Baking super seeded bread today and a story of resilience

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It's a lovely, cold but sunny spring day ... it feels like the very first day of spring .....and boy oh boy is nature coming to life in my part of the world, on the south coast of England overlooking the sea. So it's great, when not a lot positive is in the news, to see carpets of yellows, reds, violets, oranges and so many more shades of colour in various corners of my town and its public gardens. So after a brisk walk by the beach I decided to bake again(for the second time this week) ...this time a loaf of super seed bread. Let me tell you from the start ... I am not a baker, I've never been interested in baking before, but recently, because I want to go on a wheat free, sugar free diet I decided to be adventurous, to cook all sorts of unusual (for me) dishes. It is a great place to experiment, to be adventurous .... the kitchen! 

The recipe I decided to try comes from the Low-Carb Cookbook by David Cavan and Emma Porter but ... as always, I've changed the recipe a bit given that this is my second attempt at making it. 

Whenever I cook I love to have a movie in the background and .... thanks to the iPad I am able to watch almost whatever I want, almost whenever I want. In the background today I had a lovely movie ... The Million Pound Note starring Gregory Peck (watch it .. it's lovely)

But before sharing with you the recipe, let me tell you a story, a story that involves seeded bread, (my mother used to call it German bread), the second world world, Russia, and my mother, a story the baking of seeded bread triggered. The second world war had a devastating impact on many nations, many families, including my own. Imagine you are 6 year old, living with your family in a tiny village called Besedka in Russia (the village does not exist anymore ... it was re-claimed by nature a long time ago and is now a forest) about 100 Km south of Moscow, on the WW2 Eastern Front.

Imagine that your family has been thrown out of their house to make space for German officers who, together with their soldiers, had occupied the village. My mother seldom spoke much about those times .. it was too painful for her and like many people of her generation she kept those memories deeply buried in her mind ...yet.. those times had put an indelible imprint on her life, the way she looked at people and much more. One of the very few things she told me about those times was that .. the German officer in charge of the occupation of her village was really kind ... he was chubby, loved playing the harmonica, loved children (apparently he missed his own kids) and was often found gifting the children of the village (including my mother) little pieces of German seeded bread which my mother said was absolutely delicious, moist and beautifully wrapped. For children who had very few things to eat ... that bread was pure heaven. But that memory was the only nice thing she was able to tell me about that time. Sometime in 1944/1945 when that same chubby, smiling village officer received his orders to start their retreat, he gave orders to burn all the houses in the village, including our family home.

I can't repeat what happened in our neighbouring village where none of the villagers survived their occupation because "their" occupier left after not only burning the village but also killing the people. Human nature was .... is ....can be ......why is it so? Anyway, here I am ... so, so, many years later ... baking this bread with a bitter sweet feeling - feeling real gratitude for my own life .... but remembering the story it unexpectedly triggered, one that has clearly left a big imprint on me as well as my mother - because it found it's own way from my deepest memory into my consciousness ...... We are complex beings with all sorts of memories, our own and our inherited ones. Now ... let's get back to business ... and see what are the ingredients ... to be continued ... click here 

 

 


Being bullied in the civil service, my story

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Everybody reacts differently to the trauma of being bullied. It can manifest on the emotional level (depression, anxiety, PTSD) and of course physical level .... in my case it was, high blood pressure, nose bleeds,  severe insomnia, panic attacks  ... and all of those were just the tip of the iceberg plus of course the impact on the family life. It is like a tsunami that never ends.  The whole life is disturbed and the consequences can be long term and indeed they were. My daily 1 hour and 40 minutes commute was a nightmare as well and I was dreading approaching the office ... oh boy ... such memories .... I also remember how on - sadly - many occasions when the trains were cancelled or delayed and the reason was ... a body on the train lines .... I wondered .... what was the reason behind that desperate decision ....could it be that bullying was the reason? In order to understand better the story below please read first ...part 1  and after that part 2 

What helps besides what I've mentioned in my first  two blog entries on the subject of bullying  is connecting with likeminded people and sharing the experience with others. I was helped by joining the local Yoga studio, going on a yoga retreat. It is a good moment to remind myself what makes me tick, what do I love doing, what am I passionate about. Help comes in many shapes and forms.

Here is the last part of my fictional story based on my experience, telling a fictional story to illustrate what happened to me. As I have mentioned before,  I gave it to my superiors!

