Tuesday, 29 September 2015

A Colourful Story

Once upon a time, I set out to write a story using as many colour puns as possible.

This was difficult, because although I was fully reddy to do this task, writing colour puns is a bit of a grey area. However, I started doing it.
Everything was working out just peachy. I wasn't getting viole(n)t, the navy wasn't getting called out, I wasn't getting crimsonally put in jail. My hide wasn't even getting tanned with a s(pink)ing. No one was getting browned off. It was cyan-tifically proven.
After a while I stopped for a bit of a break. Whiting can be tiring, you see, and I was feeling a bit off-colour. I'm a bit green-fingered so I went out into the garden. I put some plants in one by one. As they went I yell(ow)ed, "In-di-go!"
Pretty soon after that I came black inside with more puns. But I'd run out of room on my page. I blue it!
"Never mind", I thought. "O'live."
I was struck with an idea. I turned a new beige and started again. I'm not going to be marooned by having no room to write my puns! I'd found the silver lining in a difficult situation. The fact that I'd blown it had merely been a pigment of my imagination.
I kept writing and writing. Eventually I decided to stop because I'd run out of puns. The resulting outcome was absolutely gold. Orange you thinking the same thing?

Thanks for being such good purple and reading this. :)

post signature

Saturday, 26 September 2015


I wanted to share with you something I've done recently - and use it to chat a wee bit about meaning in life.

This is an art journaling page I did. I found inspiration of the verse from the Bible (surprisingly :P) and the inspiration of the anchor came from a facebook group I'm part of. 

The anchor isn't all it first appears to be. It's an anchor. That ties in nicely with the verse about the hope of Christ being an anchor for our souls. 

It's also a cross. See the wooden cross bit at the top? That signifies the fact that Christ died on the cross for us... it's the hope of eternal life. 

The rope entwining the cross and the anchor is {very loosely} in the shape of a heart (if you can't see it, the two 'bumps' of the heart are directly underneath the horizontal beam of the cross). The heart signifies the love Christ showed for us when He gave Himself up for us.

The rope encircling the pointy bit at the bottom of the anchor and coming up to just below the horizontal beam of the cross forms a figure eight, also commonly know as the infinity symbol. The infinity symbol here is symbolic of the infinity of Christ's love, and also of the infinite time (eternity) we will have with our Lord and Saviour in Heaven when we go to be with Him.
All these things are special little 'extra' meanings to the simple anchor picture that you wouldn't neccessarily notice at first glance. And our lives are like that, too.
When we're first born, we don't understand that our lives have meaning. We eat, sleep, cry, eat more, cry more, and (hopefully for our parents) sleep more. We need to be taught the ways of the Lord. We must be taught that our lives have meaning - more meaning than might first appear on the surface. We must be taught how much our Lord loves us. We must learn what He did for us.
Just like meaning in a picture can be hidden at first glance, meaning in our lives can be hidden at first glance. But what a richness of meaning and colour and joy in life is found when we entrust ourselves to the Great Shepherd!
post signature

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Journal Addict + Who Are We?

I am an absolute journal addict.

The other day I counted up how many journals/diaries/books I have and actually surprised myself (although I knew I had a few!).

Let's see. (These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head- I quite possibly have a few more I don't really use that often that are hiding away somewhere!)

- Diary (on diary number 6, have five completed diaries)
- Prayer journal
- Lettering book (for practicing different fonts and stuff)
- Conference notes book
- Loaned book record (in which I keep track of every book of mine I loan to others - including when they are returned. So if you have a book of mine that you haven't returned yet, I know you have it. ;) )
- Bible journalling book (for illustrating verses, song lyrics, etc - have finished one and am on a second)
- Sketchbook (finished a couple of these)
- Appreciation book
- Notebook for recording sermon notes, camp guest speaker notes etc (finished a couple of these)
- Birthday present requests/ideas for presents for others book
- A camp planning diary-style book
- A past-camp-recording journal
- Poem book (in which I keep a copy of every poem I write)
- Devotion journal
- My blog, which is pretty much a journal, only, in online form, which is why it counts! ;)

= a total of fifteen or so ongoing journals and books of different sorts.

