Welsh Witterings:  The Move Must Go On!

fire engine

fire engine

There is just ten days left to when the I must have my move complete and I do feel like I should sing the  lyrics, to the closing track from Queen’s 1991  LP, Innuendo, ‘The Show Must Go On’,  although maybe I could change the words to ‘The Move Must Go On’. Indeed I am now facing a wall of boxes and a seemingly impossible task of moving a hoard of vehicles, many of them classics, others vintages and many in need of restoration. In addition to this there is a house to finish packing, a book to complete and a mass of deadlines and shows to attend to. However, the move has to happen and it has come to the point where there really is no point worrying about it. It’s just a case of knuckling down and getting on with it, because to use the lyrics of another Freddie Mercury classic at this present moment I am most definitely ‘Under Pressure’, but we must be completed because no sooner the move is over and I am off to promote my healthy eating plan at the Manchester Yoga Show.

Yes, life is rather chaotic, but I am looking forward to the move being successfully completed and I have lots of exciting things going on with food awards and events this year as well. So, this weeks motto is ‘put on a brave face and keep smiling’. I don’t know if this motto will assist any, but it sounds like a good plan.

commers

commers

I have been learning to be towed on a bar as my husband has needed to move some vehicles and I have decided that when people learn mindfulness and breathing techniques, their proficiency should be tested by being placed in an LDV van and towed on a bar over the mountain roads. I can tell you that I am not sure that I was practicing mindfulness, but I was most definitely in the moment and my breathing was heavy if not deep. Petrified, terrified and needing a stiff drink at the end of the two hour ordeal would sum up my experience of being towed , but I managed and today I am doing it all over again.  They say love is blind, I think it is mad, irrational and plain daft, so needless to say I’m only agreeing to being towed because I love hubby and he needs the help.  After all, we have to get moved and he puts up with all my collections and books.

Well,  the tow bar is calling and my eleven month old is finding her feet and planning to unpack one of my boxes, so I’m going to sign off for now and next week I hope to be telling you that everything has sorted itself out and that I am going to be able to take that well earned break….or at least draw breath. In the meantime I shall be singing, ‘I shall Survive’!

 

FIRE

FIRE

 

 

Welsh Witterings : Cornwall or the Caribbean ?

Kernow Erno

Kernow Erno

Whilst drowning in deadlines and surrounded by packing boxes; I have been dreaming of escaping to a tropical paradise.  My little daydream has seen me gazing at clear, blue skies and sipping cocktails whilst gazing at a tropical blue sea.

Yes, my dream of a warm escape has been a wonderful one and the only fly in the ointment was the idea of packing and shuffling four children onto a plane to head off to a far flung paradise. Though it seems that I might not need a flight as Holiday accommodation providers, Stay In Cornwall,  have discovered that 90% of participants in their  quiz, Kernow?…Err no! which pitches the coastline of Cornwall against that of the Indian Ocean could not tell which images were taken in Cornwall.

So, perhaps paradise is a little closer than I first imagined. Holiday accommodation company Stay In Cornwall has created a fiendishly tricky picture quiz to prove that the vast majority of people genuinely can’t tell the difference between a beach in the Indian Ocean and one hidden on the coast of our own little island. I’ve always been one to promote the beauty of the Britain, but I must admit that I have never before considered that it’s landscape could be indistinguishable from that of  the Indian Ocean.

Kerno Erno

Kerno Erno

The British Isles are amazing though and I think often overlooked. Consisting of more than 6,000 islands scattered around the main islands of Britain and Ireland, they offer stark contrasts and magical landscapes. I often feel that us Brits should get around our own islands more. After all there is so much to see; with over a hundred of the British off-shore islands being inhabited with the opportunity to see culture, history, meet people, communities and see magical gardens. Lighthouses, windswept gardens, gulf-stream-soaked, tropical gardens, castles, ruins and monasteries.

It must be said that the British Isles offer great variety, from coastal machair to woodlands, mountains, dunes and meadows. There are shady dells where you can imagine fairies living, to sunny banks and dramatic windswept backdrops and golden sunsets that it seems are equal to that of the Indian Ocean.

Well, perhaps I should stop dreaming of jetting off and should pack a flask and rucksack and head off for a British Isles adventure….first stop Cornwall!  After all the images of turquoise waters and dazzling sunsets have made me feel that perhaps paradise is just a car drive away.

 

 

 

 

Welsh Witterings:  More Moving

FIRE

FIRE

My life at the moment seems like one giant move, indeed I have been swathed in bubble wrap and encapsulated by brown packing boxes for two months now and I am beginning to wonder if it will ever end.

To be fair the task of moving has been no small feat, moving a business is one thing, moving two businesses is tough, moving two businesses, a growing family and a home whilst continuing to work is just a recipe for chaos and exhaustion.  Tired, grumpy and rather weary is where I stand at the moment, but I do know that the task of moving is more than half completed.

We have had to move allsorts of things such as an eight feet tall wooden carving and a 1956 fire engine, there have been more boxes than I care to recall and I can’t even imagine how many van loads have been loaded and unloaded. My home move should be easier, but then there is another fire engine to move, but this one drives albeit it slowly and cumbersomely.

