Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rainbows of all shades

"Over the Rainbow" went the Ladybird Class at Happy Days Pre-primary school; and the whole school went with them. Dedicated moms and dads set up stalls, kids rehearsed their rainbow song, we baked and packed and organized; and the result was a fun two hours of "Cake Sale". The whole exercise was in aid of raising funds for our school, and plenty of money was spent. Most of it went on tummies: candy floss, cakes, pizza, sweets... Some of it went on games and activities...All of it will benefit our little community in the end.Some part of me feels uncomfortable that so much was spent on just buying "what I want"with few limits. The same part of me stays determined to limit my children's spending on such things, and keep them mindful of how full their lives already are.

A rainbow of a different sort was visible in our Sunday meeting at Urban Voice today. We really are becoming a "rainbow" of people, representative of all walks of life, a boquet of cultures, a people whose praises are a rich fragrance to God. (And I know He won't mind the mixed metaphor!) A group of young sports-women and -men joined us, and it was lovely to see our "family" gather round them to pray and encourage. I felt proud of us.

I hope you, too, are part of a community of whom you can feel proud, and with whom you can create rainbows to brighten your own and others' lives. If you aren't, you are welcome to join this little Penny Lane community - we'd love to have you.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. We have just had a mild wrangle over whether it is indeed 16 or 17 years, a skirmish which Steve graciously conceded (after counting on his fingers to prove me wrong): 17 is indeed correct. For our niece Lilly, it is her very own anniversary: she turned one today. We enjoyed a very pleasant family gathering - kids playing without too many arguments, adults chatting, and the birthday girl charming everyone. Her deep blue eyes don't miss a thing; she bestows smiles rarely and so to great effect.
Some cultures don't celebrate birthdays at all, or wedding anniversaries. I like the idea of having one day on which you are made to feel extra-special; a day when friends and family gather to celebrate "you". Wedding anniversaries are a bit more personal - an occasion for the two of you to reminisce, to reaffirm what you mean to each other.
When next you have the chance to celebrate an anniversay, embrace it with hands and heart.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A lick of paint

Well, the bathroom makeover is well on its way. We have finally scraped, sealed and painted. We chose WHITE in the end, as it is a small bathroom and bold colour just looked wrong. I have already bought a few plants to add colour - they now need some shelves to live on! A frame around the mirror will be another project.
I recently came across this very practical site, and thought I'd share just one article from it. The ideas range from "new towels" to "make a new vanity" - so you can choose your level of difficulty and cost! I find that looking at designs like these inspires and refreshes me. They are "ordinary" enough, yet still innovative. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Writer's block?

TOO MANY! My problem is not the blank page, but the surfeit of thoughts and ideas...Which one will win the race onto the page? Which is the most vibrant, or the most outrageous, or the most insightful, or the most true-to-life?
As the writer, shouldn't I be in charge of them all? How is it that all my ideas seem to conspire to throw a net of inaction over me? I sit and think about what I could say - and end up not writing at all. In the story "The Lion and the Mouse", the lion is caught in the hunters' net. It takes the little mouse to nibble its way through the ropes, to set the lion free. Hmmm...what could be the "mouse" to my netted "lion" of thoughts? Uh-oh - I see the word "patience" looming large in that story. It took the mouse a long time to do its nibbling. Could patience be my key?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Perfect weather...

Hard, driving rain; the scent of wet dogs and broken branches and sodden earth; gusting wind that makes the chimney-top creak and the gutter squeak as the branches rub against it...perfect writing weather! On the edges of my awareness lie mud paths between make-shift dwellings; washing that will not dry without sun or the luxury of tumble-driers; children whose coughs and colds won't heal...More insistent, though, the hum of the computer, the tap-tap-TAP of rain on the window, the warmth of the mohair blanket...For now, I sit cocooned in a pool of light, the room's corners dark, the night even darker. Such are the blessings I may count; so, is the space filled...