Thursday, 6 December 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #91


Let's take a moment for this gorgeous light! Slow moments and very productive days have been in order this week. I'm getting in the mood of the season and appreciating those little moments that make the week so much better.

1. Mulled spiced apple. A wonderful afternoon spent drinking a huge mug of warm juice in Waterstones. This week I've been experimenting with different places to work and this was one of the best. An atmosphere of learning with a soundtrack of instrumental jazz versions of Christmas songs.

2. Carols. There's something incredibly powerful about a whole room of people collecting their voices together in song. Where no one voice is worth more than the whole. You can feel in the same moment so small and part of something so much bigger. I also had my first mince pie of the season so all in a good night.

3. Kindness. This week I've really been thinking about kindness ever since my mum sent me two advent calenders. Every morning I open a door and find out what I've donated this morning. Then I flick over the next calender to reveal my kindness prompt for the day. It's really got me thinking about how I can give and share a bit more kindness in the world. Let's just make this world a little bit of a better place this Christmas.

4. Light. In the time of dark evenings I've been trying to notice the light. The colourful fairy lights that now adorn our kitchen, the twinkly lights draped around Christmas trees and streets decorated with light. Light was the subject of a talk I heard this week too. In the thoughts of Band Aid we should 'let in light and banish shade'. In the weirdest moment I was inspired by eighties popstars to bring a bit more light into everyone's life.

5. Sunrises. Despite the grey, drizzly days we've been having recently, yesterday treated us to an amazing sunrise. I took time to start the day slowly watching the sunrise from my bed. Finally the heating has been fixed so I was snug and enjoying the beautiful golden light.

6. Nights in. Brownies, Gavin and Stacey and painting my nails might possibly be the perfect way to spend a Friday evening. Having worked so productively and got lots of words done during the day it was good to take time to relax.

7. Independent businesses. I have managed to start my Christmas shopping this week. I'm trying to focus on buying from independent businesses this year. It's nice to get the ball rolling with some online purchases and lovely wanders around the Christmas markets. I'm looking forward to even more market trips in the next few weeks.

8. Feminism. Having been caught in the rain this week, I dodged the showers and ended up in House of Fraser. I stumbled across a wonderful exhibition of feminist posters. From the suffragette movement up to the present day they show the insectionality of the movement. There were also posters that had been made in the present day. Having put this in my instagram stories, it was wonderful to receive messages about similar events around the world. It just shows that these issues are still prevalent around the world and so important.

So all in a week taken slower to notice the little things. But also a massive theme is kindness and sharing a little more love with the world. So in that vein I leave you with love and best wishes for the rest of your week. For more wonderful please check out these lovely ladies; JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #90


Can you believe I've written ninety of these little posts? What an astonishing number! You find me listening to the rain on the roof as I'm snuggled in bed eating hot, buttery crumpets. I'm not sure there's a better way to start the day, although I'd rather hide from the rain here all day. The weeks are going by at an absolute flash, but this week has been one of lots of little (and pretty massive) opportunities so it'll be exciting to see how it all pans out.

1. People who support you. Isn't it just the best to know you have this amazing network of cheerleaders around you? The ones that will tell you to go for that opportunity however scary it it. To have people believe in you. To have people who send you dancing bird videos and pictures of puppies because they know it will make you feel better. They are the real champions in life and I'm determined to keep them close and tell them how much they mean to me.

2. Smores. The absolute staple of bonfire night I've been eating them all week. We have no fire so I quick blitz in the microwave gave me sticky, gooey marshmallows. I ate them by the lights of the kitchen island and felt like Nigella when she 'creeps' down to cook an indulgent snack in the middle of the night. Of course it was about half five because the clocks have changed and I'm no Nigella, but you might get the niche reference!

3. Bonfire night. I think bonfire night, might be my favourite celebration of the year, even above Christmas! There's so much excitement. The getting ready and working out just how many layers you can get under your coat. Top tip: always tights or leggings or both under trousers. The smoky smell as soon as you walk out of the door. Fifteen minutes of just staring at the sky as pure magic explodes. The booms that you feel right inside your rib cage before you hear them. After all the colour and excitement the last moments of a firework where it looks like it's raining stars.

