Rescued Animals at Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary

Those who know The Bloke in his personal life will be aware of his passion for photography, in particular of his love of landscapes and British wildlife.

I’ve been wanting to do something as a surprise for him for a while, so when I discovered Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary I was delighted!

There’s quite an inspirational story behind the sanctuary and it’s owner, Geoff. Continue reading

Chung Ying Chinese Moon FEASTival

imageOne of my favourite foods has always been Chinese, and yet The Bloke and I rarely visit any local Chinese restaurants, despite the fact that there are some incredible places to eat in Birmingham.

Last week The Bloke and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Chinese Moon Feastival – a celebration and a charity fundraiser for the Birmingham Big Art Project (with the objective being to commission and install a piece of high quality public art that will encourage international recognition) – that was held at three different Chung Ying restaurants across the city.

It was hosted by James Wong, MD of Chung Ying, Chairman of the Chinese festival committee and Birmingham Business Man of the Year. Continue reading

The Color Run Birmingham 2016

The Color Run, 2016

The Color Run, 2016

It’s on my Bucket List to take part in a Color Run, and this year I’m lucky enough to be taking part in the NEC Color Run in Birmingham on 20th August 2016.

The Color Run, which is presented by Skittles, is a unique 5km run, celebrating health, happiness and having fun. The thousands of participants start the day in a white t-shirt and get covered in a whole rainbow of colours at each kilometer of the course, culminating in a huge ‘finish festival,’ complete with a mix of DJ’s and ‘Colour Throws.’

It looks like huge fun, and my friend and I will be participating just for the joy of running – I did the Birmingham Half-Marathon last year and raised hundreds of pounds for Dementia UK, but this year I am not specifically fundraising. However, there are a number of people who are taking the opportunity to raise money for worthy causes… Continue reading

Jake’s Coffee Box and Tea for Two

I was in town yesterday and after attempting to finish off the final last-minute Christmas present list, I was shattered. I stopped in a cafe to sit down for a minute and have a drink and a sandwich, and checked my Facebook page while I was doing so. This showed up on my feed after a page that I follow shared it…

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Jake’s Coffee Box is one of the smallest businesses in Birmingham, operating from a former phone box on Eden Square. It opened in August, after a charitable trust called ‘Thinking Outside The Box’ was given planning permission to convert the phone boxes into kiosks, allowing them to be rented. Continue reading

It’s Not Like That On YouTube!

imageRecently I have watched a number of inspirational videos on YouTube that have focused on random acts of kindness, particularly for the homeless. As well as reducing me to tears, they have served as reminder of how lucky I am in life, and while I try and do my best for others when I can by collecting for homeless shelters, raising money and giving to charity shops, I can always do more.

Over the last week the weather has changed, suddenly becoming bitterly cold with almost continuous rain and heavy winds. In my little town on the outskirts of Birmingham, I have seen several homeless men taking shelter in the doors or shops at night, and despite the fact that I haven’t got much money at the minute so I decided to try and do a little something for them when I could.

This is what happened: Continue reading

Three Weeks to Go…

amy

In a moment of madness I agreed to sign up for the Birmingham Half-Marathon in October and run 13 miles.

My physical state when I initially paid for my entrance fee in May was not exactly in brilliant condition. As someone who likes their food, along with the occasional cigarette and cocktail, my body has slowly increased in size to the point where I have easily gained 60+lbs in the last five years, and while I was fit enough to swim or run around for hours regularly in my youth, I could barely walk up the stairs a few months ago without feeling flustered and out of breath. Continue reading

A Beautiful Story To Make You Smile: There’s Still Hope For Humanity!

Axani and Gallagher in Bangkok

Axani and Gallagher in Bangkok

I hate watching the news. The world seems to be an increasingly violent and depressing place and each new day brings stories of cruelty, hatred and injustice that leave me feeling helpless and in despair of humanity. However, every so often I will see a story that reminds me that there are still wonderful people out there…

Last year, Canadian Jordan Axani and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Gallagher, booked a three week round-the-world vacation for the Christmas holidays, but then they broke up before the trip took place. However, instead of letting the spare ticket go to waste, Jordan turned to Reddit in an attempt to find another Canadian girl with the same name as his ex who was willing to join him. Asking for nothing in return, his criteria was simple:

1. Be sane, smart and (hopefully) interesting.

2. Have always wanted to travel, but maybe haven’t had the opportunity or cash to see much of the world.

3. Be named Elizabeth Gallagher and have a Canadian passport.

4. Be ready for a rather spontaneous life experience that will, one day, be an epic story that you’ll tell your kids.

5. Pay it forward. I’ve been lucky in life and this is me giving back to the universe. Do something similar today.

The story went viral, Axani received thousands of applications and the lucky recipient was a 23 year old student, Elizabeth Quinn Gallagher, from Nova Scotia. Gallagher, who has a boyfriend (apparently he wasn’t hugely impressed with her plans to spend Christmas with a complete stranger), initially thought the idea was a little crazy, but was quickly put at ease by Axani in a number of conversations over the phone. They met in the airport departure lounge at Toronto on 21st December and visited eight different places – New York, Milan, Venice, Prague, New Dehli, Khao Lak and Hong Kong, before returning on the 8th January.┬áBecause Axani stopped planning the trip further when he and his ex broke up, there were no hotel rooms booked, but when Marriott International heard about it, they provided separate rooms at each stop of their journey.

Paris

Paris

New York

New York

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

It seems that they developed a great friendship, joking on their return about Axani’s fear of heights and Gallagher’s frequent ability to get lost, they had a wonderful time and I’m pleased for them both.

However, the beauty of the story doesn’t stop there. Axani was inspired by incredibly touching message that he received from and eight year-old boy who was losing his sight and wanted to see the world before he lost his vision completely, and has now set up an charity organisation with his brother called A Ticket Forward to help people travel but don’t have the money.

What a wonderful story, created by a kind and generous person. Perhaps there is hope for humanity after all!

If you wish to make a donation to A Ticket Forward, simply click this link

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

A Lady Wot Lunches…

Ah, Monday. I love Mondays. It is fast becoming my favourite day of the week. I have Mondays off now and I genuinely look forward to them – gone are the Sunday night blues and even though the cat woke me up at 5.45am this morning I didn’t mind as I know that I have the whole day ahead of me to do as I please. Bliss.

It has taken me a little while to get used to it – I’ve always been lucky enough to have a full-time job since graduating in 2005 and it was a huge step to realise that I wasn’t coping well earlier this year and request to go .8, but work have been amazingly supportive and even gave me Mondays off without me requesting it specifically. I was initially worried about money, but i’ve lost a lot less than I expected so as long as I am careful I’ll be fine, even with the unexpexcted vets bills for Daisy. There’s the added bonus that one of my closest friends, MRH is also off on Mondays so I can occasionally be a ‘lady wot lunches.’ Continue reading