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2022 - A Year on Fast Forward

2022 went by in a flash; a year on fast forward. I think it was November before I realised my wall calendar still said July. Lots was happening - the Commonwealth Games, a holiday in Madeira, getting stuck in to my new job - but at the same time, it feels like not much happened at all.

It's definitely hard to be specific about dates, activities, occasions. All cake and cocktail memories seem to merge into one.

2023 has already started ... and I'm still trying to reflect on 2022? 

Perhaps I should just skip last year and and focus on 2023 instead - I've got a big birthday coming up, a trip to Rome planned and lots of family celebrations to look forward to. 

2022 could just be a footnote?

But that doesn't seem fair? 

There must be lots of things to remember, celebrate, reflect on, laugh about, cry about? Not everything has to a big moment of wonder, sometimes there is joy in the little things too.


Over the last few months, I've been working on a new blogging project - with the catchy title of 27 Hours in Twizel.

Back in 2015, we were "stranded" overnight in a place called Twizel on the South Island of New Zealand. The guide books weren't promising - our Lonely Planet suggested that destruction of the temporary settlement (built in the 1960s for construction workers) would have been a "kinder fate". 

So over 27 hours, we set out to prove them wrong - and actually had lots of fun exploring Twizel and a really good night's sleep. A place can't be all bad if there is a crazy golf course and at least four places to buy cake!

Our 27 Hours in Twizel have become a reminder that you can’t judge a book by its cover, or a place by a page in a guidebook (if it even has an entry). Not every moment needs to come with a firework display or fancy hotel. You don't need the finest wine or the best cocktail. You can't always predict when the best memories will be made. If you turn left instead of right, there may just be something worth finding. A line of graffiti on a wall might change how your day goes. At the very least, you might get to skim stones across a river, and that is always a treat.


So let's not write of 2022 just yet.
As a farewell to Rosedawn Ramblings and hello to 27 Hours in Twizel, here are 22 moments from the last few months of 2022 where life didn't just pass us by, where we made the most of the opportunities that came along; some planned, all with a nod to those 27 Hours in Twizel.
  1. Winning a game of battleships at the new board game cafe in Hanley
  2. The landscape photography exhibition we found at Birmingham New Street station - changing trains and platforms on our way to Cardiff - delays aren't always bad
  3. A visit to the Alan Turing statue in Manchester, followed by cakes at the Richmond Tea Rooms
  4. A sunset walk along the Trent at Beeston, another adventure created by travel chaos
  5. Coffee and cake on a Friday afternoon at the Quarter in Hanley
  6. Covering marathon distance on my exercise bike whilst watching the London Marathon
  7. A new mug from Emma Bridgewater - inspiration every day
  8. The European Champions come to Stoke
  9. Catching up with the Tin Dog
  10. Breathing in sea air and saying hello to the iron men on Crosby Beach
  11. Catching up with the Matrix Chix Wot Do # (we missed you Anne)
  12. Exploring a park we didn't know existed, because we saw a photo on a hotel room wall
  13. The best pancakes in recent memory for breakfast off the beaten track in West London
  14. Going to the Sugarmill for the very first time
  15. An unexpected round of crazy golf at New Brighton
  16. Watching the sunset on Brighton beach
  17. When the dragon caught the moon
  18. Singing along with Boycezone outside the Principality Stadium in Cardiff
  19. Wandering the streets of Cardiff in the pouring rain trying in vain to find the giant Welsh FA bucket hat... we found it in the end the next day, so all's well that ends well
  20. Visiting Christmas Street with the Potters Trotters
  21. Catching the train at Salford Central instead of Manchester Victoria and finding a fantastic mural (even if the train was late and it was raining very hard
  22. Watching Mr T wistfully watch the cricket near Kew Gardens - and then having a brilliant conversation with someone who'd stopped to do the same thing.

I'm making 2023 a year for making the most of every opportunity - join me at my new website and on Instagram for more adventures. You can even relive some of my very early travel adventures from the days long before blogs were a thing. I found my old travel diaries and there are some stories to be told! And if you'd like to share a story or travel memory, get in touch. Guest posts are always welcome.

And if you find yourself in Twizel (or at Salford Central), relax and enjoy your stay!


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