Share Your World: 9th July 2018

What would you name the autobiography of your life?

‘Outside Looking In’

Which do you prefer: sweet, salty or buttery?

Er… all of the above, depending on my mood. I definitely love the sweet sensuous sticky feeling of good milk chocolate melting gently in the mouth, but I also love the salty crunch of savoury crisps (potato chips in US), and what’s a better comfort food in winter than a steaming cup of tea and toasted teacakes slathered in butter or hot buttered toast ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s the finest education?

ย ‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling ofย  vessel’ – Socrates

I absolutely love learning – I really enjoyed my formal education at school, and as an adult have attended both college (attaining a practical healthcare qualification) and university (where I achieved a first class honours degree in psychosocial studies, and also later gained a post-graduate certificate in positive psychology).

But I also love informal learning – independent reading, practical experimenting, everyday life experience, deliberately developing creativity, building on basic common sense. To me, the finest education is all-inclusive, being a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. And above all, being constantly open-minded, open-hearted, and as non-judgemental of others as possible โค

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

I’m struggling a bit with life at the moment, so find it difficult to smile at much right now, but I decided if I thought hard enough, I would find something. And I did. We’ve had a bit of a heatwave recently, so all have our windows open day and night, and living in close proximity in a city leaves not much room for privacy.

The other day I overheard our neighbours’ autistic 9 year old son having a strop in their back garden – he was yelling frustratedly at his mum ‘Who cares? I don’t care, I don’t care! Who cares?’ and when his very patient mum repeatedly replied calmly and lovingly ‘I care, I care’ his 4 year old sister, not wanting to be left out, piped up quizzically with ‘Uh… Mummy, do I care?’ That little snippet of family interaction certainly made me smile… ๐Ÿ™‚

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Share Your World: 14 May 2018

Complete this sentence: This sandwich could really use some…

Freshly ground black pepper. I realised that whatever kind of bread or whatever favourite filling I may choose to make – sharp cheese with smoked ham, creamy egg mayonnaise, hot crispy bacon and chilled avocado – I always finish it off with a good grind of black pepper before putting on the lid with a final flourish and scoffing the lot with gusto ๐Ÿ™‚

What is you least favourite candy?

Anything with marzipan in it. But I do have a really sweet tooth, so will try most things.

What sign are you? Do you believe in Astrology?

Sun sign Sagittarius with moon in Cancer. In the past I have had a personal horoscope created for me, so yes, to a certain extent I probably do believe in astrology. It makes as much sense to me as any other faith-based belief system out there ๐Ÿ™‚

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

Being sent a standard mobile phone pic of my dad and my son both formally dressed in kilts at a recent family wedding in Scotland I was sadly unable to attend.ย Dad is looking a bit tired, standing a little lopsided as he’s clearly trying to keep his walking stick out of view, and my son is standing head and shoulders above his grandfather, ram-rod straight as if on parade, stiff as a six-foot poker and looking rabbit-frozen-in-the-headlights uncomfortable at the inevitable attention. But the photograph makes my heart burst with love because Dad has had a couple of strokes over the last few months so is not as mobile as he once was, and my son intensely dislikes being included in photographs, so seeing them both standing there together so deliberately is a very precious image, and one that means the world to meย  โค

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Share Your World: 30 April 2018

Do you use paper money? If so, is your money arranged sequentially according to denomination?

Yes, and yes. In several different types of currency collections throughout the house. I have variously English money (for where I live now), Scottish money (for when I visit family in Scotland), Euros (for when we visit Europe) and American money (for when we visit my husband’s family in America). All arranged facing the same way (face up, right way round) and in sequence from highest to lowest denomination. Oh, and at work I get really annoyed when people don’t place the notes tidily in the till drawer – face up, the right way round, in sequential order…ย  Control freak? Me? Nahhh…!

Are you comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time?

That depends on what you consider ‘doing nothing’. Resting is resting, day-dreaming is day-dreaming, meditating is meditating, thinking quietly is thinking quietly, waiting is waiting. All valuable passive ‘activities’ I take part in from time to time as necessary ๐Ÿ™‚

What is your greatest strength?

Um… the ability to do nothing for long stretches of time?

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

Thinking about my grandchildren โค โค โค โค โค

Share Your World: 30 April 2018

Share Your World: 16 April 2018

List things or events that changed your life?

