Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Red Dress

She gently touched the delicate fabric. Testing it. Seeing if it was for her and as I looked up into her face I knew it was. I could see that little gleam of longing. The bright red fabric had woven her way to her heart. I saw her thinking about all the places she would go in this dress. The swirly skirt that would swish around her legs as she danced. The tiny ribbons that criss-crossed at the neckline.

But she found excuses. Reasons not to have the happiness the dress had momentarily given her. The price, the fact it might not fit and the occasions she didn't have to wear it. The fear of the dress not suiting her, fitting weirdly. And maybe that was more of a worry. If she never tried it on she'd never know how the dress would make her feel, but that might be better than the crushing defeat when it looked wrong on her. But I knew. It seemed made for her and I was right.

I gently persuaded her to try it on. For if you don't you will be thinking about the encounter with the dress for weeks. Thinking about what could have been. Like meeting a stranger who you just know could have been your friend and only sharing fleeting eye contact. When those hazel eyes danced with yours like that red dress dance will dance on your body.

And when she refused I practically pushed her in the changing room.

When she came back out she was beaming. Her face lit up from within with happiness. She needed that dress. She needed things in her life that make her that happy. We all do! And that's how I always think of her. With a massive smile on her face, bubbly and full of energy. When I think of her, I think of the many times that we laugh until our faces hurt. She is the loveliest person.

So I bought her the dress, despite all of her protests. And I told her how much she means to me. How much it means to have a friend like her and much I value her. I cried on the train as I left home again for the friendships at home. The girls I miss from the other side of the country and the simple pleasure of spending time with them. We've tucked the dress away for a evening in the sun and her hen do and I can't wait to see her again in that red dress.

Please tell those you love how much they mean to you, it's so important.


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #77

You find me writing this on the train home. Devon is a very beautiful place and I'm admiring the view that I'm saying goodbye to for a couple of weeks. The sky is blue and filled with fluffy ice-cream-scoop clouds. I have seen lambs leaping around the fields and I am content. Ready to have a break at home and see everyone there in the knowledge that what I miss here will all still be there when I get back.

1. Books. I've been reading a lot more recently and just finished a brilliant book called The Nowhere Girls. Taking time to read takes you to another world. For a while time stands still and speeds up all in one motion. I spent Saturday night curled up in bed with a cat and my book and whiled away hours and before I knew it, it was midnight!

2. Dippy eggs. Sunday mornings should definitely start with dippy eggs in bed! This breakfast of soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers reminds me of what my Grandma used to make me when I stayed there as a child. It was such a relaxing start to my day washed down with a mug of hot chocolate.

3. Just that Contented Feeling. Where you find yourself smiling and take a big deep breath and say yes, this is where I want to be. Moments like this have hit me this week and it makes me super happy.

4. Mango Cider. I'm the first to reach for a fruity cider, but I'd never tried a mango flavour one. I'd usually go for berries, but this may be about to change. On Friday night I headed out for a drink with some friends to Ciderhouse in Plymouth. They have such a range of ciders in a warm inviting pub. We had a lovely evening and I'll definitely be back to sample some more flavours.

5. Dungarees and oversized tshirts. For my Spring outfit of choice I have the softest off white tshirts, marled with flecks of grey and comfortably oversized. They are tucked into last year's favourites, my denim fitted dungarees. On brave days I even roll the cuffs up a little. It's the comfiest outfit where I feel put together.

6. Watching the Sunset. The clocks changed and now we have lighter evenings which are making me so happy. On Sunday evening, E finished work at 7 and we raced to watch the sun set from Jennycliff. Watching how the colours in the sky change over just a few moments is mesmerising and I love how we can just spontaneously decide to do things like this.

7. Exploring. I don't know why it took me so long to discover Dartmoor, but I was missing out! Monday took us adventuring up Sheep's tor. The wind was brisk and whipping my hair around my face, but it didn't spoil the view from the top. We could see for miles!

8. Cafe with a view. Before I went home a friend and I went for a catch up. We've been working our way around the cafes of Plymouth. This week we settled on the Terrace which is set in the cliffs above Plymouth Sound. With views over the sea we braved the outside seating and March didn't disappoint. Still sat outside in the sunshine at gone 5pm!

