Archive for April, 2010

I received this in an email from my sister today, and thought the words were just perfect.  I would like to share them with you:

Who is in your front row?

Life is a Theatre… ~ Invite Your Audience Carefully~

Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in your life.
There are some people in your life who need to be loved from a DISTANCE.
It is amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of – or minimize your time with – those draining, negative, incompatible, ‘not-going- anywhere’ relationships or friendships.

Observe the relationships around you.
Pay close attention…

Which ones lift, and which ones lean?
Which ones encourage, and which ones discourage?
Which ones are on a path of growth uphill, and which ones are going downhill?
When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse?
Which ones always have drama, or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you & the gifts that lie within you?

Remember that the people you have around you will have an impact on your life, your values and your income.  So, be careful when choosing the people you hang out with, as well as the information with which you will feed your mind. We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our minds with negative thoughts.

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you… the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the FRONT ROW, and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

Ask for wisdom and discernment, and choose wisely the people who will sit in the front row of your life.

You cannot change the people around you….but you CAN change the people you choose to be around!


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Oh yes sirree, Mama has stamped her foot again and boy is she mad; spitting fire and ice, her fury can be seen and felt for hundreds of miles as plumes of smoke spill forth from her nostrils. 

Keeping watch on an angry volcano

For all our advances in technology, science and understanding of our universe, when Mother Nature stamps her foot; we are but puny flotsam tossed about in the winds of fate, at the whim of her fury. 

Who knew that when the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland erupted last week Wednesday that by Thursday we would be grounded!

 With 7,500 airplanes normally flying across our skies on a daily basis, surreal would be a perfect way to describe the lack of planes now. We are so used to vapour trails that to look up now and only see blue sky and clouds is weird to say the least, and yet unless you actually think about it and pause to look, it is not immediately obvious, with the exception of folk who live in their flight paths. 

Iceland is 600km away and the winds have blown the ash, now reaching 8km’s high first here and then into Europe. Not since WW2 have we been grounded…….you’ve been bad little people and now you are grounded.   Go to your room and stay there for the next 4 days! 🙂 

Bizarre true, real absolutely. 

One of my twitter friends asked me yesterday if it was ashy here and my reply was no!   Well I now have cause to retract that comment….the floor this morning was covered in a fine patina of grey ash!    The bird bath is covered with a fine film of dust and my eyes have been burning since I woke this morning.

It has been both fascinating, exciting and a teensy-weensy scary watching all the news reports.   We are truly at the mercy of the winds and the ash spewing forth across the skies, to all intents and purposes cut off from the rest of the world.   The ferries and trains still run, overloaded with people suddenly desperate to get home; onto familiar ground.

The cost to the economy has so far been £600million and with 6million passengers stranded in airports or lands far away, the costs mount up with no absolute guarantee it will soon be over….we are at the mercy of the winds.

On the plus side, coz of course there is always a plus side:  the people who live in Richmond (and other areas) are enjoying the peace and quiet.  With 1 plane every 90seconds on a normal day, now they are free to open their windows without the rush of noise from above, can stroll through the park and actually hear the birds, free from the 200,000 tonnes of Co2 which will be saved every day.   Joggers and kite-flyers are out on the runways, making the most of the space.

Meanwhile the volcano continues to erupt, and reports suggest that it is more active than it previously was.   As it continues to blow, we remain in a state of suspended wonder, with no noise pollution above our towns, the airports are eerily empty and businesses are counting the cost, waiting for the all clear to resume travel plans.  

How small our planet has become of late, with cheaper travel and a multitude of airlines all clamouring for our business, we travel to far-flung countries and islands wihout a 2nd thought, eager to explore the world.    And yet, how far away is home when you are stranded in a foreign land; no money, no visa, no food and no place to stay. 

How life is disrupted and thrown into turmoil and there is nothing we can do about it, while in the skies above us 3 layers of volcanic residue continues to rain down.

Found this link showing the effects of the ash cloud from above.

Here are some photos I took this morning 08:30 at Hampstead Heath.   I stood in one spot and did a 360degree circle.   No planes in the sky; surreal.









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Hi Damian, I hope you dont mind me replying via my blog, but I had too much to say for a tweet 🙂

Firstly I think you are doing a brilliant job and are to be commended for taking action to help save our bees.  I have been horribly concerned for the bees of the UK and the USA for some time now and if I remember correctly I wrote a couple of blogs a while back.

Re the @InnocentDrinks issue, I agree that they should be complimented for the 40 hives to the @NationalTrust and helping to re-introduce 2million bees back into the UK, and bravo to them for doing that.   I love too that they have the wee flower packs attached to the drinks bottle… great idea and excellent marketing, and why not also to the carton?

