Hanging With The Angels

To tick another quest off of my Never Ending Life List I did my first shift volunteering as a Bottling Angel at The Cotswolds Distillery today. It was great to be part of the team at a working distillery and our team (of three) were on Gin duty.

I think it’s a great idea, you do a three and a half hour shift bottling one of their spirits and at the end of the shift you walk away with the experience of seeing and being part of how its done and a bottle of Cotswolds Dry Gin. I was on holiday from the day job today and it was a very different way to spend a Monday and I really enjoyed it.

I’m going to love spending my wages.

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10 Reasons We Love Lists – You Won’t Believe #4

Ok, it’s not really a list but I couldn’t resist the title.

I’ve tidied up my blog a bit lately and I’m trying to post on a more regular basis. I use this blog as a journal and a general brain dump and I’ve noticed that more and more of my posts and pages are lists and so much web content and news is formatted as a list I wanted to find out more about why we all love lists so much.

There’s a lot more to it than having to try to remember what you need to buy at the shops and this article by The New YorkerA List Of Reasons Why Our Brains Love Lists explains it very well, I’d recommend you nip over and read it (I’ll just wait here until you get back).

There are a lot of sites and tools that encourage us to use lists to organise our lives and achieve goals. I started my Never Ending Life List  years ago (I don’t like the idea of a Bucket list, it sounds too final. Unless you know you have a finite time to be able to do the things you want to then surely it’s better to have a list that just keeps on going?). I started using Trello a while ago to organise my ideas and challenges and give me a visual representation of the quests that I’d completed, then I began adding photographs to the items once I’d done them and from there decided to use the lists as inspiration for blog posts and combine the list(s) with my love of photography to create a visual diary for me to look back on. (It’s also spurred me on to post on my blog more frequently and posting should help my creative-writing which in turn should help me finish (start?) that book that I know is in me somewhere and is one the things on my life list, or at least that’s the theory.

Stephen R.Covey categorises the first generation of time management style as…

Notes and checklists
An effort to give some semblance of recognition and inclusiveness to the demands placed on time and energy. 

I listen to The One You Feed Podcast sometimes, I find it helps me focus when I’m spending a long time in the car commuting to client meetings and provokes thought on subjects I never would have considered (I’d recommend it if you’re looking for an interesting and inspiring podcast). I’ve gone through some of the older episodes and came across an interview with Chris Guillebeau who wrote a book called The Happiness of Pursuit. He focuses on the benefits of having a quest in your life and how that can bring you happiness. Chris chose to visit all the countries in the world as his quest (193 in total) and achieved that before he was 35 – that’s a little too much for me to take on, but I view my Never Ending Life List as my list of quests. I’m not setting any deadlines and I’m regularly adding things to the list as a source of ideas for things to do, things to try, new challenges and (of course) new lists.

Something For The Weekend.

Born from the original ‘5 Things On A Friday‘ started by James Whatley and still going strong here’s my version – Something For The Weekend.

There’s nothing clever about the title – I’ll never get into the habit of a regular Friday post and I can’t always find 5 things that I want to write about so it’s a weekly round up. I’ll post it sometime before Monday morning.  It’s a mix of the things that I’ve liked, noticed, bought, read, found interesting or just feel like mentioning this week. It’s also a good opportunity for me to learn more about using WordPress so I can do more on my self hosted site for my Wedding Photography business. It needs a complete redesign which is beyond my current WordPress skills so it’s a good job the love of my life is a (very patient) web developer

I started doing this back in 2014 which is why this is #7 (#1) but haven’t posted regularly for a while – it’s easy to let life get in the way of the things that you enjoy if you let it. I’m planning on working smarter, not harder this year and taking more time to enjoy life and the time I spend with the people I care about.

Continue reading “Something For The Weekend.”

Well?

Well-being
A sense of wellbeing
An enormous sense of wellbeing
Well?

The voices
Some have been here for a long time
Some are new
Some are loud, bullish, pushing through
Some are just….

