Categories
family anecdotes

8/52 On sadness…

Hubby and I have had dogs for many years now. Late last year, we lost our beautiful Aksel, our 14 year old German Shepherd. Like most shepherds, it was his back hips.

Last Sunday, we lost Rocky, our 14 year old Australian Cattle dog. He had cancer 🙁

Meaning we have one dog left, our kelpie puppy Kiya.

It’s been a hard week on all of us…

See you next week, dear Reader. I hope it’s a good one for you!

  • KRidwyn

 

 

Categories
Christianity

6/52 on celebrating a life

I spent quite a bit of yesterday afternoon with tears in my eyes. Together with what felt like hundreds of people, we celebrated the life of this amazing man, Richard William Whittington.

I met Richard and his beautiful wife Colleen on their return to Australia from South Africa, in 2002. We attended the same church – Chesed – on Friday evenings in Nambour, and he quickly struck me as an amazing man of God, one who ‘walked’ the talk.

It was a beautiful service, full of touching memories. And so uplifting! The thought that Richard is not dead, but alive and with our Father, whom he served so faithfully while here on earth. A true ‘celebration’ of a life well lived.

And to celebrate this life with old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen in person, in well over 18 years! What a blessing they all are to me. Sure, we’ve kept in touch via Facebook, virtually witnessing life events and the like, but to see them again and feel the warmth of their hugs was to be transported back in time again.

What a special afternoon; one which I have stored up in my heart. I am so blessed to have known Richard – and blessed still further by my God for his putting such amazing people in my life! I treasure them dearly.

I wish for you a week of remembering, and catching up with, such precious people in your own life, dear Reader.

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Random thoughts Reading Writing

2/52 Home again and being introspective

I both love and loathe writing. Like the nursery-rhyme girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead: when [it] is good, it is very, very good; but when [it] is bad, it is horrid.

I was pretty excited last March though, to be so near the end of my Justine Browning journey I was ‘querying’ agents, and ‘in the trenches’. Then a hiccup regarding word counts hit – at the same time as I received a huge pile of English drafts to read and return to my high-school English classes. Enter my first overwhelming encounter with my darlings’ use of ChatGPT, and the world of AI writing.

And I lost it. All motivation. All hope of ever ‘making it’ as a published author. Because seriously, what even will the publishing industry LOOK like in ten years, with AI now here, and here to stay?

Admittedly, life also got a heap busier with my Mum deciding to separate from my Dad, but there you have it – the series of inciting incidents which brought my 2023 writing journey to a screaming halt.

But this year, I’m determined to look on the bright side. Intentionally. And I couldn’t help but laugh when “Goodwill Librarian” posted this, this week:

 

And that was all it took to shake me from my self-imposed writing paralysis. Because I could see clearly how words are important! I should know – these past school holidays I’ve read more books than I’ve read in simply AGES! Other people’s words – their viewpoint on this incredible thing we call life – has been important to me. And who’s to say that my words might indeed be important to others?

Hence this return to my poor neglected blog. To eke out some words and fling them into the ether, with nought but the hope that someone, someday, may stumble across them and read. Maybe even comment!

And even if none do, the externalisation of my thoughts into text is good for me. Straighten out my own understanding of my personal world view, as it were. And ‘there’s a spider in your bra’ is certainly so disparate a response to ‘undress me with your words’ to what I could ever conceive, that it’s good for me to realise and understand this!

I hope you smiled like I did at that meme. And have a great week, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Blogging challenges family anecdotes Writing

1/52 Memories, from Melbourne, with hope

And so it begins; my first blogpost of the New Year. And I’m in Melbourne, which apparently used to be called Batmania prior to being renamed back in 1837.

(And no, although it’s amusing to think of a black-winged crime fighter controlling the convicts in this area of Down Under, apparently it was named after John Batman, a leading member of the Port Philip Association and the person who negotiated a treaty with the Aboriginal elders to purchase 600,000 acres… so nothing to do with DC Comics, Inc.)

But discovering this fact the other day got me thinking about the past, and how so much of history gets forgotten, both intentionally and accidentally.

I met a lovely lady last night – my cousin’s mother-in-law. It was her 76th birthday party and our conversation had moved onto the topic of tattoos. I related the story of one of my family member’s, who’d faithfully kept a diary – until the day his girlfriend at the time found it, read it, and used it against him. Unsurprisingly, he’d decided to stop journaling, and ink his memorable events onto his skin instead. I’ve always wondered if this second method resulted in lost memories. And this saddens me.

