It’s been ages since I’ve written a Sunday Sevens (devised by Natalie at Threads and bobbins). So as 2018 draws to a close I’ve decided to compile one last Sunday Sevens to top off a wonderful Christmas week.
Christmas Dinner 2018
To get into the festive spirit, Mum and I attended a Carol Service at the local church. While on Christmas Day, David and I played host to our parents for a wonderful Christmas dinner.
Walking the dog:
Over the festive period we managed to get out and about with Riley. I enjoyed the walks as much as Riley and my miles totted up nicely. My final week’s mileage for #walk1000milesis 30.
Zimmer Vs Williams
On Thursday David and I attended a concert at the Philharmonic Hall. The programme was Zimmer vs Williams and featured music from films such as Star Wars, E.T, The Dark Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean. I enjoyed the concert, David was less enamoured.
Today David saved a bee! I think this tree bumblebee had either been disturbed or was an old queen. After research I found that due to warmer winters bumblebees, the tree bumblebee included are choosing to start new nests rather than hibernate. A consequence of global warming? Whatever the reason this tree bumblebee looked in need of assistance. So we gave her sugar/water and left her to rest in the yarden.
Have you seen any bees flying this wintertime?
This weekend David and I acquired a new friend for the aviary, a Lady Gouldian Finch we named Luna. How beautiful is he?
Day Twenty-four: It’s Christmas Eve, my favourite time of the year! I still feel all the excitement for the day before Christmas as I did as a child.
There’s nothing better than to sing Carols around this time of year, which is why we attended the recent Carol Service at the local church. It was a bit different from services I remembered but still a nice way to celebrate the season.
Friday, 15th December I treated my mum and I to a Christmas Recital at the parish church, St Bridget’s. Tickets were £5 per person. The performance was by local soprano Gussie Knopov, accompanied by pianist Per Nielsen. I think the appeal of the evening was due to following Wirral soprano Charlotte Hoather’s blog and also wanting to support local events.
The performance was at 7.30pm. We wrapped up warmly from the cold, with fairy lights flashing from darkened windows, we walked along damp roads towards St Bridget’s. The church was busy with people when we walked in.
Soprano, Gussie Knopov, a former member of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir, has trained in Manchester and Edinburgh. In 2016 she started her undergraduate studies at the London, Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
Gussie Knopov and Per Nielsen
Gussie was accompanied by Per Nielsen, who from his Linkedin page has an impressive CV of working at Archbishop Blanch and Liverpool Hope University. His credits also include studio recordings for National Danish Radio and Radio Three.
The programme featured songs from the stage, among them were My Fair Lady and Jesus Christ Superstar, interjected with Christmas carols such as Ding Dong Merrily on High and Oh Holy Night. I found Gussie’s diction was clearer on the more classical pieces, (showing her training in action), such as the two Schumann love songs and her rendition of Bizet’s Habanera which she chose to do as an encore.
The programme also featured Per Nielsen’s masterful skill on the keyboard. One highlight was his solo performance of Debussy’s The Snow is Dancing from TheChildren’s Corner. Through Nielsen’s retelling you could imagine snowflakes dancing in the air.
The interval was a bit longer than the 20 minutes billed, but there was refreshments of wine, cordial and cake to make the wait all that more sweeter.
The event was better than I had anticipated and the caliber of both performers was outstanding. Nielsen’s experience was glistening and Gussie has a bright further ahead! All the best to them both!
Gussie Knopov and Per Nielsen
I’ve not attended events locally before but I would definitely look out for more in future.
I don’t want to waste the two weeks I have off work by just staying at home, languishing. So I suggested to David that we spend the day at Chester. Chester is close enough to home yet has places we have yet to visit. Also we had to be back by 7.30 pm for a concert by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic!!
So Chester it was, and we decided to visit Chester Cathedral’s Falconry and Nature Gardens. We arrived at 11 am. The entrance fee was £3 per adult, with the ticket we could enter the site as many times as we wanted throughout the day. We looked around the ‘nature gardens’ and I was not impressed. There was only a small green area designated for picnics which had bee hotels and insect homes around the perimeter and another square where the birds of prey were housed, tethered by jess’s.
David and I visited during school term time so there was not many people at the centre. During the flight display I counted five couples, David and I included! It was the flight displays that were the highpoint of the visit. The first one was at 12.30 pm so with time to spare David and I visited Chester Cathedral.
At 12 noon David and I ventured back to Chester Falconry and Nature Garden and had our lunch there, waiting for the 12.30 pm display.
The 12.30 pm display featured an American Black Vulture and a Harris Hawk. I had wanted to see one of the falcons flying but we could not make the 2.30 pm show.
The flight display with Head of Falconry Tommy McNally, was very authoritative and educational. He explained why American Black Vulture’s had no feathers on their heads and how their white legs were a by-product of their own urine, which coats their legs with a sort of antibacterial to keep them clean and free from disease whilst feeding on carrion.
During the performance, we stood in the display field and Tommy asked for a volunteer. A tall, lithe girl volunteered and had to run the length of the field with a chicken head, thus causing the Vulture to run, then fly after her! Tommy said that vultures were lazy birds and this was one way to show them flying!
He then asked for another volunteer and I volunteered David, as I can’t run!! He had a glove put on his left hand and a chicken head placed amongst his fingers. Tommy asked David to run as fast as he could so that the vulture would have to forsake bounding on the ground and flap his wings! David set off with the vulture following his heels. The vulture took flight and soon got the chicken head! David was asked to run back and the vulture was rewarded again with a chicken head!
Frankie the Harris Hawk was next up, and he flew deftly between the heads of the small crowd and also wolfed down a chicken head, much like an owl would!
I find birds of prey highly thrilling and enjoyed my time at Chester Cathedral’s Falconry and Nature Garden’s. It would be a great place to visit during the summer, when in-between shows you can go shopping, have something to eat or visit the river Dee or castle! There is more to see in Chester than meets the eye! A visit to the Roman amphitheatre and the city walls is something that should be on every tourist’s to see list when visiting the area!
Week three of Dry January has been a real struggle emotionally and physically.
On Sunday I bent down to pick up a toy of Artie’s and I ended up on my knees screaming in agony! I must have pulled a muscle or put strain on my vertebrae as it’s taken days to get better. It is still not fully healed, every now and then I twist awkwardly or I forget my back is weaker and it twinges.
I had to call work on Monday as I could hardly move without pain shooting around my hips. Luckily my boss and agency were understanding and I took two days off!
With not just my back to contend with, I have also been fending off the ‘black dog.’ All I did this weekend was cry! Poor David, he didn’t know what to do with me! During this time I have not thought about having a drink. I think my drinking was more due to habit rather than actual need! I will not go completely dry once January is over, but I will watch my intake. I have downloaded an app for my phone (AlcoDroid) to check on the units ingested per week.
I have already marked out the wine of choice for the 1st of February (which is a Sunday so moderation will be key). It will hopefully be JP Chenet’s Colombard Sauvignon. I can almost smell the pineapple notes! 😀
You can still sponsor me at my Just Giving page for Alcohol Concern. Or you can donate using your mobile. Text to 70070 with the message, JGAC and the £ amount. i.e. JGAC £5 to 70070. Thank you!
I found that keeping active was key to getting over the injured back. So on Tuesday I arranged a coffee morning with Mum at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. I went to see the World War One commemoration statue, All Together Now by Andy Edwards and also spent a nice two hours walking around the cathedral and its chapels.