Sunday, 17 February 2013

My sisters, Linda, Lesley and I attended the Quirky Wedding Fair today at Belfast's Waterfront Hall. Linda is a talented florist and has a background in interior design and decor. Lesley and I went to help her man her stall and answer questions.

 It was fun I enjoyed it. It could almost put me in the mood for a wedding. Some of the amazing talents people have. Its wonderful to see such creative talents, from cupcakes and amazing wedding cakes, including a 4 tier watery wonder with a lighthouse on top and a bottom layer made up of driftwood.

 A bevy of glamorous stylists and hairdressers promised to turn you into a burlesque beauty for your big day. Dresses from simple silk shifts to fluffy bejeweled meringues  The bridal models were an interesting crew. Supposed to be bridal, and therefore radiant and joyful on their happy day they strutted and pouted about more low rent fashion show than big day beaming. It was a pity really as some of the dresses were glorious.
Another very talented friend was exhibiting also, Moneeza Khan, who makes gorgeous antiqued paper books for carrying treasured memories of weddings, holidays and families

As Linda said the wedding business is a good one to be in, a lot of happy people. I hope they all have wonderful quirky wedding days .

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I've been writing a rhyming story for children set in Belfast for donkey's years now and I have decided the time is nigh to get the damned thing finished and sent off to a publisher, so by Feb 28th I will have a complete draft, finished and ready to go, wish me luck. Thereafter I will be entering a short story a month into as many competitions I can find, time to ramp it up.

High over the slipways,
On the shores of the lough
Worked Bradley John Maxwell
A Young welder from Clough..............

I have signed up to a creative writing class again, this will be my 6th or 7th class in as many years. I love it. I have always been a lover of stationery,pens and papers and coloured ink and folders and paperclips. i love stationery shops, and catalogues. I love the idea of having my whole life organised into beautifully coloured folders with coordinating inks labelling every little piece, keeping it neat and rainbow regular.
The reality is I am a stationary loving clutter bug who rarely organises anything and almost never writes , apart from in class.
I had coffee this week with two girlfriends  both working mums like me. One of these ladies raises her two young children alone all week as her husband works away and is only home one night of the week. She runs a business from her home and has found time to write a book !! I needed a kick and this was it .

A little every day, even if it is crap, is better than nothing.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Buggy Trials

its a challenge going out and about on your own with a young baby. The amount of equipment needed, coupled with my ancient and small VW Polo makes travelling a little stressful. We bought a pram from Mothercare.
It's a snazzy 3 wheel all terrain thingy that Makes my wee Nancy lovely and comfy but it's a horror to wheel around small shops and through doorways. It is also a massive brute that takes up the boot and back seat of my car- which doesn't have central locking .
To go out , after packing the bag with all weather clothing, nappies, mat, wipes, cream etc, and placing my precious cargo into her car seat,
1 open passenger door, to get access to rear door ( my airbags can't be switched off so Nancy has to travel in the back seat where I can't see her - and ensuring any front seat passeng
er who is taller than 5'2 is squashed)
2 wrestle car seat into the back seat and attach seatbelt around. This involves pushing, pulling and picking the belt into place. The car seat itself is a maxi-cosi, super comfy for the baby, but to move the handle takes two hands and dextrous manipulation. Baby secured we move on to
3 Open driver door, to gain access to back door. Open back door. Take top part of pram off chassis and put on back seat.
4 open boot, fold pram chassis and place in boot, lock boot, and all car doors , but drivers door, get in , drive- phew!

When we arrive at our destination we assemble the whole package again for a walk around shops that are too cluttered and many, many who have no access without pushing or pulling a door or stairs, or an overused ( usually by the lazy) lift. it's a challenge .

Monday, 28 July 2008

Thanksgiving Square

Returning to a surprisingly sunny Belfast this week after spending 5 days at the Thanksgiving World Assembly in Thanksgiving Square in Dallas has left me feeling grateful. I am grateful to have been invited, I am grateful to have been listened to by the academics and scholars who attended, and I am grateful to be me.

Dallas is a stiflingly hot place in Mid-July. It was 100 degrees in the shade and muggy, in fact it is just the place to have a green oasis in the middle of commercial downtown with a garden, a cool chapel and running water features. Thanksgiving Square is a lovely place and if I took leave of my senses and moved to Dallas, I would undoubtedly spend my lunchtimes sitting there enjoying the tranquility and my fat -free, non-dairy, half-caf-frappuchino with the other non- Texans who love the sunshine.

It was great to finally see Thanksgiving Square after listening to my mother talk about it for twenty years, and while I feel I learned a few things and I really enjoyed meeting the other - and infinately more learned- delegates I am still unsure as to the purpose of it. We established, over the course of two days of endless chat, that all major world faiths have an expression of Thanksgiving. We learned that they are all different but share common threads.This was not news to me.

I did not feel any more thankful in a hot garden in Dallas than I do in my own. I am a thankful person, not just to the taxi drivers, the beauticians, the airline staff, the friends and colleagues who make my life easier evey day just by being there. I make a point of being thankful for the rain, the security of my own bed, the health and happiness of my growing daughter, my dog's protective bark, my clanky car, my loving family. It is important to me to be thankful, it makes me better, and the world better

One of my colleagues said, as a comment , to show true thanksgiving we must give. Myrtle Smyth, founder of Thanksgiving Square in Belfast was a giver. Her joy was in receiving things, being grateful for them, loving and enjoying them and passing them on. My home is full of beautiful things given with love from her. I have big shoes to fill.

The Angel of Thanksgiving statue in Belfast's Laganside is beautiful, and iconic. it is a symbol of gratitude for everything that is passed and real hope for the future.Is that all we can do with it? Answers on a postcard please......