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Animals in Circuses: The Fight for Freedom

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Writing and Paying the Bills | 12 comments

“When I look at animals held captive by circuses, I think of slavery. Animals in circuses represent the domination and oppression we have fought against for so long. They wear the same chains and shackles.” - Dick Gregory, 60′s comedian, vegetarian, Civil Rights activist

About a week ago I saw a post on my Facebook feed about a circus that would be performing at a school in Somerset West during February.

This is probably not the best time to be writing this because I’m trying really hard to control my emotions as I sit here and type. I wear my heart on my sleeve for a lot of things, but nothing completely consumes me the way animals do.

I have a very  special place in my heart for all animals.  Even more so because they can’t speak up for themselves the way humans can when something is upsetting, scaring or traumatising them.

The Circus is coming to town…

I’ve never attended a protest or been an outright animal activist. I normally sit here safely behind the confines of my computer and write away – hoping to hell that my voice is heard and something… anything can be done to help these poor creatures. But alas, almost always, nothing comes of it.

Before I even go into why I think circuses (and zoos for that matter) should be done away with in this country – and all over the world, I think it’s important to mention that I (and a few others who are against animals being used in circuses) have e-mailed the school and asked them politely to please consider cancelling the event.

Well, as expected – not a peep has been heard back from them. 

I know, I know, I know... People have already bought tickets. People have jobs with the circus. It’s good publicity for the school.

First of all – to the people who work with circuses in general, I’d feel bad if they lost their jobs of course… no one wants that for anyone, but at the same time – what kind of a person works at a circus where animals are treated that way?! To the people who’ve already bought tickets… Oh my goodness. Is R70 really going to kill you? 

An hour or two of entertainment and fun for you and a LIFETIME of misery for those animals.

Oh yes, that’s fair.

But… people have phoned the animal shelters who’ve inspected this circus – they’ve said that there is no abuse of the animals whatsoever, so we must drop this silly protest idea now and stop looking for nonsense.

Excuse me? Did you happen to see that episode not too long ago on Carte Blanche about the elephants being abused at the Brian Boswell Circus? (If you haven’t – go see for yourself on YouTube… not for sensitive viewers).  Mr.  Boswell and his team also claimed there was never  any abuse. Come on people, how the hell do you think they get animals do to tricks? Wake up and take your blinkers off.

And even if by some sheer miracle animals are not whipped, hit or heaven knows what else – they are still locked up in tiny cages and carted off from one town to the next. Sometimes they’re denied food and water before they get their “trick” just spot on. What kind of “entertainment” is this?!

I wasn’t a big fan of Alec Baldwin until I watched this YouTube clip…

People who sit there and think animal activists or protesters have nothing better to do than to stir up rubbish and upset people are living in a dream world as far as I’m concerned. Yes, I know – it’s awful and horrible to think of things like this, it’s so much easier to just sit back and pretend like it doesn’t exist and to blame or laugh at people actually bothering to do something about it.

I’ve been asked what good is it to stand there with some boards at a circus that’s by all means not being deterred by the e-mails and requests and talk. I’ll tell you what good it is…  It’s having some freaking compassion and speaking up for those who don’t have a voice. Those who are plucked from the wild to perform in circuses. Those who are born into captivity and spend their whole lives jumping through rings of fire or swimming around a tiny pool in the aquarium, or standing gawking at passers by at the zoo through their metal cages. It’s making the effort to try and DO something instead of complaining about how sad and depressing it is, or hoping that it will stop, or looking away and pretending like it doesn’t exist.

This isn’t the old days guys, we have a little thing called technology. 

There are TV programmes and movies out there about sea life in the ocean, wildlife in the Serengeti… almost any animal imaginable. I’m sure there are tons of clips readily available on YouTube as well.

I had to step away from Facebook just now because I was on the verge of typing this very post and getting into one hell of a debate along with about 20 other people. I’m absolutely disgusted at the way some of them are comparing animals in zoos and circuses to domestic dogs and cats. Really? I don’t know about you, but I don’t keep my cats locked in cages, deny them food or make them jump through hoops to perform tricks for me when I want to be entertained. It’s ridiculous! These people with their rose coloured glasses on. Wake up.

