Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Day 50 - hard frosts and grumpy old woman.

Tuesday 19th February

I am getting better at this travelling and Max was a great help. I knew there was a reason for having three strong boys,

We awoke to a very hard frost in Hereford reminding us that winter has not left us yet. Important to dash outside to take photos to share with you all. As if blogging daily wasn’t enough pressure I have also begun a daily photographic journal on Blipfoto so I have to remember to take one every day and then my lovely ipad reminds me to post. Difficult to know which one to choose today from the shots from Paula’s garden but then again I have a thing about spider webs. Not the ones in my house but those in the garden. On a frosty morning it is important to capture the image of a frozen web because, for me, they are one of the most beautiful things in the world. A few years back in home school we studied spider webs and I was completely fascinated.

We had a lovely few days with Paula and Will and we did like Hereford. Our little trip together will probably live in our memories for ever. Max has shown himself capable of all that a journey demands and has been a great support to me. We get on really well and I have enjoyed his company so very much.

I am writing this blog on the train from Crewe to Glasgow and this is a much better train than the one going down. I struggled with so many people around me but this one is much less busy and I have an adorable baby next to me to entertain. He is entertaining me so important to return the favour. He is reading a book with his mother at the moment so I need to be quick with my blogging.

My 37 gifts of kindness challenge is a real joy and I didn’t expect it to be so rewarding. I read an article in last months Good Housekeeping magazine where a lady had performed her good deeds every day for the entire year. Someone always does things better than you and there should lie our inspiration. She is writing her year up as a book now but she informed us of the main things she has learnt. I liked her honesty when she stated that she is probably not a better person as a result of her 365 good deeds and I think I feel the same at this point. However, like me she has been rewarded with an enhanced sense of happiness. My studies in Buddhism prepared me well for this challenge so I predicted this outcome. That said, nothing prepares you for enhanced happiness because it feels a little unreal. My 37 gifts of kindness challenge had open up my soul a bit more and that is a good thing. I have a tendency to become very insular and living on a small island can feed that if I am not careful. This challenge has made me open my eyes to the people around me and notice their needs as I pass by. I am sure I always opened doors for people struggling but now I do it for everyone and this feels more comfortable. If I am brutally honest I think I had got to a stage in my life when I was happier ignoring people and I feel bad about that now.

My gift of kindness today is fairly obvious because Max and I want to write thank you cards for Will and Paula. Beyond that I have used the journey to be more aware of other people’s needs and to offer assistance where I can. This is probably completely natural to all of you and I do feel slightly embarrassed about these confessions but I think I might have been sliding towards becoming a grumpy old woman and this challenge may have halted that. Time will tell.

When we get back to the island life will pick up where it left off but I am hoping with about 200 willows planted. Pete, Harry and George should be hard at work as I write and so it is very exciting. Regular readers will know that this is a new venture for us as we support the boys in their own intentions to grow different coloured willows to make wreaths and wreath making kits. Their company Whimsical Wreaths will be launched later this year and the planting is step one. I will, of course, keep you updated with their progress. Mum and Dad are advisors and helpers in this little venture but I am quietly confident that the boys have the skills to make a success of it.

I am having a mint and a think for the last paragraph…

O’h I have just spotted a lady doing her crochet work on the train so I need too get my knitting out. If I was ignoring people I would have missed that. Excellent!

Until tomorrow. Xx

Pictures are from our frozen morning in Hereford. xx