#Stayathome friends

Capturing one of the fastest creature was always on my wishlist. No matter how hard I tried, they run to the slightest sound.

But now it doesn’t seem to be the case. More than 6 months staying at home, we have become friends to the extent that it pose for pictures 😁

Blink..

Driving back home with my grand-aunt, we were having conversations about life, dealing with adversity and making key decisions that would shape one’s future. The conversation with grand-aunt was filled with precious lessons, and one that stands out for me is-

“When you are taking important decisions in your life, if you feel even a red-flag, don’t go for it!”


I was reminded of this conversation once again, when I started reading the book – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” as part of an activity by Lean In Personal Branding led by Suba Lakshminarasimhan.

Blink is an interesting book that offers a unique narrative to how a human mind can bring as much value in the blink of an eye as in months spent on analysis. Malcolm introduces the readers to snap judgement that can be taken in seconds with limited information through – “Thin-slicing”. When I was contemplating with myself if this theory is right or wrong, I went down to my memory lane to recollect the instances where I might have applied this theory.

And the one simple instance from my routine that I could recollect was my regular commute to the office. I had to cover a brief distance by hiring an auto-rickshaw. Every time I got off the bus, I would take a quick glance at the auto-drivers and in seconds decided whom I should go with. That was me, applying the Thin-slicing theory, analyzing with the limited information I had based on the auto-drivers personality, body language and facial expressions because I was too conscious about my safety. Most of the times I was right, for I never had a bad experience except for few.

There is no right or wrong approach to this. It all depends on the data and information that is available.

“The truth is that it can. Just as we can teach ourselves to think logically and deliberately, we can also teach ourselves to make better snap judgments. The power of knowing, in that first two seconds, is not a gift given magically to a fortunate few. It is an ability that we can all cultivate for ourselves”


In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article summarizing research on human thoughts per day. It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. Just as important it is to provide relevant data to build a meaningful model with machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have to make conscious efforts to send information that can teach us in taking better snap judgments. We need to filter our thoughts to an extent that our decisions are not driven by our biases, past experiences, stereotypes etc.

“Blink is concerned with the very smallest components of our everyday lives-the content and origin of those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress.”

Is there an experience that you can recall, share in the comments section below.

P. S. This is my first attempt at writing a book review based on the first two chapters of the book. 😊

There is hope..

Life has always been uncertain. But this year, it has been different. Every day we wake up to a news that gives us reminders about the fragility of the Life.

So when everything is temporary, the best thing to do is appreciate the present – the gifts that we posses in form of mother nature, our family, our loved ones, ourself and everything that holds a dear place in our heart.

I pray may you and your loved ones be protected and be safe. God bless!

The way to be happy is here..

All it takes is to give yourself a break from being productive to being in the moment. We look for happiness when it’s right there around us, within us. The choice is ours. Be kind to yourself, the world is not going to end. Make the best out of the present.

– Me to myself ❤️

HerRising Award

I am so happy to share with this community that I have been shortlisted for the HerRising Awards for 2020 in the Women In Tech category.

The HerRising Awards applaud women achievers and I stand a chance to win, based on your votes!

Read about my work and achievements on my Profile+, created exclusively for me by JobsForHer, here: https://www.jobsforher.com/profile/ancycher-71321

If you’re impressed with what you see, you can help me win by voting for me on the HerRising Awards voting page, here: https://www.jobsforher.com/herrising/awards

Counting on your votes, and if you do, please comment and let me know ❤️

When grandma came to see me..

Something woke me up in the middle of the night. From my bed, I could see the living room filled with the moon light. Staying alone was never a nightmare for me but there was something different about today.

A fear took over me, as I just sat there, I felt my throat dry. I was thirsty. But do I dare to move from my bed. No!

I reached out for my phone, to check the time. 4:00 a.m! .

All of a sudden, it struck me, “It is 4.00 a. m. The time when granny used to wake up, read the Bible and said her prayers.”

When she read the Bible and sung her songs of praise and worship,it was so comforting. It was like angels singing for our protection. Had she been alive, this would have been her time of prayer.

My fear was replaced with her warmth and love.


