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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

A cheerful soul

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 13, 2014

Narcissus 'Cheerfulness'. Real Jardín Botánico...

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a time I have been told that I am a cheerful soul despite some of the things that have turned my world upside down, especially in the last twenty years. I could attribute my cheerfulness to many things I suppose but the real reason is the in-dwelling of The Holy Spirit, the joy in the knowledge of my salvation in Jesus Christ. I am given to the disposition of cheerfulness because I know I cannot change things that cannot be changed but strive to change those which can be instead. On Thursday I made it my business to take the day off work despite the requests for my services. I was able to have extra time in bed, something foreign to my normal lifestyle. Being honest I have to confess that I was tired but even so five hours sleep is usually enough for me. I managed to stay asleep for six hours before the urgency to visit the toilet awakened me. However I returned to bed and put in another four hours before I finally stirred again. Whilst going about the business of getting ready for the day I received a call from an American guy asking if I would do some electrical work for him. He rejected the price I gave him for the proposed work as he said the job should be easy. Well of course the job should be easy but they seldom work out that way. No matter, he seemed to be the expert! I assumed he found someone to do it for next to nothing. A few minutes later I received another call from a local girl wanting my electrical services and that job I will be doing (as I write this) on Saturday morning and Monday afternoon (she is moving house). At least the calls came late in the morning so as not to disturb my sleep which is usually the case when I want a lie-in. I had a doctor‘s appointment at two-thirty to discuss the findings of an X-ray I’d had two weeks ago. I knew beforehand what the diagnosis would be and it was confirmed to me. Being as it was Thursday, E would be doing the weekly shop but this week she had to go alone as her mum has been in hospital for a couple of days because of a problem she was having with abdominal pain. It isn’t a life-threatening condition as far as we know and hopefully it isn’t but any medical problems at her age can be a cause for concern. So it is with us all and myself being as I am now sixty-nine I have to expect one problem or another occasionally. Anyway E drove me to the surgery before continuing on to do the shopping. When we are young we think we are invincible but as we grow older we realise that we are not. My newly acquired condition was, according to my doctor, probably brought about by my long life at work. I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis. It is the result of a wearing down of the cartilage between the joints in my fingers, more so in my right hand as I am right-handed. I know there is nothing that can be done to reverse the condition so I accept it. The doctor was surprised at my easy-going reaction. As I say, I can’t change things that cannot be changed so why worry about it? As long as I can play my guitar, and I am still able, I shall be content. I left the surgery soon afterwards and walked the short distance into the village to make a cash deposit at my bank. It is just as well I save when I can as my youngest son had asked me earlier in the day if I could lend him some money to help him with a cash-flow problem he was having. He is to repay me later. Where have I heard that one before? Leaving the bank I walked across the road to the chemists to collect the prescription my doctor had forwarded electronically to them. Paper prescriptions are becoming a thing of the past. I collected the gel the doctor had prescribed to reduce the swelling in my hand and started back home on foot. It was still wet, cold and windy on Thursday, bracing weather as they say. I was prevented from continuing my journey by the level-crossing barriers that had just closed off the road. I spoke with a lady who was visiting our town for the afternoon and she was telling me about the conditions near the Promenade which is exposed to the westerly winds. Well Southport is windy at the best of times as it sits right on the coast facing the Irish Sea. The train left the station, the barriers lifted and I continued home with the wind in my face. I was feeling very happy and contented, a cheerful soul indeed.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Age, Belief, Holy Spirit, Life, Lifestyle, Peace, Philosophy, Rest and sleep | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday to me!

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 21, 2014

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another year gone and an extra number to my age date today. I am 39! No I am not, I am actually……….no I shan’t tell you but I’m old enough to probably know better as I am sometimes told! Funny, I don’t feel any different from how I did yesterday but age creeps upon us slowly doesn’t it? When I was very young age meant nothing at all to me. When I was in my teenage years I still didn’t think about growing old. Old age was something too far into the future to worry about. It was only after I had reached about thirty that I began to think about age and I would occasionally ponder on what my life would be like when I reached fifty and sixty years of age. These days I just wonder how long I have got left. These are the thoughts we really need to bear in mind throughout our lives and live our lives accordingly for we never know what our future holds for us. It is of no use to dwell on the past, what has been is done and it cannot be changed. It is of no use dwelling about the future either for we know not if we will see even the next day. We have to live for today and enjoy it. It is fine to make plans for the future, to have goals and purposes in life but that is all they are. We may achieve them or we may not, we just don’t know. I can look back at my life now and see all the mistakes I have made and there are certainly areas of my life I would have changed at the time had I known then what I know now. There are things I have regretted doing and things I know I should have done had I been more determined. So I say to those following behind, make the most of your life and don’t hold back for one day you may regret it if you don’t. Be the best you can with what abilities you have and try things that challenge you for you will never know your full potential unless you try. There is no such thing as failure except the failure to try. It is my birthday today or I should say the anniversary of my birthday and I will enjoy it as any other day in my life for it isn’t a special day for me, they are all special days!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Age, Future, Happiness, Philosophy | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Be yourself