Animals were not put on this earth for our entertainment. Nor were they put here to be abused, tortured or hurt.

Gentle giants in their natural habitat

Gentle giants in their natural habitat

People wonder why I sign petitions to help dolphins from being slaughtered as part of a “boy-to-man” ritual in Denmark, or to stop the culling of orangutans because they’re in the “way” for development plans of industrial buildings or residential areas. If there is even the slightest chance that my almost insignificant signature can help, then I will do it. Many of you might know that I’m a huge fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. Not because of his acting or looks, but because of his humanitarian side. Do you know how hard this man is fighting to keep elephants and rhinos alive and prevent their tusks from being exported to Asia?! It’s because of one of his petitions – one that I came across and also signed –  that Thailand declared that they would no longer be importing elephant tusks. How incredible is that?!

Of course, he’s a millionaire and a famous celebrity and has all the connections in the world. But how many other people in his position are doing things to help, and what about the rest of us who so badly want to help but can’t?!

That’s why we protest.

That’s why we sign petitions.

That’s why we annoy our Facebook friends with pleas to help or donate or just spread the word.

We will never have animals in our shows. They are animals not performers, they should be in the jungle.” - Pierre Parisien: Cirque du Soleil

I’m not going to feel bad because a protest might ruin some child’s image of what a circus is. Parents should be educating their children about the right  way to love and respect animals, not  supporting this horrific “entertainment.”

I know a lot of people don’t agree with some of the things I say and do when it comes to animals, and I get it. Sometimes I get too emotional about it… I can’t help it. But I won’t apologise. I’m not out to make anyone feel bad or guilty, and if that’s the way some people take reading this post or anything else I write about animals for that matter, then so be it.

Bottom line: There’s absolutely no  reason why circuses should have animals. Many countries in Europe, including Greece and the UK have banned – or are in the process of banning – animal circuses. 

“There are currently three tragic situations threatening elephants: loss of habitat, poaching for ivory, and circuses. We are helping the elephants closest to home, who spend most of their lives not in family groups, but shackled in chains. The elephants who are hauled across the country in trailers for up to 50 weeks a year and abusively trained with beatings from the bullhook and via electric shock to make them perform what can only be, for them, distressing and uncomfortable, even painful, tricks.” - Rue McClanahan, actress (The Golden Girls)

If you want to see animals up close, watch Animal Planet. If you want to see tricks being performed, support a circuses that doesn’t force animals to be a part of it, where the owners love what they do and aren’t just in it for the money.

The day circuses get banned in this country is the day I pop the champagne and paint the town red because honestly, at this rate with so much ugliness being lashed out against people who are just trying to be a voice for animals, I don’t know when that’s going to happen.

Maybe a few more signatures. Maybe a few more protests. Maybe a miracle.

But in the meantime, if anyone would like to lend their voice for the animals in this circus (and circuses in general), here’s the Facebook page with all the details.

The aim of the protest?

Not to stop them from performing at this Somerset West school this week – although that would be the best news ever – but to stop animals from performing in circuses PERIOD… anywhere.

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10 Things of Thankful this Week

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Thoughts and Scribbles | 21 comments

Friday couldn’t come fast enough this week.

It was the longest, toughest, most mentally challenging week this year by far.

I guess that’s not really saying much since it’s only January, but still – it was hectic. Plus, on Thursday I started feeling fluey.

thankful

Fun. The summer virus that’s been doing the rounds – which I thought I was somehow immune to – has finally found its way to me.

Flu sucks anytime, but it really, really SUCKS in summer.

Anyway… Besides sitting here in my PJs, watching way too much ridiculous reality TV and feeling sorry for myself, I’ve got a lot of stuff to be thankful for this week…

My TV. Yay for reruns of Melrose Place! It’s still as good as it was 18 years ago.

YouTube. Meditation music, background writing music, and free albums!

A good book. I’m ¾ way through Safe Harbour… and though I loved the movie, the book is way better!