I said à prayer for her and for my loved ones and then went back to sleep.

The nights that followed were no different. Between 3 a. m. to 4 a. m. I found myself wide awake with the thought about Granny. The silence and the light that filled the room made me feel as if Granny was watching over me, to say something.

It’s been years that she left us, but since then there have been many occasions, she has visited me in my dreams. I don’t know how this happens. But I want it to be like this forever. The last I saw her was a few weeks ago, all bright and ready to go to church.

And few days later my paternal grandmom left for her heavenly abode. I can only imagine the signs.

Miss you both, my Wonder women. The love and compassion with which you are filled is hard to find.

Celebrating yourself

The whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.

If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.


St. Therese of Lisieux

An innocent blackmail

Big brother: Please give me that toy. It’s mine and I want to play with it.

Little sister: No, It’s mine. I won’t give it to you.

Big brother: Think again. I won’t allow you to watch TV. I won’t let you watch Doraemon or Pokémon.

Little sister: Please take this. When did I say it’s mine?

Big brother: That’s like a good girl and my sweet sister

Only in the darkness can you see the stars

I have not often expressed openly about my spiritual beliefs, even though from a very young age, I have had the privilege to experience feelings/moments that have been beyond my understanding. To this day, thinking about each of those experiences gives me goosebumps. I realize how much I have been protected and loved by “The One”.

But there is always a phase in life, when you lose hope from everything even your greatest strength doesn’t seem to exist then. In one of those phases in my life, I chose to seek an answer. I prayed and opened the Bible and started reading – I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was I dreaming? Aren’t these words unbelievably hopeful? Nevertheless, I wrote those words in my tiny book which I fill with all words of wisdom that I have come across.

Now when I look back, each of these words feels so powerfully connected. For everyone going through hard times, this is a reminder that you are not alone. And there is still hope even in those moments. Somethings are beyond our control, but what we can do is chose to be hopeful and give our best. The universe will care for you.

Wishing you all a Blessed Sunday!

An Unsolved Mystery :D

Language, considered to be the most common way to communicate and converse. When left to a completely new place without the fluency of the local language, it leads to a fear for survival and the dire need to know the basics.

It has been no different for me. I’ve always dreamt spending my time in social work and getting connected with the local community in need. But, how will I converse with them has been the question that goes on, in the back of my mind.

My grandma however has been a perfect example for me that language isn’t a barrier in conversing. After spending her lifetime at her native, she willingly accepted the opportunity to travel and stay with her children and their families, spread across different states of India.

Our house was situated in the outskirts of a little town. And the people who surrounded us were farmers who owned huge acres of land and spent most of their time taking care of them.

The owner of the land was a lady, aged probably same as grandma. When she was on her usual visits to the farm which was near our house, she never missed an opportunity to talk to my grandma. Both didn’t had a common language to talk, my grandma spoke in her native and the old woman spoke in gujarati.

After she would leave , we used to ask grandma, what were you two talking about. And to our surprise, grandma always had a perfect answer to it with details around their conversation.

Well, to this day it still remains a mystery how they made it work. Even though, both of them left for their Heavenly abode they continue to inspire us with these memories of them.

And here she is.. Our hero.. ❤ ❤

Her first solo travel!

She looked at her watch again. It was half past 12. She had been standing at that place for more than an hour. Still there was no sign of the bus that would have taken her home.

Her school had closed earlier than expected, that’s when she decided to take the public transport instead of waiting for her school bus. After all, someday she had to try this, to be independent, to explore the roads never taken, to be bold enough to travel alone. Someday she had to, so why not now.

But now, she stood there feeling stupid of her decision. And started getting worried more than ever. Calling mom wasn’t an option because there was no mobile phones back then and a public phone bhooth was no where to be found.

All she could do was just stand there and wait. To her relief, à bus finally arrived. Having waited impatiently for a few hours now, she just hopped on without giving a second thought. The bell of the bus rang and it took off. She stood there shocked as there was no passenger except her.

It was just the driver and the conductor. Not knowing what to do, she quickly took a window seat and sat there hoping the next stops will have passengers.

