Stop rowing the boat!

comments 7
Acceptance / compassion / depression / harmony

I have been thinking about persistence, perseverance, resilience and the like. All good things, I am sure you would agree.

Do you remember the Olympics a few years back when one of the rowers actually stopped rowing and caused her team to lose the race? She received lots of negative publicity. My question is, is it ever okay to say ‘I can’t give anymore energy to this’ ?

Today I was pulling out some weeds in the garden and decided I would be happy to get the job half done. But then I thought I would do some more but couldn’t quite complete the job. Of course, I could have kept going but I chose not to. It wasn’t that important to me and the weeds will still be there tomorrow.

But what about more important issues such as a work situation or a big challenge you have taken on? Is it weak to quit? Or is it healthy to know when enough is enough? When I have experienced periods of depression in the past it is usually my first inclination to want to quit doing just about everything. In a case like this, is it weakness to give in to the urge to quit?

What I find challenging about this topic is that in the past I thought it was okay to quit but now I wonder if I could’ve been tougher! I know there are many layers to the questions I have asked and there are many strategies to consider but the main issue for me is to not rush into quitting too quickly as I may find I can actually achieve what I want if I stick to it for just a little bit longer!

Time to write!

comments 6
Acceptance / Australia / Friends and family / Gratitude / Music

It is weeks since I wrote anything on my blog! Not necessarily a bad thing. Instead I decided to start a hand-written journal to capture some of the experiences of living through a pandemic. A strange experience for all of us and continues to be pervasive one way or another.

As I go about my day I think of things to blog about but before I know it, the day has gone. One thing that struck me recently was the concept of ownership – a new perspective for me. I sometimes ‘google’ the addresses of places I used to live and quite often the houses come up from the most recent real estate listing. You can do a walk-through of at least two of my former homes. I have even found some homes where my grandparents lived in the 1920’s!

Getting back to ‘ownership’ – I look at my former homes with a sense of permanence even though I only lived in them for a short time. One house in Melbourne we only lived in for 12 months – 40 years ago! The people we sold it to still live there. Any yet that house appears in my dreams and has grown in my imagination.

I shared this rental home with another couple in the 1970’s

In actual fact these homes were just a roof over our heads for a period of time before the next family moved in and it became ‘theirs’. We can’t lay any claim of ownership on our friends or family either. We are just fortunate to share some parts of our lives with them. Perhaps it is a sign of me getting older and a sense of gratitude for the people I share my time with. Things we purchase can be useful and even beautiful but they do not last forever.

I got hooked on this song 6 or so months ago (it kept turning up wherever I went) and maybe it sums up what I am trying to say …

And now for something completely different!

comments 9
emotions / family traditions / food and diets

I went into a shop today and the first items I saw were bags of Snowballs. I told my son I bought some and he asked me what they were. I thought everyone knew but just in case, here are a couple of photos.

Food has all sorts of purposes and meaning in our lives. My dad loved Snowballs. In fact it is one of the last things I remember him eating when I last saw him a few weeks before he died at 89 years old. When I visited I often brought him Snowballs and for my mum it was ginger chocolates!

In case you haven’t come across them before they are balls of marshmallow dipped in chocolate and then rolled in coconut. Sometimes they are advertised as “fat free” which almost makes them sound healthy.

Here is a little video on how to make them. This one uses bought marshmallows but my mum used to make her own.

Yum!

Stormy Weather!

comments 13
Acceptance / gardening / Nature

I have been watching my palm trees flourish over about six years. We had some wild weather overnight and woke to find some carnage in the back patio. I was quite shocked as we are rather fond of our palms. After a few hours of thinking about what to do next (can’t find a replacement for the broken one) we have a little project on our hands – and we all need projects at the moment :). Maybe it is time to transplant four of them (the casualties) into bigger pots and rethink their colours and positions.

We are fortunate considering that some people had a lot more damage to their properties and long power outages.

Uncertain Times

comments 7
Acceptance / depression / emotions / Meaning and Purpose

Our World has faced an unprecedented time these last few months due to Covid19. Each country has been impacted differently and has responded in its own way. Only history will help us see what we could have done better and what were our good decisions.

My life hasn’t changed enormously but there have been some changes in the daily routines. We have missed the luxury of being able to go to the gym. I had been going regularly for about 18 months and found it to be really good for my mental health and well-being. I also feel a bit fitter too!

The retirement community where I live has been very quiet with very few guests passing through. The lock-down has created a feeling of solidarity among residents and greater desire to say hello and chat when the opportunity arises.

Now there is talking about relaxing restrictions. In many ways we do want that to happen, but not too quickly – for safety sake but also I have come to like the SLOW life and not sure I can pick up the fast pace again.

Anyway, I shall take each day as it comes and enjoy what it has to offer!

