Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dance’

266a794097087e10a5718ab2d2a0d644
A little over a year ago I did a few of those things that I always put off.
I looked at my life and asked myself some of the tough questions.
And I checked my finances.
One of the questions I asked myself was, ‘what makes me happy..?’
And aside from the obvious, like family, friends, loved ones, dancing and health, I noticed that my list of ‘happy needs’ wasn’t actually very long.
  • Sunshine on my skin.
  • Splashing in the sea.
  • Sunsets.
  • Long walks.
  • Nature’s beauty.
I’m a simple soul it seems.
So I took a long hard look at my finances. At every direct debit, standing order, incidental, accidental and temperamental spending habit of mine.
And I systematically cancelled every non-essential item.
I got rid of the TV, and I cancelled the TV licence and Sky subscription. And not for one day since I did it have I missed having a TV.
We stopped using the central heating. Full stop. We have a log burner, and my man chops and brings home the wood, from trees that fell naturally over the years in the spinney near where he works. The long, beautiful evenings spent together on the rug in front of the fire might be one of the reasons we haven’t missed having a TV…
We stopped eating out as much. And instead enjoy fine dining, by candlelight in the privacy and comfort of our own home. We only buy what we are going to eat, fresh that day and if there is anything left over it is used the next day. We try to be very aware of what we waste. And I stopped eating meat.
The money saved from making these small changes has enabled us to make good on our New Year resolution – to take just a few days each month to seek out some sea, some sunshine and some sunsets.
We started the year in Whitby. For the first time in many years I took New Year’s Eve off of work and we spent it in a random pub taking part (badly) in a pub quiz and winning cheap tatt in a raffle!
On New Year’s day we plodged in Robin Hoods Bay – brrrrr! We got told off by the owner of a coffee shop for daring to sit outside while we waited for her to open. We explored Whitby, climbed lots of steps and were rewarded by being able to see a Christmas Tree exhibition and we stayed out on the harbour walls in the wind, until way after dark. We walked cobbled streets bathed in moonlight and we planned our next adventure.
And our quest to plodge in the sea somewhere at least once in every month continued.
In February we plodged in Worthing. And tied it in with a surprise lunch visit to see my foster-Granma on her 85th Birthday.
In March we tied our plodging in with a dance weekender on the east coast.
And in April we managed a very last minute plodge just before midnight on the eve of May in Bournemouth.
In May we did our first plodge on foreign shores. And began a bit of a love affair with the Algarve. June was a Big Birthday for my man. And so we ticked off something from his Bucket List by visiting the Devils Bridge waterfall in Aberystwyth, Welsh Wales. We plodged in a crystal clear mountain stream while we walked a fabulous route in and around the Parsons Bridge. I also remember fine champagne being involved, and the worst fish and chips I have ever had the misfortune to endure.
In June we also went back to Portugal and plodged in the sea at Porto. We spent some long, lazy days in a beach-side reggae bar, enjoying good music and lots of Sangria from the comfort of our beach bean bags.
July saw us back on home shores for our plodging. Hunstanton in July was very chilly!
In August I plodged in the beautiful clear waters of Ullswater in the Lake District and then through hideous sludge, silt and slime to get to Blakeney Point. Where we almost died. (Maybe a slight exaggeration for the getting stranded situation, but it most definitely was an adventure) It was under the big night sky at Blakeney that Dino saw his first shooting star.
September saw us back in Portugal for some Birthday plodging in Albufeira.
October was a mass plodge of dancers at 6am after a full night of dancing in Bournemouth.
In November we went slightly further afield to Lanzarote, where we enjoyed a very special few days with my Mummy Wendy. Sunsets, volcanoes, honey rum and mighty fine company were the highlights.
And in December we plodged in Swanage, on a moonlit beach on Christmas day. After exploring Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, Corfe Castle and Old Harry Rocks. We enjoyed champagne on the beach sold by a happy man in a pink blazer with a cowboy sidekick. And we very nearly had soap on toast for Christmas dinner.
Aside from plodging we had a whole host of other adventures. We went on squirrel safaris and deer stalking. We climbed mountains, peaks and hills.
We saw Stomp in London and my boy in Panto in Peterborough and Paul Weller in Leeds.
We got lost on more than one occasion and revelled in the adventure. We Tick Tock Unlocked and failed to unlock. We collected ‘firsts’ as trophies and treasured them all.
We saw a canal boat Christmas light parade, bought cheese from a cheese boat, drank Prosecco at will and champagne whenever the whim took us.
We visited Brownsea Island red squirrel hunting after sleeping in the car on the seafront and then walked the Devils Punchbowl.
We visited Ireland, the Lake District, the Peak District and Wales.
We slept in a fort in the middle of the Solent and hot-tubbed under the stars, sipping champagne on a cold December night.
We drove through many nights to catch early morning flights and dashed back from airports to make it back in time for dancing.
I have also been blessed with fabulous friends, who have been very up for adventure!  So I got to climb mountains, cross lakes, dip my toes in tarns in the Lake District with Tor, explore the Peak District with my Minion, explore Offa’s Dyke with Billy and Myra, climb Snowdon with my eldest daughter and the conquer The Old Man of Coniston for the second time with Niari – taking along our men for their first mountain walk.
Of course there was a lot of dancing involved in the year.
We spent precious time with friends and family.
We loved passionately, laughed heartily, cried occasionally, hugged long and strong and lived fully.
This was my 2015 in brief.
In 2016 the adventure continues…
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

