Simply sunshine!

I’m not complaining about our many frosty mornings or our many many drizzly days. In fact I love the rain and the storms and the fierce winds. No wonder we talk about the weather so much… it can alter the way we feel in an instant. However for me…sunshine unleashes a whole new swarm of emotions. Everything just seems so different.  So positive.

Because of the sunshine in the last week I’ve been able to visit my favourite beach and walk miles along the gentle curve of the wave disappearing at my feet. We’ve had picnics of avocado salad sandwiches while watching the dogs chase sticks.  There’s been walks to parks where swans sunbathed and geese preened and paddle. Toddlers run around in their new shorts and squishy knees.  Everyone seems to be eating ice cream. I play football and throw myself on the field in an attempt to humour my young opponent. Families roll down grassy slopes and the parks have come alive with laughter, picnic blankets and chat. Clouds have disappeared leaving a blanket of blue and the sunshine warms our bodies that until now have been hidden under wooly hats and winter coats.

Maybe that’s why we appreciate the sunshine so much because it’s certainly not something we always have!

It’s amazing how the weather can change your mood if you take the time to appreciate the power of the outdoors and the natural elements that can turn a bad day into a fantastic one.

It’s another gorgeous one today.. hope you’re all able to make the most of it!

Lots of love
Dwys x x 

Sleeping with the trees

I love trees. Aren’t they amazing? They’ve been around for hundreds of years, they look so intelligent and worldly wide. Trusting. They’re particularly beautiful at the moment. Leaves of tangerine orange and tanned brown, some a sunshine yellow. I stood under this pictured tree on Saturday and watched the leaves occasionally fall delicately, dancing to their soft landing.

I take so much more notice of things than I used to. I couldn’t imagine saying I loved trees as a ‘cool’ silk cut smoking teenager!  It’s crazy how long it takes sometimes to appreciate those things that are out there. For free! 

I use my love of the outdoors in perhaps an unusual way when I feel anxious, particularly if it happens during the night. Since Tes I’ve struggled to sleep much more than five hours, usually no more than about 3 without waking fully. Fortunately I’ve never needed a lot of sleep (Tes was the same actually), so I’ve spent many a night annoyed that I can’t sleep. Many a night berating myself that I’ve eaten too late or drank too much wine. I’ve spent many an hour wondering did I send that email at work or have I got enough staff in? Sometimes I just notice my heart rate and that’s it. The more I notice the louder it gets. Once I’ve been through all that, it’s ages before my mind can become quiet enough to consider sleep.

So. This is where nature comes in. I’ve started my own little meditation mind map. It takes some of the principles of mindfulness but instead of concentrating on what’s going on now (that heart rate!) I picture myself going on my favourite walk with Lolly. I break it down to the tiniest of detail. To putting on her collar and noticing her coarse chocolate brown fur and her mismatched paws, her dark inquisitive eyes. Then I focus on my steps along the track taking notice of all the familiar spots like the heron normally standing proud down the side of the bank and the broken branches crushed into the moist grass under my feet. I hear the river swell and there’s always a breeze sweeping through my hair. I rarely get half way around my imaginary walk. Why? I fall asleep! 

I thought I’d share this because lots of people suffer from sleepless nights and it’s worked for me so who knows imagining your favourite place might work for you. Or it could be used as a simple self guided meditation. If you can’t get to the beach why not imagine it instead! It’s good for our overactive minds to have a break!

Thanks for reading, have a lovely Sunday and hopefully a peaceful night too 

Dwys X X 

Yes, I can!

It’s strange how life can be full of little coincidences.

 I was thinking this week about something mum used to say.  I believe it comes about for those of us that perhaps ‘achieved’ a bit  later in life.  Like my mum, I left school with barely any exams passed (I could sew a great skirt and jacket though!!) and later on went back to do A-levels, a degree etc.  There’s something about doing things that way around that can leave you feeling like…..a bit of a fraud.

 

Mum said to me when she was in one job that she thought one day she’d be ‘found out’.  What do you mean?  I said!  Well – that they might find out that I actually can’t do my job, she said.  I found this really bizarre.  Mum was amazing at her job. Brilliant in fact.  Yet she doubted herself.

