Tag Archives: Philosophy

Do I really care?

A Scenery Like Me

A Scenery Like Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In conversations with people I am asked why it is I do not go out of my way to fly off somewhere warm and sunny sometimes. Why is it that I actually like the climate where I live? Well it is alright flying off to exotic places and getting burned by the sun, bitten by the local insects or being uncomfortable with my clothes sticking to my body due to excessive perspiration but I have to return to a cooler climate later. It isn’t that I don’t like flying off somewhere or that I don’t wish to visit somewhere new, it is more that I just cannot be bothered with it all. I have done my share of flying to be sure but the novelty has worn off somewhat these last few years. Am I bothered, do I really care? The short answer is no. For some people their annual two weeks in the sunshine is a must and they spend thousands of pounds doing it. It is their prerogative, their money, their time but for me it matters not that I go or don’t go. I don’t feel I am missing out if I choose to stay at home. There are many folk who cannot afford the luxury of flying off to foreign parts but I am sure many would like to. Similarly many would not. Life isn’t about jetting off to sunny climes and in fact whenever I do go places these days, which is not often, I am usually going to meet people rather than to admire the scenery. In my mind one place is no different from another and the more important reason for travel is to meet people. I like scenery but it is soon forgotten. Some of it is pretty but inhospitable, nice to look at but not to live in. What is the point in admiring mountain ranges that are merely backdrops to civilization. No-one wants to live up a mountain and be uncomfortable doing so. Mountains and lakes, rivers and streams can only be seen when we take the time to do it. We live our lives among people and our daily lives and activities are centred around what we are doing, not the scenery surrounding us. How many times do we look at something before we hardly notice it is there and does it really matter what our surroundings to enjoy life? I prefer to surround myself with people rather than scenery which is but transitory.

Shirley Anne

A cheerful soul

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

Happy Birthday to me!

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

Be yourself


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

It happened before


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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A life to live


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

Happy in my work

Satisfaction Guaranteed (manga)

Satisfaction Guaranteed (manga) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although I have placed my advert on hold for two weeks I am still receiving requests and I seem to be more busy now in my electrical work than I have been recently. The compliments keep coming too so I must be doing something right. A lady called me on Tuesday and she seemed a little under pressure so much so she had difficulty in expressing her need over the phone. She only wanted a couple of little jobs doing but seemed worried about how to get things back to normal. One of those jobs was to replace a bathroom light. She lived ten minutes away through town traffic, about three miles at most. I told her that I would take her to the retail park and help her select a suitable fitting and ten minutes later I was parked outside her house. We went to purchase the fitting and were soon back at the house. She was more relaxed with me in person and I could tell she had problems at home. Her partner had recently suffered a stroke and from what I could tell was giving her a bit of a hard time. Anyway I had the light up in minutes and set about the other task which I soon had remedied. When I presented her with the bill she was overcome with delight and she felt the need to give me a big hug. She wore a big smile as she went to get some money. She couldn’t thank me enough but I was pleased to be of assistance. I got more pleasure in knowing that my services were appreciated and that I had provided complete satisfaction. I enjoy making people happy and fixing their electrical problems more than the remuneration I receive, I feel good inside. This is why I love my work, it is something I am good at and I get satisfaction in serving others. Added to that, it is different every day. I have done many things in my working life as I mentioned a few posts ago and I enjoy the challenges each new task brings, even in my private projects. I don’t think there is much I haven’t tackled throughout my life but as they say if you don’t try you will never know your limitations. I feel sorry for those who endure their work rather than enjoy it. Nothing is impossible except the impossible!

Shirley Anne

Out of sync.

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

When is a lie not a lie?

