Blog Tag: The A to Z of Me

I was tagged by Emily at TheNest to join a fun blog tag, the a-z of me. I enjoyed hers so much I almost fell into a ditch, serves me right for reading while walking but it is very entertaining. Emily, thanks for the laughs, like I said, you can squeeze my bum anytime 🙂

A is for Adrian, & Art: Adrian and I celebrate eight years married in a few days time and agree that we are happier, stronger and more in love now, so, so far so good. And it’s a big improvement on the year we both forgot and were reminded weeks later by my mother.

In June I celebrate one year since art entered my life at the age of 40 and I started to paint with a 30 day art challenge. I also love discovering new artists and paintings to enjoy and share on my fb page. My favourite art movements or styles are Fauvism and Expressionism 

watercolour

B is for Butterflies: Shudder. I’d rather have a bat or a mouse in the house than a butterfly. Moths are even worse. Last year I slipped and fell on my back trying to avoid one of those big brown ones but worst of all is the night I was feeding few weeks old Sadhbh in the dark and felt something flutter on my shoulder…When I realised, when I saw it was a moth I lost it.

She was very lucky I didn’t throw her. I was trembling all night after that, However, I have improved as my eldest will tell you. My youngest two have no idea, plus I can be in the same room now, even open a window to let one out. That’s progress.

My worst nightmare, on a wall…

butterfly horror
An art installation in the Philadelphia Museum of Art made up of thousands of black paper butterflies, entitled Black Cloud by the artist Carlos Amorales.

C is for Creativity, & Consciousness: I believe creativity is the defining mood of our time and will save the world. It is the answer to everything.

Consciousness, conscious evolution, awakening, is something I’ve become more interested in in recent years as I’ve experienced my own awakening and a heightened sense of oneness – this is why I can better handle the butterfly.

D is for Dublin, for Driving & Drugs: I’ve never had as much as a cigarette puff. I’m high on life haven’t you heard? I do enjoy drinking though, especially prosecco. It feels decadent another d’ I like.

On Dublin – I will not bore you yet again about my favourite place.

On Driving – Also new to the a to z of me is driving. I LOVE driving, what a rush! I imagine Sydney Mitford,…I still have no idea what my car is, but I imagine it’s something like this…

auto
Painting by Ramon Casas

E is for Eccentricity: The unconventional, the unusual, the different? You have my attention.

F is for Feminism: I believe this is the defining challenge of our time and we have to get it right now. Some people, women and men seem confused on both the term and the issue. Personally I feel so strong about it I wouldn’t be interested in anyone who on informing themselves decides they aren’t a feminist.

  • Feminist – A person who believes people are equal, and should have the same rights regardless of GENDER. (The last word is the big clue)
  • Click HERE for a great piece about Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallstrom for more.
  • Click HERE for a warmly insightful, brilliant TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ‘We Should All Be Feminists’

G is for Growth, Green & Glamorous: From a to z and every letter in between, I just want to keep growing for as long as I’ve breath in my lungs. A fully lived life is my goal.

On Green – I’ve an over the top love of colour, especially green. But even I didn’t know the extent of it until AFTER I’d named the blog. Too many times I’ve met readers while wearing green, blushes.

On Glamour – I’ve been called glamorous for most of my life, more than anything else. I can tell you I rarely feel glamorous but whatever they’re seeing it’s a very cool complement. If anyone were to ask me how I’d like to be seen I’d probably put the quality I’m drawn to most in other people first, that is interesting. I’d choose to look like an interesting person over anything else, but beyond that glamorous would be good, and better I think than fashionable or even stylish. I suppose I think the outside is a reflection of the inside, that if someone looks interesting they are interesting. Wait……by that logic I must be glamorous…cool, I like it.

H is for Home: I have a fascination with all things home. Energy for example, like the contrast between how a house feels different when there’s been nobody in it to how it feels at peak use. Lots to explore there.

I’m also interested in the changing role of homes past, present and future. My grandparents met at a dance in a neighbours house, that was the norm once. My other grandfather was a storyteller and people crammed into his house at night to hear stories. My interest is that I think we’re going back there, not exactly the same but through the growth of things like supper clubs, underground restaurants, book clubs, pop ups, that sort of thing and beyond.

Home as sanctuary, its role in women’s lives, as a place of expression and freedom or oppression and hiding? Themes of home live large in my book. Maybe because I had an idyllic childhood at home, not so much outside the home.

I is for Introspection & Irreverence: Irreverence is a a quality I enjoy and value in others and have a healthy dose of myself. I think it’s unhealthy for the individual and for society to live too much by norms and convention. No creativity, no change, no growth on that path.

