Another year over.
2018 has had its ups and downs like any other year, but I think it’s mostly been a positive year.
One evening in April, Leo (also known as “Boo”) unexpectedly passed away. He was around 13 years old. Back in September 2005, this bundle of fur came running up to me during a break at work and the rest, as they say, is history. Being part Maine Coon he was a large cat with a larger than life personality and he left a huge hole in my heart when he went.
Sugar hadn’t been at Shropshire Cat Rescue long when I found her during one of their open days. I fell in love instantly (just look at those big round eyes!) and adopted this cute, big bundle of fur. It hasn’t been easy… Sugar found her former home very stressful and in response she developed a habit of urinating where she shouldn’t, so there were a few “accidents” early on. However, she settled in here straight away and she’s now a very happy and relaxed cat.
I love going to live shows and the highlight of this year was seeing Gary Barlow at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham a couple of days after my birthday and being in the second row (Gary reading my banner was a bonus too!). Other concerts included Kiefer Sutherland (I got to meet him before the gig!) and, just a couple of weeks ago, Def Leppard. I also saw the musicals An American in Paris and The Calendar Girls, as well as the live stage show of Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians (that one was with my niece & nephew!).
Other events I attended were Jason Donovan & His Midlife Crisis Tour, motorcycle racers McGuinness and Whitham On Tour, An Evening with Carl Fogarty, The Book Thief author Markus Zusak talking about his new book Bridge of Clay, and An Evening with Michael Palin. I hadn’t realised I’d been quite so busy!
This summer Mum and I went back to the place where we spent my childhood holidays, Criccieth in North Wales. We did the things I’d always wanted to do all those summers ago… We visited Criccieth Castle and rode on the Ffestiniog Railway.
Other trips included seeing the snowdrops at Stanton Lacey, visiting Acton Scott Historic Working Farm (another place I’d wanted to visit since I was a child), Ludlow Castle, Glansevern Hall Gardens, The Magic of Life Butterfly House, Cymer Abbey and Llangollen Railway (blog post still to come!), as well as London, Liverpool and Manchester.
I love having days out and trips away, but whilst it was lovely and sunny this past summer, some days it was just that bit too hot to go out exploring.
With a late winter and 6 ft snow drifts crushing the heather in what should have been spring, followed by a very hot summer, I was surprised that the garden still flourished this year. One or two plants even hung on into late autumn.
I think my most successful 2018 blog post was the one about Shropshire Cat Rescue… after all, what would the internet be without cats?! The post certainly went down well with the volunteers at the charity and I’ve even been asked if I’d like to write an article for the next issue of their magazine (my photo of Bernard from their residential village made the front cover of the current issue of their magazine).
I’m also pleased to know that my post about Elrohir Leather’s Traveller’s Notebooks has inspired at least one reader to order one. The covers are so beautifully crafted, they’re hard to resist!
Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best for the new year!
See you next year!