Thursday, 28 May 2009

Alice at Artspace …

Imagine walking into a magical and creative garden through a secret door to African birds, baby warthogs, colourful dragonflies and wandering through trees of wonder and amazement. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, when I visited Artspace during the holiday weekend. Artspace was held at Barn Galleries near Henley on Thames. Beautiful artwork by 85 artists, original pieces exhibited with flair and fantasy in a delightful setting. I loved it!

‘Sculpture for the garden. Jewellery for the glamorous. Painting for the daring. Textiles for the trendy. Wood for the hunk. Ceramics for the collectors. Bronze for the brave.’

Where has your fantasy walk taken you recently?

Indian Silk Tree and Birds by artist Peter King

Monday, 25 May 2009

New faces and places …

We’ve got new neighbours …they’ve been here a couple of weeks now and appear to be settling in quite nicely. Although with all the recent activity of to-ing and fro-ing, checking out the garden, the space and possibly the other neighbours too, I wasn’t quite sure if they would stay. However, I guess like most of us when it comes to new habitats, we do like to visit a few times before making the commitment to put down roots and stay. And really it was no different for them. He seemed to have very definite ideas about how much space he needed … possibly a little territorial, I might add. I observed them both from a distance. She appears to be the quieter of the two and I expect that the decision about moving here was made in quiet consultation at their previous place. I’m delighted they agreed to stay. I quite enjoy watching their activities from the nest to the bird table, the daily flights in and out of the gum tree, his mid flight flapping when he’s trying to impress whoever is quietly watching!. It’s like that little red chest of his is bursting with pride, shouting ‘look at me, look at me’, while she tidies the nest and pops in and out occasionally to see what’s happening in the world outside.

Having good neighbours is important, what do you think?

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Writing ...a forgotton art?

Today I received a letter in the post, one of those old fashioned letters written by hand. Remember those - handwritten letters in handwritten envelopes? Letters written with pen and ink! It’s a real treat to receive one of those particularly when it’s from a friend I haven’t heard from for ages. For me there’s something about receiving a personal letter (official letters, utility bills and credit cards statements don't generate the same excitement!). I enjoy writing letters and I enjoy receiving them too. I love to hear the sound of letters dropping on the mat and what a joy to see a handwritten one amidst the pile of junk mail, especially after a busy day at work. How lovely it is to sit down and read it, once or twice especially if there is something in it that makes you smile.

With the advent of instant communication, email, texting and tweeting, I wonder if the art of handwriting will decline over the years. Will letter writing and penmanship become a forgotten art of the 21st century? I hope not. So I encourage you this week to write an old fashioned letter to a friend, a relative, someone you know, someone you would like to know, someone you care about, perhaps someone who hasn’t heard from you for a long time. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing and you may be pleasantly surprised by who writes back.

Go on, grab a pen and paper and scribble a few lines today.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Today's gift is ...

I was quite stuck by something someone said to me this week. As we talked and shared information about our somewhat busy and hectic weeks at work, my friend commented on all the changes that were happening around him and how events over the last couple of years had changed his thinking and outlook on life. These experiences had changed and influenced his way of thinking and invited him to look at who and what is important to him now. Now, today, the present – not tomorrow, next week or next year.

So often, we find ourselves busy, busy, busy (I hold my hands up!) …. and rushing into tomorrow, next month, next year that we don’t stay long enough in ‘now’, ‘today’, ‘the present’. And what would happen if we did? What might we find? What might we learn about ourselves? What might ‘the present’ gift to us?

Enjoy being ‘in the present’ this week and I look forward to hearing about what you found when you were there.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The early bird catches the worm and tips for business ...

I attended a breakfast meeting this morning ... one of those 7.30am starts ... (that being a challenge itself for me as I don't do many breakfast meetings these days) ... I'm not one of those people who 'sing' in the mornings. I'm a bit of a grump first thing, if truth were told. I persuaded a business colleague to join me as both of us share an interest in inspirational women in business. We also share a passion for personal and professional development for women in business through a not for profit organisation called Success Network. Rachel Elnaugh (of Red Letter Days) was listed as a key speaker this morning. She proved to be an inspirational, motivational and authentic speaker. Her story of how she created a successful business, lost it and came back to fight another day was quite something. I left the meeting feeling inspired, motivated and full of new thoughts and ideas about what I could do to make a difference to the various projects I am working on.

Don't you just love that when that happens? Who inspired you recently? What difference did that make to your thought processes? What did you do?

Rachel's website
Success Network

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Today I am grateful for …

Nature’s beautiful colours – bright yellow rapeseed growing in the fields at this time of year, the bluest bluebells in a garden near where I live, cherry tree blossoms being blown and scattered like confetti, a beautiful rainbow after the rain, last night’s starry, starry night … loving and caring people I know … a smile from a happy baby … the opportunity to make choices and make a difference … to be free … to be happy … to be alive and well.

And you, what are you grateful for today?

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The gremlin of procrastination …

Sometimes it’s a challenge to motivate myself to do things on my ‘to do list’. One of them is to ‘de-clutter’ my study, which I have been meaning to do for several days. I’m working very hard with the positive thoughts about this, how it will look when it’s done and how much better I will feel when I’ve done it. The procrastinator gremlin has come out to play again and this time, I’ve decided to play her at her own game.

The Procrastinator

She moves
With stealth
Slowly with intent.
Almost on tiptoe.
Long deliberate paces
Like a panther,
Stalking her prey.
Pounces – from nowhere,
STOP – tomorrow, tomorrow,
Not now, not today.
Sun’s out
Go and play,
Clear the study another day.