Stop all the clocks…..

4300050791_940984bd58_z

Recently I took my Mother to the funeral of one of her oldest friends, it was of course a sad and sobering experience, not least of all because in recent years the Lady in question lost touch with her nearest and dearest for whatever reason. It happens.Her Great Grandson gave a really moving speech, in which very bravely he voiced his regrets at not having kept in touch. Too late, or was it?

And herein lies lesson number one, you cannot turn back time, but you can start right now to re write your story, holding on to bitterness and resentment will burn you from the inside out,We hear a lot about forgiveness these days, it is a subject that is quite controversial I feel, there are some things that to me are absolutely unforgivable such as  murder etc. but generally, I do find you have to let stuff go, I tend not to fall out with people or take offence, if we dont like each other, hey ho, thats your prerogative, I wont lose sleep over it and nor should you.

We met up at the funeral with another old friend of Mums and on a much lighter note they were so funny! they had been on holiday together many years ago with their husbands, now both passed, it was absolutely delightful to see how they had such great memories of happy days and much laughter! Lesson number two of the day! sieze the moment! enjoy life! that is absolutely why you are here! I was listening to these eighty seven year old women giggling like schoolgirls over a waiter in Sorrento!

If only at these moments we could stop the clock, I have felt this many times in my life, especially when my babies were small, I wanted to hold them in my arms forever and have those tiny fingers curled around mine for eternity.

We only have today for sure, tomorrow is never promised.Lesson number three.Love with all of your heart without expecting anything in return, dont hold grudges,most people are doing the best they can, be kind.We really are just all walking each other home.Dont be the young man at the funeral apologising for not being there, mend bridges now, it is not too late.Live today.

Stop all the clocks.

 

 

 

 

Cloud-busting….

IMG_8870

Rows and flows of Angel hair, and ice cream castles in the air,
and feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way.
but now they only block the sun, They rain and snow on everyone,
So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way……

Joni Mitchell rocks doesn’t she? this song came on the radio this morning as I was driving, not for the first time has music spoke to me in a very loud voice.

It has for want of a better term, been a bit of a week, the absolute horror of the events in Nice reminded us of how fragile and dangerous these times are, if I am honest, I am terrified, I am a Mother, I fear for my children in this world.

I have been laid low with a flu virus, not the end of the world I know, but I suck at being ill, I have no time for it, too much to do etc. I am excellent at doling out advice to others, make time for yourself, learn how to say no etc. and yet I am possibly the worst offender when it comes to my own well-being. Why is that?  why do so many of us feel the need to place ourselves in such a low place in the pecking order, that we fail to notice when we are being forced to stop. Just stop, slow the Hell down and just be. So with far too much time on my hands the old grey cells have had a bit of a workout, I do recognize that I have indeed been spreading myself far too thinly, with the best intentions of course, but I need to stop over committing myself and take life as it comes for a while.

Just be. Let go. How does one do that?

Back to Joni Mitchell and the clouds. We all have hopes and dreams, we are to a certain degree, all searching for something, and how many of us have seen those dreams shattered? I have for sure. Life changes, people change, the secret is to roll with it. My dream some years ago was to own my own Vintage shop, which I did, it was lovely, I loved it, it was a happy happy time. For a bit. Actually the reality was, it was a money drain, not my best idea by far, and yet for so long I looked back at that time with rose tinted glasses, so much so that I couldn’t see where I was going. Where am I going? I dont know and I am starting to be OK with that. The times they are a changing, for all of us. Current world events remind us that we are only here for a short while. Live. Do what makes you happy.

Just be.

Oh but now old friends they’re acting strange, they shake their heads and say I’ve changed,
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained, In living every day.
I’ve looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose and still somehow,
It’s lifes illusions I recall, I really dont know life….at all.

Well said Joni.

Ants in my pants……

ants

I wish the above wasn’t true, I honestly do, but Oh My God I am in full flow panic mode today, due to what seems to be some kind of personal vendetta against me from the Ant community.

It started a day or two ago, when preparing dinner I spotted a wee beastie sauntering along the window ledge, it had been a warm day and I had opened the windows for a while, so perhaps this little fellow was just an opportunist who fancied a change of scene? No such luck. I quickly noticed he brought his mates along, about six of them. I scooped them up on a sheet of kitchen roll and ushered them out into the garden. I rewarded myself for my kindness to all living things the usual way, with a white chocolate twix and returned to the job at hand. But hang on….what was that I spied on the counter top? a bit of movement? Holy Mary Mother of God an army of Ants marching along as if they owned the place!

After totally bleaching everything in sight and looking for minute holes that the little B******s could be getting through, we thought we had it sussed, well that was until Daughter number one informed me they were having a soiree in the bathroom upstairs. Paranoia kicking in now. My kindness to all living things has now deserted me totally and I am swearing like a sailor.

I am trying everything! Google suggested all manner of natural remedies, they don’t work! these are super Ants! I think they may be mutants!

So back to my rather ominous title… I ran a bath this morning after felling another bunch of intruders, yes it does make me feel that dirty! as I finally lay back in what I thought was a safe haven, what did I see floating towards me? Yes indeedy, and where had this horrid little F***** come from? Please God, not my knickers.

Never a dull moment.

My new addiction…..

granola

I know, I know it’s almost too virtuous to be me, but I am soooo  addicted to this recipe for Cinnamon pecan granola, it is absolutely delicious, the smell when it is in the oven is amazing. Alas I cannot take the credit for this rather moreish creation, it is from a very lovely book called Deliciously Ella it is super easy to make and keeps well in an airtight jar. I like it with a vanilla yoghurt and mixed berries for breakfast.Yummy!

So here you go! I know you want to try it, borrowed with thanks from the lovely Ella .

You are welcome.

Makes one large container of granola

– 2 and a 1/2 cups of oats

– 1 cup of pecans

– 1/2 cup of almonds

– 1/2 cup of flax seeds

– 1 cup of pumpkin seeds

– 1 cup of sunflower seeds

– 1 cup of raisins

– 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

– 3 tablespoons of maple syrup

– 3 teaspoons of cinnamon

Place the pecans and almonds in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds so that they are partially crushed. Then add them to a large mixing bowl with all the other dry ingredients, except the raisins and cinnamon, and stir together.

Next, melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup and cinnamon on the stove, once it has dissolved into a sweet liquid add it to the dry bowl and mix well. This should form a delicious oaty nutty bowl, which is slightly sticky.

Place the mixture into a baking tray and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 180C, until crunchy. During this time you’ll need to stir the mixture to ensure that every bit of the granola gets nicely toasted and the top doesn’t burn.

Once the granola is cooked perfectly remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool, then stir in the raisins. Store the granola in an air-tight container to keep it wonderfully fresh and crunchy.