Nurturing Thursday 98

I’ve been struggling to write a ‘Nurturing Thursday” post all day. After last week’s flying kick~start, I appear to have slowed right down so in the end I gave up and decided to visit some of the blogs that I follow and catch up with my cyber~buddies.

It’s been fun virtually reconnecting, having a laugh and sharing similar experiences. When I read Sue Dreamwalker’s post about taking time out to play with her imaginative granddaughter, I remembered how it feels to cuddle my own Amazing Grace:

Grace and I Grace and I at my daughter’s 40th birthday party on Saturday.

I may not be the worlds most consistent blogger and I may be frustrated by that ~ but when that little free spirit runs towards me calling, ‘Amma!’ (her name for me) none of that matters, except for the love flowing freely between us and nurturing us both!

🙂

“Nurturing Thursday’ is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea. If you would like to learn more about it please visit her site.

 

Bring on the Golden Years!

It’s been ages since I visited the Blogosphere and now I’m here I’m not entirely sure what to say. I’ve made a couple of false starts but one thing or another seems to get in the way, and weeks go by without me typing a single word.

One of my biggest blocks is that I always like to be positive, glossing over bouts of chronic pain and the resulting ‘brain fog’. In fact I’ve been in denial that I do suffer from an inflammatory condition that affects my creative output, preferring to celebrate minor accomplishments ~ like being able to chop up an onion or pull a handful of weeds from the garden (seriously!) ~ rather than whinge about my latest flare~up. It’s not consistent ~ on good days it’s easy to believe I’m ‘getting better’ and to try and catch up on neglected tasks all at once. But I’ve discovered that pacing myself and taking frequent breaks ~ even if I’m feeling fine ~ is more effective in the long run than working to the point of collapse.

I’ve been learning to accept my limitations for a couple of years but there’s been one major change recently. Martin had to retire in March, on health grounds of his own ~ so we’ve both been adjusting to that.

It’s weird not having to follow a timetable ~ Martin’s work schedule used to affect how I organised my days. I’d do as much housework as I could manage, prepare the evening meal and walk Indie round the block while he was visiting clients, so that he could relax when he came home. Now we share the household tasks then take the dog for a stroll before choosing how to spend the rest of the day ~ artwork… gardening… riding out on the Harley?

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We both know how lucky we are and rather than bemoaning the disadvantages of growing old we’re celebrating what Martin likes to call our ‘Golden Years’, (although, considering the colour of our hair, ‘Silver’ might be a more accurate description!) And while our income has shrunk to a couple of small pensions, we’re ‘time rich’ and have more energy to devote to our home, the garden and creative pursuits.

At first we had to keep reminding each other that this isn’t just a holiday; that we don’t have to cram everything into a fortnight, that we have all the time in the world to do as we please. And we plan to take full advantage of that, for however long as it lasts!

Now that we’re settling into the new (lack of) routine I’m getting to grips with those tasks that I kept sidelining for ‘later’. Like learning to use new technology, organising my digital photo library and tidying up my email accounts.

I’d also like to publish more frequent posts on Wordpress, now that I’ve definitely decided that I’m not going to retire from that too! I apologise for my lack of engagement lately but I’m already looking forward to visiting my favourite blogs, tapping back into the on~line community and enjoying the friendship and support of other writers, like I have in the past.

I’ll let you know how that works out!

🙂

 

 

 

 

Nurturing Thursday 56

It’s my Blogaversary!

WordPress has just notified me that I started blogging four years ago today.

I was so nervous back then: debating whether (or not) to press ‘publish’ for the first time, wondering if anyone would bother to read the words I’d so painstakingly cobbled together ~ which might sound like a contradiction in terms but that’s how it felt. Awkward and clunky and so draining that I almost gave up before I’d started. If I hadn’t been anonymous, hiding behind the pseudonym ‘Wightrabbit’, I might never have pushed that button!

I haven’t kept count, so it came as a complete surprise that it’s four years since that shaky start. I’m so glad I decided to jump in ~ from the comfort of my Big Yellow Chair ~ and join the on~line community of writers, poets, artists and more, encouraging each other with kind comments and good~natured humour. It’s great fun and truly inspiring!

There are serious aspects too ~ learning about different cultures, from the words and pictures of blog~buddies all over the globe; sharing experiences and ideas, contributing to movements like ‘Occupy Blogosphere’ and ‘Nurturing Thursday’, designed to send out waves of positivity into the blogosphere and encourage us to take care of ourselves.

And each other. That’s what it’s all about!

🙂

Nurturing Thursday is hosted by Becca Givens, author of the inspiring blog ‘On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea.’ To read more about it, or to find out how you can join in, press this link.

Other ‘Nurturing’ contributors are:

Crowing Crone Joss

Inside the Mind of Isadora

Laurie’s Notes

Pocket Perspectives

And…..finally….to read my earlier ‘Nurturing Thursday’ posts (all 14 of them!) please visit Wightrabbit’s Blog

Change of Identity

I still haven’t managed to rescue the Wightrabbit though I’ve tried many times, believe me.

Rather than getting frustrated, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not meant to hide behind my username any longer. That it’s time to step out of the bunny costume and show who I really am. Which would have been way too scary when I started but now I feel the time is right.

