Tag Archives: #amblogging

Nap time…..

If I was a cat right now, this would be me……  ha ha

Normal blog nonsense will resume next week once I’ve caught up with myself 😉

 

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A Mouse’s Tale….

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When I set off for my lunchtime meander today, I was lost in my own thoughts. The ear buds were in, my music was playing and I was over thinking and over analysing just about everything in my world. With every step, I was withdrawing further and further into myself and was truly living up to the Introvert aspect of my INFJ personality type.

Instead of my usual waterfront route, I decided to head towards the nearby marina. The sun was shining. There was even some warmth to it. The major drawback of that particular lunchtime route is that it runs along the main road and the traffic is horrendous. Not really a problem as there are no roads to cross. It just means I need to crank up the volume on the iPod and enjoy breathing in exhaust fumes for a few minutes.

I was halfway to the marina when something flew onto the pavement to my right then ran across my path. It then stopped and looked at me. I stopped and looked at it. Ok, confession, I spoke to it too.

It was a tiny mouse.

I expected it to vanish as quickly as it had appeared but it didn’t.

It stayed beside me, keeping close to the brick wall to my left.

Watching it scurry along, stopping every few metres to glance back, almost as if it was checking I was keeping up, made me forget all the “junk” that had been clogging my mind.

The mouse was moving too fast for me to get its photo. I tried and failed. I did catch a couple of seconds of video though.

 https://youtu.be/2EItC00KDQU  

For over a hundred metres it ran along beside me and I found myself wondering where it was going. Was there a wee mouse family waiting for it somewhere nearby? Was it on the run from a predator? Was this a fitness freak mouse out for some exercise?

My mind gradually drifted away from the thoughts that had been troubling me as I recalled my mum reading to me when I was a wee girl, reading one of my favourite storybooks, Timmy Mouse.

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Timmy Mouse tells the tale of Timmy’s attempts to find someone to adopt his baby sister and care for her after their parents failed to return from a foraging expedition. He realises that its too much responsibility for him to look after himself and the baby but he wants to make sure she is safe and cared for. I’ll not spoil the story but let’s say all ends well.

An incoming message on my phone distracted me for a few seconds – just long enough for Timmy Mouse to vanish. I assume he disappeared through a crack in the wall to safety.

With my own mood now somewhat lighter, I continued on my merry way, wondering where he had gone to and what adventures awaited him on the far side of the wall.

 

Snow Stopped Play…..or did it?

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I hate snow! I hate being cold!

Love it or hate it, Mother Nature dumped  more snow than I have ever seen on the area a few days ago. In the end, a whopping 16inches fell on our garden.

The world ground to a halt instantly…. well the road had disappeared for a start (it’s in the background behind the metre stick in the photo…honest!)

Cue furious digging to excavate the cars in the hope that a snow plough would rediscover the road. Hours and hours of digging – and at that point we didn’t own a snow shovel. Boy Child worked tirelessly for most of the day digging with the garden spade, the garden fork and the giant outdoor brush. I couldn’t watch him struggle on his own so for several hours I joined him in his excavation efforts.

snow collage

This prompted a debate about the correct way to hold a fork or a spade. We were both holding it differently and it appears that I dig left handed, much to his amusement. Does it matter as long as it works? ha ha

The road still hadn’t been cleared and there was no way I was attempting to drive on the packed rutted snow.

Friday morning came….. there had been more snow overnight and the driveway we had cleared was white again. NO!!! We still couldn’t get out.

Cue more furious digging to excavate the car again and to clear the driveway in the hope the snow plough would clear a safe path out.

Eventually the snow plough arrived. We were free!!!!

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Saturday morning came….. a light dusting of snow overnight but we were still clear to escape. Thankful to be out of the house and the street I headed off to do the weekly supermarket shop. That turned out to be mission impossible due to empty shelves in the local supermarket thanks to panic buying and lack of deliveries due to the weather. I did my best. We weren’t about to starve. I failed on the bread mission but hey ho who needs toast!  I reached the conclusion though that some locals seemed intent on a diet of chocolate Easter Eggs judging by the number in their shopping trolleys!

Next on the shopping list was a snow shovel! Boy Child had only cleared two thirds of the driveway and we still had a fair amount of snow to dig out. Snow shovels were almost as rare a commodity as bread!

Feeling optimistic Girl Child and I headed to the local garden centre in search of a snow shovel.

