The things I love…

Apart from the obvious (friends and family) there are a few other things that I have grown to love over the years and I thought I would share them with you.  There is nothing here that is extravagant, just simple pleasures that make life more enjoyable, Veronique Vienne said,

“The only difference between an extraordinary life and an ordinary one is the extraordinary pleasures you find in ordinary things…..”

I love home

Having spent the majority of my life in a restless state it was a relief to find that within eighteen months of moving into my current home I actually felt settled. The novelty still hasn’t worn off, I love spending time here and sometimes I don’t want to leave it in the mornings when I go out to work.  The house has a garden that had been completely neglected but having spent quite a lot of time on it last year (inbetween all rain) it is finally starting to look really pretty.  All the bulbs I planted in the autumn have been sprouting and hopefully over the next few weeks will be in full bloom.  Here is a little picture of the lovely garden, although I must admit I do prefer it without the snow.

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I love food, especially home cooked…

I love and appreciate good food, I love cooking, I love vegetables that are fresh out of the ground and have that really earthy smell, one day I am going to grow my own, I am already having a go at herb.  Having worked in Northern Uganda and Zambia I realise how lucky we are to have access to all the food that is available to us because some people in the world have very little.  I cook most things myself, soups, bread, mains,  I am obsessively paranoid about salt content and by cooking myself I have full control over what goes into my food.  As well has the healthy food I cannot help but throw in the odd cake too, not all for me of course, I am happy to share it…. I think it’s important to have a well balanced diet and cake is definitely part of that 😉

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I love the outdoors…

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This is a picture of Hollingworth Lake, it is one of my favourite places near home, I go there when I need a good dose of fresh air, there is always plenty of people about and friendly they are too.  It is a place I go to if I have spent far to much time on the computer and need to clear my head.  Being in the open air makes me feel calm and peaceful, I seem to be able to think clearly again and feel relaxed.  Sometimes I do not even have to go that far, there is a lovely garden centre just around the corner and if I feel a bit stressed I will go there for a walk around and within 10 minutes the stress will go and I will feel normal and balanced again.  A few years ago I realised I was spending far too much time there when a woman strode very confidently up to me and asked me where the dog collars were, she seemed a little surprised when I told her I didn’t know as I didn’t work there.

I love Sunny Days

Sunny days are the best, it doesn’t even have to be hot, cold and sunny are brilliant, having a walk all wrapped up in hats, scarves, gloves.  The picture below was taken at Blackpool beach in March last year, I was editing some chapters at the time and I needed some inspiration so I took myself off on a little train journey to Blackpool.  It was early March and there had been a heat wave, exactly a week later we had a heavy covering of snow.   Whatever you think of Blackpool I had a fabulous day and at the I had a lot of new ideas for writing.  I think just moving away from the norm helped the writing to flow again.

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I love this picture, it was taken towards the end of the day and I think it must be the North Pier, as you walked down towards the end there were people smiling, laughing having a few drinks, there were a few groups of elderly folk  singing and dancing to the music that was blaring out of the speakers,  it was lovely and it made me smile.  It reminded me of the program Heidi Hi ….

And a little bit further from home…

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After returning back from my travels I found it really difficult to settle and I was constantly booking  little adventures.  I was looking for places to go that I could have a very busy few days away, lots to see and do and I thought about Paris.  Paris was never a place that I really wanted to go, I am not sure what the issue was but for some reason I thought I would hate it.  How wrong could I have been because I love it and I am desperately wanting to go back, just sitting here and thinking about it.  I feel so comfortable there, it is so easy making your way around, I love all the old buildings and the stories that come with them, the quirky art stories. I like to practice my French and I love it when the locals correct me., although I don’t really like it when I get confused and I start to throw Spanish words in there, I really didn’t think I had picked up any Spanish whilst I was in Ecuador.  I love it all,  I think I have been three times now and I can definitely feel a fourth trip….I just love it.

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I love my travels…

There is a book called a 1000 places to see before you die, it is the book that first inspired me to travel and on the first page of that book is a quote

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away, “

The quote sums up how I feel when I think about or look at the thousands of travel pictures that I took whilst travelling.  This picture was taken in Zambia,  Africa is such a beautiful place,  I have a love of the red dusty roads in between the green foliage and the blue sky, I can almsost feel the heat when I look at this picture.  Having spent time in Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe the red dusty roads are a familiarity in the rural areas. Absolutely beautiful..

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I love seeing animals in their natural habitat…

A natural high, I would say, when I was in Zimbabwe I remember being on a camping trip and we were driving back through a national park.  I was sat in the back of a truck when the driver noticed a group of elephants in his rear mirror, he stopped and we watched the elephants passing. There must have been about 30-40 of them, all different sizes from Big Grandpa’s  to little tiny  ones, it was amazing.  My amazement does not just stop at sights like these I nearly passed out with excitement when I saw two blue tits checking out the nesting box in the garden, I am just fascinated by nature.  I love all those David Attenbrough programmes, Africa, Frozen Planet, Wonders of Life, Wonders of are Solar Planets, I ove them all and when they are on there is no talking to me.

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Just a few little insights into the things I love and there is so much more, too many to mention

Thanks again for reading xx

6 thoughts on “The things I love…

  1. love reading about your travels Andrea, wish i had as much courage as you!!! if only i was twenty years younger and single may well have done it.In my second life maybe i will xxx

  2. Hi Andrea
    It was lovely to read this, you are very inspiring person to know.
    Its all about the simple pleasures.
    Your cakes taste amazing too 🍰🌺

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