Things I Learned in 2016 

Its been a funny year really. You find that some years nothing of any real any significance happens then other years far too much happens, and as you stand there counting down to midnight you think “What on earth was that all about”? I’ve personally found the year a little tumultuous but as with most years I’m always grateful for everything and everyone I have in my life, so I guess that’s a positive. I thought I’d share a list of things I’ve learned in 2016, I usually do a list of highlights but I feel a ‘things I learned in 2016’ would be far more interesting – even at 41 it surprises me how much you can you still learn about people, things, places, the world and mostly yourself!

THINGS I LEARNED

1. Not everything can be solved (I’m a practical person and I like to have a solution to everything – if you know me this can either be annoying or helpful). This year I’ve realised that they are many things that can’t be solved and there are times you have to just let things be.

2. I can Zumba (look out for another post on why this is a revelation) 

3. I can handle a really big PR launch with a Hollywood celebrity without having a nervous breakdown.

4. Southern Rail are absolutely shocking, have wasted many hours including my birthday sat on a a train going absolutely nowhere many times this year. 

5. I have the patience of a saint – this covers a multitude of situations I’ve found myself in both personally and professionally 

6. Never give too much advice, particularly in matters of the heart. This could come back to bite you on the bum later down the line so just be there for someone with love troubles don’t give too much personal opinion.

7. I can actually drive a car. I may not have actually passed my test but I can definitely drive. This is almost as exciting as being able to Zumba 

8. I love working with men.  I worked with a group of guys on a project this year and it was the most stress free project ever. Men are under rated in PR!

9. I love going to my Slimming World group more than actually doing the slimming world plan, so much so the consultant had to remind us that it was “slimming club not a social club”.

10. I’m terrible at keeping up with my blog.

11. I love Bridget jones just as much at 41 as I did at 22 

12. I know what Paw Patrol is because I have a little person in my life now and I’ve seen at least 10 episodes. It makes a big change from Sex and the City.

13. My intuition gets better with age (also sometimes annoying) 

14. It’s always good to put the car in correct gear when on a driving test. 

15. That politics and social media don’t mix and bore me to tears. Bring back when we just used to tweet about ‘tweet meets’

16. Be nice to everyone you meet – you never know when and where you’ll meet them again. This is so valuable and I’m glad I’ve always followed this advice as it’s paid off professionally a few times for me this year. 

Please feel free to share some lessons you’ve learned this year in the comments – not that I ever get comments but it could happen! ­čśâ

Hello November 

Since I was little I’ve always loved autumn, because I used to love going back to school in September; after a long summer I was always keen to get back to see my friends and also to embrace other things that autumn brought; crunching the leaves all the way to school, collecting conkers, getting new stationery for the new term, warm snuggly clothes and cosy nights in.I don’t have school to go back to now (obviously) and September these days is still considered summer so I really get excited about autumn on the 1st November. When I was 15 my friend and I always used to leave each other notes on the 1st November – just saying Happy November, we both had a mutual love for the month; the smell in the air, the drastic change of season and it always seemed that nice things happened. 

We don’t send each other notes anymore but now even 25 years later, on the 1st November we still text ‘Happy November’, it’s become tradition! I met my boyfriend in November 2000; we were just good friends then but in November 2013 we got back in touch and eventually ended up together, so November is even more significant for me now. My first solo trip to Dubai visiting family took place in the month of November (liberating moment for me) and a holiday of a lifetime visiting my brother in Australia 5 years ago too, so even more lovely memories made this time of year. 

As I write this I’ve just received a notecard online – it’s from my November friend wishing me Happy November. Perfect timing and it made me smile, a funny tradition but a lovely one and starts the month with the happiest of intentions. November gets the best PR from me, so it always has a lot to live up to. 

After the craziness of the last few months and relishing the calm before the Xmas mayhem, I’m more than ready for the comfort of November…..

Goodnight Sweetheart

My favourite TV programme of the 90’s, Goodnight Sweetheart was back for a one off special last night and I’m left wanting more! 

