Rising Stars and Weekend Away

What a month. I know, I know this blog is very overdue but to say I’ve had a crazy one is an understatement. Started the month with going back to uni after Christmas and it was definitely nice to get back into the swing of things. Having a routine really helps me plan my days; it’s something I think we all should have. However, I do miss home. For some reason I miss home more this side of the academic year and I’m not sure why. After being home for a month I think coming back to being independent and having to do things for myself again may play a role but I just miss being in the comfort of having my family next to me when I wake up, (not literally, but you get my drift.)

On Saturday the 15th of Feb we had our first Stars home game against Team Bath. The mixture of nerves and excitement brewing up in my belly gave me the determination to go out on that court and show what I could do; and so I did. I played half a game and my shooting percentages were high so overall I was pleased with how I played. We had Melissa, the head coach of Severn Stars NSL team on our bench, which added to the pre-match anxiety but it was really good for the team to have her there. She helped me a lot when I was on court and to receive compliments from her after the game was also a massive boost for me. Netball is a funny one. You can either feel like you’ve had a great game or one where you haven’t played as good as before but someone will always tell you truthfully how you played. That’s what I like about Melissa, she’s straight talking and to the point which is what I think can make a player. Our next game is this coming Saturday against Manchester Thunder at the University of Worcester Arena, so if you’re local, come down and watch! We’re playing before the Superleague game which is super exciting.

Aside from netball, I felt like I needed to take some time for me. Having only one free weekend in the whole of February, Dan and I decided to book a weekend away to London just to go and forget about everything going on back home; the stress of his dissi writing, my netball training, uni work and everything else in between.

After my legend of a father Kev pulling a few strings, we stayed at the beautiful Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel which was literally on the end of Westminster Bridge. The views from the 11th floor of the hotel were just stunning. Over the three days we were there I think we walked over 60,000 steps. Let me run you through the itinerary that Dan had planned for me…

Thursday – we arrived in London around 11:30am so we went straight to the hotel to check into our room… we then waited until around 2pm to venture out again because it was raining pretty heavily. We then caught the tube and walked to the Natural History Museum. Now, I’m not one for normally being excited by these types of things but it was super interesting and really fun! I definitely surprised myself. After we had walked round for a few hours, we made our way to Hyde Park, passing the Royal Albert Hall which looked beautiful in the sunset. We then walked through Hyde Park and when I say we walked through it… I mean we walked from one end of the park to the other…. my feet felt like they were going to fall off, but it was totally worth it. We then continued our journey through to the Marble Arch and down Oxford Street and ended up in probably Dan’s favourite place on earth, the Hard Rock Cafe. We had a drink and ended up going into the vault which had loads of really cool guitars from the biggest bands in the world. We then finished Friday off with having a lovely meal back at the hotel, an American sharing platter which went down a treat.

Friday – we woke up bright and early to catch the tube to Camden Town. It really is the coolest place on earth. We walked through the markets, went in some really edgy shops, bought the best ice cream you have ever seen or tasted and had a drink in one of London’s biggest pubs, The World’s End. We then took a walk up to London Zoo. It was one of the nicest Zoo’s I’ve ever been to. As Dan works in Dudley Zoo, we managed to get free entry which is a bonus! We walked round looking at all the beautiful animals and then walked back to the tube station. Later in the evening, Dan had arranged a meal out but didn’t tell me anything about where we were going. He took me to one of the oldest restaurants in London, called Grumbles and it was honestly the nicest meal I’ve ever had. We both had mussels to start with and steak for main. The pub on the Thames was a checkpoint for our journey home also.

Saturday – the final day. After having a hearty breakfast, we did more sightseeing of Buckingham Palace, Horseguards Parade, St James’ Park, Piccadilly, Covent Garden, China Town and most importantly, M&M World. We then checked out of the hotel and made our way back home.

I think walking across from one side of London to the other definitely helped with fitness and is something I would recommend… only if you have the time… and the money to get there!

February has been filled with highs and lows, in terms of netball and uni life. Taking time out for yourself to do the things you want to do are so important. Do the things that make you happy. That’s my saying for this month. Don’t let anyone step in your way.

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