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  • helen brain - Energy leakages
    the bloke who polished shoes and did the boring bits of the garden Sadly we didn t talk this through before we plighted our troth Next thing I knew we were having to delegate these choice roles to each other It was an awful shock and the root of all our troubles God assured us that we should get married So why was God so mean when it came to rewarding people who worked in his service Why couldn t he give us treasures on earth instead of making us wait for heaven I can just imagine Luke swanning around heaven in his cosmic BMW designer shirt open to the third button DJ Tjesto blaring on his top of the range sound system driving off into the great celestial Karoo where he will stay in tastefully minimalist five star guest houses and eat perfectly cooked but tiny seven course meals on oversized white plates with a splattering of Jus milkywayed across the northwestern corner while in the distance the koppies sigh as they settle into 400 thread indigo darkness for the night All those damn luxuries we stored up in heaven For where your treasure is there will your heart be also My treasure is in other people In connections here On earth I might not be rich according to Standard Bank But I feel wealthy because the people I spend time with enrich me Maybe I m the real monastic one in our partnership Ha Luke Stubbs What do you say to that Next blog entry Comments jen on 18 February 10 I am definitely not doing the tonsure thing having my longish hair cut short because my mother thought I was looked old and dreary is as far as I am prepared to go however I do long for life in a convent where bells rings and meals are placed before you leaving you to do the important stuff like read the Thorn Birds srj on 17 February 10 And I m pretty sure also that even in your most monastic of moments a tonsure would not suit you either But have you nonetheless been shriven today Happy that is NOT the right adjective Ash Wednesday Helen the Blogger on 17 February 10 SRJ what do I think about tonsures What sort of a question is that They do nothing for me My best friend read too much of the Thornbirds as a teenager and has a thing for men in cassocks so I gave her Luke s as a keepsake and aid to carnality But I do like a nice man working with power tools in a garage The smell of sawdust and engine oil All those little screwdrivers lined up in rows on a peg board yum A carpenter with a tonsure and a serge habit Not so much srj on 17 February 10 You can tell I m not focussed on work today An article has just been posted on the UK Guardian website about

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=405 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Colour coding
    the hole And then we started blaming each other because it was there Now he s gone I ve had to look at that hole get right into it measure it and accept that life has holes and its not anyone s fault I ve had to stop looking at life like a child with goodies and baddies and black and white and accept that there are boodies and gaddies and baggies and doodies and we are all a mixture of shadow and light and we all come in shades of gray Something else to colour code Next blog entry Comments isnot on 16 February 10 As always I can identify with so much that you say Helen I have not had the courage to measure the hole which my husband and I are finding ourselves in Infact the whole house is full of elephants roaming around in the hole just bursting to be recognised and dealt with but I cannot do this on my own I would like to ask myself the same question I used to ask my son when he was a teenager and getting up to some mischief Am I waiting for a piano to fall on my head srj on 16 February 10 Here s another thought My Mum and Dad seemed to have fallen into sharing out various responsibilities among themselves according to exaggerated polarisations of their characters e g Mum never did anything to do with finance or numbers with ladders or heights with the car with DIY as all of these were seen as Dad s areas Since he died she has taken them all on and in fact is rather more efficient at some than he was I get the impression that in general she finds it more satisfying and balanced

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=404 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Teaching
    its such fun to teach it face to face I m becoming captivated by the challenge of teaching people to write fiction How do you break something that seems intuitive into small chunks and work out processes to follow Then teach it in a way that is interesting and challenging but attainable And then to encourage a student s good habits and to eliminate their bad ones without being too harsh or too soft on them I m lucky to have such an interesting job Next blog entry Comments Helen the Blogger on 11 February 10 Wow what nice things you all say Thankyou The worst part for me about teaching online is when my students finish particularly the ones who ve been with me for a year on write a book for kids I put off and put off marking their final work because I don t want to see them go kath on 10 February 10 as one of the regular St George s English teachers I want to tell everyone that the kids really are loving the course and I look forward to seeing the results You go Helen Gill on 10 February 10 YES ABSOLUTELY DO IT Do one of Helen s courses I did Basics of Creative Writing and she is an AWESOME teacher I live far away like Heather does I live in Australia but the writers college course online was wonderful Jill on 10 February 10 Wow what lucky kids A class of only eight for creative writing with Helen it sounds like an amazing opportunity For Teacher too Have fun clara on 10 February 10 I agree totally with Heather I learned about Helen reading her wonderful articles in Suite 101 and it was love at first sight for me I could

