Saturday, March 29, 2008

Regaining Momentum ...

Just a quick post, to catch up, to tell you all about a few changes and to share some pics ...

We went to stay with my Mum and Dad this week, at their lovely cottage in the very beautiful Derbyshire countryside. So I haven't been online or done any writing all week (but I have managed to catch up with some much-needed reading) and having spent a couple of days settling back in here (catching up with the post and washing mountains, etc.) am now back to square one with email and RSS feeds!

So this weekend will be mostly spent doing 'writing housekeeping' and I will hopefully have regained momentum to start the new month focused and heading towards my very first article submission.

I'll post my next moon post, the first in a series about women and the moon, on April the 6th (next Sunday) as the New Moon seems the perfect place to start and the next new moon will be then.

I'll try and keep up with other posts on here, but am going to focus for a while on a new blog, The Freelance Writing Learning Curve (explanation for such madness in the first post on there!) while I work towards my goal for April, to submit four articles for publication.

You can also catch up with me on Life is a Learning Curve (new post about eating dragons) and Student Mum (latest post about parenting spirited children, a bit of a cheat as it's one of my Helium articles) if things are a little quiet on here!

While in Derbyshire, we took some photographs ...

Three gorgeous girls!

Mum, her lovely puppy, Truffle and a very windswept me!
This next one is not from Derbyshire, it was taken by Eldest Daughter at Peasholm Park in Scarborough ...

I didn't know you could get swans in black!

And just for fun, Mrs. Tizzywinkle and some crazy sleeping positions ...

As youngest daughter changed position, so did Tizzy ...

And she actually went back to sleep like that!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
PS. For some truly gorgeous portrait photography, check out Tina L. Miller's blog, The Buzz!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Freelance Writing: A Beginner's Guide

This is the first in a series of posts about freelance writing.

A beginner's guide to freelance writing, written by a beginner!

I've done the writing bit, having spent seven years writing essays, research papers and dissertations (though still have lots to learn, of course ... there will always be something to learn about writing, that's what makes it so exciting) but now I need to do the freelancing bit.

I know a little of the theory, having read some great blogs and websites about freelance writing, but have yet to put it into practice. So as I step off the edge and try new things, I'll pass on the things I learn. (Especially the mistakes I make!)

As a non-fiction writer, I will focus on writing and publishing articles. (There are some wonderful blogs by fiction writers in my links.) My first step towards freelance article-writing has been Helium.

