Thursday, 30 October 2008

Why the guilt of affluence?

I am not a writer by any means, my thoughts tend to just roam around my mind and I am only partly aware of their meaning. But I have had this guilt of affluence bought to the fore and not for the first time and thought that if I tried to write down some feelings about it I might understand myself more.

I feel guilty for having so much, a big house, new car, lovely family, healthy body, great friends, I eat well, can read and write and have my own craft room. I am thankful for these things, I do not take them for granted, I know I am lucky. Would I enjoy them more if I didn't feel guilty about them? Is feeling guilty for the abundance in life a part of how you are 'supposed' to feel in this affluent part of the world? Do I feel guilty because I know there are so many with so little, a case perhaps of the starving Africans? Is it because Biblical teachings lean towards giving up your riches?

Perhaps it is all these things and more. Perhaps those are reasons enough to for me to feel guilty, to not boast about what I have, to not see disaproving looks in others. Is this why I want to give things away I no longer have a need for because I can afford it and want to help others less fortunate than myself? But perhaps I want to do that just to assuage my guilt. 

Should I be looking to find ways to not feel guilty but to be thankful for what I have in life and to just enjoy what I have, share when I can. Or is feeling guilty the price to pay for this affluence of ours and that is how it should be? I shouldn't be looking for ways to handle my guilt, blaming it on my upbringing or those around me or the media getting at me but accept guilt for this as part of my life.

There are more questions than answers here, a topic I think I will return to again. For the moment I would like to think that my guilt can be used in a positive way, to help others, share the abundance I have, abundance of money, health and happiness. I would like it to lift others to help add to their riches if I can. I acknowledge there are those more wealthy than I but I don't think they should feel guilty and neither do I think they should share their riches with me. What I do think is that everybody has riches that they can share in some form or another and that this is what should be shared among us all; riches of laughter, wisdom, happiness, love and so many more. Riches in money is only one aspect of life, there is so much more that is important.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

24hr Crop

Over £500 was raised on the night. All the money going to St Peters Hospice, Bristol. We had alot of fun, several classes were given and a few kits we could buy too. A huge raffle, where I won a couple of things, that are lovely, a candle, notebook, some pretty papers and a ribbon threader punch. Some lovely food was brought along to revive flagging energies. Thanks to the organizers for a great day/evening/night.

Here are a couple of things I created whilst there. The first two are of the UK holiday we had the other week, I need to add some handwriting to remind us what it was all about. The kit album is K&Co. "Everything you need to create your personalized project".

This is a paper bag book which I made in a class at a ModScraps crop last year and finally got round to using. Perfect for visit to the Cardigan coast with some scrapping friends.

This was a kit I bought at the crop and involved alot of painting of matchboxes. Anyone need any matches? After the aqua colour paint was dry I dabbed some pearly paint over the top. The paper was a gorgeous colour with shiny bits too. Perfect to turn into an advent box, just wrap tiny tags round the brads with the date on.

This is a class layout run by Giselle, it gives a taste of Dartmouth Regatta but does not do justice to Giselle's lovely class.

Now may I introduce you to Little Wol. A friends said she saw this and it made her think of me, not really sure why but I hope it was because of how wise owls are, not that it is a wise, old owl. I think she thought it would make me chuckle too, which it certainly did as it blinks his big eyes at me and turns his head from side to side.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Happiness is........

It arrived, my Cricut Expression was delivered this morning at 7.53am. After paying £40 for tax and customs handling.
But it was my prize and when I have sold my baby Cricut I should about break even but have and Expression instead. I have had a little play today to just test out the functions. My baby Cricut is all packed up ready to be sold, which is a little sad as it is such a good, neat, little machine.

Tomorrow I shall put some photos up from the 24 hr crop I went to on Sat. I stayed until 5.30am, so managed 20hrs which I thought was exceptional, except there were still 3 people cropping away when I left. Don't think hubby was too pleased at me getting in at this hour and then down right angry when the dog started howling! Whoops. But I was really pleased I could do it, it was one of those achieving moments, I am not weak, I can do these things.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Frustration is..........

You know your parcel has been sent from the States, you have the date and the tracking number and then day by day you watch for its progress, hopefully to your front door. I think it must go via Singapore, New Zealand and Iceland but they don't tell you that bit. But when the latest update from your tracking number search says
Bullet Attempted Delivery Abroad, October 24, 2008, 12:16 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet At Foreign Delivery Unit, October 24, 2008, 1:10 am, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Out of Foreign Customs, October 23, 2008, 6:50 am, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Into Foreign Customs, October 22, 2008, 3:34 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet Arrived Abroad, October 22, 2008, 1:22 pm, GREAT BRITAIN
Bullet International Dispatch, October 19, 2008, 3:14 am, ISC SAN FRANCISCO (USPS)
Bullet Electronic Shipping Info Received, October 15, 2008
Bullet Shipment Accepted; October 15, 2008, 4:03 pm, DELTA, UT 84624

Yes, it said attempted delivery! Was this by telepathy because there were no deliveries here today, not a peak, or a note, or a van, anywhere near? "I Know 'Cos I Was There", as Max Boyce said.

And tomorrow I am out all day, not just all day but all night too, helping to raise funds for St Peter's Hospice, nr Bristol.

When it arrives I will show you what I won for my efforts in Scrap Pink event, raising money for a cancer charity in memory of Susan G Komen.

Just found an item on this blog, belladia. It shows an illustration from the book "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. This book was an absolute favourite of mine as a child and the illustrations ingrained into my being. I loved many of the verses, some being, The Land of Story Book, From a Railway Carriage and Bed in Summer. The version I saw today had illustration by Brian Wildsmith, I found it here on Amazon.

How bright and cheerful is this illustration.

It made me feel I wanted to do this, I wanted to illustrate these wonderful verses of my childhood for myself. Maybe I could make my own scrapbook version. Hold that thought.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Bath and bubbles by candlelight

I climbed into the bubbles of my bath, sinking into the warm water and the atmosphere the candle provided. This was so relaxing and calming, I became aware of my mind slowing down from its frantic thoughts, very peaceful.

Just what was needed after my first visit to Macro and the experience of bulk buying. There was so much there, mesmerizing. So I am now stocked up on toilet rolls, soap powder, coffee and many other essentials. If my neighbours read this they are welcome to pop round if they run short.

My find of the day though was not from Macro but W.H.Smiths. A roll of wrapping paper, wait for it........... goldy, silver and glittery, very bling. £3.99 a roll for 2.5m. Because it is only a glittery effect and not glitter I put it through my Cricut to see how it would cut.

As you can see the cut was brilliant, the possibilities are just reeling through my mind (maybe I need another bath already). So if you receive a Christmas card from me this year, you may well find this glorious wrapping paper on it in some form. Click on the photo for a better look.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Eventually, is how I uploaded probably 200 photos to be printed and delivered to my home in 24 hrs, what a palaver, some for a wedding album, some for our last holiday and a few from another wedding and a weekend with girlfriends. I am attending a 24 hr scrapbooking crop on Saturday to raise funds for St Peter's Hospice, Bristol, so needed plenty to be doing, that is if I can stay awake that long, doubtful. I imagine it will be a bit like nursery school when you all put your heads down for a little nap. I will be working on a wedding album for Katie and James, Katie was our bridesmaid 23 years ago.

I have just spent a delightful half hour on ichat with Jeff. It is lovely how we can catch up with our student children wherever they are. He is so chuffed to have found a cheap warm, filling (almost) snack, 7p pot noodles from Sainsbury's! He has asked in that sort of bashful way for a cheese hamper. He now knows why we used to tell him to stop grating so much cheese over everything. Aah, poor students.

I am currently having a conversation on MSN with Abbie, all about budgeting and loans and new laptops and 77% results and how cold it is in Canada all of a sudden. Now it is about dates, when she comes home from Canada and starts back to Uni in Oxford after Christmas and when she finishes altogether. Those 4 years of Uni seem to have flown by. Sometimes Abbie and I use Skype, video chatting, sometimes just typing on MSN. It is great because it is more natural than just being on the phone and you can carry on doing computer type things too.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Home from an away week

Arriving home, knowing you have your own comforts to await you and the post that might hold such lovely things is quite exciting. And in my post was a RAK (random act of kindness) sent to me by Joan from America for taking part in a cake box (click link to see mine) challenge on HSS.

I thought they were gorgeous and so me. So thank you very much Joan, I look forward to using them.

So back to our UK holiday.
Next stop Ironbridge Gorge, a fascinating journey along the history of this gorge, clay pipes, coalport china, iron mining and smelting, pitch. So much to see, we will need to go back for another visit sometime.

A few more visits in Shropshire, Bridgenorth, Shrewsbury (I am a Cadfael book fan), Ludlow. All pretty with so much history.

This is a part of what once was Shrewsbury Abbey and is now a gorgeous church.

The buildings in Shrewsbury were so historical and there were some lovely shops. This one for instance, which I am sorry I can't remember the name of. It was made up of several different rooms and their associated accessories.

Off to Wales then, we have been to Wales for our holidays for the last few years, we just love the coast line and the wild areas. And as you can see Max is in seven heaven on the beach.

The wild life is great too.
We spotted a pair of dolphins quite far away, a seal, salmon leaping up the river and what I think is a red kite.

We found St Dogmaels this time, so thought we should visit. There is a wonderful tea shop and another abbey in ruin. You can just imagine the monks shivering their way from prayer to activity to prayer again.

And no holiday is complete if it can possibly contain trains, and Rob was lucky to get a ride on an unofficial running train. This was near Carmarthen on our way home.

I decided not to take a photo of my wasp sting which had a swollen, red look of about 4" diameter. I thought you might be pleased about that. It is better now and so is my cold.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A few fun days

A whirlwind few days, taking in a piece of the Cotswolds and a slice of Shropshire, staying in a couple of lovely hotels, very different from each other but both really good.

Evesham, river Avon.

Broadway, view from the cafe where we sat and had early grey tea in the warmth still there from a beautiful October Day.

Higher up Broadway.

The Dormy House Hotel, wonderful, fully recommend the all-in-one Sunday night, dinner, bed and breakfast, a little luxury.

That was only day one, I will catch up over the next few days.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Home baked rolls....mmm

Another gorgeous day, washing on the line, reading a novel, lying on the lounger in the garden under a blue sky. Today was bread roll making day, white rolls with a hint of rosemary. They were delicious with our home made soup this evening.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Beyond Chocolate Fairy Training Day

Today was a Chocolate Fairy Training Day. We meet up in London once a month for training to be able to tell others all about Beyond Chocolate and how it has changed our relationship with food and our bodies. Here is a link to the website if you want to ready more about it - Beyond Chocolate Website.

What another gorgeous day, 10th of October and we were having our lunch in the sunshine in Hyde Park.

I think that I need to work hardest at learning to talk from the heart and not from my head. My mind seems to work in such a way that I have trouble recognizing that I don't need to learn how to say what needs to be said but I need to really feel what is going on and pass on my own personal knowledge from my heart not my head.

I will be saying more about my personal Beyond Chocolate journey and how I am doing with the training in future Blogs. This will help me see how far I have moved on and will help me speak from my heart.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Christmas card making, already?

Today, a trip to PaperArts near Stroud to spend a few hours with friends making card. My first Christmas cards of the year. Lorraine set us off on a few ideas and we all set to, adding bits and pieces here and there and each producing a set of very different cards. And would you believe that out of the 11 people who were at the shop, 5 were Capricorns and 5 were Leos! We won't talk about the Taurean I am sure she could not help it.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Cardiff Bay - glorious day

No creating today but plenty of opportunity to gather ideas. Cardiff Bay was gorgeous, blue skies, warmth, street cafes. Mum and I lunched in a real French restaurant where the full length doors were open to the view of the Bay. I recommend the restaurant, Garcon, light bites a glass of wine, some gently French music, we could have been somewhere abroad not on the Welsh Coast. Here is the photo of my goats cheese stuffed mushrooms, wonderful.

We saw where Torchwood was filmed and there was a set in place ready for filming, which looked like something had been blown up.

Here is a photo of the Norwegian Church building, which is now an Italian run cafe and Gallery.

The coffee was very good and the cakes looked yummy. A better day we could not have wished for.