Posted by Shirley Anne on September 8, 2014


Teenagers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to Liverpool again on Friday and whilst there I chanced to look in a shop window which had all kinds of novelty items displayed for sale. One thing was a board on which was written advice for teenagers living at home which went something like this: ‘Teenagers living at home with your parents, get out whilst you can. Stop sponging from them and stand on your own two feet. Be independent and get a well-paid job using all the knowledge you have after all you know everything. It should be easy.’ Well we all know that the average teenager actually doesn’t know it all don’t we? Neither are they ready to leave their favourite free-board hotel! There were several other items with similar messages on them related to all things domestic but one little board especially caught my eye and it read simply this: ‘Be yourself, everyone else is taken’. At first I misunderstood the message but it then hit me. Many people strive to be like someone else, a favourite pop singer or someone else in the limelight, celebrities and such. The message is simple, just be yourself. Everyone on this planet is unique, a one-off. There is nobody in the whole world like you dear reader and without you in the world there is a loss that can never be replaced. Aspire to great things, achieve what you can, don’t compare yourself to others for you will always be disappointed, be happy that you are you and that you are a piece of the jigsaw which links us all together. You have just as much right to be here as the next person and just as important.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there maybe in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons
Speak your truth clearly and quietly and listen to others even the dull and ignorant, they too have their stories.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble it is real possession in changing fortunes of times.
Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery but let this not blind you to what virtue there is.
Many persons strive for their ideals and where life is full of heroism. be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of the youth
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here, and whether it is clear to you no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should
Therefore, be at peace with GOD, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labour and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
It is still a beautiful world.
Be careful.
Strive to be happy.

And remember…………………………Be You!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Humanity, Life, Nature, People, Philosophy | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

It happened before

Posted by Shirley Anne on June 5, 2014

All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.

How many times have you heard it said that it’s happened before or it’s nothing new? Well here’s the truth of the matter, there’s nothing new under the sun. What’s been will be again, maybe in a different guise but nevertheless it will surely come again. Some even claim that modern technology is nothing new. They talk about ancient batteries and computers that have been discovered in archaeological digs. Whether these things are true is very much debatable but events, attitudes and behaviour certainly don’t change on the whole. People remain as they have always been, some loving, kind, courteous, humble and others hateful, brash, uncaring , selfish just the same. The eye never has enough of seeing. Isn’t that just so true? We never seem satisfied with our lot, always striving for more yet having received it are still not satisfied. Look at those who acquire great monetary wealth. Most will say that it hasn’t necessarily brought them happiness. Wealth isn’t about the money you have in the bank but the store you have in Heaven. With mankind nothing really changes.

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In times gone by as times today
We fought and died and lost our way
And in those days all was the same
Just as it is, we’ve nothing gained.
We grow in peace, we grow in war
But all remains as was before
A lesson learned is soon forgot
It seems as if we’ve lost the plot.
We cleverly invent new things
And revel in the joy they bring
But sadly at the end of day
We have to give them all away.
Our lives are centred in this world
Which doesn’t last, or so we’ve heard
We live our lives just for the day
But never take the time to pray.
When we depart from out this place
Do we expect a saving grace?
By then it all will be too late
If to our hearts we close the gate!

Copyright Shirley Anne 14 Nov 2010

…………..but the word of God never changes.

Shirley Anne

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Posted in Life, Love, Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

A life to live

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 13, 2013

Cover of "God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons fo...

Written by Regina Brett, 52 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.”

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short – enjoy it.
Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
Always choose life.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Believe in miracles.
God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
Your children get only one childhood.
All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need
The best is yet to come…
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

I thought this something really worth thinking about

Shirley Anne

Posted in Celebration, Life, Lifestyle, Philosophy | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

How time changes things

Posted by Shirley Anne on June 1, 2013

English: It's a Dog's Life This elderly dog, w...

It’s a Dog’s Life

I’ve been through many phases in my lifetime, found interests then lost interest in them later when other things took up my time. It took me many years before I became interested in people, socialising, alcohol and pub life, not that going to the pub and drinking alcohol was ever high on my agenda until more recent times and even then I limited myself. Once I got married my social life, such as it was, took a back seat for both of us but after our divorce I found myself going to the pub more frequently but purely for company I told myself. Now that I am on better terms with my ex, with whom I live, I tend to go to the pub less. In fact I won’t visit the pub for weeks on end then I might go once or twice before leaving off again and now that I have stopped drinking alcohol altogether there is little point in going unless it is to meet people. My ex and I spend more time together and dine out often together more so than we have ever done before. At this moment in time I haven’t visited my local pub for about six weeks. There are many things missing from my life that used to be a part of it at one time. My values have changed and the things I once valued no longer are of interest. I find many things now of no real value to me. All I really need is peace and contentment and the simple things in life. I don’t feel the need to wander throughout the world or even in my own country but might do those things now on a whim. As I get older I find I cannot be bothered with things that I used to enjoy but there are still some things that I really like doing and those things I continue with. I have always been a creative person and that is why I enjoy my work and my personal projects and also why I like to write verse and songs. My life has changed in so many ways and there is little now I wish for except to remain content,  in good health and happy. No more chasing after the wind and useless dreaming of better times that probably won’t materialise or be of any value to me anyway.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Peace, Philosophy, Values | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

I’m getting used to it.

