Sunday, 25 January 2015

Thankful for: poetry, packing and punctuation

I'll just dive right in.
Mini-mini break

Last Saturday night we went to a friend's place - which right now happens to be a chalet in a holiday park in Hayle, as his family own and run it. Even though we were only there for a little over 12 hours, it was still great to get away, spend an unhurried evening with friends (and plenty of food and wine and Settlers of Catan - which is also on my list of things I'm thankful for!) and wake up to views of the sea and sand. Not having a car means we don't get around this beautiful part of the world enough at the moment. But determined to make more effort and use those infrequent buses and trains!


Who would have thought this would be on the list. I usually hate packing, but I've got to say that doing the capsule wardrobe thing definitely helped a lot because there was a whole lot less to choose from. I've still not finalised my number of items because this week was so busy but I have a lot less stuff kicking around. This is pretty much everything packed for a week away; I'm quite pleased with myself!

Passionate about punctuation!

Whilst doing some editing for a website, I kept coming across quotes written with the final full stop inside the speech marks, which bugged me but I realised I wasn't 100% sure of the right way to do it. So, thanks to Google, this is what I found on the Sussex University website, at the bottom of a very long page all about the rules of using speech marks:
You may follow your own preference in this matter, so long as you are consistent. If you opt for logical punctuation, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are on the side of the angels, but you should also expect some grim opposition from the other side.*
Haha! Love it! Partly because I am apparently on the side of angels (the logical side being placing the full stop outside the quotation mark), and partly because I love it when people are passionate, even if it is about punctuation :-)


Friends, reunited

No, not that website (which I haven't heard mentioned in a long time!). This week we drove across the country once again for Llewellyn's university interview at Hertfordshire. Hire car issues and both of us being knackered meant we appreciated even more being put up by lovely friends that we don't get to see often enough.  A reminder again of how important hospitality is (I've just spent night in third place in three nights) - and that while it may look different, the key is being made welcome.

And, I'm very thankful for friendships that survive moves around the country and many years and changes. Woop!


Yesterday I went to a Ted Talks event in East London, which I might talk more about another time. At the end three poets performed and I was struck once again by the power of spoken word, of imagery, of cutting straight to the 'truth' of things whilst simultaneously leaving plenty of space for unique interpretation and space to dream.

Here's one of my favourite performance poets, who I've been listening to again this week. Enjoy :-)


Hubby got offered a place at the University of Hertfordshire. I'm very proud!!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Living simply: capsule wardrobe

I'd never heard of a capsule wardrobe before last week. It still makes me think of a mixture of space travel and medication, but anyways!

The idea is to have a set number of items of clothing for a set amount of time and to put everything else away out of sight - with the aim being to reduce on decision making, clutter, and also on buying un-needed items.

Different people do it in different ways. The first I heard of it was through Project 333 which suggests 33 items of clothing (including accessories and shoes, not including underwear and exercise gear) for 3 months. Which isn't a whole lot when you think about gloves, scarves, bags etc. But changing the selection after three months allows for changing in seasons and some variety over the year.

Another blog that inspired me was Un-Fancy, which is a bit more lenient on what's included within the capsule wardrobe and more fashion focused, but the same idea.

I've read a few times before about successful people who wear the same thing every day because it's one less decision to make, and allows them to use that energy elsewhere. To be honest the thought of doing that makes me pretty sad - I've always enjoyed wearing a variety of clothes and styles. Partly because I didn't (and don't) want to be pigeon-holed, partly because clothes are a chance to get creative and express something and let's be honest: I guess do I care about how I look but also very much care about being warm and comfortable - which therefore requires thinking quite a lot about the best combinations for weather and situations :-)  But, at the moment there is enough going on in life to make cutting down on choices sound quite appealing.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Happy/tasty/inspiring things to begin the year

In attempts to keep the Winter blues at bay, and not get overwhelmed by dark mornings, snotty noses, tax returns, cold, money stresses and the like....

Here's some things I'm thankful for so far this year!

A surprise gift in the post with a lovely card from a lovely friend that I get to see soon after a long time.
Way to make a girl feel special!

Pretty colours on my leg

Sunday, 11 January 2015

2015: leaving and being

2015! Can you believe it?! Halfway through the "teens". Is that what we call them?

Fifteen years since I watched the sunrise from a hill in Zambia to greet the new millennium all 13-years-old, blonde, awkward and spotty.

Ten years since I was in the last months of sixth-form, waiting to find out what university I'd go to, slightly less blonde, awkward and spotty.

And now, (purple, occasionally awkward and annoyingly suddenly spotty again!), here I am in the same situation. Except it's my husband who's waiting to find out which universities accept him - and I of course am very affected by the outcome since we do intend to continue living life together, you'll be pleased to know.

We didn't set out last year to plan to leave Cornwall this year.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Still peace (Merry Christmas, even if you're not 'feeling it')

This has been the least Christmassy December of my life.

What I mean is,

I’ve not sung any carols, I’ve not read any gospels, I’ve not seen any small children dressed as sheep and stars. I’ve not lit any candles, opened any advent calendar doors or written any Christmas cards.

And even in a less Jesus-related Christmassy sense, I only had my first mince pies and mulled wine and Christmas shopping outing this week.

I’ve barely paused between working and travelling from place to place. When I have I’ll admit I’ve spent my time in front of a screen, facebooking or watching TV with hubby or this week, with family. I’ve not had many deep conversations, I’ve not really prayed, and I have more questions than ever about what I do or don’t believe running through the back of my mind.

I don’t know what to do with those questions. If I really stopped, I’m not sure what I’d focus on. I think I’d be a bit nervous about what I’d find (or didn’t).

Last year I put together a few evenings of quiet meditation and reflection in the Cornwall House of Prayer. I missed that this year. I think it would have done me good to put everything else aside for an hour or so, to embrace silence and light and darkness and waiting. Having said that to have organised any one more thing this past month would have probably driven me over the edge.

There is a time and a season for everything.

Sunday, 7 December 2014


Two weeks ago we were in Paris.

And before it fades from memory and thankfulness, here's a little celebration of exploring, of visiting a dear friend, of open spaces and grandeur, of creativity and sunny balconies and good cheese.

I'd never been to Paris before, I guess I wasn't that fussed about going, and if Heloise had lived in another place then we would have gone there instead. But it is a bit silly to have had a friend there all this time and never visited.

So we went. Penzance to Paris isn't a quick job when you have no car and there's only a limited number of flights leaving from Bristol airport. But after a lot of trains and buses and walking with heavy rucksacks through the dark and rain in Bristol, we got there, and I'm so glad we did.