Saturday, 25 July 2015

As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was about to begin

I've been thinking about inspiration.
Who and what inspires me. And why.
In the beginning, there was my mum. My first inspiration. She still is, will always be. Because her kindness still shines through.
Lots of other people inspire me and for lots of different reasons.
For instance: My dad's wisdom, my husband's patience, my friend's parenting... The list is endless.
I think it's important to be continually inspired. We can learn from others. We can be humble to their strengths, forgive them for their weaknesses. Isn't it all about trying to be a better person?
It could be all too easy to envy success, but surely it's healthier to appreciate and seek inspiration?
I can still remember teachers and bosses who have made an impact in my life. People I have looked up to and aspired to be like. I like to think I have gained knowledge from them and learnt valuable lessons from them.
My English teacher still rings in my ears, "You know what you want to say, but you are struggling to find the words to say it? Well that's what English is all about."
I often think of her when I am faced with this scenario.
And the cool headed boss who once managed me - if faced with stressful situations in the working environment, and swift decision making is a priority, I think to myself, what would Michelle have said or done now?
But it's not just people who have this ability.
Words and pictures can also be very powerful.
Recently I have been spending a fair amount of time on Instagram, admiring images of wild flowers in meadows, blue sky and white sand on beautiful beaches. Of course I am inspired by the photography skills, verses the wonder of nature.
They instantly strive in me, the want to be a more creative photographer, and a keener observer.
I'm also a sucker for a good quote. Wise words which make you stop and ponder about this curious life.
Instagram is full of them, which isn't such a bad thing. I've been known to post my own quotes too, spreading the word.
And how could you not be inspired by books? My life without books would indeed be a very dark place. I love to loose myself in mysteries and characters.
Currently I am reading Agatha Christie's At Bertram's Hotel. I'm a huge fan of the detective series on the television screen, and upon my most recent visit to a book shop, I spotted this book and remembered that I had promised myself I would read one of the classic's from this famous author.
So I am.
It's also inspiration for my novel, coincidently set in the 1950's, and all background expertise of this era and this honourable writer, who is placed third in the rankings of the world's most widely published books (Shakespeare and the Bible are first and second).
Now that's inspirational!
I shall leave you with some of my favourite quotes, on pretty images.
I hope they inspire you too.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Once upon a time, well, approximately twenty years ago...

There was a young lady called Nikki. She was not a beautiful princess, nor did she live in a big castle. She did, however, kiss a lot of frogs until she met her Prince Charming.
And oh how she liked to party! Twirling around in her leather trousers, clutching her bottle of cider, and shouting the lyrics of her favourite tunes, all to her heart's content.
See, I told you she was not a princess.
She was young and carefree, full of promises and expectations, surrounded by wonder and curiosity for life.
If only she'd known, it's not all about the cheap cider and loud music. But let's forgive her for her innocence and naivety.
She also had friends, not servants or maids. Real life, twenty first century friends, who listened and didn't mind posing for photographs and looking silly.
Now, all things considered, that's true friendship!
Non-princess Nikki liked to holiday in such extravagant places as the Greek islands. The islands who hosted Karaoke evenings, and two-for-the-price-of-one cocktail nights.
No one could deny her and her chums the experience of this, surely!
What hedonistic days they were! No commitments, no debts, no hair dye. Just long, hazy days, with Greek salads, and water with no ice cubes please.
It was a time when 'getting ready' consisted of approximately two hours. This was mainly due to the 'chuck it all in' concoction of alcohol, good old fashioned talking, applying of lip liner and common questions such as, "Does my bum look big in this?"
History's loss was Nikki's gain, or something like that.
Which brings my fairy tale to it's present time. Twenty or so years later, 'I'm not a Princess Nikki' decided to reinvent history! Abandon hope ye all who enter here! Let's pose like those pictures we found recently and laughed at. Let's recreate scenes.
So that's what they done, and below is the evidence.

Yes that is me, on the right, with brown hair!

Here we all are twenty years later, trying to recreate the scene.

Pointing our fingers, after Karaoke.

Twenty years later

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Hurray for the summer

Making daisy chains on the lawn, strawberry ice-cream melting in the sunshine, sizzling barbecues in the garden, long, lazy days - the summer has officially arrived.

First stop, the local garden centre, just a few minutes walk from the cottage, to stock up on sunflowers and Anemones.

And not forgetting cottage garden blooms for my hanging baskets.

A visit to a charming local pub, with duck pond and play area for Tommy.

Here's Tommy enjoying his blackcurrant fruit drink.

Here's Tommy again, collecting daisies in the garden of the pub opposite the cottage. It's been named as the second best pub garden in Essex. Quite a claim to fame! I can confirm it's very pretty and Tommy loves running around and playing football with daddy.

He also likes playing with his cars.

And standing on the bench.

It's also perfect weather to invite family for afternoon tea in our garden.

Hurray for the summer.