Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Well I almost feel like I'm on holiday right now. I've had a week and a half off and am in full relaxation mode. Probably not for the best as I start placement on Monday, but for now I'm making the most of it. I say this snuggled in bed with the sun streaming through the window and the comfiest big tshirt and new paisley pj shorts on. We've had a swelter of a week which may or may not have caused a little bit of burn, but has meant I've been outside at every opportunity.
1. Best cake ever. I'm talking layers of brownie, butter cream and salted caramel. We took it away to sit overlooking the sea when we realised we had no idea how to eat the thing without a fork. Needless to say we managed after a quick scurry through bags for tissues.
2. Beach BBQs. The hottest day of the year and one of my flatmate's last night in Plymouth was spent eating a bbq overlooking the sea. We stuffed rolls with burgers and bacon and ate the ultimate bbq food of potato salad. Then after a little rest needed after maybe one burger too many, we played cricket with cans for wickets and much hilarity.
3. Golf. Trying something new is always a bit scary. There's that trepidation that you're going to be absolutely rubbish it at and a physical skill seems to be worse somehow. With this in mind me and a friend decided to have a go at pitch and putt golf and had such a good time. Yes we were a bit rubbish, but we laughed along together, gave each other hints and improved loads. It was so nice to something out of our comfort zones and have a go.
4. Party Tea. Just to celebrate Friday and because I can, on Friday I made myself what my mum used to describe as party tea. Cutting my sandwiches up into little triangles and then having little bits on the plate - tomatoes, salad, potato salad and crisps. All arranged symmetrically on the plate.
5. Lightening. We had the most awesome storm on Friday night. The air had been heavy and ready for a storm all day and when the rain came it cleared the air. But following the downpour came the lightening. Lightening that lit the sky up every few seconds with absolutely no thunder. I stood outside and just drunk it in because nature is pretty phenomenal.
6. Mooching round Totnes and more good cake. I am truly honoured that this little blog and #wonderfulwednesday has brought so many lovely ladies into my life. Michelle from Life Outside London is no exception. In fact a mooch around Totnes with her whilst talking about anything and everything gave me all the warm and fuzzies. If you aren't following her, you need to. She's a babe and knows the best places for cake!
7. Just the right temperature. For lazing in the park with my book in shorts and a tshirt without worrying about burning. Burning has been a real issue for me this week. I have been peak ginger by burning whilst smothered in sun cream so a little dip in heat was pleasant. Also it was a perfect dog watching spot.
8. Last game with my uni girls. 5 hours of laughter and trying our absolute best. I have a little thing that grinds my gears in cricket and it's when players turn up to play and then get no involvement in the match. Luckily I play in a team that makes sure everyone gets an even chance, so we all made awesome contributions. Also special mention for an absolutely stonking cricket tea which meant running was infinitely harder afterwards, but totally worth it.
Wow, that's been a lovely list of things that have made me happy. Writing them all down makes me relive all those wonderful memories and never fails to bring a smile to my face. For more lovely moments head over to the rest of the gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #Wonderfulwednesday.
Friday, 26 May 2017
Last weekend I was feeling like an adventure. A solo adventure. So after hearing about how beautiful the beach at Perranporth was I booked one night and got a train and bus through the Cornish countryside to get there. Spontaneously by Monday night I was sat on the beach. I think it may have been one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
What I did
Well the beach definitely did not disappoint so I spent a lot of time sat looking out to sea and generally contemplating life. Being by the coast makes me all sorts of happy and calm. The beach is 3 miles long, I know because on Tuesday morning I decided to walk the whole length of the beach and back. The beach is popular with surfers, but I made do with a little bit of paddling and climbing on the rocks. I had an explore of the rock pools and funny caverns made in the cliffs. The little town has a range of gift shops and after a wander, I was back on the beach reading my book.
Where I stayed
I stayed in the most amazing youth hostel situated right up on the cliffs on one side of Perranporth. The above photo was taken from right outside and the view from the window was stunning. I fell asleep to the sounds of the waves, but not before having a lovely evening of interesting conversation with the other guests. The bed was really cheap and ideal for travelling.
What I ate
Now to the good bit! The food was absolutely great and I ate every meal outside. I started with eating fish and chips on the beach whilst I watched the sunset. Next morning I ate freshly baked pastries for breakfast. After my trek along the beach I was starving and had a spit roast pork roll with apple sauce bought straight from the local butcher. It was so full and yummy. You can't go to Cornwall without having a pasty and this one may have been the best I've ever eaten. Finally just before getting back on the bus, I had 2 scoops of ice cream - 1 chocolate orange and 1 malteaser flavour. Both scrummy. All the food came from local independent traders which was what the high street was made up of. No Costa here, but good local products.
