My Walk Home

Sunset, Sunrise, Field

I am not sure which was more wonderful on my walk home from work tonight. Was it the harmonious choral symphony from my local feathered neighbours? Was it the fragrant perfumes from trees heavily laden with blossom that graced every breath I inhaled? Was it the cool breeze that refreshed me after a long day on my feet with my and body wrapped up in PPE?

I don’t know what it was…but it made my heart soar. Work can be hard, but I am enjoying it because I am making a difference to people. Making a difference to people is a wonderful thing. But I leave work tired. After a fifteen minute walk my heart is brimming with gladness that I live on such a beautiful planet. I no longer feel tired by the time I reach home.

I am going to eat some salad for dinner, have a shower…and then I am going to watch Masterchef. I am sure I will have sweet dreams and sleep well tonight. My mind and heart are lifted by the wonders I see on my way.

I Walk Alone But I’m Never Alone

Alleyway, Back Alley, Bin, City, CrimeI am so glad that the clocks have gone forward and that we that we now have lighter brighter evenings.

Just before the clocks went forward, I was finishing work in the dark. Because of the social distancing measures put in place, the streets were empty. I must admit, I felt really nervous walking home in the dark, through London streets with nobody around. It made me clutch my handbag really tightly in case someone jumped out of the shadows and tried to run off with my bag.

But now when I finish work it is light. Now there are people out jogging (lots of joggers), cycling, walking their dog or walking. There were a lot this evening. Seeing lots of people on on the way home makes me nervous for a very different reason.

I feel safer to see people around. But I am still determined to stay in my little bubble. A lot of people make sure they maintain a distance from others. But some people are more casual. Right since this all started, I have been trying to make sure that I am healthy for work. I am sleeping more than normal. I am eating well. I am cheering up my heart.

I am walking alone, but in my heart I have lots of my loved ones who are a huge source of strength to me. They are keeping me going, full of joy, full of determination. I’m never alone.

Which brings to mind the words of a song I have grown up with – it has been sung thousands of times I am sure at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club. But today I am going to link to Katherine Jenkins…who sings this song almost as well as I do! I’m kidding, I’m kidding! My voice is not a scratch on hers.

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

Another Perfect Afternoon With Goldfinch!

Hope you are enjoying the re-published posts about Goldfinch…I was worried it could be confusing. Right now I am in Australia with Goldfinch…but this post like the others I have published were written and originally published last summer.

20180518_134552Goldfinch flew in and flew out again. Aaaaaah! Sigh!

He was wonderful, as always.  I love being greeted by Goldfinch.  I always feel thrilled in my heart to see him, but I think I express it rather awkwardly.  He makes me feel as if he has been longing to hold me in his arms ever since the last time we parted.

Maybe that is not really the case…but the way he looks at me and gives me the biggest squeeze he can muster…and it is so uplifting to hear his words “Hey Gorgeous!”  (I have no intention of telling him to go to SpecSavers, I prefer that he remains in this deluded state of mind.)

It was another perfect day…or afternoon I should say.  I prepared lunch for him.  Lots of salad, hummus, crusty bread and  I had cooked a Persian dish with chicken, walnuts and pomegranates for Goldfinch.  I don’t know how it tasted because I do not eat meat.  But he looked very happy.  When he realized I had cooked meat for him, he said again “why did you do that?”  It’s because I love him and I don’t mind cooking meat for people I love.  He enjoys rabbit food too, which is great.

He had a bag of clothes that needed washing after he had been away for the weekend.  I jumped at the chance to do his laundry!  Surely that makes me an official girlie-friend! Doing his laundry!

I cannot tell you how much it means that I have been able to wash, dry and then iron his clothes.  I folded items so neatly except for shirts that needed hanging.  My daft heart swelling with pride that he allowed me to.  He did laugh that I had ironed his underwear though.  Was that a bit over the top?  I iron my own cotton underwear…some of my underwear would melt if an iron came near it…why am I telling you anything about my underwear?  Just imagine thermal vests and long-johns – don’t think anything else. Yeh…best not to imagine at all.

