A Word or Phrase

I was asked recently what phrase or word, other than “I love you”, would I consider to be of paramount importance. For me it is “Thank You”. Those two words can lighten my day. They can bring such a feeling of worth and can at times validate me.

This means that when I receive a “thank you”, I now know it is genuinely meant and thus making it so much more important than ever before. Today when I held the door of a shop open to allow someone to exit that person said “Thank You” and it certainly made my day as there is generally no acknowledgement.

In fact fairly recently I held the door, open as I would, to allow a young lady to exit  rather than barging my way into a shop only to be greeted with “It is no wonder that women are still looked down upon, when we still have women like you holding doors open.” I was so stunned that what to me was politeness would be seen as putting down women.

I hadn’t realised that things had changed so much that a gesture of thoughtfulness would be seen as an insult.  Things have changed.

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I hadn’t realised just how much value I put on those two words. Does it matter then when people do not express their thanks? For me it is important but for others it is way down their list of priorities.  I have come to realise that I have to accept that difference, but with the proviso that the phrase “Thank You” is important to me and perhaps others need to respect that. Or am I asking too much?

 

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Today It means something.

 

Isn’t it strange how sometimes one gets absolutely no response from reading a quote, thought or poem? Then a day, a month even years later one reads the same thought or quote and it just blows one away. Now that is exactly what happened to me.

I have developed an allergy to the dust that arises when cutting card and paper. Which has turned out to be a bit of a pain considering that paper and everything related to it has always been part of my life. Over the last  I have been boxing my paper stash.

I was clearing another shelf this morning when a tag label I had made,  floated to the floor. It read“Start where you are and use what you have”. It stopped me in my tracks. I have such a stash of paper and paper related items. Then my phone tinged with some notifications and before 10 minutes had elapsed I had found homes for my paper stash. I love the concept and so my boxes are destined for a number of groups who don’t have the money to use on craft items. So definitely recycle and reuse are to the fore.

Over the years I have accumulated fabric. Well I found if I photocopied some fabric it made brilliant back drops for cards!!! Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways. During the last three years I have gradually become interested in quilting. Now I am gradually able to see what fabric I have.

Now before anyone may suggest that I am just replacing the shelf space, which had previous stored card stock, with fabric I would have to disagree. It may in time but for now poetry books have meandered in, journals duly followed, then the cookery books seemed lonely and just needed to be seen and looked at. I’m sure you know how it is!!! Or at least I am hoping there is someone out there who can empathise.

But to get back to the tag label “Start where you are and use what you have”  So, I am starting where I am at this moment with the fabric and books and I will see where it leads me. Mmmmmm there are just so many avenues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where are you now?

 

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I came across a similar quote to this quote a few years ago. Today I found this quote and it resonated with me.

Personal growth is so important but not something that perhaps we put enough effort into. Life happens and we can get caught up in the minute of everyday living. That is grand.

However, there is a need to give time and space for ourselves and for our growth. Assessing where we are at, and perhaps finding that one is in  the exact same spot as a year ago can be very demoralising.

Now I am not talking about monumental changes but changes that aid our personal well-being both mental and physical. There is a need to take stock. In my very first blog post I wrote about my five-year  clear out. It has been very cathartic. However the need to look at me personally needed a yearly “look at”.

Like  Kerry over in http://fabuliciousfifty.com who has written about “Word of the Year” I also used to choose a word for the year. However Kerry has brought it to a higher level. http://fabuliciousfifty.com/category/word-of-the-year/

For the last few years I have chosen my word of the year and the first day of each journal begins with the word for that year. The words have ranged from courage to smile, from start to accomplish. and so many other words in between.

By focusing on one word I have found that I have developed on a personal level. I can honestly say that the above quote is not me anymore. I am definitely not in the place I was this time last year nor this time 10 years ago.

Having the courage to change and the stamina to go with that change is incredibly empowering and once started on this journey there is no turning back.

 

Bliss with a Twist

One of life’s pleasures is curling up with a good book to the sound of rain beating against the window pane. Bliss.

Now there are a certain few tweeks to make this pleasure absolute bliss.  Firstly the coffee it has to be a blend which you enjoy, this is definitely not the time for “it will do” blend.  Secondly the mug.  It has to be big enough to hold a warming amount of coffee but not too big that the mug itself is hard to lift.  Thirdly one has to be comfy. Perhaps a quilt to throw aIMAG1015[1]round the shoulders or over the knees.  Perhaps a throw or perhaps that old warm roomy jumper that has survived so many mishaps.

 

 

Of course the most important choice is that of a book.  This is the time for the latest book by a favourite author.  Perhaps this is the time for renewing the warmth one feels from a favoutite book read so many times that the cover has that well thumbed look.

Easter Monday dawned to the sound of rain battering the windows.  Grey skys enveloped the area cutting the house off to the rest of the world.  Small streams were already forming as yet again another year had passed and the drains had not been cleared.  Rain dripped from the forlorn looking trees.

I went through my mental list. Dinner?  Left overs from Easter Sunday Lunch. Snacks? Leftovers from Easter Sunday and Easter Eggs.  Kitchen? Spick and span.  Oh yes, mental list checked off.  This day had all the makings for an uninterupted reading day.  Sheer Bliss.

I found myself in my favourite chair, my quilt folded beside me, in my comfy clothes and footrest in place.  Not knowing quite what book I wanted to read I had a selection.  Ruth dudley Edwards “Matricide at St. Martha’s”, Donna Leon’s “Earthly Remains“, Noel Dorr’s “Ireland at the United Nations” and Daisy Thurbin’s “The Radziwll Leagacy“.

A tray beside me held toasted hot cross buns my husband had made, a sliced apple and a pot of tea being kept warm with a tea cosy.  Beside it sat a small china mug with images of the London Olympics bringing back happy memories.

Yes I was all set.  Still there was something amiss.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.   Something just wasn’t quite right.  What was preveinting me from settling into one of my favourite pastimes.  Standing up and looking at the space I had made for my reading day it took a while for the incongruity to emerge.

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I sat down a little stunned. I was reading with a pot of tea!! For those of you who may not know me I am a coffee holic.  I love coffee and it hurts when I purchase or make a bad cup of coffee.  Realisation slowly dawned upon me that since I had had a massive allergy attack I had not sipped a drop of coffee.coffee.

Yikes. Nóilín minus a mug of coffee?  What a weird notion.  But it was no longer a notion it was a reality.  During the previous thirteen days I had not had a drop of coffee but what was really weird was that I had not missed it.  Nursing a cup of tea I pondered this new situation but the call of a book soon interupted these musings.

It wasn’t long before Ruth Dudley Eadwards had me laughing at the antics of the heroine and the question of why my body was rejecting coffee for tea was soon forgotten.  The rain continued unabated while I read and savoured being warm, having books to read while listening to music of the rain on the window.

It certainly was absolute bliss but with a new twist.

I will try this book genre just one more time.

 

I love to read. I enjoy finding a new book on perhaps a subject I haven’t really looked at before and being drawn in.

There are books however that over the years I have detested.  Yes a strong word but aptly describing my feeling towards fairy tales.  Yes, fairy tales.  I can remember fairy tales being read to me, later reading them for myself and always being frightened by either the tales themselves or the illustrations.

Thinking back to those tales still sends a shiver down my spine.  I can remember receiving a book one Christmas entitled “The Stolen Child and Other Stories” by Sinéad Bean DeValera.  Although these were Irish based I was still scared.

Recently, I was given a bag of children’s books some first published in the 1970’s.  In among them  was a book ” Great Fairy Tales of Ireland” compiled by Mary McGarry.  After numerous pots of tea I finally finished the book but I never relaxed into the book.

I think I can safely say that I will not be reading any more fairy tales however, I would recommend any of the books by Sinéad Bean DeValera if you can find them.  Also “The Lucky Bag” a book of Irish children’s stories by various authors.

Another series of children’s books, set in County Wicklow and written by Cormac Mac Raois are “The Battle of Giltspur, Dance of the Midnight Fire, and Lightening over Giltspur”.  These are adventure books with gripping tales centred around three children Niamh and Daire Durkan and their cousin Rónán.  They are books which can be enjoyed by a reader of any age, yes even a sixty year old!

