How lucky am I?

It’s good to strive and want for more in your life.

But at the same time you need to be thankful for what you already have in your life.

Still feeling weak and drained from this flu,  today I had the chance to just sit in the warmth (it really was warm in the sun but sheltered from the wind)  of the sun looking at the beautiful Bournemouth beach.

I could feel the sun and the beauty of the moment healing my soul.

So today I am thankful to be able to sit in this beautiful part of the world and just enjoy being here.

How lucky am I.

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How can this not make you feel good

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24 hrs in Singapore – Part 1 -Because even check-in is an adventure in my shoes

I am so excited. The day has finally arrived. I cannot believe it, I really cannot believe it.

I am off to Australia to see my darling daughter .Yet again she has me flying across the seas to another continent, just to share a hug, a chat and a cup of tea. It’s my fault really, I have encouraged her to fly the nest and seek adventure. I guess it’s always been in me to do the same I just didn’t have the opportunity, so now I can follow her around the globe. As far as my parents were concerned going away to train as a nurse was a ridiculous idea, hence the nice safe accounting job. But it’s never too late to follow your dreams, so here I am.

We are off 🙂 We arrive at Heathrow Airport, bags checked in, just security to go through, I am ready for the alarm and consequential search, what is it that sets it off? I am no bionic woman! But I’m through this time for a change. I move to pick up my hand luggage, that’s when I see it, Whoosh my bag is suddenly out  of my grasp and heading into the hands of the rather scary looking security woman.check-in-2

Uh Oh, I immediately feel and look guilty, I’m sure I didn’t accidentally pack any explosives, drugs or such did I?  Not a time for joking. “Have you packed a corkscrew in your bag madam?” Now I do like the odd glass of wine or  two but “no” I tell her “no wine or corkscrew” delivered with a smile and possibly a note of sarcasm. Honestly, who would be stupid enough to do that? I guess the occasional dumb blond…….

Well something is showing in your bag madam, we will need to scan it again.. So off goes my bag again out of reach. As I stand there rather smugly imagining the apology that will soon be coming my way I remember……..Oh God!  Remember that I usually pack my make-up bag in the suitcase that goes in the hold, but this time as it is only a short stop over in Singapore it is in this bag that is now being scrutinised by 3 security staff. And what essential does every girl carry in her make-up bag? Well a corkscrew of course! ( That is if you travel to Spain a lot)

OK time to admit it.” Ahem, excuse me, I think I might possibly have packed one by mistake”. Well it wasn’t just a corkscrew was it, more like a Swiss army knife. Oh this is going to take some explaining. But I must have caught her on a good day, as she inspects it and peers at me over her glasses, she says Oh that’s OK madam, you can go now, and places the offending item back in my hand.

I’m not sure of the appropriate reply or why she has given it back to me, so I quickly pack it back in my bag and I’m through! The Singapore Airlines plane is on time. A few hours later we are sat seat belts  buckled, ready for take -off. We have a 13 hour flight to Singapore ahead of us, a 24hr stopover in Singapore and then an 8 hour flight to Sydney. This traveling malarkey is such fun.

Part 2 – Singapore – To Follow

My Promise to you……

I did promise to share the bad times as well as the good. Unfortunately after picking up flu on my way back from New York I have felt too ill to do anything. Really hard to keep the positive thoughts going when you’re laying in bed with a fever.

But….. I am a cup half full sort of person , now I am starting to feel better but still not well enough for work, I can sit and work on my blog. Hence the New York page.

I just need to get the brain believing again that I can change things and focus on what I want. I know as each day I feel better this will happen.

I have also had time to have a look at apartments for sale in Spain, my dream for at least 6 months of the year. Now I can picture my new home and make it feel real.

So the flu, first time i have had it since I was a child, has set me back a little in my positive thinking but at the same time given me some much-needed time to get this blog up and running.

