Sunday, 22 January 2012

Seven Times Around The Sun

Jacks birthday started with sleep over friends, and presents at breakfast, and progressed to the Pancake Breakfast with even more friends at Tapeley in aid of Two Rivers.

Jack and friends choosing their fillings.

Sun streaming through the barn windows.

The dedicated kitchen staff.

And this, oh this, this is my first ever cuddle with this long anticipated and much thought about little chap. My friends third child, and first boy, little Ocean.
Details of his amazing birth on the Birthwise blog.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Hurt Yurt

The gale force winds of last week claimed one very sorry looking victim on the Two Rivers site.
Our beautiful yurt, and the children's classroom, had its roof blown in by the huge gale. It was a very sad sight.

We raced the rain to untangle and untie all the ropes and straps that held the canvas in place, pack the whole thing down and get it somewhere safe and dry.

We rescued all the equipment and furniture, collapsed the yurt, and covered the base with tarpaulin.

The yurt is being stored until the worst of the weather has passed, and we have kindly been given the use of the barn at Tapeley Park to run the Kindergarten from for the next couple of months.

Incredibly the only actual damage was one of the central posts that support the wheel had been broken. The post was rushed off site and thanks to Grant of Ironshirt is now all fixed and awaiting a future yurt raising

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The First Few Days - The Quay

At the very beginning of this new year anything seems possible. Rules seem to have been shaken and in some cases re-written by the shift into 2012. These first tentative steps into these fresh new days are strange. I am trying to flow with the feelings of change and making sure we just keep heading wherever it's taking us. 

This was Sunday morning. The quay was draped in mist and the storms had left the higher reaches of the beach strewn with seaweed and driftwood, whilst the sand looked as though it had been polished flat. We explored it with friends, finding empty shark egg cases and lumps of timber for the fire. It felt wild, elemental and perfect down there.

Photos courtesy of Frankie from Bluebells and Two Rivers

Monday, 9 January 2012

There Was Once A Boy.......

There was once a boy who loved nothing more in all the world than playing the guitar.

He had a nice acoustic guitar that a friend had passed on to him, and he borrowed an old electric guitar from another family friend.

He wasn't concerned with playing trendy music, and listened to Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan in his bedroom.

And dreamed of a guitar he could play always, and gig with, and make all his own.

I am so grateful to all our friends and family who helped make this boys dreams come true.
I can't tell you how good it felt to leave Mansons guitar shop with him carrying his very own carefully selected Les Paul, and wearing the biggest smile I have ever seen.
One day Mansons will have a poster of him on their wall, and tell punters that the legendary Fin bought his first guitar from their shop.....and I was there!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A Small Christmas

Ok ok, so Christmas was soooo last year, but I've been busy.
This was the Small Schools Christmas dinner. Planned by me, prepared for largely by me, and eventually orchestrated and catered for by many others as my cold turned to asthma attack during our 'peeling party' the evening before.
I was wrapped up, picked up, plonked on a bench, looked after, fed and eventually driven home again so I didn't miss out.

The room was filled with students and parents both past and present, teachers, governors and love. It was a great meal.

Monday, 2 January 2012

On Loss

Everyone experiences loss, at different times and in different ways. True loss, the kind of irretrievable, for all time sort of loss, may be the most all encompassing of emotions, and yet we avoid its stare, avert our eyes and hurry past it like it were abandoned luggage in an airport or leprosy.

We are, for the most part, very well skilled in sharing in others joys and loves, but when it comes to their griefs and losses we are often left mute and incompetent. We are drawn to joy like moths to a flame, but are repelled by the more negative emotions. A person who has somehow acquired the skills necessary to stand firm and move towards someones grief is a rare and precious thing, and they will stand out like a sore thumb. Most people can remember a time when they experienced grief through loss, and for most there will have been someone who stood out as an important guide, who threw a rope, held out a hand, reached into the deep and pulled them out. How wonderful it would be to be the rope thrower, to be strong enough to reach into the deep.

How can we teach our children to deal with loss, both their own and the griefs and losses of those around them. To avoid these parts of life will only leave them unprepared for their own experiences. To always 'make good' suggests that grief is something to be hidden, avoided, covered up, and will offer them no protection against the inevitable negative emotions that life will deliver. To go through life with out ever experiencing loss would be a strange and rare thing indeed.

But to feel loss you must have had something to lose. Your heart can't feel empty if there was nothing to fill it. The greater the loss, the greater the love, and that should be rejoiced. Pain is only a different measure of happiness, and though the grief experienced at any time may be overwhelming it is only made possible by the love that came before it. But the love must come first, there is no loss where there has been no love, and there will be love again in even an empty heart. Love is stronger. Joy will always overcome sorrow, hope outstrip despair, and even in the depths of grief there will be things to remind you that in time, this too shall pass.

I don't do new years resolutions.  I try to live throughout the year with an awareness of my strengths and limitations, and I reserve the right to make it up as I go along. But I intend to work harder to stand with grief and loss, both in myself and in others, without flinching or turning away. I intend to recognise and value the strength of the emotion, and learn and grow from it with every bit as much devotion as I have applied to love and happiness.  

Friday, 11 November 2011

Up Here

From up here, I can see my house. I can see the smoke rising from the chimneys of the houses near by, and I can see my chimney quiet and cold because I am not there to tend the fire.

From up here I can my friend's baby being born, and I can see the scarred blackened tarmac of the M5.

From up here I can see my grandparents standing on the steps of Morningside Church in Edinburgh, my Nana's veil flying theatrically in the wind as my Pop stands to attention in his RAF uniform. I can see the smile on her face as wide as the sky itself.

From up here I can see myself kissing my first love, and still feel the softness of his sofa underneath me. The echos of his dog barking and 'They Might Be Giants' joining the wind in my ears.

Up here we are removed from the world, and maybe if we stayed up here the world would forget that we were ever down amongst it.

Up here we stand like giants,

Up here, we can touch the moon.