Can you believe it’s the last day of this blogging challenge? Blogging every day in January has been fun and it’s great to have a prompt, especially if you are struggling with topics to blog about. I quite like Bloganuary as it asks you questions that you normally wouldn’t ask yourself. So thank you WordPress and your people for providing us with some thought provoking topics.
Today’s prompt is a lovely one to finish on. I often post sunrise or sunset pictures on a Sunday as I thoroughly enjoy watching and photographing these. There were so many locations in Sydney to watch epic sunsets, however, I am yet to find the perfect spot near me in Northern Ireland to catch a worthy sunset. I did manage to see some amazing sunrises this weekend in my trip away to Carlingford (I will show case this very soon), however, the nicest sunset I have seen recently near me was literally outside my house in the town I am currently living in, Banbridge.
I will be making it my mission to find some amazing sunset spots near me in the not so distant future but for now, the sunset in my town will have to suffice.
If you know of any great spots to see the sun setting in Northern Ireland, please do let me know and I will endeavour to check them out.
Wow this is a tough and personal one today. I always think of my life in chapters funnily enough but not necessarily what I would call them. When I have finished with one part of my life or moved onto another phase in my life, I always say to myself, “ok Wayne, onto the next chapter”. I guess everyone’s chapters will be personal to them and not everyone will find them of interest. You would want a title that would give a sneak peak to the chapter but not revealing too much, you could even give a cryptic clue, although I’m not that imaginative!
Chapter 1 – The conception of me
Chapter 2 – The new norm
Chapter 3 – Big decisions and a newer norm
Chapter 4 – Everything changes when you turn 13
Chapter 5 – The teenage years – from a soft spoken, hopeful, unbeknownst gay, daydreaming son and step-son
Chapter 6 – Freedom and discovery
Chapter 7 – Fun, friendships and relationships
Chapter 8 – The Australian dream
Chapter 9 – Journey to finding my feet and beginning my career
Chapter 10 – When all the hard work pays off
Chapter 11 – Living your best life, even during a pandemic
Chapter 12 – The reality of adulthood catches up
Chapter 13 – A fork in the road
Whoa that’s it for now. I actually feel like I could write a book as I’ve had a pretty busy life thus far (although I’m sure we all have). Thanks WordPress for the opportunity to reflect on my life and try compartmentalise my journey to date 😅.
I have learned over the past few months that life cannot be taken for granted. We need to appreciate every day that we have and appreciate our nearest and dearest.
Life is short and you just don’t know what life will throw at you. I feel that being a nurse, I have somehow always known this but I think my life over the last few months has just reinforced this and I am more grateful than ever for the little things in life.
Take each day as it comes and have a little patience with what the word has in store for you.
What a very appropriate question. I love to procrastinate but I also hate it. It’s very 50/50 concept for me.
It helps you destress by taking your mind off the subject at hand. I used to play online games as a way of distraction but I believe it actually is good for you to clear your head and reset.
You end up achieving so many minor wins, for example, cleaning the bathroom when you should be studying. I end up doing lots of chores instead of doing what I should be doing.
You feel clever for fooling others that you’re being extremely busy and productive, when you’re secretly watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The thing you should be doing gets placed on the back burner and your work maybe doesn’t reach its full potential. Youcould have finished an amazing project but yet you failed to stay focused and ended up completing otherunnecessary tasks at that point of time.
It can make you more stressed as you freak out from “wasting time”.
You’re really only fooling yourself with pretending to be productive. You should just get back to what you’re supposed to be doing.
To conclude, I really sit on the fence with procrastination. I think it’s a good and bad thing. To be honest I have procrastinated a lot in the past, however, I do always manage to complete the work that I was doing. Therefore, it can be a necessary thing to procrastinate to keep you mentally sane but as long as you can stay focused. Some people work better under pressure. This isn’t really me but I do think a little nudge to do more work is something I subconsciously benefit from. Once I have procrastinated enough, my mind then kicks me into work mode and I become productive again.
How about you? What are your thoughts on procrastination?
Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to another glorious week of doors. I have been thinking of Sydney, Australia a lot this week, therefore, I think it would be good to show some more of my Sydney doors, even if it’s just for me to be able to reminisce. Please let me know if you have a favourite this week.
My personal favourite is the first one. It’s the colour for me, so bright and full of life. The panelling and transom window are great features and I also love the greenery and picket fence in the frame.
Thanks for taking a look and have a lovely end to your week.
I would love to be able to speak Cantonese or Mandarin. When I was nursing in Australia, many of our patients were from China and Hong Kong. Many of them were elderly and struggled with the English language. I would love to have been able to communicate with them better and make them feel more at ease in our care. I think they would be very useful languages to learn as they are spoken by millions of people worldwide.
Even here in Northern Ireland we have patients from China and Hong Kong, albeit not as many as in Australia but I would love to be able to speak a little to them. I am picking up a few basic words and that really does have a positive impact on their experience in our care.
I appreciate that these are difficult languages and at this moment in time, do not have the time or drive to learn them. Who know, maybe in the future.
I show love in small ways. I tell my other half that I love him every single day, sometimes two or three times a day…and I mean it. I tell my family and friends I love them, not all the time and probably not often enough (some people, especially in Ireland, can become embarrassed). I love to give and receive hugs, even once a day or if you or your loved one needs it. It can make such a difference to your emotional wellbeing.
I love to show love for people by giving them confidence boosts and reassuring them. For example, complimenting them if they have a new outfit or haircut, listening to their concerns and being there for them. I don’t often do big gestures but I like to be there for people I love, even being a shoulder to cry on if need be.
I also love the appropriate use of touch. A hand on someone’s shoulder or holding their hand. I feel these little things can make such a big difference and let’s people know that you care for them and their well-being.
