Blogging from a-tozchallenge

There’s a challenge I bumped into recently.  Blogging from a-to-zchallenge throughout April. You get Sundays off bar the first one.  It sounds simple.  Work your way through the alphabet using the letters to inspire your theme for the day.

Whether I’ll do it or not will have to be decided nearer the time however I love the idea and wish those involved and doing it this year all the best.  Just the idea of it has been great just exercising my mind for writing ideas from the alphabet.

I’ve already done some planning, have 92 words that I could write blogs from and have only got to M.  Even if I don’t do the a-z challenge, by the time I’ve finished the planning I’ll have enough ideas for about 6 months.. oops to those of you who are wishing I’d never started blogging.. I might be here for a bit longer.

what challenges do you give yourself?

will you do the a-zchallenge?

ps. When I get around to sketching them I’ll add a pic of an aardvark and zebra here. For now, please use your imagination…

pps when I’ve checked with the organiser I’ll link to



I’m waiting for something to happen.  I’ve been waiting for something to happen for a while.  Last night I woke every two hours.

My friend’s giving birth, something I’ve never and will never have the privilege of.  If I’d ever got pregnant I’m sure I’d have been a right pain and at the time of birth not called it a privilege till it was over of course.  Although I always wanted children it just never worked out (that’s for my personal journal not here).  Something will happen today, yet I have no idea what she’s going through as we all wait during these final hours.  My only experience is of hand rearing a few orphaned animals many years ago.  Her family laughed when I described waking every two hours for a monkey…

All I know is that I’m very restless.  I’m constantly thinking of:

  • trying to be prepared but not knowing what that means,
  • being supportive, yet not overtly intrusive and
  • helping but not so that others feel I’m taking over.

Watching a family deal with the everyday ups and downs around a pregnancy is wonderful, tiring and emotional at the same time. Not knowing what will happen and having no involvement in that is bizarre.  Making sure you say and do the right thing at the right time without causing your pregnant friend any more discomfort than they are already in can, at times, be exhausting.

I’m restless.

What are you thinking of, waiting for?

What’s making you restless today?

ps when I think of a suitable image I’ll add it.  One of me just now in restlessness would not be pretty..

Straw Bear

On Saturday 14 Jan 2012 I went to a local tradition which was the 33rd Whittlesea Straw Bear festival.  The weekend after Plough Monday a man dresses in straw and, with a straw bear handler, parades through the streets and pubs of Whittlesea.  The straw bear is followed by many dance sides which perform throughout the day.  It was a very frosty day so I got very well wrapped up, the weather was bright and crisp and many people attended creating a wonderful atmosphere to the festival this year.

How many Dance Sides were there?  Looking at the programme, there were around 30 though as I didn’t wander much I only saw about 10 of those, though all I the ones I watched were brilliant and incredibly varied.  Black and white; historic costumed; vibrantly coloured woollens; a zebra; a man on a horse.  The mix of costumes, ages, dance and style was stunning and much different to the Morris dancers I recall watching as a child.  Reading the festival programme I’ve learnt that there was Border Morris, Cotswold Morris, Molly and North West Clog Dancing Sides each coming from a different part of the country telling different stories with their dances.  I loved them all though was absolutely hooked by the skills and intricacies of the costumes and choreography of the Molly dancing.

Mostly it was families and groups of friends relaxing, chatting and sometimes watching wonderful and amazing dancing.  Lots of people were enjoying the mini beer festival that takes over Whittlesea for the weekend.  I did partake in one pint of a lovely hoppy ale which helped my burger and chips go down.  It looked like most of the photographs were being taken of children mesmerised by watching the dancers.  Or of ‘mum with the straw bear’ There will be a lot of images like that.

Would I go again?  Looking at the festival events list in the programme and realising I only experienced a fraction of what happened yesterday, (how did I miss the barn dance last night?) yes, definitely.

Anyone want to join me and go next year?

What local traditional festivals are there near you?



Last night I had the first dream I’ve remembered, this morning, for a long while.  It might take a while to comprehend what I meant in that sentence.. (I might rewrite)

Anyway.. it got me thinking:

The dream was set in a house, the upstairs of which was the same as the one I grew up in.  In the dream I lived with my sisters who ran the house and were in charge of it (yes, I went to see Cinderella over Christmas!!).  This day I agreed to put up 2 friends who needed somewhere urgently to stay for the weekend.  By the morning, each of them had approximately 10 guests staying for the weekend and it became obvious the two of them were planning to be around for months.  One of them showed me the wallpaper and paint she wanted to decorate ‘her’ room in.   