4. Libraries. I never realised how few people used libraries and how they'd never fund the joy of them. You can walk in and borrow from hundreds of books for free. I really don't see the catch here. They are the gateway to free education, to bettering yourself and learning new things. I regularly pop to Plymouth library to get new books. As a student it's perfect because I never have to move large collections of books from place to place because once I've read it I just take it back and get a new one. It's also such a lovely place to chill out. I'll sit in one of the armchairs and read a chapter or two away from the hustle of the city centre.

5. Train travel. There's something lovely about a journey by train. It took me out into the countryside for the first time in a while and reminded me that I need to get out more. To walk in the woods before the burnt orange leaves are all gone. There's something soothing about not having to drive and just watch the world go by.

6. Totnes. If you're ever in South Devon I would highly recommend a visit to Totnes. It's full of cute, quirky shops and you could pootle round for days and see something new every time. I popped in on Saturday to have a cuppa with the lovely Michelle and we stumbled upon a food festival, the market and the coolest little cinema. I can't wait to go back for the Christmas markets.

7. Being up early enough for the sunrise. And feeling right smug about it! There's something ultimately wonderful about being able to watch the sun rise over the rooftops whilst lying in bed. The sun bathing the room in warm, golden light and the first thing you do in a day is just look out to sea.

8. The first stretch of the day. Being a morning person never really left me, but I think I'm rediscovering it this week. Waking up early for that first stretch when you're so snug feels all kinds of wonderful. Being up that early means I can pack loads into the day, be in bed for ten and get my needed nine hours of sleep.

9. Dungarees. This is my absolute favourite item of clothing right now. They are so comfy and practical, but go with absolutely everything. I can really layer up under them ready for the chillier weather and they make me feel a bit more put together. I end up wearing them at least a couple of times a week!

That's all for this week. I have a super busy week coming up with hand ins and a big cricket competition at the weekend and I don't feel prepared for either! Hopefully it will all come together but until then I'll be looking out for the little joys of everyday. For more wonderful head over to: JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #89


Wow has the weather changed this week! Almost overnight it feels like the temperatures have plummeted and obviously this is the time you find out the heating in your house doesn't work. Typical! The clock change has also thrown me. Whilst it's lovely to have bright mornings, the fact that it's getting dark by five feels very odd. This week has been a really mix of emotions but feels like it's going along so quickly. I've been selected to play for the uni cricket team again which is very exciting, but also have been looking after myself as I've bee quite emotional too. That's why it's super important to pick out all the good things every week...

1. Watching the sunset. I feel like this is top of every single list, but we've really had some stunning ones this week. This week I chose to watch one from the Hoe. Having sat amongst the golden light watching the trees change and the spider's webs glisten, I walked closer to the sea as the sun was setting. The skateboarders were beautifully silhouetted and the sky was just beautiful. I stood watching until my hands were freezing. Check out my instagram for photos that tried to capture its beauty.

2. Dreaming. This week I've been thinking about the future a lot. Looking at different jobs I could go for and listing dreams. All over my walls are post it notes of goals and things I'd love to do. I spend hours discussing with friends and family. My goals aren't all career related because I have so many interests and it has made me so excited to think about what I can achieve.

3. Views. On Thursday I took myself out for an adventure up Mount Batten tower. Look out for a blog post where I explain all, but let me tell you the views over Plymouth were stunning and it was a beautiful sunny day for it. I enjoy going on solo adventures and even when I'm completely bogged down in work I feel so much more motivated if I've been outside doing something I enjoy.

4. Keeping cosy. As I mentioned before, the temperatures have felt so chilly and with the heating out too it's been my mission to keep warm. Therefore the warm pjs, fluffy socks and chunky cardis are out in force. I've been spending the last hours before bed snuggled with a good book or my journal and it's been just lovely.

