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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.

x

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Quote for the Day : Sometimes

“…Sometimes I just want space to be me
But then I remember I don’t know who “me” is
And any space I have is filled with the unknowing
And the questions about what I should be doing
And if I should replace the “Should” with a “Could”
And if I have always been wrong and always will be
And if everyone knows my secrets
or if my secrets are hidden away and will never be discovered
and will die with me, alone and unknown

Sometimes I want to disappear
But then I remember my footprints on this Earth are forever
The damage is already done and I can’t be forgotten, at least by the Earth
But to the others I am already a memory
And a fading one at that
Because I didn’t do what I was supposed to do and try harder to be the same
As them 
And all the others
who succeeded where I had failed

Sometimes I want to stand out
But then I remember standing out means you are different
And different is not always a happy place
Even if it is an authentic place
And a place to lay your soul
When it is tired of being hungry and having to fight with itself
About things that should be easy or not there at all

Sometimes I want to be still
But then I remember I have to keep moving
In case the truth catches up with me and it’s too much to take in
Like a hurricane in a teacup
But the moving gets harder and I end up running on the spot
While everyone passes by me
Unconcerned by the diminishing space I am taking up
As I burrow into the ground, a whirlpool at my feet…”

–Anonymous

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Song Lyrics for the Day : Friend of Mine

“Friend Of Mine” – Liz Phair

Not a lot of patience
You’re not a patient man
Don’t have a heart to stay with
You get it while you can
Just because you can
Get out of it

And I wasted your time, denying
That that’s the reason we fight all the time
It’s been so long since you’ve been a friend of mine

Gonna take a vacation
Stop chasing what I lack
Am I gonna get blown off
As soon as I get back
On another track
Without you

‘Cause I don’t have the heart to try
One more false start in life
It’s been so hard to get it right
Seems like the moment I catch up
The farther you fly

And I wasted your time, denying
That that’s the reason we fight all the time
It’s been so long since you’ve been a friend of mine

And I wasted your time, didn’t I?
And that’s the reason we fight all the time
It’s been so long since you’ve been a friend to me
It seems like I dreamed and now I’m waking up to daylight
What happened, when did you let go of me
I miss you so badly

It’s been so long since you’ve been a friend of mine

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Love for Orlando

I’m not going to get on my political high-horse and discuss my beliefs about gun control or sexuality or religion – that can wait for another time.  All I know is that innocent people have been murdered in Orlando.  At the end of the day, the reason for it doesn’t matter.  They were living breathing people, and now they are not.  Their families don’t get to hug them or say goodnight to them, tell them they love them or celebrate holidays with them.  The victims won’t get to tell their stories or share their lives or live their dreams.

It just makes me sad, that’s all.  The world is a dark place sometimes and seems to be getting darker all the time.  I want to believe that love conquers all, but I fear it is fighting a losing battle right now.

How do you bring up children in this world?  How do you plan or dream or hope and teach them to do the same?  How?

The only shining light right now is that there is outrage and sadness after this mass shooting.  There are still good people and people who care about the lives of others.  ALL hope is lost when we stop feeling and caring.
I am trying to remember that today, but it is hard.

Today I send love to the victim’s families, and to the victims themselves x

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Love and Miracles

Just a short post today… A bit of a stressful weekend just gone, with my elderly Aunt in intensive care at the hospital due to cardiac issues, my friend experiencing relationship dramas, another friend in serious ill-health in another hospital, and life just chucking stuff at everyone left, right and centre.  I just want everybody to be ok 😦

But I did fit in an hour or so of crafting.  I was determined.  Even one card is better than achieving nothing at all.  So I sat and made this one little card, which isn’t fabulous, but it is finished.  And it has a bird, which makes everything better.

I do so want to believe in love and miracles.  Especially at the moment.

x

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Colours of the Sand and Sea

I am having some time off this week – partly because it is my birthday week, but mostly because I just need a break.  Things have been getting on top of me a little – family worries, work stress and friends in trouble – and I just needed to take one of those issues out the equation, at least for a week.  I’ve spent some time at the beach and that has helped clear my head a little and calm my frayed nerves.  But it can’t make everything go away, or fix everybody for me.