One, two, three, four, and so on. The bus passed stops, but no one to take it.  Her heart started beating faster. What if something happened to her. She was the only girl in the bus. No one to witness if anything happened to her.

She reached out to her bag, and found her weapon to fight any harm. She held the white rosary, closed her eyes and starting chanting her routine prayer. Seeking help ! With hope!

The bus stopped, and there emerged a woman and sat in the front seat.

Ayesha looked out of the window to get a glimpse of the sky. “Thank you” she said and closed her eyes in relief.

Merry Christmas

The best thing about Christmas for me has always been eagerly waiting for the day and enjoying that feeling of hope than the Christmas day itself. The heart feels lighter, there is so much happiness around and to look forward to. This year was no less. My day always started with Christmas carol songs by Libera and Vienna Boys’ choir,putting up my Christmas tree and Crib with the least perfection.

Today is the day and I wish you all a Merry Christmas. And for those who are not in a state to celebrate, I wish them all blessings, love and warmth for the years to come.

Happy Holidays!

Silence

A man whom I will call Akash, came rushing with a suitcase in his hands. Behind him was a young woman, let’s call her Vidya. He checked for their seat which turned out to be next to me.

Seeing me, I could sense that he was very relieved. He started inquiring my destination. I said, “Bhopal”.

He took out his phone for a video call. I was totally surprised when he handed over his phone to me and asked me to talk.

That was the moment I realized what was happening. The couple were differently abled, none of them could hear or speak.

On the other side of the phone was a very graceful woman. She had a very beautiful and genuine smile on her face. When she started speaking all she wanted was for me to assist her daughter at her destination.

There was no reason I would have denied this request. Akash left bidding goodbyes.

There was a pause for few minutes. I wanted to engage Vidya in conversations, but at the same time I had no clue how to do that. All of a sudden, she started asking me something in signs. From what I could make out she was asking about her berth. But she wasn’t confident if I understood. She immediately video called her mom and asked her the same thing. Her mom explained that she wanted to sleep after her lunch. And then she also stressed that there was no rush.

Sometime passed, I got back to my reading.

Meanwhile, I could see Akash and Vidya on a video call again. Expressing as much as they could, to let the other one know how much they loved and cared for.

It was a rare sight for me, because these days, it is the other way around where the priviledged people have nothing to speak as there are more interesting things going on which can’t be missed on their phones.

There were lots of questions going on in my mind- why did this happen to them, their life would be so difficult, how can a mother be so calm despite of all her fears, how can there be so much love? Why can’t this world be like them? Why don’t we value our blessings? Why do we keep chasing for more? And these questions went on until I chose to stop. 🙎‍♀️

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Waah Taj

This was my third visit to Agra. The first time I visited was 4 years ago. Then and now, my love for this place still remains as is. What changed is probably the surroundings and the state of this place. This time due to pollution – all the pictures I took were blur, but does that take away the beauty and charm of this huge monument which is and forever will be a symbol of love?

Love for Taj Mahal will never die 🙂

IMG_20191113_005140

 

 

When the lights go out

I woke up to the sounds of birds chirping. I thought to myself, what time is it? Is it morning already, time to wake up? The chirping seemed closer now, and I was sitting on my bed looking for where it came from.

From a little hole on the wall, came a flock birds rushing and flying around me in circles. Down they came still in flight but closer to me, some flying near my hands. Suddenly, one of it caught my hand and stayed there for a while. I moved my hands closer to take a look cause it was still so dark. A tiny little bird, looked somewhat like the jungle babbler. Reminded me of my home where we were always surrounded by them.

Before I could make myself sure, off it went alongwith the rest. Flying off! Outside the window, stood a bigger version of the bird. All I could see was it’s head and a clear blue sky in the backdrop.

What was happening, I thought again and looked on the bed to find myself in deep sleep.

Guess the place :)

20190822195449_IMG_1058

Shimla

Visiting a new city is like meeting a new person. From the moment I land, I am in conversation with everything I see or encounter. To me, it’s more than just checking off something from my bucket list. When I am there I want to make the most out of each moment. It feels like the city says to me, please don’t go, not yet, there is still so much to see and talk.