Photo by Sophie Xiang on Facebook

What does it mean to be a writer?

comments 9
Acceptance / all about words / Balance / Blogging / life long learning / mistakes

I haven’t really thought about this question until now. On completing a five week course in Creative Writing today I am almost ready to hang up my pen! I didn’t research the course in great depth as I just thought it would be great to do during this time of home isolation. In fact the course was geared very much toward writing fiction novels and the development of character, scenes, point of view, momentum etc.

I found that the only way I could develop a character was to base it on the character I know best – ME! That got me thinking and I quickly realised I am not in the least bit interested in writing fiction. I have often thought of the possibility of writing a memoir but I am not even sure about that now.

I have had this idea of “writing” in the background (the name of my blog for example!!!) for many years but maybe it is time to take a different path. After all, why do people write memoirs? Is it to reassure themselves their lives had some meaning and purpose? Or is it to reconcile life’s experience and to find peace at its conclusion?

Maybe it is the COVID 19 affect that is perhaps making me stop and think about where I am headed and to look at possible alternatives for the future. that can’t be a bad thing.

Just for Today (8)

comments 7
Acceptance / Balance / Gratitude / Just for Today

8. Just for Today, I will have a programme. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests – Hurry and Indecision.

Author Unknown

I am finding that having a ‘to do’ list is really helpful in this time of being isolated at home. I have done some really mundane tasks that were at the bottom of my priorities but it felt good to get them done. I also plan some leisure time and exploring hobbies that haven’t progressed much in the past. For example I have tools and guidelines for calligraphy but haven’t invested much time or effort. Today I decided to go back to basics and start afresh – take time to check I have the right pens, ink, instructions etc. It turns out I have all I need so I just need to practise.

A Favourite Beach

comments 5
Acceptance / Balance / Gratitude / harmony / Health

Needed to get out of the house today and enjoyed a short break at the beach. I took a few photos with my phone and edited (cropped) each of them a little differently. The bottom right was just taken from a different angle from where I was standing and the sun reappeared. What is it about the beach that is so calming – especially when there’s not many people about?

Just for Today (7)

comments 5
Acceptance / Balance / Fashion, Colour / Friends and family / Just for Today

How are you holding up with the current restrictions? It seems that most people are finding some positives in slowing down the normally fast pace of life.

Here is another quote for your consideration/reflection:

7. Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low,  act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit  nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.

Author Unknown
Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Just for Today (6)

comments 4
Acceptance / Balance / Friends and family / harmony / Just for Today

6. Just for Today, I will exercise my soul in three ways, to wit:

(a) I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.

(b) I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests just for exercise.

(c) I will not show any one that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Author Unknown

Something to think about during this strange time with Covid 19!

Photo by Ikhsan Sugiarto on Pexels.com

Just for Today (4)

comments 3
Acceptance / creativity / Fashion, Colour / Just for Today

Here is another quote :

4. Just for Today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it nor neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.

Author Unknown

With all the current restrictions it is hard to keep up the good habits. I can’t go to the gym but I can go for a walk. Not quite the same though. It is tempting to start baking yummy food with the excuse that I need a ‘treat’! It would be so easy to gain a few kilos.

On the other hand I think it is good to get up and do my usual routine of doing my hair and dressing reasonably well – it makes me feel better anyway.

Don’t think I will ever achieve the “perfect machine” as the quote says but hopefully fit and well enough to fight off the pesky bugs turning our lives up-side-down!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Just for Today (3)

comments 2
Balance / creativity / emotions / Friends and family / Just for Today

3. Just for Today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.

Author Unknown

How did you go yesterday with remembering you are as happy as you make up your mind to be? Confession time – I didn’t do so well but the quote kept coming to mind so I wasn’t totally unaware that my happiness is in my own hands.

Just for Today

comments 4
Acceptance / Balance / life long learning

Like most people, I am looking at new ways to fill my days at home and new ways of shaping my attitude. When I was a little girl I remember finding an article in the Readers Digest that grabbed my attention (note – I was an unusually deep thinker as a child).

I now want to share one of these each day and try to live one each day as well.

Today’s quote is:

1. Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

Author unknown.

It ended before it started …

comments 5
Acceptance / Gratitude / Meaning of life and that stuff / Philosophy

Since late 2019 I have been preparing to deliver a Course for our local University of the Third Age called “Unleash Your Creative Spirit”. I put myself through the course for the second time and allowed all sorts of creative ideas to flourish. In some ways I turned my house upside down in the process. I have already shared some of those experiences in previous blogs.

Eighteen people enrolled and I divided them into two groups – morning and afternoon. It was due to start this Thursday 26 March and run for eight weeks (2 hours per fortnight).

I don’t think I need to tell you the cause of the cancellation! We can never predict what is going to happen from one day to the next. I am sure that is a lesson we are all coming to terms with in the time of this pandemic. It is really challenging my expectations of how I would like the world to be. I am trying to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can. I have taken comfort in the Stoic philosophers and the following quote in particular:

THE BEST RETREAT IS IN HERE, NOT OUT THERE!

