Tag Archives: photo

Waiting for the green man

31 Aug

I was rushing into town today.  I’d had 4 hours sleep after nightshift, needed to get to optician and then on to another appointment and was running out of time.  The pedestrian crossing was red but the road was clear, however, a small girl across the other side had just been told by her mum to stand back from the kerb and wait for the little green man.  I couldn’t run across and set a bad example.  So I waited.  And took time to breathe deeply, to unhunch my shoulders and to feel the sun on my face.  It felt good.  I started to remember what it was like as a child.

When a summer’s day where you could splash in the paddling pool; or chase dandelion fairies; or just spin round and round with the warmth on your face was the best day ever.

Until Autumn, when you could kick through the leaves and throw them over your head, with crinkly colours landing on your smile; gather conkers and get excited for the fireworks that would be coming soon.  THAT was the best day ever.

Then the snow of winter:  snowmen; wooly gloves laden with snow-ice that you just licked off like a hairy ice lolly; hot chocolate and marshmallows to defrost you at the end of the day.  That HAS to be best day EVER.

When change was scary but so exciting.  The first day of new school.  What would your teacher be like?  The other pupils?  Would there be someone new?  Were you going to be the new person?  (I moved around a lot as a child and went to a lot of schools, I know that ‘new girl, first day’ feeling well.  PS – I was an army kid, we weren’t on the run nor  was I just being expelled each time!)

But while nerves were tingling, you couldn’t wait to get in there and meet the challenge head on, because you didn’t know that being nervous was a reason not to do something.

When, if you fell over you just got back up and rushed back to try again.  Falling over wasn’t a reason to miss out on the excitement of life – your friends would still be playing, you needed to be there in the thick of it.  Sitting, fidgeting as your mum stuck on a plaster, because you were impatient to get back out there and climb that tree again until you DID reach the high branch and didn’t fall out; to make it all the way down the hill in the go-kart made from a toy pram.  Even though 17 times already it had tipped you out and cut your lip open.

A time when every day held the possibility of being the Best Day Ever.

When falling down was never a reason to stop.

When nerves were never a reason not to try.

When fear of change was never a reason to hold on to the past.

So maybe we need that pause at the red light and remember what it was like to be a kid, so that when the green man appears we bound ahead with the enthusiasm and optimism we used to have.



floating on the breeze

7 Aug

I meant to write this update last week, but time got away with me.  Now I’m glad I waited, as it would have been easy to write it last week as last week was a really good week.   Its easier to write positive when you’re feeling good.   I’d had a few days off work, I’d got some revision done, I’d had some really good advice (more in a moment on that) and I had a great evening out for a friend’s leaving do.

Then the weekend happened.  The weekend was fairly crap.  Actually, the weekend was really crap.   Surely though, that’s the reality check to see if the advice really is sinking in or whether I’m just paying lip service?

“have you ever tried really hard for something only to lose it through no fault of your own?  Like a situation totally beyond your control….. So you know no-one can be certain of a future.  You’re not cursed or evil or punished.   You’re just floating along on the breeze.  Without a clue what’s coming.”

When you’re a wee bit of a control freak like me, that’s a difficult thing to hear.  But when I started to really think about it and really work out all the major things that have happened in my life that just came out of nowhere, that I had little or no control over, I realised how true it really was.  And how liberating that felt.  I suppose its just a fancier way of saying ‘I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it’, but it somehow made more sense when it was put in terms of floating along on the breeze, likely to be lifted or dropped depending on the thermals, twisting and turning but still moving.

So when the crap started, yes, I had a mope.  Yes, I had a bit of a rant.  But then I really thought about it:   what could I actually change?  What could I do to make the best of what had happened?   I could decide not to put myself in a position where there could be a repeat of what had happened.  I could decide to focus on good things instead.  I could decide that rather than hide in my cave (as I would in the past) when a friend offered to come round, I could accept.  I had my rant, then we chatted and laughed about other stuff (ok, mainly puppy stuff!).   A fairly major difference that shows to me how far I’ve moved forward:   I went food shopping.  Nothing major there, except – I stuck to my healthy eating shopping list. I ate healthily all weekend.  I didn’t swamp my feelings in a whole loaf turned into toast and jam or eat enough Haribo to turn me into a jelly (belly) teddy.   That might not sound much, but for someone who eats when happy and eats more when upset, it was a big step forward.  I also didn’t dwell.  I picked myself back up, went into work on Monday and just, well, just got on with things.  The breeze had taken me along a different turn, may as well make the most of it.

