Such a sweet planet we walk on, when we walk it with heart….. Jeff Brown

sisters
Exchange your righteousness for humanness,
your judgments for compassion,
your hopelessness for faith,
your armor for love.

Such a sweet planet we live on
when we walk it with heart.

‘Love it Forward’ by Jeff Brown

Both my sister and I have let go of differing situations in the last week and set-up a new home together. Whatever stormy seas brought us here, we have found a loving harbour in this place. Not living under the same roof since we were 14 and 16 (which is a few years ago now, ahem), we both feel the hand of divine timing in what has unfolded recently.

We have chosen a modern house near the hospital where Debs works, with room for our grown up children to stay and space for me to work in peace. Here we are a week later on a stormy Sunday, all safe and cosy, with Debs asleep after a night shift and me logged on for work with the support service.

Deb’s eldest son and his partner helped us move and there was a priceless moment as Rob came out of our new home to take the latest box from me at the van and this is how the conversation went…

Rob: ‘Mum is showing my baby photos in there!!!’

Complete puzzlement on his face….

Me: ‘Well you were a beautiful baby.’

His next facial expression was even more eloquent.

It has been a week of loving support, mass activity, normal work for both of us girls, lists, laughter, shopping forays, yet more lists, yummy food, Mum and Dad visiting, friends popping in, gifted flowers and plants, messages of support, appliances mis-behaving and being replaced, the blessings of a kind landlord, a decisive and speedy furniture purchasing trip around Ikea, more laughter, warm rugs going down in each room, efficient heating (thank you), assembling of flat pack furniture with very helpful ‘back seat driving’ assistance being given from the sofa (not), ‘oohs and ahs’ over new home accessories, bottles of bubble bath and perfume appearing on windowsills, many cups of tea and coffee, queries of ‘Does this look good here?’ and ‘Is that hanging straight?’ and even more laughter.

We have plans for the future and we feel excited about them. Right now though we are taking time out to simply ‘be’, to catch our breath and let this new life we have drawn together seep in. We each react differently to change and cups of tea and coffee, yummy food, loving support and a cosy home nestle us, while we hold each other safe as everything settles.

And a new chapter begins….

Life’s cake made with love, happy tales, more love and trust…..

Our valley

My sister, who has been so very poorly, has recovered enough to come over so we could spend the day together and she could have a change of scene. A gentle stroll was undertaken on the highest hill here. I think it’s a mountain, but I am assured by the locals it is not. Anyway, we drove up to a midway vantage point, and then sensibly booted, we set off to walk the rest of the way up, gently, so very gently. It was a warm day and very peaceful up there, but it wasn’t long before our nattering and laughter could be heard. It was a very still and misty day down in the valley below and there we were strolling along and every now and then I would say ‘Over there is so and so’. ‘Ah ha’, Debs would reply peering into the mist. After a while it became a running joke and she was heard to comment ‘Give up Fan, I trust you’. She has called me ‘Fan’ since we were teenagers, because she said I always ‘Fannied about’. I mean really, how rude, and I might add, blatantly untrue!

My special pressie

I have been putting hours in on the support service and my energy flags, unsurprisingly. My lovely friend, who was right in the middle of moving home last weekend, dealing with the builders in his new home and managing his business, paused and baked me a cake. He wanted to do something that would sustain me through my working weekend. It was as yummy as it looks and yes, I did share it. Also, Trev has now discovered a sure fire way to render me speechless, as I stood with the cake in my hands, eyes filled with happy tears and silent…..silent for quite some time. Then I hugged him.

Jason Garner

I have been following Jason Garner’s thoughts and writings for some time now and we have flowed thoughts and comments to each other over the web. Recently an unexpected email dropped into my Inbox from Jason offering to gift me a copy of his latest book. I am so touched by his loving thoughtfulness. Everything this man does is wrapped in love and the parcel package even had the words ‘Wrapped with love by…a name and a smiley face’. I am savouring and enjoying every word of Jason’s first book ‘And I breathed…..from a life of matter, to a life that matters’. A joy to read and it is a joy to be connected to such a loving soul.

