Take The Hard Road

Easy Road/Hard Road – Which Would You Choose?

 

“Anywhere, but Wales”, I replied when asked where we should take our next vacation. Don’t get me wrong, my Dad is from North Wales and many a holiday (or vacations) were spent there also. It’s a beautiful place, with great mountainous views and a variety of outdoor activities that can be found in many towns all over Wales. But, a change was well overdue for my partner and I. This ‘well-needed’ time off work and from reality in general, had been booked for months in advance, and we wanted it to be special.

Glamping?

After hours of surfing ‘the net’ we found a campsite in the Peak District called Dale Farm, situated in Bakewell, (land of the original Bakewell Pudding), I know! So exciting!

We thought we’d try out this glamping thing everyone’s talking about, after noticing that Dale Farm had some impressive looking bell tents on site for a very reasonable price. The inclusions were not to be snuffed at either: fire-pitt; wood; tea-lights; wood burning stove; bed, and not to mention a little sheep named Dotty (that doesn’t know she’s a sheep), roams the campsite and welcomes visitors! Too cute! To say we were excited was an understatement. This is gonna’ be awesome! I thought.

aND IT ALL come a’TUMBLING DOWN

The evening before we were suppposed to be off on our adventure to Bakewell, we had prepared all the usual kit you need for ‘glamping’ including food and even a playlist we called: Bakewell Adventure. We went to bed like happy bunnies and dreamt of all the good times to come. Well, so we thought.

Early that morning, Rob, my partner, decided to check his emails. Then I heard a disheartening, “ohhhh, no!” The campsite had emailed us to inform that there had been damage overnight to the bell-tent we were going to stay in, therefore it had to be cancelled. My stomach sank, I was so upset; but I said, “it’ll all be okay, we’ll call them and surely something can be arranged for us.”

I tried to stay positive although deep down I thought our adventure had been ruined. In the end, Dale farm could only offer us another date to stay there, but of course this wasn’t an option, as it was hard enough getting this week booked off work.

stay positive

Anyway, we managed to find another place to stay last minute. It wasn’t in Bakewell, but it was only a 20 minute drive away. We still managed to grab a bell-tent too; this time in Buxton, (land of water and lovely pale ales) which offered similar inclusions and the campsite was absolutely adorable, located in the woods with everything you need for a pleasant and peaceful break away. Not forgetting all the gorgeous bunting and fairy-lights draped along the tent, and there’s a little farm nextdoor…. fabulous! We were so lucky! The place was called Staden Grange.

glamping staden grange

Long story short, we arrived at the campsite, unloaded and enjoyed our surroundings for a while before deciding to take a walk into Buxton. We walked for about half an hour before finding a pub called The Blazing Rag; it was a very ‘local pub’ with friendly people working it and the beer was good, but the area wasn’t very ‘tourist’esc’, so to speak. One pint later we decided to head back to the bell-tent.

Trail of terror

Rob thought it would be fun to take a more rural route back. I refused. “No way! Iam notwalking into that jungle all the way back, no!”He turns left into the rural path and says”come on, stop whining!” So, I reluctantly humoured and followed him into a path leading to a field that you couldn’t see the back of. Tall grass, narrow paths, and lots of winding trees surrounded us; nature is mystical and sometimes quite scary; your imagination runs wild with all the dark, hidden spaces and wonders of the unseen… Just me?

“What’s That?”

I noticed high up a hill, in the distance what appeared to be a row of slender men, all dressed in white trousers, walking eerily in sync accross the hillside. Silently, I stood still, staring; pointing. Rob hurried me along, and I said in a shakey voice, “no, look! Who are they? Why are they doing that?” For a second, he looked just as scared as me, but then he squinted for a better look, and reassured me that they were just cows; run of mill, black and white cows. I was wearing my glasses, (which I often forget to wear), so it must have been the pint of beer that stirred my imagination, who knows?

Cows rural route

Panic over right? Ohhh no; this is just the beginning! As we walked on a little further I come to realise that we will be walking on that same hillside, with the slender man cows and NO fencing will be between us… oh dear. “I can’t do it!” I cried. “yes you can, don’t be rediculous”, Rob replied. I started to feel a little brave, and then I see it. Directly in our path; A very big, a very scary, a very close…. Bull! It had horns and everything and was glaring at us like we were trespassing on his territory!

Please ground, swallow me! I thought, but I was quickly reassured that this is a public walkway, therefore it had to be safe. “Okay, okay, just don’t look at it, let’s just walk swiftly past and get out of its way.” By the way; Rob both looked at the Bull and talked to it as we passed. Not funny!

seriously?

