If you’re a regular reader then you might notice my blog posts have been few and far between lately. I’ve learnt that creativity, ideas and enthusiasm comes in waves, and I just haven’t really felt like writing or taking pictures. So, I’m very sorry for being lazy and very optimistic that my creative wave is back on the up!
On a tangent, and because it’s health season, I have a tasty slimming world soup recipe that’s full of dark greens coming up. I’ll be honest the post has been sat in my drafts for well over 6 months, and I still haven’t got around to taking a decent photo so I can post it. My friend Issy has requested this recipe, so hang on tight, it’s coming!
Back to topic, it’s been two weeks since my Surviving January post and unfortunately it still is January. However, I do have some good slightly narcissistic news to report…
I’m feeling much happier!
My January Funk Pull list (See previous blog post) has worked some wonders. Don’t get me wrong I’m still prone to bouts of melancholy but generally I feel much more optimistic with life and my self-esteem isn’t quite on the floor. Here’s a low down on how each activity is going so far.
I’m still going with my gratitude journal, I keep it all on my Instagram stories if you want to be nosy at how grateful I am for a cup of tea and some broccoli. In all honesty I can’t report that it’s having a direct impact but it could be contributing to my mood boost. Maybe, it’s because I can’t publicly dig deep. Maybe, to really feel the benefit I need to not be as thankful for central heating and be grateful I have lovely friends and family.
I’ve discovered Adrienne on YouTube and I’m currently on day 11 of her 30-day yoga challenge (I’ve missed a few days, I should be on day 16). I can’t say I’ve noticed my flexibility getting any better, I’m still as bendy as a plank of 2″ x 4″ timber but generally I do feel much calmer. The days I manage to do some yoga always seem to turn out more positive.
A whole pound and half heavier as I write this, my first week of slimming world didn’t quite go to plan but onward and upwards, there’s always next week. I’m blaming the farmer for having a birthday. How inconvenient all that cake in the house! I’d love to do some more work on my relationship with food this year, there was a very interesting interview by my fave journalist in the paper. All about how to approach food and it made so much sense. I’ve found the article online but infuriatingly you have to subscribe. I’ll find the article and post a photo on my Instagram just in case anybody would like to read it.
I’ve managed at least a 3 mile walk once a week so far and it’s impossible to not return home a little more pleased with myself than when I left. I’ve also practiced being mindful and aware but I have an awful habit of daydreaming or scrolling Instagram whilst I’m walking.
Cleaning & Clearing Out
Our cleaning and clearing out plan has changed course a little. Me and the farmer have noticed the atrocious amount of plastic packaging we throw out in the waste from food and toiletries so we’re making a few small changes now, and hopefully more to follow. We’re starting upstairs, I think it will be a long and slow process but eventually I’m hoping to write a blog post about our plastic free bathroom. I actually need to achieve a plastic free bathroom first, so please bear with me.
Because I hate the cold weather, my garden planning still hasn’t developed into actual gardening. BUT, did I tell you The Farmer bought me a CHICKEN HUT & RUN for Christmas? We just need grass to grow in the allotment and create a little shelter and then Lady Jane Fairfax and Beyoncé can move on in. (Yes, all of my future chickens will have names as ridiculous as this.)
Written with love
Edit: It’s Sunday morning now, and as it’s time to press publish I’ve noticed how grainy and inconsistent these photos are. My appologies reader, but I believe I’ve rushed this post. A mental note has been made to use my camera rather than quickly grabbing the Iphone from now on.
Firstly I’d like to wish you all a very happy New Year. I’d also like to apologise for my absence on the blog. I’ve been a complete lazy bones since November and I thought I’d better pull something out of the bag soon before this blog is added to my massive pile of abandoned and unfinished projects.
I’ll not beat around the bush, I find January pretty soul sucking. February isn’t all that bad, there’s only a month to go until spring and finally the light can be seen at the end of the grim British winter. But unfortunately it’s not February, it’s January.
Maybe I loathe this month because I work in retail and the January Sale keeps me locked in a shop against my will, I’m not a workaholic, I’d openly much rather be at home. Or maybe, it’s because it’s so cold and there’s nothing to look forward too. Either way I’m utterly miserable.