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 9, 2013

The Life and age of woman, stages of woman's l...

The Life and age of woman, stages of woman’s life from the cradle to the grave. New York : James Baillie, c1848.

I remember very well the day I became a teenager and the day I became an adult as it was recognised then, becoming of age as they say, 21 years old. Personally I think that date should still mark the beginning of real adulthood and not aged 18 but that is my opinion. As I grew older and the milestones in life were passed I gradually became accustomed to each new phase of my life. Nothing suddenly changed of course, everything changed quite subtly. As life goes on we don’t really notice the slow alterations to our way of thinking, our circumstances, our changing abilities and everything that is happening to us and around us. At aged 13 I became an outsider to those who were a couple of years my junior and when I reached the age of 21 I was positively out of the game to all I knew who were still teenagers. Once I reached 30 I was definitely over-the-hill on a slippery slope to old age according to those much younger than I. Of course I didn’t feel these things personally but I did notice the gradual change in interests and in capability. As we get older we become wiser and more efficient in what we do. It is called experience and it doesn’t just apply to our careers, it applies to everything we come across and have dealings with in life. Trying to keep up with the pace of life becomes more difficult though as we age and we find we cannot do the things we once were able to as quickly. That is simply the ageing process but we don’t notice it until we take up again something we once were good at doing. I noticed this in my work as an electrician. Though I can still do the same things, they take longer nowadays. Some things I have had to give up doing, like house rewires and large jobs because it takes too much out of me now at 67! Nobody wants a house rewire taking a couple of weeks to complete and I don’t want to be putting in ten consecutive eight-hour days to do it when once it took me only three with the help of an apprentice! We simply have to let things go and do what we are able. I went for a bicycle ride on Saturday morning as it was such a bright and sunny day. I haven’t been on my bike for a few weeks and hardly at all since September or October last year so I am unable to go too far being out of practice. I am still engaged in running on my treadmill and am well practised on that. I was taking it easy riding along at a comfortable pace and was being overtaken by young men on their machines. I watched them go by and thought to myself, ‘I could go that fast once’. Well of course I could have peddled much faster than I was doing but even so I could never match their speed, especially as there must have been forty-five or more years between us! Whilst out riding I saw an elderly lady, probably ten to fifteen years my senior riding along on her machine at a very respectable pace. I had to stop for a moment to answer my phone and I watched as she rode off into the distance. When I was nearing home, about a mile or so away, I saw this old lady again coming in the opposite direction seemingly effortlessly. Cycling is certainly a good form of exercise and she was proving it. I am getting used to being overtaken in many aspects of my life, it is called growing old gracefully but at the same time I am improving as I go and I am getting used to it.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Activity, Cycling, Exercise, Gardening, Interests, Lifestyle, Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Out of sync.

Posted by Shirley Anne on April 6, 2013

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

I seem very much ‘out of sync.’, not synchronised, awkward in my days, messed up in my routines, sometimes feeling elated at the thought but often feeling down and rather bored much of the time. I find I have plenty of time on my hands but lack something to do which is a contradiction in terms as I really do have plenty to do, if I want to get on with it. I need motivation and especially support, both sadly lacking at the moment. I am finding that I would rather do something else half the time. I like company and when I am alone I sometimes brood a little. I do not know how some folk manage to live by themselves, no companion to talk with but only their own thoughts to get them through the days. I like my own company but only for a short while and to have only myself as company would drive me mad. Strange as it may seem I find I work better when left alone but I like the thought of having assistance close to hand should I need it. When at home doing a job of work I like E to be at home to give support and assistance if she can and if I need it but outside of the home I prefer to be left alone to do a job. In both situations I work better and I also work better when under pressure. If I’ve a full copy-book (not likely these days) I am at my best. It seems the more I have on my plate the better I like it. I suppose you could say that I am driven to work. I sometimes feel I should get out of the house and go somewhere but find I am at a loss as to where that somewhere might be! In a few weeks time  E and I will be taking a journey down south for a few days, not a holiday as such but a break of sorts and I am happy about that, however I will probably get bored after a day or so and will want to be doing something else. I am quite easily satisfied just sitting in the pub chatting to people and if I get the chance to do that I shall be happy enough. To be quite frank, I don’t know what I want, happy to go somewhere, happy to be somewhere yet wanting to be elsewhere and doing something different. I am all mixed-up. I have no real goals in life now, nothing that I feel I want to do. I know of people who have ‘bucket lists’ of activities, journeys and experiences they simply must enjoy before they depart from this world as though they will be fulfilled and satisfied only if they empty their bucket. The problem with that is there is always something else left to do. They will never be satisfied. Life is for living, it is true but to be endlessly seeking thrills and excitement to fill your life is pointless, the material world will never satisfy the soul. I am one of the ‘been there, done that and got the T shirt’ brigade, up to a point that is but now those desires do not fill my thoughts. Material things hold no real interest for me, they are simply a means to an end and I know I could live my life without many of the things in my possession. I am having a hard time filling in the blanks and feel I should be doing something worthwhile instead of just hanging around doing nothing. In some ways I feel trapped, actually I have felt this way for many years. I lead a pretty much routine life but even that is being disrupted now and I feel so out of sync. as a result. Sleep patterns are all over the place and unless I have work scheduled it doesn’t matter one iota. As I mentioned earlier I can feel elated over the fact that I am not tied to a clock. Perhaps it is a yearning within to quit working altogether but I know I am not ready to do that.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Lifestyle, Mood, Occupation, Philosophy | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

