Daybook

Daybook Entry – 8th February


For Today… 8th February

Looking out my window… it’s raining and we are forecast more snow overnight.

I am thinking… about submitting a short story to a competition. But which one? And which competition?

I am thankful… that I managed to finish my assignment today. A screenplay of just the right length (15 minutes), a commentary that was plumb on the 1000 word limit and a proposal for my final piece which was also bob on the 300 word limit. Actually, I’m not so much thankful as rather smug this evening!

One of my favourite things… is making a game out of deadlines and word counts.

I am creating… some crotchet blanket squares. I’m trying a new pattern which hopefully will look like a Celtic knot, but it’s a bit tricky so far.

I am wearing… long legged pyjama bottoms in bed at the minute. It’s a bit cold out there isn’t it?

I am reading … the new Elly Griffiths book which was delivered to my Kindle today. It is the latest in the Ruth Galloway series, which I love. Book review coming up.

I am praying… for healing in certain quarters. The Lord knows where.

I am learning… how to write effective (and hopefully interesting) screenplay.

In my kitchen… it’s the week before payday so we had one of our standby favourites tonight. Pasta, chorizo, peas and prawns with a bit of cheese on top. Delish!

Post Script… this week is the hundredth anniversary of the Act of Parliament that allowed certain women the right to vote in the UK. I wrote a post about it the other day and what it means for us in our society today. I’d love it if you would have a little read for me and leave me a comment on it. I want to have a conversation in particular about what the notion of “equality” means for us in our society today.

Closing Notes… I was sent a link to this video a few days ago and we sang it tonight at study group. It’s based on Psalm 92 and I thought you might like to have a listen too. Enjoy Graham Kendrick singing one of his new songs

 

 

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Blogging, Daybook

Daybook Entry – 9th January 2018


For Today 9th January 2018

Looking out my window… I can see the frost on the ground that has still not disappeared from this morning.

I am thinking…that sometimes, it’s the small things that affect us more than the big ones. For example, the papercut on my finger is distracting me beyond measure, yet the sore throat that I thought I had got rid of with antibiotics is now about half-way developed again and until I try to speak or swallow, it is not bothering me at all. And still, that papercut is making me feel utterly miserable.

I am thankful… for the easy access we have to medicine in our world. I know there are places on earth that don’t have ready access to even the basic medical care, so for those people, the throat infection I have had might have proved to bring a totally different outcome than the one I had.

One of my favourite things… is hitting on a great story idea and starting to plan out the characters and plot points to tell it properly. One of my least favourite is editing it once it has been written. Feels so much like destruction for a while, and then it gets creative again, but that initial destruction of an idea is one of my least favourite parts to writing.

I am creating… I made myself a long, chunky scarf a couple of weeks ago and I am trying to create a hat to match it. I am on for my fourth attempt so far (completed and undone to save yarn) and I am still not happy with it. The colours are great, but I just can’t get the right shape of hat. It’ll come!

I am wearing… warm clothes today. It’s not that cold outside, but as I’m still under the weather a little, I am feeling chilly in my bones.

I am reading … “Origin” by Dan Brown. I started it last week but I haven’t really been in the mood for reading since, and I am still only about three-quarters of the way through it. I will do a proper book review when I’ve finished it.

I am praying… for a tiny baby born too small for his gestational age and who is facing some complex health issues; for an old friend who has to face a serious operation in the next few days.

I am learning… to take care of my health. Not easy because I don’t like to say “no” to things, and because I have a tendency to push through things just so I can keep going. I have learned particularly over Christmas that that is not always possible – or advisable.

In my kitchen… we are “budget cooking” at the moment, and the challenge is on to find nutritious and filling yet inexpensive meals for the family. We are eating a lot of inexpensive protein, such as grains and pulses, which turns out to be a bit healthier too. Win win!

Post Script… You may already have a prayer pattern which you use daily, but if you haven’t or are perhaps looking for something different, why not give this a go? It is the Examen prayer as defined by St Ignatius of Loyola and is something I have used quite a bit and I find it useful when prayer is difficult.

