Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Our By Invitation subject for the month of April is " Our Greatest Challenge !!

Well, we all face small challenges on a daily basis which makes us what we are in life. I'm not one who needs to challenge myself in a major way so, there have not been any great chosen challenges in my life, so far, that I can tell you about. There haven't even been any thrust upon me really ..... well, no one thing ..... nothing of any significance that will excite you all ! I guess that I don't consider the difficult things that we face in life as challenges ..... I just get on with them. I think that has something to do with the way that I was brought up ..... to face things head on and to deal with them.

I suppose that I could tell you about finding a breast lump and having it investigated, which was a bit of a challenge but, it was benign, thank goodness, so, that pales into insignificance when I think of what others have to deal with when they get a negative result.

I could tell you that I woke up one morning about 20 years ago and only had pin point vision in one eye and the full sight in it has never returned but then, how lucky am I that I'm not blind ..... SO .....

" Cassie fumbled helplessly beneath the shade of the ancient oak, still searching for her second shoe. The first had been easy to find, having landed close to where she had kicked it off : and when her hand finally encountered it, she clutched it to her breast in a gesture of smug triumph. For one brief moment, she felt a twinge of sympathy for the sighted people who would never experience such sweet victory from a task as simple as finding a shoe."


 ..... no great challenge for me there. 

I have dealt with everything that comes with having children , as millions of us have, but, they never posed any difficult challenges for me. Our children had the usual childhood illnesses with only one drama when our daughter was complaining of a terrible stomach ache and I told her that it ached because she had been sick all day but by the middle of the night I finally called the doctor who rushed her into hospital for an emergency appendectomy !!!! She never misses an opportunity to tell people about her wicked mother !!!! 

There have been the odd little things to deal with but, our children were never really a difficult challenge.

Working in the centre of London in the 1970's was a bit of a challenge . The IRA's London Bombing Campaign's during the '70's caused considerable destruction and left many dead and injured in their wake. I worked above Scott's restaurant in the centre of Mayfair. That restaurant and one opposite were the target of two of those bombs, the one in Scott's restaurant being the beginning of the Balcombe Street Siege ! so, my working life was a bit of a challenge........ you never knew where or when they were going to strike next. But then, this affected so many people not only in London but throughout the British Isles ......... I'm sure that my parents and their generation found it even harder during WW11.  

SO ..... I shall tell you of a little challenge that was thrust upon me one summer when visiting friends in Wales. My husband and his friend were off out on said friends boat, to do some deep sea diving and I tagged along for the ride. We were way out to sea and, diving done and lobsters, crabs and spider crabs caught for dinner, we set back for the harbour. 

Suddenly, a vicious storm blew up and it was going to be very tricky to get the boat back into the harbour so, for safety ..... 

..... I donned a wetsuit and flippers and had to swim to shore through the stormy waters ..... that was a bit of a challenge ...... we were quite a way out to sea. It's a good job that I'm a good swimmer !! I ended up in a sandy bay and sat on the beach for a minute to get my breath back. There was no one around ..... the beach was deserted. 

After climbing the cliff steps, still in wetsuit and flippers, I saw a bus waiting at the top, going back to the town that my husband was battling the elements to get back to. 
I cannot imagine what the bus driver and other passengers  thought of me, getting on a bus in full wet suit, flippers and no money to pay my fare !! He kindly let me travel free after he heard my story.
I felt a right twit, sitting on that bus !!

Here I am, after the event, none the worse for wear !!!!
That was over 35 years ago but, I managed to find the photograph.

Having been given this subject to talk about this month, it has made me realise that I'm not a very challenged person and that, so far { fingers crossed }, I have been very lucky not to have had major challenges forced upon me. 

Please pop over to Marsha to see some much more interesting challenges than mine !!

image 1, 2 & 11 : via crush cul de sac, image 3: via night tattoo, image 4 & 6: via brown dress with white dots: image 5: via the gifts of life, image 7: via arwenarts.deviant art, image 8: via material whirl, image 9: via watkissonline, image 10: via jacqueline@Home



  1. Lovely post as always Jackie!

  2. Wonderful Jackie... The gorgeous thing about you is your very British ability to make light of your incredible accomplishments... Loved this, xv.

  3. Hello my dear friend, lets just say the challenge has been to stay alive. Hope all is well for you the start of another new spring. Hugs Mary

  4. It's lovely to meet you, Jackie... And that's a pretty incredible story! Thankfully, we find our way to perspective on all the "little" challenges and appreciation when it comes to the rest!

  5. Wonderful post, Jackie! Life does indeed have many different types of challenges - I'm still smiling picturing you getting on a bus with a wet suit and flippers - it's these moments that have us laughing (hopefully) in later years. Love to you! xxoo

  6. You are looking very calm after the event... not sure I would be!

  7. Hi Jacqueline, your modesty is beautiful. I know your are a strong woman made from tough stuff. Love the storm story. xo, Olive

  8. What a special post...love it....happy week darling....love Ria...xxx...

  9. No wonder that bus driver let on you looking like that Jackie, I bet you made his day!!! What a great story that is, swimming ashore is pretty amazing....and you look gorgeous in that photo, eat your heart out Ursula Andress!!!!

