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- Page 5

  • One Song to the Tune of Another

    It's funny how sometimes you hear something new (to you anyway) and then it keeps popping up all over the place.  Recently in a conversation about 'one song to the tune of another' someone mentioned singing Amazing Grace to the tune of the House of the Rising Sun.  Today I heard it on the radio... and it keeps being mentioned.

    I found a version of it here, accompanied by images that juxtapose KJV texts with images of 'the House of the Rising Sun'.  There is a poignancy and profundity to setting words about 'grace' to a tune associated with a song about 'failure and regret'.  See what you think

  • The Moon is Round...

    ... and very large, and glowingly golden, and extremely beautiful.

    Yesterday I heard on the radio that the moon would unusually large last night because it was especially close to earth and also full.  It was a very cloudy night but the moon deigned to peep out briefly in all its shiny loveliness.

    I love to look at the moon.  To do so connects me with my own past and with the ancients who also gazed in wonder at this orb in the sky.  It connects me with people I know and love in other places on this strange and wonderful planet we call home.  And it connects me with the future, when, long after I am forgotten, new generations will look skywards and see its simple beauty.

    All of which reminds me of a rather twee Sunday school song of yesteryear...

    I love the sun

    It shines on me

    God made the sun

    And God made me


    I love the stars

    They twinkle on me

    God made the stars

    And God made me


    I love the rain

    It splashes round me

    God made the rain

    And God made me


    I love the wind

    It blows round me

    God made the wind

    And God made me


    I love the birds

    They sing to me

    God made the birds

    And God made me

    Gwen F. Smith


    To which I'll add...


    I love the moon

    In its beauteous mystery

    God made the moon

    And God made me


    Of course I don't think many under fives would know what 'beauteous mystery' mean in words but they'd sure as anything get the concept.

  • Shine Glasgow

    I have set myself a challenge... to complete the half marathon walk called Shine Glasgow to raise money for research into breast cancer.  Having learned how to put a widget on my blog you can sponsor me directly if that is something you'd like to do.  The walk is not until September - ages away - so I have plenty of time to build up strength and stamina before then.  If and when I reach/exceed the target I will just revise it upwards!

    Shine is an event organised by Cancer Research UK, and I am pleased to support this UK wide charity.  At a later date I would also like to do something for local initiatives and have a few tentative ideas to be explored in due course.  When that happens I'll be backwith my begging bowl.

  • As easy as Active ABC

    This morning I went along, for the first time, to an Active ABC exercise class.  I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, other than that we would all be 'in the same boat' of having been treated for breast cancer.

    It was a fun class.  Not an easy class, it had a full range of cardiovascular and strength/condition exercises, albeit selected to suitable for people who may have had major surgery as recently as six weeks ago (like me!) or who were mid chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

    There were eight of us aged from, erm, me to about 70... the instructor said that it is hard to recruit younger women, not because they are more active but because a lot of the publicity photos show only older women (apart from where they show instructors).

    After a good warm-up and low-impact workout we were put into pairs for the focused exercises.  I was impressed that the instructor has sussed my ability level really quickly and paired me with the only other person for whom exercise was already part of her life.  The exercises were gently challenging and gave me a lot more confidence to use my 'affected' arm normally, albeit avoiding heavy lifting.  To be handed a 1kg weight to use was surprising; discovering I could do so completely pain free was a delight.  Once we had done the whole circuit of exercises there was a cool down session and then a much appreciated cuppa and a biscuit (that's my kind of exercise class!).

    This class - and those at other locations - began to encourage people to healthier lifestyles.  Apparently there is now numerical evidence to show that regular exercise measurably reduces the risk of cancer recurring (though clearly doesn't stop it arising in the first place!).  Surprising then that funding for this programme may not be renewed when its current two year budget concludes.

    I had a fun morning, and have been warned by the instructor I won't be able to move tomorrow!  If the only benefits are those of having fun and gaining a bit more confidence to use my arm normally, then I reckon the class is worthwhile and funding ought to be extended to give others the same opportunity.

  • Flat Backs and Bare Heads

    My weekly hopsital trip to have my wounds checked confirmed that last week's 'magic' (the surgeon's word not mine) injection had worked and there is no more fluid in my back - cue corny plagiarism: 'bye seroma'.  This is good news as it means no more trips to that particular clinic hurray!  I now have a lovely flat back worthy of a 25 year-old - well at least half a lovely flat back, the other side is still decidedly middle aged with a bit more padding!

    I also decided that I was going to abandon wearing scarves/hats indoors now as I have a full covering of head hair even if it is still extremely short.  The truth is that wearing scarves all the time I just get too hot now.  Pondering, I realised I have been wearing hats and scarves solidly for six months, so perhaps it is no wonder I am fed up with them.  I will still use hats out of doors as it is too cold for my poor little head but am now likely to be seen publicly with my silky-soft uber-short hair on display.

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