Gratitude

Today my everyday adventure is to practice gratitude.  So often we find ourselves reaching to achieve, or complete or do.  We spend so much of our lives looking forward to something, be it the weekend, a holiday, an event or occurrence and in doing so we do not appreciate the moment in which we find ourselves.

I do not like the phrase “in the moment” or similar phrases that are interchanged with this one.  However, I do think that we should practice gratitude wherever and whenever we can.  So today I am practicing gratitude for where I am now, what I have achieved to get to here, to where I am as a human today.  In doing so I believe I can be more aware of what I want to achieve and will plan to achieve by being aware of what I have already achieved and by being grateful for everything that has allowed, aligned and been, in order to reach this moment.

I have found it helpful to write down each day at least one thing I am grateful for as a visual reminder.  This is also great to read over if you have a tough day where gratitude is hard to hold onto.

I do try to practice gratitude every day.  I would encourage everyone to practice this, some days it can be hard to find the things you are grateful for, but even if you can only be grateful that the sun is shining, or the rain is falling, that your body is your body and your mind is your own, this can be enough to remind you of yourself.

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Abs Blast

In the freezing cold in far too many layers I shuffle off to “Abs Blast”.  I’m terrified.  Absolutely terrified.  I almost turn back, but that might have been the weather more than the class.

In a small studio we warm up on mats.  There are only a handful of us here, more evidence of our folly?  The next hour passes in a blur of ab burning pain.  We crunch, sit up and reverse crunch and sometimes do things that surely have no name except “ugh”.  Thankfully the time passes quickly and soon we are stretching and packing up, which is lucky because I am not sure I have much left to give.

I feel virtuous afterwards…until the next morning, when rolling over in bed causes a smattering of pain…followed by a crushing DOMS ache that hurts every time I sit or stand or move, even breathing hurts!  At least I know I worked hard, I tell myself.

I have not booked in for next week.

I will….

Promise….

Elf goes to the Farm!

For today’s adventure a friend and I head off in search of animals!  We head to Spitalfields to the city farm.

IMAG1577We walk through Shoreditch, past cafes, pubs, we cross roads and the traffic is all around us.  It seems impossible that there is a farm hidden in here.  But we do find the farm, nestled in between flats and the over ground.

 

It’s cute.  There are donkeys, goats, cows, sheep, chickens, rabbits, bees and pigs.  All the pens have notices with information including names, breeds and stories about them.  Personally the pigs are my favourite, they are noisy and busy and I love them.  The chickens are lovely and it is wonderful to see that a lot of them are rescued from cage farms.

It hails half way though our trip and we shelter near the veggie patch.  But the sun comes out again so we head to see the Bug Hotel and the bee hives.

I do think we are rather a lot older than the normal audience but I do think it is a great afternoon out and will head back in the summer to take advantage of better weather.

SundaySurgery

SundaySurgery.

Nope, not painful or medical but definitely on a Sunday,  on the last Sunday of each month.

This Sunday I was invited along to attend SundaySurgery which is produced by DYSPLA. A collaborative group of creatives attend a viewing of new writing that is workshopped on the same day with professional director and actors, giving the writers the opportunity to see their work stand on its tentative new legs.

With only two hours of rehearsal time the directors and actors breathe life into the play and with script in hand, work though a max of 15 pages of the script.  A small audience of industry professionals are invited to attend the workshop in view of offering constructive feedback to the script in development.

This Sunday there were three extracts from three different plays.  It was brilliant to see the achievements that can be made in such a short time.  The energy and creativity from the actors and directors was phenomenal.  But even more so, it was a true privilege to see new writing with such promise and such creativity brought to life.

After each scene the audience were invited to feed back to the writers, concerns, ideas and advice given about characters, relationships in fact all and anything that we felt would be helpful to the writers.  Most importantly it was lovely to be in a room full of people who were all accepting and willing to contribute in a positive and welcoming way.  No egos here!

Afterwards we trot down to the local, to have a drink and mull over the afternoon and naturally to chat “shop”.  I lovely end to a fruitful day.

I left feeling inspired to write and create and of course to attend again!

Pottery Elf

A crafty adventure for Little Elf this time.

Three hours of ceramics hand build crafting madness.  On a freezing morning, I took myself off to learn how to make ceramics!

No “Ghost” music here, we are hand building, so no spinning wheel with peddles and slightly sexual clay moulding.  Nope, this was more like playdough for grownups.

IMAG1554The lovely Nam was our tutor who guided us though three different styles of ceramic hand building.  Starting with creating a base then creating thin sausages of clay that we built up on the base before smoothing out to create our final piece.  I chose a bowl…it was interesting.  I am not sure how watertight, or how reliable this “bowl” will turn out to be, however, I really enjoyed this method.IMAG1555

We pinch, roll and work the clay through the next methods with varying degrees of
success.  During the three hours, which go incredibly fast, I make a vase, box, tea-light holder and afore mentioned bowl.

Some of the other students create beautiful masterful creations with forethought and

design, and I fear I should forward  plan a little more!  But even so I am ridiculously pleased with my creations afterwards.
Now we wait for about four weeks until the ceramics go through two rounds of firing in a kiln and glazing to become the final products.

Have a look at Go Create for lots of courses and fun crafting adventures.

This was great fun, actually even more enjoyable than I had thought it would be.