Thursday, 27 December 2018

Thoughtful Thursday - Are we Asking the Right Questions?

Now Christmas is over and I'm back to mundane life, I've been reading all the fear, pity and/or  outrage at the ongoing problem with illegal migrants and refugees swarming into North America and Europe.  I've watched the videos, the news media of various types and one thing stands out very clear: we're not going to stop this.

There's just too many people on the move and anyone desperate enough to face drowning, leaving behind everything they know, starvation, etc are not going to stop. I've seen it in South Africa with Zimbabweans and others coming through the border in wild areas where lions eat them off one by one. These are desperate people who so need to move that they are willing to face death.
You cannot stop that. If the fear of what they are running from is greater than the fear of what they must battle through... nothing is going to stop them. 

 I think people are asking the wrong questions about this problem.

Years ago in the 1980s, I read a book about brainstorming and the fact solutions can vary hugely depending on the questions we ask ourselves. Here's a c
ase from the book: Students are told that many people were mistakenly buried alive during the Middle Ages. Two groups of students came up with radically different solutions due to the fact they ASKED DIFFERENT QUESTIONS.

Group A suggested removing the hearts from each "dead body" and group B suggested leaving food and water in each coffin and a pipe for air and through which any living person could scream for help.

In other words, group A asked "How do we ensure everyone buried is dead?" and Group B asked "How do we ensure anyone buried alive is rescued?"

I think most countries right now are asking the wrong questions about refugees and migrants. They're asking, "How do we stop them?" instead of "How do we make them want to stay in their homelands?"

Once people realise that fact, we might actually get somewhere with this problem. Until then, I don't see anything changing. 

Thursday, 20 December 2018

One Year

You left us one year ago, dad. This is for you... xoxoxoxo

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Not Everything is on the Internet

I just discovered that one of my favourite poems is not online. I did all kinds of searches in all types of places... nothing. So, I went and got out my one book of poems and wrote it out. I hope you love it as much as I do. :)

Prayer of the Butterfly

Where was I?
O Yes! This flower, this sun,
thank you! Your world is beautiful!
This scent of roses...
Where was I?
A drop of dew
rolls to sparkle in a lily's heart.
I have to go...
Where? I do not know!
The wind has painted fancies
on my wings.
Where was I?
O Yes! Lord,
I have something to tell you:

Christina Rossetti

Friday, 7 December 2018

Oh Christmas Tree! :D

Every year, since I was a baby, my dad and I have put up the Christmas tree together. I figured it as being about 52 Christmas trees. For that reason, I just couldn't bring myself to get out our old tree to decorate this year. It's still too soon and too many memories, but I did want to put something pretty up for Christmas.

After pottering about online, trying to find some inspiration, I saw exactly what I was after. A "flat" tree to hang against a wall or in a window. The one online cost £30 and was pretty basic, so I decided to make one myself. :)
My tree took 3 dowel sticks (1 metre long) and string. You could use thinnish bamboo as well. Whole lot came to less than £4.

I sweated for hours doing the maths to figure out length of pieces to fit a tree shape, but then Sandy sorted it out EASY. He put the string down on the carpet in a tree shape and we put the dowels on top at regular intervals and marked where to cut them. My bottom dowel was 72cm going up to a tree point, with about 20cm gaps between each dowel. Knotting the string on the dowels was the hard part!

I left a long bit of string at top to hang it up with. Then sticky-taped the lights all over it and added the tinsel and baubles last.  

I made it a bit big, no room for a star or angel on top, but it still looks very pretty from outside. 

Thursday, 6 December 2018


This struck me today, because John Cleese is born on the exact same month-day-year as my dad. :) Empathy was my dad's favourite word. He was always convinced that with more empathy the world would be a much better place.