Tag Archive | Reflecting on life

A Holiday In Scarborough And ‘Slowing Down’

Last week I spent four nights away with my family and it was a really welcome break, as I had been feeling really tired lately.

We went to Scarborough in Yorkshire and stayed in a Travelodge.  We booked the holiday last July and managed to pay just £153.20 for bed and breakfast for all four of us in a family room.  We like the Travelodge as we know exactly what we are staying in, as they are all vitually the same…the rooms are basic, but they are clean, warm and have an ensuite bathroom.  The breakfast is nice and filling too.

Our family room was a bit on the small side, but the view from the window definately made up for it.  It was lovely sitting watching the sea from the window:

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We expected the weather to be wet and windy at best (especially after all the storms we have had recently), or extremely cold, but it was really amazing.  When we arrived on Sunday it was sunny and it stayed dry the whole time.  In fact, most days we walked along the seafront eating ice creams!  Even my youngest daughter could join in this luxury as we actually found a shop that sold ‘lactose free’ ice cream which made my daughters holiday, as this is so unusual.

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We also expected most places to be shut in February, but everything was open and it was busy too.

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I really enjoyed this holiday with my family, even though we didn’t do an awful lot, it was wonderful to just spend time together.

We walked, talked, played bingo on the seafront and lost a few 2p’s in the arcades togther.  We visited the shops and my eldest daughter spent some of her birthday money and in the eveings we played board games.  To me it was sheer bliss.

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We took pasta salads to eat the day we arrived and then we used our Tesco vouchers to have a couple of free meals at ‘Ask’ and we also had fish and chips whilst sitting on the seafront.  We took crisps and drinks to have whilst we were in our room and out and about, so it really was a cheap holiday.

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When the sea went out it revealed some fantastic rock pools, so we spent quite a bit of time walking around these.

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All in all it was a fantastic holiday.  I know it wouldn’t be everyones ‘cup of tea’, but we had a lovely, relaxing time.

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The last of my stored apples

The last of my stored apples

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While I was there, it gave me lots of time to think about ‘this’ and ‘that’.  Recently, I have felt like I haven’t been able to see the wood for the trees and I have once again found myself rushing everything and generally feeling run down and tired.  I have also felt like I’ve not been achieving as much as I usually do.  So I decided to go back to basics and think about the things that are important to me.  Obviously my family are important as they mean the world to me, but other things that are important to me are:

My allotment and living simply.

Reducing mine and my families carbon footprint.

My blog and sharing recipes and gardening tips, in the hope it will help one or two people out there.

My music – I play the violin and last month I started piano lessons.

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Just by writing this down, it made me feel a bit better and more focused about what I want to acheive.

  I then went on to work out what ‘living simply’ means to me and what I needed to do to acheive it and I actually realised I was doing quite well, except for ‘slowing down and enjoying the moment’…and that’s when the penny finally dropped…I have once again gone back to multi-tasking and rushing.  I have been trying to do too many things in a day and I have stopped enjoying what I have been doing, as it now feels like a ‘chore’ instead of a pleasure.

So I realised things have got to change.

The first daffodil to show at my allotment

The first daffodil to show at my allotment

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Since coming home on Thursday I have made a real effort to slow down and enjoy each and every job I do.  I have spent time checking my stock of food and making sure I know exactly what is in my cupboards and freezers.  I have meal planned and batch baked, made our meals from scratch and washed and ironed our holiday clothes.  I have also spent time at my allotment.

Homemade Rolls

Homemade Rolls

Each job has been completed slowly and on it’s own, without multi-tasking.  Strangely, I actually feel like I have achieved quite a lot, even though I have slowed down, but more importantly, I have enjoyed each and every task.  I’m not sure if it’s because I have slowed down or if it’s because I have finally had the time to focus on my goals and what is important to me…but it doesn’t really matter why.

I once again feel like I have a spring in my step, looking forward to each new day.

Viburnum tinus, spotted laurel and vinca flowers from my garden

Viburnum tinus, spotted laurel and vinca flowers from my garden

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Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back at my usual time on Friday.

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Stop And Appreciate What You Have

I realised this week that I have been rushing around so much lately, that I have become very tired and I needed to re-charge my batteries.   With this in mind I decided to take a day off from the allotment.

My sping cabbages.

My sping cabbages.

As you have probably guessed by now, I’m not very good at sitting still and resting.  In fact I only managed to sit down for about five minutes, before I stood up to do something.

I sorted my three freezers out and made a list of what was in them.  I then made nine pots of jam with strawberries that I had grown last year and froze.  I changed the beds and afterwards I made some dairyfree ice cream for my youngest daughter (you can find the recipe here).

I did these things slowly as I didn’t need to rush, after all I hadn’t planned to do them today.  Strangely, this made me feel better, as none of the things felt like a chore, though recently they had.

It made me realise that I have somehow got into this routine of rushing everything, without stopping to take stock of what I need to do, or why I even do it.  I wondered why this had happened.

My homemade strawberry jam

My homemade strawberry jam

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will remember that one of my oldest friends passed away in February.  I wrote a tribute to her here.  Since then, I have been trying to get on with things as the British do, ‘with a stiff upper lip’.  What I realised today, is what I have actually been doing, is to do as many things as possible so I don’t have time to think about what has happened.

While I was slowly doing my jobs today my friend kept popping into my mind, probably because I finally let myself think of her and how much it hurts that I can’t see her again.

I have lovely happy memories of our times together, so why on earth would I want to lock these memories away so I can’t remember them?…I’ll make sure I don’t again.  I suppose this is part of the grieving process.

A robin that visits me daily at my allotment.

A robin that visits me daily at my allotment.

So today I have learnt that sometimes you need to stop and become aware of what is happening in your life and within you.  I concentrated on ‘just today’ and how I was feeling and now I feel better for it.

It has reminded me that I love the way we live and I feel so blessed to spend my days growing salads, fruit and vegetables and looking after my family.

Over the years money has been tight, as we chose for me to give up work, when our first daughter was born.  Looking back, I am very proud of how we managed. We have two beautiful daughters and a nice home. It doesn’t have posh furniture or the latest gadgets, but it is a ‘home’, where we have shared so many happy memories together.

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I wonder how many of you reading this blog today, have found yourself rushing around so much that you can’t see the wood for the trees?  Life is so short and it’s important that we stop and appreciate what we have.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I’ll be back on Monday.