Day 753 a very early start with a sunrise and a stunning sunset! ☀️☀️

Wide awake at 4.18am. To be fair I think I was awake long before it but I finally gave in.

🤣🤣 not quite… but I did pick up my phone in an effort to quell my caffeine induced alertness. It was not to be. I tried to sleep but I was getting angry that I was so wide awake.

Last nights chatter was running around in my head. I never hide the fact that I am not great making small talk these days and over dinner our conversations went from car accidents to hospital stays… dramatic things that people talk about on a regular basis but I haven’t had much opportunity in the last few years.

I felt really dizzy after dinner. It welled up inside of me and I had to stop the conversation to take a minute. I was worried I was going to faint. A real air of fragility swept over me. So many things “could” happen in my life that might spin me off my axis again….. I think it was a wave of fear at my own vulnerability. Now please don’t think for one moment that our chat was awful and I didn’t enjoy myself…. I very much did. These are just my observations as to how conversations tend to go when you are catching up on years of little contact.

I also had coffee about 4.30pm and a Diet Coke with dinner…. It was better to get up and head into work and face all the things that were now firing on all cylinders in my head.

It’s a cold but beautiful sunrise.

Zoomed in from in front of the house
Stopped in a lay by at 6am

I actually stopped twice on the way in to work… why not… I was in no hurry!

I’ve stopped at this river in Drybridge before. I was stunning this morning.

I could look at this next one for hours….

I wanted to get over to the right a bit to get the reflection of the sun in the river but there’s a wall right next to my right shoulder so I couldn’t… without crossing it and being in someone’s garden! Even I have a line…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

So I was at my desk at 6.45am working away and I didn’t leave until 4.45pm tonight. That’s nothing compared to what I used to do in my old job… but why is it I had to shout it from the rooftops all day?!? I wore it like a badge. I was really busy today…. So much so that the day flew in. I got stressed but it was a normal person stress at normal person issues…. Not anxiety driven panic. These last few weeks have felt very different in regards to my anxiety. It’s good.

So anyway, busy evening as Auntie Jac has popped down for the night and we went to Portencross for sunset….. it’s now 22.01 and I’ll need to throw these photos in so I can get to sleep… 🌅

It was just absolutely stunning and out of this world.

A lovely sunrise to start… a whole lotta work and a lovely sunset to end. of course my photos aren’t loading now and I’m so very tired so I might just have to go to bed and deal with this tomorrow.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 752 a lovely visit from Auntie Marion!

It 9.26pm…… I am only just started the blog now… how late can I be?!?

This was me crossing the road at 5.30am.… well not me but the road I crossed!

The Farm at 5.50am.

I was weighed this morning and have put on 2lbs… that’s what happens when you have a cake every single day for 3 weeks… I guess. Changes need to be made!

This was really sun when I left.

It’s been a lovely day all day. Cold this morning but got warmer as the day went on. I’ve not stopped all day!

It was busy at work as usual but I left sharp tonight as my Auntie Marion and Gordon had come over to a hotel in Irvine for a few nights.

It was so lovely to see them. I haven’t seen her for so long especially since COVID so it was lovely to get some quality time together.

We took a drive down Irvine Beach and it was beautiful…. It was so stunning.

The sea was calm and it was warm enough for a T-shirt. Positively tropical. We went for a walk and sat on a bench and had a good catch up.

It was just so calm and peaceful and a lovely way to spend a “school night”.

We went back to the Riverside Hotel and had dinner. I was super impressed with the meal. I had Tandoori Salmon for mains.

And the trio of desserts…. Not the best photo!!

Highly recommended for those of you who are local.

So apologies for the rushed blog but I need to get to bed before I turn into a pumpkin.

A lovely evening with a good catch up, stunning views and wonderful food.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 751 a lovely sunny evening ☀️☀️

I have absolutely no idea what to write about today. She who can’t shut up…. Has writers block. Had to happen sometime.

I’m antsy, narky, a bit irritated and I can’t really put my finger on it.

