Age is not the enemy.


Modern western culture portrays old age as somthing scary, ugly, the end of all the good stuff, to be fought veheminately. Celebrities go to great lengths to stave off its onslaughts with diets, creams and cosmetic surgery till they look like walking skulls.

I remember the East where old age is venerated due to its wisdom, the old retired couples in China dancing in the park every evening, dining out surrounded by their children and grandchildren and how natural it seemed.

Part is due to the much healthier lifestyle (you seldom see old Chinese with a stick let alone a walker or wheelchair) and family ties are far stronger. The widow or widower helping with the grandkids seldom find themselves lonely. Old age is seldom lamented, rather seen it as a time of well deserved rest and enjoyment. There’s almost a holiday spirit about it.

How far have we in the west strayed from the natural concept of age. I came across the phrase, “old age is only disappointing if we find ourselves older in years without growing closer to God.” This also set me thinking. Feeling our lives have been well lived, looking back with satisfaction and forward with expectation gives peace.

The frantic striving to live every second because there are new wrinkles etc. so full of fear, for cancer, for strokes, for disabilities, drains us of the joys of old age. Growing closer to God brings peace and wisdom and with it the ability to enjoy this golden age slowly, deeply, like a vintage wine. We once knew this.

Age is opportunity no less

Than youth itself, though in another dress;

And as the evening twilight fades away,

The sky is filled with stars invisible by day.

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Often the deciding issue is where and when one stops fighting!


An old quote says, “if you resign yourself to fate you’ll find fate accepts your resignation.”

The last couple of weeks have been a time of heavy battles. The first – my youngest daughter’s family’s urgent move was completed yesterday and a resounding victory!

The 2nd. battle followed hard on its heels when 2 days ago my grand daughter in China escaped a diabetic coma by minutes. It was a total shock as, as far as we all knew, there was no diabetes in either family. She could have died or suffered serious repercussions, but God is merciful, and she was in a hospital when it hit and was soon out of immediate danger.

The battle continues for the next step that her pancreas can recover and produce the insulin she needs to avoid being diabetes one and needing daily shots. After that it will be for a full recovery. Sometimes prayer is instant and sometimes, like this, goes in stages. The former is much easier. I’ve learned never to accept an impossibility or half way answer, but sometimes the battle is long fought.

Another daughter is an encouraging illustration of this. Not accepting her autistic child being diagnosed as “severely retarded” she hung on in there for over 5 years till now his evaluation is “higher functioning” (will she stop there? I doubt it!)

There’s always the temptation to “make do” with half an answer, when, if we continue to fight on we can have what we really need. It’s a balance between facing realities (faith is not living in la la land) and still expecting miracles. Visiting my daughter’s family’s new apartment, sun streaming through the windows, walls immaculate, her husband now in a well paying job after starting from scratch in the UK I thank God we hung in there and claimed  above our expectations. God willing (which He is) this new battle will end the same, in total victory.

For all of you brave folks facing similar battles, I pray, tough as it is, that you will come through to glorious victory.



Why Chinese may want to have babies in this year?


(“Stolen” from my friend’s face book page – a long term UK Chinese resident)

Six facts about the Year of Monkey (Xinhua) in the Chinese culture. February 8, 2016.


The Chinese zodiac comprises 12 animals – mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – all fixed in that order on a 12-year cycle, and each related to one of 12 Terrestrial Branches. Ranked the ninth, the monkey is related to Shen Terrestrial Branch, and seen as a symbol of vitality and wit.

The Year of the Monkey follows the current Year of the Sheep, an animal many consider passive and docile. The monkey is more favored by prospective parents, because many believe babies born in the Year of the Monkey will be energetic, self-assured, sociable, smart and innovative.


The most famous monkey in the Chinese culture, the Monkey King features in the classic Chinese legend Journey to the West. He had many supernatural powers and was responsible for protecting a well-known pilgrim in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) on a journey to retrieve the Buddhist sutras from India.

The Monkey King stands for bravery, sincerity and the power to fight evil. In Fujian Province, he is worshipped as a guardian of families.

The Monkey King is also the hero of many traditional operas, movies and TV series. One series on Journey to the West has been broadcast more than 3,000 times by various TV stations since 1986.


A stamp issued in 1980, the Year of the Monkey, is now priced at 12,000 yuan (about $1,800) each, but the face value printed is only 8 cents (about 1 US cent). It is one of the most prized stamps among collectors.

Many other countries also have issued stamps to celebrate the new year. This year, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Japan, France and Canada are among those issuing their own monkey stamps.


Made familiar in the monkey master in Kung Fu Panda, the monkey is an important symbol in the world of Chinese martial arts. The school of Monkey Boxing derives from the gestures of monkeys. The moves are agile and swift, with some of them even imitating the monkey in real life.


The Chinese character for monkey is very similar to that for powerful men or high positions, and they are both pronounced “hou.” So in the Chinese culture they are closely connected, as the monkey was considered an auspicious symbol for high social status, such as government officials or royalty.

In Chinese pinyin, “a monkey on a horse” is similar to “be promoted to a higher position immediately”. Such combinations can often be found in folk arts, such as sculptures, paper-cuts and paintings.