Yeah. I know. It's a lot.

*changes subject*

I sometimes imagine people as animals. Do you ever do this?
It all started with a girl in Lydia's ballet class. I've always thought that she (for some random reason) reminds me of a rabbit. Anyway, shortly after that, I started noticing that some other people I know remind me of animals in a few quirky ways. So sometimes when I'm bored I look at the people around me and imagine them as animals.

You know, a stocky man with white hair striding purposefully down the street might remind me of a polar bear.
Or a certain type of face always makes me think of sheep, for some reason.
But anyway.

I came across this blog post recently. One of the things that supposedly we as humans must do is find ourselves or discover who we really are. Now I have an opinion on this topic (you may or may not have heard me expressing it before!), and I'm not going to go into it here because it would take up masses of typing and the whole rest of the post. Maybe another time. ;) But anyway, the post I linked to describes 10 dangerous places/ways to find out your identity. Sound interesting? It very much is. Do check it out. Great article.

Recently I've been enjoying puddling around with my violin, just picking out and playing a bunch of pieces I've heard before. Danella happened to have the video camera and filmed me playing the Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) which is one of my favourite pieces. So. Beautiful. (Although you might think differently after you've heard me playing it :P Hah :P The video camera makes it sound all scratchy for some reason.)

Anyway! That's more than enough from me. How are you?
post signature

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Doubts, Pride, Humility and the Talents

I came across this post sitting in my draft folder. I wrote it yonks ago. Hope you find it interesting!

Sometimes I wonder why anyone actually reads my blog. I mean, why would anyone want to? It's just a few occasional random thoughts... and my random thoughts aren't that interesting.

Sometimes I wonder why anyone bothers to pursue a friendship with me. After all, there's really not that much in me that's hugely interesting. And I'm not that great of a friend. I try, but so often fail.

I often doubt my ability to play my violin. I play it because I love it, and not for any other reason. Yet the same old doubts I've battled time and time again still emerge and rear their great ugly heads. Why would anyone want to listen to me? My music isn't that great.

Sometimes I wonder why God made me. I feel like I don't really bring him much joy and delight! My greatest desire is to serve my King and glorify him through my life... yet I'm not too sure of how to go about that.

Doubts, doubts. Doubts, doubts, fear, doubts, anxious worrying about nothing. Doubts. More doubts.

Why do we listen to them? Why do we allow ourselves to be eaten up with doubts about ourselves? (Well, why do I allow myself, anyway. I'm not sure if you have similar doubts!)

Why do I listen to my doubts?

I think the reason is rooted in two things (maybe more too but I'm not a psychologist so please just accept my humble thoughts lol):

#1 Fear of failure / Pride
#2 A longing to be accepted

You see, out of my fear of failure and pride I tell myself I am not a good violinist. I am afraid to fail, on account of my pride, so I prepare myself for the worst. I tell myself I'm no good, so if I do muck up, I'm not disappointed because I already knew I was no good. If I do it well, then that was just a fluke. It's a way of reassuring myself because I'm afraid to look bad in front of anyone.

The other thing is a longing to be accepted. I tell myself I'm no good so if nobody tries to be friends with me, I won't be disappointed. I already knew there was no chance anyone would want to be friends with me. And if anyone is friendly to me, well, they're just being nice.

Some people would say that these doubts I have about myself are nothing. They're just me being humble.

Which is very nice of them to say and all that, but to be perfectly honest, the root of my doubts is not humility but pride. It may not seem like that on the surface, but the root is pride.

I'm so scared of failure and friendlessness that I worry about what others think of me. And that comes from my pride.

It's hard to explain, but I'm going to try.

So let's take, for example, Bill, who is a very outgoing, sure-of-himself chap. He brags about his ability to do anything and everything. He is good at what he does, sure, but he puts himself into people's faces, trying to prove how wonderful he is. He is arrogant, pushy and sometimes even downright rude, in his quest to show the world his talents and skills. He is annoying. He is what people would label: Prideful.

Then, on the other end of the spectrum is Bob. Bob is a likable chap. He's quiet, but friendly. He is very talented, but because he doesn't put his talents out there like Bill does, not many people know of his talents. He's hard working, devoted, diligent and steady. He plugs away at what he does and steadily gets good at everything. He's a great friend, mature and sensible. Many people would call him: Humble.