Flapjacks for breakfast. Every day. Readymade from a batch I made last Sunday and froze for the week ahead. Yum!

Sweets. The ones I bought for Geoff (to make him feel better, that he hasn’t touched btw) that I really shouldn’t be eating, but simply can’t resist.  Hence why there’s no junk food at all in this house. At least they make me forget how yuk I’m feeling – if only for a few seconds.

Massage. Aching muscles from flu is not fun. Between Geoff’s hands and jamming the rolling pin into my back in sheer desperation, I’m feeling a lot better today.

Cal-C-Vita and Corenza C. I figure if I pop these early enough, get loads of rest and keep up the fluids, I’ll be able to knock this bad boy in no time.

My writing. A lot has happened in a year. I’m so grateful for all the experience I gained while working at an advertising agency for a few months. It’s made me believe more in myself and fall even more in love with what I do.

Jogging. I started running/walking this week and have officially joined the ranks of those who’re just a little addicted to it. It’s an awesome way to start the day! Fresh air, sun… couldn’t really ask for more.

Hugs. There’s nothing better than getting hugs from the person you love when you’re feeling bleh. Kitty cuddles come in a close second though.

That’s it! Clearly not the most exciting post in the world today… but it’s all I could muster up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, The Drama Queen is calling my name…

thankful things

 

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A New Outlook for a New Year!

Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in Life, Thoughts and Scribbles | 10 comments

Hello and a slightly belated Happy New Year!

I hope you’re ready to rock this year as much as I am. This December we had a ‘staycation’ right here at home and played tourists in our own backyard. We had a blast and I can’t wait to share a few of the awesome things we did with you in the upcoming days.

These two weeks also gave me a LOT of time to think. Think about 2014 and what I want from this year.

Every year since I don’t know when, I’ve been adamant about setting resolutions. But not this year. This year my priorities have changed a little…

new year

Isn’t this saying beautiful?  It was a birthday gift from a good friend of mine that now sits proudly on our living room wall. I love it! (Please excuse the horrible image but it’s rainy here today and the lighting is terrible.) 

It basically sums up everything I want out of this year. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how short life is and about what’s really important. I know, it sounds soooo  cliché, but that’s fine. It’s how I feel and I never do things just to follow the crowd anyway! ;)

A new outlook for a new year

 

This year I don’t have any resolutions or a long list of goals. What I am  going to do, is this…

I’m going to make more effort to visit family and friends. Facebook, WhatsApp and email just don’t cut it anymore, although I’ll admit that I’d be lost without any one of them!

I’m letting go of one-sided friendships. Really. I went through so much emotional stuff last year because of it and I’m over it. I’m also not going to go on and on about it here on the blog because honestly, I can’t be bothered to write about it. Friendship is a two-way street. End of story.

I’m learning how to say ‘yes’ to more things and need to get out of my comfort zone more. (I’m not talking about anything stupid like bungee jumping!)

I’m going to try and get out of my head more. Being an introvert, it’s so easy for me to sit back and think and daydream and think some more. Sometimes it’s more dreaming than doing. 

I’m going to stop trying to do so much. Last year I don’t know what I was thinking, but I expected miracles from myself. So much so that I ended up with vertigo (caused by sever stress) for two weeks. I think when you freelance from home in general, you feel like you need to put out so much more than what you’re physically capable of. I need to start treating this writing from home as a normal office job. Hard, but for my own sanity (and that of my husband) – it’s got to be done!

I’m going to live in the moment. As a dreamer, I’m usually dreaming about all kinds of things instead of enjoying the present. That’s not to say that I don’t, but I just don’t savour the moments as much as I should. And now I’m going to.

Well, that’s about it I think. Feels like I should be writing way more, but that’s my problem. I’ve got to start keeping things simpler and stop wasting time. So I guess this post is as good as any place to start practising what I’m preaching!

What are some of your goals for the new year if you have any? Would love to hear them! 

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2013 Highlights and a Mini Holiday Hiatus

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013 in General Scribbles | 6 comments

I was awake just after 5am this morning; 4am yesterday and 5am the day before. I don’t know what’s going on with my body clock, but I can only assume it’s all the holiday excitement.