I said that with a grin though so it’s not all bad.

I think I’m just tired. I have the patience of a saint…. She said through gritted teeth.

It’s been a beautiful day but cold and as I get home it seems to warm up, which is lovely. I really wanted to go to the coast but I couldn’t muster the energy to drive there.

I think it will be a lovely calm sunset too but I might not make that today.

We’ve had dinner and are sitting outside now and I feel calmer than I have done all afternoon. Nature is amazing.

There’s a wee bat 🦇 flying about out here making that whirring noise that they do and we are comically scanning the sky for it every few minutes…. Yet never seeing it.

My antsy-ness has gone. An early night is on the cards.

I also feel calmer I’m not trying to create war and peace 😬

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 750…. 750 days of blogging…. Who’d a thunk it?!? Also watch out if you’re one of the only folk working on Easter Monday!!

I had no concept when I started writing this blog that I’d still be going after 750 days. The milestones seem to come around pretty quickly these days.

I’m surprised that even I can keep talking for that long…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣 here’s to many more.

We did an Easter Egg hunt at the Farm this morning…. And sadly no… they weren’t chocolate. We had to find the eggs which had a word on them and the worst equated to an exercise we had to do before we could go back out and find another egg. It was a good laugh which always makes exercising easier!

And yes… was I one of the only people that had to work on Easter Monday? We seemed to be the only people in our decimated industrial estate today and both local sandwich shops were closed. Catastrophe!!

We had to send out for emergency McDonalds….

I can’t tell you the last time I had a Mickey D’s but it’s been a very, very long time. Despite my initial excitement, I remember why it’s been a very, very long time. It may be quite a while till the next one. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

Work was actually really busy today and it flew by. We had a couple of people drop in so it was well worth being there. I also quite like working when everyone else is off… it means I get to be off when they are all at work!

When I got home we moved the sunroom around, as you do… then we had roast chicken, potatoes and veg for dinner followed by the most amazing chocolate trifle.

I’m ready for a sleep now and it’s only 7.15pm. Too much chocolate pud!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 749 Happy Easter 2022… we went on a bear hunt to find the Gateside Bear 🐻 (honestly I did…)

Those of you who know me will be amazed that I spent most of the day with 22 primary aged children. Me. Kids. 22 of them. And…. I actually enjoyed it once I stopped feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Holly who runs the village pub, has organised a Bear hunt for the village kids.

Now…. I’m not a particularly kiddie person, I’m shy with kids and never really know what to say…. When I was “asked” to help I honestly wanted to say no with every ounce of by being. The new me doesn’t agree to things I don’t want to do. Yet the new me cringed and screwed up my face and agreed with an “if I really have to” look about me but already dreading the day in advance.

And suddenly it’s here….

I look way happier than I feel…..

The kids arrive and I honestly feel like a fish out of water. I don’t know where to put myself, where to put my hands, what to say, where to look, I just feel so awkward.

Then it’s time where I’m announced as a team leader and 4 little gorgeous girls find their way over to me… and I’m tongue tied, get their names mixed up and yet I try to introduce myself. I try to relax.

We head to the park. There are hidden envelopes for the kids to find which make up a bear’s name which will be the name of our team. We are Team Paddington.

I slowly start to relax and look after my 4 lovely little girls. They are so polite, so sweet and so innocent and I am blown away by their excitement for the adventure. They are genuinely so excited to be looking for the bear that has gone missing in the village and to reunite it with Mummy and Daddy Bear.

The next clue takes us to the Village Hall where we do arts and crafts. They decorate Easter cards and paint eggs. One little girl bashes her painted egg and just eats it. So comical, she has the blue paint all over her face as she scoffed the egg 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

We then get a phone call to say the Bear has been spotted in the Gateside Plant Centre and we have to head up there to find it!

You know what… I actually had a really nice day. It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it might be, I relaxed and realised how lovely it is to spend time with wee ones. Something I never do.

One girl said she had “no idea I would have such a nice teacher”…. She may have been talking about her actual teacher but I decided I was taking that!!!!

