Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Prayer and Leaders ... Hippocratic Oath ... Cockayne Syndrome ... Mandela’s song ...

On reading through all of Mark Koopman’s 76 blogging friends who contributed a post to his 50 States Of Pray blogfest ... and going through your comments on my posting ... I thought as 2013 turns into 2014 another similar posting would not go astray ...

Header photo from Soweto Gospel Choir's home page

... and so I hail the New Year in with a concoction of thoughts, quotes, and odd references that recently touched me ... and leave you with a wonderful rendition by the South African township of Soweto’s Gospel Choir ... it will entrance you.

A few of you mentioned from my prayer that our butterfly effect will spread widely ... as others and leaders are doing right now and continue to do ... I mentioned Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Mandela ...
Butterflies across borders - the
Butterfly Effect
c/o www.o-pie.deviantart.com

... then spotted two from our generational era ... Angelina Jolie: humanitarian, role model ...  “The Angelina Effect” became a recognised, measurable phenomenon ... which related to her work as a campaigner against sexual violence in war zones ...

... she addressed G8 foreign ministers and the UN Security Council ... both bodies responded with funding and a legally binding resolution.

As a special envoy for the UN Refugee Agency, she also travelled to the Jordan-Syria border and demanded more international aid for the people fleeing Syria’s horrific civil war. 

Condoleeza Rice and Angelina Jolie
at the World Refugee Day in 2005
I expect many of you are aware of her preventative double mastectomy after genetic testing revealed she faced an 87% chance of developing breast cancer ... she chose to share her story ... probably saving many women’s lives ... by opening up the lines of information ...

Then there is the Malala EffectMalala the young school girl cold-bloodedly shot in the head by the Taleban in Pakistan’s Swet Valley, near the Afghanistan border in October 2012 ... who had defied the Taleban’s edict that girls should not be educated.

Malala was brought to Birmingham, to be operated on and looked after ... she was discharged early in 2013.

She has to be the youngest and most influential teenager on the planet as a champion of educational rights for girls ...
Malala at Strasbourg to collect
the Sakharov Prize forFreedom of Thought
... and on her 16th birthday, 12 July 2013, she addressed the UN Youth Assembly in New York ... concluding with these words:

The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions”, she said.  “But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died.  Strength, power and courage were born.”

I think the butterfly effect is with us ... with us, and with leaders, who will in their own way rise to ascend above the hatred ... exposing the atrocities and unfairness in the world ... encouraging more of us to be further aware of how fragile life is and do something about it ...

Malala greets her audience with ‘Namaste’ (a reverential salutation ... widely used throughout Asia and beyond) and concludes her meetings with this generous gesture.
Mural of Peace by Gari Melchers, an American
artist, in 1896

While a number of you commented on ‘Ahimsa’ – mentioned by Theresa Milstein – its precept of ‘cause no injury’ includes one’s deeds, words, and thoughts ...

Then Jo, of Jo on Food, My Travels and a Scent of Chocolate, commented that ‘Ahimsa’ made her think of the medical oath “first do no harm” ...  which sent me off to Wikipedia and the Hippocratic Oath ...

... where the ‘definitive’ Wiki photo is of a 12th century Byzantine manuscript of the Oath, set out in the form of a cross ...  

12th century Byzantine
Hippocratic Oath

... which made me think of Robyn Alana’s (Life by Chocolate blog) comment .. that I’d managed to include a passage in Hebrew (which she could read) and the Byrd’s song based on a passage from Ecclesiastes ...

... and now this 12th C Byzantine Oath, originally written in Ionic Greek in the late 5th century BC, which requires a new physician to swear upon the healing gods that he will uphold a number of professional ethical standards.

The oath has been modified multiple times ... one of the most significant revisions was first drafted in 1948 by the World Medical Association, called the Declaration of Geneva ... in the 1960s it was changed to:

“utmost respect for human life from its beginning

 ... making it a more secular concept ...

Humans are a global mix ... we really are much more alike with the same needs wherever we are in the world ... food, shelter, living without fear or worry, having love, compassion and caring people around us ...
Sandie posted this on her
blog: Chatty Crone
The Best Things in Life are Free

Friendship isn’t a big thing ... it is a million little things

An Arabic concept .... Patience, “the key to happiness”, is a virtue prized above others, and you will need to cultivate it in yourself if you’re to do business successfully.

