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  • Tradition...

    One of my 'tasks' for today is to print clean copies of these two photos... Annie and Lil, two very precious friends whose lives were cut short by breast cancer.

    For the sixth time (so it must be a tradition) some of my chemo-buddies and I are meeting up for a catch-up and to relax together.  Almost seven years from my diagnosis (and six from all of theirs, 'I'm the 'big sister') it's fair to say that for most of us the spectre once so large and fearsome has receded very much into the background.  On Friday we will meet the 'miracle baby' of our own 'baby', even now only in her mid thirties, as we share afternoon tea on the banks of the Thames (and hopefully the rain will have stopped by then!).

    We will inevitably talk a bit about shared experiences, but more we will simply enjoy ourselves, and chat about what we're doing now.  We will take a moment to remember Annie and Lil, to be grateful for the love and laughter they brought to our lives, and to commit ourselves afresh to living our own lives as fully as we are able.

    Of course I can't post a cancer-related post without a little nag to check your bits 'n' bobs, do the screening and report to your GP any persistent coughs, headaches, unexplained weight loss or changes in bladder/bowel habits.  Stay well.  Live, love and laugh.

  • Relaxed and refreshed...

    OK, it's taken me 54.5 years (or a little over to be precise) but I think I may finally be starting to get the hang of chilling out, being content to do nothing and simply to be.

    This morning I spent a delicious hour chilling with the cats whilst I listened to the podcast of Sunday's "Our Favourite Things" service.  What a treat it was.  Gentle and encouraging, carefully researched and skillfully and warmly presented.  I always love favourite hymn services, discovering why people choose what they do, and this was no exception.

    This afternoon I was treated to a visit to the cat cafe in Stirling... you get a tea or coffee and cake, and an hour to enjoy the company of the cats who live there.  Another gentle hour, kitty cat cuddles, smiles, laughter, good conversation with like minded friends as well as yummy cake and a good cup of tea.

    I love spending time at home (always have) and I am learning to love spending time 'being' and not 'doing' or at least 'more being' and 'less doing'.

    Thank you to A and all the Gatherers who contributed to the service, and to J who treated G and me to tea with the kitties!

  • A (Comparatively) Tidy Office

    I'm not a tidy person, never have been, can't imagine I ever will be.  For all that, I like to tidy up before a break  so that when I return it feels fresh and 'nice'.  I probably have too much stuff for my small office, but at least the desk is fairly clear ready for me going away.  A useful hour's work this afternoon methinks.

    Seems like the kitties approve, too!


  • Winding Down...

    I'm just about to start some annual leave (first of the year, oh dear, I get no better at this!) which will include two free weekends.

    The first will see me travelling to Cambridge for my niece's wedding.  It promises to be a very lovely day, and I am really happy for her.  It also means that for the only time in my life I will get to stay in a college of the University of Cambridge!

    The second weekend, I'll be going to London to meet up with my 'chemo buddies' for our annual celebration of life.  Afternoon tea on the banks of the Thames, and a first chance to meet our honorary 'nephew', the miracle baby of our youngest buddy.

    In between, there will be some chilling, some decluttering and probably lots of sleeping!  Today, I really ought to tidy up my office which is a total disgrace, so that when I return to work it feels 'nice'.

    This 'wind down' week has been quite good, giving me a bit of space to focus on some of the tasks that get 'bumped' all too frequently, and also to reflect a little on the year that has gone by.  I think it's fair to say that I feel a lot happier and more settled than I did this time last year - probably because life has been far less turbulent and undoubtedly helped by the 'happy pills' keeping the menopausal monster under control (even if they do cause a lot of tooth grinding and other wierd side effects).

    Looking forward to the break - and then to returning refreshed and renewed for the next season.

  • Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."

    This week I've been reading biographies of Elizabeth Fry (a couple of weeks ahead of the service based on her story) and today I received two books related to the lives of the Careys.  As I've noted before, the order in which I've put these 'heroes of faith' is somewhat abitrary (other than alternately male and female) but each time, I've found/made conections between one person and the next.

    Elizabeth Fry and Dorothy Carey (OK we're focussing on her husband) take us into the very contemporary and important arena of women's mental health, explicitly in the context of Christian faith.

    If there was any doubt that God's spirit works in mysterious ways, this is evidence of how she does... and I love it!