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Reconnecting With Old Friends

Heeheehee! No, not the kind you’re thinking!

These old friends are “LISTS.”

We used to be best buddies. But now we’re not. I wish you would tell me why… (Sorry – I have Frozen on the brain!) Anyway. Somehow we lost touch with each other.

Then when I was reflecting on how I had become such a lazy bum, I realized that it was the loss of my friends  “the lists.”

Somewhere along the way, I stopped keeping them (well except for grocery lists – I’d be TOTALLY lost without those!) I don’t remember exactly how it happened, or even when. Was I making them and not crossing anything off so I didn’t want the reminder that I was being a slug? Or did I become a slug after I quit keeping them? Who knows?

What I DO know, is that without them, I am unaccountable to myself. And that’s not good. I really do need adult supervision (as much as I hate to admit it) even if that adult is me. And my adult me makes lists. Lots of them. And then she actually looks at them, does the things that are on them, crosses them off, then makes new ones.

I know. This is probably a dumb thing to blog about, but I’m thinking if it’s a problem for me, it might be for you, too. And besides, you guys are my therapy, and I’m in desperate need of some at the moment.

Yesterday I blogged about the feeling that I was not being creative, and ended up talking about my lack of productivity and lists. Y’all were kind enough not to mention that I had derailed my own post. But when I  re-read the post after hitting “publish” I realized I’d never solved my creativity problem and had turned it into a post about a completely different problem by the end. What a dork.

Then I woke up this morning realizing that the two issues ARE intertwined.

The fundamental problem is that I haven’t been “adulting” myself, which has led to a lack of productivity in general, which has bled into my creativity, as well.

I think the bottom line is, I have a hard time carving out the time to be creative when I haven’t done the basic things I need to do in order to have an organized, functional life. Or in other words, how can I justify sitting down and “making something,” when I haven’t even “found the time” to dust or do the laundry?

My “adult” was missing in action, and my inner child (who is apparently a lazy slob) had taken over. But she needed to justify her slobfulness, so she filled her time with Facebook and games, making herself feel “oh so busy” so she really didn’t have time to do all those things she really didn’t want to do. But what the “child” didn’t realize was that she was also cutting herself off from the creativity she needed to feed her soul.

Whew!

So… my adult has reappeared and taken control. She has already started the lists (and even crossed a few things off!)

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As much as my inner child would like to assert that she’s not happy about this development, she really is like a REAL child that knows deep down inside that she need boundaries, and is grateful that her adult is providing them.

 

 

Must. Create. (soon?)

My life has been nearly a creative desert since returning home from vacation. Well, if you don’t count working on photos and putting together blog posts and scrapbooking. Okay. Never mind. I’ve been creating. Just not the kind of creating that is sufficiently nourishing my soul.

And I miss it.

Terribly.

I blame it on not enough hours in the day, but you know what? That’s kind of a cop out. If I compare my days now to a few years ago, I am on the computer WAAAAAAY more now than I was then. Not just on Facebook, which is a MAJOR time suck, but playing that stupid game spider solitaire, which has become a mindless addiction that I justify as mind-stimulating. But it’s not really. It’s what I do when I just want to fill my time. When I don’t want to just sit, but I don’t want to put out any effort, either.

I have gotten lazy. That is hard for me to write, because I have never seen myself as a lazy person. Quite the opposite, in fact. But if the shoe fits…

Truth is, I’m not requiring enough of myself.

I used to make long, exhaustive lists, then work my way through them, crossing off each task as it was accomplished, and I got a lot of satisfaction from drawing the lines through each as it was completed. Then to look at it at the end of the day and see how much I did… I found it very rewarding. And it wasn’t all just work. My lists OFTEN included working on/completing creative projects that I really WANTED to do, not just the mundane tasks necessary to keep a functioning household.

I haven’t made a list in ages. It’s been way too long since I’ve experienced the pride of looking at all those crossed off tasks.

So. What’s it going to be, Janet? Are you going to slide into permanent slugdom, or get off your LAZY bum and get back to yourself former productive self?

Productive self. Yep. I’m going with that.

Step one. Close down that game app. Excuse me. I’m going to do that right now.

K. Done. I didn’t put it on a list, but I mentally crossed it off. No more stupid games. I really do have better things to do.

Next up. A list. Actually, more than one. I need a master list of unfinished projects to start hacking away at. I need a list of things I need to do around the house and yard. And I need a list of daily things I need to do to take care of myself. Now THERE’S a novel idea – actually PLAN to take care of myself.

This sounds almost too good to be true, which usually means it is. So, don’t hold me to it. It’s an idea, the beginnings of a plan. It’s not set in concrete.

So while I contemplate, I think I’ll go to my happy place.

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London #2 – and then some

Both the last post and this one are titled “London,” but in reality they both include photos from the surrounding area, as well, not JUST London.

Another twenty photos for you to wade through, and my last trip (or at least the part I’ve subjected you to!) is complete! Whew! Thanks for putting up with me! You’ll now be free from travel photos until late fall when we go to Cuba…

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And last, but not least…

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And there you have it. London (well, southern England) in 40 photos. Thanks for hanging in thee with me. It was a long 6 weeks, for you anyway. For me it flew by!

We’ll do it gain soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

London, Our Home Away From Home

Felt so good to get back to London. As much as we thought Barcelona might replace her, it didn’t.

As many times as we’ve been here, you’d think we’d run out of things to do and see, but we don’t.

