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A Still Life For The Queen - The July Beagle

Greetings friends,

I'm so sorry for the delay in getting the Beagle out this month, I'm a little wooly headed as we Brits say as I continue to work through post-Covid symptoms. It's been quite the plague ship in our house the past few weeks with hubby bringing the dreaded lurgy back from a business trip in France and despite our best efforts to sequester him I succumbed first followed two days later by our daughter. I feel very fortunate to have avoided it for two years and also having had both vaccines and booster. I'm coming out the other side but it's quite the slow ride, my heart goes out to anyone who's had it or is currently struggling, it's no joke. I tested negative on Day 10 but still have strong cold-like symptoms, brain fog and fatigue, trying to concentrate or get anything significant done is a task. But I'm pacing myself while swinging between push and pause.

Please excuse any typos or strange anomalies this issue, it's not as polished as I'd like but blame the wool!

Here are a few thoughts I've been pondering this month.


I made my first meme to describe my spiritual trauma journey:


I met a man today, my shopping delivery driver. He’s been in the same job for ten years. He likes, it, he said he enjoys a challenge. He’s worked for various large supermarkets over the years, he has much experience, career capitol as Cal Newport would say. He was early today, he liked it that way, he knows he might meet with delays later so likes to get a head start and also leave time to not rush. He lamented the posture his employers took towards him, how they hire the new young guy with no experience and know that if he were to leave there‘d be a host of new young guys lined up to take his place. He knew he wouldn’t be missed. That made him sad. He reflected that once upon a time you needed to go through three stages to get on the road, now it seemed anyone with a new license could quickly take the wheel, some hot-heads

he called them, ready to speed and cut corners. We talked for about ten minutes as I ferried my crates in and out. It was so lovely to connect, to make him feel seen and heard. I said I hoped our porch chat didn’t make him fall behind schedule to which he smiled and said, “No, this is the way I like it, you have a good day”. And I did. I think it's a good thing to honour those who serve without glitter, without 'likes' and limelight.


The unforced rhythms of grace’ (Mt 11 Msg) can be found in an unhurried home.

I sat in the sunny garden yesterday and one after the other my grown children were drawn outside to sit with me. In turns in our little corner they unburdened their hearts, sharing doubts and worries and the things they’re pondering. This summer corner was transformed into a pocket of delight amidst a struggling world. A lightness came as we shared hearts.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this opportunity to be friends might not have happened if I hadn’t have been available, if I hadn’t have been at ease and totally there for them. Of course we can’t sit in a sunny corner 24/7 or wait for opportunities to arise while neglecting our daily responsibilities, but unhurriedness is more than a clear schedule, it’s a posture of the heart. My children know they can interrupt me because they’re not an interruption, they’re my highest concern. Whether I’m taking tea with the Queen or working a job for a client - I am available.


TikTok kills time. I'm not active on the Tok but have an account for if ever I want to post some small films of my photography, hasn't happened. But, over this period of infirmity and bed ridden affliction one of my children has been sending me hilarious cat compilations to cheer my soul, after all 'a merry heart does good like a medicine' right? A couple of times my hubby had left the room to go make some food and it seemed in the blink of an eye he was back. These often quiet non-moments were a time I might reach for the phone and see if any new kitty cuteness had been shared. Twice after I'd been laughing and browsing this strange Tok world hubby appears with food in hand, "That was quick!" I said, to which he replied, "I've been gone at least twenty minutes". It dawned on me afresh that stepping into the world of social media and especially TikTok for some reason is akin to stepping through some form of inverted wardrobe to Narnia! Time was literally swallowed up for me. I was shook.


I'm relieved I got to create my Jubilee inspired piece early in the month otherwise you'd be looking at a blank canvas. I was highly honoured and shocked to see Paul Burrel, former butler to the Queen and Princess Di even commented on it, I was a little star struck!