The simplest of tasks

Posted by Shirley Anne on January 27, 2013

Open Problems

Open Problems

In my job I get all sorts of problems now and then, it is only to be expected, nothing goes smoothly every time. The simplest of tasks routinely carried out over the years can sometimes be awkward to do and very annoying. I had one such occasion the other day when carrying out a task I’ve done so many times in the past. What would normally have taken about ten minutes for me to do actually took almost thirty! When these things happen, which isn’t very often thank goodness, I say ‘it was fighting me all the way’. It’s as though there is an invisible hand thwarting my every move. Unless you are an electrician, gas fitter, plumber or anyone else who works with their hands it may be difficult to understand what I am saying but it isn’t confined only to work, life is a little like this sometimes too. Have you ever needed to be somewhere urgently and found the car won’t work, the traffic is heavy, all the lights are against you? The train journey has been cancelled or put back that extra fifteen minutes when you can least afford it can drive you to despair. Many people would allow these things to get them down, they curse and swear but all the time they know nothing is going to change and they get themselves angry, sometimes taking out their frustration on innocent bystanders. The best solution when things just are not going our way is to learn to accept it, moaning and groaning about things over which we have no control really is a pointless exercise. When these things happen in my job I try to be patient, knowing that at some point the job will get done eventually. One of my favourite sayings is ‘What’s the worst that can happen’? When we step back from a problem and see it for what it is then we begin to see how to resolve it. For everything over which we have no control we can plan alternatives or simply go with the flow and accept it.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

And now?

Posted by Shirley Anne on December 24, 2012

Poverty stands right in front of you

Poverty stands right in front of you (Photo credit: torephoto)

So all the rush is over, all the presents bought, all the parties and celebrations can begin unless they already have! The eve of the great day is upon us and tomorrow is the day we have been making all our plans for. There will be a good time for everyone will there not? Unfortunately not, for whilst we may be enjoying ourselves there are others who will be suffering sorrow and heartbreak, loss of loved ones, ill-health, loneliness, homelessness and poverty. At this time of ‘good will toward all’ do we really care? The great day has arrived  but it is nothing short of being a sham if all we think about is pleasing ourselves without considering the plight of others. The world is indeed a wicked place. It is a world of two halves, the haves and the have-nots. Behind the wall of respectability lies untold selfishness, fraud, debauchery, shame and a host of other evil things. So do enjoy your ‘holy day’, you’ve no doubt earned it. In between the mince pies, turkey roast and Christmas pudding spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourselves……….

Shirley Anne x

Posted in Celebration, Charity, Humanity, Philosophy, Sociology | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by Shirley Anne on December 18, 2012

The History of Mr Polly

The History of Mr Polly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past I rather enjoyed travel going to different places around the world and at home. The usual reason was for holidays but sometimes for business. Life now though is vastly different, I don’t feel the urge or need to go gallivanting all over the place. It’s not so much the expense for I have money enough to make a few trips but it’s more that I don’t have the inclination. Why travel I ask myself, what is the point? What do I need so desperately to see to drag me away from home? I could spend a lot of time lying around on a tropical beach but I would still have to return home eventually. Not that I fancy lying about on a beach somewhere anyway. Some people travel for adventure or to seek out a better life, though why they can’t do that at home I am not sure. I was watching, for the second time, a television program called ‘The history of Mr. Polly‘ written by none other than H.G.Wells with the comedian Lee Evans in the title role. The story centred around a shopkeeper in the early 1900’s who became disillusioned and discontented with his lot. Seemingly frustrated by his nagging wife he set about setting fire to his haberdashery store but it got out of control and the fire threatened the adjacent ironmongery business run by a man he didn’t get along with much. The man’s mother was asleep upstairs so Mr Polly set about rescuing her., after which he became the local hero. The money he received from the insurance company was enough to start over but he decided to leave it to his wife whilst he made off with no particular place to go. He was off on an adventure and was never going to return, though he did so later in the story to see if his estranged wife was coping. Having found that she was he left never again to return. He had found himself a new home with a new partner and seemingly was happy again. Many people today do much the same thing but many do not find the happiness the sought and might have been better off not going in the first place but without trying, without taking that first step they would never know. There comes a time though when journeying to far-off places become a chore especially if we have to return. Going off in one direction is what younger people do. I guess I was never one for wild adventures, I was always and still am a homely person in many respects, I am not searching for anything to fill my life, nothing to fill the empty spaces, I am content to stay where I am. That’s not to say that I won’t travel again, go on a holiday and see new places but the novelty has worn off somewhat. I remember back in 2009 when I took my last trip abroad and was staying at a friends house in the wilds of Quebec. Situated alongside a lake I was asked if I was going for a swim there but I declined as I hadn’t taken a costume with me. My friend wondered why I didn’t wish to go for a swim saying, ‘You can then say that you’ve swum in a Canadian lake’. I replied, ‘One lake is pretty much the same as another’. The only things that distinguish one place from another is the scenery. Unless you wish to see all the scenery there is available, and you never will, it is pretty much pointless.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Philosophy, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I don’t do poppies

