first, peel your banana

andy-banana

Bananas don’t last long in the extreme Australian summer heat. Five were dying in our fruit bowl this morning. Mr FD manned up and added two to his lunch time salad, but two from five still left three. I decided to make the two ingredient cookies my granddaughters love (2 bananas : 1 cup rolled oats, bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes) . Except somehow I never manage to follow the recipe correctly – this time not quite enough rolled oats in the pantry- and so I topped up with muesli!

Earlier this morning I had noticed all the New Year Resolution posts popping up online. This year’s resolution for me was to be creative and I have given myself a 9 out of 10 for that resolution. Not quite a 10 because sometimes I am too lazy to do anything but sit and mindlessly flick through Facebook or mindlessly resort to old habits! By creative, I don’t just mean “arty”, I also mean trying too look at a world with a design mind – seeking new uses for things, being innovative in my life as well as creative. I am happy with what I achieved overall though.

Looking at the sad bananas in the fruit bowl, I though that maybe 2017 could be the year to work on food waste. We buy so many vegetables and fruits that just wither and rot in our refrigerator. Much of this is due to the fact that I have great plans for the week, but as each day passes and I get tired and the school work piles higher, I resort to pulling in for takeaway at night rather than even think about making a simple meal.  Bad girl!

Looking at it creatively, trying to minimise food waste also means that I am planning our shopping better – maybe even save money in the process. We will certainly eat better meals, and that will impact positively on my health, which we all know needs all the help it can get!

Mr FD  in recent weeks has become quite the hand at the barbecue, so if I  plan meals around that to start with, I can’t see how we can’t prosper. I have a slow cooker to use in colder months. It also continues on my 2016 creativity resolution, which makes me self-pleased. I am feeling superior already.

So, that’s it, folks – my resolution for 2017 is to reduce food waste in our home. Good for me, my family, the community and the planet. What’s not to love?

Just going to tell Mr FD what his first resolution for 2017 is…

 

 

 

Advertisements

right place

red-typewriter

Do you have a favourite writing place? So many writers say they love writing in busy places. I have read that J.K. Rowling and John Green both wrote in cafes. I don’t think that would work for me. I suppose being an introvert to start with, I seek quiet spaces.

I have imagined two scenarios of writers writing – one that would not suit me, and one that certainly does. I am writing this in that very spot!

Venue not suited to me:

She sat in the shopping mall café, surrounded by the pell-mell of human existence. The notebook was open before her, but her attention was focused on the coffee cup beside it, more that the blank pages. Every time someone walked into the café she looked at them, perhaps searching for inspiration, but finding none she would return to the coffee cup. Lifting it to her lips for the umpteenth time she discovered it was now empty. Lifting the hand with the unused pen in it, she signalled to the waitress for a refill. Obviously, this was not to be her writing place today.

Venue suited to me:

The bed was wide and she was the sole occupant. The day stretched before her and she has nowhere to be but there. One, two, three large pillows were lifted from the floor beside the bed and placed, just so, behind her back and head. Then the laptop and tray were placed, also just so, upon her lap as she lay back against her pillow bed throne. She knew she would get lots of work done today.

facts and some fiction

red-typewriter

I have registered for a short online writing course through the Open University as part of my being creative year, my Red Shoe Project. I hope also that it will assist me in teaching my students creative writing.

The first task was to write a paragraph with three fiction elements and one fact.  Then, the task was to write a paragraph with three facts and one fictional element.

FICTION Paragraph.

I find peace in the rain. It drowns out the voices, and the memories of what went before. It is only when the rain falls that I also know that they won’t be searching the streets, sniffing the dark spaces where I might possibly seek protection. Chasing me. The rain is the one thing that halts their progression. I pray for rain, every day. Today, I rise to blue skies and sunshine. The pursuit resumes.

 

FACT Paragraph.

I lost my eye on Friday the thirteenth. By lost, I don’t mean that I forgetfully left it on the bus, or sitting on the bathroom shelf. I mean that it my eye was surgically removed on Friday the thirteenth. The next day, propped up in my hospital bed, a mile of bandages covering the right side of my head, a religious minister appeared at the door of my shared room to visit the old woman, slowly dying in the next bed. The sight of a young girl, for I was only eighteen, head swathed in bandages, must have prompted him to think he had to speak.

