Review of 2017

Review of 2017

As we head into 2018, I’m going to be reviewing what I highlighted in my blog of Aims of 2017.

  1. Become and Stay Loyal to my Job

I didn’t think it could be so easy but this is a nice and simple aim to get this blog going  off to a good start. Over the course of the year, I’ve turned down opportunities to apply for jobs in organisations that I used to work at so let’s see what happens.

I always believe though having the job I’ve got might be considered a job for life. Having said that, I take each day as it comes and only think about what the day lies ahead of me.

2. Learn and Develop my knowledge of foreign languages

So far, I’m understood how to do greetings in Italian, French and German. I’ve not touched on the language of Swedish just yet. During the latter part of this year, I am solely touching on the language of French. Learning a foreign language is a challenging topic for a number of reasons. I don’t usually take in information on the first take, it will take me a few visits for it to sink in so this aim is going to be an ongoing project.

I’ve got a series of books and sources to get me to understand French a bit better.

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French All-in-One by Annie Heminway
  • Unlocking French with Paul Noble
  • Collins French Phrasebook and Dictionary
  • Collins Easy Learning French Conversation

For new learners, I would recommend Practice Makes Perfect to get to grips with reading French and Easy Learning French Conversation which will go through some guidelines in how to have a conversation with French people. It is a lot to take in though.

3. Build on my own self-confidence

Sadly, I don’t feel much has changed in my self-confidence. I have tried doing different things but nothing really has worked to its potential. I’m going to be using this as one of the aims of 2018. Having low confidence is not healthy and it doesn’t help my well-being.

4. Opportunity to watch a day’s play at Lord’s

I was fortunate this year to have gone to Lord’s three times. The visits include:


5. Go Travelling

I was glad I was able to fulfil this accomplishment to a certain extent.

This year, I’ve been able to travel to some places.

The first two places that come to mind were York and Dublin. Ideally I would have liked to have stayed in York for two days but hindsight is a very good thing so next time I will visit York, I will know how long to spend there.

I did take a serious consideration of visiting Australia for the Ashes this year but I didn’t go with the plan in the end because it would have cost a minimum of £8,000 for the hotel, plane and tickets to the stadiums, (that’s not including food and drink). Although I am passionate about cricket, I didn’t feel like I would have enjoyed watching cricket live as I would if I was sitting and watching it on TV so I felt this worked out to be a good plan that this decision was reviewed first before I would regret ever going.

I was lucky and fortunate to be invited to visit Waddesdon Manor by my aunt and uncle who live close to the area. One of the properties that I wanted to visit outside of London was Waddesdon Manor itself so I am glad to have gone over there to visit the Manor and House itself. One of the memories that I got from visiting the House was the Elephant music box, simply breathtaking which you can hear below.

One of the places that I was richly excited of visiting this year was Buckingham Palace. The whole experience was one to cherish, to be able to make the most of the day of visiting the Queen’s Gallery, Royal Mews and going on an EXCLUSIVE tour of the State Rooms. I couldn’t really ask for anything more.



This year in reflection ………..

Reflecting on the year of 2017, I’ve done many things, I’ve been to a few places that I highlighted like visiting Lord’s and York which I set out in my bucket list. Also I forgot to mention that I started going to pub quizzes which is something I wouldn’t have thought I would have been able to do.

I hope 2018 goes well for me and I wish everyone a Happy 2018 !!!






Day 3 – Weekend Break in Dublin

Day 3 – Weekend Break in Dublin

Hello everyone, this is my long-awaited blog series exploring what I got up to on my travels in Dublin.

Of each day of my trip, I will be writing a blog about my unforgettable journey in Dublin.

If you haven’t already seen my previous blog of Day 2 of my trip then please feel free to read the blog and pass on your comments.

So here is the last part of my trip to Dublin.

Before we set off for breakfast, we packed our luggage making sure we got everything we need before we left the hotel room for the last time.

After we both checked out of the hotel and got our stuff together, we made our way to Heuston station and we got the tram that took us straight to Connolly station. In various ways, I wasn’t really feeling emotional about leaving Dublin at that point so I took things in a good stride.

