Jenny's Archived Blog - scroll down to read
12th August 2013
I have had the most fantastic month of sales on eBay. It's been great because I've been painting, painting, painting, to keep up. Nearly all my older stock has gone now except for the ones in my house that are very precious to me and so I am aiming to paint each day to replenish supplies! It's great fun but of course quite tiring too, especially as I've also started work on a new book for Hodder.
Sales have this week suddenly gone quieter, so it gives me a chance to replenish my energy too!
There are some lovely new listings though so do take a look - go to www.eBay.co.uk and in the search box put Jenny Hare Paintings and you'll see them all.
I've also finished a new batch of 12 illustrations for Eleanor's 2014 calendar - the latest collection in the Animals with Attitude series. Again great fun. If you would like to reserve one let me know. They are due to be printed by the end of this month.
I am working on the new HTML version of the website so please bear with me if it's not perfect.
With love and light, Jenny
2nd July 2013
I can’t believe we’re past the longest day already – and weather-wise we’re scarcely out of Spring yet! But hey – we have hopefully lots of real Summer to look forward to still.
I finished a book (on Forgiveness) in April and am much enjoying being able to paint full time. I’m selling on Ebay and absolutely love it – it’s immediate, easy to use for sellers and buyers, and – well, just fun and interesting and, especially, very rewarding for the contact I have with people - both buyers and other artists. What a great medium it is – it’s totally unpretentious, prices are affordable and there’s some wonderful work there. The galleries I've used have been friendly, but on the whole I’m wary of going into new galleries whether it’s as an artist or a potential buyer. As you can tell, I’m really pleased and excited about eBay’s on-line opportunity to buy and/or sell self-representing artists’ work.
Don’t be put off if, when you first look, you see loads of paintings you don’t like – remember it’s very subjective so just keep looking and you’ll find some gems that do appeal to you. If you only want to look at UK work (or exclude reproductions from China), click on ‘advanced’ up top on the right hand side of the search box, and you can specify that – it takes out swathes of very similar paintings.
I look most days to see what other artists are offering – it’s such a kaleidoscope of styles, sizes etc etc. – really inspiring.
I recommend putting Painting in the search box and Art as the category and then when the different sections come up on the left click on Self-Representing Artists. Or if you’d like to look just at mine put Jenny Hare Painting in the search box instead!
I’m intending to start a weekly blog again so do come back soon – I’ve lots to write! And do message me if you would like to – I love to keep in touch.
With love and light, Jenny
23rd January 2013
The siskins are back. Hurrah - a sign of the season. Snowing heavily but Spring is on the way!
New Year blessings to all.
With love and light, Jenny
Wonderful frosty weather for a few days – dry – hurrah!
I’m working hard on the new book – the publisher’s deadline is the end of March and all being well I’m on track for that. I love the writing routine – especially in the Winter like this when the days are framed by mucking out the barn in the morning, then a lovely walk in the forest with Tiptoe, and then mid-afternoon before it gets dark another walk and then feeding the ponies, putting out their hay etc. Just lovely – they are such wonderful creatures.
One of my neighbours is convinced the end of the world is coming on 21st December. Hope she’s not right - it’s such a fantastic one I very much hope it will last for at least a few more millennia!
It’s been a good year on the whole – I love this place, my home, my neighbours and other local friends and the area – what good fortune it was finding it.
Penny, my sister, and I had a wonderful holiday in Ibiza early in October courtesy of my nephew, Penny’s son, Ben. He promised us that it would be nothing like the clubland Ibiza we’d read about and it wasn’t – it’s a beautiful, unspoilt island away from the two towns. Where we were based it was as quiet as it is here and the night sky as bright.
We went to a different beach or cove every day and swam and swam and swam. Heaven. Best of all it was great spending time with my sister. We are so blessed to be such good friends.
Soon after coming home I was rushed into hospital with acute appendicitis. After the op I thankfully recovered very quickly and am now all back to normal again – bouncing up and down the hills with Tiptoe and carting buckets, pushing wheelbarrows etc with all my strength again!
Back to the book now. I wish you a warm, comfortable Christmas filled with love and magic. That reminds me - here’s my 2012 Christmas poem:
The Magic of Christmas
I heard it in the post office
- I’ve heard it all before.
“There isn’t any magic
It’s all got so mercenary
More, more and more!
There’s nothing green about it
It’s become obscene
I just want it to be over,
The boredom, fights and greed . . .