As silly as this may sound, I don’t think I tell myself lies. I know my limitations and I have hopes for the future. I don’t lie that I’m good or bad at something. I just try my best, maybe not even all the time but most of the time and I’m realistic with my abilities. I’m not delusional to think if I have this or that I will be happy. I strive for happiness on a daily basis and try to appreciate the little things in life.
Even if I happen to play the lottery, I don’t think that I have zero chance of winning, as of course I have a chance, even if it’s the slimmest chance and that’s why I would buy a ticket, however, I am well aware by the same principle, that I may never win.
Maybe I’m missing something, I’m not sure. What do you think about lying to yourself?
My dream job as a child was to be a marine biologist as I had a real fascination with the creatures of the sea, for example, dolphins, whales and manatees. I had visions of working in the oceans, helping those animals in need and making a difference to their environment.
Sadly, when I began studying biology in school, I realised I wasn’t very good at it and also it didn’t really deal with marine life at that time.
Also our careers advice at school was next to nothing. There was no real support for careers that were outside the norm and so I feel like I didn’t know what different professions were available or how to obtain information on them. Even now as a nurse, I can see many different professions in the health system that I had never heard of at school, for example, dieticians, speech and language assessors, physios, occupational therapists etc.
As I grew older I did take an interest in local marine biology but it was never what I had imagined. I had envisaged warm waters and tropical environments, however, the marine biology in Northern Ireland seemed less appealing with our cold murky waters and bad weather, studying snails or eels or marshy landscapes. I now know there is so much more to the marine life here, now that I’m older and we do help a lot with orphaned seals and dolphins etc. among many other things.
In Sydney I did happen to meet a very successful marine biologist at a party and her job sounded fantastic, just what I had imagined as a child. I loved to hear her stories and it was so amazing to see others reaching their true potential and finding their dream job. I grew out of that profession years ago after thinking it was never really an option and luckily for me, I am happy in my nursing profession (more or less 😉).
This prompt made me chuckle today. I could write pages and pages on this but I am going to refrain. I am still living with my parents since arriving back to Ireland so all I will say is that the most irritating thing is that it’s not my own home. I have lived away from my parents for over twenty years now so you can imagine how difficult it is to be living with them again.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for their hospitality and thankfully we do have a great relationship and have good times together. However, it’s not my own space and I can’t do things how I would normally do them. I also really enjoy my own space and even company at times.
Roll on me finding my own place which will hopefully be in the next few weeks. Send all your positive vibes my way please 😉.
Happy Thursday to you all. For this week’s doors, I am running with the prompt from today’s Bloganuary, ‘Whatcolour describes your personality and why? I think of blue being my colour, so for this week I am showcasing some blue doors from my catalogue. Let me know if you have a favourite.
I have to admit, it’s number 9 for me, simply for the splash of colour as well as the bright blue door. It’s a feast for the eyes.
I would have to say blue because it can be bright and light, yet deep and sophisticated . Not that I’m very sophisticated but blue always puts me in a good mood, specifically if it’s blue skies or blue seas. I like to think I can do that with others, hopefully lift your mood or make you smile. I can be fun and have light hearted banter, yet I can also be a deep thinker and love to have meaningful conversations.
Funny enough, we just made this dinner last night. It’s our favourite meal at the moment, salmon, rice and pepper/capsicum (depending what side of the word you live). Our favourite meals to cook do vary over from time to time but this has been a favourite for some time now. It’s quick, easy and nutritious.
This is another tough cookie. I have had so many amazing days that I have lived throughout my life thus far. From my wedding, to receiving my permanent residency in Australia, to becoming a nurse, to passing my driving licence etc etc. However, the one day that sticks out in my mind, where I was so happy all day long and bursting with joy, was way back in 2017. I had just returned from an around the world trip in six days!!!
I had planned a world trip that would last for a year. I was going backpacking with my good friend and three months prior to departing, I had just fallen in love with my partner, my first real relationship.
My friend decided against travelling and I thought ‘I can do this on my own’. Off I headed after a very emotional goodbye with my partner and many epic leaving parties from my friends, family and my two jobs.
I traveled to New York for a couple of days and stayed with my friend there, before heading to my next stop in Boston. I was so sad every day being away from my partner. I was calling him every day and wishing we could be together. After six days I called my parents for advice and they advised to come home immediately. That was all I needed to hear. I stormed straight to the airport to book the next flight home. I was on standby and luckily for me there was one flight left and it was in business class but they would just charge me economy! I was over the moon!
Eight hours later I arrived back home to Ireland. My partner collected me and it was the BEST feeling ever, walking towards each other in the airport arrivals, smiling from ear to ear, a very ‘Love Actually’ moment, if you have ever seen the movie! This was definitely one of my best and most memorable days 😊.
Hmmmm interesting question. I have a few smells that I love and always bring back memories. The main one would be freshly baked bread rolls from Lidl or Aldi. The smell of the German rolls reminds me of mornings spent with my family in Germany. We would always have freshly baked rolls from the bakery, absolutely delicious and crunchy. I have many fond memories of these breakfasts with my cousins, enjoying the continental food, different meats, cheeses, salamis and jams. One whiff of the bakery and it takes me back to those childhood times.
Bloganuary day 15 – one of my biggest fears was moving home to Northern Ireland from Sydney, Australia. It is extremely scary leaving a good life in a country you love, with a good job and lots of friends. I conquered my fear by reminding myself why I moved home in the first place, for family. Furthermore, there are lots of positives to living in Northern Ireland, one of them being the ability to travel locally and travel more of Europe. Also, it doesn’t have to be definitive that I live at home. If I want to return to Australia, I can do so and for this I am very grateful.