“Did you lose your eye on Friday the thirteenth?” he chuckled.

“Yes,” I replied.

He turned and fled the room.

“What about my dying?” asked the old woman.

I shouldn’t have got to my age without knowing these things

red shoes 1

Immerse myself

Cherish imperfections

Take whatever time it needs

Play with the elements

Know what I can control and what I need to let go

Pay attention to my world

Embrace experiences, big and small, negative and positive

It doesn’t have to be complicated

Slow can be give unexpected gifts

Trying thing you aren’t good at, can help you find your talents

Time and motion proceed together, so just start

Expect rejection

Expect success

Use the tension

Capture moments

Use the ugly

What is today, may not be tomorrow, so try again, again and again

Nurture your need, your passion, your obstinacy

Show my flaws

Pick up the pieces and start something new

 

Where does creativity hide?

girl 1

Where does creativity hide? In deep, dark, unfathomable places I have never really been able to fully uncover. I think my self-censor has dug a hole and buried it so deep it may never see the full light of day.

I have had no deep childhood trauma and maybe that sealed my creativity’s fate. There are few tales to tell from a happy childhood. Too much balance, nothing to work out through words, on paper, or in art. Such a fate.

I am a multidimensional person, we all are. There in should lie creative spaces; I am sure they must. However, I also allow ambiguity to dwell beside creative intentions. Happily, though, this is counteracted by the universe sending me messages, or what I think are hints, or messages. This focuses me for a few moments, maybe ever a span of hours, before uncertainty, that ever present chorus of negative voices in my head, and the pressure of being observer of my own self, sends creativity back to whence it came.

So any creativity by this time is pretty dizzy from forces turning it in circles, up and down and all around. Somewhere in the middle, the vortex, is a small individual who still remains committed, but not wholly steady, feet not yet fixed on the right path. A clock is ticking her hand, the only sound inside her space. Tick Tock, the days go by, the weeks go by, your life goes by; so much uncommitted.

 

Tick Tock.

Of course I can, said the brush to the comb.

violin

Favourite memory of the weekend is of three year old, Petite Fille, using a hair brush and comb as her violin and bow. Perky nose wrinkled tight for she was concentrating very hard, as brush tucked under her tiny chin, she hummed a high pitched melody as she drew the comb back and forth through the brush bristles.

We exclaimed at her talent and suggested that one day she would play for an audience and they would rise to their feet to clap their appreciation and Petite Fille merely nodded and said, “Of course they will.”

Her Daddy entered the room and we asked her for an encore. “Of course, I can!” she consented.

No one ever played a brush and comb with such delicate touch and feeling.

To achieve, first we must believe.

tip toeing through the Red Shoe Project

red shoes 2

This year, my  intention is to be more creative. As some of you may be aware, I have name 2016 The Red Shoe Project.

I have to claim that is is going really well, so far. I have been much more creative at work, if not at home, but the increased creativity is becoming matched by an increasing level of frustration. I just don’t have the time to undertake or complete all the things I have planned.

I started a newsletter for students, and I am using a software program I haven’t used before, so I had to take time to teach myself how to use it. Rewarding but laborious.

I have dozens of ideas for library displays but lack the time to source the resources and build the displays.

I am about to launch a competition for students in which they are to decorate old fashioned wooded rulers in their medium of choice, but can’r find the time to make the promotional material.

Time, Time, Time.

Oh and extra energy. I am a person who needs a good night’s sleep to get through the next day. Some school nights I am asleep by 7.30pm. There have been nights when Petite Fille and I have been in a race for who could get to bed first. She usually beats me as she has two other people helping her into bed.

So to be creative, I need time. I’ve tried being creative with time but it isn’t working so far. No being helped by the fact that Petite Fille and her parents are lodging with us during their house renovations. Not a complaint, merely an observation.

No wonder artists live alone in garrets and don’t have day jobs!

And while I am complaining, I have has a cold that has led to a continuous dry cough and I hurt my shoulder opening louvres in the Library and now can’t raise my arm above shoulder height without crushing pain. And you thought your life was tough!

Anyway, what the Red Shoe Project has taught me that one needs good health, sleep, organisational skills, and time to be creative. Maybe next week.

Maybe if I click the heels of my red shoes like Dorothy, I can go to a Creative Space, far, far away…