At breakfast, while the kitchen was filling up with bodies passing through, I wondered how we would feed everyone.  I remember, after I’d showed some concern, looking through a box of food items they bought to help feed the hoard of 25+.  One of their guests handed me the biggest containers of tomato and brown sauce (what was that about?).  When I looked in the box I saw more large bars of chocolate than I could eat in a year (I know! That’s a lot).  Later that day I went out.  I don’t remember where I went, but before I left I put some food from the freezer in the oven to cook and promptly forgot about it.  I should have burnt the house down but it was only just a bit scorched at the edges of the filo pastry when I returned hours later.

Some years ago I spent a lot of time helping myself and others work through the messages our dreams might have and loved every minute of it.  I believe that your brain uses the most recent images it has available to it to help it with more complex work, that the subconscious is busy filing and sorting and theorising things we’ve subconsciously asked of it and while we’re sleeping it carefully and studiously carries on.  Maybe it sleeps while we’re awake who knows.  I’m not a brain scientist – I have no idea of the difference between neuroscientists and psychologists approaches to dreams would be.  Note to self: I must read more recent research (I did volunteer and be part of a dream study in the 70’s, what student didn’t in those days).

I dream in colour and have sound though no soundtrack running in the background unfortunately.  Would that be like your brain having the radio on while it worked?  I find that so long as I rerun the dream a few times, even saying it out aloud, before I physically sit up, I can remember it long enough to write it down if I don’t have a pen and paper next to the bed.

Now I need to get some breakfast then go and find my old dream book to do a bit of theorising by myself in my journal, writing this has already developed some ideas of what was going on in my dreams last night.

What are your thoughts on dreams?

What was the last dream you remember, was it colourful?

Or, maybe the question’s – How many could you put up and feed if you had guests you didn’t expect?


  • A year ago I thought I’d never blog
  • A month ago I’d never written a blog post
  • A week ago I had no blog, then came
  • A New Year a New Blog!; Holding back; Obsession; Soundtrack of my life
  • Another day another blog = 5AWeek

This past week I’ve posted five blogs.  Every one of them was needed.  Maybe not by anyone else, but they were needed by me.  I needed them.  I needed to write them.  I needed others to read them.  I still need to write and for others to read.  Who knows if there will be any new posts here next week, next month, next year?  There needed to be five this week including this one.

One of my future dreams is to write and be published. To help that process I need to exercise my mind and my writing skills and get better and get used to feedback, comments and rejection.  Lots of food for thought for future posts just in those two sentences, if there are any future posts.

Does it matter if you start something or stop something?  I feel that if you want to start something it matters that you do it and if you want to stop doing something it matters that you stop or not.  I wanted to learn how to blog and to blog.  It took way too long for me to do it but eventually here I am and this week I’ve given myself and you 5AWeek.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I’ve enjoyed waking up every morning to my daily brain food of thinking and getting those thoughts out in type quickly before they dissipated away or got overtaken by the next ones rushing up behind them.

I have no idea if I, you or any more thought will be here from tomorrow which will be the start of my second week at lynnelives.  If more thoughts suitable for blogging do appear I’m sure we’ll continue getting to know each other and I will enjoy that.  If not it’s been fun.  In time, if I continue, I’m sure that eventually the thoughts posted here will develop and evolve and I look forward to that.

Thankyou for reading and commmenting and continuing to encourage me here this week.  It’s helped me to stay healthy and be more alive in every moment of every day. (no apologies for any sickly feelings just now)

What have you done this week/last year that you had never thought you’d do?

What’s your 5AWeek?

What will you do next week that you’ve always wanted to yet never done?  (please stay clean)

ps I’d be as shocked as you if there weren’t any lynnelives posts next week 😉

Soundtrack of my life

Recently, I was reminded of my lack of musical awareness and music in my life.  Bizarrely, as a child I was considered to be a talented musician.  That changed, at some point, and I am left with a few ‘what if’s’ around how musically inspired I am/could be.

Ten years ago I had a reasonable cd collection which was stolen and I wasn’t able to replace them.  Reviewing my current cd collection I have around 90 which, given my youthful age..(50’s the new 30 surely), seems rather minimal.  Admittedly too, those 90 do include many obtained free with newspapers/magazines; a few box sets with titles like acoustic mellow moods and jazz music and there’s more than a couple of soundtracks too (I do love films-another blog, another day).  Where did my vinyls go? I hope someone’s looking after them as they got left behind in a previous life.  Donny; David; Cat(Yusuf); Cliff; Bay city…(I know.. what can I say..); together with Reggae; Santana; Sanford and Townsend; many more and Mozart.  I hope you’re all being enjoyed, I will continue to enjoy you in my mind as I remember you all with fondness.