Holidays start today!!!

This is the first year in I don’t know how long that Geoff and I both have December (well a bit of it anyway) off together.

We’re not travelling anywhere these holidays. No thanks,  we’ll go for a few days’ break sometime when prices for accommodation aren’t skyrocketing through the roof and you can actually move around in public places without feeling like you’re about to kill someone.

Oh and let’s not forget about the soaring temperatures and pandemonium that comes hand in hand with it being the “silly season.”

That being said, I couldn’t resist this this morning… (even though the beaches here in December NEVER look this calm!)

holiday

We’ll be playing tourists in our backyard these holidays… I’m so excited. Two whole weeks of pretending we’re in Cape Town on holiday and doing nothing but being lazy, sight-seeing, indulging in tempting treats, visiting family and friends, swimming, tanning, chilling… bliss!

In order for me to do that though, I need to try and shut off completely from this thing called the internet – as hard as it might be. That means no blogging, no writing, no constant checking in on Facebook (such a bad habit right now)… 

Social media and wordless for a few days. Yes,  I can do it.

I finish up my contract at the advertising agency today. I hate goodbyes, even if I was only there for five months. What brilliant people to work with – it was the first company I ever worked at where it felt like a big family, you don’t see that every day. I learnt so much during that time. Things I don’t know if I ever would have learnt on my own from freelancing. Now I’m pumped and ready for the next step, and for whatever lies ahead in 2014! 

Speaking of what lies ahead, I thought now would be the perfect time to take a look back at a few highlights from 2013.

No pictures or collages this time because it’s before 7am and that kind of thing takes me forever. I’ll upload a few from our ‘mini holiday’ next year :)

Highlights of 2013…

  • Getting an internship at All4Women in January and then being offered a freelance position to write some of their health articles.
  • Publishing my first eBook in May –  Make Happiness Happen: How to Quit Daydreaming and Just DO IT!
  • Sharing my love for fitness and good food in a new blog called Good Health Buzz.
  • Finally losing the extra 3 kgs that I haven’t been able to lose for over five years!
  • Going away for a mini weekend break to Franschhoek aka “mini France.”
  • Getting a job at an advertising agency as a half day copywriter. 
  • Hearing that my eBook inspired someone to pursue their own dream job.
  • Working with another advertising agency on a freelance basis on two huge projects – I can’t wait to see them hit SA!
  • Being interviewed by a 3rd advertising agency (I was on a mission in July!) and getting some hard-to-hear but much needed advice. How many business owners still sit with you for an hour giving you advice about your career when it’s clear in the first few minutes that you aren’t right for the job?! Priceless.
  • Turning 31.

Lots of great things happened this year. Lots of not so great things happened too, but I won’t go into any of that… it’s boring and lame and I’m so over it.

Right, well – I’m off to finish my last day on this job and start the holidays!

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC festive season with loved ones and have an amazing time! Will catch up in the New Year…

Have a brilliant one and BRING ON THE HOLIDAYS!

M x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Political Hero – A Nelson Mandela Painting from 2001

Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Artwork, General Scribbles | 6 comments

Three of my favourite high school subjects were Art, History and English Literature.

I loved learning about the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans; reading Macbeth and The Great Gatsby; and being taught about the Cold War and the end to the Nazi reign.

My favourite part of SA History was reading and learning about the end to Apartheid, and especially the rise of brave leaders who rose to the occasion and made their voices heard.

One of our Matric art projects was to paint a picture of a political leader. For me, that choice was easy. I was going to paint Nelson Mandela.

I grew up in Namibia, Windhoek and am so thankful for the school that I attended back then because I had the opportunity to have friends of every race. I had black friends, coloured friends, Asian friends, and white friends. I never saw colour, only friends. We moved to South Africa when I was 14 and as I grew older, I became aware of racism. On TV, and slight undercurrents of it at school, at gatherings, etc. I remember how angry it made me feel.

