Tag Archives: thanks

A to Z – thoughts and thanks my reflection

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So it is done, the A to Z has been packed up in April’s hand luggage and placed on the carousel of memories it is time to move to the next challenge to set course on my next path in the blog-o-sphere but before we wave good-bye to April and the fun that has been had. I would like to share reflections on what has been learnt and enjoyed over the course of the 26 posts from A to Z.

Blogging takes time, commitment and brain cells. Tales from Tedium was but a few posts old when I signed up. Posting to schedule was nigh on impossible at times but between long shifts and needed sleep breaks I did get the whole alphabet covered. Time is precious and to create a post worth reading takes contemplation planning and preparation followed by editing, tweaking and revising. I shall not be winging it next year, next year I shall properly prepare and perhaps even pre write some letters to make sure I keep up.

I am very lucky. Posting on gratitude thinking of  things I appreciate and am blessed to have experience has been a fabulous exercise for me personally. During the month of April there have been a number of issues that needed to be dealt with M – moan day is perhaps the only evidence of this frustration that dripped into the blog posts https://talesfromtedium.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/m-moan-day , so sorry about that blip. I maintained a positive outlook during challenging times and I am sure that it was my alphabetical obsession with being grateful that facilitated this. (Lets not get to a chicken and egg situation here but you know where I am heading.)

On to the lessons, I can improve! Thanks to the stats I can peer into the blog records and see what was enjoyed most, what you as my readers have liked and also what might have fallen a bit flat.
1st lesson , comments posted on my mobile phone do not upload, I am sorry to those who thought I was being ignorant and not answering I tried and failed but will repost shortly.
2nd lesson (needed) my wordpress basics are just that BASIC I need to improve layouts and menus to make things easier to navigate.
3rd lesson, is to stay a blog ahead, I am going to aim to always keep something up sleeve and to be able to prepare properly to post.
4th lesson, a big part of the A to Z is to visit other blogs I tried and while I have read over 500 posts on other A to Zs  this is just a drop in the ocean. Next year I shall have to set aside dedicated reading time.

Time to say thanks!
Today I am tired but I am thankful. I am grateful that I did not have to get out bed till lunch time (ok 10 am) I am please I sat there with my laptop and read. My daily reads have tripled many others I have liked some I have laughed with. To each  blogger a huge thank you for sharing!

A special thanks goes out to you the reader. There are some of you I know in person, (Swedish one don’t kick my butt this is not an Oscar speech gone wrong! Friends from long ago, to followers from recent weeks I thank you. Your clicking of the like buttons and comments have cheered me on and I shall not forget this. A special thanks to  http://galeriaredelius.wordpress.com , K.Jacqleene from http://graceandcandor.wordpress.com ,Joe from http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com and http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com who have shown constant support in their words over the last month.

One last substantial thank you, a gift of appreciation in words to the organisers of the challenge to Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, http://tossingitout.blogspot.co.uk and all who helped him behind the scenes. Sir I salute you.

So now April is over,
the challenge has been done,
It time to keep on blogging more,
it is time to have some fun.
To all who posted A to Z
Who typed the A,B C
Unleash your keybords once again
It’s time for typing free.
As May sun shines upon us
Just have a little rest
The April challenge was brilliant
As a participant I was blessed.
I thank the Genius Arlee Bird
His challenge took on wings,
A brilliant months of posting
On so many different things.
In just eleven months
The A will call to me.
For one things guaranteed
I will participate in next April’s A to Z.

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V is for The Vicar and the Circus Performer.

What do you get if you cross a Vicar and a Circus Performer? No, this is not a bad joke, unless I am.

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My father was born almost 71 years ago in an area that he describes as the “Slums” of Birmingham. He was the youngest of 13 children, money was sparse. Dad tells of being sent to school in Aunty Jean’s boots because that was all he had, he made his parents proud and was accepted to Grammar School passing his eleven plus with flying colours. His place was passed up because the uniform was too expensive. My father soon began his working life, he was a glazier, he was a bit of a lad, he wanted adventure and he joined Billy Smarts Circus. A fire-eater, a sword swallower, I love to think of my Dad as a legend of the big top.