And that's all for a jam packed, happy making week! I'm feeling really good this week and long may it continue. These amazing ladies are also rounding up their weeks:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma. Find us on twitter and instagram with #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Looking Forward to Easter

You find me typing this in the library with a massive pile of science books in front of me. I'm trying to get ahead. To make sure when I go home for Easter break I can do just that, have a break. I feel like I need it. This term has gone by in a flash, but it's been full on. Hopping from one assignment to the other, via performances and competitions, has got me exhausted and in need of some relaxation. So I spent the morning in bed eating dippy eggs and soldiers brought to me by my lovely girlfriend and intend to smash out the last little bit of work, before hop skipping back home.

There's so much I'm looking forward to about going home:

1. A Holiday. I definitely need this one. A few days away to recharge and relax, but also to explore a new place. Mum and I have booked a few nights on Hadrian's Wall and I intend to walk, take in the beautiful scenery and eat plenty of cake.

2. Seeing Friends. Living so far I really miss my friends, but there's also people I have made plans with this Easter who I haven't seen for ages. Coincidence has it that where I'm staying up north is just a stone's throw from where a good friend lives. It's been 6 months since I've seen her and we've both been there for each other so much through that time. It'll be lovely to just have a hug and share lunch with her. I will also be coaching with my former mentor and absolutely amazing guy this Easter and I can't wait.

3. Ben snuggles. For those of you that don't know, Ben is my Sprocker spaniel. He's loopy, but loves a cuddle. I'm not sure there's a lot better than the soft curly fur of a warm dog who's trying to lick you and jump in your lap.

4. Cake Dates. With my mum, with my grandma, with friends. My top socialising choice at home is to eat cake and I've managed to book in several already!

5. The promise of a cafe trail (like the old woman version of a pub crawl) for my birthday made me way too excited than it should have. I intend to sample much cake with my best girls and I can't wait. Having a birthday when I'm away means I get more celebrations when I get home too. Also they've promised me new books and who can refuse that?

6. A hug from my Mum. Because when you're so far away that's all you really want!

7. Training. This term I haven't really been on it with my training and without moving it really affects me. I feel more sluggish and not quite so motivated. So I'm really excited to be back home in time to train with my team at home. They are a lovely bunch of ladies and I'm so excited to get moving again.

8. Being in the Countryside. I love Plymouth, but it's a city and sometimes I just feel that I need space. I need empty fields to breath fresh air. Back home I look out of the window and see fields that go on for miles. I'm ready for walking out of the door and being able to walk and not see anyone for ages. To see sunsets like the one above with all their gorgeous colours not blocked by buildings.

There's only a few days until I board that train and I can't wait!

What are you looking forward to?
Kate xx

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #76

Good Morning and how are we diddly doing? It has been so so long since I've written on this little blog of mine. Life rushes by at the speed of light and I almost wish I had a pause button to catch my breath and take a little time to focus on the things I want to. Instead we power through each day and despite not documenting it here I'm still noticing all these lovely moments that enhance our lives. Without further faffing (which I'm awful for) let's get on with the things that have made this week a little bit more special.

1. A Bath. I can't tell you the last time I had a bath. I was gutted when I came back to uni and the landlord had taken out the bath we'd seen on viewing and replaced it with a shower. This week I'm housesitting and I can't tell you how excited I was when I found out they had a bath. Last night I settled into an extravagantly bubbly bath, lounged and then got into warm-from-the-radiator towels. Being greeted with a hot chocolate as I got out was the icing on the cake. Absolute bliss and the best nights sleep I've had for ages!

2. Tulips. I haven't really ever had any strong feelings about tulips, but these ones have blown me away. The purple is so deep and strong, and contrasted with the pure white and pale green stems is an winner. Anyway they lasted for nearly 2 weeks and perked up even when the went droopy because I forgot to put any more water in the vase (read: pint glass because I'm a student and really what student owns a vase). So Lidl flowers, it's a yes from me!

3. Smashing out my work. The get into the library before 9am, fuelled by buttery crumpets and smash out 500 words in an hour kind of hard work. The work that makes you feel accomplished and like it may not be a disaster after all. Thank god for those days.

