Friday, 21 April 2017

Thinking of you Billy23.

How many of us are guilty of watching motorsport with a little hope of seeing a bump or spin? I know it's partly what got me hooked... the drama, the thrill, the adrenaline! Never did I expect or want to see something so horrific as what I saw on Sunday 16th April 2017! Billy Monger is 17 years old and so so talented behind the wheel. I have seen him on track for a few years and I am absolutely shocked by what I saw on the track and the news that followed this week! Please share, donate and send him love (Link at the end of post)!

As you may have seen from my surprise post and my life update posts that I wrote previously, you will know that I started to take an interest in motor sport a few years ago. We had been to see the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) a few times and always watched the coverage on ITV4 but once I had seen the action live, I was bitten by the bug! In September 2015, I introduced Serena (one of my closest friends, the girliest of girls, given the title of princess by us uni friends for a reason and an absolute hoot) to the BTCC as Dan and I were visiting her home track, Silverstone. We thought she'd like a day out. Even though we decided to sit in the wind tunnel AKA the stand on Luffield on what was actually a glorious day,  Serena totally understood why I loved the sport so much. It wasn't long before we were planning our next touring car adventures.  We even did a girls only 'Girls on Tour' trip to Brands Hatch for the final round last year! Incredible! I have been to a fair few weekends and race days at this point and I have more planned! It's extra special that I can chat to a really close friend about the racing and drivers too. Okay, there's quite a lot of talk about drivers I admit! *wink*

Racing has got so obsessive for me that I don't class the year as started until the touring car season has begun. Yes I am aware of how sad that makes me but living with a diary that is filled with hospital appointments and doctors check ups it's pretty awesome to actually have things to look forward to! I count down for the media day which is usually held at my home track, Donington Park. It's where you get the first fix of the sights, smells and feels of the amazing cars on the track. And yes, I do mean feels... If you have ever stood track side of 30 odd cars all belting round a track close together then you will know how you feel it in your feet, your chest and your throat vibrate. Its AMAZING! As you might know, my brain condition prevents me from the thrills of a rollercoaster ride and the like so for me this is as close as it gets... well, this and fast planes - another love!

As it happens Donington Park is round two of the championship and it is the first round that we tend to go and see track side. (One year I will get to Brands Hatch Indy). There's a small group of us that go. (It started as a lads day out but I gatecrashed and then this year we took Serena too so it was the guys plus two). We were treated with some spectacular racing, some brave driving and some dramatic weather however there was some very unwanted drama on the day.

During the formula 4 (support race), there was the worst racing incident that I have ever witnessed. The racing was fast and close and 17 year old Billy Monger in the number 23 car was working his way up through the pack of cars after he had spun earlier in the race. It was during an overtaking manoeuvre when he shunted into the back of what looked like a stationary Pasma in car 21. It was a fast and hard impact. The race was being shown as always on the big screen opposite us on Hollywood although the incident happened to our left up towards the old hairpin. We could obviously see the seriousness of the impact and the race was immediately red flagged. Within seconds there were marshals running to the aid of both drivers. The bravery, quick response, support and team work that these volunteers offer to provide the best support and safety for the drivers and spectators is incredible! The medics were also on scene within a couple of minutes too. As a spectator, we enjoy the thrill of seeing the odd punt off into the gravel or spin here and there - it adds to the drama but I think I can safely say that no-one ever wants to see an injury! It brings the reality home that motorsport is dangerous! These are real people driving real cars and occasionally they do break! It's gut wrenching!

So, it was clear that one, if not both of the drivers were seriously injured. Both were taken to hospital and Pasma was later reported to be okay. Billy was airlifted to Queens Medical Centre and it is now known that he has had to have both lower legs amputated. I know from my experiences at QMC (albeit a different department) that Billy will be well cared for. It is a specialist trauma centre and the staff in major trauma are great. However, he has got such a long road ahead of him and his team have set up crowd funding through just giving. Please, please go and read the page, donate if you can but at the very least please leave a message of love and support to Billy and his family. I have found that the motorsport community is absolutely amazing, but lets expand it! Please share with the hashtag #billywhizz use the hastag to send love, thoughts, wishes and prayers his way.

Please go here for the justgiving page.

Billy, if by any small chance you get to read this: You have a whole world of supporters out here rooting for you and wanting nothing but the absolute best for you. You have always had a very strong head on your young shoulders and whilst times may be very confusing and frustrating, lean on those you need for support. Keep your dreams, aims and goals because you will achieve them! You will be the champion in all that you do!

Take care and please spread positivity and love wherever you are.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

What happened to Snapshot Sunday?

