Sunday, 23 June 2013

No Rainbows Today!

Over the last few days I have been full of cold and feeling rather sorry for myself. When I got back from church oldest son was quietly revising for his last exam tomorrow, I’d managed to get a friend to look after youngest son for a couple of hours so I was all set to curl up on the sofa under a blanket with a lemsip and a movie.

“Notting Hill” – I decided as I drove home, a bit of romance and Hugh Grant – perfect. Only when I checked I realised I don’t have it on DVD, I had a video copy but I got rid of all my videos a while ago, with a view to downsizing and moving to a smaller house.

I choose "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" instead – no Hugh Grant but I reasoned it would remind me that I wasn’t too old for romance and adventure, even if I do still have to wait until the boys have left home I’ve hopefully got plenty of years ahead of me!

So I was merrily planning a blog post with this theme while enjoying the film when the phone rang. I paused the DVD.

Youngest son wanted to come home, he’d been fed but wanted his own space. In return he promised to leave me alone in peace.

I snuggled back under the blanket and pressed play, I watched another half an hour or so with maybe one or two minor interruptions. 

There was an almighty thunderstorm, which I stopped the film to watch. The drive had turned into a river. Still pondering today's blog I thought maybe I could write about thunder and lightning and the first time I wasn’t scared of a storm – I’ve filed that away for another day now – it would make a good post.

The storm passed and I continued the film.

Suddenly there was a heated argument in the hall between the boys ending with the ominous sound of breaking glass, a lot of crying and a shout of “mum!”

Thankfully it wasn’t quite as dramatic as the noise suggested, a football had been kicked in the porch and a window was smashed. No injuries, no blood and that particular pane of glass had been cracked for years.

More shouting followed, this time from me as I sent both boys upstairs and set about clearing the debris.

I’m fortunate really, I have two boys and we’ve never had many serious incidents like this.

However glass had shattered EVERYWHERE, mostly on the gravel in front of the porch but some shards had reached and scratched the car, bits were under the car and when I investigated further I found fragments on the roof too!

Carefully I collected every piece as the rain started to fall again. It was a sunshine and showers sort of a day. I looked up half hoping a see a rainbow, a promise from God that this too would pass and everything would be alright.

But there were no rainbows for me today and actually for once I didn’t mind. I didn’t need a new promise, I’m holding on to all the old ones and today they are enough to keep me going.

At church this morning we had a chance to share something we are thankful for and I shared twice! Firstly for the kitchen floor and hot and cold running water. Secondly this week a little girl said hello to me in the supermarket followed by telling her mum, “she comes into to school to tell us bible stories.” It’s lovely to get this reaction to our Open the Book team assemblies.

Once I started counting my blessings I remembered more. 

A walk with friends, my growing veg patch, a compliment and an insurance cheque in the post.

Despite feeling rotten, having a half-finished kitchen and having a funeral song in the service for the second week running which has made me cry, I know God is holding me tightly and won’t let go. Rainbow or no rainbow.

Another blessing today was that my friend’s husband came round to board up the window, it meant another interruption to my afternoon but eventually I watched the Marigold Hotel to the end in peace.

Here’s one of the great quotes from the film…

“Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end.”

Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

#FiveSentenceFiction - Home

With literally hours to spare here's my Five Sentence Fiction for this week.

This week's word is HOME.

I've been showing you lots of pictures this week of my home, in various states of repair, but today I wanted to create somewhere new, someone else's home with a different perspective...

The stench as I climbed the stairs was difficult to ignore, as was the offensive graffiti that lined the walls.

Trying hard not to let my face betray my prejudices I knocked on the door of flat 5b.

Mel threw the door wide open, her beaming smile warm and welcoming.

I could see her flat was basically furnished but neat and clean, why was that such a surprise?

Compared to the shop doorway where Mel had been sleeping a few weeks ago her new home was like a palace.

- click on the link on Lillie's blog to read some other great stories too! -

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

What a difference a day makes...

 Yesterday I had a gaping hole in the middle of the kitchen floor.... it as all covered over again, almost as good as new!
And best of all I have some temporary taps - one hot, one cold... I no longer have to do the washing up in the bath!

Monday, 17 June 2013

More Adventures in Pioneer Land

I love my Monday mornings, once I’ve got the boys off to school I can go and join my friends for a walk.

This morning we had planned a beach walk but at the last minute we opted for a walk in the woods to see the rhododendrons. We are fortunate to have so many wonderful places nearby to choose from.

The path climbed steadily and we eagerly shouted “rhododendron” every time we spotted one like little kids. We laughed and chatted, our cares and worries blown away.

To our right the woods climbed up higher but through the trees to our left we could see a magnificent meadow dotted with bright waving buttercups.

“I want to go down there.” Said one friend. “There is a path look.”

“We could run down the hill just like the beginning of Little House on the Prairie!” I squealed with excitement, I really shouldn’t be let out sometimes!

So we looked for a way to get into the field, we climbed over a stile, through a little bit of mud and eventually ended up going round in a circle back to the top path where we had started from.

“We could go down here?” Suggested one friend as she scrambled through a gap in the trees. “We can get over the fence at the bottom.” She shouted back to us.

So we followed, enjoying our adventure.

It was another NEW walk, we love finding a different route, even if we did have to clamber over a padlocked gate I promise we stuck to signposted footpaths most of the time!

When I returned home my workman shouted “I wouldn’t come in here if I were you,” – the dishwasher and sink had finally been removed.

