I’ll be England by the time you read this
(So won’t be visiting you all as frequently as usual).
My sister has warned me that there will be plenty of rain.
Weather aside, I’m sure there will be plenty of time for play and laughter –
As long as we remember that we all carry a piece of sunshine within.
Make each day your masterpiece. — John Wooden
For more sunny side up posts, please visit: Our World.
A wave of guerrilla goodness has been sweeping my world.
Last week on my way to work, the entire square was plastered with words of encouragement:
“Your smile lights up the world!” and “Have a lovely day!”
This one made me laugh. “Your mother loves you!”
And this weekend, as I was shivering on the path by our lake,
I spied a heart drawn in the earth.
The next day, I was walking in the woods in a snow blizzard
When I caught sight of this heart planter hanging from a tree.
My spirits lifted immediately!
But my favourite signs of love
Are always these treasures: my kids.
And with that, I wish my compassionate and lovely son a Happy 9th Birthday.
For more kindness, please visit: Our World.
I try not to bore you with photos of my kids.
I realize that while I think they are works of art, you probably do not.
But indulge me today.
My daughter enters the world of double digits – she turns 10 on Tuesday.
And that is excuse enough for some self-indulgence on my part.
My angel, my daughter – so full of music and song and laughter.
Sometimes when I think I’m teaching her all about life,
I realize that she (and her brother) are, in fact, teaching me.
For more life lessons, please visit: My World.
My niece has come over from England for a month.
One of the first things she wanted to do was to enjoy
The spectacular sunset.
For more joy, please visit: Skywatch.
Last week was spent visiting family in England, in an old village with roots going back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons.
The High Street was full of surprises.
A rusty weather vane reminded me of myself
And pointed the way to an old clock tower, now a faded home to pigeons.
I ambled down pretty side streets until I spied a wooden entrance next to an old church.
I peeked through a hole in the wood to snap these 200-year-old graves.
A moment of contemplation. A reminder to appreciate the living.
So, I turned homewards to family – to another historic sight.
This is me (the small normal one?) with my three siblings.
It’s been four years since we are all together in the same place.
As you can see, our parents are so proud that they raised four well-balanced and sane kids!
For more history, please visit: My World!
I had a wonderful time in England.
My camera battery died but I bought a new one.
It was cold, but I put on my thermal vest.
Golden moments touched every day with joy:
Long overdue family reunions,
Laughter and red wine
And the rolling Sussex countryside
With a sky stretching to infinity.
For more endless views, please visit: Skywatch!
My bags are packed and soon – I hope – I will be enjoying the enormous canvas of the English sky
And the golden sight of the rolling Sussex Downs.
My optimism is tinged with a little fear as a volcano in Iceland has inconveniently erupted
And may cause chaos and cancelled flights.
And that would be a bitter disappointment because family awaits in England
Including a sister I haven’t seen in four years.
So, fingers crossed we achieve lift off in order to enjoy
The joys of family, a country where the chimneys, like the people, are eccentric -
And who knows? We might even enjoy a little rain.
After all, this is England we’re talking about!
For more eccentric skies, please visit: Skywatch!
I have a couple of posts scheduled for you to enjoy while I’m away. But do forgive me in advance for not visiting you all in the next week.
I can hardly believe it but my ‘baby’ boy is 8!
It seems only yesterday he was a round baby who didn’t want to leave my side.
He’s still quite shy and doesn’t like being in the limelight.
But once you get to know him, he’s a generous and loyal friend.
And a peacemaker, apparently.
A few weeks ago, a gang of boys at school were getting ready to chase and attack another group of boys.
Anklebiter #2 and his friends linked arms and started singing, “We want peace on earth!”
This startled the kids so much that they stopped in their tracks and decided to resolve their argument by talking instead.
Oh, the things we can learn from our kids!
But what I love most is his compassion and humour.
There’s never a dull moment here at home!
For more treasures, please visit: My World!
Things have been magically cold over here!
Lustrous black locks are frosted in ice after a 15-minute-walk in -25°C.
