So apparently we’ve reached Midsummer (although looking out the window I’m not 100% convinced).

It’s such an obvious thing to say, but it does seem to be not time at all since New Year.

Still, don’t count the days, make the days count.

In January I finished my two year bereavement supporters course which I had a lot of mixed emotions about. In some ways I was glad to not have to be driving down to Surrey every couple of months (especially now weekends are even more precious to me with my all over the place job) but this course was so good for me, and I met some amazing people.

The start of the new year also brought with it some new classes. I started burlesque, belly dance and Nia classes but unfortunately they’ve all fallen by the wayside due to my ever changing shifts. It was hard to be constantly trying to catch up with dance routines when I’d missed weeks of classes. I’d always be flailing along at the back trying not to trip myself up!

Hooping’s also gone off the radar a bit, apart from a workshop I went to in February. My flat, despite having lots of space, has a sloping ceiling which makes anything apart from waist hooping a tad destructive. Apart from Hoop Path, February was a pretty quiet month. We went to a lovely wedding up North, but a lot of the month seemed to be taken up finishing off my essay and learning journal for counselling, and I was asked to submit my story for a sibling support booklet that CRY are putting together. It was a really tough thing to write, especially as the deadline fell just after the fifth anniversary of Gareth’s death, so I was pretty emotional at the time anyway. I think it was good for me to write it all out, although they kept asking me to send in a photo of the two of us together and it made me really sad that I don’t have a recent one. Neither of us were particularly fond of having our photo taken! Still, it reminded me how much photos can mean.

Which meant that I barely stopped snapping away when we were on holiday. March was all about the bright lights of Tokyo.

We travelled down to London on my birthday and ate at Wahaca before going to see Jeff Mangum play at Union Chapel which was beautiful. Then the next morning we headed off to Heathrow and eleven hours later we were in Japan. Andy’s written a good blog post about our time there. It was a fascinating place. We cooed at kitties at the cat café, sung karaoke, got lost (a lot), visited arcades which nearly made our ears bleed, watched a St Patrick’s Day parade which consisted of costumed Irish Setters, watched ASIMO do his thing and found some peace amongst the temples of Kamakura. It was pretty awesome all in all.

After that, April was a pretty quiet month which was much needed to save some pennies. I did splash out on my second tattoo (a mandala with a dotwork tree) as it had been a whole decade since my last one.

I also went to my first roller derby session, which has proved to be rather expensive in the long run – got my own skates this week!

I also started studying an evening course in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which I talked a bit about in my last post. The last session was this week and I’ve found it really interesting and helpful, especially in my bereavement support calls which I’m now doing regularly. In May I helped out at my first bereavement support day which was scary and a really long day, but a good experience. More CRY-related stuff kept me busy when they held an awareness raising event at the Senedd. I had to use my rusty Welsh on Radio Cymru and S4C which I found rather terrifying.

On another weekend in May, we managed to get away for a couple of nights to Hay on Wye, for some much needed pootling. We spent a lot of time mooching around the book shops, and headed off to Gloucester to see Gifford’s Circus. I think it’s the third time we’ve seen them now and I’d really recommend it.

Which brings us to June, which has been quite quiet so far, apart from a day trip to Bristol for Dot to Dot festival. Most of our time now seems to be taken up looking at houses to buy, as our landlord has decided to sell our flat and we’re not sure when we’ll be kicked out. It’s such a shame as I love where we are right now. I spend so much time on my own at home because of my job and it’s really nice having somewhere so peaceful and being so near the woods. Still, it’s exciting looking for a house as well, although also a source of much confusion.

And so onto the next half of this year…


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