Has anyone else had this fear with moving to our from another country?
Bloganuary day 14! This is a really tricky question today as I really enjoy pretty much all modes of travel. I really do love walking and if I can go anywhere on foot, I would prefer to always do that.
However, I love flying, be it long or short haul. I love the flights to Australia for the food, drinks, movies and generally being well looked after. I also love the smaller flights where there’s maybe only a few people on a propeller plane.
Travelling by boat is also pretty special. I used to love the ferry in Sydney from Circular Quay to anywhere else that you could travel nearby. I particularly enjoyed the ferry to Manly and I used to travel by ferry there for work. I used to love taking the ferry from Belfast over to Scotland many years ago but sadly I haven’t done that for some time now. Travelling on a cruise liner was special a couple of years ago, although, I would also appreciate a little speed boat taking you to an island somewhere. However, I’m aware these are not common modes of transport!
Cycling is a lot of fun and something that I used to do all the time as a teenager. We were able to cycle when we stayed in Fiji a few years ago to travel around the hotel complex. Apart from that, cycling has been neglected in my life for some time but is something I would love to embrace again in the future.
Driving by car is a great mode of travel and one that I am using quite a lot at the moment as we are living more rural these days. It is very practical and you can visit anywhere without having to worry about the weather or what time the next bus or train is coming. I used to travel everywhere in Sydney by bus or train and now it is such a novelty to have a car.
Nonetheless, I did used to love travelling by train as you had lots of free time to catch up on your emails, write a quick blog post, listen to your music or even have a wee snooze. The only downside was when the trains would be cancelled and you somehow had to find another mode of transport home.
In conclusion, I think walking would have to be my favourite mode of travel as it was the first one that I thought of and it’s something that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I miss walking everywhere in Sydney, it’s a great form of exercise and you can just get in the zone with your favourite tunes and take in the beautiful scenery. It’s a bit harder at the moment here in Northern Ireland as the weather is so wet and cold. Bring on spring!
Bloganuary day 13 – Okay! So that is an obscene amount of money. I would not wish to have that much ever. Too much money could destroy a person. If I did have a lot of money, I would like to think I would share it with family and friends first, give a good amount to charity and then use the remaining to enjoy life. Maybe no more work, travelling, and having a lovely home, nothing too grand or fancy. A billion US dollars, I just can’t even imagine that amount to be honest. What about you?
I had to quickly look up the word chore as I initially thought of it being a household task that you hated doing. Having looked up the definition, I discovered that yes, it can be a household chore but it can also be a tedious but necessary task.
For me, at this moment in time, it’s having to pack my bags every week as I’m living between a couple of different places until I finally obtain my own home. It’s completely necessary to pack my uniforms for work, toiletries etc but it’s definitely tedious and becomes such a pain in the bottom. Role on having my own place in the next few weeks.
Bloganuary day 11 – When I think of success, I think of being happy with what you have in life. Being happy with your relationships, with your work and not needing extravagance or wealth to make you happy. It’s appreciating the basic things in life that many of us take for granted, a roof over our heads, a warm bed, running water, a loving family and good friends. If I have these things, I am very successful.
It doesn’t have to be about how much money you have in your bank, how far up the ladder you are in work, working 70 hours a week or socialising with famous people. It’s not about bragging or name dropping. That does not impress me or show that you are successful. If you are a good, warm person, happy in yourself and kind to others,you are a success in my eyes.
You see so many people now, especially on social media, giving pep talks and trying to show you a life of extravagance, whilst appearing to work their asses off to prove how successful it can make you. This is not for me. Why work so many hours for a life of luxury? Are these people really any happier than your average Joe. I think not. Yes we need to work hard in order to have enough money to enjoy life but you need to have an adequate work / life balance. If I have this, I will be extremely happy and successful in my own life.
What are your thoughts? How do you define success??
Bloganuary day 9 – this one is easy for me. My most memorable gift was from my other half when we visited Uluru almost one year ago. He surprised me with an airplane trip to see the sights from the sky, an absolutely stunning experience and a really lovely surprise. You can read more about it on my previous blog post https://wrookieschu.com/2022/02/12/uluru-by-air/
Bloganuary day 8 – Sadly I can’t go back that far. I have tried a few times in my life and never seem to get past my great grandfather. It’s quite difficult in Northern Ireland unfortunately. There are lots of websites that can help if you live in Scotland or England but for us here in NI, it seems impossible. I can see my great grandfather on the 1911 census but I can’t see any previous censuses.
I am always fascinated with my family tree, I’m not too sure why, maybe as it’s a part of who I am and where I come from. In reality, it maybe doesn’t even matter as we will all be gone one day and no one will remember or care for us. Perhaps that’s a bit morbid to think that, who knows?! What are your thoughts on family trees?
I enjoy writing about my travels as a way of sharing my experiences with others but also as as way to remember my travels and my thoughts at that time in my life. It’s nice to be able to look back on previous posts and reminisce with my previous travel experiences.
Bloganuary day six! Why do I write? To be honest I don’t think I do that much writing in my blog compared to others. My posts are more like photo blogs, a platform for me to share my travels through pictures. However, I do like to write a little to explain the situation or location that I have been too, as photographs can’t always sum it all up.
When I do decide to write freestyle about a certain topic, I find it really therapeutic to expel my thoughts, almost as if they are having the opportunity to escape my head. I enjoy just writing my thoughts as I’m saying them in my head or how I would speak them. I’m not one for writing poetry or short stories, although the latter is something that I would be keen to endeavour in the future.
I also like to write, especially here on WordPress in order to make new friends, acquaintances and like minded folk.
