Business promotion and dodgy packing

My flyers arrived! On Sunday I dragged my boyfriend out on a cold walk and we headed to the woods, flyers in hand. I wimped out and avoided approaching a couple of “Man and man’s best friend on a mission” types, but managed to approach four groups of people to share my talent and direct them over here. If you have stumbled upon my website after receiving a flyer – Hello! My future is painting and I need you lovely people to share the news and get my name out there!
This weekend I also (nearly) finished my latest painting of a golden retriever. Just an eye is outstanding because I just can’t get it right!

I am now away on business (I sound so important) so the eye will have to wait. My packing practices for this trip have been bizarre to say the least. I remembered my hot water bottle… I forgot pyjamas. I remembered spinach and salad dressing… and three different types of nuts (cheeky) but I forgot a phone charger. I woke up in the middle of the night worrying so much about what I would forget for my holiday that I had to write a list to be able to go back to sleep again. “salt, chopped tomatoes, soup, phone charger, hair ties and sketch pad” made it onto my midnight panic list. The essentials (!)

Cannot wait to get home, finish my retriever and go to the Wildlife Photography Art Exhibition on Saturday. Hopefully on Sunday I can get walking and hand out more flyers! I have quite a week to get through first.

What essentials have you forgotten to pack? Is there a way to avoid putting your life on hold while you are away? 

Every day motivation


This quote really struck a chord with me today, and I am sure it will with a lot of people.
It motivated me to do the things I have been meaning to, instead of letting life get in the way.

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money in order to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and he dies having never really lived.”

Thank you to Noora for sharing that.

It motivated me to finally buy marketing materials for my business. When they arrive I will put on my wellies and my biggest smile and go out on dog walks and meet people and their lovely animals. I will be able to reach more people and let them know how much I enjoy painting and how good I am.  I will gain new custom, and maybe even new friends that I wouldn’t have got otherwise. One day, I will accomplish my dream of spending my days painting and making a comfortable living from it. One day, I will own my own dog and paint him too. 

For the meantime, its the little things I do which keep me in balance of health, calm and presence, and I have to admit, I haven’t quite managed it today. I am looking forward to this weekend, when I can pretend that one day is today and will turn:



Taking back Lancaster

A big part of me blamed Lancaster for last year. I associated it with sadness, loneliness and pain when it really did nothing to deserve it (except rain a lot.) When I returned down south for holidays or long weekends, I clung to home and became very fearful of travelling up north again back to that place. One journey (I had been worrying about it for days) I became more ill and uncomfortable the further north I got – eyes watering in pain as I got into Lancaster again. It was a very physical sign of fear and overwhelm. Not just the workings of an insane woman.

When I graduated, I bid Lancaster farewell – not as fearful of it, but the association still deeply ingrained.

This time was different. I played out the best possible scenario of the weekend in my head, deciding it was definitely achievable. I drew on the train in watercolour pencil, which further set my mind at rest.

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As my train rolled into Lancaster station, I looked around in nostalgia (probably helped by the lack of rain!). I walked down the hil into town and saw that the market was on, packed with people selling their wares. I remembered happy visits in first and second years, tasting the variety of food available, stocking up on fresh vegetables, checking out the brick a brack of soap, scarves, jewellry, old books… dog treats…

Walking up the hill towards my friends house, I passed a restaurant we had visited to celebrate the end of exams in second year, the town hall, the cathedral and the memorial. Genuinely happy to be back.

That evening I visited my old friends, the same crowd that stuck together throughout the three years of university. Things clicked into place again and it felt like we had never been apart, despite me being fairly vacant for months last year.

We went out to the same club we frequented so many times over the years. I didnt drink a drop of alcohol but I bounced around, giddy to be surrounded by these people again in this familiar place. I made myself believe before we set off that it would be okay, and it was!

On arriving home again I was greeted by some very sad news. I’ve had a victory this week though, I took back Lancaster!