Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #14

Because not a week can go by without my being in awe of the sunset
Just when I thought we'd finally got to Spring. We'd had all the beautiful flowers, sunburn and green shoots. Then the weather decides to turn baltic again. I'm talking snow, hail and everything in between. It's been a week where I've worn my shorts under my trackies just for heat retention. But despite the grey skies and the freeing temperatures, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not talking sparkly, rainbows. I'm talking - I can do this thing we call life. And that's enough for now.

1. First game of the season. Sunday was my first outdoor game of cricket this year and true to form we had hail so hard that it stung. However after a couple of breaks we managed to get a game in. It was also my first as captain, but I was very proud of all the players. We came up 7 runs short, but my star player was a 12 year old on debut. Very proud of her bowling. It's great getting back into playing and having a squad of lovely ladies around me.

2. Singing. I coached with one of my best friends this week. We talk about music a lot and we're always exchanging song recommendations. Often the song choices reflect our mood. So on Saturday when we were both singing as we coached I knew it was a good day for us both. I was singing S Club 7 (obviously) whilst he was banging out the classics. We then 'harmonised' on a rendition of Purple Rain. The players thought we were bonkers. Maybe we are, but we were happy, they were happy.

3. Reading. My job currently leaves me pockets of time between sessions. I have been utilising these recently to read a few pages. I'm reading books that will further me and that I'm really interested in. Sometimes I need a book I can just escape into and I choose and an easy fiction, but at the minute I'm enjoying learning. Being challenged and made to think by a book is making me wish those pockets of time were a little longer.

4. Getting warm again. I've already spoken about how blooming cold it's been, but that does mean that when you get warm it feels even better. Yesterday I spent the whole day outside and by the time I got in at 8pm I couldn't feel my hands anymore. Cue a massive mug of hot chocolate, a bacon sandwich and curling up in my PJs. Problem solved.


5.Last Friday I had completed my first full week of my new job and I decided that was worth celebrating. I treated myself to my favourite toastie (brie, bacon and redcurrant jelly for those who I haven't already extolled the virtues at yet) in the best tea room ever. Wortham Tea Shop is just off the village green and the staff are great. I paired it with an apple juice. When I say apple juice, I mean the cloudy, sharp, real good stuff. Then the trays of cakes were looking lonely so I had a chocolate brownie. I got my book out again and ended up having a conversation about cricket with some of the other diners as they'd clocked my book.

6. My Mad Fat Diary. I don't mind telling you that this week I have watched every single episode of the show. I think it blimming brilliant. There's no other show that I can think of that portrays mental health as such a predominant aspect, but treats each character as a person beyond that. The quote that struck me the most was 'Everyone is the protagonist in their own story'. Everybody has got a story to tell, everyone has issues they struggle with, but it was Rae's friends and support system that allowed her to be independent.

That's all for this week folks. I hope you week has treated you well and please do share what has been making you smile. Either comment below, share on twitter with #wonderfulwednesday and mosing over to see the rest of the gang's posts: SallyMichelleJoEmmaHelenCat and Katie. They never fail to make me smile.

Kate xx

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Sneek Peek into my Scrapbook 8




When I look back through my sketchbook it always surprises me how I go through phases with colour. The shapes I use are pretty consistent, but the colours seem to change. I never plan what's going down on the page so sometimes it's nice to go back and think about what was going on in my life and how I've reflected it. I quite like how I've got such a similar colour scheme, but 3 quite different pages.

I've started adding so much more to my pages. Using watercolours predominantly, but adding wax crayon, pen marks and ink for detail. I've started to get layers and I'm interested to see how the different medium work together.

The square in the last photo reads 'Everything you want is on the other side of fear' Jack Canfield. I love this quote. I think it's so easy to stay as everything has always been. However everything that makes you grow and improve is hard. It's scary. By jumping in and doing it we become so much better and help us reach our goals and beyond.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #13


My goodness I feel like I haven't stopped for the past week. It's been a blur of busy. I'm running on not much sleep which never makes for a happy Kate. However, everything has been so enjoyable that the lack of sleep can be forgiven. It does mean that I crash straight into bed when I get through the door. I'm just exhausted come the end of the day. Do you get these weeks? And is there anything I can do to pep myself up?

Without further ado I need to tell you all the happy things I've crammed into this week:

1. Being Brave. This week I had to drive to Birmingham and back, by myself, in a day. Birmingham roads were crazy busy and had so many lanes. For someone who doesn't own a sat nav and works off a few scribbled notes from google maps, I was really worried about the trip. Once I got there I was taking part in a national conference for cricket coaches. I didn't know anyone there, but I had so much fun. Learning about the newest ideas in coaching and meeting fascinating new people. The pain, the exhaustion and the nerves were all worth it for a great day. A year ago I would never have driven across the country solo, but I'm so glad I was brave.

