Friday, 31 August 2012

Paint fumes and excitement

Just to warn you I may still be a little high on paint fumes so if this post wanders off at a tangent you can't say you weren't prepared!

So you know that I hate wallpaper, or I guess more specifically the removal of said overly sticky and infernal wall covering device. I am also not overly keen on home improvements in general; the disruption, arguments and overall chaos caused!

Flash back.....why am I doing all this again?? Oh yeah I remember because such is the love I have for my babies! In the fairy tale land inside my mind my two angels exist together in perfect harmony, looking out for each other when the evil butterfly comes to eat them alive (transalet - they fight like cat and dog at the moment and were only united tonight in their freaking out whilst me and the other half removed an unwanted house guest from their bedroom in the form of a butterfly). However I am an only child and my view of how sisters co-exist could be a little skewed! The reality....if we don't separate them there could be a serious case of sororicide.

Therefore our box room and general dumping ground (we all have one of those rooms, right?) now needs to become a bedroom, fit for a girl a hop skip and a jump away from teenagedom!

There has been demolition, discoveries that elicit certain expletives (various were used so take your pick), followed by the removal of the devils own decorating favourite, repairs, plastering, the clean up and the fun starts.

As much as I hate wallpaper I love painting!

The colour has been picked by the eldest, with more than a little guidance (I was not looking forward to having to paint over deep purple in a few years time!) and her personalisation theme is in the planning stage.

Oh, I love personalising rooms, I always have. As a teenager I had a night sky look in my room, complete with gold suns, moons and stars (oh yeah and bark blue paint - hell to paint over!). Having babies has provided many opportunities for fun murals and cuteness! So far we have had; a Winnie the Pooh theme complete with fluffy clouds, a fairy tale theme complete with frog princes, fairies and butterflies (it even had a blue sky with fluffy clouds, a green carpet for grass and stars and moons lighting) and finally a fully personal effort with names and hand prints.

view original here

I am getting a little excited about what I can create in two little girls bedrooms. My brief; book characters. The eldest specifically wants Roald Dahl characters the youngest has yet to decide. I am just a little giddy and that is definitely the fumes talking because I am no artist. The reality; how the hell do I create wall size versions of our favourite book characters?? I am sure it will work out ok (seriously need to get some fresh air!!)

So did you have a personalised room as a child? How would you decorate your room if you could go back and create yourself one?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Strong Words and Wallpaper


These are really strong words. I am sure there are hundreds more but these are the ones that irritate me the most.

Ok maybe I should explain myself a little.

This was one of my Facebook statuses this week:

"I HATE wallpaper. Sorry, I rarely manage to have such an emotive reaction to anything but that stuff I could live my whole life with out having to strip one more wall!!!!!!!!"

I know people that 'hate' everything. If the slightest thing irritates them, if they discover a dislike for something they immediately 'hate' it. My eldest 'Hates' mushrooms yes I use a capital letter here in an attempt to convey the vehemence with which the word is uttered!

Now I don't know about you but I think the words I mentioned above are very strong and emotive. They convey such a depth of feeling and importance that I feel they should be reserved for things that really matter. I don't think I could muster that level of emotion for a food stuff that I happen not to like eating.

However, to be slightly hypocritical, I can and do often state that 'I Love....' chocolate usually! How is it I can bring myself to love something that only causes me problems? How can I bring my self to love a few random words strung together in a blog post written by someone I have never met? I don't know but this depth of positive emotion comes easily to me, it makes me lighter, it helps me to spring through life. Hate makes me feel heavy, like I am trying to wade through mud. But then I guess that my status was appropriate; stripping wallpaper is like wadding through mud, the thought of having to do it makes me heavy. As I stripped, I cursed whoever invented the infernal wall covering, I got frustrated with the tiny little scraps that refused to surrender their grip on the wall and then I cursed the pieces I had managed to remove for sticking to me!

Then, oh no! I carried on, status two:

"I hate home improvements!! Wow the list of things I hate just keeps growing! It like eating Pringles, once you start you just can't stop :-/"

Oh, I am becoming the thing that irritates me; I mean seriously do I 'hate' home improvements or do I just dislike the time and mess involved in making them happen?? Once the negative emotion takes hold of you it just drags you down and keeps you there. Pretty soon everything starts to get tainted. I think I will keep loving as much as I can just to keep the darkness away, to quote Michael Jackson: 'I'm a lover not a fighter'

But I still hate wallpaper!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Business as usual

Well I say business as usual but I haven't really decided what usual will be yet so as I am in the habit of posting daily at the minute (and I did promise) I figured I would post.