“There isn’t any magic any more,” she said.
I wish I could give her
The joy of Christmas once again,
Take away the weariness
That despondent look of pain
I’d wave a wand and sprinkle
Her with the ability to see
The beauty of the story
The meaning of the fable
History or myth – who knows?
But the pictures are as vivid
As they’ve been throughout the ages
Shepherds, star and magi
The sweetness of the stable
I’d wave the wand so she could see
That joy still shines on earth
For you and me and everyone
And of course for all the angels.j
She’d sense the awe, like me,
And join in the unity
As in hope and love and wonder
We sing our carols welcoming
The little baby in the manger.
It may be just a fable
But the meaning shines as bright
As all the suns and moons and stars
Which light our days and nights.
I wish you all the magic of Christmas
With love and light, Jenny
22nd August 2012
Heading towards the end of Summer. Oh my goodness – did someone say Summer? The third wet one in a row so anytime soon it’ll get to be called the Rainy Season.
Apologies if I sound American. I’m influenced by reading a wonderful, truly, book called The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian. It’s about an octogenarian couple who take a road trip in their camper van along Route 66. Age itself isn’t a problem. Her terminal cancer and his Altzheimer’s do present some considerable difficulties.
She’s the narrator and I love her – I’m there with them every wheel turn of the way. It’s very very funny and then next minute you’re in bits, crying with her.
Someone should make it into a film. It would be a gentle, thought provoking, non-violent (well, mostly) Thelma and Louise.
Two other great books I’ve read lately: The Visiting Angel by Paul Wilson, and The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan. Both grab you, heart and soul, the same way, carrying you along with the characters, and teaching you a lot along the way.
Other than reading, which I’ve been loving more and more, and the usual smallholding compulsive stuff like gathering the winter’s wood supply and wimberries, I’ve been painting – horses, angels, joy. And I’ve just finished a portrait which fascinated and held my heart, hand and eye for hours on end.
The new paintings and poems gift book is out. Email me if you’d like to order a copy. It’s called The Moon in a Puddle (and other poems of light and love). Also in a new print run is The Curlew’s Call (and other moments of magic).
Light and love, Jenny
Sunday 13th May 2012
I've been feeling intermittently scared lately (sparked, of course, by my recent loss) - along the lines of "What am I supposed to be doing" and, more to the point, "Why aren't I doing it?" !! Which was a nuisance as 90% of the time life was good and I didn't want fear spoiling any of it. But I didn't know what to do about it.
Yesterday I read a bit of a book called Quiet by Paul Wilson which is mostly stuff I already know about meditation but which reminded me that sometimes we just need to be - quietly just be - and not even attempt to be busy. So this morning it led me to sit down with a coffee to read another book, I will not die an unlived life by Dawna Markova, and it's more of the same only fascinating as it's her story translated into wisdom for us all. The bit I've just been reading - exactly what I needed - is about not hiding away from fear, or letting it imprison us in anxiety etc, but acknowledging it (as I've just done the last day or two), and listening to it and feeling it - then we can move on in strength. In fact everything I wrote about in Free Your Life From Fear but was forgetting!!! Phew - feel so much better now. I need to read my own book every now and then, don't I?!
In Dawna Markova's book I just read this - isn't it wonderful?
"When I die, I want to remember the pulse of life. I want to be well-practised in letting go over the edge of the known, holding on to that golden Wonder Woman rope of threads of love, feeling it untwining into a thousand directions."
Yes! So - with three of my 'gifts' (as in Free Your Life From Fear) at the ready - seeds to inspire me, a silver shield to keep me from harm, and a golden staff to hold high and carry me forwards into whatever comes next in life - a new, huge painting? a continuation of my new novel?
Uplift and forwards!
Love and light, Jenny
24th April 2012
Funny how help arrives when you need it. Friends' sympathy and support, of course. I've also been helped through a difficult time by poems and paintings writing/painting themselves. And by Keith Richards' absorbing autobiography: "Life". It made me laugh and cry and feel connected with all those who've felt the pull and power of creative flow.
At the end - I got to it late last night - he writes:
"I'm here to say something and to touch other people, sometimes in a cry of desperation: Do you know this feeling?" Don't suppose for a moment he'll ever read this, but just in case:
Yes Keith - I do. Thank you for the music - and thank you for your book.
This morning I'm feeling the energy of the world. Life goes on - and it's pretty amazing, isn't it?
