Stormy Weather

Stormy Weather

Yesterday afternoon we had a magnificent storm.  Thunder, lightning, heavy rain, winds – the whole shebang.  It was lovely after several weeks of relentless Summer heat.  Which, normally, I don’t mind – me being a cold-blooded little fishy – but the storm was so cleansing and made everything, including my brain and spirit, seem fresh again.

I nearly cancelled my afternoon walk – I didn’t particularly want to get electrocuted and really couldn’t be bothered getting my raincoat and other wet-weather gear on.  I decided to wait it out, make myself a cup of tea and see if the rain decreased enough for me to attempt some outdoor exercise.  The rain slowed down and became just a light shower, and the winds calmed as well.  There was less lightning too, so I decided to brave the elements and get moving.  I’m so glad  I did – the walk was just what I needed.

I encountered very few people out and about (wusses!) and, other than a few bedraggled cormorants, seagulls and magpies, I was able to have a peaceful, solitary walk.  Bliss. The air was cool and fresh, and the light rain on my skin felt wonderful.  I didn’t even care if my hair frizzed, for once.  I didn’t bother with an umbrella or raincoat – I just walked in my usual gear, stepping gleefully into a few puddles as I went.

The sky was black and murky, but beautiful with impressive cloud formations.  Flocks of birds twittered happily through the spattering of raindrops.  Grumpy-looking cormorants dried themselves off on jetties and shorelines, their fat little bellies all fluffy and damp.  I took photos and just breathed in the air.

Kinda wish every afternoon could be like that – it made exercise so enjoyable and less like a punishment ha ha.  It definitely cleared the cobwebs out of my brain and made me feel good again, ready for the rest of the week.

Hope you are having some weather you enjoy or, at least, can find elements of it that make you feel happy and alive.  I’m yet to find anything about cold weather that I really enjoy…but storms make me happy every time 🙂

Thanks for visiting x

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Words to Live by…

Words to Live by…

Good morning!  I am a good girl today – I got up nice and early and went for a walk while it was still cool and quiet.  We have had such a mild Christmas/New Year weather period, it doesn’t feel like Summer at all.  This morning was actually chilly when I got started which is so unusual for this time of year.  Normally it is blazing hot until at least March.

I snapped a few pictures as I walked through the neighbourhood and down to the foreshore.  Lots of pretty flowers and birds, no doubt enjoying the unseasonably cool weather.  I normally take my iPod with me and listen to music, but, as it and my phone were both charging, I took my camera instead.  The sky was pretty grey this morning – a chance of rain perhaps? – and the water on the river was still and glass-like.

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 I got into a bit of a meditative frame of mind (in other words, I was still a bit sleepy and just switched my brain off) and just enjoyed the gentle breeze and relative peace and quiet.  I am trying to be a bit more centred this year, calmer and less anxious and stressed.  I find it very hard to just stop thinking about everything.  So I am now trying to think about good things, instead of worrying, especially about things I cannot change.  I focused on the birds and the water and the city skyline and just breathed (or puffed, depending on how you look at it – I’m not very fit).  It made me think about the Desiderata.  Have you ever read it?

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When I was 12, our teacher’s assistant read out the Desiderata to us at our Year 7 graduation night.  I will always remember sitting there and listening to his voice as he read out those magical words.  As a 12-year-old I can’t say I took a lot of it in, but it has always stuck with me, somewhere in the back of my crowded brain, as words to live by.  I have given it to people as gifts and keep a copy with me.  This year I am going to try and live up to it and remember it’s words more often.  It doesn’t preach and it doesn’t claim to have all the answers.  It’s just perfect.

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If you’ve never read it before, please do now.  I think the world would be a nicer place if everyone knew and believed in these words.

Thank you Mr Rosling – you may not remember this little twelve-year-old girl, but she remembers you fondly and with love and gratitude.

x

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

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As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

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If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;

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for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

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Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.

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But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

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Be yourself.

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Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

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Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

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You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

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Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

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With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Way Down Upon the Swan(ee) River…

Way Down Upon the Swan(ee) River…

Ah, Perth in the Summer time…well, almost Summer time.  It’s only November after all and we have a couple more weeks before Summer officially arrives, but the weather has been so warm (hallelujah!) and after-work walks have been the order of the day.  Or, at least, I’m trying to make them the order of at least three days a week, rather than just coming home every day and collapsing in a heap  on the couch.

I am very lucky to live so near to the Swan River.  A short walk away, I can stroll along the foreshore, watch the boats and swans and ducks and seagulls and, if I’m luckier still, the dolphins.  Everything seems better by the water.  Calmer and fresher and just better.  Plus I live at the top of a steep hill so the walk home always makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something (albeit with much wheezing and unattractive sweating).

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I love watching the black swans – they are so majestic yet, at times, comical, and even downright scary at other times (you do not want to get in the way of a Mother swan and her brood).  They are beautiful and they remind me of my dear geese that I miss so much now I do not live in the country.  My retirement dream, so far flung in to the future, is to have a little cottage on the coast with enough room for me and my menagerie which will, of course, include a gaggle of geese.  Who will chase everyone except for me.  As it should be.

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Sorry – the water looks kinda gross here.  Near the shoreline it gets a bit choppy and churned up..

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This one looks like the Loch Ness Monster!

When I am walking I like to zone out.  I actually don’t feel very confident when I am out walking on my own.  I feel like I stand out.  I feel uncomfortable in my own skin and would rather not have anyone else around me.  Since being ill I don’t have the world’s best balance or ability to walk in a straight line.  I often trip over things and overbalance.  Basically, I am a huge klutzoid.  It also makes me feel ungainly and awkward so I do feel self-conscious when walking.

Music helps me concentrate on something else.  I have my trusty iPod with me or plug headphones into my phone and away I go.  Not too loud, that’s not safe for my ears or my own protection, but enough that I can’t get distracted from what I’m doing.  Which is trying to walk briskly without falling down or losing my balance and ending up in a ditch.

I like different kinds of music on different days.  I like rock and pop and alternative, rap and funk.  Different beats and rhythms make you walk differently and help you stay on track.  I am currently trying to force myself to walk with my head up (I have a bad habit of always having my head lowered, partly due to timidity but also because of aforementioned clumsiness) and I find having a song playing helps me do that somehow.

I don’t have a regular playlist per se.  But I have a few that always come up on rotation and may get repeated a few times because I like the way they match my stride:

Del Amitri – Roll to Me

Scribe – Not Many

Sia – Buttons

King Charles – Bam Bam

Rob Zombie – More Human than Human

The KLF – 3 A.M. Eternal

Lulu & The Lampshades – Cups

BlackStreet – No Diggity

Icona Pop – I Love It

Cornershop- Brimful of Asha

And then there’s the old favourites that I listen to when I’m not so much working up a sweat as working through some sadness and just  need to get some fresh air.  Then I’m afraid I crank up the Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Simon & Garfunkel and whatever 70s or 80s song I have on my playlist.  I admit I have to stop myself from air-drumming sometimes (oh come on – who hasn’t done it to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”?!) but mostly I just like that music takes you away from where you are, even if it’s somewhere as nice as by the river.

Do you have favourite exercising tunes?  Any embarrassing ones?  I won’t tell.  Promise 🙂