Sunday, 27 March 2016

Days of Gratitude - Awesome People, Art, and the Sacred Harp

Catching up.  Another eight days of gratitude.  Except I missed a day because Manchester was so busy and I didn't have time to think of posting.

8th March

Grateful to be heading to Manchester today to spend a couple of days with Amanda.

We met 200 days ago. When I got up 200 days ago I could not have imagined her, or being so close, or sharing what we share. When I got up 198 days ago I had the hope that a solid, long-lasting friendship would develop. Totally grateful for those days.

 (isn't she awesome?)

10th March

Grateful that it was five years ago today that we moved to Newcastle. Grateful that we made the crazy move when it wasn't in our list of possible options. I could write lots on why it's been a good move and how many of the good things would have been pretty much impossible had we stayed in North Wales.

These photos were taken just before we left Wales (brown door house) and just after we arrived here.

The kitchen photo is the last taken of me in the old house. The lounge is the first taken of me in the new house. 

It's fair to say I've changed a bit! And that the changes aren't over.

11th March

Grateful for the awesome time I had in Manchester and for something unexpected that happened.

Grateful though to be home and that this parcel was waiting for me. I have a drum.

12th March

Grateful for entertaining books received in the last week.

And for the meditation group and lunch today. Hoorah for things that are free!

13th March

Grateful that, though it was damn hard, I got through this morning's appointment without a full blown panic attack or meltdown. Just.

Grateful for spending rather more money than expected on water colour paints due to the accidental (oops) addition of two lots of pens, water colour pencils, glitter paint, a large glitter set, sketch pad and pencil sharpener that is NOT going to get borrowed and then get lost. Grateful for the masking fluid and paint pens bought yesterday too.

When Clare gets a streak of enthusiasm she over does it!

14th March

Grateful to see the Tyne and the sea today even if I didn't take many pictures.

Grateful to have been able to put my clothes away tonight having cleared out thirty tops. The wardrobe is still full.

15th March

Grateful for having the energy and mental well being to get out and sing in the evening. Grateful too for not too many wrong notes even though it's a while since I sang this wonderful stuff. 

For anyone in Newcastle, people sing from this book and sometimes other similar songs every Tuesday evening in the Bridge Hotel from 7.30 to 10.  It's free and there are copies of the book to borrow and sing from too. It's sung in various places across the country - as detailed in this list.  Go on, try it.  You might find a new love and get excited about the sound of it and the experience of singing in such a way.  Or you might hate it.  But that's okay, you won't have spent lots of money finding it out and you'll have still experienced something new.  For some more information about this book and the shape note singing tradition look at

I first encountered the book when a man named Robin Fox led a singing school at the Fylde Folk Festival in Fleetwood in the mid 1990s.  I loved it and bought myself the book.  The book then sat on the shelf for a long time as I did not encounter shape note singing again - it doesn't happen near Fleetwood or Bangor.  But not long after we moved here I saw a poster advertising a singing school and since then I've intermittently been singing again.  Hoorah!

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