Granted, there were some repeats, like the Big Bus overview of the city, Stonehenge and Bath (although it’s been many years) and Camdentown…but there were also a lot of new things we did for the first time, like FINALLY getting to the Portobello Market, going to Southwold, Sutton Hoo, seeing parts of Hampton Court we hadn’t seen before, a walking tour of downtown City of London…

Somehow two weeks just flew by.

I took MANY fewer photos on this leg of the trip, but I still got some nice shots.

I was hoping to get this wrapped up with today’s post, but I’ve had such a hard time narrowing the photos down that I decided to break it into two. Bear with me, we’re ALMOST done!

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Next up, York, England

After three days in Edinburgh, we took the train down to York. I love York.

It’s a repeat for us, although it’s been many years. The last time we were here it was with our kids and their spouses/significant others back in the “before grandchildren” days – lots of good memories.

We had another three days and needed every one of them. Once again, so much to see, and lots we’d not seen before.

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Got time for a quick story?

We’d stopped at Pret for lunch, and before taking off, I went upstairs to use the toilet and struck up a conversation with a young woman in line. Just light conversation – I don’t even remember what we talked about, but she was nice.

Fast forward an hour, and I found myself out and about alone, wandering the streets.

I had seen signs saying “no busking.” I had no idea what busking was, so I asked, and was told that buskers are the street performers found all over town. They add so much to the atmosphere.

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So, I’m walking around, and I hear the most angelic voice singing and headed toward the sound, to find a lovely young woman, named Rebecca Newman. She’d just finished one song and was about to do her last and asked the crowd which they’d prefer, one from her new album, or “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables. The lady next to me and I clapped loudly for I Dreamed a Dream and that’s what she opted to sing.

It was so beautiful I actually got misty eyes…

When she was done, I purchased a couple of her CDs which she offered to autograph, and I accepted. She looked up with a puzzled look on her face, then said, “Oh, wait! Didn’t we meet in the toilet at Pret?” We both laughed out loud. I hadn’t recognized her! So my potty friend turns out to be “The People’s Soprano,” a platinum English recording artist who began as a busker, and returns to her roots as she can to thank her fans!

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How’s THAT for a story!?

So back to York. It’s a pretty good-sized town. Our last time here, we didn’t see nearly as much as we thought we’d seen. We’d walked the downtown area, but since we didn’t take the Big Bus (I don’t even know if there WAS one back then!) There was much we missed.

Even this time we didn’t see it all. The Viking Museum was closed due to flooding in the early spring, which almost assures that we’ll be going back!

It wasn’t easy to pick which photos to show you! Please enjoy.

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Once again, three days was not enough, but we have to take what we can get! Best to leave wanting more, I suppose!

Halfway! The New Adventure Begins

Our Mediterranean Cruise took up the first half of our trip, then it was on to the UK for the second half.

We flew from Venice to Edinburg, Scotland and met up with old friends for the remainder of our vacation.

It was their first trip to the UK and our…hmmmm. I may have lost track. Let’s just say we’ve been there a few times, so we acted as unofficial tour guides.

Lest you fear 21 more posts, let me assure you, I’ll reduce it down to as few as I can and still tell the story.

So. Edinburgh.

We hadn’t been here for 15 years, so although much was familiar, we saw a lot that was new, as well.

Our first order of business was to find Clarkson’s jewelers. Odd stop for a vacation, right? Well, there’s a story, of course.

When we were here in 2000, Mr. Tattered bought me a celtic design pinkie ring. It was actually a wedding band, and I called it my Scottish wedding ring. I’ve worn it every day since, and the design had gotten very worn, so we wanted to see if it could be refurbished. Keith Clarkson, the son of the man we had originally purchased it from, was there and it was lovely to be able to visit with him.

He had good news and bad news. They could spiff it up, but it would be thinner, and would wear again, and next time would not be able to be salvaged. The ring has a millennial stamp on the inside, and he suggested that I might want to just put it away as a family heirloom, and buy a new one to wear every day. Mr. Tattered to the rescue! He suggested that we do both – refurbish the old and put it away, AND buy a new one for every day. Woohoo!

Once that bit of business was complete, we were off to explore.

No trip to Edinburgh is complete without a visit to the castle, so we started there.

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We’d never taken the Big Bus tour of Edinburgh, so we figured an overview of the whole city would be nice for our friends, and turned out it was good for us, as well. We didn’t realize how big the city is and how little of it we’d seen!

We took a spin through the botanical gardens…

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and toured the Royal Yacht Britannia.

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We introduced our friends to Pizza Express

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and Pret,

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and discovered a veggie restaurant, David Bann.

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Um, yeah. We’ll be back.

Trust me on this, three days in Edinburg is not enough.

Venice and Beyond…

The final stop in our cruise took us back to Venice, one of our favorite places in Italy.

The most crushing thing about our return was learning that our favorite restaurant, the one we had been dreaming of returning to for a year and a half, was closed on the only night we were there! Egads!

I told you we live for our stomachs! Heeheehee! But at least it is still in business, so we’ll just have to go back again!

Almost as bad, was that we hit rain, as well, so our view of the canal from our water taxi was from huddling inside, so I took minimal photos. But no fear, I DID take some!

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Once we got off the canal and onto the streets, the weather cleared a bit, and without the shell of the water taxi to distort the photos, the pictures got a bit better.

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In our few free minutes, we headed directly for a cafe and some espresso. Um. The best.

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Now THAT’S how an empty cup of espresso should look…

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I was sad to see the cruise come to an end, and sad to not have longer in Venice, but there were more adventures right around the corner…

 

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