Be Nice It's Tuesday


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Winter Kindness part 1

I am very busy with deadlines, applications and music rehearsals at the moment, so I will keep this brief, but this post felt like it was just meant to happen.

I’ve written before about the power of small acts of kindness in making the world a better and happier place, and when things happen to me I often want to write about them but don’t get round to it. But today there were two occasions when a stranger was kind to me, and although they weren’t big things, they really made me happy.

This morning I was sitting at my desk, which is next to a big window overlooking the road, and I saw the postman walking up the path to my front door holding a package. I’ve been expecting something from my friend in Manchester, so I ran downstairs and opened the door as the postman was putting the package down in the porch, so he handed it to me and said ‘ahh, you were expecting it’. I smiled, but then saw that it was addressed to my housemate, not me, so I told him it wasn’t what I’d been hoping for – just as a way of making conversation. I thanked him and went back upstairs, and as I sat back down I saw that he had gone back to his trolley and was searching through the bag of parcels, presumably to see if he’d missed one for me. He didn’t find one but it was so nice that he cared enough to check.

Later I was walking in to uni. It was very cold today so I’d decided to wear my hat that looks like a penguin. I walked past some workmen on their break and one of them said ‘Is that a penguin on your hat?’ I replied that it was, and he said ‘That’s quality that, I love penguins.’ Again, this was just a nice interaction with a friendly stranger.

These two people probably didn’t think twice about what they did or said, but it stayed with me all day. But I try to do things for others too. This morning there was a very heavy frost, so I ran outside to look at it and take photos and enjoy the closest thing to snow we’re likely to get in Bristol. Our porch door had frosted over, so I scratched ‘good morning’ reversed into it, so my housemates would see it when they left the house, and one of them told me that that had made her day. It’s so easy to do little things that make other people happy.

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Continued tomorrow…

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Why I Love February

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General norm says to save the best ’till last, but if something’s that good, why make people wait unnecessarily? So I think the thing I love most about February is the sense that, although we are still in the long, but enjoyable, winter, spring is definitely on it’s way to us. The days are much longer – I’ve been leaving the house in daylight each morning! – there are times when you can feel the warm tendrils of heat from the sun flicker across your face, and of course, the seas of pure snowdrops transforming gardens and roadsides.
I know a lot of people don’t like Valentine’s Day, and I’m always in two minds about it, but I think I love it; the sentiment even if not all the expensive tacky gifts. In my 17 years I have received 5 Valentine’s cards (if you don’t count the friendship ones which my best friend and I did). 2 which I reciprocated from my childminder’s son when I was a toddler, one from a boy in the infants who made me and my best friend matching ones, though he later indicated that he preferred her, and two accompanied by chocolate, again reciprocated, from my then-boyfriend. This year it was on a Saturday, and it was the holidays so no orchestra, so I spend the day at my boyfriend’s house, curled up under a blanket watching rom-coms, and got given roses for the first time which was beautiful.
Like October, February brings with it a Half Term holiday, and since the May one is in exam period anyway, this really was my last. I didn’t do much, but as always it was a much┬áneeded week off.
Another thing which (usually) starts in February is the run up to Easter. I love having pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, personally I eat mine with either lemon and demarera sugar, or syrup. I usually give something up for Lent, this year I am stopping buying food or drink when I’m out (details are a bit more complex than that, but I have set very strict guidelines). I’m finding it hard at the moment, but hopefully I’ll get used to it, and I do get a real sense of satifaction knowing that I can resist temptation, even if I need a purpose in order to do so.

That’s all for now, see you in March ­čÖé

Oh no, nearly forgot a song. I really struggled to decide on one, none stood out so I ended up closing my eyes, thinking┬áFebruary┬áand seeing what song came into my head. It was one I hadn’t listened to in a while, and it seemed right, so don’t ask me why but this month’s song is Wake Me Up by Ed Sheeran.