"...... There is a sudden lull in fighting. The Captain (my manager) stops panicking for a moment and announces to 1st Company and 2nd Company that he is stepping back from command of 1st Company - except that he would keep personal control of 1st Company's tank unit. The Sergeant (me), now Acting Lieutenant (me, temporarily re-promoted to my appointed rank) again, (so he thinks) thinks Thank God, the Company can concentrate on fighting the enemy now not trying to organise a fight amongst itself".

Unfortunately he had not allowed for the Captain's panicky nature in the face of conflict - signals keep coming at him (me) every minute as the next attack started - check this, do that, check this, do that, endless detailed instructions forgetting that the enemy knew where the hole in the hedge was now.

So, 1st Company shuffles around in a disorganised fashion with no clear chain of command - "shoot the enemy screams the Captain (my manager) - on second thoughts that will cost too much, hit them with the butt of your rifles as they come through the hedge - but don't damage the rifles as we can't afford the war".

The Acting Lieutenant (me) is going out of his mind as the big picture, shooting the ugly enemy breathing down our necks, seemed to be less important to the Captain than checking that the experienced Lieutenant was issuing the right instructions. Then he signals the Lieutenant to go and check that the tanks have oil in the engines, treads on the wheels and that the gun is pointing forwards, something the Captain had said he would do.

The Captain is now panicking and getting angry because the Lieutenant was trying to lead his men to victory and (even though the Lieutenant was two metres shorter than him and cross dressing) the Captain's body language and the way he was clenching his hands and his uncomfortably close proximity implied that he was about to thump the Lieutenant if he deserted his rifle even though the day's battle had now finished.

"Did you check the oil" screams the Captain "as I asked you". In desperation the Lieutenant objects by questioning the Captain's priorities - the Captain, who has pilloried the Lieutenant's efforts all day says "I won't allow you to speak to me like that". (the last time the Lieutenant had heard that sort of English upper class twit language was in the first world war - maybe that's where the Captain trained he thought)

The fighting ended, the Lieutenant picked up his loaded revolver and walked behind the privet - he had had enough, he wanted to end it all. This was not what war was supposed to be. You are supposed to fight the enemy, not fight your own men.

Bang!"

For me the bang meant fighting the system and .... eventually wining that battle - but not necessarily the war.

Do not suffer in silence!

 


Let's continue the story, my story, my experience of being bullied in the civil service world

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Let's continue the story started yesterday ... in case you haven't had the chance to read it ... click here

A few years ago, about 10-11 to be precise,  I was bullied. I was just one of many civil servants bullied on a daily basis. What was different in my case is that I was one of the very few people who reported the case to the management and went through the whole challenging and emotional process of proving the case. It was not easy but I do not regret doing it. What I encourage other people who are going through similar situations is to report it... stop suffering in silence. And most importantly involve your union. If you are not a member yet, do not way, go and join. Quickly! Reporting is super important as well. It is the only way to stop a very catchy and damaging behaviour. We all experience the pain of bullying in different ways ....pain is a label, a word .... underneath ... is an entire world. Anyway, one of the tools that helped me during the process was painting on a daily basis, late at night and writing ... below you can read the second part of my fictional story, telling the story of the environment I was working in. The deputy director who read it, told me that his wife has been bullied as well in her work environment (in another company) ... he was theatrical and hypocritical ... and why not .... he was the product of an environment he grew up in. The story now ... 

" .... down the line came the decision to move forward, the spring offensive was starting. All hell breaks loose with the enemy approaching 1st Company, the 8th Army bridgehead, from all directions. The Captain (my manager) panics, puts his head in his hands, loses the plot of defence completely and starts screaming at the Sergeant (temporarily demoted me)  - "have you checked that we have bullets (inferring that I am a complete idiot), the Sergeant says we have, the Captain says "are you sure, go and check" (meaning I don't trust you) - so the Sergeant's men are exposed as the Sergeant takes his eye off the approaching enemy. "Are you sure they are real bullets, not dummies" screams the Captain, "are you sure" (inferring the Sergeant doesn't do his job properly). The Sergeant replies "yes of course, the men are all professionals". "Go and check - and while you are at it do an inventory of bullets to make sure we do not run out" shouts the Captain at the Sergeant.