The Daily Stoic message for 21 March says:

“People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, or in the mountains. You are very much in the habit of yearning for those same things. But this is entirely the trait of a base person, when you can, at any moment, find such a retreat in yourself. For nowhere can you find a more peaceful and less busy retreat than in your own soul – especially if on close inspection it is filled with ease, which I say is nothing more than being well ordered. Treat yourself often to this retreat and be renewed.’

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

Former Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher.

Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

New photo app I found

comments 3
beautiful / collages / creativity / Holidays / Just for fun / life long learning / Photography / South Western Australia

I needed to do a collage of photos and so went looking online. I found an app that is fairly easy to use and I am having fun learning what I can do with it.

Here are some wildflowers from our region:

Here is an image of some of the popular tourist attractions where I live:

The app is called Phototastic (I am not making any money out this post!). I signed up for a free trial for 7 days.

Brothers …

comments 13
Cohuna Victoria / family history / Friends and family / Writing

I am the youngest of five children with two sisters and two brothers. This story goes back to when we were kids.Somehow my brothers had me twisted around their little fingers.

For example they would con me into polishing their shoes. I would spend ages doing it and waiting for their approval which was very hard to get.

I remember we had an old cupboard in our yard (no longer useful in the house) and I used to love playing “house” (as a good 1950’s girl would do) and the cupboard was the central prop. My brothers got some ferrets (which I didn’t like at all) and they convinced me that they needed the cupboard to keep the ferrets in. I think they may have given me one shilling (ten cents) in exchange. I think they got the better deal!

My brothers had a lot of friends that used to hang out at our place. As long as I remained inconspicuous they didn’t mind me tagging along. That was fun and had a sense of danger!

Another time they had some friends around – I was a bit older, about 12 I think – and they dared me to smoke a cigarette. They were all smoking and promised to give me 10 shillings if I could smoke a cigarette and do the draw-back. I was a willing student and to their surprise they had to hand over 10 shillings. It went a long way in the 1960’s. That was my first ever cigarette (it was a roll your own one at that), and unfortunately I later took up the habit. I have been off them from a long time now.

The other memory I have is of my stubbornness when it came to swearing. I absolutely refused. They tried many times to bribe me without success. The first time I was known to swear effectively was when I was in my late 30’s in an argument with a politician!

Both brothers joined the armed forces around the time of the Vietnam War – one in the Royal Australian Army and one in the Royal Australian Navy. I didn’t see a lot of them at that time.

I think I am lucky to have had two brothers and two sisters. I believe it has helped me in being able to relate to men and women plus lots of interesting memories from growing up.

The five of us – taken about 15 years ago.

What is blogging about for me?

comments 17
all about words / Anonymity / Balance / Blogging / family history / Gratitude / privacy / sharing

I started this blog about ten years ago with the idea it would be an avenue for me to write regularly. At times I DO write regularly however it often has quiet spells where I have nothing to much to say. Do you ever get asked “What is blogging anyway?” I try to answer it but I can’t find adequate words to describe the experience.

Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com

Last year I was leading a philosophy discussion group so I often felt inclined to share snippets on my blog. This year I am leading a group looking into creativity so that’s why a lot of my recent posts are on that topic.

There I so many people I have “met” through blogging that have become a valued part of my everyday life. I look forward to reading their posts and admiring their photos and stories.

When I first started posting I was very open and shared a lot of personal ideas, feelings and experiences. Today I am a little less adventurous. I have been “found” online by various people who know me personally so it is not anonymous. The world is a small place and I need to be considerate and not write stuff that may hurt or malign anyone (unless of course they are politicians!)

So where does that leave me if I want to share my innermost thoughts and feelings? Perhaps I could disguise them as fiction or go back to an old fashioned journal. I do have an online journal that is confidential and a good space to debrief. However I do like the feedback a blog provides when someone reads and likes a post and understands what I am on about.

What do you say when someone asks you what a blog is? I would love to be able to provide a quick and easy response to that question!

A SPECIAL GIFT

Leave a comment
compassion / creativity / Meaning and Purpose / Meaning of life and that stuff / Nature / Poetry

The pretty blue fairy wrens had nothing to do

When one of them spotted a pretty blue stone

One said “I will fly close and inspect it for you”

He soon called out for help to carry it home.

Just at that moment very close by, a little girl is born

She is very sick and might not live

Her parents are indeed quite forlorn

The fairy wrens decide they have something important to give.

They magically carry the precious blue stone to the babe

And cleverly hide it in her tiny navel

They disappear quickly into a nearby cave

And wait for news via twitter or cable.

The little girl is now better and going home to stay

Her lovely eyes are becoming a pretty shade of blue

The tiny blue stone glows within her each and every day

As she gets older the wrens decide to give her a clue.

She learns that the little blue stone

Is full of love, wisdom, truth, beauty and kindness

It is always there to help her when she feels so alone

It frequently helps her out of a mess.

