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Friday, 29 November 2013

seven things i learnt in november

this month has felt like a month of list making. listing who to buy christmas presents for, listing who has birthdays from now until january, listing the jobs that need to get done by the end of november and those that need to get done by the end of december. am i alone in this habit? i have let go of a lot of my list making during 2013 but i find at this time of year there are only so many things I can keep solely in my head. 

and talking of lists here is my list of seven things i have learnt in november:

1. sweden has a treehouse hotel and not just any old treehouse hotel, all the tree houses are beautifully and individually designed. 

fancy sleeping in a ufo for the night?

or maybe even a birds nest?

or perhaps my favourite, the mirror treehouse

but before you go worrying about birds flying into it, it has been clad with an infrared film invisible to humans but visible to birds - clever hey? 

2. birds can see things humans can't? i wonder what else they can see?

3. am i the last person to realise that lightning mcqueens tyres pay homage to buzz lightyear rather than goodyear?

4. also am i the last person to realise that the fedex logo has an arrow in it?

5. when i was eighteen years old i was diagnosed with bell's palsy. bell's palsy is a paralysis of one side of the face which can make the person look as if they have suffered a stroke. when i had it i avoided cameras so there is no pictorial evidence of my image. this month i learnt about john sudworth a bbc reporter in shanghai whom, after contracting bell's palsy, decided to keep working as a tv correspondent. i was fortunate enough to be given the correct medicine within the right time scale (i worked for a doctor at the time) which resulted in me regaining 99.9% usage of my facial muscles within six months. john wasn't so lucky; he didn't get the medication and it took him a year to regain almost full use of his facial muscles.

given how image conscious a world we live in i think it was a very brave decision on his part to continue to work on tv given his lopsided appearance. you can read about his story here or watch this one minute video showing his progress.

i was shocked to read that worldwide the number of people contracting bell's palsy is 7,000 a day and also surprised to read that i am in a club not only with john but with george clooney and pierce brosnan.

6. having a hoarse voice is not a result of singing too long rather it is due to lack of technique when controlling your breath and having too much tension at the back of the tongue.

7. learning from gareth malone and his sing while you work tv show, the halle orchestra have diversified. in an attempt to regain some future funding they have organised the corporate choir contest which takes place in manchester today. working alongside six corporate clients they have trained members of their staff into choirs. the winning choir will have the opportunity to perform with the full orchestra during one of their christmas concerts in the city. 

now that would be one thing i would love to cross off my bucket list.


linking with emily at chatting at the sky

Thursday, 28 November 2013

thankful thursday

this week i am thankful that i have the ability to travel - this weekend involved seeing three different sets of friends - it was fab. i am thankful that after the travelling i could rest, sleep can be majorly under rated. i am thankful for whistling neighbours whilst defrosting the car on cold frozen mornings, for nieces that laugh so hard you can't help but join in and for choir practices that leave me a little hoarse but definitely happy.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

play the road

after admitting to you that i have rediscovered my love of night time driving, imagine my surprise when my sister in law posted on facebook some work that her and her team have been involved with. now if i could get my hands on this app i would be even happier to go night time driving. imagine driving and being able to make music while you were doing it...


Monday, 25 November 2013


this weekend i remembered how much i like night time driving. not twiliight driving but pitch black car headlights dazzling driving, both on windy country roads and motorway carriageways. especially when listening to this. i was visiting jane and upon arrival was told of surprise plans. on friday night we made our way to the coast, now on my list of favourite things to do is waking up and being able to see the sea. we walked on the beach, stopping to drink coffee and let the warmth of the november sun heat our faces. we talked, laughed, off loaded and caught up - not to mention getting a few presents ticked off the christmas present list - all before turning tale and leaving less than 24 hours after our arrival. i loved it.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

thankful thursday

this week i am thankful for celebrations, for time with family especially excited little ones. i am thankful for times with friends, experiences shared and for support offered. i am thankful for cold frozen mornings turning into bright sunshine filled afternoons before the sun dips down and retreating to warm, cozy inviting spaces. above all i am thankful for the honesty of a child prompting fearless emotional declarations verbalising what all too easily could be left unsaid.


Friday, 15 November 2013

children in need

this year ellie goulding has sung the official song for children in need. it's a cute little ditty which always makes me smile when i hear it on the radio. what do you think?


Thursday, 14 November 2013

thankful thursday

this week could have been a lot harder than it actually was. i am thankful for that. thankful that hope stands as a beacon on the horizon and strength is given as and when it is needed not just the same daily dose. thankful for happy memories and the desire to make more. thankful to have a niece who gives me pictures with the sign off "i love you" every.single.time.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013


you feel it coming towards you 

swelling like the tidal sea 

it might have begun last week 

or last month

but as just as it arrives 

it leaves. 

a day

a tuesday

or a friday 

it will be all days over the years

you welcome the guest of your memory

and greet your old friend grief.

you wonder where does the time go?

how did you meet up so quick?

you smile recalling the tender

the bittersweet complete.

a look

a joke

and a story 

they all spring up into your mind

and you realise time has not withered

rather sharpened clarity of mind.

this is how you remember him

a booming voice 

a loud shirt

a large laugh

and with that you clink cheers with your memory

being thankful you shared the old times.


Friday, 8 November 2013

friday jukebox

listening to the radio this morning this track was played, since then it's been my constant earworm. it's nice to share, you're welcome.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

thankful thursday

thankful when the car broke down i was less than ten miles from home, thankful it was fixed and i was back on the road within ten minutes and thankful i was able to meet one of my oldest friends for a long overdue catch up that evening. thankful new technology has been afforded me but above all thankful for out of the blue emails, texts and invites proving we are never left and are always looked after; encouragement comes in many guises.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Garden pickings

To-day was for collecting the last remnants of the fruit of the summer from the garden…. with a pie made from the windfalls.
It's amazing what you can find literally outside the back door, and all for free. I notice how much I can chase after things- get caught up in buying things, on 'doing something', of having plans. In yet, simplicity brings pleasure, satisfaction is right in front of me. I'm trying to learn more of that, rather than chasing something that you can never quite reach.

Happy Sunday


Saturday, 2 November 2013


A day off from work, and though the weather was gloomy looking out of the kitchen window the garden called. Piles of leaves needed raking, wind fallen apples rotting on the ground needed collecting.  Wellies on, rake in hand something white caught my eye. Coming up close they were tiny little mushrooms. Raking more leaves away another type of mushroom was uncovered - we were then on a hunt. Half an hour later we'd found five different types growing in our small patch of garden. I've never noticed them before, we don't usually have mushrooms in our garden, but the warm wet conditions has obviously proved perfect.
And for me? It was one of those small pleasures of discovery and enjoyment that appear from no where, when you have the time and space to wander and appreciate. Next step is to find out if any are edible…….