I remember how brave I thought Nelson Mandela – Madiba as he was affectionately called – was to rise above it all. Especially after all that he’d been through.

This painting was my favourite one from school. Not because I thought it was good (it definitely wasn’t anywhere near what the other guys in my class pulled off), but because I had such fun painting it. It was a joyful painting that I poured my heart and soul into… in my own way.

As we bid farewell to Madiba today – after 10 days of mourning – I thought it would be a good time to pull this painting out of the cupboard. For me, this is what Madiba represented…

 Nelson Mandela Painting: 2001

Nelson Mandela

RIP Madiba x

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I’m Back! What’s New, What’s Changed… What’s Ahead!

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Life | 16 comments

 HELLO!!!

Oh my goodness. It feels SO good to be back to blogging here again. I can’t believe how much I missed it!

If you’re still checking in on this blog and reading these words, thank you, thank you, thank you! 

I never imagined after deciding to put the breaks on Scribbles and Smiles that I’d be back here again at all to be honest. I suppose before I give you a quick rundown on what I’ve been up to these last six months, I should probably tell you why I went away for so long.

You see, when I first started freelance writing in September 2012 it was all very new and exciting. I didn’t know in what direction I was heading so I tried everything. Blogging was the main thing. Over time I read and heard all kinds of things about what you must and mustn’t do in the big world of blogging. I did these things, thinking it was the “right” thing to do and then slowly but surely I lost my love for writing here.

Why am I back?

I guess deep down I subconsciously thought I might write here again one day  because I never deleted the blog or the Facebook page. BUT, the deciding factor was an email I received last month from a producer of a local radio station. She found a blog post I’d written here and was interested in using a certain part of it for an upcoming show. Now, I’ll be honest – it’s not like she wanted to interview me or anything, but she did find my post on this really important subject I’d written about, and for me – that’s golden. To know that among the thousands of blogs out there, one of my measly little posts stood out. Hooray! 

That’s what got me thinking. This blog was supposed to be about me writing what’s in my heart and about my thoughts and perceptions on life. I might not be the loudest person in the room, but when I feel strongly enough about something, you better believe I’m going to write about it! I think there are too many people who don’t speak up about things that are important and I really don’t want to be one of them. So, even if it’s just on this blog and even if hundreds of people aren’t reading it every day – that’s fine with me. It’s something. It’s a place for me to just be me, where I can write about the things I really want to say – but sometimes can’t. 

Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you what I’ve been up lately…

The load down since June…

  • I poured my new found love for healthy eating and exercising into a new blog, Good Health Buzz.
  • In August, I started working as a half day copywriter at an advertising agency on a contract to perm basis. I thought it was my dream job and was over the moon about it. Then in October I discovered that the woman I took over from was coming back after her maternity leave. So my last day is 20 December. I’m not going to lie, I was crushed – heartbroken and depressed for days after I heard the news. But you know what? Believe it or not… things really DO happen for a reason. Not being so emotional about it now, I can see that this probably wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. I was supposed to be there for a few months to grow as a writer and develop new skills and that’s exactly what I did. I’m so grateful for having had this opportunity.
  • I did a few freelance jobs for some other advertising agencies in the area from August as well and those were a lot of fun. More great experience.
  • I signed up as a writer for a content company and I write social media updates for a well known SA company once a month. Social media today is a whole different ball game – especially for businesses. 
  • In January, I’ll be in charge of All4Women’s fitness newsletter – WOO HOO! I would have been writing for this online women’s magazine for a year. AND, the “everything for a reason” / “one door closes another opens” news… my editor called me today to offer me a 4 month position of writing additional health articles while one of their writers is on maternity leave. YIPEEE! (I really don’t know why the universe is throwing me all these “maternity filler” jobs but I’m loving it!)
  • We moved again in July to a much nicer area – with an AMAZING Woolworths Food literally 2 minutes away. It’s an evil, evil  place…
  • I went on a major healthy eating / exercise plan from 1 October. To date, I’ve lost 3kgs and have kept it steady over the last month. I’ve never felt better in my entire life.
  • I decided to try and write a novel again. This time round I’ll take my time – giving myself a full year to complete it. I want to enjoy it. Not stress about hitting a certain word count each day. Oh, and I won’t be telling anyone what it’s about because that’s what I did last time and it didn’t work out. When it’s finished and published, you’ll know.