On Introspection – I suppose look at this blog post. I’m with Socrates…

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

J is for Joy & for Jane: When my mother was a child she read Jane Eyre and decided if she ever had a daughter she would call her Jane and here I am despite a few people at the time telling her it was an awful name for a child 🙂

On Joy – I have an unlimited capacity for joy, balanced by a crazy capacity for melancholy. Nine/eight times out of ten joy wins but make no mistake, the two go together.

K is for Knowledge, & Kindred: Kindred spirits, I’ve met them, I’ve known them, I’ve loved them, even more since starting the blog. I crave that soul connection. There is nothing quite like it.

On Knowledge – As the robot Number 5 said in the movie, ‘I need input.’ In fact I need constant intellectual stimulation.

L is for Liberal: I’m a liberal, a socialist, you’re welcome everyone. Sometimes when I see the level of vitriol directed towards poor people, immigrants and now Muslims too I despair. To me people who blame these groups for societies ills are blind.

  • Tony Benn, now he had the right idea. We need more people like him. 
  • Click HERE for an excerpt from my favourite speech of the year so far on any subject. Actor Michael Sheen speaking about the current NHS crisis in England.
  • Russell Brand, comes in for a lot of criticism but at least listen to him first, HERE

M is for Mentor: I’m the oldest of five and always say that I’d have loved an older sibling and for years I’ve been thinking I’d really love a good mentor. Nothing doing there yet. Thank goodness for the internet and books or I’d be totally lost, always jumping off cliffs in the dark. Maybe someday I’ll find a more personal to me, flesh and blood, in person version.

N is for Nightmare, & Nature: My nightmare is night, also butterflies, small talk, school, the dentist, Sligo hospital, conservatism, pregnancy, injections, or a day at a spa.

On Nature: I’ve always been a noticer but in recent years I’ve gotten closer to nature and I want to get even closer still. I could go on but this post is already an epic.

O is for ‘O Negative’ & Openness: My blood group is O Negative, universal donor folks. I can give blood to anyone but can only receive O Neg myself. 7% of the worlds population has this group. What can I say, I’m a giver 🙂

On Openness – I’m very definitely a champion for a more open society. I think the more open a society the less depression, loneliness, suicide, abuse, judgement, crime and exclusion. The best way to get this I think is to lead by example. Every one person who tells their story helps others. Happily this is something that is happening in front of our eyes as more and more people are sharing their stories, be that of terrible, hard experiences or just everyday life in a blog. Every story matters from the domestic to the obscene, you never know who you’re helping, but it’s you first, and then others, more than you’d imagine, plus it’s a record, of life and times, and that’s important.

P.S. I’ll be voting YES on both counts in our referendum tomorrow.

P is for Prosecco & Poetry: These could be my blood group either, ah, poetry and prosecco.

Prosecco

Q is for Quotes: Words in themselves plus wisdom, ideas, thoughts, beauty and so on. I do love a good quote.

R is for Reincarnation, Religion & Rebel : I’ve developed a fear of reincarnation. Fear might be too strong a word I just really hope it’s not true. I want to live long now, but I don’t want to come back. If I do have to come back I hope it’s as rain, or a bird perhaps but I’d prefer when I die that that’s it.

On Religion – I was reared a Catholic and used to be religious. Now I’m very anti organised religion and feel it’s my duty as a woman to have nothing to do with it. The older I get the more strongly I feel on the subject. If I was getting married now it wouldn’t be in a church. I wouldn’t have baptised the children either, so that’s Adrian’s department.

I see religion as destructive, divisive, a force for bad in the world. On the other hand I believe that everyone has the right to practice any faith, freely and openly without oppression if they wish. I further believe it’s all the same, god, allah, the universe, whatever you want to call it, but I will not be ruled by it.

On Rebellion – I was born a rebel, but I’m guessing you know that.

S is for Shaylyn, Saoirse & Sadhbh – My beautiful children…I just hope I won’t mess them up too much, maybe a little, but not too much.

my girls

T is for Thought & Trees: I believe in the power of thought and I believe in the power of trees. I’ve always loved trees more than your average tree lover, whatever he or she looks like. I share this trait with my brother. We’re the kind of people will remark on every tree we meet like we’ve never seen anything so amazing, and sure it’s true. What could be more amazing than a tree when you think about it? Maybe a bee. Speaking of thinking…

On thought – You know that saying, ‘Whatever comes after, ‘I am’, will come looking for you.’ OR, have you heard the instruction to never ‘own’ an illness. Don’t say ‘my bad back,’ don’t say it!

