Monthly Archives: January 2018

Wordless Wednesday – wear the shoes – life isn’t a dress rehearsal 

Pink mid heel sparkly floral shoes

17 January 2018 – wear the razzle dazzles – be irregular

Wear the shoes – life isn’t a dress rehearsal. I last wore these in Barcelona on our honeymoon – my younger niece loved them.  Don’t worry I’ve been wearing other irregular shoes just not these.

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In a Vase on Monday: Violet (not Blue) Monday in Manchester 

‘Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk https://www.samaritans.org/missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary’ Professor Brene Brown, University of Houston – a social work academic with expertise in courage, vulnerability and empathy.

It’s not #BlueMonday in Manchester, or anywhere else, today; it was made up to sell holidays and products. It did reminded me of Blue Monday by New Order, one of my favourite Manchester bands. Happy memories of gigs over the years too. But all the emphasis about negativity with ‘Blue Monday’ certainly doesn’t help people, so I liked the idea of #brewmonday promoted by the Samaritans (www.samaritans.org/)- have a brew with friends and talk.

It has been raining heavily most of the day, but the clouds cleared briefly, so I dashed round the garden looking for flowers, the hellebores are showing no signs of flowering, there were just a few shaggy flowers on the perennial purple wallflower. There was just a solitary viola tucked away – I decided to pair it with an small bottle which contained Manchester Gin, the flower still has raindrops on it. The quote jumped out at me too – sums up my thinking on looking for the positive in small moments. I try to look for the positive, in the small things in life, as well as the big things.

I’ve had violas appear many times in my Vases on a Monday, we had violas at our wedding too. Oh and by the way, my favourite Manchester-made Gin is Manchester Raspberry – lovely especially with fresh raspberries obviously :-).

Do have a look at Rambling in the Garden where Cathy hosts In A Vase on a Monday – where gardening bloggers from around the world add links to their vases. Always beautiful, interesting or unusual – including plenty of southern hemisphere bloggers who brighten my days in the depths of Winter here.

Adventures around Manchester this week

We had are first meeting of the year at Cottonopolis WI (Ancoats, Manchester) I paid my subs, voted on the resolution shortlist, and heard about the activities for the year. It was lovely to see everyone and catch up on news. I didn’t finish my piece of bunting but nearly there – I’m very slow at sewing. I’m looking forward to more adventures #IamWI #InspiringWomen.

Join us for a brew and cake if you’re local. We’re going to meet on first Tuesday evening of the month – so it will be #brewtuesday not #brewmonday, but you get the idea. I

I’m continuing with #selfcare, daily mindfulness, and yoga classes twice a week. I’m reading more about selfcare too. We’ve been walking every day despite the weather.

Instagram #savouringJanuary2018

DAY 14: JOY. There’s joy in the ordinary days (#onehouroutside a walk around our neighbourhood) and the unique days (our wedding day last year). But as Brene mentions, don’t just chase the extraordinary….

15 January 2018 – Our shoes from our wedding day and on our walk around Monton

DAY 15: BEAUTY I chose the photos below, revelling in the beauty of flowers in small places and vast. I need time outdoors, in the garden, in the woods, in the wild countryside and by the sea. I’ve said this many times in this blog – it’s vital to my selfcare and my routine.

We visit Bodnant often; we got engaged there in June 2016 in the Rose Garden. Bodnant is owned by the National Trust. It is near Conwy, in North Wales. It’s a stunning garden anytime of year, with views over Snowdonia.

15 January 2018 – Bodnant Gardens, Colwyn Bay – beauty of flowers in small and grand places

I’m enjoying following #savouringJanuary2018 as it’s reminding me of what matters to me, goals and time to reflect. I’m still working on my CompassYear goals – small steps.

It’s not too late to get involved in the photo prompts with Gabrielle Treanor on Instagram (@gabrielletreanor).

See what I pick next… For Day 16: OLD…..

Follow me on Twitter: @becinmonton Instagram: @becinmonton

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Monday 15th January is however, Martin Luther King Day, in the USA (his birthday), so I’ll leave you with an MLK quote which resonates with me…

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do keep moving forward’ Martin Luther King (1929-1968)

We all need to continue with Martin Luther King’s work…

Keep going, keep moving, keep growing,

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What are you planning this week?

The weather is looking horrible here in the North West so I don’t think there will be much gardening – but I’ll be crafting.

Carpe Diem,

Love Bec xx xx xx

In A Vase on Monday – old rose, new year plans…CompassYear

‘Nevertheless, She persisted’ American Feminist expression (2017– )

I’ve been thinking this week about this tenacious rose flowering outside our front door – watching its progress – it’s been this soft peachy/yellow from bud.  This is the fourth set of flowers the rose has produced; it flowered in November too. The colour of the rose has changed though, the buds are  usually a bright orange that fades to red and yellow.  I know more expert gardeners than me will know why the colour is so different,  for a start it was only pruned in the Spring last year. Life over took us in 2018, so our garden was rather neglected. With the rose are some rosehips and a purple recycled glass bud vase, which I bought in the Eden Project. The vase appeared a few times for ‘In a Vase on Monday’ but the rose has only appeared once before:

I’ve made a note to cut more flowers from the rose this year 🙂

8 January 2018 – Rose with rosehips in a Purple glass bud glass – and CompassYear 2017-2018

This rose was one of the few plants in my front garden when I moved in eight years ago, it was in a right state. My Chap does the pruning and has certainly revived the rose. I hope flowering in a cold snap, won’t have too much impact on the rose flowering in 2018.

Do check out Cathy’s blog at Rambling in the Garden for more ‘In a Vase on Monday’ arrangements from around the world – some using vases and some not. There’s always something beautiful to lift your spirits.