 

Then weirdly this week I was listening to the radio and they played a theme tune, I tried hard to remember it, I knew it was something to do with animals! They confirmed it was Peter Davidson from All Creatures Great & Small!! Bizarrely as he was talking about his life (somehow I’d zoned into radio 2 this day!!) he was saying as an actor he always thought he’d be ‘found out’.  Despite being an actor for 40 years he was still waiting to be ‘found out’……That he wasn’t good enough.

 

I wondered whether perhaps a lot of us feel like that?  And why?

 

I always try to learn from those around me and I’ve tried hard not to feel like a fraud and have confidence in my work but there’s one or two areas that I do this.  Lately I’ve noticed that I’m always putting myself down about my running!  Even now I want to type… I’m not a good runner. 

I wouldn’t run with anyone for years because I thought I’d be too rubbish.  Consequently because I didn’t like running on my own I didn’t run for years.  Even now I’ll ask if anyone wants to come running with me but I’ll always say ‘I’m very slow so no need to wait for me’.  Or I’ll tell them I’m a bit old for running really or that I’m hopeless because I don’t run as much as I should or that I don’t run very far etc etc etc!!!  At the Llyn Alwen race a couple of weeks ago I was busily muttering to myself about all of this and I suddenly said – why do I keep putting myself down about this?!!  A woman shouted at me from behind and told me off – you’re here she said.  You’re doing it, you’re out of bed and you’re here.  That’s nothing to put yourself down about, she said.

 

And she’s right!

 

So from now on I’ll be making a conscious effort to stop telling myself and everyone else that I’m not that good at something.  It’s hard because being Welsh and being British we’re so used to being a little self damaging aren’t we! I’m a bit rubbish at that, I’m not good at this….. I’m not sure I’m going to start shouting how good I am at everything but I might just tell myself that I’m not doing a bad job… hang on let me try that again….. that I’m doing a good job in getting my trainers on in the first place, that my body isn’t too bad (argh done it again) – that my body is doing a great job as I’m here fit and healthy and basically….. I need  to be a lot less self critical!

 Do you put yourself down? 

Perhaps it’s about time you stopped!

Have confidence in the fabulous person you are!!

Happy happy Sunday everyone X 


Which way?

I was walking early (again) this week.
The sun was just rising and its burnt orange body partly hid behind lit up grey clouds.  We passed the spaniel without problem but a gang of rebellious younger sheep were in the corner of the field looking quite mischievous. Their heads poked through the fence as far as they could stretch. They clearly felt that the grass was certainly greener on the other side. For pooch this gathering was too tempting and in order to protect me from these hungry animals she quickly gathered pace and began barking at them from her side of the fence. 

 She’s about 12 inches tall. She thinks she’s 112 inches tall.

The sheep for some reason are scared of tiny dog and run away. However one is a bit naughtier than the rest and I hadn’t realised this leader of the pack had managed to squeeze it’s woolly oversized body under the fence. Panic set in and rebellious sheep made a run for it down the narrow leafy road towards the village, followed by tiny pooch. After a promise of a treat pooch strolls back towards me and I get her pink lead out while we sort out this sheep situation. Pooch is far from impressed.
I walk towards the corner bearing left and see the sheep about 25 yds away, it has stopped and is staring at us trying to make out whether the threat still exists. I squash us into the hedges as I try to create as much distance as I can trying to pass but sheep decides we’re too close and makes a further dart. We’re now at the periphery of the village. I don’t have time to walk all the way back so I have to keep going, playing the game with the sheep.
Finally the sheep takes a right and decides to run into the drive of a bungalow. I quicken my step in the hope that I can get by and the sheep will feel safe. Just as I get to the house the sheep has got its timing wrong and started to come back to the gate. The sheep literally has a look of surprise (somehow) on its face and takes a quick step back to safety. Pooch and I pass without further crisis and sheep then makes a run for it all the way back to where we first met this morning.
As I walk on it made me think about decisions we make. Decisions we have to make on the spot or decisions we linger about. The fact being that quite often there are only a limited number of choices and that we either have the choice to face up and make a decision, to hide and hope the decision goes away or to let that decision be made for us.

I had a conversation with someone this week about the age old saying glass half full or glass half empty. I was questioned about my positivity. Why be positive, I was asked. It felt clear that based on what’s happened in our family this positivity wasn’t really understood. What’s do you get from making a decision not to be positive, I asked. 
These days there’s so much stuff about mindfulness and positivity that it can sometimes feel we’re being dictated to being a perfect  all practicing yoga eating kale and drinking green tea with the gaze of *smug* oozing from our perfect natural eyes. Rubbish! 

Positivity to me is making that choice to *try* to be positive.
Decisions can be tough. 

This week I walked across a park and saw a toddler with golden brown shoulder length curled hair. She held her mums hand tightly. Trusting. She looked just like Tes at that age. I was in the middle of a field and for some reason in that instant my whole body was in pain from grief. I stood and looked. I didn’t move and my brain was tempting me to stay put. I imagined briefly not going back to work and just sitting in the field until someone asked why. And then I would tell them why. Instead I decided to take one last look. Then I decided to walk back to work. 

Just like the sheep we have big and small decisions all the time. Making it as positive a one for you as it can be has to be the best option. 

May Sunday be very good to you!
Lots of love x Dwysan x

 

Village life

I’ve written about this quite a bit lately. Community. Being local. Being part of something. I think it’s the answer to so much of the sadness and problems currently facing our world. Simplistic, I know.

I’m also aware how lucky I am to live in this beautiful green village where the church stands proudly bearing over us.
A quick preamble to the following narrative about an hour in my life this week, I feel it’s right to say I am not continually  living an idyllic life of pink roses, aprons and home made bread. My week is full of hurdles like everyone else. For the luxury of living where I do I get up at six am to walk my pooch because I travel 2 hrs to work and back. I’m tired most days and you’ll see me often scraping some film from a plastic tub because I haven’t had time to cook something ‘proper’.
But… The following is my morning routine most days and I think it perfectly captures this rural life that I fell in love with very slowly over the last 40ish years.
6am.

The socket by my bed isn’t working and I haven’t had time to get the electrician out.  Therefore when the alarm clock goes off I spy it through one tired heavy eye while quickly understanding that as it’s plugged in ‘over there’ I’m actually going to have to get up to press snooze.

Three snoozes later I’m up. I take a look at the weather and though I see it ever day I look at the hills and trees taking up most of my bleary look and inside I think wow. It’s beautiful.
Beautiful.
I brush my teeth in my small colourful bathroom and find some light blue walking socks. Pooch starts to get very excited recognising this familiar routine. I put on my boots and pink weatherproof jacket while deciding which route to take. I end up taking the wrong one. We wander up the empty lanes apart from the sounds of the birds and cross over a field using the public footpath. Unfortunately a large black cow also has decided to share this path with me. We make eye contact and I don’t fancy my chances so I take a slight detour to the nearby fence. I throw pooch over and the attempt the barbed wire fence myself. Barbed wire 1. My old jeans O.
We carry on over a small bridge and I stop to look at the river which is rather noisy as it’s just started to rain. Hood up we carry on past the farmhouse where the brown and white spaniel stares as usual prowling, tail up with a protective snarl and the woman in the house smiles from the open door while reassuring said pooch. A man closes a gate and waves as he goes off to work. I see him often but I don’t know him.

A farmer on his quad bike races past and shouts hello as we make the final bend towards home. It’s only 7 but the shop is open and I hear customers chatting inside and the local farmer is delivering bottles of milk. Yes, bottles! A man I know parks his car after picking up his morning paper. I tell him his right brake light isn’t working. He doubts me so gets in while I stand and look. Yes I say. He thanks me.
I’m wondering about breakfast and whether I fancy the usual muesli with added cranberries, cashews and raisins when I pass the tiny egg shed. It’s a recent addition to the village. A duck blue cupboard full of fresh eggs, quail eggs and teacups with pretty fuchsia plants. There’s  no shopkeeper. Just an honesty box. Despite having no money I take a box of eggs and pay the £1.30 later as I drive to work.
When I get home I feed the hungry pooch and also the noisy birds who have also quickly got used to my morning routine. They shout until I’ve filled their feeder with colourful food  Breakfast is delicious as two very yellow yolks adorn my plate. I sit in my tiny conservatory and…..well I’m writing this! As I eat and drink perfumed earl grey tea, I watch the birds dance around their new seeds and in the background I hear sheep, the faint rumble of a tractor and the breeze sweeping through the trees.