After getting off at Connolly, our original intention was to head to Dunboyne, pick up the car from there which would take us to the Castle itself. With that plan in mind, I got a ticket from the self-ticket machine. I was relying and trusting on my friend’s judgement.

I got a ticket to Dunboyne but we ended up waiting for a train to Malahide instead, I had the awkward moment scenario of explaining to the station desk assistant at Malahide station that I was a British tourist and I purchased the incorrect ticket.

Once we got to Malahide train station, I immediately knew where I was going as I looked on Google Maps to familiarise myself with the area before I set off on the trip and also there were signs pointing where the Castle was.

We found the pathway to the Castle, we went past Malahide Cricket Club and walked through some woodland which was around a 10-15 walk. The disappointing thing was we both carried our heavy luggage with us which I wouldn’t recommend.

We got to the entrance and then set off to the Castle itself. We then had a guided tour of the Castle, I was disappointed to see a label that most of the original items had been auctioned off. I felt the tour was below average, I wasn’t overly satisfied as half of it consisted of the person giving a tour and us the visitors browsing around various rooms. I was disappointed that there wasn’t much written out about the paintings or furniture. The tour guide went into brief details about the significance of the castle.


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It didn’t look like I was entering and leaving the castle with the opinion that it wasn’t very big. I actually thought the Gardens were bigger the castle itself.

So me and my friend went over to visit the Gardens, for me the Gardens was disappointing, the grass hadn’t been cut to a reasonable standard and there was no real pattern behind the lawn, there were leaves in the lawn as well so it did look about average.


I just think that to understand her perspective, trains aren’t so frequent in Dublin and that she wanted to catch the earliest train as possible. I would have needed to buy another ticket to pass through the gates at the time, there was about 10 seconds from me behind the gate to reaching the platform so I didn’t have a chance really.

I was fortunate that I had my Dublin travel pass on me, without that I would have phoned for a taxi to get to the airport so I used the pass to get a bus from Malahide to Dublin Airport.

When I reached Dublin Airport bus station, I came across a church/chapel around the Airport. I spent sometime there praying and mourning.

I arrived at Dublin Airport Terminals around 2pm and my flight wasn’t till 17:40 so I had a few hours to spare. In that time, I charged my phone and begun writing what I recalled on Days 1, 2 & 3 of my trip.

In overall reflection, although the final day wasn’t as good as I thought. I fondly enjoyed my time of visiting Dublin, I’m glad I went over, I have no regrets about the duration of the visit, I thought a three-day visit was reasonable enough. I didn’t do as much as I thought but my main highlight was visiting Dublin Castle which was the main thing that was ticked off.


I accomplished many things like travelling as a solo traveller, spending some nights away from family and getting the luxury of staying in a four star hotel was great as well. The whole experience was very scary indeed. When I got back to Heathrow, I was returning to my normal life and I was glad to be back safe and sound.



Day 2 – Weekend Break in Dublin

Day 2 – Weekend Break in Dublin

Hello everyone, this is my long-awaited blog series exploring what I got up to on my travels in Dublin.

Of each day of my trip, I will be writing a blog about my unforgettable journey in Dublin.

If you haven’t already seen my previous blog of Day 1 of my trip then please feel free to read the blog and pass on your comments.

I started my day eating breakfast at the hotel, the feel of it was rather nice. It is a rare occasion where I was able to enjoy a premium breakfast.

On the day I was originally planning to go and visit Northern Ireland for the whole day but that trip got cancelled. I have no idea why but I thought I was going to visit the main tourist attractions I wanted to see on the first day.

As this plan got cancelled, I capitalised on the opportunity of visiting the city centre.

I initially didn’t have a set plan in mind, so I started by having  a wander around for public transport links to the city at Heuston station.

I then walked up a hill and spotted a church near the Guinness Storehouse. As it was Sunday, I might as visit the parish. It felt like I was going to the proms as there was an orchestra/music band playing at the back of the church. The music was very moving and brought a small tear to my eyes.

After the mass was over, I went back to Heuston and fetched a bus to the city centre. I had no place in mind to get off at so I stopped somewhere in the city centre.