Robyn Alana reminded us of the concept called “Tikkun Olam” ... meaning a healed world, which we pray for, but each of us is obligated to do our part to bring about peace of earth.

We are so lucky ... we should, as many of you ‘prayed for’ in Mark’s blog fest, give back, and pay it forward ... we have the internet – which has proved a boon to many ... friendships formed through blogging; information available to those searching for the name of an illness, as ...

Amy Garton Hughes, with her
mother, Jayne - from the BBC
Radio Today programme
... in an earlier blog post ..... I mentioned Scarlett (from Texas) and her son Knox, who has Cockayne Syndrome, whom I was able to meet in the autumn at the Amy’s Friends support group and annual ‘conference’  ...

... we have the radio, and on Boxing Day I heard a health item on Radio 4’s Todayprogramme on Amy highlighting how her mother through the internet found out about the cruel illness, Cockayne Syndrome ...

... then there is this beautiful spontaneous musical video tribute to Mandela in a grocery store ... three minutes of stunning voices ...

Taken from Woolworths home page
... just a wee bit of background information ... Woolworths (the general store) was American, came to Britain, Marks and Spencers opened their stores in Britain becoming clothing and food retailers, but in South Africa Marks and Spencers morphed into the name of Woolworths ... please do not ask – I have no idea!

But the video – will entrance you ...     Big Think: A Beautiful Spontaneous Musical Tribute to Mandela in a Grocery Store ... video and post found here ...

My references to Angelina Jolie and Malala came from the Sunday Times magazine, the world in pictures articles ...

Happy New Year to one and all ... may we remember others, may we be happy and positive, and may we improve ourselves ... health, wealth and understanding ...

... to everyone in this blogosphere, to the butterflies who will touch many of our extended bloggers, their families and friends ...

A very happy 2014

... and especially to all of you who have taken the time during the year to read my eclectic mix of posts and ideas – this probably really does seal the 2013 knot of them!     
Thank you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


  1. Another wonderful, golden post to end this unforgettable year, Hilary.
    What those women have done is inspiring to me. There is a lot to be done in this world.
    Women are still treated like second-class citizens in many countries. Saudi Arabia, for example. I have a friend who moved there. Women belong to men there.
    Anyway, sorry for digressing here but I can't help myself. It is my passionate nature.
    All the best for 2014, dear Hilary, let's keep blogging.

  2. I often learn something new by visiting your posts, Hilary. I hope to learn lots of new and interesting things from you in the coming year. I wish you a very happy, positive and peaceful New Year.

  3. I rejoice in the thought that in this age we can reach across oceans and hold hands with so many people, share our hopes and dreams, and continue to create a better place for future generations.Happy New Year.

  4. There are amazing people doing amazing things all over the world. It's wonderful to celebrate the positive. Thank you, Hilary. Wishing you a bright and beautiful 2014!

  5. Wishing you a very happy, healthy and successful year ahead, Hilary, kind regards from Carole.

  6. Thank you very much Hilary. I wish you a very Happy New Year. God Bless all.

  7. Hi, Hilary,


    As always, a bang up job for the end of year post! SO much POSITIVITY and a happy look to 2014.

    Yes, there are so many sadnesses in the world, but the joys are there too.. AS you had said, "If we all do our part ..."

    Paying it forward is so important. I am a firm believer in that. Many of us help others achieve small goals and with each step we get closer on our journey in life. Where it takes us is anyones's guess, but the traveling with our blogger friends is a road far less lonely.

    ALL THE BEST to you and yours!

  8. Great post Hilary and thanks for the mention. We in the blogosphere are making friends all over the world, through a cookery group I have other world wide friends. Isn't it a pity that we can't spread all these wonderful friendships all through the rest of the world. Or maybe we are the beginning of a similar butterfly effect.

  9. Always learn something by reading your posts. It's the answer to the newspaper with all its negative and sometimes horrific news. We have to keep the good news and the good people in our hearts. (Prince Charles is on his way to you :)
    Happy New Year!

