Sauces and scrabble

Firstly. Still no bed. I’m trying to convince myself that I’m living in a Japanese themed bedroom and the mattress on the floor is all part of some unplanned feng shui phase.  Reality is I still have no date for my new house and I’m still mainly eating pizza or mostly going out to eat because I feel quite disasociated in my temporary home.  The house is fine but it is not my ‘home’.

It got me thinking what is a home. I’ve lived in a few houses through my life. 12 actually. Some of those houses I lived in for years and they never really felt like a home. Some for much shorter periods of time that became home.  What makes a place your ‘home’?.   You know that kind of home that even after a lovely holiday you’re excited and glad to step back into it.

For me.

The family inside, the pencil on the wall marking your children’s growth, a flower that miraculously grew from the seed you threw into the soil, the birds that visit regularly, the patch in the garden where the sun warms your skin, the ingredients in the cupboard waiting to be cooked, the postcard on the fridge and the scribbled note kept safely. The pooches playing with a new toy. The red nose that has been left on the wall from a home made Christmas party game. That tea set you had to buy. Heart decorations bought just for you. A box of collected memorabilia. The shells picked up from your favourite beach. A special photo that always makes you smile. Music that you have to dance to. A piece of furniture that you love. A charity shop bought jug full of your favourite flowers. A suitcase of letters from a time before Facebook.  The phone ringing with someone just checking in. A friend popping in for coffee (or wine!). Snuggling under a throw with your favourite film. A game of scrabble. Books.  Chats over dinnertime. Hugs on tap.  A notebook of dreams.  Pennies collecting in a jar.  Candles and fairy lights.   Pillows.  A box of crafts to be made into cards.  Recipes photocopied bearing food splashes.  A favourite mug filled with camomile tea.  The smell of home made tomato and basil sauce simmering. A piano waiting for you to finally learn that piece.  And of course. Most importantly…

Family (furry or not!).

Moments.

Memories.

Safety.

Security.

Love.

…….and also perhaps……..a  comfy bed!!!

I’m so excited to build all these memories again in my new home that will add to life’s memories of my last….

Join me next week for the next episode of…. ‘is Dwysan still sleeping on the floor?’ ….

Happy Sunday everyone xx 

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New year, new you?

Like many people as the clocks struck 12. As Jools sang at his hootenanny. As the fireworks cast a glow. As strangers kissed. The beginning of 2016. I too mentally began to think about what I’d change this year. I too like many people found myself annoyed as I failed a few days later.  I fell of the self-love writing blog that I’d promised to commit to after only a few days.

At the same time I smile and feel part of the ‘trying’ crowd as I see various posts on Facebook confirming that I’m not the only ‘failure’.  Most are friends attempting ‘dry’ January.  Within days of hopeful tee total promises and fruit tea drinking there are cheery photos with plum coloured wine glistening in large glasses scattering my timeline.  ‘Well it is a Friday’ says one.  Some are back on the cigarettes.  Others are bathing themselves in their forbidden chocolate. Some already know the money they spent on  gym membership may as well have been spent on the wine they’re going to drink any way.

I know why they don’t work. I think.  It’s simple.  We are forcing something on ourselves.  Unless you want to do it.  You won’t.  Smoking, drinking , eating, exercise. If you don’t really want to. It’s not going to happen long-term.   You’ve got to want it.

I found forcing myself to write every day made it feel like a job instead of something I love.  So I stopped.  I berated myself and felt like I’d let others down but I got over it after a day or so. I then felt relieved. 

Instead what I’ve decided to do  this year is to have a ‘theme’. This year it’ll be creativity.  Not only do I want to write here I want to write more.  I want to make all the cards that I’ll send. I want to cook new things and make ‘stuff’. I might knit or crochet or sew. I’m going to read more so my mind becomes more creative.  A theme seems a much better way to approach the new year. It has ambiguous potential without pressure to perform. 

So whatever you decide for 2016 whether it be to change nothing,  to  change something,  or perhaps even to take on your own theme…do it with passion,  don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t work out, try something else or just accept who you wonderfully are in the first place.

Happy 2016. I’m off to have a Sauvignon. Cheers x

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Something new?

Something new?

When’s the last time you tried something new? 

It’s fair to say I’m on the constant look out for anything that brings even a miniscule of serenity into my life and I’ve found recently that new things have brought a feeling of temporary calmness.

 Either that or I’m getting old, it could just be the latter.

 Some of this has been hobbies. Running being one. I’m no Zola Budd (Google it if you are younger than 30) although we have remarkably similar out of control hair and when I was a teen my mum also made me wear those elasticated tight fitting shorts that made me feel naked. Mine were red with a big white stripe on the side. No wonder I went through school single.

