A Visit to Dad’s Tree

I have been in reflective mood this week. This month is full of birthdays – not just my husband and daughter’s, but so many of the people I was close to who are no longer here: my brother, father, grandfather, 2 uncles, they all had birthdays this week.

img_3815Thinking of them, of their combined love of the outdoors, of wildlife, plants, walking, creativity through music, writing, upholstery, gardening, reminds me of our interconnection. I like to think of their spirit living on in me.

I am also reminded that things can change in a split second. It can be a heart attack or a devastating diagnosis. But it can also be an unexplained remission or what seemed an unbearable situation can turn around on the words or actions of a stranger.

These thoughts reawaken my own spirit, remotivating me when I am beginning to feel overwhelmed by pain or by circumstances, either personal or global. Being outdoors, filling my lungs with fresh air, listening to birdsong and the rustling of the trees, re-energises me and helps me square up to my recurrent pain and look it right in the eyes. It feeds my creative urge and I want to pick up my pen, my paintbrush, my camera.

Last weekend, I visited the tree I had planted for my dad and brother, about 11 years ago, a cherry tree. I hadn’t been there for a long time, but felt drawn there on a particularly difficult day. I could see scratches on the lower part of the trunk where the squirrels ran up and this made me smile. Dad used to like feeding the squirrels. I stood with my hands on this now sturdy trunk, closing my eyes and silently talking to my dad and brother, thanking them for helping me through difficult times and asking for them to be with me as I faced another physical setback. I drew strength from the tree, from the warmth of the sun which had broken through the clouds, brightening what had started as a gloomy day. I bade them farewell until the next time.

IMG_4058I slowly opened my eyes and prepared to step away from the tree and make my way home. As I did so, I wondered if the crocuses I had planted all those years ago still flowered in the Spring? While thinking this, I involuntarily looked down at the base of the tree and saw two white feathers beside my feet.

Today is my dad’s birthday. I shall celebrate by watching one of his favourite John Wayne films, which also happens to be a favourite of my husband: The Quiet Man, set in Ireland, and I will set aside my feminist sensibilities and laugh. A lot.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Waiting for Inspiration to Strike – The Shower Beckons!

When I began this blog, it was to help people make healthy choices and improve their sense of wellbeing. I envisaged passing on nutritional information and writing about complementary therapies etc., but never imagined that I would be investing so much of myself and my life in this new project or that it would become so chock full of food photos and recipes!

It puts so much pressure on a person to produce something that’s worthy of a photograph and a post, you feel like you can no longer mindlessly throw together a bowl of muesli or a hummus sandwich without making it look beautiful: you feel so guilty if you don’t at least try to create some culinary art. Every evening my husband feels like he has to sit back out of shot and wait to eat until I have finished photographing the meal! (Have you seen the Instagram Husband tongue-in-cheek video about just that?)

Recently, I’ve been feeling like I’ve pretty much said all I have to say in terms of health and nutrition and that I’m just repeating myself. I’m sure you’re all getting as bored as I am of endless recipes for smoothies and raw treats, there are so many bloggers doing this who are much more creative and qualified than me.

The other day I was scheduling posts for another break for osteopathy next week and afterwards I realised I had used up all my draft posts. I had no ideas in the pipeline at all. This was at once anxiety-inducing and liberating. I even contemplated stopping blogging. Was that a sigh of relief at the back there?!

And then I commented on Brian Lageose’s very funny post 10 Things To Do While Waiting For An Inspirational Blog Idea, to which he responded with another gentle push in the direction of writing more anecdotes, more short stories.

I love writing and have always written in some form, but I have no confidence and also feel I have no original ideas. I tend to be reactive rather than creative, I respond to other people’s posts with some witty retort or family anecdote or a blast from the past, a light-hearted observation. I write fact not fiction. Even my poems are based in reality.

The posts I’ve published about my dad, my teacher, my children and so on, have gained a lot of attention and compliments and I would love to do more. My difficulty is that I can’t easily write posts that involve the younger members of the family or indeed older, still living members, it isn’t fair to them and parents don’t always want photos of their children splashed around the internet, with which I am in full agreement.

28062032_unknownSo, I did what I always do when feeling at a loss, I looked in the fridge (no.1 on Brian’s list) and found this amazing mango chia pudding; I looked in the raw chocolate cupboard (averting my eyes from the raw chocolate almonds* while also resisting a bar of Pitch Dark*) – and then I took a shower!

