Green makes you creative (part 3)

Picture by Briar ©Eastgate Resources London 2006

Here is the last post card I bought with a green theme to put up in my workspace. I chose this picture simply because I play the flute myself. I play the ‘normal’ flute, but haven’t done so in over a year now. I also play the Native American flute.

I kind of bought that card to remind me that I used to have such fun making music. Especially the Native American flute is so easy to play. I own several. Last year, about this time, I went into the forest to do a flute meditation and some deer 🦌 came to listen to me. I wrote a blog about it at the time. The image on the card reminded me of that. It was such an amazing moment in the forest, just playing with my eyes closed and all for sudden there are these deer just standing in front of me and listening. I wasn’t even scared, I just felt calm and amazed. They knew I didn’t mean them any harm and they were a patient audience. I often think back to that day and keep thinking I need to repeat that. Just like in the image were the forest creatures come to listen to the fairy play to them. I wish I could look like that though 😉

Green makes you creative (part 2)

Picture ‘Faery Woods’ designed by Lisa Sheldrake exclusively for Happy Glastonbury

As promised here is the second card I chose to put up in my workspace. This card is much lighter green, but still has a little bit of a forest in it. I chose this one primarily because of the two paths. There is a choice here. You can take either path. The one to the right will lead you to Glastonbury Tor or Avalon as it says on the sign post. The path to the right will lead you into the forest, or the Fairy woods. I like the bluebells in the foreground. I love bluebells. They are such happy flowers. There is also a tiny bit of glitter on the card.

Have you ever climbed the tor in Glastonbury? It gets quite steep towards the end, but the view from the top is magnificent. You overlook what legend calls ‘Avalon’. The tor itself is a very significant landmark. You can find more info about that online. Different religious groups have attached different meanings to it over the centuries.

The two paths represent to me the choices we are given in life. Often there are more than two, but to me they are symbolical. The path to the left seems fairly straight forward and you can see where it is leading, while the other path seems more mysterious and uneven. To be honest I would chose the one on the left. The choices I have made lately represent that to me. I have chosen a difficult and uneven path in the hope that it will lead me to somewhere beautiful and that it is worth the effort. I will show you the third card in a blogpost tomorrow.

Green makes you creative (part 1)

Picture: ‘Divinus’ by Greg Spalenka 2013 Amber Lotus Publishing

In ‘The Power Of Mindfulness’ magazine I read that according to a study in 2012, green makes you more creative. They suggested to have a green painting in your workspace. As my ‘office’ at home is fairly small and most of the wall space is taken up by book shelves, I needed to find something smaller, in green, to have by my desk. A friend of mine lives in Glastonbury and I was meeting her for a catch up. I thought this would be the ideal place to find something ‘green’ for my workspace. I did actually find three greeting cards, that have green as their major colour and I could somehow relate to, or where in some way significant to me.

I chose the above card because it spoke to me in some way. I like that it is a female. There is a forest in the background, and as I told you before I have a fascination with trees anyway. This female figure seems has a lot of different colours swirling around her head. For me this swirl of colours represents ideas. She’s got all these ideas in her head, and there is no particular order to them. These ideas make her happy, make her smile and keep her alive. Her hands seem to disappear in them, as if they are trying to pull out an idea.

It reminds me of me and my writing progress. There are so many ideas swirling around in my head and I need to go and grab one and put it to paper. Those ideas for my stories, my book, or poems is what keeps me going at the moment. Writing is what gives me joy and makes me smile. It is actually enjoyable to just relish these ideas in my head, but it is also important to put them into words and on paper.

This is the first of three postcards I chose to put around my desk. I will find it a suitable space. In the next two days I will show you the other two cards I chose and tell you why.

The Greatest Showman

Image result for the greatest showman

Today has been another grey and dull day. I didn’t sleep very well during the night and as there is not much work on I actually stayed in bed until 10:30. This is quite unusual for me and I haven’t done this since I was a teenager, but I have little motivation and the weather is really affecting my mood. I decided to cheer me up I would go to the cinema and watch ‘The Greatest Showman’. This film got quite bad reviews, but I wanted to from my own opinion, plus i wanted to do something that would get me out of the house and is good for my soul. From the adverts I already loved the song: ‘This is me’ by Keala Settle 

I enjoyed the film as it was very well shot and very colourful. Although the songs and the dancing did not fit into the period it was set in, I still enjoyed the message this film is trying to convey. A message to never give up and to follow your dreams and to be proud of your achievements despite the judgement of others. It is also a film about knowing when to be pleased with what you have got and to realise who and what is most important in your live. I liked the songs and was engrossed in the story. Hugh Jackman seems to be getting younger 😉 I left the cinema feeling uplifted. My dream is to be a writer, but I have done nothing lately to work towards that dream. I have been letting live get me down and doubt my abilities.

I told you before that I am doing this creative writing course and yesterday I send this long overdue assignment to my tutor. When I got home from the cinema I saw that he had already marked it and send me feedback. I was so surprised by what he wrote that I was close to tears. He was so positive and full of praise. He actually encouraged me to send my work to be published. My doubts about my writing melted away, when I saw that I made no spelling or grammar mistakes, as that is still my biggest fear. I took his advise and send my piece of work to a magazine. I will of course keep you in the loop about what happened. Thank you for reading this.

