Saturday, 19 January 2019

In 2018 My Body Has...


In 2018 my body has...

been taped up and powered through the pain
carried me on so many adventures
climbed to the tops of cliffs
felt the warmth of the sun
walked over 20,000 steps in a day
Laughed so much my cheeks and belly hurt
been in so much pain it's been hard to walk
needed days asleep to recharge
wrapped itself around my loved ones in warm hugs
run along train platforms to greet my family
paddled in the sea and felt the cold water lapping around my ankles
made incredible shapes as I danced in front of an audience
cartwheeled across the room
learnt to dive forwards roll
stretched as the sun rose
clicked everytime I tried to move my back
stood at the top of so many hills while I was in awe of the view
Needed to take medication to keep pain at bay
competed at a national cricket competition
carried luggage on journeys around the country to visit friends and family
raced loved ones along beaches
taken time to breathe deeply
demonstrated skills to help teach others
jumped off the top of sand dunes in fancy frocks
slipped on seaweed whilst climbing over rocks
cried
watched my best friend walk down the aisle
felt comfortable in a swimming costume
scrambled to the top of Dartmoor's tors
been battered and bruised by endless cricket balls and diving stops

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Wonderful Wednesday #94


Welcome to Wednesday and how are you doing? After getting my assignments in last week I've been free as a bird and it's been so good. I've been feeling really inspired and have so many thoughts racing around my brain. I'm going to attribute this partly to be outside more, moving more, but also to stumbling upon lots people doing some really wonderful things.

1. Walking. For someone who struggled through my Duke of Edinburgh award with gritted teeth, I've surprised myself with how much I've been enjoying walking. I guess it really helps if the views are good and Devon has not disappointed this week. From dense woodland to cliff top walks and finding deserted coves, walking has taken to me some absolutely stunning places. I'm particularly enjoying the physicality of it too. Whilst I'm getting better with my ankle I'm keen to push and challenge my body.

2. The sea. If ever I feel a bit cooped up I go to the sea. After days of studying I needed to look out to sea and see its vastness. In the past week I've managed to get to the coast a grand total of four times and I am very happy about that fact!

3. The first spotting of snowdrops. Ok it's official, Spring is on it's way now! Driving along (to the beach of course) I spotted some on the verge and actually stopped my car to get a better look. This makes me very excited for warmer days and more Spring flowers.

4. Paddling. When at the beach, one must paddle. When it's winter you should probably wear your wellies. I remember doing this as a child all the time and after Christmas I finally brought my wellies to uni with me. However, one step into the sea left me with a soaked foot! Obviously my wellies aren't quite as watertight as they once were. Not quite the calm paddle I'd hoped for, but a deserted beach and a beautiful sunset definitely made up for it.

5. CPD in a pub. On Saturday, a couple of coursemates and I headed to a teaching CPD event. I was nervous and sceptical to start with. Firstly at meeting lots of educational people, but also whether it would be worth giving up my Saturday for. I needn't have worried because I can't remember having so much fun at a work based event! Between laughter, quizzes, learning and some tasty pasties it was a brilliant day.

6. Painfree training. I was a little worried about how my ankle would hold up to the first training session of the year. Having had less than a week to recover from its injection I thought I might need to take it easy. As it happened my ankle was absolutely fine, which meant I got to enjoy moving my body and improving again. For ages I've really had to be mindful of my movements and hold back a bit so it felt good to be back training properly ready for our first game next week.

7. Parallel parking. I hadn't really considered how awful I am at parallel parking until I got to Plymouth. Back home I never really have to try. There's not much road parking at all, so whilst I can ace a bay park (even if I say so myself) my parallel parking skills leave something to be desired. Therefore when I got my car in a space in one go this week I did a little happy dance.

8. Finding jeans that fit. Does anyone else find shopping for jeans a real pain? I can never find ones that fit properly, but this week I may have stumbled upon a brilliant pair. Really good quality fabric and a comfortable fit. Thanks M&S.

