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My kitchen

Thursday, 31 July 2014

A quick hello!

A very quick hello. It's been a long day and so am not going to write too much, except to say that I occasionally tweet! @sevelynr is my Twitter page...if that's makes sense. I'm even too tired to put a link on here!
Sarah x

Monday, 21 July 2014


July has been a busy month so far and I am counting down the days until the end of term. I feel slightly drained, although maybe its old age creeping in - I turned 40 less than a week ago.
My birthday was lovely, despite all my initial worries. I worked on the actual day and our normal Wednesday team meeting was replaced with cake and pressies. My desk was decorated and I was made to wear an 'I am 40 badge' all day. (Fortunately I had an admin day planned, so the balloons, badge and I remained hidden in the office!)
I had deliberately requested that I didn't want a birthday party, but we did have a different celebration the week before. My parents have decided to 'downsize' after 27 years in their wonderful house, and so together we planned one last shindig in their garden. The theme was 'Around the world' and we dressed various areas of the garden to represent the different continents. Everyone came in fancy dress and dad put on his famous 'Egyptian light show'...which has to be seen (after rather a lot of alcohol) to be believed. A few pictures!

So, now 40 and what next....The naughty forties is now upon me. Right now I feel I am ready for a holiday (we're off to France in August :-)) and feel that I need to just stop and sit (which I'm not very good at). Last week, I did take half an hour (whilst the little one was at preschool) and I went back to a special place that I used to visit many years ago. I haven't been to this spot in along time and it was lovely just to be...sat on the grass in the hot sun, looking out on the city. I took a selfie...the crows feet very visible!

Friday, 20 June 2014

A bit of this and that!

I took this photo at Sidmouth last weekend. It was about 9pm and I was there to collect my daughter from a beach party. It was a warm evening and the sun had started to go down casting a beautiful light across the sea. I have mixed emotions about this beach, as it is the beach that my husband proposed to me on, but it also the beach where a close friend of our family died a few years ago. Just standing there on my own it was lovely just to be able to reflect...upon sadness, but also on happier times, and I left the beach feeling touched and a little emotional.
I little while later I walked around the gardens and then went back down Jacobs ladder, where I watched (from a distance!) the party of teenagers at the other end of the beach. They apparently had had a great time, swimming in the sea and then building their own driftwood bbq which could be seen away from quite a distance! I took a group of them home, my daughter in the front passenger seat and three 17 year old boys in the back. Just listening to their banter made me smile and it brought back how wonderful it was to be a teenager, how life at that age revolves around the fun of friends and relationships...and how exciting that all can be.

And now I sound like I am old and that life is behind me. Which it is not, although I do have a big birthday coming up in the next month, which I am not (in any way) looking forward to! I turn 40 in a few weeks, and although the age doesn't scare me, the day itself does, and I almost wish that I could just skip that Wednesday and for the Tuesday to turn to Thursday. I think a bit of mindfulness is needed (it seems to be the buzz word at the moment) but no doubt work will keep me busy.

But onto more exciting things! And maybe life does begin at 40, because we're planning a big trip! My daughter turns 18 next year (and before I know it she'll have flown the nest)... and so we have decided to venture to the southern hemisphere for a holiday of a lifetime. New Zealand here we come! We are aiming to go at Christmas 2015 and so the planning (and saving!) begins.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Half term

Its half term and I have been doing all the things I love...a spot of gardening and lots of writing. I am half way through my open university course now and I am just loving it...coming up with weird and wonderful characters for several short stories. Some of my writing has been reviewed by other students now (quite scary!), but it has been really useful, enabling me to really look at my writing and begin the editing process. Tomorrow I am off to do some research and am planning on spending the morning drinking coffee in our local motorway service station! (as you do!?) And then there has been Chelsea which I have been glued to over the last week. My hands and nails are looking very worn after a weekend of gardening, but I have now have geraniums and petunias starting to flower, sweet peas flourishing and an abundance of tomato plants (31 at the last count), plus runner beans, lettuce and sugar snap peas. Next on my garden plan is to create a small rockery with alpine plants, but that is for another day. Have a lovely week wherever you are! Our kitchen...with one of my newly potted geraniums.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Under canvas

Many people who know me, know that I am not a camper. I love the outdoors and I love the idea of camping, but when it comes down to it, it is just not for me. Traipsing across a field for the loo in the middle of the night just isn't my thing. When my husband and I found out we were expecting a son (he's 3 years old now), he said to me that I would have to get over my field phobia. I saw his point and promised I would (at some point!) go out under canvas, but to this day the Premier Inn and I (known as the Moon Hotel) have won over! So it might surprise you to you know that I have been on camp for the last month. To be fair, it wasn't under canvas, but I have been out under the stars, tucked away in my cabin working away into the early hours. Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month. It takes place in November, and writers challenge themselves to put down on paper a 50,000 word novel. I have always fancied this, but 50,000 words in a month when I work and look after two children has always seemed a little too ambitious. And then suddenly I heard about Camp Nanowrimo. This takes place every April and you set your own goals. You decide how much you want to write and then with the support of your cabin mates, you go for it. And so I did! On April 1st, I started writing, setting myself a goal to write 30,000 words of my book. At the end of each day I checked in my word count and caught up with my fellow cabin mates for motivation. (Each camper is put in an online cabin when they start and you can chat and encourage each other as the month goes on). Now as the end of April approaches I am a little behind my 30,000 goal. However, I have written 13,000 words and more importantly I now feel motivated to keep going. I have in the past few years become a little 'stuck' and this month I feel that I have found something that I really love to do. I have now signed up to a free Creative writing course with the open university and will be working on developing my characters over the next couple of months. Camping has suddenly become appealing again...although for the time being, maybe indoors! My cabin below (Our kitchen!)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter

Happy Easter! It has been a wet day here in Devon but we have had a lovely family day at my parents home, complete with Easter egg hunt for the little ones. Yesterday we enjoyed a lovely walk at Blackbury camp (an old fort near Seaton). I have been wanting to go there for ages, having heard it is a wonderful place to see bluebells...and we weren't disappointed. It was beautiful and although busy (it was Easter Saturday)it was well worth the visit. I have a special fondness for bluebells and there was something very special about being there. I took a few pictures on my phone...but sadly the quality of my camera is not brilliant. I hope you had a lovely Easter wherever you are x

Monday, 31 March 2014

In the right space

Monday morning - On with the book! Except today this is not going so well. I am struggling today - struggling with motivation and more, struggling with the content and how it affects me when I write. I think every author's writing must be influenced by their own lives and the people they have met. My motivation for writing is to tell a story that is important to me, something that I have lived, breathed and felt. However, I also want my it to be a story not about me, or about the people who influence my characters. Trying to find that middle line is hard, and today I am struggling. I have been writing a chapter this morning that has taken me back into my past. I have had to delve deep into my memory to capture those feelings and emotions... and I now feel wrecked. It's really hard (and beautiful) to go back to those places and this morning I have just had to stop. Sometimes allowing yourself to go back into that world is like escaping off on holiday, off to the sun with all your everyday worries behind you. And at other times, it is just too painful, too dangerous. Today I feel like I am in that danger zone and I need to be in the present. closed for today, fridge raided and distraction hat on. I will try again another day when my head and heart are more aligned, but today is not the right day.