Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Giving it all away

Inspired by Hen at Henhouse Homemade, I was going to do a post on cottages and needlework, and I even had the pictures all ready, but I think that I have found the secret of true happiness, and I thought that I must share it with you, so all those little french knots and hollyhocks  will have to wait for a day or two. Having fulminated about the importance of kindness in this post I don't want to trouble you with too much more of my homespun philosophy, but not only am I a philosopher (and I have the certificate to prove that I can opinionate for 100,000 words), I am also keen to be an empiricist. (For those of you who don't spend your life with your head in a book, but get on and do things, that means you.) As any teacher knows, it's good to back up the theory with practical examples, and having had an epiphanic moment (just like Dottie Angel did) in which I suddenly realized that, as Mrs B would say, after all the world is a beautiful place, I thought I would share it with you. (Sorry, my dears, if I read you, I will ending up quoting you - it goes with the academic training!) I just hope the birds don't start talking in Greek, next - then I will know for sure that I am on the slippery slope.

I had been waiting for an epiphanic moment for quite some time, and like many things in life, I think they come unbidden. And I suddenly realized that my (slightly fluffy, I know) idea really and truly works - I turned on my computer first thing on Friday, whilst making some chocolate muffins for a packed lunch for a Princess (who actually didn't need them, as Friday, popularly known as chip day, is the one day of the week when she doesn't need muffins because she has school lunch), when, where was I? Oh yes, turning on the computer at 7am in case some insomniac family of four had emailed the B&B since the computer went off at 11am the night before, begging me to book them into my delightful east wing for a month. But unfortunately not - so if any of you out there want to come and stay, yes, I do have vacancies.

But in spite of the lack of potential guests, my emails didn't disappoint. Not only did I have a much-appreciated thank you in one email, I also had another one from the lovely Tia at Whoatemycrayons nominating me for the Dorset Cereals Little Blog Awards. Now as I said to Tia, it is always nice to know that someone out there is actually reading what I write (I do sometimes have that feeling with blogging that it is just me crouched in the corner mumbling to myself) and even more pleasing that someone actually enjoys what I write. And this comes hard on the heels of dear Pipany's really sweet mention of me on her blog last week (and thank you also to Poppy Cottage and Flossie Teacakes for being equally kind). So, as Jennyflower said in her recent comment, I felt quite teary for a moment, but then I thought, no, I feel ecstatically happy that everyone is so kind, and it has cheered me up no end (even though I had to go to the office in the afternoon. On a Friday, too - why it's as good as the weekend! Maybe we should all have Friday afternoons off as well as being kind.)

And hence the epiphanic moment, in the car, on the way to Pilates to unstick my joints. That what I wrote about kindness and blessings is really, really true. If you give, you will receive. And hence we have the secret of happiness for you and for me. And if all else fails, there is always cake.

I also want to thank all my readers for really kind comments - they make all the difference. Especially as when the Head Chef asked me what my last blog post was about (I am not quite sure if he is feigning polite interest, or worried that I am consorting with strange men online), and I said that I had written about being kind and nice to everyone, there were barely suppressed sniggers and patronizing smiles from the male members of the family. But I have had my revenge - living with me all these years has made them kind and nice, too. Mostly.

And now I will give you some helpful suggestions to make your day a happy one. No, I am not going to ask you to vote for me! I am not even sure what the prize is, but Princess Bunchy suggested that it would be a year's supply of cereal, and I am sure that it might be along those lines, except on a more modest scale. I am going to ask you to go and vote for someone on Dorset Cereals who doesn't have many votes, because they need them the most, and it will be sure to make them happy (and don't forget to read their blog and tell them how much you enjoy it, too.)

The second one is also about giving (I am going to get on to the receiving from me in a minute): Louise at Sew Scrumptious is trying to get together 70 presents for her mother's 70th birthday, so may be you could go and give her some advice about free or cheap ideas, or may be you even have something in your own surplus that you could send her.

And last of all, I would like to give something to you (well, some of you anyway, my list of presents to give is growing apace at the moment, I have received so much kindness recently). Poppy Cottage is doing a 'Pay it Forward' which means that she sends something handmade to three people, who then give something handmade to another three. I am not sure the name 'Pay it Forward' gets my vote  - it has overtones of money, and debt (and look where that has landed us all), so I propose that I will send a little handmade present to the first three who sign up in the comments (and make sure I can contact you easily, please). Just tell me your favourite colour, and whether you prefer knitted or stitched, and I will try to think of something that fits the bill. But remember, my handicraft, like my philosophy is homespun - so don't expect the moon, more its reflection in a puddle.

I will then trust to the recipients' sense of honour to repeat the process and send a present on to three other people - you have a year and a day in which to do this, so it is not too arduous an obligation. I think it was actually 365 days in the original PIF, but a quest is always a year and a day in fairy stories, and like Dickens, I think the people need fairy stories.