My inspiration always comes at the most inopportune moments, generally when I’m just dropping off to sleep, when I’m in the bathroom (!) and most often when I’m taking a shower! This last is the most frustrating because not only is there no access to pen and paper, let alone iPad, but I have to finish washing, conditioning, drying, dressing and styling before I can jot anything down, and of course I also have to dodge my husband’s frequent attempts at memory scrambling when he inevitably asks me where his phone/keys/wallet/spanner/glasses are (you would understand my lack of inspirational/inspired posts if you realised how often in a day this occurs, it really is nothing short of a miracle that I post anything at all – just now I had to break off to help him decide whether to paint the new wooden drain cover first or the new wooden garden edging! Honestly). Before I can get my fingers to a keyboard, the ideas are tumbling over themselves, the proof-reading has already begun and I want to shut myself in a darkened room to reassemble my brain cells.

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(I was going to caption this ‘Man with a Plan’ – he was making a drain cover – but my wit of a son came up with ‘Man with a Plank’ when I put it on Instagram!) 

The result of his afternoon’s work (just don’t tell him it’s not straight!)

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Today, while cleansing body and mind, it came to me. That elusive next anecdotal post. So now the pressure’s on to get it done and dusted before I take my leave for rest and recreation next week. I won’t give it a big build-up in case it’s rubbish, I’ll just slip it in between the recipes and hope it passes muster. Don’t be afraid to comment, I’ll already be lying down, I can take it, just be gentle, my back hurts.

(I’m going back to finish the Mango Chia Pudding now).

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Links to the posts mentioned earlier:

You Were So Much More Than Your Job: A Tribute to My Dad For Father’s Day

My Dad Walked Straight and Tall Like A Soldier

Hand in Hand: A Poem for Father’s Day

Inspiring Women: An Expression of Gratitude

Mother’s Day: A Tribute to My Children

Ode To Our Piano, a Faithful and Long-Suffering Friend

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan

This Valentine’s Day Scrooge is Spreading the Love!

It’s Valentine’s Day next week and it’s a day we usually avoid like the plague. I am a Valentine’s Day scrooge!

As an adult I see the prices of flowers inflate as the day approache; as a teenager I remember the anxiety of wondering if anyone would like me enough to send me a card and the agony of going to school to hear endless screeches and laughter at the often rude sometimes soppy cards my friends had received – often not just one but two or three – while I just mumbled that the post hadn’t arrived before I left for school.

But a post by Pioneering the Simple Life about Home-made Valentines past got me rethinking my stance. All our birthday, Christmas, anniversary, condolence, congratulations cards are home-made when possible, but we always give Valentine’s Day a miss.

However, love isn’t just the romantic kind. So, this year on St Valentine’s Day, why not spread some family love? It would be fun to ferret out the felt, the card, the glue and scissors and spend some time playing. It’s been a while.

So I did.

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I drew, cut out and glued foam hearts on sticks leftover from making children’s mobiles and arranged them in a glass jug. I made vanilla and almond raw chocolate hearts, stars and chunks.* (I’m calling it Vanutte! See my Raw Treats – Recipes).

Cards were also made to send to the other family members who wouldn’t be visiting. It was great fun and took my mind off aches and pains, worries and weather!

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You can use all sorts of everyday household materials – have a look at Pioneering the Simple Life and Scribbleartie for ideas. For the cards I used some felt I bought for a previous project some time ago, but you can use card, foil, shapes made from leftover wrapping paper, string and ribbon – I save everything for moments like this!

Give it a go, find your inner child – or just borrow a real one! – and get sticking and colouring and baking and making. Share your love with those close to you, whether family, partner, friend or someone who just needs to know they are not alone and forgotten.

Love isn’t just for Valentine’s Day! Make it personal any time of the year.

Everyone benefits.

In the words of Jason Mraz: ‘When you love someone, it all comes back to you.’

With lots of love,

Chris x

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*Basic recipe on the back of  The Raw Chocolate Company Raw Cacao Powder and Coconut Palm Sugar packs.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

It’s January: S.A.D.? Do What You Love!

I bought a new mug the other day. Well, actually, it’s a rather large cup that you need two hands to hold, one of those Friends-type ones that you can snuggle up with, full of hot chocolate*, in front of a cosy fire. It’s nothing special. It cost 99p in a local shop and is both dishwasher and microwave safe. It was what was written on the front that resonated.

