Thursday, 25 February 2016

Taking Action...


The minute I was told about yobs using the local woods as a bike race track, I knew something had to be done. I've spent a lot of time there, and on the adjacent meadows, enjoying all the wonderful nature, and I wasn't about to allow a bunch of cretins to ruin it. Within hours I'd emailed a local Counsellor requesting that the issue be dealt with as a matter of urgency. The following day I took my camera along to gather evidence. I was horrified to see branches ripped off trees, wild flowers flattened, earth mounds created to act as jumps and and tyre tracks going right across the main footpath.

A second email, with photos, ensured that the authorities were now aware of a major Health and Safety issue, and within 3 days the local council had implemented an action plan to return the area back to its former glory with immediate effect. Official warning notices were ordered to be installed and leaflets distributed to residents to report any further bike activity to the police.

Now, with any luck the birds will feel safe enough to return before spring and dog-walkers and families will all be able to enjoy their woodland strolls again without the fear of being mowed down. If you want something to happen, you have to make it happen...

Thursday, 18 February 2016

New For Old...


When my trusty old exercise bike finally went to the big gym in the sky, I was a bit annoyed to say the least. Replacing it was an additional cost I hadn't budgeted for, but in all honesty it'd been 'previously loved' many years ago, and in the past twelve months I'd been using it every single day, so it was inevitable that it'd break at some point. 

I decided to use the opportunity to upgrade to something which not only gave my leg muscles a decent workout but could also address the horror of my 'bingo wings', so a cross trainer seemed an ideal solution. It arrived less than 24 hours after purchase, and although it was daunting putting all the pieces together; especially when the instruction booklet was written in pure gibberish; after three long hours I finally had my brand new toy all up and running - literally. If this doesn't fix my flabby arms, nothing will!


Friday, 12 February 2016

Getting Motivated...


A Professional Development course on the topic of 'Motivating Yourself to be a High Performer' was just what the doctor ordered after a rather apathetic start to 2016. Although I had been getting stuff done, my batteries were somewhat flat and I needed a metaphorical kick up the wotsit to get me firing on all cylinders again, and today's session with an enthusiastic Life Coach certainly did that!

We looked at setting motivational goals, understanding performance and creating a plan of action to achieve whatever targets you set yourself. Evaluating what needs to be done, reviewing and reflecting on our own limits and being more confident in challenging yourself, were just a few of the other areas covered in this exceptionally high powered business environment, and I have to admit it really was just the ticket. When you're surrounded by people who push you in a positive and supportive manner, it's quite remarkable what you can actually do.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Stalking Spacemen...


Well, I'm not exactly stalking them, but since all the recent publicity about British astronaut Tim Peake arriving at the International Space Station, and the subsequent media frenzy over the first Brit to do a space walk, I've become ever so slightly obsessed with sky watching. 

I've always had a 'thing' about seeing comets, meteors, eclipses and the like, but now that I have an ISS app on my new smartphone I can actually track when it's going to be visible from my back garden (weather permitting). My neighbours have long since assumed I'm bonkers and no longer bat an eyelid at me waving like a maniac towards the sky on any given night, and it's something which gives me a great deal of pleasure, albeit fleetingly.

The world we currently live in is so full of wars, death, hatred and other badness that it's really nice to be able to have a little distraction from time to time. While standing outside in the cold, you can't help but feel a connection to that teeny, but bright, light moving across the darkness, as you ponder on what else is out there...


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Doing Doughnuts...



In my opinion, you can never have enough visits from your wonderful grown up daughters, which is why this afternoon was such a joy. I feel that January probably had a few more downs than ups overall, but February is looking much more positive now that I've spent some proper quality time with my girlies.

We drank squash and ate chocolate coated mini-doughnuts, while putting the world to rights and catching up with each others news. I'd done the typical mum thing and got them daft little gifts, which made them laugh. It never ceases to amaze me how fast the time flies by when my children come to visit and within the blink of an eye 3 hours had passed and we were exchanging hugs at the front door again. I know I'm biased, but I really do have the best kids in the world.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Fact Finding...


When you work in a multi-cultural environment, some of the people you spend time with will probably be Muslim. I admit that I know absolutely nothing about Islam, other than all the negative press regarding terrorism and so on, which is why I decided to attend an awareness event put on by Islamic students at the local university.

Admittedly, I was a little wary beforehand, but within minutes I'd been put at ease by the kindness and courtesy shown to me by those running the information stands. Not once did I feel pushed into doing, thinking or reading anything, and I was able to wander around taking it all in at my own pace. I was offered (and I accepted) a free cup of mint tea, which tasted lovely, and I had my name written in Arabic as a little memento. I came away with a few pamphlets and a book which I can read in my own time, should I choose to do so.

I have no political agenda regarding the whole 'Muslim debate' nor do I feel the urge to 'convert'; this was simply my own personal desire to find out some of the facts for myself, rather than relying on other people's uninformed opinions, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully the small amount of knowledge I gained today will make me a more understanding and accepting human being, which in this day and age is no bad thing...