The enemy are getting closer but 1st Company is stationary as the Sergeant is having to do a stock check. "Have you checked that we have enough 303 rifles for each man" panics the Captain - the increasingly desperate Sergeant says "yes" - "go and check" replies the Captain - in a highly exercised state the Sergeant leaves his position once again even though he can see the eyes of the enemy peering through the privet hedge laughing ........

To be continued .....tomorrow! 


About being bullied, civil service and how storytelling, painting, humour can help

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Let me tell you something ....  I believe in the Patch Adams (you might have seen the movie, go and get the book as well) theory of healing through humour. I also believe art in any forms heals. I don't speak from books or imagination but ... I've been there. I left a  bullying environment 8 years ago and an article I came across earlier today made me  dig through my blogs and decide to republish something I posted on this topic. It is clear to me that old, bad habits die hard and bullying in the civil service is still going strong. Probably many still suffer in silence, taking their daily anti depressants, abusing their bodies and souls in all sorts of ways ... desperate to survive a hostile environment. I simply want to tell you that .. I hear you, I understand you .. I've been there. Below you will hear my voice (as it was at the time),  my way of illustrating  the way I was being bullied, the sort of workplace situation I faced daily. I would like to inspire you, the one who suffers to write your story, to look for humour, to paint, express what you feel creatively, get the support of your union rep and make plans to get out of there fast. It helps! It really does! So let me say it again ..... what helped me at the time was my union and my union rep. The story below has been shared at the time with the top man in the organisation I worked in and was part of my defence as ... yes I did complain (I encourage you to speak up) about the abuse I was suffering and yes again I faced the managers asking for justice. Yep I received apologises and so on but this is another story ... 

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So here we go, this is how the whole situation felt like ... of course in a  ... different setting:


" The western front, april 1943 ...

The war in Europe is reaching a climax. There have been battles but the big spring offensive is being planned by military command. Plans are having to be changed as our scouts bring more intelligence from the field and the timing of the offensive is being delayed because of other issues in the theatre of war. The Colonel (my manager's manager) responsible for the central push of our army is highly experienced, is calm under fire and has a clear view of military priorities.

One of his brigade commanders has retired and, pending the arrival of the new commander, the colonel shortens the chain of command, dealing directly with 1st Company under the control of a Polish Lieutenant (me) a structural engineer by training, who fought in the ice and floods of the Eastern Front against the Russians - and dealing directly with 2nd Company under the control of an experienced officer.

The Polish Lieutenant was well trained (this was carefully assessed at training camp by the excellent recruitment team lead by General E) and the Lieutenant has got to know his men well. His men (agencies, press, events) are located in different pockets across the planned front with his support close behind. 1st Company has a well researched battle plan that has been approved by the Colonel and General Command. The chain of command is understood and his men, all experienced army fighting men, are charged with preparing their own units for battle.

The Lieutenant takes a well trained leave to sunny Tripoli.

While he is away, a young Captain (My new manager) arrives to takes command of the brigade. The Colonel briefs him on how important to the success of the war is the planned central push of 1st Company. The Captain recognises this treat to his reputation and responds by taking day to day control of 1st Company (my team), explaining to the men that he is now in charge, without explaining why - unfortunately he did not tell the Lieutenant (me) this on his return from leave and, as a consequence, one of the worst things followed that can happen to an army in battle, there was complete confusion, with the Lieutenant issuing orders and the new Captain issuing other orders.

Gradually it dawned on the Lieutenant what was happening - but it was too late. His position with his men had been undermined and he looked silly in front of them. The new Captain signalled to the Lieutenant (me sitting next to him) that he, the Captain, is now in direct command of 1st Company and that he (me) is therefore demoted to Sergeant without clear portfolio.

The Captain's first acts are to ridicule the Sergeant's placing and equipment of 1st Company's left flank platoon, the first of many many similar criticisms. He commands the Sergeant to move and re-equip the platoon. The Sergeant points out to the Captain, who was once again not listening, that the men on the left flank were there for a good reason. The Captain repeated again and again, that the positioning and heavy equipment of the left flank platoon was all wrong, that he knows better -they should be facing the other way.

Again and again the Sergeant pointed out that there was a good reason for the heavy night sight rifles and their location. The Captain was not interested because it was all wrong in his opinion - finally the Sergeant was able to make it clear to the Captain that forward scouting intelligence had reported that the enemy was camped just in front of the men, behind the privet hedge waiting to attack - which is why the Colonel and General Command has approved the forward position of the left flank platoon and a night attack.