The radiant smile is warming though.
Winter jackets are sprinkled with sugary snow as little boys plunge their way through hip-deep snow.
And there, amidst the swirling cream of a snowstorm, a girl’s purple gloves
Make the most of the moment.
For more stories, please visit: My World.
Memories are like small children wandering along a shore
Or running down a sunlit path towards adventure.
You never know which pebbles they might pick up to store away in their treasure chests.
It might an outing, like this one in summer when we went to England,
Days full of laughter and family and weathered houses over 400 years old.
I feel as if the days are slipping through my fingers so quickly.
Yet in childhood time stands still, even as it is flying past.
Life is a series of moments – both past and present – and what matters most is, perhaps,
Not how many moments you’ve enjoyed, but how many of those moments took your breath away.
For more stories, please visit: My World.
I’m also linking to Jillsy’s Challenge.
“I would like to believe when I die that I have given myself away like a tree that sows seeds every spring and never counts the loss, because it is not loss. It is adding to future life. It’s the tree’s way of being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind.”
– May Sarton
Don’t you just love those glorious late summer skies? What treasures are you grateful for?
(Click the photo to enlarge.)
For more lovely skies, please visit: Skywatch.
What did I do on my holidays in England? I hear you ask.
Lots. So much that it will probably take weeks to tell you all about it.
By which time you’ll be begging me to stop!
We burnt our veggie sausages on a campfire.
I reverted to our childhood, by duelling with my sister (that’s her on your left) with sharp sticks dripping in roasted marshmallows.
I think our child-like spirit rubbed off on the kids, don’t you?
So, what fun did you have over the summer?
You know her as Anklebiter #1. This name doesn’t really do her justice. For one thing, she turned 9 on Monday and is more a shoulderbiter these days in stature.
The name doesn’t really sum up her true nature: kind, funny, warm, compassionate, adorable and extremely generous.
Light of my life.
A true beauty – both on the inside and the outside.
Happy Birthday, my summer treasure!
Brown and agile child, the sun which forms the fruit
And ripens the grain and twists the seaweed
Has made your happy body and your luminous eyes
And given your mouth the smile of water.
For more beauties, please check out: My World.
Weather is here.
Wish you were nice.
Still on holiday in southern England — enjoying the rolling hills of the Sussex countryside and the pebble beaches of the coast.
Back after the weekend.
Many thanks for visiting me. And once again, sorry that I can’t pop in to visit you!
As the mercury rises and peaks at over 33 C here, in a country more used to cool temperatures, I am returning to England (where I come from) to enjoy time with my family.
The anklebiters and I will have adventures with parents, grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunties.
It’s been too long.
I won’t be able to visit your blogs for the next two weeks, but will have some posts going up here in case you pop by.
In the meantime, may kind breezes fill your sails,
May the sun shine warmly on your face
And may you dance among the stars.
I met an acquaintance last week, who honoured me with a sad story from his childhood. I have weaved this tale from my imagination, so even though the details are fiction, the core of the story is true.
I can see him as he was back then, a bright seven-year-old holding the hand of his beloved father. Together they enter the concert hall, settle down amidst the plinging of instruments warming up. He likes it there in the darkness, hand in hand with the person he loves most.
The spotlight on stage picks out the young violinist as he becomes one with his instrument, his body an elongated note of music. The boy holding his father’s hand floats away on the music, carried on its shoulders to new heights of love and inspiration.
“I want to play like that for my father,” he says. For the next few years, he practises his love, playing it out with every stroke of the bow on string.
At last, after six years, he is ready for his own concert; his own spotlight.
I see him there – trembling on the stage – caressing the violin with his bow, creating beautiful notes that he leaves at this father’s proud feet as a gift.
The father’s love for his boy is reflected in his tears.
Soon after the boy gives his first concert, his father dies.
And the boy never picks up the violin again.
That young boy is now over 60 years old with children and grandchildren of his own. Yet he told me his story with love and tears in his eyes. Such is the power of love.
For more slices of life, please visit: My World!