2023 was one of those years which I’m glad has ended. And although I could blithely say “I could happily forget whole chunks of it” I know that, should I *actually* do so? Sure I’d be more free-from-pain than I am right now, but I’d also no longer be me. Our memories are what makes us who are we – and there’s lessons I learned through those painful 2023 experiences that I’m glad I won’t have to re-learn.

So here I am, starting 2024 more despondent than I can ever remember being, but intentionally trying to look for snatches of hope for a brighter year. (They *do* say when you’re down, the only way is up, right?) And hope, after all, is all we need, yes? Aren’t there a plethora of films out there whose entire premise is that hope is stronger than hate, or fear, loneliness or depression?

So that’s how I’m looking at 2024. One day at a time, one hour at a time. Trying to see the good, rather than focusing on the less-than-good of the recent past. Moving on, moving upwards. And recording it in words here on this blog, which I’m grateful to be able to do. Not everyone feels they have the luxury to record their thoughts in text, after all.

So. Here’s to a hope-full week ahead for us all, dear Reader, and I’ll see you next week 🙂
⁃ KRidwyn

PS Just cos I can: the doubledecker bus I rode from Tullarine aitport to Melbourne CBD. The last time I rode on a doubledecker was in 1980 in London!

Categories
Christianity Life momentous events More about me

In which I contemplate how amazed I shouldn’t be

I keep telling people how amazed I am at my quick recovery from the evil back injury I suffered recently.

Monday 25th June, 10am. The last Monday of term. The doctor who was treating me said he thought I’d be immobile for two weeks, and he’d be able to get me back to ‘normal’ (mostly pain-free) mobility by the end of 5-6 weeks.

Shock doesn’t even remotely describe how I felt. But then again, I was also in childbirth-like agony at the time, and my brain cells weren’t firing anywhere near their usual capacity.

I left the doctor’s office and called my boss, relayed the news, emailed my colleagues. Put the diagnosis out on Facebook. Then I received message after message after message, from friends and family near and far, who offered their support – and their prayers.

I was touched. (And in agony. And tears – many, many tears.) But determined to do everything I could to aid the healing process. The doctor had said ‘ice’? I’d be the ice queen! He’d said ‘horizontal’? I wouldn’t move a muscle!

(Admittedly, the phrase ‘off work for the rest of the week’ did *not* mean that – ask my Mum, who watched me plough through marking paper after paper, responding to email after email, proofing and writing report after report, all in a horizontal position either facedown or face up, ten minute interval changes, non-stop, from 5am until 9pm-ish!)

And wouldn’t you know it, but by Friday 2pm I was back at school. On crutches, but vertical. Yes, you’re probably thinking, ‘stupid!’ but I’d missed the kids terribly and wanted to see them before they left on two-and-a-half-weeks holiday, pray with them and for them, and testify to them just how amazingly their prayers for me had worked. That I was vertical, and walking on crutches, and was amazed at my recovery – but SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN!

Because I’d been holding fast to James 5:16. Especially the second part:

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Because I knew what the doctor didn’t – that the God who had made me, and who had let me go through this experience for His own good reasons, was able to heal me as well, for His own good reasons.

And He was doing exactly that! I should not have been able to be mobile – and yet, I was. And now, two weeks later, I should be starting to achieve pain-free mobility – and yet, I have it! Sure, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I’m just happy to be upright and without crutches 🙂

And in conversations with many, many, many others since then, I’ve been telling them how amazing my recovery has been – and then realising, over and over and over again, how amazed I should NOT be by this.

Wow, our God is an incredible God, isn’t He?

I hope you too, dear Reader, are having an AMAZING day today 🙂

And see you next week!

– KRidwyn

Categories
#blogjune Blogging challenges Christianity Random thoughts

Sipping from the saucer #18

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #18.

It’s a busy time of term (of semester, actually) at work – I’ve noticed I’m pulling more hours just to get things done, and the amount of time I’m spending staring at my laptop screen is just sad.

I’ve also noticed I’m wearing my glasses more and more. I can complete work faster if I’m wearing them, so they’re on my eyes while I’m at my desk, more often than not.

And I’m starting to realise just how much I’m relying on them. Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s probably just an ‘inevitable’ thing, instead. But no, it’s just that today I was thinking: I’m glad I have them. I’m glad I have the opportunity to put something on my eyes to assist me in doing the things I need (or want!) to do. So many? Don’t. I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at exactly how many people there are in this world, who need assistance just to be able to see, but who can’t get that assistance for a variety of reasons.

So that’s what I want to thank my God for today. For the sense of sight. And even though it may not be what it once was, for the blessing I have of owning a pair of glasses which assist me to still read, and write, and… well, everything.

They’re pretty cool 🙂

Here’s wishing you a blessing-full day as well, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Random thoughts Writing

T is for ‘tepefy’

‘Tepefy’ is a verb, which means ‘to make or become tepid or lukewarm’.

And it’s a transitive verb, which means it can’t exist by itself but needs a noun to complete the action, just like ‘kick’ (the ball), ‘paint’ (the portrait) or ‘clean’ (the kitchen – ha!). So you’d ‘tepefy’ the bathwater on a frozen winter’s morning.

And its related noun is ‘tepefaction’. Which makes sense, when you think about it.

We need this word in more regular use in everyday life, don’t we.

Yes? Because the word ‘warm’, which seems to have replaced it, both as the transitive verb and as its related noun, seems too simple. Too quick, too easy.

Yes?

Any takers? Anyone out there agree with me? Yes? Anyone? Going… going…

gone.

Ergo, the disappearance of so many words…

Here’s to your day, dear Reader.

— KRidwyn

Categories
#AtoZchallenge Blogging challenges Random thoughts teaching Work

Q is for ‘quiet’

Which is what this blog’s been since… um… well, since the ‘P’ post, well over a week ago. But it feels like a month, indicative of just how crazy-busy my life has been since the last post.

To be truthful, that last post kinda scared me a little too. “P is for Power” means that I also have the choice to *not* post – to be lazy, to procrastinate, to pretend life is just too busy.

Well, right here, right now, it’s May 1st. I missed completing the final 10 posts of the #AtoZchallenge in April. My blog was dead quiet. Silent. As in, as the grave. Goodbye, dear April, I’ll never see you again. #AtoZchallenge, I failed you. I did not manage to post 26 posts during April.

April in my time zone, that is.

New challenge: finish them before May 1st worldwide!

Ready… set…

GO!

[And have a great day, dear Reader!]

— KRidwyn

Categories
family anecdotes momentous events Random thoughts teaching

When your kid is smarter than you

4066496185_9624123677_mSo it’s happened. My Miss11 beats me in chess. Regularly. So much so, that she doesn’t ask me for games anymore. Miss8 and Mr7 still do, but Miss11? Not so much.

I asked her if it was because I was too easy to beat. She hesitated before answering with, “Umm… noo….” – you know, the long drawn out variety of no which means ‘yes, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.’

It’s sad, but I guess ’twas inevitable. You see, when it comes to chess, I have developed this theory: an older brain is less flexible, and therefore a younger brain will beat an older brain in chess any day of the week.

That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Plus, it makes sense, I think. Why else is it easier for young children to pick up languages etc? Because their brain is still maturing, working out which neurons should fire together, and all that jazz. But oldies like me, our brain paths are set in their ways. They like centre openings. They like castling around the middle of the game. They like set patterns of checkmates to follow. And when an opponent comes along who runs things differently, who shakes things up, it’s really rather frustrating.

So that’s my gripe for this week. She’s now better at me in something. And she’s knows she is, AND she knows I know.

Really, I’m okay with that.

It was bound to happen sometime. *sigh*

I just hoped it would have been much, much later!

Have a fantastic week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

CC image courtesy John Morgan on Flickr

Categories
#blogjune Blogging challenges Reading Writing

30 must-read books – #27

And from spies and courtroom dramas… to dystopian YA? Sure… why not?

I love Veronica Roth’s take on our future. Her writing style, too. And it’s impossible to divorce Theo James’ looks from the character of Four now… but really, who would want to?#bj28 #bj28aI should also mention here that I quite liked Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy. Far more than Dashner’s Maze Runner take on it all – but then again, I really really REALLY don’t like zombies. (Here are my thoughts on Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy, which is the only zombie treatment to date that I’ve found bearable.)

But Divergent / Insurgent / Allegiant? Fantastic work. *Spoiler alert* Of course Tris had to die. And although her death took me by surprise; it was obvious in hindsight.

And that made purchasing and devouring ‘Four‘ all the sweeter.

And with *that* thought; I’m gone 🙂

See you tomorrow, dear reader!

— KRidwyn