Tag Archives: Humanist

Hitching a Ride, White Dahlia, Baby Naming and No 4

1      I was stopped for a while behind a van this morning and noticed three snails hitching a ride on the back doors!

Snails on the back of a van – look closely!

2  This dahlia was broken by the wind so we have brought it in. Isn’t it just beautiful in the almost invisible vase?

White dahlia

3   I’ve been working on a Baby Naming Ceremony this afternoon and the following is one of the readings the parents have chosen. It’s more words that I usually give you but it’s worth reading.  I would add just one line – ‘Look every day for the beauty that is all around you.’  I’ve put my favourite lines in italics.

Everybody’s Free  (to wear sunscreen) Mary Schmich  Chicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97… wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography, in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.

Everybody’s Free  for the Baz Luhrmann version.

4    Especially for  ChocChip Uru who loved the poppy seed head yesterday – a side view, a flower and a bee.

Poppy, seed-head and bee


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1904 Etched Window, Nest, Two Humanist Weddings and a Bit More Babel

1  Something quite magical happened today that has not happened in the four years we’ve been here.  There was a reflection from the windscreen of the car on the drive through the etched window of the inner front door and up onto the stair carpet at the top of the stairs – beautiful!

Etched window from 1904


2   We went to Hardy Exotics this afternoon, in Whitecross, on the A30, to find a tree to survive the wind in our garden. We didn’t get a tree today but were shown this scruffy and very beautiful nest with the mother bird sitting in one of the staff-only greenhouses! What a sensible bird! It’s warm, dry, only Di goes in there to pot up new plants and she can listen to Radio 4!

Mother on nest

3   Had two meetings today with couples wanting non-religious Wedding Ceremonies, one to be on Little Fistral Beach (Carnmarth Hotel if the  weather is bad), in Newquay in September and the other at Trevenna Barns, Bodmin in May next year. Both lovely couples  with whom it was fun to start the planning.

4   An added extra for today – There’s a fabulous review of Babel here – this reviewer totally gets it, at last!


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Hailstorm, White Camellias and a Video

1  Driving through Penryn this lunchtime I went through the most amazing hailstorm. In moments the roads were full of the little white balls and only moments later streams were racing down the hills as the hailstones met the relatively warm ground. And then the sun came out!

2  So many Camellia bushes, mostly pink but one white and gorgeous, on the route from here to Penryn and all smothered in blossoms.

White camellia

3  I was sent an email with this short video. It sums up what I, as a Humanist, believe.

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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Buzzard, Daffodils and Dancing to the Beat of Your Own Drum

!  Driving to Falmouth this morning I saw , on my favourite tree, just through Lanner, a beautiful buzzard. There being no other cars around, I was able to slow down and have a good look. What a creature!

2  On the same drive I went past the open gate to a whole field of golden daffodils and then began to realise that several fields in the distance were also yellow with daffodils in flower. That made me smile.

3  In my meeting with Humanist friends where we were finalising the social and meeting programmes for the year, someone mentioned Henry David Thoreau’s words about marching to the beat of a different drum.

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


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