I had an amazing time and can't wait to explore more of Cornwall. I would thoroughly recommend Perranporth and would love more recommendations of places to go on solo trips.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Well I'm all of a buzz this week. I just can't stop doing and moving and being. Maybe it's the sunshine. Maybe it's the buzz of a little freedom and a great big world of possibilities. Either way I'm really enjoying it. It makes me feel a lot more like me. I'll being guided by what feels right and wonderful for me and that's a pretty darn lovely thing if you ask me. And with the sun set to get even warmer in the next few days I'm a little bit excited.
Anyway, on with the merriment of the past week...
1. Last lecture of the year. Can you believe that I have finished every lecture for my first year? The time has gone so quickly. With just a 4 week placement to go I can almost taste the summer coming.
2. Ice Cream. Namely 3 of the biggest scoops of smooth, creamy ice cream eaten with those little plastic spoons whilst catching up with my old housemates. I choose 1 scoop each of Jaffa, Ferrero Rocher and Cherry and they were blooming marvellous.
3. The best yoghurt. You know some days you're wandering the supermarket and big up something that never usually goes in your basket, but is set to always find itself there in the future. I usually just big up a large tub of greek yoghurt which lasts me the week, but next to it on the shelf was ginger flavoured yoghurt. I love ginger flavoured things so had to give it a try. The yoghurt is delicately flavoured, but the deal breaker is the pieces of ginger in the yoghurt which give it the fiery kick. I many have eaten the whole large pot in 2 sittings. The second sitting may have had chopped up dark chocolate in it.
4. Blogger's brunch. A chance comment on Alice's blog had me invited to meet the lovely ladies of Plymouth Bloggers. And with food like this on the menu who can resist. I had a lovely time meeting new people and chatting. Looking forward to seeing them again.
5. Libraries. Because the world of books is endless and inspiring and absolutely free in your local library. It took me minutes to join with a lovely helpful lady and I was soon lugging a bag full of books back to mine. It also means that I could sit on the beach reading a book.
6. Good Deeds. From the train station into town is a big hill and as I got off the train yesterday I saw an elderly couple really struggling with all their luggage. I carried some up to the top of the hill for them and they were so grateful. Little kindnesses is what the world needs.
7. An adventure. I'm not going to say too much about this because I want to tell you everything all together, but there were trains and buses and amazing food and sea views and thinking.
So it turns out I talk about food a lot! But when it's this good who cares. For more Wonderful Wednesday's with slightly less food rambling (although I can't promise anything) head over to the rest of the gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram - #Wonderfulwednesday
Monday, 22 May 2017
Years ago I wrote myself a bucket list. I probably still have the scraps of paper somewhere at home. It had lots of conventional things on there. Places to travel and experiences to have. But I had taken the time to think more personally. One of the big things I wanted to do was to spend a portion of life living on my own.
Now I'm not an anti social person. I have a wide circle of friends from different groups and walks of life. I love spending time with them, but living feels different. I like to have my space. To feel in control of my environment, but also to recharge. However, it always worries me that I will be lonely.
This weekend I got a taste of what it might be like. With one flatmate at home and the other away working, I had the flat to myself. I was worried that I would rattle around, not knowing what to do with myself. That I would feel the need for contact with someone as I spent so much time on my own.
What happened was completely different. I felt myself more proactive than ever before. I eagerly sought out experiences that I wanted to do. I didn't have to think about what everyone else wanted to do. Although this comes across maybe selfishly, it was nice to put myself first. I contacted friends and asked if they wanted to hang out. I took myself out for a walk just because. I plucked up the courage to join a bloggers' brunch. I spend ages browsing bookshops.
Because I had time. Acres of the stuff and no agenda. I could meander through the weekend with no pressure of time. I felt myself breathing deeper and relaxing.
I swapped our lazy house days for being active and getting outside. Instead of still being in bed at lunchtime I woke early every morning to fit more into the day and felt myself sink into bed early. Tired, but happy. Wanting to go to sleep ready for the next day.
And there were little things too. The way that I could play feel-good music nice and loud as I got ready early in the morning without waking anyone. The fact that I could dance around the kitchen as I cooked my tea. And sing at the top of my voice in the longest shower without anyone telling me to hurry up. And make my washing into a den and sit a read my book there. Or just leave my shopping all over the kitchen floor whilst I drank ice cold milk in an attempt to cool down.
By myself I became more spontaneous. I sought out the opportunities that I wanted. I may have booked myself a little adventure.