A move in business premises has sparked the whole move and has prompted us to prepare to wave goodbye to Aberystwyth. Two of my children have been born in Aberystwyth and I have some good memories of the town that has been called home for the past three years, sadly like so many Welsh seaside towns it is in need of investment and an emphasis from the council on local people and tourists rather than just university students would really boost the town. Anyway, we shall be moved in the next month, but I dare say we’ll visit and perhaps we can play tourist on sunny days, but I won’t be feeding the seagulls!

At its inception the move prompted allsorts of discussion, including whether to move onto a house-boat, but after many discussions and the discovery that the navigable waterways don’t come close enough to where I need to work, this idea was reluctantly abandoned. So, instead we have decided to settle for a Victorian mid terraced cottage that is going to be easy to maintain and force us to be organised and we are going to look at investing in a boat for weekends away and as a way of us getting some quality family time. Who knows in a few years time the house-boat dream may come to fruition, but for now we have an awful lot to sort out and moving to an historic town is going to be great for writer’s curiosity.

Well, I have a book to finish today and a million other tasks to complete, so I’m afraid I must sign off. So, until next week I bid you a fond farewell from a chaotic house full of children, brown tape and boxes.

 

 

 

 

 

Welsh Witterings:   Do you see what I see?

Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

The task of moving home and business has found me riding on a wave of memories. Each time I have emptied a drawer or cupboard memories have been churned up and it has made me rather reflective.  Finding cards I made at nursery school,  photographs of  times and people long gone; discovering trinkets that my eldest daughter made in her early years and discovering my childhood collection of shells, have all made me reflect over how fast and fragile life is.  In many respects I believe that the emotional elements to moving are harder than the physical aspects, but I must say I’ve been very happy to be re-united with some of my long lost belongings that have been in storage for years and I’ve had some lovely memories (rose tinted of course) come flooding back.

What packing and moving has made me realise is how little we really look, I mean really look. Yes, we observe things in our day to day lives and around us, but we miss many intricacies and small works of beauty and I believe this is because we don’t take the time to truly look.  As I have been packing up belongings my children have been helping and my seven year old has come across many things in drawers , many of them quite mundane,that she has termed as ‘pretty’ before commenting on more detailed intricacies and snippets of beauty that I believe as adults we become too busy to do. We notice things quickly, observing the seasons, the rain, the snow, the sun and the moon, without much thought. Perhaps we are all just too busy and wrapped up in our busyness to really look beyond casual observation and this seeing without looking and living without being fully present is so common in today’s society, especially in such a digitally governed society. I see so many people viewing the world through the camera of their phone and I wonder how involved or truly conscious they are in the activity they are avidly recording.

Tulips

Tulips

I can’t help thinking that today we record more events and moments in photographs than ever before, but I am not sure whether we are capturing memories or just producing an inventory of life events. It is in the details we get lost and I know that I can be guilty of not focusing on the moment because I am focusing on the grand picture and leading a busy life can make me want to skip through tasks as quickly as possible in order to tick everything off my list, but when you take time and remember to see the detail inside the beauty of an event or object; after all the stories, detailing, memories and hopes and history of a moment or item are what create quality memories and experiences and what give meaning to life beyond a social media status.

When life is hectic it is hard to sometimes take time and practice patience, because when pressed for time we are always thinking ahead…thinking what is next, what needs doing next, how will I do that, how will I get there and a trillion other stressful and mind-filling questions that can easily result in a head full of chatter and them garnering much more attention than they deserve. What deserves our attention is the details, the moments, the sometimes hidden at first glance beauty that make life worthwhile. So perhaps we need to forget the grand plans in life and start noticing and embracing the small moments and cherish the sound of crisp leaves under foot, observe the patterns in the morning frost, take notice of buzz of the bees and see beyond their initial beauty, but instead take time to really look.

Perhaps, if we all took more time to be patient, still and observant the world would be a better place. There is so much emphasis placed on social media followings and status that it is as if we are living a false reality and perhaps a daily dose of mindfulness could be a good remedy.

 

 

Welsh Witterings:  it’s that time of year

image

It’s that time of year again, when the jam pans stop bubbling and instead I turn to anxiously nibbling my fingers as I await the results of various food competitions.  I entered ten types of marmalade into The World’s Original Marmalade Awards this year and I have just found out that I won eight awards, so that is mighty good news.  Sadly, other commitments mean that I will not be going to the awards ceremony and open day at Penrith this year, but I shall be adding the certificates to my collection and slathering a nice slice of toast with marmalade to celebrate.

As with everything in life, not everything can go to plan and this year I failed to win any awards with my pie entry to The British Pie Awards, still there is always next year and I will be reviewing the judges comments and looking to make next years entries winners.

marmalade

marmalade

The Guild of Fine Foods, Great Taste Awards are the next ones to worry about and I am crossing my fingers and toes for winners again this year. I have entered some unusual products this year, ones that I have been working on and I am rather delighted with, but the judges are a tough lot to please, so only time will tell.

I’ve been indulging in the delights of making hot chocolate this year and my sugar free entry is going into The Nourish Awards this year, so again I will be nervously pacing about as I await the results. You never can tell what judges are looking for and of course there is always an element of personal taste comes into it.

Apart from food awards I have plenty of other things to be getting on with, including finishing my book , ‘A Dark History of Tea’, my manuscript is starting to take shape, but my goodness, there is still so much to be done.  When it is complete I may never drink tea again, I am fast becoming rather tired of tea or at least typing the word, ‘tea’.

Well, the packing is not complete and the move is still ongoing, so it’s back to the bubblewrap and packing for me. Oh joy!