Friday, 15 April 2011


How we feel after being hit by the GUEUL!
The dreaded Greenwich University Enquiry Unit Lurgy  (GUEUL) has struck and we are going down like flies!  I have been ill all week with no voice at all for two days.  Him at home found it a very peaceful experience – that is until I kept him awake all night with my coughing!
So I am back at my desk ready with my GUEUL-fighting tools all lined up; a large box of tissues – (why do they have to call them man size – my nose is just as big?), 2 packets of lockets and a large bottle of water.
Feeling so rotten all week has meant falling well behind my self-imposed schedule for course work so I decided not to worry about it and just rest.  I spent an enjoyable evening working on my stained glass restoration panel which seems to have taken forever up to this point but finally seems to be progressing.  I have now finished painting the two new replacement pieces. That was a long process because each paint layer had to be applied separately and the glass fired in a special kiln to set it in place before the next could be added..  It has been fired about 6 times in all so I was very pleased to be finally able to put them into the panel then complete the process of repairing the old lead and replacing bits too damaged to use.  I have just soldered it together and all I now have to do is cement the glass into place and finish cleaning off the 150 or so years of dirt.  I can’t wait to see it all finished with the light glowing through it.  What fascinates me about stained glass is that it looks so dead and flat until the light shines through it.  You never know exactly how it will look until you have completed it and installed it.  Then it changes through the day as the light changes. It is an amazing transformation.

My stained glass work becomes a metaphor for my client work in my counselling placement.  People come to us when they are finding life difficult, sometimes in a lot of emotional and psychological pain, wanting to change, sometimes so anxious overwhelmed or depressed they don’t know where to start.  As the weeks pass, wonderful things can happen as we work together to unfold their story and explore different ways of being, different choices and different ways of thinking.  Occasionally clients find it just too painful going through the process, scared that they will ‘open up a can of worms’ that they be unable to handle.  However, if a sufficiently a trusting relationship can be developed between counsellor and client, the unfolding transformation is a joy to behold – every bit as amazing as finally seeing a stained glass panel I have worked on for months glowing in the sunlight!

One of my favourite artists - Marc Chagal's stained glass is breathtakingly
beautiful - it transforms any space.

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