Saturday, 3 November 2012

Pumpkins and fireworks

So today has seen me sitting desperately trying to work my way through a college course book, whilst in reality spending more time looking at blog sites and trying to work out which ones I want to follow.  Ideling time away on other bloggers sites has at least inspired me back to my own.  Since writing my last post I've booked and cancelled a honeymoon, started working as a weekend negotiator at a local estate agents, and started university.  I've also celebrated my45th year on this planet with a trip back to the place of my last college days, Birmingham.  

My oh my how the old place has grown up from a once ugly grey duckling to a beautiful cosmopolitan fashion Mecca swan.  I hardly recognised the old place. Gone was the bull ring marketplace replaced instead with designer stores and trendy eateries.  It seems like a city hasn't really arrived these days unless it has a Jamie something or other cafe and a Selfridges.  The once slightly dodgy canal walks are now brimming with places to eat and drink, although I was saddened to see the old James Brindley pub all closed up and looking sadly forlorn amongst the new joints. An overnight stay at the Hotel du vin was comfortable enough and with dinner and breakfast thrown into the price of the room, it was a veritable steal.  Made even more so by the lovely generosity of two great friends who gave this treat to me as a birthday present.  I even had time to drag the husband down memory lane by walking up broad street over five ways roundabout or under it to be precise and onto church Rd and Chappies. Home for 3yrs for me and fondly remembered as The Birmingham School of Screech Training and Traumatic Farts.  A school that is now affiliated with Birimingham university and has visiting lecturers working in their field of expertise.  A far cry from our eclectic bunch of tutors, we even had our very own Mrs Overal with her tea trolley and tuck that would be wheeled in at break times.  I honestly kid you not.  Still they were halcyon days of a time long gone.

So from memory lane and Brum and onto Halloween and pumpkin soup.  I did make a batch of soup from the insides of the two pumpkins that the clan had carved up and I would have posted said recipie  with a small amount of smugness. However that old maxim of pride coming before a fall is oh so true.  It was all going tremendously well until I decided to add one of my home grown red chillies into the pot.  The aim was to just add a little something to the flavours.  To jush it up a little.  I didn't for one minute think that such a tiny thing would contain enough heat to make 5litrres of otherwise devine soup virtually inedible.  The reality only hitting home to me after serving it up for the children's tea and then watching my 2.5yr old taking one mouthful and and then grabbing his water and gulping it down whilst saying open mouthed guppy like "too spicy mommy..."  So, not a winning soup and definitely not a version I'll be repeating again.  It wasn't just the soup that was disappointing this Halloween.  Rain definitely ceased play this year. I'd bought enough sweets to feed the hungriest of local trick or treaters had the required carved and lit pumpkin in the window to show willing participation, my2.5 yr old was beside himself as a skeleton not really sure what was going on but hyped up enough on candy and the excitement of a knock on the door and the chance to squeal "trick or treat..." at people.  Yes I am aware that it's usually the children doing the knocking that have this script but my youngest wouldn't be told...and then only four children came knocking.  It was so sad that I had to go outside and knock on my own front door and then the back door for him to get his full Halloween fix.  I did however enjoy the candy along with a much needed glass of red wine, post his bedtime.

This stunning mediocre week of  American holiday mimicry came to a much needed end with some good old fashioned fireworks.  These were watched both from the comfort of some friends upstairs window that overlooks the local rugby ground and home to the annual fireworks display, for the first round of children's fireworks, and then lastly out on the front yard for the second adult show of ear splitting Harry Potter'esque squealers and howlers and stomach smashing sky spilling explosions of colour and sound.   Yes yes yes!, I love fireworks, so roll on the next holiday celebration and let's see if I can do better.
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Sunday, 15 July 2012

a season of renewal and growth

It's been a fair while since my lost blog, spring 2011 turned into summer and saw a house move and a victorious outcome in my work tribunal.  Then summer sprawled into autumn and I turned 44 and my marriage went into free fall and my husband left the marital home and I started working again part time at a night shelter for 6 months.

Thus began a season of surviving in all senses.  Of going to work to forget about the anger, hurt, pain, upset of the state of my marriage.  Of trying not to cry at any and all moments of kindness.  Of keeping it together at all times so no one would know that really I was perilously close to loosing it.  Of above all things protecting my children from my inability to fix my marriage and make things better.  Through this season of frost and barren waste ground I clung to God.  Yes I know this might be dodgy ground for some of you but it's true.  In the absence of knowing how to fix things or what to do I simply clung on for all I was worth to the one thing I knew was constant, and to be fair to God, he clung onto me.  'Abide in me' became my personal task and since I didn't know what else to do, I abided, and I abided, and when I didn't know what else to do, I abided and kept on abiding until God told me to do something else, which eventually, he did.

April 2012 and my date with my abdominal surgery had arrived.  In order for my post pregnancy repair operation to be carried out I needed someone to be available to help me overnight when I came out of hospital and this was the moment that God decided to talk to me about forgiveness and restoration and obedience.  My husband had offered to help support me with the overnight assistance but I wasn't so sure that it was a good idea.  Things between us hadn't really improved any since our separation 7 months earlier and any attempts of conversation were usually strained, but God had other ideas and told me so in no uncertain terms that I was to let my husband step up and be my husband.  So I did, I surrendered my ideas of what should happen and allowed God to drive.  For those of you who have trouble believing in God I do hope you are still reading this because the story does have a happy uplifting feel good ending and I would hate for you to miss that because God is mentioned.

We are now in high summer and my husband has moved back in to our home, we are working on building new strong foundations for our marriage and are in the process of healing and restoring relationships across the children and wider family.  Out of an offer to help came opportunities to listen and moments to experience movement and change.  In September I start my second year of studying Contemporary counselling at the University of Hertfordshire and am excited to see where that will take me.  I'm currently looking for work but am trusting in the bounty and provision of my heavenly father in the knowledge that he's got my back and can turn all things to my good.  This wasn't the blog I set out to write but it seems to be the one I was meant to write so am posting this in the faith and heart in which it's intended.  Not to ram my faith down anyone's throat but to show that all things are possible.  Even those things that seem lost or broken beyond repair.  Hope should always be clung to with the belief that out of the current season can come a season of renewal and growth.  You might have to give up your own fixed ideas of what that will look like but believe that it can at least arise and you're one step closer to it.

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