Busy, busy being creative..!

Thursday 11 February 2016

Start at the Start

OK. So yesterday I committed to spending the next 40 days learning how to do a handstand and not giving up. Guess what, this morning some further ideas for a book I’m working on started jumping around my mind for my attention and the handstand commitment was momentarily forgotten. 

Do you also suffer from idea-i-tous? Sounds painful I know. It’s an interesting condition. One where your mind has so many ideas all at once you can’t decide which one to focus on, so more often than not it all feels waaaaay too overwhelming and none of the ideas get let out of your mind and if some do they only get as far as a hastily scribbled note on a scrap of paper. 

As I’m sure you’ve deduced by now this is how my mind works. 

So how am I going to see this 40 day challenge through?

I’m going to Start at the Start

Starting with what I know already. What resources I have, considering what equipment I need and who might be able to help me.

I have the emails for the 28 day challenge I signed up to and last night I tweeted Chris to let him know I was now ready and committed. He responded with some encouraging words and offer of support as an when I need it. Very kind of him.

Having posted about this on Facebook a friend has connected me with a friend of theirs called Ben who actually runs handstand courses in Bristol. He seems really lovely and helpful. Until last night I didn’t even know you could do such a course in Bristol and that Handstands or Handbalancers as they are called, is the new thing. The latest fitness crazy apparently. 


I have to be honest though. The idea of going to a class and learning in a public space does make me feel rather nervous. I’ve not signed up…yet…The question that comes to mind though when I consider this reaction is – How serious am I really about doing this? Surely going to a class would be a good idea regardless of if I make a tit of myself or not? 

Yes good question!

Whilst I build up to actually taking that step there is PLENTY I can be doing each day at home. 

So far I have:
  1. Downloaded the book about how to do a handstand by Chris Salvato and started to read it
  2. Tweeted Chris (as mentioned above) and emailed him outlining my goals
  3. Put all the emails related to the handstand challenge in a folder in my email called – Handstand Challenge. (Note to self: Am I actually getting organised or faffing about?)
  4. Updated the free handstand progress chart that comes with the course with the dates I’m learning and printed it out. I’d much rather see it stuck on a wall than on my computer as it can still be hidden away in a file. I’ve also dug out some coloured stars to stick on said chart each time I complete my daily 5 mins or more on my handstand practice. Where to put this? Decided on my fridge door. So I’ll see it A LOT!
  5. Been thinking about when I can actually do the training. I work three mornings a week with an early start so mornings on those days are out. That means afternoons when I get back home will be better. Before or after lunch? After I think. Then on the other days I’m not working I’ll aim to do my training first thing. Before I do anything else.  Yes I’m happy with that.
  6. What next? Well to get my mat out...

What have you decided to commit to doing for the next 40 days? Juggling? Going to bed rather than falling asleep on the sofa? Eating breakfast. It can be a really small thing.

If you can’t decide – jot down the top THREE that you are considering and just pick ONE.

Then think about where you are with this. Have you tried in the past but not stuck with it? (so you’ll already have some experience) are you starting from complete zero? 

What resources do you already have? What do you need? Be careful with this one. I could for example say I can’t possibly start my handstand training until I’ve a complete lycra fitness outfit to wear and some new trainers, and then it will be – oh, I’ll have to go shopping to get that and can’t go till next week and then I get to the shop and try stuff on and think oh but I’m not quite the right shape for that yet – I’ll wait till I’m fitter to get that….Get where I’m going with this? That would mean I’d have lost at least a week’s worth of handstand practice when all I need be doing is downward dog and some stretches barefoot for 5 mins a day at first. 

Only get new resources if you are 100% sure that you can’t do your thing without them – OK?


Bye for now


Ps – have you checked out the Creative Adventure to Lundy Island yet? Take a peek

my 'reward' stars!

Wednesday 10 February 2016

For 40 days I’m giving up ‘Giving Up’

A recent conversation with the lovely Jessy of Jessography prompted these words about giving up. We were talking about behaviours and as it was Pancake Day the concept of giving something up for Lent came up. I’ve never really given up anything for Lent before. Rather than giving up say sugar, meat, complaining or smoking which seem to be the most popular, I’m giving up a behaviour. 

That behaviour is Giving Up to soon. Quitting. Throwing in the towel before I’ve really got past the starting blocks, stopping something after only three sessions because I'm bored. Not FULLY committing to what I was doing (or said I was going to do from the outset...I’m sure you get the idea. Sticking, you know like a stamp sticks to an envelope.

I'm interested - are you a giver upper to sooner? Or are you a keeping on keeping on no matter what-er until I’ve done it kind of person? Or somewhere in the middle?

