Friday, 22 July 2016

Beach time

beach life Norfolk

This was the week of the heatwave. It got so hot. I played along with the whole 'it's too hot/inconvenient thing' but secretly I loved it. I'm a hot weather person! I'll stifle in the humidity; mopping my brow and sipping water every half second with my clothes kind of stuck to me and hair going a little haywire. Throw me another degree. Twenty eight? Pah. Make it thirty.  Of course, the soaring temperatures weren't so great for Lincoln but when in the car I whacked the air con up to full blast and basically turned it into a fridge (me, goosepimpled).

The ground, which over the last six months had gone through dousings upon dousings became dry and the grass parched. We made the most of the unseasonal weather by heading to the beach. Last year we didn't have a single opportunity to sunbathe as it wasn't hot enough so we were determined not to miss the chances that cropped up this summer. Three days on the trot we went to the seaside which is almost unheard of. The first two were a triumph but the third occasion was the usual rainy disaster.
beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk
 I even restarted my book, which made for a treat!
beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk

Wells-Next-The-Sea was glorious and calm. We did see the most extraordinary sight of a 360 being barged back into the harbour in what looked like very little water!

On the West coast of Norfolk (yes, there is one), we chanced it at Heacham which although isn't the most picturesque of places, benefits from being accessible and relatively quiet. The sun set over the sea and looked amazing.
beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk

beach life Norfolk
However, on the last day of the heatwave we were too late and the storms bringing torrential rain beat us to the beach. We scoffed down our sandwiches and watched the enormous clouds get closer and closer until we felt the first drops of rain and beat a hasty retreat back to the car.
beach life Norfolk
Summer!!!!
Sophie

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Let's talk #CancerConversations

#CancerConversations campaign Big C

Sometimes talking can be difficult; I'm the first to put my hand up and admit that, but it's important to remember that we're all in the same boat. Our local Norfolk cancer charity called the Big C has created a new campaign to raise awareness and to signpost men diagnosed with cancer to the different services and support available to them in Norfolk. Men - don’t bottle it up, join the conversation @BigCTweets #CancerConversations. For more information go to www.big-c.co.uk/conversations

I imagine everyone's lives have been impacted by cancer in some ways. There is no escaping it. Some more than others. Both my grandfathers died from it. I know peoples parents' died from it at school. I know a family friend's young child died from it. Others are living with it or have to fight it time and time again. Lots of others have been touched by it.
Thankfully, help is out there. Treatments are improving all the time but the BEST thing you can do is to tackle things head on at the first sign of something being wrong. Have that difficult conversation. Tell someone. Seek advice and get the support that is out there. 

Let's have a conversation with ourselves (I'll stick with one)

Question: If you could have a conversation with your 18-year old self, what would you say?
I always find these questions pretty tough. It makes me sad. I don't know what I could say without either casting a dark cloud of doom over my young mind or completely perverting the course of my existence. That sounds rather gloomy but it's true enough. Maybe upping sticks and making tracks while I still had a lifetime of possibility would have been pertinent. Who knows. 
Perhaps to 18 year olds in general I would recommend a few basics:
  • Be guided by your own moral compass
  • Don't let anyone tell you what to do/feel/believe. You're an independent human and your opinion shares the same validity as anyone else's - regardless of their years of life experience
  • Learn what makes you happy. Do it. Keep doing it and share it with others.
  • Accept your body, understand how to take care of yourself and recognise that you will never look this young again - so appreciate it!
  • Make plans but be flexible. It's fine to change your mind.

It must be easier than ever before to reach out to others; whether it's family, friends, support groups or strangers. There are so many ways of receiving support that even if you find it hard to vocalise your thoughts then maybe look online and take things from there. For more information go to www.big-c.co.uk/conversations there is so much information and free support out there.

Donating £3, less than the cost of a pint, can make a difference to #CancerConversations campaign @BigCTweets Text BIGC1 to 70660 to donate

Sophie

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Life lately

life update
I can't believe how much has been going on lately. Where do I start? We arrived home from Latitude festival in Suffolk yesterday. A whole long weekend full of sunshine, camping, big sunny skies, music, comedy... No clock-watching or convention necessary. In the round things were delightful.
Early, lazy mornings in the early warmth of the day, sipping coffee. I was ready for bed by around 11pm. The exertion of the day providing all the desire to go to sleep, although nights on a different bed - especially an airbed and unfamiliar sleeping bag are bound to be more unsettled than usual. I did get plenty of quality shuteye so can't complain in the least (unlike C who had to buy earplugs but still struggled).
I've come home with brown arms, face and half my legs, which is probably how I'll stay for the rest of the year unless we have a continued heatwave and I can miraculously even it up. I know it's a bit of a touchy subject but I always feel more alive and healthy with a bit of a tan.

The weekend before, we attended a family wedding which was a sweet day. The weather was mercifully better than the forecast and things went smoothly. It's a pleasure to share in a happy occasion. There should be more days set aside to celebrate good, positive things in life. Only weddings and funerals seem to merit a family gathering lately.

Summer itself is a real event. It's a time drain and a luxury and everything in between. I'm grateful and I'm thankful, with so much on my mind and yet letting it all go to just be quiet sometimes. Up with the sun and making the most of the daylight; getting along to the allotment to pick the bursting bounties of fruit and vegetables. Evening walks. It's going to be weird being confined to quarters over winter again, but I'd rather not dwell on that yet.

How's things for you lately?
Sophie

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Sunrise to sunset

sunrise to sunset in Norfolk
The summer evenings have been amazing lately. And mornings too. 
Living in the countryside is such a joy, not to be underestimated. We get to see the whole sky, uncluttered by urban nonsense dominating the skyline. We see so much of what's above. It's a luxury.
Sunsets have warmed my heart and made the days feel like they stretch long into the night.
sunrise to sunset in Norfolk

sunrise to sunset in Norfolk

sunrise to sunset in Norfolk

sunrise to sunset in Norfolk

sunrise to sunset in Norfolk

sunrise to sunset in Norfolk
Mornings have set me up for the day with a spring in my step. The promise!
sunrise to sunset in Norfolk
Sophie