The Footprints of 2020

Footprints in the snow

The sun slowly sneaks and creeps around the corner of the house illuminating the back of the garden wall, the start of a new day, the start of a new year.  Even though the footprints of yesterday’s trip to the bottom of the garden are still there; they are slowly melting. At the same time though they have grown bigger somehow.

Perhaps a metaphor for the path that we walked last year….through the steps that we took we have all grown and although we are keen to embrace the new dawn hopefully with some reflection we can all take some inkling of the learnings we made even if it was just about being.

The footprints will disappear, either they will be replaced with fresh snow or melt and like the marking of a new year it’s a chance for renewal, mentally that is. Remember the world hasn’t suddenly changed, it’s still spinning in the same motion, the politics are the same and physically and mentally we are all just the same…..but as the sun rises and the new day dawns the path we set on yesterday will help us grow and if hasn’t then today of all days we have permission to change direction.

I’m looking forward to this year more than any other, despite the politics and the craziness that lies ahead, there has to be improved health for the world and it can’t come soon enough.

On a personal level, working from home has on reflection renewed my quest to keep learning. Even though I know that I’m in that honeymoon period where the office has closed for the holiday season and I’ve had time to reflect. That’s the thing though; I have had time to reflect and I know that the hour that I gave to myself first thing in the morning really helped me….the footprints of 2020.

So I’m ready to start the footprints of 2021…..let’s go!

 

 


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

O Christmas Tree

Chocolate Christmas Cake, Coffee Pot

Coffee is being made whilst I stew the fruit for a chocolate Christmas cake, the smell is intoxicating.   The zest from the orange mixed with brandy.  Deliberating making the coffee slow in order to stay at the hob longer, to linger, to enjoy this moment and breathe.

The recipe has been on my list since mid November and welcome on this cold, wet and bleak day.  The ground is covered in slushy kind of snow that soaks and bleeds you dry of warmth and energy.  The sky is dark and full without a thought for the folks who need to get out for a walk in order to the clear the mind.

The recipe turns out to be a winner looks wise and I’m very pleased with the result, no battling with having to cream the butter and the sugar.  Proof will be in the tasting a couple of days from now, should be weeks but don’t think we’ll be able to wait!

With full on water proofs I make it out and listen to a new podcast, very much out my comfort zone about London, urban community and rap music.  It peaked my interest from one of the top 10 lists I’ve seen this time of year and hoping in some way to help broaden my mind…..I’d recommend the podcast or musical poetry from George the Poet a London-born spoken word performer

The Christmas tree is going up today the first real one in five years or so.  I’d forgotten the weight of these things and the pine needles as they follow you round the house.  The artificial has gone up the kitchen at the back as a way of lighting up the back.  Joining our neighbors in what feels like an unspoken solidarity with regard brightening up our corner of the world….to push back the darkness in more ways than one.

 

 


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Covered Cave

 

My computer cave has been squashed up into a corner, shut down and put into hibernation.  The sash and case windows that have served the house for a hundred years and then some need replacing.  The breeze that comes in from the tiniest of cracks is unreal, and has been known to tickle the goosebumps.  The dust on top of the books on the top shelf is unnatural and can only be caused by particles drifted through the house on the breeze.

We’ve had some windows replaced before, a gradual process as we work through the house, save the money and pick of the rooms that need it most.   It’s an upheaval, workmen in the house, banging, shouting, grunting and dust where the house is opened to the elements as the old windows are removed back to the stone.

So the weekend coffee share is one of carnage as we put rooms back together, the hoover doing overtime, soapy water and a clothe to clinch the final deal.

The coffee is a welcome break, and I thank you for stopping by, we discuss the black Friday offers….and they can make one black with the hunt.

Food wise, if you’re looking for a chocolate pudding……this one is a keeper Chocolate Tahini and Banana Pudding from Nigella.  It’s a welcome highlight to the day after all the cleaning and If there were any left I’d share some!

 


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

 

It’s come round quick

Fruit Cake

It’s Saturday already, it’s come round so quick. I’m back from the morning messages and a simple light rye loaf with blue cheese for lunch. It’s time for a post lunch coffee and the weekendcoffeeshare.

I’m gearing up for painting the porch, it’s a small affair, a long over-due job probably not been touched in 20 years. I can understand why though, a hotch potch of corners, nooks and crannies. The meter is there for the electric, the fuse box and coat hooks. It’s going to be fiddly.

I’m off the Saturday cooking duty as a consequence; which is a little disappointing, at the same time nice to be cooked for….although that is the case most days! I enjoy the weekend spot and the routine of producing something new.