The monkey is considered a symbol of health and longevity, as many kinds of monkeys have white beards like old men.

In ancient China, people also believed that monkeys were sensitive to the plague. Traders and merchants often traveled with a monkey to protect their horses from diseases.

(In case you are wondering, I’m not a monkey but a rabbit -main attributes sexy and loyal – I can live with that! lol!)



In sickness and in health.


Thankfully I’m very seldom sick and then not for long. I’d been home with both my grandsons having bouts of flu one after the other, but my daughter and littlest grandson being away to visit daddy in Germany I was planing lots of busyness to “catch up”.
Then yesterday I woke up with a headache, sore throat and a runny nose trying to take over. I realized my plans needed to change.Stocking up on extra fruit etc. after my school cycle run, I headed for bed with huge volume of Dickens ( a Christmas gift I’d yet to indulge in)and my current favourite sickness remedial audios (Andrew Wommack’s “Christian Survival Kit”).
Whiling away the day till school pick up reading, listening and dozing I realized I was actually enjoying it immensely. I wasn’t sick, sick, just co operating with my body so it could fight better, my main symptom was extreme tiredness (my body monopolizing energy to fight the infection). In fact I realized this was something my mind and spirit really needed – chill time! I had a great day. Writing in my journal last night I thought just how crazy that was. I guess “in everything give thanks” came alive!

Getting ready.


Time re-evaluate, plan and procure. My allotment was not so successful last year, due to neglect and various bug and blight attacks. Having more folks growing is great but it seems to mean there’s more chance to catch stuff (a bit like going to school).  My glorious tomato plants I’d taken such care with died a withered white death from one day to the next (along with everyone else’s) when blight hit the allotment. Even my improvised net curtaining (a tip from one of the experienced growers couldn’t totally keep the cabbage white caterpillars at bay, (a case of too little too late). Needless to say I no longer coo at cute white butterflies!

I must admit also the allotment suffered a good deal from my involvement with my daughter’s relocation (see “Boomerangs”). So this year, will I do better? I hope to, starting with some questions. Do I really want to grow brussels when they never seem to reach a practical size? Should I buy onion bulbs rather than seeds (I found that’s what the successful onion growers did,) My responsibilities should ease around March (just in time) so I have a good chance!

Do you grow some of your own food? It’s well worth it if you can. No need to worry about GMO or pesticides and the exercise in the fresh air will do both mind and body infinite good – especially if you have as nice a crowd of fellow allotment folks as I’m blessed with


What happen with human body after quit smoking?


interesting study – (thankfully I don’t smoke)


Doctor Yussuf Saloojee, Executive director of the National Council Against Smoking was stated that tobacco smoke contains over 4500 chemicals, 200 of which are known poisons and 50 of which cause cancer? A series of physiological changes that happen to a smoker when he/she finally decides to quit smoking.


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Body Conflicts.


from July 2014

Song Bird Songs


My body and I have been in a relationship for as long as I can remember – it wasn’t all smooth sailing! At first I wanted to exert my dominance – make it “tow the line”. After all my requests that it stay up most of the night, consume vast amounts of alcohol, co-operate in exuberant partying then be ready, bright and mentally tuned for college next day were surely reasonable?
But every so often it would rebel, refusing to do anything but burn up all my reserves of energy in a temper throwing fever, or gush them into the nearest toilet.
In later days I called a truce, (after all we’re playing on the same team aren’t we?) It became a “scratch my back” (with a healthy diet and eight hours of sleep) “and I’ll scratch yours” by supplying endless energy to chase around after a bunch of kids…

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31 day challenge day 2


20 facts about myself. (Seems I’m off to a late start so will post days 2&3 today – been sneaking a look at fellow challengers!)

  • I learnt to read almost 1,000 characters in Chinese (very interesting!)
  • I make my own natural skin creams – they’re so much better and cheaper too.
  • I love water of all kinds, rivers, lakes, sea, streams, the sound, look and smell.
  • I hate wearing shoes and as a child drove my mom crazy always taking them off.
  • I have an hons. degree in sculpture but worked most of my life as an English teacher.
  • I like to eat healthy but my weakness is chocolate (my secret addiction).
  • I love Italy and speak passable Italian due to an early romance with an incredible Italian boy.
  • I’ve always loved to make things, anything from clothes to furniture.
  • I don’t like cooking and managed to avoid it for a long time (my 2nd husband was an ex cook.)
  • I must be half man as I really don’t like shopping either.
  • Altogether I have 7 grown up children (from two different marriages) who I love to pieces and am incredibly proud of.
  • I’m a quarter gypsy, quarter landed gentry, and half teachers and shop keepers by blood.
  • I’ve witnessed many unexplainable miracles.
  • Another unusual dislike, TV! (Haven’t really watched it for around 50 years – living is much more fun!)
  • All the cells I’ve lost with age tend to be in the memory department (now what was I saying?).
  • I enjoy a good laugh at myself (which is just as well lol!)
  • I love space and light, can’t handle dark, small spaces.
  • I hate lying or deceit in any form (this includes advertising, politics, and hypocrites).
  • I’m a bookworm but one with “special needs”, classics, historical fiction, and non-fiction only please.
  • I’m a lucid dreamer and get a lot of stories that way.