January Small Stones # 31

I’ve always hated endings. Way back in time when I left school, I hated saying goodbye to teachers, other girls, even the building. If I see people in films parting, I cry, if I have to leave even a job that I hate, I still get upset. When I have to say goodbye to friends I make on holiday around the world, I cry.

As a therapist, I build intense, often long, relationships where my clients share their deepest untold secrets; hopefully they heal and are strong enough to continue their paths without me. This is a wonderful milestone that is tinged with sadness for them, to leave their ‘mummy’ and go it alone, but they are surprised that I should have a tear as well.

So here I am at stone 31 feeling sad because it’s finished. I’m very pleased with myself, I didn’t think I would make every day and several times thought I would just skip a day, no-one would know – except me of course. So I held on and found something to say or a photo to take. I haven’t taken it as seriously as some, I’ve mucked about and had a laugh, maybe not been as ‘mindful’ as intended and reprimanded myself for that, now that I am good at!

I’ve met some lovely people, received warm loving comments and read some superb writing this month and I really will take part again. Meanwhile, thank you to all involved with January Small Stones, Writing Our Way Home, and a big fat brave, GOODBYE until next time.

January Small Stones # 30

The penultimate stone

Now what shall it be?

I thought about mademoiselle  pussy cat

but she’s evading me

I twice walked past the hedge today

or where it used to be

it’s now a deep and flooded ditch

that makes my chest go tight

my very first stone of January

was the seed of old mans beard

now blown and vanished in the night

for you I snapped daffodowndillies

and graceful silver birch trees

I wrote of my own red nose

beckoning wide blue estuaries

baked Camembert for tea

I’ve dropped you down in India

shown you a rainbow with two ends

and I’ve swept away bad spirits

to make you smile my friends

so now there’s just tomorrow

and then what shall I do

maybe stick around for February

casting nuggets for you!

One Hour in Exeter Summer 2011

I’m a travelaholic and I’m always posting photos and anecdotes from places around the world but for once I’m going to sing the praises about my own city. Beautiful Exeter in the south west of England is 2000 years old and has something for everyone. Here are just a few pics I took last summer when I spent just an hour in town.                                                                      A fund raising event

A shiny band

A veterans parade (and above)

Restored Tudor buildings

A recent mural

The 900 year old St Peter’s cathedral

Some of the flock!

Mols coffee house

A ruined church

A friendly labradoodle

Silver man

A catwalk show in Princesshay shopping centre

The blue boy relocated from the old Princesshay

I hope you like this quick insight into a summer day in Exeter.There is always something to see and do, we get lots of tourists and the coast is just ten miles away.

January Small Stones # 29


Canopies of trees have burst their buds.

testing, is it time to blossom?

to herald the coming green?

listen . . . no barren avenues today

the air orchestrated with birdsong.

blackbirds call from the horse chestnut roof

wives chime replies from birch spires.

a lilting debate about whether it’s time.

whether it’s the weather yet

or the risk of a frozen February mist.

begin early, there may be three nest-full’s

hatching this year. three full nests?

that’s an awful lot of work

 but a full of bounty of worm, who can resist?

My lovely friend Isadora, a talented poet http://insidethemindofisadora.wordpress.com/

suggested that I submit this poem here http://gooseberrygoespoetic.blogspot.com/

This story really touched my heart.

Happily ... after retirement

I watched a documentary this past weekend titled, A Small Act. It’s a story about a woman who donated $15 on a quarterly basis to a young Kenyan boy named Chris Mburu.  That money helped to pay for Chris to attend grammar and secondary school, eventually leave his village and attend Harvard Law. His role as a human rights advocate brought him full circle as he began a foundation to help others. Chris named the foundation after his benefactor, Hilda Back.

If you are like me, you see the ads on television that tell you “your money will help” but I often think that my money will never really make it to the village or family or child. It’s all a scam.

Hilda Back, a Holocaust survivor,  didn’t think those thoughts and instead she sent money and often wondered if her small act made a difference.

I love when this…

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January Small Stones # 28

I went to walk in Danes wood today hoping to see snowdrops. There were a few along the lane from Poltimore to Killerton but none in the woods. Disappointing, but never mind, I’ve found a photo from a couple of years ago.

Determined not to get too snowdrop depressed, this is what I took home instead.

I know. But I didn’t promise to be rational did I???

January Small Stones # 27

Today the news is full of outrage because the boss of a major bank, owned by UK taxpayers is to receive a huge bonus payout, a little short of a million pounds. I was also financially outraged today, on a slightly smaller scale ;-), when I went to make a purchase. I’ve had a cold for a few days, quite unusual for me, and this morning I’d dripped my way through all the tissues I had with me. So in my lunch break I popped into the small branch of a certain major news retailer, set up as a convenience store in the hospital, during my lunch break.  I saw three choices and asked the price of each, expecting to pay through the nose (PTP!) a little. My first option was the equivalent of the quality you would find in a pound shop, the next the basic version of the brand name and the last the man sized brand name. The prices, can you guess? £2.49, £2.99 and £3.79, I kid you not, this is for a single box of tissues, and I nearly fell through the floor. ‘What? I only want one box, I would expect twin or triple packs for that.’ They looked at me as if I was crazy and offered a handbag ten pack for 99p. As it was that or my sleeve I had to fork out. Is it that I am a complete raging crone? Or do you agree that it’s totally nasty to charge prices that high, when most of the customers are patients or their visitors? Being in hospital is stressful enough without being ripped off and taken advantage of by a large national company. Grrrh.

January Small Stones # 26

For a while I’ve been writing short pieces about my travel in Rajasthan, and at present I’m writing about the time I spent in the Jaisalmer area. It’s taking me ages for some reason so for today’s stone I thought I’d give you a sneak preview!

Sunset was a bit hazy, not the really glorious reds I had hoped for, but like at Khuldera there was this strange . . .

And that’s all for now, perhaps you will come back when I post the rest!