We’re not helpless victims in life but designers, I truly believe that. According to Einstein it’s physics, thought is everything.

U is for Universe: The scale of the universe and we in it terrifies and reassures me. When it gets too much I remind myself of certainties, I learned this from an article I read about a couple, both astronomers. They said sometimes the extent of their knowledge and their lack of knowledge is so terrifying they have to hold each others hands in the night, but they also cope by reminding themselves that no matter what there are still certainties in life, like having to feed the cat. I liked that story a lot.

V is for Vibration – I read this other amazing story once about a blind man who taught himself to get around using sonar, like a bat.

He ‘clicks’ his tongue to make vibrations and this way ‘reads’ vibrations from everything around him. He said everything has a vibration from a brick wall to a tree, but trees most of all, more than anything. By reading these vibrations he can get around easily. He teaches other blind people how to do the same. It’s a story that really stayed with me and I think of it often.

‘If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.’ Nikola Tesla 

W is for Writing & Witch: Writing is self explanatory at this stage and perhaps witch is too. Blog, novel, poetry, you know the story. My sisters and I were often called witches at school. This was before my being called ‘glamorous’ days. Still it never felt like a bad name to me. Like most women I am surely a witch. Proud to be.

X is for…I think I’m done

Y is for Youth: I feel sorry for young people and don’t miss my youth. I don’t feel defined or constrained by my age, 42 in September. I know society defines me by it but I’m outside of that.

Z is Zeitgeist – Just a word with an interesting meaning I like, makes me smile and wonder whenever I meet it…

zeitgeist
ˈzʌɪtɡʌɪst/
noun
  1. the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.

And that’s that, phew! Well that was one way to get five billion thoughts on a page in one swoop not to mention material for further posts!

I’m going to tag Miriam at PaleoIrish, Anna at LeCrafteur , Sinead at CraftyFunKids, Shalagh at Shalavee.com and Marie at Marie Bradley Health Concepts 🙂 

18 Comments

  1. Organized religion… my duty as a woman to have nothing to do with it. You’re such a beautiful person, dearest!! Can’t wait to connect face to face someday… Much love and what a great post!

  2. Amazing & great fun to read all that! Thanks Jane. You’ll need a prosecco after writing all that. Xo

  3. This was just such a wonderful and interesting read and I’d comment on every letter, if I only had the time.

    My son hates moths, I may be eccentric, I am a feminist on my own terms, I love that speech from Michael Sheen (including his accent), I’m cheering for the plug for openness and that every story matters, because it always does to someone. I love trees, but I don’t like to live surrounded by them, as I need lots of sky.

    On being glamorous. I think it has a different connotation to fashionable, stylish or attractive – I think you probably have to have all those, plus be interesting, in order to be glamorous. So it fits you perfectly xx

    1. Thank you for those lovely words Candi, I’m really flattered and so glad you enjoyed reading. I should have guessed the sky thing from your blog name! It all makes sense now 🙂 The moth phobia feels rational, contradiction in terms there I know but I’m definitely with your son on that one. Oh and sorry for taking so long to get back to you, I didn’t get a chance on the day and have been having tech issues since

  4. While reading this post over coffee in my little boutique, my customers were barraged with ‘Janeisms’. Were your ears burning?! Thank you for the opportunity to spread your wisdom and goofy spirit.
    BTW, I’ve always thought we were separated at birth, but the mutual fear of spas pretty much cinched it.

    1. My ears, like all of me tend to be burning day and night Sherry so I didn’t notice anything different, seriously, they ‘glow’ red, very attractive. Having said that I soooo enjoyed your comment, from your enjoyment and sharing with your customers to ‘Janeism’s’ (might have to steal that) and our ‘separated at birth’ status and shared spa fear really made my day 🙂 Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, you may have seen from the fb page I’ve been having ‘technical’ difficulties but I recognise your name from the page and want to say thank you for commenting and making me smile, I appreciate it 🙂

  5. Well that fairly set my head a whirl, the fun of reading yours and then the scary excitement of being challenged to take part! This morning it’s less of the scary and more of the excitement… It should be up today on my blog all things going well, vote cast, legs running etc…

  6. Oh Jane I saved reading this until I had a quiet moment to be me and enjoy you being you. I love you and your quirkiness to bits. The green bits and the devoted bits, the wild bits and the quiet bits. And I will take your challenge as Emily inspired you, you have inspired me too.
    Love to you,
    Shalagh

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