Wow! I can hardly believe it’s the end of the year already, it has gone by sooo fast. I’m late writing this month’s blog as I’ve been quite busy the last couple of months – I finished my full-time employment as an academic at the University of Manchester at the end of October and now have an Honorary, Associate Professor position, which basically means I can pick and choose when (and if) I want to work, which is a nice feeling. To celebrate, Ste (my partner) and myself went to Egypt on a Nile cruise for two weeks. Unfortunately, I caught a chest infection the second day I was there and was quite unwell for most of the holiday, although I forced myself to get out of bed and go on the trips, which is hindsight was probably not the best tactic as it took me another fortnight to shake off the virus when I got home.
Then at the start of December Ste had business in Abu Dhabi (AD), so it would have been rude not to accompany him! We stayed in Dubai for a week and travelled to AD by taxi. We went to THE most amazing mosque whilst we were there – the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which was absolutely fantastic and utterly stunning in its grandeur.
The Louvre in AD had an exhibition of the Impressionists which also beggared belief – never have I stood in rooms with so many priceless paintings. Everywhere we turned there were famous paintings by the most well known of the Impressionists – we were literally surrounded by such beautiful artwork that was worth billions of pounds. It was incredible, not to mention overwhelming!
My cousin has lived in Dubai for around 17 years and it must have been at least a decade since I last saw him, so of course we had to catch up. We had such a fun evening with Nick, his wife and son in a wonderful, traditional Arabic restaurant.
…and now back to reality! I’m just writing this having hosted my last Sound Bath of the year, which was a really wonderful experience. Such lovely clients, several of whom had been to my previous sound baths, and a real festive feel to the whole of the afternoon. Marianne from the ‘Buttercup Bakery’ in Hebden Bridge supplied the most wonderful, festive, vegan feast. We all had a really good chat and a laugh during the buffet at the end of the afternoon and I received such lovely, positive reviews from everyone that I’ve had a warm glow ever since.
Talking of warm glows, it was weird coming back from the lovely sunshine of Dubai to the cold climate that had descended upon the UK as we exited the plane. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m a member of a wild swimming group which I joined when I moved house in January this year. I go swimming most mornings in local lakes and reservoirs. Of course, with the cold weather the lakes have frozen over, so we now have to break the ice first before we can dip in the water. It’s an utterly exhilarating feeling and the natural high you get whilst in the water is unbelievable! I definitely recommend it, but do remember I have acclimatised myself to the cold water all year; it can be dangerous if you aren’t used to it and, believe me, this water is beyond cold!
As someone humorously noted on my Facebook page in response to a picture I had posted of my daughter Nancy (who also wild swims) and myself dipping in an ice hole, “Nutters! Ice should be in your G&T not floating around your head!” Made me laugh.
Have a wonderful festive break everyone and here’s hoping that 2023 brings you all of your heart’s desires.
All good things,