To conclude, I write primarily to share my life and my travels whilst simultaneously keeping a record of my adventures for later reflection.
This is a good question for day 5 of Bloganuary and is an easy for me. Being outdoors on a good nature walk brings me joy, especially if I am with my other half or friends. I love it. I really enjoy the serenity, the scenery, fresh air, feeling healthy, taking photographs and just generally appreciating life. It’s the simple things in life for me that bring me joy.
I do love walking in general, anywhere really, for example walking tours in the city. However, what really brings me joy is a walk in nature, be that by the sea or in the countryside.
I have accomplished so many great walks in Sydney, Australia and now I really look forward to some fantastic walks here in Northern Ireland and Ireland as a whole. Bring it on!
What about you? Do you love to walk? What brings you joy in life?
Ok everyone, I have somehow missed this question and seeing as I have no question for today, I’m guessing I have been jumping the gun and doing them in advance. So yesterday’s post was really todays. Confused.com. So I thought I would write a little post based on this prompt from two days ago.
How am I brave? I think we can be brave in many different ways and for many different situations. I think I am brave by moving back to Northern Ireland, having left an amazing life in Australia. I think I am brave to begin a new chapter in my life and maybe finally do some adult things, like buying my own house for the first time and purchasing my first car (especially as I approach my forties).
All these things scare me and I have to be brave and embrace the change, for my own sake. These are big life changes but being brave could be simply leaving the house or going to the gym on your own etc etc.
I think we are all brave at times and we should be proud of ourselves for overcoming whatever life throws at us, no matter how big or small. Being brave is made easier with the support of loved ones and encouragement when times are tough. We are not alone in this world, whether it be your family or friends that you rely on for support, or a particular faith or community group, there are always others there to help you overcome whatever it is that scares you or makes life more difficult at that particular time in your life.
Bloganuary day 3. Today we lost a bank card in the ATM. It was just sucked in and never returned. This is honestly one of the most annoying things to happen and definitely feels like a lost treasure. We finally received the PIN number for the card, after waiting for, what seems, an eternity. We tried to change the pin at the hole in the wall, which we successfully managed to do. However, the machine did not want to return the card. It’s one of those moments where you want to scream or pull your hair out. Back to the bank again tomorrow to order a new bank card and another PIN number, which will take seven days to arrive. Aaaaaaaah!!! 😭
Have you ever experienced this? Sadly, it’s happened me a couple of times and it always makes me detest banks that little bit more than previously.
Bloganuary day 2 asks for our earliest memory. Mine is living in a little village for the first few years of my life and having a friend in the same cul-de-sac as me. We did many things together until we moved house when I was six years old. I remember really missing her when we moved.
It wasn’t until I was fifteen or sixteen years old that I bumped into this girl again at a new school that I joined. It was an amazing moment as we both remembered playing together when we were younger and cherished those memories. I don’t have one specific memory but rather a feeling of happiness when we were together.
One word springs to mind for me, FOUNDATION. I have just returned from Australia back home to Northern Ireland and my goal is to build my foundation for the next chapter in my life. I want to buy a house, settle in a new job and decide what is in store for my future. I am really looking forward and thinking of positive things for the days, weeks, months and even years ahead. I hope you will all follow me on my journey and very good luck to all those participating in this years Bloganuary. I look forward to reading everyone’s responses and making some new friends here in the blogosphere.
Happy New Year everyone and here’s hoping 2023 brings us everything we hope for.
Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my last flower of the day for this year. I can’t believe it’s the 30th of December 2022, however, I will be glad to have this year behind me and focus on 2023. It’s been a tough few months to say the least but I feel like this image below signifies it perfectly. This beautiful lavender periwinkle flower was covered in snow and now it’s slowly thawing out, ready to shine once again.
I want to wish you all a very happy new year and take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you very, very much for all your support with my blog. I honestly appreciate it so much, every like, every comment, every emoji and ALL the positivity shown here in this extraordinary space known as the blogosphere.
Take care everyone and I hope to see you all back here in 2023! I will be participating in this year’s Bloganuary as I loved it so much last year. Will anyone else be participating?
Last day of the blogging challenge!!! Cannot believe we made it to the end. 31 days of blogging in a row. For the most part I have really enjoyed it, however, I do feel the prompts have went downhill since the beginning. I can appreciate it must be difficult to think of new topics every day that will keep people enthralled. I was really hoping for an amazing prompt today, seeing as it’s the last one but it fell a bit flat for me. What do you think of today’s topic? On a positive note, it does make you think outside the box.
I don’t often see many stars living in the city. So when I do have the chance to see them, I know for sure that I am out of the city and a little more rural. This in itself is a good feeling as I must be on holidays.
There is something very special about looking at the stars and it always makes me feel contented. It provides a feeling that the world is not that big, as everyone on the planet can look at the same stars (not all at the same time). It brings us together as human beings and with me living so far away from home, I take comfort in knowing we are all under the same stars ☺️.
I also often think about who else can see the stars out there. Are there other planets or galaxies with living beings that can also see the the same stars? Or maybe they have their own stars.
I feel calm and at ease when looking at stars too and almost become lost in their beauty in the night sky. How does everyone else feel?
On a final note, I would like to add a huge well done to everyone for making it this far with Bloganuary. It has been an amazing month of blogging, making new friends and reading other people’s perspectives. It’s funny how we all interpret the blog prompts differently and we form our own methods and ideas to tackle the questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed the process and look forward to interacting more with my fellow bloggers.
Thanks so much for the support and all your amazing comments. I love reading what you have to say and learning more about people from all over the globe.
I must say, this is the most random question yet. I immediately thought of taking a quiz online to see if it could come up with a quick solution. You can try yourself here.
