Monday, 18 April 2011

Suburban Pirate

My sister and I have suffered for many years from being given the middle name,'Gilbert'. I can promise you a girl called 'Gilbert' does not have much fun at school. We both wondered at the level of sadism our parents had in this respect.

I dropped the name when I was married, but now, decades later, I find that one of my distant relations was A PIRATE KING. We are apparently direct descendants of Sir Humphrey Gilbert. I am now EXTREMELY proud to be a Gilbert!

I'm a suburban pirate! Yes, after years of watching, 'Who do you think you are' on TV and wishing I had some distant relation of note, I find I am related to nothing less than buccaneering aristocracy! I share DNA with a realio, trulio pirate. How happy am I? Time to start swashbuckling around Teddington me hearties.

No wonder I like rowing!

All that's missing is the treasure!

Throw me a shovel! Fly me a parrot!

I'm off to find the gold!

PS Does anyone know how to swashbuckle?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sanctuary - a place or a person?

Is sanctuary a place? Thomas Becket was famously murdered while seeking sanctuary in Canterbuary Cathedral. I remember feeling outraged as a small child on learning this fact. I don't think I knew what an altar was, but it seemed a very bad thing indeed to be killed while in a special place. With the wisdom of the years I can now recognise that murder isn't that great wherever it happens. Still, the concept of sanctuary is beguiling.

Our homes are our sanctuary, somewhere to retreat to for a while. Safe from civil conviction and arrest too - just be careful who you open your door to.

Can sanctuary also be your faith? Lost in prayers or meditation, in communion with a higher being?

Maybe your sanctuary is a piece of music that brings peace and calm. Perhaps working out at the gym, or losing yourself in a book at the end of a busy day is how you feel protected from the outside world.

Could it be something more ephemeral too? A friend once explained how dismayed she was to find her marriage turned out not to be the sanctuary she expected it to be. I hadn't thought of marriage or relationships in that way before.

It made me think about important relationships in my life, and reassess them as things of sanctuary, things that bring peace and calm. Friendships that weave a safety blanket of love around you.

Sacred things.

Fruit of the Loins

I've just come back from a lovely, relaxing weekend away. On return, I could sense that fun had been had in my kitchen.

That's OK, I'm up for fun, I like people having fun and I think it's good for the house to have fun happen in it. In fact, it is a particularly good house for fun.

'Welcome to the house of fun' in fact.

However, apart from the pack of cards and empty wine bottles dotted around, the occasional poker chip stuck under a chair leg, and the inevitable pile of washing up waiting for attention in the sink, I was surprised to see what had happened to the contents of my fruit bowl.

The oranges were no longer just, well, orange.

They were black and orange.

On closer inspection I couldn't help but notice that they now sported diagrams helpful to those unclear on how procreation happens.

The graphic graphics were done in a rather charming style, reminiscent of the Beano.

The artist has helpfully signed them. Maybe I'll go and find him, and see whether he feels like 'volunteering' for some washing up and other kitchen duties!

Friday, 8 April 2011

Hello Mojo

Mojo -

Personal magnetism; charm.

Today at work I was having a chat with a colleague, and we were rejoicing that it felt like our mojos were making a reappearance after their winter sojourn.

Obviously you can feel your mojo when it is operational, but what does it look like?

Bet you'd never thought about that before.

My colleague went quiet for a while, wearing what is best described as an 'inward' expression. After several minutes he decided it was like a lavalamp with gloopy, fluorescent bubbles merging and separating slowly, glowing in the dark.

He didn't give a colour, but orange seemed to fit the bill in my mind.

It didn't take long to realise mine was like a mirror ball. Nothingy without any light, but then sparkly and spangled, spreading glittering reflections far and wide when lit up.

I love mirror balls, and finally I've realised why.