What’s your pace?

4 days holiday now . There was a question on Twitter -what are your plans ? I had none . Sometimes I like to have absolutely no plan days . Wake up when you want -out of habit I can’t sleep till late even after gin and tonic last night. I am going to go with the flow . Wait for things to happen.

img_5619                                                              Sunshine

Out comes the yoga mat – day starts with some sun salutations and meditation. The most difficult thing for me is to meditate. My mind wanders like mad . A patient asked me the other day if I became anxious and of course the answer was “ I am much too normal and get anxious at all sorts .” Next was how do you cope . “Well in an acute situation I have to do breathing exercise 4 in, 4 hold and 4 out.” Practicing with her – hopefully has helped a bit . Meditation in the long term is helpful. The quietness of a morning is peaceful and helps to brings thoughts together. My grandmother always used to meditate and I have tried to imitate her but don’t think I am at that level of commitment as yet.

Heard the song – Stand by me , such a nice song . It’s eleven months since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married .This choir was sung at their wedding. Great song and it was a great part of the show.

Sounds like a good start for the weekend. Already feeling inspired with love and hope. Going to keep my pace slow and let the weekend pass by .

Calls for a coffee now.

 

Lunchtime

Sitting on your backside, staring at a computer screen all morning, continuously for five hours cannot be healthy . So desperation led me to finally get out of my room and go for a walk.

                                                          Sunny day

It was warm enough and there is a park 2 minutes from my workplace and often we go round the park twice . I went off by myself, sometimes it’s nice to have a short sharp break and give some time to oneself. Light winds, sun shining and kids in the background playing was an ideal time for a walk.

                                                   Beautiful trees

Being mindful of the surroundings brings so much happiness and a complete relief from stress. All tiredness vanishes. I started appreciating everything around me.

                                                       Notice them

Energy from the surrounding comes across in birds chirping in the tress and bushes. Little flowers that we pass all the time – seem prettier somedays but not others. Days we notice them we feel more happy.

                                                           The park

Billingham is a small place in North East of England. I don’t think I know many places so closely as I know my work area. Have always loved being and working here.

                                            Kids in the background
My afternoon after the walk went quickly, I felt refreshed and took on my work with much more enthisiam and zest. Burnout these days has become common due to the stress we live with constantly. Thinking about my blog and taking pictures definitely makes me more mindful of my surroundings and brings so much joy and happiness.

Prague City Break

Around 29000 steps each day, on three consecutive days, is what we achieved on holiday at Prague last week .

Best thing about city breaks is to see the landmarks . Most of the time we would have seen photos in books magazines or movies and then suddenly you are there . The wow moment of coming face to face with buildings, clocks and bridges is amazing. We prefer walking the city unless the weather is bad and then hop on hop off bus is so helpful. Well, in Prague last week we got dry and sunny days , a bit cold on the last two nights so it was perfect for walking. On our last day we realised how nearby everything was and how we were going round in bigger circles. Nevertheless it was great fun.

It was mighty tiring , my daughter had a list of places and so there was no way of missing out on any of them . She had done her homework well . The food that we had to eat was also decided. The Tredlnk, a local delicacy was so lovely -a sweet bakery with some topping . Must say we ate at a superb Vegan restaurant in Prague and there are so many of them. Definitely made life easy for my husband as he is a vegetarian.

Theatre experience was so good . We all wanted to watch an opera and so glad we could find some reasonable tickets . We were awestruck by the ambience and the show at Prague National Theatre.

Walked on the Charles Bridge by night , by daytime but the best was at dusk . Sun going down slowly and the lights coming up around the city. The trees were green and within minutes became black. The Prague Castle seen in soft sunlight and then coming to light was amazing .

Every building is beautiful. So many spires . Ornate walls and corners on every street . Boulevards are very pretty. The city is so clean with its quite narrow cobbled streets . All inclusive holidays as a family have been so good when the kids were little but as they have grown up they want to do city breaks and see new places rather than eating and swimming all day long. Makes a change for sure.

People in Prague  are very friendly . They don’t speak English and so that was a hard one to overcome . Smiles and sign language with some gestures does the trick . Makes life interesting and exciting.

Prague was like a fairyland which I had imagined over the years . Castle and bridge with the river, Petrin hills, gardens,, lights on the spires, easter decorations everywhere, wonderful food smells, laughter all around- is this what you thought is fairyland. Yes exactly thats what it was. My kids shared the imagination so it can’t be too wrong and much in keeping with this google age . Simple beautiful imaginative ideas need to be kept alive . They bring in happiness to normal lives.

