Gratitude List 18/06/2019: The ones with feathers!

Gratitude List 18/06/2019

As you’re probably aware by now, I have a keen interest in birds (the ones with feathers!) It’s an interest that was passed down from my father. I’m not embarrassed to say that watching them go about their day gives me so much joy. I’ve always thought to myself I need to learn something new. And I do, but I realised (only this morning) that this is an interest I have learnt about and have continued to learn about over the years, especially since being in recovery.

Today I am grateful to see the three types of Tits (resist Dean resist). The differences between a Coal Tit, a Blue Tit and a Great Tit are at first subtle, but once learnt they are clear and consistent.

Today I am grateful to lean back and take in the spitfire-like-flight of the swifts above. So elegant and…. well ‘swift’. Rarely seen out of the air, in fact they often sleep in flight. Confused with the Swallow but has less of a ‘V’ in its tail.

Today I am grateful to hear the calls of both the Collared Dove and the Wood Pigeon. I enjoy recognising the difference between the Collared Doves smooth three piece call and the rougher edged five piece of the Wood Pigeon.

Today I am grateful to have witnessed how a male Wood Pigeon attracts a mating partner. In true Planet Earth fashion, the male stepped and hopped along the fence over to his target, before performing an elaborate bow and chest-puff combo. One male failed. Another tried and clearly scored better.

Today I am grateful for the forever migrating Starlings. Often seen as a nuisance but they are spectacular looking birds. What other birds literally glitter? I have seen a few juveniles recently, at first I thought they were females, they are browner in colour but again, very beautiful.

Today I am grateful for the industrious House Sparrows. This time of year they are always busy feeding their young and perfecting their nests. If I’m lucky I get to see a group of them perform a fluttering dance in and out of the vegetation of the garden.

Today I am grateful for the Carrion Crow. If these birds weren’t so commonly seen, maybe we would appreciate how beautiful they really are. Large in size, gloriously jet black and apparently one of the most intelligent birds out there.

Today I am grateful for the vibrantly coloured Goldfinch. This petit member of the Finch family is a combination of brown, white, black, red and gold. If one arrives so will many others. His chirp is distinctive and therefore easily distinguishable between other garden birds.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful red breasted Robin. He has an absolutely poetic chorus (I can hear one right now). Incredibly tame birds which will eat from your hand if trained. The king of the English garden in my books.

Today I am grateful I get to see all of this in my garden. All I need to do is take the time to take it in and read a bit. If I want to broaden my viewing all I need to do is step out into a nearby park, woodland or common and take my book.

Today I am grateful I have loved passing on this knowledge to my children. As I have, I hope they remember some of it.

Gratitude List 04/05/2019: What makes you happy?

Gratitude List 04/05/2019

Today my list is made up of a few of the things that currently bring a genuine smile to my face and happiness to my heart.

Today I am grateful for Catfish and the Bottlemen. What a great band.

Today I am grateful for Game of Thrones. This is right up my street.

Today I am grateful to play a round of golf.

Today I am grateful to witness my fiancée and my children get on.

Today I am grateful to watch my daughter practice her dancing.

Today I am grateful to have my hair stroked.

Today I am grateful for our garden and the blooming colourful surprises.

Today I am grateful to watch the different types of birds feeding.

Today I am grateful for a starry night and moonlight.

Today I am grateful for my football team – most of the time!

Today I am grateful to attend meetings and unite with my friends.

Today I am grateful to hear someone has found a sponsor.

Today I am grateful for another’s success.

Today I am grateful for the day ahead of me.

My latest garden surprise 🙂

Gratitude List 02/04/2019: Life

Gratitude List 02/04/2019

Today I am grateful for the life that surrounds me. Not forgetting life is a miracle, I look around and its everywhere!

Today I am grateful for the blue skies and warming sun – albeit glimpses! Together they seem to make London a happier place.

Today I am grateful that when I close my eyes and reflect, my thoughts are currently happy and serene.

Today I am grateful to relax and watch the world go by, being mindful of what I can see, smell, hear and feel.

Today I am grateful I am not running away from my responsibilities. I am not escaping reality.

Today I am grateful to walk down the road with no rush or haste in my step. I’m at ease. It’s bliss.

Today I am grateful the song I’m listening to reminds me of Mont Roig, Catalunya. A special place for so many reasons.

Today I am grateful for the smile on my face, the peace in my mind and the love in my heart. I’ve experienced losing all three.

Today I am grateful for my girlfriend’s head resting on my shoulder.

Today I am grateful I am enjoying life.