Walking on, we find some pretty photo opportunities, a lovely big bridge, and the path itself was beautiful; especially if you don’t mind being in the midst of large animals. “we’re nearly there!” Rob shouts; to my relief. Then we approach a large metal gate. My initial thoughts were, what’s behind this gate? What scary animals are lurking around here? Is this a private farm? Will we get shot? Eeeeek! Then I remembered, it’s a public walkway; all is safe and well in our world, I repeated near 50 times in my head.

buxton

My Worst Fear… nearly

BARK! As I push the large and annoyingly noisy gate open, a big ginger dog runs out about 30 feet from us. It’s okay, It’s on a lead; but it is still in our path! This dog looked like a Chow or something it was quite fluffy and big. Rob walked in first and as he walked towards the dog and attempted to stroke it, the dog jumped, suddenly. It didn’t bark, but how can you predict how a dog’s going to react? You can’t; simple! Silent but deadly sprung to mind.

I was shaking in my boots (pink running shoes); I’m next to walk passed this unpredictable creature. But, I had two choices: Either walk passed the dog or walk back for 25 minutes and cross the bull and scary man cows again. Squeeeeeek, went the gate.

Yes, I am alive and well; in-case you were worried. I have no idea what the dog did as I walked, (ran like a mad man), past the dog; I really wish I had more to tell, but I had my hands over my eyes while baby crying towards Rob in the safe area.

Finally,our destination is in sight. We crossed some chickens but they were fine. I have no phobias of chickens. Balloons, spiders and even holes; but not chickens. (I used to like the series’ American Horror Story, but the latest one, Cult; is all about everything I can’t stand. Don’t watch it. I’m almost certain you will, now).

Easyville

So, we got back to the tent after this crazy ‘walk to the pub’, and had a lovely time roasting marshmallows by a fire, with little tree stumps to sit on, and enjoyed a glass of prosecco, or two, and belly laughed about our mini adventure. The next day we explored Bakewell (I drove there, duh); it’s the most gorgeous and interesting town ever; We are already planning to go back again. So much to do! One amazing example is this really cool museum: Old House Museum

Although, I hate being taken out of my comfort zone, I am ALWAYS happy I was. When it’s over, of course. It creates fond and hilarious memories, and my fears and anxieties seem to melt away more and more each time. I am glad we took the hard road. If we took the easy road then we wouldn’t have experienced what we did, and learned from it. If we took the easy road, then all I could have told you about is that we walked down a paved road with passing cars, and that we held hands. Nice, yet dull.

If you think about it, most times the easy road, in life, will lead to normality; no change; it’s just safe. Most times, the hard road in life, though scary and uncertain, leads to success; in learning, growing, understanding and self belief! You wont know unless you go! X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Challenge

Sadly, I have recently noticed that I have allowed myself to slowly fall into a rut. I haven’t blogged in a couple of months and I certainly haven’t been putting ‘my all’ into things that I should be; and I haven’t been making an effort to do things that I know deep down that I love doing. For some reason the thought of sitting and writing or starting on one of my hobbies just wasn’t exciting me enough to make me do it. I was not happy; I let my side down, somewhere down the line.

So what did I do instead of things I liked? I’d come home from work, grab a beer, listen to music, day-dream and get all depressed from it. I felt guilty for myself, because I knew there were things I wanted and needed to do; but yet again, the following day I would do the same, and repeat and repeat…

I was doing so well, I thought. I was thinking positively, loving life, everything just seemed to be working out perfectly for me. Lots of great new changes have occured in my life the past few months! Why am I so damn down? The recognition of the fact that I had actually allowed myself to fall started to make me feel worse. This is probably because I had created some bad habits, and habits are hard to break. Especially bad ones, unfortunately.

While I am at work I seem to be okay; I’m very productive and work really hard all day. It’s just that moment I walk through the door of my home, that I just don’t know what to do. Over-thing is a big one too. My Nan has just moved quite far away and people are clearing out her house; I haven’t heard from my family in the USA in a long time; Bills have appeared from nowhere, and so on…

Anyway, something has got to give! Now! Slowly but surely, I have got to snap out of this haze of negativity because it is getting me to nowhere town, fast! I know that worrying doesn’t help any situation, I know I am being daft. We are only human though, I guess. Being aware of the problem and knowing that it needs to be fixed is a good sign, at least. To give up on yourself would be very sad. Don’t do this, ever! I know it’s easy, just don’t!

What cheers ladies up the most? Shopping. I thought I would pick up my lap top and do some retail therapy; that will sort me out. I must admit I did feel better after ordering a few new summer dresses. I clicked to pay, and then…. then what? sigh. Facebook! I’ll look through Facebook; that got boring after one scroll full of pets and #thirstythursday selfies. So I absent mindedly typed in my website and logged in; had a little click around and then, here I am, typing this.