9. Bats, Balls and Bradford girls. If any of you haven't watched this yet it's a documentary on BBC3 about an all Muslim, female cricket team. The girls in it show the real power of sport and how it can break down barriers and empower. For all of them cricket became their lifeline and it just showed me how much the life I've chosen is worthy. How I can hopefully bring that to as many children as possible.

10. Eat, Sweat, Play. A must read! This book has really affected me in such a profound way and has got me thinking again about the power of sport, but how it is so important in our lives. As women we face barriers to sport and physical activity throughout our lives. It also reminded me of how incredible our body is. It puts up with so much and still physically supports us. I want to use mine to its absolute maximum, but also keep it strong and healthy for my life.

Physical challenges and inspirations have really got me fired up this week. I've got so many thoughts racing and ideas for writing. Is this something you'd be interested in reading about? For more wonderful, head over to  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's blogs or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Wonderful Wednesday #93


Hello and welcome to 2019. I hope you all had a wonderful, restful time over Christmas and New Year. I really enjoyed my time at home this year. Plenty of time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends and snuggles with Ben the sprocker spaniel. I definitely found it hard to leave on Saturday and drive the long journey back to Plymouth especially as I had so much work to do when I got back here.

1. Sunrises. I forgot how wonderful it was to have the above picture as the view from my bed. I have enjoyed a lovely couple of mornings slowly waking up as the sky changes colour. Every morning as I get up the very first thing I do is go to the window and just take a long look out to sea. It's just a wonderful way to start the day.

2. My family. Wow my goodness I may have cried when I had to leave these lovely people. I'm not sure if it's just me, but now I've left and moved a long way from my family I really appreciate the moments that I have with them. It's been absolutely lovely to get to do all those everyday things with them whilst I've been home and tell them how much they mean to me.

3. Chinese food. On the last evening before I drove back to Plymouth, my family and I enjoyed a Chinese. I hadn't had one for months and walking past the Chinese at the end of my road in Plymouth had me really fancying one.

4. The new year tidy. Motivation somehow hit because my mum and I spent a solid day tidying the dining room last week. We unearthed things that we hadn't seen for ages (Ice cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams being a particular highlight) and managed to take a whole car boot full of stuff to the charity shop. We also never realise how fun shredding can be!

5. Last meals. I miss my friends so much when I'm in Plymouth and I've made sure to spend as much time as possible with them over Christmas. We've shared new year and Christmas eve together, been on day trips to the beach and celebrated new houses, but it was loving to go out for a meal last week. We can talk for hours and be completely honest with each other. These girls are amazing, and so was the pizza!

6. Popmaster. I think I'm getting old, because I have listened to a lot of radio two and really enjoyed it! I found myself dancing around the kitchen to Sounds of the Sixties on New Year's Eve! But my mum and I seemed to have a little routine over Christmas that at half ten in the morning we'd sit down with a drink (and usually a biscuit, it was Christmas) to listen to Popmaster. I think I got about one question right across the whole holiday, but it was a perfect excuse for a little break and we both got narked when someone decided to ring during that time.

7. Homemade soup. One Saturday night having done a nine hour drive down to the South West, I was in need of some comfort food. My cupboard had only tins, but I rustled up a warming, filling tomato, beany soup. Obviously there was oodles of it, so I've been eating it all week and I cannot thank my past self enough.

8. The first moment of being on my own again. Whilst I love visiting my family, I do love living on my own. Despite this it still felt quite strange to finally walk into my house and close the door knowing I was on my own again. I couldn't walk into the other room and have one of my family members there. The house was quiet and I could follow my routine again.

9. The point in between sleep and awake. The gentle dream state, where you're not sure if you're conscious and daydreaming or sleeping. You're so comfortable and sleeping and you can physically feel yourself falling into sleep.

10. Looking after myself through my injection. Monday was the day of my ankle injection and I'm so pleased with the recovery. I had a cortisone injection right into the ankle joint and I'd built it up to be very painful. As it was the procedure was a little uncomfortable, but I think even the doctors were confused with how pain free I was. I took their advice and kept my feet up all day yesterday and today it feels absolutely fine. Let's hope it continues this way!

