An 80th Celebration & A Musical Surprise

So on Saturday we travelled to a little town just outside Wrexham in North Wales to celebrate the 80th birthday of on of our lovely family friends. She’s had a tough couple of years with one thing and another and so to turn up to find her enjoying a lovely party with an Afternoon Tea theme was a joy.

What was most unexpected was the surprise performance that her daughters had booked for her and I have to say I was blown away! They were called A Handbag of Harmonies:

They were led by the wonderful Matt Baker and after their heart exploding rendition of Shine by Take That (Swipe left on the above Insta to hear)… I was just blown away. They were incredible and if you are looking for something different for your next event, and you just want to smile for 20 minutes… then look no further. Loved every single minute!

G x

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My week in Salford (and lovely things to come)

As you know I have been working away in London for the last 5 weeks trying to get my head around a new computer system in order to train hundreds of Prince’s Trust staff how to use it. Well this week, that training started in earnest when I trained some of our staff alongside the lovely Laura from Dundee. I had the first day jitters initially, but by the second day they settled down and we ended up having a really good couple of days.

I have been doing IT Training for about 15 years on and off, but this is the first time I have ever trained people on a system I didn’t know inside out. But the fact that it seemed to go ok and the feedback was good, has given me so much confident that I feel good about the sessions I am doing solo next week.

Actually, next week sees me going to Leicester for the week and as I have never been I am interested to see what it’s like. I am going on my own, which means 4 x nights in the Ibis Leicester, but I am back on Thursday night so it’s not too bad.

Also, this weekend is our last “free” weekend before the Christmas hoopla kicks in.. namely:

So lots to look forward to and I think that this weekend I might pick up my vlogging camera. I have really neglected my YouTube Channel over the last couple of months due to work things but as Christmas approaches and VLOGMAS tickles my creativity – I think it’s time to start filming.

Happy days!

G x

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I’m done with London! | London  | Week 5

That’s it then, I am done with London! This final week was an extension to the original 4 and it really marks the start of the next phase. I have been learning a new computer system whilst I have been down South and from next week, I have the enormous task of training all our NW staff – it’s going to be fine *blinks very fast whilst nodding*.

But seriously, we had a great last week, still learning lots and trying to wrap our heads around lots of technical information. On Wednesday, I suggested to everyone that we all go out for dinner on our final night together, so we all went to Pizza Express Finsbury Circus and had a really good laugh telling stories and blowing off some steam.

As a non drinker and after a fab few hours,ย  I waved everyone off to the pub, whilst I actually went back to my hotel for a kip. The following day it was hilarious to hear that some of my colleagues had let off more steam than others…but we don’t need to talk about the photo that was taken in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night. My lips are sealed.ย ๐Ÿ˜œ

It was bittersweet to leave as I am not a city girl at heart, but I’ve really enjoyed the experience and the challenge of travelling solo and staying in our capital city. The tube no longer daunts me at rush hour and I have 100% mastered how to take a wheelie case on and off escalators and trains without stoppingย  or missing a step. I rule!

Over the next few months I am training staff in Salford, Leicester and Birmingham, so watch this space to see how I get on!

G x

<< See week 4

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I Had a Wobble | London | Week 4

Week 4 in London has been a little tougher than previous weeks for a few reasons and I have to tell you that on Wednesday night, I had a little cry. Let me explain.

I am working on a project that is very time sensitive and even though I am working with a lovely group of people, we are under pressure to deliver training to over 900 staff in a short period of time. I have got SO much information to get my head around that at times I need a moment. I have to say that overall, I think it’s going well in that as each week goes by, I feel more comfortable with all the new info, but it’s very intense.

This week has been a little tougher as we went straight into pilot sessions for delivery and even though this went well and there were some friendly faces, it’s tiring as I feel like we were fully concentrating the entire day. On both Monday and Tuesday evening I had prep to do for the following day and so on Wednesday night when I had nothing to do, I floundered a little. I had been basically going Travelodge>Work>Travelodge for 2ย ยฝ days and so with a night on my own stretching before me, I was just bumbling around my hotel room, wishing I had made better plans.

I think on Wednesday, the city was grinding on me a bit and quite honestly I think it dawned on me that in that moment that I missed home. M was at his running group and so when I thought he would be back, I asked him to FaceTime me. FaceTime doesn’t work that great, but even just seeing his gorgeous face for a minute made me burst into tears. I just had a cry for 5 minutes which honestly gave me the relief I needed and after a brilliant chat with M, I felt 100% better. He reassured me and said all the right things to make me feel better and carry on kicking ass!

I don’t think it helped that the previous night I didn’t sleep that well and I was tired. And I need my sleep.

4am accidental photo

Thankfully my wobble didn’t last long and he had me laughing before the end of our call – thank god! I have one more week in London andย then not too much travelling after that. I have the odd away weeks in Leicester or Birmingham, but I will think about that a bit nearer the time!

But even though my week was a bit harder, I did have a good week. I achieved lots and the work thing is going ok. My view from my hotel room showed the lights of the city and seeing M on Thursday night when he picked me up from the station made me feel so loved, that I could have burst! I loved him even more when he suggested a Nandos. He know’s me too wellย ๐Ÿ’œย G x

Morning London!!