4. Signs of Spring. I have been hunting hard this week in between snow showers for clues that Spring is actually on it's way. I mean we're in the middle of March and people are still getting snowed in. However, you don't have to look too far for sights of blossom, blue skies and the odd lamb. Bring on Summer I say.

5. Varsity Win. This week we went to support the men's first team as they triumphed against Marjons. It was a really good afternoon of us getting ready, playing cards and then celebrating their win.

6. The Greatest Sandwich. Absolute rocket fuel for hard days. Goats cheese, caramelised onion and rocket all toasted and warm. I savoured it!

7. Enchiladas. This is my current favourite dish and I think I've cooked it every week since I discovered it. I love how you can cook a whole dish and share with friends. I even did a veggie variation with quorn so everyone in the flat could eat it.

8. Phone Calls. Really, really long ones because I miss people on the other end and there's so much to catch up on, but they are hundreds of miles away. I can't wait to go home for Easter for hugs and catch ups. Plus I'm heading up north for a little holiday and to see my friend who I haven't seen for six months!

And there you go chums. That just about rounds up my week. I promise not to leave it so long next time, but these lovely ladies will promise you midweek goodness every week: SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma. Find us on twitter and instagram with #WonderfulWednesday

Kate xx

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #75

You find me on this Tuesday evening in bed with a banging headache and a hot water bottle wedged behind my back. Whilst this is a cosy situation it's not ideal. A very bad landing from a handstand this morning at uni has left me with in quite a lot of pain. Somehow I managed to knee myself in the face which explains the headache, but don't ask how or why! Pair this with a head cold and enough work to keep me busy for weeks, I'm feeling a little bit sorry for myself. However that's the point of Wonderful Wednesday isn't it? To get us through harder times by appreciating the good bits of the week and the little things that make me smile. So I've had a really hot shower and am eating roast vegetable pizza so it's time to start the show...

1. Going out because it's Monday. Because sometimes Monday is a cause for celebration and chocolate fudge cake. We went for a lovely walk by the sea then settled ourselves in for two course of loveliness at Wildwood. The food was amazing and we rolled home happy and full. In amazing company I spent the evening laughing then snuggled up to catch up with Call the Midwife. Not sure Mondays get better.

2. Daffodils. Daffodils signify the start of spring for me and I got way too overexcited this week when I noticed my first flowers in bloom. They give me promise that warmer days and more blooms are on their way. I literally ran to get a closer look like a child! When do we lose that excitement over tiny things in everyday life, because I want more of it?

3. First game of the year. This weekend was our first cricket games of the year for uni and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I had a new challenge of captaining as our regular captain was away. It made me realise how lucky I am to have amazing teammates who will support and encourage each other through a Sunday afternoon. Even though it left me an aching mess the next day!

4. Phone Calls. Sometimes I feel very far from friends and family. This week has been one of those times. At times like this it's so important to hear their voice. To know you can have a conversation even from miles away. I've been lucky enough to have amazing friends and family on the end of a phone who will put a smile on my face however I feel.

5. Cloudy Apple Juice. A very specific one, but it's made me happy this week. Finding cartons of cheap cloudy apple juice in Aldi has really quenched my thirst.

6. A great bowl of Gnocchi. A steaming, warming bowl of stodge. With far too much tomatoey, bacony sauce, because I can never quite get proportions right. The excess sauce got mopped up by cheesy garlic bread. This was the perfect dinner after playing cricket.

7. Newsletters. I can't get over how lovely it is to have motivational, inspirational and downright lovely things winging their way into my inbox. This week Sophie CliffGrace Latter and Peta have been brilliant this week. Please go and check them out!

And that's it for another week. It's been a tough week, but writing this has perked me up no end. There's always good things in every week. For more wonderfulness head over to see these lovely ladies:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma. Or find us on twitter and instagram with #wonderfulwednesday.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #74

Well how are you doing? It has been so so long since I have spoken on this space. Everything seems to have crashed towards me at a million miles an hour. I really just think life needs a pause button sometimes. So that we can just collect all our thoughts together, catch up and wallow in the good moments. We've had so much to contend with... lots of cricket wins, Christmas and meeting someone new who has put a massive smile on my face to name a few.

