Watched my girl win an award
A few weeks ago, we discovered that my eldest girl had been nominated for an award. Not just any award though. Forget the Oscars, my clever daughter had only gone and won ‘Health & Social Apprentice of the Year’!
Out of hundreds of students, Megan’s tutor had nominated her after seeing how dedicated and mature she is when it comes to her full-time placement at a local hospice.
My heart filled with pride as she was publically recognised for her outstanding efforts and determination. Megan’s work ethic is incredible for someone of her age and I know first hand just how much she adores her job. She’s certainly on track for a wonderful career as a neonatal nurse after finishing university and I’m so excited to see what the future holds for her.
Cursed The Snow
Erm, what happened to the weather last month? The UK has seen more snow in March than we did all of last year combined! Not only did the Beast From The East make me a moody bitch for a few days earlier this month (walking to work in a blizzard was not fun) then to have it make a brief return a few weeks later really cocked up my plans!
Mainly because I’d been invited to an awesome blogging event in Liverpool last Sunday and had to cancel. The night before, we had a few flakes of snow but I was still optimistic as I printed off mine and Lucie’s train tickets.
It was not to be. We woke up to this at 6.30am and soon discovered that the buses had been cancelled and roads closed. I spent the rest of the day at home, furiously complaining to anyone who’d listen (including the cats) about how fed up I was and that snow shouldn’t even be making an appearance in frigging March. Fun times.
Got shortlisted for the Lovin Manchester awards
Last week, a friend tagged me on Twitter to let me know that I’d made the final ten in the Lovin Manchester Best Blogger Awards. Given that I’m a small fry hobby blogger, I was genuinely shocked yet over the moon to have been considered, especially when I spotted the other nine nominees; I was up against some seriously good competition.
After begging friends, family members and colleagues for votes, I was informed that I’d only gone and made the shortlist – OMFG! At the time of writing, I’m now in the top five and will be attending the awards ceremony later this month where the final winner will be announced. Exciting stuff!
Of course, I’m not too hopeful about actually winning this title as I’ve been placed in the Best Food Blogger category and the other people nominated are much more established (and frankly talented) than I am. If you do want to vote, you can do so here.
Simply scroll down the article, enter your email address in the Google Doc and select your favourite. I’ll let you know the outcome over on my social media channels. Wish me luck!
Re-visited Heaton Park
Heaton Park, Manchester is somewhere that features fondly in my past, from childhood memories to days out with my own kids several years later. We’d been suffering from a mild case of ‘Cabin Fever’ so decided to head out for some fresh air.
Now that the kids have their own busy social lives (sob), Adam and I jumped in the car one Sunday morning and headed to Heaton Park for lunch and a walk. The cheese and onion pie at the Stables Cafe is pretty legendary so we filled our bellies then went to explore.
What was initially intended to be an hour out of the house turned in to a five-hour adventure as we stumbled across woodland art, a billion squirrels and took a ride on the vintage tram. Even though it was still freezing, I couldn’t pass up the offer of a Lotus treat from the ice-cream van!
Watched ‘Ready Player One’
I read the book by Ernest Cline last year and absolutely loved it. I grew up playing computer games in the 80s and 90s and am a bit of sucker for nerdy nostalgia so devoured the book within a few days. I’d been eagerly anticipating the movie release so took advantage of not having to work on Good Friday and headed to the cinema to see how Stephen Spielberg, Zack Penn and Earnest Cline had adapted one of my favourite novels.
The first few minutes of the movie explains the dystopic world set in 2045, the OASIS, ‘gunters’ and other fundamental details. I’m not going to post too many spoilers but the film has several key differences from the bestselling book.
In the book, one of my favourite chapters is a ‘Copper Key’ challenge involving the main character, Parvizel aka Wade Watts, and a throwback to a ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ module, ‘Tomb of Horrors’. This was completely omitted from the movie, instead swapped for a more modern, fast-paced mission.
Alongside the death of a key character in the book, Wade’s extensive self-education on James Halliday and Ogden Morrow and more being left out of the screenplay, it was a very different experience, however, the addition of a scene involving a cult 80s movie made up for the lack of pop-culture references that a thirtysomething-year-old like myself may have enjoyed seeing more of. Have you read or seen ‘Ready Player One’ yet?
In loving memory
March also marked four years since the worst day of my life to date. March 27, 2014, was the day Neil – my fiance, the girls step-dad, a son, brother and much-loved friend – passed away suddenly and our world changed forever. As the years pass by, this tragic loss has become a little more bearable but still manages to sting with unavoidable, bittersweet memories and emotions.
I’m not really one for sentiment nor holding much value on transitory things, such as a date on a calendar but the anniversary of Neil’s death is always one that fills me with sorrow regardless of my efforts. I find myself reflecting on how far into this journey the kids and I have come, how different my life is now and yet the events that unfolded on that horrific evening feel remarkably vivid and are still so hard to comprehend. Grief is a complex beast, eh?
The girls and I marked the day with a beautiful bunch of orange gerberas which always make me smile. They were the chosen flower for Neil’s funeral and the vibrant, pretty petals always serve as a personal reminder to stop sweating the small stuff (including snow days) – life really is too short <3