However, some people might argue that Bill, who uses his talents, is actually using them for God. Sure, he could use some humility about the way he tackles it, so as not to appear brash and rude, but he's at least using his talents.

In the same vein, Bob, who doesn't put his talents 'out there', isn't working for God. Because God has given us gifts and certainly expects us to use them, as is illustrated in the Parable of the Talents.

Matthew 25:14-30
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.  To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.  He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more.  But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money.  Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.  And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’  And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’  He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’  But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.  So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.  For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

And so you see, friends, that there are the talents we have been given. And we can use them pridefully, or we can use them humbly. I'm still trying to work out exactly how that looks. Because my problem is that I'm actually pridefully being humble, if that makes sense, which is actually pride... my goodness this is just getting more complicated!

What do you think? Where is the line? (Are you confused? I am :P)
post signature

Thursday, 17 September 2015

God's hand in everything

May the Lord lead and guide you as you follow after Him.

post signature

A + A // Cooking For Two

This last week has been chocka-block with lots of suitably awkward and awesome moments, friends! And you know what that means... it means that inspiration strikes Bonnie and she starts a draft called "A + A - begun 2 Sep" which basically means if something really awkward or awesome happens I'll chuck it into the draft post and so slowly grow it, cause who has time to sit at the computer for four hours trying to think of stacks of awkward things at once?! Certainly not me! And that's how I roll, lol. (Hey that rhymed!) Anyway, I started it today, the 2nd of September, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes before this post is ready to hit the blog. Judging by my past experience, probably a fortnight or so. Anyway, we'll see. Enough rambling from me. Time for the awkwards!

- Doing Lydia's hair and brushing the hairbrush through it. Coming across a random hard lump on one side of her head that was covered by her hair, I tugged the brush a bit harder. It didn't budge. Whatever this lump was, it wasn't going anywhere! Then Lydia clued me in on the identity of the URHL (Unidentified Random Hard Lump) by saying, "OUCH!" I pulled her hair aside and discovered that yes, the object I had been attacking with the hairbrush was her ear.
- When you make assumptions based on what you've heard and seen and it turns out to be horribly wrong... guys, don't jump to conclusions! It's not worth it!
- (I was helping make meals and working in the kitchen for a working bee camp weekend.) Trying to open a tin of pineapple with the industrial can opener, and managing to spill most of the juice from the can down my front.
- When you're walking down the street on your way home from the bus stop and all of a sudden you hear a strange crashing sound in the hedge above you and slightly to the left. You are slightly scared so you duck a wee bit, wondering what's happening. It's a good thing you ducked, because suddenly a ball comes sailing through the hedge and over the fence - missing you by inches. It bounces over the road and comes to rest in the grass on the other side. So much for a nice relaxing walk home from the bus stop!
- When your coworker asks if you do sport, because you have such muscly legs.
- Walking into a room, seeing a bunch of people in there discussing something you'd prefer not to talk about, so carefully and quietly walking out again.
- NOT being able to sleep no matter how hard you try. Some nights are virtually sleepless for no reason.
- When you make a complicated plan for transport somewhere (involving other people going here and there too) and someone else decides to change their plans so your plan is all mucked up.
- Curling your hair and burning your ear. (Hey, that rhymed!)
- When you're in the middle of drinking a cup of water and someone says something HILARIOUSLY funny and you are overwhelmed with a sudden desperate urge to laugh. However your mouth is full of water so you turn all kinds of colours of the rainbow and try and swallow the water as quick as you can, keeping your mouth firmly shut. Phew. Crisis averted.
- Being home alone with just your sister and you for a *whole* weekend while the rest of the family was away. The house was so quiet. And it's so weird just cooking for two!

- My new wee minion. I knitted him in two days! :) He's a present for a friend (here's hoping she doesn't read my blog, lol). He reminds me of a banana but I think he's really rather cute.

