Monthly Archives: January 2016

Wordless Wednesday – Happy Birthday Mash

#100happydays – Happy Birthday little brother

My brother - happy birthday

#100happydays My brother in Munich in January 2015. It’s his birthday today

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In a Vase on Monday – violas, primula and pelagoniums in the snow

The weather has been very wild, wet and windy here in Salford for the last few weeks. It’s been very mild so it’s rained ALOT and confused all the flowers.   The River Irwell flooded on Boxing Day, in Kersley and Lower Broughton elsewhere in Salford (only a couple of miles from me) wrecking Christmas for hundreds; the clean up and repairs are still going on.   Hebden Bridge, home to qwirky, independent businesses was flooded yet again, Todmorden just down the river in Calderdale. Cumbria and York, even though more flood defenses have been built. Good friends of mine in Scotland were flooded out in mid December, when the River Forth burst its banks in Stirling – their house is a real mess.   Thousands of homes, businesses, schools, churches and other public buildings wreaked.    I really feel for everyone affected and I’ve been doing my bit to help.  Climate change is happening for sure.

Pelagoniums, primula and viola 1

Pelagoniums, primula and viola 17 January 2016

It’s been incredibly mild here since the autumn – between 9 and 15C most of the time. Only one even vaguely frosty morning.   Finally, we had some snow over Saturday night into Sunday morning – the first of the winter – only an inch or so. It lasted into the afternoon before it melted.  Many of my friends who live in the hills around Manchester had quite a bit of snow – lots of happy kids sledging and building snowmen.  As it’s been so mild many flowers in my garden have continued to flower way longer than they should have (and appeared in vases too) – dahlias into November, fuchsias into December and many of my bedding plants are still flowering a little.

This week, for my ‘In a Vase on Monday’, I went for a hunt around the garden – and I found some tiny flowers lurking.  It was very sunny so I took these flowers on Sunday morning.

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#100happydays 50-54 Cottonopolis WI and Christmas films

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The beginning of December was really hectic for me – I was working on some new projects at work, with a whole new team in a different building, so there was a lot to get my head around.  They’re all lovely, very welcoming and I’m enjoying the projects, but I’m still absolutely shattered and my back pain is dire at the moment.   The #100happydays challenge has helped me look for positive things every day, even when I’m having a pain-filled and exhausting day.

I started to look forward to Christmas too – and one of the first things coming up in the month was our monthly meeting at Cottonopolis Women’s Institute on  2nd December 2015.

#100happydays Cottonopolis WI December meeting

#100happydays Cottonopolis WI 2 December 2015 meeting

50/100 – Cottonopolis Women’s Institute 2 December 2015

Our December meeting is all about Crafts and getting into the Christmas spirit.
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#100happydays challenge 42-49 family, food, friends and adventures too

An update on my  #100happydays challenge – http://100happydays.com/ from the end of November 2015; work and preparations for Christmas completely caught up with me so I’m way behind with my summaries.  Reflecting on these pictures, reminded me of the importance of family, friends, doing the things you love and most of all how much flowers and my garden can lift my mood.   Have a good week everyone and come back soon to see the next instalment.

#100happydays 42/100 fuchsias flowering in November, 43/100 mid week roast chicken dinner, 44/100 talking to my brother, 45/100 this card

#100happydays 42/100 fuchsias still flowering in November, 43/100 mid week roast chicken dinner, 44/100 talking to my brother, 45/100 this card made me laugh

42/100 – Fuchsias still flowering in late November 

I’ve mentioned a couple of times on my blog, and on twitter, about how weird the weather has been in the UK this Autumn. In our part of Salford in Lancashire, most of the flowers in the garden continued to flower well into December – fuchsias, dahlias (see below), geraniums, hydrangeas, etc.  Other fuchsias in the garden flowered right into mid December and starred in a Vase on Monday.

It’s been very mild but wet especially in December – we had dreadful floods in elsewhere in Salford only a couple of miles from me.   Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Scotland have all been flooded – it’s just dreadful as it wrecks lives, homes and businesses.

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My 2016 – carry on (happiness and hope)

Hope smiles from the threshold of  year to come, whispering ‘It will be happier…’ Alfred Tennyson

Worsley Woods Parkrun Marker - 1 January 2015

Worsley Woods Parkrun Marker – 1 January 2015

I don’t make resolutions in the conventional sense of ‘New Year, New Me’ as I think the pressure of expectation often makes people fail. I just believe if you want to change something whether it’s big or small, just do it.  Pick a day, start and try your best… it doesn’t have to be on 1st January either.   It’s also important to remember that small changes count just as much big ones;  everyone has to start somewhere… and this year in 2016, it’s about carrying on, finding more happiness and new adventures.

In many ways, 2015 was a terrible time which had a massive impact on me – my friend Steve died very suddenly, which had an overwhelming impact on me mentally, physically and emotionally.  I’m still working thorough this and getting myself back to where I want to be.  Then my role changed at work very suddenly and there are huge rearrangements next year across the organisation, so there’s on going uncertainty.  I have no idea what I’ll be doing and where I’ll be at the end of 2016. But I know My Chap will be by my side holding my hand (metaphorically too) – he’s my rock. My family and my pals have been great too (mostly).  I’m a happy person generally, but my resilience, energy levels and health have taken a major hit in 2015.   But, this trauma has reminded me about what I believe…. Continue reading