So, have any of you guessed what a late night hang out at a library and fairy dust have in common??

A torchlight procession of course! Now I don't really know much about the history of the torchlight processions, something along the lines of Clitheroe holds a celebration of this manner every time there is something to celebrate (the Queen's jubilee, millennium etc..) but when faced with the question 'Would you like to dress up and join in with the library's entry to the parade?' my response, 'Why the hell not!"

These are the reasons that flew through my mind in the second or two it took me to make my decision, roughly in order:

1. I get to dress up and have fun - cool, I love my job!
2. A great chance to get to know my lovely new work colleagues - bonus!
3. Promote reading to the next generation - worth a late night at work, right?

The decision was made to decorate one of our mobile libraries with characters from the Lancashire Reading Trail (brief background - we have a reading trail in our libraries to encourage children to read. They collect a series of 13 character cards and stickers on their trail map as they read their way through 50 books to complete the quest and find the Lancashire Reading Dragon). Along with this those of us mad enough would dress as the characters and walk the route of the procession with the mobile library. I opted to be a dream fairy, although I was tempted to be a book eating werewolf, you can read more about the trail characters here. Go on which one would you be?

Any way yesterday was the day, I finished work then relaxed in a quiet library for an hour or so (ironically not actually touching a book in that hour or so) and enjoyed a locally made sandwich, coffee and cupcake. Then the magic began, I mean seriously it was going to take some serious magic fairy dust to turn me into a dream fairy!!

I resorted to stealing my daughters sparkly makeup, curtains, fairy wings and a little fairy dust later became this:

scary I know!
What ever I looked like and whatever the weather (it rained most of the way round) we had an amazing night. Stickers were handed out to hundreds of kids, smiles and waves a plenty.

My fabulous boss lady as the Pioneering Princess

My fellow Dream Fairy

The mobile library complete with the Word Sucking Vampire, Singing Mermaid, Burglar Boy, Ghost of Astley Hall and Pioneering Princess. Our very own Word Sucking 'Van'pire was driving with the Lancashire Reading Dragon as his passenger.
You can see some pictures of the other floats and participants here.
After we had finished the procession and returned wet and tired to the library there was just time to dry off and have a brew before we all raced in to the darkened reference library, like giddy children, to enjoy the fireworks display at the castle. We got an amazing view and stayed dry all at the same time. It's the most fun at a firework display I have had in ages; oooing and ahhing at the colourful sparkles exploding across the sky. It's great to be a kid once in a while ;-)
Picture courtesy of Sarah aka the Reading Prince.
The only thing left to say is a huge thank you to everyone that made last night a really fun night!!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Motivation: Day 25 I made it

25 days ago I promised to blog every day in the run up to Debs deadline from Kicking Corners (I would insert a link here but I am posting from my mobile because I didn't want to miss the last day!) And I have made it, ok so I may be missed one day but it was my anniversary and sorry I had better things to do!

So here I am sat in a library all alone for two whole hours and I am blogging from my phone, and someone once said I have commitment issues!

Why might you ask am I all alone in this big building full of wonderful treasures....ah for that you will have to wait till tomorrow. In the meantime all I will say is there is fairy dust involved and I will be back tomorrow with pictures!

Motivation: Day 24 Love

We have all felt it, that swell in your heart, the lump in your throat, the tell  tale signs of Love. Sometimes I think I love too much, but that is a different and much longer post full of psychoanalysis that I am just not up for at this hour!

I remembered today how when I was young people got teased for 'luuurving' someone. A little older and the all consuming love of each high school crush, graffitied across our books and bags as a badge of honour.

It is not until later in life that we develop an appreciation that Love comes in may different forms. Parental love; proud and protective.
Romantic love; consuming and powerful.
Sibling love; being there no matter what happens.
These forms of love are not chosen, but the love shared between friends is a different beast all together. It is not as all consuming as that for a lover, nor as unbreakable as the love we have for our family, yet sometimes just sometimes it is perfect and fulfilling.

