Saturday, 30 April 2011

Wales walks

after a week full of some more great sunshine times and treats, including kayaking on the sea, bbqs, lots of beaching, various takeaways AND a cinema trip (SPOILT!! return to 'saving pennies' starts next week!) and being back at pre-school, I am now in beautiful North Wales hanging out with a beautiful friend. phew, long sentence!! It's great to be here, i love the ruggedness of the surroundings as opposed to southern england's gently rolling fields. I love the space and the peace and the vastness. Happy soul. We didn't hang about and climbed Snowdon yesterday, having arrived Thursday night. We went up the Watkins path and down the Miners for anyone who is familiar with the mountain. The first and last time I climbed Snowdon was when I was about 8 years old and my dad took me and my sister up the most difficult, dangerous route by mistake (Crib Gogh). We loved it! But it was nice to do it again on a clear-ish day, with some sun and visibility enough to see some amazing views. Photos to come!!

Today we walked again, despite protesting calf muscles, although it was a little more easy going this time. We went up to a gorgeous waterfall which I came to last time I was up here. Except then it was November, raining. cold, and we were totally drenched by the spray of the falls. Today there was much less water, a gentle river, rocks to scramble across, and blue skies.

so my body is tired but in the nicest kind of way. Hooray.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

coast



wow well i just feel like a very lucky girl to be getting all these outside sunny times... hooray for good weather during holidays. Today was just yummy... had home made hot cross buns at some friends' house with others from church this morning (thankful to be part of a community that likes hanging out and appreciates good food!!). After that Llewellyn and I headed off on our bicycles with our rucksaks along the coast to ovingdean where we parked our bikes then parked ourselves down on the beach, gradually heading toward rottingdean and beyond as we went in search of patches of sand. We just CHILLED, enjoyed the sun, the warmth, the peace, the clear blue sea (was not brave enough to swim today i'm ashamed to say, it was COLD and I'm on the brink of a cold, so stuck to paddling).

Ah those big blue spaces of sky and sea are good for the soul! As is walking barefoot, cycling with a glorious coastal view and the first icecream cone of the year. Happy Katrina!

It contrasts with the vibe of Easter Friday, which I suppose most have been a very dark day, a hopeless, confusing, lost kind of day. And those days still seem to occur. But today was light and good and i shall celebrate it and be thankful.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Facebook page!

Well I've decided to try and 'get out there' a bit more with my words and performances and ting. So, I now have a facebook 'page' with fans and everything! woop de doop.

Check it out here!

one reason for loving...


...a rather pensive looking Llewellyn. Glad to be with someone who thinks lots about life, the world, God, etc - like me - and can handle my questions/frustrations/ponderings and often the accompanying tears! :-)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

DJ JOY


We celebrated Joy's 25th birthday this weekend :-) So here's just a little bit more celebration, for a woman that many people are privileged to call a friend. A lady full of suprises - she is more than what she seems, if you can believe that's possible - and hidden talents (not quite mastered the DJ-ing yet tho!!). And just generally brilliant. Much love to you Joyful!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

thank you God for colourful food, for tasty red wine, for beautiful creative friends, for honest and thoughtful conversations, for hugs, for pretty background music, for stillness, for being part of all of this goodness.

sunny restful weekend in Oxford









thought there'd been a lack of photos in recent posts :-)

had a lovely weekend in oxford seeing the family and being outside in the sun lots... on runs, walks, bike rides, garden lazing, park frisby-ing, city centre tourist-ing and a brief dip in the Thames river. I think we're made for that - sunshine and air and moving in it - it definitely made us feel happier, healthier and more alive.

It's strange how Oxford has slowly gone from being 'home' - where i'd fit back into work, social life, etc even after being away for months at a time, to the 'place where my parents live' where I can go to get away from things, with only a smattering of friends about. There is a sense of loss to this transition, and the realisation that as mentioned in a post not long ago, things aren't going to go back to how they were. At the same time it also means that returning to Brighton feels more like coming 'home' than ever, and I have full life here for which I am so thankful. Plus when i do go back to Oxford, it's more about seeing my family, which is a good thing... they are the people who are not going to 'go away' after all! This weekend was fairly full of weddingy things, like dress shopping with my mum! And yes, I did get one... but that's all I'm saying! :-)

But yeh, it was great to have a restful few days, gearing up for a busy month or so ahead with lots to do and plan. But I'm up for it!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

jump in!



