Celebrate life

Thursday, 27 December 2012

27 December

Eleven years ago today my baby girl was born and died.

And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
O I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands of life shall run

Robert Burns

And these three remain:
faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love

1 Cor 13:13 (NIV)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

little bits and pieces of joy

When I find it hard to see the bigger picture I need to train my eyes to look for the little bits that add up to the view.

I remind myself that 'joy' isn't always written in 6-foot high neon letters, and isn't shouted from the rooftops.

Often it's quieter then that, spoken more softly.

Sometimes because it doesn't shout 'look at me!' it's harder to spot. But it's there.

finally finishing the quilt I started a year ago

sun-flamed clouds

a proper cup of tea from a teapot

unexpected flowers from Hubs

I guess because it's also my middle name I carry it around with me wherever I go, too.

Friday, 8 June 2012

I can see your halo (apologies to Beyonce)

My small boy sees haloes everywhere. When he was tiny he used to call them 'holies' - which is apt.
I'm so pleased I managed to capture (inadvertently) his very own halo:

He is such a blessing

Saturday, 19 May 2012


When we were on holiday in Cornwall I was so struck by the quality of light there. 
Everything was pin-sharp. It was really striking

Of course, it's always easier to see things more clearly on holiday, with so much sky and sea all around.

I always feel better about things, and myself, in Cornwall.

And I had a 'ping!' moment, which was as if a light had shone on a thought...

I often feel that the world is a mean, hard, brutal place, and that I should be defensive and prepared for whatever mean, hard thing is due to come my way. But when I blog, and more importantly, when I read other people's blogs, I see so clearly that the world isn't always tough and unyielding. And I gain so much from seeing the world through others' eyes.

It really does help to steer me towards a kinder way of thinking, towards the world, and towards myself.

And for that, I am truly thankful.

Monday, 23 April 2012


So our computer gave up. It literally crashed, oldest child having dropped it (yeah, he feels bad).

Apart from piggybacking on a friend's computer in order to attend to necessary bill-paying things, I had no internet access for a few weeks. I would go to sit down to do a bit of online noodling, and then see the empty desk.

I went from petulance - I miss YouTube! - to extreme stoicism - for heaven's sake, Deborah, it's just a THING! You are spoilt, spoilt, SPOILT! - to sadness...

...because what I really, really missed was community, the online faith community - sharing, reading, laughing, reflecting, joining in.

Yes, of course I love my family and friends dearly, and I value face to face time. 

But you guys whose blogs I follow are valued too, equally but differently.
And I am so glad to be back amongst you. I still have lots more I want to share. Like this:

Cornwall Easter 2012

Easter 2012

Easter 2012

Thursday, 29 March 2012

spring forward

The clocks go forward to British Summer Time and all of a sudden Spring comes hurtling,
pell-mell, into full view.

All the flowers have gone a bit doolally this week, bursting out all over the place:

We've had a week of unbroken sunshine. I'm a glass half-empty girl, convinced that all this sunshine now will use up our miserly quota for the year and there won't be any left for Summer.

Husband (glass half-full) says it's like tossing a coin - just because the first 99 times are heads, doesn't mean the 100th one will be. Sunshine now doesn't necessarily mean no sunshine for Summer. We'll see.

It's been warm enough to eat outside, almost unheard of in March.

my glorious friend Sue and I catching some rays yesterday lunchtime

I'd love to say this is my back garden, but it isn't:

my youngest, doing what boys do best

Thank you, my Lord, for a beautiful day.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

spring, suspended


Just as I was getting used to brighter days and a little more colour, it turned foggy.

This is what I walked to work in:

It was a real pea-souper today, and spookily quiet. And the air was thick with water vapour.

A fellow pedestrian and I made each other jump when we both appeared out of the gloom - with no visibility and sounds all muffled, we simply didn't see the other one.

I thought I'd left Winter behind. I'm missing the bright colours of Spring. I've had enough of the grey.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

spring will come again

All the cheerful Spring flowers are coming out and I've been stocking up on the '2 for 1' offers at the supermarket.

