There’s no average day in the life of….

18 Oct

Do you have an average day? I don’t. They’re all a bit different. Often evolving as they progress, rarely planned anything more than by a vague outline, and quite often a little ‘out of the norm’ . Saying I’m not a nine to fiver is a bit of an understatement.

Want to know what my day is doing? Well it’s now 11am and I’m here..

Yep. I’m working whilst in the bath!

So today is like this. I woke up at 8:30 and though ‘i fancy a bath’ so I popped off to the bathroom but there was a spider in the bath and I didn’t want to disturb him so I hopped back into bed. Hubby, as is his wonderful habit, appeared with a cup of tea and we sat in bed catching up on FB and Twitter and discussed our separate ‘plans’ for the day.

We have b&b guests this coming weekend so for me it was ironing bedding. I see ironing as a bit of a waste of time so whilst steaming away I practiced a belly dance routine (and I haven’t even told you before that I go to dance classes.. another day another blog); and did some toe exercises as prescribed by Katie Holland as ‘guaranteed to improve your dancing’… Katie, I’m doubtful that anything will help but I’ll let you know.

Having built up a steam iron sweat I’m now in the bath (fortunately Bernard the Bath  Spider had buggered off) but to make better use of the time I’m both writing this for you lot and sorting out my art catalogue, making sure all my work to date is listed and titled. I have an exhibition pending and I need to make sure I know what’s  where and ensure I have enough pieces in the collection. Plus I’m having half a dozen or so images printed up as cards and my photographer friend and technical whizz needs to have the wording for the backs covers.

Alongside getting this done….

and I’ve added a face pack…may as well spruce up properly.

It’s now noon. Too late for breakfast, so a quick brunch and then off to get some groceries.

Marmite and mushrooms on toast yumyum

May as well pack up my old bras and take them to the bra bank at Tescos whilst I’m at it.

Donating my old bras

It’s a gorgeous day so hoping to get back in time to garden at home. Still have several plants that need to go in the ground before winter sets in.

….it’s now evening. Needless to say the gardening didn’t happen. I had about £60 in my hand from a swishing event I organised at the last-minute to clear out my wardrobe. A swish, for those who don’t know (I didn’t when invited to one last year), is a clothes swap. I’d cleared out my cupboards and had a car boot full of clothes and shoes to get rid of , friends could have them for a donation to a local charity. It raised £58 and I still managed to drop 2 large sacks of goodies at the local community charity shop.

So having done my shopping I went back into Aldi and spent the £58 with a view to dropping it at the local food bank. Sadly the charity was closed so that will involve another trip but look how much I got for my money!!!! Six full bags of none perishables! Aldi really is better value

Just about to head into the garden when I remember we have a fridge freezer to pick up from a friend (I need extra storage for the catering for my 50th).

And then the doorbell rings. The landlords of the flats I manage are here from Spain and I forgot they were popping in. Still they came armed with plenty of wine so I’m not complaining.

By which time it’s supper time. I cook a meal for me and Hubby. Bulk cook a bolognaise to add to the new freezer. Watch a movie. Then suddenly it’s midnight so off to bed.

Guess who’s back?

Bernard the Bath Spider

I wonder how he filled his day?

Lucy At Home

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Focus Aspire Inspire – an update…

12 Oct

So way back in February (because by resolve somehow missed January ), I wrote a blog Focus, Aspire, Inspire.  I meant to assess my progress quarterly by Blog and ‘regularly’ (?!) in my thought process.  and to be fair I did review my progress in May, and was actually pretty chuffed with myself.  Somehow I was largely on track with my aspirations and inspirations.  I’d tried to keep them realistic and it seemed to be working.  Now its blooming well October and  it seems I have lost a little focus, as I do, so I thought a little readdress would be a good thing

Goal 1: Twitter following:  @Berni_Benton I have 556 followers but to be honest I’m more interested in engagement and interaction.  I love it when the little counter shows a notification for a comment or retweet .  I have become needy for these affirmations of my wit and relevance.  I don’t know if I’m getting it right.  I spend most of my time on twitter slagging off Donald Trump. AND I’M NOT EVEN AMERICAN!!! – See, loss of focus.  But he is such an easy target….

