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Monday, 30 April 2012

Loose strings

As soon as it happened I knew that something was horribly wrong! I had carefully place three fingers one by one on their strings and, finding their home, held them firmly in place to listen as the other hand stroked gently downwards. A discordant noise rang out of my room and floated off into the hallway, making a cat somewhere in the distance run off and hide, quivering under a bush. Surely it can't need tuning again? I only did it a couple of weeks ago and haven't played it since...Hmmm.
There is something quite therapeutic about tuning my guitar. The combination of listening closely to the vibration until it feels right is fascinating. It is always painfully difficult to ignore when a musical instrument needs tuning up, and as I begin to tighten the strings, I can't help but wonder why it isn't as obvious when our lives are just as out of tune. Suddenly our hearing isn't as acute.
Sometimes we forget to look at our lives and attitudes regularly, and without realising it, some of our beliefs can quickly go out of harmony with who we truly are. People around us can have such an effect on us that our strings change and we don't even realise. Every day we shift ever so slightly and we need to give ourselves a regular emotional tune up so we are the most authentic version of ourselves possible. It important to take that moment to listen to your life and pay close attention to the notes being played; what kind of symphony is being created and is it the best melody for you?

A quick thank you from the bottom of my heart for following the blog every week - It means so much and I love you!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Queen of Hadleigh

'I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing'
- Anais Nin

And I ran though the moving crowd, weaving in and out of suits and bags and shoes and limbs. Pushing forward through a rush hour of people, it was warfare; the quicksand making everything more difficult. And I carried on fighting forward until the call came... It was too late. She had gone! And everything suddenly stopped.

The door opened and there she stood; bright red lipstick highlighting her cheeky smile. She would always kiss me on my lips with such delicateness, inside I would smile. And there we would sit for ages surrounded by colourful crochet and ornaments and fabric flowers and the gas fire and small ornamental furry cats and sepia toned pictures hanging proudly on the walls. A room filled with trophies of a life fully lived. Every now and then the sound of a snooker ball crashing into another followed by muffled applause would float out of the TV to catch her attention just long enough for me to stare at this frail, curly haired funny woman who fascinated me.
Reaching the front door she stopped and turned to the cupboard beneath the stairs. I always knew what was coming but managed to appear pleasantly surprised every time. Rummaging around for a moment she span around like a magician to reveal a tiny bag of sweets which she had pre-prepared in little clear plastic bags. There was always a treasure of sweet treats to leave with and I always felt the overwhelming urge to squeeze her so tightly when we hugged. And there she stood, waving and watching until we were finally out of sight.
In life, people come and go. Some stay for only a few minutes and others, a lifetime. And if we are really lucky, these people will leave an indelible mark on our hearts and there they will live eternally making us a better person in the process.

Nana Queenie, I love you and wish you joy on your new adventure.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Wet wings

The first few drops of cool spring rain splash onto the dark pavement below and quickly cover the bustling city. I watch as the drops roll down the glass and leave behind a glistening, hypnotic trail.
Light from shop windows spill out to reflect off the wet pavement and bounce up into the twinkling night sky. Everything shimmers around the giant angel wings in the centre of the square. I love those wings, outstretched and ready to fly.
Rain falls harder now and forces people below to run for cover in doorways and seek refuge from the sudden downpour. I smile as I watch the weaving dance with a feeling of warmth washing over me. I am right where I'm meant to be.
A memory of getting soaked to the skin in Milan splashes into my mind and rolls back out again just as quickly.
There is that magnificent moment when your clothes get sodden and you feel the cool water begin to seep through onto warm skin and you realise that there is no point in running for cover. And so you stand in the moment and become part of the downpour. The surrender brings peace. Nothing else exists in that minute.
The rain begins to ease off and doorways are slowly becoming empty once again.
I should make my way outside now and down towards the tube...but not just yet. I want to watch the angel wings for a little while longer.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Shiny and new

There they were; a thing of beauty and shining like a beacon of hope in my scary, new city. I knew I wanted some as soon as I saw them. I had saved up some money by skilfully reducing that week's menu down to a jar of sandwich spread and salted crackers; Delia would have been impressed (or horrified). I watched as the sales assistant popped them into the blue plastic bag and bade me and my new best friend farewell.
A rush of pure excitement flooded through me as I sat on the end of the bed and began pulling them up over each leg.
That night we danced like never before. No one else existed; it was just us and the music. We were indestructible.
The sun was already coming up by the time I walked out into the dawn. Snaking my way through the veins of the city, I watched as the streets started to slowly wake and rub its eyes.
I had completely forgotten about my silver trousers by the time I arrived home.
It took me a couple of seconds to notice Cathy Dennis standing there with an entourage of charity workers, blocking my way. After greeting me good morning they cheerfully explained that the charity needed one more person to pose for a promotional picture. As I was there (and sporting the brightest legs in Soho) I reluctantly agreed, suddenly feeling slightly overdressed for the occasion. Smiling broadly, I watched as the photographer clicked the camera, marking the end of this wonderfully strange day.
16 years and several make-overs later, I can't help but chuckle. No matter where we go in life or who we meet on our journey, there will always be 'moments' to take our breath away. Some will be amazing, and some, challenging. But they all make us who we are today and if we are really lucky, we get to wear silver trousers along the way.