Today I spotted this picture floating around on Facebook and had to share it with you all, it describes love for me perfectly; be it between lover, a parent and child or between two friends.

Love to all my blogging friends, you have all shown time and again that you are willing to give up your time and energy to help out those in this little corner of the virtual world to ease the pain of another or help motivate someone to a goal. The fact that you can do this for people you haven't meant is an inspiration to me. Today my motivation and my smile are thanks to my inspiration; Deb over at Kicking Corners. A wonderful person, who I am privileged to call friend, even though we have never met. Thank you!


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Motivation: Day 23 Keep going

Man down.

All of two days from the goal and I have fallen at the last hurdle.

My hand hurts from the increased typing, my muse has packed up and left with out so much as a by your leave and I am just shattered. I don't have anything to give tonight but I couldn't not post, I couldn't abandon Deb so close to the finish line.

I may be lying on the ground watching as you tear away towards the finish line but I m still cheering you on.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Motiation: Day 22 It takes two to tango

'It takes two to tango'....where did this saying come from?? For the history lesson go here.

For me the tango has always been my favourite dance, the tension between the dancers, the passion, the romance, the constant 'you chase, I chase' that all combines to make it utterly mesmerising to watch and fantastic to dance (if you can find the right partner!).

Sorry I couldn't decide between these two performances. One is strictly and Argentine tango the other a tango waltz. Either way I only wish I was that good!!

The tango, and this saying, kind of epitomise every successful relationship. Mother - daughter, husband - wife, lovers, friends; to really succeed, to really work for all involved and be enjoyable, fulfilling and memorable there must be give and take, push and pull, simply being there for each other.

There must be a willingness to chase the other, on both sides, just because the other person is worth your time and effort. Granted with family you are more inclined to try harder for longer, but in all other cases if one side starts to let things slip, if they become lazy and expect the other person to do all the work then that is when relationships break down. Friends loose touch, lovers go their separate ways, marriages break down, family members don't speak from one Christmas to the next.

The more mesmerising the dance the longer one person will try to lead even if the other person forgets their steps (trust me been there!) but eventually the dance will stop because it can no longer continue if one forgets to move toward the other.

My heart always breaks a little when the dance is over, as it does in life when you realise the dance of friendship has run its course, only you have been trying to lead the other when they no longer care to dance.

Keep dancing, keep moving towards the people that count because one day they may have given up and may not be there to catch you for the all important lift!

Apologies for the not so motivational post today, sometimes the little faerie in my mind writes what she wants to.

Only three days left to Deb's deadline, bob on over to see how she is doing. Let her know we are all cheering her to the finish line.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Motivation: Day 21 Unlock their potential

As promised, my competition entry. Hope your fingers are still crossed ;-)

I encourage my children to read because
It opens their minds perchance to dream
It opens their eyes to that which is unseen
It allows their inspiration to soar
It encourages them to create more.

I encourage my children to read because
I want them to be all they can be
I want them to see all they can see
I want to give them passion for life
Even in times of trouble and strife.

I encourage my children to read because
I don’t want them to realise in later life
There’s more to see and read but no time
Words are our past, our present and our future
With them we can live a thousand lives and more

Motivation: Day 20 Baby Steps

There are things in this life that scare me senseless, many things in fact.

Roughly around 8 years ago I came to the realisation that I could not show these fears to my children, to do so would surely inflict the debilitating reactions I had onto them. I had no choice but to face my fears and under no circumstances show my fears in front of my girls.

Most things, like my fear of creepy crawlies and flying insects, have been relatively easy to face. A few deep breaths, grit my teeth and ignore them (most of the time). My fear of heights, focus on something else.

A daddy long leg aka harvestman spider on a leaf
Sorry to fellow aracnophobes

However, my fear of putting myself out there, letting people see the me inside, this is proving a little harder to get over. I have a deep seated doubt in myself and the things I create, I never think they are good enough, I never think I am good enough.

I started this blog almost as a whimps way to face my fear, I mean seriously no one would be interested enough to read my blog would they. But at least I could post what I have written and hide behind my laptop screen, the thought of someone reading what I had written and finding it wanton makes me feel ill.

This last week, however I entered a competition. Only a small competition, to win a children's book a week for a year. All I had to do was write 100 words starting, 'I encourage my child to read because...' I started writing and ended up with a poem, which I dutifully entered onto the competition page before I changed my mind. Fingers crossed and we will see what happens!