With love and light, Jenny
23rd April 2012
Saddest, saddest time. Three weeks ago, Rosa, one of the Welsh Mountain Ponies my friend Chris and I rescued from going to market a few years ago, was taken ill and despite the vets' best efforts she died. After the tears the message came strongly and vividly that she is still alive.
Sorry if it sounds loopy but Chris and I have both felt this.
I wrote this poem for her:
Atoms of integrity
In the air around me.
Sorrow winged with hope
Touch lands on my shoulders.
A hope to meet again
Flies between us as we part.
Now youre gone
- but still here with me
Somehow, dear one.
Thank goodness for her happy life.
15th March 2012
Much relieved today to realise the bird on the feeders yesterday hasn't been attacked as I'd feared. The ruby red on its head and the pinky flush on its chest aren't blood - it 's just the bird's beautiful colouring - it's a Redpoll. Phew - and how lovely to know a new bird!
I'm on a go slow, or rather a no go, with the novel. Yes I know - I'd better read Unlock Your Creativity . . . .
Painting lots though and I've discovered a great website which is both inspiring and hugely encouring - I've had the most amazing comments about my work. Can't seem to add a link on this page but the name is www.paintingsIlove.com - do have a look - so many styles it's great fun!
With love and light, Jenny
4th March 2012
A quiet time cushioned by warm late winter days with some welcome Spring like sunshine. This is perfect weather isn't it? A delight to be out and about in in daytime and cold enough in the evenings to enjoy sitting by the fire. I've been painting and walking and talking with friends and writing bits and pieces too as I continue, slowly but positively step by step, work on the fledgling novel and the next non-fiction book. I'm heartened by the commitment and progress of a young friend who has finished his first book - around 100,000 words of it - in the last year. I'm much enjoying reading this first draft - it's so exciting to see new talent and I will keep you posted. At the other end of life's journey, my dear friend who's been like a surrogate aunt to my sister and me, is 94 today. She's had a great life full of interest and love but finding this stage, with her body beginning to fail, increasingly tiresome. Thankfully today she feels relatively good and has been out to lunch with one of her nephews. As she has for so many decades, let's relish our days of energy and zest, whatever our respective ages. I wish you all her passion for life.
With love and light, Jenny
1st February 2012
The second month in the New Year already!
Life is very quiet at the moment. After a year of almost daily writing both the new books are published:Simple Steps to Positive Living and Unlock Your Creativity. Though I say it myself (yes, I know, I would wouldn't I?!!!) they really are a lovely read - inspiring always and joyous often. I poured into them everything I've learned about living positively and coping with and as much as possible enjoying life to the full. And about letting our natural creativity flourish too. Anyway - now I'm sitting back a bit. Playing with the idea for another novel (A Piece of Sky Dancing, which I wrote a few years back, is now out as a Kindle - see Amazon for that one too), and doing some more illustration for Eleanor's new animals-with-attitude rhymes to follow on from Mango the Marmalade Cat and the second collection, Louis the Lachrymose Lion.
It's been a wonderful day - brilliant sunshine - such a tonic after so much wet weather.
The blackbird has just been feasting on the seed tray. He is stunningly beautiful. The light is changing - have you noticed? First signs of Spring not too far off. I wonder why the light is so beautiful - perhaps it's that the trees are just beginning to come into bud - or preparing to - and that gives the wonderful 'texture' (wrong word but don't know how else to describe it) to the light?
I liked these Leonard Cohen quotes from his recent interview with Jarvis Cocker:
"It’s a mysterious process. It depends not just on perseverance, perspiration, but also a certain kind of grace and illumination – we depend on that."
"You can’t own the source of inspiration – you can’t conquer or command the source of poetry."
They were on songwriting and poetry - but they apply to painting too don't they and all kinds of creativity?
With love and light, Jenny
30th December 2011
Oh my goodness - where has the year gone?
I can remember, when age was beginning to affect my old friend Lee's enjoyment of life when she was in her late 80s, wishing that she was in her 60s or 70s or even her earlier 80s again and could stay there and once again thoroughly enjoy life. And it hit me that the next few years will flash by and I and friends of around the same ilk will one day not be as active as we are now.
So the imperitive to enjoy our present health, energy and happiness is never more pressing.
But living in the moment is compromised, if we're not careful, by the 'What is the meaning of life for us at this stage of our lives?' Almost all of my friends want to talk about this - I guess that we each realise we're in the last third of our lives and want to recognise and enjoy the purpose that sings to us.
