Sally Cronin’s Family & Friends Series over on her wonderful Smorgasbord Invitation blog…

I am delighted that Sally chose to feature one of my old blog posts, as part of the Family & Friends Series, over on her wonderful Smorgasbord Invitation blog.

Brotherly Love….

Thank you, Sally. ❤

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-and-friends-brotherly-love-by-jane-sturgeon/

Sending love….

I travelled on the Mersey ferry recently, to see the tall ships in port, and breathing deeply I said out loud ‘I had forgotten how much I love being on the water’.

The picture above is a tug boat starting the Tall Ships regatta at the end of May. I was up on our sky garden watching all the vessels go past. There were very few tall ships this year, so smaller yachts, dinghies and ferries came out to keep them company.

“When Heaven wants to protect someone does it send an army? No, it protects him with love.” Lao Tzu

I have invested hours recently setting up a new software platform to broaden the reach of my work. Right at the last knockings, I noticed a clause in their terms and I stopped. Interestingly enough, despite all my research, it does not become apparent till you are about to launch. It smacked of pyramid, multi level marketing and that is so not me. So I un-picked it all. The gifts to come out of this are new ideas.

As I gathered myself together, stilling the critical inner voice, and finding ease with the memories of other times that all my ‘tall ships’ have not shown up, other things have floated in.

The birds have discovered my bath dish on the sky garden and they come to rest, bathe and drink now. They watch me from the trees replenishing it with fresh water.

My Mum has gifted some herbs for the sky garden and they are flourishing in the trough she found to go with them, with some French lavender and lilies nestling beside in their pots.

The ‘Aqua Babes’, from our Zumba pool sessions, are in touch often sharing funny moments, flowing support and we get together to eat and laugh.

A buddy and I are flowing together with ideas on how we work and the best support for that. Two creates the power of ten.

This week saw the start of a local craft group and the energy from that has already created new connections and my knitting friends are flowing in with loving support.

“When Heaven wants to protect someone does it send an army? No, it protects him with love.” Lao Tzu

Loving connections…

A lovely friend and I sat on a farmhouse balcony and shared afternoon tea today and this was our view.

I attended a routine hospital appointment this afternoon and she insisted on giving me a lift. The phone call with that offer was hilarious, as I initially resisted her kind suggestion. Why do we do that ‘No, it’s alright I can manage’ thing when anyone tries to be kind! It’s nuts. Anyway, mid conversation, as I was resisting, this was her deciding line:

‘Please do not deprive me of your company. I have missed you and it will be lovely to have a catch-up and I need to go there anyway to check on where things are when I have my appointment next month.’

I responded with ‘That is the most sophisticated emotional blackmail I have heard for some time.’

Much laughter followed, which set the theme for this afternoon.

We drove straight there, parked with ease, found the required hospital section and I was called in right away. Marvellous.

Then we walked out and turned left instead of right, talking nineteen to the dozen and completely oblivious to our error. As we walked out of the exit door we faced a car park we didn’t recognise.

‘This isn’t car park G’ my lovely friend said.

‘I am deeply impressed that you remember which ‘letter’ car park we are in’ I replied.

Several corridors, exits and different car park views later, we admitted we were lost. Various staff members were unable to help us either.

It was a comedy of errors and finally (and I do mean some time later) another nurse tried to help us. Suddenly I recalled that I had tucked the hospital letter and a map into my handbag. It is a testimony to my friend’s love, that she didn’t clock me one as I produced it.

We found our way and left two nurses shaking their heads at us, thinking goodness knows what, as we went to the farmhouse nearby and had afternoon tea to recover.

As we sat nattering on the balcony, looking out at the view, we both agreed that the love and understanding that our group share (there are a few of us) is a gift, liberally sprinkled with shared laughter. ❤

Girls together….

dav

Our lovely ‘Knit and Natter’ group came round to christen my new ‘happy bubble’ today and oh, what a joy that was. They came through the door carrying plates of home made food, yummy goodies and planted pots, with lots of ‘Oohh’s and Ahh’s’ for where I now live.

We have a safe space between us all and I love how we share, support and make plans for fun things to do together. Also, the times we crease up with laughter, as they are the best.

Each time we get together we discover new things about each other. We had no idea that one of our happy band worked in a bakery for 48 years and her pudding disappeared like greased lightening today.

With all the new seeds I have planted during the last year, it was vital that I stayed close by, so I could still go to group on a Thursday morning. These lovely ladies are an important part of my life and I treasure our connections.