St Ignatius of Loyola

Shared Quote… “The beginning is always today.” Mary Shelley

A moment from my day… Just your average Grandma playing about with your daughter’s Navy uniform…

Closing Notes… I am struck again by the valuable contact that I have through the people who come and read my blog. Thank you all for making yourselves known to me and for our conversation and debate we strike up online. Social media has such a bad reputation, but when I make contact with friends through my blog I am minded that we shouldn’t just take a reputation blindly, and be thankful for those times we buck the trend.

 

 

I like to do the Daybook entry now and again, and it is hosted by Peggy at http://thesimplewoman.blogspot.com. Please hop along and have a go yourself if you’d like to link up with her.

Daybook

Daybook Entry – 2nd January 2018


For Today… 2nd January 2018

Outside my window… Storm Eleanor is gearing up and we’re battening down the hatches for her to hit tomorrow sometime

I am thinking… about a story that is floating round my head that came to me in the night. Now, before you go thinking that writers are gifted stories all the time, this one was the result of about 4 hours tossing and turning, arguing with myself and having conversations with people that I know will never happen. In an attempt to try and get those negative thoughts turned off I started reciting nursery rhymes and was struck by Little Bo Peep and how that simple little rhyme could be turned into a three act/scene play. The next two hours of insomnia were spent jotting down notes and working out the what if’s and what then’s of a potential story. Inspiration doesn’t just strike, it’s a result of a lot of things!

I am thankful… that our NHS has been able to treat me, my husband and my son over the Christmas holiday. We have all been pretty ill at one stage or another and needed various stages of medical support in the last couple of days. Today’s thankfulness is the urgent treating of my husband’s kidney stone and subsequent water infection

I am praying for… a swift recovery for all of us so we can crack on with what needs to be done

I am creating… reams of notes

I am going… to try and do some studying tomorrow. I’m a bit behind the calendar but nothing that I can’t catch up

I am wondering… if I’m going to need further antibiotics for this horrible throat infection

I am reading… “Origin” by Dan Brown. It’s very much in the same mode as “The Da Vinci Code” et al, but it’s an entertaining read and quite thought provoking

I am hoping… my husband has a restful night tonight

I am learning… that the older I get, the longer it takes to shake illness off

In my garden… the bins have been blown all over, the fence panel has detached itself from its moorings and the shrubbery is looking a bit tattered. It’s stormy out there tonight!

In my kitchen… had this for lunch/dinner/tea today. A vegetable base, lamb stock, pearl barley and split peas with some leftover lamb from Mum’s New Year Dinner yesterday. Hearty yet delicate and made us all feel a bit better

A favourite quote for today…

A peek into one of my days… taken the week before Christmas. Hollingworth Lake near Littleborough

One of my favourite things… is finding a new box-set to watch on Netflix

From the board room… I love this hot water bottle cover. Might try to make this sometime!

Post Script:

There is some news I wish to share with you which I shared on Facebook just before Christmas. You may know that I have been exploring ministry in the last 18 months or so, and I have been put forward for a selection panel to see if I am suitable for training to be an ordained minister for the Church of England. I am really pleased to be able to tell you that I was successful, and I will be training from September to become ordained.  Thank you everyone who has prayed for me and offered me support in practical and spiritual ways on this journey thus far, and I hope you and I will continue our journey together as we see where God is calling me onward.

Daybook

Daybook Entry 22nd May 2017


For Today… 22nd May 2017

Outside my window… the evening is cooling down a little. Some clouds in the sky but some bright sunshine too. A great metaphor for life!

I am thinking… about a painting I’m working on for a friend

I am thankful… for the space to think today

I am praying for… the country’s young people as they are in the midst of exams

I am wearing… my hair up and my smile down

I am creating… I am between crochet projects at the moment, having finished this last night.

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I am going… to be involved with two hospital funerals tomorrow, where people have died with no next of kin. The first person has some friends and extended family who will be in attendance, but the second has nobody but us laity and clergy to pray for her.

I am wondering… whether we can afford to go on holiday this summer. The car is not fit to tow the caravan and we don’t have the money to fix it, and we won’t have the money for site fees and food while we’re away so it’s unlikely we’ll be able to go. I’m wondering if something will turn up really.

I am reading… “Monk’s Hood” by Ellis Peters. It’s the third book in the Cadfael series and was a free download from Amazon.

