Friday, 30 January 2015

New Year Resolutions

I know it seems a bit late to be talking about New Year Resolutions, but as I've only just come back to my blog, I'm doing it now.

This year my New Year Resolution fits with the mindfulness that I'm trying to embrace in my life to reduce stress and anxiety, so not only will it benefit my body, it should benefit my mind as well.

I've decided to do something which I've known for a long time is good for me, but I didn't really make the effort.

Every week I am going for a walk!

Sounds simple, I know, but actually getting out, whatever the weather, for just 30 minutes of daylight and fresh air is something I just didn't manage before. There was always an excuse.  Something else to do, daughter reluctant to be dragged out, too cold, too wet, too difficult.

So, since Jan 1st I have been for a walk every weekend.  I've been to some local gardens (dragging daughter 10 feet behind me), I've been to Dunham Massey Park (bribed daughter with chocolate cake in cafe at end), I've been to Lyme Park with friends and best of all, I can fit in a 30 minute walk whilst daughter is at Pony Club on Sundays.

It really seems to work.  A bit of daylight, the wind (and sometimes rain) on my face reconnects me with the world and puts problems in perspective.  Hopefully, as the weather improves I'll be able to do more and will reap even more benefits.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Christmas Cake

Following a request to post a picture of my latest Christmas cake, I will oblige.  However, the Christmas cake seems to have taken second place to the Gingerbread House now in the Working Mum house.

In fact, this Christmas I spent about an hour quickly decorating my cake before dashing out to sing at The Bridgewater Hall whilst daughter and I spent two days making the Gingerbread House.  So I will post both.

The Christmas Cake was hastily decorated with baubles on ribbons:

I'm sure that with more time I would have done better; there's too much red.  I think all gold ribbons and baubles in different colours decorated with royal icing would have been better.

On the other hand, the Gingerbread House was a confection of chocolate buttons, jelly tots, smarties and glacier fruit stained glass windows:

I think the Gingerbread House wins!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Stamford Military Hospital

As part of the National Trust's World War I commemorations, Dunham Massey Hall has been transformed into its former use during the war as Stamford Military Hospital. 

As we are NT members we've visited a few times and daughter and I went again on Saturday for a walk around the gardens and park.  Here are the two garden sculptures dedicated to the soldiers that passed through Dunham:

Each block represents one of the 282 soldiers that came to Dunham and features each soldier's admission number.

Each leaf represents one of the regiments whose soldiers came to Dunham, and a poem written by a soldier of that regiment whilst convalescing there.

The hall is currently closed but will open again on Valentine's Day.  If you're in the area it's worth a visit, and not just for adults.  I've been surprised at how interested daughter has been in the whole exhibition, the questions she has asked and how much she has learned about that time and the soldiers and nurses involved.  It won't be there forever, they'll be turning it back to Dunham Massey Hall, so don't miss it!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Hello again

It's me. 

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Working Mum.

It's been a while, I know

In fact it's been six months.

A lot has happened in six months, but I'm still here.  Still working and slightly less "on the verge" than I was last June.  Mindfulness seems to be helping with the stress at work, Manchester Chorale is still keeping me sane and hubby has been given more time at work to do his job and has stopped working Saturdays, so all in all life is improving.

In fact, Saturdays are no longer a day to be dreaded; trying to get daughter to do homework, music theory, piano practice and clarinet practice, but now a day for more "Family Days Out".

Providing that City aren't playing, we plan and arrange a family day out.  We even put it on the kitchen calendar so nothing can override it.

So far we've been to Norton Priory:

Erddig for the Apple Festival:
(here's daughter trying to shoot an apple)

Manchester Museum, Imperial War Museum North, Lyme Park, Speke Hall and Rufford Old Hall.

Then last October daughter joined The Pony Club:

...... which may sound like an extra job for me, but........

.......... while she's busy mucking out, grooming and doing badges, I can go for a walk round the park and then call in the stables cafe for a cup of tea, sit on a comfy sofa and read my book!  Bliss!

 And now, with renewed optimism, I feel the need to blog again.

I think I'm back.