1.12.2017

Dublin to be sure to be sure!

Happy 2017 to all my blog readers! I hope you all had a lovely time over Christmas whether you celebrate or not. Seems like such a long time ago already. 

Anyway, a new year update about my trip to Dublin.cant remember if I mentioned it but we booked the trip in April last year, for a few days after smash and before New Year's Eve. All started well with sky high anxiety which I always get when traveling, and despite having a bit of a runny nose, cough before xmas the day we flew out the cold was there in its full hideousness. Excellent! 

Anyway my two lovely friends that I travelled with got me through the anxiousness and onto the plane. I've never been on a short haul flight before so was amazed when we landed not long after we took off!!! We found and settled into our hotel, then had time to go for a wander down O'Connoll street which was so close to our hotel.
We were lucky enough to literally stumble of a restaurant called The Church and as we were all cold and hungry went in, not realizing how beautiful it would be inside and that it was a popular place to go to in Dublin. As you may have guessed from the name, the restaurants (there are 4 I think inside) have been created in an old church with many of its original features still intact. The food there, and everywhere in Dublin, was really lovely, the hot toddy, not so much! Dublin was also brilliant for gluten free guests, with separate menus and many places having detailed allergy info on their regular menus.

 


After a much needed sleep we dared to get the bus to Kilmainham goal. We'd already booked tickets and were taken on a guided (cold) tour of the prison. I would highly recommend this to anyone going to Dublin. The tickets were cheap and the tour really interesting and well set up. Afterwards nursing our colds (I felt terrible by this point) we went to the cafe upstairs for hot drinks and my friends had some scones (delicious). Friendly, clean, place to sit and nurse a cuppa and once again a choice of gluten free treats available too.



While having a break we realised that we were fairly near to the Guinness factory, so decided to take a walk over to that while we were in the area. Another top place to visit in Dublin. There are 7 floors in the factory and the tour is self guided but with plenty to see and do such as Guinness tasting, pulling your own pint and interactive displays. There was lots to do and see. Ticket price also included a pint of Guinness or a soft drink up in the viewing room which has 360 views of Dublin. It was very crowded when we got there but it was peak time. There's also a huge gift shop with lots of merch to bring home. Definitely worth the ticket price. 
We were all exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel so made good use of the hotel bar and restaurant which had lovely food and atmosphere.

The following day we headed out to the hop on hop off bus tour. We got the Dublin sightseeing bus which was fun, had commentary and had deals for some places included. We had planned our stop offs the night before so we were all ready. It was nice to be able to drive around and see the sights and general Dublin. We got off at St Stephens green, and got free admission (thanks to the tour bus) to the little museum which gave you a history of Dublin in 29 minutes! It was a little strange but worth half an hour of your time. We then popped into a traditional old pub to grab a drink and snack. Hopped back on the bus and went on to Christ Church Cathederal which, although beautiful wasn't open to the public which was disappointing. I had planned to light a candle for my donor. Back on the bus where we all dosed off, with cold weather, cold symptoms and tiredness!  

Off again at Temple bar which we wanted to go to just to experience it. WOW. It looked as though Buddy the elf had been let loose in there over night. Every room was covered in Christmas lights and decorations, it was so festive and pretty. I'm not sure if I'd have liked it so much if it wasn't dressed in its best but it was magical. By some miracle we got seats and all had a cider while feeling very Christmassy! 






Finally we decided to walk back to our hotel and take photos at the bridge. Dublin looked super pretty at sunset. 


After that we grabbed some dinner, again delicious, walked up to one of the million gift shops dotting o'connoll for me to lose my mind over buying souvenirs and had to be talked out of buying the entire shop!  Next day we had a quiet walk along o'Connoll and then went for some tea before hopping in a taxi to the airport. We arrived there for our 2.30 flight..... And we're still there at 9.45 when we finally boarded our plane! We were not happy campers especially as Ryan air were very bad at communicating any information to its passengers. There was one lovely guy called John who tried to help us as much as he could. I had enough anti rejection tablets to keep me going till the next morning but was panicking as was told the fog was getting worse not better. But we got home safe and sound eventually.
Dublin was a lovely city and I think 3 nights was the right amount of time to see it properly. Everyone was friendly, food delicious. Hotel (castle hotel for anyone wondering) was nice but messed up a couple of things so wouldn't stay there again. I would definitely go back to Ireland but probably outside of Dublin, maybe Cork or similar to see more country.
 Ps must point out that we all danced with glee after we heard a REAL IRISHMAN say "Jesus, Joseph and Mary!' Lol! 

PPS New York next but feel I'm going back so far in my mind I can barely remember what happened! 
Xxxx






1.02.2017

Resolutions!

I am quite big on New Years resolutions but I don't always start them at new year. Every day is an opportunity to change so I often add in extra changes as I go along or reevaluate what I'm doing. I do have a few goals to start the year with though so I thought I would share them with you.



My main and probably most troublesome goal is to try and strengthen my muscles a bit. My hyper mobility and the drugs I take for transplant mean that I find it almost impossible to gain muscle. However lately I am really noticing that despite my lungs working well, my legs and other muscles are weak and drain a lot of energy. I also find it very tricky to exercise effectively, ie not being completely exhausted after a few minutes and using all of my previous energy for the day, being in pain afterwards, etc. So my aim is try different exercises and find out what will work best for me, as well as eating better and including lots of protein to help build my muscles up.

