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Christmas wishes

“Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there’s something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can’t help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It’s an inspiring time of the year.” — Marlo Thomas

As the debris of Christmas eve, Christmas Day and all the lovely Christmas meals are cleared away, I turn to thoughts of Christmas as one often does during these times. Christmas is truly a great uniter…as the real reason for the season truly brings us together. God’s love truly unites us and binds us together, and it is fitting that the season that celebrates the embodiment of God’s love, His Son coming down to live amongst us, unites the world in a celebration of love, joy, peace and selflessness – because Christmas brings about a reason for us to think of others first instead of ourselves, of giving, instead of receiving, of forgiving and letting go.

My heart goes out to all those who have suffered a loss this Christmas. I can only pray that you feel God’s loving arms enfold you in the warmest and most comforting of embraces.

I hope all your Christmases were wonderfully blessed. I hope that all your Christmas wishes came true.

Allow me to say, that despite the sadness that some people may be going through, God will carry you through these difficult times, and I would still bravely greet everyone a very Merry Christmas!

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Wading in!

I’ve never been a spectator…not really.  I’ve always had an opinion and more often than not, I opened my mouth to express it and I have, on occasion inserted my foot in my mouth.  It hasn’t stopped me from expressing my opinion though.

In the process, I’ve hurt feelings and lost friendships that I valued.  I thought I’d learn from the mistakes and keep my opinions to myself, let other people say what I wanted to say.  It was only recently that I’ve allowed myself to step back, or hold my tongue and keep schtumm.  But last night, I couldn’t keep quiet.

One of my pet peeves is people taking credit for something that they didn’t do.  I’ve always tried to credit people when they’ve done something clever or if they’ve helped me do something clever.  I’ve always tried to say thank you.

Last night, Alan’s photo was grabbed by someone, posted on their Instagram feed without acknowledging that it was Alan’s photo. I posted a couple of stories to protest the injustice.  Once that was done, and we saw that the “borrowed” photos started disappearing from the account’s feed.

I woke up to find the comments section of the photo I posted before 8:30 last night turned into a chatroom for Instagram bot accounts.  I would laugh if it wasn’t frustrating.  To top it all off, a few people who follow me on Instagram were messaging that the account that grabbed Alan’s photo was claiming that they took the original photo of the look-down view of the rollercoaster in Winter Wonderland that I posted.

I took to Instagram stories again to just get things off my chest.  I told my story, and shared my thoughts.

It is certainly a sad commentary on our times when people think it’s acceptable to take other people’s work and pass it off as their own to gain followers and popularity on social media.

I know that I took the photo they’re claiming is theirs.  I have the original.  I posted it hours before they did and putting a banner of their instagram name across the photo doesn’t prove ownership.

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I am thankful

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone – whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not!

I am thankful for so many things – the joys, the blessings, the sorrows and the pain.  All these experiences have helped me further learn who I am and how strong I can be.

I am thankful for everyone in my life, family, whether immediate and nuclear or extended and several times removed – you are the steel in my backbone that allows me to conquer the challenges I face daily;  and friends – old, new, near, far, faithful and fairweather – your presence in my life, whether permanent or fleeting, have helped me learn what my boundaries are, what my limits are and how much of my heart I am actually able to give – for that I am truly grateful.  This is not some flippant remark.  For all the experiences, for everyone who has been in my life, I am thankful for you.  TRULY.

I am thankful for the esoteric and the banal things in my life. Because without all of these my life wouldn’t be rich and varied and oh-so-colourful.  There is so much to be thankful for.  If you sit down and start listing things, from the smallest to the most fantastical of things, you wouldn’t be able to stop.  I remember Sarah Ban Breathnach saying that if you concentrate on being grateful every single day, you wouldn’t recognise yourself only two weeks into the exercise.

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Remembering and being thankful

 

“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today.”
~John Maxwell Edmonds

 

For those who fight to to preserve the peace, for those who give their lives so we can live ours, for those who stand against the wall so we have the freedom expand our horizons, we can never thank you enough.

 

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Big Hat!

I rarely take photos of myself.  No wait.  That’s a lie.  I take selfies.  But rarely post them.  I have loads that I’ve taken, saved and never ever looked at again.  In the same vein, I usually don’t like having my picture taken.  I will take photos of other people but I will very rarely take a portrait shot of me seriously!  I’m almost always pulling faces!

I do love this photo though.  It was taken by my friend Anila.  She’s quite clever ninja with the camera and I particularly love her portraits.  She kept asking me to do star jumps (which incidentally are also known as jumping jacks!).   I wasn’t going to because I’m such a klutz!  I’m more likely to slip on landing and break something vital!  So this was the closest Anila was going to get capturing me in a star jump pose!

I am (awkwardly) posing under Anish Kapoor’s At the Edge of the World II at the Everything at Once exhibition at the Store Studios at 180 Strand.

You’ve got to look at Anila’s amazing photos.  She’s @sparkle71h on Instagram and her gorgeous portraits account is @akhussainphotography.  I love her ballerina photos (you half expect the ballerinas to start pirouetting) and her portraits (I love how she captures the light in a person’s eye, it’s just magical!).  She’s also generous with her camera knowledge.  I know for sure that my light trail photos are much better after her tips!  Give her Flickr page a visit!❤️