Goal 2: Sort out my twitter lists: yep, pretty much done that, but now I have ’em what shall I do with ’em.  Still.  Tick.

Goal 3: Blog following: I just looked.  I always forget to look.  I have 140.  which, considering I only aspire to 150 by year-end is not bad.  In Feb there was 114 of you, so weyhey and ‘welcome’ my new friends.  Perhaps you might share me and help me find that final 10 souls who might like to read my random rantings, musings and insights on no particular subject and no particular time.  I can but ask eh?

Goal 4: Blog viewings: well they are heading in the right direction, but I guess they would, you can’t ‘unview’ something so the only way is up, baby (sorry, just Yazoo popped into my head right then…Focus damn it!)_

Goal 5: Teaching:  Yes. Am doing more this year and am planning to run private sessions for small groups from my home studio in 2018 so again, tick. tick

Goal 6 & 7: OOPS – this was the big old one that required FOCUS .  Start making Christmas stock of stained glass goodies by August including two new bespoke designs.  Are we there yet?  Oh shit its mid October.

colleen commissionGoal 8: Commissions – well I have done the preliminary drawings for 3, that was my target, but none of them, to date have resulted in any glass being cut….however, i remain optimistic for this one

Goal 9: Run retreats: Nope.  This one involves the coordination and cooperation of Hubby and we’re just not that organised together.  Maybe 2018.

Goal 10: YEAH – if you read the interim report in May you know I’ve got an exhibition pending!!! My first EVER solo exhibition.  I actually visited the exhibition space yesterday and spoke to the curator.  So now I’ve paced it out and I know exactly how many pieces of work i need (15) and how many I have ready (13).  Well, 12.  Actually 11.5… the point is, I’m (almost) on track and most importantly I have some friends who want to sort out the private viewing and promotion for me , so that means there’ll be prosecco and CAKE.

Goal 11. Facebook:  I’ve been pretty proactive here.  I split myself in two.  There is now a page @CerdynvillaBandB for all things relating to life at the guesthouse and tourism related snippets; and there’s @BerniGlassArt for all things arty and crafty, including news on my own imminent exhibition and any classes I might be teaching…. I’ve even included a shop…..  Between the 2 there are 1000 followers  but again its interaction that’s needed and i have no idea how to improve that (don’t worry, I’m going to book a course!)

Goal 12: Vlogging…well. Errr. Um… I’m going to blame technology.  No?  Ok I’ll blame my relationship with my technology.  I guess that won’t wash either.  I will get on with it.  Promise. Sorry Dinah. #hangsheadinshameandgoestositonthenaughtystep

So that’s how I’m doing against my overall targets.  I’m going to pat myself on the back, because I’m pretty happy with what I have done and I promised myself I would focus on what I had done rather than what I hadn’t.  I also have to remember all the other things I have done that weren’t on the list like;

  • Joined and started using Instagram and Pintrest (again, I’m booking a course as I have no idea whats going on really!)
  • Busy season in the B&B – more new and loads of repeat visitors
  • Massive stained glass community project (Jan – June)
  • Several regular gardening jobs
  • Extra work for my friends who run a caffi
  • fitted in a little mini break to Rome
  • Family wedding
  • New grandson

little D

and there are still two and a half months to go…..

how are you getting on with your annual targets, if you have them?

 

 

Flybe to Rome

7 Oct

In my head I hear Frank Sinatra croon “Fly Me to the Moon. ..” Ok so I’m more Flybe to Rome but hum along with me I bet you can’t help yourself now can you?

Anyway I digress from my point, which was this…. Time out was required and it had to involve minimal time on the roads. Hence our wonderfully easy and pain free travel from Cardiff to Rome using Flybe

And even though I am sat writing this at Bistro Fiumicino because of a 2HR 20MIN delay for the flight home., I still feel pretty chilled. Fiumicino airport is light bright and airy. Flybe advised us of the delay straight away  (although not the reason) and provided vouchers for food and drink.  And we’ve (have Hubby in tow) just spent 4 wonderful days in THE most amazing capital city.  Plus, when we do eventually touch down in the UK, it will be in Cardiff which is a teeny-weeny easy- peasy airport to navigate and a simple bus transfer to our sons house before a relatively short, but certainly straightforward drive home.