 I’ve also discovered gardening. I’m a bit hopeless. We’re talking lavender, chives, parsley, basil, some strawberries but my most proudest bit of gardening are my tomatoes!!! I actually have a cherry red tomato growing in my plastic greenhouse. It is true that I could have bought said cherry tomatoes from Tescos for 69p a punnet as I normally do but where’s the fun in that! The fun is in planting 30 tomato plants, watching at least ten grow from seed, thinking some were tomato plantS for a long time before a surprise sunflower popped out, going back to the real tomatoes, and shrieking when one appears in delight. I’m not briliant at watering or taking leaves off and feeding and things like that. However I still do have tomatoes so something is going right!

 Another new interest has been cooking. I’ve never had a huge interest in food, food was to be eaten when I was hungry and that was it. I don’t really enjoy eating out in fine restaurants, much rather a cheese board and (another) glass of sauvignon to the pomposity of poshness. However I’ve discovered basic cooking and baking. 

 This week I apparently made the nicest dish I’ve ever made according to my partner and my son also actually ate it!!! My guess is that it was up there with ‘best ever’ because mainly… it was chicken. I’m vegetarian so I guess real chicken pieces were always going to beat soya that has been battered to look like chicken pieces that taste absolute nothing like chicken pieces. Still, I was so pleased with myself as they happily ate the vegetable and chicken pie topped with golden filo pastry.

 And it’s not just hobbies, today we took a drive off to somewhere we’ve walked many a time and I said what about going up that mountain! We were totally unprepared but took a sharp left and risked the oppressive dark threatening clouds. For some reason just going somewhere different lifted my spirits and even better the rain just started to trickle as we got back in the car after the 2 hour hike.

 One last ‘new thing’ ……this morning I stepped outside my front door as I do many times a day and I just stopped and looked, just for 30 seconds and took in the view from my heavy red front door. I looked over at the pink and purple hanging baskets on the pub wall opposite, the iron fence leading towards the red telephone kiosk, the tip of the bench sitting on the glistening grass overlooking the lazy river. No car passed. I didn’t see one person. How many times do you look around for just 30 seconds and really take in your surroundings?

 I’m off now to eat my lemon cheesecake, another new recipe for me, but it’s really not very nice at all, honestly you’d hate it, you would, you just would not want a piece!!! 😉

 X

Happy (almost) International Happiness day

Happy (almost) International Happiness day

                                              daff 

 Did you know it’s International Happiness day on the 20th March? Well it is and I’ve taken it as an excuse to look at what’s made me happy lately. After the dark days of a few weeks ago it’s been good to face a literally brighter world. The grass is actually greener, the rare bits of blue sky are bluer and even the frost seems to glisten more. 

 It really is in the mind how you feel but sometimes your mind can take over and that has to be ok. I watched a fab Ruby Wax TED talk today (if you don’t know TED talks, google now – lots and lots of inspirational videos on there). As you probably know Ruby Wax was diagnosed with clinical depression over ten years ago, she simplifies our stress and anxiety with the fact that when we were cavewomen (ok she did say man but hey) – you literally did fight or flight…. or you were eaten by a really big hairy animal. Nowadays most of us choose not to fight so when that car cuts you up or your colleague makes a sneering comment, we no longer pick up our spear (it’s tempting) …. that’s where she says we stumble as we’re left with the fight and seemingly nowhere for it to go.

But there are places for it to go and that’s what we can do to keep healthy and happy, we exercise, we run, we meditate, we box, we play football, we do quizzes, we ride bikes or horses or quad bikes (yes mum I’m thinking of you there!). We tap dance, we act, we swim and we walk. We exercise our bodies and we also need to exercise our minds, to keep happy. 

 I was thinking as I drove home about what makes us happy. I saw a home made banner waving gently in the breeze on the corner welcoming someone home and that made me smile, someone had made that banner and wanted that person to know they were loved and had been missed! It struck me in a world where we are faced with frankly miserable terrible news via the media, hour after hour, we can miss what makes us happy. 

 So this is what made me happy this last week – if you want to, add yours to the comments either on my blog or on my facebook page for International Happiness day! Here go mine…. 

 1. a rabbit in a field – it’s soppy but it was cute and caught my eye as I drove past (hope it was ok!)

 2. some daffodils growing near Tes’s bench, a poignant place but it reminds me of the day friends gathered together to make it look pretty and I love the stunning view of the mischievous river 

 3. my own very seedlings – I am the worlds worst gardener with the most enthusiasm and this year I really will remember to feed them and water them and thin them out and plant them into bigger pots, I will, I will, I will! 

 4. home made broccoli and blue cheese soup, I was feeling all germy on Monday and this made me feel so much better (basically it’s onion, celery, garlic, broccoli and blue cheese – you can add cream oh and I get Tescos value blue cheese which is ace for soup and makes a cheap but yummy dish) 

 5. while home and being poorly I finally managed to watch Julia and Julie which is completely crazy as it came out in 2009 and Ive been wanting to see it since then – if you haven’t seen it, WATCH it (I’m definitely thinking of you here Mrs Lowe!) 

