These are crazy times indeed. There is no denying that.
Everyone is experiencing this differently too.
As we keep being told we are all in the same boat but, as I read recently, we are all facing different storms.
For some, this storm involves a bit of drizzle and a light wind.
Force 2* maybe rising to Force 4*.
Time potentially to have a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of normal life. No school runs, no clubs, activities, birthday parties, weekends away, packing a social life with family and friends into a weekend. This is time to switch off, slow down, reconnect with their kids and make sure the internet shopping gets booked in on time. People working from home and trying to juggle the home schooling, which is in no way an easy task, but also taking time out for the simple pleasures in life and look forward to the return of some level of normality at some point in the future.
For others it involves anything from Force 7/8* gales to Force 12*...
A week of ‘New Normal’ is nearly complete.
There have been big challenges for everyone, all over the planet.
Whoever and wherever we are, we have been affected by this worldwide pandemic.
We have many friends and colleagues who are small to medium business owners: retail, cafes, restaurant owners and freelancers/self employed who have had to face the reality of a very different world this week. Closing businesses, having to say goodbye to their hard built teams and feeling lost as to when things will change for the better.
Work has dried up for everyone. Life has been put on pause.
Meanwhile, an even bigger part of our lives is filled with over stretched and incredibly worried front line medical workers. Anaesthetists, GP’s, other hospital doctors, nurses, care workers. Lifelong friends and close relatives who are now putting their own lives and safety on the line for the rest of us.
To think a month ago it was life very much Operation Normal is...
HOW Girls launched in June 2019: a block of 6 weeks this involved a 2 hour evening session at Surfside Cafe on Langland Beach. Freelance sessions were delivered weekly Yoga, Beach Club Fit, Trust Games, Photography and one week we had an ocean swim, built a fire and had marshmallows. Bliss.
How did it work?
Each session started with a round circle chat each week in line with our core values. ‘If you were an animal what would you be and why?’ ‘How would others describe you?’ this was always a lovely way to start the session. During the course we invited some young local role models to come along and help out. Each week we did a beach clean and this lead to discussing plastic pollution and the importance for us to pick up as well as thinking about our useage. This was an angle we hadn’t expected the girls to take to so well. They continue to beach clean everytime they visit with their families now!
Scrapbooking and journalling was a big highlight...
What a week it has been. This is a long one. Sorry.
Maybe it is because we are away in Canada at the moment and trying to get home.
Maybe it is because we are doctors.
Maybe it is because we home school and people aren’t sure how to go about that.
Or probably it is a combination of all of the above but, this week I have had a LOT of questions about this current situation and what I think.
It has been an emotional rollercoaster for us all. What is happening in terms of advice and approach here in Canada is different to what is happening in the UK. We have friends in Hong Kong and Singapore who have already gone through this and see it from another angle and we have a lot of information coming to us as well as everything we are reading.
I have to confess to reading too much.
Over load can induces anxiety in all of us.
Partly this has been for practical reasons. We are not due home for 3 wks but questions like should we or should we not come...
The HOW People is the product of many a chat over coffee, wine, walking the dogs, playing with the kids and sitting putting the world to right on the beach.
Jo Watkins and Polly Crook have known each other for over 15 years since Jo and her then boyfriend, and now husband, Davey rented a house from Polly’s parents when they first moved to Mumbles. Polly, who is 10 years younger that Jo, was 18 yrs old and going off to University and Jo and Dave had moved to Mumbles to settle down, get married and have a family. They got on well, had a lot of fun but their lives were very different at that stage. Fast forward 10 years and a sad series of family events brought them back in touch and the rest is history.
The last 5 years they have spent a lot of time together. Polly has been a big influence on Jo and Dave’s eldest daughter, mini Polly and they have other children of similar ages. They are both serial organisers, planners and facilitators and love nothing more than...
Our first HOW Girls pilot scheme launched in Mumbles, South Wales in June 2019. A block of 6 weeks this involved a 2 hour evening session at Surfside Cafe on Langland Beach.
A freelance session was delivered weekly Yoga, Beach Club Fit, Trust Games, Photography and one week we had an ocean swim and built a fire. We informally had a round circle chat each week in line with our core values. ‘If you were an animal what would you be and why?’ ‘How would others describe you?’ this was always a lovely way to start the session. During the course we invited some young local role models to come along and help out. Each week we did a beach clean and this lead to discussing plastic pollution and the importance for us to pick up as well as thinking about our useage. This was an angle we hadn’t expected the girls to take to so well. They continue to beach clean everytime they visit with their families now!
Scrapbooking was a big highlight of the course. Each week we...
In September we had our first HOW Fundraiser Film night at Cinema and Co to launch our winter film nights and raise money for the two charities we support, Surfability and Valley Kids.
We have had a few HOW girls volunteer with Surfability following HOW Sessions and they have loved this experience. Surfing with disabled children and adults and children with learning difficulties. Valley Kids is giving a huge amount to kids who have nothing and our residential is held at a Valley Kids property so we have chosen to support them with any fundraising we do.
We raised an an amazing £1400 from ticket sales and raffle. Some of the HOW Girls also made cakes and jewellery that they sold during the evening. Our total fundraising over the year has led to us presenting both charities with cheques for £816 each.
Our film was Vitamin Sea by Cal Major documenting her record breaking journey on Stand Up Paddle Board from Land's End to John O'Groats on a mission to highlight all...
This time last year (2/2/19) we were at the 'sitting around a kitchen table and brainstorming' stage of business.
Lots of coffee and lots of post it notes.
We are lucky enough to have some brilliant business and creative minds around us who happily gave us a bit of time for a chat to help us come up with a plan. Not everyone was convinced. There was a lot we wanted to do. What are we? What are we offering peoeple? What is the priority? Lots to think about and lots to tweak.
All good start ups take an element of planning but also an element of just doing, maybe before it is all perfectly planned out but without doing you never know.
'Better done than perfect'
So we did some doing. Now we are hurling ourselves into 2020 for some bigger and better doing and delivering. Join us on our journey!
2019 Pilot year in Mumbles:
HOW Girls 6 wk course (Year 5/6)
HOW Epic Adventure Days (Year 7)
HOW Fundraiser Film Night
HOW Inspire Mumbles...