Tag Archives: CountryMusic

St Patrick’s Day Sparkle

An event I have wanted to attend for years is the Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade.  This year I finally made it there.  My friend and I dressed in Green, wore false Shamrock nails, sparkling facial tattoo’s and made our way to the city centre.  Once we reached the Bull Ring we were immersed into a sea of Green, White and Gold.

Me and April

We watched lots of floats go by, listening to Irish music, watched Irish dancers, Salsa dancers, Chinese dragons and Pipe Bands from around the UK and from Ireland. After the parade we made our way through the singing, dancing crowds to the folk village and had a glass of Guinness – had to be done!!  From there we visited St Anne’s Social Club and met up with some family friends from my childhood.  I was warmed up with a hot Jameson’s – Whiskey is not something I drink but I was so cold it did the trick to warm me up.

We were very lucky girls as we had concert tickets to see Nathan Carter at the Birmingham Town Hall.  This is the longest UK tour Nathan has done so far and he was excellent.  His grandmother sells the merchandising and yes we bought wonderful T-Shirts, Black with plenty of sparkle.  At home we have quite a few Nathan Carter CD’s but live, he is  incredible.  What a voice.  When he sang ‘The Town I loved so Well’ the Town Hall was in awe.  Nathan told the story of his musical journey growing up, moving to Ireland, playing to empty venues to now, sell out performances.  He certainly deserves every success.

All in all it was a very long, tiring but perfect day. Below are some photo’s of our wonderful day 🙂

Bull Ring, Birmingham. St Patrick's Day Parade.

Bull Ring, Birmingham. St Patrick’s Day Parade.

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April – waiting for the parade to start.

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Ould fashioned Pony and trap.

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Fly the flag for Ireland.

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The Trinity Netball Team

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The stage is set for Nathan Carter!

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Nathan in action.

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Me, Nathan and April – what a fabulous evening 🙂

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New Year Sparkle

Well, I sit here at lunch time at my desk wondering…wondering about all the dreams and wishes and thoughts and daydreams that go around and around in my head everyday. What to do? Can I do that? Should I do this? Decisions, decisions.

We all have our hopes, dreams and visions for the future and I wonder how many people like me, think about them, perhaps make a few tentative steps towards them and then just slip back into their comfort zone. I do it all the time. I really love January, I love Winter for all the cold weather, the frost, the bright clear days and yes even the rainy, cloudy, overcast days because they are another day that I am alive and dreaming. I love January also because it is the start of the year. A whole new year to do what we please with, up to a point. I understand that yes, we all have various responsibilities to deal with and that just doing what we please may not always be an option. But there is no harm in plotting and planning out our dreams, our ambitions and our goals. Because you never know, we might just get to carry out and achieve some of them.

I have quite a few things in my mind at the moment. The usual ‘must eat more healthy because it is important for my body’ thoughts, along with the ‘must move more, walk more, exercise more’ thoughts. I also have the, ‘I want to blog more’, ‘I want to ignite the sparkle in everyone’, ‘I want to develop the mental health and wellbeing of people’, ‘I want to sing Country and Irish and let my free spirit roam’ thoughts. So you can see, there are a few items on my to do list this year.

I’m trying to create a schedule for myself. That I go to bed and sleep a little earlier so that I have more energy and life to carry out these plans and so that I don’t have darkness around my eyes from tiredness – that is so not a good look! I have the day job to do which I am happy with but sometimes wonder if I can ever escape the desk and yes, there is a plan there too but I have to develop all of the above first. I need to find time to study, I am only two and a half modules way from the end and I am the type of person that just has to see things through.

I shall make time for the people who are important to me and for whom I am important to them. I love my Twitter interactions because it spreads the sparkle of life immediately that I post something Boho, Irish, Spanish, Country Music or whatever is making me sparkle at the time.