Inside she becomes beautiful, wise, honest, loving and kind

But others don’t seem to know about her little blue stone

She wants to tell them, if they look carefully, they too will find

There is a special gift inside each of us waiting to lovingly bring us home.

NB. Looking back through my old writing files and came across this one I thought I would share.

Going back in order to go forward

comments 3
Acceptance / creativity / creativity enhancement / emotions / Friends and family

Barbara Mallon (A Year of Creativity) says that:

Sometimes in order to go forward you have to go back to earlier times when the path you were starting out on was still covered in virgin snow.

She poses the following questions and suggests you write your responses in your Creative Year Journal. I will include my answers to the questions in this blog.

My favourite childhood game was…. “let’s pretend.” This included dress-ups, shop keepers, TV characters …

The best TV program I saw as a child was … Lassie Come Home or Black Velvet or Mr Ed. I also loved Popeye cartoons …

My earliest memory of school was … my very first day! I did not want to stay there and I got stuck into Sister Kevin by kicking and screaming – much to my mother’s horror!

The toy I loved most was … paper dolls that you could dress in paper dresses (anyone remember them?), dolls & teddy bears, musical jewelry box and wind-up toys.

If I had the perfect childhood I would have grown up to be … the person I am now but maybe would have got there a bit quicker in a more favorable environment.

The best gift anyone could have given me as a child would have been … their full and undivided attention.

NB My answers included multiple items whereas the questions mostly asked for one thing. I couldn’t decide so included those strongest in my memory.

Even if you don’t want to blog your answers you may enjoy giving some thought to what your answers might be. My answers were a surprise to me!

Favourite Colours

Leave a comment
AFL / Art / Australia / Australian Rules Football / creativity / creativity enhancement

What are your favourite colours? Do you have them liberally spread throughout your home?

The book, A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon asks:

Are you sensitive to colours (colors) that go together or colours that clash?

Brenda Mallon

That got me thinking about my home and the colours I have chosen throughout. I took some pics to give a sample of what appeals to me. None of these choices came from logic – they were all from the heart!

So there is blue, yellow, orange and white background. A long time ago someone told me that yellow or gold are positive, happy colours and I believe that is true. Mixing the golds with blue and orange, to me at least, is striking! When our gold curtains were installed I was rather shocked at their bold statement but I have never regretted getting them!

Magpie

comments 2
Australia / Garden / Magpies / Poetry

Daddy Magpie

It is a blissful day to fly

The sun shines on my wings – the shiny black feathers and the gleaming white

I am proud of who I am!

I hear movement in the house beyond -the human is out and about

I know I am safe – we have history

She feeds my youngest who squeaks all day

I trust her – she’s okay

She looks at me and I at her

I wonder why she doesn’t fly

She walks about the yard

Without any attempt – she doesn’t even try!

Emotional Landscape

Leave a comment
Acceptance / creativity / depression / flowers / Western Australia

What words would you use to describe your emotional landscape e.g. rocky, barren, overcast, filled with sunshine?

A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon

My response:

Calm as the waters of Geographe Bay

Stormy as the waves at Yallingup Beach

Light and bright as the Spring wildflowers

Gloomy as the clouds with strong winds buffeting me about.

Of course it is an ever changing scene with sometimes all four occurring in the one day! Now I would welcome a glimpse at YOUR landscape 🙂

Trusting creative ideas? Mmm …

comments 4
creativity / creativity enhancement / finding your passion / You must be kidding?

I have been revamping my room (formerly called ‘my office’) to be a more creative space. Recently I bought a lovely new mat and was concerned the wheels on my ‘office’ chair might damage it.

I started looking for a swivel chair without wheels. I looked at hundreds of sites but found very few. I found one that is quite unusual but discovered it would cost me over $200 to have it delivered. Then the company had 48 hours free transport. I made the decision to choose the unusual one and get it delivered.

It arrived today and needed some putting together but now I am wondering if I was too impulsive.

Should I have been more sensible? I have found a spot for the bears at least! This could end up being a bigger project with me totally reoganising my room to suit the chair. I think I will sleep on it (not the chair)!

Translating Creative Ideas into Action

comments 2
creativity / Western Australia

If you get an idea that inspires you to do something creative, what is your first response? “A Year of Creativity by Brenda Mallon”

I would be interested to hear your responses to the above question. I sat down and wrote a reply straight away. My computer is almost always where I head first to do some research and then some more research!

Next I will print out what information or images are most relevant to what I want. If that is a bundle of paper I will put it in a file and give it a name. What happens next may well be the more important question! Sometimes I will get discouraged but other times I may leave the ideas to incubate for some time.

It seems that this year (2020) is the time I will get these folders out and dust them off and come up with some action plans. One idea in particular comes to mind, and that is drawing ground images of rivers as viewed from above – bird’s eye view.