Hello again,

Firstly, let me start by saying I'm sorry for not posting in the week and for posting my snapshot Sunday late! I did warn you that last week was going to be a busy one -  and I wasn't wrong! By the time I got home I was absolutely shattered and I really cant get away with a half arsed attempt at posting such a fun week - nor do I want to! I fully intended to upload on Monday but I had my visitor here still and I've used the last couple of days as a catch up...mainly on sleep.

So here's my Snapshot Sunday post From my week last week. 10th - 16th April 2017

On Monday, I was feeling really rough. I got out of bed early on and decided that i'd be more use tucked up back in bed and set my alarm to wake me up to take the car in for it's MOT then come straight back. I picked up a bit after the fresh air and cool waiting room at the test centre but it wasn't a productive day. I took a snap shot of the weather forecast for the rest of the week for Derby (Our planned destination for the weekend).

Tuesday was very different from Monday. It was probably the most packed out day I've had in a long time! It was house prep day for our guest arriving as I was going to be staying away for the rest of the week so had to have the house nice for when I went away. I left the hoovering for Dan but pretty much managed a lot by myself this time. Charlotte, one of my closest friends came for a visit in the afternoon - she was back from uni for the Easter break and it was such a welcome visit. We sat and critiqued the new Disney Beauty and the Beast, chatted about uni life and home life and had a general catch up. I love her uni stories. The pics and videos she showed me had me howling with laughter - (they are not suitable to be shared on the internet!)

So, the little visit on Tuesday got the excited gears going ready for Wednesday... trip day! Charlotte picked me up and dropped me at the station and I was off and on my way to Cambridge in no time! The train from Nottingham to Peterborough wasn't the most pleasant purely because the 'Clampits' who had previously sat where I had got my reservation had decided to leave all of their rubbish for me to tidy away, including spilt milk - I didn't cry over it! (Y'know, the old saying: don't cry over spilt milk).  Anyway, the reason for my trip was that one of my besties was performing in the Full Monty at the ADC theatre and it was her first character part rather than being in the chorus. I knew nothing about the role she was playing as she wanted it to be a surprise for us - and that it was! Going to her house on Wednesday meant I got to have a bit of 'down time' before seeing the show on Thursday and spend some time with my friends and my god daughter... who can now say my name and is more super cute than ever! As Laura was performing on Wednesday I had a play date at the park and then got to put the little one in her cot at bedtime! Precious moments!

On Thursday we had a relaxed day in Cambridge. Serena arrived in the evening not long after Laura had left for the theatre and after a bit of tea we headed out to take our seats in the (rather chilly) auditorium. Row C - Nice and close so Laura (who was playing Estelle - the 'bit on the side' of the main character) could hear us cheering her at the end (we always aim to cheer the loudest for our friend). It was the best I have ever seen Laura perform! The show had me and Serena laughing out loud and cry laughing at each other at parts too.

Friday was the day Serena and I travelled back to Mansfield. We had a song fest in the car with everything from the Lion King to PJ and Duncan! Yes, we know how to have the best carpool karaoke! We were tired and a little delirious *we always are when we are together* but we were so ready for our weekend adventure to the British Touring Car Championship Round two at my home circuit - Donington Park!

Saturday: We woke up and had to get busy getting ready straight away - my worst kind of morning but it was softened by the sound of "hello, wheres Aseena?" That's my nephews way of saying Serena. He was desperate to come and see her! Little did he know that he was joining us on the adventure to the day at the track. When he found out it was full on excitement. On the whole it was a pretty uneventful day... Until the last Ginetta race where there was a rather large crash in front of where we were sitting resulting in a very poorly looking car! Driver okay though! It's amazing how safe these cars are made for the drivers!

Sunday - RACE DAY! It was an even earlier start today. The racing was fast, slippy and rain added to the mix made it more dangerous! We took a beach tent with us for shelter from the elements but for some reason we didn't use it until the end of the day! It was definitely an adrenaline filled day and at times quite difficult to watch! I wont go into too much detail here but we saw one of the worst crashes that I've ever seen... it brought it home that these are real cars, and real people driving them! Occasionally things go wrong and bad things happen. Unfortunately this was one of those days!

My next post will be on Friday *21st April*

Again, sorry this is late!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Snapshot Sunday | 2nd - 8th April 2017

Hello again

Here's a breakdown of the week in pictures. I love taking photos so I just thought I'd share some of my favourites from the week. It's not very often that I miss a day!

Kicking off the week with Sunday 2nd April I had a near on perfect relaxing day in with the tv and my laptop. Dan and I have been enjoying little walks on Sundays over the winter but on saturday I felt really ill whilst out so while Dan was at work I settled myself down on the sofa to enjoy watching the opening rounds of the British Touring Car Championships and support races on tv (Dan made it home to watch the races too). I did some orange army spotting and saw our chum Ian!

On monday I had a planned Drs appointment and did a little bit of shopping whilst I was out and about. I was soooo happy that Kiko had some of the infinity refills in. They were in the sale too!
My sister is off uni at the moment so its been lovely to spend some quality time with her. I'm looking forward to a bit more sister time next week.

 On Tuesday I wrote about my long distance friendships. I liked having a topic to write about but not sure i'm going to make it a weekly thing - more a case of if and when a topic comes up that I feel I have something to contribute or share then I will write about it. I won't force anything just for the sake of typing.

I went to see Beauty and the Beast with my friend in the evening... I absolutely loved it! I could see past a couple of annoying bits but on the whole I was totally wowed! I want to own it already so I can watch it every day!

I was looking for my favourite pair of sunglasses on Wednesday. They have "been on a break" from me for some time now and I admit it, I'm not ready to let them go so I set out on a mission to find them! Whilst on my mission I realised that they probably abandoned me because they were an option and not a priority in my sunglasses wearing life! (Jokes). Anyway all jokes aside, eyesight is so so so important to me since having both optic nerves pierced to relieve pressure that had built up. It's a once in a lifetime operation for each eye so sun protection is vital. I rest my case for having so many pairs! And I am always lusting after new *completely unaffordable* pairs!
This was also a date night for us to celebrate our wedding anniversary and I wore false eyelashes for the first time in years! I was happy with my final look.
 Thursday - Happy Anniversary Dan! Four years which is apparently linen and flowers! It's not been the easiest four years of our lives but we have taken every hurdle together. It was such a lovely day. My mum and sister came and surprised us with a "you're not lifting a finger" invite for a meal of our choice with love from everyone at their house to ours. We decided to share it with them and had a Chinese takeaway as we had already celebrated our anniversary meal the night before. We were given table linen and flowers (an artificial bouquet constructed by my little nephew, sister and mum). Dan got bright blue lillies and a huge bunch of yellow roses and daffodils. Daffodils were featured in our wedding and that little touch made me so so happy!
 Our house smells AMAZING! I arranged the flowers in the morning and they are on our mantle. I wish I could bottle the feeling that I have when I see and smell these beautiful flowers! My boy did good! I'm so blessed!

 A groggy start to the day and mega sore eyes so minimal make up (and a moody face apparently). I got some housework done and then we went on an adventure to look for a purse friendly rain/sun shelter. While we were out Dan had to stop and admire the Ferrari 458 Italia in the carpark... the noise that came out of him wasn't human I'm sure. Dan has driven the 360 modena but I think would give body parts to drive the Italia! We saw so many convertibles out yesterday! *dreams*.

Today has been quite a slow one - a pretty lovely Sunday really. I've been catching up on loads of laundry and chilling with Dan after he got back from his bike ride.

What's coming up?
This next week I have got a few exciting things planned. - It feels so odd to say I have planned stuff because generally my life is quite last minute!

I am travelling to Cambridge to go and see my friend perform in the musical version of The Full Monty! I'm having a few days there because gone are the days where I can do it all in a day! (It's going to be lovely to have some quality time with my friend and her family too)!

My friend, Serena is bringing me back because next weekend we are going to Donington Park to see the BTCC. I'm soooo ready for that!

Then... Of course It's easter!!!!! So much to look forward to! I hope that this relatively good/manageable spell lasts and I get to fully enjoy everything ahead!

For more "what I'm up to" pics, you can follow me on instagram: littlegoldendaffodil.

Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Topic Tuesday - Long distance friendships

Do long distance friendships work?

I didn't used to think that it would be possible at all but I have proof that they do. Here's my story..

As a young child I had a lot of friends but didn't really feel close to any. As a twin, my sister was everything I needed and I knew from a very young age that I didn't like the tittle-tattle that little girls tended to do in my school so I was a bit of a tom boy and that wasn't very popular!

When we went to secondary school my sister and I decided to go into separate classes so we both made new friends. I really wasn't keen on my sisters choice of friend and so many times I have regretted the decision we took to be in separate classes! - She had a horrible school experience!

I, on the other hand, didn't really enjoy the beginning of being at "big school" but it was the first years trip to France when I founded a friendship with Leanne. This girl was my total opposite! we were chalk and cheese - she was quiet and reserved (although had a huge rebellious side) whereas I was quite loud and a bit of a goody goody! Typical teachers' daughter! Leanne found the rebel in me and I loved it!  We went through the whole of school together, she saw me start to shift from tom boy to girly girl and eventually we both worked in our first jobs together in the social club. It was a lot more my bag than hers - I regularly made her blush.  We drifted away from each other when Leanne left work and I continued studies and went to uni... We never fell out to my knowledge and have recently been in touch! I'd love to meet up with her and her family one day!

My uni friends are the ones that make me really believe in long distance friendships. I was friends with lots of people on my course at uni but three of the girls on my course became really close friends. I lived with one of them, another was an honorary housemate (I think she lived with us more than at her house) and the other lived with her parents down the road. We were close then and when uni came to an end I was terrified that the friendship would dissolve. This year marks 10 years since we left uni and we have celebrated birthdays, Christmas', new homes, post grad degrees, new jobs, performances, engagements, weddings, babies, christenings and even managed a holiday over the years. We have supported each other through tough times and always been available for each other in some way, shape or form. I think there have been periods of ebbing and flowing if that makes sense? It is important to recognise each of the friendships individually as well as as a group so that group politics don't take over - obviously arranging meet ups etc there's always group politics! There are a lot of people to consider now not just us four girls.  I feel closer than ever to them despite the miles that separates us.

Yes, it is sad that we can't just pop over for a cuppa or to watch a film. I get lonely when my best friends are so far away it takes planning for us to catch up but I'm so lucky to have the most amazing friends who don't see miles as hurdles. Who embrace the fun times and who have grown with me for all these years! I'm totally blessed to have them and my best advice is

  • Use whatsapp - set up groups and use individual chats
  • face time - always a giggle. You can always do this on whatsapp too
  • plan, plan, plan.... set out approximate dates you want to meet waaaaaay in advance and review closer to the time.
  • meet in the middle. It evens out the travel - helpful if you have little people.
  • Know that if you drift away, it's okay... no-one said you have to stay friends forever! friendship is a two way street.
I guess with experience and age, I have learnt that if a person matters then it really doesn't matter what the distance is. I know my friends are in the same country but should they wish to move abroad, it would not affect how I feel about them. If we come to the end of our chapter naturally, then I have learnt through my experiences that it's okay for that to happen. Maybe this could be a blog of it's own

Do you have any tips on what makes your long distance friendship work? 
How do you feel when you have naturally drifted apart from a friend?

I guess this is a chatty part of the blog so what topics of discussion are you covering? Pop a link to your blog and I'll grab a brew and join the natter.

Speak soon

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Making a come back


It's been a while! I'm not really sure on where to start but I want you to know that I have been thinking about you a lot during the 'break'; and when I say 'you' I literally mean YOU. The blog, the people that actually take the precious time to sit and scan their eyes over the words that I write and also, future Hannah, you!

I am aware that this post has already headed towards a quite deep and thoughtful piece of writing. Don't worry, I'm not totally going there just yet.

"So, where have you been?" I hear you ask.

Geographically, not too far. I've had a few trips here and there which I think are blog posts in themselves at some point. I'd say "plodding along" but it's certainly been more entertaining than that!

As you know I have a few issues with my health and the medical care is ongoing. I have had some really tough spells but let me tell you, I am absolutely focused on my future and I remain hopeful for something to make life a little more predictable (in regards to that aspect of my health at least).

Last year I wrote a whole load of articles for my blog that never got published because my computer decided to have a huge melt down and I very nearly lost everything on it! I lost most of the programming that came pre-installed many many moons (and house moves) ago, so with no back up disc I basically ended up with with a very large web browser! Yeah, I know I can do most stuff with that but I am a creature of habit and I like what I know. Amazingly my extremely old and battered laptop is working again so I have the freedom to type now! - Happy Hannah!

Some other changes from when I last typed are:

I have music back in my life! I have still got the clarinet and Sax hung up but I sing in a choir now and it in turn has given me the enjoyment of piano playing again. It has seriously added something to my life! There will certainly be a blog post about this!

I am trying to be a healthy me. I try to think more wisely about cooking and ordering food - lets face it, if the NHS is doing everything to help me then I can do my bit to help them! (my conditions aren't weight related but obviously in the long run it will be better all round).

Starting 2017 I made a few promises to myself. One of the things that I promised was that I would somehow document stuff so that I could one day look back and laugh at or relive some of the the events of the here and now. As some of you might be aware, I am stupidly forgetful (blame the brain) so doing this is a bit like a snapshot at my favourite times and my struggles. I will try to keep it real. I might have to remind myself on here what to buy and not to buy because I have lost track of the times I have repurchased items that just don't like me or forgotten my fave thing! DOH! haha. So, this blog will meet this promise because it is not like the hospital documents that I have to complete at the end of every day, week and month. It is not here because I have to write it. It is here for me to be free when I sometimes feel trapped and I can write whatever I want. I can talk to this computer and this blank screen. There are obviously times where I will want to be private and I don't want to force any of my friends or family into being a part of this so if they are in pictures I will blank them out unless I have permission but after reading a lot of blogs, it's the ones that are true to real life that I enjoy reading and that is how I want to document my experiences.

This is my little space in the world (well, web) to connect, share and "just be". You are all very welcome to connect, share and just be here in this space with me! If you want to collaborate with me or tag me in challenges then feel free to reach out to me. Share your blog in the comments, pop a link to a challenge and let's see where we end up.

Here's to the future!