31 day challenge day 20


A difficult time in your life?

When you see an adventure in a movie it looks exciting, like fun, but in real life it’s not quite the same. Your stomach doesn’t just churn it grips like a fist and twists. Feeling you’re about to fall apart at any moment you have to hold things together, hold yourself together in order to survive. Later folks may oh and ah at the story but at the time it isn’t like that. It’s just plain scary.

I experienced this during my break up with my first husband. Handsome, romantic and from a rich and influential S E Asian family he swept me off my feet but intercontinental marriages are not for the faint hearted. It wasn’t a matter of he didn’t love me, rather he loved too much but in the wrong way. Our passion became destructive to where, despite my total faithfulness; he was so paranoid that I might fall for someone else that life became unliveable. I didn’t even dare talk with other men for fear of his beating them up. It was totally out of control, reasoning and counselling didn’t help. I knew I was pregnant again and that I needed to escape while there was time if I wanted to keep possession of my children.

The details of that 007 style escape are too long to recall here, but if I tell you they included bursting through armed guards to plead with a general to take me and my daughter on his private plane to escape to the embassy you’ll get some idea.

The British embassy said they couldn’t help me without possibly causing an “incident” (his father had helped finance the leader in power and his brother was in the government) but they put me in touch with a local charity that could hide me and help me get out of the country. This was followed by a couple of weeks of staying  in an orphanage in the boonies, hidden away from windows etc. The conditions were pretty primitive but they were good people. Finally, shaking inside, I was driven to the airport. As I handed over my passport I was stopped. My heart thudded in my chest (my secret fear was that his family had given my details to immigrations to prevent my leaving). Thankfully there was just some obscure tax I hadn’t paid and I was able to board a plane next day.

My parents met me at Heathrow airport horrified at how thin I was. At seven months pregnant I weighed less than my normal weight (stress). For the next two weeks I ate and slept and slept and ate. Wonderfully in spite of all this my new baby girl was born small, but perfect, growing up to be beautiful, smart and best of all a wonderful, good-hearted woman. To have her made the whole experience worth it. We escaped “without even the smell of smoke!”

Be wiser than me take care who you marry!

31 day blog challenge day 19


What do you collect?

Apart from books by my favourite authors, (which doesn’t really count) the only things I collect are items I think my grandson may use for one of his many “projects” cardboard boxes (from match boxes to parcel size), ribbon, and those odd items (washers, plastic bottles, pine cones etc.) that may fire up a 9 year old’s imagination.

I’ve moved often in my life usually from one country to another taking only what we could carry so the idea of collecting for its own sake never took root. I’m a very practical soul. I do enjoy very much looking at other folks collections though! Facinating!

31 Day challenge day 18


The meaning behind your blog name?

LOL! Well I think this one is pretty straight forward, I love to read other’s stuff (and books etc. etc.) and I also enjoy writing very much.

Song Bird (my other blog) Is because I love to sing God’s praises while spiritually and emotionally flying high  above the problematic world. I really like the picture for this site (just wish I could figure how to get it displayed on the home page somehow) It shows two birds flying with one turning its head as if chatting to the other – my idea of life, flying high and sharing gems of knowledge, praise and love.

31 day challenge day 17


What is your most proud moment?

Actually I’ve always thought of pride as a bad thing, a “root of contention”, justifying atrocities, fomenting hatred, and the arch enemy of love.  The story is told that this was the cause of Satan’s transformation from a magnificent angel of light to a foul demonic entity (sadly I’ve seen it happen with people too).

I could try to think of one of my most cringe-worthy moments when I said or did something in total pride (there have been many, and we never look more ridiculous than when puffed up with pride) but I don’t think that is the intent of the question.

Maybe I could substitute something like a defining moment when I felt a sense of achievement or value. There’s the intense joy a mother feels in her children’s achievements and most of all recognizing their value and integrity as human beings. (Having seven great kids there’s been lots of those!) There’s the satisfaction of achieving a hard fought goal (like breaking the mold of my 1950’s low class school to get an hons. degree).

But I think my most thrilling moment was when I realized that the God of the universe loved little old me just as I am, and he took me in (warts and all) and called me to follow. There are so many billions in the world, that I was privileged to get to know him personally was awe inspiring (though he of course loves all his children that way).

31 day challenge Day 16


What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Don’t actually have a bucket list favoring the more immediate gratification of the “to do list”. Mostly things I wanted to do I went on the attack and did (my last remaining one being to live in China which I checked off some years back). The only things I can think of that I once wanted and didn’t do are, build my own house and own a horse, but as neither are now high on my life priorities and I’m no longer particularly wanting to do them they don’t really count. So I guess I’d look to my to do list and say – publish my book (which I’ve been procrastinating on for a year now). Of course I’d also like to be in love again one last time but that’s not something for a bucket list as it’s beyond my control.

If I were young again I think I might make one. They are a great way to give focus to life which can tend to fritter away without goals.

31 Day Challenge Day 15


Timeline of your day.

Being retired my days do vary a lot but let’s go with a “normal” weekday.

6-7am Wake up at some point (I hate alarms and never sleep late anyway) Breakfast etc. while reading/listening to something devotional and checking mail.

7:30-8:00 (It varies) My grandson (and sometimes granddaughter) get dropped off, so it’s getting him breakfasted and ready for school.

8:25 (Earlier on rainy days when we need to walk) Cycle to school and back through the lakes, a great start to the day!

9:00 (This is where it gets complicated) Any mixture of shopping, writing, blogging, reading or business (sometimes even housework!)

12:00 Getting hungry so start thinking about food and eat sometime before 1:30.

1:00 – 2:00ish. Run out of steam so if I’m home I lay down for an hour or so and rest with a good book and often catch a few minutes shut eye (A habit formed due to vast time spent in the tropics and southern Europe.)

2:00 ish if I rested early more writing, blogging or on my reader.

3:00 Back through the lakes to pick up my grandson (except Mondays and Thursdays when its 4:00 due to after school clubs)

3:50 Homework and reading time (like pulling teeth! Ha!) Then movie, documentaries, cubs, or karate (for him not me lol!)

6:30-7:00ish Grandson picked up FREEDOM!!! Time to fix dinner and grab a movie or book (I get bored just eating).

8:30- 9:00ish depending on my mood check out face book friends and family, write, do yoga, check out my blog reader, do puzzles to music, (I love puzzles!) or veg with a book.

10:30 – 11:00ish Wind down time go to bed with a book or (If it’s been a tough day) a devotional/inspirational tape.

12:00 Sleep (sometimes earlier if I’m tired and drift away).

(All this is of course assuming a day at home with no visitors or trips in the equation. I think I’m a very lucky bunny!)




(Written for a Valentine’s day compilation)

A touch of magic in earthbound place, a thread of the divine,

Colour tints the monochrome, the best in man refines.

From ashes strewn upon the mud of squandered, wretched life

It kindles flame, and warmth, and joy; it brings an end to strife.

Most precious jewel in darkest cave, oft wrought in giant’s press,

It holds its shape neath life’s foul blows and sparkles none the less.

Of all the things we find in life of value and of worth,

Love is the brightest, finest thing to which we can give birth.

31 day challenge day 14



If you won the lottery?

(A hypothetical question as I’ve never played it)

My first thoughts were “I don’t really need anything”, but then I thought deeper and realized there are some things that would be nice (if it were a large amount as implied).

  • It would be nice to own my own house rather than renting, something in the country or by the sea, solid, but modest with a small garden (to grow veggies and flowers) and a couple of spare rooms so my kids (and families) could stay.
  • It would be great to be able to help out my two younger daughters, who are still at the struggling stage, especially my youngest and family who hope to relocate from Mexico to Germany (her husband is German) but need another year to save first.
  • Then I’d like to send large amounts to Gaza and Syria for blankets, stoves, housing and medical aid for all those much worse off than me. The greatest joy in having money is to be able to give to help others.

31 day challenge Day 13 (hmm seem to have mixed up my days somewhere)


What is your earliest memory?

(Chuckle!!) Licking mustard off my coat collar.

Let me explain. As a very small child I used to chew on my coat collar (don’t ask me why???). In those post war days clothes needed to last a long time so in desperation my mum had smeared English mustard ( unlike the French or American varieties extremely hot) on my collar edge. Being the “sweet angel” that I was (sarcastic voice) I determined to suck the mustard off and pretend to like it so I’d “win”. I did win but the burning sensation stayed in my memory lol!

Just for fun I’ll tell you one of my next earliest memories – jumping out of a 2nd story window to prove to the neighbor’s boy I wasn’t chicken! No wonder my mum went grey early LOL!

(I think my guardian angel must have been pretty overworked too – amazingly I got away without even a scraped knee.)