Sunday, 27 September 2009

Dovedale - A place to relax

One of my favourite places must be the Derbyshire Peak District. There are so many beautiful places in this area, that many of them could be easily missed. A regular spot for us is the well known Dovedale area.

When my husband and I want to get away from the rat race that can sometimes be life in general, we pack up the girls and the dog and head for the hills. For us is just a little over an hours drive, but it is well worth it.

We have a few other places across the Country that we visit to help us to relax and take stock of our lives, but this probably one of the closest and one of our favourites. I would probably visit this location a couple times a week in the summer if I could. Mind you, I am sure it is just as picturesque in the winter.

Whilst on our many visits here we have probably taken hundreds if not thousands of pictures, as the same spots can look completely different at another time of day or during another season.

You can find any number of tracks and trails to wonder off, in any direction. Most people stick to beaten track, but if you are interested in more energetic walks or climbs, there is definitely something for you. I'd say this is a place where you can find something for everyone. Yesterday we spotted a number of people rock climbing.

One of every ones favourite spots would have to be the stepping stones. It is a favourite for adults and children alike. The dog is partial to it as well and does not mind bounding across it when she gets a chance.

It great to try to cross the stones during the different times of year. Sometimes when there has been little rain, the stepping stones can be no challenge at all. However when the river is in full flow the level of challenge can increase to making it impossible to cross or even to being able to see the stones at all and where only the very brave, the fool hardy or anyone not worried about getting wet and cold, would be likely to try. The water depth at this point is not terribly deep, but the water strength can be strong.

Saying all of that, we have been across the stepping stones ourselves when they could barely be seen, but we did manage to get our walking boots wet. Fun never-the-less.

Lots to discover. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll not be disappointed.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Feng Shui Consultation

Today I am having a Feng Shui consultation done on my house. I am quite excited about having it done. I have been interested in Feng Shui for some time. Even as a child I would love to hear stories about things that were unusual - not the scary, just the unusual and the unexplained (well unexplained from our point of view).

I guess long before I knew it, I believed there were things that we need to understand that were not necessarily explained by what may have been considered that at time, to be conventional thinking. Maybe its to do my our culture and beliefs, where I get my interest in these from from I mean.

I can't remember now when or where I first became interested in Feng Shui, but anything unorthodox has held my interest. Having found Christianity in my early teenage years meant that I had some difficulty in matching some of the Christian teaching with what I felt instinctively and with my already stated interested in the unusual.

Needless to say that my instinctive findings or should I say my intuition, has always proved to be right every time. Even when more orthodox Christian support has failed me. So mine has been a very interesting personal philosophy.

The older I get the more people I meet who seem to have similar experiences and thinking to my own. It's good to know that I am not alone. I think I should have been born in the East - maybe not. Well, back to the expected Feng Shui consultation then.

I have always thought it would be far too expensive for me to have a Feng Shui consultation done. And then there have been my concern that I might be asked to change things that can not be changed, if this is what the results of the consultation might tell me. Thirdly like all such things, who does one trust? Could you trust the consultant? You could end up with some mad person telling you a whole heap of nonsense. You know the sort of questions and thought that fly through your mind. So I have some hesitance to actually doing it although I really want to.

So how have I managed to finally be persuade to go ahead with this one?

Well about a year ago a friend of my shared with me that she was going to be having a consultation done on her home. Some how she had met a guy who is a Feng Shui Consultant and who also runs a school training people in Feng Shui. Once or twice a year, when the students have completed the theoretical side of their studies, he looks to find people who are prepared to allow his students into their homes to complete a consultation. This way students have a opportunity to apply the theory they have learnt to a real and practical situation, under tutor supervision.

The students are supported my two tutors and what they do in the home and their results are vetted by the tutors, before they are allowed to delivery their results to the home owner. The consultation is free for the home owner. So everyone wins.

I remember saying to her at the time she told me about it that this was a great opportunity and that if this guy were ever to be looking for someone else in the future, could she please recommend me and she said she would. Well a year passed by and true to her word I received an email from her saying that Robert Gray was again looking for volunteer home owns and if I was still interested, I could contact him. So I did.

I was quite exciting to think that finally I would be getting a Feng Shui consultation for free, but then all of a sudden I realised that it was not just me that had to give the go-ahead. I also had to persuade my husband.

Well after some discussion about what would be happening, he agreed. So I set a date. Before the session we had to provide a floor plan of the house, complete with location of furniture,etc. My husband is much better at this sort of detail than I am, so this has been his contribution. Says he would prefer not to be at home, so he is going off to a Porsche event somewhere. And that weekend all of our girls are ways, so it will just be me around with I think about 8 students and too tutors..

The final bit of preparation was the completion of a questionnaire. This asked a few questions about what the main areas were that we wanted the consultation to focus on. At first thought my husband thought that this was looking for more personal information, but this was not the case. It was just a matter of where you are happiest at this point in time, in relation to the 9 categories of life, according to Feng Shui philology and where you were less so. Then choosing 3 priority areas. So not very difficult really, but the start of the process and the list of questions with regard to what was really being asked was the issue for us. This all sorted meant that we were both happy to continue.

