Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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 Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Sally, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie's blogs or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.
Thursday, 6 December 2018
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; Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Sally, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri's, and Peta's and Ellie or catch us on #wonderfulwednesday on instagram and twitter.