The fear of flying is real!! 

Up until six months ago I hadn’t been on a plane in almost 14 years!! Crazy I know. As much as I love the little island of Ireland and the wonderful scenery and things it has to offer, if you want to go anywhere or see any of the rest of Europe and beyond we have two choices! A boat or a plane!! 

Don’t get me wrong as a child my sister and I had a wonderful up bringing. Every summer we had the  holiday abroad with our parents and extended group of our parents friends and their children. You know the type, aunties and uncles and cousins that weren’t really related to you in any shape of form! We flew in planes we travelled on boats, we got to see a lot of Europe and beyond.

Even in my late teens, early twentys I was off on a plane with the girls on our summer holidays abroad. It wasn’t quite club 18-30! But we made the most of our summer holidays. God we deserved it, our hard earned cash, from waiting tables in the local restaurants. We had saved hard and booked our summer breaks at the beginning of each year, paying off in instalments! The late nights and the anti social hours while studying had been rewarded with two weeks each summer, in the sun. 

Fast forward to adulthood, money has been put into raising a family and to be honest becoming a parent changed my outlook on many things in life. But travelling wasn’t one of them. I didn’t feel the need to book foreign holidays or travel to broaden my outlook on life. And while the kids were babies I could think of nothing worse than a package holiday with a toddler in tow. 

I’m not sure if any other mum’s feel or have felt the same, but since becoming a mum I risk access everything!! Flying was one of those. 
I was never a great traveller! Mum often talks about how as a child boarding the plane I would be checking the plane and the surrounding area. Signs of damage, screws missing from seat rails. Then came the on flight safety demonstration! I would read back and front in great detail the evacuation process and often ask my poor parents questions they simply didn’t have the answers too! That was on planes!! Travelling on a boat was worse! We have all watched the movie Titanic, you know the line in the movie when Rose has the conversation with Mr Thomas Andrews,  (the architect/ship designer)  telling them him she has done some maths and she can’t work out if the number of lifeboats is enough for the number of passengers onboard!! That was me!!! I had to know where the nearest muster station was, where the lifejackets would be given out and I once calculated how long it took to get from our cabin to the station should we have to evacuate the boat! 


So why this blogpost? Well since meeting Dave I found myself in the position of needing to travel he’s in England and I’m in Ireland! I needed to put my big girls pants on and take the leap and board that plane!
You see we have that little stretch of water between us known as the Irish Sea! And if we wanted to make a go of it, I had two options, plane or boat!! Now given the choice I would take boat! But the Belfast to Liverpool ferry is an overnight boat (some during the day too) but lasting …..hours!!! So that’s a no go! So plane it was. I was spoilt at first as Dave was happy to do the travelling to me. He travels for business and a thirty minute flight to him would be nothing to him. So that was sorted. For the first couple of months he would fly to see me. 

Then it was my turn!! I had to make that leap!! God I didn’t even have a valid passport, I hadn’t renewed mine in years as I didn’t see the point. I wouldn’t be going anywhere.  ( although I must add that as we are part of the United Kingdom we are able to fly on domestic flights between the north of Ireland and the mainland on valid ID) But I renewed my passport just in case.
My first flight in nearly 14 years!! What a day, infact the weeks leading up to it I sweated half my body weight with worry!! How the heck was I going to be able to get on a flight to England?? 

I stressed over all the things I stressed about as a child and a young adult! And my fear had increased since the downing of more aircraft than before. ( or at least I was aware of more!) but if I wanted to visit England and make a go of my relationship with Dave, I had to fly. 

Six months on and many many flights back and forth to the British mainland (and a surprise birthday treat to Paris! into the mix) I still have a fear of flying! Every fortnight when it is my turn to fly to England I pack my case on the Thursday evening ready for the Friday and my anxiety starts to kick in. All the irrational thoughts of hyjackings, machanical failure to bird strikes are in my head. Then there’s the turbulence! 

I don’t think I’ll ever get over my fear. To this point I have been able to negotiate my way through the various security departments in a few different airports. I know what I can pack in my hand luggage and how much liquids I can carry. I can queue at security and have all the necessary liquids, electrical items, coats, shoes, watches and belts removed without hyperventilating. I can board the plane, climbing the steps without my knees knocking and almost throwing me off balance.  I can find my seat without a panic and the need to check my boarding pass 100 times for my seat number. I can stow my cabin bag either in the overhead locker or under my seat without a panic, and take my seat. But I’m still working on the take-off, flight and landing!!! 
I’d love to hear from anyone who has any suggestions to help me get over my fear of flying and my irrational thoughts! 

Until then I will continue to book my flights and board the planes all in my quest to spend time with my man!

Claire

Galgorm Resort and Spa

Galgorm’s Spa September!

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to a press event at the Galgorm Resort and Spa, in Ballymena County Antrim, to launch their month long journey of events, exploring mindfulness, wellbeing and relaxation. They have recently completed their £2million spa extension and I was keen to see what they had to offer!

The Galgorm Resort and Spa sits on 163 acres of spectacular parkland, on the banks of the river Maine, a truly outstanding location. I had visited the Galgorm for a friends wedding in the Ghost House and afterwards to a beautiful reception in the Four Seasons Suite and I had been to The River Room for afternoon tea with the girls but I had yet to try the Spa!

