Words and worlds unknown

Early this morning I became a time traveller.  I visited ancient Greece, was aware of wars and counter attacks, prejudice in post War idealism and through the power of words cascaded into future realms with shadows of an Orwellian system of surveillance.

How did I achieve this epic adventure?  I am sure, dear readers, that you have guessed already, by the power of the written word.

Something, that for me, still holds a wonder and sense of achievement.  Although an avid reader from childhood, I remember often being frustrated and slightly embarrassed, at not always managing to read the classics.  I remember being reproached by my English teacher for being still at the “Enid Blyton” stage.

When studying, I would have to read and re-read passages over and over to be able to get the message.   Dickens?  I loved reading his powerful descriptions but how could I manage a whole novel, when I couldn’t remember who this character was, or what had happened two weeks ago, either my time, or novel time?  As for Tolkien…….. just too many characters with names I couldn’t pronounce all beginning with the same letter!

But I digress.  Back to my travels, how is it possible, that I am now reading these classics and reading modern novels that introduce me to new ideas, touch on subjects otherwise closed to my befuddled brain?

Answer simple:  Kindle and Goodreads.

I can access a dictionary, make notes, read reviews, summaries and find references within books.  I can bookmark pages so that I won’t get lost, and re-read pages as necessary.  If I am struggling with a novel, whereas previously, I would have given up, with the self deprecating inner voice nagging at me, “you can’t read this Sue, it is too difficult.  You are not clever enough to know this.  Why don’t you know what that word means?  How can you not know that, call yourself a literature student?  “You don’t know nuffin” to use the vernacular.

Kindle allows me to read several books at a time all in one ‘library’ accessed, bookmarked and available with just a click.  So I can read a ‘lite’ relief book to give my brain a rest, and return to the ‘epic’ when refreshed.  No worries, no problem, no ‘nagging doubt’.

Thank you Kindle for allowing me to slowly, I admit, but loving every word, read: Gnomom by Nick  Harkwaway.  A complicated but brilliant modern novel which takes the reader to places far back and into the future.  It has renewed my acquaintance with Yeats (oh yes, he will feature on poets alphabetical) and made me want to find out about subjects and ideas that otherwise would have been a closed shop.  Most of all, thank you Kindle, for teaching me that I am not stupid and that knowledge and learning is just a ‘click’ away.

 

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Where did you travel today?




Love Excels

I enjoyed this and wanted to share it




Connect vs WordPress

After some hair tearing, screaming, feeling like an idiot whilst talking to my laptop, and general morning of frustration (including a quick trip home because I had forgotten my laptop charger) I have finally, I hope, set up my pages and categories more or less as I want them.

There are a couple of glitches that I’m not going to mess around with at present but I think we are a go go and I rise triumphant.

However!!! If you find a link that doesn’t work, or if you cannot access posts please do let me know, sometimes things work for me as editor but then do not work for readers.

And so for today, I feel very Pheonix-like

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If I feel like a Pheonix I will be a Pheonix




The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers

This really helped me and reminded me of going back to the basics often just to stay focused and keep the passion going. Too good not to post and re-blog.




Going, going, gone….

Ah, the joy of the auction house.  From browsing around the sale, rummaging under the tables in the boxes of mixed lots, handling items that you want but cannot afford, admiring items that attract but you don’t want to purchase, to marking as interested in your catalogue.

The suspense; watching what others are looking at, checking the auctioneer’s evaluation and setting your own limit.  Registering to obtain that important purchaser’s number and waiting for the moment ‘the master of the auction house’ mounts his podium, hammers his gavel and we are away.

I first attended an auction with my father when I was about 11 or 12.  It was instant love.  The atmosphere was exhilarating.  I was fascinated by the assortment of items on offer, from tools, furniture and household items to  fine china, art work and delicate jewellery and accessories.  Then there was the excitement of the bidding.  Items starting at ridiculously low prices and rising slowly, finishing, perhaps with a head to head; two people determined to successfully outbid the other.

Exciting, even if we didn’t actually purchase anything, but getting that one bargain always became the high point of the day!

Yesterday, I revived my love, attending the Clarke and Simpson auction at Campsea Ashe

I was not buying ( yet more clutter?) just observing and there for the experience.  Here’s a summary.




Oh dear….. (not to be left in a charity shop on her own!)

Over the last week I have been trying to set up a home office type environment where I can work quietly at the writing.