20180518_135454

Back to Goldfinch…We went for a walk, hand in hand.  I love the feel of his hand in mine – it feels so right.  It’s as if our blood is the same temperature.  I can let my hand linger in his for hours without feeling I want my hand’s autonomy back. Bliss!  We headed for a nearby park and then took a path into the woods. Lush green foliage with golden rays gleaming through. Aaaah!  Such a lovely scent of greenness.  I love summer, I live the knowledge that life is throbbing intensely everywhere I look.

The path led to a pond with some ducks who swam over to us as soon as we arrived.  We had not brought anything to feed them.  Goldfinch told me you should not really feed ducks bread (so my rustic olive ciabatta from Gail’s Artisan Bakery was safe) but he had read that frozen peas would be better for them.  Next time we go for a walk together I will remember to take frozen peas for any duckies.

He embraced me again as we looked out at the pretty scene.  With a serious expression on my face I said to Goldfinch, “You know I don’t really like ducks!”  He looked at me with surprise.  He asked me why I don’t like ducks?  I replied, “Because they are quackers!”  (Boom boom!)  Oh he did seem to like that one…he gave me another huge squeeze.

After our lovely walk together, we headed back to my little abode.  I had not had time to bake anything, but I did nblack-forest-cake.jpgot want to disappoint Goldfinch.  So instead I had bought a Black-Forest Gateaux, which I hoped he would enjoy.  He enjoyed it…but he said something that just shows what a very fine specimen of a man he is.  He told me that it was not as nice as some of the cakes I have baked for him.  Which reminds me…next time he comes I am going to make one of his favourites.  It is a double chocolate cheese-cake.  It is such a gastro-hit with foodies and anyone I have made it for…I will perhaps prepare a whole post about my crowd-pleasing pudding.  Recipe stolen from Charlotte from Shaftesbury in Dorset.

He is a good man is he not!  He knows all the words!  My heart is in his hand and it is just melting all over him.  Why should I not lap it up while I can?  Some men nowadays have no idea how to woo a lady.  Goldfinch has read the book!  I have a sneaking suspicion he was the one who wrote the book!!

Aaaah!  I will miss my lovely Goldfinch when he leaves England at the end of this year. In fact, I spoke to him about how much I will miss him and became very tearful.  He staid my tears commenting, “There is nothing to miss!”  I shook my head in disagreement.

I am sure you realize I will miss Goldfinch, no matter what he says.  He knows it really.  I don’t want him to worry.  I want him to be free…just life a real goldfinch…he should be able to fly away when it his time.

Until then.  I am going to make the most of every moment with him.  I hope for many more perfect days with my lovely Goldfinch.

Schedules and Scheduling Are Superb!

At the start of last week I mentioned, I felt needed to establish a more balanced schedule, so that I was able to…well I had several goals, the size of my behind being one issue…but I also felt I needed more time outside on the fresh air to inspire me and refresh me mentally and emotionally.  I am loving my new schedule.

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

prompt

I am very blessed to have woods and parks less than five minutes from the little nest where I could easily lose myself. It is such a wonderful start to the day. I can already tell how much it is raising my spirits to have that time at the start of the day to soak up the beauty and wonder that is on my doorstep. I am scheduling a little bit of wonderful into each morning and it is well worth it.

I do have to fight the temptation on the way back to the little nest to resist the artisan bakeries and coffee shops I pass (I did buy a pumpkin spice soya latte one day, because I was so chilly and damp, I thought I could do with a sugar boost).

I have been trying to stick to my schedule, and I think it is working fairly well so far. I prepared a post for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in advance and scheduled them to be published in the morning.  When I had a few minutes later on those days to check into WordPress, it was so lovely to be greeted by messages from other bloggers. I am going to try to do the same each week, schedule a little post in advance for my work days and accept that I have to prioritise on my work on those days. I love the scheduling feature of WordPress.  It is so helpful.

I have already been busy today and now have a couple of hours spare before I head out this evening for a fun night out with friends. I mentioned the other night I had checked the directions to the venue I am going to on Google Maps and an image of Jack had appeared. I told a friend and she said she was looking for information about places to visit in Bucharest and one of the websites she clicked had a photo of Jack. Jack is still making his mark on the world! That’s celebrity life for you.