I am hoping… to have my poorly ankle manipulated this evening.

I am learning… to be patient.

In my garden… the grass needs cutting but the lawn mower is broken. This post is starting to feel a bit like a moan-fest now!

In my kitchen… we are having a surprise for tea. Emma is here with her best friend and they are cooking something for us all. It smells nice and they have a great track record, so I’m quite looking forward to it.

A favourite quote for today…

A peek into one of my days…

This is my daughter, and I am very proud of her. She is extremely fit and healthy, and she loves running and doing all sorts of physical challenges. This weekend she ran “Tough Mudder” in Grantham, and volunteered to be a marshal for the other racers on Saturday. She has completed four now and has already got the next two planned. Go Em!!

One of my favourite things… is seeing my children flourish and thrive.

 

 

 

Blogging, Daybook

Daybook Entry – 2nd April 2017


For Today… 2nd April

Outside my window… it has been a gloriously sunny day again today, and my daffodils are nodding beautifully in the garden

I am thinking… about the week ahead and what I can do with my time

I am thankful… for the opportunity to exercise my ministry in the community where I live

I am praying for… my brother who has got a difficult surgery this week, and my parents who are going to be looking after him for a few days

I am wearing… “Red Musk” from the Body Shop. It is a gorgeous scent and was a Christmas gift from Emma

I am creating… a plan of action to get the house Spring cleaned

I am going… to band practice tomorrow night. “Reflections on Swan Lake” with Pemberton  Band

I am wondering… if I ought to see my GP with this pain in my ankle. I have had trouble with my Achilles tendon for a couple of months but in recent weeks it has got really painful and I’m getting a bit concerned about it now

I am reading…  “The Colour of Magic” by Terry Pratchett. I usually get through books like this in a couple of sittings but I have been so busy recently, and my days have been so filled from start to finish, that when I sit down to read before bedtime I have been so exhausted that I can only get a few pages read at a time. It’s a great book though and it’s no reflection on its quality that I can’t read very much of it at the minute!

I am hoping… this weather holds this week so I can sit out on the deck to write outside

I am learning… to trust my instincts more and more

In my garden… Spring has definitely sprung

In my kitchen… there is very little going on, and I need to plan a menu or else we’ll be eating on the hoof for the next week or so

A favourite quote for today… Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” It is the opening to chapter 8 of Paul’s letter to the Romans and it formed the backbone of my sermon this morning.

A peek into one of my days… this picture is from one of the sessions of Experience Easter I took part in with some of the local schools. This shows some of the children re-enacting the last supper with Eddie our vicar.

One of my favourite things… is looking forward to a lie in tomorrow morning

From the board room… I love these elephants!

Post Script: You may have gathered from the lack of posts recently and reading my post today that things have been a bit busy for me. I have absolutely loved the past four weeks, but they have been pretty full-on in terms of ministry and other things. Just to give you a little flavour of what I have been doing, I have been involved with 7 funerals since last Thursday (four of them in the same morning) and done three home visits to meet with the bereaved families; I have been involved in delivering/hosting 16 sessions of Experience Easter presented at 3 of our mission partnership churches and telling the Easter story to over 1200 children and staff of our local primary schools; I have driven to Wigan and Todmorden for band rehearsals, attended my son’s A-level recital and written and delivered a sermon, a piece of liturgy and led corporate prayers four times in various services and study groups. Oh, and I did a two week spell of exam invigilation too… no wonder I am exhausted!

I did get poorly towards the end of last week with a virus or something, which left me physically drained and meant I spent most of last weekend sleeping off a high temperature and painful muscles and joints. I’m much better now, and to be honest, after such a busy four weeks I am not too sure how to fill up my time next week. I have been putting off so many things because I haven’t had the time – such as cleaning the windows, digging out my painting gear, writing, going out on my bike etc – and I feel a little bit like a kid at the start of the summer holidays with endless days stretching ahead of me to fill. I don’t actually have all that time to myself because I still have a list of things to do this week, notwithstanding the commitments I have to band on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, a study group to go to on Thursday evening, a wedding to do the music for on Friday and Messy Church to do on Saturday and whole shed load of little bitty things which won’t take any time but still need to be thought about and done properly. Sigh… I might just get a whole day to myself sometime soon to get my paints out where I can indulge myself without having to clock-watch. I’ll let you know!

