Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Pulmonary Haemsiderosis - Appeal for Help

Please, please have a look at this http://belle-diaryofahousewife.blogspot.com/2008/07/appeal-for-help.html link.
My friend Belle is helping another friend Jo, who is trying to help another friend Marie.
It's basically a long line of friends helping each other.
So can you join in?


Thursday, 17 July 2008


“Procrastination is the thief of time.” - Edward Young (1683-1765)

OK. I'm sitting here on the computer, as I have been most other evenings of late.

I haven't written anything for a little while, either on my blog or otherwise. And I have been wondering why. Why, when I have time to write for a couple of hours, do I suddenly decide to do the laundry/watch TV/ surf the net reading other people's blogs etc etc? Clearly I am a procrastinator. This has been brought home to me, in the most profound way, by my search of Wikipedia (it's on Wiki, so it must be true...) on the subject.

After the usual stuff about procrastination being related to the anxiety associated with starting or completing a task, I was informed that people who suffer from procrastination have a higher than normal level of conscientiousness. You're talking to a mother here - guilt is my middle name....

And then, the clincher. The clear diagnosis of my innate procrastination:

'People who exhibit decreased impulse control and procrastination appear to be prone to internet addiction.'

Get. Off. The. Computer. Now. Claire.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I should just rename this blog...

Things my kids do and say.

Yesterday we were picking raspberries in my mum's garden, collecting them in bowls. Dear daughter was dutifully filling her little bowl, and I noticed that small son's bowl was empty and discarded on the ground.
'Are you still picking the raspberries?' I asked.
'Yes, mummy'
'Well where are you putting them?' (you should just never ask these questions)
Him, breezily, 'Oh, in my pockets.'

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Serendipity and Unicorns

I went to a creativity conference in Italy in April this year. (www.creaconference.com)
During one of the workshops we were asked to select an image to think and write about. I selected the unicorn image opposite. This is 'The Unicorn in Captivity' from the tapestry The Hunt of the Unicorn, created in The Netherlands in 1495-1505. The original is hanging in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I had never seen this image before I picked it out of a table full of postcards.
I wrote about it in relation to the force of my creativity and the necessity to enable its release from 'fences' of all types. It was a very meaningful exercise for me, as it really showed up the ambivalent relationship I have with my writing. Since that time at CREA I have been generally motivated and optimistic about my work. But just recently I have been having a bit of a dip in energy and concentration. This, combined with the demands of parenthood and a ridiculously busy time, has left me a bit adrift.
Yesterday, we visited a stately home where a friend of mine is getting married in October. We are taking their photographs for them and wanted to see the venue.
There, hanging above the mantelpiece in the sumptuous dining room, was a copy of the unicorn tapestry.
A little gentle reminder to keep myself on track, I think.....

Friendship Again

Following on from my ramblings about friendship, I just found a great quotation which eloquently summarises what I was trying to say....

'Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.'

Virginia Woolf

Thursday, 3 July 2008


I have just spent the evening talking with a very old and dear friend. We have known each other for twenty years, but until tonight there were pieces of the jigsaw that makes him who he is that were missing. I don't know why he chose tonight to talk so honestly - things just seemed to lead that way. And I don't know why he chose to tell me some of the things he did. I hadn't asked, and our friendship isn't based on any need for me to know. But I was deeply moved by both what he said and the fact that he chose to tell me.

What is friendship about? A shared history? Being supportive? Offering advice and a shoulder to cry on? Maybe all these. But sometimes these get in the way of what is important; and that is acceptance.

I think being a true friend is accepting the contradiction that people are as they are, and also that they are essentially unknowable, as we all are. And being truly open to that contradiction.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Sports Day

Dearest daughter's nursery Sports/Fun Day was a hoot. Watching twenty 3 and 4 year olds running relay races was hilarious. The boys were great at the running, but when it came to the balance and control required for the egg and spoon, and balancing the bean-bag on the head, the girls came into their own.

I have to embarrassingly admit to a certain amount of trepidation beforehand, as sports have never been my strong suit (to put it mildly). Even the mention of the words 'Sports Day' made me feel all anxious and took me right back to my school days of miserable enforced participation.

Anyway, I needn't have worried. Dearest daughter enjoyed it all, and actually acquitted herself fairly well. (must get that from her father) And she won a jar of sweets for guessing the number in it correctly. So she was happy. And so was I.

I still didn't join in the Mother's Race though...

And here's a classic from the other child...

My son and I have been scaling the heights of the mountain known as potty training. We have a mantra currently running in our house:
(Me) 'Where do wee-wee's go?'
(Him) 'In the potty..!'
Before he blithely wees in his training pants.

Anyway, we are going to France on holiday in the summer and I have decided to go cold turkey with the potty training. Here's how the conversation went:
(Me) 'When we go to France, there's going to be no more nappies. So where do wee-wees go?'
(Him, triumphantly) 'In the swimming pool!'