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=403 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Intimacy and catalysts
    unconsciously seek out people who don t give 100 in order to keep feeling ok about yourself Next blog entry Comments Helen the Blogger on 10 February 10 My father was the cleverest person I ve ever met in terms of intellectual prowess But he didn t understand feelings at all I loved him dearly but it really frustrated me that he couldn t relate to things that I did that weren t also part of his interests He just couldn t engage with you if he wasn t interested in what you were talking about He didn t know how to step out of the box of what interested him and to step across the empty space to what interested other people I think he felt safe in the world where he knew he was top dog intellectually Or perhaps its because of his wunderkind child prodigy childhood But unless I talked to him about his interests he wasn t able to hold a conversation So I pursued interests that would please him in order to connect I suppose that s what I mean about people who don t meet you halfway in a relationship Helen the Blogger on 10 February 10 Marianne Sometimes friendships falter because one of the parties is either unable or unwilling to bring new things to the relationship Once you ve covered everything there is to cover in the areas where you have things in common it has to grow in a new direction or die Marianne Thamm on 09 February 10 Just a two cent s worth When relationships and I mean here friendships are about more than just a space to do therapy then they are dynamic When friends can reach a stage where they do not project or assume when they

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=401 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - 2 February
    so exciting There was only one other car near us also going crazy When they d passed we jumped in the car and followed the cavalcade but as they got nearer to Cape Town and people saw the news on the TV they rushed into the road singing and cheering and we lost the cavalcade Luke had to go home to do evensong it was a Sunday night And he was like a well cared for motorcar Never missed a service Afterwards when Madiba said on TV how surprised he d been to see so many cheering white people we hoped it had been our little family he noticed the first ordinary people on the road as he left prison And 16 years ago Philip was born Luke was fantastic to me during his delivery The first two he was crap Pete he read Crime and Punishment and panicked James he was panicking but then James birth was horrible And I got so irritable when I was in labour everything he did drove me crazy So with Pip I told him beforehand what I needed him to do And he was wonderful whispering in my ear that I was doing well encouraging me and full of affection I was so grateful to him that I called the baby Philip which Luke chose John after Luke s dad Luke I think Mandela s release from prison was the highlight of Luke s life It s miraculous that we were so close by Of course our friends Chris and Jacqui got an autographed signature that very day as Chris was Archbishop Tutu s chaplain and Madiba stayed the night at Bishopscourt But this was ALMOST as good And here we are twenty years on Goodness me how old age does creep up

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=400 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Satan Attacks
    now since I started the Basics course with you I ve mourned with you I ve cried with you I ve been angry with you and now at last I am laughing with you This is brilliant and I am so happy to see this silly and sunny spark in you jen on 02 February 10 Okay question arises why did you feel need to confess oh churchgoer is there some residual desire for flagellation lurking that must be cleared perhaps that is the reason the buckernut came to you Is on 01 February 10 you had me going churchgoer Lolly on 01 February 10 You stirring Surely not jen on 01 February 10 and verily it was very tasty which just goes to show that one should probably shun the delights of the dark one unless they are calorie free which I think they were theologians comment please patty on 01 February 10 You varmint and there I was trying to protect you from the evil churchgoer heather on 01 February 10 I will never look at a red pepper the same again Buckernut joh lots will rhyme with that one hey This blog has heated up a tad

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=399 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Saturday
    illness I haven t been able to stop wrestling with the way our relationship crumbled under extreme stress Our shadows came out and were destructive to each other And I ve had to look at the way I behaved towards him I didn t want to examine it It s much nicer to blame it all on him But although my intention was to care for him as best I could to hold the family together to be kind and supportive and 80 of the time I managed that sometimes the tiredness frustration anger and fear got the better of me and I was horrible to him The little brainwashed Catholic girl inside me wants to deny it Because nobody likes little girls who are mean and nasty You won t go to heaven if you can t be like Mother Teresa If you get hit by a car with a sin like this on your conscience you ll go straight to hell or if you re lucky to purgatory But then you ll only get to heaven if someone is kind enough to pray you out of purgatory and who s going to pray for you if you can t even be nice to your husband when he s ill oh the accusing cross nuns and mothers and older sisters and priests and horrible old ladies from church pointing their fingers at me and chanting going to hell going to hell So I m not a spiritual giant able to overcome repress my shadow and make like a saint I m an ordinary person with a light side and a shadow and that s ok I wanted to look after Luke I did it to the best of my ability My intention was to care for him So I

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=398 (2016-04-24)
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  • helen brain - Making books
    my secrets in them Writing down the stuff that moved me confused me angered me or made me despair helped me sort out the morass of feelings and categorise them I felt like inside me was a library and all the shelves had been overturned and all the books thrown into a pile on the floor Making my little books helped me to sort out my mess inside to pick up the books and put them back in order onto the shelves Anyway I haven t made any for two years but yesterday I took a faded old embroidered tray cloth and folded it into a book and stitched it down the spine and made 8 embroidered buttonholes and sewed on 8 buttons to close it with I called it Fuckwitted Love It only has four pages and it is about what happens when you leave your love in a bucket of bleach until its faded and weakened and why we are so rubbish at lovelaundry Here are some pics of it Next blog entry Comments estelle on 27 January 10 Your soft books are beautiful I can only say YES tot every word ISNOT said above Thank you and

    Original URL path: http://helenbrain.co.za/blog_view.php?id=397 (2016-04-24)
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