Saturday, 19 March 2011

In the film 'Hope Floats', Birdie Pruitt says as the film is closing,

"...beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad,
     but it's the middle that counts the most.
    Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning.
    Just give hope a chance to float up.  And it will..."

I guess we all face new beginnings daily, but we forget.  Forget that each breath we take is in a way a new beginning, each sweep of an eyelash, each waking moment we have the chance to begin again.  A chance to put things right.  No.. no chance of putting the clock back, but a chance to learn from our mistakes, to learn to cherish each moment, for in seconds all can be changed and ultimate challenges thrown at us.  How hard that is.  How totally mind-blowingly devastating, so that we wonder just how much more we can take, and even then there may be more.

Our World will not be the same in the wake of Japan's sorrows.  We have a chance to change the world's energy plan, to come together.  If you had asked any of the worlds' mothers, did we think it a good idea to place Nuclear Plant's, even with so called fail-safe devices, on the earth's surface, moving at an average 3-4 cms a year, what do you think our answers would be?  All of us have a chance to think again, we find ourselves at that new beginning, has the earthquake and the tsunami in Japan awakened those in power to the dangers?  As a mother I am trying hard to remind myself to allow hope a chance to float up.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

If we heard seagulls outside when we were little, we were told it must be rough weather at sea.  I could hear them this morning, I had the window open and the sun was shining, picking out all the dust motes dancing like midges, whilst the plaintive cries of the seagulls reminded me of the seaside.  The gulls follow the canal or the rivers from the sea mouth inland searching for easy food, then they swoop and whirl on the air-currents until they  catch sight of a ploughed field or landfill site alighting in the rough earth to jump and squabble over insects or worms.  This morning there was a light aircraft buzzing around as well, we are not that far from an airfield called Barton Aerodrome, the first municipal airport in the U.K.
   It seems to me a sure sign that we have turned away from Winter when I hear the drone of the small aircraft engine weaving it's way on a lazy spiral just below the clouds. It comes from a memory of lying hidden in the long grass of fields near our house, shading my eyes to watch a biplane drawing lazy circles against the blue summer sky, with the song of a skylark in my nine year old ears and the delightful knowledge there was no school for the rest of the summer.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

More strangeness

Strangely the roof-fan in our conservatory suddenly burst into life today.  Not so strange you might think what does she mean? Ah...well, it's been broken, ostensibly unfix-able for nine years.

Then -

This morning I made peppermint tea then left it to steep whilst I drew the blinds and turned on the computer, walking back into the room after collecting my now steaming tea, the television came on on it's own!

Dah dah dah dah...dah dha dah dah!

'There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. 
It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.  It is
the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition,
and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge.
This is the dimension of imagination.  It is an area which we call the 
Twilight Zone.'

Friday, 11 March 2011

Thinking of Japan...

My friend Sonia from lives in Tokyo, and I've been thinking and thinking of Sonia and her husband and their relatives this morning, after the dreadful disaster of the biggest earthquake Japan has ever suffered and the resulting Tsunami.

Watching the devastation on the television and knowing that there must have been devastating loss of life is just heartbreaking.  Because we now have the internet and worldwide television coverage , it brings the disaster right into our homes...right into our hearts, and our hearts go out to all the people affected and suffering.

And we are reminded that we are all made of the same stuff, that we are all members of this humankind and as such when our neighbours suffer we are each of us changed, a reminder too of how at times like these we are small against the might of Nature.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

My Grandmother on my Father's side looked as I remember her, almost exactly like Maggie Smith when she's playing the part of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the series, 'Downton Abbey'.
 Nannie had been a teacher and always wore a tweed suit, quite long in the skirt and jacket, worn with a fine lawn-cotton blouse, high buttoned, with a silver brooch or a cameo at the neck.  She was apparently one of the first ladies to graduate in Mathematics, in those days women were newly admitted to less than a handful of universities and even when they won the tripos they could not claim the degree,  but only to have passed the degree examination!  She must have been quite feisty to have managed to persuade her parents to allow her to go on to further education.  Especially as this was around 1890, way before women could vote and girls were expected to marry and be a dutiful wife.  Nannie was the youngest of four girls, her eldest sister Great Aunt Lily also became a teacher and remained a spinster all her life, Lily was allegedly more than a little barmy, serving up cakes she'd stored for months all covered with green-mold to my brother and sister when they were little.   The middle sisters I know very little about, and all three siblings were deceased by the time I was born.  Nannie met my Grandfather when she was in London at University, though quite how they met...I wish I knew. I only know that he was policeman, one of the Peelers, as they were known and as policemen were required to work seven days a week with only 5 days unpaid holiday a year, it's a wonder they managed to meet at all!

There's me in the middle aged about fifteen, my mother on the left and of course Nannie on the right.

And there she is in her hat and gown.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Times newspaper called it, 'a thing of heart-stopping beauty', it's been a long time since I watched a film that left me still thinking about it the next morning.  'A Single Man' is about love.  About grief and fear and growing older, yet also about being alive in the moment.

How lax we are, how we forget to cherish the little things encountered every day, small moments encapsulated. They seem gilded within and time-stopping just for a fraction, just for a thought, just for that fleeting flash. The hushed silence of falling snowflakes, Spring sunlight upon ivy, a solitary duck flying low calling out, a kaleidoscope of vibrant flowers, the look in another person's eyes. We need to remind ourselves to catch hold of those treasures, to awaken to them.  Living is so slippery, so ephemeral, things pass us by in the batting of an eyelash, the glimmer of a sunbeam, the fading of a rainbow. This morning I wrote in a notebook I keep, 'Our lives are so transitory, I need to write down those small moments just as they happen - even if I only write one word, or one line.  If I enclose those fleeting seconds here in ink they can't slip away from me.  They're here, held for a while longer, until the book is destroyed.  Yet, even then...should they by chance have made it to another mind they survive and move onwards maybe to help someone else who was in need of a reminder that we should live our lives as if this were our last day, like George the main character in 'A Single Man'.  We need to remember we are only here for this moment.....and this moment..........and this moment. 

In the words of Alan & Marilyn Bergman, written for James Newton Howard's song, 'Places that belong to you.'                              
 "Tomorrow may never come, for all we know."