The grit in the oyster …


Beautiful evening yesterday, and a beautiful day today. As my good friend Sue has commented, I am very lucky to have the life I have. The world is my oyster, as I am living in a very lovely part of the world, with time to do the things I enjoy: writing, taking photographs, painting,  finding out about online selling, blogging, and writing ebooks. Yes, I am half way through a book, and will tell you more shortly. When we relocated from Hertfordshire, we were anything but certain that things would work out well …

I think the biggest piece of luck is to have a partner with whom I am very in tune. It is so much easier to do new things and take a risk when you have someone who is thinking along the same lines as you and who is willing to take the risks with you.

There is a little bit of grit in my oyster of course, as few people have a life that is silky smooth and through which they glide without any ripples. Nicely mixed metaphors there! My point is that it’s the grit that makes pearls, and it’s the fact we need to find ways to make money in a way that we enjoy and can share that is adding a potential pearl to our lives. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we are learning so much as we try different creative lines to see where our best chance of success lies. Not that we want major financial success. Far from it, as we are hoping just to make enough so that I can continue to work from home and spend time with Alec rather than being committed to a full time job. We want to be pursuing projects that we enjoy, rather than things that are money making schemes.

The pearl, if – when -we achieve it, will be a life that has variety, keeps us thinking and happy, and gives us enough income to be able to make choices, and to visit family and friends when we want to. I am more than happy to work until I am 80+ so long as I can work at something I enjoy!

Hang on –  Margaret means pearl … spooky!



Here’s a picture of the sky over Clevedon this afternoon, so clear and blue that I had difficulty taking the photo, I had to include a piece of roof and then crop that out.

There could be a message in there for an issue with perfection. With a little wisp of cloud the automatic focus would have known what to look at.  Maybe the wisp would have set off the blue of the sky, so it looked more impressive, somehow. I guess that in the case of this photo, it would at least have made it more obvious that this is the sky!

Although I am not citicising the perfect blue of today’s sky – we see too few cloud free skies in the UK to get that used to them – I think I have a tiny problem with perfection, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. For example I usually prefer a slightly unusual singing voice to one that is flawless – although that often also has something to do with the song being sung too. Bob Dylan’s voice is rarely called beautiful, but he is always good to listen to. I can also find a room that is perfect a little unsettling. It’s almost as though I feel guilty at living in it and running the risk of messing it up. And don’t some perfectly even, perfectly white smiles look a bit artificial?

It’s worth remembering, as we strive for perfection in our lives, that it’s not always achieveable, nor always necessary. Fortunately the best we can manage is often good enough!


Why don’t we ever plan our own funeral?

twilight australina trees

I don’t want to bring you down, or be macabre or anything.  I only ask because when my father died recently, we realised that no-one in the family really knew what sort of a funeral he wanted. We were pretty sure he wanted a Christian service, but that was it. When my brother in law died a few years ago, it was even harder to say as we were pretty sure he didn’t want a religious ceremony, but had no idea what he did want.

Now, the obvious answers to the question I posed at the top are:

  • I don’t want to think about it
  • I don’t care – you can do what you like when I’m gone

but I think these are both the wrong way to be thinking.

If you have cared about how you have lived your life, I think you should care about how the ending of your life is marked. What are your religious or philosophical beliefs? I know I want my funeral to be as green as possible, for example, and that I don’t want people being sad for me, or spending a fortune.

If you love the people you are leaving behind you should care too. Help them out by telling them what you’d like, what sort of music or readings you want, what sort of a celebration. They’ll be missing you already, and upset, with a load of arrangements to make, so you can take some of those difficult decisions off their hands.

I’m definitely living life to the full and I am not intending to be leaving this life any time soon. Health and happiness is what I’m pursuing. However, I am going make sure my nearest and dearest know what I’d like, and I’ll suggest the music too. I quite fancy Morecambe and Wise “Bring me sunshine” as everyone leaves the service, but maybe that needs a little more thinking through …

By the way, dad’s funeral was great.  Lovely personal words from two of my brothers, nice classical music, a couple of hymns and a lovely atmosphere. Great to see family I haven’t see for years too.