Photo by Svanur Gabriele on Pexels.com

PS Confession here – I shared my ideas with a friend who is an accomplished artist and she showed me several of her paintings she had done on this topic. I became discouraged – but I haven’t written it off!

Creativity can involve hard work!

comments 6
all about words / Cohuna Victoria / creativity / family history / finding your passion

Some time ago I found some letters my mother wrote to me in the early 1980’s. We didn’t have phone access as we were living in a remote community in North West Australia so we tended to write to each other regularly instead.

Over time I have collated the letters, numbered the pages of the 38 letters and then scanned them last week with a photo scanning app. It took me ages but now I have captured them electronically it feels great.

My plan is to include these letters on another blog I have started (Stories from Letters) but it is not public yet and may not be for quite a while. The purpose is to capture some family memories in a space other family members can visit. It will help with my overall idea of some sort of memoir. I am open to however it may develop.

Below is a sample – just the first page, of one of the letters. My Mum passed away in 2005 but as I read the letters I can see her so clearly!

to be continued …

Progress on the Creative Space

comments 4
Balance / creativity / creativity enhancement / finding your passion / Flow / Just for fun

Recently I wrote about enhancing our environment to best support creativity. I am gradually making changes to my “office” (might need to change what I call the space!) to encourage me to be more creative.

This week I made a simple change and it has made all the difference. I have three desks in my room and I set up one with various creative projects that I started (and not completed). The space didn’t feel right until I moved my files for the two committees I do volunteer ‘work’ for. Once I moved them it felt so much better!

I also purchased a new mat for the floor. I was going to replace the carpet but the mat seemed so much easier and I got instant gratification without all the hassle of moving furniture etc.

I love my new mat!

Once the space felt right I spent some time there looking through my past projects. About four years ago I attempted to make a start on a memoir. I got as far as writing two pages of information for each decade of my life up until then. It made it seem manageable to do it that way. I printed out the pages I had written and put them in a nice new file. I found other bits and pieces (journal writing bits and pieces) that I was able to add to it. Who know where it may lead!

The two bears are there to remind me to have fun but also I don’t know where else to put them! I have been known for collecting teddy bears :).

Finding Balance & Creativity

comments 5
Balance / Books / creativity

I have two elements in mind with this post: psychological and physical.

One of the things that has scares me a bit about creativity is getting caught up in it! I remember as a teenager making my own clothes. I would get so carried away I could not stop until I finished the job! Sound familiar to anyone? I think it is being “in the flow” where nothing else matters except what is in front of you. Not such a bad thing in a world full of distractions.

The other element being physical – in this case, in creating an environment that is pleasant and comfortable to work/create in I am faced with the dilemma of having too many books. Some may say we can never have too many books! Books that I am unlikely to read again. I look at them and think, “That was a great book. I may want to share it with someone one day and I will get annoyed that I disposed of it.” Can you relate to that? I could pass them on to our Village Library but I don’t. Is it selfish to hang onto them when others might get pleasure from reading them? I don’t know!

Creative Enhancement

comments 4
creativity enhancement

A little book called “A Year of Creativity” by Brenda Mallon (Andrews McMeel Publishing) sits on my desk. A friend has lent it to me for ideas for the course I will be leading this term. It is rich with ideas and suggestions to explore. It is divided into twelve chapters and I thought I would share Chapter 5 (or Month 5 as the book calls it) titled Creative Enhancement.

There is a little questionnaire below (with my responses) from the chapter:

  • Have you got fresh flowers in your home? NO
  • Have you got any pictures hanging on your walls? YES
  • Have you got any photographs in your room? YES
  • Are you wearing clothes that delight you? NO but they are okay!
  • Can you smell your favourite perfume? NO
  • Have you got an inspirational book by your bed? NO but does a book on Stoicism count?
  • Have you listened to any special music in the last 24 hours? NO
  • How long is it since you went for a walk in the countryside or by the sea? TOO LONG since I live in the country and close to the beach.
  • When was the last time your prepared yourself some special food? TODAY (some lovely fresh fish).
  • Are the clothes you are wearing comfortable and pleasing to you? YES they are okay.

The writer goes on to say if we are not cherishing these things then our lives may be diminished. I need to take note and work on the areas where I didn’t fare too well.

Building a Creative Space

comments 9
creativity

I am up to Unit 6 in the Unleashing Your Creative Spirit course I am doing through U3Aonline. It was this course that inspired me to take on the 30 Day Creativity Challenge which was great fun!

The course material says:

Having a dedicated space for your creative outlet has many benefits…Make a conscious effort to surround yourself with the tools and resources you require.

Unleashing Your Creative Spirit, U3A online

There were multiple suggestions so I will include a sample:

  • computer with web page building and graphics programs
  • notice board for ideas and to-do lists plus photos and cards from loved ones
  • calendar, diary
  • sticky notes in lots of different colours
  • paint brushes, charcoal, coloured pencils, markers
  • writing ideas notebook
  • coloured paper clips and staples
  • hole punch, containers and magazines holders to help organise things
  • small drawers to hold craft and stationery items
  • folders and sheet protectors

Have I missed anything important? What would your creative space look like?

