Tag Archive | Glasgow

New Year, New Look

yesterday2013 wasn’t my best year but that’s now behind me and I’m ready to move forward. I already have a good feeling about 2014 with a number of events to look forward to in the diary.

Before I start as I mean to go on for the next 365 days or so I have decided to change my Blog-look for something a bit funkier and different to my previous theme. A change is as good as a rest so they say and the clean and fresh layout and colour scheme works well with my content. Who knows? I might change it more regularly in future to shake things up a bit but this suits me for now.

change

Looking forward month-by-month I’m sure that this time next year I will be thinking “What happened to 2014?” Already I have so much going on, so many people to see and places to go that I will need all my energy and stamina to get through these exciting times. Needless to say, rest and recuperation will also be high up the agenda as well as healthy eating and gentle exercise to build up my strength slowly but surely.

progress

To start at the beginning, January is a “write-off” as we will be busy, busy, busy preparing and filing UK personal tax returns before the 31 January deadline and before we know it February will be upon us. I celebrate my birthday in February and have already booked the day off to ensure I won’t break my lifetime habit of never working on my birthday. I haven’t done so far and I don’t intend to start now at the tender age of 51! It’s good to have something to look forward to in what many people consider the most depressing month of the year.

March heralds Spring with the Iranian New Year “Now Ruz” to enjoy and my niece’s Hen “Do” in London. I’m not sure what we are up to yet but a day and evening out in the capital promises to be fun. April will be a busy month with the Wedding of the Year when Pippa gets her man at last and this is closely followed by my son Will heading off to Iceland for a geography field trip of a lifetime-lucky boy. Geysers, thermal power stations, volcanoes and the blue lagoon all await and how I am looking forward to hearing all about it.

May is usually a lovely month with my garden getting into its stride and a couple of Bank Holidays to shorten the working weeks is always welcome.

June will be quite stressful I imagine with important A Level exams for Will who is hoping for some good grades to get him into his University of choice to study Geography and Natural Hazards. The course looks great and having been to an open day a couple of months ago I would gladly swap places with him!

The summer promises a fabulous holiday for me and Feri, details of which I will disclose as and when it is booked! It is a belated 50th birthday present for me and it will be well worth waiting for if we can book the holiday we want. Needless to say my camera won’t be far from my side with batteries fully charged!

Late summer brings the exam results and hopefully a place at University for my baby boy. I can’t believe that 18 years have disappeared so fast and that he will be leaving home but I know that he will enjoy the experience and the opportunities it will bring him. I am excited for him and I have my fingers crossed that his exams go well-he deserves it.

All this and I haven’t included the major sporting highlights. The Football World Cup in Brazil, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Ryder cup at Gleneagles and the Winter Olympics in Russia.

There is also the 100 year anniversary of the start of WW1 to commemorate.

2013 has been challenging, disappointing, frustrating and tiring.

2014 will be inspiring, exciting, joyful and tiring!

Bring it on!

new year

Uncharted territory indeed

My readers will be aware that I use the online do-it-yourself mood monitoring tool Moodscope which I find invaluable in helping manage my mood swings and lifestyle.  Another welcome feature for subscribers to Moodscope is the daily inspiring email from Jon (Cousins) the founder of Moodscope and diagnosed bi-polar depressive. I always read his email and often wonder how he manages to come up with something different each day. Respect. The trick to these emails however is not just to read them, but to take his comments on board and try to act on them. It’s all to do with being proactive and positive and in taking the initiative, you will reap the benefits of your efforts. Like me today.

Yesterday (21 September), Jon’s email was entitled “Uncharted territory” .  I read this Blog post and it dawned on me that, unusually, I haven’t spoken to anyone new for quite a while. As someone who does a lot of travelling on the train and has responsibility for several different offices across the UK, I realised that I had settled into a “comfort zone” which accompanied my recent downturn in mood and desire to withdraw from the world.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I am always happy to make positive connections where I think they exist. Today, I was presented with lots of opportunities to speak with and work with “new” people and found it amazingly refreshing, exciting and I learnt a lot. Hurrah! Change, development, initiative, ideas, learning and creativity is what I thrive on and I feel that I have emerged from my self-imposed cocoon at last. At work I have “new” colleagues to work with over the next few months and I’m looking forward to it. The change is good and has inspired me to focus on what I do best with renewed energy.

This attitude and positivity also spilled over into my train journey home when I met a delightful young Somalian girl dressed in hijab and abaya who was travelling from Glasgow to  Leicester to help her Doctor husband pack his case and move up to Scotland. All she did was ask me, in broken english but with an endearing smile, which train she needed to catch from Birmingham New Street to Leicester. I explained that I was going that way myself and I would help her.

Over the next hour, we found the right train, some seats and found out a lot about each other. She told me that she has been in the UK (Glasgow) for 4 years and is learning how to speak English at Glasgow College. She also happened to mention that she was struggling to understand her tutor this year (a Glaswegian) whereas last year she had no such problems when she had a tutor from London.  At this I started to laugh and explained that if she can learn to speak English in Glasgow she’s brilliant! Although her English was broken, she made every effort to speak with me and made use of the vocabulary she had. No, it wasn’t perfect but she made herself understood and we “chatted” for an hour between Birmingham and Leicester.

She told me that she misses Somalia because she could go out in the warm weather with no shoes on whereas in Scotland it is cold all the time and shoes are always needed. She asked me if it ever stops raining and what is Buckingham Palace like? She wanted to know about my gold jewellery (obviously not European) and asked whether I had been to Africa. She will never go back to Somalia because “They are killing each other” and she will always look after her mum. She is the youngest of seven children and when someone gets married she does the beautiful henna hand paintings. All this and more with limited vocabulary.

 When we got to Leicester, I showed her the exit and where her husband would be waiting. Giving me a hug she said “Thank you so much. You have been very kind and it has been nice meeting you”.

Who needs Reddybrek for a warm glow? Not me.

Her name?

No idea 😦