Happy New Year…

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It’s been a busy start to 2017 and I can’t believe that the first half of January is almost behind me. Having bid farewell to self-employment at the end of 2016, my salaried job role is taking up most of my time these days, which is really positive. There’s a massive amount to learn, and at times I feel as if my brain will burst, but along with the challenges there are more than enough rewards to make up for it, and being part of a team is a dream come true.

My shifts are longer than I’m used to, but this became a lot easier once I settled back into my new routine after the Christmas break, and the bonus is that I’m getting fitter. I’m slowly getting used to the sheer volume of business meetings I’m now attending, along with various training days, and although my schedule is filling up with work it’s also being filled with fun stuff such as the monthly team breakfasts, and will soon include an ‘away day’!

Never in a million years did I ever imagine that my life could change so quickly and dramatically, which just goes to show that you never know what’s just around the next corner. If you want to move upwards you have to move forwards…

Making Time For Those You Love…

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With a hectic pre-Christmas schedule it was impossible to find a mutually suitable time to visit my mother before the big day this year, therefore a compromise had to be found. After much thought I suggested we indulged in ‘afternoon tea’ at a posh hotel fairly close to where mum lives, so that we can enjoy a good old natter whilst indulging in a bit of luxury. Thankfully she agreed to this idea and so today I set off early, in sub-zero temperatures, to catch the bus.

Her little face lit up as I was dropped off, and we immediately began putting the world to rights. After an hour of thawing out at her place we hopped into a taxi which took us to the hotel, where I’d reserved us a table overlooking a pretty pond. Despite having walked past there literally hundreds of times, my mother had never stepped foot inside, so to be able to finally treat her to a little bit of luxury was wonderful.

Afternoon tea was sublime; delicious food and drink and excellent service, I really couldn’t have asked for more from them. Of course, mum was chuffed to bits and even though we didn’t manage to see each other before Christmas Day for the first time in my life, today has more than made up for it. When life gets busy it’s sometimes a little too easy to sideline people in order to fit everything in. However, family is very precious, and it’s vital to make sure that you somehow MAKE the time to be with those you love…

When your Babies Come Home For Christmas…

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I’ve had such an amazing few months that I didn’t believe anything could top it, but I didn’t anticipate my gorgeous daughters would announce that they’d be coming back home to spend Christmas Day with me! Oh my goodness, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better present.

Of course, I did the typical mum thing of going overboard with daft gifts and bought way too many festive snacks, but nothing gives me more pleasure than being able to spoil my children at this special time of year.

Being able to eat, drink and be merry with the people I love most means everything to me, and today has been wonderful. Such joys are precious and I will never, ever take them for granted. We pulled crackers, wore paper hats, and consumed far too much junk food, but that’s what a traditional Christmas Day is all about and it was magical.

Looking Forward to Christmas…

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I just can’t believe how quickly my life is changing these days, and it’s all good. A few months ago, although things were going quite well, I was beginning to feel like I was in a bit of a rut. Same part-time, self-employed job I’d had for years, no firm plans for travelling, and nothing particularly thrilling on the horizon. However, within a few short months I’ve begun a brand new career, booked a fantastic overseas holiday and the icing on the cake is that I’ve just found out that I shall be spending Christmas with the people I love more than anything else in the whole, wide, world; my gorgeous daughters.

I’m not usually a festive person, and I normally treat Christmas Day itself with complete indifference, but this year it’s going to be amazing. I’m already excited about my ‘babies’ coming home and I just know I’ll go completely over the top and spoil them rotten. Although the new salaried position is terrific, and the vacation will be stunning, there’s nothing quite like the simple act of spending quality time with your children to make you feel special, and it’s something I will always cherish. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town…!”

Christmas Cobwebs…

 

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What better way to blow away those Christmas cobwebs than to take a long, sunny walk, and it’s even better if you can take a mate along with you. The week between Christmas and New Year can be a strange period; especially for those off work and who have therefore lost their usual daily routine. Personally, I like to get out and about, weather permitting, so when the sun decided to show it’s face this morning that’s exactly what I did.

Although it’s always lovely to walk my favourite route, it was especially nice to be acting as tour guide for a chum. As we walked through countryside, beside a river, we saw plenty of wildlife including robins, finches, herons, ducks, swans and seagulls. The locals clearly take Christmas very seriously as they’d decorated a random tree beside a footpath with an array of sparkly baubles – as you do! Being close to a railway track meant that the inevitable train thundered past, and when we reached our destination I could finally enjoy all things boaty.

The pub lunch was extremely welcome and the delicious sarnies and chips, washed down with coffees, sustained us during the return trek. Having fun doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money, you just need to do the things that make you happy. It’s even better if you can share your enjoyment with a friend.

Fabulous Family Festive Fun…

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I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I love my daughters so much I could burst! Yes, I know most mums (and dads) feel the same about their offspring, but my girlies really do make me feel enormously proud that they’ve turned out to be such wonderful young ladies. They arrived at lunchtime bearing lovely, thoughtful gifts and some stunning home-made chocolate cake.

We ate sweetie things, crispy things, jammy things and filled rolls. We pulled crackers, told daft jokes and wore silly hats, because that’s what you have to do at this time of year. The afternoon whizzed by, and far too soon it was time for them to go and spread their Christmas joy further afield.

My babies are all grown up now, but for a few wonderful hours it felt soooooooooo good to have them back home with me. Ahhh… makes you feel all mumsy again … Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day With the Ones You Love…

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Often, once you find out that Santa doesn’t actually exist and after many years of naff pressies, being skint, dreary weather and endless repeats on the telly, Christmas can become a rather tedious affair. However, there are certain things that can lift the spirits of even the most un-christmassy amongst us.

This year I’ve been treated to a wonderful Christmas Day with my precious daughters; plus one; and that’s the most fabulous gift that any mum can ever ask for. Plenty of Yuletide hugs, bags full of lovely presents, much cheery banter and lots of laughter. We pulled crackers and wore party hats before tucking into cheesy biscuits, Pringles and filled rolls all washed down with bucketfuls of tea. I am a very lucky lady indeed this festive season.

Here’s to good health and continued happiness for 2015. Cheers!