2. Surrounded by fabulous ladies. I suppose this goes on from the last point. This conference was just for female coaches. Never have I been in a room with that many female coaches. We work in a male dominated field and won't meet each other regularly. Being in a room with 80 of us was fab. Everyone was supportive, shared ideas and chatted. There was inspirational speakers and lots of things to get involved with. Plus within that environment I felt less intimidated to say my thoughts than I possibly would have had it been a mixed conference.

3. Blossom. Wonderful Wednesday wouldn't be the same without a reference to the changing seasons and this week it's been all about the blossom. It's starting to be absolutely everywhere in such a range of whites through to deep blush pinks. Clouds of colour fill the trees and when the sun shines and the sky's blue, I am absolutely positive Spring is here!

4. Pesto Pasta. This week my friend cooked dinner for a group of us. She made pasta with a pesto and roast vegetable sauce and crumbled in feta cheese and it was utterly gorgeous. The proof was in the fact we all had seconds. An evening catching up with friends and watching First Dates and Creme de la Creme makes me very happy. Especially as we sat eating chocolate eclairs and ice cream in front of the TV. Sometimes there's no need to do big extravagant things with friends. Sitting in their company, talking about weird and wonderful topics and eating good food is enough.

4. Light of the full moon. Last night I got back from a very long and very enjoyable day. My eyes were drooping, and as I hauled all my stuff out of the car I looked up to the full moon. In my tired state the fact that I didn't need to try to work my phone torch in order to find my way to the door was a small happy/ relieved moment.

5. Hugs. Some stuff is rubbish. Sometimes you go through bad stuff. Sometimes the only thing you can give someone is a hug. It won't mend big things, but for those couple of seconds you can show someone that you care. That you're right there with them and you're not going anywhere. Make sure you hug the people you love.

6. Being outside again. I'd forgotten how much I miss being outside. The weather is changeable (Monday freezing, yesterday I got sunburnt) but I'm outside and free and moving. I've been cooped up inside for the past few months so the feeling of coaching outside is a bit freeing. I have views as I coach - yesterday looking over the harbour. When I'm inside I always find it stuffy and uninspiring. Buildings always seem to be kept and much too higher temperatures and I run round opening every window in sight and huffing and puffing as I move my heavy kit bags. I guess what I'm saying is, minus the sunburn, I am loving my job.

Now it's your turn. What has made your week extra special? It can be as big or as little as you like as long as it made you smile. Get involved by leaving a comment, letting me know on twitter using #wonderfulwednesday or even writing your own post. Leave your link if you do. You absolutely have to go and read the other Wonderful Wednesday gang's posts: SallyMichelleJoEmmaHelenCat and Katie 's blogs are fabulous. They make my day every week!

Kate xx

Friday, 15 April 2016

Picnic in the Spring Sunshine






On Wednesday, we had the most beautiful, sunshiney day and I had a day off. This never happens!It always rains when you have time off, so I made the most of it.

I visited a local fishing lakes. I have never been fishing and honestly can't see the attraction of sitting watching some water for the possibility of catching a fish to put it back again. However, stunning scenery and a walk is something I can definitely get on board with. I took a walk around the lakes and honestly it felt like summer. The weather was so warm.

I grabbed myself a picnic on the way and settled down to watch the scenery. A cold raspberry and apple juice and crusty onion baguette made my lunch. Alfresco eating is one of my favourite things and spring is a great time. Warm enough to feel comfortable outside, but without a hundred bugs and wasps trying to hare your feast with you.


I'll leave you with this photo. Proof if you need it that spring is well and truly here! It epitomises new growth and everything coming to life.

Where have you been adventuring recently? Tell me your favourite picnic spot and what you'd eat there.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #12


How is everyone diddly doing? This week has been mega quick leading and all sorts of productive leading up to my new job yesterday. I've now got such a full calendar until ... well September. I don't really do days of in the cricket season! Therefore I've been using this last week to get everything sorted and in order. It feels a little bit lovely to see all those plans unfolding. The summer starts now.

On with the things that have been making me smile this week:

1. Going out and only ordering dessert. Mum and I had a spare hour after dropping my brother at the train station on Sunday and all we wanted was sweetness. The waiter looks at you really funny if you only ask for the dessert menu, but it's definitely worth it. Especially if that dessert happens to be a chocolate brownie sundae. Lashings of cream, ice cream, warm brownies, chocolate sauce and honeycomb made up a massive sharing bowl of goodness. I think I'd better stop.