Day 30 Creativity Challenge

comments 6
30 day creativity challenge

For more info on the Challenge click HERE

Today’s topic is writing fiction

I first met Brian when I was about ten years old. There was a knock at the door and I raced to be the first to open it. When I saw him I drew back – he was a stranger and I was shy all of a sudden. He asked to see my mum. She didn’t invite him in but went outside to speak with him in private.

Later on she told us who he was: her long lost brother, Brian. She hadn’t seen him for thirty years. When they were growing up there were ten kids in the family and Uncle Brian was just one too many. My grandfather died when he was in his early fifties and my grandmother was overwhelmed with so many mouths to feed. He was sent to live with an aunt in Western Australia, 3000 kilometers away.

He rented a unit in our home town and we gradually got to know him and his cat, Megs. There was a sadness about him even though there was often a smile on his face. He’d never married. He didn’t talk much about his past but always listened to our stories of childhood adventures. Evidently he spent some time working in the mines. He had that deep, wrinkled suntan.

One day after school we stopped by his place and saw a police car out the front. We crept up to the veranda to hear what they were saying. Surely he wouldn’t do anything bad! They sounded friendly and there were few laughs – even the police were laughing! What on earth could it be?

Brian, all smiles now, saw the police off and waved them goodbye. He said to hop in his old car and he would drive us home. He said he would tell us what happened when we got home to mum and dad; and he did!

A member of the public had handed in a box of stuff belonging to Brian that was lost during his move. In searching the contents to identify the owner, they found a lottery ticket. A story in the daily paper told of an anonymous winner of $10 million. He or she hadn’t come forward to collect their prize.

The policeman checked the numbers on the ticket with the winning numbers and they matched perfectly with the ticket from Uncle Brian’s box. That was one house visit they really enjoyed and would never forget. And we would never forget how happy he was that day.

Uncle Brian was thrilled with his new fortune. He bought himself a new house and some new clothes. He even bought himself a new car – except it wasn’t new – he was happy with a secondhand one! The money didn’t change him much but he loved being able to help family and other people who were doing it tough.

PS Thanks for supporting my 30 Day Creativity Challenge. It has been great fun!

Day 29 Creativity Challenge

comments 7
30 day creativity challenge

For more info about the Challenge click HERE

Today’s topic: Creative Fashion?

I don’t claim to be up with the fashions but sometimes I like to experiment. I bought myself a new handbag today – I loved the colour – sort of ochre brown. It has four different compartments. I decided to have one for essentials (car keys, sunnies etc.) The second one is for a spare carry bag, comb, pens etc. – not things I need everyday (I do comb my hair everyday but not with that one!). I decided to use one of the outside compartments for my mobile phone (leaving one spare).

From previous experience I always forget which one is which so I came up with the idea of a little adornment to help me to remember where my phone is if I need to get to it in a hurry. What do you think? Does it work?

I guess only time will tell!

The jewelry is a gift from a friend but I prefer to look at it rather than wear it!

Day 28 Creativity Challenge

comments 3
30 day creativity challenge / small

For info about the Challenge click HERE

Today’s Topic – A Small World

Sometime ago I created another blog called It’s a Small World because I like miniatures and am fascinated with nature up close. I will post a gallery below with some of my favourite small images.

For those of you who read my blog regularly, I mentioned yesterday that I was about to change my theme. I eventually decided on a theme called Cocoa. I haven’t explored it much as yet but hope to have some fun in making it the new home for allaboutwordswa 🙂

Day 27 Creativity Challenge

comments 6
30 day creativity challenge

For info about the Challenge click HERE

Topic – WordPress Themes

I do quite like the theme I have for my blog – Hemingway Rewritten. I haven’t always used this theme and used to change themes periodically for a fresh look.

Recently I have noticed that my blog doesn’t show up well on iPads and iPhones and started thinking about upgrading. Tonight I have been exploring all the different themes that are available if I upgrade my account to Premium. I decided to upgrade but now am a bit nervous about making the change. I have over 9 years of blog posts and photos here and I am not sure if the changeover will go smoothly!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Some people plan for weeks and in great detail before making such a leap. I am more inclined to press GO and then sort things out afterwards. What is the better option? Well I decided to have a cooling off by writing tonight’s post before making any major changes. How does this relate to creativity? Is creativity impulsive and risk taking or is it more considered and careful; or is it a bit of both?

The themes I am considering include Rosalie, Finder or Huntt. Perhaps I should sleep on it and make the change in the morning! You may not recognise me next you check out my blog!

Day 26 Creativity Challenge

comments 2
30 day creativity challenge

For information about the Challenge click HERE

Topic – Creativity capturing memories

In one of my posts last week I received a comment from David at David Oakes Images (I recommend a visit to his site). David said that “Creativity starts with creating memories….. then maybe capturing them 🙂.”