The BBC sit comedy that you either loved or hated starred Nicholas Lyndhurst as loveable time traveller Gary Sparrow and a fantastic cast of memorable characters. 

I’ve always been obsessed with time travel shows or films – starting with Back to the Future and more recently Sky’s 11.23.63 with James Franco as the time traveller trying to prevent the assassination of JFK.  So you can only imagine my excitement when a series like Goodnight Sweetheart appeared on our screens back in the 90s.

The one off episode shows Gary returning to the present after 17 years in the past – which has moved on from the 40s to the swinging 60s.

In last night’s episode of Goodnight Sweetheart it was great to see favourite characters like Ron and PC Deadman unchanged and it was a nice touch to keep it exactly like it always was without updating it in any way. 

I hope the BBC make a new series now, where we see Gary get to know the daughter he never knew of.  In the meantime I will be digging out my old box set of the series like the Goodnight Sweetheart geek that I am ;) 

Legs, Bums & Michael Jackson!

I went back to the gym today after 4 months, and not only that but I also joined a sparkling new gym. 

I used to be a member of the local leisure centre where they ran a full range of classes that I loved and as you will read in this previous post, I was really anti classes before! 

This gym is closer so no excuses not to go plus I needed a change. I had been doing the same classes and seeing the same faces on the same certain days; I’d lost my enthusiasm for it. It also took two hours out of my day to get there and back and do the class – yawn. 

So today was refreshing – such a helpful bunch and even the free personal training session that came with the membership was enjoyable. I decide to join the Legs, Bums and Tums class – which was like torture for about 45 mins.     

Luckily the instructor had made her own playlist which I thoroughly enjoyed – I’ve been used to the same tracks on the polished Les Mills routines at the last gym so free styling seemed a bit more relaxed. You can’t beat a bit of Little Mix whilst having a good squat!!

I think the highlight of the class was the cool down;  I was slightly perplexed when I heard children’s voices from the speakers as I lay down on the mat for a well deserved stretch – but then it took me 10 seconds to realise the instructor had actually chosen to end her class with Michael Jackson – Heal the World. I wasn’t sure whether I was horrified or delighted – either way I was highly amused and left the class giggling. Which let me tell you was a bonus after what my legs had just been put through. 

My best friend has recently indulged in fitness classes – she used to recoil at the thought of any sort of group activity but she’s been turned, one Zumba class and she was hooked.  Now she’s excited to go every week and has even got involved in Spin classes; I’ve known her for 29 years and I’ve never even seen her on a bike so it’s a drastic turn of events!

It’s good to take a risk and make a change sometimes even if you feel silly/scared or like me stuck in a fitness rut and not feeling particularly interested. 

I’m signing up to Fit Box next – I’m not sure if it’s as traumatic as it sounds but I’m determined to give them all ago. I don’t think I’m quite ready for Zumba yet though – not even Patrick Swayze could’ve given me co-ordination.

Anyway… It feels good to be back! 

Spring getaway 

There’s nothing better than a little mini break to soothe away the stresses of daily life.

After a crazy few weeks, last weekend I packed my little trolley case and headed off to Winchester to celebrate my friend’s birthday. 

We got a really good deal at the Winchester Hotel & Spa – I’ve stayed there before with the same group for a hen do and it was great fun, lovely service and delicious food.  This time was the same. 

   

On the last visit we didn’t get to explore Winchester, but this time we decided to take a lovely walk around the town exploring the cute shops and had a look at the beautiful cathedral.  Winchester is a city but you wouldn’t think it at first as its really like a little village at first glance.  

We popped in to a really lovely shop called The Hambledon that we stayed in far too long.  It has so much stationery I was like a kid in a sweet shop!
 

The shop had a copy of my favourite book, Anne of Green Gables in a really lovely hardback design, which I just had to buy. In fact me and my two friends all bought a copy!   

So many delights in one place – if you’re ever in Winchester you must pop in and visit.  

 

There are so many nice places in the UK and it’s easy to forget there are new things to see and do in your own country rather than jetting off abroad when choosing a mini break. 

A change of scenery was lovely and refreshing and I highly recommend it and a visit to any place you’ve never been.