Posted by Shirley Anne on November 5, 2012

In the lych gate, Corley. Remembrance Sunday.

In the lych gate, Corley. Remembrance Sunday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This coming Sunday marks the annual day of remembrance for all the members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in conflict. The recognised symbol worn by those who support the event is the poppy as we all know. During the preceding weeks leading up to this special day poppies, or rather man-made versions of the flower are made available for those who wish to recognise the sacrifice of those who fought on our behalf. A monetary contribution is expected in receipt and of course is given freely by those who wear them. This is the tradition and it is expected that everyone will honour it. Not so! I for one do not recognise remembrance Sunday and neither do I buy and wear a poppy. Why? Well for one I do not think it is a good idea to support something I do not think we should be involved in. We are asked to support those who have been maimed because of their involvement in war when in fact those who join the armed forces are well aware of the risks involved before they enrol. Those who lose their lives in conflict have only themselves to blame, they know the risks involved so have no complaints if things go wrong. I didn’t ask anyone to go and fight a war I think we should not be involved in so why should I then be asked to support those who by their own actions return maimed and unable to support themselves? As a Christian of course I would support anybody who was in dire need but those who go to fight on behalf of our government should be supported by the government and not by me. The problem with society, with governments, with people, is they do not learn from their mistakes. We are called to remember the dead, those who died in conflict yet we continue to support war. Some wars come about because there is a need to defend ourselves but many wars are fought for purely political reasons or for financial or other material interests. Take the ongoing Afghan war. Why on earth are we there? What benefit is there in having our young men subject to such danger by keeping them in Afghanistan? They get killed for what? The only ones suffering are their families. What a complete waste of life! Mankind just will not learn from mistakes and what do we do? We mark the occasion with futile remembrance services and sell poppies! Heads are bowed and thoughts are directed toward the sacrifices of others but it is all a complete farce, nothing is going to change, the same mistakes will continue to be made and we will be no better off. I don’t do poppies. I do not support war. I do not support the idea of fighting for something that is a waste of time and something in which we should have no involvement in the first place. What I will support is prayer, I pray that we will one day cease fighting with one another and that there will be no need to think that we have to go to war ever again.

Shirley Anne

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A month in

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 27, 2012

Cold Weather Is Coming, Beware!

Cold Weather Is Coming, Beware! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Autumn and the leaves are falling
Gold and brown around my feet
Nature quietly is yawning
On the dawn of Winter’s freeze.

Bright blue skies are turning grey now
There’s a chill within the air,
Crows cry out their raucous chatter
Breaking silence everywhere.

Spring and summer-time of pleasure
Drift on by in troubled mind
For our love is lost forever
Emptiness is left inside.

As the days begin to shorten
And the nights are drawing in,
All my thoughts are turned toward you
Thinking of what might have been.

There is hope beyond the Winter
When the grey gives way to blue,
When at last with Spring’s arrival
All can start afresh, anew.

Copyright Shirley Anne 19 Feb 04

Well we are one month into Autumn and the promise of cold weather is announced by the weather forecasters. It appears Winter is beginning to poke its fingers into the days but it is a time of year I really like. If I were being honest it is my favourite time of year but it is good to be alive no matter what the season. The short poem was written at a time when I was going through a difficult period and my thoughts were centred on the love I had lost but with hope for the future. It may be getting colder but it won’t be long before we see warmer times again. It is the same with life, we have difficult moments sometimes and for a while we suffer but life isn’t all bad and things get better, there is always hope. No matter what the season, enjoy it, you cannot change it after all! Don’t let the problems in life overtake you, often you cannot do anything about them arriving so just get on with it.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Life, Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Did you ever?

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 13, 2012

Feel Good Together

Feel Good Together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are those times, so few in life
That take you by surprise,
For instance when you find yourself
In someone’s gazing eyes!

And then there are the moments
When you think you’re on your own,
You start to let your hair down
Then find someone’s in the room!

It’s times like these you wish so much
The floor would open wide,
And you could just fall in and then
Find somewhere safe to hide.

