Happy birthday to me and my first baby! I was just sat here by the narrow boat window with the log burner blazing, thinking I’m not sure what I am going to write this year compared to last. Then I read the 3rd birthday blog, total face palm moment….loads has happened!! The downfall to living life at 150mph, you forget when things happened.
This always feels a bit egotistical, but it’s my chance to annually look back at the year, take everything in, feel even more grateful and set new goals, so I’m keeping the tradition. Hopefully you may enjoy it too! Let’s go back to the 27th October 2018 and timeline what’s happened since:
October – January – It appears I ate, slept, visited new places, got signed off by my psychiatrist and psychotherapist, made new friends, learnt to knit and was exceptionally happy!
Life at No.27 went from a blog to a registered company!
January – Empathy became the first official sponsors of Life at No.27 – THANK YOU!
Chiltern Seeds and I launched our mini range – 5 seed veg varieties with 50p of every packet sold going to the organisation! You can still order now!
February – I had a life-changing meeting and was given the land for the first Life at No.27 ADULT THERAPY SITE!!! Thank you Ashley!
Two weeks later, the GrowMad team visited and helped me get the ball rolling. Couldn’t be where we are now with the site if it wasn’t for their support!
We also welcomed the first gardening event of the year, the always brilliant Garden Press Event. I have attended the show every year since 2015, but this year Life at No.27 was much more visible. I met so many lovely people, caught up with great friends and partnered with our sponsors, Empathy. The 2020 event is already confirmed to be bigger and better…eekk! Wait and see…
I handed in my 13 week notice to leave my full time day job!!!!
April – I spoke at my first ever RHS gardening event – RHS Cardiff Flower Show. A beautiful show and a record crowd – I loved it! 500+ people staring at you is a little intimidating though for the first two seconds. I think my first sentence was “Wow, there is a lot of you!”. It got a giggle though.
Martyn and I had the pleasure of attending one of Charles Dowding’s No Dig Gardening courses. The best one day gardening course there is in my opinion. Not only for the gardening knowledge and visual joy, but also for the delicious food created by Steph Hafferty.
May – What a roller coaster month! I attended two NHS healthcare conferences, was featured in Vegetarian Living magazine and we said “until next time” to my amazing nan who passed away.
June – I held the first National Growing for Wellbeing Week with an incredible response. So many schools, families and organisations getting involved. I also got to run a workshop for the charity, Children Heard and Seen.
I LEFT MY DAY JOB, GAVE UP THE ALLOTMENT AND MOVED OUT OF MY HOUSE! HELLO NARROW BOAT LIFE!
We took more silly photos in amazing places and I started delivering the school therapy programmes that I had created and envisioned.
July – I witnessed the students grow in confidence as their 6 week school programme came to an end.
I became a mental health first aider!
Simon and I created our first show garden – what an incredible week with fantastic feedback! We both truly loved the build and definitely got the buzz – look out 2020! Thank you so much to John and Hugh from John Cullen Gardens, who grew and nurtured all of our plants. We couldn’t of done it without them!
I visited RHS Hampton Court Flower Show for the first time and absolutely loved it! I caught up with a true friend Katie, had a total girl crush on Anna Greenland and met the super talented Mark Diacono.
Life at No.27 had a feature in Nursery World magazine, a publication especially for teachers within nursery education and early age settings.
Spent the day shadowing and being generally in awe of gardening icon, Peter Seabrook MBE!
Lastly, I discovered that as long as I’m surrounded by beautiful friends and a cheeky bottle of wine, then I’m awesome at karaoke.
August – I signed a contract for the most amazing opportunity and collaboration – but can’t tell you anything until early 2020!!
I then had a break and disappeared for an incredible month around Europe with my favourite human!
I also started my first client gardening job and attended another NHS healthcare conference.
October – The final month of the Life at No.27 year. Finishing it on high, I started back at the same school delivering the therapy programmes with new students!!!
I held two working parties at the Towcester therapy site and delivered two talks – Wallingford Gardening Club and Twyford Allotments AGM. Thank you so much to those who came along and offered your time – you are amazing!
Completed a 3 day first aid course and became a first aider! Now also the proud owner of two first aid kits : )
I also learn’t how to chop logs!
I still have one more talk of 2019 to go as well, Wargrave Gardening Club on the 30th October! Who’s coming?
That’s it and wow that took a while, but I had so much fun going back through memories, photo albums and diaries.
Of course there was also lots of vegetable and flower growing too, just not as much as usual!
There was a couple of setbacks, mainly the adult therapy site not opening as early as planned, but other opportunities appeared and had to be grasped. I thought the adult therapy would start before the school based student therapy, but it worked the other way and actually that is an incredible achievement.
I never thought in my wildest dreams and crazy imagination that choosing to start growing some seeds in containers back in 2015 could so drastically and positively change my life. But it did and I wouldn’t have any aspect of my life right now if it wasn’t for that decision.
It just shows that any tiny decision you make to try something new could actually be the start of truly exciting changes. Don’t be afraid of trying new hobbies, learning new skills and saying yes to opportunities, even if you feel totally out of your depth.
2020 will be the year of exciting new arrivals, the first adult therapy site opening and definitely growing more produce! Let’s do it!
Thank you so much as always for your support, motivation and inspiration! I couldn’t do any of this without you and if I could give you a big hug in person then I would!
Big hugs and so much love xxx
Now it’s time for cake…..