Friday Five

One

My tiny and beauteous niece, Charlotte Fay, made her grand debut last week, and I finally get to meet her on Friday. I can’t wait to snuggle her for the first time.

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Two

These days I’m driving a lot more, what with constantly flitting between home – I still live with my parents and youngest brother – and work and Neil’s place. (We’re official now, by the way.) Since I’ve lost a lot of my reading time to driving, I’m listening to books on CD instead. I’d forgotten how good audio books can be. Sometimes I stay in the car even after reaching my destination just to get to the end of the chapter. I find myself looking forward to the longer drives to and from Lincoln just to listen to more of the stories. It’s addictive.

Three

If you’re anything like me and struggle to find balance on a daily basis, then read by Brooke McAlary. In short, Brooke discusses how ’tilting’ allows us to focus on what is important at the moment. It’s about accepting that achieving a perfect state of balance is impossible, and to instead be flexible and to learn to embrace the need to sway and shift with the new challenges and demands each day presents. What most appeals to me is the forgiving nature of the notion. It gives us permission to let go of that cultural need for balance — to throw it out the window — and allow ourselves to tilt in whichever direction we need to. Wonderful!

Last month I devoured Brooke’s new eBook, Destination: Simple – Rituals and Rhythms to Simplify Your Daily Life. If you’re interested in simplifying and slowing your life — on any level — then I’d recommend it. It’s a wonderfully thoughtful and encouraging read. Brooke’s approach is honest and practical and down-to-earth. I am gradually putting her ideas and suggestions into practice, particularly those of rhythms for morning and evening (when I’m at home, anyway.) The eBook is a wonderful companion for her blog as well, Slow Your Home. Of course, I’m subscribed. I think you should be, too.

Four

Neil and I hiked in the Peak District over the Valentine’s weekend. I was a bit nervous—I’m pretty unfit and although I love walking, I haven’t done anything faintly reminiscent of hiking since I went orienteering on a school trip over a decade ago—but Neil, bless him, was patient and encouraging.

The day was deliciously bright and crisp, especially for mid-February. From the top of the peak, we could see the full span of the countryside. A rustic patchwork of all shades of nature, dotted with churches and sheep flocks and woodland. Totally breathtaking, it was. We layered up well against the cold and took our sweet time to admire the view, while scoffing imported summer berries. It was perfect.

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Five

Sunday is Mother’s Day here in the UK, and I’m treating my mum and grandma to a special afternoon tea at a gorgeous little tea shop. We did the same for Mother’s Day last year and it was a massive hit. Hoping it goes down as well this time around.

Happy Mother’s Day (for Sunday) to all mothers across the world!

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