We never know when we wake up what the day will bring.
On this Easter Day the anticipation was one of celebration and fun. That was nipped in the bud by the news from Sri Lanka.
Hundreds dead for doing what? Going to Church or having a vacation. Just a few weeks since the shootings at the mosque in New Zealand we once again face a feeling of great helplessness.
This feeling is so familiar to those of us who grew up in Northern Ireland. How many times did we ask ourselves when will this end?
Peace for Northern Ireland came after thirty years of terror. The beginning of the end was a Saturday afternoon bombing in the country town of Omagh. This savagery took many innocent souls among them a young mother carrying unborn twins.
President Clinton brought together the British and Irish governments and they united to make a change for good. His belief that peace was possible was crucial.
Yet even in the Province today terrorist resurgence is at work. It was frightening to see that CNNs chief international correspondent Nic Robertson covered the Sri Lanka news from Londonderry. He was there because of the murder of journalist Lyra McKee killed in the line of duty as she reported on «New IRA » riots.
Condemnation of each major incident from world leaders is insufficient. No doubt they feel helpless too but someone must take up the gauntlet and fight evil.
It is exactly one hundred years since the British massacre of thousands of Indian people at Amritsar. This was the tipping point for the transformation of the Indian nation. Mahatma Gandhi led this change. He believed he could do it and with a band of like believers he did.
We need such leadership today and people willing to band together to right the wrongs that provoke such hatred and actions.
Blessing # 315 – Beginning of the End
Each day brings new surprises in the story of what survived the fire at Notre Dame. The windows, the cross, the crown all seem like miracles but the most amazing is that the bees made it through.
Close to 200000 bees have been living in three hives on the cathedral roof for the past few years. Their mission is to promote biodiversity in the great city of Paris.
This news brought many tongue in cheek comments on social media. The one that made me chuckle most read « expected BUZZFEED to cover this »
We all know the saying where there is life there is hope. What better sign of the promise ahead than these little critters who do such good for nature.
Pollinators and producers they bring both beauty and sweetness to our lives.
They survived because their little bodies are used to smoke and can resist it quite well. To calm down when a stress like smoke is around they just stay home and eat honey.
It will give them renewed strength to keep up their good work on building diversity of all kinds. Such wisdom you lovelies!
Blessing # 314 – Sweet Surprises
Growing up in Belfast during the sixties meant lots of treats at Easter.
We didn’t have the Easter Bunny tradition of today or Easter egg hunts. On occasions we’d color and roll a few boiled eggs down a hill but no one ever ate them. The real fun came well before the day itself.
Kids would be given huge chocolate eggs in boxes. Often these were surrounded by chocolates in a display and were stuffed with more of the same!
These were given by grandparents, aunties, uncles and family friends as well as Mum and Dad. You might well accumulate a dozen of these giant eggs if you were lucky.
It was absolutely forbidden to eat them before Easter Day. They were displayed in all their glory in the parlour, a room that was used only when the vicar came!
Every Mum and Dad in the land must have known that when they were out of earshot the kids were in the parlour.
As an only child my trip to this special room was shared with my best friend Carol. She would be on the look out for roving adults. As she is also an only child the favor was reciprocated at her home.
With haste and stealth the egg box would be opened and the egg carefully removed. The foil cover would be peeled from the back and the egg cracked. The internal contents were quickly removed and shoved into pockets before the egg was rebuilt to look as before.
A race outside into the street and a happy munching session would then take place.
The remaining shells and the display chocolates would of course have to stick around till Easter when they’d be scoffed in a marathon eating session.
Can’t imagine how a child who didn’t take advanced training felt when they tucked into their stock. They’d have had the worst tummy pain. Something I always avoided
Blessing # 313 – Building Stamina
Yesterday my little business cards arrived and I am thrilled with them. They are shinier than I expected and very professional looking. Great work VISTAPRINT
Had to test them as tags for my future sales and run them past my besties who thought they look good too. Now all that’s needed is the little store front to start selling.
These past days have been an eye opener on the amount of things for sale on the internet. There are so many people in the business of uncovering treasures.
Looking to see if I’d found another a bit of homework was done on eBay and Etsy. There must be tens of thousands of little Japanese vases out there for sale. Not a single one like mine though. Love my little beauty.
Think this is a close cousin.
This morning another step in the DIY “learning to be an entrepreneur” course I’m giving myself led to the set up of a Twitter account.
For sure I’ll be an embarrassment to many but gotta keep on learning.
Blessing # 312 – Old Dog New Trick
Cleaning the little candlestick over the weekend did some good. It raised guilt that drove serious reflections on the need to clean the house.
Bingo a breakthrough! What if cleaning was treated like a workout. Could I get into the rhythm and learn to love it like Zumba?
Rather than going ballistic for the whole day the key will be to take it one hour at a time to music.
First things first though a new mop. Ours was dead so we got one of those new fangled things.
How fun this turned out to be. It was like playing with a giant water pistol. You fill it with cleaner and then you swivel around just squirting away. Wonder did the designers plan it this way.
Doesn’t help with dusting though. Yesterday fluff thick as a young duvet was removed from the shelf of our coffee table. Anyone got a playful way to make this chore a charm?