Being fortunate

Never before had I come face to face with a yard having a gallows frame. Walked through the half kilometre, yes 500 metres, long, cold dark tunnel to face the area of execution. When a prisoner walked through this tunnel at the end what awaited was hanging or being shot. This really happened and not so long ago.

Peolple were hanged here.

Concentration camp, ghettos, death all around, living in fear , no freedom -it really was surreal to realise how fortunate are the times now compared to the 1940 s. It was Schindler List coming to life as we walked through the fortress of Terezin.

A double decker train.

We took a day trip to Terezin from Prague. Could have been easier to take a chartered tour but my kids love adventure- my daughter was adamant that we will find our way. Main train station in Prague and buy tickets then decide which train to take and which platform, the challenge was language. Very few people talk English. The ticket guy was helpful, he printed things in English so at least we got on the correct train.

Beautiful train and amazing country side, all the way going near a waterway and hills in the backdrop, with very light green leaves in trees coming through, giving the best views of spring. Cream walls and red roof houses dotted around. Spectacular little towns that we crossed and reached Bohusovice.

Not a single soul to be seen but then station master came out and gave us some idea in czech  which way to walk for the concentration camp. Walking through a little unknown town and complete language barrier , it was exciting.

So quiet.

Found a small shop and one old woman in there -bought a Mirinda and some pretzels with some broken Czech directions to walk straight ,straight and straight . Rightly so . It was such a beautiful town.

My two walking ahead and a mother teaching her child skating.

A forty minute walk and then we reached the Terezín camp. The whole experience was unbelievable.To see the actual bunkers, sinks, showers, toilets in the ghetto areas while the prisoners were in transit but then people were executed in that camp or many died . We all realised that we were so fortunate to talk, think, speak and live freely. We take freedom for granted but seeing a camp like this, makes me feel we absolutely must learn from history, so that we never again come to situations where normal citizens became prisoners only because of their race, religion or colour.

The day was an overwhelming experience for us – foreign country, unknown language for speaking as well as the signposts, how did we reach our destination- brings a smile to my face . The whole experience of death, hatred and killings in the second world war was so surreal and believable. Movies, books and history came to life. Legs and ankles hurting and on our way back-trying to massage each other’s very tired legs- brought us back safely to Prague. The European train journey experience at dusk was so calm and lovely.

Nothing can beat an adventure and memories of a concentration camp like this .

Supermarkets

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Flowers at the entrance.

Don’t you want to get the flowers to arrange in the house? As you enter the supermarket-one can see this colourful array of flowers. It definitely makes me happy and shopping sounds good. Love to go round it once at least even if I am not buying them. Even appreciating them is a visually charming experience in itself.

Everyday grocery is enjoyable to look around and appreciate the various colours. Having the luxury of shops being open till late or 24 hrs is a great bonus. One can be organised but in case there is a day where you have forgotten that last minute banana midweek for breakfast- pop in and get it. Late night craving for a sweet treat is a major issue in our house,well needless to say walk to the supermarket and get that cheesecake that we so desperately want. A bit of a walk along with a guilty pleasure can sure go hand in hand.

Shades of green.

So many shades of green , red and  yellow – all arranged well , you will be wanting to cook fresh food. You cannot beat cooking from scratch. It surely tastes better than processed food and of course healthier. We all know that. I start getting ideas as we go along. There are recipe cards in the stores as well- have a look and buy accordingly. Some weeks I try and have a plan in my head and a list in my hand, shopping is definitely cheaper then and more contained. Must say most weeks it is not planned though. I wish it was but hey ho thats life for you. Unplanned, rushed but still ok and normal enough.

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All cut up and ready to eat.

Why won’t you eat fruits when it’s all cut up ready to go. They do look tempting and provide a good snack. If I want to keep prices low which I always want to – I prefer to buy the whole fruits rather than cut up ones.

Supermarkets are an experience in themselves. I really am not a sad person.I do love going to the shop and go round the aisles, might pick up a bargain or two especially in the big priced items like washing powders, dishwasher tablets or sometimes even a good old cooking pan- it is a destressor.Try it. I might come across some known faces and then a bit of hello and  how are you type of chatting never does any harm. Love catching up with area friends and neighbours in the supermarket. One can even go in the cafe and have a coffee together.