So, the reason for the delay was not the weather in Cardiff.. I thought this a bit odd because, at worst, Cardiff weather might be a bit ‘dreary’… I mean it was pretty improbably that Hurricane Blodwen had hit.

I found out because of the prompt (and unexpected ) response I received to a tweet I made to Flybe

So ‘Thankyou’ Sophie from Flybe. Problems can’t always be avoided.  Sometimes they happen and it’s how we handle them that matters. This is when a company can shine or fall flat on it’s face. It’s that monumental component of business that most businesses throw by the wayside in their pursuit of new customers and profits. However, keeping an existing customer is much more cost effective and I’ll cerainly be using Flybe again. Customer service is EVERYTHING….

 

CONVERSATION BETWEEN BERNI_BENTON AND FLYBE #5875152

  • 545574489's profile image

    Berni_Benton @Berni_Benton 

     so what’s the true reason for the 2hr+ delay to 11:25 flight BE4542? Rome blaming Cardiff weather

    flybe @flybe 

    Replying To: 

    Hi Berni, thank you for getting in touch and I am sorry to hear that your flight has been delayed. I have checked this and can see that the delay has been caused by a late incoming aircraft, the previous flight Cardiff to Rome suffered at technical fault this morning. Your flight is now estimated to depart at 13.40 local time. I am extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused – Sophie

    Berni_Benton @Berni_Benton 

     Thankyou for the info. Better have another proper cappuccino

When your body tells you time out is required…

23 Sep

It’s been a long year.

Scrub that.

It’s been an unbelieveably short but ridiculously full on year.

Seemingly weeks ago it was New Years Eve and now the Christmas ads are back on the TV and I’ve even started picking up the odd stocking filler.   Very early for me.  Usually I refuse to consider Xmas until after all our November birthdays.  Still, I have to accept it’s not been weeks but nine whole months since New Years Eve and it’s just gone in the blink of an eye.

It’s been fabulous to be fair, but now Hubby and I are reaching melting point.  Personally I feel pretty much physically and mentally broken.  And looking at Hubby (despite all attempts to put on a brave face and cope with everything I can’t), it’s pretty clear he’s in much the same place.

Image result for exhaustion

I’m at the point where everything is exhausting.  Even the fun stuff.  And we all know how I love the fun stuff.  But I’m so exhausted I’ve started declining party invitations (shock horror!).  The idea of doing anything at all can sometimes feel overwhelming.  Not so much the actual ‘Fun’ bit of the fun but the getting to and from the fun.  The travelling anywhere at all has become fun prohibitive.  I have got to the point where I miss out because I can’t face the journey.

A few weeks ago, I had a long trip to a social event .  I had stressed and cried and panicked about the journey.  500 mile round trip for an event I could not and did not want to decline.  But (and I know how melodramatic this sounds) the journey near broke me.  Nothing untoward happened. I travelled alone with the radio for company.  There were no road traffic incidents; just the usual delays and holdups you would expect entering towns and city and at major road junctions;  but the sheer number of hours on the road just wore me down .  Both physically and mentally.  I hurt for days after and my brain went into ‘essential processes only mode’.

The FUN between the two long journeys was fabulous , but the recovery from the travelling made me declare ‘NEVER AGAIN’.

