Community…a Good Deeds post


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I recently re-discovered this poem which I wrote during a creative writing session I was holding, in response to the prompt ‘Community – the blessing and/or curse’. Community, tribe, belonging, family – these words are weaving a web around me at the moment which is both a comfort and, at times, stifling. I notice the joys and the challenges of the world being at my finger tips the moment I touch my keyboard, and the number of varying relationships that creates, and the conflict that can arise in me when I have to make choices about how, where and with whom I communicate.

Technology has changed the options available to us for how and where we create our sense of ‘community’ and this has huge benefits, and I also notice I need to balance that with; chats with my neighbour who lives next to me, walks in the nearby woods amongst the trees who bless the air I breathe, so that I stay ‘in community’ with the life around me right now.


As I walk around

I hear my name

called out by familiar voices

for reasons as varied

as the speakers themselves


Some are simple questions

answered with a single sentence

others invite me to linger

and take a hand in mine

as time dances around

a conversation that deepens

to transcend any linear frame


My name lives here

in the heads and hearts

of those around me

as well as in the books and files

that log my existence

and yet…


I hear a silent call

as community for me

stretches and expands

to include those

who don’t yet know my name

but touch me from afar

with the ripples

of their joys and sorrows

calling me into the next

best expression

of what it means

to belong…



Good Deeds Received

A lovely Polish woman I met at the factory treated me to tea in a cafe, where we had our first English ‘lesson’.

I received a very loving and unexpected package of chocolate, tea and a postcard from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while.

Mum gave me loads of very enthusiastic feedback on the Christmas cards I’ve been making.

Nature continues to bless and impress with the incredible colours of the changing season.

Really enjoyed the comments I’ve received on recent posts – thank you all:-)

The guinea fowl I occasionally help to look after gave me such a fun and heart warming early start to my day on Saturday, when I went to feed them and let them out. They didn’t seem to want to get up either – it was so funny, bless them. I was there for over half an hour trying to encourage them out and get them to fly over the fence to continue their exploration of the wider world. It only takes one…and then the others surely follow:-)

A friend of Mum’s came to the cafe and shared what sounds like a great  (and very simple) soup recipe with me. I’ll share it once it’s tried and tested:-) It’s definitely soup season!

Good Deeds Done

Dropped a letter round to a friend’s house, as it had mistakenly been delivered to me.

Helped a friend clean and prepare her house for welcoming her son and daughter in law.

Made some more Christmas cards that I hope will bring as much joy to whoever eventually receives them (haven’t made my list yet!?!) as they gave me making them. I love getting crafty!

Sent this month’s money to Beatha in Rwanda, and had a chat with her two young sons on the phone. Haven’t spoken to them for ages – so sweet, even if we don’t have much of a shared language, we can still laugh together and blow kisses down the line…

Immediately sent an email to the friend who’d sent me the surprise package, thanking her and promising her some snail mail in return:-)

Picked up some litter during a walk in the woods.

Baked some flapjacks instead of eating shop bought biscuits…because it’s fun, and also I now know more about how wasteful the commercial process can be. Problem is, food is often even more deliciously more-ish when you make it yourself, so you probably end up eating more so is it really saving on wasted energy/packaging etc etc….agghhh! Why can’t life be more simple:-)

Have a great week my friends, cultivating and nourishing community in whatever form that takes for you:-)












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before breakfastI said it was impossible

I’d never manage that

‘Of course you can,’ my father said

‘just use this thinking cap.’

And with great ceremony

his hands grasped at the air

as if a crown shaped roundish thing

was floating somewhere there

He moved a step towards me

and he placed it on my head

‘There’s nothing there

you made it up!’

‘We’ll see, my dear,’ he said.

I crossly crossed my arms and frowned

so hard it hurt my nose

but I am sure that you can guess

where next this story goes

Suddenly my head got hot

a thousand thoughts a minute

were racing, whizzing round my brain

I closed my eyes and saw it

right there it was, surrounded by

those speeding, whizzing thoughts

that heavy, dark impossible

at least, that’s what I’d thought

but now it shone all shiny bright

I knew just what to do

to make stubborn impossible

come real life truly true


When later on I saw my Dad

he smiled at me and said

‘I’d like my thinking cap back now,’

and reached towards my head

‘No! Please!’ I cried

‘Not yet! Please Dad!