And so as the old year ends and the new one starts let's all - young, middling and senior :-) (oh boy - I still feel about 8 much of the time!) make savouring the present our general state of being. That way we'll naturally honour the future and be inspired by its possibilities.
The interesting book I'm re-reading, Tomorrow's God, has reminded me to add life to my usual blessing:
With light, love and life, Jenny
Thursday 13th January 2011
Blonde/senior moment this morning - I was just about to start work when Mel, the hoof trimmer, arrived - I'd forgotten, or rather not put in my diary that she was due. I thought I'd have to walk all the way to the top field to retrieve the horses, who had headed off there first thing, but they came up trumps - when I called they came thundering all the way back. Mel is pleased with Bambi's and Ivory's feet - the old cracks they had are growing out nicely. The babes have great feet. They did need a trim but I thought we might not be able to do Rosa as I realised I haven't practised at all since Mel's last visit, other than the usual quick pick out, but she was fantastic. Unlike her sister Silver, who kept trying to wander about, she stood stock still with her nose either resting in my hands or nuzzled into my midriff.
Tiptoe was exhausted from playing non-stop with Mel's terrier so we didn't need to go for a long walk this afternoon which was good as it continues to mizzle. The stream has become a river - can still get through it but won't be able to much longer if it rains a lot more.
On the book front I finished chapter 5 yesterday of the book about positivity. I'm just about to read it through and do some editing which I love doing unless, of course, it doesn't read well and needs a serious re-think/re-write. Fingers crossed it's ok as I enjoyed writing it. Think Positive!!
Very excited that I managed to upload Moonlight Escape - my children's book about the two girls who help a herd of horses avoid slaughter and look for a new home - as a Kindle e-book. My first e-book is now available on Amazon!
Saturday 8th January 2011
No plans for the weekend whatsoever other than walking, reading, sawing wood and then watching a hopefully good film tonight. Heaven. Strange creature aren't I?
I seem to be having a basin-full of grim films though - first Map of the World, which at least had a good resolution and upbeat ending.
Then, last night, I watched No Country for Old Men. When it came out, despite its many Oscars, I didn't want to see it as I read it was violent, but so many people said oh you must see it it's absolutely fantastic, that I gave in the other day and got it from Lovefilm. If you haven't already seen it I was going to advise DO NOT! But I'm changing my mind about it. It's relentlessly grim - almost all the goodies are killed and, without giving it away, the ending is un-satisfying and worrying. It was certainly gripping and very scary but if I want to watch a thriller I'd rather have something like The Brave One - fantastically exciting, dark film but with an amazing feel-good factor too (and an incredibly moving ending - but you must keep watching through the credits!).
Anyway, I was looking forward, yesterday evening, to watching either Hustle or The Mentalist on television - annoyingly on at the same time. Both fun and with that nice feeling when you know your heroes are going to win the day over the baddies. But a strange thing happened - I was bored with both. It made me realise that although I couldn't say I 'liked' NCOM, it most certainly was not boring or insignificant. I keep thinking about the characters, their behaviour and different aspects of it. Even the ending, despite being frustrating, continues to intrigue me. I couldn't watch it again because it was so black, but I'm glad I did watch it, unlike last night's television when I should have switched off and read instead (apart from Eastenders which I haven't watched since the Dirty Den days but which I've discovered has a currently riveting story line that, like the above films, is dark and scary but really makes you think!) Reading, of course, takes effort whereas tv (or at least mindless tv) doesn't. So actually reading isn't passive, is it? - you have to make the effort to do it.
Before I exhaust you, I think I should go for the other sort of ramble - in the countryside!
Have a good weekend! Jenny
p.s. Although not a great lover of boats or holidays, I was listening to an item about the London Boat Show which opened this morning and had a wonderful vision of going on a sailing trip, preferably crewed!, around some warm islands. I'm an expert at vicarious armchair travelling and won't do it - so it was an idle thought but a very nice one on a cold winter's day!
Thursday 6th January 2011
Frost this morning still sparkling silver. A beautiful jay is perched in a tree, wondering if it dares come down to the feeder and brave the woman who sits tapping away at something with her fingers and gazing out. Apart from the score or so of various tits there are three chaffinches and two nut hatches.
Wednesday 5th January 2011
Back in writing routine. Didn't think I'd make my day's target today as somehow didn't get started until very late - but have just finished the word count in a last minute flurry of activity.