"A community of writers who are revolutionizing freelancing."
(If I've done it right, you should be able to click on the Helium logo above and it will take you to the home page. But in case it doesn't work the link is here too!)
Helium is an article-publishing site, where writers share articles on a huge variety of topics. I have written on parenting, emotional health/wellbeing, writing, gardening, crafts and positive thinking. Some are flying in the ratings while some are floundering, which has given me an idea of where my writing needs work.
Writers can register free, put up a profile and submit articles immediately. And easily. (I promise ... as someone who struggles with technology, if I can do it, really anyone can.)
Rating other articles supports the Helium community, hones proofreading skills and provides endless inspiration. The feedback from other writers means you can use Helium to improve your writing skills, while getting your name known in writerly circles and even earning yourself some money.
There are debates, contests (with cash prizes) and the Helium Marketplace, a place to submit articles to various publishers.
Helium has an excellent mentor facility and numerous forums for chatting to other writers.
You can link your blogs and websites to your Helium profile, attracting more visitors, although I should say that, at this point, I haven't seen the results of this. (But then, I've only been on there for a few weeks.)
But I have found Helium a great place to stretch my article-writing muscles. I have enjoyed browsing titles for inspiration and have a list of Articles To Write, some of which I will try and write for submission elsewhere ... somewhere I need to send a query letter. I have written articles over the past year which I have done nothing with, as the whole submission process has me stumped. Not that I don't know how to submit a query (thanks to other blogs and websites, a list of which I'll put together when I get chance), but I just haven't been able to do it.
Why? I think that it's the usual trigger for my procrastination when it comes to writing ... I'm scared to do it wrong. Perhaps I'm scared of rejection, of my name being known for the wrong reasons, of building a rotten reputation and making things harder for myself. Yes, I'm scared!
Deep breath ...
I'm setting myself the goal of submitting four articles to print magazines or local papers in April.
Yes I am! And when I wobble, when I doubt I can, when I want to give up and run away, I'll tell myself I just have to. Because it says so on my blog!
The first one will be an article on recycling for the local paper. (I can hear you sighing, Mum! And see you shaking your head, but hopefully smiling at the fact that I have eventually acted on your patient advice. My wonderful Mum has been saying, "Why don't you write something for the local paper?" for at least ten years!)
I've had a blue recycling bin for a while and haven't made the most of it as I was unsure what to put in it. Did a bit of research and think it might be useful information for other people. The girls and I have put it into practice and so I've learned a few tips I could pass on too.
See? What if the paper doesn't need an article on blue bins and recycling? What if everybody already knows about it? What if it's already been done better by someone else? What if they think I'm arrogant or naive offering an article on something that I'm not at all an expert on? What if I don't actually know anything about blue bins and recycling? What if ...
Well, I suppose it won't get published!
And I'll learn something. Which I'll be able to pass on to other people who might find it useful too. I'll have something else to write about ... and submit somewhere else. I'll definitely have a post for my blog. I won't be a published writer, but I will be a writer who has submitted something (at last!)
Although researching and reading, rather than writing, has had its benefits. I've got some great resources! Here are just a few to start with:
There's a really useful article for freelance beginners, by Jenna Glatzer on Absolute Write. You can also sign up for a couple of free newsletters on Absolute Write.
If you're an article writer, check out Jeff Herring, The Internet Article Guy.
If you're looking for information on copywriting, writing online and general freelance writing tips, Copyblogger and Problogger are fantastic resources.
The wonderful Dabbling Mum is well-worth a look, for beginners and more experienced writers alike. The site has tons of useful information for people working from home and particularly writers (plus loads of other stuff like parenting advice, recipes and reviews.) There are three fab newsletters to sign up for: Parenting, Business and Writing.
Then there is the Dabbling Mum, to whom I owe a huge "Thank You" for an an inspirational comment, just when I needed it.
Well, here I go ...
Huge thanks also to the awe-inspiring Ann Marie Dwyer (who has TEN kids and still finds time to write!) Ann Marie introduced me to Helium, convinced me to have a go, and has supported and encouraged me since.
And thanks (always) to my family and friends and to all the amazing writers I have met on Blogger. I will never be able to thank you enough. I can't believe how lucky I was to come across such a wonderful group of warm, talented, generous and truly inspiring people.
You can read my articles on Helium here. (Feedback always welcome and please don't worry about hurt feelings! I'm not at all precious about my writing and always appreciate constructive criticism.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Loving it ...

I have spent a lovely few hours catching up with all your blogs and am now feeling full of the joys of Spring and lovely warm fuzzies!

Today was supposed to be another day of not writing, but while I'm here ...

I have been writing. Every day. (So my New Year's Resolution has been adapted rather than abandoned! More about that later.)

But on Friday, I decided I needed to spend time tackling other things that have been building up:

Unread RSS Feeds (from over 300 to less than twenty, which I've read but have marked as unread for further action)

Unread emails (from 67 to none!)

Email inbox empty!

Favourites (still lots to do, but gradually a scary list is being organized into useful folders)

One 2' pile of newspaper and magazine articles filed into useful categories (still in piles on the kitchen floor, waiting to be filed and labelled)

One very messy miscellaneous pile of various forms to fill in / finances to deal with / letters to write ... now a small neat pile in order of importance

Diary up to date!

Laundry mountain cleared (until tomorrow!)

To be mended pile mended (and in some cases passed on, as they are now too small for anyone in this house!)

Two inches of muck removed from the bathroom

Recycling boxes emptied, clothes from clearout at New Year finally taken to the second hand shop

Library books renewed and all in one place rather than scattered throughout the house

Kitchen drawers tidy and fridge/cupboards free of way-past-sell-by-date stuff

I've been implementing some tips I picked up on creativity and productivity. I don't like organising, I'd much rather be doing, but I'm feeling much more clear-headed and am looking foward to sitting down to write without any nagging feelings of "I should be doing something else!"

I've done a lot of (scattered) research recently and having it all to hand will be fantastic and will hopefully save lots of time in the long run, and I've filled a note book with ideas which is a lovely feeling.

I've also been thinking about my New Year's Resolution and have amended it. I'm still resolved to write every day, but I'm going to write on here to a more focused schedule:

Mondays - The Moon (but not today, working on one for next week!)