I don’t usually like things with slogans, but this one says:

‘Do what you love!’

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Being January, with its cold and damp grey days, and being a little susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder, I have learned to try always to have a project on the go to absorb my attention and give my brain something else to contemplate other than when is the sun ever going to wake up and the garden turn green again?

In the past it’s been family history research: when I finished my own, I helped someone else. I try to catch up on letter-writing too. Real letters with real ink written on real paper! I love to use a fountain pen, and this year I have my precious old one sent to me by my primary school teacher, Evelyn (you can read about it here).

21f65416-e275-4687-a6cc-13eef10a45aaI’m currently on my second week of a juice plan, so that has occupied me somewhat – and made me get some much-needed early nights! – but I needed something creative too.

Every year, when we take down the Christmas cards, I put them away for recycling and reusing in November for next Christmas. But I always think I should do it now because November is always such a busy month with all the other preparations and my back really suffers so that I’m always in pain at Christmas.

img_2968This time, when I saw the mug, it was like a message from the universe! So, here I am, doing what I love, making Christmas cards in January! Oh, and drinking my favourite liquorice and cinnamon tea.

This is also the time of year when the professional cyclists dust off their lycra, don their new team strips and bring us some much needed sun from Downunder!

The Tour Down Under began this week in Adelaide, just what I needed: sun, culture and men in lycra – and leading the family Velogames league after Stage 1 and 2 (I don’t even cycle, they take it very seriously) <wicked laugh!>

So I may be a little preoccupied for a while … with the cards I mean 😉

Time for my next juice, cheers!

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What do *you* love to do during these winter months?

*Recipe for Spicy Raw Hot Chocolate with Hemp Milk (or nut milk).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

I Was On A Break, But I’m Back! I Feel Great! Here’s What I Did On My Holiday…

I’ve been on an Ebreak. No iPad or iPhone for 8 days. No blogging or blog-reading for 9 days. No Social Media for 10 days. I didn’t take one photo. No texts.

I needed the break because I was exhausted. I wasn’t sleeping, my mind was racing all the time, coming up with ideas for posts, getting up in the night to write them up.

Blogging was beginning to feel like a full-time job. I was constantly taking photos for the blog, for Instagram etc. Every mealtime, my husband would have to wait to eat while I took photos, ususally asking him to move something that was in the background, even the furniture!

My family and friends needed support, which I’m always happy to give. But the phone was always ringing. Messages kept pinging. I felt stressed, my digestion was shot and I felt on edge. My back, neck and shoulders were so painful, I felt permanently hunched over, all my muscles were in a spasm.

Action was needed. So I had osteopathy and my Ebreak.

The first two days were easy. I regularly have osteopathy and always take the opportunity to have a break from electronic devices and to rest afterwards. For one reason or another, I hadn’t been able to fit in an appointment for some time and that’s why everything had built up.

After treatment, I naturally don’t want to start typing and scrolling – I don’t want to undo all the benefits by immediately returning to behaviour that had got me to that state. But after a couple of days, I get bored and twitchy. I want to know what’s going on.

Fortunately, this time the weather was mostly good and I was able to spend time outside, just relaxing, contemplating, watching the birds etc. My husband did a tidy-up of the garden while I supervised as he has a tendency to dig up the plants and leave the weeds!

I began to unwind.

I found I was going to bed earlier. I listened to relaxation tapes and audiobooks.

imageSoon, I got out my craft box and began making cards. I hadn’t made any since the start of the year and I’d missed it, but I could never tear myself away from the iPad long enough to change focus and concentrate on something else. It felt good to do something creative again. I became engrossed and time passed more constructively.

I really began to feel calmer. I could feel myself slowing down, my muscles relaxing. I was giving full attention to everything and everyone instead of reluctantly giving half an ear to what was being said while I continued to write a blogpost. I was more patient. I was taking note.

So much more was attended to. All those little things you keep meaning to do but never get around to. I sorted out the drawers of my desk. Decluttered my wardrobe. My bookshelves. The (grown-up) kids’ books. Dvds. I sent a lot of things to the charity shop, others went on Ebay (I had to rely on my husband for that, I was on a break!). I sorted through the dreaded paperwork.

Most importantly, healthwise, I also did a Raw Island One Day Juice Cleanse – more on that next time.

