30 Days of Gratitude..10.. I Don’t Want That..

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Today is about the food I am grateful for….this comes at an ideal moment as I just found a You Tube video, by pure chance…by Michelle May….it’s not too long…take a look here.

Michelle has written Eat What You Love, Love what you Eat and everything she says in that video clip…up there…could well be me…. I have tried to watch what I eat for so long that it has become a non stop dieting, food obsessive lifestyle…without knowing I am doing it… I feel guilty when I eat something unhealthy….to make me feel better about this…I eat some more of it….then I decide that I have failed today so I might as well eat what I like and start again tomorrow….it’s a never ending cycle….and I just get bigger…

A little change of plan for me….just a little experiment…for the next month I shall eat what I like, when I feel hungry….but I will up the exercise, which is easy because it is almost non existent and I will keep busy….If I want cake I shall have cake….I will not say “I can’t have that….”  No more diet rules…I will only weigh to see if it works and if I can get myself out of the cycle the scales can go in the bin….

So….I am grateful for all foods….again I am so aware of people not getting enough food…of people who go without….I don’t understand a diamond ring costing millions and there still being starving people in the world…I just don’t…and it’s frustrating that this happens and there seems to be no way of changing it….

I am grateful for living in the land of the pasty…..yes, the Cornish pasty….and cream teas….with the jam on first and the cream on top….yes Cornish clotted cream….

I am grateful for cake….oh indeed….cups of tea and a slice of cake….

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It is strange….when I start to think….if I want to have cake, I shall have cake….suddenly I don’t really fancy it….

This is going to be an interesting experiment….expect lots of food pictures…I am still revelling in the moments of amazement when I manage to create a successful meal…convenience meals now being a thing of the past….Not entirely sure what took me so long….But I really enjoy it now….cauliflower and chickpea curry in the style of Hugh Fernley Wotsit this evening….

Making the most of the hour change with the darker evenings….sitting by the fire….both cats settled….Mollie Topshop on her regal cushion with a regal leg dangling and Timmy Twoshoes hogging the sofa and the crochet blanket…in some sort of strange arms and legs tangled arrangement…

It’s Halloween….I don’t really do Halloween and forgot to get sweets….last year I had bags and bags of sweets and nobody called..this year if they call they can have a custard cream…..I ate all of the cake….

Happy Witching Folks….I am off to cook cauliflower with Hugh….

Have a good one!!

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Geri xxx

30 Days of Gratitude..9..This is our Happy Place..

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Today is about the places we feel grateful for….There are so many beautiful places in the world, so many seen and so many yet to see…However, the place I feel most grateful for is home…

There are so many in this world without a place to call “home”…so many searching just for a room, a place, a friend to treat as home…And home, indeed, is exactly what you make of it…

For me, home is slowly becoming even more homelier….(is that a word?) since the decision to remove all the clutter and surround ourselves only with what we need and with what we love…and slowly you begin to see each other again….

Of course, it helps now that we have heating and we have fires and we have a cooker and now a garage…but having lived in the shell of this house with none of that, surrounded by dust (there is still a little bit of that, I am not super housewife just yet) and builders (even though they were charming and quite cute)…those things you take for granted become even more cherished….at one point we were having to fill the kettle from the tap in the garden and having to walk up the road to the public toilets when nature called…Again, I realise that even these are luxuries denied to many….

I have been meaning to read Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl…

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I always selfishly thought it might upset me…but I feel it is something I need to read…really make me grateful for what I have… his quotes always touch me…so book ordered…

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So, even though I love to travel and see new places…it’s always, always, lovely to go home….albeit to do the laundry and sleep in your own bed again….home, not the house I live in right now…but any house that we have made our home…the place we go to when we want to just be with each other…wearing old PJs, wrapped in a blanket and cuddling…simple as that…

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Whilst striving for the things you might think you want, look at what you have right now, appreciate it and enjoy it…be happy…

Geri xxx

30 Days of Gratitude..8..To Read or Not to Read..

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Today it’s books….the books to be grateful for…the writers who bring us those books, the sweat and tears to write them, the criticism to endure when the book is out…but I am ever thankful for authors and books….

Until quite recently I had forgotten how much I used to love to read fiction…it was a forgotten pastime for me….

Then along came The Torn Up Marriage
by Caroline Roberts.  Now, Caroline and I were school friends…we sat together in English…on the most part I probably copied her…(not really Caroline, I think that’s evident in our final results, and I had really bad eyesight and wouldn’t wear my glasses!) So, I thought, I must read this book, Caroline has been writing for many years, I must read it and do my loyal friend thing…It took me about three evenings to finish it….it was really, really good and more than anything reminded me how much I love to read, to lose myself in a story, to immerse myself in the feelings and the characters and to think….to find messages to make decisions about the world and about life….

