Monthly Archives: February 2016

Bonus day

February 29th, the extra day which comes around in four year cycles. A strange idea, bonus – from Latin bene, good? A reward for good behaviour? A free gift?

This morning there is a bonus of bright sunshine and I am sitting writing in the summerhouse. There is still a skim of ice on the pond ¬†and I have a rug around me, but the sunlight is strong and warming. We have had the warmest winter on record, and here’s an extra day, free.

A time to think about the bonuses, rewards and gifts since this day four years ago. A new family member, a new role for us as grandparents. New writing opportunities for me, running groups and working towards an MA. New friendships growing ¬†through volunteering at the Community Library. Continuing rewards from being creative with textiles, (me) and Steve’s hard work and artistic touch in our beautiful garden.

All free? Some is unearned – the growth of babies and plants never ceases to amaze us. But then we as grandparents have the bonus of the fun without the hard work. As our grandson squeals with sheer delight at his own first steps, we join in his celebrations, and feel his joy just by watching. But gardeners, embroiderers and writers all know the pain of aching muscles after a few hours of effort. The reward is the joy of creating new pictures, nurturing new perspectives, celebrating fresh insights.

There have been losses over the four years too, and not just of the hair, teeth and eyesight kind. The older generation is no longer with us, paid work now relinquished, some responsibilities laid down. But right now, on this bonus day, sitting in the warmth of the sun, I am celebrating those gifts towards which I make no effort other than delighting in them.

Happy bonus day to you all.


Piano thrills

I don’t remember feeling so excited about a new possession for a long time! 

Today we brought home a Roland digital piano, managed to manoeuvre its heavy weight through the house and assemble it. Since our old family piano went a few years ago, I have lived without one.  I didn’t realise quite how much I missed it until I sat down and played pieces I played first when I was a teenager. I am so grateful for everyone who made me practise all those years ago. Muscle memories can’t be bought even if the musical technology can be!  


Seaside stroll

A week with no posts – always good to have a rest after a January of small stones. But then I find myself looking at things and wanting to photograph them, and thinking “that would make a good small stone”.

Today there were plenty of small stones on the beach, which had been battered by stormy seas yesterday. But I collected a few photos instead of stones.

Not an entirely honest group of pictures, a selective view. There were also hundreds of cars, people, dogs and children, all doing what we were doing – enjoying the sun and sea!