Thank you for the music

A Party Playlist

As part of the planning for my 50th birthday party , I have been starting to devise a playlist. I thought that this would be an easy task, just to pick some music that gets people up on the dance floor. However, It wasn’t as easy as I thought. I know that a lot of the people who are coming won’t have seen  each other for some time, so I wanted to have some “background” music to allow people to catch up with each other and chat. The plan then is to have this music until we have food, followed by music for people to dance to. Still not an easy thing to do as there is so much music that I love to listen to, that makes me happy, that makes me want to dance or makes me want to sing along. So how do you start to choose the right music for the occasion ?

A meaningful playlist

Music is such an important part of my life and always has been. In making a playlist, I wanted to choose music that has meant something throughout my life. Music reminds me of past events, both happy and sad. There has been music played at weddings, parties, celebrations and also at funerals. There’s the music that just has the words that I need at that moment in time. When I hear that music again it takes me back to the emotions that I felt, offers some peace or allows me to take my mind elsewhere. Music can help us to express ourselves, whether through singing, dancing, daydreaming or sometimes having a good cry.

I can’t say that I have a particular taste in music. As a child I remember my parents and brothers listening to various things, from classical to reggae to heavy metal music. I was a teenager through a big part of the eighties and love that era for it’s music which I still listen to now. I love to listen to musical theatre soundtracks. I have gone to church most of my life and have favourite hymns and religious music.  As my children have grown up, we have gone through various stages of liking different music and I have listened to them all with an open mind, although I have begun to sound a bit like my mum, when I say things like “It’s a bit loud” and “It doesn’t have much of a tune”

So what have I chosen for my playlist?

Here’s just a taster:

Rick Astley – Never gonna give you up- from when I met my husband

Journey – Don’t stop believing – Just says it all really

Scissor Sisters – I don’t feel like dancing – Reminds me of my girls being in pantomime when they were little and always makes me want to dance

Michael Bublé – Feeling Good – Another song that my daughters did a dance routine to which made me so proud and is always uplifting

What music would you choose that marks important events in your life?

An ordinary life

A good week to be me

There are those days or weeks when you feel at odds with the world and can fall out with everyone including yourself. Then there are those times where you feel that all is well between yourself and the world and have a sense of peace and calm.

This week has been a good one, where I have managed to get on with most people and have quite liked myself too. This might sound a bit odd, but there are some times when I overthink what I have said or done and feel bad about myself and end up not liking myself very much. However this week has not been like that. Friends or relatives may tell you differently, but I feel that it’s been a good week to be me.

There have been no great events this week, no particular defining moments, but sometimes life is like that and maybe its just appreciating the simple things in life that makes all the difference

A sense of achievement

I finished some work for my  Training Qualification this week, which has taken just short of a year. This has been completed as part of my job and it feels good to get it out of the way. Part of this was reflecting on training that I had done and assignments that I had completed. When you begin to reflect in one area of your life it kind of follows on that you do it in other areas of your life too, so I suppose I was in a reflective kind of mood. To really look at yourself, see what you did well, what was not so good and how you can improve is quite difficult sometimes. I certainly concentrate on what went badly and “beat myself up”, so it’s definitely good for me to look at the things that I do well, see the successes, rather than just concentrating on the failures.

It’s the little things

I was fortunate this week to spend a few days working in London. This was good for several reasons, not least because I spent time with one of the lovely ladies that I work with, but also because I got to see my eldest daughter a couple of times. One evening we went across to the university to watch the pantomime, which she had helped choreograph. Another evening we went out for cocktails.

Both were lovely evenings and very timely, as my daughter had been having a few rough days and was not quite as upbeat as she sometimes is. After a lovely chat, a hug and some reassurance, she was back to her normal self. No matter how grown up you are, you just sometimes need your mum. As an added bonus, as I came home her dad went to see her, so she got to spend time with him too.

Whilst my husband was away on Friday there was just me and my youngest daughter at home and we had pizza and a glass of wine whilst watching a film. It was lovely just to sit and chat and spend some time together. Sometimes life just seems to pass by so quickly and we forget that these little things can be really important.

If I should die before I wake

There have been some times in my life, not after great achievements or life changing events, but quite often after a family get together, a holiday, or just a period of time when things seem to be settled and all is well in my own little world. On these occasions I have said “If I die tonight, I would die happy”. My youngest daughter says I’m morbid. It’s not meant to be morbid, but just that feeling of knowing that as the day ends I am content with the hand that I have been dealt and couldn’t ask for more.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all felt like this at the end of everyday?





Walking and Singing

Have a little patience

There were a couple of scary drives to work because of the weather this week. One day it was extremely windy and a few roads were blocked on the route due to fallen trees and flying debris. The second was a snowy morning. It had only just started snowing as I set off to work, but 45 minutes later as I was on the last hill up to work, I found that my car couldn’t quite make it and had to walk the last bit.

I was surprised with the impatience of other drivers on both days. Blasting your horn at someone who has had to change lanes due to the road being blocked (not me by the way), or driving extremely close to the back of the car in front because you think they’re going too slow (me, I hate driving in snow) doesn’t really help.

However it did make me think about the way I react in some situations. Sometimes I am impatient and get irritated at things that don’t quite go my way. I realise that this doesn’t help anything and quite often makes situations worse. So in the coming week my aim is to be a little more tolerant and have a bit more patience.

Walking with a purpose

I have been persuaded to enter the Moon Walk in London in May. this is a 26 mile walk, during the night, in my bra! This is for “walk the walk”, which donates money to breast cancer charities. I am walking with my friend, who is recovering from breast cancer. This has now given a purpose to my walking and an added incentive to keeping fit. Hopefully by May I will feel confident in wearing my bra in front of thousands of people.

Last year my friends and I walked the Yorkshire Three Peaks for a local children’s hospice. It was a horrendously rainy day and I’m not the fittest person, but with the encouragement of my husband and my friends I completed the walk. For some this may seem like a small achievement, but knowing that I had not given in and the fact that we had raised money for such a good cause made me feel great for weeks afterwards.  I proved to myself that if I set my mind to it I can achieve anything.

The joy of singing

I have returned to sing in my local community choir this week in Batley (#batleysings). I had to take a break for a while as my husband had an operation and was immobile for a while. I’m not saying that I’m a great singer (luckily I didn’t have to audition) and I can’t really read music, but I love singing. I have always been someone who sings in the car or when I’m at home on my own. I also love to listen to music if I am out walking on my own. I often sing along in my head, but sometimes find that I am actually singing out loud!

However, singing alongside other people and singing harmonies is a completely different thing. It certainly took me a while to work out how to sing one thing when someone sitting next to you is singing something else.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy being able to sing with the choir. If you’ve never done it, I would encourage you to give it a go.

And now a shameless link to my fundraising page



One week down

A good start to the year

So the first week of the new year has gone quite well. I’ve managed to stick to the healthy eating plan. I joined Slimming World as I know that this has worked for me in the past, but my staying power when the chips (or cakes) are down is not so good. I went for an induction at the local gym. My youngest daughter already goes there and she asked me to go with her, so this was a good incentive. I was also persuaded to join a local run together group and surprisingly really enjoyed running in the cold and dark. I’ve been out walking most days, so all in all a good start.

Now all I have to do is keep it up!

Writing the blog is certainly helping as it means that I have to be honest with myself about whether I have kept to my goals or not.

Still planning

Looking to the future, I’ve booked another week away for later in the year and am starting to plan some fundraising events. I’m also making more plans for my birthday party in April. When I first started planning it seemed such a long way away, but now it’s only three months which is pretty scary really.

A great family weekend

My niece had her engagement party this week. It was a really great night spent with friends and family. It was so lovely to see people of all different ages having a great time dancing, karaoke singing and generally laughing and chatting together. Whilst the “older” ones amongst us took a well earned rest from the festivities and sat chatting, we watched the young folks and conversation turned to how lucky we are that our children have grown up to be such pleasant individuals and that we should be really proud of them. Despite us all having our moments of doubt, worry and frustration, they really are a decent bunch of young people. Although my friend did make the point that “that’s us, we did that” and I guess she’s right.

Time moves on

I had a fleeting visit from our eldest daughter who came home overnight to celebrate with the family for my niece’s engagement. It was lovely to have her home, but strangely  it’s quite normal for her not to be there anymore. It’s been over two years since my husband and I left her in the student halls and I went into work the next day and sobbed my heart out. Now I can wave her goodbye on the train and drive home without crying. I guess that’s progress! I may however take a small step backwards when our youngest daughter decides to leave too.






2017 – The year I am fifty

Just like millions of other people at this time of year, as New Years Eve approached,  I started to think about what resolutions I should make for the New Year. And, just as I have done for many years I know that I will make them and break them within a matter of days, if not sooner. So why should this year be any different?

This year I will be 50!

It’s hard to believe. It seems like only yesterday that I was running around after my two young daughters, then suddenly I turned around and there they were, women in their own right, with their own dreams and aspirations, their lives stretching ahead of them. I must admit that I panicked at first. I love my husband to death, but I did wonder what would happen when we were on our own. I never had any doubts that we have a strong relationship, but could it pass the “empty nest” test? At the moment only one has left and is in third year at University and will probably not return. The other is in the last year of sixth form, making decisions about her future.

My husband and I have already started to enjoy the freedom that grown up children bring. Having holidays and weekends away without children was pretty new to us.  I’m positive that as I head towards 50 our lives will not be the same.  Not worse, not better, just different. He’s already 50, by the way and seems undaunted by the fact.

Reflections on years gone by

I think I am very blessed.  As I have said already I have a lovely husband (almost 26 years married) and two beautiful daughters (no bias there at all). I have had a stable job for almost 27 years and could officially retire in 3 years. I think I’ve been a sensible (some would say boring!) person, but have enjoyed life, not taken too many risks and always tried to do the right thing. Planning the things I was going to do when I retire kept me looking to the future and got me out of bed on a morning.

Things changed over the last year or so. Just after Christmas 2015, very suddenly, I lost a close friend who was a year younger than me. Another close friend was diagnosed with cancer shortly afterwards. I decided that “when I retire” was no longer the time to do things, but that I should do them now.

Here’s to the future

So as I head towards 50 I started to think about the things that I could do this year to make a difference to my life and possibly to others too. I wanted different resolutions. I still need to lose weight, get fit and all those other things that I promise myself every year, but I wanted this year to be special.

I was chatting to my brother who has recently published two books and I jokingly said “I think I’ll write a book”. He suggested I write a blog and promised me it would be easy.

So this it the first of my resolutions – To write a blog. No one may ever read it, but at least I’ll have a record of what I achieved. It also means I’ll have to make sure that my life is interesting enough to have something to write about.

I already have some holiday and travel plans (watch this space) and am planning a big party for my 50th Birthday, which is in April.

Why “50 the musical”

Well I love musical theatre! I always say that if I won the lottery I would spend the money just going to the theatre. I would see all those musicals that I haven’t had the time or money to see yet.

I like to think that setting my 50th year to music and dance would make it more exciting! I’m not sure who is going to play the part of me as yet, I’ll give it some thought.

Of course I’ll be seeing some musicals this year and no doubt telling you all about them in my blog.