Wednesday, June 08, 2016

I'm baaaack!

Hard to believe that last entry was almost three years ago!

Many moons ago, I set this blog up to chronicle our journeys. Once we were grounded a bit more, it kind of lost its way. I spent some time working on my writing offline, taking on different projects and working full time as a technical writer. It was difficult to keep this blog up. Not for any real reason I can articulate. Just had my words redirected to other avenues for awhile.

But, I'm pleased to say, after over a decade away, we are back in the UK, living and re-experiencing a place we enjoyed in the mid-2000s.

Social media has certainly changed the way we look at blogs. I'm excited to navigate this new world, explore just what people post, what people read. What's better on one of the many new platforms and what's still appropriate for good old fashioned blogosphere.

For now, here's a peek at where we're staying -- in a pretty little village just outside of Oxford. A temporary home for now but such a treat to soak in some beautiful country living.




Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Room with a view

We've been in our new home for 10 weeks nos and it's feeling more like home than ever.

Every day, I sit down at my desk to the most inspiring view.

A collection of stories is building. This space makes it easy to gather my thoughts.

I've been consumed with a few work projects and am looking forward to collecting my thoughts soon.

Writers club is still going ... I was on a bit of a hiatus but hope to get into my routine for fall.

For now, boat gazing is helping.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Written words

I've taken 2013 to develop my craft offline.

I'm slowly realising that there is value for me to put words down on a regular basis that potentially do not fit the online space.

I'm still living a life if discovery, still leading a life filled with a focus on change and new adventures.

I hope to eventually share here, find a way to come back to this space with a fresh perspective.

The second half of 2013 may just be the sweet spot for this activity.

I've joined a writers' group & have begun to craft some of our travel journeys. In 3 days time, this will be my view so I certainly won't have an excuse for inspiration

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Focus

My regular journaling has significantly improved my mood.

I've been taking some time, twice a week, to polish existing content as well as develop my floating ideas into a more concrete outline.

I've felt this focus for the last 6 weeks that I can't really describe properly. It's as though I've shifted my thinking totally. Writing is my craft. It's what I do, who I am, how I exist. It's like my mojo.

So, I guess, I've gotten my mojo back. My focus, my purpose, my essence.

And it feels good. It feels right. And I am almost understanding more now why the best writing of the best writers happens when they are older, more polished, more experienced, more rough around the edges.

When all the youthful spark has been extinguished and what's left, is the determined embers, that will not go softly, that will not die out. That will continue, fervently glowing, creating warmth and not just drawing attention from its flicker, but pulling people in by it's soothing nature. Bringing comfort to the hearth and the heart.

Words move people and I want to shift them. Hopefully, I'm creating habits that will make this happen.


Saturday, January 05, 2013

One thing


It's that time of year again. That time when we all decide to become a little more of our better selves.

It's a good time of year to commit to something, even if just to say you're going to try to make it happen. And, even if things don't change and perhaps you even fail at whatever you were resolving, it's actually just the action of pledging change that really brings the most benefit.

And so, this year, as I'm sure most writers are pledging, I pledge to WRITE. MORE.

Not necessarily blog more. But write more. Keep the act of it going. Commit to treating it as my craft instead of my hobby. Promising to keep it a hobby at heart but a skill in practice.

I've started a daily journal again - one page per day -- of anything, really mostly a rundown of what I did that day. Or heck, even a bit of stream of consciousness of what's banging around in the old head that day.

C/O Moleskine Official Site


I also bought another daily Q&A book that, if I'm successful, will carry me across 5 years.

A question a Day, from Random House


I've also planned some 'writing time'. D has started some sport activities this year and during that time, while he's away playing basketball or ball hockey, I will be WRITING. I will be putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and just WRITING. Not flicking between TLC and HGTV. Not catching up on shows he won't watch.

WRITING.

I may or may not be sharing it all here but please know, just by posting this, I am starting myself down a path to get back to the written word.

It's been five years since we arrived home from our world adventure and I'm certain the stories have percolated long enough. I'm ready to revisit those stories, to get them out of my head and onto the page.

Bring it, 2013.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Do, try not

Create for the sake of creating. And don't lose sight of that. Plants grow. Birds fly. Beings breathe. Creators craft.

Don't let the buzz of it all cloud your view. Sometimes, it just has to be done, if for no other reason than it's not yet been done.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

In Remembrance


"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,."

When I was eight years old, I carried the Canadian flag in the Remembrance Day parade for our Brownie unit. I can't really remember when I realized the importance of November 11 but I can only imagine that somewhere between learning about that day at school and taking part in a very solemn ceremony that it must have been ingrained in my head to always mark this day.

   "That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly"

I remember growing up, the assemblies at school, always with a older veterans, in those days many from both World Wars, would attend. When I got to high school, I remember not being able to fathom how these decorated men and women, had once been my age, had once stood up and fought, and had made these decisions during the same years I would try to decide which route to take from English to Science just to maybe catch a glimpse of my current crush.

"Scarce heard amid the guns below."

Travelling through Europe, I think there was always a running theme in the back of my head connected to this period in history. Granted, it makes sense that many of these places -- England, France, Germany, Italy -- would have been such different places had either of the World Wars gone a different way. And I guess, it's no surprise, that as a traveller, many of the ways you encountered a European city was through it's history, including it's recent past.

"We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,"

My heart feels heavy when I think of the  modern wars that our brave men and women are out there, fighting for many reasons, but most of all, for the benefit of all humankind. That today, even almost 100 years since the start of the first World War, there are still Canadians fighting, Canadian parents worrying about their sons and daughters, Canadian husbands and wives waiting for their partners to return home. Canadian children putting on brave faces as they perform in school plays, score the winning goal in the game, bring home reports cards, all to only one of their parents.

In British Columbia, November 11 is a holiday, as it is in most other provinces across the country, minus Ontario, which is why, as an adult, I never really had the opportunity to really take the day to reflect. No one was really leaving work in the middle of the day to got to parades. You'd catch it on the evening news, and for the most part, it was almost sad to see the lack of people out by the cenotaphs -- simply men and women in uniform, laying wreaths, their bodies present but their eyes revealing their spirits were somewhere else.


   "Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields."

I cherish the time off to reflect on this day now. We have made it a tradition to go down to the parade, take part in the ceremony and pay our respects. It's always been a day that moved me but as the years go by, I find I'm more and more affected by its meaning.

"Take up our quarrel with the foe:"

Today, as we waited for the bugle to sound to mark the moment of silence, a fierce gust of wind billowed through the streets, through the crowd and shook the orange-leaved maple tree in my direct line of sight. I was overcome with the sensation that those who were lost, were here, they were all here, letting us know that time does not diminish them, that they have all the strength they did all those years ago, that they are still here.




"To you from failing hands we throw

   The torch; be yours to hold it high."

And so the wind overtook me and so did my emotions. Tears started down my face. I smiled. I cried. I sighed. I breathed them in. I watched that tree the entire ceremony. I thought of the sacrifice. I thought of the young people in the parade, standing their in uniform, stoic-faced and terrifically frozen -- with fear, with cold, with reflection. I thought that they are young, as so many soldiers were when they chose to fight. Young and brave.

   "If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields."

And I remembered.

Poem, "In Flanders Fields", Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae