Real Love.



Yes, that’s real love!

Sickness, misfortune (and simple grouchiness) soon tell who your real friends and loved ones are, hay from stubble, dross from gold. I’ve always found that a consolation in difficult times seeing the gold come out in those I care for.

Sometimes I’m so thankful for face book!



You see the first I heard about the earthquake in Nepal was that my old friend was safe – a face book announcement.

He was in an affected area and this is a photo from his page.

Such folks are rare and I’m so relieved he and the children are OK. Many years ago he took over a small group of orphans after foreign aid workers were forced to leave (he’s Nepalese) and has devoted his life to bringing them up (they are young teenagers now).

You can see his heart by this quote from his face book page:

“All my Nepali Facebook friends, please make a list of worst effected people you know of and inbox me and I will do what I can to help. I will add to my list I already have over 50 families in my list.
Don’t tell me here, either call me or inbox me. Thanks! You can also tell me what is the greatest need right now. I might not be able to help everyone but I will try to do what I can and however many I can help.”

I might add he, himself is living in a tent since his home was damaged and only going back inside to access the internet (which appears to be working). They have had 96 aftershocks there so such trips are dangerous!

I later heard my other friend in the area – an equally committed English lady – was safe also.

I have been through several earthquakes both in Japan and Taiwan (some major) it’s hard to explain the confusion and disorientation that hits when the ground shifts under your feet, seconds seem like lifetimes.

You can see why my heart leapt to know they were OK. Such folks are too precious to loose.

Alone Time.



Where ever I live I always have to find a “secret place” to be alone. It may be a deserted beach, some small woodland, a deserted park, a roof garden (sometimes even the roof itself – don’t tell my kids!)

We all need “space” sometimes, lots of it! We need to immerse ourselves in the beauty of nature to wash away the grime and dirt of living. We need silence so we can think straight and get our bearings.

Only once did I live without such a place (in a huge apartment building in Taiwan) I was literally like a caged lioness (I am a Leo) snarling at everyone. Then I heard someone say their were communal laundry lines on the roof. My mind did a double think, ROOF!

After some effort I discovered a door I’d long assumed to be a cupboard with stairs leading two flights beyond where the lift stopped and there I found a wonderful roof garden with trees seats and a fantastic view,  all totally unused by the occupants – problem solved! I claimed frequent possession and returned to “pussy cat” mode (much to everyone’s relief!)

Do you have a secret place?

Spring in London (Well just outside actually).



I love this time of year when the buds begin to open as if sleeping eyes woke to the sun, so sudden from one day to the next.


Silver birch-  one of my favourite painting subjects.


Cool, still waters of the lakes.


Trees in blossom everywhere!


In spite of “severe cut backs” still alive and greeting the sun, somehow reassuring.


An old man walking his dog told me “there’s a black swan here now. Don’t know where it is, maybe the other lake.”

I hadn’t seen it yet but promised I’d keep an eye out. Right then it appeared from behind a tree conveniently preening it’s self just a few steps away. There are many swans on the lakes and river here but the black one is a first!


I love to peep between trees at the water (hard to get the effect on camera though.)


Finally , not as pretty, but often my port of call after walks or photography (they serve amazing hot chocolate, or, now it’s spring, home made ice-cream or smoothies!)

Equal Opportunity?



Even were the table leveled and there were truly equal opportunity for all, some are still  smarter or have more gifts and confidence than others. Life was never intended to be a high risk “winner takes all” gambling game.

Where as I believe hard work and enterprise are generally needed for success, they by no means guarantee it. I think we are meant to care of each other, the strong for the weak, the smart for the simple, “Unto each as he is able unto each according as he has need.”

What do you think?

Twenty-third Psalm for Earth Day


Excellent Earth day post

Gifts in Open Hands

God makes all of us — shepherds,
stewards, gardeners,
so none of God’s children
or creatures need be in want.

God gives us lying down places
of green pasture,
rainforest, delta, desert,
high mountain, deep canyon,
and paths by arroyo, deep river,
waterfall, ocean shore,
and these restore our souls.

Creator, G’zhem-mnidoo
leads us to care for all
for the sake of the Holy Name,
and the given earth.

Though we pass
chemically poisoned fields,
over-fished seas,
the violence of fracking,
mountaintop removal coal mining,
even the valley of extinction,
we will not fear.

God sets for us a global table —
in spite of corporate influence,
money, political power,
anointing us with community,
teaching us to make wells overflowing.

Surely we follow
with committed people
people of goodness and mercy,
and we shall dwell
in a house with those who have gone before –
Chico Mendes, Dian Fossey,

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