So, time for some weekly reflection.
It's been quite a while since my last post of this nature, so I'm not too sure where I last left you - probably sometime back in deepest darkest 2017.
I'm slightly late with this week's Sunday Summation as I spent most of Sunday evening trying to come to terms with the fact that my two week holiday was well and truly over.
Despite my body clock resetting itself back to my university routine (bed at 2am, wake up at 11am), I actually managed to have an activity filled festive break, the highlights of which did not include multiple trips up and down the M1 and M62.
Some things have changed for the New Year, others have stayed the same, so I thought I would use this week's round up to recap a couple of events/bits of news from the last few months (as opposed to a scintillating overview of my past week spent in PJs watching Mad Men).
Saying goodbye to Nancy
In November we sadly said goodbye to our much loved cat Nancy.
As an old lady with multiple health issues, she had surpassed all expectations in living well into old age. In mid November it became clear that her back legs were failing fast due to a spinal tumour or cyst (the vet was unsure of the exact diagnosis, but sure that it would be fatal either way). This was severely impacting her quality of life and in all likelihood was rather painful, so we decided to let her go peacefully.
Almost two months on, I'm still surprised at my grief. Whilst she was not a child, a close friend or family member, she was part of our family.
A winter trip to Budapest
I suspect I may elaborate on my experiences in a longer post as there's a lot to say about this city.
In mid December we set off from Manchester airport on my Birthday for four days in Hungary's capital city, staying in the luxurious and central Hotel Prtestige Budapest.
Most of our trip was spent exploring the city on foot, on one day I clocked up over 26,000 steps as we carved out a trail along the river and through festively lit streets.
The highlight for me had to be the river cruise we took along the Danube late one afternoon which included a glass of fizz and a stop off at Margaret island.
Making more Peach
In the past I have described Peach as the "creative vehicle" which Des and I use to make music together, but that sounds a bit wanky. Basically it's the name under which we post our various jams and musical experiments, some good, some less than mediocre.
Being cooped up together in inclement weather over Christmas provided a prime opportunity to work on a couple of new tracks, including the one below. (Apologies for my sub-par vocals, I'm definitely out of practice).
Getting back on the bike
After falling out of love with cycling in 2017, I have decided that this year will be the year of the bike.
My car is essentially dying a slow but certain death, so at some point I'm going to have to decide whether to get another one, or try and go without.
I'm lucky to live a few miles away from my work and am also only a 7 minute cycle from York city centre and the railway station. My favourable location, coupled with the cost savings and undesirable environmental impact of car ownership, are good reasons to err on the side of no car. Plus the feeling of cycling right past stationary traffic is like no other...
In order to test my hypothesis, I've decided to try going for one month without a car whilst I still have one, just to confirm to myself that it is indeed easy, cheap and good for my health.
One of my biggest obstacles to cycling everywhere is mainly concerns over safety (I am lucky to be in reasonably good shape so the fitness aspect should be OK).
To make sure I'm doing everything I can to protect myself, I've invested in a new top quality helmet and some extremely good high vis clothing - opting for this impressively luminous and lightweight gilet.
If you're a fellow cyclist on the streets of York, do say hi!