Floating along on the breeze doesn’t mean that I’m abdicating my sense of responsibility or ambition, or that I’m just leaving everything to fate.  It means I won’t be focussing on the outcome, instead I’ll be putting in the things I need to do each day, be it eating healthily, be it getting another few chapters of revision done, be it sticking a smile on my face and two fingers up at those that try to bring me down.   I’ll put as much into each day as I can so that when opportunity does knock, I’m ready to sling my jacket on, grab my purse and rush off with opportunity wherever it may take me.


A vote

8 Jan

I may need some audience participation as there are two up there sparring with each other for the right to be today’s happy.  So I’ll just give the outline.  After a day that started with wholemeal toast and banana, with two walks during the day (one with dog, one with friend) the week of surviving on carbs and fat seemed to be passing – I blame my being unwell:  “feed a cold, stuff a fever” isn’t that what they say?  And so, to the choices for happy:

healthy but delicious

The delicious yet healthy meal:

giant mushrooms in a tower with roasted beetroot and melted goats cheese

salad stuffed full of watercress

with pumpkin and sunflower seeds for extra vitality

sweet potato for good gi carbs

a drizzle of lemon flavoured olive oil on the salad

multi-coloured veggies in the salad for a range of vitamins and goodness

good fats in the olive oil

a cornucopia of flavours

Hotel Chocolat Chilli Penguins

Its chocolate

In the shape of penguins

with a hint of chilli

did I mention they are penguins?

PDR Time

6 Jan

Wine:  Come in, Sharon, and sit down

Me:  Thank you, may I say that you look particularly attractive this evening

Wine:  Flattery will not win you my attentions

Me:  You smell good too

Wine:  Lets move on, shall we.  So – lets look back over the last week and assess whether your bonus is due.  We shall consider the areas of resilience, personal responsibility, communication and decision making .  To begin, give me an example of when this week you have shown resilience.

Me:  err, well I have felt particularly unwell this week and whilst I did have to take one day off work to wallow on the sofa in a ball of snot, tissues and lemons, I did manage to get into work the next day.  More importantly, I pulled myself together, girded my loins – or at least GHD’d my hair and put on some slap – to go meet up with an old friend in the pub for a lovely catch up.

Wine:  that is excellent.  It is that sort of dedication to pub attendance, socialising and lipstick that we like in our line of business.  Now, what about personal responsibility.

Me:  hmm, this was potentially a difficult week for me.  Start of new year when everything is so different from how it was this time last year, I could have been tempted to call on your colleagues and just slump under the duvet and refuse to come out.  I couldn’t even run the crazy away (I refer you back to my being unwell).  Instead, I contacted some people and have started to deal with things more robustly.  I now choose to move forward.

Wine:  I am most impressed, though my colleagues were slightly disappointed to be ignored, particularly my Russian acquaintances  Absolut and Snow Leopard.

Me:  Oh I meant them no disrespect and I will surely avail of their services in the future, the near future.

Wine:  I am pleased to hear that, now – communication.  How have you performed in that area this week.

Me:  I was hindered in the later stages by a voice that sounds like Mariella Frostrup, if Mariella Frostrup gargled with gravel and then washed it down with JD and 30 Capstan.  However, I spent a week of meeting up with various friends and spending many happy hours chatting and planning and giggling and generally whiling away the time in pleasant conversation.

Wine:  It is looking very like you will be justly rewarded for such efforts you have put in this week.  But the most difficult part of the interview – decision making.

