2017: The Year of Cautious Optimism

Despite the many terrible world events that happened in it (Brussels, Paris, Nice, Orlando, Syria, Turkey, Brexit, Trump, Berlin to name but a few), 2016 was a great year for me personally. I married the love of my life after five years together, had the most joy-and-love-filled celebration with friends and family followed by a two week trip around my favourite places in northern Italy. I also had not one, not two, but THREE fantastic hen celebrations in London and Las Vegas (!), a relaxing break with friends in the beautiful Belgian Ardennes and an amazing holiday to Vietnam (thanks to Tom and Lily for having their wedding there!), plus numerous other special moments shared with special people. And for all of this I feel incredibly thankful.

The instability in the world has proved our future is far from certain, and that every day is a blessing and not a guarantee. I am therefore approaching 2017 with an attitude of cautious optimism. From a personal perspective there is much to look forward to, and potentially big changes afoot, not least my MSc in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology starting in February.

From a wider world perspective, I do believe that we can, to some extent at least, be the change we want to see in the world. Even if it’s only on a micro rather than a macro level, when individuals come together to realise a common goal – whether it be helping other humans, animals and/or the environment – something magical happens. If we never look outside of ourselves and our own immediate concerns we not only lose perspective but we also fail to make a positive impact on the world around us. Whenever my time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil I hope it can at least be said I made some progress on that front.

So here we stand on the threshold of a new year. The future may be uncertain, but it is also what we make it. I don’t know about you, but I plan to make 2017 the best year yet. Happy New Year.


A weekend in Berlin



Slight technical hitch uploading yesterday’s blog, so here it is now:

And so to Berlin, a city so steeped in history as to ooze it at every turn. I remember learning about the Cold War and the Holocaust at school, but actually being in what was the epicentre of such enormously significant historical events is powerful in the extreme. The Holocaust memorial and museum moved me to tears-it’s just so hard to comprehend that such evil can exist in the world. 

 On a less serious note, the Germans may be famed for their efficiency, but one thing that is woefully lacking in efficiency is the system of pay as you go bicycles. It took five grown adults four attempts to successfully register using the terrible touch screen ‘technology,’ but in the end we did manage to liberate some bikes and cycle around the city for an hour, before stumbling across an Oktoberfest bar and settling in for a few steins of beer.
Berlin is such a fun and vibrant city with a huge amount to see and do. One weekend just isn’t enough to fully appreciate all it has to offer. Which just means I’ll have to come back-no great hardship 🙂