Tuesday, September 14, 2021

BRINGING EVERYONE UPTODATE

It's incredible how quickly time passes.    2020 and here in 2021, here in Melbourne (Victoria) Australia, we are in Lockdown again.   Our Sixth Lockdown!   So what does a "lady" do with her time?

Well, for an ageing gracefully (or outrageously!) lady, it's a matter of perspective.   Attitude comes into it as well.   No sense in becoming bored or cantakerous although I've been known to take on this attribute at times.  No , it's a matter of doing what I've always done since I began my years in building up my "career".   I've always been a "list-maker".   Pen and paper accompany me at all times.    It's also essential to remain focussed, to have a sense of humour and a determination often described as being single-minded.

It's also essential that the lists I make come into fruition.   If not, I disregard that particular note and get on with other things.   Just as important things, that is.

So with that, and with the re-introduction of my posts I apologise for taking so long since my previous thoughts.   You'd think my excuse would be I'd been too busy, but sadly no.   But I've done a heck of a lot of reading!!!  

The other thing I've been doing over the past couple of years is also taking photos.  Well, doesn't everyone?  Especially if you have a smart phone of whatever brand.   But I enjoy it, and it's been something that's kept me occupied especially during our lockdowns.  So don't be surprised to see lots of photos of flowers and plants.   Mind you, I guess if I looked around the internet I'd see that thousands of other people are doing the same thing.  But I figure that this blog has always been about adjusting to life as it is, not as we would like it.    So flowers it is, folks.  

  



As you can tell I love looking at the textures amd many hidden mysteries within the natural world around us.   Of course we're unable to venture too far out of our local area - 5 kms at the most - but it's quite amazing what one can find.

So let me leave this post with this quotation:  

"Flowers always make people better, 
happier, and more helpful; 
they are sunshine, 
food and medicine for the soul."

Saturday, June 13, 2020

ANOTHER NOTE DURING THE LOCK-DOWN

Tuesday, 2nd June.


WINTER has officially arrived here in Melbourne. Low temperatures, grey skies with very low clouds, and a slight drizzle of rain. Yesterday I decided it was necessary (indeed imperative) that I sort through my thicker warmer knitted garments, bringing them to the front of my wardrobe. As is usual, I found two or three sweaters and T- shirts I’d forgotten I had, and I had just been about ready to buy some more on-line. Now I don’t need to, so I’ve saved some money in the process of tidying up my wardrobe! I also found a few new summer tops I’d purchased last year, but hadn’t worn nor had I chosen to wear this year, so my girl- friend (and she knows who she is!!!!) is going to gain a few she and her daughter may like.

IT’S DURING THIS “SEASON” OF ISOLATION, that my thoughts readily go to women who live apart from their families, and more specifically those whose families are no longer close to them - in emotional terms. Growing older (and in turn “feeling old”), living alone, and being dismissed by the people they love, this Isolation has taken a battering on their feelings. Feelings of worth, of value, of importance. When one takes this Pandemic into account, those feelings sometimes become shattering.

So it’s essential that women who are “alone”and more-so during this time of lock-down and restrictions insofar as not being able to meet up with friends and going to places outdoors as well as shopping (even if only window-shopping), take time to reflect just who they are exactly, and to recall all the things they have done in the past. Not only for themselves, but for others, too. To remember and get to know the person they’ve always been, and realise even if their family or certain friends no longer maintain any contact with them, that they are extremely important to themselves. Important enough to cope with the constant changes that are occurring around them, and to adapt to the best of their ability, especially taking into account the isolation.  It is imperative they continue to hold their heads high and to be grateful and proud of just who and what they are. They’ve got plenty of experience, and that life-experience is invaluable.