Despite this, two weeks later we had to do the same journey, this time I had Hubby and Teen in tow.  I did none of the driving.  And the FUN between the travelling was truly the most fabulous of fun times (that being true even though I’m ‘Sober September-ing and Stoptober-ing… another day , another blog)

I can’t say the mental and physical trauma I felt was lessened by not having to take responsiblity for the driving.  I felt at least as terrible.  Physically I ached for days after from sitting for so long; body being ‘rattled’ by the movement of the car and the passing of the never-ending miles; head lolling from the dozing off etc.  Mentally it was exhausting and disorienting; the drifting in and out of consciousness into fitful sleep; the sudden awakening from a jolt, sharp braking, sudden lane change, impatient acceleration, road rage rant from Hubby; the hours of conversational silence but at the same time the constant white noise of road and traffic; and then the momentary panic when you open your eyes to find yourself seemingly hurtling towards the back-end of a lorry; or simply being somewhere completely different and not knowing where you are (how do little kids cope with this?!).  you get my drift.  Drifting in and out of sleep is a mind-fuck.  I just can’t handle it.

A friend of mine struggled for many years with quite severe ME.  Her brain would over-react to even the slightest stimulation.  Her body would cramp with pain to the slightest of exercise.  In order to get a decent nights sleep literally everything had to stop by about 8:30pm.  All the things I would think of as relaxing eg: watching a movie, listening to music, chatting on the phone with a friend.  Physically she had the same problem no leisurely walks, bike rides, train trips for her.  To visit me to recuperate would just be too much to consider.  The journey would physically debilitate her for days/weeks, that gentle rattling of the body  would render her bedbound.

I know I don’t have ME, and for that I am very grateful.  However, this friend, in her fight to manage her illness and recover some semblance of normality into her life, really did teach me a few valuable lessons.  Some years ago, on another occasion when I was far nearer the brink of life overwhelming me, I ‘ran away from home’ and hid out at her house.  I literally got in the car to pop to the shops and ended up driving 250  miles to her front door.  During those few days we often sat together for hours, in the garden or at the kitchen table; mostly in silence, with gathered windfall fruit and slowly peeled, chopped, cored.  It was her self-imposed mindfulness for her own wellbeing and it became my first experience of it.  The first time I ever gave myself permission to live just for that moment and no other.  To sit there and just be.  without the guilt of ignoring the ‘to do list of life’.  Self imposed mental recovery.

These days I recognise the signs of impending meltdown.  Usually before it’s too late and, usually, I find the time and space to do something about it.  And usually that something only needs to be an afternoon, a day, an early night, a long bath, a vocalisation, an admittance, a cancelling of an activity, a reality check with Hubby.

Hubby who is a marvel always recognises my need even before I do, and has prepared for it, made space for it.  Usually  I can (almost) guilt free allow him to take up my slack and not feel (too) guilty for being a wuss and a light weight.  Generally I can accept my need to stop for a bit and have learnt to see this recognition as a strength not a weakness.  Generally he will just take up the slack and cover for me.  And, (trust me Hubby if you are reading this), that part of our partnership is so very highly valued, I recognise it and love him for it.

However this year.  Right now.  I can tell that he too needs to stop.  We both need to seek out the silence and still our minds.  Find ourselves.  Find each other.  We both need a few days without agenda.  when we can go or not go; do or not do; talk or not talk.  We both need to lock away our ‘to do list of life’ and wallow in a period of free (non) thinking….

So our challenge is to find a gap big enough to make this happen…….

…….

Image result for time for a holiday

I wrote the blog above yesterday, in the old analogue way, long hand on paper with a pen as I live fairly remotely and in some places there simply is no internet access.  Because of it, I came home and whilst sitting with the intention of typing it up,I instead found myself searching for time out options.  We needed a break but I couldn’t cope with a lot of travel… within hours I’d booked us a 4 night break in Rome travelling from the local (Cardiff) airport and its only 11 days away!!!!!  The simple act of writing about the need made me truly see the need and act on it, so thank you blog community.  The relief of making the booking has in itself taken the strain out of the every day…I am already more relaxed  just knowing it’s happening so soon.  …As for Hubby, I can safely say he is as excited as I am…..

Lucy At Home

Boost Your Following with the Bloggers Bash Twitter Chat!

15 Sep

i LOVE to chat
i MUST join in these #BlogBashChat hours on Sundays… perhaps I’ll set myself an alarm…
see you there

Suzie Speaks

One of the earliest (and most fun!) ways that I learned about networking and boosting my Twitter (and consequently, my blog) following was through the use of Twitter chats. They’re exciting, fast paced and a great way to meet new bloggers without leaving links or spamming the community with content. It is important to note that there any no links allowed until the very end.