Before I let you in on what I wrote, answer the question for me, why do you love to read and why do you / would you encourage your children to read. Oh and you don't have to write 100 words if you don't want to, a few words will do just fine, sometimes less is more!

I hope your projects are coming along nicely, keep writing, keep living!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Motivation: Day 19 duvet day

Sometimes you just have to stick your head under the duvet and ignore the world. Sometimes you just need to recharge.

Today I am lounging in the warm cosiness of my bed. Well at least an early night, but I wish I had been there all day!

Hoping you have all had a productive weekend, be back tomorrow.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Motivation: Day 17 Believe!

"Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don't, who will?"
Jon Bon Jovi

view original here

To all those talented people out there who don't already know how fabulous you are, believe! The words you write are inspirational. The art you make is truly amazing. The little crafty wonders are just that.

I love and thank you all for being my inspiration!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Motivation: Day 16 Happy Anniversary

My Other Half

They said we were young, we wouldn't last
But that is all in the distant past
Memories of the drives we used to take
Or sitting talking until really late
Still strong in my mind as if only yesterday
Brought fresh by hearing the music we used to play

One summer while football did play
"So go on the will you?" was all you had to say
To make me the happiest girl in town
Now I could officially plan my gown
Five more years I had to wait
To carve in my memory a most special date

Promises we made that wonderful day
The sunshine and the golden hay
I still remember the smiles and tears
A life with you to span the years
Our share of highs, just a few lows
Life isn't all frills and bows

Two became four, we were complete
Smiles and joy, even with no sleep
I wouldn't change a single part of us
Even if we now drive a bus
Father, lover, washer-uper, but above all else
My all, my everything, my one best friend.

Happy Anniversary, thanks for the last nine years of marriage and the other seven before we made it official. All my Love, Always. Sleepy Joe xxx

Motivation: Day 15 The Proposal

I apologise in advance for the overly gushy nature of this post, but sometimes it just has to be done!

I have spoken in the past about my other half and he really is that, I wouldn't be complete with out him (sorry Jerry Maguire flash there, who doesn't love a bit of Tom Cruise). However I haven't really managed it past how we met, so here goes...

We made it official in the spring, our first 'date' was to watch Golden Eye at the cinema; where apparently I was so intimidating that he spent half the film throwing up. Over the next two years we walked, we talked, we drove places, watched great films (watched some really bad films too), ate good food (ate some really bad food too)...we got addicted to each other.

Two years later and England were playing ??? in some football tournament or other (sorry the details of the exact tournament and match details escape me but the other half could tell you everything down to who scored and probably the time of each goal) he booked time off work to 'watch the match' and I had no lectures that day. We met outside McDonalds in the nearest big town (it was 'the' place to meet when we were young). As we walked along there was much fidgeting and general lack of concentration in the conversation on the part of the other half. We got to Woolies (the next big shop on the row) and I was confronted with the following question:

"So, go on then, will you?"
My response, "Will I what?"
"Marry me?"
"Go on then"
"Lets go find a ring"

And so the rest of our lives began. Granted it was not the most romantic proposal ever, in fact it probably goes down as one of the worst in history, but it is my proposal. We laugh about it when ever we talk about it and I always make out like I would have wanted a soppy and overly romantic gesture; you know the one, beach at sunset on bended knee. In reality those simple few words made me the happiest girl alive, it was perfect us, and I would change that moment for all the beaches in the world.

Skip onwards five years and in the heat of summer we were married. It was a perfect ceremony in the church where my parents were married, the ceremony conducted by a childhood friends father. There were many tears (of joy might I add), an incident with a wasp (made for a little laughter too) and a little dancing on the way out of church. Even though the day did not run perfectly as planned it was a fabulous day shared with friends, family and memories to cherish.

The song we walked out of church to :-)

So what is the best proposal story you have ever heard? Is it yours? Do you wish yours was different? Or was it perfectly yours?

My inspiration today....My other half!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Motivation: Day 14 Time to de-clutter

I have been's happening a lot at the moment, blogging daily and keeping up with the blogs I love to read must be agreeing with me.

However, my inspiration today has manifested in a very strange way for me. a.eye over at Shouldn't Life Be More Than This? is currently packing up her life ready for a big move. I don't know why this has inspired me now, others of you have moved recently and this has had now affect on me, so why now?

