Monday, September 23, 2013

new blog!

I have moved!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Week of Sunshine

 Dearest Bloggins,

This past eight months have been insane and beautiful and BUSY! I went back to college to study singing and music and wound up stepping on a roller-coaster that I just couldn't get off! I enjoyed it, but there are many things that were sacrificed in the name of studying (such as eating proper meals, exercising, reading books, blogs...)

On the whole, life appears to have improved dramatically. I do not believe that this is fully down to external factors changing but because I am full of happiness and contentment. It turns out that in order to sing effectively, you have to REALLY take care of your physical and emotional self. So I've been learning to do that and it has been wonderful!

Now that I am "on holiday," I'm working very hard on watching films and listening to music. Perhaps a little too hard. By August I need to have a new album written, recorded and produced before heading to London to sing and the rigorous schedule of watching Star Trek, Iron Man, Avengers and Captain America is probably not doing too much to get me closer to that goal.

Another major goal for the summer is to lose weight and get fit. I have already started running, but a schedule or routine would really serve to motivate me, as at the moment I am not pushing myself.

As soon as exams finished, the sun made an appearance and I was able to take my study (and yoga mat!) into the garden. I had to prepare for a recital which was a part of my degree and it was so lovely to be able to sit in the sun and learn in the open air! Note to self for next year: Outside is definitely healthier than in!

Some Purcell in the evening sunshine.

The programme for my recital, plus the jewellery I wore to remind me of my friends.

The view from my yoga mat in the back garden.

A few days before the recital I had a barbecue with a few friends to try to relax! It was lovely, we tried to keep it healthy with locally made chicken sausages and salads.
Orla and Jason sitting under the parasol which hasn't been needed in two years because the weather has been so appalling!

The recital went really well! I got a high mark and I was just thrilled to see my family and friends in the audience. It's the first time I have ever been in such a high-pressure situation and been able to stay fully present and enjoy myself. Part of that was all the hours of preparation that had gone in, but I do think that all the yoga I had been doing that week had something to do with it. I really enjoyed the whole thing, it was such a great feeling! I hope I can replicate that in future performance exams!

Once the recital was over, I was free! So I went to the beach with my friend Mary for the afternoon. We had a fabulous lunch before going to the beach. I swam in the sea for the first time in what must have been about five years! It was beautiful - not like being in Ireland at all. We just lay on the beach and chatted for a while before driving around to the harbour to see the boats.

Lunch in a cliff-top restaurant in Myrtelville before heading down to the beach for a swim.
My first time in Crosshaven!
I really will make an effort to blog in the coming weeks! I have missed it soooo much! 

Friday, June 7, 2013



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How To Write a Personal Letter

When I decided to give up Facebook for the month of January, I didn't really make a decision. What happened was that I thought 'Hey! Maybe I should give up Facebook for a while.' Instead of considering how this would impact my life, how much I would miss it or... anything, really, I just typed a status saying I was doing it.

Best idea ever.

In my farewell status, a few friends and I decided to keep up via post. With stamps and pretty stationary and pens and EVERYTHING! I haven't written a letter every single day. They take a surprising amount of time and energy to write. But they have a few advantages.

..::They're personal. No one else has a letter like the one you just received!

..::Handwriting is beautiful. All handwriting! It tells the story of your correspondent's school life and it's a huge part of them.

..::THEY COME THROUGH THE LETTERBOX. The postman comes, and he delivers this special thing that is just for you, tailor-made and for nobody else. That is brilliant.

..::They last forever. A personal letter never gets lost in a backlog of wall posts or tweets.

So here are my tips for the optimal letter-writing experience:

1. Find some stationary you really love. If you love owls, get some owly paper . If you love drawing, doodle a design to make your letter extra special. The page can be out if a jotter, the recipient won't mind. But there's always something you can do to make it look special. (Stickers. ;) )

2. If you have a pen that you like to write with, stick to that. The main thing is not to worry about what you're writing with, just get writing!

3. Enclose things! If you think the recipient might like a new recipe you found, or be interested in a photo you saw in a magazine, include it ! It's one more topic for your letter and is so thoughtful!

4. Buy a book of stamps. Don't buy single stamps. Books of 10 stamps are neatly foldable to put in your wallet for when you need one. You don't want to have to go out and buy a stamp every time you need to post a letter. It's daft. Make sure you have airmail stickers too.

5. Make a copy of your letter before you send it. Take a photo, scan or photocopy it so that you can remember what you said. If you get a response, you may not remember what questions you asked!

So there you have it! Go write some letters! Maybe it can be on your task list for Project Me!


Project Me

Well, the last 12 months have been quite dreadful, in terms of health and happiness. There were many good times, but in between those were many extended periods of colds, the flu and stomach problems. All of these problems are exacerbated by stress, and what could be more stressful than suddenly going into third level education, studying a subject (singing) which relies heavily on your stamina and good health!

Though it's been a struggle, I do believe that you can learn from every experience, whether you're having fun or not. I've learned that I have some serious anxiety issues around the singing workload, and I need to learn to cope with that.

I didn't make any new year's resolutions this year, but I plan to make little changes along the way. Big resolutions overwhelm me, and I feel pressure and then guilt if I don't magically transform myself. So this month I have given up Facebook. And each week and month I will set myself small goals and tasks, all centred around making me a happier, healthier person. One week that could be 'make cookies this week and eat them' or maybe it will be 'Run ten minutes every day this week.'

Ultimately, this project will be about listening to myself and trying to do my best to be better. If I am healthy and happy, I know I'll be more efficient! I am also not going to beat myself up if I miss something. This is a positive decision, not another excuse to feel stressed out!

So this week's tasks are:
1) No dairy until next Wednesday. (one week. It makes me ill. No brainer.

2) Walk 60 minutes every day. (I'm not in college every day this week, so my usual tearing around the place has ceased! I miss my daily walking around.

3) Drink 2L of water every day. (Again, being out of the college routine has changed this!)

4) Make soup. (Soup is delicious.)

5) Pick a spot in the house to decorate in a January theme. Take a photo. Feel artistic.

There you have it! Project Me! I'd be thrilled if anyone would like to join in! Leave me a comment or tweet me @amysnow and tell me you're in! Be good to yourself this week/month /year!!