I went through some of the streets in Dublin which I vaguely remember. As I was walking through the city, I stopped off at Trinity College first, it didn’t occur to me why I went to Trinity College in the first place. As it happened to be on the doorstep, I might as well go in and give it a try. I had no prior knowledge of Trinity College before I went so I chose to do a tour around the grounds which was rather nice. One interesting fact I learnt on the tour was that the college was built under the reign of Elizabeth I and it’s main objective was to be a Protestant college so it was very interesting, there was an opportunity to go to the Book of Kells exhibition which was ok but not to my liking.






After visiting Trinity College, I went on the look out for Dublin Castle, that was one of my priorities to visit the Castle itself.

I went on the guided tour of the Castle which I’m very glad to make the decision as I was able to make the most of my visit, the tour included going underground to see the foundations of the Castle, going through the Chapel and seeing the State Apartments.






There was two exhibitions which were on the State Apartments, one was about Royalty which is a subject area that I love finding out and there was a small piece on fashion.


The royalty exhibition was about British monarchies that have visited the Castle including George IV, Victoria, Edward VII and George V. With no prior knowledge of the exhibition or awareness of the display at the Castle made the experience even sweeter.







I remember stopping off outside Christ Church Cathedral and walking past Temple Bar and O’Connell Street.


By the time I got to Christ Church Cathedral, the interior of it was closed but it was strange seeing a pit under the cathedral.


I walked to the hotel on foot which took around 30-40 minutes. I quite enjoyed the walk although it was in the dark. The strange thing was, I had no prior knowledge of how to get to the hotel, so I relied on the signs going to the Guinness Storehouse as it was a short distance away so I arrived in the hotel in one piece.

I will never forget my time in Dublin which is why I am wanting to record this experience.


I hope you enjoyed reading my blog. Feel free to share your feedback and comments below.


Day 1 – Weekend Break in Dublin

Day 1 – Weekend Break in Dublin

Hello everyone, this is my long-awaited blog series exploring what I got up to on my travels in Dublin.

Of each day of my trip, I will be writing a blog about my unforgettable journey in Dublin.

If you haven’t already seen my previous blog on why I chose to visit Dublin then please feel free to read the blog and pass on your comments.

Before the trip, I had visited Dublin just one time that took place last year. The whole experience was memorable and rewarding, it was the first time I went to the airport to catch a flight and it was the first time I went out on a date, (I was being a bit adventurous).

Back to the subject at hand, if the first experience was hard to go by, this experience definitely was.

Just imagine this scenario, You are 27 years old,  you haven’t stayed in a hotel in your life and haven’t been away for a short break for a while.

I wanted to do this trip because I feel I would have been missing out if I opted out of it. Both my aunt and uncle had encouraged me to do something like this or it is the saying

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” – Benjamin Franklin

That quote is fitting because we are close to the end of the year now and I feel I have accomplished some achievements by putting myself out there.

I have been passed Dublin a few times on the ferry from Dun Laoghaire but I’ve not actually stayed in Dublin. I feel as I have a job that I can do my own thing.

I liked the idea of visiting Dublin because it felt I accomplished something and as a city I think it has a lot to offer.

These were the places I had written out before my initial visit:

  • St Stephen’s Green
  • National Botanic Gardens
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • National Museum of Ireland
  • Trinity College
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • Aviva Stadium
  • Merrion Square
  • National Gallery of Ireland
  • Dublin Castle
  • Malahide Castle and Gardens
  • Ardgillan Castle and Gardens
  • Marlay Park
  • Fair view Park

I didn’t feel I would do all of these places in just the one visit but I wanted to do the ones that appealed to me. I intended on visiting Dublin Castle and National Gallery of Ireland.

So when I was booking my trip, I opted to book a flight along with the hotel in the same package.

From my previous experience on going on my first flight last year, I wanted to opt for the time of my flight to Dublin to fly between 8 – 10 in the morning and coming back to Heathrow around 2-5pm. It didn’t matter to me which airline I was booking with but I wanted to book a hotel that was close to the city centre. (I don’t like the idea of booking a hotel by an airport).

I ended up flying with British Airways, I have no favouritism towards British Airways, I just felt the times that I was flying on matched what I was looking for.


