Monthly Archives: June 2016

Soldiering On

Jennifer Michie Wood

Do you know what it feels like to be walking out of the ocean and be knocked down by a wave? That feeling when you are dragged under and you try to fight your way to the top gasping for air, but are knocked down again? That is how I feel lately.

I’m still in a state of disbelief that Brexit is carrying forward. Even though this was simply a referendum and Parliament has yet to say that it will be acted on; that Article 50 will be invoked. Everything is moving on as if we will leave the EU. It’s just this giant snowball effect that seems to be gaining huge momentum before it crashes into the brick wall at the end of the hill.

I’m hearing so many stories at the moment from others and they are shocking! One such story comes from one of my husband’s colleagues. A man working with her husband who is originally from Pakistan and has lived here for maybe 10 years, is now a citizen of the UK. Last week he voted to LEAVE! His reason, he stated was because of immigration. Ironic isn’t it? I mean what do you say to that? How do you combat ignorance? How do you combat moronism?

Jennifer Michie Moss

I try to use my morning walks to clear my head. At the moment, I seem to be listening to a lot of Miles Davis and Alec Baldwin’s Podcast “Here’s The Thing”. Yesterday, I caught up on one I had missed from February of this year, where he spoke to Molly Ringwald. I’ve long been a Brat Pack fan and like many others, I’m sure, I was shaped by, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink. To this day, my sister and I still shout out lines from The Breakfast Club to each other. In catching up on some blog reading this morning, I saw on Julia’s site that Sam’s house in Sixteen Candles is currently on the market. It’s always funny to me how things seem to collide. When you notice something and suddenly it starts popping up everywhere.

Jennifer Michie Snail Jennifer Michie Breakfast

I used my walks to exhale. To continue to see the beauty around me and I am blessed to always be rewarded. I came across a snail this morning, slowly making his way across the sidewalk. His shell was lovely. I watched a bunny eating his breakfast in someone’s front yard. I watched the sun play peek-a-boo with the clouds. I feasted on a cup of tea and two toasted slices of banana bread this morning with apricot jam. I just was.

A Changed World

We awoke this morning to a changed Britain. A change that I feel very saddened about. Whether you wanted to remain or leave the EU, the decision now made will forever change this country. I am under no illusion, this morning I awoke in a different place. I’m not one to use my blog to discuss politics. There are plenty of people who do that and who do it far better than I could.

I know that the EU is not perfect. I know there is a lot of bureaucracy and complications. But I feel it would be better to keep working through our issues together and united. Even though we live within this union, Britain is still it’s own country, whether Britain’s feel like it is or not. It is still a unique place with a fascinating history, vibrant cities and a fantastic culture.

The margin to leave versus remain was slim. Why Britain didn’t do one of the things it is best at, which is just to complain but carry on anyway, is beyond me.

Not being a British citizen, I saw everything unfold from the vantage point of another angle. Now, I have studied in the UK, I have a Master’s of Philosophy in Art History and Connoisseurship from the University of Glasgow. My husband is British, and I have gone through all of the legal processes and financial costs to be able to live here as a legal resident. I have contributed to my community. I pay full taxes and I live by the rules.

However, for all my other rights, I have no recourse to public funds, which let me just state here, I am not after, but, I also do not get a vote. I state all this to say that I am not one of the “immigrants” that have been so nastily spoken about in the paper as of late, but from some people’s remarks I know that my being here poses a threat to them as well.

If I could have voted, I would have chosen to remain within the EU. The campaign waged was extremely ugly. Especially from the opposing side. Those that wanted to leave have lead a poisonous toxic campaign filled with racist remarks, bigotry and incorrect facts. I can’t begin to count the numerous pieces of propaganda concerning funds going to the EU that could instead be used to fund the NHS that were shoved through our postbox. All stating facts that are untrue. The vile attitudes that have gone on throughout this campaign were brought even more to light this morning when Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip had the audacity to say that this triumph had come to fruition “without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired”.

Maybe Mr. Farage failed to remember the heinous crime that was committed against MP Jo Cox last week by Thomas Mair. Last week, when asked in court what his name was, he stated, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”

I think we are living in a world where fear mongering is being used as a tactic to gain the upperhand. History has taught us what happens when fear is deployed in this way. Wars have been started! Maybe I live in a fantasy world where I would like us all to get along. If I was ever in a beauty pageant, I can tell you that “world peace” would feature in my speech. We’re all in this together. This outcome is a giant step back, not a step forward.

The ramifications to leave the EU might not show themselves as quickly as the financial implications for this decision have already done. But they will begin to unfold as things slowly tear apart from the seams.

Sugar Cookies

Jennifer Michie Sugar Cookies

There was a heavy drizzle my entire walk this morning, it started as I walked out the door. The morning was quiet, I only passed a few other people. The overcast day and the rain put me in a baking mood, so I decided to roll out a batch of sugar cookies. They will be the perfect dessert tonight. I might have snuck one or two already, but that was just for the purpose of quality control!

