Why I love London Bridge

london bridge 2

We all have places that we have to go to or pass through on a regular basis and that place for me is London Bridge. I don’t choose to go there but it’s on my way to work and every time I cross it, whether it’s to go to or from work I think how lucky I am.

I’ve learnt to enjoy and embrace the view that London Bridge offers and I’ve come to absolutely love that part of my journey. I’m surrounded by iconic buildings such as the Shard, Gherkin, Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie and then there is the beautiful Tower Bridge. These sights all look different depending on the season and what the weather is doing. Some days they are shimmering in the sunshine and others they are shrouded in fog and mist.   I love the countryside but I can still appreciate the beauty of the City and it’s history.

There are also street entertainers that come out on certain days and my favourite is the fire-eater and juggler, he is always cheerful and he brightens my day, no pun intended.  Come rain or shine he pitches up without fail.

London Bridge is also a stop for tourist buses and tourists from all over the world pile off with their cameras in hand ready to take pictures of the River Thames, Tower Bridge and the iconic buildings. I always imagine how they feel at finally seeing something they might have talked about for many years and spent time planning to see and now here they are in person. It’s always very easy to take things we see everyday for granted but if we look at tourist faces it can sometimes act as a reminder to us to stop and take a look around us.

There is never a dull moment, the other evening on the way home a guy jumped up onto one of the large plant containers and started to dance – no music, just moves which made you want to stop and stare to see what he was up to. He wasn’t drunk and looked completely cold stone sober. He ignored all the stares and as he danced, he kept looking up at an office window, obviously trying to get the attention of someone. Passers by stopped to see what he was doing and it still makes me smile when I picture him now. I have a feeling he was trying to get someone’s attention and he was going to ask them to marry him.

Regular fashion shoots also take place on the bridge and that makes for interesting commuting especially when you see people wrapped up in Northern Face gear looking like they belong in Antarctica. Other times there have been brides with their bridesmaids all strutting their stuff looking so very glamorous and cool.

London Bridge is an excellent location for film shoots although as yet I’ve never seen any filming because I think filming takes place at weekends or during the quieter times of the day or night. I always recall the scene from the movie Bridget Jones when she has finally got it together with Daniel Cleaver and she is seen walking to work feeling oh so happy with herself, her held is held up high and she is smiling away to herself.   This is how I feel most mornings – just happy to be alive.

I also love the history associated with London Bridge and the many times it has been built and even sold.   I remember as a small child hearing the nursery rhyme (here I go again with songs) “London Bridge is falling down”.   There is so much history steeped in the City of London and especially that of London Bridge and if you are interested in reading all of it’s history since the Roman Army first built the bridge in 42AD to the present day the following website is fascinating and I am sure you will be surprised at what you read.  http://oldlondonbridge.com/history.shtml

I’d love to hear from you about any places that you have to go to on a regular basis as part of your daily journey and how you’ve learnt to embrace and enjoy it or perhaps you don’t but maybe can learn. The world really is an amazing place if we just open our eyes and really see it.

london bridge

Wishing all my readers a wonderful happy week exploring and learning to love the places we see every day and maybe even take for granted.

Taking on Challenges




It appears that we’ve become a nation of people who love a challenge, especially ones that involve charitable events, anything goes, from taking part in bike rides such as Lands End to John O’Groates, trekking in the Himalayas, skydiving, parachute jumping, triathlons, midnight walks, the list of challenges available to us are endless. The best thing is that people usually take part in these challenges to raise money for charities that are close to their hearts or even just for the sheer hell of it.

Do you enjoy a challenge and pushing the boundaries or do you tend to shy away from anything challenging? By nature I think we all like a challenge at some point during our lives, we’re not designed to stand still and become stagnant.

Not all challenges involve jumping from planes or running marathons and November brings me a fresh new challenge of my very own – the Nanowrimo Challenge. Regular readers will recall that last November I also took part in this challenge for the first time, basically it is “write a book in 30 days”.

The idea is to encourage budding authors to put pen to paper rather than talk about the book that one day we are going to write, when we have more time, more money or whatever excuses we give ourselves. Whilst most books are usually more than 50,000 words , the idea is it encourages all participants to start writing and getting into a writing habit. It is a worldwide event and various groups and forums come together to chat and give encouragement and inspiration to each other. I think it is a fantastic idea and it certainly got me writing last year completing the challenge successfully.

