Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In the moment

I'm back! I have finally worked out how to incorporate my new account details with the old - and without losing the old - now I wonder if that particular action (I could have cut and sewn a reasonable sized quilt in the time it took me to sort it out...but I got there in the end) could be classified as "creative". I wonder this because I listened (and watched, but really really listened because she is so easy and interesting to listen to) to a lovely young woman describe her creative process involving embroidery and quilting and a mixture of both. What I particular liked was that her creativity or methodology was a process of distillation, organic - using the spectrum of life experiences, whether that be watching her child attend a sporting fixture or recording observations (cerebral and/or visual)a a memory; a political theme; an agenda; or cultural statement. Well the list could go on.

What was really valuable was Joe's confirmation so to speak of a wisdom shared by many teachers that I have read and admired - learning comes from doing (practice practice practice) and turning up for the "doing". It's pointless to just talk about "doing"; or just think about "doing". Learning and mastery and creativity are all verbs - they are "doing" words.

In light of the rejuvenation I felt after listening to Joe's talk I thought I would do my own little creativity challenge (something she shared with us, and I see is on her blog ... create something every day for 100 days and post the creation on the blog). I'm off to the UK in a couple of weeks, but I have started by making sure I do something (even if it is not a new project each day - just as long as it is something like sewing, working on this!!!).

I also read today in a little meditation book I have on my desk about remembering to not get carried away by focusing on the outcome and missing the journey - so I have for the rest of the day tried to make a concerted effort to put myself "in the process" ... really be there, not just eyeing the end result or the outcome. All in all, my Guild meeting gave me more to think about than just my quilting. That's all for tonight.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Never say never

Its been a long time since my last post, lots have happened, nothing written for publication though unless I count the papers I completed through Massey (extramural) - published purely for the course coordinator to mark.

Since the last post both my lovely old lady cats have passed away, and one of my dogs. On the rational side they had all had good lives, and I treasure the time I had with them. On the emotional side I miss them dearly, especially the feline friends when they would curl up in a sun puddle in front of the window on my desk, looking so peaceful.

I thought I would not replace the ladies, we have two male cats, slightly aloof and independent. However, I have missed the old girls, miss having a cat on my lap (the boys are not "lap sitters"). So I have been to the SPCA, with the intention of adopting another "lady" companion - two months after my dear friend Annie passed away. I returned home with three young tabby ladies, Lily, Poppy, and Rosie. We got them for free because some kind person donated money when they dropped the girls off, but on the way home I had to stock up with kitten supplies because it has been eight years since a kitten has been in our house, and I spent an exorbitant amount on toys, food, etc. I am hoping they will become close companions as my dear old ladies Annie and Gracie were.

As for writing, well I am still plugging away at nothing - I would dearly love to buddy up with others who write - I'm sure writing is like running or going on a route march in the army, doing it in a group gives the writers support, endurance and others to measure ones progress. Anyway, full steam ahead.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have 1750 words for an outline which is also struggling to be a draft MS. Lots of threads to follow which should could me busy. Wonderful french film got creativity flowing, that and not doing any housework or ducking off to hang out washing.

Friday, November 18, 2011


I was given the blog address of a friend to look at pictures of their newly purchased house that brought me back here. Its been 12 months since last I visited, a few cobwebs around but my ol' faithful has waited patiently. And so here I am, after checking out a couple of recommended blogs from grandpurlbaa blog that I completely forgot about. And what joy (love using "and" at beginning of sentence, its such a freeing sensation to tear down the grammar police who made it taboo) to catch up with such interesting blogs. Facebook took my attention away for a bit, I was mesmerised by the immediacy and presence of so many all on one page, pinging away at each other, but too brief for my liking, I'm over the rush and its back to blogs. Of note for example is "Life at Willow Manor" http://willowmanor.blogspot.com/ really interesting visuals, and airily familiar thoughts from Tess Kincaid, its as if she has put in to words what flittered through my mind - wonderful to see another person enjoy same music and interests. Enough. Will continue later.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cat on corner desk

These canine companions & the resident feline are witnesses to the lack of writing I have done today. I am ashamed to say I have spent the afternoon refamiliarising myself with the camera, and how to transfer pictures from it to my facebook page and here. So here is proof though that there is a rather large (70cms tall at shoulder so far & he is only 9 mths old) companion at this desk, as well as a portly sleepy one, and attentive border collie along with a very elderly sleepy feline & of course a cup of coffee.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In awe of John Kerry

I spent this afternoon watching The Long War of John Kerry and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know "enjoy" is not synonymous with war but it is the man I am most in awe of. At 27 years old John returned from Vietnam & decided that he was not going to just sit back grateful he made it out alive, but instead empowered so many seriously wounded men (physically & emotionally) to send a clear anti-war message to the Nixon administration. And to have what little strength left after witnessing the tragedies of war, to protest against sustaining the war was just amazing. I have not doubt that it was what John & his fellow veterans did that actually helped give some meaning to many veterans who returned home to what seemed like a wall of disassociation. What a shame John missed out on the Presidency by so few votes. Bush, rather than Kerry, the latter having received recognition for saving the lives of some of his fellow troops. Then having to be put under a microscope of suspicion by the Nixon administration, and have the so-called counterfoil employed to tarnish the good work John was doing to help the veterans find their voice to call for the end of the war.

