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Category Archives: Happiness

ISS, Street Art and Hugs

I couldn’t sleep last night and went downstairs soon after 5am. The kitchen was as bright as if there were lights left on and I realised that the half moon was shining in a very clear sky. I stayed for several minutes looking at the stars and then the International Space Station appeared from the right and made its way across the sky. I checked on the website and saw that it was due over at 5.22. Serendipity indeed. I went back to sleep happy!

We are enjoying the street art in our town, encouraging people to wear their masks.I really like this one.

Dear friends from choir drove by today as I was planting bulbs in the front garden. They stopped and came into the back garden for tea, cake and a chat. It was so lovely to see them but we missed our hugs.

 
 

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Walk, Moth and A Poem

Daughter No 3 has been here for the day along with her partner and their daughter and what a truly lovely day we have had together hanging out in the garden, having lunch and then a lively walk along the Flat Lode Trail. We haven’t seen them all for many months so this afternoon had its emotional moments.

Dancing up the trail

Two generations looking out of Wheal Uny

We spotted a little moth on the down pipe.I think it’s a Striped Twin-spot Carpet moth.

While the grownups were chatting, LiveWire No 4 declared herself bored and her daddy introduced us to a beautiful poem, ” You’re Bored, Child? ” by Felix Dennis, a poet new to me but one I intend to find out more about. Read it aloud, hear the assonance  and the alliteration, picture  ‘life’s miracle’ unfolding in front of you. I love it!

Look at the birds.
Learn to listen to their chatter,
Their flitting, twittering flights for no
Discernible purpose; the clatter
And the cawing of that black crow,
The furtive, dry-leaved peck and scrape
Of blackbirds blundering in a bush
Seeking worms and beetles; the shape
Of the wagtail’s wing; the shove and push
Of tits among the bacon rinds;
The eerie, invisible knock,
Knock knock as a woodpecker finds
A bark grub; the wheeling starling flock.
Look at the birds.

Look at the earth.
Scoop up a handful in your palm.
Not for nothing have men plundered,
Murdered, fought and wrought great harm
Among their kind — whole empires sundered —
Just to own it, or to believe
They did. Crumble it. What’s it worth?
Ask a farmer stooping to sheave
A field of sun ripe wheat. The Earth!
The land! Listen, listen to me!
The blood of kings lies in your hand,
What came before— and what shall be.
Think on it. Seek to understand.
Look at the earth.

Look at the sky.
An emptiness? The blue-walled womb
Of all that is, of all that ever
Grazed or grew or swam — and met its doom —
Beneath our tyrant sun. Forever
Heaving, blowing, sleeting, snowing,
Raining, resting — bringing with the night
Its velvet, eerie canvas, glowing
With long dead messengers of light.
And yet, who looks— with wit to see?
Should you take long enough to chart
This wheel of time and mystery
Life’s miracle will swamp your heart.
Look at the sky.

You’re bored, child?
 

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Not All Fairies can Fly

I first fell in love with Samantha Bryan’s Fairies in the early 2000s when I saw an exhibition in the Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds.   The invention, the humour, the whole premise and the beautiful construction  entranced me and I bought my first Fairy. Who knew that fairies don’t simply fly but have to learn? That they wear L plates to warn others of their inexperience? That they need various intricate contraptions to help them learn to fly? That they do stretching exercises before setting off on their roller boots, or with a lifting device, under an air balloon or with a propellor? That they need special protective equipment? My quirky collection of ‘Brains Fairy Aiding Inventions’ shows all these and more.

My first Fairy

Fairy doing an exercise designed to strengthen leg muscles in preparation for impact during landing

Fairy doing an exercise designed to strengthen leg muscles in preparation for impact during landing

Waiting for repaired wings and looking a bit sad 2004

Air balloon assistance

Beautiful detail

I love her pleased expression

Brain’s revolutionary V.T.O.L. Apparatus (assists fairies in vertical take-off and landing) 2003

Improved pedal powered fairy vehicle

All the Fairies have labels typed on an old typewriter adding to the quaintness of the whole.

 

When I retired from teaching in 2006, I was also mentoring student teachers and commissioned Samantha to make me a Fairy piece showing a Fairy being encouraged in her efforts to become fully fledged and ready to go out on her own.  Samantha sent me four beautiful designs that she had sketched and  this is the one I chose.

Mentor with fairy in training 2006

It’s time I added to my collection!

