Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Writing Prompt Wednesday

February 14, 2018
mandyevebarnett


9781608636921

List a few phobias you have. When and how did you discover you had these?

rhino

My ‘phobia’s’ are rather bizarre to say the least. Firstly, as a child I had a recurring nightmare, which was so vivid I would wake with terrible stomach and back pain. The source was a rhino’s horn penetrating my body! In the dream I was at a fancy ‘garden’ party with marquees, waiters, lavish tables, musicians – the works. I was still young and attended with my parents. The setting was Africa on the boundary of the wilderness. (I was born in South Africa).

A rhino thundered towards the garden party scattering the guests in all directions, it also pierced through me as it exited the scene. I could feel the horn through my body and the jarring as the animal ran across the savanna. I could hear screams behind me as the guests realized my predicament. This is the moment I would wake up.

Many, many years later, when my daughter, a born animal whisper wanted to visit the rhino house at Longleat Safari Park, UK, I tried to get her to go on her own. Up to that point I couldn’t even look at a rhino photo images on the TV. She was insistent I went with her to stroke the animal. As we entered the rhino house my fear grew. My daughter went up to the rhino, who was leaning against the massive metal bars and patted it’s hide. She held my hand as I did the same. It’s hide is incredibly solid and rough and I was amazed at how it felt. This encounter lessened my childhood fear in a way I did not think possible. I can look at rhino’s now but still find I turn away when the images are of a charging bull rhino.

avalanche1

My second ‘phobia’ became apparent once I became a mother. The feelings of love and protection were (and are) so intense that I worry about my children’s safety and well-being. Even now when they are adult’s, I still worry about them (I am often teased because of it but the ‘cord’ is never cut – as we mother’s know only too well). Again I had recurring nightmares of this situation, which in a dreamscape is perfectly reasonable, of course. Bearing in mind at the time I was living in England and the situation was far from possible, the dreams were all too real to me.

Once again the dreams were vivid and I had the sensation of the bitter cold. Upon waking I would be shivering. The dream situated me with my two small children on a mountain side where an avalanche roared down towards us. I grabbed a child under each arm and ran to a rocky outcrop, where I held them tight under the overhang. As tonnes of snow poured over us I clung as tightly as I could to ensure each child was not ripped from my grasp.

Once the torrent ceased, we were buried in a capsule of snow and ice with a small pocket of space around us. As time passed, we became colder and colder and I understood I had to find a way to keep my children warm. (Now remember this is a dream and anything is possible in a dream!) I had the children put their feet and hands on my torso and that worked for a while but I could feel my extremities heat lessening. So the best way to keep the children warm was to put them ‘inside’ me where it was very warm. I cut my torso open and made the children crawl inside.

This is the moment I would wake up.

So now you have a glimpse at my psyche – how about you share too?

The Ghost Next Door…

June 27, 2016
mandyevebarnett


graveyard

Image: Upper Bucklebury graveyard (A favorite place for me – but that is another story!)

As promised I am sharing some personal encounters in regard to ghosts, reincarnation etc. This event happened when I was approximately 10 years old. We lived in a small village in England called Upper Bucklebury. There was only one store beside the gas station, it serviced the community and was a hub for meeting neighbors as well as providing essentials.

(***This village is now world famous due to Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge, once living here)

Like all of my friends at that time, we rode bicycles everywhere and the easiest way to find your child, as a parent, was to walk down the road and find the pile of bicycles on the lawn of a house. The housing estate was fairly new so the residents were mainly younger couples and their children and we became a firm community within the village as a whole. Clothing swaps, coffee mornings, and feeding and bathing whichever children were present at that time of day was usual. I’m sure now-a-days this practice would herald an immediate police presence! We did not think it strange to bathe with our friends in a row in the various baths and then go home for bedtime. Anyway I digress.

We had an elderly lady living in the older home beside our house. It was a run down property with a huge plot of land mainly filled with an old apple orchard and collapsing sheds at the back. The lady, Mrs. Vallece (unsure of the spelling) lived with a multitude of cats, her only companions. My mother would make extra food for our meals a couple of times a week and send myself or one of my siblings to deliver to her. We thought she mainly survived on cat food. She was a kindly lady and enjoyed the interaction with us. Her favorite spot was at the front window watching the world go by. So it was natural to wave to her if we rode past.

On this particular morning, my mother asked me to go to the store and buy something. I jumped onto my bicycle and set off. Mrs. Vallece was at her usual spot and I waved and she waved back. I did not think anything of this. With the item purchased I rode back home and glanced at the front window once again but Mrs. Vallece was not there. Again nothing unusual in that. Once in the kitchen I told my mother Mrs Vallece was waving and would we be taking a meal around for her. My mother looked at me with a strange look on her face.

