Friday, 29 December 2017

Loving Life - Day 30

Day 30 (Saturday 30th December 2017)
30 December 1986 was the day that the UK government finally ruled out the
use of canaries in coal mines to detect the presence of noxious gases. Canaries were
introduced into mines in 1911, due to their sensitivity to poison and in particular their
reaction to carbon monoxide. Mice were also used, but were less swift in their reactions.
There were 200 canaries still being relied upon by 12,000 miners British mines in 1986.
This is an early example of technology taking over a role - canaries were replaced by
hand-held gas detectors with digital readers.
This evening a small family group of us are going to visit Dennis Severs' House in Spitalfields, London. It is a time capsule - each room of the house depicts a period in the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century. I have been once before, but tonight will be even more magical - we will have a candlelit wander around - with the rooms to ourselves - before choosing a room to sit in with the curator, to ask questions about the museum and its artefacts, whilst sipping mulled wine and enjoying mince pies.

The post today is by a much-loved and regular contributor to the Advent Blogs series, Bina Briggs. It has become a tradition for Bina to fill us in on her year just gone, and this post will not disappoint. I'm sure Bina would love to hear from you- one of the easiest ways of contacting her is on Twitter, her handle is @PlainTalkingHR.  Bina runs her own business with the same name as she uses on Twitter, Plain Talking HR Ltd, which she took sole control of when her former business partner, Bronwen, retired on the 1st June. The business is just as described, and so is Bina's approach to HR. She is unfailingly polite and supportive, never the less, Bina is quite capable of getting her messages across and guiding people when necessary to change their ways. She is an excellent mentor and friend, probably because she is steered by her values. Her business provides advice and support to small to medium size businesses and the testimonials and the fact that she is a regular contributor to her local radio's business panel discussions give a flavour of how she is perceived. Judging by her social media comments, one might think that Bina spent most of the time travelling the globe - certainly she is a devoted supporter of her husband, who is a regular participant in cycling races around the world.

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So here I am, once again on a plane to Poland to visit my ‘Polish family’ and to deliver their Christmas presents. This has become a tradition and funny enough usually I travel across at the end of November when the writing of the advent blog takes place too. This year, my trip was delayed and so the post didn’t get written either and it's 1st December and I've just read the first Advent blog of 2017. I feel a bit like a naughty child, should have written my blog by now! 😊😊

Christmas is such a special time for most people, no matter what religion you follow or not as the case may be! The lights, the music, the festivities, being with the people we love and the presents! Each year, the months seem to go faster and we all get caught up in its fervour. Of course, we all say it every year that this year I’m not going to do as much, it’s so commercialised and that I’m not having any of it! Guess, what, come November, most of us get drawn into it once again and off we go! I just love it! But then there are so many of my friends and family who LOVE the festive season and counting the days when they can start getting ready for the BIG DAY without feeling weird about it.



I feel that I live in 2 worlds and I’m sure I’m not alone. There is that one world that is happening out there, it occupies news headlines in the media on an hourly, daily basis round the clock and then there is that world that is my own personal space.

The world out there at times seems to be getting darker and out of control, to the point that it’s surreal. When you think that you have seen everything and heard everything, surely, it cannot be happening, it cannot continue to happen, then, smack, a headline appears which is more bizarre than ever. Enough said about all that...




Last year was one of those years where we were moving on with life and travelling a lot and as I had said in my 2016 advent blog that hubby was looking forward to retiring which meant only one thing, more awesome cycling races.



Although 2017 started with a high, it was also a period of frustration, waiting for others to make up their minds, to action things that had direct impact on us and in general, trying out our patience. Isn't it amazing how some people make others'  lives so miserable by not doing what they are supposed to do, it's their job but they don't give a damn, or are incompetent or totally oblivious of the fall-out they are creating by their inactions!  For the first couple of months, it seemed as if we were in a retrograde motion.



For some of the earlier months, it has also been a dark year for some of our friends and family too, health wise and work wise. Their unhappiness of course affected us. It's natural when our loved ones suffer, we suffer too. In addition, I have lost a couple of my loved ones, nearby and in India. These losses are insurmountable, closing of chapters and just left with memories of wonderful, loving people, never to be in my life, in our lives again. Death is so final.

Hubby retired in February and hey presto, he found new lease of life. More bike races galore, he entered almost one a month in any part of the world he/we could travel to with ease! 



Last year was a pretty full year in travelling, however, I'm sure that once again we have set a new record this year!! There is a standing joke with my FB friends about our travelling. They often wonder if we ever spend any time at all at home. We love checking out new places and of course meeting new people, people who often become very much part of our lives.



The business also has grown wings this year and it's started to fly. People and the universe have been most kind and all in all, the year is ending on a very high for me, my family and friends. All is coming together by the grace of all those looking after us.

We can't wait for 2018 as we look forward to all the great things it's bringing to us.

So, here's wishing you all a very merry, peaceful and loving festive season.

Bina



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