What I have issue with is what feels to me like a bit of jumping onto the band-wagon.  Now I know that they are not the first, are certainly not alone in the practice and probably won’t be the last to use a current cause to promote a product.

I just have a problem with what feels like commercialism and self-interest.   I also feel very uncomfortable with them making a drink using honey.  The bee population is already having great difficulty meeting human demand and are overstretched in so many ways, that it is almost unbearable.  If they had promoted the bees and the project using a different flavoured drink I would have applauded them for sure, although of course for obvious reasons they have to use a drink with honey.

Your comment raises an interesting question: Have Innocent in fact used British honey for the drinks?  Their whole marketing agenda  is based on ethical buying, congruency & giving back to the planet et al, so I sincerely hope that they have in fact only used UK honey.   BTW, whilst reading through their press releases I noticed they recently did a deal with Coca~Cola????

As for myself I only ever buy UK honey and preferrably from smaller co-operatives or at markets.  I would rather pay more for the product than not support our industry, although I do realise of course we have to trade.  I just feel that with the current situation the poor bees should be given a break and allowed to recover.  After all they need the honey for their own purposes too and that is why they make it in the first place (citation off wikipedia: Honey is created by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when fresh food sources are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy).    It’s only coz we humans have formed a liking for the taste that we have bred bees to produce more than needed by the bees themselves 🙂   I’m not surprised that the poor wee creatures are dying out, they are exhausted! 😦 and that besides all the muck (chemicals) that has been thrown at them over the years.

I did some research and reading up on the subject some months ago for my own personal interest, and this is one of the sites I visited to that end.  It may be of interest to you although I am sure you know way more than I do.   I have learnt a lot more since reading your posts 🙂

Just as a matter of interest, what do other tweeters say about the Innocent Drinks campaign?  Or am I the only one with a bee in my bonnet?  Excuse the intended pun 🙂 🙂

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By all appearances spring has definitely arrived.  We have been blessed with three wonderful sunshiney days; days to be treasured as they are so rare.  Everywhere you look are blossoms galore, red, pink, white and yellow, the bushes are a blaze of colour.

spring colours


I took a stroll down to Hampstead Heath this afternoon to make the most of the sun and get some fresh air (been cooped up in the house since yesterday at 11:30)

sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy....

It is amazing how the sunny weather brings out the multitudes.  The grassy lawns of the park near the ponds were sprinkled with sunbathers, solitary snoozers, groups chatting, moms and dads pushing prams or yelling at kids on bikes, kites swooping gaily in the breeze, dogs running after balls, splashing in the ponds, ducks flapping and squawking, and overall an air of contentment and enjoyment; the ice-cream man doing a roaring trade.           

sunbathers, groups chatting, a day in the park

I meandered along the paths, peering through my lens, snapping here and there, capturing the sun and the mood.  Some very hardy (or mad) folk were swimming in the men’s pond (??) mad dogs and englishmen!!  

spring blossom at the ponds

I eventually reached one of the lower ponds and stopped to watch the waterfowl.   A similar multitude of birdfowl were out feeding, flapping, diving and scooting across the water; a splash of water in their wake.         

eqyptian geese

a menage-a-trois

Across the pond a swan set out; a mission on his mind.  Wings set in battle formation his breast cleaving the water before him, like a scooner at sea he plowed his way across the pond, with a beady eye on the egyptian geese.   A game (?) of tag soon ensued.  The geese flapping and running across the water, attempting to outswim the swan, to no avail.   He was not deterred when with a flourish of wings the geese lifted into the air and swooped down on the far side of the pond.                                 

a swan harrasing the egyptian geese

With sails set and determined strokes the swan was not giving up.  Soon it reached the geese who had just settled and once again he bore down with murder in mind!   The geese flew up into the air, voices raised in angry protest.  To no avail  No sooner were they settled than once again the swan bore down.

Eventually after about 10minutes of to and froing the geese gave up and with an anguished cry, spread their wings and flew off to safer waters. 

the egyptian geese finally gave up and flew off

 The swan, satisfied with intruders seen packing, he then settled his feathers and leisurely made his way to the side of the pond to feed.      

to the victor; the spoils

To the victor; the spoils.

p.s. same blog, just added the spring blooms photo

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Hello. I just finished reading a great article about the phenomenal rise in twitter users world wide.  It is interesting to note that more than 60% of users are from outside the US of A.

DYK? that India has 550billion mobile phone users; that the twitter website is available in 6 languages, and there are even twitter users in The Vatican and outer space!

Personally I love twitter.  I love that it is fast, I love the homefeeds although of course they sometimes move too fast.  I love that I can connect with people around the world in real time and have short bursts of conversation, find out whats happening and meet lovely people in the virtual world who are really real people.