If feeling blessed, may buy some items for the foodbank trolley. Always feels good to donate. Somedays I tend to do shopping only for the foodbank and donate the whole thing -mostly canned and dry things.

So many ways of making yourselves happy. Be mindful of the surrounding and enjoy the smells and colours. Yes even supermarkets can be an inspiration in so many different ways.

Off routine

One week holiday starts today – I absolutely cherish my time off, who does not. Last day of work always gets busy though, every task and paper work need to be finished, in fact all of the last week gets busy. I do not mind intense work – it only means prioritising and organising things – lists all over my desk and ticking them off one by one. In the end desk well cleared and a week off begins. Well earned is what I will say.

Another list starts for holidays- have 3 books to read, TV series, meeting up friends – need to stop. Best is to have my alarm off for the week. I have 2 alarms for the morning.Cant rely on myself to wake up with the first one so definitely second one  will get me out of  bed. But thats it no more of it for the next week. Sometimes I forget to put it off  and then on a Monday it starts off – but then I realise its not a working day, what a great feeling that is.

To be not guided by a routine is so good sometimes and we must have it from time to time. Every minute is set out for me on a working day I feel, and somedays I feel how did I even get time to breathe. Hey ! don’t  get me wrong, absolutely love my job and home, wouldn’t have it any other way but what’s not to say it can be a killer somedays. Off routine is too good and needs to be enjoyed as much as possible. I don’t like to be guided by outside forces all the time so on a holiday week its my time and nobody else tells me what to do. I rule time, clothes, food, drinks, exercise and have it my way totally. Absolutely looking forward to my next week.

Play it well is my mantra. Have a great time next week all of you. Do what makes you happy and do it well and hard.

Moms

two lambs
 by Vladislav Vasnetsov on Pexels.co

Sunday was Mothers Day in the UK. It is time to realise how much mothers do for us. My children wanted to understand what my mother did for me. That was a hard one to explain. The biggest thing I feel she did was protect me. Absolutely thats what she did for me. From being a small kid ,mother kept saying NO, NO and NO for a lot of things but I forget the number of YES, YES and YES that I have had. I have got away with watching television at the time of important exams, openly appreciating boys ,wearing clothes that I wanted to and a lot more. Exams and studying were always important in our house because thats what you do when both parents are professors and also my extended family of grandmother and aunty were keen readers. Protected time of studies -my mother was possesive of these times.She made sure nobody disturbed me, not even friends phones. That time was given to me for sure. Now I realise it was so important,to have that discipline. My aunty helped me remind these hours of study time, I did not like it at the time but now realise how very essential they were.

Being a huge household, lots of people used to come to our house every hour of the day and all kinds of people.I am not sure of the sixth sense that my moher had but she used to tell me exacty who to indulge in talking to and sit with and the ones where it was best to go back to my doll house. Now I hear about abuse of children but thats what she was doing telling me No from chatting to certain people, never liked it at the time but now feel where she was coming from. She would tell me who I could be alone with , I would retaliate for sure as if I knew the best but now I know I did not as I was young and ready for any risk taking behaviour.

Food- eat whats on the menu as everybodies likes could not be catered to, large common kitchen and eat the freshly cooked food. She still very proudly says. -You were not over weight when you lived under my care. Aarrrgh.Thats true though. She protected my health and looks, my grandmother would make all kinds of potions and lotions to keep acne away in the teenage years. Loved the smell of sandal wood and rose in those very organic face packs.

These are just few things my mother and my elders  did for me and I will be ever so grateful. So this is what I told my children and actually realised I don’t really look after them in such protected ways. I have enjoyed every moment with the kids and loved being a mommy in my own way.

On mothers day – I got few gifts and a lovely card. The gifts they had planned with my husband and kept it all a secret. Kept telling my husband he does not have to live under so much burden of secrecy but he would not budge, I loved the suprise and gifts. The morning started with a superb energetic walk on the hills. Breakfast had to be quick as we wanted an early morning walk in the freshness of nature . For breakfast we got some homemade delicious cookies made by my son the day before. My daughter said the evening meal will be prepared by them. Three course dinner made by the children, mainly by my daughter-it was lovely. She tried some new recipes and it was all wonderful. Loved the day and the happiness around the dinner table was amazing as always.