A couple of my friends this week during our telephone catch-up, mentioned this very subject. I know as one grows older, when friends drift away and families have their own responsibilities and no longer “have the time” for their elders, it is very easy to become the shy and unsure person they used to be when they were children. Too easy to be told one should focus on the here and now and not allow earlier feelings of unworthiness, of incapability to perform certain things, to be strong and always put others first, to come into a person’s daily thoughts. It comes down to how we feel about ourselves, and how comfortable we are in being who we are and what we are. Knowing we’ve always done (or tried to do) the best we could for others in the past. We’ve worked through many difficulties, physical as well as emotional, and we’re proud people!

And don’t forget, there are many other women out there who feel the same way, and it’s up to each of us to take their feelings into consideration, and to pick up the phone, or to write them a short letter just reminding them of THEIR importance too!

**  As with my readers, I am well aware that in 2020 and in these times of pandemic, there are women of all ages, who have no home, no roof over their heads, no money, no food, no blankets, no warm clothing. Women who through no fault of their own no longer have the advantages of even a small room. They’d love the opportunity of even having a telephone to ring their friends, if they have any, that is! What can we do to ease their suffering?  Older women cast out by society and having to overcome the risks involved in living in cars, or finding a spot to hide in.  I also think of the work our wonderful volunteers of all ages readily do in going beyond their personal safety boundaries caused by social distancing, every night to adminsiter their caring sharing to all the people out there living on the streets.   These people too deserve thanks and support (moral, prayer and/or small donations to worthy welfare agencies, whether financial or practical.)   

WOMEN HAVE TRAVELLED SOME INTERESTING, INCREDIBLE, DIFFICULT, EXCITING, FULFILLING JOURNEYS. We’ve accepted and taken full responsibility for our actions, our behaviours and our dreams (even when those have not met with approval by others or never come to fruition.)      Many of us have been trodden on, walked over, ignored, used and abused.
But as Helen Reddy sang:


I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore 
And I know too much to go back and pretend

‘Cause I’ve heard it all before 
And I’ve been done there on the floor 
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again.

Oh yes, I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain 

Yes, I’ve paid the price
 
But look how much I gained 
If I have to, I can do anything 
I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.

You can bend but never break me 
‘Cause it only serves to make me 
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I’ll come back even stronger 
Not a novice any longer 
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul.

I am woman watch me grow

See me standing toe to toe

As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go 

Until I make my brothers understand.

Oh yes, I am wise

But it’s wisdom born of pain 

Yes, I’ve paid the price
 
But look how much I gained 
If I have to, I can face anything 
I am strong, I am invincible,

I am woman.


...oOo...


Friday, 5th June.

THIS TIME WE’RE LIVING IN AT PRESENT IS A TEST OF WILLS.
The will of an unseen and irresponsible virus, pitted against the will of determination and discipline of men and women and children. The pressures put upon our brothers and sisters (and children) is intense. Unemployment; how to pay the mort- gage; home tutoring; how to provide for the family; the uncertainty of the times.


And we come back the constant need for KINDNESS and A CARING HEART. For no one knows what this virus is, no one knows how it came into being, no one knows how long we will need to adapt knowing it’s around us, ready to strike. For there have been any epidemics even pandemics in earlier times, although the statistics of such events is really unknown for the simple reason the peoples of those times did not realise the importance of keeping figures or numbers and communications were nothing like we have today.

And here we are, we’ve followed the suggestions and instructions by our Health Departments to the best of our abilities. We’ve adapted to the restrictions and while other countries are coming “out” of similar restrictions, there’s still the concern that while this virus may be dormant (sleeping) in those places, it may nevertheless still be present.

So we have to be watchful, we have to be alert, we have to care for one another, we have to show kindness to one another. We also have to be personally careful, and to be aware of our own personal health and the responsibilities we have to ourselves.

Again this morning I’m sitting at my computer, and lifting my eyes I am confronted with a bright blue sky. Hmm. Nice and early and I can’t see anyone else around outside, although with the roads through the village,  residents are able to continue walking as their exercise each day. Time for a quick “scoot” around the village, to take in some fresh air, and to be refreshed, ready to get stuck into what tidying up I need to do around my room.