The premise of a blogging chat is simple: the person hosting the chat will ask a question and include the hashtag associated with the chat eg.

Q1. What’s your favourite social media to use for blog promotion? #BlogBashChat

Everyone participating in the chat will answer the question and include the same hashtag eg.

Q1. My favourite is Twitter because… #BlogBashChat

You can then use that hashtag to see everyone else’s answers – if you type in the hashtag in the search bar at the top…

View original post 414 more words

Free (non)Thinking…

25 Aug

A very good friend of mine advocates ‘No Box Thinking’ . In fact , in a past chapter of her eclectic life, she wrote and delivered seminars about it.  I’ve not seen her seminar…perhaps I should watch it, I’m sure there’s a video or podcast out there somewhere.

Anyway, the premise is based around forgetting the sales/marketing propaganda of ‘thinking outside the box’ and instead just get rid of the damned box.  Sounds like perfect sense to me.  In fact I thought I lived by this very premise: not pigeon holing life; not following set paths.  I really believed that not only did I agree with the overarching idea, but that I was successfully both teaching that ideology to my son and leading by example.  I really thought I was living without a box.

Then I went away for a couple of nights and realised that whilst I live outside of the ‘norm’ and largely don’t conform by walking the marked paths of progress and expectation; my life, like most people’s, has become so full and busy that I only see outside the near peripheries of what I already do.

My boxes may be large and colourful, and not particularly cuboid, but they still exists.  I’m still constrained by them.

A few hours into a car journey towards a rare 2 days off for a little R&R and my busy little mind wandered off ; it meandered outside of its normal constraints and met up with some random ideas and options.

I thought I had life sussed, but I realise now that my life lacks one vital ingredient for ‘no box thinking’ … that ingredient is best described as ‘Nothing time’;  moments of time where the mind is not processing data; not reviewing existing projects and ‘to do’ lists; not worrying about outstanding commitments; pressing engagements; the shopping; the cleaning; the kids; work ; phone calls that should have been made; emails that need to be sent; letters that need to be composed.  I’m talking about those rare moments when your mind is silent.

freedom butterfly

Perhaps silent is the wrong word.  I mean moments when the butterfly cage of the mind is opened and the butterfly can flutter off and explore the wider landscape and take an aerial view of life.

Precious moments of free (non)thinking have broadened my horizons.  I’ve viewed my landscape from way above the ceiling I’m normally constrained by and as such I’ve spotted a few more paths worth exploring.

Like me, you may already have a life full of joy and activities; love and fun; as well as work and routine. Like me you may not crave anything else: BUT I challenge you to afford yourself some nothing time, a few moments of free (non)thinking, and see where your imagination might take you…….

Dinah Liversidge is now a small holder, country dweller, crafter, active community member, wedding celebrant, motivator and general super cool superstar of a woman living in rural wales and I am lucky enough to call her my friend.  In a past life chapter she was a life coach and mentor and ocasionally she slips back into it both officially and unofficially.  She once mentioned to me her program of no box thinking and it stuck in my head.  When i am lucky enough to have her to myself for a few hours, i find her inspirational.  i never leave from time with her without a spark alight in my mind and the ideas and energy just flows from there. we may not even have been talking about the project i become motivated to do.; but I am always more alive and more motivated after some time with her…  you can find her here... or here…

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
 

 

Please don’t bring me flowers….

31 Jul

My attitude to cut flowers is funny old thing.  After all I love gardening, dead-heading, weeding, pruning.  I lo20170731_183610ve seeing the garden in full bloom and I’m aware that some flowers need picking to encourage more flowers to grow.  Plus sometimes the rain, wind or our chickens damage a flower stalk so I’ll pick it up and stick it in a vase.