I think you might be right.

Just maybe it is possible -

can I keep it ’till tonight?’




The Chauffeur


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I wasn’t expecting anyone
when the bell rang

The baby started crying
but the others didn’t say boo,
glued as they were
to the TV

My three and me
just us four now

I opened the door
to a well dressed man with a smile,
looking like he ought to be wearing a name badge
but he wasn’t

I stared for a moment
while he waited

He was in no rush
you could tell

“You’ve got the wrong address mate,”
I said, turning my back.

Then he spoke,

‘What is your desired destination,

“You what?”
I shivered.
I should’ve said excuse me.

“Your destination, where would you like to go?”

He stared at me.
I didn’t like it.
“I’m sorry,” I said,
“I don’t know.”

Imagination…a Good Deeds post


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imagination einsteinI t will take you everywhere.

M ust be true

A fter all, Einstein said it

G enius that he was.

I n all seriousness though

N o theft is greater

A nd more future harming

T han mining it from the depths of our children

I n the pursuit of malleable mediocrity

O r don’t you believe

N ew levels of thinking are what’s called for?

einstein new thinkingYou all know I love a good acrostic:-) It occurred to me this morning that imagination is a muscle, albeit an emotionally fuelled one, and as much in need of regular testing and flexing as any other, if it’s not to atrophy. As I was compiling a shopping list this morning my mind got busy comparing the due merits of doing what needs to be done versus doing what’s fun, and I decided those two things didn’t necessarily need to be so utterly separated. I began to compile an alternative shopping list, just in case I were ever to find that elusive one stop shop that sells everything…and I mean everything and anything. There were ten things on my normal shopping list, so I wrote ten alternatives too, the first that came into my head, which looked like this:

An everlasting water bottle that instantly and automatically refills (Ok, a bit boring and practical, I was just getting warmed up, but damn useful, you must admit)

A pocket sized foldable instant camp fire (Ok, still kind of practical, but a cool party trick…)

A flying unicorn (well, that was kind of inevitable wasn’t it, there had to be a cliche in there somewhere…)

A notepad that reads all your thoughts and automatically writes them down (ok, obviously this could be dangerous and needs an off switch, but very useful too for those of us whose minds are much faster than our hands can write, and what’s a life without risk?)

A talking dog (ok, I know you all think your dogs already talk to you but don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean, like REALLY talks…)

A fruit and nut tree (I’m imagining cherries, pears, apples, hazelnuts and grapes all on the same tree…)

A harp (have you every played one? I have a little…magic!)

A wood burning aga (but maybe I need to buy the cottage it goes in first…)

A word swallower – it eats the words you wish you’d never said and then erases them from the collective memory!

A pair of trousers that automatically resize and adapt themselves to the changing shape of my body!

So that’s me touching in with my currently rather neglected imagination and, though I can feel a bit of an inner ache, it stood up quite well to the exercise. Now I need to make it more often and regular, and see what it can really do. The dark, cold, indoorsiness of winter’s a great time for some serious imagination training:-) Hey, come spring I’ll be running (imaginary!) marathons:-)

Good Deeds Received

Had a lovely chat with a Polish woman who was working with me on the packing line at the factory, during which time we discovered a mutual love of poetry and she asked for my number so I could give her and her family some English lessons!

A friend invited me over for dinner and Saturday night TV:-)

My Dad sent me some fun photos during his journey back to Bali.

Had an incredible conversation with a friend which was getting deeper and more delicious by the second and then…I had to go to work! We pressed the pause button, and will no doubt pick up where we left off next time we meet.

Received a lovely text message from a friend who hadn’t seen me for a while and wanted to know how I was doing.

