Apples from my tree…

Today I ate an apple from my tree
The first of many I hope
Crisp and juicy, full of zing
Today I ate an apple from my tree

Today I sat in my sunny garden
Felt the warm rays on my face
Kissing my cheeks with freckles
Today I sat in my sunny garden

Today I smelt my roses and I smiled
The scent so sweet and balmy
Delicate petals of pink
Today I smelt my roses and I smiled

Today I watched the bees a buzz-buzzing
Flitting between the flowers
Collecting their gold nectar
Today I watched the bees a buzz-buzzing

Today I heard birds sing their melodies
Soft, cheery and full of joy
Loud proclaims of happiness
Today I heard birds sing their melodies

Senses full and sated, Heart joyful as can be…
…and all because today I chose to eat an apple from my tree

(Move over Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy…hahahaha!!!)

Taking a running selfie is a dangerous thing…

Today I went for a run, well I say a run whereas if you saw me you'd think I was mildly jogging or possibly even fast walking (with less of the wiggle and more of the wobble)…but I can assure you that it was a 'run' for me!

I haven't run for nearly 6 weeks – it definitely showed!! To be fair I've not been running for a while because I hurt my back and have only just had the 'go ahead' from the Osteopath to try running again…it's been soooo frustrating not being able to run, not being able to get out there and participate in something that makes me feel good – that raises my spirits and makes me feel like me – so although my time and the distance are absolutely nothing to write home about, they are a personal achievement none the less.

I am most definitely not a natural runner; I've participated in quite a few races, events etc. and my sole aim in most of them is just to finish. The only distance I really try to improve my time in is the 5km. I don't know why but I kinda feel that is the distance where I have a chance for me to show ME that I'm getting better. The rest of the time I'm trying to enjoy the experience and get to the finish line without collapsing!

My lovely friend Dana first got me started with all this running malarkey (I tried to work out how many years ago but it made me feel old so I stopped) by encouraging me to join her in a 5km Race for Life and after that I was, as they say, hooked!!

Which is strange because I hated running at school – we used to have to do roughly 1.5miles round the block; my legs would cramp, my lungs would be fit to burst, it was just torture! I much preferred Lacrosse (something about having a big stick to run around with was much more appealing but I try not to analyse that as I might scare myself!!) Anyhow, Dana tempted me and I succumbed to the running bug and I've been trying my best ever since!

I've completed two Great South Runs (10miles), run a couple of local 5milers and the Race for Life 10km several times. Last year I managed the London Marathon which was such great fun! I had to walk some of it which was annoying and let's not linger on the time (I was asked by a colleague who regularly runs marathons what time I completed it in and he laughed when I said 6:32 – charmed I'm sure!!) but I'm happy as at least I did it, I crossed that finish line and I have my medal to prove it too!

Despite all of this though I'm not sure I'd call myself a 'runner' – I don't feel I do races/events often enough to qualify for that title – I'm probably more what would be called a 'woman who runs'. Well, today this 'woman who runs' got back out there to start again.

The sky was beautiful and I was running through a pretty local park – it was a lovely…

I was feeling SO good I thought 'let's take a running selfie'
yeah…great idea…hmmmm…in the history of me taking running selfies this has never gone well…

Example A

Example B

Example C

None are great pics are they??!!

Whilst taking Pic A I tripped over a dog who appeared from nowhere, when taking Pic B I nearly fell in a ditch and today taking Pic C I nearly ran into a tree…taking running selfies is most certainly hazardous to my health!!

So, I think perhaps it's wise that, as my body is just starting to let me start running again, I should just stick to taking scenery pics and concentrate on not falling over!!

Just found this… hmmm, maybe I am a runner after all??

I want to see sunshine after the rain, I want to see bluebirds flying…

Today the sun was most definitely shining, the birds were singing their hearts out – the wood pigeon in next doors mahooosive tree, the blackbird sipping from my birdbath and goodness knows what others perched in hedge! – it was a day for pottering, and where better but around my garden…

The recent rain has certainly perked up the plants and my rambling rose has blossomed again and smells oh so sweeeeet!! The Coleus has sprouted something tall & spiky – I wasn't expecting that but okay let's see what it turns in to – and my lovely orange bush rose has several buds either open or ready to burst.

