In which there is an A-Z of my important things

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Aerial

Trapeze and other aerial work is great: it allows me to keep fit and constantly pushes me to try new things and challenge myself. It’s also a lot of fun. What better way to de-stress than hang upside down by your ankles?

Blogs

I was never really aware of blogs until 2008, but now my Reader is stuffed full of brilliant writing and inspiration. I love how blogging brings people together, allows you a glimpse into the window of someone else’s life and provides the chance to make new friends, both on and off screen.

Coffee

Addicted since 1996.

Dancing

Whether in a formal class or just doing slightly (all right, highly) drunken synchronised kicks and flicks at a wedding, dancing makes me very happy. If I haven’t danced for a while, I get grumpy.

Exploring

Whether it’s this country or abroad, visiting new places is of my favourite things to do.

Friends

I have such a diverse bunch of friends and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them. It’s not always easy to keep in touch with people or to see them as much as I’d like to (especially when your best friends are currently in Germany and Australia, soon to be Nigeria and Australia) but I love how with true friends it doesn’t matter whether it’s been five minutes or five years since you last met up; the time falls away and you continue right where you left off.

Garden

As this was something I never thought I would be into, my interest in the garden has taken me by surprise. It’s not always easy and I’m mostly making it up as I go along, but the hard work and effort of maintaining it are paid off on those warm summer evenings when we eat dinner on the deck, surrounded by the smell of flowers.

Heat

I’m such a lizard when it comes to temperature and my hands and feet are always cold in winter. I also suffer from Raynaud’s in my fingers which means they can turn dead white when they get too cold, or I touch something like a refrigerated can, and then lose all feeling for ages. My new electric blanket has made the cold weather a lot more bearable, although getting out of bed is becoming harder!

iPod touch

I am not in any way a gadget person (case in point: my mobile phone is 6 years old and its fanciest feature is an FM radio), but I make an exception for my iPod touch. Music and the internet in one handy machine, brilliant.

Jokes

I blame my father, the pun-meister of Portsmouth, but I love cheesy jokes and puns. The more groan-worthy the better!

Kindness

I think this is one of the most important qualities someone can possess.  Conducting everyday business with kindness is a good way to live your life.

Learning

Apparently this is one of the five steps to happiness and I can see why. I get bored quite easily unless I’m learning new things and stretching myself. Learning goes alongside a lot of my other A-Zs  – aerial, exploring, reading – and is a big part of why they’re important to me. I’m not an academic genius by any stretch of the imagination but I love finding out new facts, learning about another country, trying a new skill or improving an existing one. (These also help my Q word!)

Music

My parents encouraged me to have piano and oboe lessons as well as to sing in choirs, which I’m very grateful for. I’m also lucky enough to have a piano of my own, and although I’m not as good as I want to or indeed should be after 12 years of lessons, it’s great to be able to create music whenever I want to. An aim for the year is to perfect Debussy’s Clair de Lune. I’d also like to dust off my oboe and start playing it again.

Notepads

Writing things down helps me to focus as I can’t function at my best unless I make lists. I get a real thrill from buying new notebooks and seeing potential within the blank pages. I also love notebooks that have pockets to tuck things into and dividers between the pages for easy organisation.

Olivia

Olivia leaving behind her customary trail of destruction...

It is no secret: we are besotted with this cat. She provides endless hours of amusement – sticking her head through the banisters, going crazy trying to pounce on our feet through the bedclothes, talking to us when we come in at night – and I can’t imagine our house without her now.

Pilates

The only thing standing between me and back pain; I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s also improved my posture and strengthened my core. I’ve even got S into it after biking-related lower back ache, and our neighbours often chuckle at the sight of us on the floor of our living room, doing clams and the hundreds in front of our Darcey Bussell Pilates DVD.

Quizzes

I have been a general knowledge geek since the age of 10. My first secondary school was into general knowledge in a big way with inter-house competitions and an annual paper that everyone sat. I was also part of the school team that competed regionally and nationally in a schools’ version of University Challenge. I then was part of the Cardiff UC team, although we never made it to the television rounds. Whether it’s geeking out in the local pub quiz or competing against S in a newspaper’s weekend quiz, I absolutely love doing them. B has even asked us to set a pub quiz for her wedding later this month.

Reading

I have a bookmark that says “a book lover never goes to bed alone” and it’s so true. Books are my constant companions and I feel lost without one. Reading takes me to new places, allows me to meet new people and provides hours of conversation and debate.

S

He’s my best friend and my favourite person in the entire world. I still pinch myself in disbelief that I got such a good ‘un.

Talking

Although I hate using the phone for work and would much rather communicate via email, when it comes to keeping in touch with family and friends then talking is the best. My favourite kind of evenings are those when you meet up with someone and just talk and talk and talk, sharing ideas and thoughts, not caring if you’re rambling or working things out as you go along. I also enjoy getting into debates with people over issues, particularly if they’re contentious and I’m very firm on my position!

Understanding

There’s a line in To Kill A Mockingbird which has always stayed with me, when Atticus tells Scout that you can’t understand someone til you’ve walked around their shoes for a bit. Like my L above, a good way to try and live your life, trying to see where someone’s coming from and why they think the way they do.

Volunteering

Over the years I’ve volunteered in a variety of ways, from being a guide leader to doing Front of House duties at the Edinburgh Fringe. Late last year I joined an older person’s befriending scheme and I am just about to start doing home visits. The benefits of volunteering are immeasurable, even if it’s only something you do for an hour a week, and it can make a real difference.

Wine

If forced to give up alcoholic drinks (please god may that day never come), this would be the hardest wrench. There is nothing better than a glass of red enjoyed alongside some chocolate and a good film.

XX

Being a woman is brilliant. If nothing else, we have way more fashion choices than men.

Years

As I get older they zoom past quicker and quicker but I appreciate them more and more.

Zeds

I am one of life’s snoozers and sleep is very important for me. A weekend is meaningless without at least one lie-in, that delicious state of dozing where you can drift in and out of sleep knowing there’s no hurry to get up. Part of my love of being freelance is that I get a little bit of extra time in bed two days a week!

Post inspired by the lovely Susannah Conway

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