If you’ve made it to the end of this blog post without scanning through anything – CONGRATULATIONS! I know I waffled a bit here, but in my defense… it’s my first post in six months!

Have a super day!

~ M

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Mid Year Reflections and Changes…

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Thoughts and Scribbles, Writing and Paying the Bills | 19 comments

Can you believe it’s the  middle of the year already?! We’re halfway to Christmas!!!

These past 6 months have just zoomed by. There are tons of changes happening right now. We’re moving in 2 weeks time – finally, we found a pet friendly place, and it’s a lot closer to Geoff’s work. Saving on some much needed petrol there, so that’s a huge relief!

What else has been happening?

A bit of this, a bit of that. I won’t bore you with all the things that have been floating around in my  head over this long weekend, but I will tell you a little about one of them.

I realised something the other day….

 

That this blog is 1 year old!

 

Originally called, “Grab the Good Life”, I started this blog as a means of  reviewing food in restaurants, talking about interesting places, etc. Actually, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it. I had no idea about SEO or keywords or any of that in the beginning. Which is probably why no one read my first few posts!

I was trying to write about all kinds of interesting things after that – stress, success, etc. These got some great comments, but I found that it could have been written by anyone. It didn’t have that personal connection – as if I’d written it.

After that, this blog changed again to “Scribbles and Smiles” and I lost a few followers. I started writing more about my life – some posts bordering on a little too personal, but for the most part – it finally turned into what I’d wanted it all along.

Which is why it’s a little sad that I’ve decided something about it over the past few days. Don’t worry – I’m not closing it down or anything. I’m just going to be posting on here a lot less than what I’ve been doing. Truth is, I miss posting here everyday like I used to.  If I was only writing for the fun of it, then yes – I’d keep on at it. My posts would be shorter  - but I’d post every day.

As  it is right now, I’ve been writing full-time for the past 9.5 months and only now do I have more of an idea of what direction I want to go into – finally!

 

A few changes…

 

First of all, I’m taking down my HubPages articles. I know…what the h@#$?! Let me explain. It was hard deciding to do this because it’s where I started my writing journey last year January. I’d written almost 100 long articles and it’s also where I met many of my blogging friends. I also made some nice extra change from it each month. Unfortunately, it left a very bad taste in my mouth after the whole content theft of 30 of my articles earlier this year. And now, it seems they have a new system in place.  The deciding factor was having so many of my hubs automatically unpublished for ridiculous reasons, and my daily traffic (views on my articles and money coming to me) dropping by 3/4!!! That was the final straw. I’ll be deleting all my hubs from there over the next few days. Sigh.

BUT, the good news is that in a couple of weeks I can republish the ones I want onto my health and career blogs. No more silly HubPages rules, yipee!!!

I’ll be focusing more on magazine article writing and these other two blogs. Both of which I’m very passionate and excited about. I can see how they’ve grown, and the direction they’re both taking. I have a good feeling about them.

To my loyal readers on Scribbles and Smiles…

First of all, THANK YOU so much for your support. For stopping by to read my scribbles here. Because if you didn’t, I’d pretty much be talking to myself! I truly do appreciate each and every one of you for taking time to read and comment where you could or wanted to.

 

But this isn’t goodbye!

 

If you don’t see me here too often, you can always pop over and subscribe to my posts on Good Health Buzz or Steer Career Success

 

Changes

Till next time!

Signature

 

 

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I’ve Been a Bad Friend…Real Friendships Are Like Gold

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Thoughts and Scribbles | 22 comments

I have a confession to make :  I’ve been a bad friend lately. Friendships – both old and new, have kind of been swept under the radar for the past few weeks.

Well, no…I haven’t shut out everyone  and buried myself into a hole of writing, but I haven’t been the type of friend that I want to have.