The Guardian today, had various recipes for lunch time cooking whilst at home. I cannot see myself going anywhere near them given the amount of time between online meetings. Where one meeting ends and the next one starts with the touch of the screen on the iPad. I am taken by the roast chicken legs and radicchio (tomorrow nights tea). Then there is the easy weeknight root vegetable fitters and slaw with Sausages….probably Monday’s tea.

TV has so much going on at the Moment. I’m late to the Mandalorian, and caught up quickly, about to start the next series (no spoilers please) with the youngest. Star Trek Discovery, my guilty pleasure just keeps giving…and nobody is interested in the house but me. Then the BBC has got His Dark Materials an adaptation of Philip Pullman’s trilogy and the whole family seems to appear for the Sunday sit down which is nice.

It’s time to start making the fruit cakes if you wish to feed them in time for Christmas, another thing that’s come round quick. The smell lingers in the kitchen for hours….a smell that always takes you by surprise, but right back in time to my grandma’s kitchen.

 


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

The Fear

Chair, Headphones

The 7 day streak is long gone and the fear of keeping it going has to.  It got too much for me I have to say.  That and a number of other things like staring at the computer screen for 12 hours a day over the last few days.   A mammoth milestone at work coming to fruition this weekend.

I’ve managed to shape some kind of routine where the first hour of the day is my own over the last few months.  If I do manage to not hit the snooze button it starts with a bit of yoga, an attempt to stave of the back pain from sitting in a chair all day.  A bout of fresh air, although it’s dark now. The bonus of the shift in daylight hours long gone.

Breakfast, I’m working through some chocolate porridge concoction from Jamie’s Superfoods, the boys tried it once and I’ve since been left with the consequences.  It’s a date, cocoa and hazelnut affair, that grows on you as you get to the bottom of the bowl.

I then take my coffee or tea through to front room, head phones on, Einaudi, breathe and then read for the remaining time until such that I need to plug into the real world.

I’ve got through a few leadership books that have sat on the shelf for a while, a treat for me if I get through one book is to intersperse with a lunch time interview with the FT.  42 interviews combined in one book, the rich and famous, an eclectic mix that make me think about the world differently.

Rather than read this morning, I’m plugging away talking to you and if you’re still reading this, then thank-you for your time as it’s precious!  I’m sat in the armchair next to a big old fireplace, I’m still powering up with piano music and wondering what lays ahead for the Friday.  I hope you have a good one.

Nanopoblano Week 1

View from Arthurs seat to the pentlands

Woke to a strange sky this morning, Edinburgh enveloped in a shrouded mist with patches of blue. The sun was welcome as a source of heat, slowly working it’s magic. Inspired me to a long walk around Arthurs seat to take in a the fresh cold air. A welcome day away from the office and a chance to soak up the last of the Autumn colours.

Brunch out with the boss, a masked affair that saved us having to worry about making lunch, and then a few bits and pieces to supplement the menu for this evening.

  • Leak and bacon buckwheat pancakes, served with a rocket, sweet potato and avocado salad.
  • Hazelnut chocolate pots to follow.

With such an early lunch, there was time to crack open the fruit cake (we are not mentioning the C word yet) with a cup of coffee…..which I would gladly share if we were having coffee.

While we were having coffee I would tell you about WordPress and its constant need to tell me about my daily streak. I made it to 7 since last week, the start of nanopoblano regardless of quality! I’d tell you that a daily blog habit is quite hard if you want to provide meaningful content, at the same time as keep to the daily grind of a project that has a major milestone in the next week.

Having missed yesterday’s post I’m now wavering around the journey that I have put myself on. It’s something to add into the mental health stakes of both working from home all day on a computer to add in another item that I need to do. I’m trying to reframe it on the basis it’s something I want to do…..but with an active mind there are another million and one things I would like to do as well.  On a postive, My Nanopolblano challenge has given me focus though, making me think daily alongside visiting some other great blogs.

 


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Eclectic Alli that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Breathe….a day is dawning

Sunrise

Inspired to post this after seeing a post from Dina at withangelsandelephants : Being reminding us just be.

Some days I have a great motivation to get up and get out, breathe in the sunrise, and with it the amazing colours that creep up and can quickly disappear.

Apologies, so the post is short for nanopoblano2020……..It’s been one of those days….and it’s time to just breathe!

 

A little more organisation a little less conversation

Up early with a start at 5:30 am this morning, no turning over waiting for the alarm.  The world in motion, I needed to know what was happening, needless to say it was still pole posturing.

What to do from a Nanopoblano perspective?…..I decided to add a dedicated page in order to list the content I was producing for the month.

I’ve updated the header from some of the early pictures I took Monday,  keen to bring the blog more in-line with the season, the view from Blackford Hill out towards Arthurs Seat.

A short entry for the day, no doubt it’s going to a busy and thought provoking one.