  10. Happy New Year, Hilary! May 2014 bring us many more inspirational models for respecting life, promoting peace, and spreading joy.

  11. Hilary, I love the way your mind works and the way you put together your eclectic post. Wising you a very happy, healthy and joy-filled New Year.

  12. I couldn't watch the entire video. I cried too hard to see it. Thank you.


  13. Hi Hilary,

    And thus, good friend, you see out the old year with so many profound and moving aspects that will be marked in our memories.

    Your article doth flow with the gentle hopes of better times. Better times to maintain a legacy, to speak of the inspirations we have witnessed.

    Now we have reached 2014. Your blog and all those blogs, those notable times of last year, forever etched in our determination to make this a better world.

    Thank you, Hilary.


  14. @ Julia - many thanks .. it just seemed right to put up a few new thoughts based around the prayer post. Women, especially where their rights are deprived and/or in poor areas of the world, need to be helped to take a full part in the world and not have their views put down... you are right in your comment - thanks for adding to the mix and reminding us thus.

    Thank goodness for passionate people like you to put your thoughts forward ..

    @ Suzanne - many thanks, I appreciate your enjoyment .. I shall be around with my usual range of blog posts ...

    @ Rosaria - it is a magnificent benefit that we can communicate in so many ways and thus reach friends we would have had little chance of finding a decade or so ago.

    Love your idea of reaching across the oceans, holding hands, sharing our hopes and dreams ... and continuing to create a better place for future generations.

    @ Talon - your poems and prose open our eyes to things in front of us and ask us to cast our eyes beyond too ... celebrating the positive is the way forward.

    @ Carole - many thanks for calling in .. I hope the best for you in 2014.

    @ Munir - pleasure always lovely to see you here ..

    @ Michael - you're always so generous in your comments .. thankfully the positiveness shines through.

    Helping others, helps many along the way .. and as you mention that journey opens up so many opportunities ... and it's encouraging and supportive to be here with others as they watch over our progress ...

    @ Jo - I think 'groupings' who have a passion or enjoyment is a great idea to spread that butterfly effect ... be it the extra note at the bottom of each recipe ... remember to support those less well off around you ..

    @ Tasha - the negative that pours out of the radio, tv, newspapers is dreadful ... I just don't go that route - and glad you appreciate being here ..

    Good to know the Prince is on his way to me!! Thanks .. I was wondering about him ... PS everyone it's a book!

    @ Dianne - I endorse your comment .. may we all become inspirational models for respecting life, promoting peace and spreading joy ... some of us will rise to the fore and lead others ..lovely thought.

    @ A Lady's Life - thank you ..

    @ Karen - appreciate you appreciate the way my mind works .. it works hard! Just delighted 'everyone' seems to enjoy the mix and match of my thoughts ...

    @ Janie - glad you watched the video - the singing is quite extraordinary .. such amazing voices ...

    @ Gary - my first comment of the new year!

    I sincerely hope together we can help others, and provide some light for those in darkness .. then let our actions and words spread far and wide ... that would be wonderful.

    Yes, the post was written for me ... by putting the words here, then I can refer back, otherwise those thoughts are lost to my mind. Glad you appreciate having them too ..

    Happy New Year to you all - have a blessed 2014 and with many best wishes in the days and months ahead .. Hilary

  15. Hi, Hilary. May 2014 be an awesome year for you!

  16. Happy New Year, Hilary. May 2014 be filled with good will to ALL PEOPLES everywhere.

  17. The world is full of beauty and amazing people. You always remind me of that. Happy New Year, Hilary.

  18. A very special post, Hilary. There are some almost unbelievably courageous and beautiful souls in this world of ours. You have highlighted some of them here. They rise above everything and achieve extraordinary dignity and presence. They show what it is to be that very special attribute - human. Thank you for an inspiring post. I hope you have a wonderful new year and that 2014 brings more of the butterfly effect everywhere. You have certainly contributed to it here on your blog!

  19. Happy 2014 to you, Hilary! Your posts always make me smile and fit in well with your "Positive letters, inspirational stories" theme--and this one is no exception. Love hearing about people who overcome adversity to make a difference and inspire others. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Beautiful thoughts. I'm in awe of those who put everything on the line to make this world better, no matter how small or large their reach. If only we all had the courage to do something important and bold with our lives, eh?

