The trick that makes you drink water

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now and for once it was never laziness that stopped me – I postponed it for more scientific research.

Okay, maybe, slightly, not a scientist. At all. Nor much research has gone into this, just a self discovery, then self reflection and then finally self acceptance. Which takes time, and who I am to rush what was going on???

So let’s start; the cup that makes me drink water. 

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This happened by pure accident. Pure, accidental, magic. I needed a drink: I used this cup. That was it. It’s a special cup because one of my best friends bought it for me, but it’s not one I always reach for, except if I’m having an alcoholic beverage – I think that’s the trick here, but just hold on a second.

I’ve always wanted to drink more, I think most people says this. I don’t know why It’s difficult, I can’t think of a reason other than we just don’t want to. So there was no intention when I reached for this cup, over choosing a glass one but before I knew it I had drunk it all. Filled it up once more, I carried on with my day, and my cup was empty again.

I kept weeing, and kept filling the cup back up. Ew, not with my wee. I should have worded that differently.

I still wasn’t paying much attention to what was happening, assuming I must have eaten a lot of salt recently (I feel like that’s a thing) so I don’t know how many cups I was going through. BUT when it happened the next day, and the next etc I noticed it could have been up to 20 cups a day.

I was feeling better all round. Weeing a lot, obviously, sometimes felt like I had a huge stomach, but I did feel better in myself and my skin was looking a lot clearer but then again I don’t think I’ve paid too much attention to that part.

I went with it, considered writing about it on my blog, but held it off to see where it was going and what impact it could have on my life. I began bringing it to work with me and while I worked on the computer from 6.30am to 1.30pm I would constantly sip away. I would take it out and about with me. It’s been there in photos I’ve posted online in someway or another; been there in a cosy shot of my bed at night, been there in an item I listed on ebay and it’s even been there in accidental shots before the real photo. I bought another one because I loved it so much, and suddenly I realised it was there, lodged into my routine. It’s been well over 28 days – I’m sure that’s how long it takes to make something a routine.

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In the past I’ve bought other cups and bottles before in hopes this would happen. I’ve made resolutions, I’ve made plans, I’ve made to do lists hoping I would drink more. And yet the most impractical cup – it can leak from the top and it’s not dishwasher safe – has done what I’ve wanted for years. It begged the questions..

What the fuck was happening?!

Of course when I questioned it my health anxiety went to ‘you’re probably drying, you know. It’s about time.’ – but that’s just every day life of an anxious brain. I then wondered if it was because it’s quite childish and fun and how many adults do you really see using plastic sipping cups? I’m not sure though, I think that’s just an added benefit. I worked it out anyway: I think I’m drinking alcohol. Well, subconsciously. (I personally am smart enough to know the difference. May not be a scientist but I know my alcohol and have been known to drink my boyfriend under the table.) (Also known for not being able to but giving it a good try.)

I associate straws and this cup with drinking alcohol, and I don’t know many people that drink alcohol slowly. You could easily knock back at least three in an hour without realising. You talk and sip, you dance and sip, you do everything and sip. And my brain is like yesssss, it’s party time, and drink on like I would with alcohol. It naturally links up with something in my brain, that’s wired this way from being a teen – like remember student nights when you could get spirits ridiculously cheap so you kept them coming? (I never went to uni, only the student nights).

Even as I’m typing this I’m having to go refill – I don’t even realise.

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I’ve tried to share this trick with a few people around me, but I don’t think they’re understanding that the cup, that actual cup is important. They went and bought other bottles (and *cough cough* haven’t kept to it). It’s the plastic, you don’t mind taking it with you everywhere and knocking it about, and also the handle which just makes it easy to carry. And the straw. The ‘can I have a southern comfort and lemonade please? ‘Do you want a straw?’ straw.

I’ve thought before that maybe I couldn’t drink a lot of water because my body just doesn’t want it, forgetting how much I could easily drink if there was a spirit involved.

And now I sound like an alcoholic, which oh, well, I do sound like an alcoholic. But not me, anxiety and depression, yes, but not alcoholic.

So this post has gone to something healthy to alcohol. Literal opposites. I came to a point though, after the shock, of being like fuck it. It sounds like an awful reason for my brain to easily drink water, but it makes sense that psychologically I’m tricking myself, and if that’s what it takes I’m not going to stop it. For one reason – it works. The ace of hearts is on the wall and Darren Brown has explained how, but even so, placebos can still work even when you know they’re a placebo. Point is:

This trick works.