A friend emailed to ask if I still needed a contribution towards the fundraising I was doing for Beatha in Rwanda, and I managed to stop myself from replying no, it’s ok, I reached my target (she has already helped so much…) and instead shared that actually, yes, her help was most welcome. I realised from her joyful and generous response that it really sometimes is a gift to the giver to welcome their gift.

A friend and colleague invited me to hold a creative writing session with her group, shortly before Christmas and requested I infuse it with festive spirit! I’m looking forward to that:-)

Good Deeds Done

I helped out in Mum’s cafe when she heard at late notice that one of her colleagues couldn’t make it.

I called my friend Beatha in Rwanda immediately when I saw she’d ‘beeped’ me (i.e. left me a missed call so I could see she needed to talk). I will send the next monthly installment a little earlier than planned, as she’s been prescribed some new medication and didn’t have money left from last month.

I called my Dad as he was on his way to the airport to wish him a good journey back to Bali.

A good deed to my body – I made a commitment to myself to prepare and take with me healthy food for my tea breaks at the factory, as I’ve been eating far too many biscuits!!!!

Created and printed off some menus for Mum’s cafe so people can pre-order their pizzas over the phone.

Picked up some litter on my way to work.

Helped out a colleague who was getting a bit behind speed because the biscuits he was putting into the plastic containers being they were boxed hadn’t been stacked properly by the people who’d taken them from the oven.

Have a great week my friends and may that wild Imagination of yours take you places you’ve never even dreamed of…and then write me a ‘postcard’ in the comments below:-)










At the end of a stalk


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applesimage credit:

They fell all about us,
those ripe ready apples;
bombing down freely
in twos and threes,
some missing our bucket,
hands clumsied with cold,
to play hide and seek
in the grass grown wild,
or to dance with young lettuce
still longing to nourish.

So we played ‘hunt me down’
with the bucket evaders,
to find some skins burst open
with the joy of their fall,
spilling their juices
in Edenful call -

‘Eat me now!’

And so shameless,
eat we did,
lapping up juices
full golden with giggles,
our faces ecstatic,
opening all
to this heaven
on a stalk.

Playlist Finale – 2004/2014


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AdeleA decade full of divas to bring some harmony and happiness to your Monday, and make you feel like ‘a room without a roof’ (what DOES that lyric mean?!) Here endeth the melodious journey from 1944 to 2014. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Have a great week friends.


Harula xxxxxx

2004 The Closest Thing To Crazy – Katie Melua

2005 Because of You – Kelly Clarkson

2006 You’re beautiful – James Blunt

2007 Mr Rock and Roll – Amy Macdonald

2008 Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

2009 Halo – Beyonce

2010 Just the way you are – Bruno Mars

2011 Price Tag – Jessie J

2012 Someone Like You – Adele

2013 Happy – Pharrell Williams

2014 Superheros – The Script

Trust – A Good Deeds Post (+playlist part 6)

This week has flown by, and having woken in the middle of the night and not been able switch of my busy brain for at least an hour and a half, I’m a bit groggy because I then slept longer than usual, and that disorients me. Creature of habit me:-)

I got stuck in awakeness because I was worrying about the future. I got back to sleep because I realised that this process of change that is happening in my life at the moment is already rolling, it’s taken on a life of its own, and all I have to do is show up and trust. It was funny to notice how much I believe I’m in control, and want to be in control, when actually, how can I be? There’s something much bigger at stake than what happens in my own life, because everything I am and do is intricately woven into the lives of everyone else, and everything else, on this planet.

I wantched an amazing  documentary yesterday afternoon, lent to me by a friend. It’s a mind blowing watch, and though I didn’t need a cup of tea, I had at least three because I wanted a break, I needed some digestion time. In my own very oversimplified summary, it’s basically saying science is beginning to catch up with what spiritual teachers have been saying for thousands of years. We are all deepyly, intricately interconnected. What adds to the interest is that this film was made by the director of Ace Ventura and the like, and has since shifted his life from a Beverly Hills mansion and private jets to a trailer park and cycling to work. Ok, I’ll leave it there for you to check out and follow up yourselves if you choose.

Good Deeds Received

A hug from a new colleague, who asked how I was doing and what I was planning for the weekend.