You know, the types of girlfriends who just message you out of the blue to say, “Hi!” for no other reason other than to see how you’re doing. I love messages like that. I love getting them, and yet I’ve been so bad about sending them.

One of my closest friends had a baby on Monday. Yup, the days of weddings are gone. It’s now the baby season. She’s struggled for years to fall pregnant and I am going to meet her little one this weekend; I’m literally counting down the days….I can’t wait!  I’m not worried about our friendship changing because as far as I’m concerned friends evolve with each other – through the good times and the bad, and through whatever life milestones there are – and we’ve had plenty over the past almost 3 years!  

That’s when you know you have a real friend…and a friendship made of gold.

friendships2

Another one of my friends came to visit the other night for coffee. It’s been months since we’d seen each other (and we live 2 minutes apart!), and I realised that she’s the one who’d made most of the effort to get together before then. My excuse?  I don’t know – I don’t have one. Just a case of being a bad friend…..BUT, I’m so glad we can pick up where we left off. A girl’s night once a month – even if it’s just a movie and coffee at home – is what we’ll be doing come hell or high water.

But some friendships aren’t as strong…or meant to last that long. Sometimes friends are only meant to come into your life for a short period of time, or for a reason. Once it’s run it’s course, that friendship comes to an end. I get sad thinking about these friends sometimes because each of them were special to me in a way, but you can’t force someone to stay in your life.  Sometimes you just have to let them go, treasure the memories you had with them, and move on.

Are you a good friend?

Life gets so busy. I’m so busy trying to get my writing business off the ground and get going with my artwork, and then the weekends go by so fast.  But that’s bulls@*t really.

There’s a lot  more to life and I’ve just realised how much I take some of my friends for granted. Never intentionally…we all do it. Life gets in the way…story of our lives….

Anyway, I’m changing that –  starting today. I’m going to start making more of an effort because the few real friends I have who love me for who I am are true and they’re there.  Fake friends…or ones only there for the good times – can’t really be bothered with them at all.

Tell me, do you have any friendships you treat like gold? 

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Wonderful Wednesday: My Days With Two Queen Bees and Painting Explained

Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 in Animals and Nature, Thoughts and Scribbles | 24 comments

Okay, just in case you were wondering…no, we don’t have queen BEES in our house.

The two little queens I’m talking about  for this week’s Wonderful Wednesday blog hop are of course, Jinx and Sassy.

The rulers of this household.

What more can I say about them which hasn’t already been said? I think a good 20% of this blog is devoted to them already.

So I thought I’d tell you a little about how our days normally go around here.

I guess in a way they are like my children, and besides the occasional hissing contest with the cats from next door, it’s pretty peaceful and quiet.

cat love queen bees

THE DAY STARTS…

with me waking up to Sassy lying on top of me and getting extremely peed off when I have to get up.

Then they get fed and go outside to do their business if it’s not pouring with rain.

Sassy runs upstairs to find a patch of sun - heaven help us all if it’s a cloudy day – and Jinx stands with me at the door most days to wave goodbye to Geoff.

After being cooped up all night, she’s desperate to run around on the grass and meet up with her two friends/enemies (depends on the day, I swear they’re all female) at the gate. There Jinx will sit for a good 2 or 3 hours meaowing, hissing, or just sitting in silence staring at her new found friends. So weird…

I’ll go upstairs to work and Sassy will have found a spot at the windowsill to soak up the sun.

At around 10am the sun moves to the top of the stairs. Nine times out of ten I get up to show her this spot and put a mat out for her to sit on. Spoilt deluxe. You should see the look on her face as she suns herself. She’s got this queen bees thing down…

By this time, Jinx is now inside and spread out on the couch and ontop of the fluffy warm blanket we’ve left there for them to sleep on at night.

I carry on working.

LUNCHTIME…

and all three of us head to the kitchen for food.

Then Jinx hops outside to check if any of her friends are around.  Sassy’s frozen and usually starts her meowing, demanding some warmth. Thankfully by around 3pm the sun has moved to the stairs again through another window and I go and point out the warm sunny spot for her again. She’s happy and quiet for about an hour.