One wee girl clung to her mummy at the very start, terrified to be looking for a bear.

She walked back down the road to the pub, hand in hand with said bear. 🐻 🤣 it’s lovely to see that.

So, I’ve had a lovely day and no one is more surprised than me. We also blitzed the housework this morning too so everything feels fresh and clean.

I have a strange reluctance to part with my ears…. 🐻

Hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday!

Some of us are working on Easter Monday for some reason so hey… no rest for the wicked.

Except for tonight…. Jammies on, feet up… as usual!

Stay safe everyone 🐣🐰🐻

Day 748 a very lazy day and another trip down memory lane in New Zealand 🇳🇿

Jeez I have done almost less than nothing today…. But that’s ok. I needed a day to myself.

I had a great sleep and lounged around in bed until after 9 even though I wasn’t sleeping.

I say I’ve done nothing and then remember I had a shower, went for a quick food shop… check me, yeah it was painful 🤣 and then we went for lunch into the pub next door.

I ordered chicken tempura to start and then the Cajun Chicken Burger 🍔 check the size of them! I only cut Craig’s head out as he was making a funny face and wouldn’t have thanked me for the photo. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I only managed the onion rings, a few chips and the coleslaw and I was stuffed!! We brought the rest home in a box 😆

I’m back into the pub at 18.30 to help prep for the kids Easter party tomorrow so I’m sitting with my feet up looking back through old photos from New Zealand.

My photos are so different back then, there are more photos of me than any views…. That’s back in the days of a digital camera… when it took a million years to upload anything. I think I was less inclined to take photos as it took so much longer to do anything with them. Here are a selection from New Zealand.

This first one was particularly special for me…. There’s a brewery in Pahiatua called Tui Brewery. When I was wee I couldn’t say Julie so called myself Tui….. 😬 mum and dad have always called me Tu (which became the number 2 in the digital age) so it meant a lot to me to go here and send them a photo of me with a beer, back in my drinking days!

Tui Miss
Milford Sound

Apparently it rains in Milford Sound about 300 days a year… yet I got it in the scorching sunshine and it was absolutely stunning.

My friend Carla and I hired bikes and cycled around Milford Sound after we took a boat trip.

Carla was from Germany and we met when I arrived in New Zealand. We travelled the South Island together. We got on so well and had such a lovely time together. I left her in Wellington as I travelled up to the North Island.

I was unlucky that the weather turned on the day of my glacier visit and we were not allowed on the ice. I think it saved me hundreds of pounds to be fair and we only walked up to the front of it.

Franz Josef Glacier

This next batch are from Waiotapu Thermal Park.

Lady Knox Geyser

It was the most fascinating place to visit. It’s so different from anywhere I’ve ever been before or since.

This next photo actually has very bad memories…. I was violently sick the night before we took on a 7 mile trek in Abel Tasman National Park and I was determined to go ahead with it.

The view from up here was just so stunningly beautiful but I can only remember how dreadful I felt. I had to find a Ranger to radio in to get a speed boat to take us back to base as I didn’t have the energy to complete it. It took a few days to feel well again.

We had great weather in Queensland.

Mount Tongariro
Bay of Plenty
Inside a Māori Meeting House

I had the 7 weeks in New Zealand 🇳🇿

The weary traveller!

Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the few photos I can find. I must have more elsewhere. I’m enjoying the reminisce and have itchy feet so see so much more of the world!

For now I’ll be content with Downton Abbey, sitting on the couch. 🤣🤣

Happy Easter Saturday.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 747 a wee trip down memory lane… Australia 🇦🇺 2004

It have started looking back on my Australian trip and have managed to find some of my photos online.

Back in those days…. 2004 -2005…. We didn’t have smart phones and it was difficult to be in touch with home. You bought phone cards and had to find a phone box and call at Ra some times in the day to try to get Scotland in the evening.

Then you found an internet cafe to send emails…. That part didn’t always come easily to me… they days of dial up!

