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Friday, 28 February 2014

what i learnt in february

since july of last year i have written a post about what i have learnt each month and have linked with emily freeman at chatting at the sky. in december life was manic so i winged my list, in january it was rushed as life had yet to slow down and here we are in february; life is still too busy for me to fully pay attention. three months on the bounce. 

i was ready to sit down tonight and work though some thoughts on what i learnt in february. on the way back from a manic work day i got stuck in traffic, getting acutely frustrated as i was trying to catch the postal service before its cut off point my phone binged with email, being stationary i read it. it was my subscription mail to emily's place - in her post she implored everyone not to continue to write something just because you said you would if you don't feel it anymore, that in our blogs of all places we have the freedom to choose what we write and what we don't. a smile spread across my face. 

emily gave me permission not to write this post.

i realised earlier in my busy week that if i wanted to write about what i had learnt this month i only had tonight to do it. i also realised i had taken no notes so it would take a bit of thinking about. more than that - i realised i wanted to write it mainly because i have linked up every month with emily since she started hosting the what i learnt link up and i didn't want to miss it, i wanted to keep the record perfect. stupid, right?

but i did learn something this month. 

this month my mum turned seventy. us three kids threw a surprise dinner party for family and an afternoon tea for friends (not on the same day, thankfully). my mum lives in wales, her siblings in scotland and ireland and her children and grandchildren live in england - its safe to say there was a lot of travel involved for most parties. all turned up to show her how much she is loved, from her youngest grandchild of two to our old next door neighbour of ninety-two. it was noisy and at times standing room only in my sisters house but it made all our hard work secret keeping worthwhile to see mum chat with long lost friends, sisters and brothers showing with words and actions that no matter the distance family trumps all and to see the next generation of cousins make their own memories. in short - i saw love in action - it was a beautiful reminder.

as we get older there seem less and less opportunities to see family who live at a distance and increasingly times you do get together are no longer for weddings but funerals. i encourage you to tell the ones close to you that you love them, don't take them for granted, take action. after this weekend i have been reminded how the older generation roll with what many would call good manners - we have received flowers, cards and emails all thanking us for including them in the celebrations and letting us know how much they enjoyed it. something that costs little can mean so much.

so now as the sun has set my thoughts turn to my friend coming over for dinner, to a much needed evening of relaxation and a hope that next month will be a much more restful one than the preceding three, who knows i might even have time to take note of what i learnt again. now i'm going to schedule this post, pour a glass of wine and start cooking dinner - giving myself permission to take the pressure off. thanks emily.

Emma

linking with emily

Thursday, 27 February 2014

thankful thursday


this week i'm thankful for half term school holidays - the work commute has been a dream, for low lying sun blinding me whilst driving and warming me whilst walking, for lying in bed listening to rain falling reminding me that i haven't heard that sound for quite a while and being grateful for mild winter temperatures - almost the end of february and i am still yet to dig out my warm winter work coat.

Emma

Monday, 24 February 2014

magic 70

























i've always said; if i look as good as my mum does when i'm 70, i'll be happy. apologies for the indulgence folks - my mum turned 70 last week, we threw her a party - over a weekend - she thought she was just with her kids; we'd invited her sisters and brother and their kids - they came - all the way from aberdeen (and london) to manchester to surprise the sister that looked after them in their youth. she was stunned, we were amazed. left reeling from the busyness of the organisation i am grateful i am part of a family that makes the effort to show each other how much they mean to each other. i love you all.

Emma

Thursday, 20 February 2014

thankful thursday



this week i am thankful for the reminder that everything is a gift. i am thankful for plans fulfilled, tears through joy, for laughter and conversation, spending time with loved ones not often seen and  through the fog of tiredness i am thankful to be reminded that rest is not an optional extra but a necessary requirement.

Emma

Thursday, 13 February 2014

thankful thursday



this week i am thankful for a warm, dry home - i find the flooding images i am seeing daily from the south of england difficult to comprehend - a reminder that we live on an island no matter how far away from the sea we are located. the above photos are of my sister showing her girls the damage sustained to a victorian swimming pool they spent time in last summer, they are sad to think they won't be able to visit this year. i am thankful for all the things we take for granted - food, warmth, water, access to healthcare, clothing, a roof over our heads and money to be able to afford these. i am thankful too not just for how rich i am in possessions but in relationships.

Emma

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Family

So here we are in February, and this I think is only my second post of the year. I can't quite believe it -January just seemed to disappear, one minute it was getting used to being back at work after Christmas, the next minute it was suddenly today, and just a second to catch breath in between.

One thing I have started doing this new year is writing down each day at least two things that have been good. It doesn't have to be big things, but things that have made a difference in a good way to my day. It's been about within the blur noticing the gifts in the day, so they don't just slip away unnoticed.

However, one of the real big gifts in January was spending time with my family. This may sound odd, I live with my family every day, however I don't have many relations, my parents have both died and I'm an only child, which makes my family circle small. But I do have distant family (one of those real distant family relationships that is nearly too difficult to explain), and January brought the celebration of my Auntie's 90th birthday.

My Auntie is an amazing lady, 90, full of faith despite hard times, still living on her own, and able at the end of the celebrations to stand up and give a speech without notes. It was a truly special occasion, I felt so privileged to be there, and even more so as the love that is shown does not take note of being a 'distant' relative, to them I am family, and that means the world.

Before the event my 'brother' sent me some old family photographs that he had found whilst getting photos ready for the event. Now I know these photos mean nothing to you, but to me there are so many memories behind them, to see them again brought a tear to my eye. And that's the other thing- family know your history, know your stories.

After the party we sat and chatted, and later looked at family trees, putting another picture to a name. It was about knowing where you came from understanding those stories.

So here for you are a couple of my memories, plus me with the birthday girl, who looks as stylish as ever. Forgive the blurriness, it's worth it.




Jane

Thursday, 6 February 2014

thankful thursday



in the week we are being warned that the weather is about to change i am thankful for sunlight, for pink skies, for friends who are polite enough not to complain when i pull my car over for "just one shot" (and wait while i take ten), for the realisation that my loved ones are truly loved by others too, for honesty, communication, respect and love.

Emma 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

monday night, like any other...


last night i joined my sister and went to see her eldest daughter sing in her choir. only this almost nine year old was performing in an arena capable of holding twenty-three thousand people at its capacity. her school joined with other schools in the area to sing a programme of songs linked by young voices her voice was one amongst eight thousand three hundred and seven children from the surrounding manchester area. suffice to say it's not like it was when i was in a school choir, i was quite moved by the scale of it. tonight i popped in to show her the videos i had taken - she is hoarse - not a little bit but a lot - she sang and danced her heart out and loved it. oh, and did i mention - in a choir of eight thousand three hundred and seven children - we found her? it helps that she was stood on the back row of her block in front of the "o" of the banner that stated the name of her junior school (for the record under the "o" of junior), and that she has very distinctive dance moves - if you know them of course, which we do.  and boy could we tell she was having a good time. this video is of the pop medley they sang, which happens to be her favourite.

Emma