#Lockdown ‘Every cloud has a Silver Lining’ #MondayMotivation #MondayBlogs

I live in Spain and we’ve been on Lockdown for ten days now due to the Covid-19 virus and I haven’t written a single post, until today.

I’m not going to talk about facts and figures, prevention, medicine or science, because I’m not an expert on any of those major aspects and there’s plenty of reliable information online.

I’m going to write about my personal reflections, feelings and how my life is being affected by the lockdown. This means owning both the positive as well as the negative experiences derived from imposed isolation, because every cloud has a silver lining.

First I’m going to tell you about the clouds, or what I miss:

 

1) Hugging my children and grandchildren. 

I have four wonderful grandchildren (ages 3,5,6, and 9, and a fifth on the way!) I love playing board games, ping pong, telling stories, going to parks and fun fairs, or just chatting with them. 

My husband and my daughter walking in the countryside, near where I live.

2) My daily walks.

My husband and I have retired recently and we enjoy long (2-3 hour) daily walks. We choose different parts of the town and countryside, have a coffee or a beer on the way there or back, depending on the time. We chat, take photos, pop in to museums or exhibitions, wherever takes our fancy. No walks allowed now.

I took this picture of some of my oldest friends last year at a local flower festival ‘Flora’

3) Going out with friends.

I enjoy going out with friends. We go to the movies, to a coffee shop, window shopping, real shopping, or out for drinks and tapas. No going out with friends.

 

Last year we popped over to Bari, on a bargain Ryanair flight, just for the fun of it!

4) Impromptu outings

We love getting in the car and popping over to Malaga (an hour and a half drive) to walk along the seafront, or to meet up with friends and family, or to any other city for a day trip, weekend at home or abroad.

60th Birthday Party at home with some of my best friends!

5) Receiving guests

I love cooking and having guests, especially when the weather’s nice and we can eat in the garden. On other occasions, friends come over for tea or coffee, some home-cooked cake and a chat. 

Secondly, this is my silver lining, or what I can appreciate about this situation.

1) More time to write. 

I’ve just finished and sent the umpteenth draft of my latest novel to my editor, Alison Williams. I managed, to block out the lockout and get on with it with no one to distract me. I plan to continue with other unfinished novels and literary projects, too.

2) More time to read

My TBR pile is slightly smaller! At the moment I’m reading and enjoying When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal, on my kindle and listening to L J Ross’s Alexander Gregory Thriller, Impostor, its Book 1 in the series (I read Book 1 first by mistake!). She’s a wonderful author as I learned when I read her DCI Ryan Mysteries.

The Alexander Gregory Thrillers

3) Watching series I never have time for.

I’m not much of a TV viewer, but I was able to binge watch over a couple of days, eight episodes of The Stranger, by Harlan Coben staring Richard Armitage.

4) Phoning + texting friends and family 

I’ve spent the last few days contacting friends and family all over the world, by phone, text and email, making sure they’re all OK. I haven’t finished yet, there are still a few more to contact.

With my three best friends from London University, celebrating our 60th birthday, last July, back on our College site, now luxury residential homes.

5) A time for introversion and reflection.

I’ve never been faced with so much time for myself or so much worry about family, friends and myself. Facing one’s own vulnerability in such an unpredictable world is daunting. Facing our finite and limited time on earth and the possibility of illness, or even death in complete isolation was not how I expected to spend 2020.

Momento Mori is not welcome, but it’s a necessary reminder that my life is brief and finite and every moment is precious.

Stay safe, virtual hugs and love to you all.

#NaPoWriMo Day 19 ‘Madonna of Pain’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 19 poem, Madonna of Pain was inspired by a church float, for Holy Friday Parade, I took this morning in the church of The Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo) in Cordoba, Spain.

Madonna of Pain

Lady of Sorrows,

Witnessed son suffer and perish.

Madonna of Pain,

Crowned and draped in rich, gold cloth,

Lit up, displayed, on parade.

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Today commemorates a sad event in the Christian calendar, Jesus Christ’s death by crucifixion.

This float represents Christ's Descent from the Cross

This float represents Christ’s Descent from the Cross.