I’m an avid collector of documents and papers. Great lever-arch files containing all the “important” things, which in the scheme of things are perhaps not!  Yet I have to admit I’m never sure about these papers and documents - they seem to have a life of their own. I place them in neat piles ready to be filed away, only to find to my dismay that they “breed” overnight. Honestly, and I can’t keep up with them! So what I have to do is to maintain control of them. Go through them, sort them, throw out what I don’t really need, and then immediately file those I want to keep. Not put it off until later. So here goes ......

In the meantime, God Bless you one and all, without exception.
Rosemary 🌹🌹🌹 STAY SAFE, TAKE CARE EVERYONE.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY:

BE ON THE ALERT TO RECOGNISE YOUR PRIME AT WHATEVER TIME OF YOUR LIFE IT MAY OCCUR.    ........Miss Jean Brodie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

AN ADDENDUM TO MY NEWSLETTER:
I’d finished up my newsletter, rugged myself up and took myself for a “scoot” around the village. It was 5 degrees. I sat in a small secluded spot, reading, when my eyes lifted to see a special little visitor. Because the surroundings were dark, this young Australian magpie had stopped in a tiny spot of sunshine. Only a few steps away from me, this little fellow (who knows it may have been a lass) absorbed the weak sunshine, and then came nearer to me. How does one talk to a magpie, without it flying madly away? Well, Dr Doolittle succeeded, and Rosemary did her best to pacify the little bird, and to make soft noises that would satisfy it, so it would not be frightened by a human, being so close.      



You see, my Great Aunt back in the 1940s had a pet magpie, and I was given lessons by her, as to how to allow them to approach her. So I did what Great-Aunt showed me. And I had a magical ten minutes with a beautiful magpie. There’s nothing quite like being permitted to go close to a native animal or bird. It’s like an invitation to share their space, and I can only use the word “magical”, for that’s what it is                                       ...... Rosemary

Sunday, June 7, 2020

YET ANOTHER WEEK IN ISOLATION .....

 Hello dear friends,

The days are filled with great lumps of looking out of the window and not looking out of the window, it seems.  Yet when I find the clock nears lunch time (how does IT know, when I hadn’t given it a thought before hand?), I hop up from my chair in readiness to find something to snack on.

This morning I’ve tided my room, watched the news, then “Songs of Praise” on the ABC, read a few (well more than that if I’m honest!) chapters of my book, done a bit of work on the computer, read some great emails from my friends both here in Australia as well as overseas, made a phone call or two.  Then I wandered out of my room to check my garden patch which sits immediately outside my door but still within the building, in which I have a beautiful indoor plant that has gone wild and then wandered back in.   So when I checked my watch two minutes ago I realised it was “Lunch time” - hooray!  

It’s 12 degrees here - quite a nice temperature for us at this Season.  So I’ll warm up some beautiful pumpkin soup made by my friend Rosie (no, that’s not me, but my true friend Rosie!), and with a slice of toast, and a cup of Lemon & Ginger Tea for lunch, I’ll be ready for what the afternoon brings.   Even though I’m in “isolation”. 

Some people have all the fun, don’t they?   Me included.  For it’s how we look at things I’ve come to realise over the years that is very important to how we feel about ourselves.  Two sides of a coin was the old saying, and it sure is.  It’s either heads or tails, and quick frankly I rather the heads.   Lifting the head your eyes can take in the world around you.  Tails of course, you’re looking at the other end of things!   Don’t let me start on explaining my weird sense of humour, because I’ll confuse you even more.

Anyway, friends, it’s Sunday, and I decided to do a small “scoot” around the village.  That’s on my scooter, not jogging!   Coming home I stopped and looked up into the sky, where I saw a beautiful cloud tipped with the colours of the setting sun.  Turning the corner I espied a beautiful Autumn tree which because of it's placement, still has all its leaves.  Most of the other larger trees are now bare. 


Now, I’m taking things easy. About to sit in my favourite chair and my book (of course!).   Please take care, my friends. 

