February: In Love On Valentine’s Day

FEBRUARY

– In Love on Valentine’s Day-

 

February was another whirlwind month in both my personal and professional life.

As you are aware, the refurbishment of my house has been a long ongoing project, but finally the carpets in my house were fitted. This meant that the bed could be taken out of storage and assembled; I finally could have a good night’s sleep, instead of sleeping on a mattress on the floor!

DSC03409I played at a number of events in February – I was requested to perform at Grosvenor Casino in Leeds, where I gave an Electric Violin performance at their launch event after the casino had undergone a major refurbished. If you have not visited the casino after the refurb, then it is well worth a visit.

 

IMG_7708I also performed at a wedding held at Thorpe Park Hotel, Leeds. The colour of my dress, navy blue, matched the decorations. I really enjoy performing at weddings in Thorpe Park Hotel, it is a lovely venue and also great as it is just minutes away from where I live.

 

 

IMG_7668-1My other notable performance in February was at BiBis Restaurant in Leeds for Valentines Day. I have performed at BiBis on Valentines Day now for many years. I performed loved songs on my classical violin, walking around the tables. My partner accompanied me for dinner in the restaurant afterwards.  Due to it being our first Valentine’s as a couple – believe me or not – I actually declined a Caribbean cruise offer for the same date… all in name of LOVE!

 

Apart from preforming, I have also done some training at Roundhay Park in Leeds; running around the lake, making sure my legs are in good shape. IMG_7630
I have also been training and fundraising in Norfolk. Running alongside the beach, on top of the cliffs in Sherringham Park was absolutely stunning. All this training is for the Barcelona Marathon 2017, with the aim to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research.

 

 

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My name day gift – Skeleton – was finally assembled in February. Finally, because my house, until then was still under the major renovation. It can get lonely leaving alone in a house, the skeleton was given a name BOB and he became my new housemate. A Name day, accordingly to catholic church tradition, is a way of celebrating a Saint’s birthday. My name day is on 25th November, when st Catherine was born.

January: NEW Year NEW Challenges NEW Resolutions

January 2017!

 “Hello From The Other Side!”—Adele

So far with these blogs I’ve spent a lot of time talking about my adventures and accomplishments. Now I’d like to reflect upon “another side” and reveal what it’s like behind what may seem like a glamourous lifestyle as an international musician.

I’ve often received advice from those who know me well: they say I should slow down and stop working so hard.

After some soul searching, I’ve finally realized and can admit that these people who care about me are, in fact, quite right– I must embrace every moment, as I’ll never get these times back. Although I certainly enjoy performing (especially bringing joy to an audience), I need to stop going overboard into such a frantic whirl of performances, and, more so, all that goes with them (travelling and working on preparations in my office)…which can lead to me ignoring the outside world and missing important things that are happening around me.

Therefore…this year I vow to take some time off work—to do the “normal”/natural things I should be doing—sleeping more, eating better, do (even) more exercise and travel LESS (on business). You may think it’s great to travel – in some ways – it is. But not when you spend almost an entire year abroad, like I did for the past two years on 4 different continents in X number of countries I never thought I would visit in my life—it’s exhausting!—and I don’t always have time to explore these new places, which can be frustrating.

I mean, 2016 was a VERY busy performing year!

  • I traveled 67,000 miles / 107,826.05 kilometers outside of the UK.
  • Additionally, I traveled over 40,000 miles / 64,000 kilometers within the UK on my car to various performances. Despite such high numbers I did NOT have a single accident! (I must be good driver!)
  • I also travelled on foot!—running two marathons – London 2016 & New York 2016, and managed to fundraise 10,785.55 GBP for Cancer Research.

Here are some of the places I visited:

  • INDIA – KOLKATA
  • INDIA – GOA
  • INDONESIA – BALI
  • SINGAPORE
  • THAILAND
  • MYANMAR
  • SRI LANKA
  • POLAND (twice)
  • IRELAND
  • NORTHERN IRELAND
  • NORWAY (twice)
  • DENMARK
  • FINLAND
  • RUSSIA – St. Petersburg
  • LATVIA
  • PORTUGAL
  • SPAIN
  • USA – New York

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These places where I’ve performed are truly stunning and unforgettable. Part of me is always very grateful that my work takes me all over the world.

However, in my job it’s very difficult, for example, to have relationship due to constant travelling or being jet-lagged after travelling. This year I decided to focus on my boyfriend and make the most of living in my beautiful, freshly renovated house and just simply enjoy sunrises and sunsets from my own bed instead of a hotel’s bed or a bed at my cruise cabin.

In 2017 I am still planning on fundraising for Cancer Research UK, running the Barcelona Marathon (on my birthday) and climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in October. I will also be re-releasing my second album in November :-)

I know…sounds busy already…but I also have some more “relaxing” goals—like finishing my garden and enjoying the blooms! Relax, relax, relax—I must remind myself!

Really, the plan is working so far: in January, I already worked less. I did perform at a wedding ceremony at St John the Baptist Church (all the best for Samantha and Robert) and at York Marriott—but that’s all!

Instead of packing in the performances, I actually enjoyed watching other musicians; i.e. I went to Sheffield Ball Room & City Hall to see an Australian fingerstyle guitarist Tommy Emmanuell at his tour ‘It’s Never Too Late’ –a very poignant sentiment, which I’ve taken to heart.

So starting in 2017, say “hello” to the new me. I will adjust my focus—beyond performing and travelling—to “the other side” of life!