Next blog will be POSITIVEp1040566-2_li

 

New York New York

I did say I wasn’t too sure what my blog would be about but as I love and am lucky enough to travel a fair bit I thought I would throw in a few pages about places I have traveled to, and maybe inspire you to go visit.

I won’t make this like a travel guide suggesting sights to see etc. There are enough of those out there for you if you need that. Just a general chat about what happened, what I enjoyed, and maybe some highlights and low lights. I also enjoy photography so will drop in a few photo’s. New York is very photographic!

Well I have just arrived back from New York, my first visit there.I traveled with 3 other women all around my age (mid fifties) and we did it on a budget. We got an amazing deal back in the spring £550.00 including flights. It did mean all four of us sharing a room, it was a bit like our teenager sleepovers revisited. The only difference was when we went to bed we went to sleep, shattered!

We stayed at the Marriott East Side which we found to be very central. It had everything we needed for our short stay. One tip here, we were recommended to use the deli that was directly opposite the hotel for breakfast. We came across many of these delicatessents all over New York, they are buffet style with pretty much anything you could want to eat, fantastic fresh fruit, fried sausages bacon etc, pancakes, pastries and muffins. All sold by weight.  A range of Coffee’s, English tea ‘YES’ and so much more all reasonably priced.

We flew with United Airways. Not a lot to say about them really. Just average. They seemed to have slightly older stewardesses than normal who seemed a bit grumpy. I had a really miserable Steward on the way out. The lady in the next seat to me asked if it would be possible to have a cup of coffee, he replied with “I will be back, as I can’t be expected to remember everything”. Fair enough. He later returned with the coffee so I then asked for tea for myself, Well apparently I should have asked earlier shouldn’t I?, but I thought he couldn’t remember! It was resolved by me volunteering to get my own tea, OK it gave me an excuse to stretch my legs and I guess he must have been a bit stressed with other difficult passengers……which is what he made me feel!

The only other point I would make is we flew back from Newark airport. United have their own terminal at the airport. It seemed most of the food and drink could only be purchased with United airways air-miles. So definitely worth signing up for these, something we hadn’t done.  There were a few places that you could actually pay for food and drinks, but only one till which was self-service. And you really don’t need to be there 3 hours before, it’s very quiet and quick to get through all the security checks.

I think I will mention the low lights first as there are so few of them

  • Sore feet. Be warned you WILL walk miles. Make sure you have thick soles and flat shoes/boots. One lady in our group had gone for fashion boots, although they were flat they had thin soles and she suffered the agonies of blisters.
  • Expensive – due to the poor exchange rate we did find it expensive. But of course it is a city so its to be expected
  • Heights! If you have a fear of heights like me, be prepared to overcome them or miss out. We met a few people who had not been up the Towers due to their fear.Honestly, just grab someone in the lifts, I had one particular friend who was my comfort blanket in all the lifts. Thank you Sharon. She got me to the top and once there I was fine. I even did this!
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  • Catching flu on the flight back – Of course it’s not normal but I  have heard of it happening several times and 2 of us were unlucky enough to succumb to it, and New York flu is pretty dire! Very little you can do about it other than not scoff at the passengers wearing face masks. Note to self for next long haul flight.

So now onto some of the highlights.

  • The Twin Towers memorial. To actually see the two places where the towers once stood which now have the fountains with the names of everyone lost on that terrible day is very moving. We didn’t go into the actual museum as we had been told it was too harrowing.
  • But we did go up the One World Trade Center. It’s the tallest building in The Western Hemisphere. Thanks girls, great way to overcome my fear of heights. But I must say outstanding views. The elevator taking you up had graphics as though you were outside the building. I’m afraid I can’t tell you how good they were as my eyes were tight shut and buried in Sharon’s coat.p1040151
  • That was a gentle introduction. The Next Tower was the Empire State, hey  this will be easy! That was until we got to the top and went outside. The wind was blowing so hard I thought I was going to be blown away. We queued for a long time for this one, I would suggest getting there early.

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  • Last but not least was the Rock or Rockefeller Plaza. Another sky scraper. The elevator has a glass roof so you can watch your ascent up the building not that I saw it!!!. I actually enjoyed this one more as you were nearer the other buildings and you got a fabulous view of Central Park. But again there was more queuing.
  • We also walked the Brooklyn bridge. Be prepared it is a long walk. But something you just have to do. There is a water taxi on the other side which we caught. It took us out to the statue of Liberty to take photos, we even saw a whale! Before dropping us back on the other side where free buses were waiting to take us to a variety of points in the city.
  • We did have very nice cocktails with spectacular views one evening in the revolving restaurant called The View at the top of the Marriott Marquis Hotel. We could have chosen to have a buffet meal which did look very good but was a little expensive so just opted for the cocktails which were exceptionally good.
  • Then there is Central Park with its famous ice rink. Don’t be fooled, its a big big Park, more walking! but well worth a visit even if it just to see the rock on which the city is built.Lovely colours in the trees at this time of year You can also pay quite a hefty sum to have a horse and carriage ride through the park. Nice if you are feeling romantic I guess. There is also a zoo in the Park, it didn’t look that big but as we didn’t visit I can’t comment.
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    The Famous Ice Rink in Central Park

     

  • And of course there is Times Square. So very American and fascinating. Not a lot to say about it really just an amazing place to people and Neon watch. I think my photo’s will say more.

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  • There is the usual open top bus ride. Something I do usually enjoy but we found the second route took us nearly 3 hours. It was supposed to take us through the Bronx but we all seemed to miss it with nothing particularly interesting on route, oh we did see the Hudson river where the pilot crash landed. It was dark when we arrived back and we spent a lot of time just sat in traffic. To be fair this could have been due to the fact it was Thanksgiving. The shorter route was more interesting, showing us where John Lennon was shot and the dock and buildings built for the ill-fated Titanic. The good thing was we were sat down!
  • We were lucky enough to be there for Thanksgiving so joined the crowds to watch the Parade. I have to say I felt no more threatened than I would have done in a big Parade in London. We were vigilant but it didn’t stop us enjoying it. And the Parade is something special.

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  • As for eating, there are so many places, just look for somewhere when you are hungry. But one place I would recommend is Ellen’s Stardust Diner. You will need to queue and the food is OK but not spectacular but the singing from the waitress and waiters will make you feel like you have gone to a Broadway show. Brilliant.p1040364
  • Grand Central station. We had this on our itinerary to visit at some point but actually stumbled across it one night. What a fantastic building, truly beautiful, with a very nice cocktail bar. Definitely worth a visit.45873843255872__720x405-argb_8888-321463426
  • I think the last thing to mention is don’t be worried about using the underground, we found they were really helpful when we were buying our tickets and it’s pretty much like the London Underground just much cheaper 🙂

My lasting thoughts of New York are eating New York cheesecake when sat next to Batman, Ironman and spiderman, those never-ending honking horns of the yellow taxi’s, the cold cold wind that whips along the avenues, those magnificent sky scrapers and just the madness of the place.

There is so much more to explore and hopefully one day I will get the chance to go back and do just that.p1040543

SMALL CHANGES

I woke this morning, first day back at work after my holiday with that dread of oh no work again. I really don’t want to go.

Hey but then I remembered “This is it, this is when I start to make positive changes”

So I went into work with a positive happy attitude, and things were different.

I work in an office where there is an older lady who has worked for the company for many years. She is well past retirement age and is a real matriarch, not as capable now and I have to cover her mistakes but at the same time she refuses to let me make any office decisions. I realise it’s because  she is losing her confidence so I usually just sit back and let it go. I am a very laid back person.

But today I felt different, I felt worthy I guess. So we had an office meeting and I spoke up for once, told them my ideas and they listened and took them on board and asked ME, yes ME to report back to them, not through the usual channel.

Wow did I feel good when I came out of the meeting. See, you just have to believe.

OK so it’s a small change but its a change for the better.

Now to order the book I have been told to read “The secret” by Rhonda Byrne. I am to believe it will change my life.

Can’t wait to start reading it, and I love this more confident me 🙂

Today’s header photo was taken at the beautiful Bondi Beach Ausralia

Time for change

Why am I sat here writing this blog?

Because “Today is the first day of the rest of my life” Well in truth 25/10/2016 was.

That was the day I decided that I had spent far too long dreaming about what I could do to improve my life. It was time to start DOING something about it. But I’m still not sure how I am going to do it, the difference is I know I CAN do it. To what level I can improve it I also don’t know, but this will be the story of my journey.

Why am I sat here writing this blog?

Because “Today is the first day of the rest of my life” Well in truth  25/10/2016 was.

That was the day I decided that I had spent far too long dreaming about what I could do to improve my life. It was time to start DOING something about it. But I’m still not sure how I am going to do it, the difference is I know I CAN do it. To what level I can improve it I also don’t know, but this will be the story of my journey.

So maybe I should tell you just a little about me.

I am a divorced mum to three grown up children. I work at a 9 to 5 job in an office with 4 weeks holiday a year. 4 weeks? 4 weeks every year where I get to do what I want to do. 4 weeks when I am not tied to getting up at a certain time to go and spend 8 hours making money for my boss and leaving only when that clock on the wall says I can.

4 weeks mmmm, and out of that 4 weeks there are the days when you “have” to do the things you have to do rather than what you want to do. The friend’s wedding that is on a week day. Not that I wouldn’t want to go to your wedding dear friend but did it have to be on a week day? That means I have to use one of my precious holiday days. (Note to anyone reading this that is planning a wedding, think of your working friends before choosing a mid-week day) Sorry I know it’s cheaper to get married mid week.. Then my dear mum needs taking to hospital for an operation and of course I will take her and be there for her, but there we go that’s another of my precious holiday days gone.

So I’ve been wondering for a long time why some people seem to be the “lucky ones”

You know what I mean, the people you don’t necessarily know but you see, driving that nice car, sitting on their balcony’s in their lovely houses. People who don’t seem to need to work but still have fabulous holidays and clothes. And have you noticed how they are surrounded by friends who seem to be “lucky people” also.

And I’ve been wondering and feeling bitter about why that isn’t me ? I have worked hard, harder probably than them.Worked while bringing up 3 children and supporting my then husband to build a business from scratch, and it was hard, very hard at times. I’ve picked myself up after getting divorced after 25 years of marriage. I have started again with a mortgage that will take me until retirement to repay to build a home for myself and my family.

I’ve asked myself so many times are they just better people than me? But I have always known that no they are not better than me, just born lucky I guess….Or so I thought….

I have come up with so many ideas of how I could improve my life, add some wealth to my humble bank account. But they were only ideas and nothing that would really give me what I want.

What do I want? I don’t think I am being greedy in wanting to wake up, sit on my balcony (a balcony like those “lucky”people have in a big house would be good) but just a small balcony that looks out on the sea and is in the warm sun will do fine. And then the thing I want even more than that? To not have to get in my car and drive to work for someone else. I don’t mind still working, I think it’s good for the brain, but to work in my time, when I want and for me to get the rewards.

Until 25/10/2016 I didn’t know what I wanted I just knew I wanted and deserved more.

So what happened on that day? I met someone who talked the same talk as me, understood that I wanted more but didn’t know how to achieve it. And they told me that I could achieve it if I wanted it enough. I think it was the first time someone had really believed in me and told me I could achieve my dreams.

They also told me “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”

So, that is why I am here writing this blog. One of the things they suggested I do is reach out to like-minded people. And here I am, if your reading this I guess you might be feeling the same as me?

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, But I do know I feel more positive about it.

Next time I will tell you how things have started to change already. Only small changes, but changes for the better.

Wishing you all a better happier tomorrow.