Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #68


Morning, and how the devil are you?

I'm bright and breezy today as I've started my summer job on Sunday. I'm staying in beautiful surroundings and watching lots and lots of cricket. Pretty perfect. Let's just keep all our fingers crossed that it doesn't rain. This week has been lovely. A mix of catching up, packing and getting stuck into a new job. I really love new beginnings and it fills me with enthusiasm.

1. Watching England. This weekend I made the trip down to Bristol to stay with a friend. We are both equally as cricket obsessed and we spent Saturday watching England play. It was blimming cold and I thanked myself for bringing jeans to change into when it got way too cold for shorts! However, we did have a brilliant day and makes me even more excited as England have made it to the World Cup final on Saturday!!

2. Being cooked for. This is such a little pleasure. Where I'm working I get 3 cooked meals everyday. No cooking, no washing up and the food is lovely.

3. Wall to wall cricket. My job is organising and watching cricket. So I'm going to spent my summer doing something I really love and that's definitely a winner. Being paid is just a bonus!

4. Lidl bakery section. During a long drive I like to take plenty of stops and it was on one of these that I found the delight that is the lidl bakery selection. It has such a selection of hot and cold items at cheap cheap prices. I had a veg pizza and a cinnamon bun all for just over a pound.

5. Meeting people. This one seems to feature loads, but I really enjoy meeting new people and finding out about their stories. This week it was my friend's family. Over a Chinese we discussed upcoming drives to Mongolia, camping and obviously cricket.

6. Time to read. This job gives me time and I have just picked up a book that I was midway through a year or so ago. It's an incredibly interesting read weighing up the notion of whether performance in sport or business comes through talent or practise. The book is Bounce by Matthew Syed if you are interested and I fully recommend it.

7. Tea and cake. As a little farewell before I left to work, my grandma, my aunt and I headed out for cake. Whilst they drank tea, I had a lovely glass of fresh apple juice to wash down the chocolate cookie and brownie that I shared. It was lovely to catch up and spent a bit of time with them.

That's it for this week. It's been a week of change, but exciting new things. Now it's your turn to hare the fab moments of the week and check out the rest of the gang:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #67


Well this has been one of the most lovely and tiring weeks. I have packed in so much as I'm only home for such a short space of time, but also made time for doing lovely things that make me happy. It's been such a lovely blend of socialising and time spent completely for me.

1. Spontaneous Adventures. I've already written about it here, but this week my university flatmate came to stay with me on the spur of the moment. We had a magical, amazing couple of days noticing the awesomeness of nature and even making friends with this little guy.


2. Coaching. Cricket coaching has taken a bit of a back seat whilst I've been at university so it was great to get stuck in this week. I have helped out at everything from school sessions to club sessions with the tiny people and loved every second. Makes me realise how much I miss it and how important cricket is in my life.

3. Breakfast in bed. On a lazy Friday morning I made myself a breakfast of warm croissants spread with nutella and a mountain of fresh cherries that our neighbour had brought around. He'd picked them the previous day off the tree in his garden. Yummy breakfast provided by the kindness of neighbours.

4. The best shower. You know when you have used such yummy smelling items and your hair feels all soft and damp. I put on a pair of new pj shorts with the faintest glittery thread through the stripe with my softest, big university tshirt on. I was so snug and comfy that I slept like a baby.

5. Cricket commentary. After a very hot morning of coaching, I spent the afternoon relaxing and listening to the cricket commentary. There's something so chilled about it that I may have even had a little nap.

6. Desert Island Discs. Enter Sue Perkins. I loved her already and now that has multiplied exponentially. She's so real and talks matter of factly about her life. I just can't describe how brilliant it was. You'll have to listen to it yourself - it's on iplayer now!

7. Drinks on painted benches. That drink happened to be an elderflower cordial and it was a lovely refresh. Drank outside under the canopy of a little theatre with 2 wonderful friends whilst we filled each other in with our lives. Then we strolled off in search of cake.

8. Meals. My friend cooked burgers with oozy cheese centres. I ate an amazing roasted squash and goats cheese tart. I had a stonking cricket tea complete with homemade brownie. I guess what I'm trying to say is the food this week has been a bit of alright!

9. Sharing photos. This week I had the chance to catch up with my Grandma and aunt. They've never been to Plymouth or met any of my friends down there. They also don't own computers so never see photos online. Therefore, it was lovely to flick through the memories of the year through photos with them.

10. The smell of rain. We have heat and then the storm comes to cool us. I can't fully describe the smell of summer rain, but it's fresh and grassy and cleanses the air. Plus it's such a super relaxing noise to fall asleep to with the window open a crack to let the freshness in.

11. First barley harvest. There's something very nostalgic about the first harvest. It really brings out the country bumpkin in me. Where the neighbours used to let me ride in the combine or help drive the tractors. That dusty, strawy smell that only comes from the combine.

Now I thought last week was going to be a bumper edition, but this has definitely pipped it to the post. Such a lovely week. This week I'm looking forward to a trip to Bristol to stay with a friend and watch some cricket and starting my summer job - also cricket based obviously! Now it's your turn to hare the fab moments of the week and check out the rest of the gang:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx

Friday, 7 July 2017

Spontaneity


Spontaneity means inviting your university flatmate to stay the next night and her just jumping in the car to see you. It means unplanned adventures and cramming as much into the day as possible. It means following the things that make you happy and sitting a while to ponder how amazing things are. Here's what happened when she made the journey on Wednesday.

