Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Turn Of Events

For the first time, I found myself pacing the hallway. Am I in a film? Was pacing the hallway a real thing? I felt like a fictional character, making dramatic gestures to myself in the mirror and clasping the my far too round cheeks in angst.

What was I really bothering myself about? Something petty - that probably wouldn't matter a great deal in the morning - was my first guess. Then again, it felt like something a little more complex than that - deep rooted.

In an attempt to free myself of this feeling, those thoughts, that problem, I shrugged my shoulders, only to find they remained locked in a tense, uptight position. 

With newly hunched shoulders in tow, I continued to pace. 

After 12 lengths (precisely) I stopped, took one look at myself, head to toe. And ordered myself to bed.

Get a grip, Alessia.


It's reassuring to know that when things are a little rough driving for around half an hour can take you somewhere beautiful.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Mindful Planning

After the chaos of Christmas it was enlightening to sit down and have a couple of hours to plan - mindfully.

Through reading, talking to people and my own research I've found that mindfulness is a key part of how function and live on a day-to-day basis. 

Loosely, it involves being aware, and of course mindful, of what you are doing and how you are doing it. Without sounding to cliché, mindfulness encompasses living now, and firmly in the present. What has already happened is done and with the lessons learnt in mind it is time to live. 

After taking the time to read about certain Yoga practises and mindfulness I've found they both closely border and complement one another. In a sense that it's easy to forget where you are, what you're doing and how you're really feeling, thus leading Yoga to reengage you and aid you in becoming aware.

So hopefully, in the new year, I will make a concerted effort to stay mindful and keep up with yoga practise. Challenging but realistic goals that will feasibly enrich my health and well being.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Happy 10

10 things that have made me happy this week!

  1. The sound of heavy rain on the roof and windows. It’s been constant this week, and I’ve not minded a bit.
  2. Assisting with essential Christmas shopping. I'm often put in charge of present and card buying, and this year I enjoyed it more than last.
  3. Reading my Auntie's blog. I hadn't known about it until a few days ago, she has now given me even more inspiration to carry on writing!
  4. Getting the house ready for my brother, Max and his friend, Didi's arrival. He's been away from home for a while now, although sometimes stressful, it's always a delight to have him back.
  5. A fruit bowl piled high with clementines. Oh so juicy!
  6. Being lucky enough to have a few close friends and family members I can really open up to when things get a little rough.
  7. Making lists. I'm not so secretly a complete perfectionist and lists keep me organised.
  8. Frank Sinatra's Christmas album - It's less than a week until Christmas and I've over played it. Still, his sweet, smooth voice is charming to say the least.
  9. Handing in my English Language coursework (early might I add!) - I couldn't be more ecstatic that it's out of the way and I can have a swell break.
  10. Sparking a smile on my Mum's face. Christmas can be a difficult and reflective time for us both, so seeing her face light up when I tell a highly embarrassing joke is lovely.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

8am Sunrise

It turns out there are some beautiful benefits to forgetting to turn your 6.30am alarm off.

Initially, waking up at 6.30am felt miserable. Although, after half an hour reading and half an hour of intense yoga, I found myself incredibly energised. Lazing around the house until half ten didn't really feel like a good use of my time.

So, after checking what time the sun was due to rise, I packed my camera equipment, threw on some scruffy clothes and headed out.

Taken on Fujifilm Instax 210 - 8.01am
My first breath after stepping outside was bracing - I think it's easier to forget what the air feels like when you've been inside over night.
The roads were still, the trees tranquil and the odd chirping bird flew past every few seconds. Only walkers and their canine friends braved the crisp early hours (surprisingly, these are some of the friendliest people I've met, all willing to discuss their own morning routines).
View from the Skatepark at 8.27am - Taken on Fujifilm Instax 210
I strolled to the top of Valley Gardens to find a desolate skatepark and playground. Although I'd love to say I went for a 'Sunrise Skate', I really didn't. However, perching at the empty skatepark and taking photos was more than enough for me.

Valley Gardens at 8.33am - Taken on iPhone 4s
Following a long walk through Valley Gardens, from bottom to top, I started for home and the views were just as idyllic on the way back. 

Busier were the roads now and it wasn't easy to stand in the middle of traffic and shoot. Although, I am elated with this picture.

Taken on iPhone 4s - 8.37am
Reaching the point of my first photo, I thought it was only fitting to see how the sky had developed in 40 minutes. And here it is!

Taken on Fujifilm Instax 210 - 8.40am
The colours appeared a lot softer now and the vibrant pinks from the earlier shot had developed into a subtle rose tone. And the church's spire adds an additional focal point.

Walking up the drive, I realised just how contented I was. If you can't appreciate what you have at home, how can you appreciate anywhere else?


Monday, 9 December 2013

Gingerbread Lovin'

After a really busy week, Sunday can only be described as a huge relief! 
I arrived at Gabe's by midday and we spent an hour or so chatting and generally being our idle selves. We then decided frying an egg on the fire would be a good idea - I'm still unsure as to why. 

After a few hours, and a cancelled adventure outside we invested our time in building a gingerbread house (with the obligatory Christmas songs playing the background). Despite the icing being a little thick and one of the sugar people looking a little dodgy, the result was charming. 

Gingerbread house = done!
I am now feeling very festive!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Snail Mail

At the age of seven acquiring letters in the post is a big deal! And it's an even bigger deal when you dig out said letters and rekindle those heart warming feelings.

I'd always been close to my Granny Lucia. A self-reliant, determined female figure in my life. She was Italian and my gosh did she make it known! 
However, this closeness was not literal, she lived in the South and I in the North. So, after receiving my first writing set at the age of seven the only person I even considered to write to was her.
Her disjointed English and my excitable nature encouraged us both to learn from each other and keep a strong relationship.

I like to think we'd be writing to each other now if she was still alive... For now, I'll keep myself stimulated about the prospect of having a Pen Pal again.

Autumnal Walks

Waking up earlier than I need to has some great benefits.

After some meditation and tea nothing pleases me more than getting outside when it's early and the air is crisp to wake up my soul... And the dogs.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

An Act Of Kindness

Not too long ago I spent a day off in York. Generally milling around aimlessly and absorbing the atmosphere of the cobbled streets was how I spent the most part of my day. 
In the early afternoon I found myself walking around the food market, my thoughts and day dreams consuming the greater of my head, only pausing to absorb the familiar smell of roasted chestnuts. No more than five minutes after recognising this scent was I handed a bronze button and petite pink pebble.

The mysterious lady placed them in my hand and wished me great luck throughout my life. It was unexpected, delightful and admired.

I suppose the point I'm making is that surely life would be a little lovelier and a little easier if more people knew it takes less energy to have a positive effect on someone's life than it does to have a negative one.