Life Sparkles ✨

Still Running…

Truth.

Well, five weeks in and I’m still motivated and in the mindset to get fitter, eat healthier and tone up. I’m impressed with myself, I wasn’t sure when I started this journey that I wouldn’t have slipped up by now. But I’m still going strong. That Summer trip to Ibiza is still the carrot dangling in front of me and wanting to fit back into my Summer clothes, back into my jeans and also get some confidence back to push myself out of the comfort zone I have settled back into and get myself out there singing. 2022 is the year of making it happen, that’s what I said at the start of the year and I’m still aiming to do this.

My energy has increased so much already it’s untrue. I alternate my workouts from a walk around the block, Couch 25K (C25K) and if the weather is really bad outside, I do a home workout with Lucy Wyndham Read https://www.youtube.com/user/LWRFitnessChannel/featured Sometimes it is a real chore to push myself outside, especially in this very cold wintery weather but I always feel so much better once I return home. I have also kept to my dry February, no Prosecco and strangely I haven’t missed my Friday night tipple at all.

Wednesday afternoon has become batch cooking afternoon whilst I listen to podcasts. It has taken some weeks but I have really got into this routine of cooking from scratch using fresh vegetables, herbs and spices. I don’t really make a plan of what I’m going to cook, I just go with whatever I have in and as I love pasta, I usually make some kind of pasta bake. A recipe I found on Instagram and has become a weekly staple for me is for banana, oat and peanut butter bakes. I find with these that I can have one with a cuppa mid afternoon and I’m not looking for snacks and treats to fill me up.

Banana, Oats and Peanut Butter Bakes.

Very easy to make; 3 bananas mashed up, add 40g of peanut butter and mix well, then add 100g of porridge oats and again mix well. Place in a baking tin and bake for 30 minutes on Gas mark 4, Electric 180 c. I find cutting into squares when just out of the oven is easiest. Leave to cool and then place in an airtight container. They stay fresh for about four days. I have adapted the recipe a little over the weeks, I have added cinnamon and also some chocolate sprinkles to the top. Himself doesn’t like them as they aren’t sweet enough but for a semi healthy bite they serve their purpose.

Post Run Selfie

As I write this post, I’m midway through week four of C25K and at times puffing my way around. When there is a lot of traffic or people around I just remind myself of the quote about lapping everyone on the couch or I visualise myself running on the promenade by the ocean in the warm sunshine. That gives me a real boost to keep going. I have my daily cappuccino and have managed to stay away from chocolate, cakes and biscuits. The season of Lent starts this week on March 2nd and I would have given those particular items up anyway so I’ll just continue without them for now. It would be totally unrealistic for me to say that I will never eat cake or chocolate again, of course I will, I love chocolate. And as for never drinking Prosecco again? Never going to happen! For now my focus is on getting fitter and healthier, powering my body to do what I want to do.

Good Health Mantra

I feel this health and fitness boost is another part of me emerging from loss, emerging into the new me and embracing that I need to have a certain level of fitness to carry out and enjoy the career in music that I have chosen to follow. I’m also mindful that I am getting older and that we don’t know how long we have here on earth. I want to do what I can to keep myself healthy, fit and able to live life to the fullest for as long as I can. Starting new careers, new fitness regimes and discovering who you are isn’t just for younger people, it’s for all people and it’s never too late to start. If I can do it then so can you. I truly believe if you really want to do something, you’ll do it. Just start, baby steps if you want to, that first step is sometimes the hardest but so worth it. Don’t give up.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles ✨

And she’s off again…

Yes, I grabbed another opportunity to head for a little Lanzarote sunshine recently to celebrate my cousin’s 60th birthday. It was a short trip, just four nights and we packed a lot into our three full days together. There were nine of us altogether for the birthday celebrations. Three of us had travelled for the four night break, the rest were out there for varying times between a week, a fortnight or six weeks (how lovely).

The sun was setting as we came into land in Arrecife.

Costa Teguise is known as quite the foodie resort these days and I have to say, in my limited experience of visiting here, (this was my third visit), there is a vast array of restaurants of every style within the area. I have not had one bad meal so far and this visit was no exception. Thursday evening we visited El Bocadito https://www.instagram.com/tabernaelbocadito/ a typical Spanish restaurant and when you see somewhere frequented by the locals and a waiting list to be seated, you know the food is good. Lanzarote was on level three covid restrictions when we were there and therefore mask wearing outside was mandatory as was no more than six people to a table. All the restaurants were very accommodating ensuring that our tables were close enough together to converse whilst also being within social distancing guidelines.

