Travel Sparkles ✨

Lanzarote Bound.

Here we go!

It had been five years since I had been away on holiday. Here I was at Birmingham International Airport, meeting himself and ready to go to Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. I had so many mixed emotions. Happy and excited to be going on holiday, to the sunshine, the heat, the ocean and the whole Spanish vibe. Sad because I was very much still struggling with my grief and remembering that the last time I had gone away on holiday things were so different.

I love early flights. I love to arrive at the airport in the middle of the night, have breakfast, my skinny cappuccino and a quick mooch at the shops. Even though you have to add additional time for going through security, for me, the time flies by and then it’s time to board.

Early morning lights.

Because we hadn’t been on holiday for such a long time we decided to blow the budget this time. We arranged to visit a 5* resort in Playa Blanca. Oh my was this place beautiful and yet not stuck up or pretentious. Everyone was very friendly and it had a laid back vibe.

View from our balcony.
Tuna toastie, chips and beer.

It was always our tradition to have toasted sandwiches, fries and a drink for our arrival lunch. I’m not a beer drinker but I do enjoy a cold beer on that initial lunchtime in the sunshine. Himself will have a burger with a Jack Daniels and coke.

Mid-afternoon Pina Colada.
Twilight time.
Playa Dorada beach at breakfast time.
Casa Felix in Costa Teguise serves the most amazing Sangria in a bucket!
My favourite of the three swimming pools.
Sunset Cruise.
Ice Cream Sundae for lunch? Yes please!

It was a wonderful week away. We chilled out, we swam, we visited my cousin in Costa Teguise. We visited lots of restaurants, drank cocktails, ate far too much and it felt good to escape from the dark reality of what my life was like then. It was difficult at times, I am so used to calling home daily to speak to my parents but there wasn’t anyone to call. Difficult transitions take time. It takes a while for a new path to appear.

This year we were due to spend a week on the beautiful White Isle of Ibiza. Due to the Covid-19 global pandemic the holiday was cancelled and has been re-scheduled for 2021, fingers crossed. I’m so glad we decided to just book and go on the Lanzarote trip last October and not put it off until this year, which we did think about doing. Lesson learned, grab the opportunities when they present themselves and don’t put things off. Live life now.

We stayed at https://www.princesayaiza.com/en/ and we travelled with https://www.tui.co.uk With love and sparkles xxx

The Music Sparkle ✨🎶

The Show Must Go On?

Well with everything that has happened and is happening in my life, the music has well and truly taken more than a backseat.  I think it’s probably in another vehicle, on another road in a completely different City to me – that’s how distant and disengaged I have been from my music.  Lots of very well meaning friends have said “get back to your singing you’ll feel better”, or “pick up your guitar and strum” you’ll feel better.  I tried. I didn’t feel better.  Music was a huge part of my life with my Mom and Dad, there wasn’t a day that there wasn’t a radio on, You Tube on, Keep it Country on, and all of us singing at one time or another during the day.  We loved the music.  My parents were so proud of me for following my dream but the dream doesn’t hold the same promise anymore.

My lovely guitar tutor on my first session with him recently suggested that we leave my usual genres of Country Music and Irish Music alone for a while.  It could be too sad for me.  So in order to get back to playing guitar and relearning the chords, we’ll try different genres.  Great idea!!  I did the same when I returned to my vocal coach and I sang some hits from the 1970’s. “Cherish” by Kool and the Gang.  “Native New Yorker” from Odyssey.  1980’s and a beautiful song from Sade “Smooth Operator” and a more recent hit from Bryan Adams “You belong to me”.  This was liberating and dare I say it, I enjoyed singing again.

I bought myself a new guitar book which has a range of songs within it.  I printed off some other songs from the internet which just happen to be Country…it would appear I can’t leave Country Music alone.  However, I am sitting a strumming this week for half an hour a day, the chords are returning and the tops of my fingers really hurt again as they harden up with the pushing down on the strings. (I have an acoustic guitar which has metal strings).

I returned to the choir recently although I sat in the back row and didn’t really sing out as my voice is still stressed, it will return in time.  I have lost a lot of confidence.  I know myself I am not the woman I was; confident, independent, fearless.  The trauma of the year so far has stripped me of me.  My confidence has been bolstered though when I looked at my You Tube channel Dawn Maxwell Music and seen that there has been a lot of activity recently with people watching/listening to the few videos I have on there. That made me happy.

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The new Guitar book. Some are way too advanced for me yet but looking through the book I can see quite a few that I do know the chords so I will have a go at those and yes, there are a few country songs in there!

I have been told by many people that if you are into your music, then the music will help you heal.  I’m beginning to think they are right.  If I take it slowly, not push myself, stay away from the songs that break my heart for now, maybe, just maybe it is time for the show to go on.

With love, sparkles and country music xx