#10thingsIlove

Turn off the lights.Turn on the stars.

To balance out the good with the bad #10thingsIhate here are my #10thingsIlove.

1. Spending time with friends and family. There’s nothing quite like this, I’m definitely a social animal. Love going out for coffee, dinner or just hanging out at home with my family. Friends both on and offline are the best for supporting and encouraging you to pursue your dreams.
2. Eating tasty food. This just had to be on my list! LOL… I love food, any food, but especially spicy meals, as I grew up with a diet of Malaysian fare – my mum is from Kuching, Malaysia.
3. Travelling. Absolutely, would love to travel more. I grew up with a father who had a penchant for travel so this isn’t entirely surprising.  Recently, I entered Dan Alatorre’s recent Word Weaver writing competition with the first chapter of my dad’s travelling adventures. Sorry, the competition is now closed, but Dan has a great blog so go follow! I’ve been to many places in the world but there are still many to explore.
4. Going to the Theatre to see drama and dance. Where would we be without the theatre to make our imaginings take form? I adore going to the Edinburgh Festival and try to go every year if I can. The buzz is fantastic.
5. Visiting Edinburgh to see my mum, dad, brother and extended family. Love Edinburgh, it is one of the best cities in the world Edinburgh ranked Second in the World for Quality of Life and  is my home from home.
6. Writing prose and poetry, and reading books. Of course, this has to feature here. What has writing done for me? So much, it has given me such confidence, and so much enjoyment. I wish I had started writing decades ago!  Reading books and going to Book Festivals ranks pretty highly up there on my favourite things to do. Books make me cry, they make me smile; they delight me. Where would we be without books? I daren’t contemplate such a fate. And book festivals, again, my favourite is the Edinburgh Book Festival
7. Tai Chi. I have been attending classes in Taoist Tai Chi for many years, and I love it. I find it helps me relax, keeps me balanced and gives me a terrific boost. I would recommend it. Start young and you’ll stay fit well into your old age! Start older and it will keep you young! It’s a win, win situation… Recently, we had a Tai Chi intensive at my local branch.  Here’s the link to the Facebook page to see photos: Taoist Tai Chi Intensive in Cambridge. What’s a Tai Chi Intensive? It’s a special lesson when a particularly awesome instructor comes along to impart their knowledge to us Tai Chi enthusiasts. We partake of a bring and share lunch and generally have a lovely time.

Here’s the instructor considering what to teach us next:

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8. Sea air and sunshine. These two I’ve combined, as I enjoy the seaside best when the weather is nice. If the sun is out,  I can swim, (not in the UK!) sunbathe, eat an ice-cream, walk and explore. When it’s cold I still enjoy it, but I have to wrap up in many, many layers!
9. The blogging community. Have been a blast, so helpful, supportive and amazing. Love you! In fact I love you so much that I set up a special community on Facebook for authors/bloggers and bookish souls. Please do investigate and join …. Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support ClubMy fellow administrators of the group are Colleen Chesebro, and Debby Gies.
10. And last but not least, crystals and cats. I collect crystals and write about them too. My current manuscript is entitled: The Curse of Time – The Bloodstone. I intend to release this YA fantasy this summer. Cats, well I like their independence, and cats always seem to like me! Unfortunately, I don’t own one as both my husband and daughter are allergic but I get my fix over at Samantha Murdoch Blog. Samantha and I are good blogging friends and she has kindly been providing me with lots and lots of photos of her cat Lily who looks like the cat Shadow in my book.

Here are the latest photos of Samantha’s lovely cat Lily.

 

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In life, there is always good and bad but it is always nice to end on a high note.  There is much more to enthuse about when writing about what I love. The list could have gone on and on…

Bye for now,

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3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 3

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I have been tagged by Janice who blogs at On the land to participate in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge’.

Many thanks to Janice for inviting me to participate in this challenge.  I have thoroughly enjoyed taking part.

Janice blogs about our world and how important it is to care and nourish it:  Caring About Our World; Reflecting About Life. She hopes to encourage us to move towards a cleaner, more sustainable future and away from the worst consequences of climate change.

