Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finding JOY

December. Despite having done well with my November Parade of Adventures and my decluttering efforts, I'm feeling a little flat lately. For the first time ever I am ahead with my Christmas preparations, but not as ahead as I planned. There is still a lot to do, and I am just starting to feel the threat of overwhelm. The thoughts in my head are going nineteen to the dozen as they always do at these times, leaving me feeling stressed and muddled. I feel the need to take a breath. To stop, breathe, look around, find the joy in each day. Inspired by Denise of Capturing the Days, starting tomorrow, for the next 25 days as we approach Christmas I will be looking for the joy. There will be pictures, there may be some words. There will hopefully be some peace, some love and plenty of joy. I'll see you here tomorrow. 

November update and December Parade of Adventures

Here's how I did with November's POA

Finish knitting that scarf I got bored with it and took it off the needles and started knitting something else
Go to a firework display on Guy Fawkes Night done. We had planned to go to the organised display nearly, but were invited to a firework party and went there instead. I had my first toasted marshmallows!
Buy sparklers Sadly, I never did get my sparklers. Maybe next year...
Go out for lunch with the Young Philosopher Not yet, due to his working schedule, social plans and my health
Buy a winter coat and new jeans got the coat. As for the jeans, I can not find anywhere where I can buy jeans in my size with NO STRETCH. What is it with the stretch jeans? I want jeans, not jeans that think they are leggings. The elastane also makes me itch. Where have all the jeans gone?
Tidy and clean the house ready for the Christmas decorations in December work in progress!
Make a lovely warming vegetable soup The butternut squash I bought a couple of weeks ago is still sitting in the kitchen
Eat breakfast every day I managed it a few times..
Get to bed before midnight ditto..
Assemble the mini greenhouse we bought done
Plant bulbs and sweet peas I didn't want to go out in the cold...
Buy myself flowers, or accept them gratefully when the Prof buys them Done, but they have died now so I think I could do with some more, or maybe a nice red poinsettia

I am pleased with my achievements last month. I also decluttered huge amounts of stuff as part of Louisa's Declutter November Challenge Bagfuls of things have made it to the tip and the charity shop, with more to go this weekend. 

There's not so much on this month's list, I have deliberately kept it small. For the first time ever I am fairly ahead with the Christmas preparation and I am hoping to actually do some fun things this December. We are going to a Victorian Christmas Fair this weekend, a Vintage Fair and a Christmas concert the weekend after, and I am hoping to make it a carol service for the first time in several years. 

December Parade of Adventures  

Plant sweet peas and bulbs
Buy a poinsettia
Get myself some new trousers
Research beginner level DSLRs and get myself one. Any suggestions, anyone?
Go out for lunch with the Young Philosopher
Put the tree and decorations up by the end of this weekend (4th Dec)
Finish all Christmas shopping by 11th December (a little optimistic, but one can hope)
Get all wrapping done by December 18th
Have all cards in post early
Go to a carol service

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Small stone: Brighton beach

The world turns slowly orange as the sun slides down the sky and slips into the cold waves with a hiss. 

photo by the Prof

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11: Lest We Forget

My great-grandmother was somewhere in the crowds in London on that day, 11th November 1920. Her son died on the battlefields of France, and was represented, as they all were, by that unknown soldier.  

For The Fallen - Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

 Sergeant Thomas William Saunders 1895 - 1917

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

November Parade of Adventures

image: dereksky

I wrote an Autumn Parade of Adventures back in September, and looking back now I see that many of them haven't been done yet, so here is my November list, containing some of those and some others. I will post again in a month with my list for December, which hopefully won't be exactly the same. I am so much better at setting goals than accomplishing them! Here is my recap of the Autumn list and my new list for November.

Autumn recap

I started knitting the scarf, it's about a third done. I haven't bought my winter coat yet, I should do that soon, before they have all gone and the shops are full of bikinis. I have made a start on getting the house ready for Christmas, but not a very big one, to be honest. Plenty of time! (manic grin). The garden is mostly tidied for the winter, but we haven't decluttered the shed. I still have bulbs and sweet peas to plant, baked apples and cinnamon toast to eat, and I never did buy myself those flowers. 

November Parade of Adventures

Finish knitting that scarf
Go to a firework display on Guy Fawkes Night
Buy sparklers
Go out for lunch with the Young Philosopher
Buy a winter coat and new jeans
Tidy and clean the house ready for the Christmas decorations in December
Make a lovely warming vegetable soup
Eat breakfast every day
Get to bed before midnight 
Assemble the mini greenhouse we bought 
Plant bulbs and sweet peas
Buy myself flowers, or accept them gratefully when the Prof buys them. He reads this blog. 

This month I will also be joining in with Louisa of The Really Good Life's Declutter November Challenge. I will be getting rid of something that I don't love/need/want every day during November. I might even post photographs of some of them. Yesterday it was a half-dead basil plant from the kitchen windowsill, I put the few reasonable looking leaves in the Prof's lunchbox salad, and the rest of the plant in the bin. I will spare you a photo of that, as I didn't think to take one at the time, and I am not digging through the bin, even for you. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part Two

A year ago today, on 1st November 2010 I started this blog, wrote my first post, and titled it 'Reasons to be Cheerful, Part One'. I intended that to be an occasional series, but I never did write another. So here, in honour of the first blogiversary of 'Debbie In London' are some more of my reasons to be cheerful. 

Autumn. Chilly evenings getting cosy in front of the fire,  fireworks, scarves and gloves, home made soup and crusty bread, looking forward to Christmas. 

The Womens Institute. Still reeling from last month's laughter therapy session, I am looking forward to tomorrow evening's cake competition. Surreal, but fun. (no I am not entering, just eating).

On 23rd of October it was the six month anniversary of the day I married my lovely Prof. I love married life. 

Notes Across the Sea, the blog that Jennifer I started in May of this year, where we write our 'notes' to each other, comparing our lives in very different places, and finding that we are really not so different.

The original Reasons to be Cheerful!