To put this into perspective I am a hoarder. Seriously I can't let go of anything!! I have a loft full of tiny keepsakes and children's pictures (yes my girls are only 4 and 8, God knows what I will do as they get older). I attach memories to things and pictures, it is for this reason that I cannot throw away the first towel I ever bought for my babies, or the blanket that was mine as a baby and served both of my girls well. However, it also extends to almost every blanket that I bought for the girls when they were babies, amongst other things.

And this is the thinned down version!! Apparently I am as addicted to blankets as I am to books! To cut a long story short a.eye has inspired me to thin things down at least. It is about time this house was de-cluttered. Today I started on the books, bedding and blankets. Six bags of books later and huge pile of blankets and bedding to get rid of and it kind of feels good....ish. But I still feel like I am throwing a part of me away.

Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Motivation: Day 13 Inspiration from an unexpected place

Sometimes inspiration strikes at an unexpected time, in an unexpected place, from something completely unexpected.

Today I thought I would share a poem I wrote recently that was inspired by a song lyric and a new necklace I bought with a key pendant. Random I know!

The Key

You have the key to my mind
Unlocking the wonderland inside
The beauty of the things I write
Is because you pushed me down the slide

You have the key to my heart
Unlock this door with care
For once you've visited this place
It hurts when you're not there

You have the key to my soul
To unlock it when you please
Delving deeper each time
Leaving devastation when you leave

I know I am slightly obsessed but you can't help where inspiration comes from!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Motivation: Day 12 On Top of the World

There is nothing quite like the feeling of standing on top of the world with the wind whistling past your ears, life's troubles far below you.

I had forgotten how good that feeling can be, until today.

The area I live is dominated by a magnificent hill (well nearly mountain except for a few measly meters). It stands watch over us, guards us, it even forecasts the weather for you!

"If you can see Pendle it's going to rain (take your brolly), if you can't it's already raining!"

I am luck to live on one side of this beautiful hill and work on the other. I am also ashamed to say that I have not walked up to the top in years, something I intend to rectify soon!

Anyway, I digress, today I took my girls walking on an easy walk up the 'Nic o Pendle'. We by no means got to the summit of Pendle, however my inspiration today came from those two little ladies. Their dogged determination to reach the crest of a little mound (not even really a little hill) we had chosen to scale was amazing. Just for the reward of getting to the top, nothing more!

We all have our goals in life, some huge and mountain like, others more like little mounds to overcome.  Our mantra today on our twenty minute 'hike' (Harriett's word not mine) was:

"One step at a time, we'll be at the top in no time!"

Keep taking those steps, keep aiming for the top and we will get there in no time ;-)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Motivation: Day 11 Wiser words

"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Martin Luther King Jr 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Motivation: Day 10 Just to be random

Sorry no wise words today, just a random thought I had at lunchtime....

Why when you pop the can
You never get the diet coke man?

I could have quite done with a diet coke moment today, it didn't happen. I think I will be going back to Pepsi!

Loves till tomorrow, fingers crossed for wiser words!

Oh and bob on over to Tangled Lou at periphery, she may need a swift kick in the....sorry I meant heartfelt encouragement ;-) and don't forget Deb at Kicking Corners, much encouragement is needed for their imminent deadlines!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Motivation: Day 9 Smile (even if you have to fake it)

Sometimes in life the smiles, the motivation, the words don't come easily or readily. At times like these I fake it just to make sure my face doesn't forget what it feels like, I plod on even though it feels like I am wading through mud and  keep typing even if it is gibberish that ends up on the page (apologies if you can't understand any of this today!)

I mentioned a happy post yesterday that I wasn't in the mood to post, I am not really in a much better mood today but this might just help me fake it ;-)

My inspiration for this post is Larissa over at Papa is a Preacher. She wrote a lovely post about the beauty of being yourself.

I came to a realisation of my own over the last few months that I was drifting perilously close to becoming a mirror. Just reflecting what other people wanted to see, being what others expected me to be. All to try and be popular? be liked? I don't know.

The thing is my quirky nature kept on trying to break through, it was becoming harder than keeping an excited child contained trying to keep it locked up!

My saving grace and my wake up call was my new job. Individuality is positively encouraged and I have begun to discover what I used to love about me!