If you pop over to Janice’s blog you will get a sense of just how passionately she feels about this wonderful world in which we live: https://ontheland.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/3-days-3-quotes-challenge-thich-nhat-hanh-love-letter-to-the-earth-bewow-writers-quote-Wednesday/

The rules for the 3 Days, 3 Quotes Challenge:

1. Thank the blogger, who nominated you.

2. Share one new quote on three consecutive days on your blog. They can be from anywhere, anyone, or anything that inspires you… Which means, it can be from yourself, too!

3. On each of the three days, nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this mission impossible endeavor (if they dare!).

So for my final day I’m considering a much sought after emotion: happiness.

What is happiness? Can I attempt to write a quote about happiness, in a few select words?

Here’s my quote:

Happiness is simply beautiful unforgettable moments captured and shared with like minded individuals, family and friends, a life truly lived.

Perhaps it is easy to see why I have used the word shared in my quote, because as humans we have a need to love and to be loved. But why would I consider adding captured? My answer lies in the very fleeting nature of life itself, and the fact that life is often interrupted by outside influences which bombard, confuse and distract us. So we have to capture those wonderful fleeting experiences while we can!

In those moments when I am doing Tai Chi, I can sometimes drift into a state of blissful harmony. It is a shared moment, as the hall is full of other people doing Tai Chi too. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen, if I am feeling particularly stressed before I start a class it can be difficult to achieve. Equally it can be extremely hard to master if I have drank too much stimulating coffee beforehand too! But sometimes I do manage to get into the Tai Chi zone. When this happens it is marvellous but it can have unexpected effects. Sometimes I am so relaxed after Tai Chi that I find it difficult to return to focusing on the everyday things that I need to do! The other day I was reversing out of the car park after a Tai Chi session and I nearly had an accident, I didn’t notice the car behind me backing out! So perhaps, taking a moment to re-focus is a good idea after Tai Chi, as it works on a much deeper level than normal exercise, if you do it right! I’ve been practising Tai Chi for eight years, and I am now at Continuing level. Often I find myself wanting to fall asleep after two hours of Tai Chi, it must be my bodies way of saying it wants to shut down and re-balance itself. This is also true if you go for an Aromatherapy massage, or a holistic treatment, often you feel in need of a pampering rest afterwards, and a big glass or two of detoxing water doesn’t go a amiss.

Given that it is increasingly difficult to turn off and relax in this modern world in which we find ourselves, we could all benefit enormously from finding some personal way of capturing those quiet moments of reflection and Tai Chi is my way of doing that, a bit of walking meditation if you like, a dance of the soul. A difficult dance of the soul to learn, there are one hundred and eight moves but when you do master it, it’s well worth the effort! But for everyone their quiet meditation, or blissful moment can be different, as individuals we must all find our own dance of the soul that is perfect for us.

Coming full circle is my next question.

What inspired this post? It all began with Gandhi’s simple but thought provoking quote about the nature of happiness:

 

Happiness is when what you think,

what you say,

and what you do are in harmony.


Gandhi

Happiness is not fame and fortune, popularity, or materialism it is simply being a much simpler person, stripping back expectations perhaps, and living in harmony.

So to finish the 3 day 3 quote challenge I’ve written a humorous haiku inspired by Gandhi’s words:

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My nominees:

For the last day I’m not going to nominate anyone in particular.  I’m going to break the rules a bit, because I went to Tai Chi yesterday and I slept like a log, so I’m still in fuzzy brain mode and sometimes rules can be a bit restrictive! Anyone who would like to take part, please do join in!

Or just come and chat and tell us your perfect way to find a moment’s happiness.

Hope you liked my final day’s quote and my haiku too!!

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

 

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Gym Babe or Tai Chi Wannabe

gym adventure

My new year’s resolution to get fit has been in the pipeline for a very long time. It is now May. When you start to feel out of breath running for the bus you know that its time to join a gym. I’ve signed up to LA Fitness on a Groupon deal, ten sessions, its a start. I decided not to drive there but bus to the gym and use the time to read too, multi tasking. I was feeling pretty virtuous. So what’s the problem? Well I’m a bit of a yoga, tai chi, type of girl, who finds all those sweaty bodies working out, pumping adrenaline alarming.

My first visit was a bit of a disaster. I managed to get lost when I got off the bus, (how is this even possible?) My excuse is I walked through a building site, trying to find a short cut. I ended up asking one of the builders if he knew the way! He responded in a Geordie accent, “Sorry love, I’m not from here.” He went out of his way to help me and managed to point me in the right direction. At reception I asked for a towel and the young man behind the counter looked at me as if I had a screw loose. LA Fitness don’t supply towels. I should have known, I used to be a member in the past. Yes, my memory is on the decline too. All wasn’t lost, I remembered a padlock, and my gym kit too. I could shower at home. So not too bad after all. I did a work out, or what I consider to be a work out, it was a bit faint hearted I suppose. I walked over to the water fountain and tripped! I didn’t break anything. It wasn’t the tripping that was mortifying it was my own sense of embarrassment. How would the super fit, super cool gym users react? Well, they hardly batted an eye lid, their eyes were still trained to the overhead tv monitors, absorbed in work out mode. So I was ok. After this catalogue of ridiculousness I thought that nothing else could happen. Wrong. I couldn’t work the drink’s machine after my workout, not rocket science, but somehow it was beyond me. Just to complete my day, I had an irritating bus driver on the way back that told me off for having the wrong ticket. “Your ticket is only valid from the town,” he said pompously. I explained to him that I had bought the ticket from the driver and asked for a return to the station, so it wasn’t my fault if the driver hadn’t printed out the right ticket. He waved me on.

I do seem to attract unwelcome attention sometimes. Echoes of a previous gym visit cross my mind. I had a visitor’s pass. I was looking forward to a pleasant swim, sauna, and steam room. What I experienced in its place was unpleasant to say the least. I was in the swimming pool trying to see my way, squinting, (I am very short sighted), when this older lady harangued me for getting in her way. This couldn’t have been more ridiculous. We were the only two swimmers. I am a slow swimmer, I barely break the surface of the water, let alone cause a tidal wave of swimmer’s distress! She must have been having a bad day. Or she had sharing issues. It was a shame really because her bad day became my bad day. I wondered if she quite possibly had a screw loose. An unfortunate side effect of being a writer is you always imagine all sorts of scenarios. So just to be on the safe side I stayed well away from her. I was glad to make out her hazy form leaving the pool. Liberation. Thank goodness.

Nothing like this ever happens to me when I am going to tai chi or yoga! Is it a sign? Or am I just being paranoid. Similar things happen to me in other places, even library visits can be frightening! Whatever you do don’t park your car down a narrow road near a library especially if the library is near a primary school. You are asking for trouble. Even if your car is parked legally, and it’s not blocking anyone, it doesn’t matter. You are in the no go zone believe me. Unless you want an angry person to shout at you and follow you all the way to the library. I’m not kidding this has really happened to me. Again my writer’s imagination was in overdrive. Is he going to kill me? By the time I walked into the library I was trembling with fear. I stayed there a long time, fearful that he would still be there waiting for me, plotting ways to murder me. Luckily he had vanished. I made my escape.

The trouble with living near libraries and schools, residents get easily riled. I know my mum and dad live near a school, and they do get annoyed by inconsiderate drivers. My dad still remembers open fields, grass, and trees. Now the neighbourhood is full of cars, and woman stopping for a chat after they drop their kids off at school, cluttering up the sidewalk. So I sympathise. But in my defence I wasn’t inconsiderate, I think I just met someone who was having a bad day. Anyone his day became my bad day too.

I’ve been to the gym several times now. I have to say that there are some definite positives. The sauna and steam room are a wonderful source of inspiration. It is amazing what people will talk about when they are half naked and dripping with sweat. It is a confession zone. A place to literally let off steam! There is no way that you can’t eavesdrop. The tiny space, is made for eavesdroppers!

After my last session at the gym something happened that made my day. The gym session had all gone well. I was on my way back to the bus, so I stopped in a supermarket to pick up a few groceries. Just as I was about to pay, the guy at the till asked me if I was a student. I said no. He didn’t seem to believe me, he asked again, “You not at Anglia Ruskin University?” He obviously gets a lot of students in his shop. It was almost as if he wanted to believe I was a student at Anglia Ruskin. Me too. Perpetual student, sounds good. Then to my astonishment he said “Are you at Sixth Form!” Can you imagine, whether or not he was delusional or taking the micky it made my day. I said, “I wish!”

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

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