    Have an amazing 2014!

  21. The world is an amazing place full of amazing people, isn't it?

    Wishing you much happiness in 2014, Hilary (and hoping we'll manage another meet up)

  22. I find both Angelina Jolie and Malala inspirational. When Malala delivers a speech she exudes such power and confidence. May she live to be a force in the world. We sorely need brave, good people to lead the way.

    Happy 2014 Hilary. You're pretty inspirational yourself.


  23. Thank you for sharing the wonderful post. May you have a very happy 2014.

  24. @ Susanne - many thanks and I hope the same for you ..

    @ Bish - absolutely as you say .. may 2014 be filled with good will to all peoples everywhere .. I so agree.

    @ Annalisa - thanks so much .. I'm just very happy when bloggers enjoy what I write ..

    @ Val - a special comment .. thank you - and you add to my post .. for which I'm so grateful.

    I sure hope that butterfly effect spreads everywhere ... and I'm so grateful for your comment ..

    @ Elizabeth - that's the main thing isn't it .. be positive and smile - your comment is great ...

    There are many around the world, most unsung - who help others so much .. Malala definitely fits into that category ..

    @ Crystal - it's wonderful to know and hear about these inspirational peoples/ leaders .. and yes, if only we could be courageous .. I so agree ...

    @ Patsy - yes I so agree .. and that would be great to meet up again in the coming year .. somewhere sometime!

    @ Denise - both Angelina and Malala are special aren't they .. and Malala certainly has a mind of her own. More will definitely appear above the parapet as we progress our lives ...

    Thanks so much .. especially if you think I'm inspirational - that's amazing.

    @ Lady Lilith - good to see you and appreciate that you enjoyed the post ..

    Cheers to you all - we are all inspirational in our own rights .. Happy New Years .. Hilary

  25. Such powerful words and stories here, Hilary. I'm inspired by so much. And I hope you have a WONDERFUL New Year. I'm so happy that I know you!

  26. Hilary, thank you for the good you do with your words and the "feel" of your blog. Happy New Year, 2014!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  27. A wonderfully inspiring post. Happy New Year to you too. What a great message to start 2014 with.

  28. I am wishing you a wonderful new year. sandie

  29. Thats a lot of shout outs Hil. Thanks for sharing them - I missed most of the 50 States blogfest. I've been out of the blogs for a while.

    I hope your New Years celebration was a happy one, and wish you good fortune in the coming year.


  30. @ Morgan - the people I mentioned, and more are inspirational .. I'm just going to try and remember these pointers ..

    @ Monti - many thanks and I really appreciate your comment ...

    @ Christine - thank you and Mark's Prayer posts were excellent reminders of our world ..

    @ Sandie - thank you ..

    @ Donna - I'm inspired by the bloggers who add to the conversation .. and Mark's 50 States of Pray blogfest gave us some brilliant thoughts, prayers, poems etc ...

    To you all - have blessed and fruitful New Years - cheers Hilary

  31. I so admire strong, brave women like these. Lovely post. Happy New Year, my friend.

  32. This is an amazing blog, Hilary. It is inspiring and I love the idea of the Butterfly Effect. It must take you hours to write it.
    Happy New Year to you, too.

  33. Lovely, inspirational post! Happy New Year, Hilary!

  34. @ Lynn - just two completely different people - yet singing from the same song sheet .. I agree with you ..

    @ Fanny - many thanks ... sometimes I wander along the mire of paper and ideas - eventually and erratically a blogpost appears! But I really appreciate your comment .. and am delighted to see you here ..

    @ Betty - we all need inspiring just as the festivities ease off and the new year starts up .. just glad you enjoyed it ..

    Thanks so much - it's wonderful having such amazing comments from you all .. cheers and Happy New Year as we ease into it .. Hilary

  35. What a lovely post! Happy 2014 to you also. May it be much blessed!

  36. Wonderful post spotlighting some extraordinary women. What an inspiration to begin 2014. Happy New Year, Hilary!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  37. Hilary: You are, as we say in the States, "Good People." I will enjoy another year of blogging with you. Happy New Year!

