Wordless Wednesday -living wall at Manchester University 

11 April 2018 – living wall at Schuster Building (Physics), Manchester University

I hope we see more of these around the campus and the city 

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April #BlurtSelfCareathon from Blurt Foundation – Join in?

Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.
– Deborah Day, Author Be Happy Now

I’m really looking forward to joining with The Blurt Foundation #blurtselfcareathon in April. I really enjoyed doing #blurtmerrycalmness it’s helped my #mindfulness practice, helped my #wellbeing and finding words and photos to represent each word.

It will mostly run on Instagram, but I thought I’d do some over view posts here too.

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I’ve got lots of ideas of what pictures to take and what I want to write about to fit with the daily theme. I find that having a concept to think about each day, makes me think more mindfully. I do know that taking photos, being outside and being in the moment helps me enormously with my anxiety and living with chronic pain from arthritis

Background

I’ve done a couple of these photo prompts before:

  • December 2017 – #blurtmerrycalmness
  • January 2018 – #savouringJanuary – @gabrielletreanor – Gabrielle writes about wellbeing, slowing down and self care, being in the moment, mindfulness advice for overthinkers (like me).   I really enjoyed this photo prompt too but I’ll write about this another time.

Want to get involved with #blurtselfcareathon?

I’ve been discussing the #blurtselfcareathon on a peer support group on Facebook and some people were a bit stuck about what photos to take and what to write about.
So I thought I’d write a post showing some of my photos for the December prompts.  I hope you find it helpful.

My advice

  1. You don’t need to post every day – there’s no pressure with this.
  2. If you want to keep things more private there are closed facebook pages – or just email yourself
  3. It’s your selfcare – do it your way 🙂
  4. It’s can be a good idea to look back to see what you wrote – and see how far you’ve come.
  5. in some ways these photos prompts are a bit like a diary/journal
  6. For me taking photos are part of my self care but they don’t need to look ‘instagramable’ or ‘touched up’.  It really doesn’t matter what photo you use to represent your ideas.
  7. have fun with it 🙂
  8. go at your pace – catch up or skip days if you want to.
  9. Have a look around the hashtag

Here’s the prompts for December 2017 – #blurtmerrycalmness  Continue reading

In a Vase on Monday – Bee Kind this Spring

‘Be happy for this moment, This moment is your life’. Omar Khayyam (1048-1132) Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been concentrating even more on my mindfulness practise – and being more in the moment. But, it feels a bit like groundhog day at the moment, Winter (and snow) re-appearing and Spring receding into the distance again (much like it was at the beginning of March). Once again it was a very cold weekend, with snow forcast, so I thought about what I might find the garden; most of the plants are looking a bit sorry for themselves (especially the Camellias) but plenty of bulbs coming up.

27 March 2018 – Hellebore, tête-à-tête daffodils (with ice) photographed on 18 March 2018

On Sunday 18th March, there was about 3inches of snow in our garden, the sky was blue, but it was very cold. It certainly concentrates your mind when you have to bundle up in your thickest coat, scarf, hat and gloves (and walking boots), just to explore what flowers are out in the garden. So I dashed out, and I found more than I was expecting. It made up for the pain from my arthritis, which doesn’t like the cold at all. I’ve struggled with the cold, with pain, which makes me tired all the time. That’s probably why it took over a week to write this blog – oh well I’ll try to be quicker next time.

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In a Vase on Monday -A Cold, Snowy, Salford Spring?

‘No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn’ Hal Borland (1900-1978) American author and naturalist

No one in Britain can have missed the weather the last few weeks, #thebeastfromtheEast, #StormEmma and more snow due this weekend. I hope you don’t mind, but some of this post was written a couple of weeks ago, and the rest today, as another wintery weekend looms. Also I’ve been a bit stuck, very tired and osteo-arthritis aching but I’ve been plodding along. I feel a bit like Spring, stuck around the corner, nearly in reach but not quite. I saw something on twitter today, which made me laugh:

Winter this year, is like a person who leaves the room in a huff, only to come back in ‘and another thing…’ only to leave again… and return…

#theBeastfromthe East brought about 4 inches of snow to Monton, it’s very unusual to have this much, usually it’s about two inches, as it’s very flat around here with many canals. It was THAT cold and icy our local Parkrun (Worsley woods) was cancelled… this never happens as its under trees and very protected compared to most Parkruns. Fortunately my Chap was OK about this, as the air was far too cold for running – you wouldn’t think to look at him that he has asthma 🙂