Shimla! Was always on my wishlist. And finally getting to visit was a dream come true. Sharing a few pictures from my recent visit.

A re-introduction –

Couple of weeks ago, I got an opportunity or rather I would say, I took the opportunity to attend a workshop, that was themed as “Partnering with Life”

As the name itself speaks, the workshop was all about embracing life by adding different flavors to the way we approach it.

Not a new concept! Isn’t it? Since years, there are so many books written, movies made, speeches given – aimed at introducing us to life in a more meaningful and impactful way. We see, we hear, we agree to all of it, only to come back to a reality where changing an old self is so difficult.

I had the same thoughts when I went to the workshop, but I also believe in the fact that, when we welcome these learnings with an empty mind, we never come back empty handed. There is a take away that stays with you forever, and will be reminded at the right time.

Who am I? Was a question, that constantly reminded me of the way I see myself more than how I introduce myself to the world. When I am asked to introduce myself, I usually end up, giving à one liner introduction that only reflects, what I do for a living 😂 But this session was an eye-opener even for simple things like this, that connects me to the world. Here I am, re-introducing and re-branding myself to you all –

“Call me Ancy, Aswathy or Ayesha, Ancy is the name my parents chose for me, Aswathy is the nick name only because this is also my zodiac sign as per Malayalam calender, Ayesha is the name I chose for myself as a writer. I work with a reputed organisation, and I am also a traveller, a singer, an aspiring writer, a leader, a linguist, a storyteller, an adventurer, a photographer …. And my goal is to keep adding to this list”

I invite you to also reintroduce yourself in the comments section below.

Guest Blog: I am possible

This week my guest blog features MySmallworld. This guest is not just a writer but someone whom I have always looked up to –  A born fighter – a multi-tasker – a wonderful mom – and above all my lovely sister 🙂 Her page is full of beautiful quotes that are inspired from her real-life experiences and this is probably her first attempt to write a blog. And I am glad she did it for me 🙂

I am possible

Ever been into a situation where you felt “I am done, there is nothing left for me now, I am worthless or hopeless? Well, we live in a world where, no matter how hard we try to keep ourself positive, there are people around who don’t fail to crush our confidence.

I still remember the days of my 11th grade. Teachers are known to be great mentors in a student’s life, but fortunately or unfortunately, there a teacher who for some reason believed that I won’t make it. She used to tell me in every possible way that – “just wait and watch – no one will hire you. You won’t get a job, ANYWHERE!”.

Those days were hell for me – I was disheartened and depressed. I almost lost all my wish to exist. Coming out of that situation was a difficult, slow but daily process. I spent days praying, reading self-help books, listening to motivational speakers and uplifting music.

I wish I could meet my dear teacher once and tell her “I am the same person whom you declared jobless way before she even cleared the schooling”. Because I have been working for more than a decade now without any breaks.

As Les Brown quotes – “Someone else’s opinion about you doesn’t have to be your reality”. This changed my world. Whenever I feel down, I keep saying this to myself. It boosts me up and keeps me going.

This is just one example of rejections I have faced in my life. I know we all have many such experiences. But let not the bitter experience stop you from living your life. We all are here for a purpose and we all are capable to make it happen!

Keep going!

Guest Blog: I plead

I am starting a guest blog series once in a week, where I will be inviting some of my fellow bloggers or people outside of my WordPress network to write for my readers 🙂

This week I am publishing a beautiful work by mydreammywords. The writer is also my little sister, which makes me extremely proud of her talents and writings.

I plead…..

In times of laughter,
In times of pain,
Often did I think of
How could I write not

My soul wrote
When it immersed in yours
Each seasons did we conquer
A dreary solace coming over!

The love can never be ceased,
Unless turned to hatred,
I wish, it doesn’t
Let go not, if it happens –

Instead stay I plead,
Be patient
And make me yours!

Does that happen with you?

A few years ago, I remember what a huge fan I was of Don Moen‘s songs. Each song I heard him sing was like a divine voice talking to me.

But today, it has become different. No matter how much I try, I don’t feel the same now.

This was just one instance. Same goes with my love probably for an author, an actor, a passion, a habit and so on.