But it gets worse- the floorboards underneath are rotten so instead of installing a new dishwasher as soon as possible for my convenience he has been digging out the wobbly joists. Sawing through floorboard, narrowly missing the gas pipe - thank goodness! No wonder my floor used to bounce when I danced around the kitchen.

Oh dear... you think we'll find buried treasure or a dead body under there?

...the mice have been nibbling the insulation round the central heating pipes! least it's all tidy at the end of the day!
All I can do is laugh because it’s so much better than crying. To be honest we both expected to uncover a few more issues before this job is over. Nothing is ever simple or straight forward when your house is over a 150 years old.

We've survived the days of no Aga and no hot water, now we have to live without a kitchen sink - I guess I'll be doing the washing up in the bath then. 

Even the simple task of making a cuppa becomes an adventure as I have to fill the kettle from the outside tap then walk round the edges of the kitchen to reach the Aga and put it on to boil.

I can't wait to cook tea tonight - it's going to be so much fun - a bit like camping but without sleeping under canvas!

This morning I was running down a hill just like Laura Ingalls, once more I’m living the life of a pioneer but nothing can be as bad as those early days when I wrote this post on Unravelling Edges… (click on the title below to read)

At least the sun is shining bright and golden like the buttercups in the meadow and these days too will pass...

Pioneering Spirit: My last few posts have been more reflective.   Looking back and remembering.   Perhaps I’m learning at last how to “be” and not measure m...

Friday, 14 June 2013

God's teaching me to be patient AGAIN!

I’m restless at the moment. 

The garden is beginning to blossom, I will have ripe juicy strawberries just in time for Wimbledon. (since taking this photo only last week the petals have fallen and the fruit is growing!)

The kitchen is beginning to shine, after all that behind the scenes preparation I can now actually see things coming together. Cupboards are slotting into place, there’s some colour on the walls, I’ve got a quote for the worktops and have paid a deposit for the flooring.

My writing is beginning to come together too. I’ve certainly had some positive feedback over the past few weeks which is sort of keeping me focussed.

Good things are happening but the final results are ever so slightly out of reach, just beneath the surface, out of my eye line to mix up all my metaphors. I’m not quite there and my impatience is steadily growing.

I’ve been writing a lot of haiku poems recently, novels take a long time to write, I’ve never finished one yet, short stories can take days, flash fiction can sometimes be written within an hour, haiku’s take just minutes – perfect for those, like me, with very little patience.

Here’s one especially for today’s mood…

Something is bubbling
Still waiting impatiently
Dreams ripple with hope

I’ve waited so long but I can almost imagine how luscious those strawberries are going to taste when they ripen in just a couple of weeks’ time.

I can picture how amazing the kitchen will look. Realistically I’m guessing a month or so before it looks perfect, I’ve still got cushions to make and blinds to order.

And as for that bigger writing dream, I think that’s getting closer too. Although there is certainly a lot more work to be done and I suspect a there will be a lot more waiting involved too.

This popped up on my Facebook feed earlier.

I’ve written about God’s timing and waiting so many times before. It’s something I know deep down but it’s always worth being reminded especially on those days when your patience is stretched and you are desperately waiting for the next big thing!

#VisDare - Mastermind

Here's this week's most peculiar #VisDare picture ...

And here is my very odd story to go with it!

“I see time,” he said cryptically, “forwards, backwards, from the beginning to the end.”

“So you know my future?”

She found it slightly disconcerting talking to a man who hid his eyes behind spectacles made from watch faces but she wanted to believe he had some answers.

“I don’t just know your future, I own your future.”

A voice in her head warned her not to trust him. “Never trust a man who won’t look you in the eye.”  Who had told her that once?

“Take off your glasses.” She demanded leaning closer to inspect.

He laughed as he raised his hand and slid his glasses down his nose.

His right eye was blue like the sky on a summer’s day.

The left eye socket was filled with little cogs that ticked round and round.

“Time to run now, time to run now,” they seemed to say.

So she did!

Go and read the other stories here at Anonymous Legacy  

Or why not join in - can you write a story in less than 150 words?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

WOW - it looks a bit like a kitchen!!!!

Just a quick picture for you today...

...I no longer have kitchen cupboards in the hall - yippee!!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Grief is like a game of snakes and ladders...

I am feeling overwhelmed yet again. I think not having a fully functioning kitchen is slowly wearing me down. It’s been over five weeks now although it is all coming together very slowly, when there’s a bit more colour on the walls I’ll post some more photos.

What’s stressing me a bit is that in a few days I will lose my sink and dishwasher, hopefully for a very short space of time but it’s taking these backward steps that make you wonder if you will ever really get there at all.

Grief is a bit like that too.  You think you are moving in the right direction, climbing up a few ladders, making great progress when you land on a long and slippery snake.

At least now I recognise its grief, not depression or just having a crap day but a huge wave of grief that sweeps over me. A tidal wave of missing out on how things should have been. 

That’s not to say my life would have been any easier if Andrew had still been around to share this with, we’d probably be arguing over whether we actually NEEDED a new kitchen at all!

I’m learning how to ride the storm and bounce back from each episode but it doesn’t stop the crushing pain.

Last night I was reading my old diary from 2011 and I can’t believe how I got through those early months, they were so tough. I felt exhausted just reading and remembering.

In a few years from now perhaps I will wonder how I survived this period of time, these weeks of living with my de-constructed kitchen, days of having no hot water and moments of tears when it all got too much.