Gratitude List 15/03/2019: Cramping cheeks and sore hands

Gratitude List 15/03/2019

Yesterday I went to a dance festival where my daughter was participating. It was a beautiful evening and I can reflect on it with an abundance of gratitude.

Today I am grateful for all the participants from all the schools. Each group were amazing. The performances were very artistic. It was clear everyone had practiced hard.

Today I am grateful for the people that organised the event. There were tens of schools which meant hundreds of kids and even more (big kids) in terms of over-excited passionate family members :).

Today I am grateful for music and dance. Music in particular never fails to lift my spirits. Mixed with dance just makes it all the better. I need to watch events like this more often.

Today I am grateful they didn’t allow any photography which meant I could completely enjoy the moment. The happiness within my created memories far outweigh anything a photo or video can bring.

Today I’m grateful for my fun, loving, happy, vibrant daughter. She is an absolute blessing and I am very proud to be her father. God I love her smile!

Today I’m grateful for my girlfriend who joined me at the festival. She is without a doubt the best step-mum I can possibly dream of. I saw the pride in her eyes last night, it was very humbling.

Today I am grateful for my cramping cheeks from the constant smile on my face and my sore hands from all the clapping.

Today I am grateful for the absolute joy on the faces of all the kids. They absolutely loved it. You could see how much it meant to them. I’m sure most were saying ‘that was the best day ever!’ I know my daughter was.

Today I am grateful for having my emotions back. At times, it was a bit overwhelming for me as I fought back the soppy dad tears.

Gratitude List 10/03/2019

Gratitude List 10/03/2019

A combination of recovery, unity and service, along with the guidance from powers greater than I, have given me a completely new life. I still have to pinch myself. As a result, I get to experience so many positive emotions.

Sometimes I do forget. I forget where I’ve come from and these emotions come and go without me acknowledging them. Without me appreciating them. With life going on around me, it’s only natural. But today I am aware of them. Aware I am experiencing emotions my illness used to deny me.

Today I am grateful for love.

Today I am grateful for serenity.

Today I am grateful for happiness.

Today I am grateful for fun.

Today I am grateful for kindness.

Today I am grateful for humility.

Today I am grateful for togetherness.

Today I am grateful for clear thinking.

Today I am grateful for amusement.

Today I am grateful for pride (of others).

Today I am grateful for gratefulness.

Gratitude List 07/03/2019: Myddleton House and Gardens, Enfield

Gratitude List 07/03/2019

Myddleton House and Gardens, Enfield

Especially I won’t be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful (and amazing)

I love nature more and more. Not just it’s beauty but the miracle of life that flows through it. I had an unexpected day off yesterday and despite the weather, spent most of it walking around some beautiful stately gardens.

Today I am grateful for having three stately homes within 15 minutes of where I live. I’ve known of one for years but never heard of the other two.

Today I am grateful for my dad, who did know about them and suggested we paid a visit.

Today I am grateful my dad joined my girlfriend, her mum and I. It was great to share the experience with people who also have a passion for nature.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful colours, even at this time of year.

Today I am grateful for the staff who work on these gardens everyday to keep them well looked after.

Today I am grateful for the botanists who take the time to fill these gardens with the most stunning and most peculiar of plants and trees. I was amazed at times.

Today I am grateful for the beautiful birds in the gardens. The Wren, the Tits, the Parakeets and especially the ‘all singing’ Robin.

Today I am grateful for the evolution of species. As a result we have an incredible array of shapes, sizes and colours, each as miraculous as the other.

Today I am grateful for my sight, smell, and hearing which allows me to enjoy nature and all it has to offer.

Today I am grateful I have a mind which appreciates these things.

Today I am grateful I have been absolutely surrounded by life. Everything, including me had that in common.

Gratitude List 20/02/2019: A blessed time

Gratitude List 20/02/2019

An end of an era at our home as we move to pastures new. 90% of our time here has coincided with my two years in recovery so there are many fond memories.

Today I am grateful for the introduction of gratitude at dinner where all four of us say three things we’re grateful for.

Today I am grateful for all the gathering we’ve had with friends and family. Filling the home with unity and togetherness

Today I am grateful for all the happy celebrations – birthdays, Christmases, New Years, Easters…

Today I am grateful for all the lessons I have learnt.

Today I am grateful for all the jokes and pranks shared between us. My son putting salt in my tea was one I remember well!

Today I am grateful for the growth of the relationship between my girlfriend and my children. A lovely little family.

Today I am grateful for the hope this time has given me for our new home.