5. People who genuinely want to help. Yesterday I had a meeting with my supervisor for my project. We chatted about a few queries I had and, as I had a pretty good handle on stuff, we were nearly ready to wrap up. Then she asked about how I was getting on with my ankle and really listened. She knows I'm in pain and offered some really helpful suggestions that the uni can help with. Then said I was to contact her anytime I needed to and we could go for cake (because cake makes everything better). Just that time she took to listen and extend that support meant so much. I'd been feeling emotional and the kindness nearly made me cry.

6. Cake just when it's needed. When you're having a painful, emotional day a slice of cake is truly needed. I had a nut brittle stack - chocolate brownie topped with caramel, chocolate and nuts. Eaten whilst watching Come Dine With Me because sometimes you need to listen to your body and know however hard you push it today isn't the best day for work and you can try again tomorrow.

7. Productivity. Even if that day wasn't very productive, overall this week I really have been. I've really found the links between things I've been working on. I'm finding things so interesting and my to do list keeps getting ticked off.

8. Sun rising in my room. There are two things I love about the window of my room. Firstly that the first thing I do every day is go and look at the sea. See how every day it is different in the changing weather. Secondly I love the way the sun rises and baths my room in its golden light. I can lie in bed, slowly waking up as I'm stroked by sunbeams and watch the sky change colour.

9. Hot chocolate. The warming fuel of autumn and winter. Perfect for chilly study sessions, the cold walk to uni in the mornings and getting cosy just before bed.

There we have it, another week full of the good stuff. I enjoy writing these so much! For more of the good stuff check out  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #88


I'm currently sat bathed in sunshine in a little nook in my attic room looking out to sea as I write this and I'm pretty content. This week has gone past without the most remarkable events happening, but little moments of wonderful. It's a week that's skipped past in a heartbeat, but when I look back there's so many moments I'd love to capture. So without further ado I'm going to jump straight into the lovely moments...

1. Tuesday. This week I have discovered Tuesday which is a personal styling email service from M&S. I've been thinking about changing up my wardrobe for a while as so often I look and have no idea what to wear. I feel like very few of the pieces I own actually reflect me. So often I pick black or dark clothes when actually colour feels more like me. This absolutely free service gives you suggested pieces, ideas for how to wear them and all comes from a real stylist. I can't wait to see what my first little email will contain.

2. Autumn spotting. Oh my goodness this has made every single one of my journal entries this week. I have to stop myself from taking photos of every beautiful crunchy leaf and adorned tree. I rush out of the house for every sight of golden light and hang out of the window to capture the sunset. This week I'm also appreciating waking up slowly as the sunrises and brightens my room. I always leave my curtains open so that I can see that first glow of pink when I'm all cosy in bed.

3. Bloggers Brunch. This weekend I headed to Bonne Sante to meet some lovely Plymouth bloggers. I'm now lucky enough to have met most of these people at various events and we spent a beautiful sunny couple of hours chatting and eating brunch.

4. Blue skies. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous recently and it makes me so happy. There's been hardly a cloud in the sky and we've been blessed with the most brilliant blue skies. Every colour from the softest, baby blue to vibrant, almost royal blues.

5. Theatre trips. I'm lucky enough to live so close to the Theatre Royal and can pop there for a spontaneous trip due to their amazing U26 £5 ticket offers. This week I felt very cultural seeing Macbeth. Some people were surprised to hear I'd been on my own, but honestly this has never bothered me. I chatted to a lovely couple who had moved down to Devon to follow their memories of childhood holidays to Dartmoor and the south Devon coast. I had a thoroughly lovely evening. It was definitely made better by a Green and Black's dark chocolate truffle bar which I picked up on way for my interval treat!

6. Promoting yoga. Last Wednesday we had an assignment to provide some training to another group of trainee teachers in any area of PE. We chose yoga and I enjoyed it immensely. It was amazing to see their change in attitudes through the session. It's something many hadn't considered they could do in schools, but could obviously see the benefits. I love doing yoga as my own practice and being able to share this was so fulfilling.