The Ask and the Answer

The Ask and the Answer

When is a lie not a lie? Telling the truth I always thought was the best route to take but telling the truth in certain circumstances can do more harm than good and telling a lie is not always a bad thing to do. However, being truthful when asked for an explanation is the only way to go. There must be many reasons we can be forgiven for not telling the truth or even for telling a lie. As an example, whenever someone asks an awkward question or a personal question that would be better not answered truthfully, is that wrong? I am often asked questions about my husband though it is never myself who brings up the subject. Now I have never had a husband but to tell the truth would expose my history, something I have no wish to do with people I meet in person. Some people already know about my history and my transition and that is fine but I don’t reveal that to everyone I meet. People will say something like this, ‘What does your husband think about you being an electrician‘? I reply with, ‘I am divorced’, which isn’t a lie, I am divorced. The other person then assumes that I had a husband beforehand and I haven’t told a lie but I also didn’t tell the truth by omission of the facts. Not telling the truth in these circumstances isn’t the same as telling lies. Perhaps some will think that deceitful but deceitfulness is only used for gain or to hide an offensive act or crime. No person has the right to know anything about another person’s past other than to know they can be trusted and that they have no ulterior motives or hidden agendas. They are safe people to associate with in other words. Most of the time, when working for people, I get statements or questions like, ‘It must have been unusual for a woman to go into the electrical business when you were young’ …I answer yes I suppose it was. ‘Have you been an electrician long’? ….I answer yes. ‘Have you always been an electrician’?…… Again I answer yes and it is just assumed that I started my electrical career as a woman. So I am not telling lies but neither am I telling the truth when I don’t answer directly to what is being said.   It is all about living my life in peace without the hassle of feeling the need to explain myself to everyone who asks awkward questions when there is no need to do so. These days many women are taking up electrical work as a career and some I know are just approaching 40 years of age. There was a girl living close-by who was studying to be an electrical engineer two years before I started work. The times are changing and that’s no lie!

Shirley Anne

The simplest of tasks

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

I wonder how long it will be?

January 2010 Snow Scene

January 2010 Snow Scene (Photo credit: ς↑r ĴΛϒκ❂)

I wonder how long it will be before somebody calls me to do a job for them? I already have one job to do in the new year, one I was asked to do sometime in January. That request was about two weeks ago. By early January I’ll be ready for work. My van is having some respite! I don’t want to look too far into the future knowing that at some point I will have to cease work anyway. I pray in the meantime I will stay fit and healthy enough to do what I have to do. There is no guarantee of course but I remain optimistic in life. About life? Well none of us knows how much time we have and I sometimes think about that, especially when I am alone with nothing to do. Sounds a little morbid I know but I don’t dwell on such things. In the Bible Jesus says that no-one knows the hour that he will return but he will come as a thief in the night taking people by surprise. In the same way our own departure from this life will take us by surprise too! My life has been good and it has been bad too and I know mine is in no way unusual. It isn’t so much what I have done myself but more the way I have been treated by others, certain others that is. So I wonder about the new year and I wonder if in twelve month’s time anything will have changed much for better or for worse. I must remain philosophical however that life can’t get any worse, can it?

Shirley Anne


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

A beautiful day but aren’t they all?

English: Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. San...

English: Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. Sand dunes and the beach at Freshfield. Blackpool tower and the Big One rollercoaster could clearly be seen from the top of this high sand dune on this day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was such a beautiful day on Wednesday, completely blue sky after a few clouds early in the morning. It was a cold and frosty day though, the beginning of the onset of Winter. I had to drive about ten miles to carry out some work for someone, part of that work entailed being outdoors. It always seem the way that when it is cold people want jobs doing outdoors! I didn’t mind but wearing gloves whilst doing electrical jobs is a little tricky and I had to remove them to carry out the more delicate part of the installation. It might have been better had I been working on the south side of the house but no, it had to be the north side and in a slight northerly wind too! Fortunately I wasn’t out there too long and was able to do the other of the two jobs inside the house. The old guy gave me a drink of coffee and then I remembered it isn’t until you come in from the cold that you realise how cold you are! It took me a few minutes to get warmed up again. I was back home for lunch and was tempted to go for a walk in the afternoon but I was feeling a little tired and left it for another day. We have had a lot of rain lately and in some parts of the country they have suffered flooding because many rivers couldn’t cope with the volume of water and they  overflowed causing much damage to buildings and people’s homes. They will be very grateful for the change in weather. Where I live there is no danger from flooding at all, I don’t live close to a river or in a valley or at the bottom of a hill. The land is fairly flat but a little undulating, probably because it is near the sea and the sand dunes. Probably the undulations are actually long-since covered over large dunes themselves. I know my house is built on highly compacted sand as are all the others in the area. There are some places around the town though where large holes suddenly appear in the roads and I am talking about vehicle-sized ones! I suppose these areas have underground rivulets for there are quite a number of those in certain places, none where my house is though fortunately. The house was built in 1877 and shows no signs of subsidence. I guess it will still be here in 2077! I know I won’t! That being the case I enjoy every day for they are all beautiful, are they not?

Shirley Anne

I don’t do poppies

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

A month in

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