2020 Grateful 26: Counting Sheep

I started writing the Grateful series back in 2012. With so many years of practice, you’d think being grateful would come naturally to me by now. But no. I still have to work on it. I still have to remind myself that there is something to be grateful for in everything. Read more

2020 Grateful 27: Looking back on tomorrow

When I was working on my business website way back when,  I sent the designer photos I’d taken. These were photos that, in my mind, linked to the subject on each page. In the intervening years, one, maybe two people at most, got the connection, the same connection I’d made. Photos are like that. They can be read into. They can tell stories. They can mean different things to different people. A little like the Rorschach inkblots. Well, sort of. Read more

2020 Grateful 28: A new pastime

Back in the day when I was writing CVs or resumes, I struggled a little when it came to hobbies. Reading. Writing. Theatre. They sounded too banal. I wasn’t much into sports or team events of any kind. I wasn’t into dancing or pilates or yoga. I could never find that edge that hobbies can give jobseekers. Who wouldn’t want to interview someone who listed extreme belly dancing as a hobby? Read more

2020 Grateful 29: I am my sister’s keeper

As the tentacles of COVID-19 reach into every crevice of society, we read of how governments are stepping in to give financial assistance to those who find themselves out of work. Welfare payments in varying amounts are paid to those whose employers have had to shut their doors. And yes, some people might be making more from the temporary payment than they did in their full-time job, but they are the exception. Some workers are not getting any help at all, particularly those for whom physical intimacy is an innate part of their job: sex workers. Read more

2020 Grateful 30: Found in Translation

Ever since the local librarian Mrs Byrne turned a blind eye to me signing up my parents as members of the village library and then choosing books for them, mar dhea,* I’ve been an avid reader. I wonder if she knows what a huge influence our collaboration has had on my life.

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2020 Grateful 31: Kisrabló

There’s a battle of wills going on in our house. Occasionally it involves roaring and shouting followed by a couple of days of sulking or overt disdain. And then things get back to normal. Read more

2020 Grateful 32: A COVID fashion

I’m getting a great kick out of how the simple face mask has quickly become a fashion accessory. The other day, I saw a young lad in camo trousers with a matching camo mask. An elderly néni in a plain grey slack and shirt had accessorised with a bright orange pattern scarf and matching mask. At the supermarket checkout, the lady on the till was having a right laugh at something the young one ahead of me had written on her mask. I wasn’t quick enough to see it. Yes, face masks are the jewellery of the future. Read more

2020 Grateful 33: Harry’s Bar

It seems like yesterday that I was sitting in Harry’s Bar in Venice sipping a ridiculously expensive Bellini and tipping a nod to the good Lord for giving me the wherewithal to pay the eye-popping bill. And today, in a rural village in Hungary, I heard the sad, sad, news. Read more

2020 Grateful 34: A different view

It’s been a while, thank God, since I’ve felt the black cloud of depression, the sort that that requires doctors and medication. My heart goes out to those who are battling the beast during this pandemic or living with those who are. It can’t be easy. Sure, I have days that start and finish in nothingness with nothing much of note happening in between. Those are the days I have to remind myself to be grateful that I woke up at all and that what I woke to could be a helluva lot worse. I have nothing to complain about.  Nothing. At. All. Read more

scones cooling on a wire rack

2020 Grateful 35: Saturday morning smells

My mother has a bit of a reputation about the village. No doubt still considered a blow-in by those who were born to the place, she’s actively involved in all sorts. And of the many words used to describe her, active is high on the list. I don’t know where she gets her energy from – I missed that gene. Read more