7. Brownies. Massive chunks of gooey praline brownies eaten outside in the sunshine on a break from the library. We just got to the Brownie Lady's stall in time before she sold out and it was the perfect time out from my studies. An hour to put the world to rights and have a friend to support me and laugh with.

8. Progress on my ankle. As you might remember from previous Wonderful Wednesday's in the summer, my ankle has been getting progressively worse to the point I was struggling to put weight on it. I'd been waiting to see a specialist for ages and so Friday was a relief. We've got some progress and a few things to try. I really hope it works!

9. 5 a day. As part of my focus on looking after myself I'm keen to get at least my 5 a day every day. This means exploring more ways to get veg into every meal. This week has been particularly about spinach added to absolutely everything and snacking on tomatoes.

10. A book to make me cry. When you wake up ridiculously early and can't sleep the only thing to do is read. As the sun slowly reached up into the sky, I was absorbed by The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag. I'd definitely recommend and the ending moved me to tears. It was such a beautiful story.

So there's another week of the best bits. I love writing these posts so much and get so much joy from the other lovely ladies who take part. I feel tremendously lucky to have been drawn together with these incredible, inspiration women so please, please check out their blogs too: JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie. You can also find us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #87


I saw this plant pot when I was wandering through the barbican this weekend and thought it pretty much summed up the essence of Wonderful Wednesday and my blog. This week I've really taken it on board and enjoyed the little things that I want to do and focused more fully on them. I'm really immersing myself into the life I want to lead and if that's not something to cheer about I don't know what is. As my workload gets heavier in the next few weeks I want to make sure I portion out time to continue this.

1. Making lists. My desk has become littered with lists of every description. Once one comes to it's end there's another few ready to take it's place. Although this sounds a bit much it is really helping me stay on top of everything, but also prioritise things that I want to do so I don't forget to leave myself time to do things. Also I don't know how anyone copes without a good post it note!

2. Being comfortable in my own company. I've spoken about my struggles with living on my own before here, but I'm growing. Although at the moment I don't live completely on my own for long periods of time I am the only one in the house and I'm really getting used to it. I know what I need to be content in my own company and the things that make me tick. I know how to be alone with myself. This is such an ongoing process, but it's getting better.

3. Storms. Does anyone else love a storm or are you like my friend who has to ring me when she drives through a storm just to have a voice with her to make her less scared? I love them. Whether inside snuggled and listening to the wind and the rain, watching the amazing force of nature that is lightening or outside feeling the wind and spray from the sea they are incredible.

4. Pulled Pork. On Friday night I cooked exactly what I fancied - amazing bbq pulled pork and sweet potato chips. Eaten whilst catching up with strictly and followed by brownies and chocolate mousse it was pretty perfect. Also I had leftover pulled pork and roast veg for the rest of the weekend.

5. Linking thoughts. When loads of ideas come together and you just get it and it all makes sense. That spider diagram suddenly connects all those ideas that have been flying around and all the information pinned to my bedroom wall becomes meaningful. Do you know, I'm really enjoying learning right now.

6. Those inspiring, motivational chats. The last point was brought about slightly by meeting someone who was so enthusiastic about their subject and interests, which fitted well with mine and we could talk about learning for ages. It did help she had the cutest dog that she brought for cuddles too.

7. Dancing by myself. Because sometimes you have to put your favourite song on loud and dance around your room until you're breathless without a care in the world. Feeling your body move with happiness.

8. Murals and walks. Saturday was a blustery, stormy day and just as the rain stopped I decided to go for a walk. I came across a beautiful mural on the streets of Plymouth (see my instagram). I never fail to be surprised by what I find as I walk around Plymouth. As every walk is different so is the sea every day. On Saturday it was ferocious and I was reminded of the incredible power of the waves.

9. Podcasts. After listening to podcasts for the first time a couple of weeks ago, this week I found one related to PE teaching. I was pottering around my room, but had to stop and quickly start taking notes because the content interested me so much. For all those interested The PE Umbrella is brilliant and such a good resource.