Like many, I lead a busy life so I find that if I write everyday it is achievable and means I only need to write 1667 words a day. I find this manageable and not so overwhelming. I know some participants prefer to write larger chunks at weekends or on certain days the key is to find what works best for each of us and then to stick to it. For me, when I write each day it also gives me thinking time in between so I can develop and create the story in my head and I usually do this when I’m walking my dog, horse riding or commuting. Last year my story took a very unexpected turn as a result of giving myself this extra thinking time.  i tend to work with a very vague plot line.

This year, I’ve dithered about what to write and finally decided to do an experimental piece of writing based on both fact and fiction in a style I’ve never tried before.  Initially I had two ideas but the one I have chosen is by far the most difficult one but I quite like a challenge and I have decided to push myself, I may well regret my decision in a few weeks’ time. It is a story that is unfolding in my mind and I feel really excited about it.

The other great thing about Nanowrimo is there is no going back and editing, you just write, then once completed at the end of November, you then have something to work with and to edit. Okay, it certainly won’t be perfect but at least I will have something to edit and develop. On completion of the 50,000 or more words at the end of November the participants become a “winner”.  Friends have asked me “what do you win?” Well actually there is no prize other than the sheer satisfaction that I have completed the challenge. To me the prize is completing the challenge that I set out to do and more importantly I will also have a manuscript that I can start developing and editing.

The key with any challenge that we set ourselves is to make it achievable, breaking things down into small bite size chunks, this method always work for me and it keeps my mind fresh, happy and enthusiastic about the task in hand. By breaking things down into baby steps we don’t find things so overwhelming and our goals can remain within our reach, after all we wouldn’t go and run a marathon without any training, it would be utter madness.

I would love to hear from you about any challenges that you set yourself and had success with, do you like challenges or do you tend to avoid them?

Wishing all my wonderful readers and Nanowrimo participants around the world a very happy and successful month.

Removing Self-Limiting Beliefs

anything possible

This week I’m celebrating because yesterday was a very special day for me. Baby Bee, as I like to call him, and I entered a dressage competition with our local riding club, Limpsfield Riding Club. A club I joined at the beginning of the year and which has been nothing but friendly and encouraging in every way possible.

Before joining the club I didn’t think dressage was for me. I had a limiting self-belief that I wasn’t good enough even though, I learnt to ride at ten years old and have owned my other horse, Nadia for 19 years. However, when I learnt to ride at my local riding school we only learnt how to go, steer and more importantly how to stop, we didn’t learn the finer and more intricate details of riding but it never stopped us having fun and as kids we used to ride backwards, bareback and would jump anything. We were absolutely fearless.

So when I was lucky enough to get Nadia we were just happy riding out in the woods and exploring local bridleways and taking part in the occasional endurance and pleasure ride we never entered any competitions.  I thought to “do” dressage or enter competitions you had to have had a special instructor and know more than I did. This was a very limiting self-belief that I probably developed from the time when my friends and I worked at a local riding school just to get a free ride and we saw other children with their own ponies entering competitions.

However Bee, my new horse is young and as feedback on our training and to help with our progress I decided to enter some dressage competitions during the spring and summer time. Sometimes our results weren’t great and we were even beaten by an 8 year old, other times I went wrong however with continuous encouragement from the riding club and regular lessons from my trainer we gradually improved. On a few occasions we were even placed, but the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places seemed to elude us, that was until yesterday when we came first with a score of 66.74%. My goal is always to try and beat our personal best and that was 62%, so you can imagine how pleased I was when the scores came in.

Then to top it all, I had also entered us into a test in the next level up at the prelim level as I wanted to start to push and improve ourselves, raising the bar, it was to be an exercise and I was looking forward to receiving the judge’s comments. The comments I have received from the judges over the past few months have helped me improve and together with my trainer it looks like it is now finally paying off. Imagine my surprise when in the next level up we were placed 4th with a result of 65%. This was a huge achievement for us, on a horse that I haven’t even yet had for a year. I love to learn and improve and dressage is a perfect way to do this, it is a constant learning curve and there are always new challenges to face, but that’s what keeps it fun.  Regular readers will recall our shaky start, but with hard work, time and dedication our partnership has gone from strength to strength and yesterday demonstrated how far we’d come and I am extremely proud of Bee and his progress.