The Captain fell silent as he thought of other battle planning issues to criticise as he liked to do this, he liked to criticise, that's what he had been told that officers do. The situation was repeated time and time again. Unfortunately this constant criticism meant that the Sergeant could not lead his men who were depending on him for new battle instructions."

....... TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW 

 


About wheat free, sugar free blueberry muffin and a touch of love

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Ok so another rainy day in Eastbourne! It is probably the wettest winter /spring  I've experienced since I came to England, years ago. It simply doesn't stop for more then a few hours and then, you really need to get ready, get dressed and sprint outside the house for a bit of fresh air, vitamin D and a brisk walk in between another curtain of rain. But ... this is another story for another day .... today we are talking about .. muffins ... and not any kind of muffins but wheat free and sugar free ... healthy? you bet! 

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Because a member of my family cannot indulge in sugary products anymore, I am suddenly aware that ... in shops there are hardly any alternative products one can buy. It is not something I am complaining about ... at all ... it is a simple observation, one that made me become a researcher and experimenter in the kitchen (a bit more than I am usually). I am not a fan of muffins and never have been ... it is not something that I grow up with and I can count the muffins I've had in England on my 5 fingers but .... now ... I came across an interesting recipe .... muffins with a twist and ... my curiosity made me ... try it. I can tell you that the result is pretty good, that I will do it again and that my husband liked it a lot. 

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Here are the ingredients 

 

3 eggs 

100 grams ground almonds

50ml milk (any type of milk) 

1/2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 tsp orange peel grind or lemon 

100 - 150 grams fresh blueberries or raspberries or a combination of the two 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Beat the eggs, add the ground almonds, add the milk, add the coconut flour, orange peel grind or lemon grind, cinnamon, ginger and the fruits carefully not to break them. 

If you have paper cases, put them in a muffin tin and start spooning the mixture into them. If you don't, first grease  the 12 hole muffin tin and after that spoon the mixture. 

See, it is really simple. 

Next, put the muffin tin in the oven, make yourself a cup of tea and coffee and 20 minutes later, the muffins are ... done. Remove them from the oven, allow to cool and start eating them or store them in an airtight container until later. 

I have to say that the taste is really good and it works very well with a cup of tea or coffee. You can also eat it with a tsp of yogurt on top or more fresh fruits including a few slices of apples. If you don't have a problem with sugar, you can add a teaspoon of honey. 

Given that one can hardly find something sugar free to buy while enjoying a cup of coffee in town, you can definitely take one muffin in your bag and ... enjoy it in a new environment :) 


Beatrice Wood a free spirit, an inspiring ceramicist

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“Educate your eye, go to wonderful museums, absorb the magnificent culture that has been built up through the ages. Spend times in libraries, look at art books. Culture is the meeting of minds; when a spark is born, one man adds a pearl to the chain of another. Do not imitate but listen to the small voice which is your own and true.” - Beatrice Wood

If this quote is not enough to make you order this book now, I really don’t quite know what would. I came across Beatrice Wood by accident, one of those moments when your hand is guided on a particular shelve, in a particular bookshop and you simply know that this is going to be an inspiring book, written by an inspiring woman, an artist about her own life.  

An adventurous woman, a bohemian, a free spirit, born in 1893 in San Francisco, Beatrice Wood’s life became associated with some of the most prestigious thinkers, sages and artists of her era like Duchamps, Roche, Constantin Brincusi, Isidora Duncan, Anais Din, Krishnamurti, Annie Besant and many more. 

Aged 40, she discovered her vocation, her passion, her gift  … pottery and in the following years she created unique, powerful pieces, becoming one of the major ceramicists of the 20th century. 

Yep … go now, go and order her book …go and order “I shock myself“ by Beatrice Wood ........ you won’t regret it! 

 

 


Beetroot soup and what does it have to do with resilience

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What happens when a member of your family needs to change their eating habits? Quite a lot of things really .... We all snack ... salami slices, cedar cheese slices, French fries, chocolates, cakes, all sorts of crisps and other yummy things we are so used to having in the fridge. It is part of our normality and  we don't even know how it is to live without them. Habits have very deep roots ... very, very deep. So .... overnight ... by, by salamis, by by salty olives and so on .... the fridge looks really empty and ... you have to start to rethink your eating patterns. Easy? Hard?... both!

