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Fairy Wren Cottage blog is a journal of sorts about seasonal living & stopping to see the beauty in our day.
I believe in the power of paying forward what others have generously shared with me over the years. This is my offering.
I'm so glad that you are here!

hello & welcome!

Jude  x 


Don’t ask me to dinner, I will probably say no. Not because I don’t want to or don’t enjoy your company.

It is because by the end of each day Michael or Lil has to cut up my evening meal for me.

My hand injury from nearly 7 years ago is tiring, I have pretty much used up all its capabilities during the day, plus the delayed pain is probably setting in.

And to be honest I don’t want you seeing me having to hand over my plate to Michael or Lil in order to get my food cut up.

That pause when everyone looks up at the table to see it happen, well sometimes I could just burst into tears.

There is a shift in energy, people look down, the dinner table chatter lost then restarts as we all clumsily start chattering trying to regain the momentum, or the energy is lost due to the guest’s nosey questions followed by my polite answers & all the time I am thinking can’t we just talk about anything else, the world is full of so much to talk about, you already know my story, how the injury happened. I try to redirect the subject as soon as I can. Self care. Self preservation.


At dinnertime recently a visitor staying with us overnight looked at me dumbfounded when I had trouble manoeuvring a piece of pie crust with my fork & Michael just reached over and cut it for me, which I am grateful for not having to ask, it is done with love & no judgement.

But the visitor’s response after several questions was But you look normal. My reply was Yes I am!

I’m a proud woman. I’m a capable woman in so many ways, for now just not in the ways of using a knife & fork at meal times.

It’s a new life dealing with a life changing injury. And just like anyone else I want to hold on to my dignity in anyway possible.

A break through for me several years ago was letting go of the life I had, focusing on what I can do & not what I can’t do.

You see we never really know what each other is going through do we?!

But we can try to practice compassion, understanding & tolerance for each other. Instead of jumping to assumptions.

I feel positive about the future, we are all clever & capable & empathetic.

We are all more than just what we struggle with.

Sending Love & Light,

Jude x


Don’t ask me to dinner…

October 4, 2019

  1. Sally says:

    Dearest Jude, I remember when I was working in ‘Special Events” and hosting a table at a beautiful wedding. An immaculately dressed woman next to her husband slid her plate over to her partner, he cut up the food and slid it back to her, she began to eat. The table of guests continued with their jovial conversation. I’ll never forget the vision of that couple, how their love enveloped them in the most beautiful dance of everyday devotion to each other. And what was my foremost thought? Not her disability, rather her ability, and the desire in me to some day find a close connection with another human such as she had found. This is a beautiful post, generously shared my friend. XX

  2. Jude Van Heel says:

    Dear Gorgeous Sally,
    Such a beautiful message. It stopped me in my tracks.
    And to be honest it made me a little teary… the couple in your story and also you taking the time to write such heartfelt words. Much Love to you xxxx



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