 6. Saturday, Wales and the rugby. Need I say more! 

 7. Mothers day, as tough as it was, after my sobbing as I chatted with Tes and drew hearts on the raindrops of her gravestone, I returned to a frankly fabulous afternoon with my nearest and dearest. My love of cheese meant that almost every sandwich was a version of cheese… cheese, cheese and chutney, brie and cranberry and a few ham ones thrown in for the carnivores, oh …. and of course there was cheese and pineapple. Swilled down with some gorgeous Pinot Grigio from my son and a Mothers day quiz hosted by yours truly (great way to find out your sister in laws most embarrassing story – splinter in the bum story anyone?) – all turned out well

 8. A card through the post, not just a card but with two little gifts and it’s not even my birthday! And another gift in work hanging on my door which said – if life gives you lemons then drink tequila… on that note I fear I’ve bombarded you enough with happy stories so may I wish you a fabulous International Day of Happiness. x



Making me smile this week…

Some weeks you have to dig a little deeper but this week the stuff that made me smile…

1. Watching the dark sombre French film Amour at our local cinema ….that still has an interlude. I actually start anticipating the fluorescent interlude about ten minutes before it happens. Amaze bob

2. Going to the pub after the above said film with two lovely squishy fab mates knowing it’s a school night and you’re going to regret that third glass of wine. But not really.

3. Comforting a friend after she lost her poor cat. No reason to smile at the puddy cats demise but at her love for it and her stories of her four legged friend coming for walks with her for miles. Awww.

4. Pink iced butterfly cakes. With sprinkles. And edible flowers. Some colleagues know how to get on your best side. Yum.

5. Sharing a birthday Prosecco with a friend. I love the shape of that bottle!

6. Buying your nephews curly wurlys and watching them eye them up when you visit and stare at them until you remember to say they can have them!

7. Seeing a glimpse of my boy when he didn’t expect it as he’s walking home from high school with his mate and being worried you’ll embarrass him but actually he waves excitedly and runs over to say hello. Aww.

8. Getting a mention on Radio 1. Random but fun. I’m way out of their ‘catchment’ age too!

9. Buying a pressi for a certain someone’s birthday coming up soon, my daughter and she’s 15! Brings all those memories back of the awesomness of seeing her for the first time. I love buying pressis, just wish my bank balance was in agreement!

10. Sausage salad. Merlot. Tv. Electric blanket. Friday. Quiet. Home. Bliss.

X

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Some times life can be a bit crappy, sometimes it isn’t….

I try more and more to air on the side of positivity these days.  Writing really helps, even if it is just a few lines and mostly I go by the theory that life is pretty good, we just forget that sometimes.

I was making a list today of things that have made me happy or made me smile during the last couple of weeks, and in no particular order I thought I’d share them.

1.  I won at Monopoly, winning isn’t everything, but to be honest it is (I had 26 houses by the way – in one hour).  I get a terrible sense of achievement from having to watch my opponents (err family) having to mortgage most of their properties. Shame on me.

2.  I won at bowling.  Don’t worry there is no theme here and it is pure coincidence that both appear at the top of my list. It is.  Not only did I win but I find myself comparing my score with that of others playing next to me. People I don’t know.  As my son often says, I’m embarrassing.

3. My nephew.  He’s pretty smart. I hid all the eggs during the Easter egg hunt at my mum’s house in the garden, still covered in over a foot of snow.  After spending a quite decent amount of time ‘hiding’ them.  He happily told me, I know where they all are, I’ll just follow your foot prints.  Smarty pants.

4.  Running around the snow like a loon trying to cover the said footprints.

5. Listening to an old skool dance tune on the ipad – I feel love by CRW. Amazing.

6.  Making an Easter chocolate cake while dancing to above said tune. Yum.

7.  Trying to decide on an a theme for our next party and getting confused when my friend text and said Cowboys & Indians and Hawaiian.  I thought she meant all three and couldn’t see where the pineapple would fit in to be honest.  I later learnt, it was a choice. Personally I’m still sticking with Grease and I am Rizzo. OK.

8.  Using my new orange picnic backpack with my new flask and metal cups – WITH HANDLES on the top of the Llandegla forest, hiking through 4ft of snow. Bliss.

9.  Being thanked by a colleague for being ‘so supportive’ who then kissed me on my cheek and had tears in her eyes! Awww.  That was so sweet.

10.  Being told that someone had got a new job from an advert on my facebook site.  That was sooooooooo cool!

11.  Watching the boat race on the BBC  and hearing the cox swear, that made me really laugh. Childish!

12.  It made me smile trying to teach my grandad to use his new iphone that he had bought himself on e-bay. He kept telling me how clever I was and I kept thinking how fabulous he was, that he wanted to buy himself an iphone at 83. Brilliant.

13.  My mum’s scones with jam. One word. Lush.

14.  That I found my toasted sandwich machine and made myself a *new* sandwich, pesto, avocado and mozzarella.  Oh my. Scrummy.

15. That I bothered to get up and join in the village car boot sale this morning, earning myself £32 which I then spent on wine, coal and diet-coke.  All lifes essentials.

16.  The biggest smile came from not being in work, being at home, staying in bed, reading, writing, spending time with the fam. 

When you look close, there’s always something to smile about 🙂Image