I would have managed a longer holiday, but on the eighth day I had to contact a company and the only way was by email. Unfortunately, this meant that I also saw I had 125 emails waiting in my inbox and I began to panic about how I was going to cope if they kept on coming. So I started to scroll through, deleting those that were just notifications, telling myself I would only do so many and then stop. But you know how it goes, one or two were from people who really needed the support of a full reply and before you know it, you’re back! But I’m trying to be more disciplined.

All in all, I thoroughly recommend taking a break from all the electronic chatter. Everything and everyone will still be there when you come back. I feel refreshed. I feel like I can be a little more disciplined about my iPad use and not quite so obsessive about checking up on everything and everyone.

I was a little anxious that people might have moved on, that out of sight might mean out of mind, but not at all. I had some lovely messages and comments awaiting my return which are much-appreciated, thank you.

Oh, and if you see me here after midnight, tell me to go to bed! (I now have 10 minutes to log off and make tracks!)

Enjoy the Friends Clip! (You’ll need to click onto the blog if you’re reading this via email).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

 

For Ruthie: on Your Non-Birthday!

imageToday is my beautiful, intelligent and talented daughter’s birthday (I’ll spare her blushes and omit her age). She won’t be celebrating it, however, as she leaves for work at 7am before her family are up and running and won’t get home until a rushed dinner, after which she has a parents’ meeting at school!

She does so much for everyone else, helping, advising, often pulling out all the stops with a hand-made present (see my quilted sofa cover below), but resists all attempts by us to arrange something for her.*

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So this is my ‘surprise’ (for which read ’embarrassing and mortifying shock’ if/when she sees it!) I wrote this poem a long time ago when I was very ill in bed and dependent on a lot of personal help. Ruth was pregnant at the time, but still managed to come long distance to give me moral as well as practical support. She’ll never know how much her visits meant.

It’s not very good in poetic terms (I’m more than a little embarrassed myself to be putting it out in the world!) I was probably as high as a kite on painkillers and anti-depressants at the time (I no longer take them: juicing, herbal remedies and a healthy plant-based diet are far more effective).

I don’t know if she has ever seen it.

Fortunately, if she does read it, I will already be on my health hiatus, having back treatment and a break from my blog. I will. E incommunicado, so hopefully I’ll be able to dodge the fall-out!

For Ruth

My darling Ruth,

I have tried and failed

so many times

to put into words

– in just a few lines –

what your being here

means to me.

*

With your sparkling eyes

and your giggling laugh,

your sense of fun

has lifted me up

when I felt so down

and my future

so difficult to see.

*

You listen, amused,

while I chide your habits

of shopping and spending,

as you wash my hair

and change my bedding

or bring me cups

of warm green tea.

*

I’m amazed, but glad,

that you come back home,

excited and pleased

to just sit and chat

or be chivvied and teased,

and watch tv,

for without you

I couldn’t be me.

****

‘Thank you’ is never enough to express the gratitude I feel towards my son and daughter for all the support they have given and continue to give.  Apologies if this is a bit mushy, K and R – I’m your mother, it’s allowed!

Lights blue touch paper and retires…

*(Update: After much persuasion, she reluctantly agreed to a family Cornish cream tea party at the weekend! Sadly, I and my bad back missed out, but I was given a running commentary via photos and videos throughout the afternoon. The highlight was the two toddlers enjoying their ride in the Morris Minor, giggling the whole way – oh, and the ginormous chocolate orange jaffa cake our son made for my husband who was also celebrating his birthday:

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(Credit, my son)

The middle orange layer was made with freshly extracted orange juice.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

A Quiet Saturday Doing Nothing Much – until…!

It began early. Too early! My husband decided that as there was a load of logs being delivered at any time today as well as the possibility of a family visit, he’d better get up at the crack of dawn to make the juices, light the fire, have breakfast and get to the shops as soon as they opened. No matter how ‘quiet’ he tries to be, I always wake up and this is never a happy start to our day: I don’t react well to being woken up, whatever the hour. I need time, lots of it, to come to, review my dreams, make an inventory of my aches and pains,  work out what day it is – always a tricky conundrum during school holidays because I don’t have the school children or school traffic to at least give me a clue as to whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. I don’t usually manage much sleep –  Morpheus and I are mere passing acquaintances – so when I do slip into slumber I like it to last as long as possible.

