Tag Archive | moods

Bank holidays are always better outside

I just had a short trip to Brimham Rocks in Yorkshire recently. Nice to be in the hills after the flatland walks I usually take. My poor legs were totally shocked when I took them for a clamber. It was snowing and sunny at the same time but it didn’t stop me – I love a good clamber! And it’s just so good to be outside.

As you walk round there are lots of little prompts for activities for you to do with the kids – such a great idea as I know it’s hard to think up activities all the time. And this is what prompted me to prompt you to get outdoors with your youngsters this bank holiday whatever the weather. Because whatever mood they’re in it will be improved outside – even if you’re all a bit reluctant.

You also don’t have to be in a specific reserve to enjoy many of the activities that were suggested; you’d be able to engineer some of them on your doorstep. Things like:

  • building a den
  • rolling down a hill
  • climbing a tree
  • searching for creepy-crawlies
  • making an insect home
  • looking for treasure from feathers to stones to owl pellets to bits of pot

And you also don’t have to be rural to find paces to enjoy them either; a park will do, or riverside, – most cities have a river going through. Or a wood or a bit of wasteland. And you can find all sorts or wildlife in a churchyard or cemetery!

Just be spontaneous, get outside and go to whatever places are local to you and get some space, some weather, some learning about the environment and some physical activity. And if you can do it on foot you beat the bank holiday traffic too!

You’ll come back feeling better – trust me!

Creating myself some sunshine – 6 ideas!

What a dismal lack of sunshine we’ve had this summer. I feel my smile disintegrating! The prospect of longer nights without that

Fun makes for a dark evening; tissue paper flower and bunting!

Fun makes for a dark evening; tissue paper flower and bunting!

normal recharge of rays is rather frightening, especially suffering from SAD. I can feel my mood becoming heavier already and it’s only October. I know that it affects kids and families too, although parents can sometimes forget to acknowledge that their kids need outside time and daylight.

I’ll just have to manage as best I can, I’m thinking, and try and create my own sunny lift! So I’ve been inventing ways to do that and am recording them here in case you need some ideas for the family too. Here’s what I’ve come up with – I’ll let you know what works:

  • Getting outside every day – no excuses – as even the dullest daylight makes a difference. Find ways and means; walk instead of bus, go to park, whatever.
  • Painting one room in the house orange or yellow. Ours is the kitchen – it’s orange and makes you feel brighter instantly.
  • Making tomato and lentil soup. Or carrot and sweet potato. or butternut squash. Using sunny veg!
  • Wearing something bight, or warm in colour and texture.
  • Achieving something new – always gives me a lift that, whether it’s changing the room round, making something, artwork, crafting, planting, whatever.
  • Calling up my sunniest friends for a chat and keeping the conversation positive and forward looking. Can be tricky!!

Got any more ideas you could share? Meanwhile, I’m wishing you sunshine in your day! O look – the sun just came out here! 🙂

Lift up your eyes!

I know it’s cold when even the salt marsh starts to freeze and turn white!wintermarshlandfeb14 010

Despite being a normally positive kind of person I can sometimes get in the glums and this challenging cold contributes to that.

Add car troubles, bill troubles, and work troubles into the equation and my mindset falls to boot level.

I chomped all this over in a downward plummet, tramping along in the raw fenland wind, cluttered up with clothing and staring at my boots, head down – that typical position of the downhearted, muttering in my head about it all. Not repeatable!

As the wind dropped a little I lifted my gaze and had a quick scan around me looking for something else to be miserable about – as you do when you’re in one of those mindsets.

Forcing watery eyes to the horizon – this sometimes lifts my mind and my mood – something caught my attention. Right on that uninterrupted line of distance; occasional flashes in the wintry sunshine.

Now, you have to imagine a marshland horizon with absolutely nothing on its distance till it becomes sky, the two almost indistinguishable. Yet I was sure I could see little ignitions of whiteness appearing and disappearing on the skyline. Too far away to capture with my camera.

Was I imagining it – I watched through runny vision. Yep – really there.

What were they?

Little bits of litter tossed by the wind?  No; not out at sea and my eyes aren’t that good – I’m not superman!

Gulls? Not possible, too distant, wrong image; they were flashing on and gone.

Then I guessed.

They were only visible in one place – that one deep water place where marshland gives up to North Sea. And what I could see was the reflection of the low winter sunlight catching the tops of waves as the tide began to swell and the wind whipped up the surface.

Like the proverbial white horses, the far away waves rose up and tossed their manes between sea and sky and made a kind of magic show that you could only guess at.

I watched them rear and fall, ignite and sparkle and disappear, over and over. And in those moments troubles were tossed aside and mood uplifted with them.

Sometimes it’s helps not to just mooch along miserably staring at your boots!

wintermarshlandfeb14 008

When you lift your eyes from your boots your heart goes too!