I was also self sufficient. Those mugs in the sink that I'd been leaving for ages because someone else might wash them became my problem. I made sure everything was clean and put back when I'd finished with them. Pockets of time were used getting on top of things - my washing, paperwork and planning. When my flatmates arrived home that was the first thing they noticed - that everything was tidy.
Living alone is definitely something I want to do, this experience has confirmed that. I felt happier and more energised to choose things that make me happy.
Friday, 19 May 2017
It's been so long since I have done anything remotely arty so knowing I had 3 hours of practical art sounds like a perfect way to spend a Wednesday morning. We started outside, armed with clipboards, pens and pencils. Through baltic winds we drew skylines without taking our pens off the paper, with our left hand and without looking at the page.
To warm up from our chilly encounter, we huddled inside the top of our university building and drew small details of buildings from different perspectives.
Finally back in the classroom we started abstracting the shapes onto a collaborative piece in marker pens. We added pattern and colour with oil pastels before washing with inks. I was so proud of our final piece. It's colourful and expressive and we all had great fun making it together. I can't wait to use all I've learnt with children.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Good morning, lovely Wednesday crew. How are we all doing? I think I'll be spending today mostly dodging the raindrops that seem to be the norm right now. Where did all that gorgeous spring sunshine go to, because I'd really love it to hurry up back. It's been a busy old week which feels a little like the end of something. Anyway, quickly on to the good things of the week...
1. Dressing up. Last week me and my lovely university cricket team were nominated for most improved team at the university sports awards. This involved a posh dinner and awards ceremony and the chance to dress up. I opted for a navy playsuit and spent the night feeling might fine. It's funny what a few curls in your hair, a new outfit and a glass of wine can do. We may not have won the award, but we had a great night.
2. Eurovision. It is an absolute tradition with my friends to watch Eurovision, eat picky, buffet food and score the acts. We have a very specific scoring system honed through years of practise. Every year the rulers and coloured pens come out to make a beautiful scoring sheet. We mulled through the archives as we waited for the show to start and reminisced through the memories. More were made and I'm fairly certain Moldova were robbed. Did you see their sassy saxophone player?
3. Just silly laughter. Spending time with my flatmates watching the sun go down and making human pyramids. The ones who you can be totally yourself with are keepers.
4. Another cricket game. We have had so much rain this week and as I looked out of the window on Thursday afternoon and saw the rain falling my hopes of playing cricket that evening diminished. However just before we were due to start the clouds cleared and left a lovely evening. A nice close game and a beautiful sunset on the journey home made it a good evening.
5. Train journeys. I went home this weekend to attend a cricket course and was out of Plymouth for a mere 36 hours of which over 1/3 of those were spent travelling. I really enjoy travelling on the train. I had time to read the wonderful words of Laura Jane Williams, to listen to the stories of the people around me and generally ponder life. Plus the views aren't bad either.
6. Awards. The university year is coming to an end with only one more lecture and 4 weeks placement left. Our PE group decided to celebrate this fact. We spent an afternoon playing dodgeball and generally being competitive before creating our own awards ceremony. We voted on all those silly prom kind of awards and giggled over nominations and winners.
7. A little bird just making its merry way. As I walked into town a little bird seemed to follow me. Tip tapping it's way down the street and bobbing across the pavement. That moment of slowing to watch its actions put a smile on my face. Sometimes the smallest moments matter the most.
8. Bowling. Another end of year shindig this time with our seminar group. I really surprising myself with how well I did, although the first few went down the alley like bouncing bombs!
9. Reflecting and being a better me. My course on Sunday was all about reflecting on my coaching and understanding strengths and weaknesses in order to improve. It was hard. Harder than I expected to recognise my workings, but since I have been using it in my life. Taking that bit of time to reflect about where I want to go and how I'm doing getting myself there.
10. Sleepovers. When I went home I spent my first night staying at my brother's house. He left me a mug and everything ready for a super yummy hot chocolate then we discussed everything from life insurance to puppies until we fell asleep. I'm sure I've written it before, but I really am proud of him.
And there we have it. Another round up of the week's happy moments. Hope you all have a fabulous week and let me know what's making you smile. In the mean time check out the rest of the #wonderfulwednesday gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma and use the hashtag on twitter and instagram.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Good morning and welcome to the sunshine. Despite hiding from the inevitable burn I am really rather enjoying this sunshiney weather we've been having recently. It makes me want to get outside and now that I have handed my final assignment of the year in that's fully what I intend to do.
1. Forest Walk. Last Wednesday I spent the day on a walk around a forest and exploring all the ways you could use the natural environment to teach children. We skimmed stones and built dens. I used a flint to start my very own fire. The moment of realising I could do it and watching my little pile of shavings burn was pretty cool. We then toasted marshmallows and had hot chocolate whilst singing. What a lovely group to be with. Despite the hike up the hill, the views were amazing and bluebells carpeted the woods.