The fuchsias are still little fiery pops of colour in my window box and my chillis are starting to look rather plump – my mouth is already tingling…can't wait to try them out!

Only slight marring of my little colourful spot of joy is my Gladioli which have fallen over – I am off to purchase some string and stakes, hopefully I'll have them upright again soon.

In the meantime I'm sharing another pic of my delightful Dahlias – I really do think they're the prettiest flowers I've ever grown.

Wishing you a peaceful evening; I hope you find your sunshine after the rain xx

There’s nothing like the roar of the pack to get the heart racing…

I'm 10 minutes late but I'm glad to be getting there at all (long story for another time)…

I arrive at the club grounds and even before I reach the pitch the roars, cheers & plain ol' shouts can be heard loud and proud!!

I get to the stand and grab the nearest seat, I don't know my new neighbour but we're soon laughing and cheering the teams together like old friends.

The rain (typically) is trying to make its presence known but no one cares…it just makes the game more fun as the ground softens and the mud starts to splatter.

The ball is spinning, the players are pumping and adrenaline is at an all time high (in the stands too!).

"Drive drive drive!" The cry goes up and the maul begins to push up the pitch…the big guy's calling the play, slapping his teammates on the back to direct them where they need to go…"break now!", the Winger comes flying in and takes the ball at pace, side step one, side step two – Yeeeessss!! he's through for the try!

The stand erupts – we cheer and clap and stamp our feet then hush for the kick…the flags go up – Conversion made!

The whistle blows for half time. Just got time to grab a coffee then…quick!!…the players are back out on the pitch and ready to do it all again…and we're going to cheer them all the way too!

3-2-1…the whistle blows…let's go go go!!

Oh how I've missed this…

Quirky, Quixotic & Quintessentially Quotable Quotes

I recently read a blog where the writer had collated his favourite quotes from each of the magnificent Terry Pratchett Discworld novels. It’s a brilliant blog and if I could work out how to link to it here so you could benefit from reading it too I would do so! (If I can figure it out and get his permission too I’ll update this in due course!)

I love the Pratchett outlook on love, life and the universe – the ability to identify the bizarre and wonderful nuances of this world and delicately parody these on the Discworld “the world and mirror of worlds” for the readers’ delight. These novels have been my friends for over 20 years and they unfailingly greet me with a smile and a warm hug, leading me back into a world of joyous merriment.

I started to think of my favourite quotes for each book, I even contemplated whittling it down to just one quote per book… but here in lies my problem (yes okaaay I have WAY more than one problem but those others  are for another blog on another day thank you very much)…my problem here is that I’m not sure I could find only one single quote in each of these books which I could identify as my favourite; just as one pops up in my mind, so another follows…indeed if I think about it too much I am liable to go completely Bursar, possibly even Librarian-poo.

This led me on to thinking about what makes a sentence, a quip, an observation in any story more than just that, what makes it a ‘Quote’? What makes it stand out from the rest of the page, the scene, the story itself and say “hey there pay me more attention, I deserve it”?

I started thinking about quotes from films, plays and just quotes in general that I like, tried to see if there was a general theme running through them…short answer is no!

I like motivational taglines like “You Improvise, You Adapt, You Overcome” – Gunny Highway (Clint Eastwood) in Heartbreak Ridge

I like inspirational quotes like “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light” – Albus Dumbledore in JK Rowling’s The Prisoner of Azkaban.

I like confidence quotes like “Now you understand just why my head’s not bowed…’Cause I’m a woman…Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me” — Phenomenal Woman by Mary Angelou.

In the end it’s all subjective – to the story, to the character, to the actor and, most importantly, to the audience themselves.

