Year of the Dog…

karen waddy

I’m so lucky to work at a large university, where the Student Union fully embraces all manner of cultural celebrations and events on a regular basis. Today I’ve been enjoying all things Chinese on campus in honour of the Chinese New Year; including lantern making, calligraphy and free fortune cookies.

Large, red lanterns had been hung everywhere and there was a real festival atmosphere amongst excited students and staff alike. The highlight for me was the performance of the Lion Dance, accompanied with a drum so loud you could feel every beat inside your body. It was a truly amazing experience.

Mother Nature blessed the event with blue skies and sunshine, which some might say was due to all of the good luck and fortune associated with such displays. With the Lion Dance completed it was then time for the Dragon, which made it’s way all around the site before returning to great applause. I just love days like this…


Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018…

New Year

These past twelve months have been a little up and down. On the positive side I’ve enjoyed not one but two fabulous, luxury holidays in the Canary Islands but I’ve also said sad farewells to a couple of very dear friends. I finished a fixed-term contract for a Social Science department, where I would have loved to have stayed, but within weeks was offered a brand new position with a massive Computer Science department on the same campus. I’ve also seen a lot more of the NHS than I anticipated, however I’m hopeful that 2018 will see a significant decrease in medical appointments.

This year I enjoyed the company of an old mate who stayed with me during the summer. It was good being able to share some quality time with her and we spent many an evening putting the world to rights. My gorgeous daughters remain, as always, my raison d’être and I’m eternally grateful for the wonderful friends who are always there when I need them.

There’s been many highs, a few lows, but I’m extremely optimistic about the future and I’m already looking forward to whatever exciting new things the next twelve months will bring…

“And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.”

Happy New Year…


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…

Life is Even Better at Fifty Two and a Half…



It’s an extremely encouraging sign that you’ve moved on from a break-up when you sail through the 1st anniversary and not even realise it until several days later. It was only when I was checking dates on the new 2015 calender; scheduling a GP appointment; that the penny dropped. Had it REALLY been a whole year?! Well, you know what they say; ‘Time flies………..’

It’s only the start of 2015 and already the months are filling up quite nicely. There’s plenty of work-related stuff already pencilled in but I’m managing to balance it out with lots of socialising as well. I don’t want to be ‘all work and no play’ this year, although judging by what’s already been arranged; and things still in the planning stage; there’s no danger of that!

Goodbye 2014 – Hello 2015…!


After almost a year of being single, 31st December seems a good time to reflect on the past twelve months and see just how much I’ve achieved. While a relationship break up right at the start of 2014 and being part of a horrific police investigation in June (long story) must rate as the lows, I can honestly say that the highs have been more than I could’ve ever hoped for.

On the work front I had a pay rise, was given extra hours and more responsibilities which has not only boosted my income but also my self esteem. Regarding my health, I lost weight and got fitter, and on a personal level becoming closer to my children has obviously been the icing on the cake. I’ve also met some lovely new people, learnt different skills, featured in a local newspaper, attended several large events and even enjoyed a fabulous winter holiday in the sunshine.

Now I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months have in store for me.
Happy New Year!