So of course me being me, I went to Waterstones and bought a special cookbook ... low carb, sugar free ... perfect ... I have a starting point! Luckily for me ... I love cooking and ... I love cooking in particular new things ... I love new recipes ... so this is really not hard for me. The difficulty comes with the taste .....as ....yes .... our taste buds are so so used to the strong sugary flavours and also salty ones ...

What I do know is  that for a while .. food will seem a bit strange and it will take time to adjust ......  but also, I am delighted to try new flavours and I know that some are going to be delicious. 

The first delicious recipe I want to share with you is ... Beetroot and cauliflower soup .... (I love beetroot and you will find in my previous blogs another beetroot soup recipe .. but different). The taste is not only lovely but the colour is strong, uplifting, full of positive vibes (yep ... I do believe that when you cook with love ... the food tastes better and also ... when in the background you have great music ... it is really, really fab) 

Here we go ... 

Ingredients 

1 tsp olive oil 

2-3 garlic cloves chopped

1 onion

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric 

1.5 - 2 tsp cumin (it's up to you)

3-4 raw beetroots - peeled and sliced

1/2 cauliflower head 

750 ml vegetable stock or chicken stock

a bit of salt, a bit of pepper .. maybe chilli if you like it

400 ml coconut milk (I only added 250 ml but again ... it's up to your taste)

The method is really easy .... heat the olive oil, add the garlic, onion, fry for 3 minutes, add the spices, beetroots and cauliflower and fry for 4 minutes while stirring continuously. Almost there  ... add the stock, salt pepper, chilli, cover with a lid and let everything simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the stove, allow them to cool for 20-30 minutes and using a blender, blitz the soup until it is smooth. Next ... return to the pan .... add the coconut milk and stir. Once it is bubbling nicely ... you know you are done ... you can start serving. I liked it with a teaspoon of sour cream and a bit of lemon juice and ... a slice of seed bread .... yum yum indeed. I will also post the recipe of the seed bread in a future blog as it is easy to make and it is pretty tasty. Enjoy your soup and ... yes resilience ... we all need to be resilient in many aspects of our lives  ... we build it up in many ways ... for example ... in saying no to things we like but .. are not good for us anymore. It is sometimes hard but .... it can be done! Be resilient! 


Why perseverance is important for all of us

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How many books on the subject of creativity do you have on your bookshelves? One, two, perhaps ten ... even more? who knows .... sometimes we buy beautifully colourful ones, with lovely designs, believing that they will be enough to get us going.... but how often do we notice that our enthusiasm for our lovely new book rarely stays with us for more than a few days .. so we start again, this time doing some of the exercises ... then we stop ... we put it on the side for later ... still dreaming about the time when we will use our creativity to create that amazing, amazing, magnificent ... "something" .. maybe a book, maybe a painting, perhaps taking that adventurous trip to a learning destination that we had been thinking about ....but somehow we kept postponing until later .... or a woolly warm pullover we decided one day with great enthusiasm to knit ... or that gourmet meal to cook using a recipe from one of the many superbly published books we have ....which too easily become photo albums of what might have been... 

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Everything but absolutely everything depends on our PERSEVERANCE, yes our perseverance .. Without it .. nothing happens ... we can of course tell ourselves that we do not have enough time, that we need to put aside an hour or two to start our creative project, but we are too listless and so prefer to chill-out on the sofa with something nice to hand to watch yet another something.... just for a few moments of course ........ to simply disconnect from OURSELVES. 

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I am just like you ... I get distracted by lots of things.......  but after years I have come to understand that practice, and practice, and practice makes it possible for me to open the gates to my imagination.....(because, like a rusty door, it always opens easier if it's oiled) and it's always amazes me that when refreshed and exercised, my imagination consumes me, it takes control of my hands and mind, that I can be making or sipping a coffee while my imagination is somewhere completely different enjoying itself.

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It is almost the end of February and, despite the distractions and the weather, I have continued to explore the endless possibilities for my own creative journey, helped along the way by the exercises suggested in my own book Be a creative explorer ....yes, I use my own workbook to help me to exercise my own imagination. February was a very, very dark, cold, windy, rainy month here on the southern coastline of England and I really loved hiding away from what was going on outside and completing a few more pages of my workbook (you can see the photos up and down this piece) which invites you to ... write a letter to yourself, to create a collage about the happy moments in your life, to draw perfectly imperfectly (like life itself), to colour in as it takes you then and there....and so on and so on. 