  38. Hilary,
    This is one of my favorite post and Happy New Year to you.
    I would also refer you to a new fable I reviewed called: Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hr Bookstore by Robin Sloan - marvelous tale searching for the meaning of life and Google and the importance of friends and care.

    We must end the abuse of women in all countries and educate about Dis Ease We have a young woman in our church community with PANDA disease which causes an inflammatory brain infection after a strep infection - it is devastating - The family has gotten permission for a new IV drug treatment which begins Monday morning - she is nearly 16 years old and got Lyme disease and strep at age 2.5 Our church has been feeding the family - there is also a Vit D problem and we have been flying the gal to Hawaii every couple of months to aid in her treatment.
    So much to do and the music was delightful and invigorating
    Back on the computer after a weeks vacation - and wow how the books are pouring in for review....15 on one day... with my new KINDLE I am getting great eye relief and it even reads to me! awesome and I love to read...and share these great books. I even have several children's books coming my way.
    It is nice to have so many folks need and want my words!

    Happy New Year - thanks for your delicious comment and do contact Megan directly - she has magic in manifesting a book for you - it is amazing

  39. Super post. I will think often over the coming months of the butterfly effect you mention.

  40. @ Elizabeth - glad you enjoyed it and yes let us all be blessed as 2014 moves on ..

    @ Laura - these two are inspirational, and there are many others who help out locally .. so pleased you found it inspiring to read.

    @ JJ - I really appreciate your comment - and am delighted you enjoy your visits ...

    @ Patricia - good to see you and to read your comment - girls and women experience some terrible things .. it is so sad - but wonderful your Church is helping the family with so much.

    @ Sharon - lovely to see you ..and that's great you'll think of the butterfly effect as each small thing we do will add to the many others who are helping out ..

    Thanks so much - Happy New Year to one all and let's do what we can to help others .. cheers Hilary

  41. Always something educational in your posts and this has more than normal.

    Hope you have a healthy and wealthy 2014 and the year is good to you. All the best Diane

  42. So many wonderful thoughts and facts to take us into 2014, Hilary. I particularly admire Malala's bravery. I hope she keeps safe because it is an amazing thing that she's done. Happy new year, Hilary. I'm hoping for a healthy 2014 for all of us.

  43. Dear Hilary,

    I had read this earlier, but time prevented a comment.

    I want to let you know how much I've enjoyed your blog - this particular post is outstanding, and gave me goosebumps.

    Yours is truly an inspirational blog - you write from the heart and it resonates off the page.

    With hugs and warm wishes for a most beautiful 2014.

  44. Malala should be an inspiration to all of us.

  45. Hi, Hilary,

    Happy New Year :)


  46. Thank you Hilary for this. I feel like the butterfly came and kissed my cheek and reminded me of the good that still lives in this confused world of ours. After I retired, I had time to find out more about what goes on in these United States, politically. And I have been shocked and dismayed at the cold, racist, and greedy hearts of so many who would have the opportunity to change the world and make it better, if they so chose. Happy New Year to you, my friend.

  47. All of these stories are truly inspirational. I've seen Malala on talk shows, and admire her incredible courage. It's hard to believe that she's only sixteen years old. Hilary, I always leave your posts feeling a little brighter! All the best in the New Year!


  48. You are an amazing person Hilary, one with a really big heart and lots of wisdom. I hope that 2014 will be wonderful for you and that new adventures and success will find you.

  49. @ Diane - many thanks .. well I love your tours of Charente and the descriptions of your journeys .. so I learn lots when I'm over at your blog ..

    @ Ros - good to see you - I'm so pleased everyone's been so supportive of my thoughts here and these two women in particular .. and yes, I sincerely hope she stays safe ..

    @ Jenny - I'm really chuffed by your comment .. thank you so much. I just can't believe my luck .. that I'm able to reach the few wonderful bloggers I do and who enjoy my posts ..

    @ Diane .. I certainly hope Malala inspires many ..