Chris's picture

My postman is very aware of where I live, because another parcel arrived yesterday. A gift filled with much love and thoughtfulness and I can see this beautiful picture hanging on my wall as I write this post. Christine Moran Poet, Writer and Photographer is a treasured friend of mine. This photograph is one of my favourites, taken by Chris in her garden, and beautifully framed to hang on my wall. Her loving card is on my writing desk and her enclosed angel friendship heart is hanging on my door post. Love poured from her parcel.

Flowers

Trev brought these flowers to my front door yesterday with a smile. He wanted to flow care and for me to have something beautiful to look at while I worked from my desk. His loving offer of a home cooked meal in his new home tonight, and the space to explore some new ideas to ‘nail a challenge’ I currently face, was gratefully accepted by me. I think I’ll wear a frock.

Penny

One of my neighbours and I have a special connection. Alison and I have both been on various trips around life’s watermill and that gives us an understanding beyond words. There is much laughter and ‘Oh you’d never guess what’s….’ as we bob into each other’s apartments sharing love, cake, milk, sugar, clothes pegs, coffee, Welsh tea bags (delicious), my washing machine that I turn on with a ball point pen, her oven when mine gives up the ghost, trips into town, potters around local markets, ‘Ohh, look what I made today…’ moments, walks through the grounds to collect fallen apples and conkers, a shared love for living here and Penny. Alison’s dog Penny is a delight and she comes with us on our adventures and I often glance around to see her sleeping on the end of my bed as I am working. She sits between us as we natter and plan. Love flows from Penny in a constant stream and when you cuddle her she leans in.

As Jason and Trev always say, Hugs x

My surname changes from Baker to Thorne which evokes many happy memories and is just in time for the new year …

A new year is about to start, my book will soon be published, the venture into re-vamped furniture has a fresh energy all of it’s own and more importantly I am getting a real sense of who I am.

I have decided to leave behind my old married name as that chapter is now closed and so much has changed that when I look I hardly recognise myself back then. Emily is completely at ease with my decision and applauds my choice as I am taking my beloved Great Grandmother’s name.

Granny Thorne played an important part in my early childhood and we were very fortunate to have her around till I turned nineteen. Our family went out to Africa when I was twelve so I did not see her many times after that, but I have great memories of my earlier childhood and her home. If I close my eyes I can still smell her coal shed as we used to take chalk and play hopscotch on the paving stones outside. We could sit on the apple tree outside her bedroom window and play for hours in the back part of her garden where she grew vegetables and cane fruit. We made toffee and butterscotch in enamel dishes in her kitchen and I can still see the sugared almonds in the lace dish by her bedside. She used to make recipes from words taken from her bible and I have a bible she gave me on my christening day with her writing inside. Hours were spent makiing jam with Granny and my Mum, storing apples for the winter, crocheting, knitting, sewing and her embroidery skills were superb. We used to sit in the front room all the Grannies, my Mum, my sister and I as they passed their skills onto us. I know that when I pick up a needle now or sit before my Mum’s sewing machine Granny is right beside me helping me out when I get into a muddle.

When I was about eight Granny came to live with us for a while as she needed to recover from an illness and much to her chagrin she needed help. None of us wanted her to leave when she fully recovered as it was so good to have her there. My younger brother, a small toddler at the time, was refusing to eat and he used to tuck up with Granny and eat with her from her plate. She had a way with little ones and we all adored her. Each afternoon my sister and I used to return from school and Granny would say the fairies had been in the garden and left presents for us. We used to dash out and find the gifts (under the hydreanga bush was a favourite place) usually something like a packet of plastacine, a doll’s hair brush, a doll’s tea cup and saucer, a special little something that used to keep my sister and I playing happily till teatime. I catch the smell of blackcurrants cooking and I am right back by the Raeburn watching my Mum and Granny make up pots of blackcurrant jam. So many happy memories and thanks to my Great Granny I still believe in fairies and miracles.

I am the only one in the family to have inherited her strawberry blond hair and I can now say with much love and pride, Granny thank you for your name.