Another year over. Another decade gone! In 2019…….
This year saw me become a volunteer for the National Garden Scheme. Initially, it was to take photographs of the gardens, but when I discovered they needed help with social media I offered to help with that too. It’s very rewarding volunteer work. Not only do I get to visit beautiful gardens in my area and work with a team of wonderful people, but we also raise money for a number of very worthy health charities. As you might have noticed, I like to share some of the gardens with you.
I seem to go to more and more concerts each year. There’s just something about them… You can forget about real life and immerse yourself in the music. This year I seemed to have a running theme of seeing music artists twice (with one unintended exception).
In April, I saw Kiefer Sutherland Up Close at Gorilla in Manchester for an intimate evening of acoustic music, storytelling and a Q&A session. Then I saw Kiefer again in October, this time at the O2 Ritz in Manchester (right across the road from Gorilla). Another fantastic performance made all the more special because the company I work for printed the tour programme!
Again in April (it was a busy month!), I went to see Take That in Manchester and got to meet up with an old friend I’d not seen in years. I saw Take That again in Birmingham in May. Odyssey was one of those shows which was different depending on where you were sat/stood. It was such an amazing show. I would have seen it a third time if I could have afforded it!
In June, I saw John Barrowman’s Fabulous! show in Liverpool and got to meet him afterwards (such a nice man!). I should have also seen him at the end of November for the start of his Christmas tour in Bristol, but it was not to be. Poor John ended up in hospital with a neck injury on the morning of the show, so it was cancelled and I couldn’t make the rescheduled concert in Oxford a fortnight later.
In March, I saw actor Sir Ian McKellen live on stage at my local theatre. We were regaled with tales from Ian’s career and he would quite easily slip into character and read passages from the numerous parts which he’s played on stage and on screen. I met him after the show as he stopped back to collect money for the theatre.
Also in April (I told you it was a busy month!), I went to An Audience with Shane “Shakey” Byrne (six-time British Superbike Champion) in Hereford. It was a joy to meet and listen to this down-to-earth racer. He had the stuffing knocked out of him in a crash that could have seen him paralysed or worse, but he’s not one to let a little thing like that get him down!
Other events include 2 book events in Oswestry (DJ Mark Radcliffe and Louis Theroux) and taking my niece & nephew to the local theatre to see Tom Gates Live (based on the books by Liz Pichon).
I love my days out and weekends away. I love to take my niece and nephew on days out too and our first one of the year was the Feathers and Flight event at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre back in January. My niece also ended up coming on a weekend away to Criccieth in North Wales when Mum had to pull out at the last minute due to a family emergency. My niece loved it so much that she wants to go again!
Other trips have included exploring local churches, visiting places I’ve passed but have not been to before, treading the cobbles of Coronation Street, a glorious National Trust property, a tour of the historic Shrewsbury Library building and a Christmas weekend trip to Bristol.
I managed to keep a diary/journal for a whole year!
Who would have guessed that I would actually keep a diary/journal for a whole year? Not me! It’s not something I’ve really managed to do before. So here’s hoping I manage to keep it up on 2020!
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!