Posts Tagged ‘Snow’


A few reasons I find living in central London hard

November 30, 2010

Finally, we have some snow falling. But the ground is wet and it’s not settling. Yet we have the freezing cold temperatures that go with snow. Not fair. My friends in both Northwood and Finchley have good, settling snow.

As I ventured out into Zone 4 on Sunday, I nearly cried.

There were leaves on the ground. Autumn Leaves that crunch underfoot. I enjoyed kicking them as I walked along the paths. In central London, the leaves that we did have here were swept up into plastic bags and taken away for being composted.

I saw frost on cars in the middle of the afternoon. I had seen that in the afternoon, but what I saw next I realised how much I missed; the grass on the verges of road was frozen solid and looked so pretty. I miss seeing that. And hearing the crunch underfoot.

I miss the countryside.


Holidays are coming…

November 29, 2010

This still has to rank as one of the best Christmas commercials


Surprises in Narnia

March 13, 2010

I can’t complain, I had almost 24 whole hours of goodness. Of feeling happy, with relatively little pain etc.

I decided to go to Tesco’s this afternoon as I’d run out of the necessary supplies of Soya milk, additional protein, fruit, and some treats. While I was there I had a brief look at what DVD’s they had and I got the new version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at a good price, so I bought it.

I watched the Rugby when I got back, which was a bit of a messy game for England to say the least! By half time I was feeling really rough. Tesco’s was really hard, firstly with going on a Saturday (not sure I had much wisdom on that one), then Mum called, so I was talking to her while doing shopping, which was, well, painful. The journey home was stressful as a Police car nearly collided with me as I went through green lights – it only put his blues on as it was coming towards me! And, I’ve discovered golfing is more exerting than I’d previously given credit; I’m incredibly achy in places that haven’t ached for a while! So, I’m in bed, having a restful evening.

Lizzie joined me to watch The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which was lovely. I’ve never seen the new version all the way through and Lizzie hadn’t seen this version yet, either. I love Narnia.

I also love that Aslan appeared in one of my horrible dreams last week and made everything disappear.

I failed to mention yesterday that the event which picked me up from the depths of the horrendous valley I’ve been in mentally, was a surprise visit from my best friend. He actually made my day. I had been sat in my PJ’s at nearly lunchtime, having not eaten, or opened the curtains, or anything. Yet he encouraged me to work and I got a copy of my dissertation project to my supervisor. I did washing, I cleaned my room. Then we chilled out, and I napped, which was less fun, but it was okay, you know, because he was there. I miss him not being here.

He also introduced me to Longview‘s album, Mercury. I love it. My favorite song is I would. I’ve not really heard of them before, but that’s my rubbish-ness when it comes to music and names of bands, and so forth… I found their website and I really like what Rob had to say about his classical training;

“I didn’t want to be regurgitating classical music in a baroque style which was a lot of the music I was playing,” he says. “I wanted to create music about things I saw. The only interest I’ve got in music is the way it makes you feel about your own life, and what I was studying wasn’t relevant to my life. If you are in a rock band you’re not regurgitating, you are the creative force… you Are Beethoven”

I personally disagree with the regurgitating baroque music comment too. Part of why I love playing the ‘cello is that I can put my own interpretation into the music.
I think it’d take some more album’s to convince me that he is Beethoven, but the sentiment’s good, at least! Although, I wouldn’t wish the life of Beethoven upon anyone, either!

Anyway, thank you for your surprise visit. You made everything so much better.

Now I’m praying for restful, reviving sleep, and pain to go, please.


Lent; day 15

March 3, 2010

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Requiem

Although commissioned by the church, the Requiem is known in the concert hall than religious services these days.
I love this piece… the way he intertwines ideas throughout all the movements… It takes a lot of listening to, but there is beauty in it.

As I was listening to this work today, I was struggling to work out in what context I knew it so well. Then it dawned on me, not only did I play in the orchestra for a performance of it back in January, that day when I received a ‘phone call asking for help in the snowy weather. But I had also sung in the chorus at my first Old Southwellians Concert when I was in JD!

I have learned today that Mozart died whilst still composing this piece at the age of 36. I am two-thirds his age and I have in no way achieved anything like what he did, as a composer!
What I also discovered, is that the final parts of the Requiem were finished by Sussmayr (1766-1803) who was Mozart’s pupil. Giles links this with the Great Commission; that we are to ‘pick up the baton’ where others have left works unfinished… to continue the race, and to accept that we not see the completion of all things in our own time on earth. Humbling.