Don’t get me wrong, I can stick and see things through but I find somethings like learning to handstand or play the guitar difficult and I am more prone to giving up too easily.

As a result of this conversation with Jessy, I’m challenging myself for 40 days to ‘Not give up’ on something. And that something is Handstands.

Handstands? Pha? Is she serious…???

Yes I am.

You see ‘Do a Handstand’ is no.12 on my 40/40 project list and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for months but as yet have not actually taken any real action on.

I signed up to Chris Salvato’s 28 day Handstand challenge on the 03 December 2014. DECEMBER 2014!! It’s now February 2016!! The daily emails arrived. I looked at three of them, then just let them pile up. I wasn’t really committed. I still have the emails though...

After I completed my epic Brecons 2 Morwenstow Adventure, doing a handstand was the next goal…but that hasn’t happened as I’ve stopped training with Team Breakthrough in Bath. It just went back to being one thing on my 40/40 list to do.

Now and again I’ll watch a you tube video of ‘How to do a handstand’ but my hands haven’t touched the floor.

I even went to see a short film at the Adventure Film Festival of a chap doing a handstand on the top of a tower on the Isle of Man to inspire me to get on with it…but that was weeks ago and yet again I’ve not started. It was Too Hard.

Today I’m committing to spending the next 40 days of lent on not giving up learning how to do a free standing handstand.

This is a challenge for me as a result of the stroke I had when I was 12, my left leg feels heavier and I have much less control over it. Sometimes it even seems to have a mind of its own!

Actually, I think part of not getting further with this is that old pal fear. Fear I’ll hurt myself.  I’m not as light and flexible as I was when I was 12 (the last time I actually did a handstand) I don’t want to end up in a crumpled heap having done myself a mischief that's for sure. 

This means that in my mind I’m struggling to actually believe I can do this and to see myself doing a handstand. Considering this, I’m going to combine the daily handstand activity/exercises with visualisations and instilling a belief that I CAN DO A HANDSTAND and see where I get to in 40 days. 

Yep you spotted that - this will allow me 12 days longer than the 28 day challenge created by Chris Salvato and possibly/hopefully more achievable for me. Will just have to see.

My ultimate goal is to do a handstand at the top of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales – which I’ll be climbing in August (no. 31 on the 40/40 list)Research shows that if you stick at something continuously for a period of between 21-30 days it is more likely to become a habit. Now, I just have to DO IT! (or JFDI right).

Here we go…

How about you – is there a behaviour you could benefit from giving up for 40 days? 
What would it be? Maybe going to bed too late, eating badly, being too hard on yourself?

I'd love to hear from you!

If I can help you by coaching you through these next 40 days with your own challenge – let me know ;-)

Pip Pip!



Monday 8 February 2016

Audio books, knitting & the joy of new to me discoveries

I’ve recently discovered a love of audio books.

Last year I re-started knitting. First some small hats for innocent to get me started and then on to a bigger project. A Fox Scarf for a Christmas present.

I discovered that I wasn’t actually able to knit AND watch TV at the same time as I needed to keep my eyes on the knitting! I wonder if I'll get to a point of being able to knit and chat and watch TV at the same time? (doubtful!)

Having discovered I was able to borrow audio books for free from the library - downloaded direct to my laptop I thought I’d give it a try. I'm a big fan of the library.
Ooh it’s rather brilliant! (I’m sure some of you are already aware of this treat and have been enjoying this for years!) For me, I’ve discovered a new joyful activity.  

I’ve listened to a few now and my current favourite is The To Do List by Mike Gayle. Being a list lover and also a fan of Danny Wallace’s Yes Man, this book appealed to me. I loved it, so much so I even tweeted Mike Gayle to tell him (love twitter for this kind of thing!)

I liked the fact it was about those ordinary jobs that tend to get put off. Those little niggly jobs that are on our minds but never seem to get done? Not the BIG lists (like the 40/40 list or having a bucket list) things like – getting that picture framed that was bought on holiday a few years ago or painting that piece of furniture picked up at the charity shop….you get the idea? If you've not read it - or listened to it - I think you might enjoy it. ;-)

Actually this isn’t a post just about that particular book but more about the joy of ‘new to me’ discoveries. What are your 'new to me' discoveries?

Are you an audio-book lover? Have you discovered a new joyful activity recently? Or re-discovered a love of something?

Love to hear from you



ps I've been listening to an audio book this morning as I work on my Sketchbook project

The fox scarf knitted whilst listening to an audio book! ;-)

Thursday 4 February 2016

Wish List

Hi! Hi! OK Yes I know I have my 40/40 project list that I'm working my way through....However, this is a different kind of list. This is a wish list of other adventurers I'd like to go on at some point. 

I'll add to it as and when and really its an open invitation to be involved with some of them if you'd like to...

1. Stay in all the Landmark Trust buildings in the UK

Reason: The fascinating buildings and their stories. So far I've stayed in one on Lundy Island in 2015 when I took a fabulous group of ladies to Lundy for a Creative Adventure. 

We stayed in the Old Light Upper and from that moment I was hooked! I'd actually come across an article about the Landmark Trust years ago in a magazine that I'd cut out and kept. What a fantastic adventure that was! I'm going again this year if you'd like to join me? see Lundy 2016


2. Visit and stay on (if possible) all the islands around the UK

Reason: I have a bit of a thing about islands! I think its partly due to all the Famous Five books I read as a child (erm and as an adult!) And when I say Islands I don't mean all the little bits of rock jutting out of the sea willy nilly and only big enough for one person to perch on whilst standing on one leg. I mean 'Island' as defined by the British government in 1861 when they set out the parameters for classifying an island. It was decided that if it was inhabited, the size was immaterial. However, if it was uninhabited, it had to be "the summer's pasturage of at least one sheep" - which is about two acres. 

I've yet to establish an exact list of which these islands are - that will be my next task. 

So far I've been to (and stayed on) The Isle of Wight, Lundy Island and Burgh Island. So three down out of a possible thousand.....!

3. Stay in all the Tree houses in the UK (and then the world?) Let's start with the UK!

On the Canopy and Stars website there appears to be 23 tree houses in the UK you can stay over night in. Are there more to be stayed in?

Also, isn't there a restaurant in a Tree house somewhere?

Reason: I love tree houses. I stayed in one when I was in Thailand in 2014 and at that moment had a desire to stay in lots more (and of course have my own at some point!) Well the desire to stay in a Tree house was there way before I stayed at the one in Thailand - that's what got me into the tree house in the first place!
Plus who wouldn't want to stay in lots of tree houses? I'm seeing this as 'research' for my ultimate dream of having my own woodland which has tree houses galore and a central meeting/healing hub where lots of exciting and creative things happen. It is also a place where people who are suffering from depression can come to experience the benefits of being in a creative and natural place. 

4. Walk The Way of The Gull

Reason: After my Brecons 2 Morwenstow adventure last year I discovered how much I love walking and how much it actually helps my mobility. Yes, my knees did hurt a fair bit with all those darn steps and I did get a few blisters. BUT my hip pain went! As you may know I had a Brain Hemorrhage when I was 12 which is a form of stroke. As a result I was paralysed down my left hand side and had to learn to walk again. I still have a limp and reduced mobility which is helped with the aid of a STIMuSTEP implant. 

So I'd love to do more physical challenges. (I did do a 350 mile bike ride in 2006 with a specially adapted bike. Well, the amazing chaps in the workshop where I worked at the time made me a special pedal. Without that I wouldn't have been able to completed the bike ride). Heck that'll be 10 years ago this year! 

So yes more of that kind of thing! Climb Machu Picchu is also 'on my list'

5. Drive Henry my Nissan Figaro back to Japan

Now then this might be one of those adventures that never happens. (esp having done some research into it and being put off by what I read about taking cars on the Tran Siberian Railway...) but with a team of the right people, a film crew, funding...this would be totally do able. The Figaro celebrates being 25 this year...

Reason: A few years ago, on my way to work one morning I was stuck in traffic and I started to wonder 'what's the furthest a Figaro has ever driven? What would it be like to drive Henry home? as in to Japan???

The idea was planted and it keeps popping up now and again. If you are reading this and thinking - heck yes that sounds cool I'd like to do that too, then message me. With a team (and some funding) I reckon its doable! ;-)

As you can see these aren't all going to happen this year kind of adventures. I guess they could be done in a year if I wanted to - but this isn't about the speed in which these are done. It's going to be more about getting folks involved to join me on these and to be apart of them in some way. Folks like you. 

Hmmm now then I could run a Creative Adventure on each Island I want to visit/stay on - that would be fun, or see if I could stay at all the Landmark Trust places in one year (late last night the idea crossed my mind about'How do-able would it be to start at the top - i.e Scotland and walk between each Landmark Trust property all the way down to the bottom which would be the Nicolle Tower in Jersey....which would also be a tick in the 'stay on an island' box....This would take a rather long time...How long though I wonder?

OR....well there are lots of different ways to do these wish list items....(as there is with pretty much anything we approach or decide to do. There is always more than one option)

These are a few things that have been buzzing around my head that I wanted to get down on paper and 'out there.' I'm sure you know as well as I do that as soon as you start talking about something you'd like to do, things start happening to help 'make it so'...

So that's me, for now, how about you? What's on your wish list? 

Bye for now!


04 Feb 2016

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Lundy 2016 – Your invitation to join the adventure!

This June I’ll be returning to the magical Lundy Island to run another Creative Adventure and this is your invitation to join me.

After the success of last years I honestly did hesitate slightly in running it again as I knew it would be a different experience. Those pesky ‘What ifs’ were getting in the way (I’m not immune to these, it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference) I stopped and I asked myself ONE question ‘how would I feel at the end of 2016 if I hadn’t run it? There was my answer. YES Of COURSE I‘d love to do it again and take four ladies with me! How can I not?

Will one of those ladies be you? 

Note: Chaps I’m sorry. As the Lighthouse is on a shared room basis this trip is a ladies only affair. If you’d be interested in future trips – please let me know so I can consider different places to stay.

How does spending two nights in a lighthouse on a small island off the coast of Devon, exploring, creating, laughing, being inspired, having time to yourself with no distractions and adventuring with like minded people sound to you? You may also glimpse some Puffins…

As you may know I have a love of Famous Five books (and Nancy Drew) so think of this as a Famous Five style Adventure (can’t promise any mad professors mind!) 

If by this point you are jumping about and clapping your hands then you’ll know this is right for you. 

If a part of you is quietly saying YES – oh I’d LOVE to do this ….but…I’m not creative enough….It’s a bit out of my comfort zone…I’m not sure I’d like sharing a room…stop for a moment and listen to the Yes. Does that little spark need listening to this time? You’ll know.

You don’t need any drawing skills or previous artistic experience. This trip isn’t about learning to draw. We’ll of course be doing fun creative explorations – like doodling (if you’ve done any of my courses you’ll have a feel for how I work already) it’s totally about experimenting, exploring, enjoying the environment (it's very different to the mainland) and the company of like-minded people in a small friendly and supported group. Having time to figure some stuff out in a creative way!

What’s included?

  • Two nights accommodation in a shared room in the Old Lighthouse Upper (glorious sea views)
  • Return Boat ticket on board the MS Oldneburg (sailing will either be from Ilfracombe or Bideford – I’ll know nearer the time)
  • Art materials, paper and anything else required for our creative adventures
  • 6 Creative Adventures spread out over the three days (some as a group some individual)
  • Two 45 mins private coaching sessions* with me. (valued at £100)
  • Food. Whilst at the self-catering accommodation will be supplied, prepared and joyfully cooked by me. It will be local, fresh & organic (where possible) and meat free (note: Option to eat at the fabulous local Tavern will be at your own cost)
  • Tea, coffee, fruit juices and some celebratory bubbles....!
  • Fun!
  • Time to stretch yourself – mentally and if you wish physically. The island is surprisingly big when you walk around it.
Being on Lundy gives you the opportunity to change the lens of how you are looking at your life. Use it as a time for a Life Audit, as a time for fresh inspiration, as a time to pause and consider which direction you want to take next. How often do you give yourself this kind of time, freedom and support to do just that? Plus of course it'll be Fun with a capital F!! Did I mention there'd be Ginger Beer?

*Coaching Sessions - One will be whist we are on the island and one as a follow up within 6 months of the trip.

Dates: June 21-23 2016

How much for this Creative Adventure?  

The total cost for this Creative Adventure is £395 

As there are only four places available a £100 deposit will secure your place. 
Payment is by bank transfer – so if you’d like to secure your place today please let me know and I’ll send you the booking details.

If you are thinking YES but have some questions – please drop me a line! 

I’m already excited and looking forward to Lundy and this year’s Creative Adventure! 

Toot Toot!

Love & Exploration


Here are some photos from last year’s trip and if you’d like to read about that adventure please go here – Five Go To Lundy. 

Here’s what the 2015 'Puffineers*'  had to say about the Adventure:

"Morwhenna inspires with brilliant adventurers and gives opportunities to really question yourself in a fun, safe group of supportive fellow artists & puffineers! Had the best fun."
Rhian Wyn Harrison, Illustrator


"A delightful combination of holiday, inspiration, freedom and creative fun with a lasting impact of new directions and happy memories. I would do it again tomorrow!"
Alison Stephenson, Costumier


"I came needing space to rediscover me – needing to re-connect with my first love, photography. Needing to get some clarity on my work as an artist and on balancing aspects of my life and integrating them. 
And thanks to The Creative Adventurer and the magic of Lundy, I have!"
Lisa Tregenza, Textile Artist


"Windy, Wild, Friendly, Sheep. Had some lovely Creative Adventurers in our brief time here. Hoping to spy some puffins today and adventure some more!" 
Justina Hart, Novelist & Poet

- a person who goes looking for puffins and creative adventures on Lundy Island.

Please note – I can’t guarantee we’ll arrive by helicopter this time!  Sorry!