10. Dippy eggs on a Sunday morning. Because again I'm crafting my life and this includes waking up early and watching the first light enter my bedroom. Then pitter pattering down the stairs to boiled the perfect dippy eggs and buttery soldiers. Eaten whilst curled up in a blanket on the sofa. Then I sat just sipping my hot chocolate and listening to the rain. Sunday's aren't a rush and I can be in the moment. It set me up for such a productive morning of work.

11. Little parcels. My grandma sent me such a cute little parcel of wagon wheels and hot chocolate sachets. They are things that always remind me of her. The food she'd always try to give me as soon as I walk in her door so it was such a lovely package.

Wow so many little moments this week. I love writing this every week and reflecting. Tomorrow I have my first assessment of the year where I'll be leading teacher professional development. I'm really excited as we've chosen to do it on yoga and the benefits for children. It's something I'm really passionate about and hopefully we can get more people on board.

For more of the wonderful head to JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's blogs or follow #WonderfulWednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #86


This week my list came easily and quickly. Writing in a notebook everyday has allowed me to get thoughts down on paper. Sometimes it's just a train of thought. Words jumbled on the page about things I've done that day. Sometimes a list of things that have made my day better, like this but even smaller moments that are sometimes missed. And sometimes I just get my thoughts about a topic down, or even questions I'm asking myself. Either way I like the routine and it has made this list a hundred times easier to write. I can go back through my week with a record of what I've done. It has also made my writing easier. I always talk about the importance of practise in sport, but maybe I need to transfer this to more of my life. Practise is helping me write. And now after that ramble it's on with the wonderful...

1. Ice cream. This Sunday I finally took myself into the gelato palour that I always walk past on the barbican and mean to go in. I was certainly not disappointed. Banks of different flavour gelato mean I'll be back to try other flavours, but I settled for Ferrero Rocher. Sitting people watching and eating at the marina was a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially as it was followed by a bit of cricket...

2. Training. As mentioned above, I also managed to squeeze a bit of cricket into my Sunday. It was the first session back with my uni squad. I was apprehensive going into it because as I may have mentioned my ankle has been causing me a lot more pain. However, I really wanted to get playing again and I'm so glad I did. I smiled all the way through and felt so much better afterwards. I'd felt achy all week and actually felt so much better for exercising. And my ankle? Not too bad. To top it off we have a great bunch of new members.

3. Bloggers night out. On Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger's night out at the Barbican Leisure Park in Plymouth. It was a lovely evening of cocktails and great food at Pizza Express and Bella Italia before seeing Blake Lively in a suit (and the rest of the film) at Vue cinema. The best bit for me was meeting some lovely local bloggers who I hope to keep in touch with.

4. Autumn spotting. I'm loving these crisp, clear autumn days at the minute. It makes me want to be outside all the time, so I'm having to force myself to study inside, but I'm also making the most of this time of the year. My camera roll is full of trees in every golden colour. I walk along the pavement deliberately crunching leaves and skip outside to capture the golden light. Every season I fall in love with that season, but golden light time might just be my very favourite.

5. Drives to nowhere. To catch up with no particular direction other than to adventure. At anytime of the day or night.

6. Friends who say love you lots. The very best phone calls end with love that's vocalised. Love that overrides the crappy, stressful week that they've had and means that you here it from the other end of the country. We need to tell each other how much we love each other more.

7. Bargains and the restorative power of Waterstones. Saturday I woke up from the worst night's sleep feeling rough. Like my insides had been all jumbled up and my head was full of cotton wool. Two little things really put a smile on my face that day. One was the calming atmosphere of a mooch around Waterstones. Looking at the beautiful covers and feeling the atmosphere. The other was finding a soft, perfect-for-placement top in the H&M sale to find it had another quid off when I got to the till.

8. Really being interested. University this year is really really interesting me. I might not be saying that in a few weeks time, but for now I'm really engaged with what I'm reading and doing. I sit in the library most days and find that hours have gone past while I move from article to article finding out more and more perspectives. Long may it continue!