I hope you enjoy some of my photos!

Sydney
Whitsundays
Sunset at Hamilton Beach
Sunbathing on Magnetic Island….. oh to look like that again. AND I thought I was fat!!
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Sunset on Hamilton
Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island
Sand dune surfing near Adelaide
The Pinnacles, Western Australia north of Perth
Fraser Island
SS Maheno in 2004
Fraser Island
Climbing in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Sunset on Hamilton Island

Have a great Easter weekend! Easter 🐣

Stay safe everyone 🐣🐣🐣

Day 746 an angry encounter before 7.30am 😤

I had a great sleep again last night woken up at 5.30 by the village jogger who ran past the bedroom window 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 of course I couldn’t get back to sleep as I dramatised everything that might go wrong in the day….

I can’t believe how much these roadworks in our village have incensed me. I can’t seem to let it go. It’s not the roadworks but the human reaction to them. I spend most of my life hidden away in a wee Julie bubble, I don’t watch the news and I try to stay away from drama as much as possible.

This week we have seen people moving cones, driving through and now even driving around the cement bags that have been placed in the middle of the road up on the pavement or on the grass verge at the other side.

Who actually are these people? How have you been brought up to think that you have the right to do that? Why have I been brought up to be so incredulous at it. Why do I care so much?

I’m a people pleaser, I don’t break any rules… ever…. For fear of upsetting someone else. These folk don’t give a flying f about that. Somewhere in the middle I guess there is a common ground.

So I sets off to work this morning on the single track back roads. Noticing how the grass verges are becoming wrecked with the amount of traffic on the diversion. All the while my anxious brain is working overtime thinking I hope I’m not one of those people that gouges out a grass verge as I might get stuck. Always on the lookout, always catastrophising….. so I basically manifest exactly that a half mile down the road.

I have 3 cars behind me… already creating a level of overthinking in me, I’m I driving too slow blah blah blah…. I see a small white van bombing towards us.

If he knows the road, he has just passed the place where he should have stopped as he knows we don’t have any passing place where we are. He can also see I’m in a VW T5 so not the smallest of cars.

He flashes and pull in onto the grass in the only bit he can giving be centimetres to pass him. The tarmac is curved at my side as if the road is built up on top of the ground so I have a good rut to fall into if I get it wrong.

Now I should say here’s that I ALWAYS thank passing motorists for letting me go. Not so today, it seems….. I was worried that I could fit past him, panicking I didn’t fall off the road… next thing I know we are side by side and I catch his waving arms out the corner of my eye.

Sh*t what have I done or what am I about to do wrong…… I put the window down….

“Aye yer F****** welcome“ he shouts… what wait a minute…. I’m incredulous. I keep using that word today. I say “sorry I was trying not to let my van fall down the big hole at this side of the road…. Sorry” by this time his window is already up and more crazy gesticulating as he implies that I should hurry the f up and he’s in a hurry…. Pointing at his watch and waving me on….

I drive off thinking how dreadful I am for not thanking him for stopping.

Welcome to my world.

I then burst into tears as the adrenaline released.

I talk to myself as if there’s a voice at the back of my mind trying to speak up…. Wait a minute… you always wave, you always thank people, why didn’t you do that this time… and then the realisation that he was in the wrong all the way and I was actually annoyed at his careless driving as I passed him.

Did any of that come out of me. Did I wind down the window was I passed and say how inconsiderate he was for not reading the road…. No.

I just let some angry man have a go at me. Maybe he should have left the house earlier so he want in so much of a hurry.

As I get to work I’m shattered. It takes so much energy for me to negotiate the world some days that I think this morning that I just want to find a remote island for us to go and live on where we don’t see anyone else.

I need my life without drama. Drama is so draining.

I also had another “run in” with my nippy wee supplier lady but I put her straight after writing an email to her at least 4 times!

So a busy day and have come up to Auntie Jac’s for a wee impromtu visit and to stay the night.

We went for a drive to the Firth of Forth and sat on a log by the shoreline.