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I’ve been trying to be creative and use my time wisely but I have mostly slept a lot and faffed about, not really achieving anything.  I haven’t been sleeping at night so I stupidly took a full dose of my sleep medication a couple of nights ago.  I haven’t had it in ages (have been trying to wean myself off everything but the absolute essentials) and so it kinda hit me like a tonne of bricks.  Yesterday I slept ALL DAY.  Terrible.  Such a waste of time.  Today I am still dopey and a bit spaced out.  I’ve been trying to make cards but it has been a difficult process with my eyes not focusing properly and my brain a bit frazzled.  I did manage to finish off a couple of jewellery pieces – Lord knows how when I can barely see what I am doing – and so at least the day hasn’t been a total waste.

The colours here remind me of the beach.  The turquoise blue of the sea and the pale yellow of the sand and shoreline.  My favourite place to be is near the ocean. I hope the eventual owner of this set will feel the same serenity and calm that the sea brings to me.

Sorry for the short post today.  Hope you are all happy and well x

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100 Things to Do If You’re Sad (a Stolen Idea)

100 Things to Do If You’re Sad (a Stolen Idea)

Warning : big cheat coming up!

I gained a lovely new follower this week, Natalie, from The Girl in the Little Black Dress (Natalie’s Lovely Blog).  It’s always nice to have a new follower.  Let’s face it, I am eternally surprised and grateful if I have ANY followers, but gaining new ones is pretty cool, each time it happens.

Natalie posted her “100 Things to Do If You’re Sad” list earlier this year.  It’s awesome.  I was going to kind of steal her idea and write my own list, but I am a.) lazy and b.) afraid of whatever bloggy karma might strike me down if I do such a thing.  Besides, Natalie’s list is pretty perfect as it is.  It is kind of annoying to me that she is half my age and yet seems twice and sensible and wise.  I meet many people like this.  I should stop being annoyed by that and just embrace the fact I am always going to be an idiot.  Natalie’s list would have been amazing for me when I was a teenager, and probably still works for teenagers and young people today.  So I’m going to leave it alone and just re-blog it here.
Don’t worry, I will tell her I’m doing that.

I’m sure there’s a way of reblogging something without actually cutting and pasting it, but I am old-school (translation : not very computer/internet-savvy) and don’t have time to be bothered with such things (translation : there is cheese somewhere that is calling my name and I should really go and deal with that).  With that in mind, here is Natalie’s list.  Read it in awe and amazement.  Laugh a bit, smile a lot, and take it all in.  It’s a great list.  And who doesn’t love a great list? Thanks Natalie!

(And you should check out the rest of her blog while you’re at it)

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(The bee and flower picture is mine – I managed that much today)

                                   100 Things To Do If You’re Sad

1.) Use up a whole stick of Post-Its. Write names, poetry, phone numbers, dates. Stick them around your room.

2.) Drink orange juice. Eat fruit. Buy some soup. I don’t know. Just eat or drink something that makes you feel better.

3.) Put on too many clothes. Several jackets, your favorite pair of sweats and some fuzzy socks ideally. (Sydney taught me this. It works I swear.)

4.) Take a bath. Sylvia Plath said it best: « There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them » (The Bell Jar ). Get some candles, and put on your December playlist.

5.) Look up pictures of dinosaurs. They are so cool.

6.) Watch a French movie. I suggest Amélie or Joyeux Noël or Les Choristes or Populaire. (Subtitles are a thing if you don’t speak French.)

7.) Know that when I was in 7th grade, I was real into purple eyeshadow, and I also thought saying « groovy » was hip with the kids.

8.) Eat a whole cup of ice.

9.) Google photos of skylines. I prefer the New York City one, but whatever floats your boat. There’s just something about all those little lights dotting sky rises that will remind you of other people’s existence, and that reminder will be calming somehow. (Some of those simmering dots are probably having bad days too.)

10.) Roll down a hill.

11.) Put on a dress that makes you feel important. Go downtown and walk around.

12.) Remember that just as the leaves grow back green after winter, so, too, will you overcome the cold. It’s a metaphor – you can and will start fresh. You, too, will be green.

13.) Read the best thing you ever wrote. Be proud of yourself for writing it.

14.) Listen to this song: The Postal Service – Turn Around.

15.) Wear a grey jacket. Put the hood up.

16.) Study the solar system. Outer space is fascinating. Did you know that Jupiter’s rings are made of dust? You, too, can make beautiful things out of dead cells.

17.) Close your eyes and pretend that every bit of your body is melting into the earth. (This is how I fall asleep every night. It’s so nice.)

18.) I know that some days the reminders of human existence (coughs and whispers and tapping toes) will grate on your ears, but they should also remind you that you are existing too.

