Month: August 2016

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 7: Refresh

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Hmmm.  This was a tricky one. I couldn’t find a suitable photo. So this is a slight cheat but it’s late and I have a long day tomorrow including my first 1:1 therapy since the PD Service took a 2 week break in therapy sessions for the summer.

Whilst staying at my friend’s we went to a great craft store and I took the opportunity to refresh 😉 my card-making and craft supplies. I bought this set of pastel and metallic gel pens.

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I think I’ll use these for some of my colouring books as well as in card making.

Good night to you all! 🙂

Ginny xxx

As ever, for details acknowledgments of this challenge created by Soul Seaker, please sehere.

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 6: Night

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“Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

– Gandalf, in The Hobbit by J R R Tolkein.

I switched on the TV and The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey is on. Too many fight scenes for me but I like parts of it and tonight the quotation above inspired me for this post…

It can feel like a dark night when we’re struggling with mental or physical pain, loss, distress, depression – and whatever more you are meeting with right now. When things happen to us or our loved ones that make us afraid. When we’re confused or discouraged and can’t find our path and hope seems far away. It has certainly felt dark for me in recent years and I fear dark inside myself most of all – losing the ability to hope, to love, to give, to rejoice, because the frightening memories and all-consuming emotions can obscure so much.

We don’t have to be strong all the time. We need not have great power. It is the “small everyday deeds” that make the difference in the dark night. Small actions of caring friends that show us they think there is good in me even when I don’t. Small memories, experiences or feelings I dare to share with others sometimes show me they are not disgusted or afraid of me as I fear. Small encouragements that might once have gone unnoticed now fill my heart up with thankfulness.

I am not great and I am one person like any other. I don’t know the way and my journey, especially over the last 5 years, has been very unexpected! I did not choose this path and yes, often I have become discouraged and wished it could be smoother. Yet, though this is not where I planned to be, perhaps this is where I am most needed. This is where God who brings good from everything, needs me to be; this is where He has sent me to serve and love and be moulded in His ways. I have no magic to overcome the painful parts of my experiences or the far greater hurt there is for so many people in the world. But I do have love. Small acts of “kindness and love” “keep the darkness at bay”. However small and weak we feel, who knows who we may actually be able to encourage or help through the little acts of our everyday work and tasks, often without knowing it. However much we struggle we can keep the night at bay in our hearts and in the world with these little actions.

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Ginny xxx

For details and acknowledgements of this challenge created by Soul Seaker, please see here.

PS – I’m sorry for uploading late. I have been away for a couple of nights staying at my friend’s.

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 5: BBQ

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For details and acknowledgements of this challenge created by Soul Seaker, please see here. 

I’m afraid that I have no photos at all which are relevant to “barbecue”. It has been ages since I’ve been to one, actually. We are not allowed to barbecue in the garden of the flats where I live. So today, at least going with the outdoor refreshments theme, here’s a very random photo I took having coffee outside in a street cafe with a friend.

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Something about the cup and saucer caught my eye. They were very plain but nicely proportioned with a hint of vintage about them. I love looking at old style crockery and sometimes collecting bits from thrift/ charity shops and markets.

Ginny xxx

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 4: red, white and blue

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For details and acknowledgements of this challenge created by Soul Seaker, please see here.

Since this challenge was created for July, “red, white and blue” was undoubtedly chosen for 4th July Independence Day. Being a month late and also travelling today, I could not find anything suitable for that interpretation so have gone for something totally different. No offence is intended.

Here’s my bag with red, white and turquoise (blue) flowers, travelling with me today.

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I’m staying with my wonderful friend L. and her family for a couple of days. It has been a tiring journey today and I’m glad to be at L’s, heading for bed now. Goodnight all!

Ginny xxx

We all got bruises

Two very different favourite songs I haven’t listened to in a while popped up on my playlist just now. Music and lyrics I can identify with have a powerful effect on my mood and sometimes I use it to cope with strong emotions and memories.

I’d never heard of Crystal Bowersox but felt an instant connection when I stumbled across this song about a journey out of abusive relationships. I like the imagery of the thread in the video – at the start the thread attached her to the abuse / her abuser and it does not disappear completely but she is able to bring from it something different, safe, even beautiful in her own life once she is free.

Here’s another song which lifts me up – “we all got bruises” but it doesn’t mean we will always be down on our knees and they can make for better things to come.

Ginny xxx

Bruises – by Train / Ashley Monroe

Farmer’s Daughter – by Crystal Bowersox

Thanks to VEVO / youtube for the videos

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 3: Beach

Please see here for details and acknowledgements for this challenge created by Soul Seaker.