I have a few tasks waiting for me:

  • Sweep up the leaves outside so I don’t have to wade through a great leaf pile every time I come in and out of the little nest.
  • A little ironing.
  • Bake a honey cake for the friends I am seeing tomorrow.

Then I shall be reading posts from other bloggers…and deciding which of the posts in my drafts folder I shall work on this weekend.

I wanted to use the picture and word prompts in one of the daily writing challenges provided by The Haunted Wordsmith but I have no idea about how to use candy apple….I wondered if an candy apple is the same as what we call a toffee-apple?

My first and last toffee-apple was at the age of around seven or eight.  I cracked a tooth on it….and it hurt.  I have avoided them ever since.

On that note, I will crack on with my tasks before I get ready to go out and meet my friends.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/10/20/daily-writing-challenge-20/

A Beautiful Location…A Few Ignorant Fools

fairy glenBeing home – and when I say “home”, I mean the town in which I grew up.  I left a long time ago, my heart left along time ago.  My true home now is where I was based as a full-time volunteer.  That is the place I belong.  However, I enjoy visiting the town I grew up in very much.  I have lots of fantastic memories and friends I can call in on even after all these years and know I will be welcomed warmly.

I have been spending the past two days catching up with old friends and visiting locations I have been longing to see.  I have been taking lots of photos and will use them at some point to create posts that I will hope will be of interest.

However, there are things that I have seen that have saddened me a little.  I was proud of the area I grew up in.  The countryside around this town is idyllic.  I would love to take you exploring the hidden footpaths that are generous with spectacular views and just provide a tunnel of shady green secrecy where you can stroll for hours without seeing anyone.  This is not a town people visit for the walking.  But it is blessed with beautiful places to walk.

In my late teens I started rambling all over Lancashire and Merseyside.  In the summer I would often leave the house at 5.30am and quite literally walk all day coming home well into the evening.  So long as I had water I could go on for miles although I did learn to pack a couple of snacks in my rucksack to make things easier for my weary body.  It was so good for me to fall in love with the countryside on my doorstep.

IMG_20180702_125837Every now and then though I come across something that kind of makes me cross.  Today it was when I was passing through a pretty glen with lush foliage providing welcome relief from the heat.  I could hear a stream bubbling excitedly so I stopped on the footbridge to soak up the prettiness and serenity of that little spot.  Then I saw in the water below, two shopping trolleys.

Such a beautiful and yet sadly some of the inhabitants of the town have dumped shopping trolleys and all sort of plastic and other rubbish into places that would have been perfect scenes of serenity and lush countryside.  Further along a remote public footpath there was an even worse example of fly-tipping, rolls of carpet, pieces of board that looked like some kind of Ikea furniture, an armchair and a fridge-freezer had been hurled down a little ravine.  Eeeeeed-yats!

Ay ay ay!  If I were given the superpower of being anyone’s mum, I would take these fools and escort them to go litter picking and clear up their mess.  I would confiscate anything precious to them – phones, cars, lap-top, X-box, I don’t care…I would be completely ruthless.  Then I would take them stadium cleaning with me.  They would have to scrape the gum from seats and sweep, mop, dust and wipe until they had an idea of how much better it would have been had they taken their rubbish to an appropriate place.

That is not something I have not done myself.  I have helped to clean several massive stadiums, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Everton, Stoke City, Wolverhampton, Bournemnouth, Twickenham…as well as indoor arenas.  Actually I love it, a team of a thousand descend and work like an army of ants.  It’s quite a sight to behold.

Aaaaah…I am going to shrug this one off and concentrate on all the prettiness I saw today.

Cue holiday spam:

Oh if you had been free for the afternoon, I am sure you would have loved the panoramic views.  We had Winter Hill on one side of us and then the view from Blackpool Tower all the way down to Liverpool Docks and the city center.  My friends claimed the hills of North Wales were visible, but it was not a clear enough day to discern them with clarity.  Still I am sure they were there.