- Seeing friends again!! Yay for awesome friends whom you haven't seen for ages!
- Awesome letterboxes. I mean, who wants one of those boring normal square-with-roof ones?
- Learning from your mistakes and actually doing it right the second time. Makes you feel very relieved and very happy.
- This video. I mean, seriously. Watch the whole thing. I laughed the most I've laughed in a very long time.

- A tidy bedroom.
- Savouries for BREAKFAST = a very good idea
- Going for a long walk in the hills. Tiring at the time, tiring afterwards, painful at the time, painful afterwards... but so worth it.
- Daffodils, daffodils, daffodils, daffodils, daffodils. And blossoms. (Oh yeah, and did I mention daffodils?)
- Waking up early, getting up early and getting lots of things done.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten for breakfast?
Do you struggle with sleeplessness?
What awesome letterbox design do you think looks cool?
post signature

Monday, 14 September 2015

Dear Twenty-Four Year Old Bonnie

Dear twenty-four year old Bonnie,

Hi! How are you? It's me - your self from the past - here today.

In case you're wondering why on earth I'm writing you this letter, it's the second part in a two part series of blog posts of letters to my past self and future self. My other letter was to myself at ten years old, (which is seven years ago) so it seemed fitting that this letter should be a letter to myself in seven years time. Don't you think?

I've been really looking forward to writing you this letter. You see, there's an element of mystery and surprise about the future that I find alluring. There's so much wonder about who  you are and the sort of person you've become. The thought of you fascinates me.

Where are you?
What are you up to?
Why are you doing what you're doing?
Do you ever think back and remember fondly yourself at seventeen?
Do you ever wonder about your future?
Have you learnt from the mistakes I'm making?
Have you done anything tremendously exciting?
What's the best thing that's happened to you in the past seven years?
Why is that the best thing?
What life lessons have you learnt?
What has the Lord shown you?
How does it feel to be (well) into your twenties? You are rather old and grown up. Are you practically a fossil? :P

It's terribly rude of me, dear Bonnie-of-the-future, but I'm going to offer you some advice. I know. I know. Her? The Bonnie-of-your-past? Bonnie who has still got a lot of maturing and life experiencing to do? That Bonnie, offering you advice?

Yet I think that when we get older it can be easy to lose sight of the dreams we had when we were young. Besides, if I do say so myself, I do think I have a rather sensible head on my shoulders. ;P

So, my dear friend, here's my advice.

Firstly, keep seeking the Lord whatever you do. I'm sure you are, and I'm sure you're ever so much closer to him than I am now... but never forget to follow him. It scares me to think that the Bonnie of the future might have walked away from her first love! Seek the Father. And never stop. He is yours and you are his. Forever. Never forget that.

My next piece of advice is to follow your dreams. You know those dreams you held back in your heart when you were young? (Roughly seven years ago, to be exact?) Don't forget them! Keep them in your heart and pray they will come to fruition. You have the ability to change the world. Don't forget your dreams just because you've grown up a bit!

I ask you, Bonnie dear, not to ever look back on your old self and be ashamed. I know, I'm tempted to do that too, with my old self (and my not so old self at times!). I look back and shake my head and wonder why anyone put up with me. And I worry that you'll do the same. Because I make mistakes. But please don't be ashamed of me, because I am you, after all. And besides, you've got to admit it, you learnt a lot through those mistakes, didn't you! Let's be friends, you and I, the Bonnie of the past and the Bonnie of the future. I can teach you a lot.

Don't forget what it's like to be young. Keep the spirit of youth and joy inside you. Remember to have fun. Laugh, smile, cry, work hard, keep pressing on.

You can do it, Bonnie-of-the-future. In fact, I know you can do it. I'm depending on you.
With all my love,
Old Self

Friday, 11 September 2015

Dear Ten Year-Old Bonnie

Dear ten year-old Bonnie,

Hi! It's me - yourself in seven years time - here today. How are you?

You know, you're young and you have have a whole lot of life ahead of you to live. I know I'm still relatively young, too, but I have some advice I'd like to pass on. After all, I have seven more years of life experience than you do. And you're my best friend, and that's what friends do, help each other out!

The first thing I'd like to tell you to do is to have fun. Enjoy being young. Bonnie, you're young yet, and you've got plenty of teenage years ahead to do your growing up in. Have adventures and make amazing memories.