February 10, 2010

With some encouragement from the lovely Colette, I decided in the Autumn to come to the Centenary Innovate this weekend. Innovate is a conference-type event for Senior Section (aged 14-26) members of GirlGuiding UK. My first Innovate was in Edinburgh in 2003, which was counting towards my Queen’s Guide Award. I really enjoyed it, I’ve just not been back as I’ve not been up to date with when the next one is, or it’s not been at a good time for me.

Despite it not being the wisest thing, going away the weekend before I move back to LST on the Monday, I actually think it was good for me. It took my mind off the fact I was returning, I didn’t have time to think about it in any detail and it also meant I’d done my LST packing by Thursday evening.
Before I looked at the map and realised actually how close to London it was, I promised Colette and Katie a lift there and back to Nottingham. It was nice to travel with people, but it might have made more sense for me to drive straight onto LST on Sunday afternoon. Ah well!

We had a good time, I feel. I met some lovely new friends and had fun times :o) There was badge swapping and buying, Carnival parties, eating so much very good food, drinking, chilling in rooms, finding out how many people we can fit in a Honda Jazz (7, but potential for more), seeing the Chief Guide herself, and finally, making the shape of ‘100’ stood in the rain on a field, blowing bubbles with photographic evidence!

We have the opportunity to try some new things on the Saturday afternoon.
Firstly I went to the ‘Me In Mind’ session, which is a programme for 14+, to raise awareness of mental health issues, more of a ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach, but still a valuable resource which I am going to encourage other youth leaders to use. During the session I took part in a selection of the activities, including writing ‘My Fit List’ see below, and I wound up earning the ‘Me In Mind’ badge, which is always good! We were told the pack and badges would be on sale at the Shop on Sunday afternoon, but by the time I’d got to the front of the queue, they’d sold out! Rubbish! Oh well, I shall order them soon.

*My Fit List*
My favourite colours are; Pink, Purple, Blue and Orange
My favourite music is: Classical, Musicals, Feel Good
A great day out was: to Alton Towers with Victoria
My best day ever was: Snow Day 2009
When I’m happy I: smile, laugh, giggle, sing, make music
When I’m looking good I wear: pretty dresses or skirts
My favourite sport is: Netball
I can talk to: Jesus, Lizzie, David, Jo, Hannah, Scott, Peter, Helen, Rachel,
My favourite subject at school was: Religious Education
My good friends are: Lizzie, Dave, Vicky, Helen, Jo, Colette, Catriona, Hazel, Cat, Scott, Peter,
My favourite painting is: (still pondering that one)
My favourite singers are: Amy Linley and Liza Mohan
The best thing in life is: God
Someone I respect is; Katie, because she is: faithful, honest, hard working, successful and happy
Three great things about myself are: my determination, my creativity, and that I have hope
I want to be: happy, loved and fulfilled
The people who care about me are: Mum, Dad, David, Lizzie, Andrew, Jo, Rachel, Nick, Catriona, Helen, Manon,
The things I do really well are: playing ‘cello and baking cakes or biscuits

I also went to the Campfire session, where we admired each other’s campfire blankets, sewed on badges, did a campfire quiz, made edible campfire snacks, shared songs and earned a Centenary Campfire Challenge badge 🙂

On a more serious note, my Action Project Workshop was on GirlGuiding UK’s Peer Education programme, 4; 4ward, 4self, 4others. I went on In4mer training in November ’05 during my gap year. It’s a really good initiative, in that members of the Senior Section are trained to go to unit’s and run an In4mer session on relevant but difficult topics, such as Abuse, Drugs, Sex, Alcohol, Bullying, Mental Health issues, Eating Disorders, Asylum Seekers etc. It enables us to lead a session on these topics that the regular leaders may have difficulty doing, with the age gap, or sensitive issues they don’t know how to handle questions the girl’s might have. As In4mers, we’re near enough age for the girls to relate to, and may even have first hand experience to testify which makes it so much more real. In the workshop this weekend, we were battling out why 4 isn’t working so well, in that it doesn’t seem to be that ‘out there’ in wider guiding. There can be a lack of support from local unit guiders, districts and county’s. And the support system within 4 isn’t exactly plain sailing, 4cast don’t reply to emails sufficiently and essentially it doesn’t work as well as it has potential to do. So, our workshop set about re-writing the support network and communication systems for 4. It’s exciting! Especially as GirlGuiding UK do actually listen to the outcomes of these workshops at Innovate.

We make a difference. Harah.


It feels ages since I’ve blogged

February 3, 2010

Partly because I’ve been feeling numb. Doesn’t feel like there’s an awful lot to share, yet there is.