I never intended to be posting on two blogs in the first place ~ maintaining one was time~consuming enough. But, when I set up the second by accident, I thought it might make sense to keep writing separate from art and craftwork. To write ‘properly’ on Wightrabbit’s Blog , using Tao of Scrumble for my other interests. To take the former ‘seriously’, paying attention to syntax and grammar, whilst contributing to causes which I deemed important ~ like ‘Occupy Blogosphere’ and ‘Nurturing Thursday’. And to have some innocent fun with the latter ~ such as showcasing The ‘Virtual Open Studio’ series, with it’s ‘find the logo’ competition.

But now that a technological anomaly has forced to re~think my strategy, I can see that the former arrangement was too restrictive. For me art and writing are inter~twined, along with gardening, cooking, crochet etc…..etc. All things creative. One thing sparks ideas for another and for inspiration to flow freely, I have to work intuitively and spontaneously. Not be bound by self~imposed rules, which turn activities I’ve always loved into onerous chores. So, far from being a disaster, Wightrabbit’s disappearance is actually a blessing in disguise. 😉

Tao of Scrumble. An accurate description of my way of living, the quirky name makes me smile! From now on this will be my only blog ~ a mash~up of all of my passions
And to mark the change I’ve updated my profile picture and signed in under my actual name.

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So, if you receive a ‘new post’ notification from a name that you don’t recognise, or if a strange old lady starts commenting on your blogs ~ that’ll probably be me.

Please allow me to introduce myself ~ I am Jacqueline King!
🙂

Scrumble of Life 1 – My Passions

Like finalists on The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, The Artist and I are ‘living our dream’.

Or are we?

After writing my last post, it occurred to me that – although all the elements are in place – there is something missing.

We have been so focused on getting it all together, that we’ve sidelined the passions that motivated us in the first place. Oh, the irony!

But, now there’s less hard work to be done, fewer practical decisions to make and life is assuming a natural rhythm – structured, without stress. Jobs done, we can turn our attention to nurturing our muses, allowing the ‘rapture’ to return.

Breathe…..and…..re-lax.

So, what are our passions?

For me:

The first has to be writing – it’s the filter through which I view life. For a long period, when I hand-wrote ‘morning pages’, it helped me to sort out my feelings. Disciplining myself to write only three A4 ‘stream of consciousness’ pages was a challenge – some days I could have used up an entire pad! But, halfway through, after scribbling one and a half sides of gibberish, I regularly had ‘lightbulb moments.’ Once I could see, clearly, what was making me guilty, resentful or causing me pain, I was able to work out a solution, change my attitude, or simply ‘let go’.

I no longer do this every day and I’ve burnt most of my notebooks – this cathartic dumping is a snapshot in time and not for public consumption. It’s how I felt in that moment and could easily be misinterpreted, causing hurt – and the thought of that horrifies me, especially if I’m not around to explain.

However, I’m certain that this practice – designed to break through ‘writer’s block’ – is where I discovered my ‘voice’. I didn’t even look at what I’d written until later – and then I was astounded by how coherent and readable it was, so I’ve kept the best bits for reference.

Long before we moved here, I started a novel. But at 17,000+ words a computer gremlin snatched it away and all rescue attempts failed. But I wasn’t devastated – far from it. I saw it as a sign that this wasn’t meant to be and – as soon as I did that – I felt free. I’ve also written short stories and poetry – even reading out some of the latter at ‘Open Mic’ evenings!

I may do some or all of the above again – I’m ever open to inspiration. But, for the time being, I’m concentrating on blogging. It fulfils my drive to communicate through my writing and I find it immensely satisfying, particularly when I receive comments and ‘likes’. After a slow start, I’m beginning to build up a supportive network of cyber-companions, from countries all over the world. The potential is mind boggling!

Second on my list is my craftwork – scrumbling (free-form crochet) in particular, at the moment. Working with hook and yarn, blending colours and shapes, using different stitches and special effects, it’s art and meditation combined, refreshing my busy brain.

Although I haven’t dabbled lately, I’m fascinated by papier-mâché. Originating in China, it used to be a closely guarded secret, regarded as a black art. I’m excited by the illusion; creating something that appears to be crafted from more solid material, like wood or ceramic, then finding, on closer inspection, that it’s actually constructed from rubbish! I’ve also made batches of my own paper – recycling junk mail and waste plant matter to produce an end product that I’m able to write on and with which I can make greetings cards.

My garden is also important. As I potter about outside, I think back to my mother’s rose beds and my Dad’s half-acre plot. He grew enough vegetables in it to feed us and our immediate neighbours, with ample left over to freeze. Even the man who delivered our coal left with boxes of cabbage, carrots, leeks, potatoes, onions and anything else in season. At the time I took it for granted – it’s only now that I realise how fortunate I was to be raised on home-grown, organic, produce.

Although we only have a series of small spaces – it’s sufficient, without being too much of a chore. I grow veg, fruit, herbs, flowers (including roses) and shrubs. With low maintenance as a priority I follow my intuition – the results amaze even me.

secret courtyard

These three pastimes balance my world – though I’m willing to down tools in a heartbeat to share time with family and friends. My beautiful grandchildren – twin boys and a girl – are fabulous creatures. I never imagined I could feel such a special connection with anyone but their parents. And it’s different. Free of the responsibility of first-hand parenting, I delight in the company of these perfect beings, from whom I’m learning so much.

And, then there’s The Artist. My partner in love and laughter; my mirror; my fellow Earth traveller, co-creator and best friend. My ‘God on a Harley’ – that says it all.

The Artist

What are his passions?

I’ll ask him and tell you next time. 🙂