My answer is Cherry Blossom tree and I immediately thought yes this could be me as a tree!
I do love to meet new people and have meaningful conversations. I also love to travel and sampling different cuisines. I can appreciate good art but I wouldn’t say I live for it. Maybe more the arts in general, like theatre/concerts etc. would be more meaningful to me.
This is a hard topic to write about, mostly as I do not have a lot of knowledge about trees to see if we have similar personalities. I certainly love trees and love taking pictures of trees. They are an amazing living species that the world cannot live without.
Maybe I could be a palm tree as I love the sun. I definitely would not be an evergreen tree as I could not survive in many different climates. I would need sun, water, shade and my leaves would change with the seasons, so perhaps I could be a deciduous tree, changing my leaves with the seasons as we do with our clothing when the seasons change.
I would say any change I make in this world will be on a very small scale. I am definitely not changing the world massively by any means.
I am sure that I am contributing to negative changes to the world like every other human being, for example, using too much water, eating meat, adding to the amount of rubbish we as humans contribute etc, etc.
However, I try to be aware of small changes we can make and implement positive measures where I can. I may not make any big changes but I feel I can definitely help in small yet significant ways. If we all do something small for the better, a lot can change. We have seen that with covid and lockdowns. Look how much the world improved for the better with no humans on the streets. The air was cleaner, the waters appeared less contaminated and Mother Nature was thriving.
Small changes that I feel I carry out to change the world for the better are:
– using less plastic (no plastic plates, cutlery etc)
– using wooden utensils where possible and other sustainable products
– using reusable containers and covers
– using refill bottles and keep cups
– taking my reusable shopping bags to the supermarket
– trying not to let the water run
– being a decent human being, be kind and respectful to others (this will translate to other people)
– teaching students the correct ways to be well-mannered and caring nurses with leading by example.
These are all small things and I am not perfect but if we all make small changes, we can make a positive change for the future generations.
“IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON TO MAKE A CHANGE. LET IT BEGIN WITH YOU” (Joyce Thompson).
I have so many different artists on my playlist at the moment. I like to have a good variety, mostly upbeat songs as I listen a lot when I’m walking. I do have some slower and meaningful songs on my playlist too for when I’m commuting on the train to and from work. Sometimes at 6am you just need some easy listening tunes to help you wake up gently.
At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Mumford and Sons. The Delta album is the most listened too album at the moment on my playlist. I’m also listening to Neil Diamond. I always loved his songs since my early twenties. It’s refreshing to have his songs back on my playlist, they’re feel good songs and remind me of fun times. I have just picked a few of my favourite songs by Neil to add to my playlist. These include Crackling Rosie, Shilo, Stones, Cherry Cherry and Soolaimon.
I have the Paul Simon Graceland album on my playlist too. It’s one my all time favourite albums, I love the African inspiration and sound.
I also have some random pop songs to make me walk faster or lift my spirits after a day at work. At present I have a lot of Dua Lipa, Guy Sebastian, Ed Sheeran and UB40. I also have some really random songs on my playlist from Blondie to the Communards to Pink to Girls Aloud. I like any kind of music really with the exception of heavy mental or trance. I love pop, rock’n’roll, country, jazz, r’n’b or anything I might just hear from the tv or radio. I have the Shazam app on my mobile phone that is amazing for discovering new music. Any time I hear a song I like, I will Shazam it to see who sings it and then I will add to my playlist, it’s super easy 😊
This is an interesting topic today. To be honest, I don’t really seek solitude. I don’t often need or want to be alone. That’s not to say I don’t like my own company as I really do but after a few hours on my own, I become bored of my own company and like to speak to others or my partner.
Maybe I do not search for solitude as I often have it without having to try. I would often go for a walk on my own, especially along the coast. It’s good to blow away the cobwebs, take in some fresh air, have a think and increase my step count. It just so happens that I am often on my own as my friends or partner will be working. So, realistically, this would be my place for solitude and maybe it is required more than I will even know, even if I don’t plan to have solitude.
Also my trips to the gym are good for my own quality time, doing something just for me. However, there are often other people there for me to converse with so I guess it’s not really solitude.
When we were in lockdown, I would find solitude in the bathroom. Otherwise I was with my partner 24/7. This was never a problem for me as we enjoy each other’s company a lot but a visit to the toilet was a great way to have a few minutes to yourself. I know a lot of my friends who are parents agree with this one 😆.
Oh what a pompous question 😆. A favourite part of myself…is that physically, mentally, intellectually or morally.
I would maybe say I am happy with my mental self i.e. I have a good sense of my own being. I feel I have a good-natured personality that is kind and caring. I try to be the best version of myself and I am aware that we are not perfect as human beings. I would consider myself friendly and outgoing and I really enjoy meeting new and interesting people. I hope I am a person my friends can come to with a problem or just need someone to listen to, free from judgement and criticism.
There you have it, simple and to the point. My personality is my favourite part of me ☺️
Australia celebrates its history today on 26 January yearly. I used to celebrate this day and loved it, mainly because it was a public holiday but also to celebrate this great country that is Australia.
However, the longer I am here in Australia, the more I learn about the history of this date and Australia’s tumultuous past.
The indigenous people of Australia know this date today as invasion day. The day that white people from England came and invaded Australia and so began the daily struggles for the indigenous people. It’s a really sad and disturbing past to be honest. So it kind of feels weird to be celebrating Australia on this day 😔.
Would it be better to change the date to one that everyone can celebrate Australia together? I know the past cannot be rewritten but maybe a date change would be less of a smack in the face for Australia’s first people. What’s your thoughts?
I feel I have many things that make me feel strong. My family, my friends, my partner, my environment and my values in life make me feel strong on a daily basis. I feel, with their support, I can take on most things life has to throw at me.