8 January 2018 – Rose (January 2018) and Bud and Rose (June 2016)

YearCompass – www.yearcompass.com

It’s the time of year for resolutions; I’ve mention before I don’t really do resolutions, I prefer to think of intentions rather that ‘give something up’ or ‘start something’, it just leads to failure and disappointment usually by the second week of January.  I try to avoid all the ‘new year, new me’ in the media. However I try daily changes, being mindful, trying and trying to avoid self sabotage – keep going…

But given what a momentous year 2017 was in both good and bad ways, I decided I needed to find something to help me close off 2017, and help me think though my dreams and aspirations for 2018.  I found an excellent short document made by the volunteers of YearCompass and Invisible University International in Hungary.    The project began in 2012, is based on psychological theories, has a booklet helping people close their year and plan their next year.  The booklet has been downloaded over 400,000 and translated into 22 languages.

The booklet is 20 pages and you need a couple of hours to complete for 2017 and about 4 hours for 2018.

2017the past year

  • Looking through the year focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, Fitness, etc.
  • Looking at decisions, support, gratitude, resilience, challenges and accomplishments.

2018 – next year 

  • What I want to achieve focusing on family life, work, home, friends, community, fitness, etc.
  • Questions like:  Visit three places, three things to do every morning, three things to discover… And many other questions.
  • Pick a word for the year ahead.
  • And you sign ‘I believe anything is possible this year’.

It was very illuminating – and thought provoking, and threw up a few topics I’d not really considered.

Find out more about CompassYear (and download the booklet) at www.yearcompass.com 

I discussed what I’d written, with My Chap and old friends, who reminded me of my determination and resilience.  I’ll be coming back to what I’ve written and the plans I’ve made for 2018.

Onwards… #365daysofselfcare

I’ve been doing more of the things that lift me . I’ve been continuing with daily #mindfulness, yoga and #Onehouroutside.  

#Onehouroutside  was started by one of the Outdoor Bloggers Zoe from www.splodzblogz.co.uk.  I’m on a roll with one hour outside – I’ve managed at least an hour outside since mid December. I’m making a note in my journal as sometimes walking for an hour isn’t feasible (work or bad weather).

It’s been near zero again this week in Manchester, some crisp sunny days with blue skies, alternating with gales and rain.  My back garden is a quagmire,  but we are fortunate there are Canals and footpaths on our doorstep.

I wrote about a local walk last week – Monton to Worsley Green circular walk (about 3 miles). I’ll be writing more about local walks, inspired by Sarah from Urban Wanderer who has many good walks around Greater Manchester and Lancashire.  Have a look:

My plan for this week is to listen to some mindful walking podcast while I’m out walking. Usually I’m just mindfully breathing, counting breaths and steps, looking around me at the surroundings.

  • If  you have any suggestions for mindful walking podcasts please let me know in the comments 

Instagram #savouringJanuary2018

As I mentioned last week, I enjoyed the @blurtfoundation Instagram Challenge #blurtmerrycalmness so I’ve looked around for another photo challenge.  I found Gaynor Treanor on Instagram who writes about selfcare and mindfulness.  So I’ve been following #savouringJanuary2018.

Today 8 January 2018 it was DAY 8: NOURISH #savouringJanuary2018

This definition spoke to me ‘necessary for growth, health and good condition’. It’s about taking care of yourself, doing the best you can for yourself, self-care and mindfulness. Good food matters too 🙂

  • What #selfcare have you done today?
  • Have you been kind to yourself today?

Follow on Instagram – @becmonton56 @Gabrielletreanor
#SavouringJanuary2018

8 January 2018 – lamb stew – Nourish day 8 #savouringJanuary2018

I’m feeling positive for 2018 – I think my intentions are feasible 😉 I’ll report back how I get on,

She persisted… 

Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

In a Vase on New Year’s Day – dogs, woods and walks 

‘It’s never too late in life to have a genuine adventure’ Robert Kurson, author (1963– )

Happy New Year everyone, may your 2018 be happy and healthy.  We’ve been down south to visit my Mum, and only got back to Salford for Hogmanay, so I decided to pick plants from both gardens. I cut some Cornus (dogwood) from my mother’s garden which has bright red stems and variated leaves, and when I got home, I cut some Hypericum from my front garden.  My garden is very wet and blown about, but there are crocus and narcissi poking though the soil, and the hellebore are flowering so they will probably get their chance next week in a vase.

This was one of the first vases My Chap bought me; it has appeared a few times in In a Vase on Monday as has the Hypericum,  in flower though ;-).  There’s a few shoots poking through too, so that seems appropriate for a new year too…

Please have a look at Cathy’s vase this week, over at Rambling in the Garden who hosts IAVOM, as well as contributions from gardeners around the world.

My Mother’s Garden – frosty December 2017

I’ve written a few times about my mother‘s garden, she’s lived in the house since it was built in the 1970s – there’s many happy memories of food, paying games and relaxing in the garden with the family. My mum is the gardener in the family, my Dad mostly dug holes for plants, mowed the lawn and grew herbs. I get my love of gardening from my Mum.

The soil is clay so that’s why much grows in pots and a North facing garden just like ours in Salford. There’s usually a great many fuchsias in pots on the terrace – as usual they’re living in the garage over the winter (there’s a window). My Mum has a gardener to do the heavy work, and pruning now, as she’s been retired along time.  My Chap and I do get roped in when we are visiting though.

2 January 2018 – frosty Berkshire garden (including Dogwood)

2017 into 2018

We had a very quiet Hogmanay, it’s been a very tough year with loss, health troubles, especially my osteoarthritis, but I’m on the mend now and am much more myself. But 2017 was the Best of Times too. I married the love of my life 🙂

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