Generosity cookies and a blogging Spree

There are days and there are days. There are days when the sun shines and I see a blue sky. I smile. There are days when I share a few thoughts and some photos from my life and then read the comments. Those comments make me smile too. They literally can lift me. They touch me. They reach me.

The generosity of fellow readers and bloggers never ceases to encourage me. The generosity of sharing shines through. A snippet of information, an experience – good or bad, some news form a life in another land, a touching thought, it is all encouraging.

And when I listen to the news and hear the doom and gloom of atrocities committed it’s easy to forget that there are simply billions of lives being lived, and that there are positives out there. There are blue skies and sunshine in amongst the grime and dirt.

I imagine a pin in a map that is me and then I scale up and zoom out from the map of the world as if I am in outer space looking through a telescope and there is a teeny teeny dot where I am, barely visible to the naked eye. Blogging to me means I’ve been able to draw my small world closer to others. The dot in the ocean is connected to other dots on mountainsides, dots in big cities, dots on farms and dots in other small towns.

I can connect with worlds away from my small town seaside residence, with different cultures, views and lives lived. It connects me with the minutiae and special. It connects me with the human and this remarkable planet.  I see the world through hundreds of eyes and ears; everyday I see something new and different, maybe an old favourite, a thing of beauty, the outright hilarious, inspirational words or something that in other worlds outside of blogging could be considered ordinary. I’ve re-discoverd the ordinary is the special. That normal is captivating. All those dots on the map are connected – small lines drawn between them, radiating out of their towns and into countries and continents.

There are days when the world out ‘there’ is a big bad scary place, and then I think of all these tiny dots on the landscape all connected – I imagine whizzing and whirring of lines, of information passed and connected.

And there are days when you leave a comment on a fellow bloggers post and it’s followed up by an email offering a suggestion and help. The view from my desk is that this is a generous world. I asked a question, I queried something I’d not heard of before and the next thing I know I have a recipe with instructions and suggestions. A week or so later I’m busy making them – how could I not, the recipe was sent in generosity.

I baked and ate with that generosity in mind. I shared the tasty treats with generosity. What on earth am I banging on about – Almond Butter Cookies of course. A novelty for me. When I read the words Almond Butter I didn’t understand what it was – it’s simple, it’s just like peanut butter but made with Almonds. DOH !! I love almonds – their rich milkyness, I love cookies, I like baking, I LOVE eating. Simples!

So a huge thank you to Spree for dropping me a line. And on reflection it’s so easy for me to do; maybe I should take a leaf out of Spree’s Generosity Book and share a bit more, make a few more ‘connections’, offer a suggestion or just say Hi.

The full recipe is on her blog, and this is a link for those who want to make their own Almond Butter. The cookies are tasty and treaty, a perfect snacking cookie, great with a cuppa. When I first read the instructions for making the Almond Butter I was a bt worried as I don’t have a super-duper mixer, but I needn’t have worried, the mix came out just fine. And honestly if I can make them anyone can. Fancy sharing and trying something new? It’s a pleasure!

And the photos? Firstly an admission – I’ve managed to lose the photos I took of the cookies. And I’m in no mood to bake, I have a stinking summer cold which is rendering my head to a blurry cloudy mess and my tastebuds to mush. Instead I’ll share some photos I took on Sunday – more blue skies for BAM in her grey Hong Kong and a heart drawn in the sky for Spree.

They were all taken on Sunday from a friends window. Here in Hastings we held an event to break a world record for the most number of pirates in one place. Yes it was nuts – have you ever stood on a beach with 14,000 other idiots – sorry that should read fellow citizens dressed as a pirate? No? You haven’t lived my friends!

And as part of the days events, Hastings hosted the Red Arrows – an aerobatics team that can be hired out for events and special times. Their aeronautical acrobatics are astounding. They roared into town, amazed and dazzled us. I reflected at one point that these are ostensibly machines made for war, adapted, but originally for war. And then I looked at their loops and swoops and I could see their beauty and power. I could appreciate the deftness and daring of their display. I could wonder and ohh and ahhh. And I thought you might like to get a glimpse of what it was like for us to peer out of an upper storey, with the rooftops of Hastings Old Town and the blue-blue sea and the blue-blue sky around us and marvel at what humankind can do.

The photos were all snapped in the moment with my pocket digital camera – greatly helped with blue sun and sea as background.

Life is rich!