Work hard. I know maths isn't your favourite subject, but trust me, it just gets harder from here on! :) It'll be easier for you in the future if you make an effort to work hard at it now. The Bonnie-of-the-future will thank you. Trust me.

Try not to stress about things (especially little things). Remember to keep calm and practice talking in a calm way. If in doubt? Don't stress! :)

One of the most important things you can do at this stage of your life is to cultivate the relationships you have. Firstly and foremostly, between you and God. You love him with all your heart. Concentrate on getting to know him better and better. Sure, you've got your whole life to fall more and more in love with him, but you won't regret starting young! Keep looking on and trusting in him.
Also cultivate relationships between your family and your friends. Your family's always there for you. So don't take them for granted. And find some friends who mean the world to you and keep close to them.

Learn humility. Don't interrupt people. Don't think you know better than anyone else. Learn to take advice. Be teachable. (And start on this young, too.)

Be joyful. Remember how loved you are. Bring sunshine into the world around you. Learn lots of jokes and tell them to people. Practice the piano more. Become better at throwing frisbees.

Read new books that you haven't read before. Reading the same ones more than about four times each is definitely overkill, Bonnie!

Try not to overthink things. I know it's so easy to do, overthinking - but just relax and go with the flow. Don't worry. It will all work out in the end. :)

Make your mind your friend. Have fun. Lighten up. Learn to laugh at yourself and with others.

Appreciate the small things in life - the little kindnesses others do, and the beauty around you. Never stop noticing and admiring beauty. And encourage those around you. Fill your corner of the world with light.

Embrace change. Change isn't something to hate and fear. Embrace opportunities. They'll turn out to be a blessing in disguise, more often than not!

Ten-year-old Bonnie, you're awesome. Keep plugging away at life. You're doing just fine.

With all my love,
post signature

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Happy (belated) Father's Day, Dad!

Today I'd like to say a massive happy Father's Day to my dear Dad... sorry this is two days late!

To celebrate the awesomeness of this day, here's a celebratory video that you may or may not have seen (it's sort of gone viral). Anyway. Enjoy.

Hahahaha :P Dads are awesome. Agreed? :) Here's to all the kids in the world who have survived Dad Jokes!

Daddy, you're AMAZING! I love you to bits! Happy belated father's day!!
post signature

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Bonnie's Opinion: Bible Writing

It was a Sunday morning. I was sitting in church, listening to the sermon. The pastor read out the Bible reference for the sermon. I flipped over to the spot in my Bible. The verse was a great verse and I felt like it was special to me. I also wanted to remember what the pastor was speaking about it. So I decided to underline the verse in my Bible. (I always keep a pen in my Bible just in case.) I then proceeded to underline the verse. 

That's when the person sitting next to me leaned over and whispered, "Just underline the whole Bible!"

I felt that was a fair enough call. I mean, the Bible is a treasure trove of useful advice, meaningful verses and special things. Above all, it is the Word of God! Every word in the Bible has been put there for a reason and is special. 

So, with that being the case, why do I underline and highlight my Bible?

There are plenty of arguments for and against Bible writing. Some of the arguments against include: 
  • The fact that all the Bible is meaningful and special and some people don't like picking one verse as more 'special' than others
  • Some people would opine that highlighting and writing in one's Bible is sort of desecrating it. I mean, the Bible is the word of God, after all. Isn't that disrespectful?
  • Some people like to keep their Bibles 'clean'. This way, they can reread their Bible over and over, without being distracted by the highlighting here and there from previous trips through Scripture. When they're travelling along in the Word, some people find their eyes jumping to the highlighted and underlined sections and find it distracting.

I think it might be clear to you that from the images in this post and the story at the beginning of it, I'm an avid Bible highlighter! :)

There are several reasons I highlight my Bible. I'd like to share them with you today.