It helps.
I don’t like to ask so I don’t. It just does.
The Dog runs. Sometimes.
Towards and away.
Throw the stick.
A stick every day keeps the dog at bay.

By Cathy Griffiths

Dust Off.

To restore something to use: The mechanic dusted off that old engine and sold it. 

dusted off last year’s winter coat and put it on. (http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/dust+off)

Hello Blog *get’s out the yellow duster that lives under the sink and an old strange smelling bottle of polish and gives the blog a squirt and a shine*

It’s been a while, sorry. I know I’ve said that before and I’m sure I’ll say it again but anyway – sorry.

What’s been happening this year so far? Lots and nothing all at the same time. I’m not trying to be cryptic but I always find the first few months of a new year to be a bit of a challenge. First up, January. Let’s be honest here, it’s not a good month. It’s cold, it’s got 31 days, the gainfully employed amongst us all got paid early in December and spent it weeks ago, it’s grey, it’s cold and even with a few Birthdays to look forward to it’s a depressing month. Then we have February, it’s the shortest month of the year so at least it’s over quickly. If we’re lucky there will be some snow, not too much, just enough for a few crisp, pretty days and a couple of photographs. My birthday is in February, I’m lucky that it’s after the January pay day and most of my friends are starting to come out of hibernation so there’s usually a few people around willing to raise a glass or two and help me celebrate.

Continue reading “Dust Off.”

2014 – A Review.

It’s probably about time (see what I did there?) I wrote something about last year. It seems to be the done thing to try to sum up the last 365 days at the start of a new year and who am I to buck the trend?

As years go 2014 was ok. Not brilliant but far from bad. I realise that’s not much in the way of in-depth summaries so lets go into a little more detail…

2014 – Part 1.

It rained in January! A Lot!

All rights reserved © Cathy Griffiths

Parts of England had their wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago (source BBC News – read more) and large parts of Oxford were flooded. thankfully we live on a hill so we didn’t flood at home but there was misery for thousands of people across the country, many of whom are still recovering a year later.

On a Dark and stormy night (yes, I stole that line) I ended up with a Ford KA parked in the boot of my Audi A4 somewhere around Coventry. The first accident of the year (yes there was another – later). Thankfully no one was hurt and I was able to drive away and get home – not the case for the poor man driving the KA. He was fine but his car wasn’t! Audi 1 – Ford 0.

Two of my best friends got married and I took the photographs. Happy Day.

Mr And Mrs Scott

February marked the start of my full blown mid-life crisis as I finally reached 50. 50! I can’t be 50! I don’t feel like I’m 50, although I’m not entirely sure what a 50 year old is supposed to feel like. I was lucky enough to spend the extended Birthday celebrations with some amazing friends who pampered, treated, spoiled and poured wine. Life didn’t quite ‘begin’ the way I would have liked at 40 but this decade is looking good so far.

We had a lovely long weekend in Marrakech in March (Holiday Blog post here). It was a much needed break. the last few years have been tough on us financially. I’ve been recovering from a failed business venture and then being made redundant from three different jobs over the space of three years (I think I’ve had my share of bad career Karma now thank you!) so we haven’t been able to afford a holiday out of the UK until now, apart from a lovely short break in Ireland, but things are changing at last. It’s been hard work but it’s paid off.

Jan To june 2014

2014 – Part 2

We decided to go camping later in the year and hired a Gypsy Caravan on the edge of Lake Windermere. We enjoyed it but I think it’s safe to say that it’s probably the last time we’ll go camping. We both enjoy the comfort of a real bed and hot and cold running water and a toilet without a ten minute walk too much, if we ever camp again it will have to be a luxury version.

July to Dec 2014

There have been gig’s nights out, movies, weekends away, friends, (maybe a little too much) wine and a generally good end to the year. I’ve been making plans for the future and really want to get things moving forward in 2015 so here’s looking forward to a very happy and prosperous New Year.