On a more personal level, I think my fitness journey over the past five years makes me feel very strong, both literally and figuratively.
Literally, I am the strongest I have ever been. That’s not to say that I’m super strong by any means but I was seriously weak and unfit before I found my love for the gym. Physically I feel good and my fitness is a constant work in progress. I love feeling fit, strong and healthy and that takes me onto feeling strong also figuratively.
My fitness journey has helped my confidence to grow from a geeky little skinny kid to a less skinnier looking man 😆. By looking after my body and pushing myself I am becoming a better version of me and one that I am proud of. I am not hoping for a quick fix with my fitness and body goals. I am on this journey for the long haul and I absolutely love it. I never thought in a million years I would become a gym lover but once you commit for a few weeks and see results, it grabs a hold of you and you start to really love it, to the point where you miss the gym when you cannot go. Plus, even though I have never struggled with my mental health, I can really see how fitness can play such a positive role in helping to maintain your mental well-being.
Thanks to my fitness journey I feel strong literally 💪🏼 and figuratively 💁🏼♂️.
Every day at 11am here in Sydney I can see the new Bloganuary prompts and every day at that time I secretly hope for a really fun topic. Some days are pretty good…however, today I am pretty much at a loss for what to write.
The problem is, I never really remember my dreams. There is the odd time that I wake up due to my alarm going off and I was woken up from a really good dream. If you were to ask me then, I can remember all the details but after a few hours it will have all evaporated from my mind. I have often thought about writing the dreams down quickly so that I don’t forget but just have never gotten around to it or maybe the dream just was not that interesting to warrant me documenting it 🤷🏼♂️.
I do love when you have a great dream but waken up to use the bathroom. You were really enjoying the dream so you try to re-enter the dream when you return to bed. Sometimes this has happened to me and I actually can go back into the dream. This is amazing when it occurs but I will still forget about it when I waken up 🙈
Nevertheless, I have recently had the same dream twice, although it was more of a nightmare to be honest, whereby, I am back living in Belfast and carrying out the same job I had been doing previously. I was walking through the workplace wondering why I was there as it didn’t make any sense to me. This could be due to the fact that I’m thinking of home a lot and trying to plan my future. I do find dreams very interesting, it’s like your subconscious mind is working overtime, processing all of your conscious thoughts while you are having a much needed rest.
Do you believe that dreams can mean things? For instance, if you dream of your teeth falling out, there are big changes going to happen in your life?
Well isn’t this a strange request! Is this a “real” fictional character or one that we created ourselves? 🤷🏼♂️
I’m going to go with a real fictional character and the one I would like to interview would be Alec Harvey portrayed by Trevor Howard in my all time favourite movie Brief Encounter. If you haven’t yet seen this movie, please check out it. It’s an old black and white classic released in 1945. It is described as a British romantic drama but I think of it more as a love tragedy.
I don’t want to discuss the movie too much in case you do watch but my question would be to Alec about his relationship with the lead female and how he felt at the end of the movie? Did you make the right decision? Was everything that happened worth it? Would you do it again?
If anyone has seen this movie, please let me know ☺️
This is a tough one today as it’s not something I have ever thought of or desired to do. I guess it would be fun to head back in time to my parents era, kind of like Back to the Future, just to see how they lived and what life was like.
It would be cool to travel to the sixties – the Beatles, flower power and revolutions. Before the Troubles would start in Northern Ireland. I would love to see Ireland as a country when everyone would get along, no matter what religion, before British invasion. This was probably about 500 years ago?!
It would also be nice to maybe spend one day in the future, maybe in 100 years when I know I will no longer be here. What is the world like? Are cars flying yet? Or maybe global warming has had a catastrophic effect and most of the world is under water?!
For now, I will time travel back to my early twenties and relive one my many fun nights out in Belfast with the best group of friends, back to a time when we were allowed to dance and you could go for a night out with £20 and still come back with change. Take me back to 2003 please 😉.
I love this question. I love taking photographs with scenery, architecture or anything quaint. I love looking at photographs, I love taking photographs and I think I have a good eye for what subject would make a good photo, however, I’m not that clued into photography. I would love to be but it just flies over my head. I have a “proper” camera but quite often end up using my mobile phone as the IPhone 13 is pretty good at taking decent pictures.
This photograph is one of my favourites. I am a sucker for a good sunset and I like how this image showcases the sunset with a pelican just sitting in the foreground. I love the colour of the sky, the wispy clouds and the ocean at the bottom. This picture was taken in Ballina, NSW in 2020.
I can’t wait to see everyone’s favourite photo ever taken!
Where do I even start??? There are lots of things that are mysterious to me, that make me ponder. I would love to be able to write something fictional as this post screams fiction to me, however, in the real world there so many mysterious happenings that I do think about.
One that always baffles me and is extremely curious to me is the fact that I have never seen a cockroach in Ireland. Here in Australia we have millions upon millions. Even in the cleanest of homes, you will still be able to spot one. We have had more than our fair share over the years in our home, regularly having to place cockroach killer in spots around the house, mainly the kitchen. In a previous shared house we were inundated with cockroaches. In the middle of the night, the floor would move in the kitchen. You open the cutlery drawer and they can be seen scuttling everywhere. They even lived in the microwave timer screen so we could see them as the minutes on the clock descended. You dare not leave food on the table and turn your back, even for a second or they would be having a field day in your next meal.
Yet, I have never seen them at home in Northern Ireland. I would tell people here in Australia that we don’t have cockroaches as the weather is too cold. No one can believe it here. They are gobsmacked, “you must have cockroaches” they say. Well I don’t think we do, I have never seen them. Carrying out some quick internet googling, apparently we do have some but where are they? Maybe they never come out of the woodwork to see us humans. Other websites say you will never find them in Ireland or the UK 🤷🏼♂️.
So this folks is a real mystery to me. Have you ever seen a cockroach in Northern Ireland, Ireland or the UK?? What about even colder countries again like in Scandinavia or warmer countries in Europe? Are there any cockroaches where you live?
I hate to say this but I actually don’t have a book to read next. To be honest, I haven’t read a book in quite some time, except for academic purposes. It’s a little embarrassing but I guess I have other ways to relax. I think coming to Australia I am definitely outdoors a lot more. I walk every day and I frequent the gym 5 or 6 times a week. I love exercise and I have really gained access to a whole new fitness world that was previously unimaginable to me. Also I study often for my employment, so I just haven’t recaptured my love for reading for pleasure as yet.
I used to be an avid reader, smashing a couple of books in a week. I loved the escapism it would offer and it definitely helped with my English writing skills at school.
I really would love to become lost in a good book again. One of those books that you can’t put down as you’re so gripped to turn the page and see what will happen next. I am open to suggestions if anyone is keen to share any. I like fiction that is crime, mystery, fantasy or thriller. I do also enjoy autobiographies and the older classics 📖.
I would love to have the ability to teleport. That would enable me to see my family and friends in Ireland any time I want. I would also be able to travel the world and save so much time and money on travelling.
The only drawback would be that you miss out on the joy of travelling. However, you would always arrive at your destination refreshed and with money on your account 🤣.
I could always settle for the ability to fly. That way I could still travel wherever I want by air for free. However, I feel that if I had that ability, there would be public interest and I could be taken hostage as a science project. Plus I think I would be fearful to fly over oceans in case I lost the ability to fly and fell into the vast depths of the open waters.
There are just too many superpowers to think of. I could settle for any but I always seem to think of the other side of the coin, the drawbacks. Maybe it’s better not to have a superpower 🤔.
It’s funny that this is today’s topic as I was just thinking about the cause that I am passionate about this morning.
I was asked three years ago by a company here in Australia to help promote checking your skin for moles and showcasing the importance of monitoring for any changes in your moles.
This hit home for me as I have a few prominent moles on my back and had a couple removed a few years ago due to always becoming caught on things and causing discomfort.
I have my skin checked every couple of years just to be sure all is ok. I learned that it’s even the small moles that you have to worry about, the ones that you can barely even see. I learned to check my skin regularly, protect your skin with sun cream (I use factor 50 here in Australia) and try avoid the sun at peak times.
The company that I help to promote (in a small way) is called Game on Mole. They do amazing work for skin awareness and offer a lot of useful tips for monitoring your moles. They have many influential people to help promote their ideology and spread their message here in Australia, with many telling their own stories about personal battles with melanoma. You can check out Game on Mole here and also some information from the Cancer Council here that offers some really useful information.
I feel that this is such a worthy cause, not just here in Australia but worldwide. I have people I know that have had minor surgeries to remove cancerous skin cells, not just here but also from back home in the UK.
A family member just messaged me this morning to say they just had their skin checked due to seeing my post on social media. I love how we can spread awareness in even the smallest of ways.
Thanks for reading everyone and remember to wear sunscreen 😉
A good lesson in life is to be kind to others. I know it sounds simple but many people fail to be able to do this unfortunately. I always have the mentality of treating others how I would want to be treated. So often people are quick to judge someone else, without actually knowing what is going on in their lives. Try living in the other person’s shoes.
I would say every single human being has their own personal issues. May that be family, employment, financial, relationship, psychological, physical, emotional etc etc, we all have something that isn’t perfect in our lives. Therefore it is so important to bear that in mind before we judge or criticise others. Just be kind to others, it shouldn’t be that hard to do ☺️. Life is tough enough without being treated unkindly. I feel like everyone can benefit by treating people with kindness. The giver and the receiver of kindness.
This one is easy for me. My biggest challenge to date is gaining the skills to be able to move to Australia. I have travelled here many years ago on a working holiday visa and always wanted to come back and live as a resident. This is no easy thing to do. Australia has very strict immigration rules. If you want to live here in Australia, you have to be of value to them, which is fair enough really.
You can live here if you have a skill that is in demand. I had a good look at their skilled visa occupation list and picked something that I thought I could maybe learn to do and enjoy as a new career path.
Some of you will know the career path that I chose was a nursing one. Everywhere in the world is in need of nurses so I thought this would be a great career move and I had always thought of nursing in the back of my mind as I really enjoy working with people and feel like I have a caring and patient nature. Also my mum was a nurse too so I think that definitely helped with making the decision to study nursing.
Before I could study nursing I had to gain some experience in the caring profession in order to discover these two crucial points:
1 – Would I enjoy nursing?
2 – Would I be capable?
Fortunately, I applied and received my first caring role in a residential home looking after older people. To my delight, I thoroughly enjoyed the work. It was something completely different from what I had ever done before and even though it was really hard work, both physically and mentally, I found that loved it. I loved making people smile, brightening their day and I had the opportunity to work with some amazing other care workers. The experience I gained here was immeasurable.
The next question I would have to ask is, would I be eligible to apply for the course? Although nurses are highly sought after, many people also want to be nurses, making it very competitive to enrol in a nursing degree. I was gaining experience as a care assistant but I also needed the relevant qualifications. Thankfully, I had already carried out a degree beforehand and had the adequate A level results so I was able to meet the eligibility criteria.
I applied to university whilst working as a care assistant and to my horror I didn’t receive an offer of acceptance first time round. I was saddened but I had initially applied for mental health nursing and I knew already that it was highly competitive. Maybe this was a blessing in disguise.