(I’m assuming it may not if you’ve never been a drinker) (let me know?)

So rather me writing a post about the benefits drinking lots of water has had on me, you can Google that, I wanted to tell you my little secret to getting started and this journey I went on.

Now, is this all just a sign that I drink too much alcohol? Nah. Also, good to add, drinking this much water every day means hangovers have gotten a lot better! Result!

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Cosy nights

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In desperation, my partner bought me Sleepy from Lush in hopes I’ll settle better of an evening. I’m in an awful routine – which has spanned my 26 years – of getting anxious at night, getting what I call ‘restless leg’ (like growing pains in my legs) and being just a pain in the arse. Then, what makes it worse for my partner, the next morning I wake up and forget all about it and get on with my day.

‘What a lovely/horrible day I’ve had,’ I ignorantly say to myself, ‘it’s been very productive/lazy, oh look nights creeping in..’

and BAMB!

Hello friend, remember me now?!

Yes I do! Why didn’t I do anything to stop this?!

It’s a bit like 50 First Dates, or, a bit darker, like that Black Mirror episode where the lady lives the real life nightmare each day because she committed a crime.. I don’t remember committing a crime.. but neither did she……

So, inspired by my new product, which rather excites me more than I should admit, I had a day of tidying my bedroom and making it all relaxing and lovely. ‘How can it take all day to tidy?’ I hear you cry, well it was in a pretty bad state, with it also becoming a somewhat office/studio recently. So it’s not even finished now but I’m okay with that.

What did I do to help me chill?

Self care and doing things I love. Rule number one. (Well rule number one is always that you don’t talk about Sleep Club, even though I am right now) but taking time for yourself is so important that I felt like I needed a Fight Club reference to get it across. Did it work?

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Lit my new candle. I just can’t resist not smelling candles in shops. Same with trying on hats. Instantly Christmas hit me in the nostrils and it’s not even a Christmas candle, which is even more perfect really because it meant it was on sale. And oh, feeling Christmasy is the best feeling! I can just lay there and let that feeling consume me. But then again that’s not going to help me sleep – think relaxing, Emily, rellaaxxx

If you’re as obsessed and excited by autumn, winter and Christmas as I am, give it a smell and see if you agree. And also I now have relax, don’t do it.. stuck in my head. Oh, and there’s Zoolander in there too. Yep.

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Had my Sleepy lotion. I think I need to have a box of night time lotions and sprays next to my bed at all times. It’s actually getting ridiculous how much I struggle. I’ll start my collection now, Sleepy is the first one.

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Fairy lights. Atmosphere, it’s important. Not to my boyfriend. Nor probably a lot of people, but I think it’s another rule. Let’s recap;

Rule 1: Do not talk about Sleep Club
Rule 2: DO NOT TALK ABOUT SLEEP CLUB
Rule 3: Take good care of yourself and do things that bring you joy
Rule 4: Create a nice atmosphere

And other than clean bedding – besides detracting me from the smell of the sleepy lotion, everyone loves clean bedding – and as many comforting films as I could manage, and a read of Harry Potter, that was pretty much my evening.

BUT to top it all off, the next morning when I left for work at 6am, whilst still feeling all cosy and happy, these were the sights presented to me which sent my heart aflutter for the coming season…

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Summer is nearly at an end, so let’s chat goals

I write this on the 30th of August – so to anyone who went to an English school, the end of the summer holidays. The end of the summer essentially.

I had summer goals that I wrote down to make them final and legit and also to experiment whether you get more satisfaction physically ticking something off a list, compared to living your life carefree and goalless.

So this experiment is almost a failure..

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..my original post already had things ticked off, and other than plans that didn’t work out (like buying the kite but there never being wind), my list stayed unticked and staring at me from my cork board – telling me I’m a failure. You’re a failure, Emily, you failed.

BUT WAIT!

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I mean, other than my life not being about counting my failures and successes – who has time for that?! – I have done more things this summer than I think I have any other summer. I mentioned in a few blog posts ago that it was never a goal to go to so many beaches – it was a goal to go to a beach – and if it were my goal I doubt it would have happened.

We went to 9.

It was also a goal to ‘plant those seeds’ (meaning seeds I had and always forgot about when it’s the right time of year to plant them). I deemed it a success, worth ticking off, because I didn’t know if they’d grow and I planted them well too late – I think July some time. But low and behold I have plants. Probably won’t produce any vegetables. But I can’t untick my list now. And the fact I did this all by myself feels amazing (other than my little brother helping to repot).

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I explained the flying the kite one, ‘do extreme sports’ and ‘watch the sun rise’ – well, I just hadn’t had time. Sure I’ve had leisure time, but when you do you want to sit and eat chocolate, not really go white water rafting and stay up for 24 hours. But this leads me on to the question – when does the summer really end?! Officially. Well, Google says (I quickly Google):

Friday the 22nd of September. 

Hooray! Still have nearly a whole month.

Doesn’t mean I’ll get everything ticked off, I don’t like pressure. The kite one though! I have nearly a month to fly a kite and tick it off my list, before the list just goes into the bin anyway.

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Now lets talk about what I proposed in my original post about goals, whether you get more satisfaction from a list compared to just doing stuff. To compare this I had to just do stuff, and later on work out of the things I did which was worth comparing to crossing off goals.

Obviously, didn’t really reach any summer goals, but all summer I still had to-do lists that I was ticking off daily, and oh my God, that was satisfying. I think when you’ve done so much stuff that you’re confused on whether you’ve done anything, then get to tick it all off and see what progress you’ve made.. that’s the money shot right there. That’s the high five to your ego, it made me feel good. (Things like ‘Google this idea’ ‘paint this’ ‘put this on ebay’).

As my summer goals were so vague (they didn’t say ‘book an extreme sport’ ‘do the extreme sport’ etc) there was less satisfaction. I don’t think there was any actually. It’s more just a reminder. It wasn’t a to do list. Just a reminder to play or do things I haven’t before. It was like subliminal messaging.

I got excited when we planned to go fly our kites, it’s the build up, it’s the planning. It’s like a ‘everything in our lives has led up to this moment’ kind of feeling. Whereas if it was spontaneous like other activities we did, there’s no build up. Then again when you spontaneously do things you get such a thrill and adrenaline rush, and people always say the days you don’t plan are always the best ones. I think because you haven’t preconceived anything, anything can happen. And, if you’re like me, when you plan a day you imagine what conversations you might have (social anxiety) or what it might feel like doing that activity etc, then sometimes when it doesn’t go that way it’s disappointing. Say we decided to fly a kite on a whim, would we be more or less disappointed if it didn’t work out?!

Days we didn’t plan, like The Cuckoos Trail or going to Bewl water, were satisfying is a completely different way. In a ‘look how good life is!’ way. I believe that’s where a ‘good summer’ comes from. I also realise now that I can’t plan things, so my friends plan events well in advance but tell me about it last minute because I’m more likely to go – I panic about long term, dunno why. I wonder if it’s also because I know I get a better feeling this way too, and I’m all about feelings unfortunately.

This all being said, I think having goals in general are wicked. It naturally puts you in a mindset to do more. Keeps you present. With out meaning to sound dramatic, it’s like giving you reasons to live, even if you don’t keep to them. It’s a reminder than life can be an adventure.

For me, not so vague goals feel good to tick off simply because they’re easier to tick off, and then inspires me to keep going. Big goals I can’t keep to rigidly because that turns into pressure and I just want to run away, but having them there is enough to push me into the right direction anyway.

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A scooting surprise – Cuckoo Trail, East Sussex

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As James sorts the sat-nav to reach this surprise scooting location, there I am, Hogwarts top and fidget spinner. Plus the scooters in the boot, of course. Yep, that’s adulthood.

Cuckoo Trail. I had never heard of it either. It’s a disused rail line, disbanded in the 1800s James said – but Google says 1968. You choose who to believe: someone who probably didn’t really Google it, and Google itself. Tough one.

We have only scooted for two months and it generally has been our choice of transport coming home from drinking, not much more. Recently we did go on a mission to find somewhere pretty to scoot, went to Shoreham, couldn’t find anywhere safe or legal and instead tried to find the chalk horse on the hill. Couldn’t find that either. So instead went to the lavender fields in Eynsford. We never did scoot, I just got carried away and ended up telling you about our day.

But Cuckoo Trail, my friends, is a 14 mile cement path! Safe and pretty! Seriously what we have been searching for but clearly not actually trying. Other than my stand breaking 100 metres in – these scooters are seriously just falling apart, nothing to do with the path – it’s perfect.

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As often with any adventure, I said to James ‘Oh, I want to take my little brother here!’ and yes I still do, it’ll be great fun for him on his bike – just like lots of other little kids were doing. BUT, I must say, as the trail went on you do have to cross roads at some places and after Horam, in the woodland areas, there are sheer drops on either side of the path. It’s completely safe, don’t get me wrong (please never change) but you have to make sure your kid knows how to use his breaks, and preferably not think he’s a stunt man/wolverine.

Side note: my little brother is 4, I’m not talking about my 28 year old brother. Though both love bikes. But only one of them thinks they’re wolverine. I think.

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I learnt how to scoot one handed. Also tried a few tricks (e.g. sticking my leg out. Yes that’s a trick.) and got told off a lot by James whenever I’d stick my arse out while scooting as my leggings would go see through. What can I say? I’m a butt dancer.

Warning to the ignorant like us – one way is down hill. So, great fun on a scooter. Also means the way back is up hill. Hence the walking the scooters photos.

Oh, I just remembered, I did have one foot on each scooter while James pushed. That is a true trick.

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Due to dooming rain (started the second we got in the car) we turned back after about 4.5 miles. Might be 5. Which means we scooted/walked 10 miles though. That’s if you can count scooting downhill for 5 miles as exercise. We will go back and do it completely.

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Warning if you are interested in doing the Cuckoo Trail. Unfortunately there is a lot of poo. Dog and horse.

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Wild seals on the beaches in England! Horsey Gap, Norfolk

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Day 2 of camping in Norfolk. The sun, again my friends, had come out to play. Like I said in yesterdays post, I write my travel diary’s as I’m living them but this one is written from the comfort of my bed, with a sun burnt face – thanks Norfolk! Told you the sun was out again.

Also, like I said yesterday, I don’t like to tell a story once it’s happened so I’ll be brief. Woke up, as you would expect, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.. (Ohhh it’s another game of name that reference. I particularly enjoy playing it with James, because he knows none of mine. But lets be real for a second, there’s no way I brushed my hair.) So got up, got out of bed THEN put the tent away, as we had to be off site by 10. (Doesn’t rhyme). That’s a tight schedule for someone like me and my family – no breakfast for us then. But that’s a slight lie, once we got to Horsey Gap we sneakily cooked our breakfast at the back of the cars. I also had a pee there. Not as the same time.

If you’re a reader of mine you’d know that I’m new to camping, this is my 3rd trip. Already I’m in love with it. As a teenager I used to go on caravan holidays with one of my best friends, which would always be in the summer holidays (and we actually went to Newquay and Hastings, which is the other two places I’ve camped. Odd. There must be something subconscious behind that). So being on this campsite next to Hemsby beach, in the summer holidays, was a massive throw back to the atmosphere on the caravan holidays.

There was a group of teenagers next to us that were so cool, and only because they weren’t in the slightest – for their age group – but as a 26 year old it’s cool when someone younger dresses how they want and goes against the system. Can you remember the peer pressure when you were that age?! That’s cool. It’ll probably be an offence if they knew I said they were cool though, so lets keep it between us.

I love to stare at people, but nothing is weirder than me sitting in my camping chair and staring at a group of teenagers that is only 3 metres away, so all I could manage was side wards glances. This one chick was dressed like an explorer, and I really hope my mind isn’t deceiving me, but she was wearing a khaki body warmer (a bit like Nigel Thornberry) and a bandanna ruching up her short hair. I could only hope her pockets were filled with exciting instruments for her adventures. And a book. There would definitely be a book. A classic. On The Road, perhaps. Or maybe Alice in Wonderland.

I’ve gone off topic. My point was how it was a massive throwback to being 16 again, where, and I’m trying to say this really delicately (I’m rather blunt), the outsiders fit in. I don’t know what school is like nowadays, but these teenagers are my people. This was us. I had blue and pink hair when I was 16 and Sophie and I went on a caravan holiday to Newquay. They’re my people. They spoke about books out loud. When we were in Newquay we queued up at midnight for the last Harry Potter book – though I hadn’t read them at that point. 21 July 2007 is the date google says. See what I’m saying? It’s refreshing to see people playing ball games, having conversations and being themselves. I don’t know how else to explain it.

So Horsey beach. After breakfast and a wee, both behind the car, we walked 30 minutes to see the wild seals.

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This trip was a massive throw back for me – when I was 16, in Newquay with pink and blue hair, the seal was my favourite animal. They’re so fucking cute. There was two playing together where the waves crash. Magical.

It’s a very peaceful beach, understandably. I mean, peaceful till my little 4 year old brother came along, thinking he was wolverine and was running up and down doing flips. The seals didn’t react to him, don’t worry, and obviously you have to keep a distance. I read online they have their pups in the winter so I really want to come back then. Then I could possibly do the walk along the beach from Hemsby to Horsey like I wanted.

Highly recommend.

Thanks for visiting!

Clearing my mind with the ocean and camping – Hemsby beach, Norfolk

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I am very happy to say I have visited many beaches this year. More beaches than I have ever done before in one year. It was never intentional, and I recon if I put it down as one of my Summer Goals it probably wouldn’t have happened. It just happened because it did. Which makes it even better actually.

It started with Dunkirk beach in April, then Newquay beaches in May, Hastings beach in June and now beaches in Norfolk. And how many of those times was the sun shining? I know that’s what a lot of people really care about. Only this trip to Norfolk, actually. But I suppose because none of these trips were ‘lets go to the beach!’, we had never planned to sit in the sun, the plan was always to travel or camp etc, and therefore we’ve never been disappointed when there was no sun. Plus, it’s England – what do you expect?!

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In past posts I’ve shared my travel diary on these trips and this camping trip to Norfolk was… I can’t say ‘going to be the same’ because I’ve never really planned my travel diary’s – I take my notebook encase I get inspiration, then when I’m back home I re read it and make it into a post. Something about travelling inspires me automatically, I just know what I want to write down. It’s about the day and what we are doing, obviously, but I do know my ‘style’, I know what I like to document and avoid any fakery (I’m really not a sugar coated kind of gal), and somehow as soon as we step into our car and on our way, each time I’m back in that zone. I love that zone. I need to work out what it means psychologically because if I could have that drive when I’m at home EVERYTHING on my to do list would be done. I think I understand it, travelling clears my head and makes way for the things I deem important – and the negative stuff which stops me in day to day life just fucks off.

So this trip was no different, as soon as the day arrived my brain changed and I was mindful and chill and wanted to document our time. For some reason though, and I think it’s got to be because I was in such a bad way before we came away, I didn’t get enough time to write anything. I just revelled in the fact my brain wasn’t as foggy. I still took photos, and I have a few words from the drive there which I will include next. Other than that – that’s all folks!

 

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10/8/17

And so the next adventure starts with some typically English and Mumsy, despite not being a Mum (other than to my plants), words: ‘Now it’s a 3 hour drive, we better go to the toilet!’

‘Nah, I’m alright,’ James said, and I couldn’t change his mind that it’s a good idea. ‘Well, if we have to stop in half an hour-‘ I let the end of my sentence trail off as I walked to the toilet. Truly because I didn’t have an end. He’s driving. If he wants to stop he’ll stop. But in need of a good ‘told you so’ moment, I thought while I have my wee I’ll write this passage on the toilet for evidence. That’s right, I’m writing this on the toilet.

 

11:53 we left the house. Spoiler alert: we didn’t stop at all. Damn.

Our first stop is two minutes down the road to a garage, in hopes of getting James’s radio fixed. This is how we work – we pack the car the morning we go and we get the radio fixed in the morning we go. To be fair it’s the same amount of effort doing it all on the day and the rain yesterday was so ridiculous that most roads in our town had turned into outside swimming pools. We no longer have to go to Herne Hill for a lido. If we packed the car the night before our camping gear would have been drenched – even in the twenty whatever steps to the car.

Looks like we have half an hour of no music till we get the code for the radio – thank you James for letting the battery go dead! Now we have to talk to each other! Yuck! Instead we are going to play spotify through his phone, problem solved. We do like each others company, I promise.

