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Winter is Coming (and why I’m not going to complain about it so much this year)

I hate Winter.  I have said this many, many times.  I hate it so much that now, when it is actually still Autumn, I am already complaining and wearing scarves and boots and generally walking around being miserable with a definite case of SAD.  I hate that I have to wear trousers and jeans – ugh!  I hate that my fingers ache and my nose is red and I can’t feel my toes.  I hate that my hair goes from being a bit mad, to downright mental and ridiculous.  I spend several months looking like a drowned, frizzy rat.

I hate that the mornings are so cold and dark, and getting up is not only miserable but confusing (Body : Why are we getting out of bed?  It’s pitch black outside – surely it is not morning yet, you stupid girl!). I hate that everyone else whinges about the heat in Summer (which lasts for about three seconds, as opposed to Winter which lasts FOREVER!!!) and “enjoys” the cooler days.  Bah humbug to them, I say!

But then, after the events of this week in Manchester,  I stopped hating Winter quite so much.  Because I’m sure that all of the parents that lost children in that attack would trek through snow and ice, in bare feet, carrying the weight of the world on their back, just to see their loved ones again.  I’m cold – they’ve lost a child.  There’s no contest there.  Teenagers and adults also lost their lives – they will never feel the sting of Winter again, never get to complain about cold feet or rain-frizzed hair, never get to snuggle up with the people they love and enjoy a hot cup of tea.

The world is so scary right now.  I don’t know how it will ever get better.  And, although we are all focused on Manchester right now, there are of course incidents like this happening all over the world, in many different countries, and we tend to become jaded and desensitised about it, especially when it isn’t happening in our own backyard.  People live with this kind of terror every single day, for years on end, and it barely gets reported or, if it does, it comes somewhere down the list below some football team winning a championship and Taylor Swift’s latest relationship.

I don’t claim to know anything about politics, religion, or world affairs, or much about anything, really.  I tend to not watch the news because it’s so dreadfully depressing and upsetting.  I find myself just NOT WANTING TO KNOW.  Which is bad, I know, but I feel helpless and sad and anxious when I see/hear things I can’t do anything about.  And nowhere feels safe anymore.  And I have little people in my life who are just starting out and I fear for them so much.  I just pray that they are the change the world needs to see.  I have to believe that their beautiful spirits and hearts can make things better.

I don’t know where I am going with this post.  My heart hurts and I am just feeling cold, inside and out, and Winter cannot be blamed this time.

Be kind to one another.  Be understanding.  Show tolerance and acceptance and empathy.  We have to stop this happening over and over again.

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Little Peeps & Helpers

Little Peeps & Helpers

A busy couple of days for me on the weekend.  My car window decided to die (ie wouldn’t go up or down) on Friday night, meaning I had to get it fixed somehow on Saturday.  Which, in turn, meant a very expensive call-out fee for a mobile mechanic and an equally expensive part that I’m sure was worth much less than what I was quoted.  But it was a Saturday and I couldn’t leave my car unsecured all weekend, plus we were due for a thunderstorm that night, so I had to pay the big bucks and get it fixed then and there.  I hate dealing with car stuff – it stresses me out.  How do you know if you’re being ripped off and, even if you are, what can you do about it when you need the thing fixed right away on a weekend?  I even looked up on Youtube how to repair a car window regulator cable yourself, but decided that was fraught with danger and the possibility of me having a tantrum and ending up with a broken door panel as well as a broken window cable.

Waiting around for the mechanic and the repairs took up half of my day.  I then had to go and get my groceries (I had NO food in the house, literally) and do some laundry.  I really wanted to get some crafting done, so I got stuck in to my little Christmas people that I had started last weekend.  I made a handful of them, ready to assemble on to cards.

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I managed to get one card finished, with this little lady in blue :

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On Sunday, it was my niece’s 2nd birthday, so we attended her birthday party in the park.  It was a lovely morning – there was a gorgeous cool breeze (a relief after the heat of the day before when it was RIDICULOUSLY hot for Spring, reaching 40 degrees) and plenty of shade.  Lots of kids running around, having fun with sack races, water-balloon fights and a piñata.  Miss Two was rather bemused by it all, but very well-behaved.  I sat with her while she ate her piece of delicious birthday cake, very lady-like with her little fork and paper plate.  Adorable.  I spent most of the morning carrying her around and, although she is a tiny little thing, she weighs a ton ha ha.  My arm today is about to drop off.  But there were lots of ant nests and I couldn’t really let her just toddle around on the ground, in case she got bitten.

Afterwards, I had to take my Mum grocery shopping.  It just so happens that her local shops are close to an amazing papercraft shop, Scrapbook Secrets, so I took the opportunity to buy a few bits and pieces from there.  Not too many, as I had just shelled out for my car repairs, but enough pretty papers and embellishments to help me finish off some more cards for Christmas.

I made one more card last night – not sure if I am happy with it, but I guess it is quite cute.  I do rather like my little Christmas people – and I am pleased I have been able to use something that is my own design, for the most part.  I must have drawn a hundred little faces and hands by now, but colouring them in and cutting them out is quite therapeutic, if not fiddly and hand-ache-making!  I wish I could do eyes properly, but for now they will all have to have closed eyes.  It makes them look peaceful, anyway, and I suppose that’s what you want at Christmas time!

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Such a dreadful week, internationally, with the bombings and terror attacks in Paris, Lebanon and Syria, as well as other disasters like earthquakes, fires and floods.  Such scary times we are living in – so many people living in terror and fear for their lives, and the lives of their loved ones.  The Paris attacks this weekend got the most attention, and indeed I found myself tearing up over the lives lost and the horrific actions of the perpetrators.  It is impossible to make sense of these things, or to understand what is going through someone’s head when they decide to commit these crimes.  I’m not going to go into the politics of it all – I’m not qualified to do so – I just know it is human beings hurting other human beings.

There’s a quote from Fred Rogers circulating at the moment which encourages us to remember that there is still good in the world, still people who want to help and do the right thing.  I am trying to take some comfort in it and know that, for the most part, human beings are good and kind-hearted, with no desire to hurt anyone.  I like to think that’s true, anyway.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers