are generally more dangerous (thankfully)! Spiders are industrious and solitary (unlike ants – who are industrious, but scarily overwhelming if they bring their friends), they are clean (unlike my pet hate, the fly), they can be intricately and wondrously patterned (see below) and I actually find them quite fascinating.

At my last place of abode, I happily shared all my window sills (there were a grand total of two) with these friendly jumping spiders (you can click through if you like, but I’ll limit the visual assault to one). As long as they didn’t stray onto my bed, I tolerated them as they also didn’t seem to weave webs anywhere, they just seemed to enjoy bungee jumping.

I was struggling with today’s theme of faces until I found this beauty weaving its magic over a car side mirror in the brilliant August sunshine. In fact, the August sunshine (yes, I said it again because how often do we get to say August sunshine?) I could not see the screen of my camera as I took the photo the SUNSHINE was so bright, so I’m pretty chuffed with the result!

#17 | FACES

Photo A Day Aug | FACES thisislemonade.wordpress.com

[This post is one in a series inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day challenge. I’m exploring ideas and often writing off the back of the idea of the day. It’s a chance to relax a bit in August but also do something slightly different. If you take part let me know – I’d love to see how you get creative with the daily posts!]


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FOOD

I was busy melting cheese all last week. I love cheese. Did I mention that before? But then honestly, I don’t know anyone that does not love some good oozy melted cheese. Even one of my best friends, who is lactose intolerant, will take some Piriton so that we can go out for pizza.

So I had some left over tomato salsa-like salad left over from the weekend, and decided to make a lovely snack last Monday. The tomatoes had been finely diced and dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil and cayenne pepper. By the time I was assembling this, they had marinated in this goodness for 24 hours.

I put the bread into the toaster for 2 minutes, then sprinkled grated cheddar on top and put the tomatoes over that. That way the toast would not get soggy, because I don’t like soggy toast. Then it was 5 more minutes under a moderate grill. And need I tell you it was delicious? Well it was!

And because I took a photo and kept going back to salivate over it, I ended up making variations on the theme all week, including cheese and coleslaw toasted bun, and toasted ham, cheese and pea shoot salad! It’s really not rocket science…which makes it all the more moorish to enjoy with a good cup of tea 🙂

#16 | FOOD

Photo A Day Aug | FOOD thisislemonade.wordpress.com

[This post is one in a series inspired by Fat Mum Slim’s photo a day challenge. I’m exploring ideas and often writing off the back of the idea of the day. It’s a chance to relax a bit in August but also do something slightly different. If you take part let me know – I’d love to see how you get creative with the daily posts!]