On Wednesday night she drove down to mine and as soon as she was out of the car we were adventuring. We decided on an evening meal of pizzas and ventured to the nearby pub (The King's Head in Brockdish). This pub has a light airy feel mixed with traditional beams and features which makes it perfect for a summer's evening. The pizza is fabulous and we sat catching up.

After stuffing ourselves silly we walked my dog Ben as the sunset ready for an early night because we had quite the mission in the morning.

My alarm went off at half 3 in the morning and only the excitement of the day kept my from rolling over, but the day before we had decided we would go to the beach to watch the sunrise. So with the sky still dark we set off in the car. Glimmers of light started to edge the sky, but as we reached the coast the performance really started.

We sat and drank it in. The colours changing fast over the splashing waves. We at a picnic breakfast of fruit and croissants and talked. About the future and life and now. We sat there for 2 hours until the chill of the air had us back in the car for a warm up.

Then we walked. With no aim, but to see as much of the beach as we could. To shout 'dog' at every fluffy bundle of cuteness that came towards us and to marvel in people's early morning yoga and swim sessions. We fantasised about what it would be like to live this close to such a beautiful still beach. To be able to come to the beach in the morning before work and how that would kick start our days.

We found ourselves at the end of the pier when the weather changed. The clear skies faded as the clouds filled in. There was a strange pinkish glow just before we saw the first crack of lightening. The sky gave us another show as we huddled under the shelter of the pier. Held together as the thunder shook the wood beneath our feet.


Once the rain subsided we got back into the car and criss-crossed Suffolk. We stopped in Framlingham to see the castle on the hill and picnicked in the shadows of the windmill on the green. After a few more cuddles with Ben our time together was up. My flatmate had to drive back to work today, but we made so much out of the time we had. We marvelled in the nature around us and the spectacular views. Good food, packed days and good company.

It reminded me that days where I have no plans that I should get outside. Make something happen or see the world.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #66


It's now been two weeks since the last Wonderful Wednesday post. I never intended to miss a week, but this time last week I was very sleep deprived and swamped by mountains of paperwork. On Friday I finished my placement and therefore my first year at university. The last couple of days were really intense, but now I'm back home and enjoying the summer. Sometimes you've just got to take a couple of days of intense work to get to the relaxing bit.

1. Balmy evenings. I just love summer evenings when it's warm enough to sit outside as the sunsets. I spent a Saturday evening as I did a whistle stop trip back home in the garden. I caught up with my brother, talking about anything and everything, as Ben wound himself round our feet. He was keen for cuddles and jumped up onto our laps.

2. Happiness. Whilst I was on placement we took the children on a trip to the beach. All the children had an amazing day, but one stuck in my head. This boy, who is usually so serious, was the happiest I had ever seen him on that beach. He worked so well with the others. The moment that will stick in my memory was when he danced around the sand pyramid he had just made. His face was full of joy. My new goal is to be as happy as he was that day.

3. Packed Lunches. Last weekend I attended another of my cricket course days. I woke ridiculously early having travelled the day before to find my Mum had made me a packed lunch. It was a little thing, but I was so appreciative. I felt like a child again when I went to eat it and found a note telling how much she loved me.

4. The kindness of friends. My university accommodation contract ran out a week before I finished placement and this week my friend took me in. I spent a week sleeping on a camping mattress on her living room floor.

5. Surprises. This Saturday I finally travelled back home for the summer. My two best friends came to pick me up from the train station, but only one knew. We carefully planned that the other wouldn't know until she saw me on the platform. It was such a lovely moment to see her face light up and we had a group hug. It has been several months since I've seen those girls. We spent the night eating fajitas and booking a girls holiday.

6. Lay ins. Much needed I can tell you. The last week of placement was intense and left very little time for sleep. It's lovely to be back in my own bed and having lazy mornings. Also big shout out to Come Dine With Me. I'd forgotten the restorative powers of watching ridiculous people eating mediocre food in a bid to host the best dinner party.

7. Being given flowers. How gorgeous is this bunch of flowers? Along with lots of very sweet cards from the children on placement, I was also given these beautiful blooms. It's nice to be appreciated for the work you do.



8. Glass of prosecco. My friend and I finished placement on Friday night and we could finally put the folders of paperwork down. Her boyfriend bought us a bottle of prosecco to celebrate and we munched on pizzas whilst putting the world to rights. It's was good to just relax for the first time that week.

9. Driving. I'm back and straight into the driving seat of my car. I'd forgotten how much I missed the time that's completely yours when you drive on your own. I think this is why I have had to seek out more moments of solitude whilst being at uni. Last night the weather was warm and I had a drive back home after coaching as the sun set. My windows were down, blowing my hair everywhere, and the music was turned up loud. I watched the colours of the sky change as I belted out the words to the songs on the radio.

10. Stalls on the side of the road. This is something you don't find in the centre of town: stalls on the side of the road selling everything from eggs to veg. The one I found this week had bunches of the most brilliant blue cornflowers for just 30p. There was no way I could drive past emptyhanded so I came back with gifts for my mum.

11. A win. This weekend I have played my first game back with my club team. It was an opportunity to catch up with all the ladies that I haven't seen whilst I've been at uni. Although I ached considerably afterwards (blaming the month I didn't do exercise), I had a great time and we bagged a win too.

Well you've got yourself a bumper edition this week. So much happy-making lurking in between some exhausting days. Now it's over to you... tell me what's made your week special and check out the rest of the gang:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #65


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:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #WonderfulWednesday.

Kate xx

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Watching the Sun Set


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.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wonderful Wednesday #64


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:  SallyJoHelenMichelleSarah, CatSamEl KerriMimmiMartina , Peta, Kelly and Emma's blogs and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #Wonderfulwednesday.

Kate xx