Wednesdays - Writing (Creativity and Productivity)

Fridays - Feelgoods (Health and Wellbeing)

I'm also going to write one post a week on Student Mum (which I haven't touched since Valentine's Day!) and one brief post a day during the week on Learning Curve.

Plus I'm going to continue stretching my article-writing muscles, by writing on Helium. (I'll put a post up about Helium on Wednesday.)

So there it is ... in writing!

I have found that writing goals down on here makes me stick to them, so I'm now feeling inspired and full of enthusiasm. I'm off to do some doing now, rather than some organizing, to actually fill in forms, action RSS feeds, file cuttings properly ... and to be the first one in the sparkling bathtub!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not forgotten, nor forsaken!

Goodness! It's more than a week since I put a post up ... I spent most of last week working on a post about women and the moon, but a friend arrived unexpectedly on Thursday and didn't leave until Monday, so I didn't get chance to finish it over the weekend. And the past three days have just flown by!

So, just a quick post to pass on something a friend sent me by email last week, which I had intended posting on International Women's Day, but which is always relevant ...


Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do .
Hearts break.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you.

A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you ... or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead.

Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other still.

Pass this on to all the women who help make your life meaningful.

I just did!

~ Author Unknown (sadly!)

I'll try and post the women and moon post in a couple of days, and catch up with you all properly ... I've missed reading your blogs as much as I've missed writing on mine!


Friday, March 7, 2008

New Moon, New Woman! (and New Women's Blog)

It's a New Moon today ...

Happy New Moon! :o)

I've been working for a while on a post inspired by the lovely Lane (thank you, Lane!) about the relationship between women and the moon. I've found so much amazing stuff, that I can't do any justice to it as a single post, so this is Part One of the story.

I've really enjoyed looking at the whole Crone Goddess thing and it's got me thinking about 'the Crone' from the perspective of a feminist. I'll do a post about society's misjudgement and mistreatment of the crone on the new women's blog: Towards 2011.

A blog by women, about women and for women (but not to the exclusion of men), Towards 2011 is a way of promoting the centenary of International Women's Day in 2011.

It's a very new blog, but aliqot has already put up some great posts one of which triggered a conversation about wolf-whistles!

Check it out and leave a comment, or a suggestion about anything you'd like to see or do on there. We'd love to hear from you!

Women and the Moon (Part One): The Crone Goddess

The Crone Goddess, linked to the New Moon, is an excellent place to start - contrary to the popular image and concept of her as the goddess of death and destruction. In ancient times, the Crone Goddess was embodied by older woman, who were revered as keepers of wisdom, experienced healers and powerful symbols of creativity, transition and rebirth.

The crescent moon was most often associated with a virgin goddess like Artemis/Diana; the full moon, or 'pregnant' moon with a mother goddess like Juno; the new moon with a crone goddess, like Brigitte.

The Crone is the most misunderstood aspect of the Goddess/Woman. Often feared or reviled, she is most often associated with death, yet she is also a symbol of new life.

The Crone Goddess therefore often symbolises all three aspects of the Triple Goddess, as she is associated with three phases of the moon: the waning moon, the dark moon and the new moon.

All three of these moon phases are linked to wisdom. The dark moon is a time of particular power. The Crone Goddess was seen as both wise and powerful. Sadly, her powers have been diminished over the centuries; she has become misunderstood, feared and reviled. This negative perception of the Goddess beyond maidenhood and motherhood, has been transferred to women (or is it perhaps the other way around?)

Crone Women

Older women in our society, particularly post-menapausal women, are often seen as "past their sell-by-date." (Overheard quote passed on by an irate Juicy Lucy!) They are often referred to in derogatory terms such as "old hag" or even "old bag."

It seems the power of women is recognised only in youth and in child-bearing abilities. When women no longer have these, they are seen (they often see themselves) as having reduced powers.

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth!

The Power of the Crone

The power of the crone lies in wisdom and experience; she is often referred to as the 'last' or 'final' aspect of a triparte goddess. However, in her representation of life and death, she in fact completes a cycle; she is an end and a beginning.

She is the cycle.

The death she symbolises is that which is necessary for rebirth, as Winter is necessary to Spring, in the same way that the new moon begins the waxing to full moon.

To value youth and productivity above wisdom and experience makes no sense. Yet it is the general attitude prevalent within modern Western society.

