Give Thanks; It’s Good For You

18 Apr

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Whether you believe in God or not, it is a good habit to count your blessings. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that being thankful for what you have is good for your health and mental wellbeing. I know this because I saw it in a Twitter meme, so it must be true. For it to work, it is recommended that you find at least five things to be thankful for. 

I record daily thanks in a notebook and I’ve been doing it for about six years. I only have bad moods on non-recording days but this might be because I don’t record my thanks because I’m in a bad mood. Science has to get back to me on that one.

Thanks should be personal to you because it’s unrealistic to be thankful for the neighbour a few doors down with the flawless skin and gleaming hair when you’re going through age-mandated repuberty and you look like Dorian Gray’s older, less attractive sister. They don’t need to be big things, though we ought to be thankful for them also. On days when I’m almost in a bad mood and can’t be bothered to be grateful that my fingernails look fabulous, I use my big things as default thanks: husband, kids, grandson, dogs, health, wealth, outstanding personality. More often than not, though, I’m thankful for small things like cheese & onion crisps, panty liners, invites to dinner at friends’ homes=no cooking, etc., and I have been thankful for as many as 23 separate things on Malteser days.

Today, to put my money where my mouth is, I’m going to share my thanks with you.

I am thankful for:

  • My lack of money, because it teaches me the true value of things (a little fake sincerity is surprisingly positive at times)
  • How often my fake sincerity teaches me the true value of things
  • That I’m not in a bad mood
  • For my eldest child; I love him so much
  • For the man he has become
  • Cheese & onion crisps, obviously
  • That he’s a fantastic father
  • That he’s known me for 28 years and yet he still talks to me
  • That blogging is cheaper than a birthday card

Surprise!

Happy birthday, darling! 

Thank goodness that’s over with.

Oops! Did I say that out loud? Thank goodness he didn’t read me. And that he has a great sense of humour…

Excluding what we have established is the boring (family/pets/health/etc.), what are YOU thankful for?

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Two Funnies

13 Apr

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No time to write so I’ll borrow instead. Read these somewhere on t’internet and thought I’d share.

A Joke

A woman is sitting at her deceased husband’s funeral. A man leans in to her and asks, “Do you mind if I say a word?”

“No, go right ahead,” the woman replies.

The man stands, clears his throat, says, “Plethora,” and sits back down.

“Thanks,” the woman says, “that means a lot.”

From @AllieLia

A Happy Coincidence

From @invisibleman_17

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

Spot The Difference

19 Mar

Sometime before Christmas, I was given an old drawers unit that was unwanted by our local community centre:

As you can see, it is tatty and grim-seventies in style, but functional. Exactly what I need, in fact, for my poetry collections and stationery; and I am extremely grateful to have it. My intention is to upcycle it in the summer i.e. give it a coat of paint.

The brown plastic drawers are miserable to look at and not conducive to making this housewife laugh, but I had a solution. The Hub bought me some gorgeous sticky back plastic: silver, glittery and textured. I confess, I like to stroke it, especially when I’m stressed. I have it on notebooks, backing a framed document signed by Queen Victoria, and now here:

I was really pleased with my temporary cheerful fix.

And then the Hub did this:

Yes, folks, that’s right: every time I sit at my desk, I get to look at the Hub’s ‘PENiS’.

Three guesses what I’m going to do with my next roll of sticky back plastic.

 

Yet More Dancing

14 Mar

An old pic of me dancing (in the rain)
The reason for oldmedancing is shared below

Thank you to everyone who made suggestions for my forthcoming book’s #I’mNotAllowedToSayTheNameYet dance song. I decided to go with – well, I had to, really, didn’t I? – the suggestion from ME Lewis at France Says:

Picture me boogying to this in my bedroom after hitting Send to my publisher.

You’ll have to picture it, because there are no pictures of it;  I haven’t boogied yet. Right after sending off my manuscript, I succumbed to a bacterial infection which saw me in bed for days, gulping down not one but two courses of those increasingly hard-to-get miracle pills, antibiotics. I’m on the mend now but it was touch and go for a while there whether I’d be able to eat all of my Maltesers. I’m happy to report that as of today I have none left.