19.) Apply way too much lotion.

20.) Sit somewhere with a good view of the freeway. As the cars go by, think about how each car belongs to somebody who might like chocolate and rainy days too. Realize that we all might be more similar than you had originally thought.

21.) Make cinnamon toast (Mix butter and cinnamon and spread on toast. Put toast in toaster. Eat hot.)

22.) Put your favorite sweater into the dryer for 10 minutes and then put it on. Go watch The Office.

23.) Find a marker and draw all over your body. On your thighs on your toes on your wrists. Draw butterflies and stripes and castles. It’s real fun.

24.) Put the Pandora Christmas Station on. I don’t care if it’s July. Deck the halls anyways.

25.) Sharpen all of your pencils.

26.) Make an exercise playlist and go for a run. Let the air seep into your skin.

27.) Have a Harry Potter marathon.

28.) Jump on your bed. Throw pillows at the wall. Let it happen.

29.) Listen to your favorite album from start to finish. I would choose Plans (Death Cab For Cutie), AM (Arctic Monkeys), or Mind Over Matter (Young The Giant). Turn the volume all the way up.

30.) Email your favorite author and tell them how they changed your life. Maybe send them something you wrote.

31.) Google Earth stalk Amsterdam or Istanbul or Vienna.

32.) Put a ribbon in your hair. You can’t be sad if you have a ribbon in your hair.

33.) Look at photos from middle school. Self-five yourself for not looking like that anymore.

34.) Put raspberries on each of your fingers and then eat them all as quickly as possible. (Do you get my reference?)

35.) Print a map of your city or neighborhood or wherever, and circle all the places where you were once happy. The park where you ran barefoot on Saturdays. The convenience store where all the kids used to buy sour candy after school. Your first boyfriend’s house. Can you go back to any of these places?

36.) Decide what color you want to paint your future apartment.

37.) Write with a fountain pen. If you do not have a fountain pen, that is probably why you are sad. Go buy yourself a fountain pen.

38.) Make black out poetry.

39.) Take a picture of the sky and tape it to your ceiling. Take a similar picture every day you feel sad and compare the skies. How many are grey? How many are blue?

40.) Go to a museum you have never been to before. Get close enough to the paintings that you can see the brushstrokes (wonder if the artist ran his fingers over the painting once it dried).

41.) Make a mood board and hang it up on your wall.

42.) Take something you are really passionate about and write about it. Type five pages about why feminism, giraffes, or blankets are important.

43.)  Take Photo Booth photos with your cat. You actually don’t even need to be sad to do this. I take about 10 per week. Example below.

Photo du 02-11-2014 à 19.19 #3

44.) Shave your legs and wash your sheets. Then get in bed and try to be sad. Try. Yeah. It’s impossible.

45.) Go to http://www.rainymood.com which plays rain and thunder noises and close your eyes.

46.) Look at your horoscope. Believe it when it says things will get better and that you “are the reason butterfly hairpins and parachute pants have made a comeback” (mine actually said this today. I don’t know what it means, but I’m flattered).

47.) Try to eat a lemon plain without sugar if only to remind yourself that nothing, not even your life and some of the people in it, is more sour than a lemon plain without sugar.

48.) Buy a balloon and write what is upsetting you on it. Let it go.

49.) Drink coffee. Or tea. Put in the perfect ratio of milk to sugar.

50.) Put on a whole bunch of makeup. Look at yourself in the mirror. Realize that you look better without it.

51.) Curl your hair even if you have nowhere to go.

52.) Straighten the curls you just spent an hour twirling. Pretend you are smoothing out your problems. (Note: I recommend only doing this once in a while because it is not ideal for your hair – albeit quite satisfying.)

53.) Make a daisy chain. A really long one. Leave it on the ground in the shape of a heart.

54.) Bake cupcakes for your neighbor.

55.) Cry.

56.) Stop crying once you begin to fear for your body’s water percentage.

57.) Take a sheet of colored paper, (I prefer green for this) and cover it with your favorite lyrics. Tape it above your bed.

58.) Type a note to someone who made you sad. Tell them they’re a horrible person for making you sad. Write it with Caps Lock on. Use bad words if you need to. Then read it out loud. To your mirror. To your cat. Just make sure someone knows how dark grey that person made you feel. And then delete it slash them from your life.

59.) Take your favorite fruit and dip it in your favorite kind of jam. I suggest pears in raspberry jam, but you do you.