The Crone Goddess usually represents all three aspects of the goddess - maiden, mother and crone - just as older women, past the age of reproduction, still represent both the vibrancy of youth and the nurturing of motherhood. Wiser with her years, an older woman is experienced at being young and carefree, at being a mature woman and perhaps a mother, but is now adding extra experience, which adds to her richness.

She is more, not less.

We can all learn a thing or two from the Crone Goddess, who represents both negative and positive aspects of the Goddess and therefore of women; our dark selves. She is the complete Goddess as we strive to be complete, to balance all aspects of ourselves. As we strive to be recognised by others as complete beings, beyond the labels of society, beyond restrictions and constructs.

Women are beautiful, complex beings with amazing powers. The beauty, the complexity, the power increases as we grow older.

A Few Crone Goddesses

The Crone Goddess is represented in various forms in many mythologies and religions. Here are a few of my favourites:

Kali - the Hindu Goddess of Life and Death

It is important in the Hindu faith that Kali represents all aspects of the goddess:

"As a Goddess who rules over both life and death, the Dark Goddess or Crone holds within her all aspects of the Triple Goddess. She is the mature and aged Maiden and Mother, who possesses the wisdom and experiences of youth, adulthood and old age and who stands as a bridge between death and rebirth."

Kali is always represented wearing 50 skulls around her neck, each inscribed with a letter of the sanskrit alphabet, which are collectively known as the matrika (mothers.)

Kali is hideous and frightening. She is a warrior goddess. Yet she is also capable of dispensing grace to her followers. The Hindu faith teaches that creation and destruction arise from the same source.

As with all crone goddesses, Kali represents balance; the balance between birth and death, warrior and healer, creator and destroyer.

Hecate/Hekate - Greek Goddess

Hecate again represents all three aspects of the goddess, as Hekate Triformis, the goddess who rules over the three phases of the moon.

She is complex and awesome. Like Kali, she is also fierce and fiercesome, she is also called 'Agriope' meaning "savage face."

"She was the Goddess of the three-ways (crossroads), where she protected people from taking the wrong road. And she protected the Gates from any evil spirit to enter. She also guides travellers in general and sailors in particular. She held the keys to three roads: to Hades, to Heaven and to a lucky life on earth."

Today, Hecate is often viewed as 'the evil crone' but she is in fact a fantastic example of the complexity of all women. Early examples are of Hecate as a young maiden, others have her as a mother. She is in fact all these and so much more.

"... this distorted image originates in the twisted minds of those who fear Her power: Those sad souls who have lost their connection with the chthonic, who shun their own shadow, & fear what they do not understand. Even though some emphasise Hekate as ‘wise crone’, rather than scary ‘Dark Goddess’, the fact remains that most modern pagans are drawing on a view of Hekate that resulted from hundreds of years of misogynstic distortion.

Part of the fault lies with the modern need to classify everything. An influential variety of psychologies find it convenient to allocate the three roles of Maiden Mother and Crone to a Goddess energy that is actually far more complex. In the original story of Demeter, Persephone and Hekate there is no Crone, but psycho-pagan theory requires that there is, and because of historical misrepresentation, Hekate fits the bill."

In the same way, I suppose, as classifying young women as innocent maidens, mothers as nurturing and crones as wise, we deny the awesome power and beautiful complexity that lies within all women. I know a 25 year-old woman who is one of the wisest people I know. I know a 60 year-old woman who is one of the most vibrant and energetic people I know.

Lilith - Wife of Adam

Lilith is represented in many different cultures. There may even be an indication of her in the Christian Bible. She is included in Jewish Mysticism and Hebrew Myth:

"Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded. 'Why must I lie beneath you?' she asked. 'I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.' Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him."

"Originally the Sumero-Babylonian Goddess Belit-Ili, Lilith was Adam's first wife who refused to be submissive to him, according to ancient Hebrew myth. She stole power from Yahweh, grew wings and flew to the Red Sea where she remained. This myth reflects the attempts of the patriarchal nomadic invaders to subjugate the agricultural people of the Great Goddess religions."

The Morrigan - Celtic Goddess of Battle

The Morrigan is a warrior, but she is also protector and healer. A Celtic goddess of war, death and justice, she is the epitome of crone as symbol of the full circle of life.

She is crone and "shining tall woman," she is a goddess of life as well as death, she is a shape-shifter, beyond limitations and labels.

The Morrigan was another tripartate or Triple Goddess: Badb, Macha, and Nemain. In the form of a raven or a crow, she flew above battles and chose her souls from among the soldiers who were fighting, returning once the battle was finished to lead them away.

"The Morrigan known in Irish legend and mythology as a red-haired goddess of battle and pro-creation, often appearing in triple form. She combined the threshold energies of life and death, sexuality and conflict in one terrifying goddess."

She is a healer as well as a bringer of death. Represented by Morgan le fay, she dooms Arthur to his death, then takes him to Avalon to heal him.

Baba Yaga - Slavic Crone Goddess

Baba Yaga is Witch, Crone and Archetype and, in many ways, she is very relevant to today's women:

"The story of Baba Yaga is prime among many images of the Black Goddess. The Black Goddess is at the heart of all creative processes and cannot be so easily viewed. Men and women rarely approach her, except in fear. Women are learning of her through the strength and boldness of elder women who are not afraid to unveil her many faces."

A friend of mine told me about Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame and his tale of Baba Yaga and her hut on chicken legs.

(There's a long list of Crone Goddesses on The Goddess Guide.)

Embracing the Dark Goddess

Winter is the season of the Crone Goddess. She is associated with the colour black, the colour of death and grief. Yet black is also associated with power, elegance, strength and authority. Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown.

The Crone Goddess is said to help with "the ending of things (quitting a job, divorce, etc.), moving out of a home, extreme protection or retribution (assault, abuse), passing through menopause, or dealing with a death."

Female energy represented by the Crone Goddess is wild and unrestrained, often intensely emotional and chaotic. Men and women alike have been taught to fear this energy.

"The Crone is instinctual in her actions, but this does not mean that they have a lesser purpose than those of the male gods. It is because she is instinctual and emotional that she is able to guide us through the mysteries which may not be fully understood and yet can still be known. The realm of dead, magic and the unknown can best be known by one who does not rationally think of them but instead allows them to be revealed without conscious thought with the aid of the Goddess."

The Power of the Crone

Reclaiming the word "crone" empowers women:

"Crone, hag, and witch once were positive words for old women. Crone comes from crown, indicating wisdom emanating from the head; hag comes from hagio meaning holy; and witch comes from wit meaning wise. Crones, hags, and witches frequently were leaders, midwives and healers in their communities. The meanings of these three words, however, were distorted and eventually reversed during the 300 years of the Inquisition when the male-dominated church wanted to eliminate women holding positions of power. Women identified as witches, who were often older women, i.e. crones and hags, were tortured and burned, and the words witch, crone, and hag took on the negative connotations that continue in our language. The Crone Movement, however, is re-claiming the positive meanings of these words."

The crone is also seen in a positive light in traditional Chinese Medicine:

"Perimenopause and menopause are significant experiences for women, both physically and emotionally. Ideally, menopause can feel like a natural evolution from the previous roles of daughter, and/or wife/mother. In the psychology of symbolic archetypes, the menopausal woman is represented by the Crone. The Crone does not imply that a woman will be withered. Rather, she is at a point in her life in which she is less reliant on others, and less concerned about their opinions about her. Hecate, the Crone, evolves from the two Grecian mythical figures used to represent other stages of a woman's life in Jungian psychology: Persephone, the passive, obedient daughter, and Ceres, the devoted and nurturing mother. The Crone brings as her gifts independence, a salty sense of humor, and hard-earned wisdom. Nor is this stage necessarily a time of waning sexuality. Some women actually feel more relaxed about sex, and experience more enjoyment. Menopausal women who are healthy and nurture themselves, can radiate an accepting sensuality, and look great, as well."

The symbol most often associated with the crone goddess is the triple moon: "The triple moon is a Goddess symbol representing the Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects as the waxing, full, and waning moon. The triple moon symbol is associated with feminine mystery, energy and psychic skill, and often adorned jewellery worn by High Priestesses."

Crone Wisdom

SpiralSkies explains that the wisdom of the crone is that of perfect harmony and balance:

"Once in a Blue Moon, all things come into perfect harmony and balance. . . . . We are living in a time when such a thing is possible. . . . The wisdom of the Crone is emerging. Ancient wisdom from many lands is revealing itself, moving, connecting and blending, as never before. . . . The Crone teaches lessons of patience, using resources wisely, and compassion. We can open ourselves to total transformation, if we listen."

If you are a crone (of any age), check out the fab resources at

"For millennia women’s wisdom was honored; crones were revered. Today women are reclaiming the identity and status of the ancient crone. We are coming of age, accessing our wisdom and acting upon it. Croning is the process of becoming active wise women.

Croning can begin at any age and is particularly relevant for women 45 and older. Personal experiences of aging and ageism provide the impetus to recognize and reverse the negative images (internal and external) of old women. We can activate our potential as wisdom carriers and guardians of the future by learning of our ancient crone heritage, honoring the cycles and seasons, respecting the web of life.

Engaged in the process of Croning, we can act in ways that embody the changes we want to take place in the world, in our communities, families, relationships, and within ourselves. When we apply our wisdom to effect positive change, we improve our own lives and leave a legacy for future generations."

She is the dark moon, the wintertime, old age and knower of mysteries.
The crone time brings the harvest of experience, when we reap the accumulated benefits of all that we have learned.
The Crone is a teacher or wise one, someties called the "waysharer" as she shines the light of wisdom for all to see.
Don't forget to check out Towards 2011 and let us know what you think!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring is Sprung!

Welcome to the month of March, the first month of Spring, whether you take the first day of March as the first day of Spring, or the Spring Equinox.

The Spring or Vernal Equinox falls on March 20th. Equinox means "equal night" so from the Spring Equinox, the days will begin to get longer. A great day to celebrate the renewed life of the Earth, to draw strength and hope from nature, to recharge your batteries, and to breathe life into slumbering projects. Or to start a whole new adventure.

The Vernal Equinox is also the time when the sun rises at the North Pole for the first time in six months!

(I think this is actually a picture of the sunset at the North Pole, rather than the sunrise, but it's such an amazing picture!)

March is named after Mars, the Roman god of war.

March, or Martius, was the first month of the Roman calendar, the time when military campaigns were resumed after the Winter. So it's a good time to resume battles of our own, perhaps? To refocus our efforts and determination. Or to come up with some new strategies.

March is often a stormy month. It started with a huge storm, here, which is apparently a good omen for the end of the month to be sunny and warm.

"If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb"

English Proverb

(Sometimes said the other way around.)

The birthstone for March is Aquamarine.

This beautiful gem is linked to sea and sky with it's blue-green, watery hues. It is said to help give direction in life, to lift the spirits and to calm the nerves.

The flower associated with March is the lovely sunny daffodil, which means "the sun shines when I'm with you!" (More links to the language and meaning of flowers.)

March is full of celebratory days:

March 1st - St. David's Day

March 8th - International Women's Day

March 17th - St. Patrick's Day

March 19th - St. Joseph's Day

The Japanese celebrate Hanami at the end of March. This is the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, particularly Cherry Blossom.

Thinking about flowers (again!) ...

March also includes Mothers' Day, of course, which we often celebrate with flowers.

Hope you all had a fab day yesterday!

These beauties were from Eldest daughter:

And so was the card that says, To My Lovely Wife on Mothers' Day! (Haha!)

She said she had to get that one because it said exactly what she wanted to say:

I love you very much

for all the special things you are -

Organiser, gourmet chef

and all-round superstar!

As well as being everything

a special mum should be,

Best of all you're gorgeous ...

... and you mean the world to me!


Bless! I was really touched (sniff!)

Still looking forward to Youngest Daughter's awesome card, which I did get a glimpse of on Saturday, as I passed her in the kitchen (up to her ears in tissue paper, glue and sparkles), but which she hid on Saturday night and did such a good job that it hasn't been seen since!

Are you feeling full of the joys of Spring?

Or maybe, as mad as a March Hare?

Either way, have an excellent month!


Bzzzzzz! (Thank you, Sally!)

I was given this lovely award by the lovely SallyQ, who is one of the busiest bees I know!

Thank you Sally, you started my week with a big smile ... and something to live up to!

I have a confession, though: I'm no longer studying (or not officially, I'm always studying something) because I've finished my Masters (got a distinction!)

Was feeling totally bereft ... until I started blogging!

Next study mission: a PhD. (When I finish paying for my Masters!)

I pass this award on to Annieye, Maddie Moon and Lane, whose busy bee-ness I find inspiring!