Lichfield in Staffordshire is such a beautiful city. Surrounded by countryside with an olde English city centre and yet a mix of the modern blends in so well. Steeped in history and with a wonderful cathedral, Lichfield is a lovely place during all seasons of the year, to wander around, visit places of interest and stop off for a coffee or something stronger.
Just before Christmas I visited Lichfield to see the Christmas lights and visit the cathedral. It was a chilly, frosty evening which felt perfect for the season. As you know I’m all about the sparkle and there was sparkle everywhere.
I also visited my usual parish church before Christmas as the priest, who used to visit my parents very often, was saying a mass for them during Advent. The church looked so beautiful and again, a gorgeous Christmas tree with loads of sparkle.
And in keeping with the church at Christmas theme, I have a picture of the Christmas tree and Advent candles from the church I visit when I am over with himself to care for his Mom. As you can see, I packed in the Christmas sparkle during the Advent season.
Sometimes, on a Monday morning, with that first, fresh cup of coffee, you just need that positive, uplifting affirmation to get your day and week started.
You really are capable of doing anything you want. Yes it takes work, it takes planning, setting goals and achieving them but think about it. How much do you really want to achieve your dream? Follow your passion? Make a start, small steps lead to huge progress. You know the saying ‘You’ve got this’!!
Last October, himself arranged to go to London to work with and meet for the first time in person, not online, his work colleagues.
When he first mentioned the trip I invited myself. I haven’t visited London very often and I thought that this trip would cover a few things. We would get to spend some ‘us’ time together (or so I thought), it would do him the world of good to be out in the real world, in the office, meeting colleagues and living life and it would push me and my independence to do things alone.
Before the pandemic, you may already know, I was a full time carer for years for my parents who both passed in 2019. Then 2020 brought us the pandemic and in way we are all still coming to terms with life, a new way of living post Covid. For me, I’m learning to build a new life now that we are out of the various lockdowns and I need to push myself to try new things and explore and not stay within the comfort zone. Himself works from home as he is a full time carer for his Mother who has Vascular Dementia so this trip was a huge departure to normal life for him. We are ever thankful to his sister who took a week off work to come and look after her Mom and release himself for this trip.
Not your typical tourist photo’s of London, I do have a thing about buildings, views of buildings and buildings with trees around. I walked around forty miles during my free afternoons. Himself was gone to work first thing and I then worked from the hotel room until lunchtime and then I went out exploring. This was a massive step for me to do this, to leave the comfort of the hotel room and head out alone in our capital city. Isn’t it strange how we can scare ourselves about these things, get anxious about doing things alone, striding out into the busy London streets. I packed up my rucksack and off I went. We were positioned on the edge of the financial district as this was close to his office and therefore I was only ten minutes walk from London Bridge. That was my starting point. I walked around Tower Bridge, Hays Galleria, and St Katherine’s Dock. I walked through cobblestoned alleyways that led out to beautiful little courtyards and coffee shops.
The photo above is within Hays Galleria. I visited the Tate Modern and although some of it went right over my head, I found some exhibits really interesting. I had totally forgotten how into ‘Surrealism’ I was before I left school. I felt very cultured after my trip to the Tate. I also visited St Paul’s Cathedral. I didn’t get inside on this trip as the queues were long but I did have a walk around the grounds which were beautiful. Lots of photographers and their models within the grounds doing wedding photo shoots. Don’t you just love people watching?
Considering it was early October it was very warm in London. Apparently that’s down to the large buildings and skyscrapers. I absolutely loved my trip to the capital. I took the hop on/hop off bus around the city and have earmarked a number of places I want to visit in the future. Hopefully himself will be making another work trip there this year.
Well that’s the first week of the new month and the new year done. Did you carry out any of the tasks from your to do list? I admit I didn’t do many of mine. I do seem to suffer from a bad case of procrastination when it comes to doing anything towards forwarding my music career and I don’t know why. It’s always ‘I’ll just get the washing done and then I’ll sing’ or ‘I need to do the housework’ and even ‘I’ll just make a quick phone call’. I love my music, I feel so much better after a session singing. I have so many plans for this year on the back of what I managed to achieve last year and yet I still find myself procrastinating.
I have a huge sense of excitement for 2023, that this year I’m going to do well following my dream, that I can achieve more than last year, I’ve laid the groundwork and now it’s time to move up a step or two. What’s holding me back? I wish I knew. I’m all fired up for action and yet just can’t get into action. However, I’m not going to beat myself up about this. I will use last week as a kind of mop up after the Christmas holidays week which includes eating the final mince pies (I still have a box to go). I’m getting back into the healthy eating, starting the exercises off again and trying to not overwhelm my to do list. In the past I’ve planned to do so many things in a week or a month and the lists have just been unrealistic. There’s no need to put that much pressure on ourselves.
So here we go, new week, new goals, new lists and new opportunities. We all have a story to tell, make this week the week you really start to tell yours.
And all at once here we are again in January. A new year and a new month. I can’t comprehend at times how fast time is actually going. Last year passed by in a flash. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, or because I was very busy or because I was actually starting to feel like I was building a life again, that I was coming out of the other side of grief. Whatever the reason, the year passed very quickly and I’m very pleased that I achieved what I achieved. I pushed myself, I pushed my comfort zone, I pushed my limits and I achieved a goal. I had many moments of deliberation, lack of confidence, lack of self belief yet there was something inside me, driving me on. A passion to follow this path.
I don’t find January a depressing month, neither do I find it a flat month after all the excitement and build up to the festive season. I find January to be a clear and bright month. The evenings start to gain a little light, the new year sweeps into our lives like a new broom, prompting us to declutter, to clean up our act and our homes, to make way for new beginnings, new days and weeks ahead of us, goals to achieve, dreams to follow, places to visit and time to reflect on our lives and decide if we wish to change anything or not. It’s not all about resolutions at this time of year, I rarely kept to mine so I don’t make them anymore. January, especially the first week of January before we get back into routine, is a time of reflection, cleansing and thoughts. What are we bringing with us to 2023 and what have we decided to leave in 2022 because it doesn’t serve us anymore?
January is a beautiful month for appreciation of what we have. Long time readers and visitors to my blog know that I love my notes books and lists. I have a Go Girl journal for this year https://gogirlplanner.com/ (I bought mine from Amazon) and I love it. So much room to write things down and plan. I do a lot of work online and on my laptop and I still love to write things down. I suppose I’m a bit high tech/old school.
I hope you have a wonderful January and that this beautiful start to 2023 brings you hope for better days, pushes you to follow a dream or set a goal, invigorates you to make changes, or not, whatever you want your year to be like, it’s up to you. Whatever you do or don’t decide to do, remember, this is your year to sparkle.
It’s that time of year again. To look back and reflect on the year that has passed, the events that have taken place, the happy times, the sad times, the journeys made, the lessons taught and learned. It’s a lot to take in at times. Sometimes I don’t want to let go of the old year. You know what’s happened to you and you know you’ve made it through it all. The new year is unknown, we don’t know what lies ahead of us.
As you know, I love Monday, the fresh start to the week and how positive it feels. So imagine the sparkle of a brand new year and making plans, setting goals, working towards your dreams and making things happen. I’m proud of myself because of what I achieved in 2022 and for 2023 I’m going to push myself more, to move out of the comfort zone once again and follow those dreams of mine. Is there anything you would like to do, to achieve in 2023? Let me know in the comments.
Thank you so much for all your support in 2022, you have been amazing. By reading my blog, commenting, having a conversation with me, following me on my socials and by streaming and downloading my debut single has meant so much to me. Your support has helped me to continue on my journey, to not give up, to keep on following these new paths of mine.
I hope you have the most happy and sparkling 2023, full of love, happiness, good health and peace.
Isn’t this just the most fabulously positive Monday? St Stephen’s Day, Boxing Day, the day after the wonderful festivities of Christmas Day. The hustle and bustle is over, the gifts are unwrapped, the Christmas dinner eaten and no doubt lots of goodies too. Today is the day to relax, maybe go for a long walk to revive ourselves from the excitement and hard work of yesterday plus burn a few calories. To meet with friends for a festive drink, to sit and watch Christmas movies with family and friends or even to just be and have some alone time.
I do love Monday. I also love Boxing Day and wearing my Christmas PJ’s, snuggled up on the sofa, watching whatever I like on TV, having a mince pie, perhaps a mulled wine and just relaxing. Monday nerd will be in full swing when Monday and Boxing Day coincide. Christmas, whether you celebrate the religious side of it or not, is a truly wonderful time. For me, Christmas Eve, Christmas Carols and Midnight Mass are the most magical things of Christmas and my favourite day of the year.
Wishing you a very happy and merry Monday and a wonderful week ahead.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas. I hope it truly sparkles with love and happiness for you and your families. I know that Christmas can be a very sad time for us, remembering those we have lost and thinking of our memories of Christmas past. I hope the joy of this season touches your heart and that you can feel the love of those who have gone before us, around your tree at this beautiful time of year.
The final Monday before Christmas and it’s all systems go. The hustle and bustle of the holiday period is in full swing now and although the shops may be packed out, there are long queues everywhere and you may be frantically writing cards and wrapping gifts, isn’t it just lovely? We are doing all these things to send happiness and Christmas sparkle to those we love and care about.
It really is a wonderful time of year, the love, caring and sharing amongst us all is just fabulous. Remember it’s the little things that mean the most and a smile can make a difference to someone having a stressed out day.
I’ll definitely be having my two cups of coffee to get me moving today…and breathe…and eat mince pies!