So his getting up even earlier than usual is not an auspicious start – the usually full-throated blackbird hasn’t even warmed up his vocal chords yet!  I want to stay supine for as long as possible, in order to gather my strength and my wits ready for the possible onslaught, I mean visit, of my lovely grandsons who usually like to invent some kind of medieval torture to inflict on their doting grandma – their favourite ‘game’ at the moment is Demon Dentists! They seem to have grown out of spies and pirates. We have a playroom full of cardboard instruments of torture designed by them over the years (see Creativity is Contagious), usually after a visit to the local ruined castle and of course used only on yours truly – I don’t know how Grandad always manages to get away with it!

We haven’t seen them since Valentine’s Day and I was looking forward to the annual Easter Egg frenzy, I mean well-organised, leisurely garden hunt (I swear they only love me for my chocolate 😉). So was Grandad, you’ve never met someone with as sweet a tooth and being well-brought up, they usually take pity on him and donate a small portion of their Easter booty.

But at 8.22 our daughter rang. This couldn’t be good news. It wasn’t – or it was, depending on how you looked at it! She couldn’t get the boys moving – the youngest (not that young) wanted to travel in his pyjamas!  The oldest didn’t thnk it was worth travelling all that way just for a couple of hours. She would try again during the week.

Ok. So I’m up but not dressed, I’m still in ‘coming to’ mode, when my husband gives me this news. I was off the hook, my sentence to torture has been commuted, but I am disappointed, though I understand. They’ve had a busy couple of weeks. The oldest had performed in a play, they both had violin exams, they just want to chill. But I’m up now. I sip my hot water as I look out on a damp, dark sky that looks leaden with rain, and groan. No sun then. I should have stayed in bed.

Nevertheless, I gird up my spirits (?!) and decide to go in the shower, wash my hair and see what the day has to offer by way of compensation. I love a scalding hot shower! It eases some of the kinks in my muscles and I love the total privacy of it, no interruptions, no extraneous noise, just quiet contemplation and a cocoon of hot, relaxing water. I let it cascade over me and muse about the new day ahead.

I go back to bed! I can’t face drying my hair, it can do what it likes, I don’t care. Bed is warm. Bed is quiet. Bed doesn’t require any effort. Bed doesn’t make me look at dark clouds. I can close my eyes and shut everything out. Just for a few minutes.

An hour later, I get up – again – and in passing the mirror I realise I made a huge mistake. My hair is standing on end! I mean literally standing on end.

Throughout the following hours, I don’t know what to do with myself. I was all geared up for chatting and playing. The house had been cleaned and tidied,  I had even discovered my husband cleaning the big kitchen window – wow, everything was so sharp, so clear, I had begun to think I was developing cataracts! – raw chocolate eggs had been made…

The day needed recalibrating but I didn’t know how to do it.  I write a post, I watch a recorded episode of NCIS, I contemplate the woodburner – a  very calming ‘activity’, I highly recommend it – I watch my husband going back and forth, back and forth with a wheelbarrow full of logs. I watch the rain and feel sorry for the people fighting with umbrellas in the wind and am grateful that I am inside contemplating the woodburner!

I would have watched the cycling Tour of Catalunya, but we prefer to watch the recording so we can fast forward the ads and the boring bits and besides, my husband was otherwise engaged with a log store.

At one stage my daughter texts me to say her oldest has just come downstairs and asked if it was too late to go to Grandmas! We’re now looking to Tuesday.

And so we arrive at dinner-time – pasta since you ask – and our evening date with a  boxed set of The West Wing.

Except, well…

My husband goes to the utility room to fetch something from the freezer and…

A flood happened. Not the freezer, the drain under the sink. Silt and water flow along the vinyl and he gets everything out from the cupboard, shines a torch, dons rubber gloves and begins digging out the silt. A tremendously heavy downpour had coincided with him emptying the bath and this was the result.

Except that turns out to be only the half of it. I look over to the door leading into the small extension we use as a playroom/craftroom and groan. When we open the door, we discover the flooded drain is just the apéritif: the flow of silt-sodden water has found its way into the playroom and the carpet is sodden. I groan again. And again. My husband is right royally fed up. It’s getting late, dinner is half-prepared, he’s been stacking logs most of the day, he’s tired and hungry and this is what he faced.

And do you know what bugged us most? Last autumn, we decided we would raise the floor in the playroom, it’s taken us years to get around to it. For some reason the previous owners had added the extension but it was a step down from the rooms it led off. So finally, we decided to bite the bullet and raise the floor as well as some other minor alterations. We decide we’ll do it in February this year.

Only we didn’t. If we had, it would have created a small step up from the utility room and the flood would have been stemmed before it reached the playroom!

The best laid plans and all that.

The next couple of hours are spent cutting out carpet and clearing up.

I put photos of the flood on Instagram to show the family. I half-seriously asked ‘What to do now?’ My son wrote back, ‘put a couple of convector heaters in there.’

Oops.

I’m not sure how to relay this to my husband. He has just come in, in short sleeves, cold and damp from dragging a sodden carpet out to the garage, which is all the way around the side of the house and up at the top of the drive. He is exhausted and hungry. He has locked up and is standing at the stove, ready to start over with dinner. He opens the pasta. The packet splits in two and the contents hit the floor.

The heaters are in the garage.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Creativity is Contagious – Pass It On!*

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Thank you, timelesswheel for nominating me for this award, I am a little taken aback as I am a blogging novice and I feel I am still serving my apprenticeship! It did, however, inspire me to write a post on creativity and health:

Creativity is a basic human instinct, a need. We all need to express ourselves and if we repress this instinct or we are not given the physical or emotional space to do so, we can become withdrawn, resentful, introverted, insular, develop disease or depression, become frustrated and even angry, often hurting those close to us.

If we are not creative how do we progress as a society?

Being creative doesn’t mean you have to be an artistic or writing genius or require other people’s approval for your efforts. Doodling is being creative! Making a meal is being creative. Constructing medieval weapons or a castle out of cardboard for your grandchildren is being creative!

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One blogger, scribbleartie, makes lovely whimsical images out of ink blots and soap bubbles, she is still working on her technique and loves having fun experimenting. She also takes everday items that have been discarded and turns them into works of art.

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My son-in-law gets great pleasure from stacking logs and has recently studied Norwegian methods of creating different shapes out of these stacks from a book he was given for Christmas.

My husband, who was never interested in food, cooking or nutrition, now spends Sunday mornings communing with bread dough.

I like to make cards and paint rocks, you can read how to in these posts: Monday Meditation: Mindfulness and Rock Painting & How To Paint Christmas Card (or any) Rocks & Taking A Break

My first efforts were nothing to write home about at all, but as with anything, the more you do it, the better you get. The benefits to your wellbeing of mindfulness, of being completely in the moment, having fun through being creative, are many and varied, from increased self-esteem to a strengthened immune system and improved mental health.

Watch a child unihibitedly splashing paint on a large sheet of paper: she doesn’t ask what colour she should use or what shape she should make, she doesn’t feel she has to keep within the margins or hold her brush a certain way – heck, she doesn’t always even use a brush, her fingers and toes will do!

Go on, free your mind, let it wander where it will, pick up a pen and write a silly story or poem for your children, or even a letter the old-fashioned way; or grab a pencil and sketch the cat or the dog – it can be a cartoon or as surreal as you like; find a pair of scissors, some images or card and some glue; grow some plants or vegetables; look at the clouds or the embers in the fire and see what shapes are developing, what thoughts and images do they conjure up? Arrange some garden flowers or twigs in a vase. Pick up your camera, go for a walk. Build a bike from recycled parts. Meditate, find your inner creator.

Take a leaf out of timelesswheel’s book, she had no idea why she wanted to write a blog or what she wanted to say. She just started writing and is still finding her voice and her creative eye in her photographs. And we are enjoying watching her do it.

Give it a try. Express yourself. You will be so much happier and healthier for it.😊

Now *I* have to get creative and come up with 5 things about myself:

  1. I have pens, pencils, paper, scissors, glue in every room I or visiting children use
  2. When I can’t sleep, I create new recipes for juices, smoothies or raw treats
  3. I love watching children playing, talking to themselves and being completely focused on what they are doing or being
  4. At school, I was no good at art, sewing or knitting nor did I ever have a cookery lesson, yet these became my main pastimes in adult life.
  5. I think maybe I should buy shares in Caran d’Ache! Their watercolour pencils are so soft and have such depth of colour, I can predict a growth in their future sales!

Here is my list of recommendations for creative blogs that I hope will inspire:

Thethomastimes – encouraging children to be creative

Watching the Daisies

BrewNSpew

http://spiritualfoodie.org

http://katyhadalittlefarm.com

Storyville

http://susanrushton.net – beautiful photography

About

*Albert Einstein

 Copyright: Chris McGowan