This restaurant accommodates all food tastes and is very much a meat eaters dream. There are huge display cabinets containing award winning cuts of meat and you can watch your steaks or burgers being cooked on the grill. I am not a meat eater so I chose the Cod Steak with Mash which was just delicious. I also tried the Polvita for dessert. Polvita is a thick caramel sponge, drizzled with caramel sauce, chopped meringue and topped with cream and more caramel sauce. It’s a surprisingly light dessert and moreish. It’s a lovely restaurant, very friendly staff and gorgeous food.

Friday was my cousins birthday and the celebrations commenced at 11 am with eight of us going into the sea. My cousin has always gone into the sea at all times of the year and she really wanted to do this on her birthday. Surprisingly it wasn’t as ice cold as we expected however it was quite rough on that day so we all felt like we had been exfoliated once we got out. Main meal of the day was at 1:30 pm and it was a long, leisurely lunch of homemade paellas. One fish paella and one meat paella served with homemade warm bread rolls and Canarian wine. We ate at El Guachinche de Luis https://www.instagram.com/elguachinchedeluis/ and Luis does all the cooking himself. Absolutely delicious food and excellent service. Luis is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch and also has a takeaway service. Luis was close to closing his lovely restaurant due to the lack of trade from tourists over the last two years so it was wonderful to see the restaurant full and bustling with trade once again.

After our amazing lunch we returned to the house and had birthday cake with champagne. Oh wow the cake, I know it looks in the photo like it is a very heavy, stodgy kind of chocolate cake but it was quite the opposite. Light chocolate sponge with light chocolate cream layers alternating with a semi sweet layer of cherries. Think a variation of Black Forest Gateaux and you’ll get the picture. Talk about a lifetime on the hips and well worth every mouthful.

Birthday Cake

In the evening we visited a wonderful Italian/Spanish wine bar called Eat Italian. This really is a hidden gem of a wine bar serving the most delicious tapas and the ladies that run it have extensive knowledge of wine and stock quite an array of wines, spirits and liquors. Think chilled out music, warm breeze evenings, plentiful tapas and delightful wines all served with huge smiles and time to stop and talk. We had a fabulous night there and my cousin was joined by a number of ex-pat friends made on her many trips to Lanzarote over the years.

It’s safe to say that we were all a little delicate on the Saturday morning and we had a very quiet, relaxed day. We had no plans except to sit in the sunshine, go for a walk, have a coffee and chat. Perfect. The sea was a lot calmer on Saturday so we did have a paddle.

Saturday night was my final night of the trip and we ate at Restaurante La Chimenea https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g659633-d3374635-Reviews-or320-Restaurante_La_Chimenea-Costa_Teguise_Lanzarote_Canary_Islands.html None of us had ever eaten there before and we all really enjoyed our meals. We would visit there again for dinner, once again, beautiful food, friendly staff and great service.

Chicken la Chimenea

I am so glad that I decided to grab this opportunity to spend the time with my cousins celebrating a special birthday in Lanzarote. This trip did take place just before I commenced my healthy eating and fitness plan, hence the desserts, chocolate cake and wine consumption. Life is for living and if the chance comes along to do something, especially with family you love, grab it.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles ✨

Irish Road Trip – The Next Steps

Photo by Tatiana on Pexels.com

So, following on from part one, part two of my Irish road trip was full of time spent with wonderful people, the open roads, country music, good food and travelling through towns and villages I last visited with my parents. It was nostalgic, happy, sad and just wonderful to be there again. I feel it was meant to be that I made this trip alone to experience the different emotions and process them. To have my quiet reflective times, to watch the world go by and to jump right in and participate when I was ready.

Night one of my stay was spent in Ashbourne in Co Meath. One of the most lovely friendships forged online during lockdown was via Instagram with my friend Sinead and so I took the opportunity of being over in Ireland to be in her neck of the woods. We had a wonderful girls night having dinner in a gorgeous restaurant named Fifty-Fifty in Ashbourne and then back to our hotel where we sat up half the night talking.

After breakfast the next morning and after saying goodbye to Sinead, the next stop was the trip to Knock for which I have a separate blog post https://atouchofirishsparkle.com/2022/01/10/an-irish-road-trip-knock/ Whilst I was staying in Knock I had the opportunity to visit some family and enjoy some wonderful family time with cousins I hadn’t seen in too long a time. Such beautiful days. Also I must mention the fabulous Drum House B & B which is where I stayed in Knock. I can’t recommend it enough, definitely a 5* The house was decorated for Christmas and it was stunning. Absolutely outstanding breakfast, take you through the day. John and Donogh cannot do enough for you to ensure that your stay is comfortable and that you have all you need. I highly recommend a stay here.

After my few days in Knock I travelled to Athlone in the Midlands of Ireland. In my younger years I spent a lot of time in Athlone as my Dad was working in the area. There were also family living in the area on the banks of the River Shannon who are no longer with us so this was also a nostalgic trip in a way and also a town of discovery. Some areas remain the same and some are brand new like the various shopping malls all sparkling with the Christmas decorations. At times it can be a little lonely travelling alone and at times it felt quite healing for me. I felt strong, independent and sometimes, yes, a little vulnerable.

Whilst in Athlone I met up with another beautiful lady who has become a friend and we also met on Instagram. Corrina has a gorgeous boutique in the town and had to work extremely hard during the lockdowns to stay afloat and stay afloat she did with her enthusiasm, risk taking and feeling the fear and doing it anyway approach. I visited the boutique and had a good mooch around, the clothes and accessories are just fabulous. Corrina and I had a lovely evening out to dinner and as with Sinead, we could still be there talking. You hear such negative things about social media and yet here I was with two wonderful women as friends from Instagram.

The final leg of the trip was down to Abbeyleix in Co Laois where I met up with two more cousins. My cousin Marji had booked us in for a girls night at the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel and yes, there was prosecco involved. Her brother joined us for dinner and we had a great night talking about old times and my many holidays with them in Bansha, Co Tipperary. Marji and I would be put the other end of the house from everyone else at night as we really would be up all night talking, singing, dancing and giggling and do you know what, we haven’t changed a bit. Every time we meet it’s like we were together a week ago.

As you can see I made good use of my week in Ireland and I’m so proud of myself for making the trip, navigating around, visiting friends and family and having that feeling of independence and empowerment. Every now and again I get an insight to the gifts my parents gave me and wonder why I never realised before that they had raised a strong, independent woman who could stand on her own two feet even whilst experiencing the waves of grief and sadness that can totally overwhelm you. We may have one life yet it’s only now I am realising that within this one life we can live so many different roles, take different paths, make difference decisions and we change and transition and yet stay the same in many ways. Deep, I know!

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Here I go again…

As usual I’m on my get healthier for the new year, I’m as regular as clockwork on this one. This year however is the first time I have weighed in at two stone over what was my usual weight, TWO STONE!!! 28 LBS!!! I’ve gone way beyond my clothes being a little tight, they just don’t fit at all. Something else I have noticed is that I feel sluggish in myself and running upstairs gets me out of breath. Dancing in the kitchen also puffs me out. Now I’m well aware that as we get older we are not going to be as fit as we were in our twenties, thirties or even forties but there is no reason that we cannot be as fit and healthy as we can be as we are right now, irrespective of age.

Guilty as charged.

I have a few incentives for getting healthier, fitter and a tad trimmer. Healthier so that I have more energy to do the things I want to do, to not feel sluggish and to hopefully live a longer and healthier life. I’m hopefully going to Ibiza in June this year. I say hopefully as this holiday was booked for 2020, postponed to 2021 and postponed again to 2022 so fingers crossed it’s third time lucky. I want to be fitting into my summer clothes for the holiday so June is a huge incentive for me to trim down. I am happy to embrace the curves and be body positive. I also acknowledge that carrying this additional weight is not good for my health and it has affected my confidence. Purely because I am not 100% happy with myself and I know this will prevent me from having the confidence to push the comfort zone and get up on a stage a sing. For me to step on a stage to sing will take a lot of self belief and bravery and I just won’t have that if I don’t feel happy in myself or my clothes.

Body Positivity.