On the whole though, I’m not a cut flower person.  I mean they look lovely in a vase in someone elses house in full bloom on a visit or in an arrangement at a wedding or on a table in a restaurant.  But when I actually have them at home they just make me sad.  They arrive at their peak and then you plonk them in water with a bit of food to prolong their life and you just watch them wither and die.  Its tragic.  Not to mention that in the confines of the house either, and sometimes, both Hubby and I will have an allergic reaction to the scent which is often quite overpowering when indoors.

I remember sometime back writing about my wishes for end of life.  I wasn’t being morbid but I felt I should document the things I feel strongly about.  One of my key requests was to have snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodil bulbs buried with me and absolutely no cut flowers.  I don’t want my relatives and friends coming back to dead flowers, a bit too much morbid symbolism.  But with bulbs they will flower and multiply year on year, and my plot, under what ever tree wherever that will be, will live on and bring joy and colour long after I’m gone.

funnily enough i also have a problem with house plants.  In a garden I will nurture and tend, water and maintain but the minute a plant is in a pot in my house I look at it with bemusement as it droops or withers.  I never remember to water it, or re-pot it or feed it.  I’m an indoor plant murderer (remember that should you ever feel inclined to gift me a plant – if it has to live indoors I WILL KILL IT!!! ).  It’s a shame really because I actually love orchids but once the initial flowers die off I have absolutely no clue how to tend it to ensure I get new life in future years.  I’ve had two sad-looking specimens on top

of the piano for a year!  I kid you not, in fact I am going to provide photographic evidence right now…

see, I told you!

 

 

Our garden here at Cerdyn Villa B&B

3 Little Buttons

Lucy At Home

Designed by Berni

30 Jul

A very good friend of mine keeps telling me to take credit where its due and to shout from the roof tops that I design stained glass windows.  She tells me now is the time because this latest design of mine was recently officially unveiled by HRH Prince Charles and its a blooming masterpiece!

Community Stained glass Project – Welsh Legends themed window at Myddfai Hall

HRH Prince Charles unveiling our window on 9th July 2017

 

stained glass window, mabinopion, welsh legends, physicians of myddfai

the finalised design for the 3 panels making up the window

She is right of course. (because she is very wise).  This window is the culmination of six months work, created through a most wonderful community project in Myddfai Hall, Brecon Beacons.  I had the honour of designing it.  Pulling together the ideas from those engaging in the project and translating those ideas into this image and then scaling it up and selecting the appropriate glass to make their imaginings a reality.

It’s hard to put into words the joy, pride and sense of achievement this project brough not only to me and the co-teacher, Lesley Griffiths (if you ever need a bespoke table or lamp, she’s your woman) but also to every one of the 30 members of the community who took part.  I think I should leave it to them to articulate our joint achievement

 

If you are looking for a bespoke stained glass panel, window or sun catcher then get in touch, I am happy to do design and scaling up only; design, and make; or design and teach you to make it!!  No obligation quotes.  Pricing depends on size and complexity of design.  If you have a budget in mind I will happily let you know if your dream piece is possible within it!

I work from my home studio in our B&B in the Heart of Wales  Berni Benton, Pink Butterfly Art and Glass at Cerdyn Villa

email: pinkbutterfly@cerdynvilla.co.uk

 

 

Lesley and I with the panel we gifted designed, made and gifted to The Prince of Wales

 

 

Today can go poke it…

7 Jul

im_having_a_bad_dayMost days you will find me in ‘fine fettle’; rubbing along nicely with the world; positive outlook; pretty confident in my abilities; very happy with my lot.

Today is not one of those days.

Today I am over-tired, stressed and tearful.  Every single action is a slog, every single tiny request is overwhelming. civility in communication is a struggle.

I’m sure I’m not unique.  I skip along with my multi-faceted life, doing a million and one different jobs, perfectly happily.  I juggle an overloaded diary and still enjoy a night out.  And then, sometimes, I don’t.