Copyright Shirley Anne 11 July 03

Do you ever feel that you would like the ground to swallow you up after an embarrassing moment? You are happily singing away and someone enters the room and suddenly you feel self-conscious and slightly embarrassed. You aren’t the person they thought you were or perhaps that is what you think. Caught off guard? Well it happens to the best of us sometimes but why do we act the way we do in response? Are we ashamed of ourselves for that one split second, do we feel a slight regret that a part of ourselves has been exposed against our wishes? In reality we would really like to be accepted no matter what or who we are. It is the sense of uncertainty, of not knowing what other people’s reactions might be if they catch us off guard, exposing a more accurate picture of our being. Most of the time those feelings are unwarranted but I suppose it is all about self-preservation and a need to protect ourselves in the face of the unknown. Why though should we really be ashamed of who we are? We all know that we are different so we can all expect to see that in the people we meet. We should not be taken by surprise by what others do, we should be used to it. Often what we are ashamed of or rather embarrassed about is a positive asset we didn’t know we had! Others will see the real person and most probably will want to draw closer. It is a bit like living in a barrier that has only a few holes in it exposing small pieces of our character to onlookers. We need to increase the number of holes so that people can see more of who we are and so we can feel relaxed with who we are in any circumstances. Don’t worry about being yourself but be yourself despite it you must!

Shirley Anne

Posted in Humanity, People, Philosophy | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Steal Softly

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 5, 2012

Convocation hall, Toronto, 1974

Convocation hall, Toronto, 1974 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Steal Softly Thru Snow

The black paper between a mirror breaks my heart
The moon frayed thru dark velvet lightly apart
Steal softly thru sunshine
Steal softly thru snow
The wild goose flies from winter
Breaks my heart that I can’t go
Energy flys thru a field
‘n the sun softly melts a nothing wheel
Steal softly thru sunshine
Steal softly thru snow
The black paper between a mirror breaks my heart that I can’t go
The swan their feathers don’t grow
They’re spun
They live two hundred years of love
They’re one
Breaks my heart to see them cross the sun
Grain grows rainbows up straw hill
Breaks my heart to see the highway cross the hill
Man lived a million years ‘n still he kills
The black paper between a mirror
Breaks my heart that I can’t go
Steal softly thru sunshine
Steal softly thru snow

Don van Vliet (Captain Beefheart to you)

I love the Captain’s poetry most of which were put to music, a little hard to understand for the best part and very unusual. There are many things in this world that need to change and it is sad that those changes are slow to happen or don’t happen at all. It’s as if nobody is interested. Dear reader, you must have experienced or seen situations that you had no control over but which saddened your heart, the starving children in foreign places and even in our own country, the plight of the homeless and jobless, the sick and the needy, the refugees fleeing from civil uprisings and warring factions in their own countries, the oppression of whole nations by ruthless dictators, the murders and killing of defenceless people, the list goes on. Bad things happen to good people. We are very fortunate if none of those things are our own experience. It is a sad world in which we live and we do very little toward bringing about a change for the better. According to the poem ‘Man lived a million years ‘n still he kills’ just about says it all. The problem with mankind is mankind. We just never learn from our mistakes, history proves it, yet we still strive for better times, that is some of us do! Steal softly through life, there is no need for aggression, hatred and selfishness, indifference won’t make bad things disappear. Excuses like ‘well that is human nature’  just don’t really cut it. Human nature can be turned to human nurture if the will is there. We all should be willing to sacrifice for others, even others we do not know personally and until we do, until we really love one another as we should, nothing is ever going to change. The Utopia that we hope for is merely a pipe dream, totally unattainable, at least if it is down to us alone.  The Captain had his own way of expressing himself but I think we all know what he meant in this poem. It breaks my heart too that people are the way they are at times. Steal softly through sunshine, steal softly through snow.

Shirley Anne

Posted in Behaviour, Charity, Humanity, Love, Philosophy, Sensitivity, Society, Sociology, Values, Wisdom | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