11. Sending off my assignments. And finally, the reason this little wonderful Wednesday list is so late is that I finally sent off a mountain of assignments today. They've been hanging over since before Christmas and I'm so relieved they are finally finished. Now time for a week off!

That's all the wonderful from me this week. Please head over to these lovely ladies for more wonderful Wednesday goodness:  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's blogs or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Wonderful Wednesday #92


This week has been one of reflection. As we near Christmas and the new year I always find myself looking back at the year that has gone. This year it seems like such a seismic difference in where I was in my life a year ago. Maybe not physically, but within myself lots has changed. This week memories of the year have been cropping up all over the place. Seemingly insignificant things have sparked scenes and associations. Also this week has been the last big push of work before I can get on the train back to Suffolk tomorrow. Lots of days spent in the library reading mean that hopefully I can spend a relaxing Christmas period not having to worry about work looming over me. This week has been full of the good stuff though so shall we...?

1. Toffee Apple Cake. On days when you have a head ache, a massive slice of cake is always a winner. Eaten in front of the tv with my housemates.

2. Cosiness. I'm not sure about anywhere else, but I can't actually remember a day when it hasn't rained in Plymouth. The weather has me all wrapped up in plenty of layers and invariably soaks me before I get out of my front door. This week I had to take a change of clothes to the library because I knew I didn't want to sit and work in soggy clothes. Cosy things have been saving me this week. Hot showers when you get in soaked. Blankets to snuggle up in on the sofa and hot chocolates to warm you from the inside. Plus a few cheeky naps on the sofa.

3. Long phone calls. I value the time I spend on the phone to my friends as they live so far away. Last week was particularly special as one of my friends has just flown to Russia for Christmas and I won't see her until February. A catch up was very much needed and I'm so proud of her and all the decisions she's making in her life.

4. Sea walks to pull me out of my procrastination. Whenever I'm feeling a little lost I look to the sea, or walk to the sea in this case. Friday found me not being able to settle or focus. I knew the only way to haul myself out of this was the look out at the waves. To sit and feel their power and the wind in my face. After a mooch about, some new streets explored and a large portion of salty chips eaten by the sea I was ready to have a productive afternoon.

5. Christmas markets. This year in my mission to buy my Christmas presents from as many local independent businesses as possible I've been frequenting as many Christmas markets as possible. This got my on a bus before 9am to head to Royal William Yard. The vibe around the yard is really special and arty and I picked up lots of lovely bits that are already wrapped and ready to be packed.

6. Living alone. With the Christmas season upon us most of my flatmates have gone home so I've had the house pretty much to myself for most of the week. I love the quietness and solitude. How I can plan my days solely around myself.

7. Sunrises. I don't think I'll ever stop banging on about colours in the sky, but I find myself needing to notice it even more in the dark days of winter. Despite it getting light later in the mornings it gives me an opportunity to enjoy it from my bedroom window. I've moved my bed just slightly so I can wake up and see the sky first thing in the morning.

8. The anticipation of going home. I cannot wait to see everyone, snuggle my dog and not spend everyday slogging it out in the library. One more sleep until I get on the train.

9. Exploring and taking every path. Take that path. The one that takes you up those stairs. Where you stand facing the sea with the wind whipping your hair and just breathe. Get lost on a new street. Find a place you never knew existed even though you've walked past it hundreds of times.

10. The power of libraries. I spent Monday working in the library in town and was blown away by how much the people that work there help our community. The endeavoured to help every single person who walked through the door. The requests were so varied and definitely not all about books. It's a real community hub and I was so impressed to hear they will also be opening on Christmas day for anyone who will be on their own.

11. Sports Personality of the Year. I sat down on Sunday night to maybe watch tv in the background and from the moment I put BBC 1 on I was hooked. Every year I forget how much I love this program. I cried, laughed and remembered the power of sport and what draws me to it. I found a new heroine in Billy Jean Kelly and if I can bring even an ounce of the incredible influence of sport and physical activity to anyone I teach I feel I will have done a good job.

As I wrote this list I realised what a good week it's been. The moments kept coming to me and I just love writing them all. For more wonderful Wednesday goodness head over to  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's blogs or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.

Kate xx

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