Mum was the oldest of three, daughter of a woodwork master, some might suggest that my mother’s family were middle class, they bought their house they owned a car Mum sang a song about “peep-toed shoes” in the garden. Growing up in Kent, the garden of England, Mum studied hard, she graduated university with a classics degree. My mother became a social worker. When I was 19 my mum took the brave step to change her path, she studied once again, my Mum followed her calling and was ordained.

We all know the saying two sides to every story. While typing this tale I realised that what I know of my parents meeting, the early romance and marriage has been told to me by my Dad. They met through work. Dad decided not to go with the big top on an Australian tour, he somehow started working in childcare. He met this a raven haired social worker wearing an ankle sweeping skirt as she bought a referral to the home in which he worked. He fell head over heels for my mother, eventually she agreed to marry him. A happy ever after…. it is for me.

I know I do not say this often enough, but I am so fortunate to be the daughter of this unusual mix. My Mum and Dad might have come from opposite ends of England, different backgrounds and contrasting experiences but their union has created a family I am blessed to be part of. Last year as Mr & Mrs they celebrated 40 years of marriage. As a family we dined together in celebration, three generations, six grandchildren at the centre of the day Grandma and Granddad who despite the challenges they faced remained together supported each other and still do.

In posting alphabetically on themes of gratitude over the last month I have considered a great deal. Thought of what makes me smile and laugh, reflected on what has kept me going during times of difficulty. I sit in awe of what my parents share, they have a lifetime together, their lifetime created mine and through all the chaos I created my Mum and Dad have been a constant support.

A terrible teenager I put strain on the patience of my parents, a strain that most would have buckled under, but they never turned away. When I left, moved out at only 17 I wanted to prove my parents wrong, it didn’t work out that way but not once did I hear the words “I told you so”. Now as I face the trials of a teenager’s parent I cringe to think what I subjected them too, but I thank them with an open heart for their example has been an inspiration to me.

My greatest fear in posting this on my blog is that I fail to convey the patience, love and kindness my mum and dad have bestowed on my life. It is so easy to take things for granted, I love my parents very much, for the examples they have set and the inspiration they continue to be. I am the luckiest daughter of a Vicar and a Circus Performer and will always be grateful that they are parents to me.

S.O.S … seeing the best, simply taking it slow or staying single.

Yes I begin this post with an S.O.S for to blog on gratitude as part of the April A to Z is substantially more difficult than one could assume! So many options, so many hurdles to overcome. Do I post from the heart and sod the consequence of purging my soul to the blogosphere?
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Shooting from the hip, jumping in with both feet, acting first and then seeing what the outcome is. I wish I didn’t but hey we all have flaws. To shoot from the hip can and does often backfire. But I always speak the truth, take people as I find them not as rumour suggests and try to see the best in those I meet. So should I be grateful for these qualities? Perhaps, I shall let you be the judge.

The last time I dated, I offered a disclaimer. I “specialise in shit” my date bless him did not know what to say to that so I explained. “I see the best in people, sometimes that is great, but when you mix that with my stubbornness I seem to end up in the shitty situations clearing up the mess.” Sarcasm was identified and fortunately he was able to laugh at my satirical appraisal of my dating history. I don’t mean to pigeon-hole my past, but for easy of tale telling there was; the gambler, the man-slut, the alcoholic, the bully, the liar and then the painful optimist.

Now as a specialist in dating failures I did not want this lovely funny man to think he would be the next on the list in my own personal disaster zone. The truth is I have survived, I chose to become involved with these people because I saw the best in them. Sadly focusing on this stopped me from seeing the worst until one or both of us was too involved and well people get hurt in the fall out from the failed relationship it is inevitable. So we talked we laughed we smiled, we shared our thoughts and histories and we took things slow, things didn’t work out but hey we shared some fun and still think of each other with fondness.