So this year rather than sitting here feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in my self-diagnosed SAD (Seasonal affective disorder), I thought I’d try and pull myself out of the funk. Here’s my list of positive activities that hopefully will cheer me right up and get me through to spring.
My January Funk Pull
I did this for a few months last summer and I think it did actually cheer me up. You just write down three things daily you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as ‘I’m grateful for the other half making an exceptional cup of tea’ or ‘I’m grateful my socks match today’.
A morning YouTube yoga session should hopefully set me up for a mindful calm day.
This one is self explanatory. You are what you eat and I’d love to feel as healthy, happy and warm as a jacket potato. At the moment I feel like a walking dense miserable Christmas pudding.
Mindfulness & Meditating
In the past my meditating really didn’t go well, I’m not very good at it and get completely distracted. It can’t hurt to try again because I hear the benefits are well worth the effort.
Because I’m stuck in a shop for most of the daylight hours in January I’m really not getting my outdoors fill. I’m making it my mission to go for a long walk at least once a week from now on. And be mindful as I go, notice the smells, sounds and all that Jazz.
Cleaning & Clearing out
I’m possibly very late to the party but I’m currently obsessed with Mrs Hinch. I really want my house to smell like Lenor Spring Awakening. Cleaning and organising really does make you feel excited and optimistic for spring.
If I can’t be outside gardening, I can at least be thinking about being outside gardening. Hopefully this spring we’re getting chickens and a veg plot and I’ve also buttered my dad up to give me a hand.
If you’ve got any activities that help cheer you up in this miserable time then please let me know!
Written with love.
P.s just by writing this I’m feeling a little more optimistic already.
There’s nothing I can write in this blog post that can convey how much both me, my family, and everyone else in this country owes the generations alive in 1918. From the brave men who gave their lives, to the grieving loved ones at home who lost Sons, Husbands, Fathers, Uncles, Nephews and still managed to carry on. We owe them everything.
I can’t possibly imagine what the suffering and cold must have felt like, or how much courage it must have taken to climb those mud walls and run head on into barbed wire and whistling bullets. I can’t imagine the courage of the women at home who received that dreaded telegram and still managed to work the land. I can’t imagine living in a Britain full to the brim of sweat and grief. We owe them everything.
It’s been 100 years to the day and If I can’t possibly imagine how they lived through that time, then I guess the least I can do is learn and remember. I need to learn as much about those dreadful years and remember so I can pass it on to future generations.
I haven’t always thought like this. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve been rather ignorant of The Great War. We covered it a little in school, I knew they battled in the trenches and I’d dutifully stand in silence every November at 11am. For a whole two minutes every year those brave soldiers had my full attention. But, if i’m honest it really didn’t take long until I’d forget and get back on with everyday life.
Our New Tradition
This year I acknowledged my ignorance and made more effort to learn what World War 1 was all about, why it happened and what it was like for the brave people who sacrificed their lives so we can live ours. (Dan Snow’s BBC Podcast is brilliant by the way! I’ll link it at the bottom.) I’m still pretty ignorant, I’m sure I can learn much more but at least to help me and Nick appreciate the sacrifice made for all of us I want to start a little new tradition in our house. In addition to buying a poppy (which I admittedly usually lose or wash or just completely forget to put on in the morning), I want to do something that will bring a little bit of 1914-1918 into our home.
Every year on the night before Rememberance Day, I hope to bake or cook something that would have been eaten by our torn and grieving nation during The Great War.
This year I’ve started the tradition with…
Apple Batter Pudding.
Using only 1 egg and two tablespoons of flour this recipe was a creative way to sustain the hardworking nation during the food shortage. This is how they would have eaten it back then but Tesco do have a modern recipe online, i’ll provide a link at the bottom.
- Some apples
- Dash of lemon juice
- A little sugar
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 3/4 pint of milk
- 1 egg beaten
Peel, core and slice apples, place in a pie dish…
Pour over a little lemon juice and sugar.
Mix together milk, egg and flour in a separate jug and pour mixture over the apples.
Bake in a hot oven for 1.5 hours.
Serve, enjoy and REMEMBER!
This tasted surprisingly delicious! And because the apples were from a garden tree it cost us pittance.
Next year i’ll share the ingredients and recipe earlier so other people can join in if they wish.
Written with love