I can't wait to see what the results will provide and what suggestions might be made. Will keep you posted, but the process and preparation from our part has been quite interesting. Isn't life fun.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Do I Love My Dog?

Well, the straight forward response to the question has to be yes, but recently, I have had reason to question that.

She is 9 nearly 10 years old and absolutely adorable. Mostly because she is clearly MY DOG! and does not give her heart to anyone else, including my husband, who I think is a little jealous of her place in my heart.

When I am around she does not respond to him without checking with me first, and okay I can be a little soft, particularly when she wants to sneak into the bedroom and lie down on the floor next to my side of the bed, even though she is not allowed in the bedroom.

After many years of faithful service, she began to 'dribble' around the house. Can you imagine the shock?! Smelly water every where?! Yuck!

Well the rules of the game for me are that she is not allowed to be ill or grow old or anything like that. She has to stay wonderfully young and fluffy and full of energy. You know, just like dogs are suppose to be.
Anyway this 'dribbling' thing started and I was very upset.

For the first time since I brought her home, I had to start thinking about the fact that she might, just might be getting older.

Well panic set in and I must admit that I did not know what to do with myself. The thought of her not being around; not greeting me at the door; not picking up when I'm unwell and nuzzling her cold nose under my arm to make me stroke her; hit me harder than I would have really expected it to. I could not bear the thought.

Along with all of this emotional stuff, was the continuous mopping up. I could not leave her alone for half an hour, before I had to get the mop and bucket out. There were times when I would admit to being a little short tempered, particularly when I was rushing in or out of the house and short of time.

Then there was the trying to get a 'sample' for the vet, which fun and games.
What rubbed salt into my emotional wounds, was the look on her little face, each time she realised that she was unable to hold herself. Well how could I possibly get angry with that. And she knew she was not herself. The sadness in her eyes was more than I could bear.

Anyway, to cut a long and emotional painful story short, we took her to the vet, paid an enormous amount of money out for x-rays, blood and urine tests and god know what else - oh yes, that would be the two courses of antibiotic, and she is back to her lovely, healthy, energetic self - with no 'dribbling' or mopping at all. It was all down to an infection.

But can I put myself through this again? I don't want to have to think about it really, but the truth of the matter is, that I love that silly old dog more than I would really like to admit. And I guess, I would have to find the pennies to pay to make her better if she got ill again (which better not be anytime too soon. I've just about managed to get over this period).

I guess this is all about the shock of or the possibility of loosing something that has been such a big part of your life. Something that you thought would always be there for you. Reality can be hard sometimes.

But she is my dog and I love her. And on reflection, it has reaffirmed my commitment to her, even in the difficult times.

Friday, 20 February 2009

The Influence of a Good Friend

It's amazing the affect a good friend can have on you.

I met someone recently who has become a very good friend. She telephoned me to say that she had been successful at a job interview she had attended today.

We spend the next hour or so going over the interview and squealing with joy at her success.

I really appreciated it when she thanked me for my help - I didn't think that I had done anything she would not have done for me. All I did was to encourage her to do something she was already going to do. But for her my encouragement was much more.
It made me think about the way we can influence each other, either for good or not so good.

By just being a good friend Yvonne was encouraged to reach for her ideal job.
Through her success I have an opportunity for more work, but this was not what I'd had in mind when I was encouraging her to for go the job she wanted and to make some positive changes in her life.
Isn't live just great?!

One of the things I like most about girl friends is how girlie we can be. I mean the squealing, hugging and jumping around when we are excited and happy for each other.
There is nothing like a good girlie night in - a few chocolates, a little wine and some wonderful catch up time with no rushing home. Not to mention the make up and doing each others hair and nails; looking at pictures; talking about boy friends and husbands.
This is sounding great - I can feel another one coming on as I speak!
Girlie nights and good friends are like medicine to the spirit. It's always great way to cheer you up and get you thinking more positively about life.
When was the last time you had a good girlie night in? Plan one for this Friday or Saturday night. With the right friends, it could make you feel like you are a new woman.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Stamford In the Winter

We went to Stamford today, just on a sight seeing visit.
I had never been to Stamford before and it seemed like a good place. I felt like visiting what I would call an ‘olde-worlde’ town. I like look at old beautifully designed buildings.
Here are a few of the pictures we took of older buildings in Stamford.
The river was quite high and the duck and the swans were out.

What I really liked is the fact that as the town has grown, there has been a concerted effort to ensure that all the new buildings have the same look i.e. similar stone/brick colour etc has been used.
Stamford is a quaint, compact little town that is growing.

We took lots more pictures, but can't fit them all in.
I was amazed at the amount of snow that was still around as we were driving down, although in the town itself was not too bad, just a few icy patches on some pavements.
I did not get any pictures of the snow covered hills, as we were travelling – maybe next time.
Anyway it was a really lovely day and although it was a bit cold, the sun was out - that brighten things up quite nicely.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Hello All!


This is my personal blog. Not too sure what will be in it, but I plan just to talk about my experiences in my day to travels.

Could be anything.