I could scream

Posted by Shirley Anne on October 2, 2012

Scream and Scream Again

Scream and Scream Again (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know about you but I have always been the sort of person who, if I am in need of a service that someone provides I make enquiries accordingly. If I am out shopping I like to browse before I make any decision to buy. So my feathers become somewhat ruffled if I am approached without my asking. I am sick and tired of hearing the phrase ‘You could be eligible for reimbursement from a miss-sold PPI (payment protection insurance)’, more especially as I have never taken one out! My mobile phone constantly receives messages from companies willing to get me any compensation that is due to me. If I reply with a ‘STOP’ it makes no difference, the next company along the line makes the same claim and I get another message. The problem is that there are hundreds of these companies all seeking a piece of the action and no doubt I will still be receiving unwanted and unmerited messages for the next ten years! I could scream!
I hate it when out shopping I get pestered by pushy sales persons who ask ‘Can I be of assistance’? ‘Well no you can’t, I just want to see what is on offer all by myself thank you very much’, is what I am thinking but have to reply with a ‘No thank you, I am just browsing’. They may be on commission but they will never get me to buy something I do not want or persuade me that something else might be suitable when I am told they haven’t got what I want. If I cannot see what I want I ask, simple! I don’t wish to but a substitute thank you very much!
In today’s world we are bombarded with sales talk, sales pitch, leaflet drops, junk mail, unwanted phone calls and text messages, television adverts, even radio adverts. I cannot use the Internet without coming across an advert. One of the most annoying traits by advertisers these days is to have dynamic adverts flashing away to one side of the screen whilst emails are being read. Another favourite of theirs is to have an advert preceding a short video you have clicked on to watch and you are obliged to watch it before you can watch the content you clicked to see. They usually last around thirty seconds so I look away until the advert is finished. Don’t like adverts, never have, they don’t influence me one bit. If I want a product I will buy it after checking it out myself. Adverts tell lies anyway. How many of you have seen the adverts for face creams all claiming to reduce ‘the effect’ of ageing in older women and then show younger women with flawless skin as if they had been using it! They obviously don’t need it in the first place. The best adverts for me are the ones I cannot see or hear!
It is pressure from all sides. It seems we are unable to live our lives without the support of a ‘smart phone’ these days. They can do all sorts of wonderful things using the applications they have installed in them, many of the ‘better’ ones of course come with a price-tag. The phones themselves often cost a small fortune too. Now I use my mobile phone but infrequently, usually to answer voice calls or messages for work and little else. I don’t wish to spend my whole life looking at a screen with my fingers frantically pushing little buttons. I was in the pub the other day and quite a few folk in there were doing just that. Well I went there for a few drinks and company, you know, actually speaking with people! I could scream. I know people who don’t use the Internet, haven’t even got a computer, don’t have the latest phone but carry a simple one ‘in case of emergencies’. I would think that is sensible. However people are gradually being coerced into having computers and one day none of us will be able to conduct business of any kind unless we do it through the Internet. It’s happening already. I heard recently that people wishing to pay their gas or electricity bill by any other method than by ‘Direct Debit‘ are charged more for the privilege. Furthermore if they have to set up a Direct Debit they have to do it over the Internet because they are restricted from doing it over the phone with an actual human being! It doesn’t come as a surprise to me though because this is intimated in Scripture along with so many other things that the ‘blind’ cannot see. I could do without it all. Give me the quiet life any day. Do you suppose there is a reason for people to say that if they came into a lot of money they would go and live on a tropical island away from it all?

Shirley Anne

Posted in Advertising, Communication, Computer, Information, Insurance, Life, Philosophy, Shopping, Socialising, Society, Values | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Plodding along as usual

Posted by Shirley Anne on September 4, 2012

Wisdom - from George Wither's Book of Emblems ...

Wisdom – from George Wither’s Book of Emblems (London 1635) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live from day to day
In often a melancholy way,
Try as I might, the sheer delight
Of life eludes me
But I soldier on.
No-one but self for company
No lover in my life
No, not for me.
What can be done?
My situation seems so hopeless,
Hopes and dreams are all a mess
And thoughts of future happiness
Are far from me.
But still I’m moving on
Someone perhaps will come
And change my life,
Is it a dream
A thought to hang upon?

Copyright Shirley Anne 31 May 2004

And here I am eight years on and nothing really much has changed. Often I feel as if I am just going through the motions and not living life as perhaps I ought but is there a right way to live out one’s life? Well of course there is but here I am talking about how we fill our lives. Some seek adventure, some seek travel, some are happiest when at work, building a business or career. There are many ways to fill one’s days but it all depends on individual preference doesn’t it? We may aspire to certain things and find that when we succeed in fulfilling a dream we remain as empty as if we hadn’t tried. So we try something new. It is the same old question, what is life all about in the first place? We are born with specific needs for survival so we go through life fulfilling those needs, anything more than that is superficial except that if we do nothing we get bored. Finding something to occupy our time is the easy bit. Finding something we like is the tricky bit. Desire, motivation and interest all collaborate to fill our time and it is when we lack these things that our lives become meaningless. My ‘get up and go has got up and went’ and ‘I can’t be bothered’ feelings can end up making our lives dull and boring. These sort of feelings are occasionally my lot and I have to force myself to do anything sometimes. I feel as though I am just plodding along half the time. Is it all about looking back and seeing what we’ve achieved in life and have they made any real difference to the way we are right now? Have we really gained anything more than what is necessary for our existence and if so has it changed our outlook? Are we happier by having more than we really need? Have a look at this from the book of Ecclesiastes in The Old Testament……..

Everything Is Meaningless

1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.

Wisdom Is Meaningless

12 I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

15 What is twisted cannot be straightened;
what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I thought to myself, “Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.

Maybe we should just plod along as usual after all? Sometimes it just seems so pointless doesn’t it? Don’t you think?

Shirley Anne

Posted in Philosophy, Wisdom | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Something to prove?

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 24, 2012



Gravesite of Howard Hughes and his parents at ...