Book Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Another ‘hard’ science fiction book by Andy Weir, the famous author of ‘The Martian’. This book follows the adventures of Jazz, who is living on the Kenyan moon base Artemis. She makes a living as a ‘porter’, moving things around the base for profit. The pay is rather bad, so she has an alternative revenue stream as a smuggler, getting illicit goods onto the moon. Jazz becomes involved in a heist, and suddenly it’s not just the environment trying to kill her.

This book is an easier read in comparison to ‘The Martian’, but has the common theme of technology going bad in a deadly environment. Jazz has to use her knowledge of the base, and science to try and stay alive, whilst not getting caught by the law enforcement. It is a page turner and quite engrossing.

Book Review: Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Thomas Sweterlitsch

This book is marked as fiction/thriller. But it is actually a science fiction/detective story. It is a fairly dense read. The story follows John Dominic Blaxton, who is an obsessive, dealing (or not) with the loss of his wife.

Pittsburgh has been destroyed in a terrorist nuclear attack and Blaxton’s wife was killed in the blast. A ‘matrix’ like archive, built from camera footage, security cameras and blogs has been created to honour the memory of Pittsburgh and the victims, as well as to help the survivors of the attack. Blaxton finds the corpse of a dead woman in the archive nd becomes obsessed with solving her murder. The trail leads him to realise that there are a number of similar murders and that the serial killer has not yet been caught and is still alive in the ‘real world’.

This is an excellent combination of crime and sci-fi. It is at time quite graphic and not for the squeamish. The science fiction element is not too far fetched, and seems fairly plausible, from how the internet and reality TV is developing today. The sense of loss and melancholy is very strongly conveyed. One can feel the pain of the broken people that have to deal with the aftermath of the Pittsburgh attack. The book has a very strong sense of place, and made the reader feel that Pittsburgh is a place that would be missed by people that know it well. It makes me want to visit there myself.

Book Review: This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh

I bought this book as it was recommended on several websites as motivational and uplifting. The book tells the story of Abbie who has just been through chemotherapy and several operations for bowl cancer and got the news from the surgeons that she is now cancer free. She is married to John and they have a Son called Seb. Now that life has given her a second chance she is ready to live life to the full again…but destiny throws some spanner’s in the works. Her husbands company is on the verge of going bust, her son is also going through some very difficult changes. To top it all her marriage seems to be falling apart.

The book describes the difficulty of having to adjust back to ‘normal’ life after the cancer. The difficulties Abbie has to accept her body again, with all the scars. Her husbands struggles to stop treating her like a patient. It also describes her sons difficulties with his own sexuality and how everything had to be put on the back burner whilst his mum was so ill. I have to say though that I did not find this book inspirational or uplifting. I guess that maybe the book would give some comfort to someone that has been through a similar experience, or could resonate with what Abbie is going through. I felt that it was written in a very honest way. I did not like that it ends very abruptly and I was quite disappointed about that. It leaves the reader hanging.

Last night in paradise

I am sitting on our balcony overlooking the sea. The sun has already set but it is still fairly warm. My heart feels heavy. The thought of going back to England makes me feel slightly depressed already. The waves are lapping against the sand. There is a slight breeze. On Thursday I will already be back at work, driving a coach. It has been a great week here in Fuerteventura. The weather was nice, not too hot, around 24 degrees every day. We went for beach walks every day. I actually managed to do 10000 steps a day. It was easy here. At home it is such a struggle to reach that goal.

The past seven days have helped to re-charge my batteries. I wonder how long this elevated feeling will last? Thursday morning probably.

I thought I would use this week to write more. I wrote about 3 short stories in this time and added a few hundred words to my book. I thought getting away would jump start my enthusiasm and inspire me but it hasn’t really. I am waiting for a great idea to hit me or a eureka moment but maybe writing is just like any sort of sport or hobby: you have to practise and practise and practise until you get good at it.

Book Review: Cartes Postales From Greece by Victoria Hislop

This is an ideal holiday read or a book if you need to escape.

Ellie keeps receiving postcards from different places in Greece. They are all signed with just an A. She is stuck in a dead end job she hates and when the postcards suddenly stop, she decides to fly to Greece, to experience this wonderful country for herself. On the day she is leaving a mysterious package arrives. It’s a diary about A’s travels around Greece. In it are stories about the different places he has visited.

The book combines ancient Greek history with more recent happenings. The story I found the scariest is called ‘Honeymoon’ and the story that made me think the most is called ‘Know Thyself’. I was reading this book on holiday. I really enjoyed it. It’s travel writing, combined with a backstory about Ellie and Anthony. I have never been to Greece, but now I feel I want to visit those places. The book is beautifully written. It has a surprise ending. It has been a pleasure to read.

Book Review: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

This is the second novel in the Detective Peter Grant series. He is investigating the murder of a journalist in the Groucho Club in Soho. At the same time a Jazz musician also gets killed after his performance. He had his penis bitten off. When Grant arrives at the scene, there is an old Jazz melody coming from victim ‘Body and Soul’. Over the next few weeks more deaths with a similar pattern occur. Meanwhile Peter starts an affair with one of the dead musicians girlfriend. Leslie, his injured colleague from the first novel, is also slowly recovering and beginning to slowly speak again.

This book is not as confusing as the first one. Nevertheless it took me 4 weeks to finish as the pace is very slow and the plot a bit dragging. I was ready now to give up on the series completely, as I thought it is not for me, but y friends are massive fans of Ben Aaronovitch and have convinced me to give the third book a try. It is called: Whispers Underground. I will let you know how I got on.