Rosemary  🌹 🌹 🌹 STAY SAFE, TAKE CARE EVERYONE.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

MISSING HUGS?

Hello dear friends,

Should you wish to try a novel way of still retaining your social-distancing while at the same time gain the satisfaction and feeling of well-being, then here’s a great way of ensuring you don’t miss out without treating yourself to a “hug” or two.

(The following article is from National Seniors Australia newsletter received this week. Quoted verbatim.)

HUGS ARE OK ... REALLY!

While Australians are getting through the COVID-19 lockdown by using technology to hook up, panic buy and home school, Iceland's forestry service has come up with a novel way to overcome the people’s sense of isolation.

They have opened up their forests so people can hug the trees and in the words of a senior ranger “get the energy from [them].”

Top tips
And yes, some hugs are better than others.






"It's good to close your eyes while hugging a tree. I press my cheek against it and feel the warmth and currents flowing from the tree into me... it starts in your toes, runs up your legs and through your body into your brain. You get such a good relaxing feeling that are ready for a new day and new challenges," the Ranger says. 


Don't rush
They’re a thoughtful lot, these Icelanders. The Rangers have cut paths through the forest snow at Hallormsstadur so people can get close to the trees, and the paths are, of course, wide enough for people to keep the two-metre distance.

For us in Australia it might be good to check your tree first before leaning in for a hug to ensure there are no stinging ants, spiders or anything else that may detract from the experience.

EDITOR'S NOTE: So if you see people rushing through our streets to choose the tree they wish to hug, give a moments thought to the poor old trees. To have been ignored for hundreds of years, and now to be the subject of “love” and “hugs”. Well ..... just goes to show, how the world can change in the blink of an eye!

COMPASS” - Last Sunday 17th May 2020, on the ABC
My friend Bill Crews and his Exodus Foundation at the Ashfield Uniting Church in Ashfield, New South Wales, was the subject of the Compass show last Sunday evening at 6.30 p.m.,, depicting how Exodus had adapted to the countless restrictions brought upon them by the Covid19 pandemic.

As with numerous other agencies and organisations, Exodus was faced with having to close down, thus putting thousands of homeless and poor Sydney citizens at risk, not only of no longer having meals, but also the risk of contracting the virus. Exodus is not just one or two people who are dispensing welfare; it has hundreds of people involved in one way or another. It is an organisation that protects the people who come into its sphere. Caring, sharing, giving, loving.

With social distancing and people having to isolate, the Ashfield church had to close its doors from their weekly services. So Bill took the service out-doors so that people wouldn’t miss out on their spiritual needs. Then the restrictions became stronger, and social distancing ultimately meant they could not provide the church service in the grounds. So Bill did what he always does. Thinks outside of the square. He began to send his parishioners emailed (those who have computers and emails) programmes for each Sunday’s service. And this included the You-tube “messages”.

As far as caring for the homeless and destitute, it looked as though the whole project would collapse. Exodus provides a shower; endeavours to give some of their “people” housing; somewhere where they can do such a simple thing as charge their phone. And that’s the only start of things.

Submissions were made to the government to have Exodus proclaimed an “essential service”. This was denied. At first. But Bill and his crew don’t give in that easily, and so a further submission was made, as restrictions became more severe.

They have a team of people who check each person’s temperature; provide meals; provide counselling. And the night-time Van that goes to Wooloomooloo 364 nights a year (the only exception being New Year’s Eve), takes hot meals to those people in that area. And it’s when the viewer sees the queues of people who all need a warm meal, that we who are fortunate in having warm clothes, a warm meal, in a warm room, realise just what life is like outside of our room. People who are cold, people who are hungry. People who have no money. People who have no home. People who are at risk - physically and emotionally. And then there’s the damned coronavirus to contend with.

That’s just a little of the story that was shown on the ABC last Sunday night. If you did not catch this on TV, then take a few minutes and watch it. It will open your eyes.

