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Welcome, friends old and new, to my blog. This is the place where I can share my scribblings and thoughts on loving life. I hope you enjoy them, make suggestions and come back to read more.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

One Girl and Two Dogs on the Bummel: buses, burdens and being banned.

Missed the beginning? The bummel begins here

Oxford. I woke early, but slept in, enjoying the lazy feeling of being completely free to spend my time as I wished. It seemed that, every time I felt the need to stir my bones, the rain pitter-pattered down on my tent and encouraged me to just stay snug for a little while longer.

Eventually though, the rain clouds blew away and the sun appeared, beating down on my tent and warming it up to an uncomfortable temperature and forcing me to get up, if only to cool down. Once I was up, I was fairly quick in getting organised as I'd remembered today's plan. Today was the day for exploring Oxford and I was looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

One Girl and Two Dogs on the Bummel: tents, travels and a telling-off.

Missed the beginning? The bummel begins here

Bicester. Awake at 5:30am, ready to leave by 6:30am. The night had been miserable; I was hungry, cold (but clean), everything that had been in the poor excuse for a tent was wet and I wanted away from this place as fast as possible.

As soon as there was enough light, I took the boys for a brisk walk around the woods while the tent dried out. Well, I say that; I think, in all honesty, I was putting off the moment when I'd have to try and coax the damned thing back into its bag.

Monday, 29 July 2013

One Girl and Two Dogs on the Bummel: castles, catastrophes and condensation.

Missed the beginning? The bummel begins here

All good things come to an end, and where today I began in an idyllic setting, having fallen asleep to gentle rain and birdsong, I ended the day in a most miserable manner.

Monday started well; I awoke to blue skies and a gentle breeze that dried out my tent nicely- although it did pick up just as I was trying to pack it away, ready to move on. Curses. I ended up bundling it into a ball and letting Alfie use it as a cushion in the car on the way to Warwick. My plan, such as it was, was to take a stroll around Warwick before heading over to Moreton-in-Marsh to see my family, and then going on to Oxford to spend the night in a superbly situated campsite that would mean I could explore the city tomorrow without needing to find anywhere to park. It was a good plan, and I was feeling excited to be moving on.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

One Girl and Two Dogs on the Bummel: landmarks, Lush and lasagne.

Missed the beginning? The bummel begins here

Weston-on-Avon. I awoke to sunshine and a stiff breeze- perfect for drying out my tent, yesterday's clothes and the sacrificial towel. It took a while to get myself organised, as I'd forgotten how many times I'd have to boil the kettle in order to function... once to make tea, once to wash up, and again to wash. I brushed my teeth, feeling very naughty and slightly bohemian to be spitting out toothpaste into the hedgerow.

Today I was off into Stratford-upon-Avon to see if it was all it was cracked up to be. I loaded the dogs into the car and off we went, not bothering to ask Gladys for her help as we only had four miles to travel.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

One Girl and Two Dogs on the Bummel: sausage rolls, swans and a soaking.

School's out! Finally!

Instead of vegging on the sofa and wasting my holibobs with daytime TV I had resolved to head off as soon as possible and go on the Bummel. I'd never done it officially, but I suppose my whole life is one long bummel, so I thought it would be fun to try.

I had all the essentials: tent, sleeping bag, stove, books and flip-flops and a few non-essential nice things (hot water bottle, radio and biscuits) which I loaded into the car, along with my two faithful and very excited terriers. After a few false starts of going back for things I'd forgotten (hairbrush, raincoat, vinegar) Harvey, Alfie and I were finally ready to begin our adventure.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Friday Five: Five places I intend to visit this summer.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tomorrow, I am off on my holibobs, so apologies in advance for the lack of posts.
I'm going on the bummel, and I'm very excited about it! A bummel, for those of you not familiar with the word (and that includes most people) is best described by the man who introduced the word to me in "Three Men on the Bummel", Jerome K Jerome:

"A 'Bummel'," I explained, "I should describe as a journey, long or short, without an end; the only thing regulating it being the necessity of getting back within a given time to the point from which one started. Sometimes it is through busy streets, and sometimes through the fields and lanes; sometimes we can be spared for a few hours, and sometimes for a few days. But long or short, but here or there, our thoughts are ever on the running of the sand. We nod and smile to many as we pass; with some we stop and talk awhile; and with a few we walk a little way. We have been much interested, and often a little tired. But on the whole we have had a pleasant time, and are sorry when it's over."

I have to be back by the 8th August, but I intend bummelling right up until that point. I have a tent with all most mod-cons, a car and two very excited terriers. I also have a vague plan of places I'd like to visit, and here they are.

1. Stratford-upon-Avon
The home of the bard, and a place I've apparently been driven through a lot as a child, but not one I've ever explored.

2. Moreton-in-Marsh
Where the majority of my family live, and where my parents come from.

3. Stonehenge
A place I've never seen before, inexplicably.

4. Fleet
Last visited over twenty years ago, and the real-life setting for the much-loved book "Moonfleet" by J. Meade Faulkner.

5. Lulworth Cove
Happy memories of childhood holidays, paddling in the salty water and catching butterflies in a net, again over twenty years ago.

When I return, I will backdate and tell you all about my adventures. Until then, enjoy the sunshine and keep safe!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday Five: Five foods you can eat in the shower

Happy Friday my lovelies!

A bit of a fun Friday Five today, inspired by a succession of late nights and stifling, brain-melting heat.

I've been busy at work having lots of fun with trips, plays and Governers' meetings this week and, when I finally make it home, a mere thirteen hours after I left the house, there are only two things on my mind.




But which to do first? If I shower first, it'll be too late to eat and I'll get indigestion! If I eat first, it'll be too late for my hair to dry before I collapse into bed! Such a dilemma...

You'll be happy to know that I have solved this problem by carrying out a carefully crafted investigation on which foods can reasonably be eaten while taking a shower.

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Power of Dreams

... or yume no chikara, as I learnt today (that's Japanese, if you hadn't worked it out).

I've had a rather pleasant work-day today, mostly because it involved not actually being at work! Don't get me wrong- I love my job- but it was fun to do something different and take a few hand-selected cherubs off to Big School and take part in a workshop run by Honda.

After having a go at juggling, we settled down to the nitty-gritty of defining a dream. Answers varied from "what you do when you sleep" to the more inspired "something that you wish for", but for me, very simply, a dream is the thing that makes living more than just existing. A dream is something wispy yet solid, far-away yet achievable; a dream raises us from the hum-drum and lets us soar, our hearts singing with the promise of better days to come.

So far, so poetic. But, too often, real-life wakes us up with the metaphorical equivalent of a blaring alarm clock and the knowledge that you've run out of tea-bags. Real life can get in the way of dreams, and I've made excuses along with the rest.