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Why I love January

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I surely can’t just be me who feels sorry for the bad press that January seems to get? Fair enough, it may seem a little bleak after all the excitement of Christmas, we’re ready for spring but we still have long winter months stretching out ahead of us, but I still like it.
I mentioned New Year’s Eve being an excellent end to December, well, provided you don’t drink to much on 31st December, it can make just as good a start to January. Admittedly my fist hour or so of 2015 wasn’t great, standing in the cold, busy centre of town, looking after my rather drunk friend until the person she was meeting arrived. But once she was safe we could relax and enjoy ourselves again. I walked home with four friends, singing as we went to entertain ourselves, then we got home and ate crisps, chips and cake, then watched Love Actually before going to bed at about 5am.
I’ve also had a pretty sociable month (for me); I might be becoming a ‘proper’ teenager at last! I went┬áto an 18th Birthday party a week for the first four weekends, then on the fifth I was up in Scotland seeing my sisters. It’s been really nice to see friends and meet new people, especially as I’m so busy working at college.
As you can see from the photo, we’ve had quite a lot of snow this January, which has meant me missing college or rehearsals a few times. But as much as other people are ‘sensible’ about snow and find it ‘inconvenient’, the child in me still loves it. I can still remember the excitement of waking up to my sisters calling that school was canceled, looking out my window to see the garden blanketed in white, going sledging with my friends, and the way everyone seems friendlier when we’re stuck in the village, outside enjoying or bemoaning the snow.
I love seeing the sunrise in the morning, but it’s happening slightly earlier every day, and once again I’m being able to actually see the house when I come home in the evening. It is nice to have that little confirmation that the days are in fact getting longer.
One thing which has struck me about the different seasons is the change in my habits. I chose the place for the monthly photo because it’s a good photo location, but also somewhere I often walk to, and around spring and summer it’s a perfect 40 minute break to wander there and back. The walk doesn’t seem quite so appealing in the cold and snow, even as a much needed break from coursework.
Finally though, one of the things I love most about January is the optimism that the start of the year brings. All the bad from last year can be put behind us, and we can focus on the year ahead, in which anything could happen.

My song for this month is Mid-Winter’s Night by Blackmore’s Night. Yes, I know it’s a lie, Mid Winter is in December, but it still feels more January like and it’s a nice song from my childhood.


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Why I love December

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I suppose it’s no surprise that most of the things I love about December are the things to do with Christmas, but that’s not all there is to the month. I love opening my advent calendar and eating a chocolate every afternoon when I get home from college. I love the magic of that first morning when I leave the house and all the cars and rooftops are sparkling with frost, then later when the first snow of the winter falls. This year we had a lot of snow towards the end of December, but my family missed most of it by going south in between it falling and thawing. I love seeing the sunrise and sunset from the bus some days.
I love the Panto performances, despite the intense tiredness, and I very when I came off stage on the last night and realised I won’t be doing it for at least the next four years, if ever. But there’s not long to relax, because straight after that the Christmas Concerts and Carol Services start. Again it’s strange doing some of these annual things knowing it’s the last time, but I’m sure I’ll always have concerts to do around Christmas. I was one of the people singing a solo verse in our college Carol Service, which I was terrified about, but it was a great experience and I was so glad I┬ádid it.
I love it when Christmas lights start appearing on the streets, and decorating the house. I love seeing strangers wearing Christmas jumpers, and my own collection of Christmas hats and socks. I love buying and wrapping – I really love wrapping – presents, and Christmas music, and just the general feeling of good cheer which is around at this time of year.
Then of course there are more of these college traditions which I’ve only had now twice, but I’ll still miss. Christmas Jumper day with musical chairs, and then the Language Department Cake Day, which does what is says on the tin. All Language lessons are canceled and instead we bring in cake and eat loads.
And I love Christmas itself, seeing all the family, Christmas Church, opening presents, all the silliness which doesn’t seem so stupid for one or two days.
Sometimes the days between Christmas and New Year can seem to drag a bit, but this year we did something a bit special. My Nana turned 80 in October, and her one wish was that her entire family spend some time all together, so after Christmas we hired a house in Devon where some of us stayed, near where the rest of the family lives. Unfortunately one of my cousins and her husband couldn’t be there because of work, but it really was a fantastic couple of days.
Then we were back in time for New Year’s Eve and the New Year Ceilidh, which I have been to for a large proportion of my years, and is always a perfect end to the year.

My song for December is Peppermint Winter by Owl City, which I’d say is fairly self explanatory.