I am a hippy with a twist

I love daisy chains

Oh and daisy rings.

But they don't last long so I have a back up ;-)

I love quirky little every day things that make me smile when I use them (do you like the new box the other half got for us - there is six, all with different pictures and they fit inside each other...he knows me so well!)

May favourite welcome, my love of water and the woodlands all in one place!

My babies a such a huge part of me and if all else fails they always find a way to raise a genuine smile every now and then!

As well as my eclectic tastes in music, art work and reading materials I guess I am a quirky and eclectic person who has never really grown up at heart...and I never intend to!

Enjoy our favourite family dance tune of the moment ;-)

Here's hoping that your motivation and projects are still going well! Until tomorrow...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Motivation: Day 8 Letting Go

I am discovering that there is a problem to forward planning...I just don't feel like what I was going to post. However, always one to adapt you can have my happy post another day and today I will try to let go.

Letting Go

Most days you strive
Most days you chase
Most days you try
Most days you fight
Most days you slog it out
Most days you want so badly it hurts

Some days you have to wait
Some days you have to pause
Some days you have to stop
Some days you have to give in
Some days you have to let it go
Some days you have to wait and let it come to you

One day all you wish for will be yours
If it's meant to be.

I need to let go of wanting so much, I need to let go of my fear, I need to stop waiting for others before I do something I want to do. Now all I need to do is work out what to let go of and what to fight for.

Here's to week two of daily blogging.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Monday, 6 August 2012

Motivation: Day 6 - All Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

The title for this post comes to you courtesy of the other half (and he says I never mention him, bah!)

This is the saga to date:

Back in April I felt in need of a change, some decorating, re-modelling maybe? Because sometimes I can be inherently lazy I opted instead for re-accessorising with added extras.

Imagine if you can a green oasis of calm in your house. A serene room where you can just be, a comfortable room where you can drift off into peaceful slumber, a welcoming room filled with laughter on a weekend morning. This was the vision for my bedroom, a few choice accessories and a new comfy bed and I could relax in my new haven.

The bed was ordered; a lovely brown leather number, a new throw and cushions purchased, beautiful prints for the walls chosen (ones that you can stare at and loose yourself in!). All that stood between me and my dream...a delivery date!

A dream becomes a nightmare
The wait is never ending
It becomes infinitely worse
When sleeping on the floor
Six weeks and counting
A local firm employed instead
The anticipation too great
It will arrive tomorrow
Even if it is three months late!

I am crossing all fingers, touching as much wood as possible, for tomorrow my comfy new bed should arrive!

Ok, so maybe I am a little giddy with excitement. I will update you tomorrow, for now I am off for one final night with out a bed, hopefully!!

Motivation: Day 5 Guiding Light

There have been some beautiful, heart warming and inspirational posts around this week, from my friends Tangled Lou at Periphery and Jewels at Frazzled and Frumpy. As usual with these lovely ladies, and the rest of my blogging friends, they got me to thinking. However unlike normal my thoughts for a blog post this one required some research.

My musing and research led me to the following conclusion:

(or Gods, not wanting to be sexist)

Let me take you through my thoughts / research. Hold on tight it could be a bumpy ride!!

Motivation has been on our minds this week, the motivation to start, continue with or complete our current projects or dreams. We are all aiming to help each other with this, the most elusive of emotions...motivation. Why you might ask? Because a friend asked us to, it is as simple as that! Nip over to Kicking Corners to find out how Deb is doing, it's all her fault ;-) 

What is motivation? How can we find it?

The Oxford English Dictionary 1993 Ed. defines 'motivation' as:

'to motivate
The (conscious or unconscious) stimulus, incentive, motives etc... towards a goal esp. as resulting from psychological or social factors; the factors giving purpose or direction to behaviour.
The degree to which a person is motivated; enthusiasm, drive.'

Ok, so what is the definition of 'motivate'?

'Supply or be a motive for....
provide a person with a motive or incentive.
Stimulate the interest of a person in an activity'

Sensing a train of thought yet?? Microsoft Word lists the following synonyms for 'stimulate':

'rouse, arouse, kindle, excite, inspire, motivate, encourage, fuel'

What is it to 'inspire'?

'Arouse in the mind, instil (a feeling, impulse etc...)'

Or even 'inspiration', where does that come from?

