I’m sitting enjoying the sight and smell of the beautiful flowers I received for my birthday, as I contemplate the start of a new decade.

I have so much to be thankful for, including my wonderful family and friends around the world who have expressed their love and good wishes to me on this special occasion. As I age, I’m becoming more mindful of living intentionally with a grateful heart and taking time to focus on the blessings, of which there are many. Yes, life has thrown lots of curved balls over the years and will doubtless continue to do so. But, I’ve survived —stronger and wiser. Ironically It’s the rough times that shape and mould us into maturity and help us to truly appreciate the wonder of this journey called life.



Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Well if that’s the case, Mr Hemmingway, I have been sitting at my laptop for weeks while my blood coagulates. I’ve been well and truly bogged down with bloggers block – sounds more alliterative than writer’s block!

Now don’t get me wrong, ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I’m never short of an opinion and am happy to wax eloquent on numerous topics, but when it comes to committing my thoughts and feelings to the written word —well it’s all been a bit scary, really. Putting my words out there in the public arena fills me with all sorts of emotions. It’s as if my writing is somehow going to unearth this deeply buried Pandora’s Box which, once opened, will expose to the world the hidden and murky depths of my very soul.  All quite amusing really considering that only nine people actually follow my blog.

Over recent weeks I’ve just completed a creative writing course where I even ventured to share some of my writing with the class. Believe it or not there were no serious repercussions or violent backlashes, no opening of that infamous box. There were even one or two positive words of encouragement.

So here goes, I’m back in the blogosphere …

And Mr Hemmingway, if you have any tips for removing blood stains from a laptop I’d be much obliged.

A meadow in Oxford

Summer blue sky
Wispy clouds chased by gentle cooling breezes
Verdant riverbanks, dense and luscious
Geese feasting greedily on lunchtime leftovers
Murky waters gently flowing downstream, swirled up by passing punts and barges
A mother duck leading her ducklings in a row
Crowded tourist boats
Cameras frantically snapping the city of history behind me – freezing the moment for posterity
Children playing
Lovers embracing
The sound of birds, boats, laughter and diverse tongues
A moment to relax, refresh, reflect, renew …
Seated under the shade of a horse chestnut tree that has overlooked this scene for thousands of days, I reflect on how it would be if I actually took the time to notice and enjoy the simple things in every day.Image

You have a granddaughter

It’s usually three little words that set a woman’s heart fluttering and turn her world upside down. In my case it’s four.

It’s not that I didn’t know it was going to happen. The signs were all there. Nine months of excitement and anticipation as my daughter-in-law’s bump grew bigger; placing my hands strategically to feel those tiny little kicks; visiting every baby store in town and attending baby showers; watching a guest room transform into a zoo animal-themed nursery…

Saturday 28th April at 8:45am Claudia Rosemary entered our world. My son called to say those four magic words: “You have a granddaughter”.

Now you might think I’m a little biased, but she really is perfect. She is so beautiful that she can have a room-full of family members totally transfixed, staring at her non-stop and commenting on every cute little face she pulls. She really has stolen our hearts.

It seems like only yesterday that I was equally captivated by her father, as he lay in a crib pulling those same faces. (Incidentally he was perfect too!) I remember my mother being just as excited and mesmerized by her first grandchild. She would have felt these same emotions that I feel now. I’m sad she’s no longer here to share this special time, but I’m happy that her memory lives on, not only in Claudia’s middle name, but also in the fact that my precious granddaughter chose to enter the world on the day that was her great grandmother’s birthday.

I am indeed a blessed Nonna. I can’t wait to watch Claudia grow and flourish with the help of her magnificent parents. She also just happens to have four amazing grandparents, a wonderful uncle and aunt as well as an abundance of extended family members and friends all over the world who have already fallen in love with her.