…in mind of Maya Angelou

grey skyI looked out of the window this afternoon at a leaden sky and was immediately reminded of the first lines of Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Greyday’…

‘The day hangs heavy
Loose and grey…’

…and the afternoon did indeed feel loose and grey. Determined that there must be something to raise my equally grey spirits I took my camera into the garden and searched for spotlights … and there were so many. The low light caught these plants, many of which are greyish themselves, as if grey spoke to grey and instructed them to shine. And so they did.

grey day spotlights

By the time I had finished the sun was nudging weakly from behind the clouds and my mood lifted to greet it. Yet again I have been saved by my garden, which untamed and unruly though it is, always seems to be able to revive my flagging hopes.

Posted in daily life, garden, health and well being, hope, inspiration, lifestyle, weather | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

We have a Chapbook shortlist …and a great ‘Spotlights’ anthology in the making

We have a Chapbook shortlist …and a great ‘Spotlights’ anthology in the making.

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‘My goodness how the time has flewn’ (Dr Seuss)

‘My goodness how the time has flewn’ (Dr Seuss).

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The Paragram Chapbook Challenge – submissions by 30th June 2015

The Paragram Chapbook Challenge – submissions by 30th June 2015.

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raindrops collage

I love rain – real horizontal rain, but drizzle! Drizzle by contrast is grey and invasive. It creeps in and dampens your hair and your shoulders before you even realise its raining at all. It lurks in the grey air and gives no sense of falling, it just is.

It is almost-rain, notquiterain, wishitcouldrain and so today I set out to find an upside to drizzle.

There is no feeling of battling with the elements, no associated excitement, no puddles to straddle or floods to fear. And yet, here hides magic if only we could lift ourselves out of the greydrizzlyfunk to find it.

Remember to wear a coat because you will get wet…and then go nose to nose with your garden plants. Home in on a petal here, a bud there, a leaf, a stem, a berry. Look closely.

Close enough to see featherlight drizzle settle gently.

Watch as it rolls sedately across a petal to gather in slow s l o w drop on sepal-end. Find the mini-puddles held by leaf, or the tiny streamlets meandering through the late-summer greenery. See as dahlias dip their blowsy heads to tip the water in a steady drip-drop-drip to the thirsty earth beneath.

And if you are lucky, catch the action with your camera – be it fancy SLR or quickpic mobile phone. Find the magic and use it to spin drizzle from damp invader to joyous autumn visitor.

Posted in autumn, colours, daily life, garden, health and well being, inspiration, lifestyle, natural world, Uncategorized, water, weather | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Balls

Big Balls.

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Big Balls

Fitness ball

No – I am not being rude, but I had the funniest one-to-one Pilates class last week…my first encounter with a session including a big exercise ball.

Until six months ago I was walking with a stick and was diagnosed with a spinal condition…as well as the ME I have had for ten years now. This seemed to be a straw to far. I was stumbling my way around a garden centre when I came upon a wooden pavilion. Not so unusual except that this was being used by a Pilates and Sport’s Massage guy…I knocked on his door and literally have not looked back since.

It was a case of the right thing at the right time. Having spent all my adult life playing a team game of one sort or another from County netball to National league volleyball, to be struck with ME was bad enough, but then to find my left leg no longer responded because of nerve damage due to spinal deterioration had made me angry beyond words…and I poured this all out … only to be told quite calmly by H (as I shall call him) ‘I can help’.

I didn’t believe him of course, but after the endless struggle with doctors, surgeons and everything medical in between – most of whom laugh when I talk about the ME diagnosis – his words were balm to my soul.

The first massage was agony – the first pilates class ended in tears as my body refused to respond to even the most basic of commands – believe me, rolling from my back to my front was a herculean task and standing up from the floor needed a helping hand. But we persevered – he with calm assurance, me with gritted teeth and anger as my spur.

So here I am, six months later, rollicking around atop a large exercise ball! I can throw it and catch it with my feet as I lie prone, I can balance across it on my tum and keep my body in a straight horizontal line and I intend, perhaps in another six months to kneel on it with perfect balance.

My walking stick gathers dust at the back of the hall cupboard. My anger is abating as I once again begin to command my legs with confidence to step, to twist, to kick and, very soon, to run.

Posted in ageing, CFS, daily life, health and well being, hope, M.E., ME, CFS, Pilates, Remedial massage, Sports massage, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments