This post is part of the Weekly Photo Challenge. Please click here to see more entries.
I am thankful for being an aunty.
I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be an aunty at an early age. My only brother was always adamant that he didn’t want children, and the church will not allow me to be an official godmother because my parents chose to not have me traditionally baptised. I am really lucky to have grown up with an aunty who has loved me unconditionally and supported me from the day I was born. I was gutted that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience the same role.
Twenty years on, and how things have changed. My brother took a u-turn on the reproducing front four years ago (to the day – it’s my nephew’s birthday today) and he and his wife now have three beautiful children. And although the church will still not allow me to be part of the actual ceremony, a few of my friends have asked me to take on the role of godmother in their children’s lives. There are now ten children who call me Aunty Sas, and I’m sure there will be more in the future.
I’m thankful for helping them to learn new things.
I’m thankful for making new discoveries with them.
I’m thankful that, like me, they love to explore their creative side.
I’m thankful that they let me enjoy new experiences with them.
I’m thankful when they make me laugh.
And I’m thankful for all the great adventures I have with them.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it! Thank you for allowing us all to be part of your celebration. I would like to dedicate this post to my Aunty Jackie, the best role model I could have wished for in how to be a great aunty.
Hitch-Hikers’ Handbook’s photo challenge has provided a fun diversion for me tonight – Interesting shop windows from around the world. Below is my contribution, click here to see more.
I took this photo of a shop front on the Greek island of Ithaca. Initially, it was the bright colours that attracted me to this shot. As with everything in Ithaca, it was painted in bright tones that matched the natural hues of the island. When I looked closer, though, I was intrigued by the contents in the window. They reminded me of jars that my science teacher used to keep in a cupboard in the school lab. I certainly didn’t want to try eating them!
People are always telling me what I can’t do. Like when I was told (by lots of friends, family and virtual strangers) that I couldn’t spend my 30th birthday travelling in the USA on my own. This photo of me stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon proves that not only could I do it, but I did and I had an amazing time.
My inspiration in writing this blog is that I get to tell people to ignore the naysayers. Aim to achieve your dreams.
This week’s photo challenge threw me for a minute. We’re well into autumn/winter here in Wales, and there’s not much greenery around. When I started to look around me, though, I found lots of things that are green. Estate agents’ signs, a crane, cars, shop fronts, doors, even the outdoor gym in the park is painted green. I’d never realised that we use the colour green so much in Wales. And then I realised. Of course, green is one of the national colours here!
The word renewal conjures up many images. The rebirth of flowers in spring, snakes shedding their skin, the regeneration of a town centre, renewing your library books to avoid a fine (which I have a terrible habit of forgetting), the list goes on.
For this week’s photo challenge, I’ve decided to document my personal renewal. Four years ago, I consciously made a lot of big changes in my life. At 28 years old, after six years working abroad, I moved back to the UK.
I made a base in Cardiff, the place that has felt most like home to me out of all the places I’ve lived.
I learnt to speak Welsh.
After years of partying and abusing my body, I promised myself that I would look after myself in my thirties. This has led to me converting to a plant-based lifestyle, eating fresh, seasonal whole food …
…cooking my food from scratch…
…improving my fitness levels…
…and taking up lots of new sports.
To celebrate my 30th birthday I took a trip of a lifetime to the USA and visited the Grand Canyon, a long-held ambition of mine.
I’ve continued to travel and experience as many adventures as possible.
My renewal is still taking place. Maybe it will never end. I hope not, because I’m loving life and I’m happier than ever.
Four days on and my ribs are still really sore! Other than work, all I feel like I’ve done this week is sit on the sofa with a hot water bottle held to my side. Which is where I am now, although it is a little difficult holding the hot water bottle where it needs to be and typing at the same time. I apologise for any typos as a result. The hot water bottle is also helping to generally keep me warm, as the weather here in Wales has definitely switched over to winter. The temperature took a marked drop last week, and it has rained, and rained, and rained …
Contrary to popular belief, we do have nice weather occasionally here, it’s just been a bit sporadic this year. Every month we’ve been told ‘next month will be much nicer’, but they just seem to have got worse! Here are a few of my favourite photos from my summer to prove that we did have some sun, and also to cheer me up whilst I’m stuck on the sofa hugging my hot water bottle.
I had to think about this one for a minute, then I remembered the photos I took at the salt basins in Death Valley. After travelling through the desert for so long, it was like suddenly finding yourself in an alien environment. In a wierd way, it felt like coming home for me because walking on the salt floor was almost like walking on fresh snow where I used to live in the Alps. The only difference was the unbelievably high temperatures and the fact I was wearing shorts and a vest top rather than 3 layers of ski gear. As I walked further out into the salt basin, I realised that I had to be incredibly careful. The deeper the salt formations became, the sharper they were. One false move, and I could suffer a nasty cut. The textures were so fascinating that I got down as low as possible (and as carefully as possible) to take some close-up shots. It really was like looking through the lense at another planet.
Photographs only give you the visual, though. What you can’t see in my photos are the tastes and the sounds. If you run your finger along the ground and then lick it, the taste is bizarre. It’s exactly what you would expect and so much more, all at the same time. If you stand still, you can hear the salt crackling under your feet.