But I also realize, all of the above have been replaced by someone or something that resonates more with my current phase in life.

What’s that one thing you loved, which you can no longer relate to?

P. S. Deep down in my heart, my love for that divine voice of Don Moen is still alive❤️😄

#randomthoughts

Paradise

From a jampacked schedule during my travel to Kerala last year end, I was fortunate for getting the opportunity to visit new places. One of which was this beach in Thrissur.

What I expected and what I found was completely different. A serene and beautiful place where you can be with yourself.

Look what I made today

This was a first attempt, so this doesn’t look as neat as it should have been. 😀😁

No less than a musical event!

She studied all corners of the small clinic. The walls had been converted into shelves housing all kinds of medicines. In between, lay a table and few chairs for the patients and visitors.

Dr. Ryan was attending to a patient. She took a corner seat, anxious and worried, for the purpose of her visit was her husband, that too just few days after their wedding. A few minutes passed by and her husband took his seat facing the doctor.

There was dead silence, she couldn’t make out why.  Finally, her husband broke the silence and showed his recent reports. He had a high blood pressure. The doctor listened very attentively to what he was saying and then took his blood pressure monitor from one of the drawers.

To her surprise, all of a sudden, Dr.Ryan started singing. She couldn’t recall which one it was except for the fact that it had to be a very old Hindi song. She was taken back to her memories of waiting to watch “Rangoli” on Doordorshan the only show that would have played the oldest songs that anyone could ever imagine.

The doctor paused for a second, his hands still at work, diagnosing and then signaled her husband to continue the song where he stopped. And he did as he was asked.

She sat there befuddled, watching an health check-up that turned out to be a duet.

Letter to my younger self

My younger self,

To you, I owe my life, my world, and what I am today. I am thankful to the little dreamer in you who always reminded me of this beautiful world and the endless opportunities that were ahead of me. You made me realize, no matter how weak I may seem to the world, the power is within me to achieve what I always dreamed of.

If you have started thinking that it’s all because of you then you are wrong There were many obstacles, fears, and challenges that I had to face during my journey. But that’s why we are blessed with wonderful people around us both on the personal and professional level, isn’t it? Over these years, I have realized that in the end, there is nothing such as a good or bad experience. When I look back and connect the dots, I realize that everything happened for a reason and it falls in place at the right time. Neither too early, not too late.

I want to let you know that you are still in me, no matter how wise I become – to cherish the little things in life, to express what I feel through my writing, to offer a helping hand to the needy, to spread happiness and the list goes on.

Lots of love!

Celebrating my 5 years with WordPress

It has been a couple of months now since I last posted about my move to a new city. And since then, I have been trying to find opportunities to sit and write but haven’t been successful.

Today, with much determination, I logged in to my WordPress account “to write”. The first thing to notice was a notification from WordPress for my 5 years here. But I know that officially it has been just two years, I took interest to actively start blogging. Nevertheless, its a definitely something worth celebrating. I am really glad to be here and I hope to keep myself motivated and determined to write regularly.

5 years

Travel clicks

Despite of all the rush, happy to have found opportunities to go back to my childhood memories.. Counting the little chicks, or chasing them alongwith Grandma.. Life was so careless back then, though it’s only now we realize.

Let it be..

It was my first visit to this church. But something went wrong with the timing and I was late in reaching for the Holy Mass. I lit a candle and prayed and was appreciating the person who would have kept the bouquet. The sight itself was so peaceful.

I was rushing to leave for another church, when I thought to capture this in my cam. Due to the sunlight, the mobile screen was hardly visible. But I was surprised to see what I found in my picture gallery.

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Happy Diwali..

Happy Diwali to all my fellow bloggers !

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A new city

I moved to a new city recently. Having spent most of my life in one city, thinking about a change was a difficult decision to make. But what comes with it is a whole new set of challenges, adventures and experiences of a lifetime.

Here’s a capture from my new home.

The shining sun, the bird taking flight and the birds relaxing gives me a sign of a bright future, endless opportunities and finding peace with self in all the situations.

