Mini break at Ludlow, England 2014 – Photos

Ludlow - Copyright 2014 Kay/wavesandpebbles

Ludlow – Copyright 2014 Kay/wavesandpebbles

Last year  I had limited resources but still wanted to feel like I was having a holiday.  So when I was in pensive mood, I set about exploring the options, letting my fingers flit from here to there on my iPad.  I was travelling to Wales to visit family anyway and explored different train options to see where I could go from there.  I discovered that I could travel to Wales, then sweep across to Cheshire to visit more family, and back home for little more than just a return to Wales.  (It really is worth checking out the different train options in the UK – I tend to use the National Rail Journey Planner.  There is a ridiculously wide difference in cost depending on what time of day you travel and the actual journey destinations, which affect the type of ticket that is available.    You can sometimes get the other end of the country for less than it costs to travel somewhere that is less than 50 miles away.) I had been surprised to discover that it was possible to travel from the village in Wales directly to the town in Cheshire where family lived, so I thought if I could stop off on the way for just one night, it would enable me to explore somewhere different and I find that at such times, time tends to slow down and just one night away can seem a long time.  I perused the map and checked out fares, settling on Ludlow.  My next step was to find somewhere to stay.  I used the online service ‘airbnb’and was drawn to an old Gothic style house within walking distance of the railway station.  It was owned by a young family.  They were in the process of renovating the house and gardens and rented out a couple of rooms.  It was right beside the railway line with a large garden that sloped right down near the line.  The story I think was that the house had been built by a man that worked on the railways but it has been difficult to establish the history of the house.

Copyright Kay/wavesandpebbles

Copyright Kay/wavesandpebbles

Well when I left Wales I was waved off at the unmanned station in the village by all the family, including my daughter who was staying for a couple of weeks.  A short while later I was alighting at Ludlow Station.  With my suitcase trolley in tow, I had a quick wander round the town to get my bearings and then headed for the B & B.  I received a warm welcome and my room had a beautiful view (see one of the photos).  I settled in, had a tour of the house and garden, then headed back into town.  I spent the rest of the day exploring the unique shops and finding a nice restaurant to dine in.  I had a taxi back, was invited to join the owners for a friend’s birthday celebration, which I did for a short while before returning to my room.  I slept well, had a wonderful breakfast and sadly got ready to leave.

I was offered a lift by the owner into town and she suggested dropping off my case at the station.  I was then free for a few hours before getting the train so I went for a walk, going down by the river.  I love places where you can just wander and find different things. Ludlow in Shropshire is a beautiful place that isn’t on any major road routes so it seemed to have a different atmosphere about it – a fairly large place yet with none of the major traffic throughput so it was more peaceful.   I would have loved to stay longer and thoroughly recommend it as a place to visit.  I walked around the castle but did not go in it.  Alongside the river there was a very upmarket restaurant – the name escapes me but if I come across it I will post it here.  For a special treat, I would definitely like to go there.  I took a picture of The Feathers Hotel and it would be good to have a look inside but I would be apprehensive staying there as it is supposedly haunted.  It was built in 1619, a 17th Century coaching inn.  It is now a Grade 1 listed building.

Feathers Hotel Ludlow - Copyright 2014 Kay/wavesandpebbles

Feathers Hotel Ludlow – Copyright 2014 Kay/wavesandpebbles

I hope you enjoy this post that gives a flavour of a somewhat hidden part of England.  I returned home feeling totally refreshed and feeling that I really had a long holiday.

Liebster Award again…!!!

I wanted to share Malvika’s answers to my questions for the Liebster Award – this award really brings out more about the person and how important blogging and creativity is. And the special memories we have of loved ones. Kay

Writings of the Black Rose

Thanks a lot Kay and Ellie for the nominations…this makes it five nominations for the same award. I’m honoured with all the love and support I’m getting here. It is difficult to express it in words. 🙂
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I was nominated Liebster award – http://wp.me/p5H99X-bg
(Ellie’s nominating post)

Liebster Award nomination – and my own nominations – http://wp.me/p5V6m8-3Q
(Kay’s nominating post)

Ellie’s questions
1) Why did you start a wordpress blog?
– A friend coaxed me till I finally agreed. And I’m greatly thankful to him. I used to write even before I started this blog, but this blog is completely on his credit.
2) What first inspired you to write?
– Loss of a loved one.
3) What keeps you writing?
– I mostly write what I experience. Everyday brings along new lessons and surprises, and this makes me write.
4) Do you prefer writing poetry or stories?
– Poetry…

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Creative Blogger Award nomination – and my nominations

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Once again I am thanking Danica Aquino, http://www.thedirtydiaries.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Creative Blogger Award.  I am very pleased to accept this nomination.  When I accepted the nomination for the Liebster Award yesterday I received my highest number of views in a day and I love that people in so many different countries view my blog.

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The rules for this award are:

1. Thank person who nominated you with link to their blog.

2. Display award on blog.

3. Share 5 facts about self.

4. Nominate 10-15 blogs (some rules say 5 some say up to 20)

5. Pass on the rules.

The 5 facts about me are:

1. I love travelling by train, even just fairly short journeys from home.  My longest trip was from Kent in England to Frankfurt in Germany.  I travelled with my son to see the Grand Prix at Hochenheim.  It was only five days but it was absolutely wonderful.

2. I think Street Pianos are great.  It is such a great idea for anyone to be able to sit and play a piano.  I always enjoy visiting St Pancras Station in London where they have a few pianos and some of the people who play them are absolutely amazing and so inspiring.  I learnt the piano at school and achieved Grade IV.  I can still play a little but only with music (and only for me!) but would like to get back to using my keyboard and perhaps have some lessons.

3. I am a mature student studying Social Sciences and am into my second year.   It was a dream come true to be at university studying full-time after so many years of working.  Sadly this is on hold at the moment as I was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in January this year and have spent quite a few weeks in hospital and having treatment.   I am getting used to my ‘new normal’, taking advantage of the time to go through my old journal writing, do this blog, read light fiction and I am trying to start writing a story.

4. I believe in the value of creativity.  Many people can benefit from art, no matter their ability.  I organised a family day at university where parents and their children were able to enjoy different creative workshops during the day and it turned out to be such a special day.  People discovered they were able to achieve much more than they thought they were capable of and they enjoyed spending quality time together as a family.

5. I am an accredited life coach and it is a goal of mine to have my own online business.  I have used my life coaching skills within my career and have witnessed the benefits it can have.  I used self-coaching myself for a few years before I trained and there are some great books out there.  I aim to include some life coaching related posts on this blog in the future.

I am nominating the following blogs for the Creative Blogger award (apologies for not nominating the full number but am new to this and only just nominated blogs yesterday for the Liebster Award.

A Simple Note – bailday.wordpress.com

myfairvagabond.wordpress.com

O at the Edges – robertokaji.com

Ramblings of a College Introvert – conqueringanthropophobia.wordpress.com

Sincerely, James – sincerelyjames1.wordpress.com

jemverse.wordpress.com

motivatinggiraffe.com

Liebster Award nomination – and my own nominations

I would like to thank Danica Aquino for nominating me for imagethis award in her blog www.thedirtydiaries.wordpress.com.  Knowing nothing about the awards, I have checked out the rules which seem to vary across WordPress.

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So the rules I am passing on for the bloggers I nominate are:

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1. Thank person who nominated you with link to their blog.

2. Display award on blog.

3. Answer 11 questions about self, provided by person who nominated you.

4. Nominate 5-11 blogs for award with less than 1,000 followers.

5. Create new list of 11 questions for blog owners nominated.

6. Write and publish blog.

7. Inform people nominated and provide link to award blog.

8. Pass on the rules.

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Answers to Danica’s questions (I’ll do my best!)

1. (Just for fun). If you were a character in the movie The Purge, who would you first kill and why?

Since I haven’t seen the movie, that’s my excuse for not answering what might be a difficult question!

2. If you are going to change something physically in you, which body part would it be and why?

Extend my spine by a couple of inches between my waist and shoulders – instantly slimming and a bit taller.

3. What is your all time favourite book and why?

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Very inspirational and also later saw the film.  Feel I was meant to read it.  Had a very strange experience.  I went into my local bookshop to ask if they had a specific book – non-fiction on life coaching.  Instead of going to the non-fiction section, the shop assistant headed to the fiction section and took Eat Pray Love from the shelf.  I had never heard of it but had to buy it as felt it was a sign.  I was right.  The timing was perfect for me and part of it was set in Italy where I really wanted to go.  I have since watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Youtube, she herself is very inspirational – the book was about her but written like fiction.

4. Who is your favourite personality, dead or alive, and why?

difficult to name one person … Tends to change over time.  Maybe it’s a bit controversial but I do like Simon Cowell on TV – X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.  He has played a part in enabling so many people to follow their dreams.  Yes there is also heartache and disappointment but I think that more people benefit from his work than not.  I do think his programmes have the feel good factor – but I know many people can’t stand his programmes and all the hype.

5. What or who is your greatest inspiration?

I discovered life coaching many years ago, eventually training to be a life coach.  I have used the positive approach in my own life to help overcome difficult periods, including depression, and have been able to use it in my work.  It has made a real difference to my life and enables me to inspire others when I don’t even realise I am doing it.  Alongside this I am also inspired by creativity in its many different forms.

