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Enter 2015, stage left

January 2, 2015

2015 is stretching out in front of us – quite languidly at this point, given most people don’t go back to work until the 5th (sorry, all you freelancers who’ve not really stopped working over the break). We saw in the first day of the year on top of Glastonbury Tor, being buffeted on all sides by the wind and mizzle. It was brilliant.

Have you written a 2015 goal list yet? Do you even? I love doing it…though this year it’s taking a little longer to coalesce, because sometimes it’s difficult to hear your own voice and needs in the middle of all the noise and shoulds and ought tos. One thing’s for sure though, 2015 will definitely be about more minimalism, less unnecessary stuff and less unnecessary decisions.

I’m piling podcasts up to listen to on the commute and running, including The Lively Show, Office Hours, Beyond the To-do List, The Art of Simple and the final two episodes of Cabin Pressure, which I still haven’t had a chance to listen to yet…

Happy New Year everyone!

2014 in the rearview window

NYC * Coffee * making time to see old friends (and dirt biking in the rain) * Belfast * Middlesboro * A hen * two weddings * Budapest and those amazing baths * Hever Castle * three summer 10k races * lazy breakfasts at home (the best kind) * Dorset in all its beauty * newly-converted to Kindles (took me long enough * 30 books read and umpteen more manuscripts * More coffee * two choir concerts – including a brilliant rendition of Rutter’s Magnificat at the Royal Festival Hall * more Chiefy dog and family time * NYC > NY > Wisco > Chicago > Boston * Some theatre (but nowhere near enough) * battled e-brain * my first Twickenham match * London in all its glory * fresh flowers * new hobbies and getting back into old favourites * country walks * skylines and airmiles and dreams and some really tough parts that sucked (especially health-wise)… 2014 was the quickest year yet. Who’s ready for the next?

Women v. TV tropes (as written by intelligent men)

December 19, 2014

The Newsroom

They say you should never meet your heroes. But if your hero is a writer, even with the literary separation of church and state that is ‘characters’ and ‘the author’s personal opinion’, you’re probably, at some point, going to run into your hero’s True Self in print. Or on screen. Or, let’s be honest, probably in 140 characters.

*Fair warning: some Newsroom spoilers ahead*

continue reading

Monday reminder

November 3, 2014

Taking me forward into my week:

Cherokee legend has it that the battle between two ‘wolves’ is waged inside us all. One is bad: made up of anger, jealousy, sorrow, spite, guilt, resentment, lies and false pride. The other is good; it is joy and peace, kindness, love, empathy, generosity and truth. Which one wins?
The one you feed.


October 9, 2014


Interrupting some scheduled away-time to say, currently in the US enjoying a good rest and recharge. Also GO NANCY for winning the bake off!! Also, turns out spelt bagels are edible things for people with wheat intolerance and zomgsohappy.

Autumn to-do list

September 16, 2014

  • Drink all the apple cider (as in the American-style hot drink)
  • Knit a new scarf
  • Gather conkers
  • Find a pumpkin patch in the US in October/go apple picking
  • Make copious (GF) blackberry & apple crumbles
  • Walk in the leaves
  • Watch Hocus Pocus, My Fair Lady and all the other dark-evenings-are-coming ritual films that I love
  • Steal all the hugs, light all the scented candles, wear alllll the crew neck jumpers!
  • Finally get round to a good golden hour shoot
  • Run my third organised 10k of the year (and actually cross something off my January goals list!)

(a bit of a different) Monday Reminder

August 25, 2014

Sad times that this is the last summer bank holiday of the year…

It is, of course, raining today.

But yesterday wasn’t too bad…

It may have actually been sunny at one point!

Sea air! All the sea air! And gelato. And some craft cider.

Annnnnd then I came home to find out my sister had so lovingly nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

She’s sooo kind, that one.

Still, money where my mouth is and all that.

…actually, it woke me up today. Quite enjoyed it!
(I may have used a small bucket)
(not that I could lift a big one)
(oh well)
(…I tried*)

(*donated anyway)
Time to make comfort food and zone out to some filmage!

Why I’m all for the #icebucketchallenge

August 20, 2014


So, bout that Ice Bucket Challenge, eh?You literally couldn’t miss it, even if you wanted to, and I actually, for once, really don’t want to. And I’m not just saying that for sopping wet Tom Hiddleston reasons. (…honestly).

