There was a mix up with the hospital booking today, and so, instead of being hooked up to an IV drip for my Valentine, I had a day all to myself to make as magical as I wished. On my younger sister's clever advice, I went to the Fitz and drank in Quentin Blake's exhibition of pen and inks, and then next door to glazed Jingdezhen Porcelain, exquisitely crafted.
Continuing with sisterly advice, I stopped by Kings and sampled some (ok, fine, bought some) fudge from the Fudge Kitchen...
then visited the Haunted Bookstore where I ignored the ominous bat, offered the shop owner some fudge (she said No thanks, I'm a cheese woman)...
and went in search of Cicely Mary Barker's Heart's Ease fairy instead... you know the song? Come away and seek me when the year is young, Through the open ploughlands, beyond the garden wall...
While waiting for the ward manager to sort out the mix up, my companion in the waiting room shared both grisly and endearing details of her life. The operation, the cancer, her Bucket List and her cat. Her cat, who was abandoned on Valentine's Day by her previous owners. The cat, who responds to Darling now, and has the power to turn her new owner's cheeks blush pink with joy. Who needs a boy, anyway?
' Good grief .' Is there such a thing? Grief rhymes with thief. That much is true. I am always grieving. Something has always...
STAFFORD SAYS, I LISTEN
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt; ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
A delicious treat from the author of 84, Charing Cross Road.
WU FENG ROAD
The art and heart work of my beloved Jeanne-ming Brantingham-Hayes.
JUST FINISHED READING
Utterly absorbing - the story of kung fu nuns in Nepal, young girls seeking refuge in Burma, this is a feminist tale for modern times.
JUST FINISHED READING
A reading experience unlike any other. I found it so hard to commit to, I've rarely resisted a book so much, but once I got a quarter way through, I was in. All the way in with Jude, Willem, Malcolm and JB.
I live a meditative life in a green village in England. I was diagnosed with Lupus when I was 18 and some of my poetry writes itself in response to living with such a peculiar, demanding and life-altering illness. And some of it is about love longing hope birdsong waiting for spring... I write about freedom. And heroes. I am often and very easily inspired!
Ann Patchett's memoir of her friendship with the poet Lucy Grealy. I was gripped, and for the first time in the longest time, ignored my protesting eyes and read it in one day. Beautiful.
WHEN PIGLET ASKED POOH
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. 'Pooh?' he whispered. 'Yes, Piglet?' 'Nothing,' said Piglet, taking Pooh's hand. 'I just wanted to be sure of you.'
Life waits patiently for true heroes - Thich Nhat Hanh.
A HANDBOOK FOR LIVING
in pursuit of a room of my own...
There was a star riding through clouds one night, and I said to the star, 'Consume me' - Virginia Woolf
DISTANT CLOUD PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographer Chris Boland creates worlds of beauty here.
EATING POETRY by Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.
KINDNESS by Naomi Shihab Nye
Before you know what kindness really is, you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment, like salt in a weakened broth.What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness.
Breathing with Thich Nhat Hanh
the war of art
The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.
Have you heard of Somaly Mam? She is Cambodian, survived slavery, and transforms the lives of young girls every moment she lives and breathes.
I keep my guru in my heart, and Gandhi in my head.
Tenzin Tsundue is a Tibetan poet and activist, currently residing in exile, in Dharamsala.
Strengthened by Frida Kahlo
“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”
Une Envie de Sel
The Unbearable Lightness of being Q... and her family by Maia Chavez Larkin
Blog Like No One's Reading
Agnes'_Pages_, one of my favourite places to travel.
it is only with the heart that one can see rightly
What is essential is invisible to the eye
Dr Karen Woo, the softly spoken British humanitarian aid worker, who was killed in Afghanistan last year. She was a dancer for years before realising she could not truly help be a changemaker through ballet.
In Shaista's Library
A place I draw inspiration from. My happy place :)
from Catherine at A Thousand Clapping Hands
Sent when I was at my worst in hospital, this was like a balloon filled with hope :)
A Year With Rilke
Daily readings of the maestro, by Ruth and Lorenzo...