  • How nice of you dear Claire, you expressed so nicely and I think and feel as you too. This is wonderful connection and I think we are lucky to have a nice blogger friends. This is a great post and I loved you once again, also amazing photographs of Red Arrows! Thank you, have a nice day, love, nia

  • Love your reflections on us, the tiny dots, with lines that radiate outward uniting us all – like little life lines coursing across the planet. The horrors committed every day don’t dilute or diminish or outshine the goodness on earth. It’s all a matter of where our focus lies, the dots we connect and where and to whom we give our attention. I never imagined how rich the connections would be in this realm when I first began blogging. Did you, Claire? But I’m so grateful for the connections made here…I love showing up in your place, dropping into your life, your gardens, your skies, for a few blessed moments, reading your words, seeing your lovely photographs. Thank you for what you bring to the “table”. You enrich our lives by sharing you.
    (And thank you too for the mention of the gratitude cookies! I’m glad you liked. 🙂 )

    • Hi, I like the words “life lines” – those dots are joined by by lines that pump oxygen, blood and water or maybe ideas and thoughts.
      And no I honestly didn’t have a clue about the connections when I first started, I really did blog in a vaccuum and gradually came out and peered at the world and before I knew it I was joining in. It’s been a revelation and a joy. and one that I want to continue!

  • What a lovely post Claire – the photos, the words, the sentiments, the cookies! I agree with what you say. I have “met” so many lovely people since I started blogging (well, I have actually met you and Mad Dog!) and people have sent me things int he mail, and advice, and support, and recipes and just a little e-mail saying “where are you” and it makes you realise that while there are some truly awful people in the world, they are far, far outnumbered by the good folk. Thank goodness.

    • Hi Tanya, it gives me hope that the good folk far outnumber the rest. It shows that humanity is alive and well if its allowed to live and breathe!

  • What a wonderful post! That’s exactly right…we, in our daily simple connections, create our world. Thank you for the lovely thoughts and photos!

  • Good morning Claire .. what absolutely fantastic aerial photos!! What teamwork and focus of those most talented pilots flying in formation!! And, yes, good thoughts on all of us bloggers .. we are mighty little dots and what a good connecting community we like-minded creative souls live in! And almond butter .. I have a jar in the fridge and coincidentally there is a large bag of almonds in the pantry. Hmmmm… thanks for the incentive, I will visit that blog and try making the butter! Hope you are feeling better soon and over that dastardly cold. Sending you positive thoughts to ward away the cold! 🙂

    • The pilots are amazing aren’t they – the precision with which they fly is incredible. and we did stand there and marvel at them – how low they flew over the roofs!
      and Spree’s blog is just beautiful – her recipes and photos are tempting to the point of no return! Hope you try the cookies – really simple and tasty!

  • Thank you for sharing the pictures of the Red Arrows in action in those blue blue skies and your views on blogging. 🙂

    I agree … sharing and generosity are the hallmarks of blogging that drew me to finding inspiration for my own cooking efforts. And communication. Sometimes it’s easier to ‘talk’ to people on the other side of the world and find similar spirits/viewpoints than with your next door neighbours.

    Keep on sharing and I hope to see pictures of your fellow ‘pirates’. 🙂

    • I think you are right it is easier to talk to people of like minds, where ever they are, but there are times when I feel I really should make more of an effort with my neighbours – but that can be harder work ?!
      And thanks, once again, for the encouragement 🙂

  • Oh, yes, life is rich! So glad I’m one of those tiny map dots. 🙂 And I must try the Almond Butter cookies; sound delicious. Now Pirate Day? Not so sure…but it must have been fun. Here’s hoping the rest of your week is blessed.

    • Thanks Paula, the Pirate Day thing is fun – all ages, abilities, even four legged friends join in, just all very silly really! And I truly recommend the cookies!

    • Hi Marie, and thanks, these connections have also become very real heavn’t they?!
      You would have liked Pirate day I’m sure, no prior experience needed nor any special Ninja moves 🙂

  • What a beautifully expressed post my friend 😀
    The world does seem smaller and more friendly in the blogging world and we all have so much to be thankful for 🙂
    Absolutely lovely 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  • what a gorgeous post to read this morning as i sip hot water and lemon in bed across the world from you! i love your zoomed-out view of the little dots all connected in a caring community, the skillful pilots drawing patterns in the blue blue sky, the love you see is shared around the world like the heart in the air, so glad you are part of my blogging circle dear claire 🙂

    • Lovely to think of you sipping on hot water and lemon in bed, starting your day and catching up on your blogging friends. It’s a bright warm and sunny day here, only a murmur of a breeze, sitting at my kitchen table with the door open onto the garden, the bright whites of the washing on the line, a cup of verbena tea at hand. It is a glorious morning!

  • loved reading this, tonight, just before shutting my laptop down. I will take to bed with me, the thought of our connectedness and how one dot reaches out to another and that one to another and somehow we are all connected in this wondrous web of community. Take care of you.

  • I was also surprised, in a lovely happy way, at how nice blogging connections turned out to be! Thanks for being part of my world! (And hope you fell better soon!)

