Happy Madiba Day!

This is the first year Nelson Mandela is no longer with us to celebrate his birthday, the 18th July.  However his sense of purpose lives on, especially today, as people around the world are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time doing something positive for their communities.

Yesterday I was feeling a little low, perhaps a touch of the winter blues.  In an attempt to pick myself up from the hole I had fallen into I stepped into the kitchen and started baking.  I always find immersing myself in the heart of the home does wonders to lift my spirits.  The process of cooking requires attention and focus, this immediately re-routes my mind away from my troubles and on to the task in hand.  This in turn results in the positive feelings of being productive, the satisfaction of making something and then the warm delight at being able to indulge in the baked recipe!

It was indeed a successful kitchen session and my inner glow came back as I melted into the sofa with a cup of tea to accompany my freshly made and still warm, apple, almond and blueberry muffin!

This morning my husband left the house for work happy Friday had at last arrived and grinning as he was loaded up with his share of muffins.   Then off I went armed with the remaining muffins to give out to those in need.  My favourite responses were from the man camping underneath a dustbin tarp who I wave to on my morning dog walk, he was so grateful for his he did a dance.  And secondly the lady selling “The Big Issue” who whooped with joy amidst the speeding cars at the intersection as we quickly exchanged money, a copy of the Big Issue and her muffin in 0.2 seconds through my car window before the lights changed!

My winter blues were beginning to lift and today was turning out to be a much better day than yesterday but what really reminded me to keep the faith and smile at the wonderfully random curiousness of life was my trip this afternoon to help out with the Chaeli Campaign.  A charity that helps children with disabilities.

I arrived to sign up and donate my 67 minutes of time to make HOPE bracelets and upon doing so it was announced I was the 67th person to sign up and therefore earned myself a Jack Stone’s “Walk On” CD from the local radio station. To be honest I have never heard of Jack Stone (apologies Jack!) but I shall thoroughly appreciate listening to my new CD and discovering a South African artist.  I was then photographed and given a live shout out on the radio for my contribution to the charity.  It all came as rather a surprise as I had gone to help the charity not with any expectations for myself but in doing so they truly helped lift my spirits tenfold.

Chaeli Campaign.

HOPE!

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

― John O’Donohue.   Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Palm trees make me smile!

Coming from Yorkshire I still get very excited when I see a palm tree as you certainly won’t find many, if any, there!   To me they depict tropical holidays and far away places!  “Where the wild things are!”  (One of my favourite childhood books).

I just came from Beach Street in Melbourne where the road was lined with palms and once again I find them right outside my front door here in Cape Town!  Isn’t life just one big tropical holiday all of a sudden!   Well not quite but I am trying to keep my chin up whilst going through the (to be expected) anxiety brought on from moving to a new country.  If you go back to some of my posts earlier in the year you will discover my excitement, trepidation and words of wisdom on how to settle in to a foreign land.  Well I am trying to eat my own words right now!

I guess one needs to remember to take each day as it comes, there will be good days and bad days.  Don’t be too hard on oneself when you have a day of disillusionment and nothing seems to be going your way, leaving you feeling isolated and disheartened.  There is always the prospect of a brand new day tomorrow and the attitude as to how to tackle it is entirely in one’s own mind.

So today on my early morning walk to get the blood flowing, grab a coffee and find the local yoga studio (exercise always helps), I took hope and positivity from the beautiful winters day (rather similar to a pleasant English Summer’s day, so no complaints here!) and the strong tall palm trees which made me smile with holiday joy!

Palm trees.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”.     Christopher Robin to Pooh – A.A.Milne