The Spa is the ultimate in luxury! I was not disappointed with the reviews I had read prior to my visit. If you are looking for a way to de-stress and switch off from the hectic lifestyles we all tend to lead, then look no further! The spa at the Galgorm is a unique Thermal Village and the first of its kind in Ireland. And access to the Thermal Village facilities are included for all residents of the hotel and are also part of their Day Spa Packages.

So back to my evening at Galgorm! It was a wet and rather gloomy evening, nothing new for Northern Ireland but we were not going to let the weather dampen our spirits! We made our way to the reception are in the Spa, we were greeted by friendly and welcoming staff, easy to see why the spa is an award winning facility! We were directed to the changing rooms to allow us to change into spa robes before heading over to The Orangery.
The Orangery is “the perfect place to unwind after a treatment” a beautifully decorated room with relaxation beds and swing chairs. “A tranquil space of pure comfort and relaxation”

We were greeted by Juliet from Scarlett Pr and Tara the Spa Manager and treated to procecco and a non-alcoholic versions for those of us who were driving. We also sampled delicious canapés from the menu available in the Elements Cafe. Once we had finished mingling and introduced ourselves to fellow bloggers we took our seats ready to listen to what the resort had to offer!

The Orangery at Galgorm

The non-alcoholic option!
Tara Moore is the manager at the Spa and she was on hand to introduce us to the Spa and its wonderful team and welcome us to the wonderful resort. She spoke to us about the recently completed, spa expansion works and explained that we would get to explore the spa at our leisure but not before we had found out all about the new line of products exclusive to the Spa at the Galgorm.

Bioeffect is an Icelandic skincare company that have partnered with the Galgorm Spa to launch a range of professional spa treatments specifically tailored to the Spa at Galgorm. We were treated to a demonstration of one of the bespoke facials using the Bioeffects products.

Bioeffect products

The Orangery Room, overlooking the gardens and River Maine
Once the demonstration was over we made our way through the beautifully manicured grounds to the brand new Spa cafe Dome; Elements. The dome construction of Elements is unique and one of only 5 in the world. Here we were treated to a cocktail masterclass and a feast of freshly prepared food available from the menu at Elements cafe.

The interior of the Elements Dome at Galgorm
Then it was time to explore the thermal village and Spa! It was late at night, it was dark and the heavens had opened! There we were walking around in the Northern Ireland rain in nothing but our bikinis and robe! A truly magical and unforgettable experience as we got to sample the hot tub, jacuzzi, and many other features too many to mention!! We didn’t get to see even half of the facilities so we will definitely be back for another visit soon.

Full 20 metre indoor heated leisure pool at Galgorm

If you fancy a trip to check out the wonder Resort for yourself, the Galgorm team have kindly gifted my followers one hours complimentary thermal Village Experience when you book a Bioeffect Ultimate EFG Facial. This offer is available Monday-Thursday throughout the months of October and November 2017. To book please email Louise on lnicholl@galgorm.com quoting “spa September Bloggers”

If you get the chance to visit the resort soon, be sure to share with me your thoughts! You won’t be disappointed!

Claire
*this event was a press event, all opinions and throughts are my own*

The Little Book of Lykke

A couple of weeks ago as I sifted through my emails, a daily ritual over a fresh brew. I was excited to have received an email from Ruth at Penguin Life Publishers offering me the chance to review the new book by none other than Meik Wiking! Now if you follow me over on Instagram as Mumtothreelittlemonkeys you will know that I adore my books, anything from homes, interiors, cookery and self help books!

Meik’s first book “the Little Book Of Hygge, The danish way to live well.” Was a massive hit and was on The Sunday Times bestseller and The New York times bestseller lists. Not at all surprising as the nation grasped ahold of the concept, Instagram feeds and blog posts were full of all thing hygge. Candles, blankets, cosy fires and simple evenings spent with our nearest and dearest. I loved the concept of “Hygge” (pronounced “HUE-gah”) put simply is the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

The new book due to be released on general sale on the 7 September, arrived on my door step yesterday morning. Well when I say it arrived, I was fast asleep and the postman knocked my door so hard I thought the house was on fire! Hand delivered – no less and no need to rush off to the local post office with that dreaded red card in hand for a missed delivery!

It was totally worth the abrupt awakening!

This beautifully wrapped present is the latest book by the author Meik Wiking CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He has committed his life to finding out what makes people happy and in his last book concluded that Hygge is the magic ingredient.

In his new book The Little Book of Lykke, Meik looks at the concept of Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness.

The Little Book of Lykke

So what has this little book got in store for us?

I was excited to get the nicely wrapped parcel opened and start flicking through the pages. I haven’t been able to put it down since opening it. Like the first book The little book of Hygge, it is a beautifully presented book, wonderful illustrations an photos throughout. The contents of the book is decided into nine chapters,

1, The Treasure Hunt

2, How do you measure happiness?

3, Togetherness

4, Money

5, Health

6, Freedom

7, Trust

8, Kindness

9, Putting the pieces together.

In this book Meik takes us on a treasure hunt to unlock the doors to a good life. From how we spend our precious time, to how we relate to our neighbours and cook dinner. He has gathered evidence and stories and tips from around the world and put them together in this little book as the ultimate guide to how we can all find a little more lykke in our lives.

I’m already sure that this little book will become another go to book that will sit on my coffee table, that both my children and visitors alike will pick up for a read. It is available on general sale from the 7 September, and you can pre-order it on Amazon at the offer price of five pounds, I have added the link here, Little book of Lykke

I would love to hear what you think of Meik’s latest book!

Claire

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