Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Well isn't it blooming boiling? Not complaining, it's gorgeous, but I have no idea how to dress to main professionalism whilst not turning into a sweaty mess. As it is I'm failing. If anyone has any ideas please send them my way. Despite the hot weather frying my brain, I'm actually buzzing. I've met some exciting people this week who have really enthused me. Their zest for life has got me ready to explore and follow lots of interests.
1. Honeysuckle. Walking through the dusk air and coming across a massive trail of honeysuckle. I smelled it first. The heady aroma which reminds me of summer evenings and the bush that winds it's way around the cherry blossom tree at home.
2. The young blind lad explaining how he uses his stick to the older blind ice cream seller. It was just a lovely moment of intergenerational community seen on the streets of Plymouth. Nuff said.
3. Watching the sun set. I bang on about sunsets all of the time, but there's something magical about the whole sky turning a range of beautiful colours. It makes me calm. One better, watching the sun set over the sea. Pure bliss
4. Ice cream in the freezer. Did I mention it was warm? Well as I walk in the door after a long day at placement all I've been craving is something cool. Thankfully past me thought of this and stocked the freezer with ice creams. So my evening routine is now completed with magnum in hand.
5. Cold showers. Some days nothing will cool you down like a dunk in a cold shower and all day I've spent waiting for the moment I can jump in. It also means I can have wet hair for the next hour (let's be honest, it's probably even less due to the incredible drying powers of the weather) which keeps me cooler too.
6. The comfort of a sports bra. My friend and I headed out for a drink and a gossip on Sunday and I tried to dress for the heat. Having moseyed around the flat in pjs for the morning to keep cool I really didn't want to be wearing anything uncomfy. Enter the sports bra. I've been wearing them everyday and, without wires, they are so much more pleasant.
7. Strawberry and Elderflower wine. A revelation for summery evenings, this wine is all fruity and light. I've been serving it ice cold and it's a perfect refreshing drink.
8. Meeting interesting people. Cos blimey oh Riley, people are interesting. If you take the time to find out their story then you'll never guess all the amazing passions and experiences that they have. Talking to people is always time well spent and inspires me to pursue as many things in life as possible.
That's all from a very early morning list maker. Even at half 6 I'm feeling warm, but looking forward to another day in the sun. Now over to you... tell me what's made your week special and check out the rest of the gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #WonderfulWednesday.
Sunday, 18 June 2017
The university year is coming to an end.
We've meandered along, knowing that time was passing, but not realising the quickness of its progress. With days rolling into one another, I felt I would always be here. But summer has come and with it the end of the year.
The end became clear as my friends started to leave. They all have homes to go to over the summer. Some a mere hour away from Plymouth, but like me, others are further afield. Train journeys with time for naps and even planes to negotiate.
As people left we became reflective. Seeking out the moments that would stay with us from the past year. Mulling over them as if sharing them would ingrain the memory onto our brain, where we could keep it forever. The sharing of moments highlighted the amazing year we had and made everyone want to cling on tighter. To stay a few more days. But the days kept powering on and before long I was giving last goodbyes. Eating last meals together and hugging for that second longer than I would usually.
The trickle of leavers started, but it wasn't until I found myself with only one more night until I was alone in the flat that it came into sharp focus.
My last flatmate and one night left.
With that night we were spontaneous. We walked and chatted. We ate a large portion of chips, whilst sitting watching the many boats out to sea. The sun scorched, reminding us of the imminence of summer. As we were suitably full and the sea breeze started to chill, we wandered into a bar.
We admired the beautiful people, who were dressed up ready for a night out. Dressed to impress. The happy, laughing atmosphere reflective of our year. The year hadn't all been smiles, but the end of the year was a cause for celebration. I had met so many amazing people and experienced lots of new and exciting things.
With a cocktail in hand, we started wondering and making up stories for the people around us. The two ladies, who were very well turned out, sharing a bottle of champers from an ice bucket. The guy sat waiting for his date. His knee involuntarily tapping, showing his nervousness. The cackling group of ladies in the corner. Displays of happiness and closeness clearly visible. And the guy who persisted on his mission to throw a ball of paper into a glass the other end of the group table and finally ran a lap of the bar in honour of his success.
As the music got louder and the singing started we took our leave. Out into the still, warm air just as the sky was turning a deep, blush pink. We picked our way across rocks and down to the water's edge. We sat, curled in our togetherness, watching the sun as it set. The colours caressing the barely perseptable waves so that the sea was gilded with the sun's last light. Everything was still as we looked out to sea. Both of us quiet, drinking in the moment.
That moment will forever be the end of first year. The sun setting, the full stop to the year. The happiness and bustle of the bar in complete contrast to the calm of looking out to sea, but both reminiscent of the experiences I have had at university.
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
This sign, that I saw on the wall on my walk to the supermarket, pretty much sums up the week. Love really is greater than hate. Life's pretty short and it's so important to share love and let those you love know how much they mean to you. Living at uni is a funny thing. You spend half of your year miles away from family and friends, but just when it's time to go home and see them, you have to wrench yourself away from the friends you've made there. So it's a time for hugs, for kind words and for love always. To be honest that's what the whole world needs too.