Keep in mind that although this is one of the "Bonnie's Opinion" blog posts (in which I share my opinion on a certain subject), I am in no way passing judgment on anyone who prefers not to mark their Bibles. Everyone has different opinions on the subject and I'm certainly not slamming anyone who has a different viewpoint to me! :)

A few reasons I highlight my Bible:

  • I've always loved reading Mum's big Bible, growing up. It is highlighted and marked here and there. I've found it fascinating seeing the verses she chose to highlight. It's so much more interested reading someone else's Bible when it's highlighted! For this reason, mainly, I began highlighting my Bible when I was given it for Christmas in 2010. 
  • I'd like any future descendants or relatives of mine to have something interesting to look back on. As I said above, Mum's Bible has always fascinated me. I hope mine will be a family Bible like Mum's. 
  • The lover of beauty in me loves highlighting and marking special verses. Pink and yellow in a Bible makes it seem so bright and cheery. 
  • I just plain like highlighting verses.
  • Highlighting and marking verses helps me in Scripture memory, too. Instead of just reading the verse once and glossing over it, through underlining or marking the verse you go over it multiple times.
  • I don't feel that highlighting my Bible is damaging or desecrating it in any way. I don't regard any one verse any higher than others... I'm just marking it for future reference. 
  • More recently, I've discovered an advantage of having a highlighted Bible. I love illustrating Bible verses. When I decide I want to do another illustration, I'll just look through my Bible for a highlighted verse, and pick one of them. These are often the verses that I want to illustrate more than any other verse. It makes it nice and easy to pick one. 

Just as an interesting side note to this fascinating topic, there's a whole movement out there now called Illustrated Faith. It's a thing commonly known as 'Bible journalling' and it's where you draw and write on your Bible. Some of the art people do is amazing. Some artists cover up the words with art, others just draw in the extra wide margins of their journalling Bibles.

I don't go so far as to do that at the moment! It's pretty cool though, and great inspiration for illustrating verses. (If you're interested in the Bible journalling I'm finding inspirational, feel free to follow my Pinterest board here.)

Anyway, enough from me!
I'm curious about your Bible studying habits. Do you mark your Bible? Why or why not? :)
post signature

Thursday, 3 September 2015

M 'n' M // Part 111 // Memorising Information

Whether it's long lists of information, Scripture, poems or phone numbers, we all have things we want to remember. Some things come naturally to our memories. Others do not.

So how do we memorise information? And what are some of the best ways?

Idea 1:  Repeat it over and over
This works best for things like phone numbers. Phone numbers are things that just can't be memorised any other way, in most cases! Just plain ol' repeating. Scripture memory can also be memorised this way (well actually most things can be!) although of course there are other ways to memorise Scripture. (I highly recommend a great blog, The Indwelling Word Ministries. It has lots of great ways to memorise Scripture, plus a ton of other encouraging things. Check it out!)

Idea 2: Think up something cool
This may seem complicated to start with, but trust me, it does work. The best way to explain this method is to use an example of memorising something using it.
I have to memorise some random things for my law course. One of the things I was memorising this morning was the information needed to draft a statutory demand.
The info needed to draft a statutory demand is:
- The full details of the debt
- How the debt was incurred and interest claimed at the date of the demand
- Correct  name and description of the creditor
- Correct name and registered office of the debtor

In memorising this, I decided to use letters to aid my memory. So I assigned some letters to each bulletpoint as follows.

- The full details of the debt (D D - details and debt)
- How the debt was incurred and interest claimed at the date of the demand (H I - how and interest)
- Correct  name and description of the creditor (N D C - name, description, creditor)
- Correct name and registered office of the debtor (N O D - name, office, debtor)

Then I repeated the letters over and over, visualizing their placement on the page.

And every time I read them, I think:
Details of debt
How debt incurred, interest
Name and description of creditor
Name and office of debtor

Because those letters are my little memory joggers. When I'm trying to remember the information needed to draft a statutory demand, I'll see those letters in my mind's eye and remember the words they stand for. The words are my memory joggers for the phrases the words belong in. And so on. This method works well for random bits of information and lists.

Idea 3: Writing, Reading and Listening
Some more ways to memorise things are to write them over and over. Then read them over and over. Say them aloud to yourself, stressing particular words to help them stick in your mind. Listen to someone else reading them. If it's a particularly big thing, break it down. If possible, record yourself reading it and play it back. Put the recording on as often as possible and listen to it. Write it. Read. Listen. These are all good ways to stick things in your mind.

