Amber Kirk-Ford

Formerly 'The Mile Long Bookshelf'

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Kew Gardens Light Trail | #ChristmasAtKew

How did you spend New Year? On New Year's Eve I had to be up at 5:45am for a nine-hour shift, which meant I promptly fell asleep at 9:30pm like the lightweight I am. Set an alarm though so I still woke up briefly enough to watch the London fireworks -- just. On New Year's Day we had tickets for the light trail at Kew Gardens, so after a lie-in and a Quorn sausage roll and Pringles for breakfast (I clearly don't give a shit about January's weight-loss culture) we headed out.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Well hello there, shiny new year. What am I going to do with you?

Parts of 2018 were a bit rubbish. My anxiety hit me over the head with a sledgehammer just when I thought it had left me alone completely, which led to me being signed off work for a couple of weeks. A knee injury I obtained last winter still hasn't healed, and having practically lived at the hospital this year seeing various physiotherapists and podiatrists, and even having an MRI, I'm wondering if it ever will. I fell out of love with blogging for a while, I had to go through two very unpleasant ordeals at work that I can't expand on here, and we had some sad family news.

But it's also been a great year. It took a while but I started to manage my anxiety again, and eventually I got back to work. I'm blogging again. I ticked off all the places on my travel wish list, having been to Brighton, Edinburgh, Paris, Amsterdam and New York in 2018. I got over my fear of flying. The two incidents at work seem to be over, and I've really developed myself there, being given more responsibilities. More recently, I've started volunteering again, this time at a local food bank - increasingly important in today's political climate, and something I've always wanted to do but never got round to doing. I've also been working on driving in unfamiliar places, something I've struggled with for years. That one is going to take a while, though.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Winter Wonderland Preview Night 2018

I hate winter. I hate when it gets so cold that your entire body tenses for so long that it aches. And although I don't hate it, I dread Christmas, too - yay, working in retail! The only place that can make me feel even slightly festive is Winter Wonderland, an annual event in London's Hyde Park that is usually open from mid-November to 6th January. I first visited last year and had the best time, although it was so busy that I remember being disappointed that we didn't get to see or do everything.

This year I was lucky enough to attend the preview on the night before it opened to the public, which meant that the numbers were much, much lower and the queues were shorter. Entry is always free, but there are pre-bookable attractions that cost such as the ice rink, the immersive cinema, the Magical Ice Kingdom, ice sculpting workshops, and more. For that evening only, though, attractions and rides were free!
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