The subject - happiness and joy - gained momentum and whirled me along at a rate of knots.
Now feel on top of the world. Hey - this positive stuff really does work!
This afternoon went to somewhere up on top of a Welsh mountain (I thought our hamlet was pretty wild but it's positively tame compared to that) to pick up 16 ex-battery hens from a rescue hub there. Poor things are largely featherless but will grow more once they've settled in. I decided not to have my share here as the fox does a route march round the fields every morning - my three girls are bantam crosses and have all their flight feathers so they can dodge him, but the new ones would be helpless. So my neighbour, who touch wood is off his patch, is adding them to her flock. Good, good - lots of nice big brown eggs. Her boys came along and there was a little local girl there too and the three of them were brilliant at catching the hens, who were loose in a barn, without any fuss and getting them into the carriers. Mind you, come to think of it, in a battery farm they hopefully wouldn't have sensed unkindness as such - everyday they were cared for as far as that went. They little knew that the chop was only a day or two away if they hadn't been rescued at the eleventh hour.
Do you remember the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - now something of a classic. Well some witty person wrote a book about hens and called it
Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance. Oh how I wish it had been me who'd thought of that title . . . sheer genius.
Sunday 2nd January 2011
After an ultra quiet Christmas, New Year's Eve was . . . well . . . quiet . . . but it was good to have company. We had a fab walk on the beach at Llanstephan.The tide was right out and there was a mile or so of hard sand and Tips had a wonderful romp. I was so pleased with her - she's only 9 months and she played boisterously but politely with the other dogs instead of trying to floor them like she used to do, and she didn't jump up at any of the people, even a toddler with flapping clothes and sand-bucket. I was poised ready to stop her off if she'd transgressed, but she was great. Played Scrabble in the evening, then supper and then I slept for 2 hours, waking up just in time to do some mad bopping to Jools Holland at midnight. Then slept all night . . . so started the year in true dormouse fashion.
Interesting about being snowed in at Christmas (or rather everyone else being snowed out!) I always thought it would be rather nice - and it was in as much as any quiet weekend day is nice - but it turned out that for me the fun of Christmas isn't in loafing about - it's having people to share the magic, food and laughter with. So next year I'd like if possible to get back to having company and doing the full cooking bit. I just love it.
Well - what a difference from last New Year's Day. I was then full of foreboding and dread of leaving my last house. Now I'm in a place I love as much, with plenty of interesting work. Best of all I'm full of enthusiasm for writing and painting again which is just lovely. Talk about thankful!
My favourite books this year have been: Pawtracks in the Moonlight, Light on Snow (Anita Shreve), and (just finished and totally in love with it) Juliet Naked (Nick Hornby).
On the music front, my 'discoveries' of Randy Newman and Willy de Ville are still tops, along with the new boy - Matt Cardle - who won the X Factor. All three have that intangible quality that makes you want to listen and look at them. A little bit of magic.
And you? If youve been blown away by a book, film or song, do please tell me about it.
As a friend, Jacky, emailed me today:
May next year bring you the next wisdom of life plus the glory of it all.
And I'll finish with some inspiration from another friend:
Its not too difficult to change your life if you really want to.
Life is far too short to let the years drift by when you are not where you want to be.
With love and light, Jenny
Saturday 1st January 2011
Happy New Year!
We stand at the gate of the year, looking forwards.
May there be sunlight on our paths
May we have help in darker times
Let love fill our lives . . .
And hope . . .
And good cheer.
May these blessings go with us
As we move through the year.
Sunday 26th December
Goodness - where did the last few days go? Suddenly it's Boxing Day and I didn't say Happy Christmas!
Water was fixed which was brilliant.
Happy Boxing Day and rest of the the week!
with love and light, Jenny
Tuesday 21st December
Still no water and no sign of a thaw.
But watching the news, I realised how incredibly blasé and spoilt we've become as a society and individually. We treat so many luxuries from hot water on tap to worldwide travel as our right.
I'm familiar with having no water to the house. A few years ago at my last place the 40 year old pump gave out and it took three weeks to replace (long story . . .as ever!) I learned to wash with a kettle-ful of water from the stream (if I wanted to wash my hair as well that took an extra 2), and every mug-ful was precious when you'd carried it hundreds of yards uphill. Ever since then, every single morning when I turn on the taps Ive been glad for the luxury of the running water, and running hot water - sheer bliss!
