I was nominated for the Leibster Award by #My Musical and writing life. I have followed her blog for quite a while, as I enjoy reading about musicals and other people’s view on them.

I had never heard of it before, but once I got reading about it I found it quite interesting. A lot of the blogs that I read are around theatre, music and also weight loss and some travel blogs.

Part 1 – A Blog that I love that is not my own

I really like #Hayley Slims. I like the positive tine that she has around her weight loss and the other things that she includes in her blogs. She sounds very much like me in the way that she views her weight and the fact that she posts about slimming world, which was really helpful for me in losing weight.

Part 2 – Random Facts about me

  1. I love to read and like all sorts of books, particularly those that have been recommended by someone else. I have a kindle, which I use when I’m travelling, but I still love a paper book.
  2. I love crafting and am currently setting up my own craft business
  3. I love walking and when I go I know how much good it does me and I know that I should do it more often
  4. I have always wanted to travel on a sleeper train
  5. I love Christmas, but not all the commercialism around it
  6. I hate driving in the snow and ice
  7. I love shoes!
  8. I love baking, but then I want to eat it all, so don’t bake very often
  9. People dropping litter really irritates me
  10. I’m not keen on travelling on boats, but love flying

Part 3 – Questions from My Musical Theatre Life

  1. If you had the ability to sing any song from a musical flawlessly, what would it be and why? – I would love to be able to sing “Tell me its not true” from Blood Brothers. This is an amazing song at the end of the show and so emotional
  2. Which musicals do you think deserve a shout out? – Starlight Express – This was one musical that I was never over bothered for seeing, but when my daughters school gave a production, I thought it was amazing and really started to like it
  3. If you could dance the choreography of any show, what would it be? – I’d love to do Billy Elliot – The dancing in this from all the cast is amazing
  4. Favourite composer? – Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil – for Miss Saigon and Les Miserables
  5. Who’s your favourite musical actor/actress – I don’t really have one. I would never go and see a musical with a particular “star” in it
  6. What show should get a Broadway transfer in 2018? – sorry struggling to answer this as I don’t really know which shows are currently on
  7. What’s one unpopular musical theatre opinion that you have? –  Musicals need a good storyline
  8. What’s you opinion on the tony Awards? – I don’t know much about them, I tend to look at the Olivier’s in the UK
  9. What do you think about musical movies? – I was brought up on them. I would watch them with my mum when I was a girl, particularly the older ones like Carousel, Oklahaoma, Oliver etc –  I loved them all and it was away of getting to know the music. I don’t mind them at all, but would still prefer to see a live show
  10. What’s your dream cast for your favourite musical? – I would really struggle to choose a favourite musical. As for a cast, I prefer one without stars and hate it when “celebrities” get parts above genuine musical theatre actors.
  11. Do you have any dream roles and why? – Nancy in Oliver – I love her string character, Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot- such a great comedy and forceful character

Part 4 – Tag other bloggers

#authentically fifty

#Hayley slims

#beauty beyond bones

#the dancer runner

#cooking without limits

Part 5 – My questions

  1. What music would you listen to if you wanted cheering up?
  2. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?
  3. What would be your favourite place to walk or run and why?
  4. If you won a million ponds, what would you spend your money on
  5. What is your favourite item of clothing that you own and why?
  6. If you were invited to a fancy dress party, what would you wear?
  7. Who is your favourite character from history and why?
  8. If you were told that you could not eat a particular food ever again, which food would you miss the most?
  9. If you could live in any famous house/building, where would you live?
  10. What is your favourite food to cook?

That’s it from me. I’m not sure whether I’ve completed this correctly or not, but it’s certainly been interesting for me to do.

Thank you for nominating me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Friends and Fat Friends

Dealing with change

This week I went to a leaving “do” for a friend that I used to work with. I left the department almost two years ago, as it was time to move on and have a change in direction with my career. Since then it seems that a lot of my old friends and colleagues have also moved on. Some have moved to other departments, but this particular friend has moved on completely, leaving the job and starting a new career and a completely new direction.

It was lovely to catch up with old friends and colleagues during the course of the evening, but also quite emotional, as it was the end of an era, with the department that I worked in completely changing. The sad thing is that a lot of the staff who work there are very disillusioned and demoralised. It is such a shame as it used to be such a great place to work, with a brilliant team spirit. Hopefully as new staff move in, it will have a new lease of life and will become a great place to work again.

To all those that are leaving, I hope that they find a new challenge and a role that they love and are passionate about. I certainly feel that I have found that in my role, although it doesn’t stop me moaning and getting frustrated at time.

 

Fat Friends The Musical

This weekend me and my husband went to see Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends The Musical at Leeds Grand Theatre. I like Kay’s writing and have enjoyed the different series that have been on TV. I definitely liked the Fat Friends series as it was really funny and was so recognisable by anyone who has ever had a weight problem or attended a slimming club.

The show was really funny. It’s a long time since I heard my husband laugh out loud like that. The cast were really good, with some really strong singing and acting. It was nice to see local actors, particularly Neil Hurst, who we have seen many times in pantomime at Halifax. My only real issue with it was Freddie Flintoff. I know that having a celebrity sells tickets to a show, but there are loads and loads of young people out there who have studied drama or musical theatre that are desperate for work, that I fail to see why an ex cricketer who cant really act and definitely can’t sing, would be offered a role like this.

I know that I am biased as my daughter and many of her friends are seeking Musical Theatre work, but the same goes for pantomimes who have “famous” people in them, with current or former careers (or who are famous for being famous), rather than employing talented actors singer or dancers.

I am also a bit of a theatre snob and find it a bit annoying when someone famous comes on the stage and everyone cheers. Not particularly a problem in the Fat Friends production as it was very light hearted and a little “pantomimey”, but in a serious moment in a production when people screech and whistle, I find this irritating.

At least there was no one texting, facebooking or taking photos in the middle of the performance for a change, which is another pet hate of mine.

A New Challenge

Last week we had a really nice break in Center Parcs on the edge of the Lake district. It was great to get away for a few days. Now that the clocks have gone back, it seems that it is dark when you go to work and when you come home from work, so it was lovely to be able to get out in the fresh air in the daylight. It was nice just to walk and enjoy the scenery and not to have anywhere to go in a rush.

On an evening we played cards and dominoes. I know this sounds very boring and old fashioned, but it was a really good opportunity to chat and have a really good laugh, without everyone being distracted by mobile phones and other gadgets.

On the Thursday my youngest daughter came to visit for the day with one of my nephews. We had a really lovely day. we went in the pool and also went bowling. It was nice to spend time with them, but my daughter would not be persuaded to go down some of the slides, but I did manage to be brave enough to try a couple of them.

Motivation Required

So this week it was back to work. I have to admit that I am feeling a bit restless and out of sorts at the minute. I really need to get back to healthy eating and back to some running or walking, or some other activity that gets me out of the house and into the fresh air.

I’ve managed to make some more crafts. actually I have made quite a lot of things and have set up a page on Facebook.  I have also been invited to have a stall at the reopening of Cliffe Castle at Keighley on 10th December, to hopefully sell some of my products, which I am really looking forward to.

However I do now feel as if I need another new challenge to work towards. I am not really sure what I want to do though. Walking is always much better for me than running, as I wimped out of the last run that I signed up for. One of my friends is wanting me to sign up for a charity walk with her, which is probably a good idea, as this really motivated me last year.

If anyone can recommend anything else that is good for motivation, I’m open to ideas!

Two out of three

Well a couple of weeks ago I posted about my new goals and that I wanted to start to move on, instead of treading water. Well things went a little bit out of kilter and I only managed to partially achieve two of my goals. I also missed writing my blog too.

I did manage to go back to slimming world and start eating healthier again (although this has gone a bit down hill again!)

I managed to go running three times in a week (again a good achievement, but not kept it up again this week)

I did start some craft projects, but as yet haven’t managed to complete anything.

So what happened?

On Sunday I started doing some craft projects, but whilst using my laptop, I got a warning that I had a virus. I spent ages trying to sort it out, but to no avail. Luckily one of my lovely colleagues at work sorted it for me.

On Monday my husband went into hospital for an operation on his shoulder. Not a problem in itself, as it was planned, but unfortunately in the evening when I was due to collect him from hospital, I developed some kind of sickness bug and couldn’t even get out of the house. Luckily my daughter managed to contact my sister in law, who collected him for me. I wasn’t a very good nurse that night, as wasn’t even well enough to look after myself.

I felt quite rough for the next few days, so didn’t really achieve some of the things that I wanted to do.

Ah well, these things are sent to try us!

Two out of three

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my new goals, Unfortunately last week went a little bit out of kilter and didn’t quite work out as I expected. This meant that I didn’t write my blog last week.

However I did manage to keep to two out of three of my goals:

I did re-join slimming world and started back on a healthy eating regime again.

I also managed to go running three times that week

I did manage to start some craft projects, but have not finished one completely yet, so hence no photograph. Hopefully I will finish it this week and put some photographs on next week.

So what happened?

Well at the weekend I started doing some craft things, but was printing out something from my laptop when I got a warning about a virus. I couldn’t use the computer and spent ages trying to clear it. Luckily one of my lovely colleagues at work managed to clear it for me.

On Monday my husband went into hospital for an operation on his shoulder. This went really well, but at the point when I was supposed to be collecting him from hospital I developed some sickness bug and couldn’t actually go. My daughter managed to contact my sister in law, who thankfully went to collect him. I wasn’t a particularly good carer for him that night as I felt so ill.

I felt pretty rough for the next couple of days, so didn’t manage to do half the things that I wanted to do. The healthy eating didn’t really happen either, as I wasn’t well enough to cook or even eat properly.

Ah well these things are sent to try us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Believe

via Daily Prompt: Believe

I believe that there are some things in life that you cannot change, that “everything happens for a reason”, although sometimes I feel as though it is something that I say, rather than I actually believe. In my heart I really do believe it, but it’s just sometimes hard to put it into practice.

When things don’t happen the way that you expected them to, or bad things happen to your friends and family, it is hard to see this and believe there is a reason for it, but usually later on, sometimes months or years later, everything kind of clicks into place and it makes sense at to why things happened like they did.

I believe that you shouldn’t expect things from others that you are not prepared to do yourself and also that you should treat other people in a way that you would expect others to treat you.

I believe in loyalty. When my children were younger and they had agreed to do something or go somewhere, but then something else came along, I would always make sure that they did what they had initially promised. I don’t think that you should cancel something just because you get a better offer. I also expect loyalty from others.

I believe in keeping my promises, so I tend to only make promises that I can keep.

I believe that determination has helped me to succeed in many things in my life. When I was younger and lived at home with my parents and brothers, I was sometimes led to believe that girls cannot do certain things. I’ve never been a feminist in the campaigning, bra burning way, but some of the things that I have done in life have been done because I was stubborn and determined to do those things that girls don’t do.

I believe in doing the right thing. This has always been a difficult one, as I have sometimes done the right things for other people and not always the right thing for me. It is also difficult to please everyone, so I think that as I get older I am more inclined to do the right thing for me

I believe in love. The kind of love between two people that keeps you together when everything else is falling apart. The kind of love that parents have for their children, that makes them sacrifice everything. The kind of love that people show for others when they become unsung heroes.

I believe in tolerance. I think that people should be able to live alongside others with different views and beliefs without hating each other.

 

 

Photographic Memories

As this week has been a fairly ordinary run of the mill week, I decided that I didn’t want to bore everyone with that, so I thought I’d bore you with something else instead. Recently, due to the family celebrations we have had in our family, we have looked through lots of photographs. This got me thinking about how important photographs are, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite ones with you.

We have so many photographs, that it was difficult to pick just a few, so I tried to go for the less obvious ones and some that were not so recent. I’ve only picked six, as I really could have gone on forever.

So as they say on TV, in no particular order, here are those that made it through to the final six:

001 (2)This photograph is of me and my three brothers. It must have been taken some time in 1970, as my youngest brother was born in December 1969 and he’s the baby on the photograph. For those of you that were around then, This was the typical family photo of the day, taken by professional photographers. Everything is so relaxed these days, but we look very formal. We are all still smiling so that’s a good thing. When I look at this photo, it makes me smile that I had the exact same haircut as the boys!

IMG_2238This photo was taken at my brother’s wedding in October 2017. We had an absolutely fabulous time at the wedding and I could have picked lots of photographs from that day as there were so many good ones. The reason I picked this one of me, my sister in law and my friend was because it captured a moment of laughter, brought about by someone saying “I think you’ll need a wind angle lens”, when we asked to have our photo taken. The looks on our faces say it all!

003 (2)This looks like a really bizarre photograph, which of course it is, but there is a story behind it. One weekend, me and two of my very good friends were working together and had one of those moments of silliness. We decided to make a Christmas card for the rest of our colleagues. The lady with the big stick on teeth, is my very closed friend who died over 18 months ago. Myself and my other friend are wearing masks of her face and Christmassy headdresses. It seemed very amusing at the time and this photograph sums up what it was like working together as a team. It may not be funny to anyone else, but I guess you had to be there.

10485523_10152230028534499_8521081042482113921_nStrictly speaking this is a selfie rather than a photograph, but it brings back great memories, as it was taken in July 2014, the night we all went on holiday together. It’s the last time that all eight of us went together. We had a really great time and it was good to get that time together as a family.

625591_10151330243894499_1209778002_nThis was the first time that I had seen my eldest daughter take a main part in a show. She had been in many things before this, but when she played Christine in Phantom of the opera, I realised for the first time that she was going to be able to pursue her dream of being a performer. I had never been so nervous in my life when she first cam on the stage. I don’t know who took the photograph, as it appeared on Facebook after the show, but I am very grateful to whoever did, even though they probably shouldn’t have.

11222689_10206924951859591_8324028927852098422_n

I’m not sure that the young people in this photograph will appreciate me putting this on as they are now very grown up and sophisticated. This was taken on a family holiday, when we used to go as a big group. They were great holidays for all of us and a very special time. On this particular holiday we all had T-shirts and were “Clampitts on tour” on the back. I’m sure that whoever shared the campsite with us were mortified when we all turned up. We had some great laughs and my children have wonderful memories of these holidays.

Hope you like the photos. I’m sure that you all have favourite photos that mean so much to you and I’d be happy to see those that bring back memories for you.

Nasty Germs and Trashy TV

For the last week or so I have been suffering from some virally type thing which has given me an awful cold and a chesty cough. I spent a few days coming straight home from work and then going off to bed as I felt so terrible. As a result of this I have not done any exercise at all and have not eaten anything that you could describe as healthy. I guess that some weeks just have to be written as a lost cause. So what do you do when you feel ill and can’t be bothered?

Guilty Pleasures

As my daughters got to be teenagers they began to watch what I can only describe as trashy TV. These were things that I considered myself far too intelligent to watch and thought that they were a waste of time. Reality TV, which bears no resemblance to reality at all. Young people with perfect bodies, hair and teeth, who’s sole purpose is to look good. Judging people by how they look and if they can attract someone of the opposite sex (or the same sex), rather than on any achievements or personality.  However, I seem to have become obsessed with one of these very programmes – Love Island!

It originally started when we were on holiday a couple of years ago. We would often come back in from having a meal and a few drinks and it would be on the TV. My first reaction was that it was a load of rubbish, but I found myself being drawn in to watching it. Soon it started to promote discussion with my daughters about people’s morals and the importance of looks above any kind of substance.

Now my youngest daughter and I watch it together. I even wait for her to come home from work rather than watch it before she gets in. It may be trashy TV, but it is one thing that brings us closer, at least for the 7 or so weeks that it’s on. It doesn’t need me to think in any way and sometimes that’s just the kind of entertainment I need. Sometimes I feel as if I should make some sort of apology for watching this. It goes against everything I have taught my girls over the years, but for some reason I can’t help myself.

We also watch Hollyoaks together, which again promotes a lot of discussion between us, quite often about sensitive subjects. Sometimes it’s just nice to spend half an hour together watching TV and chatting. My husband despairs at the stuff we watch together sometimes, but I really enjoy that time.

 

 

 

 

As life goes on

I promised myself at the start of the year that I would write a blog every week and that it should reflect on the things that I have achieved in the course of the year, making each week count , being positive and seeing a good side to things

As I started to write my blog this week, (which is late again for no apparent reason, other than I haven’t got round to doing it) there has been another terrorist attack in the UK, this time in London.

This blog has certainly been a challenge this week. I could find some lovely things to write about my week as I normally do: It was my husband’s birthday and we went out for a lovely meal and to the cinema; I visited my brother and his family and we spent a lovely weekend with them; My youngest daughter has had two interviews this week and has been offered a job and my eldest daughter has gone on holiday having finished her final year at university.

So there are a lot of good things going on in my life at this moment in time, for which I am most grateful, but it is hard not to feel sad and preoccupied with the awful things that are going on in the world and what will have to happen to change these things. Its hard to write a blog about my everyday life without it sounding trivial or unimportant.

Last week I did focus on some of the good things that came out of terrible tragedy and again this week there were amazing acts of bravery and selflessness. There were communities that stood together and refused to be divided by the acts of a small group of individuals. The concert held in Manchester to raise money and pay tribute to the people who had died or were injured was a great way of showing support and defiance.

But one mistake I did make was to read through lots of comments made on social media. I generally try to avoid reading people’s political rants and scathing comments about the emergency services or using what is going on as a platform to generate hatred, but for some reason on Saturday evening I found myself reading social media as the events unfolded in London. What had happened was shocking enough, but some people’s reactions to it were horrendous. I accept that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but I wonder whether some of these people have any heart, compassion or an ounce of intelligence to put on some of the things that they did. But then again, more fool me for wasting my energy in reading them.

So I close my blog this week with hope that there will not be another event like this in the near future, or even at any time and that those groups of people who are teaching tolerance and coming together win out over those who want to cause harm and distress to others, whether that be through their actions, lack of actions or words.

Here’s to a happy and peaceful week.

Where’s my Blog?

As this was a Bank Holiday weekend, I did think that my blog might be a day late, but for some reason it’s actually two days late. It certainly feels like this will be one of those weeks when I am constantly on the wrong day. It certainly feels like it has been a long week. There was so much going on that it was sometimes hard to believe that it all happened in a week.

A sad day for Manchester

It was shocking to wake up on Tuesday and hear the news of the terrorist attack at the concert in Manchester. You could not help but be moved and feel great sadness for those involved. As the news unfolded during the day, there were some terribly sad scenes of people who had been injured and terrified when they should have been having a safe journey home after a great night out.

I think what was also extremely important to show, was all the good deeds that came from such a terrible incident. People who helped strangers, protected their own children and other people’s children, those who took drinks and staff for the emergency services and people who gave their time and skills for free.

Whatever is behind these terrible attacks, whether we apportion blame to the individuals, a particular group or whether we blame the government doesn’t really matter. It certainly doesn’t help those involved. However those good deeds, acts of random kindness, people doing the right thing, may help Manchester, the victims and other places, where terrible things have happened, to heal and move on.

The Play That Goes Wrong

On Friday night my husband and I went to the theatre to see “The Play That Goes Wrong”. I originally booked it as I was given theatre tokens as a gift, so I decided that I would book something that I wouldn’t normally go see. I am definitely a musical theatre fan and have only ever been to see a couple of plays. I have usually found them quite interesting, but I am definitely waiting for people to burst into a song and a dance at points.

However, this play was very different. It was so funny all the way through. there were no dull moments, or waiting for something to happen, it was full on from start to finish. It was very old fashioned physical comedy. There was no real swearing or smut involved, just the occasional double entendre. It was a really good night and my sides were aching when we left the theatre, from laughing so much.

A BBQ weekend

It was really nice over the weekend to be invited to a couple of barbeques. The fist was an invite from work and it was really nice to spend the afternoon in the sunshine, with a few of the people from work, having a laugh and chatting about things other than work.

On Sunday we went to my sister in laws for a barbeque. It was a lovely still afternoon and quite warm. We spent the afternoon chatting as a family and also being entertained by my niece’s five year old step son, who was a bundle of energy and kept us all on our toes.

Back on the plan

I started back on the healthy eating this week and felt much better for it. I’ve also carried on walking and doing a bit of running, so certainly feel back in the swing of things. On Saturday I went to park run, but did a different one to the one that I usually do. It was a really lovely run in Oakwell Country Park. We used to go there a lot when the girls were younger. The grounds there are beautiful and it makes me realise how many lovely places there are that are so close to home that we get out of the habit of visiting.