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Be a creative explorer invites you to get rid of the desire for perfectionism (because life is for living), to START NOW, to experiment, to make mistakes and to work out how to take advantage of them.... and in so doing to transform your emotions....to amazingly grow that sense that Yes I Can. Start now, start wherever you are, your imagination is waiting for you. 

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How do you open your creativity gates

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Once upon a time, a long long time ago, I was getting close to graduating from my mechanical engineering university in Bucharest and, whether by good luck or good forethought, I found that I did not have to look for a job in the engineering field because I was at the time, by pure chance and to earn some money, working part time as a PA for an English tv company attempting to negotiate a joint venture with our state broadcaster to operate a new commercial television channel. 

I found myself translating at high level and learning how to use a computer .. an Apple computer by the way. It was 1993 and I had never had access to or used a computer until then and, yes, once again .. with very little help I had to figure out how to use it .. on my own ... with tears, sleepless nights, and again tears . 

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I don't really know if that was the moment that was going to put a huge imprint on everything I was going to do further on in my career and life ... having to feel the fear and to start to figure things out for myself ... taking the road less travelled on so so many occasions. 

Years later,  here I am in a field I'd never dreamed of being in ... the creative field. Over the years, many people have asked me .. where do the ideas come from, how do I access the creative side of my mind, something so needed especially nowadays when stress, media over-consumption, electronic gadgets leave us drained, depleted. 

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That is why, as a response, some months ago I decided to self publish a workbook, something that people can take with them on the train, on the bus, on holiday, during commuting trips, when they go for a coffee .... when they sit at the kitchen table with 5 minutes for themselves or in the garden while relaxing on a Sunday afternoon .... 

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Just like it happened years ago ... I had no experience of putting together this type of workbook (yes I have self-published two creativity books, mainly about colouring, but this was a while ago) but I knew that perseverance, determination and purpose will help me find the way. And it did. 

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My  BE A CREATIVE EXPLORER workbook is about the fun of stimulating the imagination. It consists of 12 chapters, one for each month - below you can see what my first month's work looks like now that I have finished it. I am sure yours will look different but it's just to give you an idea. 

What each chapter does is to invite you to draw, to read (you have book recommendations, inspiring quotes) to colour in, to create collages, write your thoughts ... most pages have prompts to help you on your way ... You are invited to use watercolour crayons, acrylic paints, juicy pens (the really lovely ones to work with!) of all kinds, collage bits from your favourite magazines ..... 

Because creativity starts with a step ... followed by another one ... and another one .....it's  about what comes into your mind and the absolute joy for the mind of "what if...." I never look for perfection because it doesn't exist. Real life is all those things you just did and do, whatever the outcome, because in the end it's your work, no-one else's and memories are made of such things.

Be a creative explorer is available from Amazon, wherever you are. 

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The militant muse stories about art, friendship, camaraderie

 

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The Militant Muse - Love, War and the Women of Surrealism by Whitney Chadwick

“Being an artist” over the past centuries conveys an image of a field dominated by men. “Why was that”?  One could assume  that either women were not attracted by this field and instead preferred to embrace only the role of muses OR they were not good enough for the history of art to remember them. The truth of course is very far from either of these statements.  

 

“The Militant Muse” takes us to “moments in history”, the 1930’s, ’40’s, 50’s, providing a glimpse of the often-complicated relationships between muses and artists, showing how muses have sometimes “shapeshifted” into ground breaking artists themselves. It talks about feminine relationships, about inspiring and being inspired by each other, about strong human emotions, about the art of writing letters, emotional survival in traumatic times, about art as a way to “document” one’s reality and emotions - and last but not least, the importance of friendship and camaraderie. 

 

I was familiar of course with Frida Kahlo, Lee Miller, Valentine Penrose and was delighted to start researching the other characters of this book:  Jacqueline Lamba Breton, Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington. 

 

What I can promise you is that by the end of the book you will have fallen in love with at least one new artist. For me it was Leonor Fini … her work made a huge impression on me. I found myself reflecting on her paintings for hours and hours. Be prepared to be amazed.