I love the primary colours and the waxy petals and the 'look at me!' quality of daffodils

At this time of year, I start to crave a little more light at the beginning and end of the day, and to see the sun reach a bit higher in the sky.

10 years ago, when our world went dark, we went to church on that strange Sunday between Christmas and New Year. One of our church family gave us a card with daffodils and tulips on the front, and inside she had written:

'Spring will come again'

The world does keep turning and darkness is always followed by light. I'm not sure I could see it or believe it that year. And I don't think I even wanted it to change, not then.

I didn't want the world to turn and move us all forward into Spring. I wanted time to go backwards, back to Advent, when I was happy and certain.

Spring will come again, as it does every year, and every year I am thankful for what Spring brings. I'm grateful for the brightness and the flowers bursting out everywhere. And, still, I wish things had been different.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

following instructions

here's the tea cosy I knitted, with the help of my friend, and experienced knitter, Sue:

I arranged it just so to show the 'good' side. The 'less good' side, the first side I made, is facing away.

It has mistakes in it because I didn't follow the instructions, I thought that they must be wrong, they didn't make sense, I could work it out better.

Turns out, I followed MY rules and got into a pickle.

Sue unpicked and revised and offered sage advice: follow the instructions. They are there for a reason. They work.

We're moving through 1 Peter in church and on a Post-It note I have this:

Love one another deeply, from the heart 
(1 Peter 1:22, NIV)

Peter's instructions to a displaced people in a foreign land are there for a reason. They work.

I'm making a note to self to follow the instructions.

And I am very proud of my little tea cosy.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


The earth is the Lord's.and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it

Psalm 24 v1, NIV

Friday, 17 February 2012

14 years ago today

my boy, my firstborn, came into the world in dramatic fashion at 02:22, and we became a family.

By the time this photo was taken (on our old, non-digital camera), when he was about 12 hours old, he'd already had his first scan to check his kidneys were working (they were fine). I remember praying so hard to our Father in heaven that he would be OK. Making deals with God: 'I promise I'll be good if you take care of my boy'.

And now, he's almost the same height as me, his voice has broken, and he's started shaving once in a while. He is welded to his iThing, texts like a dynamo and teases his little brother a lot.

How did that happen?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

winter sparkles

After what feels like months of unremitting leaden skies, yesterday we had a treat.

The sun shone, all day, and it was COLD.

Buds are coming

It was a jewel of a day.

Saturday, 4 February 2012


Winter has been baring her teeth this week, with an east wind blowing in cold air all the way from Siberia.

My part of town has some delightfully bonkers inhabitants. Some kind soul clearly felt this tree was in need of a bit of warmth and comfort, and knitted it a little jacket.

Gentle hearts rule.

Monday, 30 January 2012


I didn't intend to use my blog to bask in the reflected glory of my fabulously talented children
(though I admit I AM button-popping proud of them).

But my youngest produced this the other day and, oh my Lord, my heart squeezed up so tight.

'Joy' is my middle name. 'Hope' was our wee girl's name. And 'love', of course, LOVE is what holds us together and connects us all.

Sometimes I think that he is closer to his sister than I am. Often I feel she is so far away. 

And I need the simple, clear sight of a nine-year old to help me to see things.

So, thank you, little man. This means the world to me. It will go in my box of treasures.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


I gave myself a fright the other day.

I went out running on a new route I hadn't tried before.

I got lost. Not LOST lost. But definitely disorientated lost.

And I ended up running along a busy main road, with lorries and buses screeching past close by. Not what I'd intended. And a long way from home.

I was so cross with myself for making such a silly mistake, for not paying enough attention, for getting it wrong.

I doled out a severe talking-to.

And when you're running there's plenty of time to beat yourself up.

I felt small. And not in a good way. I felt vulnerable. And there are few things I recoil from more than feeling vulnerable. I felt pretty stupid. I wanted to cry. I prayed a lot.

Here's the bridge I was supposed to be running over (on a good day):

It's 250 feet high, and the only way to get to it from down on the busy road was by going up. A lot.

I made it home, eventually. I cried then.