“You waved to Mrs. Vallece? Are you sure?”

“Yes of course she was at the window like always.”

“Well, actually she couldn’t have been there sweetheart. She died five weeks ago.”

I cannot remember the rest of the conversation but I am sure my mother would have taken the time to explain what might have happened. To this day I am absolutely positive I saw Mrs. Vallece. Maybe it was her way of saying goodbye because I never saw her again.

Have you seen a ghost?

Did you see something that you cannot explain?

 

 

 

Where Did Imagination Go..?

December 15, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles

As Christmas gets ever closer the advertising machine goes into overdrive. There are numerous adverts on the television and other outlets for an abundance of toys and gift ideas for all the family. As I do not watch much television, when I happen to catch a stream of adverts I am amazed at the toy choices given. Why, you may ask? Well it is the lack of toys that encourage a child to use their imagination. Everything is themed or a character figurine or a ‘set’ of some kind or other.

lego

I make the comparison with lego – when I was a child lego consisted of various shaped blocks with which you used your imagination to build a plethora of objects. Today lego blocks are in kits, which make a single themed toy. Where is the imagination element? How can a child conjure up fantastical creatures, futuristic vehicles and unique buildings when the blocks limit their creativity?

To be a ‘whole’ person, we need to explore our physical, spiritual and mental capacities, in essence to find what we love, what we are passionate about. If we are limited in that exploration we, and our future generations, will experience a imperfect life. 

Take a simple cardboard box at Christmas it is the focus of young children while their expensive gifts are discarded. Why does a simple box engage so? Well, because it can be ‘anything’ – a tunnel, a car, a house, and much more because their imagination makes it that way. It is limitless in its possibilities.

Let’s look at guarding our imagination and that of our children.

What is your view on imagination and creation?

cardboard box

Childhood Heroes To Be Immortalised in Film…

July 25, 2014
mandyevebarnett


For many of us Enid Blyton will be a reminder of our childhood. Reading the adventures of the Famous Five and imaging ourselves in those situations, caused delight and adventure at bedtime. I read today that there are plans to make a Famous Five movie. See link:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jul/25/enid-blyton-famous-five-big-screen-adventure

enid-blyton

It is a bold idea when most children nowadays are more interested in technological heroes, machines and violence. It will be interesting to see what sort of adaptation is produced. What are your thoughts on it?

Which childhood book (or books) would you enjoy watching as  a movie?

I love Stig of the Dump, as I can imagine a caveman trying to come to terms with modern day technology and how we ‘buy’ everything instead of making it or fashioning useful articles from whatever we can find.

FunDay

Today’s fun prompt is – How would you adapt your favorite childhood hero into a movie?

Mother’s Day, Memories and a Prompt…

May 9, 2014
mandyevebarnett


This Sunday is Mother’s Day (or Mothering Sunday) in Canada as well as other parts of the world. However, it is not recognized globally on the same day. For example Mother’s Day was celebrated on mother-and-child-30th March in England. When I investigated the reasons behind having a different date dependant on which part of the globe we resided, I was surprised to find that there are several dates throughout the year. Many have been linked historically to religious celebrations. (See link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother’s_Day) No matter which date it is celebrated it is still a celebration to recognize the person who nurtured you.

The deep connection a mother feels for her children is never lost, whether those children are young or adult, they are always ‘my baby’. The umbilical cord maybe cut physically but never in an emotional way. As a mother, I am fiercely protective of my children and love them unconditionally, even though they are grown (one has left home!)  I know within my heart they are bound to me and always will be.

Even if your Mother is no longer in the physical world, their legacy of love continues – think of it as an echo of their loving protection always present within and around you. I will walk in the garden on Sunday to remember my Mother, who loved gardening and I know she will be with me in spirit. I will also  enjoy moments with my children as we enjoy a meal together and I can be as soppy as I like.

Quotes:

No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother’s love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star. ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible. ~Marion C. Garretty

Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What’s that suppose to mean? In my heart it don’t mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison

A mom reads you like a book, and wherever she goes, people read you like a glowing book review. ~Robert Brault

garden mother

Today’s prompt is to write something about your Mother. It can be a memory, a phrase, a distintive feature – honor her and love her.

My Mother was an intelligent, loving and hard working woman, who loved all her children and grandchildren with a deep, unrelenting and all encompassing fierceness. She was the glue that kept the family together and her legacy lives on within us. I know she and my Father continue to love us and are present in spirit – their love is too strong not to be.

http://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/world-mothers#.U2-SDvldWO1

Blog at WordPress.com.