After re-arranging furniture I decided I needed a filing cabinet or set of drawers to keep files, papers, bits and pieces and paraphernalia in.  This afternoon I took a break and  a short walk down to my local charity shop, on the off chance that they would have something suitable going for a song!

No filing cabinet or office drawers in sight.  But I picked this up!

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Just right to inspire me on my travel writing I thought!  Now to hang it on the wall!

I figure that if I sell a couple of items for over £6 at the boot/garage sale on Saturday I’ll be even.

N.B.  note to self that’s why you take S.J. with you when browsing charity shops!

P.S. But I love it and it makes me smile.

Happy hunting

 




Traditionalist Revival: Cathedral Attendance Surges in England!!!




Professionalism

What makes someone stand out as being ‘professional’?

Here are some observations from recent encounters

The calm professional doing his job: meeting difficulties whilst still maintaining the dignity of one in control. 

I refer to an employee of Greater Anglia on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.  Moving efficiently down the carriages checking tickets, he quietly requested travellers to turn down their music.  There was no lofty put down, no accusation; just a quiet request to think about the comfort of fellow passengers.  Then a quick move on, commanding respect with a quiet, “I’m not going to stand and argue the point or even ensure you do as your told, I expect you will because I believe that you respect others” attitude.  Which they did.

The journey was not without difficulties resulting in a couple of delays.  These were quietly explained and we were kept informed including adjusted times for our ETA.  A courtesy not often displayed perhaps. I’m glad that I got the chance to thank him for a safe and pleasurable journey.

The people who care and love what they are doing. 

I popped into an attractive looking coffee cum ice-cream place, just for a cup of tea.  However the promise of hot buttered toast clearly marketed at the top of the cheerful menus placed on each table did its work, and I spent a small amount not for tea and toast but for the experience of friendly service in cheerful and relaxed surroundings.  Top marks ladies for caring about those extra details that made ‘a quick cuppa’ into a pleasant visit with that ‘at home’ feeling; “come round for a cup of tea, a snack and a chat.”  Everyone welcome.

The confident ease and creativity that only comes with experience.

My hairdresser.  His profession is his life and he has the experience of mastering his art over the years.  It may have been 6 months since my last visit, but he can pick up where we left off remembering to ask me ‘how are you?’ and listening to my answer.  His tools are his trade and he cares for them.  His ‘office’ is bright and welcoming and staff are trained well to clean, tidy, answer calls and manage the environment to the standard he requires.  I call because I need a haircut; I receive not just a beautiful style but an uplifting chat, friendly camaraderie, and I leave feeling like a million dollars!

What makes professionalism?  Hard work, natural talent, care and attention to detail and common courtesy.

Thank you to all your professionals out there.  You do not go unnoticed.




Making lemonade from lemons

I have been neglecting my fellow bloggers and followers over this last fortnight due to being a sportoholic addicted to a famous football event and an equally famous tennis tournament.  However amongst my daily perusing of e-mails and other blogs this following Ted talk was recommended and want to share it

 

Enjoy this and regular posts will resume following the super week-end!

 

 

 




Accepting the Challenge

The wall loomed in front of me and I watched as other climbers scaled it’s height; the daring going up in record speed, the ‘professionals’ using only half the footholds and hanging on with only one hand, the novice using a more measured, careful pace.  Which was I going to be?  Would I falter at the last minute?

I stepped up to the mark and waited for the signal to start.  Not looking down, I worked my way up, surprised to find myself almost at the top in what seemed like a few minutes. Using the provided grip I hauled my way onto the top.  Was I to be rewarded with a slide down the other side?  Oh yes!  Then I noticed the water…..

What was ahead?  A dark tunnel with objects to navigate then out into the open again.  Hopefully the sun would begin to dry at least my skin if not my soaking clothes.

For the next few minutes I bounced, pushed, squeezed and navigated along the course, using muscles that I had forgotten I had, and feeling great applying strength from muscles toned by my plank exercises!

Over, under, through, along, army crawl, hands and knees the occasional stumble rewarded by another short slide until oh…. it was the end; up the short flight of ‘steps’ and the final slide!

Knowing I couldn’t have done this without S.J. shouting me on……. I suggested she go round again on her own so that she could enjoy the course.

This completed we had enough time to do one more lap together!

The selfie says it all!

 

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We did it!

Thank you Trinity Park for hosting a fabulous day.   Here are some highlights of our time spent with you.