9. Cosy naps. I've talked about my ankle pain, but I'm not sure I've talked about my medication. I'm on pretty strong painkillers which make me quite drowsy. This means pretty much everyday I have to take a nap or my eyelids will just close on me anyway! It's now getting to the season where I can get really snuggled up without completely overheating and this week this has meant some of the cosiest, comfiest naps.

10. Bake off night. Walking to the top of the hill to watch the sunset, stroking as many dogs in the park as possible, stopping on the way home to by brownies, making an epic omelette, catching up with mum on the phone, watching the bake off with warm brownies and ginger yoghurt, in bed writing this by half nine. Bake off night done right!

I've really enjoyed writing this week! For more wonderfulness check out  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie or follow #WonderfulWednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #85


Hello, and how has your week been? I'm feeling so happy right now. I'm full to the brim with ideas and thoughts at a mile a minute. This gives me a renewed sense of energy and I'm really working on me right now. Several of my flatmates are living away at the moment because of placement so I'm on my own a lot which is giving lots of time to focus on me and what I want. I feel like this week I could talk for hours about all the good bits so let's get on with it...

1. Designing my life. This is something I have been thinking about a lot this week. The concept of making decisions that help my curate the life I want to lead. To be the most me. It has included listening to my body when it says it's sleepy/ hungry/ in need of a good stretch etc. It's saying yes to the opportunities that genuinely excite me. It's creating goals and working out how I can get to them. I feel that some of the inspiration from this comes from what Laura Jane Williams talks about. I have linked her twitter here as she always talks with such wisdom.

2. Sunsets. I have found that our bathroom sky light is the perfect place to watch the sunset from. I've been cracking the window open and breathing the air just as the colours are lighting up the sky. Maybe it's just we, but this is when I can really feel the seasons changing. Obviously I have seen the leaves change colour and crunch through them as I walk, but the cool, crisp air that hits me when I'm looking out of the window really feels like autumn. It was mixed with just a hint of bonfire, that got me excited for that celebration too.

3. Plans. My brain is such a fizz of excitement right now. Although I could do with just a little more summer break, uni life is really inspiring me right now. I have mindmaps and notes littering my desk and pinned all over my walls. I'm constantly thinking of new ideas or ways to look at things. It's been ages since I've been this engaged in my learning and it's really exciting me. Long may it last!

4. Journaling. This weekend I listened to a wonderful podcast by Sarah from Me and Orla which you can find here. It was all about journaling and happiness. What struck me was the wide range of positive emotions that we experience not just the gratitude that is often journaled about. It has got me picking up my journal and just writing. All the thoughts and feelings and wonderful things that come into my head. It feels like an extension of these little posts but more of a stream of consciousness. A way to capture tiny moments, but also how I feel about them.

5. Art. Saturday was spend completely by myself, but wrapped in culture. I walked without much of an aim, but to see as much of the Plymouth Arts Weekender as I could. Meandering throughout Plymouth I stopped off to look out to sea, look up at beautiful architecture and look at some fantastic art. I met some lovely creators who really inspired me. They took time out of their day to explain their processes and help me with ideas I could use in the classroom. I particularly enjoyed Plymouth University's show at Royal William Yard. My favourite pieces were a beautiful installation commemorating the suffragettes that went on hunger strike and some life drawings with such movement in them.

6. Being outside. I have learnt that I feel so much more happy when I build time into my day to spend outside. From as small as taking a walk outside, it makes me feel so much calmer and motivated. This week I have taken myself out for coffee, sat on benches writing or just looked out to sea. This is something I'm continuing to build into my day. On instagram I saw #airhour which is inspiring us to go outside for at least an hour a day and has really spurred me on in this.

7. Not being able to put a book down. It has been a long time since a book has hooked me so much as Skylarks by Karen Gregory did. I felt like I was back to being a child as I read it late into the night. It's a fabulous young adult book about sexuality, class and money. It has really made me think about the privilege that I have and the disparities and injustices in society.

This week has felt quite cultural. I'm drawing on such a range of people and events for inspiration and it's really enriching my life. This is something that definitely needs to stay! For more wonderfulness head over to check out these lovely ladies: JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie or follow #WonderfulWednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx