Every time we come back from The Netherlands we say we’ll cycle more. This time we seem to be doing reasonably well at it. Yesterday I had a glorious cycle to Newport to buy some new crochet hooks. On the way there I heard a saxophonist playing in the woods which was an unexpected pleasure.

I’m glad we live at the Cowes end though as I get all the annoying obstacles out of the way early ( the hilly bit with no right of way and no visibilty at Medina Vally Centre, the stupidly close poles on the bridge that we definitely wouldn’t have managed to fit our kiddy trailer through, and the kicked out junction with no right of way at Stage Lane) and can just enjoy the rest of the ride home, the angle of the views are slightly better on the way back to cowes too!

Cycling home I realised that being on my bike on a car-free path – particularly in my favourite gear ratio (2:6 if you are interested) – makes me feel almost as contented as swimming does. If we had Dutch style infrastructure and attitudes to cyclists I would feel happy very often 🙂

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We have had a manic September full of satisfying if not always pleasurable activities. Saturday Live last week had an article about happiness Paul Dolan said that we needed a balance between pleasure and purpose to be happy. I feel like September has been a month encompassing both of those. However we had had a couple of weeks full of purposefulness but not so much pleasure and then in contrast we had 3 blissful nights spent at our friends’ beach hut. I have blogged a few times about this place possibly most significantly in my Bath Tub Places post and my Super Sundays post where I blogged about how it provided a light-bulb moment to change our lifestyle patterns.

So Thursday arrived; I finished my maths class, dashed to Lidl to grab some shopping, drove Ruth from college to Robin Hill for work came home and waited for Martin to arrive back from work. I shoved on my wellies jumped into the van and and headed straight for Thorness as quickly as possible. And then we stopped rushing.

We spent the time mooching on the beach,

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drinking wine.

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watching the birds,

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playing games,

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reading and doing puzzles,

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enjoying the candlelight,

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watching a very unexpected hovercraft landing.

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and taking photos, watching sunsets and sunrises, and really just generally relaxing.

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Once again we feel so lucky to live here and so grateful to generous friends.

Some days are more difficult than others. Two of the main things that seem come up again and again when you study happiness seem to be gratitude and being present in the current moment and activity. Even on a difficult day I really really want to stay happy. So these are some things that have made me happy today.

 

Walking to work with Martin and having some time to walk through town and sit by the sea, I am grateful for the time and the fact that I can walk to the sea.

 

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I love listening to the sea and I live so close to it and yet I don’t always take the time to head down there and just enjoy it!

I also found this lovely red chilli in our cold frame thingy, it’s our first and I was very excited, I am grateful for its vibrant colours and the anticipation of its spicy taste.

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And tonight there is music to be played with friends so what’s not to be happy about!

I have been think a lot about happiness recently – at some point I expect I’ll get round to blogging about it. But for now I have been thinking about things that make me happy right now, today. There is so much.

Because we are having a new bed made in Ruth’s room there were a pile of mattresses in the middle of the living room floor – I leapt on them and had a bit of a bounce, Martin joined me 🙂 Then Jonathan had a go and Rebekah also couldn’t resist

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Then the kids were heading out to various places and I needed to do the dishes so I found a radio 4 murder play and listened while I happily did the dishes and cleaned the window and window ledge in the kitchen.

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And the sunshine was glorious – even have a little washing on the line.

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A good walk out through the park to Gurnard

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and some time spent watching some of my friends doing some Morris dancing in their troop Moonshine along with The Oyster Girls.

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