2. Ladies that lunch. Isn't it lovely to catch up with friends over a bacon, brie and redcurrant jelly toastie (i.e. the king of all sandwiches)? I haven't seen my friend for a while as we used to work together so it's been great to catch up with everything. Her new business is going from strength to strength and I couldn't be happier for her.

3. First training session. Yes, I trained outside and didn't get frostbite. In fact I was running around without a jumper and even thought about wearing shorts. This means it's officially nearly the summer. cricket season is just around the corner. In fact it's only 2 weeks until our first game and my first as captain. To say I'm excited is an understatement. Cricket makes me so happy and the lovely group of ladies that train and play hard make it so worth it.

4. First day, new job. Thank you to those lovely ladies that wished me luck yesterday for my new job. In case you're not up to speed, I am now coaching cricket everyday!! Whisper it - dream job. It's been so long until I've taught classes that I was pretty nervous, but the day was great and I had so much fun. Plus the above view on my drive home ain't half bad!



5. Doggy cuddles. I can easily while away the time cuddling this cutie. Dogs have this way of being affectionate right when you need it. Ben in the garden does a quick run round. Checks everything is how he left it, then he's right back with you wanting love. There's no way you can ignore him or he's jumping up, getting your best trackies (yeah that's a thing in sports coach's life) all muddy. Also why do dog love the strangest toys? He has this football that is ages old, he's pretty much eat his way through a whole side of it, but he still can't go anywhere without it in his mouth.

6. I made my own sweet potato chips. They were amazing. End of.

The #wonderfulwednesday gang is growing at an alarming rate, which is just fantastic because it means I have such a lot of positivity to read on a Wednesday. Go and visit SallyMichelleJoEmmaHelenCat and Katie 's blogs for more mid week cheer. Now it's over to you. Let me we know the wonderfulness that has been your week. Either comment here or share on twitter with the #wonderfulwednesday.

Kate xx

Monday, 11 April 2016

Tattoo Ideas





For a long time I've considered a tattoo.

I know I want a crown. For me, a crown symbolises strength. It suggests that you've worked hard to become the best you can be. It symbolises the struggles I've overcome and my determination.

It will be placed on my ankle. I'm sure at some point I've spoken about my dodgy ankle and the fact that I was told that I'd never walk again. Here I am having proved all of them wrong and now majorly involved in sports. It won't hide any scars. I'm proud of those. It'll add to part of my body that works hard.

The deliberation has been going on for months, but this week I've ramped it up with some doodling. I've tried out lots of different styles of crown and photographed my favourites close up. At the minute I think I'm veering towards the 3rd photo with its triangles interlinked to make a crown. This fits with my last reason for having a tattoo. My best friend and I always refer to each other as the king and queen of coaches (the sports kind, we aren't buses). We are the dream team. I like how individually the triangles are geometric and cool, but together make the crown.

Tell me your thoughts: what are your favourite doodles? Have you got a tattoo? If so what is it? What made you decide?

Turns out I've got lots of questions!
Kate xx

Friday, 8 April 2016

Labels

Butch, Dyke, Femme, Lipstick Lesbian, Chapstick Lesbian...

All labels.

When I first thought about my sexuality I had no labels. I didn't really understand it but I knew I was attracted to women. Even as I explained it to people it was difficult because I didn't put myself in a box. I guess this was harder for them to understand as they couldn't compartmentalise it.

I have never identified with lesbian as a label. Yes I like girls, but I just can't get along with the word. The sounds are harsh. It's wrong. That's just a personal preference. Once I decided I needed a label, gay was what I went for. In its other context is means happy. For me it meant that I was fully happy to be me. To live the life I wanted. To happily be honest with all around me. I also liked how gay could cover so much of the lgbt community.

Once I had put myself in this box I found a community. It gave me the opportunity to be myself like I'd always wanted. I found some fabulous people who stood up for the issues that are important. They understood all those unsure moments. The tummy flips when coming out to someone new.

But then the labels started again. 'So, you're a femme then?'. I was put into a feminine stereotype because my hair was long. Because of a photo people made an assumption on my likes, hobbies and preferences. I am put into another box. Everyone else had one too. The term Femme grated. It presumed that I only had feminine traits and gave gender to everything I did.

I tried for a while to understand where I should put myself. The lesbians that I saw depicted were firmly in the butch department. I thought I needed to change. To be accepted I needed to have short hair, refuse to wear dresses and stock up on DMs.

Identity and labels are so personal. There are so many facets to personality that putting people under a label makes that the only thing you think of. A label of gay/ lesbian suggests that the only part of my personality you are interested in is who I'd like to date. A label of femme suggests that you only see my long hair and manicured nails and not my hobbies and passions.

