Blank Sheet



The New year stands before us like a blank sheet of paper, pristine white, no smudge, no blot.
Soon the pen will be placed in our hands. What shall we write?
Will we dip our pens in the ink of conformity and write in shades of black and grey, or will we unstopper bottles of coloured ink and write the rainbows of our hearts upon the page? Will our words flow with truth and sincerity onto the page or will they be stilted, crammed and ugly? Will we write boldly or in tiny spider script?

Mistakes and blotches are bound to come at no matter how hard we try. No big deal, a blotch of colour can enliven the page. When we look back at the pages end what will we see written, a glorious mess of colour and black ink or a neat precise hand (or worst of all an empty faded page with nothing written because we never tried.)

We write our own autobiographies on the pages of life, each different, diverse. God help us all make our volumes worth the read, blessed with colour and beauty incorporating blotch and text.

Looking back.


look mountain

I find as I get older looking back tends to make me feel a little dizzy, like when you glance back down a mountain you’ve climbed and the past things look so small and distant. Time seems to not only fly but even the summer already seems years ago, so much has happened this year.

The most momentous events have to be two weddings that will forever set this year apart. My eldest daughter’s was a perfect, fairy tale second wedding (compiled of two years of planning and hard work) held in a beautiful 1,000 year old Italian castle on the edge of the alps completing the impossible love story of two very special folks finding true love again despite the miles that separated them.

The second wedding (my youngest daughter), was a more humble affair in Mexico where she met her German husband while both working as volunteers. So much went awry, the caterers canceling two days before, the venue broken into and wrecked, and finally waiters who had no idea how to mix and serve drinks, (such is Mexico) but it was made special by the total outgoing love and concern of the guests, cooking food, taking over the bar, getting everyone on the dance floor (and later in the pool.) The two weddings were as different as chalk and cheese but each wonderful in its own way.

What else this year? Facing my IT gremlins and starting “love to read love to write” and more recently “song bird”. It’s been a steep learning curve and I’m still climbing! Then there’s starting the new book I’ve been trying to write for a long time, finally getting the balance of fact and fiction woven right. It’s also been my first ever year living alone with all its adjustments, having to make an effort to get out of my “ivory tower” now and then to make new friends and look up old ones.

There’s just one unresolved mystery still to solve, strangely I’ll discover how that pans out on New Years Eve. What is it? That one’s my secret!

Resolving to Be Kind: 10 Resolutions for 2015


This is a great New years list!

Kindness Blog

Woman's Folded Hands Covered in Glitter Photo Credit:

As 2014 rapidly comes to a close, I find myself straddling the line between the past and the future, as I reflect on the ups, downs, and the middle ground of the past year and look forward to the endless opportunities that the new year brings.  As I do every year, I excitedly am preparing for the upcoming year by dreaming new dreams and then devising plans to make these dreams realities.  As I end my first year as a co-administrator for The Kindness Blog (thank you, again, Mike O’Connor for this incredible opportunity), I decided to come up with a list of resolutions related to being kind.

Being kind sounds simple enough, and in general, it is actually.  That said, sometimes, I have a way of complicating matters by either over thinking things or leaving things up to chance, both of which can sabotage the best of my intentions. …

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New Beginings Old Wisdoms


mountain sunrise

A new year peeps out before us like the first glimmers of sunrise glimpsed over the mountains.

Should I run yelling, arms waving towards it or pause just a moment before the light is upon me to look back? I glance over the year that’s passed, what progress, what victories, what dreams fulfilled I ask myself? I take account remembering the high ideals with which I started its predecessor.

A new question forms. What have I learnt? What wisdom can I take with me on my journey towards the rising sun, (for wisdom I have learnt is worth far more than achievements). Like a “get out of jail free” card wisdom can be traded in along life’s journey, it’s “ready cash.”

Progress? Yes, this blog is evidence of that. Victories? Yes, there have been many. Dreams fulfilled? Not yet but I follow a path that leads in that direction. Wisdom gleaned? Yes, (but those lessons were the hardest).

I turn again towards the rising sun, my backpack now set and loaded with dreams new and old, lessons, and past test papers I stand ready for what this new year may bring to light as it graces the heavens.

Christmas walk.


chr at rachel's 018

I’d never done it before but what a perfect idea, a leisurely walk in the park before Christmas dinner with all its excesses and resultant “food coma”.

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Two dogs, and three humans all delightful company and several herds of deer sitting comfortably under the trees (all we needed was snow to complete the picture!) I highly recommend it as a great interlude between presents and mountains of food (my body thought so too lol!)

chr at rachel's 023

Have a Wonderful Christmas!



No, it’s not really snowing here in London but I can dream! (I did in fact dream it snowed but then I woke up!) Messages from family and friends are coming in fast now, Christmas is here and I must pack up, close my lap top and head off to explore my daughter’s finally completed new house renovations and my son in law’s incredible cooking ( he wont let anyone else in the kitchen!) So I wish you all a great Christmas full of joy, love, hugs, kisses, fun surprises and happy memories. God bless!

My knight in shining armor.


Yes, we girls do have our fantasies and this was secretly mine.

I wanted a warrior strong enough to protect me from the evils of this world, afraid of nothing, but gentle in his strength, honorable, kind, loving, upholding the weak, giving selflessly of himself for others, loving and understanding me unconditionally, without deception and (if you happen to be as wild and independent as me) the only one who could tame me, to whom I would submit, not from fear but from love and respect.
A totally unreasonable list you think? Of course! I soon discovered, under the iron plate, even the best of men are but clay like me, but I did find my knight.

It’s his birthday tomorrow!

jesus chr4



nature's christmas decor 036 nature's christmas decor 037
Like towering giants they guard the way, protective of the younger trees, possible offspring of many summers. One either side of the path their high branches intertwined they look down on me, this wandering mortal who stumbles across their path.
Now stripped bare of leaves lithe limbs ripple with power, the great upward serge that drove them to such heights. I ponder all they’ve seen in the passing years, the toddlers now grown to manhood, the saplings taken hold and grown to a thicket. They must have been here when it began, this little grove, what secrets they could sigh in the wind.