Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #37

How on earth has Wednesday come around again quite so quickly? It feels like the weeks are just rushing through at the minute and I'm taking in so much around me. I'm busy, busy, busy, but also looking forward. The weather has really hit chilly times and I could see my breath this morning as I walked from the bus. The last hints of autumn are falling like these leaves above and soon we will be hitting the depths of winter. I'm very ready to have a break and look forward to spending time with my family.

Enough weather chat from me. My flatmate informed me today that gingers are more perceptive of weather change than others, maybe that's why I always update you on the weather. It's time for a good dose of wonderfulness:

1. Christmasy spirit. Do you know it has hit me. It has hit me that Christmas is really blimming soon and it's making me feel all sorts of excited. At placement the children have such an excitement for Christmas and it's rubbing off on me. They are making decorations, learning songs and dressing up as reindeer. There's glitter absolutely everywhere and it just feels so festive. I can't wait to don my Christmas jumper and get stuck into meals and parties.

2. Good food. My flatmate cooked me the most amazing meal of ham rolled around beef mince stuffed with cheese. It was baking until the cheese was oozy in a tomatoey sauce and it was just the ticket after 2 hours of training. In other good food news, scooping out baked sweet potatoes and mixing with bacon and cheese then sticking them under the grill is yummy. You are welcome!

3. Getting prepared. Sunday was a day of prepping. The hoover was out, the washing was on and paperwork was done. Lists and meal plans were made and the weekly shop was done. I even went as far as to organise my outfits for the whole week and fold them neatly in piles. These early morning starts will not defeat me!

4. Surprise presents and cards. Last week after a long day and email pinged into my inbox to tell me I had a parcel to collect from reception. It was a lovely surprise to receive a thank you present from one of the players I coached last year. A yummy raspberry Yankee Candle and raspberry flavoured meringues greeted me with a card that I will treasure. It really brightened my day. As did a card from my mum with the message 'Have a lovely day - whatever you are doing. Love you'. Living away from my family it's lovely to have that contact with them and I'm really excited to see them for Christmas.

5. Singing. Along with the thousands of Christmas songs I am learning on placement, the Christmas music has been on in my flat continuously. I can also feel that I'm in a happy mood because songs are just continuously springing into my head. I can feel tunes popping up and find myself humming away or breaking into song. My flatmates love it, honestly!

6. Seeing the sunrise. The big bonus of early morning placement starts is being on the ferry as the sunrises. Seeing the colours reflect on the water makes my mornings. No photos because my hands are firmly stuck in pockets trying to keep warm, but lots of colourful memories.

So that's all the wonderful for this week. I'm looking forward to another exciting week with advent starting and placement finishing it's bound to be a busy one! What has been making you smile this week? Share in the comments or on twitter with #wonderfulwednesday (I'm @appreciate_day). Hop on over to see the rest of the gang and what's been making them smile:  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl , KerriMimmiMartina and Isabelle.

Kate xx

Saturday, 26 November 2016

First Time in Cornwall

Last weekend, on a very cold autumnal morning, I ventured into Cornwall for the first time. Despite living so close to the Devon/Cornwall boarder for the last 3 months I hadn't made the trip across. Cornwall is somewhere I'd always wanted to visit and there's definitely going to be more visits on the cards.

A journey involving a bus that goes on a ferry across the river Tamar is very easy from Plymouth's city centre and a return ticket was only £2.50. With no plan, but to explore we quickly found a footpath and starting walking. The paths were looking beautiful and full of autumnal colour, but the chill in the air and the bushes filling with berries hinted at winter starting.

We were excited to cross a bridge in the path and find ourselves in a massive park full of dog walkers - very important when I'm missing Ben at home. Exploring further we found ourselves in dockyards, on a slate beach and ending in a tiny town.

I love those days when you have no time schedule and can just wander. Having walked for a few hours we found ourselves a bench on the beach and looked out to sea. Our legs were tired and it was time for a rest. We talked about every subject under the sun. As you walk and sit it's a great opportunity to get to know others and talk about subjects that often there is not time for.