So here I am. A girl who loves to play cricket. Who cares deeply about my work, the people in it and the people away from it. Someone who dresses for comfort and sometimes hates that it takes ages for my hair to dry, but would never chop it off because sometimes I like to pretend I'm a princess. I like to create. Using colour and shape to explore my emotions and thoughts. Who values friendship highly and is honest and loyal. Who loves to dance and make beautiful shapes with my body even though one time I was told I would never walk. And who likes girls.

Everytime you put a label on me you reduce me to a word and take away the story behind everything my personality is.

Kate xx

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #11


This week has been a funny old one. A little frustrating due to work being cancelled (self employed woes), but that has allowed me to get on with lots of stuff at home. I don't think I've ever seen this much floor in my room, but that does mean I've realised the carpet's wearing through. Maybe I'll just cover it all in a nice rug or something. My mind wandered, didn't it?

It's funny how you find things you'd completely forgotten about when doing a major tidying blitz. I re found this photo from 2007 (someone had helpfully written on the back - well done past Kate). We had dressed up for a 70s night. In case you are wondering I was of course one of the village people. This week it was this beautiful girl's birthday and 9 years on I'm so pleased to still be celebrating with her.

And onwards before I get too sentimental. Let's talk about what's been making me smile this week:

1. Spending time with my brother. We spent Saturday road tripping to the seaside. The sun was shining and with the windows down we sung at the top of our lungs. Well, I sung really loudly and he complained, but after a while even he couldn't resist a bit of car karaoke. It was our first long trip out with him driving since he passed his test. I didn't take any photos we just talked and ate ice creams. I think my baby brother is turning into a proper functioning human being, albeit one that wears the same pair of jeans for at least a week.

2. The first sightings of bluebells. I feel like my wonderful Wednesday posts become like an episode of Spingwatch, but honestly I can't wait for carpets of bluebells. The one hopeful bloom at my usual spot makes me hopeful that the rest won't be far round the corner.

3. Making someone's day. The above mentioned friend with said birthday obviously needed spoiling rotten. Therefore it was my job to come up with a fabulous birthday present for her. I think I struck gold. To be honest I can be a pretty rubbish present buyer. I leave it until the last minute and then buy some meaningless bit of tat that nobody wants or needs. I'm trying to be better. I found something that she would like, that we can share the experience together and that builds on her goals for the future. Her reaction made it so worthwhile and I'm so looking forward to it.

4. Passing my Maths Professional Skills test. One down, one to go. I'm really sorry that every week I seem to be blowing my own trumpet, but every single thing I pass makes me one step closer to Uni in September and I'm so excited. It's possibly the most worried I've ever been for an exam as I know how must rests on it and how much I want it. The hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream and a large apple and cinnamon muffin did wonders to calm the heart rate afterwards.

5. The first open windows of the year. Open windows now makes me think of Sally and her little attic room filled with fresh air with the amount she mentions it. She's much braver than me and had her windows cracked open with the chilly breeze of January. I waited until just this weekend when it was glorious to have the bird singing so close to by open window. There's this smell of open window that I can't quite put my finger on, but it lingers long after you bolt it back shut again. I have the most perfect window for opening as it has such a large overhang which means no rain will ever get in unless it's horizontal gale force. Therefore when the storm came I left it open just as wide. This heightened every aspect of that storm. I'll interject here that I love storms. I think it's the drama, the bigness of it all. As I was snuggled up under my covers it felt like the storm was happening right here with me.

There's a right little love in going on with these posts now with
SallyMichelle, JoEmmaCat and Helen all creating their own Wonderful Wednesday posts. You have no idea ladies how much of the warm and fuzzies I get everytime I read your posts or see your incredible words on twitter. I'm immensely proud to be a part of it and Sally is an angel! Please go and check out these lovely ladies' blogs because they are awesome. Did I use enough superlatives to convince you?

Let me know what's been making your week in the comments or on twitter (appreciate_day on there)

Kate xx

Friday, 1 April 2016

Dinosaur Dance




A while ago I was asked to teach a half term of dance. We usually tailor dance based units on the topics that the children are currently working on as it helps them develop their learning through movement. The topic happened to be dinosaurs. I have to say it took me a while to compute how I was going to create a full dance unit based on dinosaurs. It actually was great fun to think about how they moved and the shapes of their bodies.

As this isn't a very common topic for dance there were hardly any resources on offer so I decided to make my own. This is a very different style of drawing to what I'm used to, but I like how the simple line drawings came out. As I was working on the shapes of them I tried to choose very different dinosaurs and accentuate their defining features. I enjoyed having to show their features through very simple lines. I think the triceratops might be my favourite as I managed to get a bit more detail in.

They are a little crumpled but you'll have to excuse that as they've been used in classes for 6 weeks! Do we need to name them do you think?

Kate xx