In later inspection, I am not fond of the idea of having to check in the day before, it can be a bit of hassle. I also didn’t like the idea of my checked baggage going to one of those port areas. I like the idea of having my one piece of luggage with me at all times on my first flight when I was with Aer Lingus. In my future flights I may consider taking a rug sack with me on the plane.

It felt a bit scary or weird not carrying a suitcase around when loads of people had baggage on them. I was expecting that I would collect my bag after I went through security. As I haven’t flown properly and naive to flying, It took about three people to convince me in the airport that my luggage was fine and getting sent to the plane.

Before my gate was announced, I pondered what I was going to do in the airport, maybe look around and see what shops were available. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long after security to go to the gate.

When I got to the gate and showed the airport staff my boarding pass, I was delighted to be walking on the plane, I had a minor trouble with getting my seat belt on but when I was boarding the plane, I had no nerves about the plane moving and going up to the sky. The fact I didn’t have a window seat didn’t really bother me. The flight was roughly 45 minutes to an hour so it wasn’t too bad.

When I got to Dublin Airport, I collected my bag through the airport conveyor belt. The trouble I found was remembering which bag was mine as most of them were black so it looked very similar. After finding my bag, I then set off and gone through Arrivals and set off to begin my adventure.

All the trips I go in have to have some purpose to it, this one felt like a purpose of the craziness of pulling this one-off. I wrote about it in a number of blogs, although I was brokenhearted and gone on a downward spiral, I wanted to go on this trip because meeting the girl that I met last year was important to me.

I have to say if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have gone on this trip, it takes a special person to convince me to travel by myself and she convinced me twice so I’m very grateful for her, she’s been my inspiration 🙂

I was pleased to see her. I later got something to eat in McDonald’s and she invited me in to her family house where we just chilled out for half an hour or so. She didn’t have to do that so I thought it was a good gesture. I would have done a similar thing if she came to London to visit me. Unfortunately, when we left the house and got into the car, we past her parents along the way so I was a bit unlucky to meet them person. Maybe it was down to fate.

I then got a ride into the city centre. We drove to Dunboyne train station and got the train to Connolly station and then we got the tram (LUAS) to Heuston. It wasn’t a simple route because I’m not accustomed to making that many changes.


I then checked in to the Ashling Hotel which I booked with my flight with. I never stayed in a hotel before so I was quite excited about it. If you’re going to have a break, aim BIG.

I was so glad I picked the hotel because it was close to the city centre but it felt very luxurious, just when you go in it felt fantastic, I’m glad I made the decision to stay in the hotel, even better than that I ordered a king sized bed which I never had before.

I felt so motivated and very rewarded on the day because work can give you certain luxuries and rewards. I have worked in my job for coming close to a year at the time and before then I worked tirelessly to get as much experience as possible to get into the job market. I feel I earned and deserved this break.

Ideally, I wanted to do some sightseeing on the day but I ended up meeting my friend again in the city centre, I can’t remember exactly where I met her but I intended to visit Dublin Castle but unfortunately we thought it was closed so we just visited the Chester Beatty library. The exhibition or display was more to do with displaying texts or books to do with Asia including China and Japan, I didn’t find the exhibition to be for my liking but it was a good experience none the less, it did feel like visiting the British Library.

After our visit we grabbed something to eat. Traditionally I eat a chicken Jalfrezi when I’m coming home from the V&A on a Saturday evening. Ironically when we went out of the Library, there was an Indian takeaway around the corner so we grabbed a curry and got a taxi back to the hotel and ate together at the room I was staying in, probably best so that our food didn’t get cold.

After I ate my curry, my friend went off and I just stayed in the hotel for the evening. I didn’t really plan on anything in the evening apart from the one trip to the bar downstairs for a glass of coke, In the meantime I watched Paddington from the hotel room. Paddington was an interesting film to watch and then I watched Winning Streak and Match of the Day before I went to bed.

Keep your eyes peeled as my blog on Day 2 will be up soon.

Hope you have enjoyed reading Part 1 of my blog, I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Do PLEASE follow my blog to get my future posts.

Headstone Manor Museum

Headstone Manor Museum

Hello folks.

It’s me again and in this blog I am going to be writing a blog that is close to my heart.

I haven’t been asked by the Museum to write this blog post but I thought that this would be a cool way of creating awareness of Headstone Manor Museum ahead of its Grand Opening.

The reason why this is close to my heart is because the Museum itself was the first place that I gained work experience. The Museum gave me an opportunity to put the skills that I developed from university into good use. I invested and devoted three years of service of working at the Museum so to go back to where it all began was a very special moment where I could reflect and be proud about what the Museum did for me.

This situation came about because I was invited to attend a special preview of the Museum and I couldn’t resist the temptation. I was flattered to be invited so I gladly accepted.

When I arrived at the Museum, it brought back memories of the route I used to take to get to the Museum, seeing familiar faces was quite comforting, it felt like I was there yesterday.

There was a good turn out of people who wanted to see the preview so I was as excited as they were so I found this very promising.

When I got to the main entrance, I was very humbled to see the professionalism of the entry point. The signs were clearly instructed, I went into the Small Barn where their was a video that touched briefly on the history of Harrow and significance of the site. For me it looked fabulous, I thought the introductory video was put together very well.

After going into the Small Barn, I went into the Manor House which is where the main part of the Museum starts.

Beforehand, I haven’t got the opportunity to actually go to the Manor House itself so I was very excited to go in and explore the different rooms around the house. When I saw the exterior, it kind of blew me away, it was like one of those properties you would expect on DIY SOS or Extreme Makeover Home Edition shows where in the aftermath of the work that was carried out to the House itself, it looked fabulous. (The house had been in restoration for a few years)


The Museum started off in the present and when I walked into each room, it was like stepping into time.

What I liked about the Museum was that the route I took from the start to finish was very well planned and well organised so you could go into one room and out another which was good. I also liked that there was loads to see and there was something to see for everyone.

The bit I found interesting was learning about how the railway influenced Harrow and how the people of Harrow reacted or thought about change in terms of railways been implemented.

I also liked the idea that there was a Research Room/Library Room where visitors can go into the room and carry out their own investigations in their own time.

After I visited the Museum, I went off to an afternoon tea where I caught up with some old faces who I worked with in my time at the Museum and I got the opportunity to meet some new faces.

On reflecting upon the day, I’m just glad that I went along to the Special Launch and that the three years I have invested in volunteering at the Museum have been put to good use.

I want to thank all the people who were involved in putting this event together and the opening of the Museum.

The staff and volunteers of the Museum have done a tremendous job and they can be proud of themselves of what they have achieved.

I would definitely recommend visiting Headstone Manor Museum to anyone who has an interest in local history or likes visiting historic properties.


If you want to find about the Museum, you can visit their website at

Thank you as always in reading my blog.

Feel free to post your comments below.


Why I chose to visit Dublin

Why I chose to visit Dublin

Hello viewers 🙂

Like always, I’m very excited to be blogging again.

It’s one of those blogs that feels more like writing a biography than actually writing blog about Dublin itself.

In relation to Dublin, I was visiting Dublin a few weeks ago where my stay lasted for three days so I wanted to make the most of the trip.

I will be publishing some blogs along the way but I wanted to get to the nitty and gritty about why I chose to visit Dublin.

One of the reasons behind visiting Dublin was that I always wanted an opportunity to visit the city itself. I used to go on family trips to the midwest of Ireland in Co Mayo. All of the times that I went to visit Ireland at that point was crossing the ferry from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire. From crossing the port, we would drive past Dublin and didn’t get the opportunity to stop in Dublin before we set off which was a bit of a let down at the time.  I didn’t really think about it until I was around my early 20s.

The first inkling of visiting the city was about two years ago. I didn’t initially like the idea of going to Ireland because the house I was staying in was in the village and in the middle of nowhere, my family didn’t have an interest in wanting to travel anywhere spectacular. They were comfortable with the idea that staying in the house most of the time  and go out on rare occasions to town to do some grocery shopping. The whole idea was to relax basically.

Like many people in this situation, I took a different view. I wanted to have a purpose of going on the trip. As I knew that I would stay in for most of the time, I initially explored the idea of seeing whether or not you can get a train into Dublin.

