Sunday, 12 January 2014

On your bike!

The United Kingdom has been battered and blown about by gales and flooding for weeks now. As a Brit you get used to the damp and dreary weather, but every now and again the wet weather takes a day off and lets the sunshine have a turn. Saturday was absolutely glorious. Beautiful Winter sunshine, bright blue skies...a perfect day to take our daughter's new bike for a spin on the prom.

She proudly calls it her 'big girl bike', it's an upgrade on the trike she's been pootling around on for about two years. It's got stabilisers (thank goodness) and brakes she can't quite master, which makes for concerned looks from other prom-walkers...but so far we haven't collided with anyone or anything. She has to wear a helmet for the first time, one with Mickey Mouse ears to be precise.

I know the photos look sunny, but believe me it was freezing, so we had a pit stop outside the cafe on the seafront. Hot chocolates all round, we needed the calories!

Despite my daughter's cavalier attitude to braking, we had such a fab time. Once she mastered the steering and strength needed to make a bigger bike move forward, she was off like a rocket!

And, for the first time in ages, we all got some serious exercise. Walking with a toddler or pre-schooler can be a slow process, not just because their legs are little, but because the world is such a fascinating place we have to stop to look at everything, question why this that or the other does X, Y or Z and generally take in life at a (sometimes) slower pace. I like to walk fast, when my daughter was in her pram and then her pushchair, I power-walked everywhere. I didn't have a car, it was better (and cheaper) than gym membership and it was quite possibly the fittest I've been in my life. But once my daughter got too big for her pushchair, we've walked everywhere at her pace. Which is lovely in one way, to slow down to little-legs-speed, but it's not been great for my fitness levels!

So it was such a joy to put her on two wheels and chase about after her on the seafront. It opens up a whole new world to us as a family. We can go further with her on two wheels. Once she is confident and we don't have to walk along beside her making sure she doesn't flatten anyone, we can get on our bikes too. And then we're really off!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Happy New Year? Not sure about that one...

Another year rolls around again...I'm staring at the start of 2014 and I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. 2013 was an eventful and at times very sad year for me and I'm still feeling the repercussions of events that took place. I also think this mid-winter time of year can make many people feel low. There's the lull after Christmas when all the decorations have gone and the bank account looks a bit bare. I'm not one to let myself get too down, but at the at the start of 2014, I do feel incredibly flat and unmotivated. It's really not like me, I like to press on with things and aim for goals. My crafting mojo seems to have deserted me at the moment and I'm really looking for something new to inspire and invigorate me.

I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, and despite feeling a bit glum, I do have some ideas for 2014...

* I've got a new found love of yoga and I like to follow my DVD once or twice a week. As a busy parent, I find just taking some time out for myself has a huge impact on my wellbeing. Plus I feel stretched, refreshed and relaxed after completing a session of yoga.

* I'm also toying with the idea of meditation. I know very little about it, but I've been reading a lot about "mindfulness" recently and I think meditation could help me with that. I'm often my own worst enemy, too hard on myself, too quick to criticse what I'm doing. Sometimes I just want the internal monologue to shut the heck up! So, meditation and lots of walks outdoors are on the list for 2014.

* I'm also really keen to keep up with my writing. I'm considering writing more parenting-based blog posts and may even start a new blog so that I can keep my crafting and parenting ideas separate. I feel the need to vent some stuff and I need a space separate from "Pouch" to achieve that.

* I've signed up for an online course in creative writing and I haven't had the time to embark on the course yet. 2014 is the year I *make* time to look at it! If writing is a dream of mine, then I'm the only one who can make it a reality. I need to stop procrastinating and get on with it.

* On the crafting front, I'm considering launching a range of personalised cushions. I've made hand embroidered wedding and children's birthday cushions for friends...but I'm not sure I want to leap into selling them. Making them has been a labour of love and something I've enjoyed making just 'for the fun of it'. I've been contacted by a wedding website about selling my cushions, so I know there's a market for it. But I feel like I need a break from sewing at the moment, like I say, my crafting mojo has done a runner at this present time, but we'll see...

* 2014 brings the year my daughter starts school. In nine months she will be in full-time education. I can't say that the thought of it doesn't break my heart, because it does. We've had such a blast over past few years and I'm going to miss her terribly in the daytime. But children grow up and it's the next phase of her life. And the next phase of mine and I need to find a focus for my time. So I'm going to be dusting off my CV, signing up for more voluntary work and maybe even embarking on some training.

So, onwards and upwards into the New Year!


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