For those who are nature lovers then the trilogy “Run with the Wind“, “Run to Earth” and “Run Swift Run Free” by Tom McCaughren are beautifully crafted books with descriptive passages which immediately evoke images of the Irish countryside.

I am halfway through this wonderful bag of books and thanks to Marie, Sinéad and Trina I have many more hours of enjoyment ahead of me.

 

Library and Craftsmanship

As you know by now paper is important to me together with pens.  Places where the two come together hold a fascination for me.  So it is one of the reasons I love libraries.

Do you ever find that each library has its own unique atmosphere.  Okay I know if I was working in them day after day I suppose I wouldn’t be wafting on about atmosphere.  But from a purely visitor’s view so far each library I have visited is unique.

I had a return visit to one this week.  Can you imagine a library set in a house on seventy eight acres of land surrounded by  farm, sunken gardens, a lake, and a veiw stretching out to the mountains and still in a city?

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Farmleigh House, Dublin is the guest house for visiting dignatries and gusets of the Irish Nation.  It is an Edwardian Period house originally purchased by Edward Cecil Guiness of the famous Guiness dynasty on his marriage to his cousin Adelaide Guinness in 1873.  The Iriah Government purchased it in 1999.  It has since been restored and refurbished by the Office of Public Works.  The craftsmanship in the restoration has been so high.

There are many wonderful rooms to view on the tour of the house.  However it was the library which stole my heart away.  The Benjamin Iveagh Library, to give it it’s official title, is stunning.

It is a wooden pannelled room  filled with books some with exquisite binding.  It has a hidden stairs to access the upper library shelves.  And no the public cannot access the books.  Although normaly my hands are itching to pick up a book this was a time when I just gazed in raputure at the workmanship of those bindings.

In this rrom you can see the work of suthors dating back to 1280.  The work of amazing binders each binding adding to the work of the author.  Then the work of the carpenters to allow for the storage of these valuable and read works.

This room like so many other libraries ackowledges the work of so many. Yet another library very much worth a visit.

Fountain Pen + Notebook =

Have you ever realised that having a pen and paper can be very rewarding?

It is amazing what is to be seen or heard and having that pen just enables me to remember those moments.   I have always thought of writing as being very solitary but I have learnt otherwise.

I was sitting recently in a restaurant waiting for my order to be served, took out a lovely small brown leather-bound notebook.  A great present from my son, as it holds my new fountain pen snugly in the spine and they both fit into my pocket.  Christl thanks for the fountain pen which goes everywhere with me.

My coffee arrived in a large bulbous mug.   The mug was so apt for a coffee.   It invited me just to wrap my hands around it and to savour that little moment.   And yes, the coffee lived up to expectations.

I drew my notebook to me and started to write just snippets, random thoughts.   I was soon lost to my writing and the thoughts which had been buzzing around my head.   I like to use word pictures as a quick way to get my ideas down before I totally forget.   Forgetting ideas seems to be happening more and more.

The coffee shop had got busier while I had been occupied and soon I was joined by two young ladies who turned out to be from Michigan in the USA.   After a brief conversation I returned to my scribblings but felt I was being watched.   It’s a feeling I don’t like so I quickly looked up to find one of these ladies staring intently at my fountain pen.  IMAG0940[1]

It turned out this young lady, had never seen a fountain pen.  She had heard about them but had never actually seen one.   Talk about being amazed.   I mean I know I was born in the last century but not to have seen a fountain pen!  Soon there was an engaging conversation on ordinary useful objects which had become obsolete or if not obsolete very seldom used.

To see their faces when they googled fax machines, 1970 computers, early mobile phones, telex,  their faces were a picture of total astonishment.   As for the Teas Maid the shrieks of laughter drew glances from a few other customers.

One never knows just where a pen, paper and a mug can lead one and what stories emerge never mind the memories which can be created or rekindled.  A simple fountain pen brought different generations together for a short while amidst much lughter.