Me:  Oh that’s easy, I had a choice of around 18 bottles of red, plus white in the shed or Snow Leopard pleading to be mixed with diet pepsi, but I assessed my options in a dynamic fashion and plumped for a South African Pinotage… which brings me back to, you do  look particularly attractive this evening…

Wine:  Well Ms Falconer, I am pleased to tell you that your account of your activities has been most acceptable, you have retained a strong commitment to your ‘happy’ and have engaged well with others to assist that.  You have earned your bonus and now I sacrifice myself to you.

Me:   mmmmmmmmmm

An inquisitive and fruity South African

A roaring fire …

4 Jan

Had to cheat a bit with today’s photo as it was tipping down with rain, also opportunity to take photo was bit limited, so I’ve blagged this from the website (normal service should resume tomorrow).  Today’s happy came from sitting on squishy sofas in a great pub, in front of a roaring fire (real, not gas assisted), catching up with a friend I haven’t seen for several years.  Sometimes dwelling on the past can be a bad thing and need to remember to move forward.  Other times, chatting about old acquaintances and catching up on what the years have brought is exactly what is needed.

A query though – I really can’t be old enough to have reached a stage in my career where people I knew as probationers are now Chief Inspectors and where the children of friends who were still at the santa and tooth fairy stage are now at university?  clearly there was some weird time warp where everyone else I know got older and I just stayed in suspended animation ready to be regenerated (have I just imagined myself as Dr Who?)?   That is the only explanation, isn’t it?

Saw a great saying the other day “You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present” – which I do agree with, but sometimes its nice to give your past a hug.

Warning: may contains roaring fire, comfy sofas and chat


3 Jan

Tuhday’s happy idn’t so mutdch a ‘happy’ as a, shorry, ‘scuse me ……. cough, cough, sneeerrrrt, bruuummpph …. that’s better

Today’s happy isn’t so much a ‘happy’ as a ‘thank you for seeing me through and for that I am grateful’.  Woke up with very sore and swollen throat, which is appalling timing as have places to be and people to see tomorrow so CANNOT be ill.  I’ve been wrapped up on the sofa all day with furry throw and constant supply of hot drinks and soluble aspirin.  I will be well, because meeting up with an old friend I’ve not seen in years will not be done with snot streaming down my face and me coughing phleghm balls up.  I was aiming for glowing with the aid of Estee Lauder glimmer powder, not from a raging fever!

Wish me luck,  now, I’m off for another hot lemon and maybe some icecream (its medicine to soothe the throat, its not like I actually WANT to eat it).

must. get. better

A run in the sunshine

2 Jan

Unfortunately, not me running – a sore, swollen throat that came on this afternoon meant I had to put my run on hold.  The runner here was Ed.  The initial part of a walk with Ed is a great way to work on the bingo wings, as he still hasn’t got to grips with walking to heal.  In addition to pulling, he’s really taken against the halti, so adds in an odd ‘walk on three legs whilst the other leg rubs at my nose to try and get halti off’ dimension to the struggle.

The ‘happy’ came watching Ed belt around the riverside garden like an absolute loon, interspersed with him trying to decide if he was brave enough to take on swans (he wasn’t).  Since his accidental dipping while he was still a puppy – when the concept of water not being solid wasn’t something he knew about – he hasn’t gone fully in.  Instead he’ll get his front feet in and a bit of  ‘speed walking’ across the muddy reeds.  I don’t think we’re far away from a swim yet, so may need to invest in thigh high waders in case he decides the fields on the other side are a bigger lure than the bondage of his halti.  (to anyone who is here after googling  ‘thigh high’ and ‘bondage’  – my apologies that this may not bring the dogs you were expecting.)

Even Ed hitting me at full pelt and trying to take my achilles out couldn’t wipe the smile from my face as I watched him leaping all four feet in the air and bounding around like a hairy hare!  Is this what people feel like when they’re watching their kids take their first kicks of a football and playing in the park?  though hopefully most parents wouldn’t have the urge, as I did, to give a little bit of a push when Ed was trying to pull the giant stick out of the water … purely in the interests of a more humorous photo, its all about the art!   However, I can still add the ‘no animals were harmed in the making of this blog’ as I did hold back from the urge (for now, Ed, for now – mwhah hah hah hah ha!)

dog on the run

a little push and this would have been a great photo

contemplating the swans