Sunday, 22 February 2015

How to have a happy marriage

How to have a happy marriage 

I am always a bit concerned when girls tell me that their wedding day will be the happiest day of their lives...Happy yes - how could I argue with that? But the happiest? Does that mean it will be downhill after that?

Even when I am not looking, my subconscious finds things about marriage and love for me - so it was when I came across these words in a book belonging to an old Irish aunt - it was on a scrap of paper tucked into a book of poetry...

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.

Simone Signoret

I like the idea that The Day, whilst hugely important, is just a beginning - that it's the beginning of a couple making something strong from 'hundreds of tiny threads.'

The other thing which caught my eye was the work of a photographer - I particularly love the work of Janis Ratnieks, who captures the drama of a relationship, but this one seems to capture little unexpected moments beautifully... these are by Tom Ravenshear.

And a final random find:

Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day.

Gene Perret

So, how to have a happy marriage? The Day is just a beginning...let the celebration continue!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

How to find love

How to find love - wander through a field of sunflowers - or down a row of vines...

I'm trying to do some work but I couldn't resist sharing these - I didn't realise how many hearts I have in the house!

I do realise how many animals I have - they seem to just turn up at the door and know they will be loved - even if it's just by one of the other animals. Friends ask how many we 'admit' to - but I'm not telling...

How do you find love? Seems like it's cross the field of sunflowers, turn right down the vines, stand at a window and look appealing...or sad...easy.

Happy and lucky boy - turned up last year when his French owner threw him out...happens a lot in August when the French traditionally go on holiday...

This little one, Gingernuts - for obvious reasons - found his way down here when his mum was abandoned. We were feeding her litter until they were strong enough to catch their own 'take-aways' but he fell in love with our dog, who came on the feeding expeditions, and one day he just followed us home - and has been ensconced ever since. He's only got half a tail, which he wags like a little dog. (The hearts are left over from Christmas...but I like them there.)

The beautiful Duffy, also a rescue dog with her best friend - another ginger, another discarded one August...and OK - the hearts were posed for this one...

And this one just because it's ridiculous - a cat that see's itself as a piece of fruit - and that's all I'm admitting to - for now.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Finding Dieulivol | Celebrant in SW France

Wandering - and wondering - in Dieulivol

A beautiful, sunny day here in this South West corner of France - warm enough to sit outside and have lunch, a friend and I thought - and we knew just the spot. 

She had visited us last year and had been amazed to find that we were just a stone's throw from Plum Village - a Buddhist centre led by the revered monk, teacher and author, Thich Nhat Hanh. She had been reading some of his writing back home in Canada and had not registered that he was based here in a small village in the hills, Dieulivol.

So she decided to spend a day in Plum Village with the monks and nuns and met him too - a seminal experience for her. 

Naturally, then, this year we headed for a little bar outside Dieulivol but thought we would visit the monastery there first - a stunning building built on and into the hillside where you look down hundreds of feet to the farms and river below - an incredibly dramatic setting.

There, under the arch of the tower, we found two nuns from Plum Village, quietly meditating in the winter sunshine.

The monastery at Dieulivol

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” 
― Thích Nhất HạnhLiving Buddha, Living Christ

We silently added our own thanks and meditation and quietly crept away, aware of how privileged we had been, to our lunch in the sun.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Cambridge Wedding?

Celebrant in Cambridge...

I spent last week in Cambridge meeting two couples - both marrying in Cambridge. 

It was a great excuse to visit this beautiful city. Cold but sunny days allowed for much wandering about, through quiet golden-stoned colleges, down narrow cobbled streets which ended in a pile of bikes - everyone cycles - or a stunning chapel...

Everyone cycles - haven't seen a bride on a bike yet though...

Cambridge Wedding...?

Enjoying some winter sun before lunch with clients in cosy Bill's

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Celebrant in the Sunflowers?

Happy, happy dog...

Everyone loves a sunflower...


Lovely sunflower! Gluta, the dog, was found by her owner on the streets of Thailand. She is now the star of her own website - she always seems to be smiling...