I prefer to read proper paper books, the Kindle is not for me…it’s too much like staring at an ipad and a book smells better and the page turning…it’s too much of an experience to miss…so no Kindles, just books….

Since this book there are two more from Caroline… The Cosy Teashop in the Castle which I loved, even more for me than the first book…and to follow on The Cosy Christmas Teashop  this one is out on Kindle…I have my paperback pre-ordered to come out to me at the beginning of November….

Thank you Caroline for bringing books back into my “forever scrolling Facebook” life…

Since this I have moved on…having an insatiable desire to read a chapter or two before sleep each night and discovered other favourites…

I love Sheryl Browne…..

I love everything from Lisa Jewell…

I adore Jane Green….especially Mr Maybe and Jemima J…

Go to My Favourite Books! to find some more….

Two all time favourites in the self help field… Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life…hugely recommended if you haven’t already tried them…they are oldies…but goodies…

So, am I grateful for books?  I think you already worked that one out for yourself…if you have stopped reading lately….give it a go….swap books with a friend…go and borrow them from the library….find the genre which appeals to you most…put down the phone and pick up the story…escape for a little while…it really does do you some good…

Pick up a book, tell me what you read and tell me how you enjoyed it….or didn’t…

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Geri xxx

30 Days of Gratitude..7..Collect Moments Not Things..

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Today is about memories to be grateful for….and when I think about my most poignant memories…they are all about moments…not one of them about things…

To a certain extent this includes photos….there are very few photos of these moments, so, do they stay forever in my mind because I know there are no photos to remind me…or do they stay in my mind because I had no distraction at the time, trying to get the perfect picture of the moment….

Of course, photos are important…most especially to remember our loved ones….but it should be a combination, a healthy balance between living it and keeping it alive in our minds and on paper, or digitally.

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Just try attending something….go for a whole day without taking one picture….see how it feels…it might be for you….it might not…but it’s worth a try…

I, like everyone, have good memories and bad memories, that’s what makes a life….the good ones keep us warm inside and the bad ones, they teach us lessons….

The biggest thing ever to happen to me?  Becoming a parent….after 10 years of trying and nothing happening we decided we were going to be childless, we bought a bigger house and got a bigger mortgage, decided we would have lots of holidays….then…I got pregnant…Yep, she was picking her moments even back then…

At around 34 weeks, just happily lying on the sofa like a whale, watching some Olympic gymnastics….trying to remember what it felt like to be able to jump around like that….Olympic Georgia gave another of her almighty kicks and ruptured my placenta…bless her….

What followed was a blur of being carted off in an ambulance…blue lights…end of July, start of the school summer holidays…lots of traffic….Brilliant NHS staff…two surgeons, probably both under 18…my mother turning up in blue scrubs…hubbie not so good with operations and blood stuff…being given a very numb and not so tidy Brazilian….shaking like I was freezing…a baby being thrust under my nose and then taken off to the special unit….and then finding myself alone in a ward surrounded by a curtain wondering just what the hell had just happened….

Then a fortnight in hospital…a surreal blood transfusion where I dreamt all night that I was reliving the lives of anyone whose blood was dripping into me…breast pumping milk out like it was a competition to see if I could get the fullest jar in the fridge…I could have fed the ward at the end of that fortnight…I was the breast milk champion…it was then fed into Georgia through a tube going up her nose…she pulled it out constantly…she went yellow, she went back to pink again, I was close to nervous breakdown, covered in crispy breast milk and wondering how everyone else managed to look as glamorous as they did…

I found myself just wanting to go home…then when the great day arrives…you take little one home in the car seat, place it in the middle of the lounge and think…what do I do with it now??  So, you see, I am not a natural mother….probably because I never thought I would be…but it is a most magnificent journey…a never ending learning curve…and you do constantly (with a few minor exceptions I shall ignore at this point) find yourself staring at your offspring, pretty proud, thinking “I made that happen, I got something right”.

This will always be a massive memory for me….I only did it once…how would I have coped doing it again?  I will never know…and we don’t need to ponder on the things that will never happen, we need to concentrate on the things we do have…

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There she is, fourteen years old and full of attitude….but she does complete me…and constantly film me doing ridiculous stuff and shares it on her Snapchat story…and ask me to plait her hair half an hour after I have gone to bed…and hates my cooking…and watches the bloody Kardashians (sorry Kardashian family)..and appears to have a phone surgically implanted to her hand…but for all that indeed, love is unconditional and will always be there….

Savour your memories folks, they make your life what it is….

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Happy Wednesday…..half way guys, half way….unless you work weekends, then it’s just…not halfway…

Geri xxx

30 Days of Gratitude..6..The Best Box of Crayons..

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Today is all about nature.  I live in Cornwall, one of the best places to observe nature in all its glory…from the North Coast (where we live)..