So now, when friends say How can you manage? I reply Oh I'll be fine, and mean it. Yes its hard work bucketing the water up, but hey I'm still incredibly fortunate.
Billions of people in the third world and war-torn countries have no running water, some have no near water at all.
Imagine that. Not just for a few days or weeks of a bad winter, but none at all.
And we moan and groan and blame and shame.
Let's stop it. Let's think how astonishingly fortunate we are to live in such a generally well-run country with ample food and, many think, an obscene amount of unnecessary items we take for granted and value little.
Let's pause, every day, to give thanks.
Monday 20th December
Decided to try to get out today as I had an order for Moonlight Escape and wanted to post it in case the purchaser wants it for a Christmas present. Also as more snow was forecast and thought it might be the last chance for ages.
Made it up the very snowy drive! Tesco's! Yeah! Really glad for the 4x4 as cars were getting stuck on the lane.
Came home, unloaded neighbours' shopping then mine. Took Tips for walk and bucketed water up from the stream (superwoman) for the horses and house. (Water supply into the house now frozen. I've just found and put a heat pad on the junction to see if that will free it but not holding my breath - thank goodness for the stream.) Took car up to top of hill to have more chance of getting out in an emergency. Walked back. Neighbour's boy came round, en route from the other neighbour's. He said he'd come down to me because it was getting dark and he was frightened and would I walk home with him. So he helped me feed the horses which was nice (four huge wheelbarrow's of haylage - but quite easy as only have to take it across the barn.) And then I walked back up with him. And now it's now and I feel like an intrepid explorer home from the top of Everest.
Sunday 19th December
I meditated yesterday in the early evening and immediately afterwards my Christmas poem for 2010 popped into my head. (see below) It reminded me of the way meditation allows your creativity to flow . . .
Sadness: the cat had a blue tit this morning. I took it from her but don't think it will make it. I put it outside in the hope it would recover - if not at least it will pass in its own environment.Such a work of art - so very beautiful.
Isn't this the most extraordinary world that we live in? Everything is so amazingly intricate and yet, often, simple at the same time. Take the trees: the snow is highlighting their shapes - the design is full of pattern and harmony, and yet individuality too.
I am full of wonder and awe.
Snowy starry night
hush - whispers in the light
messages of love
all around the world
until . . .
hush . . .
listen . . .
the greatest love of all?
made manifest to us?
a baby born to give us hope?
that's the message handed down
for generations, years and years
listen . . .
hush . . . whispers in the silent night
love and peace and joy
all the ills and fears of man.
Can you hear it?
Yes - we can!
Friday 17th December
Uh oh - six inches of snow this morning. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful in the fields and forest. and the dog, Tiptoe, adores it.
I'm watching the birds fly backwards and forwards to the feeders. Little gems of colour with dynamos of energy.
The snow and ice have gone thank goodness but the fields are frosty - it makes the most wonderful silvery green colour.
The new book is going well: I'm writing about positivity and every time I get going on a chunk of it my spirits sing - there is such energy there even just writing about it!
I realised this when I was writing the proposal and synopsis for the publisher. It was early in the year, the week before I moved from my last house. I was dreading leaving the place I'd been so happy in for 12 years and I hadn't yet found anywhere to move permanently to.
How could I possibly write a detailed proposal about being positive when I felt so negative? But I knew I would love to write the book and I had to get the proposal in that week.
It turned out to be a miraculous life line, guiding me through the week, reminding me of the things that matter and lifting my mood.
When the last box had left the house and studio on moving day, I waited in the empty space for the new owners to arrive. I suddenly realised that I felt good - calm, positive and joyously free of all the angst of the fear and sadness of moving.
Just like the old man at the end of his long journey in the film Up, when he sees he has lost his house, I realised my dear old house was not after all a piece of my heart - it was just a house.
And then I found my lovely little new place and like it every bit as much in its own special way.
Funny how things work out when we give positivity a chance . . .
with love and light, J
Wednesday 8th December
I've hardly done any writing today - fiddled about all morning and then just as I was going to start had an email from the woman who, via Freecycle, was having my redundant printer, scanner and monitor (the new computer came with the whole package). She announced she was coming for it this afternoon. So I emailed straight back to say she wouldn't get down the drive as it's still icy and if she rang when she was leaving I'd meet her by the church down the road. No reply. Then Laura (neighbour) and her Italian dad came round to borrow the chimney brush and Laura was helping me install the new printer and suddenly Tulio said "Oh no, someone's coming down the drive - they'll never get back up again."