2. Light evenings. Those evenings when it's 8.30pm and still warm enough to have the window open and the light streaming in. The sky is still blue and bright and the music from the nearby bar gently drifts in.
3. Books. Another little order of books came this week and now that my assignments are finished I can indulge in some reading for pleasure rather than academic texts. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into Laura Jane Williams offerings. Her blog is amazing too. Go and check her out here.
4. Fajitas. Friday night was Fajita night. After 2 hours of intense training we had a mountain of food. The packet may have stated it was to serve 4, but I think they were wrong as me and my friend devoured the lot.
5. First Game of the Season. It's the moment I've been waiting for since Septembers last year when I packed my outdoor kit away. The first game of the outdoor cricket season is always special and to share it with my uni team, some of whom it was their first outdoor game ever, was amazing. We came against a strong opposition, but everyone did so well. Also the cricket tea was damn good and if that's not enough reason for you to play a sport I don't know what is.
6. Waffles and walks. Last night my flatmates and I headed down to the Hoe to watch the sunset. The weather was warm and we spent a while sitting on the grass and attempting gymnastics. We absolutely nailed the human pyramid, just saying. Then as the sun started setting we walked towards it in the hope of a good view. What we stumbled upon instead was an amazing pudding restaurant with gelato, sundaes and waffles galore. I had what is possibly the best waffle ever topped with chocolate sauce, banana and brownies.
7. Shorts weather. This may possibly be my favourite time of the year. The moment where the weather just tips over into warm enough for me to get my legs out. With newly shaved legs (the smoothness is so good) I've been rocking shorts for sport and everyday this week. They are just so practical and comfortable.
There's another list of happy things. Today will mostly be spent watching cricket and getting dolled up to go to an awards ceremony where our uni team is nominated for an award. Fingers firmly crossed, but just excited for a lovely night with the girls. For more wonderful moments check out the rest of the gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma use the hashtag #wonderfulwednesday or comment below.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Another week has gone by in a blink of an eye. I can't quite believe that I only have 2 more months of university left of my first year. It seems to have gone by so quickly. Again this week I have been mostly hunkered down in the library writing my last assignments. Thankfully I've had time to squeeze in some little plans to keep my motivation going.
1. Arty. This week we covered art teaching in our university seminars. I had so much fun getting creative again. We used so many different materials and techniques. Working individually then creating a collaborative piece. More to follow on this...
2. Cricket watching. Last Wednesday was the first game of the season for the university men's teams and we all had a lovely afternoon watching. What can be better than an afternoon in the sun with cider and sweets making you a little hyper and a good game of cricket to watch? Oh yes, a uni win! This week one of my really good friends will be making her first appearance for the men's teams. Not just hers, but the first woman ever. Sending her massive luck, although she won't need it, she's amazing!
3. Good food. A chilled out evening of lovely food, much cheese and chat was a good way to spend Thursday evening. My flatmate had just finished an exam and it was time to celebrate.
4. Being videoed. This one is mainly a shout out to improving oneself (don't know why it went all posh there). In the next couple of months I am doing another course in cricket coaching. Before I go I have to create a video of myself coaching. Whilst it was so awkward and I never knew I did so many weird arm actions, I am so looking forward to using the video to improve myself.
5. Cooking together. Just a nights in with flatmates sharing the cooking duties and creating mountains of curry and spag bol. Then chatting whilst you trying to trek through the massive portions that you've somehow managed to make.
6. The arrival of books. A couple of very lovely Amazon orders came this week. Having sent most of uni reading academic books, I missed reading for pleasure. I spent the bank holiday afternoon snuggled up from the rain reading and it was all kinds of lovely.
7. Having an 8am library buddy. The library is starting to become a bit of a chore, especially when I know everyone else is in bed. This week my friend has been joining me for the early starts and it's been nice to have company especially when she brings mini rolls!
8. Long catch up phone calls. When you are 6 hours the other side of the country a long chat with friends is important. Whilst we message all the time, it's not quite the same as listening to their voice. So an hour of Sunday afternoon was spent just chatting about cricket and life.
And there we have another week. Today will mostly be spent in a forest learning how to teach in the outdoors and trying to keep up with the cricket scores. Hope you are all having a lovely week. For more happy moments head over to the rest of the #WonderfulWednesday gang: Sally, Jo, Helen, Michelle, Sarah, Cat, Sam, El , Kerri, Mimmi, Martina , Peta, Kelly and Emma. Let us know what's been making your week special in the comments or #wonderfulwednesday