Another goal is to be more creative. I ended up making a few of my presents this year for Christmas and really enjoyed the process and reactions of people to what I made them. I love receiving handmade items too. I'm hoping to get more creative again in 2017.



Tying into creativity, I really want to push forward with acting and singing this year. I have challenged myself in 2016 and want to push even more in 2017, I get very nervous so the more I perform the more I will improve. I have a zest for life this year spurred on by the fact I'm still alive and here to live my dreams when so many of my friends aren't so lucky. I want to live and learn, and experience all I can about the theatre and drama and everything related to it!  This is the life line that kept me going pre transplant and it's what I want to immerse myself in now. If anyone knows any actors, theatre people etc that wouldn't mind a cuppa and a chat on me, or could give me any help or advise, please shout. 

One resolution I'm continuing over from last year is to read more and go to the theatre as much as possible. I'm very excited to have Harry Potter tickets for this year but also theatres like the National and Charring Cross that became favourites this year will be high on my list. I was also very lucky to be part of a book 'pyramid' where I sent my favourite book to someone and then a few people sent theirs to me so I have a nice stack to start the year with. I'm also adding in films to watch as I always stick to the same favourites! 

2017 will celebrate my 30th birthday. It's a big one for me as 30 years old was the life expectancy of CF patients while I grew up. It's older now but it was always the goal in my mind that I wanted to reach to say I "beat" CF. I would like to make as much of a difference to people's lives as possible in my 30th year. I like to send happy mail to cheer people up so that will continue, but also I'd love to do more transplant awareness and talks, as well as help the hospital who saved me. Any opportunity to help someone I will try to take it.

Relationships will be big in 2017. There are several in my life which seem to involve me suggesting and organising meet ups and if I didn't there wouldn't be any! I deserve better than that so no more chasing and if it's meant to be it will be. On the contrary, I've developed some friendships in the last year that are proving really enjoyable! People I really get on with and enjoy their company and I want to dedicate my time and effort to there true friends. 



 I want to be happier this year. To push myself to do the things I want to but recognise things that I don't want to do, and say no to them without feeling guilty or like I failed in some way. Listening to what I actually want to do. Also to show gratitude and think of something each day that I'm grateful for.


I want more experiences than things. To spend time with people and really be there in the moment with them. 



I think that's everything! I would love to hear your resolutions if you have any? Xx


12.31.2016

2016....

For many 2016 has been an extremely rough year. The world  (as it does every year) has lost some very special people both famous and not famous. Some big changes have been made, many it seems not for the better, and around the world people have suffered some terrible traumas. However every ear has good and bad and this year is no exception if you choose to look for them. 
So this post is me choosing to look back on the highs of 2016 and the achievements however small they seem to everyone else.

1) Firstly, travel. I've been to both New York and Dublin this year, two places I've never visited before. Two goals crossed off my bucket list. I also visited Columbia Rd market so technically 3 down 😉

2) I had my first home health and safety check from our local council with regards to my business, and received 5star rating which is the best you can get! 

3) I've been so proud of the cakes I've made this year, especially a beautiful wedding cake. They are all cakes I would never have thought would turn out so well.

4) one of my aims this year was to read more books and to see more (and varied) theatre. This year I finished 21 books and saw 12 productions which were mostly different to the usual I would see and included some absolutely great theatre and reads. It's been so nice to get so much into reading again and to explore things I've never seen before, been fantastic to make some lovely memories along the way too. Definitely a resolution I'll be continuing with again in 2017. 

5)I reached the transplant milestone of 5 years post transplant, a goal only 50% of lung transplantees reach. I'm so grateful and lucky to have been able to enjoy 5 extra years. 

6) I've had some really lovely times with friends and family. My niece and nephews, my parents and sister, old friends and new friends, I have new memories to look back on from 2016.

7) I decided to go cruelty free, so I no longer buy make up or cosmetics tested on animals.

8) I have learnt a very valuable lesson and been able to put it into practise in 2016. The ability to be able to step back from a situation and see when things are getting overwhelming for me, or just not working. By stepping back from it I can more clearly see what needs to be done to fix or improve things without getting so bogged down by it all. It needs a lot of practise but I'm very happy with my progress.

9) I've pushed myself to do things that are scary to me. To experience new things. Not every time successfully but not every time a failure either. It's again helped me to know myself better and be more able to push for things I want to do or achieve and recognise things I don't want to do and say no to them.

10) my singing has improved a lot this year and I've pushed myself to perform more which has helped my nerves. I've achieved grade 4 theory of music and grades 3&4 of singing. Plus the actual songs I choose for these grades have improved most so that's brilliant! I've gone to auditions and started to believe in myself a bit more. Definitely another one I want to push further in 2017.

11) I think I've stood up for myself more this year. People have drifted out of my life but I've recognised the relationships that mean most to me and tried to work on them more. I've met new people and old friendships are much stronger too. I've recognised situations like the pain management i dealt with this year and was able to assess that it was causing more harm than good and to step away. 

12) I visited ICU for the first time since my transplant which was very scary for me but has definitely helped to close some issues for me and help me move on. I'm proud of this because I went in not knowing if I would churn up bad memories and make life worse but I tried anyway. Anxiety is still a big problem but again, I feel I've learnt a lot about it and how to cope with it a little better. 


There are probably lots more that I've forgotten for the time being but as well as very sad times and losses 2016 has also been very positive. New year resolutions coming soon! 

Wishing you all a 2017 filled with happiness xxx

 
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