Don’t you just love the English language? So many words to play with. Let’s take a look at one: lost.

This is one of those words with multiple meanings depending on how you use it.

image‘I am lost.‘ I have no idea where I am geographically is one meaning but we also say this when we mean I don’t follow your meaning or I have no idea what you’re talking about.

‘I lost.’ We might say this at the end of a competitive encounter like a game or an argument to signify that we didn’t win or that we were defeated. Or maybe after a wager or a punt on the horses to indicate we handed over our money for naught.

‘I’ve lost my keys.’ You might say this little phrase just before you utter that enduring life question I mentioned a few posts back. In that context lost means misplaced, because invariably you find them – eventually.

‘All is lost!’ This might mean I’m ruined financially or that there is no longer any hope of my plans coming to fruition.

‘Get lost!’ This is the one we use when we want someone to remove themselves from our sight.

‘I lost it!’ For those times when you lose control of yourself and say or do a few things you’ll probably regret later.

No wonder people have trouble learning English as a second language. Most of us have enough trouble learning it as our mother tongue or native language.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter

Happy Birthday Memory

The year I turned ten my mother was doing a cake decorating course. We endured fruit cakes encrusted in thick icing and embellished with fancy edible figurines.

I discovered that a boy could only eat so much sugar.

Being an astute observer of life, I noticed that my mother was using food colourings with her icing sugar to get the fantastic results that adorned her cakes. An idea formed within my imagination – coloured ice-cream. Something different from the standard fare of vanilla or chocolate. Something that would be memorable. Something we would talk about years later.

That year, despite the cool autumn weather, we celebrated my birthday with an ice-cream cake – a big purple ice-cream cake.


Thanks for dropping by, Peter

Quick crime

He watched them walk to the bus stop and catch a bus into the city.

They would not be back for hours.

He entered the yard by the side gate. There was one large window in the rear wall of the house. It was shut. A gentle slide with his gloved hand revealed that it was not locked. The window opened into an open-plan kitchen. He stepped through into a cool interior, saturated with the smell of the bacon and eggs they’d shared for breakfast.

key-408559_640The keys were on the counter.

He backed their car into the street.

Too easy.


Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

The letter

I walked to the bus stop and there it was – on the ground, under the seat. An envelope with her name on it, torn along the long edge, with a letter inside. Unresisting, I extracted the paper and read his words to her.

What a jerk, I thought. He didn’t even have the courage to confront her and confess his reasons for desertion.

When I’d read his excuses for leaving her to bring up their kids, I understood why she had discarded the letter or not exercised sufficient care to keep it safe.

I obliterated his lies with my lighter.

man on seat




Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Unlock the mind

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Before you can unlock the mind you need to acknowledge that it might be locked. And, how do you find out if it is locked?

The secret is to notice what you think.

Most of the time there is a stream of thoughts running through your mind, dictating how you live your life – and you can follow that stream on autopilot, if you choose. After all, a lot of those thoughts are simply replays of the instructions passed to you by well intentioned people like parents or teachers or pastors.

If you never actually examine the thoughts you live by, you’ll never know whether you’re locked into patterns of behaviour or ways of seeing the world. And, if you’re locked in, what might you be missing out on?

Here are some practices you can use to examine that flow of thoughts.

Morning pages, as described by Julia Cameron in the Artists Way, is one way you can uncover what’s going on in your mind. Another way is to try some form of meditation that allows you to stop all your busyness and watch the thoughts that come into your awareness. Mindfulness is one form of meditation you can try.

Something else you could experiment with is writing down what you do each day and looking for patterns, or pay attention to the words you use in your daily speech. Do you hear yourself saying the same thing over and over? What words are you using to describe the world you live in?

Do you have a tendency to insist on being right? You know – It’s your way or the highway!

It’s such a liberating feeling discovering that something you have always thought was right or true isn’t, especially when it’s a limiting thought telling you about something you can’t or shouldn’t do.

Go on, give it a try. You might surprise yourself.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.