And after all that, I wish you a very happy week. And may you give and receive blessings all the day long.


heidi said...

pomona all that kindness has worn me out (in the nicest possible way of course)!! you put so much into that post.
well if i have understood it right you would like to know peoples favourite colour & if they prefer knitted or stiched?!
so here goes,apologies i have got this wrong & made a right twit of myself (wont be the first time)!!
i like natural colours & knitted.
thankyou,sending you lots of KIND thoughts heidi. x

Lola Nova said...

Dearest Pamona,
What a lush and inviting post, you have moved me. If I were to be a recipient of your kindness I have no wishes in color or content, only to get something made with your dear hands and heart. I will most honorably act in kind and send on some handmade goodness of my own.
You are full of inspiration my lovely. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

meplusmolly said...

You are most definitely a wordsmith! you wield them well.
Fab news on the nomination, yay you!
And I agree with you its nice to be nice ;0 x

marigold jam said...

What a well thought out post! You are so right giving is sure to make one happy whether it be gifts or time or just an e-mail or note in the post. I love your philosophy and wish you luck with the Jordan's best blog thingy though maybe you don't actually want a year's supply of muesli though you could always feed it to the B&B guest. I'd love to book a stay in your guest room as I'm sure it would be a lovely experience ...maybe one day!


Homemakers Tales said...

Hi Pamona... nice to see you round at mine ... I photographed the trunk on thr bedt he rug you liked is actually a blanket done in 10" squares..the inspiration fron Cath Kidston collection about 4/5 years ago ,it goes well with the rosalie duvets , a rug ...now theres food for thought Kieren x

Floss said...

I can't vote for the Jordan's blog thingy - I checked up the rules for another blogger and only UK residents can vote. Sorry, there...

It looks like you have your three PIF people.

Super post, and I love your philosophy. Being in France, I'm much more up on philosophy than I was before, and boy, am I an empiricist! I can't get over French philosophy and its obsession with the ideal. It colours all aspects of French life, and though it works well in terms of family life and, OK, can't think of another, just family life then, I feel it's a real handicap to French education, politics and business. But that's just my tiny little pragmatic British opinion.

Boy, you made me ramble there!

Have a happy Wednesday...

Mrs B said...

lovely, lovely lady! I am a firm believer of this same philosophy! My dad is a stout atheist but he has always held true to the humanist ideal of goodness, altruistic goodness, being the only way.

You made me smile! your gift was just perfect! Everything about it was right! The lavender cheered me, the colours gorgeous and a i adore smallness in all (nearly) forms (not in slices of cake!!)

I hope very much to come and stay with you one day!


Michela said...

Wow! What a super post! Congratulations on your nominees...the best gift that you can make us is your honest and frank writing!
Please, pop over for my giveaway!

Menopausal musing said...

What a glorious, thought provoking post. However much I would have liked something you had made, your true gift has already been given in what you wrote. :O) x

Calico Kate said...

Lovely lovely inspiring post. I adore that knitted heart.

Yvonne said...

Thanks for your lovely comment and good luck for Sunday.... It really is all for the best, and I'm sure it will get easier!
What a lovely post.. so thought provoking.
Let me know how it goes at the weekend

Love Yvonne xx

jennyflower said...

You are fast turning into my guru! Thanks for sharing your life philosophy, it is certainly one worth following.

Jennifer Montero said...

I need to apologise first for being so remiss, though I can blame some of it on my appalling lack of computer skills (working on improving).

I read every new blog post you write and comment on so few. (And you so kindly comment on mine and let me know I'm not just talking to myself.)But I appreciate your posts, and your thoughts, and hearing that the world still has people in it who are trying to be nice for no other reason than it's the...nice thing to do.

So thank you. And thank you for using the word epiphanic. And the birds speaking in Greek - Woolf reference? My memory's going, but that reference is trying to tease out a long forgotten memory.

And well done on the blog award!


Chrissie said...

Well, I need to go back and read that all again - just for a treat. I pebble-dashed the laptop with my Dorset Cereal ('really nutty muesli') hooting in self-recognition at the 'insomniac family of 4' thing! Thanks so much for a wonderful post.

Tabiboo said...

What a beautiful post and so well said. Somedays it's easy to get lost in the everyday suchness and forget how even a smile or nod hello can make someones day.

take care,

Nina x

Charlotte said...

Great blog and glad I found you. Hope you'll drop in on me too.

Heart in the country said...

Congratulations on the award, I really reading your blog, so I know you deserve it.

Great post again, and well done to your first three commentors (is that actually a word?!)

sequingirl said...

What a fab post, I have written about you at mine. I must also say thank you to the lovely comments you have left on my blog. I am so glad I met you at the picnic.

niftyknits said...

as reading sequingirl's blog brought me back here - I'll just say go read my comment over there! I know what you mean about thinking your blog is just whittering to yourself in a corner - I also get very puzzled as to why my *run of the mill* posts get lots of comments, and then another post which I think is quite fascinating dies a death...but hey ho.

Cathy said...

What an amazing post and very time consuming checking out all the link mentions and then all the blogs on the Dorset Cereal site (haven't done all those yet). You will be to blame if I haven't got any artwork ready for my new blog post at the weekend...haha.


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