The tide went out soooo fast! They are mudflats so not the prettiest but it was stunning when the tide was in.

Just remembered my photos of the moon last night… it was a stunning night when I was out with the dogs before bed.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 745 what’s the opposite of”full of the joys of spring” ?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

That’s an unfair title as I’m actually ok but at 4.45 this morning I really could have cried.

I had the best sleep but I could have slept for hours longer. I swithered about going back to bed and cancelling the Farm but I was awake anyway so I may as well just go.

This is 100% true!!

When I got there I did think about he opposite of full of the joys of spring. I felt tired and heavy, like a rock unable to move. A teensy weensy wee bit grumpy!

The Farm was great despite lots of running. I dragged myself around but really enjoyed the weights that we did. I upped them a few times!

DEFINITELY!!

We got some official photos from the Hyrox challenge at the weekend…. Here they are!

Sled push 🛷
Burpee Broad Jumps
Sled pull 🛷
Ski-erg
Rowing machine

I feel like I’ve been full on all weekend and all week without my treasured “me” time. If I can just keep going for one more day then I’ll get the chance to relax.

Work is full on which is great as I’d hate to be bored. I find it hard leaving when I still have so much to do but actually the old me would never have left and just stayed on for hours.

Even as I write this I realise that I’m over dramatising my day. It’s time of the month which is a novelty for she who approaches menopause and the old me would have been a nightmare this week. I would have been so full of tears, I’d have cried at everything, been foggy headed and really lack lustre.

So my huffing and puffing this week is NOTHING compared to what used to be.

There’s something to be very grateful for.

Thanks for being around!

And this….. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 744 a very busy day….. adulting 😤

It sucks to be an adult sometimes…. I have way too much adulting to do today and I’m ready for a rest!

It’s 19.11 and I haven’t even thought about the blog… well of course I have… I’ve just started it so that’s a ridiculous statement. 🤣

I had an amazing sleep last night, hardly surprising after the night before, I was out for the count until just before the 6.30 alarm.

My anxiety was pretty active when I woke up and I would go so far as to say I felt really off kilter this morning.

I felt calm and in control but there was a mini panic attack taking place inside. I felt jittery and a real sense of doom as if something was going to go very badly wrong. Of course it didn’t.. nothing did.

I had a task at work that was going round in circles so I kept putting it off, maybe that was eating away at me. Today I “ate that frog” 🐸 and just concentrated on it to get it done.

That was a phrase Craig said to me with when I was struggling with anxiety in my old job. It stuck with me. Eat that Frog….Once it’s done, it’s done.

So another busy day and lots of customers in today which makes it go even faster.

I had to rush home tonight… ok leave on time… as we had a man coming to help us write our wills…. We are not getting any younger. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I had to talk him around the village road closure so he was a bit late arriving.

We finally have two large heavy bags in the middle of the roadworks to stop everyone from moving the cones and driving through our road closure. So many people ignore the signs and drive through…… not this time!!!

It’s funny how that bothers me so much… Mrs follow the rules watched a guy move the cones and drive through this morning and he then went and put them back?!? Should I have been less mad at that??

Anyway, the will guy was very lovely and helpful and we ended up organising Power of Attorney at the same time. We could have put that money towards a trip to the Maldives but hey…. We’ve been very sensible instead. It’s tough being a grown up at times. 🥴

No rest for the wicked as we had to go over to the Village hall to check the oil tank to see if we needed to order oil. Craig has very kindly agreed to check this for me as my short 5ft4ins is not conducive to sticking a bamboo cane into an oil tank while balancing up a step!!

We noticed an apparent issue with an overflowing septic tank…. Right next to the oil tank… another issue to be resolved… but definitely not tonight! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I will not share that photo….. 💩

Then….. home to stick some pizza in the oven for a quick dinner.

I feel frazzled but it’s only because I’ve not had that essential time to chill…. I need some down time or me time every day.

I have an hour before bed. Need to get out do these work clothes and watch some mindless tv!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️