Strawberry Moon

Jennifer Michie Strawberry Moon 2016

This is not the best picture I know. But, I was so excited to see the Strawberry Moon last night that we ran out of the house without my Nikon; so I snapped this on my iPhone. The moon was still low in the sky, but it had a pinky-peachy golden hue about it and the night felt magical.

Rambling

I headed out for my walk this morning in the pouring rain, with a podcast that Mr. Michie introduced me to, blasting in my ears. It was a dark and creepy theme, which fit the morning’s gloom perfectly. I rambled along, changing my normal route as I went. My main goal was to try to avoid being splashed by the cars that were speeding by. I was drenched when I came home.   I left a very wet trail behind me as I weaved my way upstairs to warm up in the shower.

The rain was coming down so hard at times and bouncing along the pavement, that it’s what Mr. Michie would have called, “dancing rain” if he was walking with me. The weather definitely didn’t make it feel like we are celebrating the Summer Solstice today. The afternoon has brought with it the sunshine but dark clouds still threateningly linger.

My Mom told me that the full moon tonight is a Strawberry Moon. This, coinciding with the Solstice, won’t happen again for another 70 years! I hope the sky clears up enough tonight that I can see the moon in all her strawberry glory.

The Summer Solstice, always makes me think of my Swedish neighbour who lived next door to us when I was growing up. He would sit outside for hours in the summer watching the fire flies flicker on and off as the they gently floated around his yard. He liked to keep a portion of his garden wild, so it always looked like a wildflower sanctuary. He loved the light and relished in the long days that summer brought.

After spending a portion of winter in Denmark, I can fully comprehend the Scandinavian appreciation for light, as darkness seems to envelop you during the winter months (even though everything feels cozy by the glow of candlelight that seems to bathe the Danish world in a golden amber hue.)

I thought about him on my walk this morning as I rambled along. It’s funny what little triggers can make a memory flitter through your mind.

Happy Father’s Day

Jennifer Michie Dad and Bambi

As we moved into this weekend, I continued to be deeply saddened by recent events. But I believe that we must continue to strive forward; to look for the good in humanity; to look for the good in the ones closest to us. I reflected on the fact that this will be the first Father’s Day of my Father’s life, that he doesn’t have his own Dad to celebrate with. I am extremely blessed as I have not yet known the loss of a parent and I hope a million moons pass before I ever walk that path.

With everything horrible that is going on in the world today, I think it is easy to lose sight of what really matters. What is truly important is that we love and that we tell those that we love that we love them. I am fortunate to not only love, but to be loved in return. It is simple. Because my Dad exists, the world is a better place.

Not all parents are created equal. Some people don’t have parents to be proud of. But, I do! I want to shout it from the rooftops, that my Dad is mine and that I love him!

{P.S. See that little cutie in the front? That’s MY DAD!}

A Birthday Surprise!

Jennifer Michie Birthday Surprise

It rained during my walk this morning and I came home drenched! Feeling cold and miserable, I headed up to take a shower and while washing my hair, I heard a loud thump!

When I came downstairs, I saw a pile of mail and a thin cardboard package the postman had shoved through my letterbox and what was inside? Well a birthday gift from one of my dearest girlfriends! She had sent me Susan Branch’s new BOOK!

I hurried into the kitchen, to get the kettle going. I made myself a cup of tea, cut a slice of birthday cake, lit my candles and in the dimness of the morning started to flip through the book. I know it’s cheating to look before you read, but I just couldn’t help myself!

What a lovely surprise and a wonderful way to start the weekend!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Rifle Paper Co

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday. We kept it simple, which is just what I wanted. We ordered a pizza, drank sparkling raspberry lemonade and ate a pale pink frosted birthday cake, with gold confetti around it’s edges. I baked one of my favourites; a Southern wedding cake and it tasted of vanilla and a hint of almonds. HEAVEN!

I pulled out the old projection screen we have and Mr. Michie set up the projector and we watched “Move Over Darling”, one of my most adored Doris Day movies.

Today, someone else I love dearly celebrates her birthday. You know who you are! I love you and I hope that you have a wonderful day! xoxo

{Image by Rifle Paper Co}

Leftovers

Jennifer Michie Galette

I just made it inside yesterday before the sky opened and a thunderstorm commenced. I lit candles and watched the rain pour down from our bedroom window. It was cool yesterday after a hot weekend. The weather made it a perfect excuse to make something comforting for dinner. By using up leftover sautéed onions, sausages, butternut squash and some goat’s cheese, we whipped this galette up for dinner.

I love to create new meals out of leftovers, it makes them more exciting. Although some leftovers don’t need to be tampered with. You can’t beat a good turkey sandwich after Thanksgiving or leftover meatloaf turned into a sandwich oozing with ketchup!

Served with a salad, this savoury galette was the perfect Monday night dinner!