Happy & Glorious – 2021…and then there was more

So…2021 was not the year any of use had hoped for. More lockdowns, more variants, more disruption and difficulties. I found it hard to fill the tin last year, and hard to list the contents of the tin as well; as evidenced by taking more than two months to get it done. In fact I’m only writing them up today because I want to do some ‘getting sh*t off my desk and into the bin’ filing and can’t put off doing something with these little orange pieces of paper any longer!

Simply in the order in which they’re stacked (apart from where they’re grouped because I realised I’d not added follow-up ‘good things’ on their own note so added them to an existing one!), here they are.

  • Job interview with Savills (Rural Research Analyst) 3rd March
  • 2nd Interview with Savills 10th March
  • Offered 6-month fixed term contract with Savills 11th March
  • Started new job with Savills 6th April
  • New Year’s Day: very frosty & beautiful walk with the parents & the dog from home.
  • Unexpected, appropriately distanced, ‘viewing’ of family members because I was passing through the village of Frampton on my way between one errand and the parent’s place. 24th Feb
  • Possibility of puppies!!! We hoped that Skye and the lovely Max would be a match but we don’t think Skye is of the conceiving persuasion. The dream was a lovely one to have. Mid May
  • My 6-month fixed term contract was confirmed to convert to a permanent contract in July
  • 27th/28th February – the first properly sunshiney weekend of the year
  • Catching up with Gabrielle, and treating ourselves to a delicious ‘brownie bomb’ at the Exe Valley Farm Shop – 19th March
  • Successfully laying a carpet!! 2nd May
  • Getting to ride the lovely Arthur & Gambler for the first half of the year (before they were sold by their owners)
  • A fabulous weekend chilling with the lovely Diluki, Alan & Cormac. December
  • Got vaccinated – May & July
  • Got boosted

So there you go. Another weird year to add to 2020 and now it’ looks like 2022 is shaping up to just as, if not more, ‘delightful’ with the potential for a world war replacing the pandemic awfulness.

I also moved house in 2021 but that is a bittersweet decision so doesn’t wholly fit in the Happy & Glorious tin. However, the cat is very happy to be a permanent Hampshire resident where she has the dogs to play with.

Good luck out there, dear reader, I hope that 2022 leaves you with your health and sanity at the very least. I’ll leave you with a picture of the cat looking cute.

Picture of a white cat with silver tabby markings standing in the fork of the trunk of an oak tree with vivid blue skies behind her.

Happy and Glorious – 2020 wasn’t all bad.

Yes, I know it’s March 2021 already and I’m only just getting round to putting this list on here. What can I say… the last 12-months has been weird for everyone! Here it is, in no particular order, the things I did in 2020 that earned an entry in my Happy & Glorious tin…

  • 30th December: Rode the lovely Gambler in the New Forest thanks to some lovely friends who let me play with their ponies (well, pretty darned large horses, but they’re all ponies to me!)
  • 9th August: Visited Gabrielle & met Tom, spent a lovely couple of days on the farm chilling
  • 9th August: Spent a lovely couple of hours having a socially distanced coffee in a park in Bath with Diluki, Alan & Cormac
  • 8t August: socially distanced Lunch with [wise owl] Rosie & Richard. Lots of chat and lovely food!
  • 8th August: socially distanced afternoon tea with Ruth.
  • 6th August: met Celia & caught up with [surveying] Rosie
  • 11-15th March: my sister Clare & ‘nuppie’ Billie came to stay & my brother in law Paul joined us for the weekend. Lovely time chilling & chatting and we had what turned out to be our last meal ‘out’ before lockdown. Funnily enough, my colleague and her family also picked the same restaurant and we ended up at next door tables. Small world
  • 25th February: met up with the lovely Helen & Simon, from my convention-attending days, and had a lovely chat with them. I was in a bit of a stressed place and it was lovely to be able to chat it through with good people.
  • 21st-23rd February: my eldest niece visited for the weekend. We had lots of fun walking in the local area and a trip in to Exeter to pick out her birthday present and look at prom dress styles
  • 18th-19th January: Diluki, Alan & Cormac came to stay! So glad these guys got to come and see me and my little house this weekend. I do love spending time with these guys.
  • 11th January: Otterbourne Panto! Went to see my Winchester based nieces & nephew steal the show in Aladdin. Oh yes I did!
  • 2nd January: rode Taoiseach – mum’s lovely driving horse. He’s not the most comfortable riding horse but I still love it.
  • 1st January: got mum out for a ride on Taoiseach
  • 6th April: video chat with [surveyor] Rosie & Celia
  • 9th September: walk & coffee with Matt, a colleague I hadn’t seen since April after I’d been furloughed
  • 21st August: Chantelle came for tea! Planned a trip to go and buy some roller-skates to recapture my youth
  • 20th August: Alexa came for coffee & a chat. Bonded over geeky tendencies and ‘Bones’
  • 18th-19th August: Winchester based sister, nieces & nephew came to stay. Introduced the kids to the Jurassic Park (original) films & realised that Daisy was the same age as I was when I first watched it 😳
  • 14th August: socially distanced dinner out with a friend at the Royal Oak in Gorley. Good company, good food, good covid precautions in place!
  • 12th June: formed a ‘bubble’ with my parents. First time I’d seen anyone other than my neighbours (across the driveway), and avoiding getting too close to people in the supermarket, for nearly 3-months. First hug in 3-months too.
  • 22nd April: Min’s first birthday! She wasn’t impressed when I mentioned it to her
  • 13th July: Chantelle came over for a socially distanced walk & coffee in the garden
  • 29th June: socially distanced drinks in the garden with Kate & Tim to say ‘bon voyage’ for their next adventures up north
  • 25th June: celebrated the birthday that I became ‘the answer to the ultimate question’ with a walk in the New Forest and ‘dining out’ by taking the motor home out and cooking a meal in a Forest car park.
  • 28th December: rode Arthur. Such a joy to be able to get out and play with these horses.
  • 25th December: went over with my parent’s to my sister’s house for a socially distanced Christmas morning walk with them (and their neighbours who are almost family). My sister and I inspired many residents of Twyford by taking our glasses of fizz with us on the walk!
  • 9th December: walk & coffee with Matt, a colleague & friend who’d left the Trust and was moving on to new work adventures
  • 3rd December: started back to work after 9-months of being furloughed.
  • July-December: picked up some work for an old client during furlough. Great to engage my brain and feel valued.
  • 13th July: Gavin & Vee came for lunch in the garden. Lovely to catch up with good friends
  • 19th October: met the lovely Florence for the first time & caught up with long-time family friends, Penny, John, Lucy & Lucy’s husband Dom (a not quite so long-time family friend!)
  • 16th October: supper with Pam & Keith in one of the George, Fordingbridge’s gastro pods. Good company, good food, good covid precautions
  • 7th October: lunch with ‘Killerton girls’ at the Ruby Red Cafe at Exe Valley Farm Shop
  • 18th September: day-trip to Treyarnon with the lovely Charlie. Lovely to chat, go for a swim & generally have an amazing time.
  • 25th November: got offered an interview for an Assistant Surveyor job at the Burghley Estate. Didn’t get the job but pleased to get an interview, and it got me into the swing of the job application mill again
  • April-November: being given the gift of time without pressure of worrying about income during furlough which enabled me to focus on my health and fitness. A unique opportunity which has been invaluable.

It’s been a funny year. Full of stress and worry and being alone on one hand, but having given a unique experience and perspective on things. I think it is great if we can hang on to some of the good things that have come out of it; that key worker roles should be better paid, that having time outside of work is important, valuing connection to human beings. Here’s hoping that not everything returns to how it was before, because that wasn’t “normal”.

Happy and Glorious – 2019 edition

Yet again it has been a year (near enough) since my last Happy and Glorious post! With being back in full-time work, extra study for my postgraduate qualification, the business of moving house and ‘setting up home, there hasn’t been a lot of time or energy left over for WordPressing. I’ve still been completing my ‘line a day’ journal which is a lovely, low daily commitment to journaling with a 5-year overview (once completed), as well as occasional updates to my personal handwritten journal; but writings of the internet variety have been limited to Facebook and a newfound love for Instagram.

Here is my list for the year – in the order I pull them out of my ‘Happy and Glorious’ tin!

Here’s the disclaimer – these lists are really for my reference and reflection but by posting them online it gives me a sense of accountability to keep filling the tin through the year. Read if you wish, ignore if you’d rather. These also only focus on the good bits, there have been not so good bits in between but that is not what this post is for, it’s for tallying up all the good stuff that has happened in the year. I may well have missed some good bits if I didn’t write them down quick enough after they happened!!!!

  • Cormac Maharu O’Beirne entered the world to upgrade some of my loveliest friends to one of my favourite families in the world (other than my own, of course!) : January
  • Seeing Captain Marvel at the Showcase Cinema Deluxe in Southampton (I may have a slight obsession with how comfortable the seats here are) : March
  • Met Cormac after ensuring I was completely germ free ❤️ : February
  • Shazam! Took me a while to get around to seeing Zachary Levi in his first starring big screen role: April
  • Surprise party for Diluki and a lovely weekend celebrating at Bath Festival and getting lots of cuddle time with Cormac : June
  • Reading about Binge Eating Disorder and through that understanding HOW my relationship with food is dysfunctional – this has helped me to manage my eating habits and loose weight : January/February
  • Got the keys to my little [rented] house in Devon : April
  • Moved in (properly) to my little house in Devon : April (a couple of weeks after I got the keys)
  • 6-months in the job.. they’re still happy with me and I’m still happy with them 😁 : June (also noted the same at my second 1:1 in February, I’m sensing a theme)
  • Dublin trip for Cormac’s naming ceremony and having some quality time with Diluki & Alan – a real treat… and proper Guinness too! It involved flying from Exeter airport and a flight path that went over my house : 28 June-1 July
  • Avengers: Endgame. Long awaited emotional couple of hours but overall a good end to the Avengers films : May
  • “I ❤️ my job. So glad I took the plunge and changed career” : Jan/Feb
  • Mum’s 70th Birthday Party. Helping to throw a lovely party, catch up with old family friends I haven’t seen for years (Jo Tanter, Wendy Miller & John & Joy) as well as raising enough money (mum requested donations in stead of presents) to buy a cow through Send a Cow! : June
  • “Having the best boss & employer” : November (supporting me through a tough time being off work with severe acute pain)
  • Baby Salt-Crockford arriving to turn more friends into a family ❤️ : December
  • Stevie Wonder (Plus Special Guest Lionel Richie) in Hyde Park – continuing Mum’s birthday celebrations : July
  • Getting my lovely kitten, Min ❤️ : July
  • The lovely Lucy, who I remember pushing in a pram back in the day, and Dom becoming a family with the arrival of Florence ❤️ : November
  • Romsey Show – being asked back to do the commentary for the sheep grand parade and generally having a lovely day catching up with friends from Mum & Dad’s ringside parking spot : September
  • Catching up with Ruth for coffee – been a scarily long time since we did that either in the parent’s kitchen or hers! : December
  • Catching up with Rosie C (yes, I have to clarify which Rosie!) : December (and possibly Easter-ish? I’m getting old, I didn’t write it down so I’m not sure when it happened!)
  • Catching up with Rosie M (see I told you!) away from all the madness of uni : September
  • Graduation! Made the transition from Graduand to Graduate on one of the hottest days of the year, in the full gear! : July
  • Getting out for a ride on Taoiseach and feeling great after not riding for a loooong time (I did take a precautionary hot bath and am on some hefty anti-inflammatories for the trapped nerve in my neck so it might not have been a true representation of my lack of stiffness post ride!!) : December

Happy And Glorious: 2017 edition

I’ve been keeping this “Jar of Good Stuff” thing going for 5-years now, it all started back in January 2013 – keeping notes of lovely stuff that has happened and allowing you to look back over the year and see what  you’ve done, when you might be thinking “what have I done with my year?”.IMG_8520

So, in chronological order, what did I do in 2017? Continue reading

2015 going on 2016

20130122-212603.jpgIf ever there were a “good” time to suffer from random sleep aversion, the kind where you’ll back-to-back dvd (or streamed) box-sets just because you don’t want to give in to sleep, then the cusp of the new year would be it.
2015 has, overall been an “average” year; although it is split in to half good and half horrific. I won’t go into too much detail, not least because I’m a big believer in positive thinking but also because some of the stories are not mine to tell; in summary there has been job hell, family illness, family bereavements and pet-family bereavements to deal with, none of which have been easy individually and collectively have been, to be perfectly honest, rather shitty to deal with.

Still, New Year itself has been pretty awesome so far and there are still 2-full days of partying to go and Sunday is also “puppy day” in the singleton household, a new day of collie ownership and a new chapter in life in general.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy (or healthier) 2016.

I also promise to give updates soon on;

  • My first kinesiology session and,
  • My ‘Happy & Glorious’ update of 2015, the entries for which are currently too far away to be useful!

Happy and Glorious: The (very late) 2014 Review

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I’ve not been so good about popping notes in my Happy & Glorious tin this year, as I’m sure much more has happened than is evidenced on the below list!

  • Ticket: Cinderella, 17th January (Rondo Theatre, Bath Drama) Superb performance by all, just what a panto should be, fun for all ages.
  • Ticket: War Horse, 24th February (Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, The National Theatre) Very emotional
  • Ticket: The Witches of Eastwick, 12th April (Theatre Royal, Bath Operatic & Dramatic Soc.) Thoroughly hilarious romp of a performance.
  • Note: “Stepping out of my comfort zone in a BIG way (and having it go rather well)”  I have no recollection of what this was but “Go Me!”!
  • Note “Becoming a Stella & Dot Stylist” 27th June.  I’ve had great fun and met some lovely people (and got some beautiful jewels too) since starting as a Stella & Dot Stylist.  I’ve not done as much with it as I could but there’s this thing called life and holidays and work that got in the way.  I’ll see what comes in 2015 for this little venture (Edit: I don’t know if I’ll continue it past my renewal date… I’m loving my job too much and want my evenings and weekends free to play in the garden and have visitors!).
  • Note: “First interview for Welbeck Job” 28th November.  I got offered the job on 22nd November and attended the interview on the 28th, with a night in Sheffield catching up with a friend as a bonus.  It was a really lovely interview, much more of a conversation than a nerve wracking thing to endure.
  • Note: “Second interview for Welbeck job” 18th November.  Again an enjoyable interview with the two guys who I’d be working for but the trip itself was an emotional roller-coaster dealing with the :I don’t wan’t to live here, it’s too far away (and a bit grim)” issues.  I think it helped in the interview because I went in with a ‘I don’t care whether I get the job or not’ attitude.
  • Note: “Offered Welbeck job” 28th November.  After 10-days I thought I’d not got it and I was quite happy with that as I didn’t have to make the decision of whether to accept it or not.  Then I got offered the job!  Whilst happy to have been offered the job there were tears because I didn’t want to move that far away from my family & my support network; I’d be up there on my own.  However, I took the weekend to decide and…
  • Note: “Accepted Welbeck job!” 1st December.  The deed was done!

I know there have been a few more noteworthy events since then, and I’m sure there will have been more before but I’ve not noted them.  I’ll aim to do better in 2015 and I’ll have an overflowing pot of Happy & Gloriousness to list in the next New Year. (Edit: Note to self, must try harder!!)

Happy and Glorious

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Back in January I decided to keep notes of my achievements and notable occurrences throughout the year in the rather charming Jubilee commemorative Tait and Lyle’s golden syrup jar above.

So, my ‘happy and glorious’ list for 2013 looks like: – Continue reading