His mother, Mary’s, sorrow is vividly represented in many symbolic rituals, such as the famous church parades which take place all over Spain. Everybody can identify with a mother’s pain at the loss of her son  which is why the paintings, statues and floats of Our Lady of Sorrows (Virgen de los Dolores) are so popular in religious art and especially Holy Week celebrations.

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Are there any special, religious rituals where you live?

#NaPoWriMo Day 16 and 17 ‘Fading Light’ and ‘Spring Day’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 16 poem, Fading Light was inspired by a photo I took recently  as evening fell over my garden, coinciding with the deteriorating health of an elderly relative. Day 17 took me to a Spring Day…

Fading Light

Fading evening light,

Once a powerful beacon,

Turned golden shimmer,

Bravely resisting slow death.

Unforgiving dark night looms.

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Spring Day

Life is like a Spring day,

Rising to the sound of chirping  birds,

Long, lazy breakfast,

Watching sunrise on the porch,

Then hours of toil and sweat,

Later busy afternoon,

Frolicking and rolling in the hay.

Time to rest and ponder,

In the protracted evening,

But make haste,

Dark night falls far too soon.

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#ThursdayDoors Basilica of San Pedro, #Cordoba #Spain

I meant to post these pictures of the Basilica of Saint Pedro in Cordoba, on Thursday, 29th June, Saint Peter’s Day, but it was my last day at school before the summer holidays, a bit hectic! Then I went away for a much needed break and had to put it off again. It’s live at last!

Pedro, or Peter was my father’s middle name and 29th June was also his birthday, so, although he died eleven years ago, it’s a day I remember well.

We never had a big celebration because we lived in different countries, and almost different continents, from an early age, but I’d always make sure to phone him and catch up on his birthday.

Front door

Side door

Back door which leads onto a square.

I walk past the church of San Pedro every day on my way to school. Its construction began in the late 13th century and was completed in the early 14th century.

It amazes me how such an ancient building is still an active part of our 21st century cities. People admire it, walk around it, meet there, sit and chat in the square outside its doors, and pray, marry and say their final goodbye to their loved ones within its doors and walls. If they could speak…

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon andlinking up on Norm’s blog here.

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#ThursdayDoors ‘San Rafael Cemetery’ #Cordoba #Spain

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon and linking up on Norm’s blog here.

I visited the cemetery recently for the burial of a friend’s mother. We arrived early, which gave me time to wander around, admire the beautiful building and surroundings and take some photos.

I love the (real) Roman columns adorning the doors. The first and last photos are of the front door, the second photo is the door to the chapel, to the right as you walk inside, and the third door is the door leading into the burial ground, which is just beyond the chapel.

I rarely visit cemeteries, but when I do they inspire peace and reflection. I don’t feel sad, just human. A physical reminder that we must all die, so we had better use our time wisely.

There are some beautiful gardens, plants and statues inside. Have a look. I posted some more pictures of this cemetery yesterday in #WordlessWednesday

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#Easter #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge ‘Treasure Hunt’

This Tanka is for Colleen Chesebro’s weekly challenge.

Photos by @LucciaGray

Long ago once more

Chocolate eggs and treasure hunts

Cast a childhood spell

Life cycles into seasons

My turn to hide sweets for you!

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Would you like to take part? The rules are simple.

Use synonyms of Colleen’s two-word prompt, this week, charm and time, write blog post using one of the following poetic forms: haiku, tanka, Haibun, cinquaine or senryu.

Add a picture if you like. Pingback to Colleen’s blog post.


#Writephoto ‘Endless Sunsets’ #FlashFiction

Endless Sunsets

Jack sat by the window.
Tears slid down his deep wrinkles, splashing onto his black suit.
 “What will I do without you?” he beseeched the fiery sunset.
“Remember the glorious skies we watched together.” He heard her voice echoing in his mind. “Now we’ll be watching endless sunsets.”
He spun round, swinging his arms in the air in frustration. “It’s not enough. I can’t see you or touch you!”
“Feel me in your heart,” she whispered as he held his hand over his chest and implored the crimson heavens to take care of the love of his life.
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Thanks to Sue Vincent’s weekly photo challenge #Writephoto for hosting and organising this weekly photo prompt. Why not join in?

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