a twist in the tales of life

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Every Crown has a silver lining

I’ve noticed something in recent weeks. I’ve grey hair creeping in. The Silver is appearing across my fringe at regular intervals. I noticed a few little highlights arriving on the right side too. It reminds me of little Halloween sparklers I had when I was a kid. These little shiny sparks are like a firework exploding from the side of my fringe and back through the rest of my hair. You know what?                 I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t think I’m supposed to love it but I do. A reaction of panic followed by reckless scrambling for a bottle of dye is the norm so they say. I have had the conversations. People in general, friends and family show me greys with a mix of fear and rueful regret. Youth is behind me. Its elastic stockings and sensible shoes (and that’s just the men) from now on. Fair isle, beige and boring handbags. Sorry I don’t buy it. (Especially the boring handbags).

When it comes to hair, I’ve run the gauntlet. I’ve had highlights when it was a form of medieval torture. A crochet hook pulled strands through a rubber cap or a plastic bag. It was Pain incarnate. Then came the 80’s perms. I even brought a picture of Nicole Kidman with a head of curls to my hairdresser and said I want that!

At 16 I bought a supermarket hair bleaching kit and ended up looking like a marmalade cat. My cousin had to fix it the following weekend so I spent the week in school hiding the disaster in a ponytail.

My first passport photo I have black hair and a curly perm(the nicole). I look I am recovering from major surgery. After that I went through the red period. I was hostelling with a gang at that stage and one of the girls reckoned each time she saw me I had a different colour hair. There was auburn, henna red, red, mahogany red, red, chestnut red, and red.

Then I took to the bleach. It began on the slippery slope of a few highlights and became the whole head. That lasted nearly 10 years. I did have to have it cut as it was breaking and thinning but I held on in there.

To be honest the aging hippie was behind the decision to revert to my own colour. Besides I couldn’t remember what my natural colour was as I hadn’t seen it since I was 12. I had embraced the organic lifestyle and had chucked out all the chemicals I had. Food is organic and I had gone into chemical free cleaning. I always watched what went into my cosmetics. So the dye had to go.

The decision was helped when a wrecked knee laid me up for a spell and the colour grew out. When I was remobilised I got the rest covered up and now it’s ’all me own’.

So I intend celebrating the silver. My great grandmother died at 96 still with her long white hair. And I will be doing exactly the same. I’m having fun watching the silver spread across and giving me an interest as I brush. Mark Twain said age is a state of mind. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter. I will be seeing my grey in exactly the same light. A silver one.
Keep Smiling

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back to the Brush strokes Chinese Style

I was back to Belfield on Wednesday night for my Chinese Calligraphy class. (http://www.comfuciusinstitute.ie/courses desc calli.html)
I love being back. It is a small class but the advantage of that is always how quickly we get to know each other.
I have to say this; I’m not the star of the class. I have to work at it and always did. I remember after 5 classes of my first term I was going to quit. I really thought I wasn’t for me. Then I talked myself into staying until the end of the term. I have this theory, you see. I always think it takes 6 weeks to decide if something is really for me. When I changed jobs or workplaces I gave it that time and in relationships I pretty much knew if the guy was right for me or not in that time. What I did with that information is another story!!!! But I stayed with Calligraphy and signed on for term 2.
Then it seemed to change for me. Something clicked in my head and I fell in love with this art form. I started to relax when practicing and just looked forward to class. Even when I get characters wrong I just giggle. Even my teacher, Professor Zhang, knows I’m in for the long haul now! Last Chinese New Year he showed us the character for year of the Tiger in cao shu script and I made the character in silver jewellery wire. He got a kick out of seeing the work take another form.
This term Professor gave us new brushes and practice paper to work with. (Forgot to mention I started my 2nd year in September 2010) So far he has given us work mats, ink, ink stone (yan), inkwells, brushes (maobi), paper (zhi) and in my case a lot of patience. We are currently working on New Year banners. We planned to make them for Christmas but with the bad weather our last class was cancelled but we will have them for Chinese New year instead.
2011 is the year of the Rabbit. This is a peaceful year with less regulation where people relax and have more fun, which is just perfect for an aging hippie like me.  It’s a nice year to welcome in, after the upheaval we have all been through up to now. It will I hope be a year when I get to work more with my calligraphy. I have a few perhaps over ambitious ideas for it but that’s me! After working on perfecting different strokes dots and dashes, which does put the new student off a little, I find that when I look at the characters I wrote last year versus what I can do now I can see how far I’ve come.
Sometimes the best things in life are what we worked hard to achieve. We tend to expect to be brilliant at something from day one and then drop it like a hot spud when we are not. If I had dropped it, then I wouldn’t have made the cheeky signs I have over my desk in work!
From my calligraphy I get something a lot different from anything else I do. It has become almost a meditation now. There is a reason why we learn to sit how we do, how we hold the brush (as a tiger passes the river with a baby in his mouth) and focusing on the stroke order of each character and creating the strokes themselves. But like the year of the Rabbit its sit relax and have fun.
Keep smiling!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time is of the essence

I've decided I need to learn the art of time management. Now that I blog and also as i need more writing time for my beloved Novel project, I have to plan. So i enlisted the help of a week planner pad I bought on a trip to Bath 18 months ago. It's really cool with all different drawings of shoes on it. That's the thing about us shopaholics, we know something will be useful eventually!

Now, as an aging hippie the free spiritedness doesn't lend itself to time management. It's all go with the flow. I like to get up and think ' today i will ..........'.   But the thought of having more free time to go with the flow or suddenly get an inspiration for a new style of earring and then having a time in place to work on it has me sold on this planning lark.

I work a four day week with flexi hours and I'm an early starter which helps. Two evenings of the working week are busy. Tuesday evenings are my Chinese Medicine appointment and nothing comes between me and my acupuncture! Wednesday evenings are my Chinese Calligraphy class at U.C.D. Although I am not the star pupil, I love it. I have to put the time in on homework but that doesn't break my heart.  
I have the usual housework stuff like everyone but my three day weekends are where the most planning is required. It feels like a huge amount of time until it is Sunday night again and i wonder how did i not manage the ironing again?
So I'll give the time management stuff a go. I should be able to make it rock. As I once said to a friend of mine when you live in the moment how do you know what you are going to do tomorrow? I will let you know when i find out.
Now, how much time do  I get on e bay

keep smiling,

Monday, January 10, 2011

blog my First

Welcome to my first Blog!
I've been planning to blog since the idea was planted in my head by the irrepressible John Fanning, who along with his truly amazing wife Kerrie, are directors of La Muse Writers and Artists retreat in the south of France.

I spent three weeks there in  October 2010, writing and silver wiring, along with six other amazing goddesses as I love to call them. But more about these ladies on another post.

So, John being John, he took every available opportunity to convince me that blogging is for me.
Well, I'm about to find out!

I shall be sharing my thoughts on different stuff, having a rant and rave occasionally and throwing out some interesting (i hope) thoughts and ideas on the things close to my heart.
I hope to convice some of my friends to guest blog now and again for me, just to keep things a little different.

Hope you enjoy my take on the world

keep smiling.