Sure enough, when she tried to she got stuck half way up. Laura tried to drive it out but no go. So then it was a case of trying to get hold of Owen the farmer to come with his tractor and as it was cow milking time by then and no reply to my telephone call I knew it would take ages. Laura and her dad walked home and Laura was going to drive round to Owen's to see if she could find him in the cow sheds. Eve (young and Polish - very sweet) had her baby in the back of the car (I don't mean she had her baby there!!! This is not that dramatic a story!!!) - just that the little toddler was in his car seat. So by the time she'd managed to extricate him and we'd all edged back down the drive (very slippery obviously) it was dark and the ponies were telling me to hurry up and feed them. So I made Eve a cuppa and put the telly on for her and left her to it while I mucked out, hayed and fed the ponies and then took Tips for a walk as she was creating too. As we walked back by starlight across the fields I saw the tractor lights coming. Phew - I was worried they'd have to stay the night!! Actually wouldn't have been a problem - the little boy was an absolute poppet.
Anyway, minuses of the day - no work done. Pluses: met a charming young woman and little boy, and Laura, Tulio and Owen were all SO helpful. Oh - and the new printer works! So all in all a good day.
Sorry to rabbit on - this is probably a very boring story - are you still with me?
Ah - the joys of country life!
love and light, J
SUNDAY 5th December 2010
Watched a masterpiece film last night - Hachi, A Dog's Tale. Absolutely wonderful. Loved it. Cried and cried but kind of nicely, not bleakly.
So much ice it's like a skating rink on the paved paths and concrete yard. Fine in the fields though - scrunchy not skiddy.
I made my Christmas cake yesterday and dowsed it with brandy. It smells fantastic and might not last intact until Christmas . . . Reminds me of a story: When Dad came home late one evening from the pub, everyone had gone to bed. He helped himself to a big piece of a fruit cake that was still warm from the oven on the kitchen table. Next morning Mum was mortified as it was the birthday cake for an old lady's 100th Birthday party that day. Ever resourceful, she stuffed the gap with tissues and cotton wool, iced over the whole cake and carefully marked the place to be sure she wouldn't cut into it there and all was well. We always laughed about it!
Ponies are fine and Tips the dog but Tiger Lily is demanding DIFFERENT food as she didn't like the tinned Whiskas this morning . . . so I'd better go an oblige. Then I'll write some more Christmas cards while listening to Desert Island Discs and then paint!
Love and light . . .
We so often hear criticisms that I'd like to record some uplifting examples of kindness that I've seen recently:
The BT engineer who drove all the way back from the town (16 mile round trip in freezing, snowy weather) to fix the connection and rang later to make sure it was still working.
The family on the train last week - mother, aunt and four daughters, one of whom had learning difficulties and though a sweetheart gave them no peace. They were just lovely with her - endlessly patient . And their sense of humour was great - we all smiled and laughed and I was sorry to say goodbye to them all when they got off at Llanelli. I wanted to tell them I thought they were all brilliant but thought it might sound patronising. Anyway - they are and they deserve to win a Nobel prize!
My neighbours - last house and this one - who phone or pop round to check all is well in this bad weather.
The American man in Holland Park, London - total stranger - who helped my sister carry her shopping home the other evening. Who said chivalry was dead?
Proprint in Carmarthen who make publishing so easy. The whole team is not only efficient but unfailingly cheerful. A real 'can do' attitude which is SO refreshing.
THANK YOU ALL
It's in doing something that inspiration comes . . .
All well and not snowed in despite the dire weather forecasts. Enough snow to make me realise I'd been a foolish virgin and not got stocked up with supplies. So went into town to make sure there's plenty of dog/cat/horse food and some basics for us humans too should we get some serious snowfalls.
I've had a flurry of creativity the last couple of weeks. Finished putting Moonlight Escape, my new children's book together for the printer and picked it up yesterday along with my Christmas cards and calendar. I've also been forging on with the new self-help book and as, every time I write a section, Im going 'Yes! I must remember this!' and feeling uplifted, I hope it will be really helpful for readers.
The main thing I've learned this week is that it's in doing something that inspiration comes. I've been procrastinating about putting my Christmas card together for ages and every idea I came up with fell flat. I suddenly realised on Monday that if I didn't produce it quickly it wouldn't go out in time to give friends details of my new address etc. So I played about with paint and colour to make a background and lo and behold it was the forest and on to the path bounced a reindeer. Then her story came into my head, so that's on the back of the card. All very childish some may smile, but very Jenny and I love it!