That made me think about the fact that every day we create memories (without even thinking about it) so why not create happy memories as we have that choice, if even for a few moments each day. I was inspired to make a little poster to put up in my office to remind me. Here it is below:

Day 25 Creativity Challenge

comments 3
30 day creativity challenge

For more info about my Challenge click HERE

Today’s writing prompt: What would you take with you if you had to evacuate your home in an emergency?

If you have seen the news this past week you probably heard about the horrendous bush fires burning throughout Australia as we face record heat waves and drought conditions. Many homes have been lost and sadly, some lives as well.

I have seen many people on television saying they didn’t have time to grab anything apart from what they were wearing at the time. Ironically I have some friends who were in Queensland last year (Townsville) and they lost nearly everything in the floods. They had only what they could fit in their car.

So what to grab in an emergency? Photos are often mentioned but today most photos are stored electronically. I have scanned most of my older photos with the originals taking up several boxes. So I guess the sensible thing would be to grab the computer, laptop, external drive or iPad.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It is hard to replace legal documents so I would grab my file with my passport, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, wills etc. I also have a file of children’s drawings, news clippings about my sons and grandsons. They are precious and irreplaceable.

I am told the hardest part of losing everything is that the sense of loss goes on for some time. My friends from Townsville said they would go to get something mundane and then realise they no longer have it. This would happen time and time again reminding them of their losses.

I would like to think that I would be grateful to get to safety with our lives intact. After all, most other ‘things’ can be replaced in time. I have a bundle of letters that my Mum wrote to me over a period of a few years. I started a blog (not public at this stage) recording those letters as she was the hub of the family and kept me in touch with what everyone else was up to. I wouldn’t want to lose those.

Some treasures!

I sincerely hope I don’t have to face such a situation but thinking about it makes me consider how so many people are dealing with this right now and their futures are uncertain with no homes to go back to. I only hope they are resilient enough to start afresh.

Day 24 Creativity Challenge

Leave a comment
30 day creativity challenge

For info about my Challenge click HERE

I was just putting some finishing touches to our U3A Course Booklet for Semester 1 and I discovered that Microsoft Office 365 has a function where I can attach an icon. There were pages in the Course Booklet where there was white space I wanted to fill in so I was able to use the icons. I had never noticed them before. So I can show you, I attached a sample of icons on a Word document and then I used the Snippy Tool so I could put it on my blog as an image. Here it is below:

This creativity stuff is FUN 🙂

Day 23 Creativity Challenge

comments 9
30 day creativity challenge

I thought that tonight I would share a little about how I am finding challenging myself every day to do something creative.

Some days it has been easy and I see creative opportunities all around me. Other days I am questioning the purpose of the task. I just really want to be more creative and to understand creativity more that I currently do.

I also realise that we have different areas of creativity that we feel more comfortable with. In the past my writing was the area I felt most at ease. Not so today – I rely a lot more on photos telling the stories these days.

The other insight is learning I need to put in some effort if I want to get good results and yet I am wanting to have fun! That is the end result.

It is New Year’s Eve with only 3+ hours until we (here in West Australia at least) move into a new decade. I wonder what it will hold for us all. My best wishes to you for good health and happiness for 2020!

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Day 22 Creativity Challenge

Leave a comment
30 day creativity challenge / Uncategorized

For more info on my Challenge click HERE

Today’s topic is A Poem

FAIRY MUSIC by Rose Fyleman

When the fiddlers play their tunes you may sometimes hear,

Very softly chiming in, magically clear,

Magically high and sweet, the tiny crystal notes

Of fairy voices bubbling free from tiny fairy throats.

When birds at break of day chant their morning prayers,

Or on sunny afternoons pipe ecstatic airs,

Comes an added rush of sound to the silver din –

Songs of fairy troubadours gaily joining in.

When athwart the drowsy fields summer twilight falls,

Through the tranquil air there float elfin madrigals,

And in wild November nights, on the winds astride,

Fairy hosts go rushing by, singing as they ride.

Every dream that mortals dream, sleeping or awake,

Every lovely fragile hope – these the fairies take,

Delicately fashion them and give them back again

In tender, limpid melodies that charm the hearts of men.

Day 21 Creativity Challenge

comment 1
30 day creativity challenge

For info about my Challenge click HERE

Today’s Topic: Editing iPhone photos of my garden

I have small garden that is mostly in pots. I took some photos this evening just after they were watered. I was surprised to find some mint growing – self sown! I also have some self sown parsley which is good. I am pleased to see my rhubarb doing well.

So here is my selection of edited photos for today.

Day 20 Creativity Challenge

comments 3
30 day creativity challenge

For more info about my Challenge click HERE

Topic: Six Thinking Hats

The writer (Cate Russell-Cole), of the Course I am doing (Unleashing Your Creative Spirit) suggests using Edward De Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’ as a good tool to look at projects creatively or in a different light. For tonight’s exercise I will try and do just that. I will also highlight what hat I am using and what it signifies.

