Sunday, 25 June 2017

ALF @ The School of Life (5B450)

Another one of my 'Five Before Fifty' goals was to 'attend a school of life event'. This I did on the 21st June when I attended an evening course entitled 'how to be serene'. I felt it was very timely, coming at a time dominated by the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, a heatwave, a spate of terror attacks and the beginning of the Brexit talks.

Amy was quite keen to come with me (she's been very taken with the School of Life YouTube channel). So, after a brief stop at Nandos in the Brunswick Centre, we arrived at the School of Life at about 6.30 pm.

When the door opened we had a good look around the philosophical and psychological books and ephemera that were on offer before being shown down into the intricately decorated lecture room, which featured long red velvet curtains, which hid the air conditioning unit, and a black and white mural of a library full of philosophical books and novels, such as Life of Pi and The Female Eunuch.

'What happens in the School of Life stays in the School of Life,' our Italian host informed us, 'It's like Vegas,' he clarified. The evening did go on to include the audience sharing their difficulties with serenity and anger in their working and personal lives. It's always nice to know you're not alone with these human struggles. It also featured a discussion of how the ancient philosophers can help us come to terms with problems in our modern lives, Seneca featured quite a lot, and gave us some thoughtful and reflective exercises to take away with us.

I enjoyed the evening very much, I found it supported my own reading on philosophy and particularly stoicism, which I am very much into these days. There was also wine and interesting nibbles on offer which always goes down well.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Craft stall @ URC Pinner

Saturday 17th June was a sweltering hot day in West London. Mum was otherwise engaged so my daughter, Amy, accompanied me to the United Reform Church, Eastcote, to take part in the charity coffee morning in support of the London Churches Refugee Fund.

The church charity coffee mornings support many good causes, near and far, like Trinity Homeless and the Food Bank. These and other local charities were at the forefront of my heart and mind following the Grenfell Tower Tragedy which happened earlier in the week.

Despite the very warm weather turnout was good, with lots of people coming along for a coffee and a chat. Several people stopped by my stall to say how beautiful it was and buy a few cards, including an off season Christmas Card. After a slow start business picked up. Amy managed to sell two of her Dream Box books. We also sold a new Still Life poetry book, a lavender tawny owl, a virtue brooch card and several more cards, mostly Get Well Soon and With Sympathy and items from my Passtimes collection. It was quite a successful end to a pleasant Summer's morning.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Knitting rainbows

I rediscovered how therapeutic knitting is in 2009, I was getting myself and my piano pupils through music exams and needed to find a new way to relax and unwind, so knitting re-enetered my life. The simplest and easiest things I knit are dolly blankets. I love buying different coloured wool and producing rainbow coloured dolly blankets, I find it makes the endeavour doubly therapeutic.

Summer crafts

I have had a lot to do lately, but have still found time to create more crafts for the church fete and also for future craft events and blog posts. Above are some of my virtuous lavender hearts and flowers, a Star Heart Doll called Love and some summer related greeting cards. Below are some fabric brooch ideas I have been working on and some new lavender cats.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

ALF @ The Globe (5B450)

At the beginning of the year I began to think of five smallish ambitions I want to fulfil before I reach the age of fifty in November 2017. The first one was 'See a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre', this one I managed to do at the end of May.

The 2017 production of 'Romeo and Juliet' was very vibrant and modern. Romeo and Juliet were streetwise, young and foolish; a breath of fresh air. Mercutio was a girl and full of attitude and Tibalt was a rough and ready energetic masculine force. The production was so bold that it even featured a performance of 'YMCA' in the party scene.

Everyone did a great job and kept me so absorbed that I didn't so much mind feeling a bit squashed on the uncomfortable hard wooden seating. I have seen a number of plays in my life, many of them by Shakespeare. The Globe setting was special, not ideal, there was a pillar near me that blocked a little of the view, the space is exposed to the elements and a lot of people had to stand, but that all seemed to make the event that bit more exceptional.

Mum and Amy had a great time too and mum wants to see more plays so I will have to seek out more opportunities for theatre going in the future.