I have always believed that anyone can do anything that they put their minds to, especially if it’s something that they really want to do. It’s possible to learn new things and take on new challenges, whether it’s learning to dance, learning a new language – I always remember my Dad learning Portuguese at the age of 65, taking up a new hobby or even changing careers, it really is never too late that is of course provided you want something enough. Nothing is out of our reach.

The key of course is to remove any self-limiting beliefs we may have. Self-limiting beliefs are those that constrain us in some way and seriously hold us back in life, they are usually based on fear of failure or past experiences. I know mine were based on “I can’t” and “I’m not good enough”. Well I proved to myself I actually can and I am sure you can also do anything you really want to do.

I have always believed that anything can happen and anything is possible in life, with sheer hard work and determination but I would say the best quality to have is sheer enthusiasm.   Enthusiasm is something we can have fun with it keeps us happy, it gives us energy and keeps us passionate about the things we enjoy doing.

I would love to hear from you if you have ever tried something new and was surprised at your achievement or if you are thinking of starting something new or if you also have any self-limiting beliefs that might be holding you back. My advice would be release your self-limiting beliefs and don’t let anything stop you or stand in your way, especially if it will enhance your happiness.  Be enthusiastic and go for it.

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to questions them.” ~Anthony de Mello

Wishing everyone a week full of love, happiness, success and discovery.

Turn your life into a magical musical


This week’s Blog is dedicated to a very special friend who has shared with me some of the stories I mention below.

I recently saw a quote that said “If you can’t handle me randomly blurting out song lyrics that relate to what you just said we can’t be friends”. This really did make me laugh as it is very true and something I do on a regular basis.

I am not a good singer, I am completely tone deaf and can’t hold a note to save my life but I love to sing and dance, it makes me feel happy and lifts my spirits. I usually find that whatever I am doing I will find a suitable tune that matches my environment or my mood. Luckily most of my friends are used to this and do not mind and will invariably join in (that is assuming they can recognise the tune I’m trying to sing).

There are also health benefits from singing and research has shown that our bodies release endorphins when we sing.   Singing requires us to breathe more deeply and in turn this oxygenates our brain and by breathing deeply it can produce a calming effect which helps us especially if we find ourselves in a stressful situation.

Singing evokes memories and when I sing, I find myself smiling as I recall memories, happy or sad. Regular readers will know that I enjoy music and believe that music is the language of the world, it breaks down barriers and connects us to each other. Music and lyrics raises our energy and make us feel alive.

Most days I will have a song of the day, inspired by something I may hear on the radio or will look at the sky whilst walking my dog and think of a time place or tune and that song will usually stay with me during the day. A game I sometimes play is choosing a song, usually based on the weather, or where I am and finding something to suit, for example whilst camping out under the stars in the Wadi Rum desert I couldn’t resist singing every song possible about stars.   Amazingly my friend and I still laugh and share fond memories about this almost ten years later and at the time we couldn’t sleep for laughing.

On another occasion we were travelling on a long flight and was tracking our flight route and just starting taking turns to sing a song about all the places named on the map and rather remarkably we managed it. Again, I still recall my friend breaking out to the song “Do you know the way to San Jose”, so from our silly game we have very fond memories and whenever I hear that song it reminds me of our trip together.

The other day I was singing to my song of the day and decided to also dance, but I didn’t want to see myself in the mirror (because the saying goes dance like nobody is watching) so I turned the lights out and decided to dance in the dark. Incidentally, I was not listening to “dancing in the dark” by Bruce Springsteen and I should say try because believe it or not it really is quite difficult to dance in complete darkness, mainly because if you spin it isn’t possible to focus on one particular point and you can become unbalanced very quickly. I am sure professional dancers can dance in the dark and like everything, with practice I am sure it is possible so I think some more practice might be required.

I sometimes wish everyone walking across London Bridge would break their morning ritual of looking at their phones and take  time to look up and see the beautiful world we live in, maybe sing, or even better, imagine if we all sang and danced across the bridge, I am sure everyone would feel quite exhilarated once they had overcome their shyness. Maybe one day I might ask some of my friends in the music and acting business to see if they could try and instigate it.

I really do believe that life really is a much richer and happier place with music, song and dance. I would love to hear from you if you enjoy singing and if you regularly pick a tune of the day or what song brings back special memories for you and your friends.

Wishing everyone a wonderful happy week full of song and dance.  Make your life a musical.

Divine Mirrors



horse miror

In last week’s Blog I mentioned that life is like a mirror and what we put out there we attract, this is particularly true with horses and this picture sums up that relationship beautifully. However I don’t think this just applies to horses. I think it is also true of human behaviour and last week I mentioned how behaviour breeds behaviour.

If we are happy this can be infectious and our happiness radiates and shines outwards. Equally if we are around someone who is moody this can also affect us and we can soon absorb negativity if we let it in and allow it. It really is that simple.  You may recall that last week I was not looking forward to Monday at all.

Anyway, back to the picture. My regular readers will recall the difficulties I experienced when I first bought my young horse, Bee, at the end of last year. I fell off him very early in our time together and lost my confidence. As a result he lost confidence in me, and being a young horse he needed to be shown the way, he needed a leader. We became edgy and nervous around each other, so much so that I even considered selling him. I started to compare him with my older horse that I had owned for 18 years, I forgot the blood sweat and tears that I experienced with her at the start of our relationship and time together.

My young horse was the sweetest and gentlest horse with perfect manners he just needed a leader and I was not it. I am not one to give up so easily and will usually try to find a way forward but it was not happening with this horse, but something in his eyes and his eagerness to please me didn’t allow me to give up. He hadn’t even done anything wrong we just got off to a shaky start. Luckily I didn’t sell him and together with lots of support from my trainer and friends, we overcame our difficulties and I am pleased to say I can’t imagine life without him. He now trusts me 100% and if I ask or invite him to do something, he trusts it is safe to do so. I am now his leader.

I believe people and animals come into our lives to teach us lessons we need to learn. I’m so grateful to him for teaching me to work at something even through the difficult times, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and once we reach it, it is always brighter than we ever imagined. Bee was never going to be like my 26 year old horse and he stood up for himself, he taught me that we had our own journey to forge.

Last week, I realized that the lesson I learnt could also be applied to my new boss and just like Bee with time and patience, we could hopefully find a way of working together. We are all different and some things can’t be achieved overnight but there is always the promise and reward that when it happens the light is bright.

To prove a point, I decided to wear a smile all week, I noticed people smiling at me on the train home – I counted five people one evening which is quite a feat considering the majority of people stare at their phones for most of their journey.

Equally, I was determined to turn the work situation around.  I chose not to react to any negativity and decided to remain positive under all circumstances, nothing was going to penetrate my happiness or get under my skin.  I chose to keep smiling.   By the end of the week, rather miraculously, my boss was thanking me for my work and effort and even said I was amazing.

I wondered what had changed and I recall seeing this photo with the horse and it reminded me of the struggles I’d had with Bee at the start of our time together and  realized that this applies to all relationships and situations in our lives. I have always been a firm believer that behaviour breeds behaviour. If someone is grumpy with us as a rule we will be grumpy back, if someone smiles at us we smile back, not to mention time and patience.

So it’s worth remembering that what we put out there comes back tenfold and if anyone is really struggling with something or someone in their life at the moment, try a different tactic with a new approach, you might be surprised at how quickly you can turn a situation around.  I know I was.

I would love to hear from you and how you turned a negative situation around and the results you achieved.

Wishing all my lovely readers a week full of love and happiness.

Turning our thoughts around




So for the first time in my life I might finally understand the song “I don’t like Mondays” and some of my friends feelings of dread when Monday morning approaches. As the weekend reached it’s end for the first time in a very long time I started to experience these feelings.

As a writer of a Blog mostly about positivity I wondered what advice I could give myself to get out of this negative spiral I suddenly found myself in. Why was I feeling this way? How could I turn it around?

People always say to me “you’re so positive and happy” and yes that’s how I choose to be, I work at it because if we stop and think of all the things to be grateful for we are well and truly blessed.   It really is a lifestyle choice: Should I be Happy or Sad? No contest.  So, how do I deal with this feeling of dread for the Monday that is fast approaching.

Firstly, I like to understand things and just to have this feeling was not good enough for me and I had to ask myself some questions as to why I was feeling this way, what had changed in my life.   Well I have recently been on an amazing holiday but equally I always love to return and always show appreciation and gratitude to all that I have in my life. Wonderful family and friends and two gorgeous horses, and the cutest dog.  I LOVE life, I skip and dance my way through it, yes I really do. I have also been luckily enough to have had amazing holidays for the last ten years and so I wasn’t sure returning a few weeks ago was the problem. We all get holiday blues but there is always the next holiday to plan and look forward to, so no, I wasn’t convinced that was it.

If I’m honest, I knew what the problem was and that is I have a new boss. I have worked for the same company for the last 10 years and this is my third boss. The first one I had worked with previously and helped him set up the company, he was extremely aggressive, determined and successful. He then left and I stayed and worked for a new variety of a boss – a kind and gentle one. He has now retired and I have a new one. A boss that also started at the same company 10 years ago. Should be easy right?

I have worked for many people in my life, I somehow attract the difficult bosses, ones that people find a challenge and I can deal with them successfully. When I look back at my CV I have a list of difficult bosses. They say life is a mirror and what we put out there we attract. (I will write about this on a future Blog).

Now my dilemma is, for the last three years I have worked for the most wonderful, loveliest boss one could wish for – an absolute first for me. Luckily I started working for him at a time in my life when I needed peace, order and kindness, it was after the death of my mother. Sadly, he has now retired and I have a new boss.

Things have changed, my equilibrium has been disturbed. I am sure all will be okay because I can work for difficult people, however I think what is bothering me the most is I do not want to go back to becoming aggressive, defending myself in a blame culture and generally becoming unhappy.  Behaviour breeds behaviour.  I like the person I have become, I am a happy, fun, positive person and there is no way I want to go back to the person I was before and that is what is troubling me.

So, what to do? I have decided that I am not going to allow anyone to penetrate my happiness. If they are going through difficult times they can choose to share them with me and I will happily listen and support them but I am taking responsibility for my own feelings and I am choosing to be happy every time.

So, the fact remains how shall I face the new week?   I am choosing to sing with the birds on Monday mornings and treat it just like any other day, a day that I will enjoy and make the most of. I will try to turn around the situation but equally I will not become fixated on it.

I will be thankful that I have a job that pays me and lets me have a comfortable lifestyle with amazing holidays. I will be grateful for the wonderful work colleagues I have and that I can laugh with and we support each other.   Already I have turned my thoughts around am feeling so much better and hopefully I will not experience this feeling again next weekend and if I find my thoughts turning a little bit negative towards Monday morning.  I will play a song loud and dance and show my gratitude for everything I have.

I would be very interested to hear from any of my readers out there as to why they don’t like Mondays and how they deal with it and turn their feelings around. Who knows maybe you can help me.

Wishing you all a wonderful happy week full of love and extra happiness. My theme tune for this week is going to be “Walking on Sunshine” and no one is going to get in my way or rain on my parade.

Remember our happiness is a choice.

Time Out


Last week I returned from a very special holiday with one of my best friends or a vacation as some of my new found friends would call it.

It was my first holiday for well over a year, so when my holiday finally arrived at the start of September I realised how much I was in need of the break. As soon as I boarded the plane at London Heathrow I forgot everything. I left it all behind.

When we arrived at our final destination, nothing had prepared us for the serenity and beauty of the place.  We were at Tsylos Lodge located on the Chilko Lake, surrounded by the BC Coastal Mountain Range. It was exactly what I needed. Peace, quiet, tranquillity in the heart of nature – all of my favourite things. Oh and horses, did I forget to mention it was a riding holiday? Another one of my favourite things.

Our days were spent mostly out in the saddle covering different terrain each day, some days riding in the forests, others alongside the beautiful Chilko Lake populated with sockeye salmon and bears waiting patiently to eat the dead salmon once they had spawned.

It is a beautiful and magical sight to see bears in their natural habitat with no fear of humans, being able to watch them swim and sit in the water eating their catch, cubs happily playing alongside their mothers, eagles soaring high above us. Absolute bliss. I was in my element, in the heart of nature, doing my favourite thing, horse riding.

An added bonus was there was no telephone signal or wi-fi which meant no sneaky moments of I’ll just check my e-mails or listening to other guests talking loudly on their phones.

As technology moves on it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find places that are completely free from telephone masts and wi-fi and I know some of my friends would find it difficult to be in such a remote place. However there is a saying at Tsylos Lodge that says “sometimes we have to disconnect to reconnect” and I am sure that the benefits of my week being disconnected from the hustle and bustle of city life will remain with me through to the depths of winter.

I regard myself as rather lucky because I have disconnecting myself down to a fine art.  To do this, I choose to get out in nature as much as possible, either walking my dog or riding my horses, this is where I’m happiest and if I don’t get my daily fresh air fix I can become quite cranky as any of my friends will testify.

On the flight home as I viewed the wonderful landscape of Canada from the aircraft window, I wondered how other people took time out and disconnected, if at all, and if they really even know how to.

I think it is really important for our health and well being to take time out, switch off and do things we enjoy and that make us happy. I know it’s not always possible to take a holiday on a whim and I am truly grateful that I am able to do so but there are still many ways we can relax and make time for ourselves.

Ways to relax and unwind come in a variety of ways and can include pursuing hobbies, walking, yoga, pilates, meeting up with friends, listening to music, getting out in nature (this one works every time for me), reading a book or just having “you time” or imagine this, just doing absolutely nothing.

It can be very therapeutic, if we allow ourselves to just “be” in the here and now, not looking forward or backward, just appreciating the now, the present time and all that we have. So this week, why not try to set aside some “you” time and really reap and feel the benefits, it might even be as good as taking a holiday.

As bears feature in this week’s Blog I thought I would include advice from Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne. “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering”.

Doing nothing once in a while can be a very healthy thing to do and I would love to hear from any of my readers on ways they choose to relax and unwind and if they ever do just nothing.

Wishing everyone a happy week filled with love and happiness and maybe even doing nothing or if you are in the process of planning a holiday and you get a chance you couldn’t go far wrong with a visit to the magical place of Tyslos Lodge (www.tsylos.com).

Ringing the Changes

ringing the changes 1

I recently overhead two young women talking to each other about what had been going on in their respective lives.  One had lost weight and the other was complaining about her life and how boring it was and asked her friend how she had managed to lose so much weight.

The one that had lost weight said she realised that if she wanted to lose weight she had to make some changes to her lifestyle and said she first starting to cut out sweet sugary items and gave up alcohol only choosing to drink it on social and special occasions.  She also decided to start an exercise programme but didn’t want to be stuck inside a gym so she joined the local running club.  She went on to say that as a result she had met many new people and had a new circle of friends.  She tried to encourage her friend to join a club or take up a hobby in an attempt to get out more and change her life saying she would never know if she didn’t try.  She even invited her along to the running club to see if she might like to join.

As an outsider looking in I could tell this other friend who was bored with life was never going to make any move to change her life in any form whatsoever.  I was intrigued by how excited and animated one was and how lifeless the other appeared and would probably continue in this way for a long time.  Her attitude needed to change.

I have always been a great believer in the philosophy that we can do anything we really want to and can really change our lives but the only way this can happen is if we are willing to do so in the first place.    I’m not talking about major changes but simple things that can, in time, make big differences.  For example, taking up new hobbies, taking a different route to work or getting up earlier to make more time to exercise or do something when the house is quiet before everyone else gets up or even treating ourselves to a make-over or new hairstyle, generally being open to change.

We can’t expect things to change in our lives if we carry on doing the same old things, the same old way because that is always the way we’ve done things.  The universe is in constant motion, nothing stands still and neither should we.

A few weeks later whilst travelling to work I saw the friends again.  The one who had lost the weight and joined the running club was proudly showing off a sparkling diamond ring on her third ring finger.  She looked so radiant and happy.  It was at this point I think the other one realised if she wanted to change her life she needed to do something about it because I heard her say “maybe I should take up a hobby after all” and she actually smiled.

So if there’s something you want to do or something you would like to change, my advice would be just go out there and do it, it doesn’t have to be big but something small, after all, you never know where it might lead but at least you will have tried.

I would love to hear from any of my readers that have made a change that lead to something unexpected or an improvement in their life.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week full of love and happiness.

A Fun Ride


Fun Ride

Last week I wrote about giving and why it makes us feel good and that Blog was inspired by a fun ride organized by our local riding club in memory of Wendy Norris. The ride took place yesterday with the proceeds of the event going to the Air Ambulance, which serves Kent, Surrey and Sussex (https://www.justgiving.com/A-Bonnell1).