So I'm giving thanks for the inspiration and, my joy in the energy of paint resurging, look forward to working on some new paintings for Erwood's February opening show.
With love and light, Jenny
Isnt it amazing how mood can change in an instant when something good happens or even when we think of something we are or have been happy about?
When you focus on something uplifting you are automatically and spontaneously uplifted. The physics of how this happens fascinates me. Ive been advised by a mathematician friend and the editor of the new book not to express my scientific, or as my friend would say, my pseudo-scientific, theories, but Im confident that in the next few years scientists will discover exactly what happens when we use positive thinking in one way or another to transform our being into wellbeing.
It could of course be purely psychosomatic. Or, as I sense, there may be something metaphysical at work. Perhaps in some way we tap into an energy source as yet not discovered let alone understood. Electricity, for example, was not even an enigma a relatively short time ago it was totally unrecognised and untapped even though all the time it was coursing through every one just as it does now. But once discovered it became an everyday energy resource we take for granted. Just because we didnt know it was there, didnt mean it wasnt we were just unaware. Well, for the record, I think that positive energy is a similar dimension or resource at the moment scientifically unrecognised, but sensed by those of us who see how powerful it is in our lives and how it seems to miraculously change things but of course it isnt a miracle there are bound to be good reasons for it doing so, whether quantum (sorry Alan) or otherwise.
Anyway, Ill get off my soap box. What I wanted to get across, this beautiful November evening with a newish moon shining in the lengthening nights, is that we can all transform our being from somewhere on the scale between dull apathy and grumpiness simply by letting our mind or the positive energy source perhaps focus instead on something genuinely uplifting. It happened to me just now when I listened to some wonderful music (if youre interested it was Willie de Ville singing Heaven stood Still )
The beauty of the melody, the emotion of the lyrics, the sound of his amazing voice, worked the magic for yes, it does feel like magic even if it isnt! Together they blew away a pervasive feeling of dissatisfaction with myself because I hadnt finished what Id planned for the afternoon. Now I realise what I should have before its ok Ill catch up tomorrow all is well and Im doing good.
Now Im going to consolidate the lovely feeling of relaxation and content by a quick meditate before please dont groan watching the X Factor result show. In my defence the standard this year is stunningly high and how sad it would have been if these genuinely talented people hadnt had the chance to shine . . . Good luck to them all.
And may you shine in happiness too.
With love and light
Hi everyone on a blustery autumn day. The wind is sweeping up the valley here and has blown most of the golden and russet leaves down. A shame in a way because the colours were so glorious - but now a new beauty has appeared with the trees showing off the form of their trunks and branches as though they take great pride in their structure - and I expect they do.
Before the first hard frost of the autumn I picked sloes and hawthorn berries and started the winemaking process. Every time I lift the covering to stir the must the scent of the fruit and sugar thrills me.
Whether I'm enjoying the countryside on walks or cooking, painting or writing, the buzz of being creative hums along inside me and often sparks an idea for a new strand of something I'm already doing, or starts a new project entirely.
The other morning, for instance, the ruby berries on a tree looked as though each one dangled a little lapis lazuli jewel
- on closer inspection I realised the jewels were dew drops reflecting the bright blue of the sky . . .
But enough for the moment - on to the second chapter of the new book now.
First time I've written a blog - this is a general update to begin with . . .
It's five years since I produced Art-Oasis - a magazine for writers, painters, musicians . . . everyone creative. Then I decided to go to art college and suddenly was immersed in a foundation course . . . . and I'm afraid I abandoned the website as I was still working at the day job - counselling, problem page editing and writing.
Then came two new books - 1000 Questions and Answers about Love and Relationships, and Everyday Happy.
And then, after 11 happy years in Radnorshire, I moved house and had all the fun of settling into my new home.
Once settled, the question was "What next?" The answer - get down to finishing Mango the Marmalade Cat, the gift book I've been illustrating for Eleanor Nesbitt - but more on that later! And then , as this genre isn't covered by my agent, I set out along the publishing path . . . . . see Books
Now, as autumn approaches, I'm looking forward to starting work on a new book commission,
publishing my novels and finding time to paint too.
The loss of a dear friend has intensified the realisation that we must live in and relish the moment.
Seize the day.
With love and light, Jenny