    @ Marinela - thank you

    @ Inger - good to see you .. I too hope the compassionate butterfly effect reaches many. Sadly many leaders don't seem to appreciate the effect their words and deeds have on many - and other leaders of very poor nations really should set examples and help their fellow countrymen - set a template of good governance ...

    @ Julie - it's so good that Malala has been able to set an example for many .. just by her speeches and the leadership role she has taken on - she is one very inspiring young lady.

    @ Murees - many many thanks .. I'm just glad you enjoy being here ..

    ... and to you all I hope you will have wonderful 2014s with lots of good health, new adventures and success - cheers Hilary

  50. What a beautiful and heartfelt post!
    Thank you Hilary!
    Wishing you a happy, peaceful and productive 2014!
    Take care.
    Writer In Transit

  51. All of the wonderful things people do for others, whether they (those doing the good) are internationally recognized or just sitting in the house next door do matter. It's nice that you've made such a post. Happy New Year to you!

  52. @ Michelle - delighted you enjoyed it .. and thank you for commenting ..

    @ Rosey - so few get highlighted, but so many in the community are doing so much for others .. and thank goodness for all of them. We all do help just that little along the way ..

    Happy New Year to one and all .. let's have great years .. cheers Hilary

  53. What a beautiful post! So many inspiring people. Thank you for sharing.

    I wish you a very Happy New Year, and all the best in 2014!

  54. Hi Sherry - many thanks .. and you too have a lovely year ahead and I hope this freezing USA weather isn't getting to you .. cheers Hilary

  55. I always enjoy your posts, your "eclectic mix" - they educate, entertain, and help us to get to know you better. This is a plus in every way, and I thank you for sharing with us. :)

    I recently came across an interview with Malala. Somehow I had not heard of her till then. What an inspiring young woman!

    Hope that work is going well at your place. :)

    Happy New Year,

  56. Wow, what a reminder of how one person can change the world. We must remember our power. Thank you for such a strong, inspiring post.

    Imagine my surprise to see me mentioned here!

  57. @ Karen - many thanks, just so pleased you enjoy the posts .. I'm glad you 'found' Malala .. she is an amazing young lady isn't she ..

    The work is coming along 'fine' - thanks .. everything under dust sheets!

    @ Theresa - you've featured twice now (and the last post) .. and each of us can set that example for others to follow ...

    Let's be inspired .. cheers Hilary

  58. Some very touching references here and the Gospel choir was just beautiful Hilary. When in Cape Town seven years ago, we had breakfast in Woolworths having been told beforehand that it was South Africa's M&S. We were not disappointed. Happy new year! :-)

  59. Happy 2014 Hilary! We can do similar great things using our blogs and have positive effects across the globe.

    Bringing an awareness of something and giving support are two things we can do instatntly.

  60. This is a beautiful post, Hilary. It's so full of hope and reminds me there is so much good in our world. It counters the bad, even though we often hear more about the bad than the good.

    I loved how you closed the post with these words: "Happy New Year to one and all ... may we remember others, may we be happy and positive, and may we improve ourselves ... health, wealth and understanding ..."

    I read them aloud to myself and let them sink inside me. Thank you and a very happy new year:~)

  61. Delightful post, Hilary.
    I admire people who use their fame to help the world. Angelina, and others, get a lot of criticism in regard to using charity for promotion. Talent and success aside, I admire her resolve to pay no attention to such voices and continue helping.

  62. @ Deborah - I'm glad you listened to the choir and watched the video .. staggering voices they have ...

    ... and that at least you knew what I was talking about re Woollies and M&S .. and yes, they have good food and coffee, and breakfast I see!

    @ Stephen - we can, and this group certainly seems, to influence a few in the world .. with our awareness, our giving and our support .. at least we get the word out ...

    @ Sara - don't we hear so much bad ... it's depressing! I always try and give a positive take on life .. because there's so much that is positive ...

    You always have wonderful comments - and I so appreciate your thoughts on my posts .. maybe I should make that sentence my tag line, when I get round to doing something about the blog ...

    Maybe even I should print them out and keep them here in front of me ..

    @ Silvia - lovely to see you .. and yes I agree, when people become ambassadors for something specific, even though they're famous, they are giving back a great deal .. and keeping those causes in the media spotlight ... which is essential to remind us on the ground of the atrocities that are perpetrated on a daily basis all around the world ...