It's one thing to say you're up for stripping off and jumping in the water when the opportunity arise, and another thing to actually do it. My aim is that for as long as I am physically able, I'll be someone who remains 'up for it'! :-) This makes me think of Donald Miller's book 'a million miles in a thousand years' when he talks about intentionally creating good memories and moments, that add up to make a good story. I want my life to be a good story.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

More on writing

I'm in Oxford at the moment at my parents house. They have a whole shelf-full (shelful? shelfull? shelf-ful?) of books inherited from my grandfather and great aunt about Africa and India, mainly written in colonial times. I picked up one called 'The Dark Eye in Africa' by Laurens Van der Post, published in 1955. The title sounds quite ominous and I wondered what the 'dark eye' referred to. Far from being a fantasy as I imagined, Van der Post actually writes about racial tension and how he viewed this to be the source of many problems in Africa, in particular South Africa. Having judged the book on its dated cover and brown pages, I was surprised at the passion and sensitivity with which the author writes. Anyways to follow on from my previous post, in the introductory chapter, there is another great quote about writing:

"Art to me is the technique of presenting unrealised and hidden values to people potentially capable of appreciating and understanding those values. It is a means by which men can penetrate places in their minds and souls they had never reached before. Writing especially can be a kind of magic mirror which holds up to man and society the neglected and unrealised aspects of himself and his age. Writing can be many other things as well but at this desperate moment I think this may be its most important function" (p.16).

Friday, 8 April 2011

On writing

I'm reading Stephen King's book 'On Writing'. I can't say I've ever read any of his other books, and to be honest I don't intend to... being someone who's particularly sensitive to any kind of horror/thriller/vaguely scary anything. BUT, I am really enjoying this book which is partly memoir, partly advice on writing, and... I haven't read the rest yet. It's honest, direct, easy to read and has made me laugh out loud several times.

Here's one of my favourite bits in it so far:

"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair - the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again; you must not come lightly to the blank page".
(p.117-118)


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

THE "M" WORD


Mummy?

Men?

Marigolds?

Nope. It's MARRIAGE. Which in itself, purely in terms of how it sounds, is to me a scarily grown up and serious word [Like... carriage...?]. But that's probably not a bad thing. If it sounded trivial and somewhat limp, [like... snog? flump? fling?] that would not be a good start.


Anyways, I'm writing about it because... as I hinted at in a previous post, I am ENGAGED [a slightly softer, more comfortable word yet still with a serious undertone]. It's taken me a month or two for that to sink in, as I never imagined I would be the one wearing a ring, planning a wedding, etc - well not at this age anyways. For most of my life I assumed it would either never happen to me, or if it did it wouldn't be for a long time. I determined not to be someone who sat around waiting for her life to begin when she finally was whisked away my the man of her dreams. Firstly, life's too short, and secondly the image that puts in my mind is of a period drama woman draping herself over furniture and gazing wistfully out of windows. Even if I tried, I could not pull off meek, (no offence, but slightly pathetic?!), dreamy period-drama-woman. Thirdly, throughout my life I've heard it said hundreds of times: "don't worry, there's someone waiting just for you" or lines along a similar vein. However, my logical mind reasoned that there are in fact more women than men in the world (and if looking for someone who shares my beliefs the ratio is even less in a woman's favour) so how could anyone possibly guarantee that? Fourthly, I probably secretly really did like the idea of spending my life with someone but didn't believe I'd be someone's choice of partner so I made myself believe I was really fine being 'just me' so that I wouldn't get disappointed later in life (phew, long sentence!).

