We have waved goodbye to 2018 and stepped across the threshold into a brand new shiny year. Welcome 2019. New Year is usually a time for reflection on the past year and looking ahead (as the name January, derived from Janus the two faced God suggests), setting out where we’d like to be at the end of another 365 days. To be honest, I’m still trying to work out what 2019 should and will mean for me. But I know that my starting point is to focus on my comfort zone.
Or more accurately escaping my comfort zone, that sweet sticky trap in which we …
He is nothing if not stoic, brooding on his watch tower like a mottled tawny and brown drowned rat, tail feathers scraggly forlorn and drooping down, raindrops dripping off the ends. His head turns and he looks straight down at me before swooping off silently over the fields beyond the road side hedgerow. This is how December has greeted us too; swooping and silent. And somewhat schizophrenically with dismal mornings of endless rain giving way to glorious afternoons of blue skies and long shadows and back to evenings of gales and streams of rain. I yearn for a properly cold spell.
It seems, either intentionally or unintentionally that I have been running for pretty much my whole life (and I don’t mean metaphorically, I mean literally).
In my young teens I ran because we had to (think enforced cross country and athletics). In my late teens and early 20s I ran because I was at uni and felt that I should burn off some of the beer consumption. In my middle to late 20s I ran to counter the effects of sitting at a desk all day and also to keep in shape. It also helped during a difficult period of uncertainty. This was the first …
When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not a thank you or a birthday/christmas card, but a letter just for its own sake, to write to a friend you haven’t seen for a while for instance? Or to a pen pal, if such a thing still exists?
My friends and I used to write letters over the holidays, at the weekend, in-between classes when we hadn’t seen each other for a few minutes. They were full of pictures and cartoons, our secret code words, …
I love baking. It is relaxing and therapeutic with the weighing and measuring, the stirring and whisking, the magical alchemy of bringing together disparate ingredients into something utterly delicious. It is mindfulness and mindlessness at the same time, with a treat at the end of it all (except the washing up). Out of all the things I like to bake, cake is the number one favourite. Not just any cake, but milk chocolate cake from the superbly retro Be-Ro recipe book.
The Be-Ro recipe book was my baking bible as a child. My mum has two ancient editions, one of which has fallen apart from …