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Friday, 28 June 2013

top three things i've learnt in june

this month i'm joining in at emily's place writing about the things i learnt in june. honestly? i nearly didn't write this as june was so busy but here are my top three:

1. manchester is not the wettest place to live in the uk seathwaite in cumbria is. an easy mistake to make. the above photo is of today, it's june people, june what is going on? i realised this month i thought manchester was the wettest place to live due to a television documentary i watched in my youth. granada tv was developed by sidney bernstein who chose the region due to the higher than average rainfall. he reasoned people would be indoors more and therefore more likely to watch his new station, i like his thinking. i realised i thought this referred to manchester itself not the area as a whole as granada tv originally broadcast from studios in manchester. childhood assumptions blown out of the water. i was only 132 miles out.

2. introvert does not mean introverted. on the myers briggs personality test i come up as an introvert. i have always thought this was a mistake. in fact i've done the test twice to try and prove myself right, reasoning i had changed and grown so surely it should be different this time. no, still the same. but this month i learnt that being an introvert on this scale means getting your energy from solitude so that you can go and be with people rather than the extrovert view of gaining energy by being with people. once i found that out well, it makes perfect sense. the irony? i couldn't remember what the other bits of the personality type i am so today i went back to do the test for a third time. i came up 1% extrovert. 

3. candy crush is seriously addictive. after travelling by train to and from london with my nieces this month i have been introduced to the weird and wonderful world of the sweet making game. it reminds me a little of tetris but much more colourful. try it, i dare you. makes waiting for a dental appointments much more fun. and if you need help to get through the levels just go back to your 8 year old niece, she will happily give you tips, just don't get annoyed if she completes a level (or two) for you.

so, what did you learn in june?


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

best laid plans

ever noticed how things happen? sometimes you have a plan, an idea or a design in mind other times you don't and it just happens. these last few days i have been noticing a theme in my garden that had no theme, at least not one that i put together. 

this year i bought french lavender plants. as the cold snap (or maybe me) managed to kill off my last ones i thought i would try again this year. those plants were the only ones i bought that were not just lavender by name but lavender by nature. but that is not the only thing that is lavender. my chives have flowered as they do every year to become beautiful lavender headed stems.

i bought thyme for the first time this year, that too has sprouted tiny lavender flowers. 

but i have also noticed how self seeded everything is. lavender flowers that to me have no name are all over my front and back garden. 

and these self seeded plants are not only everywhere but are thriving in the shallowest of soil, in fact in many cases no soil at all. 

in my front garden wall  

finding life through my deck and house brickwork

or through my neighbours wall

and the funny thing about it. lavender i have planted in the same way in the same soil, well one is thriving the other is perhaps not so happy.

obviously sometimes all that is needed is a determination to grow towards the light.


Thursday, 20 June 2013

birthday treat

three out of my four nieces have their birthdays in june. for the first time we did a girls weekend; my sister and myself joined our sister in law in london to celebrate girls turning six, seven and eight. it was full on. train journeys, identical onesies, sleep overs, singing and dancing, tube journeys, visiting the queen, trooping of the colour, picnic, fly-by, lots of hand clapping games, getting caught in the rain, the lion king, covent garden street theatre, tube journey home, food, playing and trampolining not to mention birthday roller skates. and that was just the girls. from giddy girls on friday to tired girls on the saturday to just plain exhausted everyone on sunday. we were together. it was fab. 


Wednesday, 19 June 2013


i've just about recovered from my girls weekend. or maybe that should read i've just about recovered from my sibling weekend? whichever, i'm nearly there. click on the video snapshot above and you will get some idea of how excited little people were to be spending the weekend together.


Sunday, 16 June 2013


Time to look up in wonder at the patterns in the sky, and remind myself of the bigger picture...

A late afternoon sneak onto the bench to catch the sun and read

An hour in the evening with feet up on the sofa doing nothing, but it felt like everything

And remembering on Father's day that family is special

With time to remember fondly family no longer here, and look at those old pictures.

Sundays. Perfect for stopping, laughter, and refilling ready for the week ahead.


Friday, 14 June 2013


this weekend i am on a girls weekend with a difference. i'm super excited. i'm hoping we get to watch the live semi finals of the voice uk because really, this girl can sing. 

happy weekend friends.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

radio ga-ga

i work in an office that has the radio on all day. i love music but sometimes when it is ubiquitous it has to fight to make a bigger impact. the last few weeks these songs have jumped out at me.

and just last week this pop song has joined the ranks. 

have a listen. do they cut through the noise of your day?


Monday, 10 June 2013

practice makes perfect

ever noticed how warm weather makes you slow down? we all know this of course. the last couple of weeks the sun has shined. the lack of rainfall has enabled me to do my garden, paint my external woodwork and replant my herb and vegetable pots. but what started out as slowing down to take advantage of the sunshine has continued. i have deliberately not planned so much, have not written so many items on the to-do list, have not rushed from one thing to the next after work. i have sat still. i have read. i have gone to bed early. the only day i have managed to do all three together has been on a sunday when i actively try to stop and chill out but most days i have tried to do one at least for a little while longer than usual. 

i've noticed a few things too. this year i have bought flowers for my deck rather than the usual architectural plants i opt for - those plants are still there but i've added a softer more colourful aspect. i'm not very good at remembering to water indoor plants and external ones can quickly be on the same treadmill if i leave it unchecked but i am constantly amazed by the reviving power of water. a flower that was wilted within an hour can be flushing with the first signs of youth if given enough to drink deeply from in order to rejuvenate. and so too am i. outside in the sunshine, a seat beckoning me to relax the day away, birds singing, a breeze blowing, french doors flung open, music playing, a magazine flicked through, a glass of wine savoured. it doesn't take much but what it does take is a little bit of down time. these summer months it is a routine i will happily practice. and so far i am like the flower revived. the simple pleasures can sometimes be the sweetest.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

light and shade

warm extended evenings. doors flung wide open, cool breezes circulating tiny dandelion clocks; clinging onto newly painted woodwork, transforming carpet to cotton candy underfoot. jobs completed alongside rest and relaxation. space to breathe. life's light and shade. 

this week. home.


Friday night

Friday night.
Manic week at work done.
Success within that, things crossed off the to do list.
Moments of madness and frustration
Moments of calm and satisfaction.

Sunny days and late evening light.
Cycling to work
Fresh air, wind in the face to exhilarate.

Washing piled everywhere
But tights without a ladder in found
Food in the fridge
Wine chilled.

Internal challenge on letting go
Peace as plans made to bring a change
Trusting that whatever God knows the plan
His ways are higher.

Weekend beckons
Space, relaxation
Feet up on the sofa
The weeks stresses slide off the shoulders.

Demons put to rest.

Happy Weekend


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Fresh air

Back at work after a week off stress levels rise. This time last week I was walking along a beach in the rain, but it didn't matter. The sea breeze was exhilarating, the views inspiring. The deck chairs were soggy, but the sand between the toes felt good, freedom was all.
Now back in the office the sun is shining and the irony is not lost. Finally switching off my laptop at 6.30pm before starting on tea I wonder how I will maintain my energy and stress levels back in the daily routine.
After tea as I start washing up the garden beckons, the long evenings of June enticing me outside.

Before I know it a game of badminton ensues, laughter, fun, and relaxation. Work is forgotten, my head clears. My body unwinds, and the enjoyment of summer sun leaves everything in its wake.

I love the way that a switch can happen when you go with the flow, and park the to do list.