She’s actually very clever. When I don’t point it out – sometimes she’ll go sit on the toilet seat because that’s where the sun hits full on.

Jinx is usually having her afternoon nap, and all is peaceful and quiet until about 5 o’clock when they realise it’s their supper time.

Sometimes, if it’s a nice day I’ll take the yoga mat and go sit on the grass for a few minutes break and some fresh air and they’ll come sit with me.

I’ll start making supper from 5.30 normally, and this is usually the time Jinx decides that she’s in the mood to play. She’ll walk over to the drawers in the kitchen (where the ball of string is kept) and stretch up her paws and look at me to see if I’m watching her. If I’m not too busy cooking, I usually give in.

As soon as we start playing, Sassy will run down the stairs and want to play too. She hates being left out of anything.

HOMETIME…

Geoff will get home, we’ll watch some TV together and they’ll cuddle up on the couches with us for warmth.  Then Jinx will claim her couch for bedtime and Sassy will head up with me where she’ll crawl under the covers to get warm. 

And then we’ll wake up and start the day all over again.

Queen bees…They are definitely that, but I can’t imagine my life without them.  They make my lonely days working from home bearable some days.

Thanks to Cyndi over at Pictimilitude for this great post idea  for Wonderful Wednesday.

 

P.S…

abstract painting burnt harmony2I posted on Monday that I’d list the  symbolisms/meanings from my recent Burnt Harmony painting. Just in case you were curious to know what they were…here they are:

  1. Tree of life
  2. Tree of money (gold and silver “leaves”)
  3. Shadow of tree meant to symbolise death of nature
  4. Three elephants = gentle giants, a family, living in peace and harmony
  5. Back sand-dune has tears of gold running down it
  6. Middle silver section is a giant elephant tusk, symbolising the increase in poaching of elephants for their ivory
  7. The dots and patterns are meant to symbolise Africa
  8. The tainted red (blood) stones at the bottom represent the thousands of elephants killed each year. 

That’s just what it meant to me…The utter sadness of the situation and how I feel about it…how hopeless I feel about it. How beautiful nature and animals are and how humans are just destroying it because of their greed. But it could mean many different things for different people. Someone mentioned it reminded her of loneliness and in a way that’s also what this painting is all about. It’s really open to interpretation as you see it. The important thing I wanted to do was to make people think and get a message across.

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A Close to Heart Abstract Painting That Speaks Volumes

Posted by on Jun 10, 2013 in Animals and Nature, Artwork | 21 comments

I haven’t done an abstract painting – or any painting really, in almost 2 months. 

Man, it felt incredible touching paint to canvas again! I so badly wanted this one to be in different shades of green…to have that peaceful and calming effect, but of course – as with every painting I try and plan,  it NEVER turns out that way.

The more I paint, the more I realise I’m just going to have to wing it or go with the flow…

Then I had another vision of what I wanted from this paining. I wanted to paint a realistic landscape of an African sunset, with fields and fine detail and all.  But as I began painting, I felt restrictive. I’ve never been a huge fan of realistic painting….(Me painting them, not admiring realistic paintings – those are beyond-words-amazing.) I think that’s why I like abstract painting so much. Because it’s open to interpretation and there aren’t any hard or fast rules.

You can release whatever energy you’re feeling inside of you onto that canvas.

 

And that’s what I did with this painting. I wanted to keep going and adding in new things as I went along, but because it wasn’t just an abstract painting like the others – it had some symbolism which I wanted to highlight, I had to restrain myself and try and keep it simple. 

I’m calling this one ‘Burnt Harmony’….

 

abstract painting burnt harmony

 

There’s a lot of symbolism in this one. I think I added in about 7 of them…some without meaning to and some of them on purpose.

It’s something I feel very strongly about and that’s close to my heart. If you read my post on Friday, you’ll understand a little more about what I mean.

I wanted it to speak volumes.

Does it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of the hidden (or obvious) meanings here. See if you can pick up on any of them and tell me about it in the comments below!

I’ll add a quick list to Wednesday’s post with all 7 of them listed.

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