And 12:57 we have radio! That being said James put on his ‘new’ CD that he bought from a charity shop for 49p – 2007’s Now 68. The second disk only. First song Plain White T’s, Hey There Delilah.

 

15:10 we arrive and James cracks open a Stella. I, on the other hand, has a sudden headache and belly ache. So, as James keeps calling me recently, Sulky Emily is waiting for her pills to kick in before we put up the tent. It’s probably anxiety thinking about it, it takes many forms. But the sun is shining and the beach is only a short stroll away.

Put tent up and we chill and I feel great. Also beer. I’ve had a huge cloud fogging my mind the last few weeks and I feel like these camping trips clear it away, like it’s my medication.

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And that’s all I wrote this time. I could tell you what I did past tense but I can’t write it half as interesting when it’s already happened. Plus my memory is shit.

Thanks for visiting!

Nettles, prints and failures – what I did today

I had a thought while on a walk today about how it’s important to make an effort with yourself. I’m ever so unorganised and my Mum calls me skanky, which isn’t as big of an insult as you’d think, so I often neglect TLC. I lack in taking care of myself sometimes, I forget the benefits, then every once in a while, for no reason, I do it.

I’ll paint a picture for you before you imagine me dressing as a princess or bathing myself for hours in a natural spa while being fed grapes from above. I was in two day old clothes, I’ve had to stop wearing bras because my anxiety is so bad and let’s say I had washed the day before when you and I both know I didn’t. This is where the ‘skanky’ bit comes into play, I prefer to call it chill, plus I love not wearing bras. So it’s clear to say I hadn’t looked after myself in an appearance way but with the knowledge I was going to walk home from my boyfriends house in the morning I had prepared my current notebook, ear phones and downloaded a few (turns out the exact amount) of Ted Talk podcasts.

I have walked these fields home for years, on this blog I’ve documented it for years, and I’ve never needed any of these things before but almost as a treat to myself, I made a bit of effort.

And these were my thoughts as I began my journey; how it’s important for you to make an effort with yourself.

Then just as I was about to reach my fields (where I had unknowingly planned to sit for a bit and let these thoughts play out in my notebook) the stinging nettles appeared. This was the only entrance to the field – a long, narrow path. I persevered as a Ted Talk was telling me ‘how your brain decides what is beautiful’ in my ears. Certainly not stinging nettles. I had reached the half way point, after being stung all over my body but I looked ahead and it was ridiculously overgrown. There was no way I wouldn’t come out of it without looking like I had accidentally fallen into a nettle bush. Also bear in mind that this path has a metal fence that looks into a plant nursery, and I had definitely noticed out the corner of my eye a few of the workers watching me as I tackled this mission impossible. Sorry, reader, I am not Tom Cruise. I had to turn back. And get re stung by the same nettles.

I never managed to get to sit in a field and come up with some inspiring thoughts for myself. The walk was extended by taking the roads, and so I was, I imagine, 30 minutes more sweaty than I should have been. Sweat really should be measured in time, thinking about it. I was an hour and a half of summer sweat (stronger than winter sweat) by the time I reached home, and after a coffee in the garden, which you add 10 point on top of the hour and half (5 points for the sun in the garden and 5 points for the hot coffee) then another 3 for getting angry at my little brother and nephew fighting: that totals 13 points and an hour and half of sweat. Logic.

After a few reality checks recently and some much needed self reflection, I managed to kick my self up the back side (also did some stretching, clearly) and did some internet work bits at home. These prints are ready and photographed and almost ready to go in my shop From Miles.

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When James had finished work we made plans to go fly a kite (as part of my summer goals) but after driving for 15 minutes and sitting in a Sainsbury’s car park we decided there was no wind whatsoever. I’ve never flown a kite before but I’m sure wind is a huge factor in making that happen.

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And so no point in going home in the traffic and James had a meeting, so I spent an hour in the car outside. Which is where I’m writing this, including the words I’m writing. Right. Now.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about a random day in my life. It ended with going to a pub for dinner, called The Moat in Wrotham – looking like that?! I hear you cry. Don’t worry, I bought dry shampoo in Sainsbury’s, that’s why we were there. But yeah, looking like that. Skanky, see. No, damn, I meant chill. I wear it like a badge of honour. Cheers!