I absolutely hated #nomakeupselfies. Sure, it was raising money for cancer research and that’s all to the good, but it was mainly making money for an organisation that pretty much poops £££ already, comparative to some charities in the same space. But more than that, I disliked it for what it was and what it said about us as a society. Here was a “challenge” involving taking a photo of your own face.

I mean…really though.

Forgetting the sheer vanity of that for a second, let’s also remember that the challenge was mainly “accepted” by women because let’s be honest, the vast majority of men don’t wear make up, and it played on the idea that not wearing makeup was something…noteworthy. Because god forbid a woman should exist on the planet in a sort of natural state and not be feeling that she’s making a big political statement, amirite?

But the ALS challenge (for Motor Neurone Disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is crazily brilliant because it isn’t just fun to watch famous folk and friends do something daft like drench themselves in iced water, it actually very momentarily replicates the freezing and lack of control you have over your muscles as a sufferer of a degenerative disease. Fun and empathetic? Someone out there was an evil genius to spot the link and jump on it. Yes, some slebs aren’t getting a good plug in for the charity, but lots ARE and it’s raised over $22 million for a charity that probably wouldn’t see that kind of income in a long time…never mind over the course of one heady week.

I know in days of Ferguson and Gaza and IS in Iraq and James Foley and all the heaping, bloody, barbaric things happening in the world, this can seem…inconsequential. Frivolous maybe. Wasteful, even. There’s often a sense of hopelessness that can fall over the whole idea of online activism at times; how often have you thrown a link out into the void (the same one that thousands and thousands of others are too) and known deep down that no matter how loudly you try to shout about the subject matter, or how deeply you feel the injustice or horror or truth of a matter, that pixelated point won’t make the slightest bit of difference to the outcome? But these buckets of water are turning into literal buckets of cash that will fund real research, that one day years from now will mean the difference between life and death for the diagnosed.

So I’ll leave you with this video I saw today – of 26 year old Anthony Carbajal who did the ice bucket challenge but then went on to explain why it’s a seriously good thing for him. Watch it to the end, especially if you’re lairy about the whole shebang…maybe it’ll persuade you that it’s a good thing after all.

Dirdle: from the Old English ‘thirl’ (Dorset, day 1)

June 13, 2014

Studland beach //

It feels like Summer has well and truly arrived. Doors are open, duvets aren’t being slept under, it’s officially ‘too hot’ to run at convenient times of day (that’s my excuse right now, anyway). We caught the first few days of this in Dorset, when the sun was out but it was blustery and cool, the first sunny 48 hours before a giant summer storm swept through and the beginning of a heatwave proper.

We’d never been to Dorset before, but it won out when we found photos of Durdle Door and Studland Beach online and then found out the bonus: only 2.5 hours drive from London!? Score!

So that was that decided. B&B booked, car hired, off for a mini adventure, and to Instagram the bejays out of it all along the way. The first day was leisurely but sort of busy: trekking over the cliff between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door (reliably informed by a lovely friend that this is Lulwind Cove in Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. Wait, a place I’m exploring before a book made me want to visit!? How novel. Promptly bought a copy, now it’s in my giant to-read list).

Durdle Door //

Durdle Door (above) being named from the old English ‘thirl’, which means ‘to bore or to drill’, by the way. You know, just in case you were interested.

Wildflower hills //

The water was such a stunning array of blues, shimmering and inviting, that you wanted to just dive straight in. Excepting the fact that even though it was incredibly sunny, the wind took the edge off the heat so much that everyone was in jumpers and jackets. Didn’t stop me getting a little jealous of the people leisurely sailing and canoeing about the coves though.

canoeing in Durdle Door //

We trundled on down the path, bought a cup of tea at the totes adorbs Dorset Tea van and crashed on the pebble cove beaches for a little while, skimming stones and snoozing. You know, gathering strength for that giant climb back. I’m not even kidding – some people were attempting it with buggies and the like. Why, people? Why? Alright, the view tells me why, but still. You are crazy.

Jurassic Hilltops //

The rest of the day was lost somehow, pootling around Dorset roads, with a couple of hours in the evening light and high tide on Studland beach – another National Trust piece of land, but I don’t mind telling you that ‘Bamburgh Beach’ (or St Aiden’s Dunes to give it its proper name) definitely wins out for Most Beautiful Beach. Not that I’m biased or anything…) and having a drink in the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers, where the pints are served through a little hatch, the seats outside are roughly hewn slabs of stone and there was some sort of raucus poetry night going on in a little shut-away room. Dorset you are amazing.