Single life is simpler, so you would think. I am grateful for the time and the freedom I have as a single girl (yes mother I know). I have not dated in over a year and feel no inclination to do so. Should I upset the status quo? I’ll just go with the flow.

I spoke to Swedeling about my S post. I was stuck, swamped with suggestions and endeavouring to produce something worth reading, “sing alongs” were suggested and hey to be fair I am grateful for those. The sport of Wisk singing should be in the Olympics as far as I am concerned. One evening we  shared a top-notch Abba fest in Swedeling’s new flat. The kitchen window had been open as the three of us, the Swede, her hubster and I belted out S.O.S at 9pm powered by beer and giggles. Surprisingly the next morning my dear friends’ neighbours thought we were an Abba tribute of sorts and she suggested that we were “professionals practicing”.

Silliness keeps us going when the serious side of life takes it toll, or so I like to think. The A to Z posts have led to a great deal of reflection for me. There have been many tears shed over my 36 years on the planet but these are cast into the shadows by the smiles, so far I have survived! For each of my dating disasters there is gratitude, each taught me lesson, made me stronger, each had their redeeming qualities. I am sad that at times I should have walked away or ran for the hills, but the stubborn me stayed to fix things until the reality of the situation was undeniable.

I am unsure why this became my S of choice, perhaps today became a day to purge my thoughts to see what was going on in my head. I might be a specialist in shit, but I have chosen a new path if that means walking alone then so be it. Sadly this is the end of the S post, so I shall bid you good cheer till tomorrow I am pleased to see myself as a strong person, I am grateful for the smiles and the singing, So I might have dealt with some shit along the way but haven’t we all so today I am pleased I am still standing, still smiling, still single.

J Just a minute … I am listening to Janis!

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Just a minute this J is a tricky one…
Oh just a minute, that phrase so over used by my son that signifies he has heard my request and will perhaps get round to doing what is asked before the next decade. “Just a minute” never signifies sixty seconds, more likely it will be three to four hours with repeated requests that might result in tearing my hair out throwing a tantrum or completing the task myself.

J has me in a quandary, I will need a jolly good think before I get this posted, just a minute while perhaps I’ll ponder.  Two cups of tea later and a chat with the Swedish one on facebook I thought I was no further forwards. Thank you my friend but as a vegi’ I cannot appreciate Jerk Chicken, and to jerkorf well we shall say no more on that suggestion.

If I had been posting this at the age of 13 I would have delighted in the joy of Jon Bon Jovi, he was my idol a demi god of Rock who just did it for me. I drooled over his posters and jumped around to the tune from the tape-deck. I would have done almost anything for that man to have laid me down in a bed of roses, until that fateful day he appeared in a shiny gold suit… the rock god fell from grace in my eyes he pranced around looking like he was wrapped in over tight tinfoil waiting to be baked. In the years that followed he cut his hair and I listened to other music.

Recent years have brought me to The Jam, James Blunt and Jefferson Airplane, each musical introduction is part of a story a moment shared with a friend or acquaintance, musical education seems to take place in kitchens (for more in kitchen moments please see tomorrows post). I am pleased to know so many people who are passionate about music who enjoy the process of sharing what they love to listen too.

As I jumped through the list of J’s that now form a small part of my CD collection, I skipped perhaps the most poignant. I met Janis Joplin in the classroom. Well this is where I met her music. During my studies I was privileged to have taken creative writing and my tutor was at best unconventional, he taught us a great deal. It was only our second tutorial; we knew that we would be given a task and an hour to write before we had to feed back to the group for constructive criticism, so we filed in with a sense of foreboding wondering what we would have to write about.

Dick, our tutor said nothing he simply waited for us to be seated and have pens at the ready, he pressed play. One word was written on the board, RESPOND.  As “little girl blue” played he distributed the lyrics and left.