From Christine, Sydney, New South Wales
“Cafe’s are open and I see numbers of people shopping and wandering about munching fingers to mouth, and back to wandering and shopping. So suspect the next wave of virus will be created by folk who forget the necessity of personal hygiene. Until observing this I had not used sanitiser and gloves in my bag BUT instinct pushes me to begin now! Maybe it was just the supermarket but coughing and sneezing without plunging head into elbow seems forgotten .... we are a very strange species."

SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19
As my readers know from old, I’m very strong on sharing information - especially when it is important information. When speaking with some of my friends most of whom are in their 80s (although I’m proud to say I count many others in their early 50s and 60s as my loyal readers), there seems to be a bit of confusion as to the symptoms of this virulent disease. Here’s a rundown for you.

Most common symptoms 
* fever
* dry cough
* tiredness


Less common symptoms * aches and pains
* sore throat
* diarrhoea

* conjunctivitis
* headache
* loss of taste or smell
* a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes


Serious symptoms
* difficulty breathing or shortness of breath * chest pain or pressure
* loss of speech or movement


Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home. On average it takes 5-6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms o show, however it can take up to 14 days.

Fondest regards







Sunday, May 17, 2020

Another week in Isolation!

Hello dear friends, 

This “Isolation” newsletter is starting off a little bit differently this time.   My lovely friend in New Zealand (who has a great grasp of the English language, and keeps me up to scratch), wrote to me at the weekend, in response to my most recent newsletter mentioning Regency politeness and behaviour, as well as her views on “Isolation”.     I quote her letter below, verbatim:

From L of New Zealand: 

First of all, I  LOVE this idea… (of Regency greetings, bowing and curtseying …)

Then, this is how I see Lockdown:

My son overworks constantly and I warned him he was heading for burnout.  Now, working from home, he still does long hours but he can rest more because he doesn't have a 90 minute commuter rush-hour at either end of the day. 

Why did it take a virus to make him see just how exhausted he was?  His story mirrors  that of many people: the mad rush, the treadmill, the rat race, call it what you will,  modern life and the necessity to keep a roof over your families heads and food in their tummies is a hard  taskmaster.
  
So devastating though this virus has been, for all the lives it has taken, let's hope it has made people realise life is precious and that being so, maybe it's saved a few who might have been pushed beyond their human capacity by stress and the inability to just STOP and look at our still wonderful world...and 

just breathe……

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.”

………..

I would also encourage readers to visit this exquisite short video, made in New Zealand, on Youtube.  The words are so beautiful and make us realise just what beauty we live with and that we are a part of.   Please visit.  …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKyekQ1njNQ&fbclid=IwAR33SOK4wws9qB-MvkWrVbo8n6-WFsXmS2XFcWhM3MOuvJHWDaP2fXh3Vms
……
Another clever quotation from my friend Judy of WA:

Please -  just be careful because people are going crazy from being in lock down! Actually I've just been talking about this with the microwave and toaster while drinking coffee and all of us agreed that things are getting bad. I didn't mention anything to the washing machine as she puts a different spin on everything and certainly not to the fridge as he is acting cold and distant.  In the end the iron calmed me down as she said everything will be fine - no situation is too pressing....

From Ruth of Victoria: 
“Thank you for your lovely newsletter.  Keep it up, it does not just help you, it helps many people.

As you mentioned the homeless, here is something you might like to have a look at.  I received the attached newsletter from a friend who runs a charity for the homeless.  https://bit.ly/avalonian-gazette-april-2020 

She deserves a mention, and, maybe, some donations from people to help the homeless.

Personally I have been attacking my weeds, making myself very unpopular with them. Hasn’t stopped me from continuing. There are a lot more to get at.

I am lucky enough to be allowed out for shopping and exercise. The last is not just walking, but a lot of talking. Keeps the face muscles strong, and you can keep your distance.

Looking for the positive things in our lives helps too..  Making someone laugh is good for the soul, ours and theirs”
…… 
From my very dear friend Valerie Parv:
“Thank you for thinking of me on my birthday and sending good wishes …  I was given some lovely gifts from organic hand wash liquid (very timely) to books and DVDs. Plus some gift cards which I can plan how to spend until we're free to go out and do so. Sometimes planning is half the enjoyment.