 

 

Blogging

Daybook Entry – 5th March 2017


be0b6-simple-woman-daybook-largeFor Today 5th March. I am following a Lent Challenge from the Bible Society, which doesn’t have a prompt for Sundays (Sundays are not counted part of Lent) and so I’m doing a Daybook entry instead.

Looking out my window… it has been one of those “is it Spring or still Winter?” days today

I am thinking… about the significance of timing

I am thankful… for my God-given talent of music making

One of my favourite things… clean body, clean pyjamas, clean sheets (as in, what I’m about to head to tonight!)

I am creating… a crocheted blanket for my son’s girlfriend in shades of blue and white

I am wearing… a big cheesy grin because I have just been asked if I would play for Pemberton at the upcoming Grand Shield contest (more about that at a later date)

I am reading… “Wyrd Sisters” by Terry Pratchett. Very funny, very astute, very poignant and very, very telling about the human condition

I am watching… Match of the Day (Manchester City played this evening against Sunderland. I know the result but I still like to watch my men on the pitch)

I have been listening to… “Guide Cats for the Blind” – a charity compilation CD. Here is one of my favourite tracks on it. So funny that when I first heard it I nearly crashed the car because I was laughing so much!

I am hoping… I have turned a corner with anxiety and depression issues

I am learning… to not beat myself up so much when I am paralysed by anxiety

In my kitchen… we have an almost sterile floor. I bought a steam mop last week (bargain at £30) and I have been right through the house hoovering and steaming all the floors. The kitchen floor is so clean now that you can eat your dinner off it…which is a good thing because I haven’t washed any plates…!! Hahaha, jokes…

 

Shared Quote:
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

Closing Notes
A little glimpse into the world of Mushy Cloud aka Pam this week. You may have read last weekend that I played in my first brass band contest for a number of years on Sunday. If you did, you will know that I had a rather long day in Blackpool, and you will know that my band won – yippee!

Such a win comes at a price, and the price for me this week has been one of pain. I literally could not move all day on Monday, and it took me until Friday night to be up to going out of the house for the first time since I got home on Sunday. Partly because of the pain, partly because I didn’t want to, and partly (more than I’d like to admit to) because I couldn’t. You see, in the run up to the contest I had to adjust my medication so that I could function properly on the day with (as full) mental capacity as I could and without a dry mouth, which is one of the side effects of one of my tablets. The result was that yes, I was able to play my cornet properly on Sunday, but it took me the best part of a week to recover from it and to get my pain levels back under control.

The thing with a long term health condition is that it isn’t just about the physical side of things, but the mental side can play a huge part too. Not only was my physical pain that much worse this week, but I also had massive bouts of anxiety because of the pain that had crept up in recent weeks with not being able to take the medication I needed to. The anxiety is a multi-faceted thing and even I don’t understand it, let alone expect or hope for anyone reading this to understand it for me. The biggest part of it is that the medication I take when the pain is bad has different side-effects, such as it gives me hallucinations, causes headaches and can make me sick. Because of these three things it makes it difficult for me to go out in public – I see things that aren’t there, can you imagine what that would be like walking down the street or riding on the bus?? I have a phobia about being sick, so to risk being out in public and being nauseous is also a no-go. But…and here’s the rub…sometimes it is difficult to know when that grey area between being “ill” and “well” can be a tricky patch to negotiate, and your mind can play tricks on you telling you that you are physically unwell when really it is your mind telling you that because it is in a state of self-preservation.

I did eventually venture out of the house on Friday night to conduct my band in Todmorden, but I felt absolutely rotten. I felt like a robot when I first arrived in the bandroom and I had almost forgotten how to speak to people, let alone convey musical emotion to them. I gradually warmed up and was fine by the end of the rehearsal, but there was an element of that automaton in action this morning when I went to church. I had missed a couple of things this week because of my being ill, and it felt like the waters of church life had moved on under a bridge that I was not there to witness, and so I felt a bit out of it when I first got there.