But here we are and it's business as usual, I will be recounting all the things this week that have made me smile:

1. Day on the moors. Having lived in Devon for a year and half now I can't believe this weekend was my first visit to the moors. I spent the whole car journey with my face pressed up to the glass, in awe of the stunning views. We wrapped up warm and walked, stepped over rocks and took in the vastness of the landscape. After all this excitement a picnic and an ice cream were in order. Even the sun made an appearance and I can't wait for my next visit to Dartmoor.

2. Submitting the essay. Finally! This one was a killer. I'm talking days spent solidly in the library and not being sure if I'd ever fins what I wanted to say. But the relief when it was done was great. I rewarded myself with a burger and an evening with friends.

3. Dance. Just the freedom of being able to move my body into beautiful shapes that have meaning. The creative process of dance really excites me. I haven't danced for years and this university module has me all sorts of excited. My body is aching, but my mind is flying.

4. Cricket training. This week was the first training back after Christmas and I really enjoyed it. I like being back and focusing on improving myself. I feel like I am becoming more aware of how I can improve and what I need to do. This awareness is new and I kind of like how aware I am of the capabilities of my body and how I can shape these.

5. Flowers. Everytime I walk past the kitchen table I smile. There sit my bunch of flowers. I was given them the moment I stepped off the train into Plymouth and they never fail to brighten my day.

6. Blue Skies. In between these massive downpours we've been having there have been some beautiful blue skies. The kind of clear, crisp skies that leave chilly fingers, but bright bright days. In winter I find these blue days are just what I need to cut through the grey, dim days.

7. Cake. Today I baked a cake for the first time since I've been at university and it was bloody brilliant. Filled with jam and cream and covered in chocolate fudge icing, it was magnificent and just as tasty!

So that's all for this week. I promise I won't leave it so long next time, because I've missed bringing together the lovely bits of the week. For more wonderfulness head over to see these lovely ladies:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma. Or find us on twitter and instagram with #wonderfulwednesday.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #73

Hello my lovelies ad welcome to another Wonderful Wednesday. Once again we are all change as I have moved back to university this week. We are now living in a flat and out of university halls. The few days before coming back to Plymouth is always weird. A frenzy of seeing everyone to say goodbye and packing. So this week seems to have gone past in a flash. The pace of life slows as I get back to university. This week is all about settling in and catching up before lectures start again on Monday. Enough with the life update and on to the things that have been making me smile this week.

1. Breakfast in bed. What way is there to start the day than a massive bowl of granola and fruit eaten leisurely in bed. I followed that up with a spot of yoga and felt all refreshed and ready for the day.

2. Beautiful skies. There's been some absolute stonkers of sunsets this week. I have realised that from the back of the flat you have a gorgeous view of the sun setting so most evenings you can find me sat on the fire escape stairs just staring at the sky. I have noticed how early it's getting dark though or is that just me?

3. Birthdays. As soon as we got back to university it was time to celebrate my flatmate's birthday. We had organised plenty of surprises for her and had a great night. I felt especially fabulous in a red dress that made me feel like the dancing lady emoji.

4. Ice breakers. Every time you meet groups of people there's the same icebreakers trotted out again and again. Mini interviews, finding out things we have in common and questions. This week though we used a few with people we already knew. Although it was hard to think of new facts about yourself it was great to get to know people even better and definitely brought out a few surprises!

5. Brownies. I think I go about chocolate brownies far too much! But the university put on a street food market every month and the brownies are the highlight. Gooey and chocolatey I can't resist. This time I chose a raspberry and white chocolate chip brownie, perfect for eating over catch ups.

6. Double bed. Finally having moved into our new flat I have a double bed. This is the first time in my life that I've had a double bed. I'm making the most of it by starfishing and generally getting such good sleep.

So that's a little round up of the week. It seems like everything starts with a B this week, but that's just Bloody Beautiful. Anyway enough alliteration and on with more wonderful: These lovely ladies also run down their weeks  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma, you join in on twitter or instagram with #wonderfulwednesday or comment the good things below.

P.s. I have just jumped on the bandwagon of instagram (a whole lot late I know), but I'll be sharing all the lovely moments all week long over there. I'm @appreciate_day if you're interested.

Kate xx