Blessing # 311 – A New Toy
Sunday saw the return of one of the most beloved sports stars the world has ever known.
Many had said it would never happen but Tiger Woods proved them wrong and won the masters in Atlanta.
Like Notre Dame de Paris, Tiger has been through the fire. His return to the top is one of the great come backs of all time.
What did it take for him to make this return? Patience no doubt, immense effort and endurance but without belief in himself it could never have happened.
Commentators who talked to his fellow golfers said what they saw on the course was a different Tiger. One more relaxed and friendly. One who seemed to be enjoying the game rather than functioning like a machine.
This morning we saw the images of Notre Dame. The gothic stones had done their duty and held up. The most amazing thing though was that through all that heat those magnificent windows were all still intact.
With hundreds of millions already donated for restoration who knows what the architect will come up with.
Maybe a glass roof. How that would light up the stained glass. Just imagine how beautiful that might be and like Tiger maybe even better than before.
Blessing #310 – Survival and Revival
Who can watch the tragedy of today and not be heart broken. It is unimaginably to see the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris ablaze.
Many of you will have been there and know that it is a place that merits the word magestic. Full of history and religious significance.
Our family were blessed to live in Paris for three years and to bring friends and family to see and experience this beautiful place.
It was the first place in Paris that Aaron ever visited. When I took him for his interview at the Bristish School of Paris we went there afterwards. He was just a little five year old then. One of his favorite movies was the Hunchback of Notre Dame so we went to see if we could find Quasimodo.
Whether five or ninety five no one enters the doors of this holy place without being awe struck. The scale and power are immense.
Many evenings I passed the cathedral at night on my way from the Gare de Lyon to Issy les Moulineux. It is magical and when I saw it it meant I was almost home.
All the world will feel this but I can only imagine the depth of sadness of the people of Paris and of France.
That the loss of this symbol of faith, hope and the love of Jesus comes during Holy Week makes it even more poignant.
The significance of this moment will stay with us for ever. One thing we know for sure though there will be a restoration to glory!
Blessing # 309 – In the End is Our Beginning
Today the call to clean came. It needs desperately to be applied to our house. Instead, all the attention is being given to a small silver plated candlestick.
This little love was picked up in a thrift store for $1.60. It has a cousin on sale on eBay for ten times as much. Except my baby was just a tad less sparkly.
Back we go to the days of O-level chemistry and out came the lemon juice and the ever faithful BAKING SODA.
The smell of the concoction was so refreshing that Dibley joined in on the act.
Taking his usual I must trip you up space beside me, he spectacularly draws attention to the fact that the grout on the floor needs the attention of acid and base much more than the candlestick!
That can wait for Monday! Now back to business.
Once that the magic paste was applied all that was needed was patience. Since I have little of that and since there was plenty of paste to go round some little brass napkin ring holders were also attacked.
They started to go green after a while but after a dib in vinegar some fizzing and polishing the napkin holders turn out shiny but streaky and far from ideal.
The little candlestick is much better, you need to trust me on that because I forgot to take the before picture, but again is not perfect.
We will take it up to the A Level one of these days and do some electrolysis!
If nothing else the sink got a good clean.
Blessing # 308 – Chemical Reaction
They keep promoting Vistaprint for business applications on TV. Maybe I was dreaming about it but this morning, with coffee in hand, the temptation to try took over.
It was so easy to make little business cards as there were lots of templates. You could use your own images, messages and fonts and at a starting rate of ten dollars for five hundred the temptation grew greater.
Up at seven and needing to leave for a meeting at eight fifteen these little cards were never going to be super sophisticated but I’m so pleased with they way look. What do you think?
They have a nice little message on the back that Mother inspired from above. She loves to get involved!
They don’t know it yet but they are going to double up as price tags too! Even on small items they can be cut in half!
At check out the price was more than ten dollars as a full photo was included but they were still a bargain.
The final temptation was the promotion of postcards for an extra ten dollars. By now all my card details were in and I was needing to rush and get ready. So they’re on the way too.
They’ll come in handy for the opening event! Look out for one in the post pals!!!!
Blessing # 307 – Getting Going
A bit late on the banter today as I was scouting for stock. Not the chicken or beef variety!
Having accumulated all the glass and furniture for the guest house, that is now not to be, another path has opened up.
There is a lovely little antique mall in our town that rents booths to dealers.
Limited risk is associated with this as you commit only to six months rental. There is a waiting list for the booths but guess whose name is now on the list?
Nothing makes me happier than hunting for buried treasure at rummage and yard sales. Truth be told these are often little lost causes going for a song.
Yesterday we went to a big barn sale close to our home and I bought home a few items for « my shop ». After a little research on eBay joy was abundant. A little Japanese plate that was purchase for a big 50 cents was on sale on eBay for $29.99!
So back to the barn today for more hunting. Missed a few little piece but found a few more. Best of all when I was paying for my wares I asked if they might have a sander.
Digging deep into the depths of the barn guess what the owner found? You got it a perfect little piece of equipment to restore some treasures to their former glory.
Blessing # 306 – To Seek and Find