A post shared by Gill Lysons ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ (@gilliblogs) on

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>>See Week 5

 

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Les Miserable is an actual joy! | London | Week 3

Week 3 in London done! Breaking news is that my stay has been extended by another week. I don’t mind too much, I think because I know it’s not forever, that I am more able to cope with it.

This week was VERY special as my very lovely husband paid for me to go and see my most favourite musical, Les Miserable. So on Tuesday, I made my way across London and visited the Queen’s Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. The performance was SOOOOO amazing and much more than I even expected. The revolving stage, the barricades and the exceptional performances from all the actors was just breathtaking. I cried like a baby and the only thing missing was my Michael, who is the most generous and kind man ever. Thank you Michael, a little bucket list thing ticked off.ย ๐Ÿ’—

I worked VERY hard all week and on Wednesday evening, I needed a moment of calm, which oddly enough, I found in Marks & Spencer! M&S is a very familiar place to me as we have a massive one quite close to home. Oddly, the bras, knickers and general surroundings made me feel sort of “at home” so I treated myself to a new bra and felt better for it. Being in the capital and in such a busy city is such an alien thing for me and can be overwhelming at times. When I leave my hotel in a morning, it’s like joining a high speed motorway rather than stepping out onto the pavement. The pace of the people borders on manic and it does take some getting used to. But my hotel is nice and the team I am working with are all in the same position and super supportive.

So 2 more weeks in London and then the fun really begins. Aarrgh.

G x

<<See Week 2

>> See Week 4

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Weight Loss October Update | Getting Healthy

So as you can see, my weight loss has slowed a little, but it is still progressing, as I have now lost 35 lbs/2ย ยฝ stones/15.87 kgs. Not bad eh?!

Weight loss is often called a journey as it has bumps in the road and of course, I am going to be honest and share mine with you. September was a funny month for me as I struggled to focus on Weight Watchers due to my impending secondment to London. Overall I lost 3.5lbs, which is good and so I am not going to beat myself up too much.

My secondment started just over 2 weeks ago and again, my Weight Watchers is a little harder to stick with as I am away from home and can’t cook. But to try and allay too much damage I have fallen into the following routine:

Breakfast in my Travelodge: 2 x pieces of brown toast with a small amount of Jam on each & fruit salad & a cup of tea.

Lunch: A Boots Shapers Sandwich with a low fat packet of crisps.

Evening Meal: Various

Snacks: Fruit

So as you can see, I mostly do OK, but it’s the evening meals that are tricky. In our first week in London, as I am working with a group of other staff members from around the UK, we all did something together most nights. However this week, we all did our own thing. There are also MANY temptations throughout the day as our group are feeders and there has been cake and biscuits every single day. I haven’t had one, although I have had the odd Percy pig when I was struggling a bit with energy.

One thing I did come across in my Timehop App, was a still from a vlog I did a couple of years ago and I really noticed the change in my face:

Changing Face

So even though my weight loss has slowed, there have been semi-unusual circumstances and I HAVE managed to keep it going. But of course I couldn’t finish this blog without sharing my amazing London Bridge victory!

and I really wouldn’t have had the confidence or fitness to do this at the beginning of May. Go me. x

 

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Halloween Decorations 2017

Happy Halloween everyone! Whilst I am away in London, thought you might like to see our decorations from the weekend. G x

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I made it to London Bridge | London | Week 2

So I have made it through another week in London. This was week 2 of 4 and in case you haven’t already seen it, go and have a look at last week’s post!

This week was really full on, just like last week with us trying our best to learn the complicated new system that we have to show staff how to use. I have to be honest, my brain was a little fried by the end of the week and I was SHATTERED when I got home.

However, the highlight of my week was a personal victory of mine in that I managed to walk to London Bridge from my hotel (over a mile) without getting lost!! Now this might not seem like a massive deal to you, but I have got NO sense of direction and was just THRILLED to make it there and back without too much bother!

I have to say though, it’s not exactly relaxing walking through central London as the sheer amount of people walking at you in all directions is an assault on the senses. The route I took walked past many cafes, restaurants and pubs and I had to weave in and out of crowds of smokers blocking pavements, all the while trying not to breathe in the smoke. Yuk.

I have been thinking that I might try to find a pub to walk round, but as the clocks go back this weekend, the evenings will get dark very quickly and I am not sure a park at night is ideal. Someone I am working with suggested that I go to something called SkyGarden, apparently it’s free and gives a panoramic view of London. So come back next week to see if I manage to go.

Also this week, my evenings where pretty low-key as everyone kind of did their own thing, with most people feeling tired and just wanting to chill out in the evening. I did have fun one night when my youngest niece face timed me as it was her birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me tell you though, having a video call with an 8-year-old is hilarious as she whizzed the phone left and right, I almost got motion sickness! She was just too giddy to show me everything she had got for her birthday, it was very cute.

It is also very funny how quickly I have settled into a routine, getting up for breakfast at around 7:20am and being back in my room for 8:00am. Putting my stuff in more or less the same place in the room. All these things make me feel a little more grounded and “at home”. I’ve got 2 more weeks in London and then we start showing PT staff how to use the new system. It’s a huge task, which is quite pressurised, but it will be worth it in the end.

Bring on Week 3 I say!

G x

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>>See Week 3

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