My World

On the beach

A day out at the beach

Can fill you with joy

And teach you that you need to make time for rest —

And space for play and imagination.

Even when stripped down to the bare bones,

We still have a rusty beauty.

At the end of the day,

It is enough simply to be,

And to be who we are.

For more life lessons, please visit: Our World.


Of cobbled stones and cannon balls

A while back, I visited Stockholm’s Old Town with my daughter.

(You may remember this story from a previous visit there.)

It was a cold, gray day that did nothing to dampen our spirits or the glowing jewels of the old buildings.

Parts of the Old Town date back to medieval times (the 13th century) and the narrow alleys and winding cobbled streets give a small glimpse of life back then.

A fairly harsh world where the gutters in the streets acted as sewers and where, in winter, the cold winds still blow through the streets and cut through clothes like a knife.

As I enjoyed the faded beauty, I felt grateful for my modern comforts.

As we entered Stockholm’s oldest square, we saw a cannonball lodged in the corner of a building that goes back to the 1500s.

According to popular legend, this cannonball commemorates the Stockholm Massacre in 1520 when the Danish King Christian executed a number of Swedish nobles.

The building has been restored a number of times and the cannonball has always been put back.

Although why it now has a green mustache is a mystery…

For more glimpses into other lives, please visit: Our World.


Butterflies of joy

Beautiful butterfly

Shining like mother of pearl

A painting of fleeting delicacy

Poised to fly to freedom

Through the silver rain —

Reminding me that joy comes when you least expect it

And that transformation can lead to great beauty.

For more loveliness, please visit: The Creative Exchange and Communal Global.

Sadly, My World is not continuing but I’d like to continue documenting the small unseen miracles of life here anyway. Rest in peace Klaus Peter.


S is for Summer…

… S is for the social butterflies that gather by the lake.

(Look to the left of the photo – I love the joy of that man laughing.)

… For the serenity of another dazzling sunset.

… And for skipping stones in pajamas on a warm summer night.

For more summer (or winter) shots, please visit: My World.


Just for you or how I became a serial blogger

Last week marked the third anniversary of my blog.

It seems like only yesterday that I was taking the first tentative steps into this mysterious new world.

Back then, I didn’t even take my own photographs.

Now – you just can’t get away from them!

I like to think that I have developed since those early days –

And it’s all due to you: my crazy, loyal, wonderful readers!

Your support and kind words have encouraged me and filled my heart with warmth.

As a small token of my appreciation, I’m sending you a heart.

(OK – it’s a heart-shaped Special K cornflake.)

But I think it’s appropriate: from one cereal blogger to another.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
— Marcel Proust

Thank you so much for being such kind and inspiring gardeners!

For more great things, please visit: My World!


Indulgence

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.


Of sorrow and hope

As you have probably heard, Norway is a country in deep shock and sorrow.

A fanatic planted a car bomb in the centre of Oslo and then took a ferry to  the island of Utøya.

Pretending to be a policeman, he hunted and mowed down many youngsters (most of them teenagers) who were attending the Labour Party Youth Camp.

Over 90 people have been killed so far and many more injured.

You might think that there would be a great outcry for revenge.

But Norway has chosen a much harder path than the one of retaliation.

They have chosen to have even more democracy and openness.

In the words of the Prime Minister, “You will not destroy us. You will not destroy our democracy or our ideals for a better world.”

It would be much easier to give in to fear and hatred than to believe in compassion and ideals.

But we must have faith that there are more heroes than villains in the world, that there is more good than evil.

Because if we don’t, then fear and hatred will have won.

When a reporter asked one of the survivors how she wanted people to fight terrorism, she replied:

“If one man can show this much hate, think how much love we can show together.”

A beautiful and powerful statement.

For more slices of life, please visit: My World.


Summer rain

Summer is here in all its glory.

And that, of course, includes the soft summer rain

Bringing a chill with it that makes us appreciate the sun even more.

Just as a flower is thankful for the rain,

So am I thankful for all the small beauties that surround me.

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.
– Rabindranath Tagore

For more beauty, please visit: My World.


Taking the Mickey

As you know, I spent last week at Disneyland just outside Paris.

The place was swarming with delightful princesses and funny head gear.

These three Mickeys (or should I say ‘goofies’?) caught my eye.

‘Ear they are. (Pun intended!) Meet the family…

If you’ve ever been to a Disney Resort, then you know that you need the stamina of a marathon runner.

With aching feet in temperatures of over 30 C the first day, I wanted whatever he was smoking…

We were overjoyed to find a rat in our food

And I stayed firmly on the ground as I let the others get slung into orbit on Space Mountain.

There’s nothing more exhausting or fun than getting into a festive mood every day and just enjoying life.

I dedicated myself to the task. After all, it was the Minnie-mum I could do.

For more cute pictures, please visit: My World.


Dancing with bells and sticks

They swooped in like feathered birds, wearing colourful rags and masks.

They whirled and twirled with bells on legs and shoes.

These are Morris Dancers, performing old-age dances that some say even the Druids performed at Stonehenge during the summer solstice.

The leader of this group of dancers looked fearsome.

Musicians dressed in black played wild music.

I fell in love with the beauty of the accordion.

Some groups of Morris Dancers dress in white and dance with handkerchiefs.

Others dress in feathered rags and dance with sticks that they knock against each other.

When I was younger, I thought that Morris dancing was for nerds.

But now I appreciate the tradition of a dance that binds the past with the present.

There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.  ~Edwin Denby

These are the Morris Dancers I saw at the Steyning Fair in May when I was in England.

For more traditions, please visit: My World.