    • I really didn’t imagine these connections, it’s like a huge group of friends, constantly expanding and growing together. Wonderful to have so many special people in my life Inger! and yes, the cold is finally abating!

  • What a great post, Claire. I’d no idea of what to expect when I started blogging and it continues to be very rewarding and not because I now have a burgeoning recipe file. No, it’s the other pins on the map that have touched me in many ways. It is a wonderful community that we have here.

    • I know what you mean John, I started out with some vague idea of keeping a log of the garden, which grew into a few favourite recipes and then, well the world is out there and we can do anything we chose can’t we. But to take our friends (or our dots) along with us and join in on the fun, it’s a pure pleasure! Hope you have a great week away 🙂

    • So kind of you Shimon, I’m not very good at taking compliments and respondig to them, but I’m learning – through this blog – to do just that. Thank you!

  • A heartwarming post, Claire. I hope that you’re enjoying the warm summer weather we’re having.

    • Thanks Misky, the warmth is delectable, and when I get too hot I come inside into my lovely cool home (the joy of thick stone walls). and long may it last!

    • Hey Noodle, and thank you – I remember coming across your blog in the early days, it seems like a gazillion years ago 🙂 Wouldn’t change a thing!

    • Aw thank you for thinking of me! I’ll spare you the grizzly details, needless to say the brain is de-fogging and the rest, well it’s drying up – bluergh!!

  • What a perfect expression of what blogging is, and what it can mean and the connections it makes. I love your images of the air show…a perfect sky indeed for showcasing that. I sure hope you are feeling better, and now you’ve motivated me to go and check out Spree, who I’ve seen commenting but haven’t visited. Have a sunshine filled day!

    • I hope you have a sunshine filled day too! I love Spree’s blog – imaginative and beautiful recipes and images. A friendly place too 🙂

  • Summer colds always seem so much worse than the Winter ones… I hope you’re feeling a little better soon. Great post Claire and you perfectly captured the essence of blogging – when I started my blog this year I was overwhelmed by the support, kind words and humour that comes with sharing.

    • So true – humour, kind words and support abound! and yes the cold is going slowly, so thanks for your kind wishes. Can’t wait to get back into the garden now 🙂

  • What a thoughtful post! I agree blogging is full of many pleasant suprises. And connecting with others in this often lonely and brutal world is a good thing for this planet and it’s overbearing human population. A refreshing and delightful read!

  • The jet trails are wonderful in your photos, Claire. The blogging community is an amazing, generous and neighborly place. I hope that you recover from your summer cold soon.

    • Hi Sharyn, I loved the trails in the blue sky too – so dramatic and clearly defined. I think I could do with some of that fresh Californian fruit right now 🙂

      • Well, the thing is, it wouldn’t be any good by the time it got to you. Best to wait and eat English strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries, currants and apples.

        • True! We are starting to see decent Peaches from France and Spain now, and I still have a bowl of strawberries left over from last night to nibble on 🙂

  • Lovely ode to blogging! This way that it connects us is something that I never anticipated from it but I enjoy it immensely.

    • Hi Tammy, yes it was my ode to blogging wasn’t it. It’s amazing how creating a blog has led me in so many directions, I’ve learnt so much – mostly about humanity and how rich it is. Wishing you a super sunny day!

  • Beautifully written post. Indeed, the most important thing in our lives is how we interact with other people. We need to treasure our relationships since these are what fulfill our days. We are born as social animals so it is unnatural not to mingle with others. Brava!

    • So true, we are social animals so it’s no wonder we want to conect with others, even if the means is the internet and blogging! I guess it’s another reason for the name ‘social media’ 🙂

    • Thank you Karen, I feel a lot better today – the fog of the head cold is finally goinng, time to get some gardening done this afternoon I think 🙂

  • Beautiful blue skies, beautifully written post ! I feel so lucky to have met all of our dear friends through our websites and you have summed it up well. I can’t quite imagine life without them in it. Take care, BAM

  • A lovely post and accompanying pics. I will check out Spree’s recipe, too. I like your descriptors of blogging and connecting dots.
    Pirates gathering sounds wild!! I enjoy following your blog:-).

    • The pirate day is nuts! And I’ve since realised I forgot to take flat Ruthie with me! Oh the shame, we could have had some fun dressing up 🙂

  • What a sweet and wonderful post Claire and I am sorry I missed it the first time around.
    Going into blogging I honestly didn’t expect that the part I would enjoy the most would be being one of those dots and finding new connections to other dots all over the globe. I treasure and enjoy each and every dot on my map and my life is that much richer for their presence.Thank you for being one of those dots Claire and foe being too kind as to give me the link

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