I love the act of creation (and no, not what you are thinking!), sitting in front of a blank screen and adding words together to create a story, a blog, an article. or taking a ball of wool and making a square for a blanket, or choosing ingredients to make a delicious meal especially if it is to share with loved ones. It is a special satisfaction creating something seemingly from nothing. I can’t imagine the creative process involved in writing a glorious piece of music or painting a beautiful picture, actually any piece or music or any picture, beautiful or not, for that matter. How satisfying must that be! More satisfying than my small satisfaction, I’m not sure? As Antoine de Saint-Exupery says
I thought I should explain a little more the significance of the “clock exercise” – this is the foundation of the Arrowsmith programme and was the first exercise that Barbara Arrowsmith Young devised for herself when she was overcoming her own learning disabilities. The clock exercise was designed to help her overcome her lack of understanding of relationships – particularly difficulties understanding the relationships among two or more ideas or concepts. This lack of understanding is called the symbol relations deficit. For Barbara, and I suspect for many others, one of the ways in which this deficit panned out, as she describes so vividly in her book, was that she was easily overwhelmed when trying to follow a group discussion on any topic more complex than the weather. Slow to grasp meaning she would always be five steps behind everyone else. She felt as if she was living in a dense fog. There is a much longer and more comprehensive description in Barbara’s book “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain” but I hope you can begin to see how difficult life must be living in a fog, never sure if you have grasped the meaning of a conversation accurately.
Another student, Heather, describes living with the symbol relations deficit as going through life wearing opaque glasses that make everything blurry and confusing. As the brain area acquires the capacity to process relationships quickly and accurately (by doing the clocks exercises), the glasses come off and the world becomes crystal clear for the first time.
It is so exciting that Simon has taken the first step towards the glasses coming off. The next challenge is the three-handed clock exercise and there are more hands after that and Simon tells me that later they go counter-clockwise! Blimey!
Simon just called me from Arrowsmith to say that he has mastered the two-handed clock! I am so very proud of him, it has been such a big effort and all the hard work he has put in has paid off. I told him he has had made my day and he replied “Well, I’ve made my life!”, meaning so much more than making his day!
I was lucky enough to spend time with these lovely ladies today in Toronto! Shelagh met me at the bus station and whisked me off to “Verity”, the most lovely ladies club – I didn’t know what a private ladies club was but now I do! We had to revive ourselves with a cup of tea after walking there, 15 minutes and we were frozen! We chatted non-stop catching up with all our news, a good deal has happened since September! Following a tour of Verity I know that if I was living in Toronto I would love to be, and have to become, a member of this sanctuary within the city, with a beautiful lounge to pop into for a cup of tea or after work drinks or lunch, a fabulous spa, gym and pool, a florists, meeting rooms, party rooms, exquisite rooms to stay in – just divine and the vision of Mary Aitken, a close relative of Shelagh’s. Shelagh treated me to a delicious lunch in the member’s lounge and then we were joined by Chris, an old friend from IGS when our children were in the same class in primary school. It was so good to see them both again and to slip into the easy ways of old friends – taking up where we left off last time as if no time had passed! Thank you ladies for a wonderful day!
This must be the most different Australia day we have ever celebrated ! Here I am, all dressed up to brave the cold to go shopping for groceries so we could make our contribution to the Pot Luck we had been invited to in order to celebrate Dennis’ birthday. So out into minus 31 I went! Much shopping and chopping later and Simon and I had made a delicious salad “Mixed Raw Vegetable and Cashews in Soy and Ginger Dressing” from the gorgeous cookery book “A Love For Food – Daylesford” which was awaiting for me upon my return from Prague – thank you Edwina!
Our salad complimented the other dishes of chilli, baked chicken and broccoli, roasted veggies and a raw minestrone soup! Followed by cheesecake with cherries, peanut butter slice and carrot and black forest cakes for pudding.
No barbecue, no pavlova and no lamingtons in sight. Thinking about it now, perhaps we should have made a pavlova – oh well! And no walk up to the lookout in the morning, listening to the Gosford Brass band playing as we walk back down the hill to one of our favourite places in the world, Pearl Beach, no walk along the beach with Rusty and Nala romping in the waves, no swimming, no tennis on the tv and no Advance Australia fair! Instead we were sitting inside, Aussie flags draped in as many places as we could hang them, eating lunch as we watched the snow falling! But we were enjoying good food and good company which seems to me to be the essence of Australia day, even in Canada!
Simon says all I have to say on the blog is that we didn’t even get out of the front door today – so there it is, that’s it for today! Oh, and we watched a lovely film called Hachi about a gorgeous dog which made me cry and Simon miss Rusty. Happy Australia Day to everyone in Australia!
I have to say having a much more straightforward journey back to Peterborough was definitely more relaxing for me but doesn’t make for a good story! Since this was a day time journey I watched three films, not that I would have been able to go to sleep had I wanted to, being surrounded by 30 or so overexcited, noisy Italian students who were heading to Toronto on exchange! I thought Ashton Kutcher was great as Steve Jobs in “Jobs” but, in my opinion, even better was Daniel Bruhl in “Rush” as James Hunt’s arch rival, Niki Lauder, I don’t particularly enjoy Formula One racing but Rush was gripping. Daniel Bruhl was also in “The Fifth Estate”, a fascinating look at the Wikileaks story. I enjoyed “Diana” and think Naomi Watts did a pretty good imitation of Diana but I have to ask the question, why bother? I also have to ask my secret source of inside knowledge how much of it was true and how much was Hollywood distorting the truth for the sake of a good story. And finally, I wish I had chosen the Gerard Depardieu movie (despite his terrible behaviour I still love him) rather than Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby”- it was beautiful, very Baz Luhrmann but why remake what was such a fabulous film when there must be so many stories to tell?
Add to that reading the International Herald Tribune from cover to cover as well as finishing “The Cellist of Sarajevo” and that was my day. Both made me remember what a small, comfortable life I have and that I need to look outward and see what is happening in the world more often.
Back to my small, comfortable life in very snowy, very cold Peterborough where Simon had enjoyed his “freedom” and Friday nighters.