I haven't had to declutter or organise my office, having done so over the last year.  I even joined in the national Garage Sale Trail last October which was a major decluttering exercise. In my small community, garage sale shopping is a "thing" where a group goes from one garage sale to another, ending up having coffee at McDonald's. Personally I don't dare to visit other people's garage sales for fear of finding something I simply must have. Books are the worst of course but fortunately I read most fiction on my Kindle. I only buy nonfiction in paper as I find them easier for reference.

Thank you for quoting in your newsletter my favourite psalm, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." When I lived in Canberra there were always hills you could see even from the bus stop or the shopping mall, and this verse was in the back of my mind while shopping or waiting for a bus. It's one of the pleasures I miss from Canberra, but we have glorious rural vistas, as I was reminded when Better Homes and Gardens visited recently and showcased some of the attractions. A tourist magazine mentioned that I live here, quite unexpectedly. I've had many accolades in my career but this is my first time as a tourist attraction.

When the lockdown started six weeks ago (six weeks!) I had so many writing plans, but sad to say I've written none of them. I'll include a link to the blog I posted yesterday, exploring the reasons, as I've found many creative friends in the same situation. I have kept busy, however, blogging and taking part in online writing activitities including a week-long WordFest in aid of rescue greyhounds. I also continue to mentor the current holder of the Valerie Parv Award organised by Romance Writers of Australia. Next year's award has just closed and I'll find out mid year who will be my new mentee, or minion, as past winners call themselves. Here's my blog link.


It does talk mainly to writers but can also apply to any creative goal we may have.  (Note from the NoteBook©:  The hints and strategies Valerie has put forward so easily fit into what we who are not “writers” can do, to take away the stress of “Isolation” …… Rosemary) 

Thank you again for another thought-provoking newsletter. Your consideration for the homeless is commendable. I saw on a news program recently an interview with a homeless man for whom a long term place had been found with others staying in a motel, and he said he had become so used to having a proper place to live and bed to sleep in that he didn't know how he would cope going back to the streets. I only pray he doesn't have to.”

Recently Valerie talked writing with Sarah Williams 
on her Write With Love Podcast

Look for Valerie's 'Desert Justice' in 'Her Hot Desert Fantasy' anthology on Amazon.com and Big W.
Outback Code, 3 books in one from Mira out now in stores, print and ebooks 

From my dear pastors, G and M (from the Village here.  We can not, at the moment, attend Chapel each week, but these two wonderful girls ensure we are not “grounded” without any contact from them.) 
“So here we are another week stuck inside, feeling a little bit frustrated, bored, maybe even alone.  So what can we do in order to help ourselves survive this unusual time we are living in.

What can we do with this time of solitude.  Is there something we can learn from all this time we have on our hands at the moment, from the Scriptures?
    Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely and can lead to self-      awareness
    Solitude is a time that can be used for reflection, inner searching, growth or enjoyment of some kind.
    Solitude suggests peacefulness stemming from a state of inner richness,  It is a means of enjoying the quiet, and whatever it brings that is satisfying, and from which we draw sustenance.  It is something we cultivate
    Solitude is refreshing’ an opportunity to renew ourselves.  In other words, it replenishes us
    Solitude gives us time to explore and know ourselves.  It is the necessary counterpoint to intimacy, it is what allows us to have a self worthy of sharing.  Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective
    Solitude restores body and mine and Spirit.  A time to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of lives around us.” 
MAY I CLOSE THIS NEWSLETTER, WITH A MESSAGE FROM MY FRIEND BILL CREWS, OF THE EXODUS FOUNDATION IN SYDNEY:

Hi everyone
The homeless people we work with and love usually have three chronic illnesses.  For them Coronavirus probably means death.  

We do everything we can to protect them. That includes free flu shots and virus testing for everyone. 