 

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Sweet Peas, Colour Contrast and A Birthday Video

Our Sweet Peas in one pot are glorious. The other pot is finished. 😦

Sweet Peas

Serendipity again as the bright orange Montbretia/ Crocosmia has popped up with the purple Tom Thumb Pittosporum hedge.

Montbretia against the dark Tom Thumb Pittosporum

A  couple of months ago , I was asked to take part in a Birthday video for an ex pupil of mine. The idea was to screw up some paper with a Happy Birthday message on it. Have it thrown to you from the left, unscrew it, show the message to the camera and throw it off to the right. It made for a very special and individual birthday present.
It occurred to me that it would be a lovely thing to do for our dear choir leader, Claire, with whom we have been unable to sing in person for 5 months because of the Covid situation. Fortunately we have in one of our choirs a brilliantly talented individual who agreed to put together the 60+ videos valiantly made by our community of choir members! Thanks so much, Kenn! What a success it has been! Here it is for your delectation. The setting is the Penryn River, our view from the rehearsal room and the music is sung by the choirs.

 

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Butterfly, Skype Baking and Another Trade

On our walk this morning, we spotted a little blue butterfly which I think was a Common Blue. When I was a kid we used to see clouds of these lovely creatures when on a coastal walk. There seem to be far fewer about now. This is the first I have seen this year.

Common Blue

It was LiveWire No 2’s turn to Skype-bake with me this afternoon and he chose to make Sausage Rolls. It was so lovely to spend some special time together when we haven’t seen the family since New Year except for Family sessions each Saturday.  We also had some delicious Sausage Rolls to eat!

J’s Sausage Rolls

Another trade took place today. Our friend and neighbour, N, was in touch last week when the call finally came that we are to wear face masks when shopping, “Could I please make her some?”  Of course! I finished them off this morning and, as N is a Well being consultant for Weleda, traded the masks for the wonderful muscle soak that so helps my cranky and painful ankles.

 

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A Very, Very Good Day!

Today, our eldest daughter has come to spend the day with us, the first time since lockdown – and what a day we’ve had. She arrived in her best car, an Audi A8,in glorious red to celebrate our day together.

We went down to Chapel Porth, a family favourite and almost had the beach to ourselves.

We bought Cornish pasties for lunch, of course, and after lunch sat in the sunshine in the garden enjoying each other’s company.

M, like me, has a passion for making and story telling – it runs in the family. She has made some lovely 3D pieces for us and this evening has made a new button for our loo. It was lost some years ago and today, M has 3D printed us a new part. She brought her 3D printer down especially to do this job and it has been fascinating to watch the whole process. 

Above is the prototype starting to be printed and the final piece is below.

The only one like this in the world!

To celebrate further, I made a new recipe, Blueberry and Cream Cheese Crostata and it was truly delicious.

 

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Mum’s Chimneys, Full of Colour

I said yesterday that I would show you Mum’s chimney collection which I inherited  so here they are in the order in which you would see them if you were to visit us in our garden. You would be so welcome, Dear Reader!

Steps up to the garden, lined with various Mints, Lavenders and Vanilla Nemesias – scented all the way

 

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Zebra, Kintsugi and Resilience Calendar

It’s really cold on this first day of July (as it has been for much of June)  and the horses we pass regularly on our walk were wearing Zebra jackets which amused us.

 

Today when a piece of china is broken, it becomes an opportunity to use my Kintsugi kit again. It is so pleasing that the mended piece is even more beautiful than the original.

Action for Happiness have made their July calendar appropriate for our times which are hard for so many people. Stay well,  Dear Readers. There’s good advice here. Keep calm, Stay wise. Be kind.

 
 

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Our Walk, A Chimney and Masks

We started early for our walk today as the temperatures are set to rise and I’m not happy walking in heat. The sea was glorious and the walk peaceful and restorative. The heathers are in full bloom and contrast beautifully with the golden Dandelions. We spotted a number of birds, a Kestrel, we think, and some Whin Chats that moved too quickly to be photographed.

Mum’s chimneys are all planted up and now full of blooms and scent from the Nemesia Vanilla White and the Heliotrope, otherwise known as Cherry Pie.

This came my way the other day and seems to me to be the best reason to be wearing a mask in these strange times.

 

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Join Us On Our Most Joyful Walk

We visited our favourite spot today, Chapelporth with a walk up the cliffs to Wheal Coates.The cafe is not yet open so no Croque Monsieur or Ice-cream Hedgehogs…. Click on any photo for a bigger view and the caption.

 

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