6. What genre do you prefer to read: romance, SciFi, satire, young adult, adult or classic?

I have acquired lots of books over the years, firstly loads of cookery books which I would sit for hours and read, and secondly, personal development, health and life coaching books.  The fiction books I like to read are light-hearted romance, something that just takes me away to a different place and has some humour in it.  I think it’s because of my interest in people and relationships, and I need something that I can just pick up and put down, and still remember what is going on – I’m a slow reader …

7. Given the chance to talk to your younger self, what would you want to say?

Don’t worry so much about what other people think.

8. What is your greatest dream?

I would like to spend time travelling through Europe by train, especially going to Italy and some of the special trains through amazing scenery in Switzerland.  I would like to write and complete a book, I have made many starts.  I would like to practice as a Life Coach, have my own business.  Most especially for my family to have happy lives.

9. What are the top three countries you want to travel to and why?

Italy – I would love to visit Rome, Venice and Verona, and to explore the different regions including the coast.  I am drawn to the culture.

Spain – to revisit after spending a wonderful weekend there on a hen party.  The coast and weather was fantastic and it was much nicer than I had imagined.

Ireland – to visit Dublin and see other parts of the country.  It looks beautiful and everyone I know who has gone there has loved it.

10. What is your one characteristic (not physical) that you think stands out among others?

hmmm, not an easy one to answer.  I am quiet, perceptive and a ‘thinking’ person – mix the three together and that is my one characteristic!

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My nominations for the Liebster Award are:

1. daringtolivefully.wordpress.com

2. Ramblings of a wandering mind – sjackson424.wordpress.com

3. lamochiladesol.wordpress.com

4. talesofoblivion.wordpress.com

5. magicalcorner.wordpress.com

6. caresafoundation.wordpress.com

7. nomaggsrush.wordpress.com

8. myfairvagabond.wordpress.com

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My questions for nominees are:

1. Describe in 3 words what your blog is about.

2. What do you think is special about blogging?

3. What role do you think blogging plays in preserving and sharing memories?

4. What is your ideal outcome from blogging?

5. What 5 things do you value most in life?

6. How do you have fun and relax?

7. How important is creativity in your life?

8. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that give much pleasure.  What simple things do you enjoy the most?

9. What are you most proud of?

10. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be and what would you be doing?

11. Is there anything that you really want to do in life that you have not yet done?

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Thanks Danica for this experience – I have enjoyed the process and hope that those I have nominated will consider accepting this award.  Any questions, just send me a comment.  Hope I have met all the rules – here goes – publication and the Liebster Award!

Reflecting on a poem written when a special friend was fighting cancer … It now seems so relevant to me

As I continue to sift through my journals, I have discovered my initial writing of this poem a few years ago.

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Copyright 2011 Alice Popcorn, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

Copyright 2011 Alice Popcorn, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

Sometimes when we least expect

life brings us such a clout

It takes away the certainness

and leaves such rays of doubt

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Why is all there is to say

then numbness takes its toll

Leaving not a thread of power

or strength to set a goal

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We may not know the reason

we may not have a clue

Yet here it is before us now

we are one of the few

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Chosen is not how we feel

and not a choice did make

And there’s a hint of loneliness

like lost within a lake

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Then when it all seems hopeless

and dreams will slip away

Our precious jewels come to light

and rise above the hay

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People that we love so much

those that really care

Treasured memories, special thoughts

arise as much they dare

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Our life is such a journey

the ups, the twists, the downs

And we can choose to dance along

and sometimes be like clowns

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The happiness, the sadness

our feelings are the best

And it’s OK to laugh and cry

to worry and to jest

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Life is a timeless moment

that mindfulness can bring

Don’t worry what the future holds

for now is here to sing

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Yet let your dreams stream onwards

with hope for what’s to come

Such wonder in creative play

and life is like the gum

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There’s strength for when you need it

and friends will stick around

The treasure map will come to life

and joy will then be found

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You have the tools to make it

you have the heart and soul

The special person that you are

will find and seek your goal

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Enjoy the days that follow

take from them what you will

Let angels guide you on your path

to bring you up this hill

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Let love and laughter join you

amidst some sadness too

Till once again the sun shines bright

upon your life so true

Journal find Summer 2014 – poetic lines written following spiritual experience by the sea

Copyright 2013 Matthew Hartley, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

Copyright 2013 Matthew Hartley, Flickr, CC-BY, via Wylio

Just found these words scribbled on their own following journal entries on a very special visit to Tenby in Wales, a lovely place.

Happiness draws me through the tunnel of light

the whispers so precious have given me fight

Where will it take me?  Oh I know not for sure

but now it’s life’s journey, so precious, so pure