Now the garden centre is across the road from the beach…..I couldn’t resist the lure of a snowy beach walk. The bay was virtually deserted. There was one lone fisherman in his waders up to his waist in the river and one dog walker. I didn’t venture far along the beach. It was knee deep in snow and too uneven to walk safely on. The small area of woodland wasn’t much safer underfoot.

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The picnic area was largely untouched snow. It was just begging for someone to leave a “snow angel” on it.

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I couldn’t resist. 🙂

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Sometimes you have to just channel that inner child and play in the snow!

We did  manage to purchase a snow shovel (once I’d figured out how to stand up without ruining my snow angel!)

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I’m still on a mission for that loaf of bread ……

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January……

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January – the first month of the year when you are supposed to feel motivated and energised to take on the challenges of the year to come.  Eh……maybe not!

January – cold dark month lasting at least 96 soul draining days…… I jest (slightly)

Did I feel motivated and ready to take on 2018 31 days ago? I thought so…..

In the spirit of honesty, I’ll confess to having struggled with my own  creative motivation   this month. The stresses and strains of every day life may have been a contributory factor or I may just be making excuses…who knows! We are now at the end of January and I’ve not met the goals I had in my head at the turn of the year and I’m mad at myself.

As part of the “day job” in the “salt mine” I’ve been delivering coaching sessions to my team to encourage them to think about what motivates them in a work sense and to think about what areas they wish to develop themselves in. I’ve now delivered the same session, tweaked to the individual, fourteen times.  It struck me earlier that I needed to deliver it one more time. I needed to deliver it to myself!

I’ll not bore you with the ins and outs of it all but the focus of the coaching was a motivational triangle. The three sides represent Clear, Capable and Motivated. Is it Clear what’s expected of you? Are you Capable of meeting these expectations/goals? Are you Motivated to succeed?

I paused for some self-reflection as I went for my lunchtime meander in the cold. A bit of soul-searching.

And the result……

Clear – YES I am clear of the expectation /goal I have set myself. I need to finish the first draft of book baby 4.

Capable – YES I am capable of achieving this. I need to remain focussed and not “waste” the time deviating off at a tangent and writing other pieces.

Motivated – YES I will finish this! I have invested too much time in the project to abandon it at the last gasp. It is so close to being finished in reality.

So, without further ado…. I have a book to finish! ….. Goodbye January. Hello February!

The End Is In Sight…..of my tether that is!

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It’s Monday and this isn’t a good sign….. I’ve reached the end of my tether!

Anyone who knows me will appreciate that I generally quite a patient person. Some of you might even say too patient but occasionally even I reach the end of my rope.

So where does the phrase come from and what does it really mean?

A little research ( not got the patience for extensive research this evening) revealed it’s a phrase used mainly in the USA and UK. It means to have reached the end of your patience, to be completely worn out, exasperated or exhausted.

So. What’s a tether in this context? Cue more Googling – a rope used to restrict the freedom of grazing animals by tying one end around their neck and the other to a stake in the ground.

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Hmmmm…….

 

Pass me the scissors or a knife….this tether is being cut!

Normally to soothe me frayed nerves I would head out for a walk along the beach but its kind of cold and dark out there right now.

Virtual beach walk required before I settle down to continue the tale that’s shaping up to be Book Baby 4.

 http://livebeaches.com/rehoboth-beach-de/webcams/rehoboth-beach-boardwalk/

 I can almost feel the sand between my toes…..

 

(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

Today You Have Memories With…..

Sometimes I forget how long it is since I ventured into the weird world of social media but Facebook very kindly reminds me on a daily basis with its “You have memories with…. to look back on today”

I don’t always check these out. I’ll be honest, it sometimes depends on who it says I have memories to share with.

One caught my eye about a week or so ago. It was a memory from 2010 from a school friend. 

“Don’t know why I remember this so clearly but you wrote a book in school with a character called Maggie or Megan, didn’t you? Did you keep up the writing thing?” 

A short conversation followed this post: 

Friend – I think I just remember being really impressed at the time.

Me – I tried writing short stories for a few years but never got anything published. Tried again a few years later with children’s stuff but no luck. Still scribble for my own amusement. Really touched that you remember. Thanks x

Friend – Hey – look at JK Rowling! Should give it another go. Was it Megan or Maggie?

Me- Megan x 

I was, and still am, very touched that she remembered my early literary efforts.

And to be honest, she wasn’t the first school friend to quiz me years after the fact out of the blue.

A few years earlier, I met another old school friend when our daughters both went to the same dance class. She too remembered my teenage “story” and I recall flushing scarlet as she told the other mothers present that she got her sex education from my story! EEKKK!!!!

