Today is brought to you by the letter ‘W’!

English: Waves breaking at Acapulco.
English: Waves breaking at Acapulco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s daily prompt couldn’t be simpler. At least it sounds that way! The reality may be different. Let’s see shall we? (Why not have a go yourself?)

Pick a letter, any letter. Now, write a story, poem, or post in which every line starts with that letter.

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Worry. Wearying, and wearisome.

Whispering in my ear, ‘what about this, what about that’

‘Why did they say this, why did they say that?’

When will I learn, to listen?

Waves roll, faster and faster as the storm within intensifies.

‘Where are you, Lord?’ I cry.

‘Where I always am, holding your hand’, I hear you say,

Whispering, Be still my child, be still and Know, I AM.

Who, or What am I?

Yesterday’s daily prompt was as follows:

Write a story about yourself from the perspective of an object, thing, animal, or another person.

My first thoughts were, how great an idea it was, though slightly random. At the same time, I thought what on earth will I pick, and then I had my light-bulb moment.

An incandescent light bulb.

If my story is good enough, you will be able to guess from whose, or what perspective it is written.

Read More »

more space please!!

Dear Followers,

Once again, thanks for not giving up on me! This past week (or is it a week and a bit) I only seem to have had the energy for one thing each day, and therefore no energy left to write, which I have hated. Last monday it was physio/physical therapy, and horse-riding on the Tuesday. Try as I might, I did not have the energy to type as I slept after each of these activities and through the night, albeit in a disturbed, interrupted way. There was little respite on Wednesday, as I went to the fortnightly women’s group which belongs the church I go to. I really had to force myself to go, so little energy meant even less inclination to be in a crowd of even 8 women, lovely though the are, and even though we were studying  the word. Force myself I did, and by the end I was glad. Straight home to make dinner, before writing a shopping list, and having a think about a meeting I had later that afternoon. As soon as that afternoon’s sitter (befriender/carer) arrived it was off to the supermarket and pharmacy. No sooner were we back, I was straight into a meeting with my social worker and someone from my care agency to begin talking about support I may need for holidays or travelling to (other people’s) weddings. As some of you may know, these things are never simple and always last longer than anticipated. If I had any energy before, I had none after that. For once, I had put some thought in and realised I would never make the church AGM that evening, so had emailed my votes to one of the elders. Just as well, for I collapsed in a heap for a while. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were time to rest, as I had no choice. However, they passed in a blur as I was too restless. Too tired to do anything, and too tired to rest properly, causing me to feel guilty at my lack of meaningful activity.Fortunately, I did make it to church on the Sunday morning, despite falling asleep twice after the carer left, and again during the service. Perhaps it is unwise to admit to that!!

Things have not got any easier with the start of a new week. Monday morning brought a hospital appointment I had waited for, and dreaded, for the best part of three months. I am still collecting new specialists occasionally, including on Monday so that added extra stress. I was sensible enough to have requested carer/caregiver assistance for the appointment  Just as well, as from the point of waking up on Monday morning, the headache grew and grew to a full-on migraine. It wasn’t all bad. The person who had been asked to support me is lovely and helped me find the humour in the situation. Having not seen them for a while, there was lots to catch up on too. Mercifully for the times we needed to queue, waiting times were ‘normal’ for these things, so though there was a  wait each time it was not more than thirty minutes. I was so thankful for support as without it I would have cancelled my appointment and crawled into bed. Admittedly  I fell asleep in my wheelchair for hours after the appointment  but not before my carer took me for a step free walk (they walked, I wheeled) somewhere further away than my most local supermarket, as it does not have the facility to pay bills. ‘Only’ for the purpose of buying a very few groceries and buying gas and electricity, but the fresh air did me good, despite it doing nothing for the migraine. Given the level of my difficulty find my way around anywhere other than the tiny areas I can navigate comfortably, due to the number of times I go to those places, it is rare I venture anywhere else, seeing as I wouldn’t know where I was, were I was going, or once back, be able to retain any of this information for future use.

