The art of staying silent

It’s weird. For an introvert I like to talk. In the right situations and to the right people which is an immature way of looking at it I know.

As I get older I’m learning, as the Bible says, that there are times not to speak also. I’ll be honest. This does not come naturally to me. I often find myself listening to reply when other people are talking or planning what I’m going to say or the point I’m going to bring up.

This is just one of the many bad habits I’ve acquired over my lifetime that I’m attempting to shed. I am realising that people don’t always need to know my opinion on something. Sometimes my opinion is not kind and in that situation it’s better to say nothing. Still learning though. Still get it wrong. Still will. I am trying though to tame my tongue. !

My spiritual compass.

We were unfortunate enough to miss church this morning due to children who woke up looking ill but typically perked up later in the day. I was so glad to be able to go tonight. Something felt missing all day. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like a Sunday, not because church is a ritual to be gotten over with but because it’s where my other family lives. The Bible tells us not to give up meeting together because God made us to need the company of others or fellowship as He calls it.

There are so many things happening in my life that threaten to steer my ship off course, little ups and downs that buffet my sails and bigger waves and icebergs that pound against the side of my boat. In all these things I know God is with me but it straightens my spiritual compass to spend time with the “home” of church. Truly grateful.


The Story of my life, obviously

If I were ever fortunate enough to have my blog recorded into an audio book I would love it to be voiced by the actor Alan Rickman.
He’d probably find it as dull as dish water but his smooth, velvety tones would be able to make something magical out of the most dire writings.

His voice has an almost hypnotic quality that draws you in and leaves you clamouring to hear it again.

Whether the almost agonisingly slow drawl of Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films or the clichéd boss enamoured with his secretary in Love Actually he always brings a conviction to his speech and roles.

That and the fact he’s easy on the eyes too.

So, what do you think Alan? Interested?☺

Her Selfie.

She selects the filter carefully
And crops the photo tight
Erasing her wrinkles and her chins
Using the natural light.

Seeking to show a charming soul
Who is happy with her lot
Highlighting the roles she’s happy with
Deleting the ones she’s not.

She’s heard the camera never lies
but wishes that it would
It sees her with unbiased eyes
The way she never could.

Suzanne Rollinson.

Left unread.

Although it goes against my natural inclinations there are some books I don’t finish reading. I never feel good about it when I reach that decision but it feels like life is too short to spend on books that I’m not really in love with. Unless I can truly believe in the characters the whole story rings false.

I don’t mind when it is an author I’m new to or not very fond of but when it’s an author I’ve loved and followed for a long time it feels doubly disappointing. I am loyal to a couple of authors and always get excited when they have new novels out but when their books start to feel too formulaic or predictable I sadly stop reading them.

This has happened with 3 authors I can think of.

When our Healthy Planet book shop opened up I found a new interest in the genre of crime novels. I collected nearly all the works of one particular female crime writer . I got immersed in the world of her characters but her latest novel left me feeling pretty cold. There seemed to be nothing new or fresh just a rehashing of past stories with an ending that was fairly obvious. I don’t feel good saying this. I feel disloyal but you have to speak as you find.

The second example was a female author who wrote touching family dramas. I had liked her writing for many years but I realised when I reread her books recently they all ended with a particularly nasty twist. You would just be sighing a breath of relief that the characters you’d been rooting for had survived when they’d meet a horrible end. It felt as if all the time invested in reading these stories was a waste of time.

The last example was a male writer who mostly wrote lawyer novels and I enormously enjoyed his earlier novels but his latest offerings seem to have lost their way somewhat.

Let me reiterate that I don’t feel good criticising these authors. That is why I’ve chosen not to name them although that may seem cowardice.

I know writing is difficult. It’s not easy to constantly reinvent your characters or scenarios for them. Perhaps some novels are too heavily or unkindly edited. Really this is all a moot point as I’m not a published writer so what do I know? I am merely giving my opinion.

I expect the problem lies with me and not the writers. I’m the same when I watch films. I can always guess how they will end.

I just think it’s a pity when authors seem to have given up or are trading on their reputations.
Writers must think about what their audiences want or they will wind up losing them, as in the case of a very recent novel when the writer killed off a very major character to the chagrin of her readers.

A return to the norm.

I’ve never been one of those parents who doesn’t like spending time with their children. Unlike my husband who does it jokingly I don’t rejoice when the holidays end and they return to school. I miss them.

We have 4 children, and at times as kids do they argue and almost come to blows. That is part of having a large family but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The benefit of having 4 means they always have someone to play with. If they’ve fallen out with one sibling there’s another to spend time with.

It feels as if I spend all my time wishing the weeks away until the school holidays arrive. I’m fortunate enough to work in an
educational environment so I have the same holidays as the children.

I love the flexibility of holiday time especially now the children are older. We get up later, spend lots of quality time together and basically relax and recharge our batteries.


By the very last week of the long Summer break the nerves are beginning to show. Somehow we have to get the children and ourselves back into a routine. The children are cranky, we’ve eaten too much and not exercised enough and the washing is piling up. Whilst a little indulgence and indiscipline is pleasurable nobody can live like that full time.

Children need a good night’s sleep and a sensible diet. They need to go to school and learn. I need to go to work. The washing needs to be done.

The holiday laissez faire attitude is not meant to last. It’s not sustainable. Perhaps you’ve read this post in horror because you’re the type of parent who instils strict discipline and routine on your children constantly. I believe that children need to break away from their routine sometimes and as long as they are happy and clothed and fed there is no harm in making family memories.

Here’s to the next holidays!