The only way is up

I’m in the kitchen with my mum. Bacon’s in the frying pan, I’ve got a cup of tea in hand, I’m a happy bunny. I’m wearing my roughest jeans and a hoodie and I’ve definitely got that Sunday feeling.

Work last week was better than I ever could have imagined. I went back into the school on Monday a nervous wreck of a Bronwen, but when I left that afternoon I’d found my confidence again. Honestly, just like that. It was like something clicked and I finally got over the fact it was all new and it started to feel familiar. Nothing’s more comforting than familiarity.

I knew I was comfortable when I found myself singing everywhere I went.

This week’s my training week at the restaurant and I’m so excited! Will be great to meet everyone more than anything. Feels so productive to be working again.

This evening I’m off out for a curry with some old friends from school. My brother’s home from uni this weekend and I’m stealing as many hugs off him as possible before he leaves again. My mum’s still promised me a teeny tiny roast at lunch time. (Can’t ruin my curry but don’t wanna miss out on roast either. Especially when roast lunch is going to be a whole family occasion.)

My mum found out she’s finally got the job of her dreams this week. She’s wanted to be a LSA for as long as I can remember, but she’s had the worst luck. I was so happy when she told me that this time, the position is hers.

I’m more addicted to The Walking Dead than ever, so studying has kind of gone out of the window. In a way though, I felt like I was studying all week at the school. At the risk of sounding like a complete nerd, I couldn’t help thinking about the ways Music Therapy could be applied everywhere I went.

The butterflies only flutter occasionally now as if to remind me they’re still there, but they’re manageable. Peace has been restored. Everything is on the up.

10 reasons to read more

One – Reading is for everyone. Okay, so you read one book by Dan Brown and you can’t handle the suspense, or decipher the intellectual gobbeldy-goop. I’d disagree with you when you said you didn’t enjoy it, but I wouldn’t judge you for it. Maybe you’ll say that means reading isn’t for you. Except there are millions of other books out there, all different. There’s one out there somewhere that’ll get you hooked. I know it.

Two – It’s fun and easy. You can claim that reading’s too much like hard work, but when you start reading you’ll realise it’s not. In fact, I feel more brain dead after a netflix binge than I do at the end of a book. Stick with it, the more you read the better your brain gets at it. Eventually, with perseverance and a little patience, you’ll forget to try. The story will come alive before your eyes.

Continue reading “10 reasons to read more”

A week in the life

Oh, I do love a Sunday.

This one feels like it has come around so fast; I feel like it was only a few minutes ago I was sat on that train writing last week’s post. I had a great day with my friends in London and didn’t want to come home. This week’s not been too shabby though:

I spent another two days volunteering and loved it.

I’ve been to the library to pick up some reading for a previously mentioned masters course. I’m hoping doing more reading will help me make a more educated decision about whether  or not said potential career path is really for me.

I also sat down at the piano and didn’t sing: I pushed the microphone to one side and had a muck about to see if I could remember my Grade 5 pieces. Reckon I’ll need to do a few more grades if I’m going to apply to any further music courses. Would be fun to have lessons again. I think if I promise to practice more than I did in high school, my old teacher might just have me back. We’ll see.

I’ve been making an effort to read more since blogging about why the rest of the world should.

I backed out of my fitness class, but did go swimming, so that’s something.

I went on a ‘banging’ night out with some friends and I’m feelin’ 22 again. (I’ve been a bit of an old lady recently. Bed’s been my best friend.)

Dave came home. He’s been working away, so I haven’t seen him in a little while. It was very good to have him back, even if briefly.

I spent a day helping out in a junior school! I enjoyed my time there, everyone was lovely, I appreciated the insight into mainstream education and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe they’ll have me back again some day soon.

Full steam ahead really. Nothing else to report, just another week in my life.

“Always look ahead, but never look back” – Miles Davis

I just closed my laptop lid and then opened it again about five times in a row. Honestly? This week at work has been really hard, more challenging than ever, and right now I’m full of butterflies. The minute I’m done writing this I’m going to go sit at the piano and sing my heart out. The temptation is of course, to stop writing and just get straight to it, but if all of the ‘top tips for bloggers’ sites agree on anything, it’s that you have to be consistent. Blogging every Sunday except for when you don’t want to, doesn’t quite cut it. 

You know what? If this week has taught me anything it is that I have some amazing people in my life. Not only have I been reminded that the people in my life will support and love me no matter what, but I’ve found that many of the new people in my life are just as incredible.  

AND you know what? The past week aside, this weekend has been great! 

I very nearly backed out of doing anything and opted for a weekend curled up in bed in pyjamas. Instead, I walked ’round the corner to my best friends house. We spent Friday evening, talking everything through, drinking tea and listening to music. By the time I left, she had me convinced I could get on with it and have myself a good weekend.

So on Saturday, I jumped on a train and headed up to Birmingham to visit one of my friends and we went along to the Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival at Moseley Park. It was pretty awesome. The atmosphere was amazing. The rain held off until midnight. The music was varied and brilliant. The artists were all modest, appreciative and talented and each one of them looked like they were having the time of their life. The biggest names were Craig Charles (who was in attendance despite a leg injury and whizzed around all day on a mobility scooter) and Average White Band (who I didn’t think I’d heard of until they started playing hits like ‘Let’s go round again’ and I found somehow, I knew all of the words). Brian Augar was there too and I think he might have been my favourite. For those who don’t know, he’s a jazz keyboardist and he’s super cool. There was such a diverse audience of people too. I hadn’t known what to expect in the lead up, but I’ll definitely attend a jazz festival again and whether you enjoy jazz, funk or soul, or not, I’d definitely recommend it!

Today I came home to the smell of a very yummy lamb roast lunch, my dad announced that he has booked a summer holiday for us all, to celebrate his 50th birthday, and I’ve had time to finally sort my room out.

I’m moving forward; onwards and upwards! After all, everything should be that little bit easier to handle with a holiday on the horizon…

Adventure of a Lifetime

Oh my goodness, where to start?

I did go to Reading to celebrate being 22, yet again. I turned up and my wonderful friends were waiting with cards and presents which made me ridiculously happy. Our night out started with Prosecco and ended with MacDonald’s, need I say more? If you’ve never tried MacDonald’s cheesy bites, be sure to do so next time you go. They’re the bee’s knees.

Life goes on. I’m still enjoying my work. It’s been a couple of weeks since half term break and I’m still going strong. I must admit that a week off at half term got me used to the easy life again and that I was worried about getting back into the swing of things. I needn’t have stressed though, getting back into it was easy as pie! If anything I went back to work after half term feeling more confident, even if I’d managed to catch a horrid cough.

I’ve had a bit of a revelation in that I think maybe it’s the care and therapeutic support side of my job I prefer to the teaching side (dun, dun, dunnn), but I’m still not making any real plans for the future. I’m going to keep crossing bridges as I come to them and setting short term goals, Tim Minchin style. I think I want to work with people, helping people. Perhaps I’ll look into Music Therapy, do some research and see where that takes me. Maybe I could do a masters in a couple of years time? The prospect sounds amazing, but baby steps.  

This week, I went to see Coldplay at Wembley! We headed into London early so we could set up somewhere and catch the football. The England v Wales game was a good’un; it kept us all on the edge of our seats. Even I squealed when we went and got that goal in the 92nd minute.

Coldplay put on such an amazing show. There were bouncy balls in the audience and lots of confetti and fireworks. They sang all the crowd pleasers and some extras. They made beautiful tributes to David Bowie and Muhammad Ali and I cried. They did an acoustic section as well as performing all out on the main stage. I don’t know what gives Chris Martin all his endless energy, but whatever it is, I want some.

It was such a good day. I’d give almost anything to relive the moment when the pub full of fans erupted because England scored or the moment when I looked up at the open roof of Wembley stadium and literally saw ‘A sky full of confetti stars’.

Other than that, I’ve spent a lot of time recently just chilling at my best friends’ houses and loving it. I went to see X-Men Apocalypse, which I thought was REALLY enjoyable. I’ve been keeping up to date with Game of Thrones… AHHHH. I’m going to be helping my singing teacher out at a choir she runs, which should be good fun. My friend and I are still keeping up the fitness classes… just. We missed a couple, but we made up for that by doing two last week.

Tomorrow’s Father’s Day and we’re spending it at my grandparents house and I’m really looking forward to a proper chilled Sunday before another week of work. I might finally get on with this scrapbook of mine, or at least finish my book. I’m reading Life of Pi and I’m half way through and so far, it is awesome.

On that note, all that’s left to say is an early Happy Father’s Day to my dad (who just happens to be the best dad in the world) and to all the wonderful dad’s out there. If any of you are reading, I hope you have the best of days. Tomorrow, the tv controller really is all yours and you’re free to make as many dad jokes as you fancy. Enjoy it while it lasts.

“If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out of the corner of your eye” – Tim Minchin

I’ll start with the job. It’s going really well I think. It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying it. The last time I wrote, I was still recovering from food poisoning. I was right to assume that was making life harder. Don’t get me wrong, the week after was difficult, but nowhere near as much so. This half term finishes tomorrow and I’ve told the school I’ll go back after the break. I never would have expected to end up in a job like it, but I’m glad I did. There’s so much more to say, but I also don’t want to say too much: I’m off to a good start and a breach of confidentiality might blow it all. In the interest of staying professional, my lips are sealed.

Life outside of the new job is pretty wonderful. I come home feeling like, in my little patch of this world, I’ve done some good. It feels good to be working hard and I’m proud to be challenging myself. That’s given me such a boost in general. Coming home from my office job was always a miserable affair. I was knackered, my brain hurt and I just wanted bed most days. I don’t miss that one bit.

I’M FEELING 22. Yep, my birthday’s been and gone. Birthday’s are amazing things. I’m so glad that at some point in our past human kind decided we should celebrate the date of our birth each year. I spent this birthday just chilling at home, listening to my new vinyl records, eating lots and drinking Prosecco and I loved it. I couldn’t have been happier. I woke up next to Dave at 5 in the morning and decided that was a little too soon to be waking everyone up. I woke again at half 7 but again, thought it was a little early. I eventually got up at 9 and got straight in the shower. I was ready in a flash and when I got downstairs my mum was making tea and frying bacon and my grandparents were there with hugs and birthday wishes. A massive chicken was out ready to be roasted. I’m a child at heart and I was so excited. I was spoilt rotten and by the end of the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

If you’re thinking that’s all a little too tame for a 22nd birthday celebration, I’m off to Reading with friends again this weekend and I’m certain they’ll make sure I get the necessary boogie-ing and drinking done.

Lastly, one of my best friends shared the below video with me the other day. It rocked my world. The remarkable comedian and musician that is Tim Minchin just sums it all up. He hits the nail on its head. THIS is how I want to live my life from here on in: (Now, I know it’s a long video but stick with it. At least watch the first 11 minutes and 52 seconds. It’s inspirational.)

Musn’t Grumble

Recap: In my last post I was feeling great. I was back on the singing band wagon and I was happily busy and I was all set to go off and conquer life. Ironically, the day after I published my last post I was hit by a cold that came with a nasty sore throat and had to refrain from singing for a few days.

I couldn’t sing, but I did keep busy as ever. I managed to do another few days work in a school and volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society for a day too. I spent a beautiful afternoon in the sun with Dave. I also went along to my fitness class as per usual. Middle of the day on Saturday, two of my best friends turned up on my doorstep dressed for a day in the sun. We decided to head to Tesco for BBQ food. The weather was amazing last weekend and we had the best of days. I’m actually smiling just writing about it.27dd8f73bccfd8085a3ec425a641004783ae4f9f_full

This week’s been exhausting. In fact, if I’d tried to write this post a couple of days ago I’m sure I just would have grumbled about being tired and feeling anxious and about the gloomy weather forecast for the weekend. The positivity that oozed from my last post would have been non-existent. I’d have never imagined that I could feel as optimistic as I do now.

Start of this week, I got what I think was food poisoning, which kind of stopped me in my tracks all together. I was just getting back on my feet after the cold, I’d enjoyed another busy week and then one of life’s lemons came flying out of nowhere. Musn’t grumble now though… Once I’d regained my strength I did three days work in another school! AND they would like to hire me on an ongoing basis! It’s been challenging so far, but I’ve actually really enjoyed it too. I’m gaining valuable experience and working with an amazing team of people. The school is for pupils with challenging behaviours and statements of Special Educational Needs and the more time I spend there, the more I think I might have to stick around. I found it particularly hard this week, because I don’t think I ever properly got over being ill. This weekend I’ve done nothing but chill and touch wood I think it’s done the trick.

largeI’m really excited about the few weeks ahead. In fact, I’m beginning to believe that when, on New Years Day, I said I thought 2016 was going to be my year, I just might have been right. I know that’s a big leap considering, but I feel good. I’m busy, I’m singing again AND working in schools so far has been really fulfilling. I’m finally beginning to take things in my stride. The butterflies have been around more than ever, but they haven’t stopped me taking each day as it comes. I kind of see what they mean when they say the world is my oyster.

I think I’m beginning to work out what kind of life I want to lead and just in time for my 22nd birthday. One week to go and I’m just beginning to get a little excited. It’ll be my first birthday celebrated at home in 4 years and it’s on a Sunday. I couldn’t be more chuffed.

So here we go again. Here’s hoping that this time next week there’ll be nothing worth moaning about. Going to get an early night tonight and hit the ground running tomorrow. BRING IT ON.

Hip Hip Hip Hip Hooray

I’m sat at my desk, the sun has got its hat on, Passenger’s album ‘All the Little Lights’ is whizzing ’round the record player and I’m making my way through a massive mug of tea. I can’t contain my excitement: It’s GAME OF THRONES DAY. 

Last week, I worked my first day in a school! I was ridiculously nervous; I think I forgot to breathe for the first two hours after I arrived, but when I got back home at the end of the day I was feeling positive. I had a really good day. Everything came to me surprisingly naturally and I was in my element being back in the school environment again. I was too busy getting stuck in to sit back and think too much so I haven’t made any big life decisions yet, but I loved it. I know that much.

In October 2013, I wrote a post called ‘Busy is Best’.

You’ll find it in Chapter One, Finding Bronwen:  https://bronwensamantha.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/537/.

When I went back to university for my second year, I very quickly discovered that I was noticeably happier when I kept myself busy. To this day, I swear by it. A busy life is a happy one; for me at least. Time to think has never done me much good. A day in with my best mate Netflix only ever turns my brain to moosh.

I’ve had a wonderfully busy week. I’ve been to the cinema and I’ve been out for dinner. I popped into town for cheap work clothes. I’ve been to work. I went along to a fundraising quiz night, in aid of a brave young girl who has been diagnosed with a rare terminal illness and whose family are raising money for her treatment*. Saturday was such a long day that when I woke up Sunday morning I blamed my aching muscles on the dancing I’d done Saturday night, forgetting about the fitness class I’d done first thing Saturday morning. Yesterday was spent eating BBQ food and drinking Prosecco to celebrate my beautiful twin cousins’ birthday. I cannot believe they are going to be 18.  I’ve also come to realise that keeping busy isn’t the only thing that makes me happy: I’ve done a singing practice every day without fail. I don’t think I’ve truthfully been able to say that since I finished my degree.

I’d began to forget just how much joy singing brings me. Tuesday, I rang Dave at the end of the first proper singing practice I’d done in ages. I tried to explain in words how I felt and how much it meant to me. I tried to explain how it had made me feel and in the end I just told him that nothing compares to it. Nothing gives me more freedom than singing. Nothing makes me feel stronger and nothing makes me happier.

I’m off to set up at the piano for a little while. If you can, go play your favourite song at top volume and whether you think you can or not, sing along at the top of your voice. After all, I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing. 

 

*Follow the link to donate to help fund treatement for Phoebe Flo: https://www.gofundme.com/phoebeflo

Time isn’t wasted if you enjoyed wasting it

This week, I almost gave up on Plan A, get a job in a primary school, all together. I’ve had my moody-face on. Somehow, I had managed to convince myself that every day spent out of work was a waste of life. I’d been searching for a job in teaching for just a month and a half and already, I had become convinced that all hope was lost.

It took my dad pointing out that a month and a half is no time at all, for me to come to my senses. I also think I eventually talked it through enough times to realise that whatever path I take in the future, I need to do this first. Getting into a classroom, getting some experience and finding out whether teaching is for me is exactly what I need to do. Until I know just how much I’m going to love it, I can’t possibly decide what on earth to do next. I can’t give up just yet. Especially not now: I’ve found myself an agency whose consultants match my level of enthusiasm. They’ve signed me off for work and this time there’s actually a job on the horizon. Watch. This. Space.

How I found the time to grumble I will never know.

This week, Dave and I booked a spontaneous trip to the cinema. I face-swapped with a minion. I caught up with two lovely ladies who adult better than I ever will. An amazing friend who obviously knows the way to my heart, cooked me a Mexican dinner: She made her guacamole from scratch. Doesn’t get much better than that.  I finally gave in and grabbed myself some gym clothes that I actually feel confident in. (They were in the sale, so my conscience is clear.) AND I road-tripped to Reading with the lads to visit our friend who flew the nest and refuses to come back. We forgive him for that on the basis that trips over to his for the weekend are such good fun. Who doesn’t love an excuse to jump in their car on a Friday night, with some of their best friends and head to a free house for the weekend?

Conclusively, I am a complete wally for nearly giving up so quickly, for thinking I should have everything figured out already and for forgetting who I am.

After all, I’m the girl who has always truly believed you cannot waste time having fun.