I sat there and counted my fingers, I had no idea what to do apparently this woman who voice resounded through the room knew exactly how I felt, I wanted to run, to put down my pen and give up. But I listened again, I did not produce a resounding piece of brilliance, oh no it was shoddy to say the least but I wrote I went home that night with a copy of the best of Janis and listened some more. She sang journeys in words her lyrics may have sounded despairing but they challenged the listener to move forwards. Janis Joplin has been described as “the first really high-profile female rock singer to carve a completely independent path”. Being introduced to her music set me on a path of discovery, I listened through her back catalogue, read the beat poets and found inspiration over the years that followed, still do.

In that single lesson I learnt to appreciate and embrace the challenge, I was introduce to a singer whose voice I will always love, I was set on a journey where whatever happens you try, you don’t just “sit there and count your fingers” you get up and see what comes next.

Today it might have taken more than just a minute to write my J post. But as I sit her 10 hours after starting this morning I  have that old ” best of album”  playing, and I smile for  I am grateful that I was set on a journey of discovery years ago one that is far from over but in a musical journey you are able to rewind replay and remember. Janis Joplin I am thankful that in that moment your music was shared!

Janis

H – How pleased we were with our aprons? Hilarious moments.

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There is nothing worse than someone telling you a funny story which at its conclusion falls flat with out a giggle. So I shall declare now that this will not be a funny post just an appreciation of funny moments, there is nothing to laugh at here.

Have you heard the joke about the clown that got fired from the circus, he took his employers to court for fun-fair dismissal. Ok so you didn’t laugh, nor did I when that particular little gem of humour was shared the first time, yet the telling of that gag has become it’s own joke part of pub life. We might all roll our eyes but comedy is all in the …
… timing.

Or perhaps not, I am lucky for I have some very funny friends, funny haha and funny odd, however I am aware that I fall into at least one of those categories. During sleep-overs as a kid I recall laughing till my sides ached with antenna’s in my hair made from bendy curlers, trying to balance stacks of mini chedders on my forehead. The actions of the downright weird I know, yet shared moments remembered with a smirk.

Other childhood moments when we truly laughed included a time when one of our classmates stitched her sewing project to her skirt, at the time we howled with laughter. Her cries of “I am stuck stuck stuck and it’s not funny” made us laugh all the more but this saddens me as an adult, for it is my first memory of laughing at some one else’s expense.
To be fair, my fellow student sustained no injury (other than to her pride) and her sewing project was completed when it had been unstitched from her skirt.

When I recently made my Swedish friend howl with laughter cannot declare that I remained unscathed. Crossing the road should be a simple thing but no, not for me with hands in my pockets I located the pavement in a most undignified manner, as the kerb jumped up in front of me I found myself Rugby tackling an innocent wheelie bin while I limped and hobbled up her stairs to dress my wounds, she followed doubled over with giggles at the fact that no alcohol was consumed in the production of that disaster.

Comedy is not all in the timing, it is in the sharing. Can you name a time when you have stood without other human influence and found something properly funny when you laughed out loud alone? I will not admit to being able to think of such a moment in case those men with back fastening jackets want to collect me again.
The people who you stand with as the tears run down your cheeks and you ache from the involuntary chuckles, they make those moments funny so to them I say thank you. I also need to show my appreciation to two good traveller buddies who returned from a recent trip to Italy and brought gifts.

Gratitude is expressed today for many things, I am grateful that i giggle lots and have friends to giggle with. I am grateful that we do not laugh at the misfortune of others unless they are laughing themselves. I am mostly chuffed to bits that my apron from Italy was presented to me yesterday. Clearly my travelling friends had been overwhelmed with the culture and history of their holiday… here is a photo of Swedeling and I modeling or new pinnies
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I must state that mine will stay in the kitchen drawer when mother visits. We have howled with laughter while modelling them, I am thankful for the smiles that have been shared the laughs that are laughed and in the bigger picture,  that my apron needed the largest plate to hide my modesty… the smaller pate on the left was far far more than ample in that aprons case.

Golly Gosh … G!

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Good Grief we have gone through the first week of the challenge and here we are greeting week two with our G’s. Great stuff!