What makes me happy

When there is love, it brightens up everything around you. Flowers are perfect example of an outcome of love. More because of the patience and care that goes into growing the plants that bloom one day and spreads happiness.

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Support my page 😊

I created an exclusive page for Ayesha’s Diary to make this accessible to readers who are not on WordPress.. And I’m absolutely counting on my WordPress readers to support my page.

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Sunshine ☀

Home 🏡 is my sanctuary. I not only get to spend time with my family but also to be near to nature. My home is located in the outskirts of the city because of which it is unaffected by the hustle and bustle.

Whether it is the sunrise 🌅 or sunsets 🌇, chirping of the birds, feeling the cold breeze, or watching kids play cricket, my home is a one stop for finding peace.

Today, was no different. Here’s what I found :

Sea-Prayer

Here’s mine. What an amazing way to pay tribute to Alan Kurdi, and to the many refugee children who are caught in the trap of homelessness. It’s unimaginable what they are going through and the efforts required to rebuild their lives for a better future. “Sea Prayer” made me play a small part in redefining the hope for these little ones. Even though this is not a full-length novel, the intention is what inspired me to be a part of this. Do grab your copy too.

Food for thought…

Last weekend, after lunch I stopped by the Belgian Waffle to buy waffles for my niece and nephew. Going through the menu and deciding what to buy is always a pain with the fancy names.

So I decided to go by the pictures and whatever looked best. Since it was a takeaway, I had to wait for a while until I could get my order done. So instead of taking a seat I just looked around to see the artwork.

Even though it was a small place where hardly 10 people can be accommodated, they had done a good work to make it look cool. I was impressed!

However, I left the place with the below message alongwith the waffles.

~ Ayesha

Me..

Found this from a page I follow..

Belated Happy Friendship Day!

If you believe in angels, they are around you in the form of your close friends and family and so is the belief in evil. A human has the potential to bring out both either the best or the worst in you. That’s why it becomes so important to surround ourselves with people who can bring out the best.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have found those few yet close friends whom I consider as my angels because they were placed in different phases of my life and helped me to be successful in the journey so far.

When I feared to take risk, the voice said “Go on” I’m here

When I was sad, the voice said “tell me”

When I was happy, the voice said “Why don’t you share your happiness with me? ”

When I felt stagnant, the voice said “Take a different route”

When I told myself I am not worthy to deserve the best, the voice said, ” You deserve more than anyone else”

And this goes on forever..

Thankful to all my friends for being the best ones. And specially all my readers. Now you can also follow me on Instagram, twitter and Facebook. Please find the links below:

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Learn as you go

This holds very true for me. During my childhood or I can say until I started my job I had no fascination for books or reading. I was super confident that reading should be the last thing I would have considered as my favorite pastime.

But things changed in the last few years. Once I gained an interest in reading, I haven’t stopped since then. Started by borrowing books from friends initially and later started buying it for myself because I thought it was worth an investment. One after the other, my shelf was filled with all kinds of books from self-development, autobiographies, biographies, fiction, non-fiction and the list goes on.

But what has this story to do with the quote I have highlighted in the featured image? Well, it has. Reading has widened the horizons of my imagination. Reading has helped me to be creative in my writing. To be a better story-teller. It has enabled me to look at every moment of life as an inspirational story that can be penned down to share with the world. I want to write more and more and learn during this process.

Last month, I was attending a corporate conference. The organizer asked a question to the audience, “How many of you think that life is simple, raise your hands”. I raised my hand and there were a couple of other individuals who raised their hands shyly. A lady sitting next to me said,”Guys, be practical. Life cannot be simple”. Probably she was expecting me to put my hand down hearing her words. But that boosted my confidence even more. Because I do think life is simple. Life in itself can’t be simple because of the challenges we come across, but the route we take can be simple without panicking in any situation.

I got this confidence after reading about so many people and their experiences, their failure and success stories.

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I recently finished a heartwarming book – “A Man Called Ove” and now reading “When breath becomes Air“.

I posted a couple of blogs in the last few weeks, if you haven’t got a chance to read here they are:

Captured in one frame

You are lucky for me

The Journey called Life

An unavoidable phone call

Happy Weekend, everyone! 🙂