I’m going to see if I can find a quote each week that suits my mood; that speaks to me about a subject or just plain makes me smile. Sometimes it might be a one line thought, it could be a speech from someone (fictional or real-world) or it might be verse from a song or even an amusing anecdote…who knows??!! But that’s the joy of quotes and sayings that resonate with us – they can be in all forms and about all things. I will endeavour to share these with you, in the hopes that some may also touch upon your light and make it a little brighter too.


Bon Voyage!…and don’t forget your parapluies

Wow! What a day…it's been a long ol' one but so much fun!
'Pour quoi?' I hear you ask, well you see today we went to France – oui oui! Off we went for a day of relaxation sailing across the English channel, taking in the sights and sounds of beautiful quirky Cherbourg.

We arrived at the port at 'sparrows fart' as the fella INSISTS on being mega early for everything, so we were 45mins early (but hey it gave us a chance for a rather lush coffee at Harry Rocks Cafe so I won't complain) and we were not put off by the grey skies – oh no! We'd been reliably informed the bad weather was going to touch us but pass quickly so we weren't too worried, indeed the seagulls were more of a concern!!

To begin with all went without a hitch…(well with only a mild panic moment when my underwired bra set off the metal detector – I offered to take it off but apparently that wasn't needed) and soon we were part of the mad dash to deck 7, to find a table and set up base for the next 4hrs…that achieved we settled in for some croissants and crosswords, a few games of rummy (the fella can count cards better than me so needless to say I lose most of the time) and a bit of light reading…niiice

Of course the weather didn't want to play the game by the rules…nope, that would be far too simple. Instead, the rain swept in and the sea heaved to and fro…my gills went a tad green and I gave in to a light snooze to avoid the nausea (but good news I did NOT snore!) and by all accounts I missed the worst of the rolling around – so all was well.

Coming into the harbour is always a great moment; I love seeing the land rise up from the horizon and the blurred shapes become buildings, cranes and the like. On a sunny day Cherbourg is part of quite a sweet coast line but today it was shrouded in mist…but we stood on the deck anyway and were buffeted by the wind and rain – we were probably a crazy sight but we had fun!

We got dropped off 'centre ville' and headed for the Musee de la Liberation…it was about a 30 minute walk along the waterfront and through a beautiful public garden – well I say beautiful as that's what I'm sure it is when you can actually open your eyes and see it – today the rain was lashing down so hard we could barely look out from under our hoods! Disappointingly we found the museum closed so headed back to centre ville, splashing in the deepening puddles as we went.

We wandered the cobbled streets and found a lovely old theatre and courtyard with a massive fountain before spotting a red cafe 'Cafe de l'etoile' which had a big canopy outside sheltering seats and tables…which were crammed full of people sipping their bieres, vin rouge and cafe au lait – I always think it's a good sign if a cafe is full so we snuck a table and ordered our own vin rouge – it was joyous! We were wet through but there were heaters which warmed and dried us a little; we sat listening to music, chattered and people watched…

It was a day of umbrellas – it's amazing how many different shapes, colours and sizes there are – qui savait?! qui savait?! – although it appeared the majority of the residents were proudly using umbrellas from the local designer Le Veritable Cherbourg – beautifully crafted umbrellas, discreetly logo'd, all sorts of colours and sturdy against the whipping wind! (Can you tell I really want one!?! This is now top of my Christmas list!!)

Umbrellas are definitely a 'thing' in Cherbourg…I think there's been a movie and in one courtyard there's lots strung up on high…whatever the reason, it's awfully pretty and fun!

We visited La Cave a Fromages (I did rather love the cow) which had the most amazing array of cheeses ever and I was very chuffed that my attempts at ordering cheese and butter seemed to be understood as we got exactly what I thought I'd asked for – hurrah!!

After that we just had time to grab some bread and a crepe au caramel from the local boulangerie before we splishsplashsploshed our way back to the ferry.

The crossing back was calm and by the time we got back to good ol' Blighty the weather had improved so we could stand out on deck and see the twinkling lights of the harbour.

Ahh what a day…perfick! Or as Del Boy might also say: "mangetout Rodney, mangetout"