Lockdown’s, restrictions, celebrations and really any excuse for eating the goodies and drinking prosecco was what I did over the past two years so no wonder I gained the weight. Experiencing burnout last summer meant that I stopped exercising because I just didn’t have the energy to do it, another reason for the weight gain. I got lazy about cooking for myself and relied on pre packed meals and no matter how healthy they appear to be, it’s just not the same as home cooked food. I was out for meals, cocktails, pizza nights, fish and chips and of course Christmas and New Year goodies as we really didn’t have Christmas celebrations in 2020. I’m not making excuses here, I’m holding myself accountable. I enjoyed it all, every single mouthful and I have no regrets. Now is the time though to take control. I have plans, things I want to do and I want to be the best I can be to do them.

My Mantra for 2022.

With love and sparkles xxx

Travel Sparkles ✨

An Irish Road Trip – Knock

November 2021 I was lucky enough to visit Ireland for a week. I was supposed to go for Easter 2020 but with the lockdowns there wasn’t any travel at all. Since then I have been checking various rules and restrictions both in the UK and Ireland and I was able to plan my trip just before additional restrictions were imposed due to the Omicron mutation of Covid. This was the first time I had ever undertaken a road trip and the first time I had done anything like this alone. I was excited and scared. My mantra was ‘You’re a strong, independent woman, you can do this’. After all, it was Ireland I was going to, it’s almost like home plus, I am blessed with cousins the length and breath of Ireland should I get into any dramas, I would have someone to call on.

Up and Away

My first night was spent in Ashbourne, County Meath and the following day I made the journey across Ireland to a tiny and internationally known village named Knock, in County Mayo.

Knock is famous due to the appearance of Our Lady in 1879, you can read all about this story and the shrine here https://www.knockshrine.ie/ Growing up, the Summer holidays were always taken in Ireland so that my parents could visit their parents and families. Mom’s family were located in the West of Ireland, around County Galway, County Mayo and County Roscommon and therefore whilst we were there, there was always a day out at Knock. As a child I always found this boring because of course I wanted to be out playing or running around on the beach or the farm. I remember returning to school in September and we would all be saying to each other ‘Did you have to go to Knock’?

Knock became very special to my parents when their health declined and they couldn’t go out to Mass. They would watch Mass daily at 3pm online and I would join them for Mass on Sunday. I often thought to myself when watching the Mass online what I wouldn’t give to be in Knock right at that moment with them and how much they would love to have been there. After they passed away I knew in my heart that I needed to go to Knock and therefore as soon as I could get to Ireland, the visit to Knock was my main agenda.

I felt many emotions being in Knock. I was so happy to be there at last, emotional at the memories of past visits with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Sad that I didn’t have my parents with me yet at peace that I was there. There is something about Knock Shrine, the stillness, the quietness, the air of peace and tranquillity that makes an impact on you. I needed to experience this healing and I needed to experience it alone, to have the freedom to spend hours looking around, to having a cappuccino to just doing things in my time without having to worry about anyone else.

Chapel of Reconciliation

Knock Shrine has changed a lot since I used to visit with my parents. As you will see from the website, Knock has a lot to offer from youth centres to counselling, retreats to concerts, walks in the grounds and a visit to the museum. Although I was there for three days I didn’t actually get to the museum, that’s for next time. I did however visit the newly created Chapel of Reconciliation. Absolutely beautiful in there, calming, serene and still. Whilst I was there I decided to go to confession and ended up having over an hour in conversation with a lovely, elderly priest. I told him my story of looking after Mom and Dad and how I was now starting on another phase of life. He asked me if I had ever thought of writing a book, he felt my experiences of working, becoming a full time carer, the feelings when the caregiver journey ended and rebuilding life, could be invaluable to others in a similar position. I told him that I have this blog and also about my music, perhaps I could reach people via these mediums? Maybe the motivational posts on my social media could help? All I know is that I came out of that conversation feeling like a weight had been lifted from my soul. I felt a sparkle of excitement for the future and also a knowing that you can’t wait to do things. We don’t know how long we have here so we have to make the most of everyday. That conversation made me feel inspired, gave me confidence to be me and just go out there and do what I feel I need to do. To be me, to believe in myself and what I can give, or share with others.

