To my nan,
Do you remember the long weekends when we'd come to stay? Endless days of sunshine and laughter, biscuits and squash and running madly through the long, long grass.
Do you remember that day many years ago when everyone got stung by nettles and I toddled around the garden with my plastic teacups of water and an apron round my waist, tending to the wounds of the valiant gardeners?
Or how about those days standing at the kitchen counter baking mince pies or making toad-in-the-hole? You know it was my favourite thing to eat at your house.
I loved our trips into town! We would walk all the way in and sit in the same teeny tiny bakery in the table tucked into the corner. Curtis would always order beans on toast. That was his favourite. (I think he may have been born a baked bean). I would always order macaroni cheese- that was my favourite. I don't remember what you ordered, I think I wasn't paying close enough attention. I kind of wish I had.
Do you remember our walks into Narnia? To anyone else they were just the rolling village hills. To us they were a magical adventure. There was a place where the tree branches formed a little archway- the threshold of Narnia. Paddy the dog always trotted in first- to lead the way and scare off the White Witch and we'd follow behind our brave leader. I wonder if that arch is still there? Maybe some new children play there now.
Beyond a mystical clearing with a huge tree stump big enough for pixie dances were the rolling hills of Narnia. We'd roam for hours and picnic on the bench looking down from the top of the tallest hill, surrounded by spring flowers, ever certain that Aslan was just around the corner. And sometimes, if we were quiet enough, we'd hear his roar rumbling through the winds.
Where are the treasures you'd found on your travels around the world? We loved to hear you describe all your adventures to us. We'd hold the old pennies and giggle over tales.
Do you remember that summer they brought out the lemon meringue ice cream and we ate it in front of our favourite films? We never could find that ice cream again.
What about our sleepovers? We'd be in little camp-beds and you'd be tucked into your big double and because I was scared of the dark we'd watch Stuart Little until we all dozed off.
Do you still have that magic cream? The one you'd pull out of your cupboards whenever we came in sniffling with a grazed knee? A cuddle and a dab of magic cream and I'd be cartwheeling around the garden again in no time.
I wish I could find some magic cream to soothe your grazes. To fix that knee you hurt when you fell. To make the tears of frustration disappear when you can't understand a question. To clear away the fog that hangs over your words.
I don't remember the last time you told me stories of your holidays. I don't know the last time you told us secrets of the mishaps mum and Uncle J would get into when they were young.
A while ago you were diagnosed with a form of dementia. It particularly affects how you communicate. That's why it's sometimes hard for you to talk.
You get tired easily now and you don't like to leave the house as much. It's been a long, long time since we went to Narnia.
I wonder if the flowers still grow round the little stone bench.
I can only imagine how hard this all is for you. I know it's frustrating and confusing and lonely sometimes. I promise you we're all doing our best. You'd be really proud of Mum if you could see all that she's doing to help make everything okay. She's the strongest woman I know.
I know you're still there, you're still you. But it almost feels like you're fading away. It's like someone's taken a rubber to our story and is rubbing it out bit by bit. And I feel a strange sense of loss for the people we used to be.
We had a pretty good day out today though, didn't we? It was nice to see you before I run off back to uni. We hit the supermarket to get you milk and you rather fancied that leather jacket I tried on. I dare you to get one.
We chatted over tea about uni and Adam and my plans for the year. I can't wait to show you the pictures we'll get from summer, maybe if you're not feeling too poorly that day we can chat about some of your own adventures?
In the meantime we'll keep fighting to get you the right help and you just keep on keeping on. Maybe someday if you're feeling a bit better we can take a trip up to Narnia together.
But if not then it's okay. We can sit in the garden with a cup of tea.
Maybe if we're quiet enough, we'll hear Aslan's roar rumbling through the winds.
The only problem is that with a busy timetable and a heap of deadlines, it can be really difficult to find the time to get out there. And if you want to get a group together to go for a day-trip, good luck!
Last weekend two of my housemates and I hit the pause button on uni and went for a little adventure out into the peak district.
The peaks are a popular location for filming- specifically Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and so naturally, being massive period drama nerds we wanted to find the specific rock that Keira Knitghley stood on in the film.
Our search took us out to Stanage Edge, a beautiful rocky cliff in the peaks and though we found what we thought was the rock, some climbers were using it so we had to satisfy ourselves with posing dramatically on another outcrop.
|Could this be the Pride and Prejudice rock? Who knows|
There is a magical feeling that overcomes you as you drive out of the city. The car winds up the hills, the roads get smaller and the houses drop away until you look out and it seems that the whole world is outside your window. It's just you, floating along in the vast expanse of space and beauty, the majestic hills rising up around you and everywhere you look is just breathtaking.
I think that feeling may be something like freedom.
|Obligatory cheesey pose|
Where do you like to escape to?
Song of the day can be nothing but Liz On Top of the World
Today (and every day) we can celebrate that Jesus died for us and rose again. He defeated death and freed us from darkness, through Him we can be brought into the light and be called children of God! We are loved unconditionally, more than we can comprehend.
I hope that you all have a wonderful day full of love, sugar and daffodils!
Happy Easter everyone!
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
-Romans 8: 37-39-
Friendship is like a flower
It begins life small.
A smile, a word, a gesture.
And with a bit of light and warmth
and resilience through rainy days
what starts as a seed grows
smiles become laughs
words become hearts spilling secrets
gestures become pancakes in the morning
encouragements in the shadows
surprises in the sun
and a house full of crazy people
who start to feel like
Finally exams are over! 5 law exams in 4 days is nothing short of brutal but I survived and can now spend the next week in bed.
I feel a bit like life had been put on pause while exams loomed. Days consisted of an early morning trek to the library and a late night where I crashed into bed.
The reason we had quite so much revision to do is that we have our departmental exams for our course but we also work towards an NCTJ diploma alongside it. Provided I pass everything it means I'll leave university with my degree and diploma as an official journalist!
As a result of my delayed new-year I didn't really set any resolutions. In honesty I find they're only a bit disheartening anyway as I'll steam-roll ahead only to fall flat a couple of weeks in. Having said that there are things I'd like to change in the New Year.
Last year, around Easter I decided that I wanted to stop denying myself adventures because I was afraid or because of a student budget or workload. Really, I just wanted to turn some of my dreaming into action! So I made the simple resolution to say yes more to things that make me happy.
As a result I have had the joy of seeing Of Monsters and Men and Darwin Deez live, a ballet performance of 1984, trips to Devon, Southend and London, a front page cover in a local magazine (I'm village famous) and running the Student Colour Run!
This year I haven't really got a resolution but I know I'd like to get my priorities right. I want to stop spending so much time worrying about things that I don't enjoy and pour my energy into the things I am passionate about.
So that means actually carving out time for Bible study, for mindfulness and photography. I'd like to get back into running and I'm really excited to travel more! I also really miss writing without a purpose, just for the sake of writing what's on my heart. So hopefully I can make time for a bit more creative splurging.
I'll continue to try and update this blog more. I love this little piece of the internet.
Song of the moment: A Little Chaos soundtrack by Peter Gregson.
(On a side note- I would totally recommend this film for a bittersweet but totally uplifting, cheesy and beautiful film)
Hope you're all well! What are your plans for this year ahead?