Before I go any further with today’s post I need to give a great big thank you to fellow blogger http://ashortaday.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for a Liebster! Please take a look at their page it is fab, also if you are interested please take a moment and read through my acceptance post https://talesfromtedium.wordpress.com/oh-i-have-an-award I did try to avoid the Oscar style over mushy-gushy stuff, forgive me but I am simply chuffed!

The lovely thing about the Liebster is that it actively encourages the giving of praise from one blogger to another. In doing so it raises the profile of these lesser followed blogs. I never thought that in my first month of posting I would have been selected, but I was ( big skip hop and jump for joy).

It is so easy to take for granted what others do, it may only need a moment to recognise what they give to you but that moment can change a person’s day. My Mum always said that manners cost nothing, but correct use of please and thank you gives a priceless reward.

Giving praise to those around us in, whether in the cyber press or in real life brings as much to the giver as it does to the person that is the focus of the compliment. I am grateful that I experienced this. So todays G is brief and to the point. Today I am grateful for the award I was given and that I had the opportunity to give back to others in return.

My Liebster!

My Liebster!

What the F- Fungi Freinds and Family.

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First time I tried to write this morning I found myself flummoxed as what to put. The fosters fairy may have exerted her influence on me yesterday, Friday night with friends laughing and chatting lead to fuzzy headed Saturday. This morning I have been flagging to say the least. So I wrote a list made coffee and found myself some breakfast…

Mushrooms on toast, it is a favourite on delicate mornings, I think it has helped. So to my F words. Over a beer or three the “F-ing” possibilities were debated. It seems there is a theme with my friends, as flatulence was the first thing someone said… thank you for farting would just be an absurd. Fungi however, I am grateful for them this morning.

Fluke and I wander as often as time allows. A favourite place to walk is the woods above the town. Kicking up leaves, squelching through mud puddles, feeling the changing seasons around you I might only be a few minutes from the urban sprawl but I am free. Often as we walk I reminisce, Fluke is not the best conversationalist. Friends introduced us to the woodland walks, while Bob, Stella and Fluke sniffed their way along the footpaths, we wandered nattered and laughed, there are many moments in the woods that made me smile.

One occasion Fluke met a friend, he wanted to be a forager, thought himself as Somerset’s answer to Bear Grills. The three of us walked for best part of an hour to the middle of the woods. There is a water tower where paths conjoin here we stopped, selected a bench and began to make a brew.

Fires in woodlands are a big no no! I am aware of this and when dog walking I only ever want to leave footsteps. My friend thinks the same way but he was a good boyscout and came prepared. He pulled a Ghilli/Kelly kettle out of his rucksack. Lit a small fire in the base and waited for the whistle to tell us the water was boiling.

Well we waited, poked the little fire and waited some more… Soon enough (about 30 mins later) I was sat in the sunshine drinking tea. Fluke was happy as the Water tower is a great place to play fetch,  we chatted, giggled and perhaps even flirted a little it was fun.

When you walk with dogs you meet people it is an inevitable pleasure of being a pet owner, add a curious water boiling contraption and the possibility of tea on a brisk day and we became a magnet for other dog walkers. Every person that passed greeted us with smiles and a pair of local foragers stopped to admire the kettle and share their favourite locations for mushroom hunting.  A place I still need to explore.

Food and drink brings people together, it might be a fundamental of life, providing sustenance but the act of fellowship that comes from breaking bread with friends or family feeds the soul. Do you recall the last time you opened your home, laid the table to share a meal with friends and family?

For sure there have been many times that bring a smile if I muse over food related gatherings of the past, some of the funniest have been f**ked up dinners.  Burned Cous Cous, (yes that is possible). Lime cordial being used as a substitute in a recipe (that was a florescent dinner). Custard that you could eat with a knife and fork while hot (Dan still will not risk custard).  All of these moments are punctuated with the silly laughs of shared friendships and family moments.

My family and friends. I have no idea where the F’ I would be without them, so today on the F-day I am appreciative of fellowship and friendship. Fortune shone upon me when I found my friends when I was gifted my family. For this I am forever grateful.

For those who haven’t met him … this is Fluke.

Fluke