However, it didn’t take long to get back into a better frame of mind and I had a really revealing chat with someone who had come to faith recently after a life of drug and alcohol abuse. It just goes to show – and it certainly made me reflect – that the nature of life is all about what we make it to be, and whilst it is sometimes right to go into retreat and recover from wounds inflicted by ourselves or others, it is also the right thing to do to venture out and face the world again even if we don’t feel fully healed. I doubt we are ever fully healed, and it is a matter of timing, but even so, we do have to take that step out of our own cocoon of healing sometimes and make a strike for a bit of life that will push us to better healing and further fulfilment.

 

 

Blogging, Daybook

January Daybook


simple-woman-daybook-largeFor Today… 11th January 2017

Looking out my window… I can see clear blue skies, but I can hear the wind howling and there is a storm on its way.

I am thinking… I might cook cheesy bacon pasta for tea tonight.

I am thankful… that mental health in young people is taken seriously.

One of my favourite things… is driving with my son to band practice and having a natter about all sorts of things, both big and small.

I am creating… this little beauty. I began it during the evening on Boxing Day (for my non-UK readers, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day) and it is going to be used when we go away in our caravan this summer.

Rectangle blanket based on the traditional "granny" stitch, using rainbow colours. Three repeats of the individual colours followed by three rows of each colour afterwards. Just starting the blue three now and hopefully will finish it this weekend.
Rectangle blanket based on the traditional “granny” stitch, using rainbow colours. Three repeats of the individual colours followed by three rows of each colour afterwards. Just starting the blue three now and hopefully will finish it this weekend.

I am wearing… layers, layers and layers today. The heating is on but I’m bone-cold.

I am reading… “The Coroner (Coroner: Jenny Cooper Series)” by M R Hall

I am watching… The BDO World Championships on TV this week. I love watching the darts, and the BDO suits me because it is not as high-powered or glitzy as the PDC competitions. Darts are good to crochet to as I can listen and only half watch the TV as I’m concentrating on the yarn in my hands.

I have been listening to… Pemberton Old Band rehearsing for a competition this weekend in Skegness. My son plays bass trombone for them and I sometimes give him a lift to rehearsals. I have enjoyed the experience of being a groupie rather than a player since he started playing with them, and it makes a refreshing change for me to hear a piece of music being crafted into a performance piece to contest level by a band of this calibre. They are in the First Section (one level down from the Championship Section but working on their way back up) and they are a level above where I played with Middleton Band before I stopped playing.

I am hoping… my brother recovers quickly from his surgery yesterday.

I am learning… to trust my instinct.

In my kitchen… I have been making the effort to cook proper meals from scratch. We have a limited food budget and sometimes it can be a challenge to eat healthily all the time, and I have been enjoying the challenge of finding recipes and dishes that we can eat to fill us up, fill us up healthily, fill us up healthily and inexpensively.

Board room… we are looking at the story of Jonah and the Whale for our next Messy Church and I really want to do this activity with the children:

Post Script: I found this site (Strategies for dealing with change) when I was looking for something to help someone I love who is going through some really difficult, anxious times. I found this picture, and thought it would be great to share with you too. Please visit the host site for more like this.

 

Shared Quote…
strong-roots

Closing Notes… I began this post this morning, about 12 hours ago (which is why I said the sky is clear blue and not the midnight black it is now) and today has been another one that has been packed with drama, fun, music, family, planning, crafting and laughter. I thank God that my life is so varied and that it is filled with so many people who stimulate me in so many different ways. I have to say that being a mum is challenging at the minute, and I trust God to see us through the particular storm we are weathering just now. I am grateful to my friends who visited today too – a bit of a giggle and a chat with people you love goes a long way to making things feel better! And music. Ah music. Where would I be without you? Laughing with Ethan and Megan in the car going to band rehearsal tonight and having fun finding music that we all like. Fortunately all three of us have similar musical taste and we enjoyed a great 45 minutes each way listening to all sorts of stuff, from First Class’ “Beach Baby”, to the cast recording of songs from “Sweet Charity”, by way of Glen Campbell and his “Rhinestone Cowboy” (with alternative words, courtesy of yours truly) and a bit of “Hairspray” to finish with. You definitely can’t stop the beat if you’re travelling with the Pamster at the minute!