Friday 15 November 2013

Dawn walk with pictures

I read this blog post yesterday Early morning frost from Littlenestbox and one of the things in life I love the most is frost and autumn.  I decided that I was going to get up early (7am - practically still nighttime) and go for a walk and take some pictures.

Easy enough you would think.  I am really not a morning person.  I may be a mutton at heart but when it comes to mornings I am a full on teenage lamb.   I want to be able to do mornings, I really do but I just can't.  I just get tired and grumpy.  I told my aunt last night that I was getting up early.  She laughed and then said, "Shall I still say goodbye to you now" (she was going away for the weekend and leaving at half seven).  Rude, I thought but actually I agreed with her and said goodbye.  I was still going to put my alarm on for 7 but the chances of me emerging from my room were slim.  No I wouldn't be writing this post if I hadn't made it so yes at 7 O'clock this morning I actually awoke rather perkily.  I still had a few minutes hesitation after I had switched my alarm off but shock horror the lamb arose.  When my aunt saw me she said "the world's gone mad", or at least I think she did.  I may have been up and out of bed but I sure as hell wasn't 'awake'.

I have obviously seen dawn before.  I got up at 7 to go to school every morning but I have never before wanted to get up that early (except I suppose when I was younger and didn't understand sleeping in).  I have never before wanted to get up and subsequently go for a walk that early.  This was new and exciting territory.

I wrapped up in hat, gloves, scarf and coat and set off into the woods.  It was so calm and peaceful.  Just me and my music and the cold crisp air.  There were only a couple of people around and I could get back to my thoughts.  I took hundreds of pictures but here are my favourites.  I think people must have thought I was mad taking so many pictures but as I said autumn and frost are both things I love and with the dawn light they were extra beautiful.

I really recommend you taking a walk on your own in the early (for me at least) morning.  Just be with your thoughts and let the fresh air refresh you for the day ahead.  Don't forget to wrap up warm though!

Frosty skeletons sprinkled with icing

Sky ahead

Through the leaves

Through the wire.


Looking into the unknown

Sun effects

Morning has broken, like the first morning…

I came home and picked some flowers
before settling down with a nice cup of tea in my favourite mug.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Writing Christmas cards

I've been meaning to write this blog post for weeks but I kept putting it off (I see a new years resolution coming).  It's not that I don't want to write it, I've just been busy… I think!

Anyway anyway anyway.  This is a blog post about Christmas (that's Christmas by the way and not Xmas or Chrimbo.  It's always Christmas) cards, a sort of follow up to the Letter Writing post from last time.  I wrote an article for my local newspaper and I wanted to expand on here.

As December looms and with Halloween firmly behind us, there is only one word coming out of everyone lips, Christmas.  I still think it is a bit soon but needs must.  The cake must be baked, the presents bought and the cards written.   (Before I go on, if you haven't started yet, I want to congratulate you for not thinking about Christmas before December and then I want to say when December does present itself… RELAX! And actually that goes for everyone - just RELAX when it comes to all issues surrounding Christmas, it really doesn't matter)  There is a lot of anguish that surrounds Christmas card writing and I want to put a few things straight.  Firstly and I think most importantly, you don’t actually have to send them to everyone you’ve ever met.  You don't actually have to send them at all (and despite the picture above, it is not the sole responsibility/duty of the women/wife).  

One of my pet hates is getting a Christmas card with only ‘love from so and so’ on it.  No names, no message, not even a Happy Christmas.  No effort has gone in to it.  My other pet hate is Christmas card newsletters.  Nobody wants to hear how amazing you and your children are getting on.  I don’t know who these people are that send them because everyone I know cries when they receive them, and then burn them.

I want people to re-think the whole Christmas card debacle.  We need to go back to writing them like writing letters to friends we don’t often see.  We don’t need to send a Christmas card to someone we met once on holiday and haven’t spoken to since.  I also don't understand why people don't automatically buy charity Christmas cards rather than commercial ones from WHSmiths.  WHSmiths don't need your money they really don't.  Charities need your money.  It doesn't matter which charity, it can be a charity that rehouses curtains for all I care as long as it means something to you (if you have an argument as to why I should go to WHSmiths instead then please let me know).  Another option is to make them, especially so if you cut down list and don't have to make hundreds.

And finally... please, please don’t send cards just for the sake of it.  The whole of England, let alone the world is stuck in a Christmas card loop and it needs to stop.  Let’s all send cards because we want too, and because we want to spread the Christmas joy with those we love.  

Basically, you probably won't be getting a Christmas card from me!

Katie :)

Sunday 3 November 2013

Letter writing

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Last week? Last month? Last year? Have you ever written a letter?

I'm not talking about writing a letter to your bank or your gas supplier, or even to your child's teacher.  I'm talking about good old fashioned letters that you send to your friends and family.  I have recently taken up writing to my friends because they are all away at university.  I know I could text them or Skype them but writing a letter is fun for me and I think just that little bit more personal.  There is nothing more exciting (apart from opening your stocking on christmas morning) than seeing your name on an envelope on the doormat.  For most of my life the only letters I've received were from my bank telling me I have no money (does this ever change?).  Apart from thank you letters the only letters I remember writing were to a girl I met on holiday in Corfu when I was seven or eight.  I received very few letters until I went to University.  Then everything changed.  I received letters from my step mum and my aunt (I used to goad them on so that I would get more letters!) and occasionally from my friends.  This was great.  I loved getting them but I never really thought to return the favour.  It seemed like something that would take ages to write and I would have spoken to them to tell them all my news in the letter before they received it.

This all changed however when I graduated.  I had no job and no friends as they had all gone back up to university.  What should I do, I thought?  As I've said I loved getting letters when I was at university so I thought I would surprise some of my friends with letters.  But what should I write about?  I didn't want to write about my life because quite frankly there was nothing new or interesting going on.  My letters would go as such…


Today I got up at 11 and had breakfast.  I checked twitter for as long as I could muster and then decided to get dressed.  I looked at a couple of job applications but it was almost lunch so I stopped.  I went shopping in the afternoon but didn't have any money so came home.  I'm going to watch Lewis AGAIN tonight because there is nothing else on.  I spoke to you on the phone yesterday and relayed all my news so there is not much else to tell you.  I'm going to have a cup of tea now.  Speak soon.

Lots of love Katie xxx

Nobody wants to read that now do they?  So I decided that comedy was the best form of writing - writing as somebody else or as an exaggerated version of my self.  I have written letters to my friends explaining to them why I want to live in sherwood forest with robin hood (well who wouldn't?).  I've sent letters as Rose from Titanic expressing her love to Jack.  I've sent letters about overhearing a conversation with two middle aged women who want to start a war on poo.  I've sent the most random letters that I hope have brought a smile to some of my friends faces.  That is all I've ever wanted to do - make them smile.  That is what I think a letter should do (unless you're delivering bad news but maybe don't write bad news in a letter?).  You can do it in your own way, write what you want, as long as your recipient smiles when they're reading it.

Give it a go.  Make someone smile.  It doesn't have to be long, maybe start writing postcards before moving onto full size letters.  It's really rewarding and you might wake up one morning with a reply on your doorstep that makes you smile.

Katie :)