So what was the inspiration behind the Wendy Norris Memorial Ride? Wendy Norris loved horses and although she didn’t ride in her adult life she carried on the love of them via her daughter Hannah and New Forest ponies Dolly Daydream and Haywards Invincible (aka Vinnie). Wendy was always helping with the ponies, grooming, watching Hannah’s lessons or supporting her at local shows. On the evening Wendy was taken ill at the stables, the Kent Air Ambulance Team attended and their professional and calm approach meant she was in the best hands.
 Knowing that the Air Ambulance was reliant on charity funding after Wendy died, Alex Bonnell, the Riding Club’s Chairwoman, felt that something to remember her and to help raise funds for them would be a lasting legacy to her and the Wendy Norris Memorial Ride was born.

The committee and other volunteers of the riding club have spent months in the planning stage from finding sponsors, liaising with land owners for permission to ride on their land and then more recently many members giving their time to help ride, map and mark the route that would be taken.

The ride was billed as a “Fun Ride” and I was one of the many volunteers who helped marshall the event yesterday. This meant I was located at one of the checkpoints of the 8 mile route and checked riders off my list as they rode past and seeing people’s faces when they rode through the checkpoint really summed it up, they really were having fun and so were the horses. For the riders it was an opportunity to get out on their horses with friends and ride over some farmland that would not ordinarily be available to ride on.

We were blessed with fantastic weather and everyone looked so happy. They were taking part in something they enjoyed and by doing so were contributing to the worthy cause of the Air Ambulance, the entry fee to do the ride was £30 which will go to the charity. There were many people who kindly sponsored the event, donated raffle prizes, baked cakes, there was even a BBQ and music.

It was a great event not just for riders but also for all club members and even people came along who weren’t club members. Everyone was welcome. It was a day when everyone really did come together and whilst I didn’t know Wendy Norris I am sure she would have been looking down and feeling extremely proud of how successful the day was and of course raising money for the Air Ambulance that helped her when she was taken ill.

Alex Bonnell the Chairwoman summed the day up beautifully “What can I say….our second charity fun ride today…I’m blown away by the fabulous support of Limpsfield Riding club team …too many of you to mention individually who came today to steward, car park , help set up and take down all the gear….”

It just goes to prove that the world we live in isn’t a bad place and I believe there are many good people out there who are very generous and kind.   So this week, look out for the goodness it can be found everywhere.

Wishing all my readers a wonderful happy week filled with love, happiness and not to forget the angels that are looking down on us and guiding us.

Giving and why it makes us feel good


no one has ever become poor by giving

During the last few weeks I have been involved in some fundraising both at work and on a personal level for what I consider to be good causes.  I am always amazed at people’s kindness and sheer generosity and I started to wonder what makes people want to give their time and money.

There are many studies on the subject and they all agree on one thing and that is when we give our time or money it is good for our well-being and we feel much better about ourselves.  When we give we feel that we are helping others, we can’t change the world but by giving and contributing to what we feel is a good cause we feel that we are making a difference no matter how small.   By giving something back we also feel connected, that we have a purpose in life and are contributing to the world.  In turn, this has a positive effect and in some cases can even help tackle any anxieties we might have and boost our confidence.

So what are the motivations that make us want to give and make a difference?  Apart from the feel good factor, the reasons can range from anything that is very close to our hearts due to personal experience, our religious and spiritual beliefs, a particular cause or our personal values and ethics.

There are many ways to give and that doesn’t necessarily have to be by making monetary donations.  We can give and offer our time to someone in need, helping with shopping or walking a dog for a neighbour, maybe take part in a fundraising activity,  for example  a triathlon or a moonlight walk; or by offering our services to a committee of a charity.  There are also charities that will collect and take away our unwanted items, so by giving away something we no longer want someone else can benefit.  It is far better than throwing something away and helps recycle items.  There is already too much stuff that is thrown away in our disposable society.

Equally, when we volunteer our time and services there is also an opportunity for us to develop new skills which in turn can make us feel more connected especially to local communities.

There is a word called tithe  which means 1/10th in Greek and Hebrew and there is a belief that people who “tithe” lead more abundant and prosperous lives.   There are also many wealthy people who choose to be ambassadors for charities or say they felt it was time to give something back so society.  It seems we all want to help at some deeper level.

Whatever our reasons for giving money or offering our services we should give happily and readily, the key of course is that we do not expect anything in return, but if by giving we feel good about ourselves and feel more connected then in my mind this can’t be a bad thing.

Winston Churchill once said:-
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

I would love to hear how you give or help in any way that you can and the impact it has made.

Wishing all my lovely readers a happy and love filled week full of generosity.