Idea 4: Make a Chant and Sing It!
This method is best used for phone numbers, although I've used it for Scripture memory in the past.
Phone numbers are funny things. If you happen to hit on a phone number that uses lots of repeating digits (say, for example, 03 334 4343), then you're in luck. Because your chant is going to be super easy to remember. You could put it to a little tune and sing it to yourself. I find it easier to memorise songs than poems, because they have a tune to them. I don't know if you find the same, but it works for me! :)
Another way to do it if you don't like to sing is to make the repetition catchy. Phone numbers can be memorised easily by pairing the digits into pairs then saying them like they are numbers. For example, the one above I'd put like this to remember: Oh thirty-three, thirty-four, forty-three, forty-three. That seems to make it easier to remember than a list of numbers for me.
If your phone number is a pretty random one, this still works (for example, 03 634 8945). Although you don't have many repeating digits, you can still do it in a sing-songy way. You can go oh thirty-six, thirty-four, eighty-nine, forty-five. Put it to a little tune. The weirder it is, the  more likely you are to remember it.

Idea 5: Teach and Be Tested
One of the ways I use to memorise my law stuff is to teach it to someone else. They say that to teach it, you have to know it pretty well! Sit down with a useful sibling and try to explain to them what it is you are memorising. If you botch it up or the person doesn't understand, go back, study a bit more, then try again.
Another way is to have someone test you on it. Make a bunch of flashcards and get another useful sibling to test you. This can be helpful, only, if you're getting someone to test you on law stuff, make sure they can pronounce all the words so you know what they're asking! :)

And that, my friends, is the end of the third and final post in the memorising series.

Which post was your favourite / the most helpful?
What are your favourite memorising techniques? Do share!

Have a fantastic day!
post signature

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

M 'n' M // Part 11 // Memorising Faces and Names

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, are you ready for this?!

Allow me to proudly present to you.....

In the first post in this series, I discussed some of my favourite ways to remember something you are worried you'll forget.

Today I'm here to talk about some of my favourite ways to memorise names and faces.

But before I do that, can I just wish all my fellow southern-hemisphere friends a very, extremely, wonderfully happy
Spring is finally here!!! Yay!!

(back to original post topic)

Let's face it (pun intended) - there are a ton of people out there. And an awful lot of them are going to make your acquaintance over your lifetime. How are you going to remember faces? And an even harder question: how are you going to remember the names that go with the faces?

Some people find it easier than others. I am terrible at this. :P

Idea 1: Make an effort
The best way to remember a name is to make an effort. When you are introduced to someone, shake their hand, look them in the eye and repeat their name aloud, repeating it also mentally to yourself several times. Think to yourself, "I am going to remember this person."
The more of an effort you make with this, the easier it will be. The more disinterested you are when you shake their hand, the more mindlessly you repeat their name, the harder it becomes.

Idea 2: Associate
 Make associations between the person's face and their name. Think, for example, Bob = bald head. Then hopefully you'll remember the name by seeing the man's baldness. The wackier the association the better.

Idea 3: That's unusual!
If the person has an extremely odd name or unusual face or facial characteristic you can't help but notice, lucky you! Your task just got easier. For example, there used to be a judge on Masterchef New Zealand (back in the days when we watched Masterchef) called Josh Emmett. I always thought of him as "the man with the icy eyes" long before I knew his name. Because of this, it was easy for me to remember his name when I knew it because I thought of him as "the man with the icy eyes".

Idea 4: Mentally Illustrate
Another way to attach names to faces is to imagine yourself drawing them. I sometimes do this. I look at a person's face and mentally draw it on a piece of paper in my mind. Then I mentally write their name under the drawing of their face and underline it three times. Done! It's so easy to be a good artist in your head. :) Make the drawing as elaborate as you can. Then hopefully when you see the person again, your mind will bring up the drawing you made, with the name underneath, underlined three times. Easy.

Of course, if all else fails, you could always ask the person "I'm sorry, what was your name?"

Do you have any helpful tips for memorising faces and names? Do share!
Look out for part three of this series, coming soon!
post signature