Photo by Italo Melo on Pexels.com

I do have more to tell about my trip to Ireland but I felt that my visit to Knock Shrine needed a post of it’s own. The visit meant so much to me and did so much for me, I couldn’t have covered it within a few sentences within a travel blog. I hope I’ve given you a sense of the beauty of Knock and whether you are of faith or not, I think everyone who visits this place leaves with a sense of peace and tranquillity.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

January

Magical January.

Some people find January and the start of the year very flat and depressing. After all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas and New Year season, the glitz and the glamour, the excitement and the sparkle, I suppose January can feel quite uninspiring. Winter weather, darker nights and mornings, a long time to wait for payday, January can be a long, dark month.

I don’t know why and taking the above into consideration, I have always loved January. The evenings are starting to get brighter with the promise of Spring on the way. I love it especially if we get those cold, clear, frosty days, it’s almost like a cleansing of the new year ready for the activities ahead to take place.

Live in the magic.

I suppose I am ever the optimist. Always trying to see the positives, look for the bright side of situations, seeing the sparkle however dim it may be in some situations. I must be a pain in the ass to those who see January as a dark place. I hope though that by reaching out to those who are struggling, listening to their story and giving a loving word, we can let a little of the brightness of the new year through and help them to see a path forwards.

365 reasons to celebrate.

January you are awesome, the gateway to a new year, fresh and brighter days ahead.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

New Year 2022

Heather Stillufsen Quotes

Here we are another new year beckons. Has 2021 gone by in a flash for you? Did you set resolutions last year and did you keep to them? Did you set goals or make plans and did you carry them out or was it a case that as the year progressed you had ideas and acted on them? Sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, especially at new year, to make plans, set goals and follow dreams whether they be diet and fitness (which yes, I’ll be on that one yet again) or career changes, life changes…the list goes on.

I was watching a video recently about not setting resolutions but choosing a word to live by for the year ahead. The man in the video had chosen the word ‘Growth’ as his word for 2021 and tried to ensure that the actions he took throughout the year led to growth within his life in someway. I thought this was a good idea, rather than setting resolutions that I wouldn’t keep to, I would choose a word for 2022. However, I can settle on one word for the year ahead, I have too many in my mind and cannot decide on just one.

Guilty as charged.

I am proud of myself for pushing ahead and recording the four songs I have written. I feel this year has been a year of preparation and hard work ready for next year and launching the music career properly. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead in order to make things happen, I’m ready. I feel there is good energy around for 2022, I think that it is really going to sparkle for everyone. As you get older you appreciate each day and take less for granted. In 2022 I want to celebrate each day, whether I’m working, relaxing, planning or singing. Each day is a new day to live and focus on our health, wellbeing, inner peace and happiness. We really do need to share our inner sparkle.

Celebrate each day and sparkle.

Wishing you all the most wonderfully Happy New Year, I hope 2022 brings you all you could wish for.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Christmas Season

I hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas season. I love the sparkle of the season, honestly it is my time with all the lights, glitter and sheer magic of this season. Thankfully it has been a little better for us this year than last although it would appear we still have a way to go in our battle with the pandemic.

Christmas Sparkles

I put my Christmas tree up this year towards the end of November, during the first weekend of Advent. I felt nothing, no joy, no sadness, nothing, just numb. The previous two years I have put the tree up and it made me feel very sad, tears were shed, I missed my parents and the memories of our Christmas traditions with the putting up of the tree. It was always Mom and I who decorated the tree after Dad had assembled it. Once it was done, there would be tea, or sherry and the obligatory mince pies. We would wait for darkness to fall so that we could turn on the Christmas Tree lights and just stare in wonder at the beauty. But this year, I felt nothing. Perhaps this is a further sign of moving forwards with life? Perhaps I have lost the magic of Christmas within my heart this year? Perhaps a number of things, I don’t have the answer, it’s just how I felt on the day. I have shed tears since and no doubt I will in the future especially at such an emotional time as Christmas. Grief I am learning just hits as and when it wants, without warning and you just have to roll with it.

I do know that those that have gone before us don’t want us to be sad and unhappy. I’m sure that my parents and my sister would want new traditions to be formed, happy times shared with the friends and family we love and that we raise a glass, or a cup of tea to them in memory of Christmases past. We are here now, we are given the gift of life with each other each day and we mustn’t waste it. We need to celebrate each day with each other, support each other and share the joys and sadness that life brings to us all. Isn’t that what the message of Christmas is all about? Love.

Merry Christmas

With love and sparkles xxx

The Music Sparkle ✨🎶

Evolving

As if I need an excuse to drink coffee…

Well, a bit like my city in my last post, I’ve been evolving too. I changed my website host to WordPress, because I love using it for my blog and decided it will be easier for me to update something I am familiar using. So my website for my music is https://dawnmaxwellmusic.com/ please check it out and let me know what you think. It’s very different to how I had built the website before and I like this new look. It has just come to mind that it ties in with one of the songs I have written and recorded ‘Fade to Grey’, perhaps that was no coincidence. I admit there isn’t much content yet on the website but I have plans for 2022 and hopefully I will be very busy updating the website with what I’m up to music wise. So exciting.

I have also changed the content to my FB music page. I love positive quotes and affirmations and I was receiving messages telling me that my daily posts, non music related, were very uplifting and gave people positive vibes in the mornings. So alongside the music, I’m continuing with the quotes, affirmations and all things sparkle because that’s just who I am. For some reason I was trying to keep the music separate and then it hit me, it is who I am so I need to just embrace it and bring it all along together. It may not fit for some people but it fits for me and if just one person gets a much needed lift or positive energy from a post then I love that. https://www.facebook.com/DawnMaxwellMusic So if you are on FB, pop over and give me a follow and join in with the positive vibes and sparkle a plenty.

Gratitude

I will take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to everyone who has supported me on my journey. The high’s, the low’s and the rock bottom. Although I encounter some very black, sad days that are hard to bear, I also encounter some very happy, make it happen, you can do this days. It’s amazing how a random comment from someone can lift you up and raise your spirits and give you confidence to believe in yourself. I am so grateful for you all and I feel blessed to have met you along our paths, online or otherwise.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

It’s been a while!

It must be 2014 since I last visited the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. With no longer working in the city centre and being a full time carer for my parents, going out and about just didn’t happen. The market was cancelled last year due to Covid 19 and the various lockdown restrictions. Earlier in the month himself was able to take a break from his role as carer for his Mom and we went out and about. It felt like normal life and that in itself felt strange.

City Centre Vibes

I haven’t been to the city centre since June 2019 and it has changed a lot since then. There is a lot of construction taking place, some of which is in preparation of the Commonwealth Games taking place next year. The Christmas market is smaller than usual this year because of construction and also in order to limit numbers to try to prevent spread of Covid infection.

The garlic bread with cheese was huge, double the size that I remember from past years. Delicious! The Gulwein with amaretto shot tasted so good. Himself had his hot chocolate. The city was quiet, very quiet for a lunch time. Perhaps a lot of people are working remotely and also with our infection rates currently so high, people may be hesitant to venture into the city. We both felt a lack of atmosphere. Unusually warm for November it didn’t have that cold Winter feel. It was lunchtime so we didn’t experience the magic of the sparkling lights at night. However, we both felt that the reason for our lack of atmosphere wasn’t the market or the weather, it was because life has changed so drastically for us both since the last time we were there together. We enjoyed our trip out, it was lovely to spend some quality time together, to be out and about in our city but the magic of yesteryear was missing.

It was a lovely day out into the city. We talked about how the city was evolving and how our parents used to talk to us about what the city was like when they first moved here and the changes they had seen. It’s amazing the changes that have taken place in our lifetime and how something’s have actually reverted back to what was in place when our parents were younger. In Birmingham there are now trams and more tramlines being fitted in order to connect various city centre main areas. I remember my Dad laughing when I told him a few years ago about trams coming to the city and he told me that there were trams running through the city when he first arrived here and he seen the lines being taken up and main roads being laid in their place. So our cities evolve, change and yet history repeats itself in a modern form.

Nativity Scene

I was delighted to see the Nativity scene in a more prominent place. There were a few years, back when I worked in the city, that the nativity appeared to be pushed to the outside of the market area where not many people would pass by. That made me sad, after all it is Christ that is the reason for Christmas and whatever our beliefs, and for a multicultural, vibrant in differences city such as Birmingham, I don’t believe such an important aspect of Christmas should be pushed to the back of a bustling Christmas festival area. We should not be ashamed of our nativity scenes. Embracing each others cultures, backgrounds and festivals will only make us more connected and accepting of each other. And really that’s what it’s all about.

With love and sparkles xxx