My day started with the sun peeping through the fog and cloud for just a few minutes and we went on to create our own sunshine at lunchtime. I watched them climbing the steep hill home afterwards, as their loving ‘Goodbyes’ and ‘See you on Thursday’ floated back down to where I stood on the doorstep. ❤

All connected on All Saints Day, as we always are….

dav

I awoke early this morning and lay snuggled under the duvet cover that Lynn has gifted me for a few extra minutes. It is a beautiful muted duck egg blue and antique gold threaded blanket of gorgeousness, which Lynn spotted and knew I would love. ❤

All the threads woven together, just like the threads of our life webs with the ancestors of our past and the lives to come in the future. All loving links, sensed especially on All Saints Day.

The sky mirrored these connections this morning with many layers of light and coloured clouds.

I made my way to an aqua aerobics class that the lovely lady who stayed here recently suggested. Maire lives in the States now, but she was brought up round this way and some things have not changed. We managed to create a few hours together when she was here and we nattered as girls do over a yummy lunch at the tea room. She told me all about this class, as she sensed I would love it. It was a long walk away, but I set off at a brisk pace and even managed to pause to have a quick catch-up with some friends out walking their dogs along the way. When I reached the club I was just in time and kind souls showed me what to do. There we were in the pool, a mixed bunch of gender, ages and flexibility. I have always felt rather clumsy and I have been known to hurt myself, especially when I am tired. The water was a blessing as I felt graceful, supported and I loved it. We all had fun and parted with promises to each other that we would meet and do this regularly.

I think it's fair to say I ambled back home at a rather slower pace…I know you can picture this. My body used to walking and doggy ball throwing was rather surprised to be eased into an hour of concentrated exercise effort. I have felt invigorated all afternoon though and glowing.

A gentle and kind suggestion has led me to another lovely thing to do, with new loving soul connections to bring to my life's web. I can feel my ancestors love and the love from all of you. We never walk alone. ❤

Le Belle Francais……

sdr

I have been gifted some more time in France to care for my lovely furry buddy Belle.

My friend’s sister picked me up at the airport yesterday and we all gathered on her verandah to enjoy a yummy dinner, whilst we caught up with each others’ news and laced the air with laughter as the sun set.

My friends and their family flow loving kindness like a natural spring and as I absorbed the magic peace of being back here in France with them all, my cup filled to overflowing.

At an unearthly hour today my friends set off on their travels and I donned my new wellies, so Belle and I could go out and greet the day. My new fabulous footwear was a gift, so I can explore with Belle and stay warm and dry in style. We all decided that I will leave them here, as my ‘French’ wellies, knowing that I will return.

mde

Autumn is drawing in and first thing this morning the valleys were full of mist lying like clouds below the treetops. Mankind was silent and all Belle and I could hear were the cockerels and crows greeting the new day, as the smaller birds tweeted to each other from the trees and hedgerows. The peace held us safe as the sun drew up above the horizon and nature sang her joyous song.

Peace
Peace

Serenity weaving peace….

dav

One morning Belle and I climbed a hill to watch the sun rise and my heart took a picture I will always treasure. There was a faint mist in the lower valley as the horizon turned bright orange behind the outline of the trees and a flock of birds flew across the skyline to greet the day. Belle and I both stood soaking it all in as night became day.

I was kindly invited by my loving friend’s sister to a creative club that meets every Friday in a local village hall, where many women come together to spend the day sharing, chatting and working on their latest creative projects. We also had a demonstration and practical session where we were taught how to decorate cardboard and wooden boxes. I loved every single second of it. There were a few nationalities and different languages being spoken, all with the universal thread of love. Kind support flowing to women who have faced cancer, have on-going health and life issues and a few who have met with widowhood. I could see the energy flowing between them all as some sewed while others quilted, glued, painted, knitted and crocheted, with some ladies resplendent in straw hats sitting outside under the trees painting at easels. At one point they put music on and danced in the dappled sunshine. A few of us were resting on the outside benches eating our lunch at the time and I felt the expression on my face spoke volumes as I watched their happy faces. My kind companion asked if I was OK and I commented that I had no words. She smiled and said ‘That’s because you belong here Jane’. It was a day I will never forget and I deliberately left my phone at home so my heart could take pictures.

My loving friends returned and took me around to see places they knew I would love.

dav
Belle’s favourite park in Lauzun

dav
And the tower on a distant hillside atop a tiny village that twinkles with lights against the ink black sky every evening.

Magical moments were created in Le Temple-sur-Lot, at Latour-Marliac the water lily growers who have been creating beauty since 1875. Claude Monet purchased the water lilies for his famous gardens there.

dav

dav

dav

Blessings in magical moments……

sdr

My loving friend reliably informs me that there are 27 sleeps till I see them again and can spend my days with Belle. ❤