Monday done, the night was not much help as it was especially disturbed. I would normally attempt to go horseriding on a Tuesday, as I had done last week, but unfortuntely there were not enough staff available to assist me. One of those things, though a shame as it was a beautiful day. I still did not accomplish anything meaningful yesterday in terms of tackling the growing to do list, as I fell asleep for several hours after lunch. In between times, any time I thought about moving and trying to do something, I would fall asleep almost instantly. This happens often for several reasons.. Partly the medication I take, partly because having cerebral palsy means it takes me much more energy just to do the basic things others take for granted, and partly because I am always in chronic pain. It is hard to describe just how wearing all of that can be, unless you know this kind of tiredness for yourself. One way of thinking about it is in terms of spoons. Each day, with its varying levels or energy, or even hours or minutes can be thought of as a spoon, or spoons. Each day only has a certain, varying number of spoons. Once I have used them, there are no more, and nothing can be done about it, causing me collapse in my chair. In these times I may not sleep, but instead, as mentioned above, be extremely restless, to tired to do anything, but too tired to sleep.

It is in these times that my eyes drift to the wall of whichever room I am in. I never used to display photographs as I am not much of a photographer  The most i ever displayed were posters, either ones I had been given or occasionally ones I had bought myself. As I have gotten older, this hasn’t really changed, as most of what now adorns the walls of my flat were gifts from close friends or family. Only two of the items have been chosen by me, a picture in the living room and a painting in my bedroom.

Taking inventory of these things, if I look immediately up from where my laptop sits, I see two photo frames, one containing a family photograph of myself.  my parents, brother and lovely sister in law at their wedding last summer, and the other, taken at the same place, contains two photographs; one of my Grandmother and I, and the other of my grandparents. I often look at these photos during my sleepy times. It is more than just looking at the pictures. As photographs often do for anyone, they remind me of a special occasion, a happy day, and is a chance to replay the memories in my head. For me, they are also a reminder of a rare day when I felt as well as I can, and achieved a lot, managing to stay for the whole day, meeting my brother and sister in laws many friends, and catching up with family. A reminder, that having managed it then, hopefully I could manage something like that again, given prior rest and meticulous planning, including pacing of each and every hour, as I did then.

I look to the left of those pictures, and I see a print I bought from a local department store the weekend I moved into my flat. It is a pretty picture of a mustard yellow flower with a red centre and browny-green background, bought to tie in with the other colours in the front room/sitting room , Behind me next to the living room door is a plaque my dad found in China, which displays part of the text from 1 Corinthians 13, a famous passage which describes the best, purest kind of love, and is often read at weddings. It also includes the chinese (mandarin?) character for ‘love’ which one of the carers one explained to me in depth. Interesting at the but unfortunately cannot remember what he said, at all. I often find this; that my persistent tiredness prevents me from taking new information in and remembering it fully, if at all, sometimes.

Next, to the hallway. There are several things displayed here. First, is a small mirror which a dear friend bought me from a posh shop as a house-warming present when I moved into this flat, Moving right, next is another flower print, also yellow and gifted from the same friend, which she bought to tie- in with the shade of yellow we painted the hallway. At this point my memory fails me. I’m off to check out what else is on the walls!! As it happens, I was right. The only other thing displayed in the hallway is pinned up next to the bathroom – a calendar of photographs of various Scottish landscapes which was a gift from my friend’s mother; a thank you present for ‘putting up’ her son and his friend. Translation, should you need it: for having them stay with me!

Finally, to what is displayed on the walls in my bedroom. The first thing most people notice when they walk in was a gift from my dear grandmother; a framed picture of my ‘Sunday-name’, Jacqueline, written in calligraphy, which she bought during a holiday to somewhere in Canada some years ago. Previously, I had nowhere to display it, so it lived in a cupboard at my parents house for some years, but when they moved house a year ago, the picture came to live with me.

Moving clockwise round my room, next is a pinboard, on which I display reminders to myself of what. and who to pray for, which i use at various times of the day or night, having read of someone who made something similar as, unlike me they were completely confined to bed, but from that prayer-board could reach all corners of the globe by praying for missionary workers and projects oversees, and other friends who had requested prayer for themselves or people they knew.; I read it inspired to begin my own and it has helped focus my mind on a number of occasions now. Here again, I have to go off and check what I missed out.