Um… off the top of my head I’d have to include becoming a mum at 18, becoming a grandmother at 38, and getting a degree at 40 (just to prove to myself that I could!)

Complete this sentence: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s...

One of my favourite childhood memories of my paternal grandmother – a hard-working, no-nonsense farmer’s wife – is of her usual after-dinner ritual rest.

Dinner on the farm was the main meal eaten in the middle of the day, and so late mornings were always a busy time, taken up with cooking and laying the large table with as many places as were needed. After everyone had eaten and the myriad dishes were all washed and put away, my grandmother would sit herself down at her kitchen fireside armchair, put her feet up on her footstool, put the day’s newspaper over her face, and have a quiet little nap for half an hour or so. Her nap time was sacrosanct, a time that was not to be interrupted for anything less important than a life or death situation, and we all respected that.

On one particular day I remember my dad and my grandad (like two peas in a pod, but a generation apart) being a bit tardy in leaving the kitchen after eating, and were both standing looking out the window with one pair of binoculars between them, arguing good naturedly (in their typical father/son way) over whether or not the winged black speck they were looking at soaring high in the sky was a seagull or an airoplane. My dad was sure it was a plane, my grandad was convinced it was a seagull, and neither would give up their favoured view. As my grandmother settled herself in her armchair and raised her newspaper to her face, an indication that silence should commence, she commented abruptly ‘Humph… If that’s a bloody seagull it’s got a jet engine up its arse!’

Ha ha ha, the memory of the absolute shock on my young face that my grandmother said ‘bloody’ and ‘arse’ still makes me smile todayย  ๐Ÿ™‚

What genre of music do you like?

Classical, jazz, soul, R&B, soft rock, reggae, pop, hip-hop, garage, indie… pretty much everything, I just like music โค

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?

With nice weather at last, I’ve really appreciated the abundance of beautiful spring blooms all around us

Share Your World: 16 April 2018

Share Your World: 9th April 2018

Been anywhere recently for the first time?

I’ve been troubled with a painful heel lately so haven’t been out and about putting too much weight on it any more than is absolutely necessary – but I decided to go to Stratford on the bus today, just for the hell of it. Not for the first time ever, but certainly for the first time in several months. It’s been rainy and dull and miserable so I visited the indoor shopping mall for a long-overdue wander around, which was at least dry and bright and warm.

stratford-bus-station.jpg

List three favourite book characters?

Mary Lennox from ‘The Secret Garden’, Chris Guthrie from ‘Sunset Song’, and Winston Smith from ‘1984’ for 20th Century fiction.

Jane Eyre from ‘Jane Eyre’, Lizzie Bennett from ‘Pride and Prejudice’, and Anne Elliot from ‘Persuasion’ for 19th Century historical classics.

What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink – hot or cold?

Hot drink – tea, cold drink – milk

What did you appreciate or what made you smile last week?

Green bottles abandoned on walls – first I saw one high up, sitting above head height…

one-green-bottle

And then a few minutes later I saw two sitting together, side by side on a low wall further down the same street…

two-green-bottles

I know they should ideally have been placed in one of the many recycling bins instead of left lying around to litter the place up, but they still made me smile and I spent the rest of the day humming the tune to ‘Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall…’ ๐Ÿ™‚

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Share Your World: April 2nd 2018

What was or is your favourite cartoon?

Scooby Doo – I watched and loved the original series as a kid, my children watched and loved the later series with Scrappy Doo, and my grandchildren have watched and loved the newest generation of Scooby Doo cgi movies… So the most accurate answer to the question ‘Scooby Doo, Where are you?’ is probably ‘On my TV…’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Which cooking utensil (other than the usual pots and pans etc.) would you miss the most?

Apart from my pots and pans and wooden spoons, the cooking utensil I would miss the most is this cheap little lime green silicon spatula. It cost ยฃ1 years ago in an ordinary bric-a-brac shop and has been my old faithful ever since. We’ve tried a couple of times to find a suitable replacement but nothing quite meets the particular standard of flexibility yet firmness we’ve experienced with our bargain scraper of pots, plates, cans, bowls – in fact you name it, we’ve scraped it clean and clear with this spectacular utensil!

spatula

Would you dare to sleep in a haunted house overnight?

Alone, no, but with someone I trust not to scare the living daylights out of me just for fun, yes ๐Ÿ™‚

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this week?

Catching up with what all my old blogging friends have been up to this week has definitely made me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

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