Often, the soundtrack I live to these days is that of traffic.  I can virtually tell the time by the sound of the traffic outside my front door.  The sound of the bin men just told me it’s7amsharp.  I love the soundtrack of my life when I have my backdoor open and can hear the birds in my garden, particularly in the morning when they’re wondering why I haven’t been out already (a topic for a future day).

Coming back to music, it is a huge love of mine though I struggle to ‘know’ it.  Perhaps that’s something to explore.  At the moment, for music in my life, I rely heavily on the radio and am conscious that ipod and downloads are something I’ve shied away from.

Today I have dusted off my cd collection and will bring to the fore the current and future soundtrack of my life.

How musical are you?

What’s the soundtrack of your life?

ps when I work out how.. I’ll add some music, if legal.  Or bird song. I could try to record and upload.

current soundtrack


I have been known to obsess.   Some friends reading this will be saying “Really? Surely not? ;)”.   Recently, over New Years, I took some very odd decisions and found myself in South Wales to distract myself from something I was worried I might obsess about, as you do.  Why I did this is one for my personal journal not here.

Here I am, at 4am unable to sleep, just wanting to write another blog.  Since blogging is new and exciting to me, I am obsessing about this blog page.  Perhaps, the very reason why I delayed having one.  I have so many things I want to say and talk to you about.  One of the comments on this blog said you blog when you have something to say.  I always have something to say.  Does that mean I should always blog?  I think not and some of my musings will be for my personal journal not blog.

This started out as a note about obsession.  It feels like it’s more about what we say where and when.  Maybe I got distracted, maybe I’m very tired, maybe I do not want to be too open about my obsessions.

What should you say, where and when?

What do you obsess about?  Comments within reason please….

Holding back

Holding back

What do you stop yourself from doing?


I’ve wanted to blog for a few years but never really knew how to get started.  Within weeks of meeting a new writer pal I suddenly found I wanted to stop the ‘When are you going to get a blog Lynne’ and set up a blog.  I did.  This blog.  Then what?  Will anyone read it? Why would they want to?  Why would I want to write anything that no-one would read?

The questions are incessant.

While I’m working out what to write for this blog I’ll probably just ponder a few questions. The question for today is “What holds you back from doing something you want to do?”.

Most of my reasoning for holding back from blogging are my fears.  Not ones you might imagine of anyone liking or not liking what I write, but of my job.  My fear is of my work colleagues thinking It’s not appropriate for me to blog.  Here’s where my stock response comes in (if you’re reading this you’ll find I have a lot of stock responses, well, I’ve lived long enough to stock them up) “Comments here my own”.

Another of my reasons for holding back is that I rarely hold back.  What I mean is that I’m often very open and honest about everything.  What I think, what my capabilities are or aren’t, what I’m likely to do or not do, how I feel.  The very fact that I know (think I know) myself so well, actually holds me back from many things. When, at the time, all I want to do is be there, in that moment, and not hold back.  I can often, in that moment, be afraid of being too full on (another topic for a future blog).

What holds you back and how can you get over it now, in this moment?

ps. eventually I’ll work out how to put pics on. (struggling but done)


A New Year a New Blog!

Many moons ago someone said to me ‘If you have something to say, write it down’.  I have never forgotten that or who they were.  What I can’t remember is when it was or where we were.  All I do remember is that we were both having breakfast at a conference and I was crazy about finding out more of what went on in his brain.  On reflection, having to put up with my brain on overdrive at breakfast is something my close friends and family have worked out how to cope with.  This poor speaker was probably trying to find a way of shutting me up while he enjoyed his breakfast and worked out what possessed him to sit next to me!

More recently, blogger friends have been asking when am I going to start a blog.  The answer: ‘today!’

I love reading blogs of my Internet friends more than I do newspapers or watching the news.  There are some very talented writers in the blogosphere and I am humbled to be joining them.  There’s nothing too specific I want to post today and I will take some time out to consider the direction this blog might take.  When I work out how to link I’ll link to my first blog post which was a guest spot.

All I want to say to you just now is….

‘Hello.  Welcome to lynnelives. I’m looking forward to getting to know you and yours.  (See.. I tried to only say ‘Hello’. Just couldn’t do it.. xx)’