And that’s all.
Rural life. What’s not to love?
Happy Sunday everyone X X X

Dare to dream

What else is there to write about today other than WALES?!

For so many reasons. I’m always proud to be Welsh.  Yes I’m proud because the footie team beat the Belgium team to go through. Yes I’m proud of our fans.  Yes I cry as I hear the national anthem sweep through the stands.

I’m proud though mostly of our attitude.  Of the attitude of the team. Of the attitude of the manager.  It’s Welsh.  It’s so so Welsh.  Here for each other. Not one person trying to get the limelight.  Holding hands.  An ability to merge and mix with those on the ‘opposing sides’.  The confidence to say when you’re wrong.  The strength to stand and be proud when everything goes right.  The humility to admit you’ve made a mistake.  The passion to invoke pride in millions of people.  Not just Welsh people.

Where does this come from?

A dream.  The dream.  Belief in the dream.

When asked what he does to this team, Coleman replies simply…..  I dare to dream.  He implores youngsters to take this on.  To dream.  If you don’t dream, then what have you got?

This is what I am left with this weekend. The passion and the belief of dreams.  Because we can all have them.

After the legendary game on Friday night I woke up listening to the seagulls play.  With a bit of a heavy head I find myself on a beach scattered lightly with people and dogs.  It’s sparse and beautiful.

Windsurfers crash against the breeze.

Women and men jog bare foot in the sand against the horizon.

Dogs run excitedly into the froth and swell of the sea.

The sun has won its battle against the snow coloured clouds and with the breeze scatters patterns along the sand.

There’s a moment when I stop and I devour it.

I stop and dream.

Do you ever stop and dream?

I stopped and I decided to spin around on the sand, taking in the sound of the natural crashing waves and the heat of the sun shining heavily on my face.  It felt silly.  It felt amazing.

I couldn’t be happier to be born anywhere in the world than Wales.  We’re unique.  We’re a team.  And we dare to dream.

 

Happy Sunday (night) everyone x x x

 

abersoch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living the dream?

I’m writing this on Friday at 12.21. I have to write while I’m waiting.   I’m waiting to go to Trystans funeral at 1pm. I woke up thinking about it and inevitably about Tes. My mind wanders and worries about everything I possibly can and then I got up.

I open the dark brown curtains of my bedroom. I’m surprised by all the mist hiding the stone bridge and the tops of the cottages. It’s going to be a beautiful day I thought to myself. Of course it is.

I wanted to find a quote for some reason. To sum up these feelings inside. The feeling of love, life and loss. Also the feelings of hope.

There has to be hope.

I finally come across one.

Live your dream, don’t dream your life.

I thought it encapsulated what I knew of Trystans very well. He seemed to be living the life he had dreamed of.

I then left the house early and walked in what had now turned into beautiful sunshine. Lolly took our usual turn to the left as we got to the top of the hill but today I carried on. I wanted to be somewhere new. I wanted to feel.  To see.  To hear. New things.  I think I also wanted my mind filled with the enormous quiet empty peaceful space. There was no sound bar the quiet rumbling of a tractor in the distance. I stop to gaze at the beautiful view of the rural emerald countryside.  It’s magnificent.

As I keep walking I thought about the quote and gave myself a bit of a talking to. Are you living your dreams Dwysan? I asked myself! No. Not all of them. And with that I made a few decisions in my head. Some big. Some small. I’ll keep you posted!

I must leave now and say goodbye to a friend. A young man who lived his life.

Let’s all live our life.

Now.

X

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