    I really enjoyed reading this post Jackie, I love your "just get on with it" attitude....those IRA days London in London, the Harrods bomb, I can still see the images in the newspaper in my mind, terrible days, very frightening....you did just have to get on with it though didn't you? A bit like after the more recent bombings, you either never got on a train/bus again or you just got on it and went to work the next day and put it to the back of your mind really.

    The "eye" photo is a strange one - amazing and scary all at the same time!!

    Great post Jackie!! XX

  10. Loved this Jac's ... reminds me of the saying, it's only a flesh wound ... was that in Monty Python? Challenges that you make light of is a Brit thing (my dad is a master at it). Love the pic ;) hugs & xxx D

  11. Always love to "read you" and loved seeing the "summer, wet suit, bikini" pic . . . I like your "bright side" spirit!

  12. No wonder he let you on the bus with that winning smile! All out glamour, definitely not looking at all like a damsel in distress.

    I rather suspect, reading between the lines, that your "lack of challenges" is not so much about the lack of them being there, but more about your unflappable nature. Just a suspicion... I think you would be a grand person to have about in times of distress and emergency, you would have a "just get on with it" attitude which is entirely infectious.

  13. But you survived all with good humor and a smile. That's pretty great. Very resilient.

  14. I would have sunk like a stone after about 50 yards of swimming. Drowned. But, you, you made it! You got on that bus and they cheered for you. That's a brilliant story, J. It think it was an amazing challenge to swim to shore, the guys must have made it after all since you've got the lobsters. I love your style, ladybug.

  15. Jackie, if I could have just a little of your strength.
    Many of us look at life as a struggle, you look at life with such a strong sense of living!

    PS. Great photograph of you (wow ... 35 years ago, are you sure the writer of James Bond wasn't on that bus?

  16. Sounds to me like you've had plenty of challenges, you just look at them differently.

  17. I agree with Shelley...you have a wonderful, positive outlook on life Jackie...you are FABULOUS...how great do you look in your bikini ;-)
    Thanks for popping by, lovely to hear from you...sorry to have missed this month's post...back on board next month!
    Are you loving this Spring weather, we're having? :-(

  18. Holly Cow! you are a real trooper.
    That must have been a fun trip on the bus.
    Say, do those
    Lobster's have no big front claws?

  19. Optimism is the best way to consider life and I admire people like you because it isn't always easy...Great, really great post Shelley !

  20. I love that post - making light(er) of quite challenging events - a drama queen would have chosen every incident to blow it up to the size of a novel. One of the good things in "getting on" is gaining perspective.

  21. daring in my adventure for sure!!!
    what a terror to be caught in a storm at sea.
    one of my serious phobias.


  22. I too was thinking....."Straight out of Monty Python is Our Jackie." How I wish I'd been sitting on that bus!!! My word I bet the passengers and driver still trot that story out every year. ;)
    I think you are an amazing person Jackie, cos I think loads of us would have sunk like a stone under the weight of any of your challenges.
    "Power to Lobster Girl!!!"


  23. Hello you! So I think this post completely sums up your whole approach to life! You accept things and DON"T WORRY and I have decided that being a worrier is one of the most challenging things ever! I wanted to thank you (again) for the wisdom-full comments you have left me. I almost know now when I write a post that is glass-half-empty that you will pop up and say 'listen...you need to calm it down, not be so hard on yourself etc etc'. You are always right and I appreciate your advice so much. So thank you. It makes a difference. Lou x

  24. Love that story Jackie and somehow it did not surprise me one bit. You always bring a smile to my face and love you for that. xoxo

  25. Well Honey Child,
    Should you get to Maine look me up for a Maine Lobster dinner.
    Great photo of you..

  26. Thanks for your nice story's about your challenges and thanks for your understanding words on my blog.
    Great with a understanding blogfriend some gives some pushes in the right direction again:)
    Sleep well.
    Hugs Gerda

  27. Hi Jackie,

    Such a positive approach to life you have! I am happy to hear the lump was nothing serious....pfff! That must have been such a relief!

    Have a lovely evening!

    Madelief x

  28. Hi my friend...we all face challenges and I really do believe it is how we handle them that matters....you are amazing! Hugs to you for sharing my friend. xoxo

  29. Hello Jackie

    You are a brave woman and what you say here took courage. I recall visiting London during the IRA bombings and it was a horrible, uncertain time. I must say I am giggling with the image of you on the double decker bus with nothing but a wet suit and smile on your face!! Ha Haa. What a marvelous experience.
    I take this opportunity to wish you continued courage and smooth sailing.
    Helen xx

  30. Halle Berry has nothing on you babe!
    Millie xx

  31. What an adventurous young lass you were...and so brave (and cute!). Your attitude towards challenges is centered and balanced...the way we all should handle the 'stuff of life'...whether the seas be smooth or stormy.
    Thanks for sharing...
    xo J~