1. Enchiladas. On the last dinner before my friend went come for the summer she cooked a massive dish of enchiladas. A spicy, warming meal after a rainy, long day on placement was just perfect. I'm going to miss her loads over the summer so it was important we said a proper goodbye.
2. Doughnuts. Friday morning I was flagging big time. Placement does make you tired so I was so thankful when a lovely teaching assistant brought around a bag of doughnuts. The sugary hit was exactly what I needed to speed through the rest of the day.
3. Light mornings. My 6.30am wake up call doesn't feel such a struggle when I have sun streaming through the window. On Tuesday I woke up to blue skies through my skylight and it made a world of difference. It was lovely to see the skip in everyone's step and the cheery 'Morning's that greeted me.
4. Pencil skirts. Because coordinating my outfit for placement makes me feel like I can take on the world. My placement wardrobe consists of pencil skirts, tailored trousers and buttoned up shirts, which all make me feel so put together. The more put together I feel, the more confident so that's got to be up there!
5. Dog Spotting. To be honest this is a daily occurrence in my life, but going to new places means new opportunities to make friends with hounds. The morning walk through the woods gives plenty of opportunities and just this morning I had a cuddle with some adorable Labradors. Made my morning brighter.
6. Milkshakes. More importantly, milkshakes of the chocolate orange variety sipped slowly whilst catching up with flatmates. When they are so thick and creamy that you need a spoon to shovel in the remnants between giggles and possibly the best/ weirdest turtle impression. You never knew I had such extraordinary talents!
7. Motivating messages. I woke up on Monday morning to a message from my friend. It was just lovely about how she knew I could be an amazing teacher and detailing lots of lovely things she thought about me. It was the perfect motivation I needed to propel me out of bed and skipping along ready to be observed.
So that's my week and what's made me smile. Now over to you... tell me what's made your week special and check out the rest of the gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #Wonderfulwednesday.
Sunday, 11 June 2017
Every part of my body tells a story.
That scar on right elbow, a mark of when I tried to handstand in a park. On the concrete path that was sloping away from me and fell forward straight onto my elbow. But the memory of trying to do gymnastics with lovely flatmates and the giggles we had lives on with the scar. And taking the skin off it because I ran and jumped headlong onto a crash mat and won the challenge to see who could slide on it the furthest.
My lips that still need a ton of moisturising lip balm on them after a summer two years ago when I sunburnt them so much that they turned purple. But the hot weather of that summer brings memories of coaching cricket every single day for 3 months and the happy, proud moments that those days brought.
The scars on my legs that my best friend in high school told everyone happened when I was bitten by a shark. She told the story to protect me, so I didn't have explain to everyone. They actually mark a 3 year old's incredible survival from meningitis. A horrible disease that I'm incredibly lucky only marked me with scars.
The freckles that exist all year round, but multiply with even a sniff of sunshine. They link me to my mum. The same dapple over our nose connecting us both and making it obvious that I am her daughter.
The long straight scar that bisects my right foot. The cut made by a surgeon to realign my ankle and help a child walk again. The little girl that was in wheelchair and learnt to walk gradually with the help of a zimmer frame.
The arms with muscles. The right hand arm more defined from every cricket ball I have thrown or bowled. They show the afternoons spent playing the game I love. With teammates and colleagues who have shaped the way I am as a person. I am proud of the strength I have and my body's ability to play sport.
My body is so much more than it's appearance because behind every part of it is meaning and the story of my experience.
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
This week I'm tired. I'm tired of all the hurt in the world. The attack on Saturday night felt like a physical punch to the stomach. I worried about all my loved ones. I worried for all those innocent people. I worried.
I'm also mega tired as I have started placement. Maybe that's what has made me that bit more emotional, but being on and working with children all day is exhausting. So this week we need a dose of appreciating the good things more than most...
1. A drive over the moors. Sunday saw a 4 hour round trip drive through the most beautiful Dartmoor roads. They wound and bent. Up the steepest of slopes to reach the top and look over valleys. We were surrounded by green. And to get to a cricket ground with a sea view. Where I could walk a couple of metres from the boundary rope onto the beach. A pretty perfect location.
2. Late night chats. When sat sipping water to alleviate tomorrow's inevitable headache. With my best friend, slumped on her bed. Words tangled and stumbled over.
3. Flippy dresses. Those ones with floaty skirts worn to awards evenings set right next to the marina. With my teammates all dressed up celebrating an amazing year of playing cricket together. There was possibly an award for yours truly chucked in for good measure.
4. Pizza just when you need it. When you have a thumping headache and stomach cramps and you just about manage to crawl into bed at the end of the day. Then your flatmate walks in with pizza and sweet potato chips, you know you've got a keeper!
5. Music in the park. Just strolling through town and happening upon a little community music festival. We whiled away a couple of hours listening to local bands and having a go at flamenco dancing.
6. Wild Garlic. My walk from the bus to placement takes me through a little wood. This week we've had so many rain showers, but the smell after them is so pungent. It's the smell of greenness and growing mixed with the wild garlic in the woods.
7. Long Hugs. Because I won't see people for the next few months or even longer. People are graduating, moving on. We are all dispersing across the country for summer. Those hugs will be the last moments of holding together until we see each other again.
That's it for this week. For more from the gang head to: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #Wonderfulwednesday.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Well I almost feel like I'm on holiday right now. I've had a week and a half off and am in full relaxation mode. Probably not for the best as I start placement on Monday, but for now I'm making the most of it. I say this snuggled in bed with the sun streaming through the window and the comfiest big tshirt and new paisley pj shorts on. We've had a swelter of a week which may or may not have caused a little bit of burn, but has meant I've been outside at every opportunity.
1. Best cake ever. I'm talking layers of brownie, butter cream and salted caramel. We took it away to sit overlooking the sea when we realised we had no idea how to eat the thing without a fork. Needless to say we managed after a quick scurry through bags for tissues.
2. Beach BBQs. The hottest day of the year and one of my flatmate's last night in Plymouth was spent eating a bbq overlooking the sea. We stuffed rolls with burgers and bacon and ate the ultimate bbq food of potato salad. Then after a little rest needed after maybe one burger too many, we played cricket with cans for wickets and much hilarity.
3. Golf. Trying something new is always a bit scary. There's that trepidation that you're going to be absolutely rubbish it at and a physical skill seems to be worse somehow. With this in mind me and a friend decided to have a go at pitch and putt golf and had such a good time. Yes we were a bit rubbish, but we laughed along together, gave each other hints and improved loads. It was so nice to something out of our comfort zones and have a go.
4. Party Tea. Just to celebrate Friday and because I can, on Friday I made myself what my mum used to describe as party tea. Cutting my sandwiches up into little triangles and then having little bits on the plate - tomatoes, salad, potato salad and crisps. All arranged symmetrically on the plate.
5. Lightening. We had the most awesome storm on Friday night. The air had been heavy and ready for a storm all day and when the rain came it cleared the air. But following the downpour came the lightening. Lightening that lit the sky up every few seconds with absolutely no thunder. I stood outside and just drunk it in because nature is pretty phenomenal.
6. Mooching round Totnes and more good cake. I am truly honoured that this little blog and #wonderfulwednesday has brought so many lovely ladies into my life. Michelle from Life Outside London is no exception. In fact a mooch around Totnes with her whilst talking about anything and everything gave me all the warm and fuzzies. If you aren't following her, you need to. She's a babe and knows the best places for cake!
7. Just the right temperature. For lazing in the park with my book in shorts and a tshirt without worrying about burning. Burning has been a real issue for me this week. I have been peak ginger by burning whilst smothered in sun cream so a little dip in heat was pleasant. Also it was a perfect dog watching spot.
8. Last game with my uni girls. 5 hours of laughter and trying our absolute best. I have a little thing that grinds my gears in cricket and it's when players turn up to play and then get no involvement in the match. Luckily I play in a team that makes sure everyone gets an even chance, so we all made awesome contributions. Also special mention for an absolutely stonking cricket tea which meant running was infinitely harder afterwards, but totally worth it.
Wow, that's been a lovely list of things that have made me happy. Writing them all down makes me relive all those wonderful memories and never fails to bring a smile to my face. For more lovely moments head over to the rest of the gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #Wonderfulwednesday.
Friday, 26 May 2017
Last weekend I was feeling like an adventure. A solo adventure. So after hearing about how beautiful the beach at Perranporth was I booked one night and got a train and bus through the Cornish countryside to get there. Spontaneously by Monday night I was sat on the beach. I think it may have been one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
What I did
Well the beach definitely did not disappoint so I spent a lot of time sat looking out to sea and generally contemplating life. Being by the coast makes me all sorts of happy and calm. The beach is 3 miles long, I know because on Tuesday morning I decided to walk the whole length of the beach and back. The beach is popular with surfers, but I made do with a little bit of paddling and climbing on the rocks. I had an explore of the rock pools and funny caverns made in the cliffs. The little town has a range of gift shops and after a wander, I was back on the beach reading my book.
Where I stayed
I stayed in the most amazing youth hostel situated right up on the cliffs on one side of Perranporth. The above photo was taken from right outside and the view from the window was stunning. I fell asleep to the sounds of the waves, but not before having a lovely evening of interesting conversation with the other guests. The bed was really cheap and ideal for travelling.
What I ate
Now to the good bit! The food was absolutely great and I ate every meal outside. I started with eating fish and chips on the beach whilst I watched the sunset. Next morning I ate freshly baked pastries for breakfast. After my trek along the beach I was starving and had a spit roast pork roll with apple sauce bought straight from the local butcher. It was so full and yummy. You can't go to Cornwall without having a pasty and this one may have been the best I've ever eaten. Finally just before getting back on the bus, I had 2 scoops of ice cream - 1 chocolate orange and 1 malteaser flavour. Both scrummy. All the food came from local independent traders which was what the high street was made up of. No Costa here, but good local products.
I had an amazing time and can't wait to explore more of Cornwall. I would thoroughly recommend Perranporth and would love more recommendations of places to go on solo trips.