Today I woke up after a fitful night – too hot, lots of irritating midge bites and a fly buzzing around the room all night.  I woke up with a start an hour before I needed to, with a heavy heart and a disturbed gut.  And then the day assaulted me. It went from nought to sixty in record time and I could barely breathe from the force of it.  Hubby trying to leave to take my car  (a classic, 1968 Hillman Husky named Ffloyd) the 13 miles for its MOT only to discover that it had a completely flat battery and needed push starting; B&B guests an hour earlier than expected for breakfast AND at the exact same moment as the car pushing incident; teen son trying to pack and get away for a long road trip in his classic 1965 singer Chamois and all the last-minute questions and requests that involved.

This followed an exceptionally busy week.  An exceptionally busy diary for the next three weeks.  And a phone call from the guys who manages a flat I own near where we used to live saying that the boiler needs replacing…. The “we need £3000  out of thin air by tomorrow” type nightmare that brings you out in a blind panic.

So this afternoon I went for a nap.  Woke up, felt worse.  Not heard from son as no phone signal in my own house and he’s probably not there yet so there’s nothing to be told.   Ffloyd did pass his MOT. normally that would have me euphoric.

Room changes, last-minute bookings, ironing.  This whole summer, rather than seeing us through winter will pay for that bloody boiler , in that bloody flat, that I wish I never bought but can’t sell.  I must be the only person with Essex based property that suffers with negative equity.  NEVER, listen to those TV programs that tell you its a great deal to buy off plan.  Been stuck with this millstone for 12 years now.  Its one of those “luxury complexes” that turned out to be a bag of shit; built cheap by cowboys and has suffered from fire, flood and plague of locusts (well cockroaches…and no I am not making it up), in the years I’ve had it; never mind destructive tenants; illegal immigrants and enforcement officers battering down the doors (at my expense).  I could go on; but I can feel myself building to a crescendo of self destruct.

Today I’ve shouted, and shed tears.

Tomorrow is another day.  May my more positive and happy-go-lucky normality resume.  In the meantime, today can go poke it.

Community Project – completion report

28 Jun

Well, that’s it.  Six months of work and today we polished the panels and have handed them over to our tame glaziers (actually our husbands/handymen/builders) to install them in the space provided.   Yes there is still the official VIP unveiling to attend; the media coverage and photos from that to exclaim over; and most exciting the grand unveiling to our family, friends and peers at an afternoon celebration.  But today marks the culmination of an idea that began as a seed over a year ago, when the possibility of a grant to fund a project was first discussed.

Then the planning, costing, being on the periphery of providing information for the bid writing; not really expecting it to come to fruition.  Then the announcement that the project would run: the time-tabling, the advertising, the organising; again I was on the periphery dropping in my two pennies worth on occasion but largely uninvolved in the process.

Then the reality; the first class on 4th january 2017; the teaching; the design planning; the drawing; the design approval; scaling up; creating templates; chosing and ordering glass

And now here we are. Window complete. How do i feel?…  Pretty damned emotional actually…..

Privileged, to have been part of such a great community project; to have been entrusted with the design and been afforded the opportunity to teach

Inspired, by the stories, and achievements of those who attended and the personal growth they each have felt

Proud, of the 27 people I have co-taught, who have developed and achieved so much;  some who have chosen to stay since the beginning and others who have joined more recently

Joy, at the friendships formed; the community engagement achieved; the memories made and the legacy we have created

Touched; by the gratitude of those we have taught

Exhilarated, by the finished product and the reaction of students, community members and visitors alike throughout the weeks

Positive, about my skills and abilities and what I am capable of creativity in the future

Nervous, that the installation is yet to happen and anything could happen

Tearful, as it comes to an end….

…and a little flat, after all the go, go, go.

But mostly I feel exuberant, in the knowledge that this community project has achieved so much… that it has proved to be far more than the sum of its parts.

What we have as a group produced will continue to be admired, and inspire long after today; and I don’t just mean the 2.5m by 1.5m semi circular, glass window depicting Welsh Legend and local imagery.

There are strong and true friendships that have developed; there are talents that have been uncovered and will continue to develop; micro-businesses that might emerge; there is a whole new community craft group been formed; new goals have been set; new plans have been made; horizons have been expanded; confidences have been built…..

What an inspirational bunch of people.

thank you all xxxx

mid way progress report

its more than just a community class