Having sat still on a cold bench we needed something to warm us up and a short walk into town provided us with the perfect food. A first visit to Cornwall would not be complete without a pasty and we found a small independent shop that just sold pasties. Dashers Pasties had the most amazing cheese and bacon pasties that we ate hot out of the bag. After a quick look around the town Christmas fayre (think knitted items and handmade cakes) we got the bus back just as the drizzle started.

A lovely day in Cornwall that has made me want to explore further. Please let me know any recommendations of places I should visit.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #36

Hello and welcome to another list of wonderfulness. This week has been ever so hectic with starting placement. This means super early starts and coming in all sort of exhausted, but happy. Happy because I know this is where I want to be with my life. The weather has done a dramatic change down here and winter is finally setting in. As I trudged through Plymouth's pouring rain on Monday at some ungodly hour I finally realised the seasons were changing. I quite like watching the seasons change, but just maybe from a slightly warmer viewpoint.

On the whole though I am savouring the snuggly warm moments all the more. Winter heads me in different

1. Sweet potato chips. The biggest mountain of chips you ever did see. The kind of food that you have to stop halfway through for a break. On Saturday evening me and my flatmates went out for snack and a coffee. Little did we know that Caffeine Club n Plymouth's portions are ginormous and a snack constitutes a whole meal. I love sweet potatoes and and currently I'm eating them all the time; baked, in salads or mashed, but chips I can never quite master. Therefore when eating out they are my go to.

2. Fixed heating. After a few weeks of wrapping ourselves in blankets and putting on my dressing gown as soon as I get in the door for warmth the heating engineer finally came to fix the heating. Getting in to a warm bedroom has made my days.

3. Cornwall trips. On Saturday I went to do a recee of my placement journey. This involves buses and ferries, but is much easier than I thought it might be. The bus stops at the end of the school road, which makes 7am journeys easier. After sussing out the school we took a walk through the autumnal footpaths and the surrounding village. My first visit to Cornwall would not be complete without a pasty and the hot bacon and cheese one thawed my hands nicely after our long walk.

4. Cosy sleeps. On Saturday night I had one of the best sleeps I've had for ages. I showered and put on my warmest fluffy PJs. After a lovely hot chocolate I had an early night and didn't set an alarm. I felt to rested and relaxed when I woke. I took my time to slowly wake up to the light coming through my skylight and listened to the cricket commentary whilst snuggled.

5. Placement and a little bit proud. This week has been my first on placement and I'm loving it. I'm learning so much and taking in all the nuances of school life. I also got my first assignment back and I'm feeling a little bit proud of my first!

6. Warm towels after a shower. Is there any more explanation needed?

7. #TodayImGrateful. This is my favourite favourite hashtag right now. The lovely Katie Brennan (@katie_brennan) started this one. The idea is to write a daily tweet describing what you are grateful for. Following the hashtag gives me so much happiness. It's lovely to share in this. It has also given me a great record to look back on my week.

That's all for this week. Head on over to  JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl , KerriMimmiMartina and Isabelle's blogs for more wonderfulness that's sure to put a smile on your face.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #35

Welcome one and all to another list of loveliness that we like to call Wonderful Wednesday. As I sit writing this I am snuggled in my dressing gown eating one of the finest bacon sandwiches I have possibly ever made. Or else it feels like it with the restorative powers of bacon. The window is open just a crack letting in the crisp autumnal morning.

This week I have been battling the inevitable winter cold/sore throat. I have completely lost my voice on more than one occasion which is just great when I need to practise my teaching. To counteract this I've been necking hot blackcurrant and napping.

Anyway enough of my illness woes and on with some wonderful...

1. Porridge. Sally has inspired this one. As the mornings are getting cooler my granola and milk combinations just weren't cutting it. I was looking for a warming breakfast and Sally is always singing the praises of porridge. I hadn't had porridge for ages and I remember when I had it as a child it was very bland so I knew flavour was needed. I added cinnamon (I feel like this needs to be added to everything at this time of the year) to the mix and topped with sliced apple and greek yoghurt. It perfectly hit the spot and kept me nice and full through the morning.

2. Placement excitement. Next week I start my first placement in a school. I'm really looking forward to it - putting all I've learnt in uni into practise. I have spent the week preppy outfits, printing documents and looking up bus timetables. I can't wait!

3. Dressing up. Last week I went out with the cricket team to a sports social. We had to dress up as a sport (not cricket). We spent a lovely afternoon scouring the shops for costume ideas. Eventually we decided on runners and kitted ourselves out with sweatbands. Then we made ourselves numbers and on the back had our nicknames. I'm incredibly lucky to have found a great group of girls to play cricket with and have fun.

4. Walks. I mentioned this on Sunday, but walks always clear my head and I'm incredibly lucky to live in such a beautiful place. See here for beautiful autumnal golden light and sunsets.

5. Kindness. This week I have been consciously trying to spread kindness through the world. Small compliments or making a hot chocolate for someone can have such an impact on their day. Like I said last week, I feel that a little more positivity and kindness is what the world needs right now.

6. All you can eat. On Saturday evening a group of us went to a local all you can eat Chinese. All you can eat seems like a challenge to me, one I was willing to accept. Especially as we are all poor students! I had such a lovely meal with highlights of sweet and sour chicken and chocolate fountain. Although not together of course! I left pleasantly full and we walked back much slower than we had got there.

7. Training. I'm really enjoying training more at the moment. As I said I have a great group of team mates that makes training so much fun. I look forward to Sunday afternoons when we can have a laugh and improve as a team. I've even been going to another session a week. The more exercise I do, the happier I feel.

That's this week's wonderful. What has been making you smile this week? Join in by letting me know in the comments, on twitter using #WonderfulWednesday (I'm @appreciate_day) or getting involved yourself. All these lovely ladies write their own posts and never fail to make my Wednesday brighter. So shimmy over to read JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl , KerriMimmiMartina and Isabelle's blogs for more happy making posts.

Kate xx

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Autumn Light

For the past few days I have been feeling a little under the weather. I lost my voice and then I was all bunged up. I was just generally feeling sorry for myself and a bit pathetic. This meant that most of Saturday morning was spent in bed snivelling and dozing.

As the day wore on I decided I needed to do something to get myself out of this cycle. I decided a walk would help. I find that when I'm by the sea, I'm calmer and feel so much better. I'm lucky to live only a ten minute walk from the coast.

However, a ten minute walk wasn't going to pull me out of the fug so I deliberately took streets I had never walked down before. I love exploring my area and going to new places. I walked for hours. Unravelling the thoughts in my head and moving my body. Through my university course I have been exploring the need for physical activity to improve quality of life. I can see this so much in myself. When I am inactive my mood drops and my body feels lethargic. Getting outside and moving is so important for me.

The light in autumn seems all the more golden to match the changing leaves and Saturday did not disappoint. A happy accident was the sun setting as I walked along the coast. The water shone with the changing colours in the sky. I took the time to sit and stare out into the bay feeling my thoughts collecting and reorganising themselves.

As the last light left the sky I took myself home: feeling more energised and happy.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #34

To be quite honest I'm wishing I had written this post yesterday when I was feeling a lot more wonderful. Waking up to the American election news felt very surreal. I didn't want to believe it. Then it hit home and made me realise the implications. I had a little cry. I had a little cry for every minority. I moped around for most of the day in a fog wondering why people weren't taking this momentous shift more seriously.

And then I realised that this list is just as important today as any other day. In fact it's so much more important. Because we have to show love and understanding to others. We have to take care of ourselves and notice the wonder in the everyday. So without further ado let's talk happy things...

1. Dancing. You know that carefree dancing where you arms and legs are probably going in completely different directions, but you just don't care? Yeah that! Friday night was great. I went out with some of my flatmates and we just danced.

2. Roasts. After the coldest night of my life in a caravan on Saturday night (think frost on the inside of the windows) and a full day of playing cricket food was needed. The food that we had was absolutely amazing. Half a chicken with the best crispy roasties and batter puddings the size of a small bowl. What was even nicer was that we ate it all together as a team. We were definitely full and drowsy on the way home!

3. Cards. This week I had a lovely card from my Mum. To be honest it says very little, just catches me up with day to day life. However it's so lovely to have post to open and feel connected to her when she's so far away.

4. Chocolate. Because what is not made better by chocolate. This is thick, creamy, dark chocolate from Lidl of all places. Cheap as chips and perfect for sweet tooth cravings.

5. Making friends with snails. I'm currently doing a science module and this week we had snails come and visit us. Focusing on how children observe we drew and made plasticine models of our new friends.

6. Snuggly scarves. We have finally hit cold weather in Plymouth so the scarves and coats are out. I'd forgotten how much a soft scarf keeps me warm. I'd also forgotten how much I liked my turquoise coat. It's so vibrant and really brightens the dull days. I'm in the market for a really warm grey one now...

To all of you today I send lots of love. For all the lovely people I have met through blogging. To the gang of wonderful Wednesdayers (JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl , KerriMimmiMartina and Isabelle) you light up by Wednesdays. Keep on keeping on guys. 
To join us in spreading joy use #WonderfulWednesday on twitter, comment or write your own post.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #33

Well how are you diddly-doing? I'm still buzzing from a weekend of cricket combined with the fact that I can legitimately wear sports wear at all times, because I'm a PE student. With the excitement of Halloween as well it's all pretty ticketyboo over here.

The weeks seem to be moving along at such an alarming rate though and I'm already feeling a little like I'm playing catch up. Maybe a weekend away does that to you. I have another one next weekend though so we're hardly going to slow down. My week's been pretty darn good so one with the wonderful...

1. Team bonding. As many of you know, because I was very excited, this weekend was my first cricket game for the university. I didn't really know my team that well, but after a weekend spent in a caravan together with very minimal space we have definitely bonded! We had a great time and played really well. Now looking forward to next weekend and more of the same.

2. So much food. I feel like every Wonderful Wednesday just has a list of the good food of the week and this one is no exception. Starting with chocolate pizza on Friday night, the weekend saw me eat so much. We are all definitely healthy athletes! We had a whole vat of homemade spag bol as our night before the game dinner, croissants as day of the match breakfast and so much food during the day. Our captain's family had made us all a packed lunch, but the coach also bought us chips. Somehow half the team had managed to get into first class on their way down and made full and proper use of the free snacks situation. They turned up on the day with 5 bags worth! Followed by Macdonalds on the way home.

3. Halloween involved more food! Think jelly brains, bat shaped pasta and multicoloured cakes. However my flat also dressed up and had a flat party which was good. I never really celebrate Halloween but it was fun to this year. Dressing up and putting on all the face paint makes you feel a little like someone else. Although mine happened to be a scary Saw puppet!

4. Family day. My PE course organised a family day. Basically they put a couple of students from each year into a family and we do activities together. We ran round Plymouth on a treasure hunt. It was a bit random and explains why there's now a rubber duck on my desk, but it was good to meet the students and know you have a support network if you need it.

5. The comfort of new sheets. Yesterday was new sheet day and I had an early night. I had eaten so much and was super sleepy so the extra bonus of super comfy brand new sheets was great. Also I left my window open so when I woke this morning I was so snug, but could feel the slight chill of autumn.

6. Having dinner made for you. Not having to wash up, dry up, cook and worry about having food. These are little things that I really appreciate now. Plus new york style lemon cheesecake is always a good thing!

7. Sunsets. On our way back from cricket we drove through/round/near Dartmoor and there was the most beautiful sunset surrounded by trees in autumnal colours. We sat outside and watched it set. Perfect end to my weekend. No photos, just taking it in.

And now it's over to you. What has put a smile on your face?  For more loveliness head yourself over to the rest of the gang's blogs: JoHelenMichelleSarahSallyCatSamEl , Kerri's, Mimmi'sMartina's and Isabelle's.
Find me on twitter (appreciate_day) with #WonderfulWednesday or comment here.

Kate xx