The wind chill dipped to minus 12 during the night, and minus 8 during the day. I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold in the middle of the city. I’m very used to cold, when I’m up a mountain and layered up. It reminded me of the very cold day in January 2015, when we went to Neuschwanstein, in Bavaria with my Brother and his family, who were visiting from Australia – happy memories 🙂

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A very cold, snowy day in Monton on 4th March 2018
It wasn’t lost on me that 1st March was the start of the meteorological Spring – so I layered up with my thickest, longest waterproof, gloves, hat, scarf and boots and ventured into the garden to see what flowers I could find. I was surprised to find some tête-à-têtes, and some purple perennial wallflower so I quickly picked the flowers, and put them in a vase with some lavender. The vase has appeared in ‘In a Vase on Monday’ many times, I wrapped ‘bee happy’ washi tape around it. The print is part of a series – the Winter print with descriptions of moons has appeared too (Worm Moon, Pink Moon and Flower Moon) at the start of metreological Winter. Butterflies and bees seem a long way off at the moment, but like most things, they’ll be back.

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In a Vase on Monday – love and marriage #teamRebecca

‘You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones’. Robert Jordan (1948-2007) author of  The Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels 

Spring is definitely on its way here in Manchester – I LOVE Spring, it lifts my soul. But,as usual the weather is due to change again, so I’m making the most of the sunshine.

The snowdrops have been flowering for a couple of weeks, dwarf irises, crocuses too. I picked some along with some lavender leaves and flower spikes from last year. The vase is purple recycled glass I bought at the Eden Centre, in Cornwall. It’s appeared many times ‘In a Vase on Monday’.

Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden www.ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/ where bloggers from around the world present their flowers; there’s such amazing diversity and skill. Many thanks to Cathy who hosts IAVOM – she has some stunning iris this week.

20 February 2018 – iris, crocus, snowdrops, lavender in purple glass vase

With my vase I’ve included a print which says some very important words in French, Spanish, Italian German and English 🙂  The Little jar is a wedding favour with a chocolate mousse/pudding. It was luscious. My Chap laughed when I said ‘Oh look another Vase for Monday flowers’ 😉

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20 February 2018 – my vase, sign ‘I love you’ and chocolate mousse jar

It’s been a week full of love for us: it was Valentine’s Day, we always have a relaxed meal at home, unless we’re at a gig 🙂 As ever, My Chap bought me flowers, he does this regularly. I think he likes bouquets nearly as much as I do, but then he does work in the florist industry.

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Adventures around Manchester and beyond…

A very special wedding – My Chap’s nephew Darren and his fiancee Rebecca who awesome people and devoted parents to baby E 🙂 . E enjoyed their day v v much  and she had a wand! how excellent is that?  Darren and Rebecca  got married in a beautiful Georgian Hall, with many snowdrops in the grounds. There was what alot of laughs and fun, there was live music and we danced all night.  Their wedding cake was truely amazing and tasted awesome – a chocolate cake with hidden depths 🙂

There was so much love that day, and every day in their relationship, it’s wonderful to see.

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20 February 2018 – wedding flowers , wands and my wedding shoes 🙂

I wore my sparkly purple floral wedding shoes too 🙂 and Rebecca had beautiful wedding flowers #teamRebecca.  I’m not putting any other pictures at the moment as they’ve not uploaded many – but their wedding cake was utterly awesome.

Food as an expression of love – We’ve had lovely food this week too – pancakes with blueberry sauce on Shrove Tuesday, made by My Chap. I’ve got no idea how he made the sauce but it was lovely.  We a sumptuous Chinese dinner to celebrate the ‘Year of the Dog’ but no photos as we ate it so quickly. My Chap would still love to have a dog but we will have to wait until we are retired…. fingers crossed a cat may be joining us later in the year.

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Here are some crocuses and pansys from our front garden – many more are on their way.

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20 February 2018 -crocuses, primulas and pansies in our front garden

I’m continuing with mindfulness, #savouringHappiness on instragram @becmonton56. Walking for at least an hour each day, weekly yoga too (not quite managing to step it up to daily yoga practise). I’m still very tired, my arthritis aching, but I’m better than I was. And Spring is around the corner…. 🙂

What do you have planned to #savourhappiness this week?

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Love Bec xx xx xx

In a Vase on Monday – love and marriage #teamRebecca

It’s been a week full of love for us, Valentine’s Day we’ve been to a very special wedding too – My Chap’s nephew 🙂 and his fiancee Rebecca.

Lovely food too – pancakes with blueberry sauce on Shrove Tuesday, made by My Chap, and a sumptuous Chinese dinner to celebrate the ‘Year of the Dog’