I spent another year in the residential home and reapplied to university a year later, this time for general nursing. I became a supervisor in the residential home and continued to really enjoy the work. This gave me the confidence to apply for a nursing assistant job in a hospital, as part of the NHS. Two years after having joined the residential home, I was now working as a nursing assistant in theatres. This was an amazing job opportunity and extremely different from working in a care home.
A few months later, I received a letter to say I had been successful to study general nursing!!! This was SUCH an amazing feeling to finally be another step closer to my Australian dream.
I enrolled in university the following year and continued to work both as a care assistant in the home and as a nursing assistant in the hospital. I was able to work across four different hospitals in numerous wards throughout my journey as a nursing assistant. I will never forget the things I learned here and the amount of amazing nursing assistants and nurses that I met along the way. It showed me the many different varieties of nursing and also allowed me to discover where I enjoyed working and where I maybe wanted to avoid in the future. I would say all nurses have certain tasks that they love performing and others not so much. The joy of nursing is that there is so much choice with regards to different nursing fields. If you don’t like one aspect of nursing, you can choose another that is more suited to you and you can also work in different settings, for example, hospital, community, GP surgery, telehealth etc.
So I studied nursing for three years. A full time degree whilst working part time. Hard, hard work, long hours and very little money but I loved it again. I had the best experiences, both in placements and in the classroom. Every six weeks we would change from being on placement to being back at uni and so on, whilst every placement you were on was in a different setting.
After completing my nursing degree, I became a registered nurse and luckily was able to obtain my first job pretty quickly. There was a huge demand for nurses then in Northern Ireland so all students were able to obtain their first choice of nursing profession. I worked in my first post for two years whist trying to plan my move to Australia. It all paid off in the end. I completed all my paper work and became an Australian resident before emigrating. This was another whole process and that is for another blog down the line. I do have a previous blog post on the nursing application to be a nurse in Australia here but be aware this may have changed since then.
There you have it. My journey to become a nurse and make the move to becoming an Australia resident. The whole process took about seven years. This was my biggest challenge to date and it was a lengthy process to say the least. I am glad I faced it and overcame the process. I could have let my dream pass and stayed living at home. However, I felt that I owed myself to take on the challenge and see what living on the other side of the world would be like for a lengthy period.
Thanks for reading guys. It’s slightly longer than my previous Bloganuary posts.
I feel very lucky that I have the opportunity to live my ideal day many times a week or month living here in Australia, mainly due to the weather and lifestyle. Even if I am working, I will take the opportunity to carry out activities that I enjoy before or after work.
I will break down an ideal day for me if I am on my day off, that is, not working.
• Wake up after a good sleep about 6am. Make myself a coffee and walk/run to the gym for a strength workout at 7am. An hour later I will come home to shower.
• I then love to have a good breakfast. Sometimes I will head out with my partner or I will meet friends for a catch-up over breakfast.
• After this, I love to go for a walk. Either along the coast, taking in the beaches of the eastern suburbs or around Centennial Park or even more so, a new place to walk. I love finding new spots to explore and taking many, many photographs. Maybe even go for a swim.
• Try to stop for lunch somewhere quaint or perhaps take a packed lunch. I am happy with either ☺️.
• Come home for a lovely home cooked meal and have a couple of glasses of wine or if I’m free in the evening, head out to meet friends for a few sociable drinks after having eaten.
• Finally, I would round the night off with a big cup of tea at home and have a reasonably early night, say 10 or 11pm. I am all about a good nights sleep.
This is an interesting post as I have recently been questioning whether emojis are accepted in the blogging world.
I love to use emojis. I feel like one little image can convey a word or feeling so well. I use these a lot in my daily life, in text messages, social media and now blogging. I think because they’re everywhere now, they have almost become integrated into our written language.
They’re useful, especially when you don’t speak or write the same language as others. They are universal and break down language barriers.
I don’t even realise I’m using emojis half of the time. Maybe it’s a bad habit to use emojis in blogging. I feel like they are looked down and frowned on in the blogging world. I did have another blogger once comment on one of my posts about my use of emojis and to be honest, I felt silly for using them and slightly belittled.
I think emojis are here to stay and are a sign of moving with the times. I personally like them and I will continue to use them. I will try to refrain from using too many in my blog posts as perhaps it does take away from the art of writing. However, I do believe in the saying “you do you and I will do me”, so if you want to use emojis, go for it, it is your blog after all.
I love the hug 🤗 emoji. It’s very positive and shows that you care about someone, especially as we cannot really hug people at the moment due to covid. I also love the face palm 🤦🏼♂️ emoji and the shrug 🤷🏼♂️ one, which I obviously haven’t used for a while 😉. The grapes, leaves and sunflower are there simply there because I have just been to a few vineyards recently.
What are your thoughts on emojis? I am generally very interested to hear your opinions, especially when blogging.
For me, this means grabbing life by the horns and living it to the fullest. It means taking chances, leaving your comfort zone and not being afraid to try new things.
I try to do this as much as I can with travelling, meeting new people, sampling different cuisines and changing my roles of employment. I think these things are so important for character building and broadening our horizons.
I think I still can do more for living boldly and it remains a work in progress, for example, trying not to let other people’s opinions bother me and coming to grips that not everyone thinks the same. I am a person that generally follows rules and try my best to do the right thing. So in this regard I don’t live too boldly but I’m ok with that. I’m not a massive risk taker, I like to play it safe in life. That being said, I do love to be spontaneous at times with a last minute trip away or conversing with random strangers.
So I would probably say that I live life semi – boldly if that makes sense. Every now and again it’s good to live boldly but I still have my limitations. I’m a middle of the road kind of guy ☺️