Lemon meringue pie for your soul

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“When life throws you lemons, make a lemon meringue pie.”

“Harnessing adversity is a discipline tailored to a world of unpredictable outcomes–a world where one can disturb, but not wholly direct, a living system. Because the unexpected – adversity – is guaranteed, this discipline is about routinely making lemons into lemon meringue pie.” – Richard Pascale

And, so we step from the View From The Ground into a great big dollop of lemon meringue pie. A few weeks away from the keyboard has whetted the appetite in more ways that one. The zest to share ideas has slowly risen. The energy has been whisked into a light but fluffy frenzy.

Enough!

Thank you for joining me at my perch, to have a look at what is on my mind.

So, lemon meringue pie for your soul? What? Well, it’s a bit of a long story but that will become apparent as I walk you through my mind state. However, as I muster the creative will to commit to this damned book I continually bang on about, I have been searching for the kind of title that might appeal to a casual reader. Well, I may just have it ………… with a series of titles afterwards, such as ‘Practical Mindfulness with fudge cake and cream’. Work in progress.

It’s a funny old world. When I heard that Donald Trump wanted a new career, my euphoria was short lived when I realised my mis-spelling. Then I heard that Kim Jong-un had just topped trump. Bizarre world. 

The World Cup is just around the corner, and within days of it starting most of us will be round the bend due to the abject boredom after waiting 4 years since the last bout of abject boredom. Mad Vlad will put in (think about it) his profound thoughts on its success, as he wrestles with the idea of what a Trump and Jong-un baby would look like. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Boris Johnson.

And then, here in the U.K. we brace ourselves for waving goodbye to Europe and saying hello to ……………… hang on a minute, where’s Donald gone?? Shite, hello Europe, we were only joking. Honest, we thought the question was ‘what happens if you thrown a brick at a window in Leeds?’ – it Brexit! (Think about it 😀)

Anyway, that’s enough rambling. Or is it?

I know I’ve written this year about our memory jar – an awesome present from Ben and Gaby – but the more we fill it with memories the more I’ve truly appreciated the magic of those memories. As they say memories are made of this and, as I say, thank goodness for the memories.

It’s simple – create a memory; lock it into your mind, write it down, take loads of pictures, write a blog, whatever. But do it! Let’s start creating memories. I know since I’ve started on this path of creating as many memories as possible, I really appreciate the moment in which that memory is being created. It could be something small – but, it isn’t small really. Because it’s what you are creating. Does that make sense?

A meal with your family and / or friends; a weekend away; a holiday; a concert; some major work in the garden; a hug after a few days apart from a loved one. Whatever. Create it, bank it and, when you need a little ‘pick me up’ bring it back to mind and love the memory.l

I guess, expanding the point, if the chance to create a memory presents itself – take it. Plunge into the ‘live for the moment’ ocean and enjoy your chance to seize the opportunity. Create it, bank it, cherish it. If you let the moment pass you might regret it. It might be something as simple as a spur of the moment chance to do something when you would normally do your housework. The choice is simple. But how many times have we said “I’d love to but ………..”? 

Don’t look into your memory jar of life and see loads of blank pieces of paper because you let the chance to create a memory slip. 

I know I’m blessed and I have plenty of memories already in the 2018 jar. I know we have things lined up to create more memories. When I need reminders of the memories, the house is now full of photos, framed concert tickets and tour posters, and other such things to keep us all focussed on how lucky we are. These memories are not reliant on money – good job! They are reliant on seizing the moment and loving every minute of it.

Lemon meringue pie for your soul? Just think about it. How many of us see Lemon meringue pie and are immediately transformed back to a happy childhood? A Sunday afternoon tea treat? Or something to feast on at a cafe at a nearby seaside town?

I’m positive further opportunities will come along, some unexpected, and it’s just a case of being ready and willing to take them.

So, again, the View From The Ground fades until the next blog. As Vera warbled, who knows where who knows when.

However, my finally moment from the blog comes from taking a moment to listen. I was recently recommended a book – Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy by Mo Gawdat. I’ve only just started the book, so I’m sure there will be references to it in a future blog. But I like to look into who the author is. In doing so, I became aware that he was started a crusade – #onebillionhappy (www.onebillionhappy.org). The objective is clear – make one billion people happy and then watch the impact and see how that grows. Interestingly, this has already grown from the original  objective of .#10millionhappy as planned in the book introduction.

The website shows there are 3 steps to being part of this growing movement: –

Step 1: Make happiness your first priority and recognise that happiness is your birthright.

Step 2: Invest in your happiness (reading Solve for Happy is a good starting point).

Step 3: Tell two people about the message that you have learned, who will tell two people, who will tell two people.

