Wednesday, 30 December 2020

And To Make An End Is To Make A Beginning

 


Thank you 2020 for all the moments of joy you brought.
Yes, it was a challenging year; but there was lots to celebrate.

January 1st was a beautiful day of blue skies which we enjoyed with a family walk on the beach.

The following day Paul and I travelled to Rydal Hall in Ambleside in the Lake District for two nights.
There were only two other couples staying there and it felt like we were Lord and Lady of the Manor.

January was also my mum's 77th birthday and we had a lovely meal at home - something that became very familiar in 2020.



February was a busy month.
I used to teach a monthly yoga workshop in a cozy church hall but this was the last time we would meet exploring partner work. 
I look forward to returning to those.

I was also invited as a guest into my old workplace, The Liverpool Echo, where I was interviewed for their Menopod podcast on the topic of careers changes in your fifties. It was great to catch up with my old colleagues, Sue Lee and Dawn Collinson. You can find out how to hear it here.

I scored a beautiful red suede skirt from a local charity shop which made my month and we were lucky enough to return to the Lake District for another weekend away which had been a  Christmas present from our children.

And Bud made many visits.


March arrived and while Joe, pictured left on the top left photo celebrated his birthday on the 8th with friends, poor Ben marked his birthday on the 30th with a game of Chess and an Indian takeaway.
I had to shift my school classes online and a school sent me this photo of their key worker children enjoying yoga in the hall via the big screen.
Lockdown aside we made the most of the warm weather with walks on the beach and time to spot this cheeky little mouse in the bird feeder.


April came along with the sun and I decided to plant some seeds for the first time in my life.
I was also asked to become The Liverpool Echo yoga teacher and taught a weekly live yoga class with people following afar afield as Canada, Australia and Africa.
As the farm where my husband worked was on lockdown we were on the rota to feed the animals and the farm was a beautiful haven of peace and tranquility and I filmed some yoga classes there too.
The ducklings were growing and with all this time we managed to spot the rare Tiger Beetle on our local beach.


Hooray for May  and the first of many barbecues in the glorious sunshine.
The strawberries and tomatoes were thriving and of course I filmed more yoga in the farm when I wasn't dressing up to feed the chickens.


In June lockdown eased and we were able to celebrate our daughter, Briony's birthday on the 12th and return for a barbecue the following day when her boyfriend of four years, Jordan, proposed.
We took Bud to the farm and I was delighted to see my very first courgette harvest.
Walks to the pond in the dunes revealed some lovely little froglets too.


Beach yoga returned in July and another chance for my four children to get together.
The sunflowers were blooming and Briony booked her wedding venue for July 2022.

August was the month we got away to the beautiful south of Wales.
We stayed with family in Swansea and met up with some old university friends in Pembrokeshire who we hadn't seen for 20 years.
The garden was blooming and it was warm enough for my workout to move outdoors.
It was also the last chance I had to get together with friends indoors before the lockdown returned.


It was back to school in September although I had to teach yoga in bubbles in the classroom instead of the hall at some schools. Luckily yoga is all about being flexible.
Some warm weather meant we enjoyed some lovely walks and a barbecue in the garden for my  husband and eldest son whose birthdays are a day apart.
I also got some fab pre-loved Alexander McQueen trainers from my sons who own Luxe Collective UK a brand which sells pre-loved designer womens' clothing and handbags.
The gladioli and calendula were still in full bloom too.


As the weather cooled in October it was time to bring the yoga back indoors and in front of the camera.
The leaves were turning and the wellies were needed for the farm work.
And Bud was back.


The garden was finally going to sleep in November and I tidied up the plants and planted some bulbs.
The weather was wet but there were lots of rainbows.
Bud came round for a sleepover and Frankie came to stay.



December and the days drew shorter, the nights longer and the Christmas quieter.
But there was lots to celebrate.
A game of scrabble on Christmas Day.
Bulbs pushing through.
And a granddaughter on the way.


We made it.

Thank you 2020 for the laughter, the love and the learning.


Here's to 2021 and everything it will bring.

I hope you managed to find moments of joy this year and wishing you all the best for the New Year ahead.


'For last year's words belong to last year's language.
And next year's words await another voice......'


'And to make an end is to make a beginning.'
TS Eliot




Sunday, 27 December 2020

An Eastern Influence

 

Boxing Day and my favourite day of the year.

The madness of Christmas Day is over but the austerity of New Year is still far away.

Time to kick off the heels, unbutton the waistband and grab some pull on leggings while I consume my bodyweight in crisps and cheese washed down with oodles of red wine.

I bought this BNWT petite Kimono from ebay a few weeks ago and was saving it to dress up a dressed down look.




I dressed it down with my leather look leggings and a couple of vest tops to add some layers.


The colours and fabric are so lovely and it will be very versatile.



Here's a back view from when I was chasing Frankie around the garden.



Anything goes on Boxing Day and I had a big fat chip butty on white bread with lots of salt and vinegar and brown sauce for dinner while watching the film Parasite.

One of my favourite Boxing Days ever.

I wore:

Boots - M & S

Leggings - Dorothy Perkins

Vest - Oasis

Kimono - New Look

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Silk Pyjamas and Jimmy Choos


It was a Christmas Day of two halves this year.
The morning was busy with all of my children and their partners around for brunch with mum and then they went their separate ways leaving me, my husband and youngest son alone for Christmas Dinner.



The dinner had been scheduled for 3pm but as one of my sons left, they noticed a dog roaming around the road so my husband, son and his girlfriend were frantically trying to coax the dog into a garden and make it safe until someone with a scanner arrived and it was returned safely home.



I was a very lucky girl this year, my husband bought me some silk pyjamas and my children and their partners clubbed together to buy me a pair of Jimmy Choos court shoes.

Both are the type of grown up gifts I used to dream about when I was younger.

Sadly, even low heels are a bit of a strain on the old ankle if I wear them for too long so I reverted to my pre-loved Alexander McQueen trainers for the rest of the day.

I had bought the sequin skirt in the sale at H & M last Christmas for £5 and knew it would be perfect for Christmas Day.

My top is part of a twin set from New Look.

As we waited for the lunch to cook we played a game of Scrabble before devouring the dinner and settling on the sofa to watch Call the Midwife with my daughter's Frenchie, Bud who is staying over. 


Mum only lives in the next road and she is part of our bubble.

Bud is breaching the rules as he is Tier 3 but he is going home today and I will miss him.

Santa Paws was very kind to Bud.

He bought a new personalised treat jar.


And a cuddly toy that has a battery inside which mimics a heart beat and is a great comforter to nervous boys like Bud.
With a new grandchild to look forward to next year I am guessing our Christmas Day will look very different in 2021.
Whether large or small, I hope you had a happy Christmas Day and found something to enjoy.



On Christmas Day I wore:

Pre-loved Alexander McQueen trainers from Luxe Collective

Skirt - H & M

Top - New Look





 

Friday, 25 December 2020

Glad Tidings of Great Joy

 

I am going to be a grandma!



My big boy is going to be a daddy.

Baby G is due in June.

Sam and Sophie on their wedding day in July 2018
.

They are both teachers and will make wonderful parents.

We are so happy for them.



Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a hopeful and Happy New Year.

Lots of Love,

Jane

X



Thursday, 24 December 2020

The Last Supper

 


Cheers - we  made it!
Our last supper out before Christmas.

December 23rd is the time we usually meet up with our closest friends for a meal or drink but this year it was just the two of us as Denise and Kev tested positive for Covid on Monday.

We had planned to go to the same restaurant and sit at different tables in our separate Covid bubbles but at least dine in the same building.
Sadly, it wasn't to be although I am happy to say both are doing well with minor symptoms.

The rest of the last few days have been a blur of getting ready for Christmas dinner although there will only be four of us at the table instead of the usual 14.

But we still need the  spiced cabbage and the bread sauce.


I also had time to meet up with another friend, Elaine, for a socially distanced walk on the beach.

We met at a yoga retreat three years ago and she has become a very close friend.


Elaine retired early from her IT job last year and trained to be a yoga teacher which is really helpful when I need someone to cover my classes.


One of my lovely yoga students had put £20 in a Christmas card so I went to my local charity shop and bought a few things leaving the change for the charity.

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some cheesy films I would normally never watch, and I secretly enjoyed these two especially as I watched the Bob film with my 20 year old son.


Our meal out last night was lovely and as I was rushing around I didn't have time to change so I just took off the tank top and realised how easy this dress can go from day to night.






I also wore my 26 year old black velvet coat which I get out every Christmas.

It still feel so luxe.



I will be back tomorrow with a very special post but for now I would like to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas.

And if you got this far, thank you for reading.

I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Dress - New Look
Coat - Four Seasons



Friday, 18 December 2020

Work, Rest & Play

 

'Twas the week before Christmas and as I finished teaching in the schools last week it was time to complete plans for the rest of the month and next year.

But it did mean more time for playing with Frankie and meeting friends.

I enjoyed a socially distanced beach walk with my friend and fellow yogi, Sue.

Last year we shared a room on a yoga retreat in Turkey and she comes to all my yoga retreats in Wales.

An intrepid traveller since she retired, Sue often goes to India on her own a couple of times a year.

Sue is such an inspiration and she gave me some home-made biscotti too.


Back home I recorded a yoga class video for staff at my local hospital.

Until March I taught a weekly staff class there which was lovely but they liked my idea to create a weekly yoga video which I have been doing since lockdown. 

I just use youtube and upload it to an unlisted link. 

So simple, even I can do it.


Next, it was time to plan my last zoom Yin Yoga class of the year.

It's not the same as a cozy church hall but at least I get to see lots of my lovely students faces even if it is on a screen.


How would I get through without black coffee and iced gingerbread biscuits?


And lots of 5am starts with this one!


Thank heavens for Turmeric Tea.


It was a week of firsts for Frankie.

First off, his first walk in the concrete jungle.


And then his daddy took him for his first grooming session.


He smells soo good!



Somehow I managed to tidy my wardrobe.


As I had to make room for some ebay purchases including these brand new Clarks boots for £19.99 in my 4.5 size which is hard to find.


I also found time to read my favourite winter book, The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories & 100 Essential Reciipes for Midwinter by Nigel Slater.


Tonight I will start this one I found at the charity shop - the title seems so appropriate this year.


Generally, evenings looked like this.


And I will sign off with Friday's outfit.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Today I wore:
Boots - Clarks from ebay
Jeans - Tesco
Shirt- Mint Velvet
Tank top - Oasis









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