    Thanks so much - I love the interaction you all give me - cheers Hilary

  63. I'm hoping for a better year. We'll see. Crap from 2013 is carrying over... Siigh. Happy 2014 to you, wishes for a spectacularly beautiful one.

  64. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Condoleeza Rice. And I love you!!!

    And now I need to go butter some bread for the gymnast / ballerinas and go do the Wednesday carpool.


  65. Happy New Year dear friend!! Hope to see more travels and adventures from you!

  66. @ Mary - I do hope you have a better year .. I hadn't realised you were dealing with so many difficulties re your blog and books etc ... absolutely let's believe we'll have really good 2014s ..

    @ Jannie .. good to see you .. even for a brief somersault visit .. happy school runs and year ahead for the mother of the gymnast and ballerina ...

    Cheers to you both and I do so hope our years are happy and cheerful ... Hilary

  67. Happy new year, Hilary!
    Funny, a colleague just returned from South Africa and was telling us about the Woolworth's there!
    It's wonderful to think of all the inspirational people in the world - it's not just in the history books that we find them, but all around us.

  68. So much to consider here on my Thursday morning. First, I think Angelina Joile is to be commended for her active role in this world. She's put her beauty and her money to very good use.

    I hear Malala speak out with such bravery that it encourages me to believe those in the extreme religious faction will crumble. She must be the beacon for the women of her part of the world who yearn for a voice.

    You've started 2014 with a fabulous post, Hilary.

  69. @ Deniz .. it is funny how we hear about something and then it pops up .. the Woolworths/M&S 'mix-up' is so strange - I wonder why and how it came about ...

    You are so right about having inspirational people all around us, and not just in the history books, or media that we are told about or find out about .. thank goodness for their care for others ..

    @ Lee - it was one of those posts .. but I agree with you re Angelina and her stewardship and ambassadorship for her causes ...

    While Malala is a quite incredible young lady - to be so positive, having been through so much and still stand up for all she believes in .. just wonderful to see, to read about and to find out more about her - again I agree with your sentence "she must be the beacon for the women of her part of the world who yearn for a voice" ...

    I have yet to start 2014 with a blog post - fast forward to Monday and one will appear!

    Cheers to everyone and I do hope the weather hasn't affected any of you too much .. Hilary

  70. @ Tammy - then I forgot you .. as your comment snuck in while I was commenting this a.m. ...

    Thank you for the NY 2014 wishes .. I'm sure there will be many more posts here ...

    Cheers Hilary

  71. What a beautiful uplifting post, Hilary. Thank you.

  72. I'm very late to this post, Hilary, but this is definitely a case of better late than never! Such a beautiful and inspiring post, I'm glad I came upon it now. It was a pleasure to go through 2013 with you and I've no doubt 2014 will be the same. :)

  73. @ Susan - many thanks ..

    @ Julie - you too ... 2014 should be fun all round, I sincerely hope ..

    Cheers to you both .. Hilary

  74. Lovely Hilary!! Wishing you and yours a most fabulous 2014! What a great post to see in the New Year too! Let's hope for more of these samples of positive and humanitarian and inspirational effects. They continue to ripple through time and history in many guises through many good people and I hope will continue to do so for future generations too. Take care

  75. Thanks Old Kitty ... I too couldn't agree more - we just need to be kind and compassionate to one and all ..

    ... and people do pop up as inspirational leaders over the centuries .. and I'm sure more are still hidden in the archives ..

    Cheers Hilary

  76. Happy Birthday to your blog, Hilary! That is a beautiful quote by Malala, thank you for posting it. I also quite loved the ghostly escalators. :)

  77. Hi Suze - thanks so much .. yes Malala is one amazing 'child' - such strength against the injustices of her people ...

    Glad you enjoyed the next post .. ghostly escalators - a strange birthday post!

    Cheers Hilary

  78. It's so moving to hear about goodness and courage. Thank you Hilary.

  79. Hi Juliet .. I knew you'd enjoy this post with its take on goodness and courage .. courage is something we all need more of .. Happy New Year - cheers Hilary