Moving clockwise around my room, next is the newest addition to the space, a recent birthday present from a very dear friend, and her soon-to-be-husband; a silhouette of a horse. I loved this as soon as I saw it, partly as it was such a thoughtful gift. A small yet significant reminder of one of my passions, and brings a smile to my face every time I see it as it reminds me either of my friend or of the pleasure I get from seeing the horses, and from horse-riding. When I went into my room, I saw the final item, a framed painting I had completely forgotten about, which I bought at a open day at a local social enterprise. The painting itself is special, of daffodils of a similar hue to the colour of the paint in my room, in a red vase on a purple background. I bought it partly for that, and partly for how bright and cheery it is. I smile every time I  see or think of it, either because of the painting itself or because it reminds me of the young woman who painted it; a friend who is a beneficiary of the social enterprise project. I loved the painting as soon as I saw it in the art room, and treasure it. Much like my ‘prayerboard’, when I see the painting it reminds me to pray, this time for the young woman herself or more broadly for the social enterprise which supports her and many other friends.

I suddenly realised while i was writing about the painting I have forgotten two further pieces displayed in my sitting room. One, a photograph in the far corner of the room, of me sitting on the horse I love, me sat bolt upright wearing a hat which obscures my face but protects my head, and the horse, patient as ever, standing to attention  ears pointing skywards  just as he has done hundreds of times before, being an ex-police horse who loves the camera and knows exactly what do when a camera is pointed in his direction, a true professional!

The final item in my sitting room is also a picture of a horse. This time it is a caricature drawn by a friend, of an imaginary horse, (apparently modelled on the horse from the disney film ‘Tangled’!!). The horse is sitting in an electric wheelchair of all things, a expression of pure terror on its face. It makes me giggle every time I see it, and is a point of conversation for a lot of people when they first come into my house, and often, actually, an ice-breaker, if I have not met the person before. I guess by now, you are wondering about the story behind the picture. I asked my friend to draw it after an incident when I let a horse get too close to my wheelchair, and it bit a button out of the control panel! My fault entirely. A friend later remarked it would be just like this particular horse to steal my chair and joyride round the farm!! This caught my imagination and so I commissioned my friend to draw it for me, not being at all gifted in it myself!

Being blessed with lovely friends, I have one or two other pictures I have no room to display. One is new, and the other has been taken down to make room for something else. The other is a recent birthday present of three prints, designed to be displayed together. They are very pretty and make me smile, but I will have to move pictures around to make room for them.

I am not aiming for any particular mood; or even any particular look, but I love how each of the items on each wall has a story behind it; either the very first things I chose for my first flat, or a memory of happy times, or a gift from a dear friend. The memories are precious enough to help me keep going in the tough times; but also each time I see each item I remember who gave me the gift, and how blessed I am to have them in my life. I don’t generally have photographs sitting around, as I would tend to send them flying with a stray arm or if I knock into them with my wheelchair, which is often! Having recently had a party for a big birthday, I do have some photos I might display in frames around the place, though I will put them well out of harm’s way!

 

The best coffee shops in Leeds, West Yorks area

I couldn’t just write about one local cafe. I love coffee, and cake, and my friends. So, coffee and cake with a friend or a group of friends is my favourite way to spend an hour, a couple of hours, even a whole morning or afternoon. My first recommendation is the “ABC” just round the back of the nearest Asda and staffed, voluntarily, by a local church. Good strong coffee, homemade cake, and a warm relaxed welcome. On a budget. I recently bought two coffees and a butterfly cake, I think it was under three pounds, or thereabouts.

My second recommendation is Hazel’s slightly further away and  more upmarket. Fabulous coffee, and amazing cake. I can never choose which cake to have. The place is always packed. I can recommend the sandwiches, and the beefburgers too. The warmth of the welcome matches the quality of the food. The only downside is, because the place is compact, I could potentially drive my Electric Wheelchair there, but there wouldn’t be space to sit in side without blocking at least two other tables. Of course, the natural solution would be to sit outside. Given the weather though, I won’t be volunteering!

My next recommendation is just as local, in the other direction. The Granary is always packed, even though there are now many more tables than in the previous ‘Little Granary’, and there are queues out the door again even though the larger building has only been open a few months. I can recommend quite a few dishes on the menu because I’ve probably eaten it before.  There is local produce on the menu… so local that it’s travelled from one part of the farm to the other, so there are no ‘food miles’.The farm’s eggs are a best-seller. I’m told people go there just for those! There is also a shop attached to the cafe where you can buy meat from the farm, and local cheese, and lovely gifts. The best part is, after costs, the money goes to support the social enterprise based on the farm.