Life is just the most amazing thing we have, it is so precious, so beautiful and truly sparkling. I’d like to whole world to unlock the spirit within their heart and soul, to see the beauty around them and to really live and love the life we have been blessed with.

Yes as always I have rambled on but I suppose that is my free spirit talking.

Thank you for reading and sharing my blog, thank you for being on this journey with me and thank you for letting me share your journey too. Please feel free to comment and let me know what you are dreaming of for this fabulous new year.

2014 – What made you Sparkle?

At this time of year we tend to look back on what we are leaving behind in 2014 and we start to look ahead to the new year, 2015. We’ll be busy making resolutions, plotting and planning for the year ahead and if you are like me, once again making a start on healthy eating and getting more exercise!!

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Picture via Pinterest

When I look back on the last twelve months, I think, like most people, we’ve had our up’s and down’s, our happy and sad times because that is life and you can’t escape it. What we must do though is live it because truly, that is what life is for. So, for my first blog of 2015 I am going to share with you the moments in 2014 where I felt alive and totally sparkling high on life.

The stand out moments for me were a wonderfully happy and chilled out week with my lovely friend, in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza. That was true Ibiza heaven…

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I was then lucky enough to visit Lagos, Portugal with my wonderful boyfriend and we walked 72 miles over the course of a week and I still didn’t lose any weight…I blame the ice cream and sangria intake…

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A real highlight of the year was re-discovering my love for Irish Country Music and going to see John McNicholl twice and having such a fabulous fun time at his shows. Meeting John was just wonderful because he is a lovely person and makes time to talk to and have photo’s taken with his fans.

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A final highlight was a trip to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market at night. I love the Christmas Market and usually it is a quick walk around at lunch time to try the food and visit the stalls so it was lovely to have time to stroll around at my own pace.

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Do you have highlights from the year in your mind? What stands out for you as being happy and making your heart sparkle?

Thank you for joining me on my highlights of 2014 memories. I wish you all a very happy and sparkling new year.

Thank you for reading my blog ✨

Country Music – the bliss and the sparkle!

Oh how my free spirit soared that night. That feeling of pure bliss, happiness rippled through me like waves of delight. The freedom of singing and dancing, the simple pleasures of life and something I hadn’t enjoyed for too long a time.

Where did this amazing bliss take place? The Irish Centre in Birmingham! I said it was the simple things. A place I used to visit often with my family and we’d sing and dance to our favourite bands and here I was, years later with my wonderful, up for any adventure friend, April, waiting see Irish Country music star John McNicholl. I was so excited, I’d tweeted earlier that evening that I felt like a teenager again and believe me, that felt great.

Just sitting at the table and listening to the warm up act, Little Jimmy, brought back happy memories of waltzing around the dance floor with my Dad and my uncles, aunts and cousins and us working out our own jive because the Irish jive is something I’ve never actually managed to master. Sadness also as most of my aunts and uncles are no longer with me and although I am blessed to still have my parents, they can no longer kick their heels up as before.

Then, the star attraction takes to the stage and he was just magical. John McNicholl has a wonderful voice and to hear the songs brought to life by seeing him live was awesome. The wonderful bonus was that we could take to the dance floor and dance our hearts out to the music. Songs that speak to the Irish heart, songs of home, of love, of heartbreak and of dancing.

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I can’t remember when I felt so free, so happy, relaxed and truly alive. The music sparkle was reignited, my dancing feet were alive and my voice was belting out those songs…well the ones I knew all the words to anyway. This was such a fun evening. I think I could still be dancing to ‘Let’s Dance’.

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After the dance we met John McNicholl and what a truly lovely person he is. A talented, gorgeous, unassuming and friendly man. As you can see from the photo, I was on high sparkle time!

A week later and we are still truly sparkling, planning our next country music night out. We have a few on our list, Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan and of course another night with John McNicholl. True sparkling heaven.

I am so glad my beautiful Mom reignited my country music sparkle ❤️

http://www.johnmcnicholl.com

Thank you for reading my blog.

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