Four Weeks Until Christmas? Are You Sure?

It’s hard to believe that we are almost at the end of another year. Yet, with just one month to go until Christmas Day and its festivities, here we are. So, let’s have a quick catch up. I received my results back in July for my exam for A222 Exploring Philosophy, and it was a Grade 2 Pass. On 2 October 2021, I started A363 Advanced Creative Writing, and enjoying the course so far. Last Friday, I received 84% for my first assignment, which is just 1% below a distinction. But, with a solid grade like that, I was pleasantly surprised and the feedback from my tutor was encouragingly constructive.

In September, I wrote an article for the Open University Students Association’s Student Magazine, The Hoot, entitled “What The Open University Means to Me”, which was published and eventually nominated for “Hoot of the Month” for October 2021. The article describes my journey of studying with the OU, particularly after I dropped out of Edge Hill University due to mental health reasons in 1996 and again in 1997. Completing my Y002 Openings Course in 2002 with the OU gave me the drive to study different courses, and gave me the confidence to move from volunteering with The British Heart Foundation and apply for full-time work. And having this short read published by The Hoot has spurred me on to apply to become a content writer as part of their microvolunteer team.

Twelve weeks ago, I returned to drum lessons after a five-year break, this time with the brilliant Jamm Studios which is a short walk from my humble abode. It’s a fantastic set-up, and I’m picking things up slowly but quickly. Tonight’s lesson was extremely tricky indeed, but managed to get there after thirty minutes. Throughout all of my lessons, my tutor has made me feel at ease. Only with time and practice may I reach the dizzying heights of playing like Nandi Bushell. One can dream.

But the icing on the cake, hasn’t been my success with studies, or learning to play music again, or the delectable Mr B and I’s trip to Bristol in September, but the birth of my great-nephew Teddy Lee. He is eight weeks old tomorrow, and oh my, cuteness overload. I’ve had a few snuggles with him over the last few weeks, and he’s slowly getting used to being in the arms of other people rather than his Mum and Dad. And they’re coping amazingly well with their newfound roles in life.

And in memory of Teddy Lee’s late Grandad, Lee, my Mum and I took part in the Lost Hours Walk on 5 October 2021, and raised over £200 for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Our route took us from Victoria Park, St Helens, along the East Lancashire Road towards Windle Island, then past St Helens Crematorium, heading back towards Victoria Park via The Abbey pub and the back of the Crematorium. It rained heavily on the way to Windle Island, and as we walked past the rugby/football playing fields of Cowley High, a rainbow shone upon us. All-in we completed just under 7km. I would like to thank everyone who has donated so far, but for those of you that haven’t, there is still time. CALM are accepting donations until 31 December 2021. If you would like to make a donation, please visit my JustGiving page by following the link below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/local-lost-hours-walk-20216125641b96dfb?utm_source=facebook

Any donations that you make will go directly to CALM and their continued fight to smash the stigma that surrounds suicide, and to provide much needed support to those during times of crisi.

So, I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas for those of you who celebrate the occasion, and happy holidays in general. And I will see you again in 2022. Take care Tiddlypeeps xxx

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