'Divine prompting or guidance.
The prompting of the mind to exalted thoughts, to creative activity etc...'

Divine prompting huh? From where? For a writer or artist this divine prompting is often said to come from our 'Muse':

'Daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne regarded as the inspirers of learning and the arts.
The inspiring goddess or adored woman of a particular poet
or a poet's particular genius'
'The action of musing; a state or fit of abstraction
Be absorbed in thought'

Ah, so you have to have guessed where this little train is going now, right??

A little bit of history for you; there are said to be 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne:

Calliope - Muse for epic poetry
Clio - Muse for history
Euterpe - Muse for flutes and lyric poetry
Thalia - Muse for comedy and pastoral poetry
Melpomene - Muse for tragedy
Terpsichore - Muse for dance
Erato - Muse for love poetry
Polyhymnia - Muse for sacred poetry
Urania - Muse for astronomy
Although a Roman scholar, Varro, posed that there were only 3 Muses:
Melete - Muse for practise
Mneme - Muse for memory
Aoide - Muse for song

Mythical beings that inspire the best in us, creatively speaking??? I'm not sure about that!

'No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman in whom the Goddess is in some degree resident'
Robert Graves

Ok, this makes more sense to me, the Goddess can reside within someone. I only have to be around certain people or talk with others and inspiration hits!

A few days / weeks away from this group of friends who inspire me and my writing dried up. There were no new ideas, poems were started and not finished, blog posts were sporadic and hard to piece together. A few days back to regular blogging (writing, reading and commenting!) and the inspiration flows.

'O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!'
Dante Alighieri

I must reiterate the sentiments of Jewels and Tangled Lou, even if I cannot put it so eloquently. I have met some of the kindest, supportive and inspirational people since I started blogging, with the exception of 2 people I have never met any of you! Is that weird? Maybe. Do most of the people I interact with n a daily basis think I am delusional? Probably. I do get looks like I am a child with an imaginary friend when I talk about you all!!

This brings me full circle, and just under the wire too Masked Mum will be proud (11.50pm and counting) ;-)

(and Gods)

You all inspire me whenever we have cause to meet, you arouse my creativity and for that I cannot thank you enough!

Here is a little light relief  in the form of Muse, Guiding Light. It always makes me think of when I started writing.

I hope your projects are all coming along just fine, let me know how you are doing. For now Love, hugs or a crack of the whip if that is what you need ;-) See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Motivation: Day 4 Change of Plans

So I was just logging on to type my post today, all about giving yourself a little break and not worrying about making a mistake. While waiting for the computer to warm up my other half had the Olympic athletics on in the background. How inspirational!!!

Jessica Ennis won the Heptathlon by a country mile. Even though team GB getting a gold medal is great, that is not the inspirational thing for me. Jess went into the last event (800 meters) only needing to finish within so many seconds of her rivals. She set off ahead of the pack and then was overtaken, 'its ok' we were saying, 'she doesn't have to win to get gold'. Yet as the finial stretch came you could see the determination on her face, if she was going to win gold she was doing so by winning the race and promptly overtook those ahead of her, winning without seeming to break a sweat.

This doesn't exactly gel with the day I have had. Don't get me wrong I have had a great day at a local food festival; trying foods I shouldn't really be eating, helping the kids make loads of Roald Dhal inspired treats (Mr Twits beard cupcakes, lickable wallpaper, sherbet slurpers, square sweets that look a round). The moral to this post, if you fall off the waggon for the day don't worry, it will be ok. Tomorrow I will be remembering the determination on Jessica Ennis' face and keeping my head in the game!!

Yummy local foods for tea. Mmmmmmm

See you all tomorrow ;-)

Friday, 3 August 2012

Motivation: Day 3 I built a tree!

After waking up to some of your lovely comments this morning I left for work in a really good mood and motivated to tackle the day ahead.

I managed to avoid the cakes at work (why is it always someones birthday?), I opted for the ham salad from the shop for dinner and ignored the cookies and cream brownie winking at me from the cabinet. Score one for the eat healthy motivation and all thanks to your support, so THANK YOU!

On top of this I have ideas for at least one other post on motivation, which is unheard of for me I am more a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl when it comes to blog posts. Unless of course I get home work, and no that wasn't a hint Miss Stevens!!! With blogging every day apparently comes forward planning, yay!

