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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Tin house, warm heart

As I turned the corner, I saw it; half tin, half brick, my friend's house stood on the estate, unassuming. For years I had heard every derogatory word used to describe him and his family from the other kids...but he was nice and despite getting some stick, I thought it rude to refuse a dinner invitation. So here I was, straight from school walking up to the front door. As soon as it swung open a beautiful woman stood there and warmly welcomed me into her home. I stepped inside. It wasn't until the door closed behind us that I noticed the cardboard boxes piled high along one of the walls. As I took off my coat, curiosity got the better of me and I couldn't help but peep inside an open one which sat there, tempting. There before me lay a veritable feast of teeny Christmas cracker novelties; puzzles, dice, magic tricks, key rings, mini tool kits, fortune telling fish, plastic rings, Tidily Winks, tiny playing cards and colourful whistles - all the good stuff that used to put a smile on my face as they came flying out with a paper hat and witty joke. To me, his mum officially had the best job in the world. 
After a short while she came out of the kitchen and proudly put bowls of food down in front of us. "This is Frankie’s favourite", she declared with a warm smile. 
And then it hit me...
The love that was present in that room was far greater than all the things they didn't have. They really didn't own much at all, but in spite of that, I was sat at their table sharing their food. It was a lovely evening. 
Years later I look back at that moment and realise something; in life, we may not be financially abundant or have all the latest shiny must-have gadgets, but as long as we have love in our hearts and a generosity of spirit, we will always be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.

Monday, 21 January 2013


Walking out into early morning, the sky, still a sleepy blue, begins to wake. It is literally freezing this morning. At some point during the night, whilst I was fast asleep, the first few flakes of snow fell silently to earth. The light bouncing off the crisp whiteness bathes me in its glistening glow. And then I hear it, I feel it...The sensation that suddenly floods my body with utter joy; snow crunching and compacting under my feet. Being one of my secret pleasures in life, I begin to smile as I take a deep in-breath of air and watch as a cloud of warmth leaves my body and vanishes just as quickly. 
With the realisation that this is the first snow of the year, I begin to think about all the other firsts in my life; the first time I came to this bustling city, alone...the first time I sat on a plane and watched the ground drift away...the first time I ate gelato...the first kiss...the first time I found love and the first time I lost it. 
Life is littered with firsts and, as constantly changing as the world is, that will never change. There are endless opportunities for new beginnings everywhere, and as I continue on my journey, I suddenly feel excited for all the firsts that are yet to come.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Journey on

The first candle I lit was for the little nana with a penchant for crochet and sparkly things, then another for the little school children I didn't know, then one for the brave woman who battled courageously right up until the very end, and one for the spirited man who simply gave up, tired and ready for the next adventure...I had lit too many candles this year. I was tired and emotionally drained. Nothing appeared to make any sense and the world was like a crazy ball of discordant mess.
And so, on the last day of the year, I closed my eyes and began to breathe…in and out, in and out, my lungs filling my chest. Overexposed snapshots came and went in a blur. Suddenly, in amongst the slideshow, a memory of being inside the Olympic stadium and the wall of sound that pounded straight into my heart flashed up. It was spectacular. Aside from all the tears and loss, this would also be the year that I witnessed determination and strength on a magnificent scale. I saw athletes without legs running faster than lightening and limbless swimmers moving gracefully through the water to a backdrop of rapturous applause and incredible support.
And then, as the clock struck midnight, in amongst all the fireworks and cheers, I realised something: There will always be new beginnings. Opportunities to heal and grow are everywhere because we are amazing and life goes on. Our spirits are strong and so is the love we hold in our hearts.
May you shine brightly in 2013 and find joy in everything you do.

Thank you so much for faithfully following my blog and for being a part of this incredible journey. I love you.