vcm_s_kf_repr_398x598

Skin needs touch to be.
Fingers tracing down the spine,
Leaves a fire wake

As the kiss of sun
touches skin winter tired
Instantly revives

Warm hands dipped in oil
Kneading away knots, tension
Contentment descends

The sting of nettle
The discomfort and itch
Irritates yet wakes

A lovers caress
Tender, passionate, urgent
Arouses, ignites

Skin needs touch to be
Abundant, sensitive, real
Lavished and honest.

Read Full Post »

2015-01-02 13.16.39

I started the year scrambling over rocks, squelching in mud, plodging in the freezing sea and walking for days in the beautiful English countryside… Fur-lined, water proof boots and a gazillion layers of snuggly purpleness to keep me warm and dry.

A few weeks ago I climbed Snowdon with my daughter on the hottest day of the year so far.  My big, sensible purple walking boots were firmly attached to the back of my rucksack – and replaced with nice, comfortable flip flops!  Morton’s Neuroma makes it less and less easy to wear my boots, but they’re always there ready.

August is my adventure month!  My time.  A chance to get some serious walking miles under my boots.  A chance to connect, reflect, regenerate, recoup and renew.

But every day throughout the year I try to take a walk somewhere.  Just a few miles.  Just enough to remind me of what is important to me.  Fresh air, exercise, the sights, sounds and joys of nature around us and love, in all it’s guises.

But walking boots are not my only boots.

This weekend was a Blues BootCamp weekend.  A chance to swap the walking boots and flip flops for my dancing boots and shoes.  A whole weekend of teaching, encouraging and nurturing the love of Modern Blues dancing with a fabulous group of receptive and friendly dancers.

I love my boots.  ALL of my boots!

Read Full Post »

2014-04-17 10.45.31

Purple makes me happy.

It’s that simple.

People who understand these things in more scientific ways would say that purple physically uplifts us, calms our minds and nerves, offers us a sense of spirituality, and encourages our creativity.

And it certainly seems to have those kind of effects on me.  But in general terms, purple makes me happy.

It would seem that my little purple garden is kinda cool too…

According to experts –

Purple is considered a cool color in landscape design. Its appearance has a calming effect in a garden. Purple plants visually recede in a garden, helping to make a small space feel larger.

Gotta love the purple!

Read Full Post »

vcm_s_kf_repr_582x892

During our wanderings recently, two or three times we have come across some wild cherry trees.

As a lifelong member of the ‘Anti-fruit Brigade’ I have lived this long and managed to avoid all interactions with cherries.

Oh. My. Word.

Cherries!

Who knew!

Plucked straight from the tree – delicious!

It would seem that times they are a-changing…

DSC_2633

This is my lovely guy picking the best ones for me!

Read Full Post »

11793989_10206267747003970_695103110_o

It has become obvious to me, whilst trying to keep this blog up-to-date, that there is a very clear link between my happiness and my productivity.

The happier I am in my personal life, the more difficult it becomes for me to put virtual pen to virtual paper and be creative and productive.  And I actually don’t know how I feel about this.

I have quite a number of projects on the go – but none of them seem to be going anywhere fast.

And yet, I am seeing more, doing more, loving more, enjoying more and discovering more than I ever have.

I have more material at my disposal, but less drive to use it.

Dolly Parton said, ‘Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life’ and boy is she right.

But what happens if you get so busy enjoying life that you neglect to challenge yourself and allow your creativity to stagnate..?

I think in terms of my work/life balance – I am truly blessed.  I work in an environment of happiness and pleasure.  I am one of the lucky ones who gets to pursue my passion in my workplace and am a part of people’s social life and therefore, ‘happy place’.  I live to dance and teach dance to live.  What a delicious mutualism.

Now if I could just force myself to sit still long enough to create something worth reading..!!  This 365 day challenge is taking years to complete!

(Big thanks to Ian Petty Mayor for the picture)

Read Full Post »

 

‘There is a heel that is too high to walk in, certainly.  But who cares?  You don’t have to walk in high heels…’ ~Christian Louboutin

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »