I’d like to think that I’m someone who packs a lot into my week but May has just been the most unbelievable month that I will always, always remember. Bank Holiday Monday seems like a good time to reflect as my next few days will be busy with work. Want to know what I’ve done in May? Well……I:
- went to Ightham Mote in Kent and finally found bluebells
- then discovered that there are so many bluebells in the woods right by me
- photographed the Angel of the North
- shopped at the country’s 2nd biggest shopping centre in Newcastle
- walked through the poison gardens at Alnwick Garden
- found the spot at Alnwick Castle where Harry Potter learnt to fly his broomstick
- ate at the jaw-droppingly beautiful Treehouse Restaurant in Alnwick
- went to Gretna Green in Scotland and inadvertently joined a German-speaking tour!
- drank whiskey in Scotland
- went on boat trips on Ullswater and Windermere in the Lake District
- went to the Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival
- took THE iconic wooden jetty shot in the Lake District
- went in a hot tub at the most luxurious accommodation at Applegarth Villas
- took a tour around The World of Beatrix Potter
- found the memorial to Donald Campbell at Coniston Water
- shopped at the Lakeland flagship store that was huge!
- took so many Lake District photos including spectacular Surprise View
- went to Chester Zoo where many animals hid from me!
- popped into Wales as I was only 20 minutes away!!
- ate at the fun Rollercoaster Restaurant at Alton Towers
- did an experience at Trentham Monkey Forest where I fed breakfast to monkeys
- watched the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Romeo and Juliet in Stratford Upon Avon
- visited the birthplace of Shakespeare
- got truly blown away by the magic of The Making of Harry Potter
- had owls swoop on my arm at Sussex Falconry
- went on a stunning cruise to Belgium
- pounded the cobblestoned streets of UNESCO site Bruges
- added more photos to my photography bucket list
- reached over 100,000 readers on TripAdvisor
And I think that my ‘scratch map’ really illustrates how much I covered this month as I’ve scratched off even more counties on my quest to visit all 48.
As you might have guessed, I’ve taken some time off from running my business but, this week, I’m back to my regular hours. At the moment, there’s nothing bucket list-related planned for June but I did squeeze in another photo for my photography bucket list today: something related to ‘iconic London’. I was quite near to Kingston which is in Greater London and there’s a well-known art installation called ‘Out of Order’ by David Mach which is a row of 10 decommissioned red London phone boxes falling like dominoes.
However, one thing I must do is to decide on my volunteering. My aim is to do 50 hours of volunteering. Back in January, I signed up to help at a youth club for teenagers with complex needs and committed to help out for 6 months. Working on my own and rarely seeing clients more than once, I hoped that it would bring me into contact with people whom I could get to know and be part of a team. And I assumed that I’d get to the end of the 6 months with the hope of reaching 50 hours and then stop. But I’ve discovered that I love volunteering so, having already reached 30 hours, I’d no doubt carry on with another charity to get a wide range of experiences, whether helping out at a hospice, supporting teenagers with mental health needs, helping to provide food for homeless people. But what I didn’t expect was to get to know the most incredible bunch of people and to now be in the position of trying to decide…..do I continue with this charity or move on? Some time for reflection is much needed.