A lovely message from a friend who was sad that I’d had to cancel the writing day I’d planned (not enough bookings)

The opportunity to have my heart and mind opened by a documentary an amazingly inspiring friend lent to me.

The lady who served me in the library took the time to ask if I’d enjoyed the book I was returning, and we had a bit of a chat about it and the author, as she herself was reading another of the author’s books (Victoria Hislop).

Several colleagues at the factory stepped in every now and then during the week, when I was struggling to keep up with the speed. Unasked and uninvited they just stepped in, got me back up to speed, and then left me to it again, without a word. Something very kind about that, don’t know, it really touched me. They didn’t just leave me to suffer a baptism of fire and learn the hard way, but covered my back while I learned the ropes…and I really appreciated it.

A lovely text from a friend asking to catch up. We’ve made a ‘date’ for next weekend.

I’ve really enjoyed the interest and support from those who have been following the playlist I’ve created. Thanks all:-)

Good Deeds Done

Picked up some fireworks litter when I went for a walk in a nearby park.

Insisted that one of my nervous new factory colleagues ask to wear her own shoes with covers on while she waited for new shoes to arrive, as the standard issue ones she had been given were too small and were hurting her feet. That matters when you’re on your feet the whole time for six hours.

I gave the house a good clean – it hadn’t had much TLC in a while.

Kept up with my schedule of sending the playlist to Dad, 10 years at a time, with my comments.

Made some time to catch up on a few of my favourite blogs – sorry I’ve been a bit absent friends:-)

Made a point of having a chat with my elderly neighbour as we met outside our respective front doors when I was on my way out for a walk.

Put some money in a charity box at the shop, and returned one of Mum’s library books.

And here’s the music – enjoy, and blessings on the week ahead friends:-)
1994 Linger – The Cranberries

1995 One of us – Joan Osbourne

1996 Macarena – Los Del Rio

1997 I believe I can fly – R Kelly

1998 Truly, Madly, Deeply – Savage Garden

1999 Livin’ La Vida Loca – Ricky Martin

2000 Walking Away – Craig David

2001 Thank You – Dido

2002 Can’t fight the moonlight – LeAnn Rimes

1993 Dreams – Gabrielle

Playlist part 5 – 1984/1993


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gracelandI found this ten year period quite tricky, there was a lot of commercial rubbish around, but I think I still found some gems:-) Enjoy!

1984 What’s love got to do with it – Tina Turner

1985 Walking on sunshine – Katrina and the waves

1986 Diamonds on the soles of her shoes – Paul Simon

1987 Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

1988 Fast Car – Tracey Chapman

1989 Smooth Criminal – Michael Jackson

1990 A little time – Beautiful South

1991 More than words – Extreme

1992 Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chilli Peppers

1993 Dreams – Gabrielle



Playlist part 4 – 1974/1983


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maya angelou musicSo here’s part four, which includes the year I was born! Lot’s of drama in these ten years. Was it the music of this time that turned me into a drama queen? Enjoy!
1974 Bennie and the Jets – Elton John

1975 Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

1976 What a Night – Four Seasons

1977 Dancing Queen – ABBA

1978 I can’t smile without you – Barry Manilow

1979 Bright Eyes – Art Garfunkel

1980 Call me – Blondie

1981 Endless Love – Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross

1982 Don’t pay the ferryman – Chris de Burgh

1983 Karma Chameleon – Culture Club

Playlist part 3 – 1964/1973


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billy joelThe next 10 years in the playlist I prepared for my Dad. and it’s time to let the music touch you, speak to you of the world and its woes, and then be that change. The world was opening up…let your heart do the same.

Year Song
1964 The Times are a-Changin’ – Bob Dylan

1965 Ticket To Ride – The Beatles

1966 Can’t Hurry Love – Supremes

1967 Sitting on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding

1968 Born to be wild – Steppenwolf

1969 Aquarius – Fifth Dimension

1970 Big Yellow Taxi – Joni MItchell

1971 Moonshadow – Cat Stevens

1972 The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Robert John

1973 You’re my home – Billy Joel


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