I thought I would leave you with some little bits of inspiration, I hope your projects are keeping their momentum!

The over the hill way to work.

The road from the other side of the hill, what I see on the way home.

We have birds in our library :-)

I built a tree in ten minutes today :-)
(ok so the tree was already made I just had to put it together and put 32 screws in)
It will look amazing tomorrow with James' Giant Peaches on!

Happy thoughts, sweet dreams and bring on day 4!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Motivation...Where for art thou?

Day one of the motivational posts and project updates and given that I have all of 40 minutes left to type this post you can guess it hasn't really gone to plan!!

Thursday is my late shift at work and .... do you know what just excuses!!

On the upside the 'talk' I had with myself this week must have worked, weigh in tonight and 4.5 pounds lost :-D If that doesn't give me a boost I don't know what will!!

Sorry I really don't have anything more than that, just to say I took my own advice and I have to say that this communication thing rocks! I said what I needed to say and the world didn't end :-)

Be back tomorrow xxx In the mean time keep going with your projects!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Random Thoughts: There's Good News and There's Bad News!

So, until today my search for a new writing schedule has fallen flat on it's face. Then riding in on her fairy tale stead and providing the solution is Deb over at Kicking Corners. I am going to attempt to blog on a daily basis supporting and motivating Deb on her way to 'the deadline'. In the process I will  motivate my self on the way to a slimmer me and to boot I have my new writing schedule, at least for the next 25 days any way!

That being said I have struggled for the last week trying to find something to write about or coherently order my thoughts. One walk today, a few moments to myself in the fresh air and I am there, however you are now all going to be subjected to a random assortment of things that have crossed my mind in the last few days:

I'll start with the 'bad news' I don't know about you but when faced with the question 'There is good news and bad news, which do you want first?' I always go for the bad first, jump right in and get it out of the way! Yesterday was the funeral of a wonderful lady who I have know since my Father was ill. Her passing was a shock, the service was simple and perfect, there were tears and a smidgen of regret that adult life has taken over and I have not spent enough time keeping in touch regularly with the people that matter. I thought I would share Mary Frye's poem with you that was read out at the funeral. I always touches my heart.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star-shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

While I was there I paid a little visit to my Dad, I sat there beating my self up on the inside for not visiting more often and feeling like I failed somehow. However, I realised today on my walk that visiting the square of grass in a cemetery where his ashes just happen to be buried isn't when I really 'visit' him. I 'visit' him every time I remember him, every time I tell my girls about Grandad Neil, every time I remember the good times; which in the end is all you are left with to carry in your heart. When I die I want my ashes to be spread somewhere with good memories, that way when I am 'visited' people will remember the good times and not the sadness!

Not from today's walk but a quick five minute walk in the rain that I had on Sunday that made me feel free, if only for a minute!

Ok, morbid talk over! Next  you get my random rant. On Saturday in the Guardian Tim Lott wrote about communication in his column and the distinct lack of it in relationships. I realised that this lack of communication is a generally human trait in all relationships; marital, parental, close or generic friedships. We never really say what we are actually thinking! Conversations go a little like this:

"What's up" (real meaning: you ok you seem down and I am worried?)
"Nothing, except the sky" (really want to reply: 'Actually you are really doing my tree in' or 'Well seeing as you have asked I really just want to know what is on your mind and what you are thinking because I am really not sure')

We go through life being polite and bottling up everything that we actually feel and want to say for fear it may offend the person we are talking to and above all else we don't want to jeopardise that relationship by saying what we actually think. Occasionally virtual communication is more open, you can type out what you want to say but then deleteit or re-write if you think you might regret it, a luxury not available in verbal communication. I can't make up my mind if this is actually a healthy way to go through life or not but this is the way we live. May be occasionally we should just say what is on our minds and just see what happens...what do you think?

Finally my motivational slot.....Ahhh but I can't decide between these two so you are getting both, the general gist: seize the day, seize the moment. Say what you want to before the moment has passed, do what you need to do and meet that deadline, reach for the stars and see how far we get.

'Death or Glory'

Let's 'Make a move'

Sorry about the apparent Lostprophets addiction at the moment!

PS Shameless plug, my friend has completed his latest project and his book is finished, take a look it's amazing but then I am a little biased: Photo's you want to dive into.