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To the South Coast, quite different but equally as beautiful…

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I don’t live in the city and don’t want to live in the city…we have tiny roads littered with slow dirty tractors, sometimes you have to stop to let the cows cross the road, sometimes there are sheep running along side your car, sometimes grass grows in the middle of the road…but I love it…

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The majority of the time my car Ethel is dragging her way down a hedge to let others through…Ethel is not so hot on reversing though…bit of a zig zag procedure…but hey ho, we can’t all be good at everything…Ethel is still practising…

Is there anyone not able to find something in nature to be grateful for?  Birdsong, gentle rain…oh, especially rain on a really hot day…we only get rain on cold days here…but when watching the Disney fireworks..

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..we got the biggest downpour, it was hot and sticky and the raindrops were huge, I mean massive…we had no coats and were soaked to the skin, it was glorious, so much fun!! Everyone else had shuffled off through the puddles….what was the matter with them??

If you are feeling rubbish today, find somewhere to walk, somewhere green, somewhere with no houses in sight, somewhere to breathe…strangely a little robin just hopped in to visit me in my metal container office…he comes to say hello quite often…well, he comes to eat my crumbs….

If you can, get out on the water, dolphins, there’s another of mother natures beauties…

If it rains, look for the rainbow! If you grow just one sunflower it’s better than none…

So, go outside, breathe the fresh air….switch off the TV…enjoy yourself, see how much better you will feel…

Have an open air Tuesday!!

Geri xxx

30 days of Gratitude..5..The Perfect Lullaby..

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Today is about the sounds I am grateful for….I love the sound of rain…when I am indoors…especially just before I go to sleep…I am pretty grateful to live in a beautiful place where, even though we complain about the weather and the rain and the wind at times, we don’t get the extreme weathers of other places in the world…

It’s raining out there right now…I am in my little container office and it’s tickling the tin roof and pretty comforting…I might think differently when I sprint across the muddy yard with my paperwork in a few minutes time…

Sounds are interesting for me at the moment as I appear to have tinnitus…thankfully not too annoying and my brain is getting used to it…yes, interesting more than annoying…the vertigo in the middle of the night is strange…but bearable…

I’m not one for loud noises…however, we did go to Robot Wars in Gloucester yesterday and that was pretty entertaining….loud noises and all…a couple of photos to share tomorrow…but we decided to watch with our eyes and not with our phones….so no robot overkill for you… Lots of driving as it is 3 hours away…but worth it for a day out….

More of my happy noises and sounds….the crackle of an open fire, birds singing, I actually like the sound of seagulls…it always means the beach is nearby….the sound of the sea….I like that music with whale and dolphin noises….I DON’T like church bells…I lived next to the church for a short time, this might be why….Sunday mornings were interesting….

My favourite music….and it’s amazingly varied….Jason Mraz (yep,still the same CD in my car in the mornings, it’s been over a year now), any Yoga Chill music, I like the music you get in Indian restaurants, I love big band music, Buble…voice like melting chocolate…oh yes please….I love some Bob Marley, a bit of Jools Holland, some Bruno Mars, a little bit of Imagine Dragons, a pinch of BB King, a dollop of Pink and ever now and then some Cage the Elephant….so you see, no particular genre there….I use Spotify so no massive CD collection and no need to buy anything online, my tastes change day by day….

Just take today to listen…..we take it all so much for granted….listen to people laughing, listen to the wind (no Christopher, not yours!)….sometimes just listen to the silence…(I am missing that one at the moment)….don’t always have the TV or the radio on as background noise…

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Slow yourself down today….you deserve it…

Happy Monday…

Geri xxx

30 Days of Gratitude..4..My Friendship’s Free..

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Day four is actually about food….so here I choose to share a pot of tea and a piece of cake with you…

If I have to pick between an expensive restaurant and just being at home with a cup of tea…some cake…and an open fire, whilst reading a book….there is absolutely no competition…

In December I will be 50….Do I expect a surprise party…I do not….If anybody wants to pop around and see me, I will put the kettle on, light the fire, sling some cushions on the old sofas and expect an hour or two of pure gossip.  I will be wearing yoga trousers and an oversized sweatshirt with thick socks and probably won’t have brushed my hair that day….You won’t have to bring a present because I don’t need anything and I will feed you cake…lots of it….We will put the world to rights….

So, I am grateful for food….I know there are those that go without…..I don’t buy food I won’t use and very rarely throw much of it away….I am the master of leftover creations…

Expensive restaurants are there for those of you who enjoy them….please, go enjoy them…they are making a living like everyone else….

Me, I prefer to be at home with a book or two….I have done enough partying for a lifetime, half of them I don’t remember…what wasted fun times they were…

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Today it’s Saturday….and my decluttering mission continues….

Cooking to do, cake to be made and fires to be lit…

Happy Weekend!!

Geri xxx