Now the challenge is, on the basis that this blog will be read by at least 2 people (me and Audrey) for us the tell 2 people about #onebillionhappy. We owe it to the world – in my humble opinion.

Take care.

Jon

FOR THE LOVE OF CHORIZO, PEPPERONI, SALAMI, BATTERED AND OTHER SAUSAGE RELATED FOOD (unconditional love ❤️)

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“No one should see how laws or sausages are made. To retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making. The making of laws like the making of sausages, is not a pretty sight.” – Otto Von Bismarck

“Writing is like sausage making in my view; you’ll all be happier in the end if you just eat the final product without knowing what’s gone into it.” – George R R Martin

“I am not an intellectual. An intellectual is someone who looks at a sausage and thinks of Picasso, whereas I just say ‘pass the mustard’.” – Sebastian Horsley

So here we are, 2018 isn’t yet a month old and the blogs have descended into sausage references aplenty. These titles aren’t just plucked out of thin hair (or air). They are crafted references to something, somewhere in the blog where everything ties together. Which means by the end of the blog love and chorizo (and I do love chorizo), love and pepperoni (and I do love pepperoni pizza), love and salami (and ………..), love and battered sausage (………………), love and any other sausage I can reference (…….. guffaw) and unconditional love (time for a breath) need to get mentioned.

Welcome to the butchered ramblings from the View From The Ground or should that be a View From The Dinner Plate.

Love is definitely a feature in the blogs. #TeamDurky is blessed (whoops, the 1st use of the ‘w’ word of the year) to be full of and surrounded by love.

There’s also a define need to lift the spirit of people at a time of so much frustration in the world. I’ve just been reading the latest nonsense that has allegedly spewed from the mouth of Donny Trump. OMG! If true, what the hell is going on? Donny has also cancelled his trip to the UK. Boo hoo! His reasons are no worth repeating. The fact is, in the UK we have managed to avoid the mass protests and unrest that would have followed him. I think Donny needs to understand he is not welcome. We love our American friends; there is a true connection between the UK and USA. But Donny is too bigger risk.

So, the reach of love needs to be stretched to the USA. And, if Donny could step forth and join the human race rather than being an (alleged) (in)human(e) race(ist) we’ll include him.

So, back to the quest for love / of love – real love. Love that you can feel in your heart; love that you can see; and love you can share with as many people as possible.

It feels like 2018 has presented us with few options. We either embrace real love and share it, or we roll up into a ball and allow the darker forces to take hold. Those forces that proclaim love whilst actually seeking to divide society.

I choose the former and so see 2018 as great opportunity to explore love and to seek it where ever possible. And once discovered, let’s share it.

So, imagine my surprise when an early encounter of love came in the form of a bowl of chorizo in scrumpy. Audrey and I had heard rumours of this taste bud sensation – hidden in a quaint little bar in York. OMG! Love in a bowl! You couldn’t make it up. But, it’s the simple things that can bring such unbridled joy. Shared over a beer and a laughter filled conversation. And for our vegetarian friends, a plate of Yorkshire cheeses went down almost as well. For our vegan buddies, there was an option of a rather spectacular salad. I know we are lucky to be able to enjoy such a love feast, and believe me, I will never, ever take it for granted.

As I’ve written before, gratitude, and expressions of gratitude, are a key feature of my life. We should always be grateful for what we have been granted. I guess the title of the blog suggests I have gratitude for for – and, oh boy, I do. But, as #TeamDurky, our blessing to be able to enjoy food transforms into using the celebration of that food to spending quality time with each other.

How many of us take our food into the living room and pluck ourselves in front of the TV, occasionally glancing at our mobile devices for the latest Facebook contact? No? Really?

It’s easily done but I enjoy nothing more than a slice of pepperoni pizza and a slab of peppered conversation around the dining table. Or a salami and chilli panini and a chin wag with family and friends. Conversation – one of the greatest relaxants.

To share conversation with loved ones, priceless. Although, don’t try eating battered sausage whilst discussing Donny the Trumpmaster. You just might spray your nearest and dearest with the contents of that tasteless sensation as you launch into the subject (sorry, I was struggling to insert battered sausage into the blog without suggesting it been place sideways and whole into the mouth of said Donny.

And, again, for vegetarian and vegan associates, think cucumber and Theresa May’s insincere smile.

And, so, time for me to close another love laced lingering blog.

I read a great quote – “It’s okay not to be happy all the time” – Sam Carter (Architects). A man I have utmost respect for. An incredible vocalist in a brilliant band. He and they have been through so much but they are open about their live events – including the sad loss of their fellow band member, lyricist and twin of the band’s drummer. Their spirit is to be admired.

Keep spreading the love. It’s our duty.

Take care.

 

Jon