I recall when my father returned from Vietnam there was no flag waving, or thank you's. Instead we (children) were subjected to nasty little comments from teachers who really knew nothing of what or why our fathers were in Vietnam, along the lines that our fathers travelled overseas to meet people & kill them. I just hope that teachers of this era are more diplomatic about their views when in the presence of children whose parents may now be in Afghanistan, East Timor, and the likes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wandering off the track

I have recently discovered the joy of podcasts. It occurred to me that this magnificent invention has to be right up there with the wheel, X-ray machine, refrigerator, and of course the standard size computer. I have been listening to all sorts of interviews, mainly from the United Kingdom, involving authors, poets, politicians, historians, and of course not dissimilar to the latter - comedians. I listen while driving to and from work, the iPod graciously loaned to me by femme teen as she has moved on to another type with far more storage space (haven't got the handle on the correct terminology yet). At the time she out grew this, I thought to myself that it was a waste of money buying another, then of course I would presume - another, because where one becomes unpopular or out-of-date another must take its place. But I get why teen needed the larger one - and quite frankly I can also see why one of my favourite authors & social commentators is so passionate about gadgets. A couple of times a week I have plug the iPod in to the computer and recharge it, and of course refresh the podcasts I subscribe to, mostly BBC, but also some from various other places. If I were to have a gadget that had more memory I could save lots more, and not have to delete the ones I have listened to several times. I could archive them so to speak, like books on a shelf, and go back to them at a later date.

So while roaming the shelves of the itunes catalogue - I am not writing. It is worse than getting carried away on a web surf - I start tasting a little bit of this, then a little bit of that, and dart off to another recommended site or blog and by the time I have come to my senses, I lost two hours of my life and nothing written. The wee bit of time left for writing I spend tweaking the chapter I have sat in front of for months.

Its NaNoWriMo and I have done zilch, zero, zip. I have however deleted a truck load of emails which have been automatically sent by all of those enthusiasts who are diligently writing and following the programme.

I, on the other hand have been:

  • attending quilting workshop

  • sewing homework from Q workshop

  • reclaiming gardens from winter/spring weed infestation

  • attending puppy training classes with 8month old "Archie" the huntaway

  • doing puppy training homework

  • shopping, cooking, cleaning for family

  • attending Zumba class (had first one this week)

  • doing 45 minutes on treadmill every second night

  • trying to fit first passion of life in - that's reading of course

  • going to work

Meanwhile, there is the forebodance of the end of year celebrations and of course as does naturally occur, the end of the year. And how much have I written? I have to toughen up and get on with it. Otherwise another year goes by, Im a year older, and if I don't get the thing (it's become "the thing") finished it will haunt me every time I pick up someone elses book. Even if I write something that is only fit to line Archie's bed with I would be happy.

Nothing will happen much next week because I have 'Zumba' Monday (the music & dance reminds me of the heady days of the late 70's early 80's, Gloria Estefan, Miami Sound Machine, and the timeless Santana). While I may be the oldest there, well maybe not quite, it will help keep the arthritus at bay. Then its off to Wellington for three days for work, and catch up with a lovely friend who I met while travelling around Europe - another bibliophile. We intend to visit Unity Books shop, and take in the Te Papa Museum Photography exhibition.

Going back to the arthritus, I am still perplexed that I went to an eye specialist to deal with a lump on the eyeball, and given some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the lump was treatable with some steroid drops, the bad news is that the lump will more than likely return, the good news is that unless it gets nasty like it's predecessor, there's no reason for it not to disappear of its own accord. The bad news is that the blood tests taken as part of the diagnosis for the eye revealed rheumatoid arthritus.

Now how bizarre, but not shockingly surprising because I have felt a noticeable stiffening in the fingers - but to go to get an eye problem checked only to find out about arthritus. My thoughts turned to getting serious about exercise and losing some of the extra weight (yup, if I was baggage being checked in I would have to leave behind quite a bit as unchecked luggage) to ease the difficulties I might face in the future with movement. For some reason the arthritus was enough motivation to get me using the treadmill every other day, and the Zumba to help with the other joints. Apparently, instead of stopping knitting sewing etc i should try to keep it up on a regular basis to keep the finger joints moving but its not that easy [comfort wise] because my employment revolves around drafing sometimes lengthy letters and reports, so the fingers get quite uncomfortable.

Anyway, the arthritus is another reason for getting the writing down in the near future in case there comes a time where doing what I have been sat here doing for nearly an hour, gets too difficult.

I have also made a commitment to not taking any further books out of the library until I get through some of my own. I purchased a box full at the last Red Cross Book Fair and they deserve some acknowledgment, so I have started on Jostein Gaarder's book The Solitaire Mystery. I have read Sophies World and it was superb, and frankly the author is quite a picture too.
Well thats all for tonight. I still have some reading to do.