And I actually was fine with all that, then a young man strolled in to my life and bit by bit over the last couple of years we've both changed and grown towards each other and like each other a whole big fat lot, and now we've decided to commit to each other for the rest of our lives. Which is HUGE!! yes there is a wedding to plan and that's also something I'd never really thought about before but that is one day and nothing compared to the thought of preparing for a whole life time. Which I guess, is kind of impossible. Because who knows what life will bring? The point is we'll be walking the road together. Even with regards to this year, there are very few things I'm certain about i.e. job, somewhere to live, etc apart from the fact that as of September I'll be facing these unknowns with Mr Q at my side.
And that is a great thing.

Obviously there are things we already do together, and we see each other a lot, so I guess the question for a lot of people in a society where marriage is becoming less and less common is: "what's the point?". Well for us it will be a big change. We won't live together until we are married, which again is quite a crazy concept to many people, and yes it is a risk because for example, there are probably lots of little habits we haven't noticed about each other that might annoy the hell out of us! BUT i kind of think that love should involve some kind of risk. Don't take this as me being flippant, I am not expecting everything to be hunky-dory, and I don't think we should make things hard for the sake of it. However, Commitment doesn't mean anything if we can get out of it at the slightest difficulty. Love is a choice, it doesn't give up, it doesn't keep a record of wrongs (see 1 Corinthians 13 in the New testament for an amazing, challenging description of love). And that idea of committing to someone, whatever happens, is the most powerful expression of love I can think of. Because we will make this commitment, [or oath, or covenant --> deep, heavy, beautiful words] before God and before our friends we will be well and truly bound to one another - which is terrifying yet amazing. And i think it's the best way to lay a foundation for doing life together.
So going back to preparing, I guess what we've been focussing on is being able to be totally open and honest with each other (something I'm still not great at!) and working out how to really be a team, to regain the distance between us when for whatever reason we might have drawn apart.

So there's some of my thoughts... which I've just let spill out as I type, which is interesting because I then realise a bit more of what's going on inside me! I'm just at the beginning of this adventure, and I know there will be plenty of challenges and lots to learn, but today i'm saying HOORAY, I can't wait to marry Mr Q :-)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

late night musing

late night ponderings...

i haven't done this for ages, stayed up late perusing internet, well, facebook, with an urge to chat to people in other places from past times... wishing i had msn or skype or something but this isn't my laptop...

i haven't 'chatted' online for so long, quite a while ago i started to find it all a bit overwhelming, finding it hard enough to keep up with people here in Brighton let alone in Zambia/USA/Spain/etc.

But tonight, I'd like to. Perhaps because today i went to a friend's 'baby bash'/housewarming which doubled up as a reunion with some of my closest university friends, so i'm in a reminiscing mood. Remembering times when hanging out with particular groups of people was an everyday thing, not a once in a while thing.

The reason for the gathering also makes me realise we are growing up, things are changing, and they won't go back to how they were. Which does make me a bit sad to be honest, especially as the future feels pretty uncertain for a lot of us. And it seems that the decisions we make now hold more gravity than ever before. Maybe that's why it's tempting to hold on to the past. Because with hindsight we can see how things worked out. And I'm sure on the whole i remember the good things more than the bad things. Like, for example, I lived in Zambia for about 2 1/2 years and left when i was 15 - which is nearly 10 years ago now. TEN YEARS! yet some memories are still as clear as day, and today I miss friends from there (to be fair I spent several years maintaining close contact with lots of them, it's just been the last couple of years that this has changed) and today I feel nostalgic for even silly things like writing secret notes to boys when in reality I and friends around me are making big decisions like who we are going to spend the rest of our life with!!! And these are good and exciting things but as I said, pretty scary. Then again whatever age you are or season you're in, I think decisions feel like a big deal, life feels uncertain, and we reminisce with our rose tinted spectacles on. I know that my time in Zambia wasn't all easy. I know it took me a long time to make the friendships that I came to appreciate so much. I know that writing notes to boys was sometimes a massive, awkward deal!

So I know really I need to get on and be PRESENT and enjoy the day and the season I'm in. And I should also go to bed because it's nearly 4am and that's just a bit silly! :-)