Gravesite of Howard Hughes and his parents at Glenwood Cemetery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having just watched some of the Olympic events got me thinking about what drives people to be so competitive, not only in the sports arena but in life in general too. There are ambitions to improve one’s self, either physically or intellectually and ambitions to obtain a better lifestyle and to increase wealth but why do people compete against each other? Why is there a need in some to elevate themselves above everyone else? What is the driving force and what do they hope to gain? From their point of view we could say, control, prestige, status but it is all egotistical. Yes, they may achieve all those things but what do they really gain? Remember Howard Hughes? One time probably the wealthiest man on the planet. Nothing was out of his reach, whatever desire he had was fulfilled, money was no object but did it really make his life worthwhile living? Having vast amount of wealth usually drives people to want even more, it becomes uncontrollable . People who have no financial wealth, and there are far more in that category than in the other, may look on in admiration and aspire to the same things but in fact would probably be disillusioned if they succeeded. The other man’s grass isn’t what we think it is. Why are we as human beings so competitive toward each other? What is there to prove in being better than someone else? Yes, we all have different talents and capabilities and cannot do anything about that but is that the driving force to improve our image in the sight of others? In real terms we are all the same, we come into this world with absolutely nothing and we will depart in the same way. All our efforts will have been in vain, nothing will be remembered about our lives and after a season no-one will mourn our passing.  We need to regard ourselves as equals with everyone else for we are no better and no worse than anyone else. We all ride the Noah’s Arkin life, all in the same boat and will all eventually return to dust. Everything is vanity.

Noah's ark

Noah’s ark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Shirley Anne


Posted in Ambition, Competition, Death and mortality, People, Philosophy, Wisdom | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

My Poems…….cameo

Posted by Shirley Anne on August 1, 2012

I thought I’d highlight some of my poems from time to time so here’s the first….

I have a life so full
So full it’s overflowing
I’ve not a moment to myself
But don’t know where I’m going!
It’s filled with shallow things
Which are of no importance
If I could get a proper life
On that I’d take a mortgage!
The things that interest me
Are not much liked by others
I try to make some friends
But don’t know why I bother!
So all in all you see
Despite the seeds I’m sowing
There’s nothing down for me
When the storms of life are blowing!

Copyright Shirley Anne 7 Sep 2004

We All Know Who We Are

We All Know Who We Are (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is this you? Do you find yourself that busy that life is sailing on by without you? Perhaps you are going round in circles and getting nowhere in particular, you fill your hours and days with useless things, looking for something but cannot decide what that may be. You try your best to enjoy life so you try anything in the pursuit of happiness but it is all a waste of time, you end up back where you started. You try again the next day and all the days thereafter but always return home empty-handed. You have a hole in your life that you hope you can fill with visits to the countryside, nights out to the theatre, restaurant meals and social gatherings but they just don’t seem to fit the bill and yet you continue with them. Always looking for something but never actually finding it. You want to be honest with yourself but you really don’t know where you are going. Time for everything else but no time for yourself. Maybe the poem reminds you of something about yourself, something you never realised before. If your life is so full why do you keep on seeking for that ‘something different’?

Shirley Anne

Posted in Happiness, Life, Philosophy | Tagged: , , | Comments Off

It can only happen here

Posted by Shirley Anne on July 26, 2012

Billy Mitchell (EastEnders)

Billy Mitchell (EastEnders) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I watch a soap called EastEnders. Ok I need to get a life but I don’t take it all seriously and often miss programs because I am doing something else. So it’s a case of if I see it fine but if not so what? It hasn’t got that much of a grip on me that I get withdrawal symptoms if I miss it! On Monday there were two episodes in the same evening and in the second one a certain character was to take part in the Olympic Torch relay, live on television. It wasn’t make-believe as the normal theme of the program is but it was actually a part of the real thing. The character, Billy, a loser in the normal storyline, was allowed his few moments of glory as they made his ever so short run a part of the event which has been running during the last couple of months as the ‘Torch’ (actually many torches) was carried throughout the whole of the UK. It could only happen here. Personally I hate all the hype that surrounds major events in this country. I prefer to simply watch the events themselves if I am inclined to do so. As the Olympics are basically an athletic games event I shall be watching as many of those events as I can because I like athletics, simple as that. I do not need to get all wound up to watch anything that is of interest to me so the lead-up to the event and the closing ceremonies will pass me by. In the UK the trend is to dramatise everything trying to get people involved and it is the same with everything that goes on here. I watch the news on television. It is one of my favourite programs because I like to know what is going on in my community and in the rest of the world but even the news is treated as a drama and that really annoys me. The news is the news and doesn’t need ‘padding out’ with a pile of waffle. The weather forecasts are presented in a similar way. They use ‘traffic light’ warning symbols to show the level of rain we should expect, the temperature and possible burn factors associated with too much exposure to the sun and even the level of pollen we may expect! Why can’t they simply say it’s going to rain, be very sunny and the pollen count is high, low or average? No, they want to make a drama out of it. One of the reasons I didn’t like ‘High Church‘ gatherings was all the pomp and ceremony that went on in them. I went to a more straightforward assembly which didn’t involve watching unnecessary tradition. I feel the same way when it comes to almost anything in life. If I go to a restaurant I want to see simple fayre presented simply. I don’t want all the paraphernalia that some chefs think are necessary to make their food attractive. I want to eat it, not take photographs of it! Give me the basics and I will be happy, everything else is superfluous.

Shirley Anne

Posted in General Chat, Interests, Life, Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »


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