Stretching time

The past 6 months have been a time of great change for our little family of four. We relocated across the world for the second time to start anew in Berkshire, gave away  or sold many of our possessions, started new jobs and schools and adopted Apollo, our precious dachshund.


I am so proud of the resilience and positivity that our girls have shown over the past few months. It is not easy for anyone to start again in a new place, let alone during the tricky tween and teen years and they are, I have to say, smashing it. They are thriving and excelling at school, both have found their place socially and while Lucy has continued with her swimming, Amy has taken on a new challenge of Ballroom and Latin dancing which she just loves. My new job is challenging but exciting and I am grateful every day to have found myself at another fabulous school with lovely people and students that are a pleasure to support.

One of the motivations for our adventures has been a desire to squeeze as much as we can out of our lives, to make sure that we aren’t just going with the flow and are really living the breadth of our lives. Moving certainly helps with this. In a new place, the mundane feels like an adventure and it is easy to find sights and sounds to wonder at when everything is different and novel. In New Zealand I always paid attention to the birds singing and loved looking at the shells on the beach that were so different to the ones I collected as a child on Blackpool Beach. Now we are in Berkshire living in a rural vilage, I go looking for the signs of animal life in our garden and love catching sight of a squirrel, mouse or deer.

It is possible to cultivate a sense of novelty and squeeze more out of each day without moving around the world, if that is not your thing! Just walking with Apollo and watching his excitement at falling leaves, conkers and muddy puddles has given me another different perspective on what is around me and how exciting it is!


Take a walk or drive round your local area without having a fixed destination in mind and pay close attention to what you can see whether that is architecture, different shop windows, trees, people, clouds, birds, or insects.

Try doing something different every day- even something as insignificant as having morning tea instead of coffee or changing your breakfast cereal can make for a more memorable, adventurous start to your day. Try travelling to work in a different way or along a different route. Watch or listen to something that you would not usually choose. Sit in a different place when you are relaxing in front of the TV, cook or bake something different or make a different lunch selection when you are on the go. Visit parts of your local area that you do not usually visit and try seeing your town as a tourist would. I was struck on our recent trip up to Blackpool at just how beautiful the Tower Ballroom really is. I have been in the Ballroom so many times before – I even did 2 weeks of work experience at the Tower when I was in Year 10 – but I didn’t really appreciate it until I saw it through the eyes of a tourist!


However you choose to do it, if you mix up your routine, your day will feel stretched, different and richer and that could help this year become your richest and most enjoyably stretched yet!

Wishing you a new year that is rich in experiences, adventures big and small, love, light and laughter. ❤️





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