I said I’m terrible at these challenges, didn’t I! 3 days in and already I’m uploading a day late. Better late than never, as the saying goes.

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Day 3’s “Beach” prompted me to look back through my old photographs looking for some seaside shots, of which I’m sure I have many somewhere from visits to my family in Sussex. However, I haven’t as yet managed to find them. I’d like to get my photos in better order and get some favourites framed. For how much I like taking pictures, I don’t do this enough – the downside of digital photos, often on our phones as well as our cameras, is it can be easy not to get them printed so as to be able to enjoy them afterwards. As I searched through my old snaps, it was interesting revisiting many memories, as well as slightly strange because it brought home to me how much has changed in the past 6 years or so.

Here’s a photo  of the pebble beach and pier in Worthing, West Sussex, from a visit there with family a few weeks ago.

 

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Have you been to the coast recently?

Day 4 to follow later today!

Ginny xxx

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 2: Bloom

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Please see here for acknowledgments for this challenge, created by Soul Seaker.

This afternoon was so wet that Day 17’s “splash” might have been more fitting! However, I think part of the enjoyment of this challenge is being led to notice things we might not otherwise do.

I love roses. Here are some bright blooms on a market stall I often pass.

Ginny xxx

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Your opinion sought – children seeing scars

WARNING: this post is on the topic of self-harm. If this may be distressing please proceed with caution. Thank you. 

I’d welcome any opinions or thoughts on this issue:

I have scars from self-harm, past and not so long past. Sometimes I don’t cover them. Usually I do. I do not mind at all people asking although I do not want to share the full reason with everyone. Too much to reveal, for them and for me. Not because of “what would they think?” type concerns but because the reasons I did it are very raw and intimate. A big reason I cover my scars is not wanting to upset people – this goes for people close to me, too, or maybe all the more – and not wanting to draw attention to myself by making people worry.

I cover the scars with clothes or when the weather is too hot or I want to wear something that wouldn’t cover them all, I use makeup  (designed to cover scars and not to rub off on clothes as ordinary facial makeup would). It isn’t possible to cover them totally but usually I consider it to be enough.

I am going to stay with my friend in a couple of days and she has two little girls, very young, 5 and almost 3. I’ve stayed with them before but never when it’s this hot. There is also the possibility we are going to take the girls to a kids’ pool and whilst I won’t be swimming it may necessitate wearing less. I’m worried about the girls noticing my scars. I will cover them with makeup but I’m worried that as it doesn’t hide everything, the girls will notice and might ask about it. The younger one probably not but the older one may. It may sound like a silly concern however, they are both very observant and pick up on things I would never think that they would.

I’m wondering, first of all, is it the kind of thing they are likely to ask about? Possibly it’s not something children would notice or they might not even know what scars are (as in making the connection that it means I was cut). I don’t know. 

Second, have any of you been in this position? If a child asked you anything, like what are they [ie the scars] or how did it happen, how did you respond?

I’m thinking this is a situation where the girls knowing any of the truth would be unquestionably so damaging to them at this young age that a small lie is the only possible course of action. An adult, if they notice the scars at all, would probably know that it wasn’t done accidentally and not believe my excuse, whilst a child, more likely to ask about the scars in the first place as children aren’t so socially reserved as adults, would probably not realise it wasn’t accidental and would accept the fake explanation I chose. I don’t usually opt for lying but this time it seems to me the only way to avoid causing harm.

Perhaps I should ask the children’s mum (who knows I self-harm) what she thinks or what she would prefer.

Just to be clear, I would never self-harm when with the girls or indeed, when with anyone or where the girls might see me do it – my worry is them seeing the scars I already have from past self-harm.

Any thoughts would be really welcome. Thank you.

Ginny xxx

31 Days of Summer Lovin’ – Day 1

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Thanks go to Cathy Lynn Brooks – your responses to this challenge prompted me to take part. Big thanks also go to Soul Seaker  who created this challenge – I don’t know your blog well yet but definitely will be exploring it!

The challenge was designed for July but I did not see it soon enough so I decided to do it for August instead. I’ve tried some photo challenges before and not been very good at keeping up with them. Let’s see if I can do better this time! I will take a picture every day and endeavour to post daily too but I may sometimes need to upload a few days at a time depending on my schedule.

Today is Day 1 – Outdoors. This plant grows in my friend’s garden. She gave me an off-cut which I was able to plant in my little yard and it’s the first thing I’ve grown myself! Curiously, in my yard the flowers are deep pink whereas hers are this soft lilac colour. We think the little plant must be greatly affected by differences in soil acidity.

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Ginny xxx