My task is to write about this photo from the six perspectives.

The White Hat calls for information known or needed. The image is of the weir that is opposite the main street in Cohuna, Victoria. The weir can regulate the flow of water passing through. The water is deep and fast flowing. The pedestrian bridge gives access to the swimming pool adjacent to the weir.

The Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition. The weir can be dangerous and people have drowned there. As a child I was frightened to walk over the bridge because the rushing through the weir was flowing so fast and so loud.

The Black Hat is judgement: the devil’s advocate or why something may not work. Is there a need for a weir in this location? Has it been proven it is dangerous? It is not suitable for swimming for a number of reasons. The engineering of the bridge is questionable.

The Yellow Hat symbolises brightness and optimism. Seeing the water pass through the weir reminds me of the flow on effect on the local farming community who use the water for irrigation. There is a future in this farming community!

The Green Hat focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas. The weir is a great attraction for tourists visiting Cohuna and is also a popular fishing spot. It could be further developed with diving boards and a fenced off area for swimming for people who enjoy the deeper water than the public pool.

The Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process. Given all the above ideas it is now time to prioritise the responses and make sure that all points have been noted and all concerns recognised. A short report will be provided for all participants to consider all the above options.

So there you have it! It is better to do the exercise with a group of people as more ideas flow and you can get the categories more finely tuned! Note that the image below uses the Red Hat twice.

Day 19 Creativity Challenge

comments 2
30 day creativity challenge

For info about my Challenge click HERE

Tonight I felt like dabbling with my Super Eyes microscope. My husband gave me some nail polish for Christmas and I wondered what that would look like under the ‘scope. Here are the magnified images plus the originals in their bottles.

A creative project in the wings – charcoal drawing. I have some charcoal sticks for drawing that I kept for many years and may yet do some drawing with them some time. Here is one of them magnified.

Yet another creative project that I hope to engage in more is calligraphy. Here are some magnified images plus the originals.

I realise that these things are not going to happen without some planning and goal setting. That is what I hope to do better at in 2020!

Day 18 Creativity Challenge

Leave a comment
30 day creativity challenge

For info about my Challenge click HERE

Topic: Poetry – time I tried to write a poem!

Inspired by a quote from Friedrich Nietzche

There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too, might be admired some day.

Admiration of another is Personal

I see it my way and you see it yours

I don’t look for power or one with aspirations of greatness

Or for a beautiful body with riches aplenty

I admire a person who is quiet, yet strong

Self possessed yet not short of humility

I look below the surface to see the gold underneath

That rare gem of a person who is good and kind

They may also be witty and wise – that’s a bonus!

Someone I know can be relied upon

And yet …

They will probably not even realise I admire them!

Day 16 Creativity Challenge

Leave a comment
30 day creativity challenge

For info about my Challenge click HERE

Topic: Christmas (gratitude)

  • C is for Children – three sons who grew into men that I am proud of and two amazing grandsons
  • H is for the good Health that I give thanks for each day
  • R is for Reading – such a great way to escape and have adventures without leaving home
  • I is for Ideas and Inspiration to make life interesting and add sparkle to my days
  • S is for a Sense of humour to remind me to ‘lighten up’
  • T is for Tom who I am grateful to share my life with
  • M is for Moments to be cherished with family and friends
  • A is for Attitude that I get to choose (hopefully wisely) each day
  • S is for the Serenity that comes with knowing what I can change and what I can’t!
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas or Holiday time. Stay safe and enjoy the moments!

Day 15 Creativity Challenge

Leave a comment
30 day creativity challenge

For more information about my Challenge click HERE

Task – Your Favourite Poem

I first came across this poem in the early 1980’s when I started an Art’s course. I still enjoy it today.

To His Coy Mistress

Andrew Marvell – 1621-1678

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
 Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

This poem is in the public domain.

Andrew Marvell
Andrew Marvell

The new normal

Leave a comment
Uncategorized

I really enjoyed this post from maylynno. Wanted to share it as it expresses how I am feeling about the changes at the moment!

maylynno

TOPSHOT-BRITAIN-HEALTH-VIRUS photo by livescience.com

This new concept is everywhere now, underpinning new behaviours, new reflexes, new apprehensions and a new way of life. The so called “new normal’ is a normal reaction to an aftermath.

Knowing this fact, why to hate the new reality?

Reality is a complex concept. The etymology is Latin, res, which means “thing” (for example, the word republic comes from res publica, public thing. A dictatorship calling itself a republic is a contradiction of words). Therefore, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic notion of them.

Zooming in, it is clear that reality is made of different layers: social reality, political reality, public reality, personal reality, environmental reality, individual reality and so on. A repetitive collective action defines the norm or what is normal or abnormal. Wearing a mask has become a new normal as a planetary and…

View original post 213 more words