Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Soul Food

A couple of weeks ago when I wrote this post about feeling as though I'm being pulled in too many different directions a friend sent me an email with some useful suggestions. One of them was to write a list of all the optional activities I take part in and decide how important they are, how much time they take, what I get from them and what would happen if I didn't do them. She then suggested I make a second list of the things I don't have enough time for.
 
 
I haven't physically made the lists yet but I have given them a lot of thought and the one thing I never seem to have enough time for is working in my garden. I always forget how much I enjoy it. But this afternoon I decided to make the most of the wonderful autumn sunshine and cleared out my vegetable beds.

 
And after two hours of clearing, digging and harvesting in the fresh air and sunshine, I realise that I do need to make more time to work in the garden. We have a large garden that takes a lot of work and usually doesn't look its best. Stewart cuts the grass but he'll be the first to admit that he doesn't know his Dandelions from his Delphiniums... and the less said about the Hollyhock/weed confusion the better. So if I want my garden to look good I need to put the hours in. So the first thing on my second list will be gardening... essential for my mental wellbeing on so many levels. (Do read Nancy's excellent post on mental well being)

 
And of course, with all the extra exercise I can indulge in guilt free cake eating... coffee and walnut this afternoon... which is just as well as baking is another activity that feeds my soul... as well as my stomach!

16 comments:

  1. Are those all your own pumpkins?! That list idea sounds like a most excellent thing to do.

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  2. The lists sound like a great idea. I'm a big fan of lists :) Helps me see past the confusion & worries in my head. It's a good thing baking is the other activity you enjoy because it's going to take some time to make all those pumpkin pies & pickled beets ;) Wendy x

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  3. I've done that many times in my life and I certainly recommend it. Wish it would work at the moment, I do say no to lots of things, but still there are other things of equal importance that need to be attended to. I suppose being on the internet is not one of them though, but then I would miss your inspiring cakes and pictures if I didn't take a peek.

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  4. I agree that time in the garden/allotment is so beneficial on so many levels. Sometimes it takes effort to get out there, but I always feel so much more alive afterwards.

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  5. Lovely homegrown vegs - you can't beat them. I find gardening very therapeutic, if exhausting, and an excellent stress-buster too. It's good to do a mental stock-take and sort out our priorities otherwise we feel as if we are on a treadmill with no escape. That coffee cake looks delicious - enjoy!

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  6. Those lists sound like a great way to focus the mind Gina and the endorphins released by your physical activity will make everything seem even clearer! Of course you could always combine the two 'loves' illustrated in this post and make a chocolate beetroot cake. Best of both worlds!!

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  7. Wow! If this is the harvest you get when you don't spend enough time in the garden Gina, I can't wait to see what you get when you do.I totally agree about time in the garden is food for the soul,a time to switch off from everything else.

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  8. Oooh I'm with Printed Material - just discovered chocolate and beetroot cake and it was delish. And I don't even like beetroot! (although I remember as a kid tolerating it being on my plate for the lovely colour it dyed the salad cream. Still didn't eat it though.

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  9. Ouch! Hubby didn't pull up your hollyhocks, did he!!
    I am absolutely with you on gardening Gina, I am by no means a gardener but I do love gardening and it's benefits are immense!
    Mind you, your garden has produced quite a bit by the looks of things without you putting in the hours!
    Sometimes at this time of year it's hard to make yourself go out into the garden but when you do go out it's hard to come back in again, nothing quite like fresh air in your lungs and dirt under your nails!
    Oh and the reward of a slice of cake. :)
    V xxx

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  10. I've undertaken similar exercises to your lists in the past and am sure I'd benefit from doing so again. Life definitely seems to be getting away from me too at the moment! And I don't have cake ... that must be remedied quickly. Yours looks yummy Gina :)

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  11. Making lists -- what great advice! The pros and cons lists are my favorite method of making decisions. Your cake looks awesome -- and did you know how healthy walnuts are? So, have more cake -- guilt free! ;-D

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  12. A hot cup of tea and lovely cake...perfect!

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  13. Oh I do love coffee and walnut cake, that looks delicious! Well deserved by the sounds of it too. :) There's nothing like being outside in the open, it's so healing to the mind I think.
    Jess x x

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  14. My absolute fave cake!! You tease!!

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  15. Thanks for the thoughtful post Gina, and passing on the ideas. The links on Nancy's blog, about mental wellbeing - are incredibly helpful - things we know about, but don't always put into action.I love working in the garden, and it always makes me feel relaxed and 'together' - but it's often at the bottom of the 'to do' list. So,thanks for the reminder, must give it more priority.

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  16. The beetroots look amazing, so does the cake, thanks for the link, what a great blog your friend has, such common sense.

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