Sunday, 28 February 2016

"I can do it"- Reflections from a day with Nina and Hannah

You all remember Nina and Hannah? Well, I hung out with them again yesterday while their parents were busy. Both Nina and Hannah know that if they come to my house, they need wellies because we will be going outside - no children who come to my house will ever be stuck inside! :)

Yesterday was a day like every other time I have Nina and Hannah. We joyfully wander around the riverbanks to collect treasures, we visit Petunia the Dinosaur, and we do some cooking or baking at home. We made pizza from scratch this time, and also did some scrapbooking which both little ladies enjoyed with much gusto, Hannah particularly so.

I did notice a difference yesterday. On our adventures through water, climbing structures and negotiating pretty pieces of paper, I heard the words "I can't" much less than I used to. They're getting older, understanding their own abilities and are much more able to assess risk for themselves. On more than one occasion, I hear them say aloud, almost to reassure themselves - "I can do it". It's so great to hear. Even when Nina got stuck in the river (she wasn't stuck, the water was just a little too high for her wellies) she worked out how to get back to shallow waters. Even when Hannah was scared climbing up high (on the climbing frame) she worked out how to get down by herself.

Here is Nina and Hannah standing in the middle of our local river.

I feel quite joyous to be part of the lives of these two little girls. It's so wonderful to see them grow up, play by themselves or with eachother, and learn about risk knowing that I am around if they need me. The playworker in me keeps me in check: I am cautious to not intervene, and only help if they ask me to. As they get bigger I will also make sure I slink back into the background and let them get on with it. Because they can. Because they have eachother. Because as they get older they will need me less and less. And that's a good thing. We'll have different adventures with they're bigger.

Thanks for a lovely day Hannah and Nina - come round to play again soon! :)

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A Little Magic

On an ordinary day, while you're minding your own business, going about your day just like you do, have you ever felt a little bit of magic? Maybe magic isn't the right word, but just something about a moment that feels like everything is perfect, just the way it is, and it makes you smile for no perceivable reason?

Today, I had one of those. I've been showing a guest from HK around my lovely part of the world, taking her to some of the lesser known pretty bits of the city. This is something I do quite a lot, so it's not new to me, even though it does make me love my city a little bit more every time.

But no, it was after I had parted ways with my guest (she went off to explore some more while I did boring every-day things) and I was struck with a smiley moment:

There's nothing special about this moment really, but something about it really made me very happy :)

I walked along, smiling to myself and didn't think anything more. It was time to get the bus home, but it was taking quite a while. I looked up to the blue sky as I waited and was greeted by another one of those, peaceful, happy moments:

I absolutely love this photo. It made me so happy.

Maybe it was some little signs from God to tell me that everything is going to be okay. I've had a lot to do recently, and a fair few things to be thinking about. Maybe it was a comforting sign: one that only speaks to me. Whatever it was, it made my heart a little lighter, and my brain a little less tangled. I had a lovely day in Manchester, and I think it was extra lovely because of a little bit of magic.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Busy Day Photos

I have been busy. This is not a secret or anything, but it gets a bit boring to talk about, so I haven't really blogged because there's nothing too interesting to write about. I have fitted in some bits of fun where I can so here are some photos:

Here is a meal I shared with my friend Andy. What you see here is an amazing selection of food from a lovely restaurant I will totally be revisiting! It was SO good.

Here is one of my favourite Sylvac bunnies. I love them so much. This one I found at an antique show I visited with my dad. I didn't take little blue home, but I was so pleased I found one!

I ordered some custom printed postcards of my own photos! Here they all are, and they are amazing. They are awesome quality, nice and thick and really well printed! I love them so much! Thank you Moo!

This photo represents pancake day! My parents and I had a lot of fun flipping our pancakes and inventing different fillings. This one is the classic - little butter, lemon and sugar! :)

I met up with some of my fellow PhD friends and we went for lunch. It was so great to see them all, discover new food places and get a little motivated with the work! Hoorah!

I've had to take a lot of walks to work out the knots that you get in your brain when you're working. Here's one of the pics I took on a particularly beautiful day.

I'm looking at these pics and I'm glad that my photography skills haven't suffered from lack of use! The photos are still crisp and nice! :) Anyway, less procrastination and more work! I will be back soon!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hello Bread!

It has been a long time since I baked for fun. A quick search on the ol' blog shows me that I haven't baked voluntarily since.... the PM Bake-Off Party we had at Christmas. Gosh, that's quite a long time for me. But today, as I was battling with some crazy typing for the ol' PhD, I had the deep urge to bake me a loaf. So I downed tools and kneaded me a nice white loaf. And a handsome loaf it was too!

Look at my freshly baked bread, with the traditional "z" carved into it, hahaha :)

I can't wait until breakfast now. I bet this makes an awesome toast.

Maybe this is the beginning of therapeutic baking again like when I was doing my Bachelor's degree. Hahaa. We will see. Yay for baking and more baked goods ahoy! :)

Monday, 1 February 2016

Hello February

January felt long. For some reason it just didn't seem to want to end. I know I was incredibly busy but I'm not really sure with what. A combination of work, babies and crazy PhD pressure will probably do it. But it's finally February! Woohoo!

This also means that I've been doing my second year of daily postcards for a whole month now. You can check out where the postcards have gone with my map which you can see here. It's been nice adding to the postcards to the map every day - without going anywhere, my adventures have already taken me 75,000 miles! I quite like that. Adventures from home! :)

Here's one of my Zoodled postcards from the last month. The robots have made a come back! :) I should have loads more artwork to add to my zoodle page this year! :) Hoorah! :)

I feel a little exhausted today. I think it's probably TV in bed time! :) Sometimes it's the little things that make life awesome! :)