The final cafe I recommend is ‘Perk cup’ further afield in the centre of Leeds. I only discovered it a week or two ago. Is near Waterstones bookshop, I think. Fabulous cake, tea and coffee, great customer service, a warm welcome, and great value for money. Even my wheelchair didn’t bother them either, and there was plenty space for me. Here they think about all the little touches as you see from the pictures. Even on the way to the loo (bathroom, restroom!!) there are little blackboards on the wall for people to add their names, so the cafe can keep in touch on Facebook, and other so people can write comments about the cafe. I don’t think the carer with me took a photo of the blackboards. but they’re really cool.   I can’t wait to visit again soon. ‘Perk cup’ is my new favourite! Go and check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

image
The image shows a black teapot, a tea-timer with three egg-timers, one green, one black, and one orange, and a white cup and saucer on a plain wooden tray/board. In front of the wooden try sits a white plate and napkin with half a massive ‘red velvet’ cupcake with white icing/frosting.

oh so long ago..

Today’s daily prompt: Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?  I found a pound coin dated the year 2000. Seems as though it was another lifetime altogether. For one thing, I was still in high school, in the fifth year, with another year of school left. If I recall correctly, that was the year we had to begin to seriously consider which universities we might realistically apply to. It was also the year of much hard work and tests and exams. The first year of something baffling called ‘Higher still’. really don’t know what else happened that year. I think it was the year I had my first boyfriend. I shan’t elaborate, tho he was lovely. Thirteen years ago I had no idea of the struggles to come. I an so glad I didn’t know. This should be proof enough that we are best not ask God what is to come even if it seems like a good idea at the time, and even if we want to know!

From Nothing to Something

I am dreaming big dreams…

Daily Prompt: A Plot of Earth

.You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Wednesday’s daily prompt is a ‘no-brainer’ for me.  I immediately knew what I would do. My church has looked for land for sometime. Not just to do the obvious; build a church but also a new kind of community centre where people can go to spend time there, or groups can meet. There’s not anything else like this in the area. There is not much to do otherwise. There is a small café run by a local church. A Godsend. There will be the new health and well-being centre too which is partly funded by the supposedly broke local council. Perhaps this will fulfill some of the need, who knows. Even so it can’t meet the dire spiritual need.

People need to know they are loved

There a lot of elderly people round where I live, because everything you might immediately need is in a compact area, so there’s no need to walk far. A small supermarket, two doctors surgeries, good local bus links. You have to go anywhere, really to be able to do something. There is a small outreach thing for older people who I considered volunteering for, but I don’t think that is enough. In winter, lots of people are in even more need. In the winter of 2010, lots of people had no way of getting basic food shopping and heating, as many seem to have pre-paid meters. I’d love it if we were able to provide extra groups for elderly people, just somewhere for people to go, have a cup of tea and some company, maybe get help or advice. No agendas other than being there for people. It would let me set up a group for disabled people too, as there is no accessible venue which is not in a church, the local community school being adverse to ‘religious people. I don’t know what else we’d want to set up.

We are fortunate, that in general we have somewhere to meet on a Sunday. It’s award when that goes wrong, and I know church as a whole would love to be able to do more. At the same time Church is full of busy people and I am not sure we would have time for all this. We know though that there are many people in need on the estate that just need to know the Saviour’s love and acceptance  more than meeting basic needs like providing food, or debt advice or a listening ear. In the absence of a land-fairy, I will keep dreaming of a transformed place of life, hopefully in this life, and not just in the next, as we are called to live sacrificial lives. One day…

The meaning behind the name

I’m a few days behind with the daily prompts and today’s is rather too personal. I decided to answer one from the 11th instead. It was actually Carer B who gave this blog it’s name. I am not as good at these things as they are, and I wanted something original that wasn’t kind of arbitrary. They’re are HUNDREDS of blogs which focus on the disability, illness or wheelchair in the title or use the blog to rant with and nothing else; so I was more determined that I wouldn’t do that. I also wanted a hybrid which could talk about lots of things not just my different circumstances and so sat n all that took of from there…