I spent the weekend in London, visiting the wonderful David. It was nice to spend time with him, even if he did beat me at Scrabble, but I say that was only because I skipped four goes waiting to get my first 7 letter word on the board!
I got to hear Dave’s band for the first time, which was good. And meeting his friends, I now have faces to put to names 🙂
I spent Saturday with Keswick Kids team in central London. Was nice to see people again, and pray lots. Although I found it hard, considering where I was last year at Keswick. We’re also praying Keswick returns to some sort of normality by the convention, following the floods. The building we use and live in was gutted, but on the plus side, we hope to have newly renovated accommodation and showers etc!
Sunday I returned with Dave to Finchley to play at a commissioning service for their new Children and Families worker – Ro Willoughby. It was lovely to see Dave’s church in action, and also to play my cello in worship – it’s been too long. I got to do some nice practice in the freezing cold church before others’ arrived, which was fun. After the service there was a tea in the church hall, most of the stuff I shouldn’t eat, but I did anyway. Then I crashed. To the point of someone from Dave’s church asking him if I had M.E.; she could recognise it from the way I wasn’t able to hold myself sitting down! Dave took me back to have a nap on his bed before we had to head towards St Pancras for my train. Bless him, he carried both my cello and my suitcase all the way. The guard saw me as soon as I got on the train, and offered to put them in the guards van for me. Such a blessing. I was in so much pain the whole journey, it was horrible.

I helped Victoria and Matthew with their Wedding invitations. Writing gift lifts, cutting and folding. We got them all done in one afternoon, which was nice. Bridesmaid duties are fun.
Mum and Dad have been invited, which is really sweet, so they were the first to receive their invitations! They’ve also given me an invitation ‘Elizabeth and Guest’ Hmm.

I saw the Nutritional Therapist again on Monday. She’s pleased with progress I’m making, but agrees… there’s still a way to go yet! We’ve made a few alterations to things, and she’s writing a letter to LST.

On Tuesday I had the last appointment with the CBT man. He read me the letter he’d written to Dr Brown. It was a strange session. We wrote ‘rules for living at LST’ to get me through, essentially.

  1. It’s okay to say ‘no’ in order to preserve energy, or if the demands are unreasonable.
  2. It’s okay to ask for help when I need it (including friends and staff) I’m NOT wasting their time – including if I need to call Graham.
  3. It’s better to stop and take time out before I feel rubbish.
  4. It’s okay to feel rubbish – I’m not always going to feel like this.
  5. Remember I’m on the bus! (Allow my thoughts to pass by).
  6. Listen to relaxation tracks and/or watch DVD’s to wind down before going to bed.
  7. It’s okay to have a social life (but no building snowmen!)
  8. It’s okay to feel lonely at times; it’s not forever.
  9. Pacing activities and plan rest. Protect rest times.
  10. Be honest with how I’m doing, with myself, friends, lecturers, GP etc.
  11. Avoid Boom and Bust or Rest and Rush.
  12. A flare up is not a catastrophe.

I need to put that up on the back of my door to remind myself regularly.

I saw Dr Brown this morning, she was lovely about the whole letter thing. I felt bad for not being able to tell her. But she understood it’s not the kind of thing you can just slip into a short GP appointment. She printed off a copy of the letter and put it in a sealed envelope (so I won’t read it again!) in case of emergency when I’m back at LST. She’s given me enough meds to get me through till Easter. And we decided it’s not worth me re-registering with the Eastbury GP’s, but rather go as a temporary resident…

It’s been snowing here today!

It better not get bad again and delay my return to London. I will not be impressed!

I’ve started packing for LST. My room is a tip! Books and clothes all over the floor… well, no books anymore, now they’re in 5 boxes, which I filled with clothes so they’re not too heavy.
Mum and I did a food shop yesterday, so I have plenty of supplies of things I can eat to get me through!

It’s less than a week until I return to LST. I just want to be back, now.

Except now it’s getting close, I’m getting really quite anxious about it too. Which doesn’t make sense; I’ve been looking forward to returning to LST this whole year. I can do this.

Why do I feel so numb?



January 25, 2010

Henrietta, a more reliable forecaster of weather and the changing seasons than the BBC, poked her head out to say hello, check the world exists, that sort of thing, before digging herself back into her hole of hibernation.
This either means; she fancied a breath of fresh air, Or, the coldness of winter is passed, for now, at least.
Just thought I’d share this valuable piece of information with you wonderful people.
Henrietta sends her love, or at least, she would if she could communicate with me.