The good: I’m in heaven! I won a stunning pair of earrings from Mid-life Bloggers. A girl can never have too many earrings (or chocolate)!
The rad: After football practice, Anklebiter #2 came home hungry and thirsty. When I offered him a biscuit to go with his water, he said, “No. I want a carrot please!” That’s right – carrots are the new candy!
The ugly: A long winter season means indoor activities like football and floor hockey – and when I say indoors, I mean in our smallish living room. (We even have an ice hockey goal indoors.) Oh, the drama and fun we’ve had… but also some terrible losses. Here’s one of the poor victims of living room hockey…
At least the rest of us still have all our teeth intact.
I know the title sounds like an Abba song… but this is my very last post about my birthday. I promise!
I just wanted to say a huge enormous glittery THANK YOU to my insane kind friends who organized a party at their house, cooked all the food and then cleaned up after we had all gone home. It was no mean feat considering the kids outnumbered the adults….Did I mention how crazy wonderful they are?
I even got a delicious chocolate cake – and a royal crown and wand. I kicked off things nicely by asking everyone to address me as Your Majesty for the entire evening…
I may have got a bit carried away waving my wand around and ordering people to obey me! Not all the adults thought it was fun to hop backwards on one leg while holding their noses and trumpeting like elephants. (Not really sure why – because it was hilarious to watch)…
I thought I detected some quiet mutterings wondering whether I had just turned 50 or 5.
Or, as the oldest anklebiter put it, “You’re really getting in touch with your inner child, mama!”
It was a hell of a week. And it was only Monday…
It all started off with a bit of bad news, a lunch in which garlic was the starter, main course and dessert (more about that later) and a bad haircut. Fortified by these three factors, I sighed in relief as I waited at the platform for the homeward bound tram. I ran across our next-door neighbour (don’t worry – she wasn’t hurt) and we boarded the train together. I placed my laptop at my feet and stowed away my rucksack containing books, money and credit cards in the gap between the seats.
We launched ourselves into a deep discussion about life and school as the scenery flashed by. Before we knew it, the tram arrived at our stop and we got off. After only a couple of minutes, I realized that my back felt as empty as my brain obviously was… Now, where was that backpack with my entire life in it?
Ah yes – on the train thundering northwards.
I blame my neighbour for making me chat too much – because if I don’t blame her, then who else would I blame? … Precisely!
Luckily I had my phone with me so was able to contact the lost luggage division. Who informed me that the train driver only had a radio and couldn’t be contacted.
I arrived home in a mad state: bad haircut sticking up as if electrocuted by my panic, wild look in my eyes. I briefly explained what had happened and Sir Pe said that I could either come in and get warm and hope that my bag turned up at Lost Luggage the next day – or panic.
I did what any sensible person would do: decided to go for the full-blown panic.
I ran back to the station, half-sobbing and half-muttering to myself (see – I can multitask as well as the next nutter!) and waited for the train to come back.
The first train that arrived was not the train I had ridden on. Then I realized that my train would be going back to Stockholm as the fast train and wouldn’t be stopping at our tiny station.
So, what do you think happened?
This story will be continued tomorrow…
We went down to the lake to enjoy the autumnal sunset. It was a lovely, warm evening.
Some of just sat and enjoyed the colours, while two small creatures had different plans …
To jump for joy…
For more joyful pets, please visit: Pet Pride.
I had one of those annoying summer colds at the weekend.
It all started off with me sneezing. Big time. (The only time I really sneeze is in May during the birch pollen season.)
“Oh no, mama!” shrieked my son in horror. “I hope you’re not getting allergic to children!”
My daughter piped up joyfully:
“Maybe you’re getting allergic to your computer!”
The youngest anklebiter is leaving kindergarten to start school after the summer holidays.
He came home with his development portfolio. When one of his teachers interviewed him, she asked him to describe his family.
Such an easy question! This is what he said:
My family consists of…
… mama, papa, big sister and Oscar the dog.
Oh – and a LEGO Star Wars spaceship!