It’s amazing the things you forget. I often look back and reflect on the things we’ve experienced, but more so at this time of year. I find that photographs help immensely with jolting my memory, so I turned to my mobile phone to reflect on the photographs of 2019. I found myself, smiling and laughing along with remembering a few things that I’d totally forgotten we’d done. I do curse these mobile phones sometimes, but by far the best thing about them, is they allow you to be quite a good photographer!
We’re nearing the end of 2019 and it’s a good time for reflection.
Personally, I’ve found 2019 to be an interesting year…
✼ It started out with a snowboarding trip to Canada in February where experiencing strange weather was an education, you’re never too late to learn right?
✼ A new bathroom for the boat where we live, with a homemade composting toilet, (I’m sure I’ll get around to that blog post some time in the New Year!)
✼ Twice in 2019 I was honoured to be a guest blogger, once for Dan Swords, where I was asked to talk about what I’d learnt from my short time as a blogger and also I was asked by Hugh for his blog, Hughsviewsandnews.com to write about my experiences as a blogger, where I wrote about how I almost gave up. Writing both these pieces were a little different to my normal writing style, a little out of my comfort zone, not at all easy for me to write. I appreciated having the chance to explain how I felt though and hope both blog posts helped other bloggers.
✼ Earlier this year saw the start up of a new little business for me, called Step Into Eco, selling Eco and cruelty free products, which in a short period of time has seen me become very busy, this is great, in fact I’m really enjoying it and now have a regular stall at a local market as well as being a distributor for a UK based eco company. Another experience of ‘stepping out of my comfort zone’ and I love it! The market is hard physical work which I enjoy and I’m loving the social side of getting to know other traders and meeting customers, (Yes I can feel another blog post bubbling here too!)
✼ The Annual bloggers bash was held last June and as usual it was great to meet other bloggers, hear good speakers and learn from the workshops, there was also a big shock for me as I won first prize in the writing competition!! Here’s the story I wrote ➺ If you only had five minutes. I was utterly shocked to win, totally over the moon, still am to be honest! The Bloggers bash is such a great way to get to know other bloggers and you always come away learning something new – totally recommend signing up for 2020’s Bloggers Bash!
✼ A good cruise in the summer, where we got stranded between flooded rivers; tackled many manual locks, including the famous Bingley Five Rise and enjoyed cruising a new canal for us, the Leeds Liverpool canal. This was an awesome trip!
✼ Alongside cruising in our home on water, we enjoyed some canoeing, especially along the Selby canal. This short stretch of canal is so beautiful and peaceful with an abundance of nature surrounding you so canoeing it is the best way to enjoy it in my book.
✼ I loved my birthday this year, because all my family came along to the boat for a little party, the weather was kind, which made it even better because we could sit out on the bank in our deckchairs. It certainly was a special day for me to have all my family on the boat for my birthday!
✼ Jon turned fifty this year so we enjoyed, two fabulous weekends. One was a present from his mum and dad, ‘an introduction to Bee keeping’ course, which was a brilliant day and one which made us realise bee keeping is something we’d love to learn more about. The other, my present to him, was a long weekend away in a treehouse and yes you guessed it, this is another blog post for me to write, – Coming soon folks!
✼ I was a little obsessed with this pair of love birds below, last spring, I visited them most days hoping for a chance to see the eggs hatch – I was lucky, truly a special experience!
✼ If you ever see advertised, ‘A Muddy Dog Challenge’ hosted by Battersea dogs home, then I fully recommend joining in because it’s great fun and if you can rope in the family, it’s even better. We participated in this ‘fun fest’, in October at the gorgeous Harewood House in Leeds. It was one of my favourite days of the whole year, simply because it was quality, precious family time!
No-one was head down in their phones looking vacant, no, no, no, not on that day. There was laughter from start to finish, happy dogs and a lot of family fun, it was a wonderful day. (this happens annually here in the UK, maybe readers who are in other countries have something similar?)
✼ We’ve had a few visits to Cornwall this year visiting Jon’s family, where we’ve walked
more of the stunning Cornish coastline, enjoyed the beautiful beaches, paddle boarded, cycled many tracks, eaten more of their famous Cornish pasties and pizzas from our favourite pizza place, The Stable in Falmouth, not to mention a few pub visits where we’ve sampled some of Cornwalls finest real ales and ciders.
✼ We enjoyed a wonderful camper van tour up to Scotland in November. We set off with no agenda, just ‘made it up‘ as we went along, the best way if you ask me. Usually, when we’ve travelled this gorgeous country we’ve headed straight up North, but this time we decided to turn left above Carlisle and travel around the Dumfries and Argyle area, meandering up the west coast. It certainly didn’t disappoint – Gorgeous!
✼ 2019 has been as energetic as ever, starting out with a ten day snowboarding holiday. We’ve enjoyed some great walking and fabulous mountain biking, whether thats been at home, Cornwall or Scotland. Cruising the canals may sound very sedate, but actually it can be quite action packed when it comes to dealing with the amount of manual locks we came across. We’ve also enjoyed canoeing, paddle boarding and one weekend even managed to get out on the lake in Jon’s little sailboat, another first for me, then there was of course, the Muddy Dog Challenge! Lets hope 2020 is just as energetic!
✼ Also during 2019, both Jon and I changed the way we eat to a more plant based and less dairy diet, where we’ve seen a vast improvement to our health. I initially started this plant based way of eating, because I’d seen such horrific images of factory farmed animals and was disgusted with how they are treated, but as we began substituting meats with other alternatives, mainly just more vegetables, we realised not only were we becoming more creative with our cooking, but in fact realising that every meal does not need to have meat. We weren’t missing it. We also soon began seeing the health benefits, including more energy, less bloating, less digestive problems, particularly for Jon who suffers with acid reflux. We began taking notice of more plant based research, but for us, the biggest proof that eating less meat is better for us, has been ironically, after we have eaten some meat, which isn’t very often now at all, but when we do, we both comment the day after on how bad our stomachs feel, Jon’s digestive problems are worse and we can’t get over how lethargic we both feel. This has been quite a revelation to us this year. I’d guess we eat around a 90% plant based diet now and do feel better for it.
✼ I made a commitment to myself to give myself, at the beginning of 2019, at least 15 minutes a day of Yoga, in addition to all the other exercise I do, because it’s amazing how just a little amount of yoga per day makes such a difference, particularly with the toning of the body. I can’t say I’ve stuck to this every single day this year, I haven’t, but I know that when I do my yoga routine regularly my body and mind is significantly improved. Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of Yoga, I love it, but there are days when I haven’t been able to fit it in to my day, (doesn’t that sound terrible that I couldn’t find 15 minutes for myself some days?) I will definitely try again in 2020. Jon bought me YogaBurn’s latest DVD for Christmas, ‘The Trim Core Challenge’, which I’m excited to start. It focusses on the core muscles, particularly the stomach and waist. Well I do have a certain dress to fit into next year, which leads me nicely into…
Big News – Announcement!
✼✼✼ The most significant and exciting thing that happened in 2019… was a proposal! Yes! A Proposal!!! While in Cornwall in October we were sat on a cliff at Gwithian beach, sheltering from the wind, enjoying a Cornish pasty and ginger beer, (we do know how to live it up you know!) watching two pairs of seals playing in the waves, when out of nowhere Jon popped the big question! I almost fell off the cliff into the sea!! Of course I said YES!
After many years of being together, myself and Jon will be tying the knot in 2020 and I can’t wait! The wedding plans are in full swing and these two fifty something’s are gonna be having a party! I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Believe me when I say, my head is spinning, but it’s a happy and excited head spin for this fifty something!
I’ve enjoyed reflecting back at 2019 through photographs, for us it’s been a great year and I hadn’t realised how much we’d packed in.
How about giving yourself a little reflection time?
Here’s to a fabulous 2020!
May your year be full of fun, laughter and wonderful memories!
Happy New Year!
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