11 June 2013


...this post is part of Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May - #BEDM but I am going to create a post as often as I can throughout June and beyond. It can be difficult to blog every day but my aim is to make it to the end and hopefully it will help me to kick start this blog.

Day 5 - Fit and Healthy

What do I do to stay fit or keep healthy? One big answer is swimming. For the past 15 years, I have swam once or twice a week - give or take a year or so out and last year I finally signed up to a monthly swim pass at my local sports centre. One swim session is nearly £4 and a pass costs me £21 per month which I can use every available day in the month! Last year I was swimming about five times a week - mainly on weekdays as it was a way to get out the house when I didn't have a job. I cant do any fancy or quick swimming but I am considering taking swimming lessons as it would be great to improve and vary my swim strokes. I often swim 28m lengths for 45 to 60 minutes. I enjoy it - I was once recommended swimming by a mental health nurse and it helped at the time and continues to help me. It gives me time to take a break, relax and after the first lengths, I find my brain clears while I concentrate on my breathing and swim rhythm. While in the water, I think about daily or future tasks, how best to approach these tasks and what to cook for tea or eat when I get back.

Walking is another thing that keeps me active. I live very close to the city centre and there is no point catching bus as I am two stops out of the ring road. I walk to and from the sports centre and do the same again to get to my part time job. Holidays are often spent in the UK, taking short breaks to places that have walking routes nearby and we enjoy gentle roaming about taking in the local scenery. We visited Falmouth at the end of April this year and spent two days doing three walks we found in guide books borrowed from the library. Again - Porthcurno and the Lizard are both stunning places to go for a walk and cream tea. The next holiday place on the list is going to be somewhere in Wales. Now we have a car - we may spend more time out walking.

Future fitness plans include maybe buying a new or second hand bicycle and taking up squash again as John enjoys playing squash - it is something we have done in the past but now kept up on a regular basis. I would like to have more strength in my arms/upper body but I am more of a have fun while keeping fit person and only enjoy the weight sessions with a workout friend - some one to keep me going and vice versa.

07 June 2013


...the weather outside is beautiful. I have been out enjoying it today. Third load of washing is out on the line and drying. I have been out on a driving lesson - went well and I went for an hours swim at the sports centre. it was so warm walking back that I had to take a layer off - a thin jumper. It was so nice to feel the summer warmth on my skin.

Day 6 - Bank Holiday Fun

Do not panic - there isn't a new one on the calendar - it is a Blog Every Day in May post #BEDM but I am doing it in June as I didn't keep up AND I have swapped Day 5 and Day 6 around. Day 5 will be posted tomorrow instead.

The question is - what are my favourite ways to enjoy the extra long weekends off?

An extra long weekend off happens every two weeks as my part time job runs to a two week rota. For example, this week I finished work on Wednesday at 5pm and my next working shift is on Tuesday from 5pm. Bank holidays do not affect me that much and it is only in recent years that I have been able to enjoy them. In previous employments, I have had to work regardless.

If I get any kind of time off - weekend, day, an hour or two, here are some of things I get up to. If the weather is nice, John and I go out on the motorbike to somewhere close by - a park/walking area place, a little village or town or just out riding/exploring. We don't go out on the bike if it is raining as it's not great to ride around in rain. Sometimes we go and sit in our back yard with a beer or watch a bit of telly - Time Team or a film. Army Deb and Mollie are usually come to visit or I may go Lichfield to see them. One of my favourite things to do with spare time is to read a book and then have a nap on the sofa with a blanket. Bliss. I love reading curled up. I am an avid reader but when it hits the summer months I tend to slow down and make the most of going outside. If I can, I will take a book outside to sit on the chair swing we have under the trees. Weekends or time off is mainly enjoyed at a leisurely pace whether that be making work or relaxing.

I thought the image above would suit this post. It was drawn back in March and I finally spent some time creating it in to a colour image. It would be cool to sit with a lion and read a book. There are ideas floating about with these two characters and the plan is to continue working with colour in any available form. I am really enjoyed the past three days in the work room. John has had to peel me away to eat!

06 June 2013


...it is now JUNE! May was madness and I have decided to continue with the Blog Every Day in May #BEDM task but use it for June best I can. I have printed out the list from Rosalilium's website in the hope it will get me going more. May was a very busy month. We came back from a short holiday and I picked up some overtime hours at the library which resulted in me almost working full time which is great news for the money pockets but not for my art work as it kinda got pushed to the side. There were other things we did and enjoyed but the blog and workroom were neglected.

Day 4 - Five Fave Blogs

After Day 3 of #BEDM, I began thinking about the next post - this one and struggled. In a way I was putting it off as the amount of blog reading I do has declined a lot over the last two years or so. With the boom of other social media networks, I think the power of blogs has gone as there are quicker ways of getting 'news' out there. I also spend less time on the computer as I try to work without any distractions. No click click travelling from one blog to another and so on.

Yesterday evening was spent creating an initial list and a specific illustration for this post. I have now whittled down my original list of 11 to just five that I like to look at the most. All of them are creative blogs in some way - illustrators and/or print-makers, who's work I really admire and are my inspiration when putting my thinking cap on. Click on the links to find out more for yourselves as if I were to add a few descriptive lines - my words wouldn't do their blogs justice. In A-Z order to keep it fair - here are my five fave blogs.

Alex T Smith - Alex T Smith
Emm@ - Illustration, The Universe and Everything
Flora - Through The Round Window
Kristyna Baczynski - Kristyna Baczynski - Comics, Illustration & Design
Lisa Stubbs - Lil Sonny Sky