But then again, too few to mention. No, actually, I will mention a few.

Something a little different this week. First of all, I’m not writing this blog on my WordPress app. I’m sat at the dining table on my laptop with a glass of red in tow and a candle burning. Proper little writer. Secondly, this is not a fashion post. It’s an open and honest topic and you’ll get to know a little of me as a person.

It’s Sunday evening. I often reminisce when I’m sat at home trying to relax. To be honest, I think of times gone by daily. Whether or not that’s because I’m not exactly where I want to be in life, who knows. I’d like to think it’s because I’ve got lots of lovely memories to look back on; I’ve crammed in quite a bit in to my short-ish life so far and there is definitely time to fill in much more.

When I’ve thought about ideas for this post, one thing that stands out like a sore thumb to me is how I wish I had never given up piano playing at the age of sixteen. I started plying aged four and studied up to grade 7. I didn’t stop until I left ‘big school’ and moved to Sheffield to go to college. I don’t think it was a case of I thought it was uncool to carry on. I’d moved in with my Grandma and Grandad to make journeys to college easier, as we lived in a village about 12 miles outside of Doncaster and obviously at that age, I couldn’t drive. They didn’t have a piano for me to practice on and I seem to recall the price of piano tutoring over here was over double the price that it was back home. I had new friends to make and new courses to sink my teeth in to and those, my friends, are just two excuses.

I was a fantastic player. I couldn’t read music, I played by ear. How can you pass exams if you can’t read music, I hear you say? I have no idea is the truth. For part of my GCSE I played The Entertainer – the song from the Felix cat food advert if you don’t know it by name. It’s about seven or eight pages of sheet music long. All played from memory. I got an A.

My Dad used to have the TV on and a theme tune would come on. He’d say, “go and play that on the piano Nats.” Within minutes I’d have the tune figured out.

It wasn’t until I was twenty-nine that I sat down in front of a piano again. Placing my hands on the keys it was as though I’d never played before. How embarrassing when I’d told people who were in the room how good I used to be. Why couldn’t this be a skill that you never lose, like riding a bike? I was gutted to say the least.

This year is the time to buy a piano. By Christmas I want to be able to get up and play carols and have people sing along. How lovely would that be?

Sprechen sie deutsch?

My favourite class in big school was German. I just loved it and it seemed to come really naturally to me. I took French too but that language just wasn’t my friend.

I think our teacher, Mr Harrison, played a big part in my success; he was just great. Hard, but a really good teacher. After getting an A in GCSE I decided to continue learning at college. Wow, it got tough. Before the end of the first year, I quit. I think the fact the tutor was not a patch on Mr Harrison made a real difference to my passion for the subject. I wish I had tried harder and not given up so soon. Being a professional translator had been an option for a career. I could be working in Germany right now for some fabulous car manufacturer (if you don’t know, I bloody love cars!) or some other multi-national company in the UK. I don’t get too hung up on this. It obviously wasn’t for me. I do wish I could speak a second language fluently though.

The Big Smoke

Seven years ago I moved to London. It had been on my bucket list to live in London at some stage of my life. One of my best friends in school and I had talked about moving to London together one day and living the ‘high life’. We didn’t end up doing it together but I moved down to the big smoke in 2011 to live with an ex. It lasted for around nine months. The cost of living in the city is so hard to come to terms with when you know how much more space you could have up north for your money. Paying someone else’s mortgage used to get to me, especially when what I really wanted was to keep on saving for my own property. The urgent feeling to get on the property ladder got in the way of me giving London a proper chance. I moved back home. I worked with a guy down there who told me that when you move to London, you’ve really got to give it a good two years to finally feel settled. Maybe he was right, maybe I shifted too soon. At the time I didn’t want to stay there for two years. Looking back, I think I should have given London a better chance. Owning a property is not the be all and end all I have found. Although a slower pace of life is very much appreciated.

I believe we choose to do things for a reason and that you make your own luck in life. With no kids, the world really is my oyster but something tells me I’m one of those sensible people who is not much of a risk taker. A bit of a ‘home bird’ as my Mum calls it. It might take a lottery win for me to wave goodbye to my normal life and travel the world!

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Thanks for reading. Until next time, take care – Natalie x