As I continued to type I began to see my own issues more clearly; rather than wallowing in my problem I am looking at it, reading it. It seems like this problem I have is much easier to solve now. Surely, I can create a good habit if I can create a bad one. Effort is envolved, I know, but it’s possible. And worth it.

Let’s challenge ourselves. We can do it together. Let’s think of something that makes us feel happy; or maybe something we need to do. Maybe something we don’t like doing so much but the feeling we get after we have accomplished it is worth the graft. Let’s try this ‘5 step challenge’:

  1. Just do it! Don’t think about what you want/need to do; just go for it. (it probably doesn’t take too long, and you will be so glad you did it.)
  2. Remind yourself! Make a conscious effort to do this thing every day. (set a reminder on your phone, or put a note in your purse/wallet and tell yourself how much you love doing this.)
  3. Congratulate yourself! Each time you accomplish your task or your joy, lap it up! You deserve it!
  4. Ask your loved ones or friends to support you. (They will be proud of you, and encouragement is always a good thing. You may even inspire others to give this a go in the mean-time! Bonus!)
  5. Feel happy! If we continue to do the things that really make us happy in the end, other great changes will occur in our lives and amazing opportunities are sure to make an appearance.

Isn’t it incredible, that just by us being sincerely happy within ourselves we cause the world around us to ‘morph’ into something spectacular? Our happiness is so important. Honestly, if our happiness makes the world a better place and makes others happy too, how can we be so selfish?

I am going to start the ‘5 step challenge’ first thing tomorrow. I hope you join me and share your results and thoughts. I am so excited! Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

See the Good in Everything & Find the Good in You

If we practice to only see the good in people, things and life situations; then, eventually, everything in our lives will be good…

Sometimes we can make a situation bad, by the way we think about that situation. So if we try to think good thoughts when something happens that makes us feel angry, then this must make us feel better, right?

Is it the problem itself that makes us feel upset? Or is it the way that we look at or how we react to the problem, that makes us feel upset?

Try it out!

Try to remember to rememeber to think only of good thoughts or things that make you extremely happy whenever you feel yourself getting annoyed or angry. Or when someone or something is getting on your nerves, think of that special thought.

See how this changes the rest of your day, and most importantly: how it makes you feel.

Black Friday; A Blessing or A Curse?

Christmas market
Christmas market

I booked today off from work so that I could see what all the fuss was about this day they call: black-Friday. I have never before gone out shopping on black Friday, not because I don’t love a sale, because lets face it, everyone loves a sale; I was just a bit weary because of the stories I’d heard of the crowds of crazed mothers fighting to get the last furby; grown men squaring-up over a, (dare I say it), silly Playstation game, (or X-Box; whatever); and kids screaming and whining because they want their presents right now!

Enlightened: To tell you the truth, today was actually rather pleasant. It was busy, of course, because, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but…. It’s nearly Christmas! Maybe it’s just in America where people go “OTT” for the big sales? I don’t know, but either way, I am pleased that my shopping experience on the dreaded Black Friday was a breeze.  I am also happy to say that I did bag a few deals.

Fire Alarm on Black Friday, How Inconvenient: My boyfriend and I were shopping in HMV; I had hinted more than once that I really, really wanted the first series of the O.C. You may have heard of it; I love it. Anyway, we separated in the store so that we couldn’t see what we were buying for each other. While I was looking at  remote control helicopters I noticed my other half walking very quickly towards the till, but at that same moment the fire alarms went off, so I thought he was running for the door! Yeah, without me! So I panic and start trying to run out. He notices me, chucks something on a shelf and calls me over to him.

Oh, Man: We both wait outside in the cold waiting to be allowed back into the store. We soon give up waiting and go somewhere else. Later on, after a pint or two at the Christmas market, we went back to the store that had earlier kicked everyone out. When we left the store my man says, ‘I have to tell you this even though it’ll spoil your surprise; I had the first series of the O.C for you but then the fire alarm went off, so I hid it on a shelf on the way out so that I’d remember where it was when we come back, but the woman at the till just now said that there’s only one left in stock but for some reason it’s not there on the shelf. Well that’s because I hid it. It’s so annoying!’ If I wasn’t in that store with him to witness this event, I would have thought, mm-hm, likely story that, mate! To be honest, I am just made-up that he remembered what I wanted. That’s a Christmas miracle!