Here is the link to the 7-minute video showing how we do it.  https://youtu.be/utNoA7i8vJk

God Bless,   Bill

Fondest regards

Rosemary  🌹 🌹 🌹 STAY SAFE, TAKE CARE EVERYONE.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lockdown and Emotions

Hello dear friends,  

This is a “strange” time we’re in.  Being in Isolation I find daylight hours seem slow and tedious, whereas as the afternoon unfolds, I find my day is rushing by. When I speak to some of my neighbours by phone or Messenger , they say the same thing!  Just what is going on, I ask?

This morning I opened the curtains to find the sky grey with heavy clouds.   Two hours later the sky is blue, and the sun is shining.   For those readers overseas, we’re in the second month of Autumn (my friends in the USA call it “Fall”).  While the weather here is cooling considerably, one thing I am missing is being able to walk around nearby streets and to see the ever-changing gardens.  I miss seeing the leaves of the deciduous trees turning into their beautiful colours. 

The Lockdown and Emotions
A number of my friends are telling me they’ve been going through all sorts of emotional ups and downs.  The worry associated with “not knowing” (what this virus is, where it came from, how long we will need to fight it, will it “die” of its own accord, or hide away?), together with not being able to see our families or to join in small groups with our girl-friends, yet trying to cope with the feelings of having no control on almost any part of our daily life, is taking its toll.  

Yet, as another friend from New Zealand wrote in her blog today, “This crisis WILL pass.  We WILL be back to normal, whatever our normal was or will be.   Life may be on hold for many but it still has the potential to be full of dreams and plans.”   She then included a most beautiful Youtube video of her land which has incredible uplifting words.   Visit her blog at:  thelockdowndiary.blogspot.com

Asking for Help
This is a time when our friends - whether close-by or further afield, need us, as we need them.   Too often we hold back and not ask for help, whether it be physical or merely just to “listen” to us when we feel out-of-sorts or “down in the dumps”.   We hold back because we don’t want to worry them, or take up their time.  Yet, I‘ve often found that when I do let my “pride” down a notch or two and actually ask a friend to “listen”, then they are ready, willing and able to put their life on hold, just to hold my hand (figuratively) and walk me through my times of anxiety or stress.    I like to think that I respond in like manner when they call on me. 

This is where, even though the “social-distancing” and “isolation” is restricting us in so many ways, we have opportunities to reach out and seek a friendly word of encouragement through means of emails, telephone calls and face-time.   We don’t need to remain silent, to keep things to ourselves, to wonder how other people are coping.   For when we are aware that we may feel disadvantaged because we can’t meet up with our girl-friends for coffee or get together in groups for lunch, then we become aware that they in turn most likely feel the same way.  

Loving each other
I heard the Joni Mitchell song the other night, “I’ve looked at love from both sides now.” While this is a regretful-love-song, it is more to the point a song about the two sides of love.   We can easily say we love our family, friends and neighbours, but to actually prove that in words, deeds, and caring, we rise above just being someone who says things but never does things,  In so doing, we can then become even more the person we’ve always hoped we would become.

But love doesn’t only have two sides. It is multi faceted. Love is just a four letter word, and yet it is incredibly difficult to define.  There are so many layers.  So many meanings.  So many translations.  Yet love is what makes the world go round.  It’s not being powerful, or being multi-rich, it’s being aware of another person’s needs whether they be physical or emotional and being ready to respond to those needs in whatever way we can. 

We also need to “thank” each other for countless things.   Teena the other morning reminded me about this when she told me she makes a point of saying “thank you” to all the people stocking the shelves in the supermarket where she shops. When you think about it, there are thousands of people who are still working in order for this country to continue moving forward.  To most of us they are the people in the background and we seldom give them a thought.   Why not make a short list of people you can think of, to whom you can say “thank you”.  For doing what they do, whether they are on the frontline (in their selfless examples) or in the background.     

Keep safe , everyone.   God bless you all, without exceptions.

Fondest regards

🌹 🌹 🌹