I looked into it and I initially could have gone for a day but there were two things preventing me from doing that at the time, one of them was that the journey would have taken about three hours going into Dublin and three hours coming back so it wouldn’t have been beneficial to go there for a day. When I got to the nearest train station which was called Foxford, (it’s about a 15-20 minute drive from the town itself), it was very much an unoccupied station, there was no gate barriers,  no ticket machines, just a platform. I quickly learnt that the train system in Ireland is very different to the Underground which I am familiar with. I didn’t know the area that well so I wouldn’t possibly know where to get rail tickets.  There was a sign that appeared to show that only around six trains were going to be run on the day.

Initially that trip didn’t go completely to waste, I do remember visiting Sligo for a day but that’s about it.


I would like to conclude my blog by leaving a song that is one of my favourite songs at the moment and in a way the song was meaningful to the whole trip.



Banqueting House and Churchill War Rooms

Banqueting House and Churchill War Rooms

Hello Everyone.

Welcome to my post.

In this blog I’m going to review my day which was spent on visiting two places in Whitehall, these are:

  • Banqueting House
  • Churchill War Rooms

The reasons for visiting these two places weren’t really my choice.

I have recently joined as a member on a website called CitySocialiser that provides socials to meet new people. I said to myself that I didn’t have much to lose from going.

Another reason why I wanted to go was because I hadn’t been to Banqueting House or Churchill War Rooms before so the opportunity presented itself.

I met the group in London and we set off to visit Banqueting House first.

Before we went to Banqueting House, there was an event taking place in Whitehall, I didn’t realise it until I came home that it was National Armistice Day so it explains why there was a service going on.

Banqueting House

I didn’t know what to expect when visiting the Banqueting House, I just knew that Banqueting House belonged to Historic Royal Palaces and was famously used by Charles I.

When I visited the House, I immediately went to sit down to watch a brief video of the history of the Banqueting House, it was interesting to know that it was part of Whitehall Palace and that caught fire on three separate occasions. After watching the brief video, I went to the Banqueting Hall itself and it looked fabulous, I was taken back to the beautiful painted ceilings. The thing that was unexpected and made the trip worthwhile was that the Hall was filled with bean bags so I could literally relax and look up to the ceiling and admire it rather than feel dizzy standing up. The thing I also found interesting was the mirrors themselves, they were on various parts of the room so it allows the visitor to look down instead and feel it upside down. Before I left, I met with a volunteer who was showing objects that belonged to the House, this included the top of a vase, a kitchen tile and Portland stone.




One thing I learnt from the trip, was that Sir John Soane played a part on repairing the roof of the House and the windows itself so that made the trip worthwhile. I found it unique because I previously volunteered at Sir John Soane’s Museum so that made me intrigued.

The downsides of visiting the House itself was that it only contained one room so I couldn’t go up to the balcony or any other room in the House so I didn’t feel I got value for money.

Churchill War Rooms

After finishing Banqueting House, we all went to Churchill War Rooms (CWR).

I had no knowledge of CWR beforehand but I knew it was related to Winston Churchill and associated with World War II.

Overall, I did get value for money, there were loads of rooms to see, there were about 23 rooms which had audio guide information about each room and there was also the Winston Churchill Museum which documented his life before and after World War II.

I did find it cool to know about certain things of Winston Churchill so the trip was ok. I would suggest if you are ever going to CWR, there is a lot of walking involved. I was fortunate in the respect that the people in the group didn’t leave or desert me in CWR which was a very good thing. I learnt from my date experience at Hunterian Museum that I can be left behind 😦


During the middle part of the visit, I did my own exploring and caught up with the group during the latter stages which was good. After doing the whole visit, we walked through St James’s Park and went to a bar/cafe called Henry’s Cafe Bar afterwards. It was good just catching up with people and asking what they liked about the visit. The people I was with were quite outgoing and I just listened to what the people had to say.


Overall reflection

In reflection, the experience of the trip was fun, I got to see the sites that I intended to see and I met new people as well. I’m glad I went and seen both sites on one day. The people I was with on the trip were a good group to go with.

I would like to join some more CitySocialiser events and meet likeable/interesting people who I can develop friendships in the aftermath of these events. I will possibly get an inkling of whether it would be a good to continue on or not. By the end of it, I didn’t feel that I bonded with anyone so that was a bit of a disappointment.