Curse?: As we sauntered back to the train station we heard a man shouting, very dramatically, obscene and offensive things, very offensive; so we tried to avoid it. The man’s voice got louder and louder as we got closer to him. When the enraged man was in sight we looked down to the floor, so not to make eye-contact. As we walked past he shouted, “look at me! Do I look like a Chimpanzee”? We couldn’t help giggling, then we noticed policemen making their way towards the unfortunate soul. I’m not sure what he was thinking or feeling to make him want to stand in the middle of a busy city and shout out-loud all of these hateful and hurtful profanities, but I hope that he can find peace one day.

Positive Vibes, Finally: So, as we were strolling through this kind of negative atmosphere, we hear, lightly, an elderly man’s voice singing beautifully, Hurt by Johnny Cash, (or Nine Inch Nails), and as the volume of his gentle voice and guitar grew louder, we gradually felt at ease and then finally, happy.

When the man singing this song was in plain sight, I saw my dad. It wasn’t my dad, of course, but this busker wore a cowboy hat, had a beard and was smiling and trying to make passers by happy by chatting breifly as they passed by; this reminded me of my dad because he also has these attributes and is also a singer and guitarist. The song the man performed, Hurt, was particularly touching because it makes you think of what it may be like getting everything you think you want and then thinking, hmmm, was it really?

I stood and watched while he played a few songs, and I watched him taking the time to let people take selfies with his guitar and then with him, so that they can share their photos with the world on the internet, but these people didn’t take the time to throw any change in his battered yet humble guitar case.  Do they think that he’s there for their entertainment? Well, it appeared that he was more than happy to oblige, but why take advantage of that?

Blessing: Looking down at my shopping bags filled with presents and new clothes and then looking at the man who was providing us all with great music and presence, I thought, I’m going to give him ten pounds. (He had a guitar case with a fair amount of pound coins and change, and strangely a tin of celebration chocolates).

We waited for the selfie queens to leave the man be, and for him to start playing another song, then I walked over to the cash machine and took out ten pounds and wandered over to him and wedged the note under his tin of chocolates. I walked off swiftly, without looking up at him. I didn’t want any praise in return for this present I gave him, I just wanted him to realise that he is amazing, plays beautiful music, and deserves this. Ten pounds is not much at all, he is fully capable of earning a lot more; I just hope that this small gesture has inspired him as much as him and his music have inspired all of us Christmas shoppers, with our many bags full of plastic joy.

Final Thought: This day, Black Friday, was not at all bad. Unfortunate situations had occurred, but there was definitely a positive side to them. I suppose that it’s the way that you look at a situation that makes the difference. For instance: Some performers would be annoyed by people approaching them for pictures; some people would be angry about a fire alarm causing them to lose the last DVD of the O.C., some people may just hate the day because it’s cold outside; but that’s just because these people, which is sometimes me, look at things the wrong way, or don’t see the sunny-side, as it were. This is hard to do sometimes, but I think it’s possible with practice. Let the little things inspire you. It’s the little things that count, right?

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction To My New Blog!

I’ll start this off with posting what is happening right now. It’s a cold night, one of the coldest so far as we are slowly approaching Winter. I’m sat on a little sofa in the spare room with my lap-top resting on a dining chair in-front of me. There’s a calming, log fire burning next to me, and Kings of Leon’s new album is playing softly in the back-ground. I’m feeling quite positive at this moment.

positive

I have been deleting and adding, back and fourth, parts of this site for months, worrying about what I should blog about; but after reading something today that basically stated: people shouldn’t over-think their projects; if you love doing something, you should just do it, I feel that now is as good a time as ever to launch the site.

I have always loved writing since I was a very young girl; I always kept a couple of diaries and I had a notebook full of little songs and poems I’d wrote. In school I used to love it, in writing class, when we would have story writing competitions. We would be given a subject and then left to create our own story; it was great! I won a number of these little story writing competitions and would have most of them read out loud in front of the whole class. My teacher would nick name me, the little journalist, which was very embarrassing at the time, as I was really shy.

As the years passed by my writing routines slowly fizzled away. I had to face a number of life challenges which, unfortunately, sucked the life out of me, in words. Sadly, I didn’t feel the love and desire to write anymore, nor to do much of anything, to be honest; but I am beginning to get that good feeling back. This year I have been really trying to focus on finding my fulfillment again; I have started taking driving lessons, learning new skills and am allowing myself more “me time”. I am actually starting to surprise myself with some of my abilities; things I never thought I was capable of doing. Creating this web site for one, was an accomplishment. There’s still a lot to learn, and I am so excited about it!

I am looking forward to blogging as much as possible and keeping things interesting; hopefully. My main goal is that my posts inspire you and that we can all grow into the best possible version of ourselves. I am looking forward to sharing my personal and positive life stories. I have come to find that the only person that can help you to improve, in what-ever way, is you. Encouragement certainly helps though!

Thanks for reading.

Kind regards,

Sarah