Thursday, 30 January 2014

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Meaningful and Mindful

It seems like an age has passed since my birthday and I feel I am embracing 42 with positivity and fresh insights.

My blog ‘confession’ drew more love and support than I could ever have imagined and I feel very blessed to have wonderful people in my life – thank you to all of you!


I didn’t tell you that I had treated myself to a massage on my birthday. I had in my head a relaxing and pampered hour and a half, ha! The lovely lady that supplied my treat found what she could only describe as some of the hardest knots in my shoulders that she’d come across for a long time! She kindly asked if she could ‘work them out’ - ‘go for it’ I replied, still on a drift of scented oil and candles. OMG – it hurt. Quite a lot. And the next day. And the day after that too. But it was a lesson to me that I am clearly keeping quite a lot of tension in that area. I feel so much better now and I have been making a concerted effort to do some yoga stretches every day and to relax my shoulders every time I feel them hunching (which seems to be every 5 minutes)


I have also been reading a lot about mindfulness and thinking that this is definitely something which I need in my life. I have done a little meditation in the past and it now feels like the right time to revisit and try it again. I have been faithfully trying out some of the exercises in this book but I am finding some harder than others. Trying hard to explore feelings like anger from a mindful viewpoint having just been cut up by a thoughtless driver is tough – and meditating on the bed late in the evening just leads to sleep! But each experience is a learning opportunity and I am embracing it as best I can.


I have continued to go to the gym but decided last Sunday to have a run in the proper outdoors. It was chilly and wet but I am so glad I made the effort. Highlight of the run was seeing a beautiful kingfisher flashing past me along the stream. I haven’t seen one of these for a couple of years and this was a really special moment which made the mud and rain worthwhile and meaningful.


Photography has taken a bit of a backseat with everything else but I am determined to get inspired again. In the meantime I have asked if I could share this fabulous photograph of a kingfisher taken by a very talented friend of mine called Simon Ellis. Please do check out more of his work here and here and tell him I sent you!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

"Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows" 

Helen Keller

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Today I am 42...

Today I am 42 years old. 42? How? I don't feel 42 - 42 is actual grown up territory, adult, scary!
Do I look 42? I spent some time with my reflection this morning, I can see faint lines, a few grey hairs, skin not quite as bouncy as it once was - but I looked pretty happy nonetheless!

I have been spoilt with presents, tea in bed, hugs and kisses, surprises, lovely messages and kind thoughts. I think I might just burst with joy :)
DD and DS#2 gave me a fab card with an angel reaching up for the stars. She said "Anything is Possible" (she had her knickers tucked into the back of her dress as she said it) and today I feel like it is!

Big confession time (we're all friends now, right?) I spend a great deal of my time feeling not quite good enough - not living up to those ideas and ideals in my head. I worry I have not achieved much, have made lots of mistakes (some of them more than once!). I don't ever quite manage to be who I think I want to be. I am inspired by countless people but the stupid voice in my head says "I wish I had her style, her creativity, his flair, her" blah blah blah.

But TODAY anything is possible - today I am good enough being me. Today I have friends and family who love me for who I am - not perfect but ME! Today I am glad to be alive - to be doing things I like. Today I am going to count my achievements (I may even list them). I'm going to eat cake, have beauty treatments, think positive thoughts and accept all the love with grace and appreciation. Who knows where such a radical change of thinking might take me just for today?
Anything is possible!!!!!

Thank you for bearing with me - normal service will be resumed soon!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

"Love was a feeling completely bound up with colour, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other" 

Paulo Coelho

Sunday, 12 January 2014

January Blues

So - it's the 12th January already, where did that go? I have spent the past week feeling quite guilty that all the promise and excitement of the New Year has faded into dull routine and some post workday crashing on the sofa and falling asleep by 7pm :(
My body and mind have quite simply said "no, sod off. We do not want to crochet or sew. We do not wish to create artistic photographs or write beautiful words and we most certainly do not desire to begin any of the 101 wonderful ideas that you wrote down for your New Year Inspiration list. Why don't you come back in March and see how we feel then?"

I journalled about it quite extensively on Friday night (before falling asleep!) and decided to start afresh on Saturday and get my arse into gear.
I took some time to get a few pictures of the floods at nearby Radcot and even managed to post a couple on my poor, neglected Instagram page. I completed a couple more crochet squares, that tiny cushion cover is slowly becoming a reality. And I have a couple of new things starting in the next week or so.... more on these as they happen :) I even made it out to a social event last night and to prove that I was on the right track I was heartened to pull this from my fortune cookie "A fresh start will put you on your way" How cool was that!?!

Fields and river become almost one.

Radcot Bridge

The pain of getting up early for a gym session on a Sunday morning was rewarded with some beautiful frosty scenes!

Let's see what the next week brings...... I am already feeling more positive about it!

Thursday, 2 January 2014


So, it's a double celebration here today.... Firstly I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and secondly Mothball and the Magpie is 1 year old today!!

Firstly - a New Year, how exciting is that? A chance to think about new beginnings, new projects, new promises and also a chance to reflect on the year just past.
2013 was a mixed year for me. I kept my resolution of trying new things - I began blogging, was a film extra, stuffed a rat, went outside my comfort zone LOTS and made some new friends. Work has thrown up huge challenges, I have struggled with anxiety and insomnia and have seen how quickly life can change when someone close was diagnosed with a serious illness.

Inspired by an article I read in The Simple Things, I have decided not to make any New Years Resolutions this time. The inspiration usually wears off quickly and I find myself feeling guilty that I haven't made it to the gym twice a week or that I still went to bed with my make up on and I never quite got round to reading War and Peace. Instead, the article suggested making a simple pledge that is more all encompassing. I liked this idea a lot! Plus it meant that chocolate and shoe shopping didn't necessarily have to be curtailed :)
I had also mostly completed my Unravelling the Year Ahead 2014 workbook from Susannah Conway which includes an exercise where you choose a word for the coming year. My word was 'Meaningful' and so I thought I would write a pledge around that. However, the more I tried, the more it sounded pompous and too self important when all I wanted to say was that I wanted to make the most of everything, every opportunity and to make every moment count for something. Like buying new shoes and savouring every morsel of chocolate and being grateful! I am still working on the wording for the pledge - watch this space.

And secondly, my blog is a whole year old! I can't tell you how exciting this is. I am loving blogging more than ever and through it I have already found some fabulous friends and linked to some other inspirational blogs out there. If you'd have suggested this time last year that I would have guest blogged with a new friend in America I would have laughed! Thank you again to Kristen for this opportunity :)

Here's to a fabulous New Year for all of you, I hope you enjoy it - I'd love to hear if you have any resolutions or pledges even if they don't involve new shoes or chocolate :)