When looking for a song, I came across this:

As much as I’d love to have used it, it’s not dancey enough. I found another which is quite dancey but, sadly, not entirely appropriate for a family-friendly blog. But go look it up; Google #MENOPAUSE MONDAYS®A Singing Uterus Explains Perimenopause and Menopause. Hilarious in an I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-seeing way.

The family and I – Hub, me, Spud, DisgustedwiththeTories Boy, and our newest member, Daddy’s Boy – were all dancing for joy this week, for an entirely different reason.

Debra at Breathe Lighter asked me a while back what Alex plans to do post-uni. I am now allowed to tell you that he got into not one, but two drama schools, and has accepted a funded place on a one year course at Oxford School of Drama.

When we heard the news, we all did this:

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Just to be clear – we’re all Laura Linney, not Karl on the right, who is every new graduate who has just realised the fun’s over; real life starts and oh no! here come the bills.

Fortunately, that’s not Alex. He won’t start work at McDonald’s for at least another twelve months.

 

Frazzled – the battle with adrenaline

7 Mar

An amusing – and fraught! – read from a dear friend of mine. A terrifying insight into what awaits me…

Nicola Hulme Author

I’ve been so far out of my comfort zone for so long, I’m not sure I know my way back.

In the last 6 months, I’ve been drawn away from the pleasure of writing, to be called upon for public speaking events. Moving away from the private relationship between writer and page into a pubic life of presenting the published book to unknown audiences. It’s uncomfortable. It sounds ungrateful, and sulky, but for those of you, who long for the label of published, let me give you an insight into what is then expected of you.

The book launch itself was a huge party. Surrounded by friends and family I was supported throughout the whole event and I loved every minute. A lot of hard work studying the craft had paid off, and seeing my name of the front cover of a picture book was a dream come true.

Beyond…

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I Need A Dance Song

1 Mar

Three points:

  • I love writing but it is tedious at times, especially when you’re as anal as I am
  • I have no money
  • I like to reward myself when I finish something
  • I can’t count

When I completed my first two (unpublished) collections, at various stages I danced: a reward for sticking with the drafting/editing/proofing process. Dancing is better than money. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

The habit began by accident.  I wrote my South African collection over twenty years. One day, it occurred to me that I had unwittingly written a themed collection but it needed crafting. I listened to Mango Groove, a South African band, as I worked on it, and I felt like dancing after weeks slaving over a hot computer, so I put on Dance Sum More:

When it came to my second collection, Wholly Man, the South African vibe was all wrong, so I found this:

My third collection, published this summer, is a lighthearted look at menopause and motherhood. I have just completed the first draft and sent it off to my publisher* – literally ten minutes ago – and I was appalled to realise I have no dance song to celebrate.

Any suggestions?

It has to be cheerful and danceable and related to menopause and/or motherhood.

Find me something – I know you love a challenge.

*Which is why I haven’t yet replied to your comments; but I will, I promise…as soon as I finish reading my next course text (once I begin reading it) and write a poem based on it, due in tomorrow lunchtime.

 

Thank You

22 Feb

Thank you, everyone, for your good wishes this week. It’s a thrill to know how many friends I have, in the real and virtual worlds. I intend to respond to you all but this has been a manic week for me – although, these days, when is it not?

Image result for the music man

I wanted to take a minute to share a video with you. As you know, Alex has sung with Sheffield University Broadway Orchestra many times, performing lost (though presumably found by the time they get to him) and forgotten (though presumably remembered etc., etc.) songs, some of which he was the first person ever to sing, or the first person in Britain ever to sing, for as many as eighty years.

On Sunday, he will sing in what will probably be his last Broadway concert, as he graduates this year.  

😦

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Sorry, I needed a moment there. I have LOVED these concerts. Apart from The Tree of War (obviously), they have been my favourite shows to watch. They are fabulous.

The show is composed of songs from The Music Man, in honour of its sixtieth birthday. I had thought that they are not lost or forgotten but the website says the show includes ten songs cut from the original. Either way, they are rarely performed these days so, if you are in the Sheffield area on Sunday night, why not pop along? Here’s a link: The Music Man

To whet your appetite, here’s a snippet from rehearsal. Alex is singing with his regular collaborator, Debra Finch.

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