60.) Make a mixtape/CD for yourself. Not a playlist. An old-school mixtape. Burn it onto a music playing thing, (is there a word for this? who knows?) and then see #84.

61.) Draw something. It doesn’t have to be good. Just distract yourself. Sketch your thumb. Doodle 200 daisies on lined paper. Trace someone else’s hand.

62.) Paint your nails a color you haven’t painted them in a while. While you’re at it, paint your toes that shade too.

63.) Know that by the end of the day, your blood will have traveled 168,000,000 miles and you will have spoken about 48,000 words. Thats 6,720 times around the world and a book.

64.) Close your eyes and pretend you are where you really want to be.

65.) Write a letter in cursive to someone you love.

66.) Do one of those old-school, green facials. Find a recipe online.

67.) Read Paper Towns by John Green. Appreciate this quote: « That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste. »

68.) Make sure that you have been picking your cereals based on taste instead of color. (Figuratively of course. But I guess literally, too, if thats a problem you have?)

69.) Watch this video.

70.) Make lemon water and drink it chilled.

71.) Pet your pet. (Disclaimer: this only works if you have a pet.)

72.) Call somebody you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them what you miss about them. Remind them of a time they made you feel whole again. Thank them for picking up the phone.

73.) Buy yourself flowers if you don’t have someone to do it for you. Walk around and wonder if people are wondering if you have a significant other.

74.) Think of the last time you were genuinely happy. Figure out why, and see if you can get that feeling back.

75.) Paint a thing and mail it to someone.

76.) Re-read your favorite childhood book.

77.) Cook a big dinner for your parents. If you are like me and cannot cook, make them pasta and call it a day. They will appreciate the gesture.

78.) Watch one or two or six episodes of My So Called Life.

79.) Fill four pages with stream of consciousness writing. Then read them and laugh at how ridiculous the things in your head are.

80.) The poisonous people are slowly dissolving from your memory. They aren’t as important as they were yesterday, and maybe in a year, you won’t think about them at all. Seven months even. You will find new people to mess you up, and they will be blushing and lovely. Stop responding to empty, grey apologies. They aren’t worth your Sunday nights any more.

81.) Get a haircut. Not anything you’ll regret, just something that will make you feel lighter.

82.) Wear loose clothing.

83.) Wear tight clothing.

84.) Put your tape/CD in your car and go for a drive. To your old preschool, to a bookstore, to the beach.

85.) Buy yourself a new pair of sunglasses for when the sun comes back out. Again, I’m not talking about the weather.

86.) Do what I did once. Make a blog and share your random thoughts with the world. Maybe people will read them and care (thank you for reading and caring).

87.) Make your favorite kind of tea and put it in your favorite mug. Sit on your bed and look through old photographs.

88.) Read some Shel Silverstein poems. I know you have Where The Sidewalk Ends somewhere on your bookshelf.

89.) Read old messages. Laugh about how much things have changed. Chances are, it’s all quite funny if you think about it.

90.) Look up what time it is in another country. Think about what the sky looks like there. Are the people eating breakfast? Is it dark enough for kids to go skinny dipping? Is everyone asleep except for people working the night shift in hospitals and heavy-lidded people in love?

91.) Find a jumprope in your garage. I know you have one somewhere. Jump until you feel like you don’t ever want to jump ever again.

92.) Teach yourself how to yo-yo or juggle or something else cool.

93.) Finally figure out how to make those fancy weaved bracelet things. You know what I’m talking about.

94.) Know that in Rennes, France, there is a man who wipes the fog off bus windows for people so they can see outside. Know that if you sat next to him, he would do the same for you.

95.) Watch Tavi Gevinson’s Ted Talk.

96.) Rearrange the furniture in your room. Maybe you need the blue couch against the wall.

97.) Mix frozen raspberries and yogurt in a blender. Homemade frozen yogurt. Bam.

98.) Email me (natalieslovelyblog1@gmail.com). I check my blog email quite a bit (7-8 times a day. It’s a bit compulsive I admit. I might have a problem.) and am always always happy to cheer you up. I might even send you photos of kittens depending on how bad it is.

99.) Hang black-and-white pictures up on your wall.

100.) Just as traffic lights turn from red to green to yellow and twelve-year-olds start putting on mascara when they turn into thirteen-year-olds and we all start caring less and less about birthdays, the world around you is shifting. Things will change, and they will get better.