One of the things I enjoy most about twitter are the very diverse and creative names that people come up with.  Sometimes it relates to what they do, or their philosophy in life, perhaps their beliefs and for some it is just a bit of fun.  It is amazing how many combinations the english language can come up with.

Many ppl pass on or re-tweet quotes and I love thinking about those quotes and what they mean to me before I RT them for others to enjoy.   It amazes me just how many quotes there are in the world and the diverse backgrounds the ‘quotees’ come from.  (I’m not sure if quotees is a word…if not… well now it is )

I enjoy the different applications that have sprung up around twitter and my particular favourite is hootsuite, possibly coz it is such a funky name.  I love the lists, makes it so much easier to find the ppl whose tweets you want to keep track of and also lets others know who you find most interesting; like @HelpSaveBees 

The follows are great fun too: like #ff or #followfriday where you get to mention ppl that you have had conversations with during the week, or ppl that you really appreciate and you get a chance to say thanks for retweeting my quotes or my links, or get to #shoutout your appreciation for their following or comments.   You get a chance to mention ppl who have impressed you with the content of their tweets or links, and say hello to friends.

Of course as Kenneth Wu will tell you; there is a dark side to twitter.  One of these would be the ppl who use twitter as a platform for abuse and rubbish content.  Fortunately you can just block such ppl.   I had one bloke who was beginning to stalk me, sending really idiotic tweets….so boof bang…blocked!

I always tell my daughter that I was born to twitter.  I started my account @notjustagranny just over a year ago and have never looked back. It’s fun, it’s funky and it’s really interesting.  I love the educational links that get posted and have learned more about the world through these links than I did before.  I could quite happily spend the whole day on twitter…….

I find it incredible how news gets posted around the world in the blink of an eye and you get to hear in real time about things and events that are happening on the other side of the world before you even hear it on the news……it’s like the 6 o’clock news is almost redundant.

I love that I can show my support for various causes and give a #shoutout when they have a particular campaign like @Socks4HappyPPL whose mission it is to supply a pair of socks to homeless kiddies in Mongolia. So for every pair of socks you buy they send a pair to Mongolia.  And we get to share and contribute to that.

It’s fun to see what people are getting up to, to be able to know what is being said in a seminar that you are unable to attend, to know who goes to #starbucks and who is jetting of somewhere nice.   It’s great to share in the events of the world like #earthhour; to see photos that you may not have seen ever and to connect with people around the world for a great cause.

I have inserted the link to the article in question and hope you enjoy it too. click here

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Had a weird morning today. Was just brushing my hair when for the first time in ages I took a really good look at myself and realised that OMG! I’m getting old. This was brought about by the realisation that in exactly 20 days from now I will be 55years old. 

I had no problem with reaching 50, and in fact had one of the best holidays of my life in celebration (went to Paris for a week with my daughter).   It was kinda cool to be able to say that I was ‘half a century’. 

And now suddenly five years have gone by, my bones have started creaking a bit louder, my step is a bit slower, the waist is extending, the grey hairs are advancing inexorably, the hair colour’s receding and the truth can no longer be hidden….

In response to this shocking moment I sent a text to my daughter and 2 of my sisters!  The rest as they say is…..no, not history…. but a LOL joke, decending in hilarity. 

my text: Ugh! How weird, just realised in 20days time i will be 55! cant even say am half century now coz i am ‘morethan’ 🙂 bludy years are racing by!

Daughter: 🙂 silly ninky! Your’e beautiful & don’t look a day over 45! 🙂

me: Hahahaha! U r so gorgus 🙂 thank u my angel, u sure know how to make a Mom feel gud. bless u 4 being so sweet. mwah

Daughter 🙂 I just want your ‘jeans’ 😉

me: what! U ain’t getting mah jeans! Dey be my bestest pair! Buy yer own babydoll

Daughter: Heehee tah late big mama! I just got dem jeans sum time just 29yrs4months ago!

me: Aw shucks piglet, too l8 for u then , your’e snuckered. Welcome to my ‘jeans’

Daughter: Indeed! Tis alrite, am hapi to hav dem jeans!

Sister #1: u feel old; i’m doing old – am fotoing 1800s buildings in town of kaapschehoop near nelspruit!

Sister#2: Hubbie’s response: Hang in there old girl 🙂 Sister’s response: like a fine wine…Also we must appreciate the gift of long years and happy memories and wisdom earned without gaining a criminal record

me: Hahahaha! No jokes plz!! the criminal record may be nearer than u think!! As 4 the wine! Ever opened a bottle of old wine? Tastes like vinegar!

sister #2: hey look at the bright side! soon you can audition for a part in ‘waiting for god’.:)

……..and so my life is reduced to a pending part in a TV show! 🙂

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