Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Days of Gratitude - Birthdays and bubbles, cakes, cafes and cameras. And a vagina?

I am very behind.  I haven't posted from my gratitude diary in a few weeks.  There's lots of catching up to do.  Lots more than just posting the diary.  I've been using my bus pass quite a bit in the last week and have visited places I've never been to before.  Bus routes go to pleasing places to walk.  Even some places I'd never heard of before.  Many photos mean many blog posts to come.

So here is a week of gratitude posts from the Sunday Assembly Newcastle gratitude group.  A great week, most of which was spent in Greater Manchester.  I love living in Newcastle.  It's a great place to be.  But I'm loving visiting Manchester too - and my very special friend there.

Oh yes, the word vagina appears in the title of this post.  It does not appear in any of the diary entries.  It's only in the title because the last post, which contained the word vagina in the title twice, got far more views than most.  It's currently the fourth most clicked on post on this blog, having overtaken my post that contained the words breasts and fucking in the title.  Obviously vaginas are popular and my vagina is certainly winning, even though I don't have one.  I can't help thinking that there must be people who click on these posts and are then very disappointed when they find out what they're actually about.  No sex here.  No porn.  No naked genitals to look at.

The most popular post ever on this blog is the address I wrote for my mother's funeral.  Although I doubt every one of the people clicking on that was real as soon after that was the week that quite suspiciously large number of Russians were reading two posts.  In second place is the post with the words "Dunston Staithes" in the title, words which perhaps won't attract entirely the same set of people as a vagina post.

So this post has vagina in the title.  I wonder if it will get substantially more views than the other gratitude posts.

9th April

A great day celebrating a birthday. A little quiet party with good people.

A day with my magic friend and Into The Hoods in the evening.

Lots of party games. The morning found us making this one: Pin the cross on the Desmond Tutu.

10th April

Grateful for the sunlight on the water in the park we visited.

And for the total joy that bubbles can bring.

11th April

Grateful to have had the ability to go to a swimming pool for the first time since I began to use the name Clare. It's a scary thing. I can't swim but this was about overcoming fear not swimming. Another step to freedom.

Also grateful to find a quiet place for a drink afterwards and to learn that away from the main shopping area there is a more pleasant area of Stockport.  (It's true.  I actually look forward to going back on a day that isn't a Monday so the market and the shops around it will be open.)

13th April

Grateful for a day containing too many things to be grateful for to ever fit them in a post like this.

Surprises, a good lunch, time with a brilliant friend, smiles, and wishing Bury a happy bubble day.

So much in the day. Clare is a fortunate woman.

The photo is one of the bubble machines we bought. Newcastle needs a happy bubble day too.

14th April

Typing this on the coach home.

Grateful for the wonderful friendship I share with Amanda. For the days I spend with her. Grateful too for cake like this, from the first of two cafes this morning.

And grateful that home awaits. Wife, child, my bedroom, and quite a lot to look forward to. Newcastle in an hour!

15th April

Grateful for the technological marvel that is the smartphone. Grateful for WhatsApp and the ease of communicating with someone from a distance. I found all the letters and postcards Beth and I sent each other years ago and wonder how things would be with Amanda if we had to do things the old fashioned way rather than being able to communicate instantly whenever we wanted.

Grateful too for having a tech knowledgeable friend on facebook who recommended a phone to me that got ordered. With all this Whatsapp use it will be an excellent thing to have a bigger screen, a better camera, and a phone that has enough memory.  (And I only realise when blogging this that the photo is not of the model of phone I bought.  Never mind.)

My Nokia Lumia 530 was the cheapest in the shop at the time, has served me well, and after a quiet start has had to work very hard for the last eight months. Very hard. But today a new phone is on order.

Writing when preparing the blog post:  Since it arrived, only ten days ago, a lot of photos have been taken.  There are quite a few posts to come, with lots of pictures.  Loving that it has a much better camera than the old phone and I've been enjoying playing with it a lot.

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