(Yes, even at fifteen and sixteen I wrote romantic fiction…..) 

The Facebook memory got me thinking….reflecting… 

I was fourteen when I started that “story”. My reporter notebook and pen went everywhere with me for about three years, maybe four.

The story itself was a family saga spanning three generations of women – Terri, Bethan and Megan. I would love to have shared a little bit of it here but ,despite an extensive search earlier today, I can’t find the box in the loft that has the sixteen reporter notebooks in it. I still have it….somewhere! 

There are a lot of parallels between then and now as to why I write. 

Basically, it’s an escape from my own reality for a while. 

Back then it was an escape from the school bullies and was a way to cope with secondary school. I would sit in a corner at lunchtimes and write. After school, I would walk into town to meet my mum from work. Many an hour was spent sitting writing in her office as I waited on her finishing for the day. I also wrote at night, alone, listening to my music. (I’m still listening to some of the same music to this day!)

Now, it’s a means to relax after a long day and, yes, it’s still an escape from my reality. Yes, it’s still a coping mechanism. If I haven’t written for a few days, I can tell! Those who are close to me can also tell. Occasionally, I will spend a wet lunch hour writing at my desk instead of venturing out for a walk. Mainly, I write at night, alone, listening to my music.

Once I find those reporter notebooks (I wonder where they are hiding?) will anything ever come of the “story”? Highly unlikely but never say never. The first incarnation of Jake Power is actually written in “Megan’s” part of the story. ( I told you he’d been in my head for a very long time….almost thirty years in fact! EEEKK!)

Has my approach to how I write changed since the mid-1980’s? Eh……………..no.

I still write everything long hand in crazy colours of ink. I still need a new notebook and a new pen every time I start a new “long story” or “book baby”.

Now I buy A4 notebooks and tend to buy four or five the same to ensure that each book baby has its own identity. (Book Baby 4 is blue)

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I’ll confess…. I’ve already bought the notebooks for Book Baby 5, which will be a Silver Lake tale, too. They’re purple.

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If I rounded them up, I’ve probably got enough pens to start a shop! I love pens! Love multi-coloured ink. Even at work in the salt mine I use a Bic pen that has four colour options. No, not blue, black, red and green. Mine has pink, blue, purple and green ink….trademark pen! Lol

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Back then, I wrote primarily with a green Berol pen ( I’ve just realised that I’ve picked up a green pen to write the first draft of this blog…some things never change.)

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As a teenager, I let very few people read what I wrote. I guess I was terrified that folk would laugh at my story. That instilled a deep rooted fear in me of sharing my words with people. It’s one I still struggle with. Its taken a long time for me to feel even remotely comfortable with sharing my work. A crippling fear for a storyteller.

When I had that Facebook conversation with my old school friend back in October 2010, reflecting back on whether it was Maggie or Megan, little did I know the path I would venture down three short years later.

So, here I am, sitting here reflecting (and procrastinating a tad) on my stories.

If there are any of you reading this who are debating whether to write that book you’ve always dreamed of writing, I have one simple piece of advice. Go for it!

A friend posted a motivational quote on his Facebook wall a few years ago that has always stuck with me, become my mantra almost.

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Now pick up that pen ( it doesn’t matter what colour the ink is) and tell your story to the world.

 

 

Sometimes You Just Need To Stop And Look At The Colours Around You…..

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I’ve been reflecting and thinking….. (Oh, no! Here she goes! I hear you cry!)

Life is busy. Life is chaotic. It’s demanding on us  mentally and physically. We are  overloaded on a daily basis with information thanks to the technology that we have at our fingertips. It’s terrifying the amount of information  that we carry around in our pockets without a second thought about it. At the touch of the screen, we can connect with friends all over the world and see snapshots of their lives. Web cams allow us to “peek”  live time into cities and beaches and  who knows where else the world over. We even have devices in our own homes that we talk to…”Alexa, play songs by….”  Sometimes she even does as she’s asked. (My Alexa is developing an attitude)

So, how often do you actually press “pause” and look at the world around you, the real world?

This thought first struck me a few weeks back as I strolled through a largely deserted Dublin on a Sunday morning. It’s struck me a few times since.

Autumn (Fall, if you prefer) is a myriad of colours. Have you even noticed? Did it even cross your mind to look?

I did….. and here’s some of the colours I found.

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So, next time you go for a walk, keep your phone in your pocket and look at the world around you instead of the screen. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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