Monday 1 April 2024

Disney you say...

So how did my love (some may call it obsession) of Disney come about?

When I think back Disney has always just 'been there' in my life. I remember as a child growing up in the UK we would watch 'Disney Time' a movie clip compilation show that would appear on the TV at special times of the year. 

I have a vague memory of one of my very first trips to the cinema being to watch 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks', although I can't be sure this was during its initial cinematic release as I would have only been about 4 years old. But growing up in the 1970's and 1980's Disney was simply a part of the pop culture we were exposed to.

I very recently re-discovered an album that I still own to this day and which was probably bought for me as a child, it's dated 1975.

Then in November of 1990 during a trip to London we made a point of visiting the then brand new Disney Store on Regent Street; it had only opened that month and was the first Disney Store outside of the US. I have this photo of me wearing the Mickey ears that we had bought. I remember them being of a very hard, shiny plastic and that they dug into my head so hard it meant wearing them for anymore than a few minutes just wasn't doable! Oh how times, and ears, have changed!

Then in 1991 Simon and I made our first trip to Orlando, Florida which was kind of by accident. We had originally intended to go on vacation with my parents who were planning a trip to Austria but I'd gotten the dates mixed up and had booked the wrong weeks off from work. It was also the time of the Gulf war and the rumours were that flights to the US were 'going cheap' so we decided to take advantage and book a Florida vacation. However, when we came to make the booking we soon found out that the rumours of cheap flights were just that, rumours! But as we had chosen where we wanted to go we decided to book the vacation anyway staying in a hotel on International Drive.

On 30th July 1991 we made our way to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World for the very first time and stepping onto Main Street USA I just knew I was 'home'.
Taken 30th July 1991, waiting for the fireworks.
Since then there have been numerous trips to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris, one trip to Disneyland, one Disney cruise and Simon has been lucky enough during work trips to visit Tokyo Disney Resort. I have lots of books and memorabilia, handbags, clothes and just the odd one or two Disney themed tattoos! Oh and I co-host a Disney theme parks podcast with my very good friend Michelle, called the Disney Dream Girls.

So yes Disney plays a big part in my life and I think it always will. 

There is something in the ethos of Walt Disney and the company that he created that draws you in. But it is still hard to explain what it is exactly that drives this love of all things Disney and the indiscernible magic that it creates. It's in the story telling, the attention to detail, the characters, the customer service, the ability to leave the real world behind for a little while and for everyone no matter what age or background to enjoy something together. 

Some will look at Disney and the theme parks and assume it's 'just for kids' but it is so much more than that. And to use a quote attributed to Walt himself from the opening of Disneyland in 1955, and then immortalised in plaques at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom...'here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy'...oh and remember 'adults are only kids grown up anyways'!

Thursday 21 March 2024

What to write...

What to write about...where do I begin?

After such a long hiatus from writing this blog I wonder if it's time I reintroduced myself? After all the person I was in 2012 when I started the blog is different from the person sitting here at the keyboard today...if only by the fact that I'm twelve years older, two stone (28 pounds) lighter and I'd like to say wiser, but who knows!

So here goes... name is Jayne. I find myself just entering the second half of my 50's and am very blessed to be retired, married to my best friend of nearly 39 years, we have a couple of amazing grown-up kids and somewhere along the way I developed a love of Disney.

It was that love of Disney that initially gave me the idea to write a blog, I wanted to share that love along with the knowledge and experiences that I'd gathered over the years. I also wanted to share my Disney daydreaming as I looked forward to, and planned for, my Disney vacations. But as the years rolled on and circumstances changed so did the topics that I decided to write about.

Disney will always be apart of who I am and something I will always want to write about but there are now other topics that I am passionate about that I would like to share. The transition from a working mum to a retiree. My personal health and well being journey that started in 2014 and is still ever evolving. A love of Star Wars that has grown and evolved through cosplay adventures and a new family of friends. A sense of discovering who this new retired version of me could be and what interests and adventures are out there that I have not yet even thought of!

I am extremely fortunate that in the last couple of months my partner in crime, my husband Simon, has joined me in this retirement malarkey and we are navigating this change to our lives together. We are beginning to make plans for the year (and years) ahead and are looking to make the most of the time that we have in front of us. It is taking a little getting used to but one that we are thoroughly enjoying.

We have a few travel plans booked, some cosplay events for this year are beginning to get scheduled, I have a weekly podcast that I co-host called the Disney Dream Girls and Simon has numerous art and prop making projects on the go. And within all of that we try to keep ourselves as fit and as active as possible so that we can continue to enjoy the time we have, for as long as we can and in the best shape that we can be so that life can be lived to its fullest.

So let's see where this journey is going to take us!

Friday 15 March 2024

It's Been a While...'s been more than a while since my fingers graced the keyboard to write a blog post (almost a year in fact) and I have no excuses. Although I'm sure I could come up with a few if pressed!

And even this blog post was initially started months ago, and several times over...I kept adding to it on occasion and then...well....yeah!

Like I said no excuses but I definitely need to figure out what I want to do with this blog and how I see it moving forward. 

When I started this blog way back in 2012 (wow that surprised me!) it was to chat about my love of Disney and going to the parks with a little bit of everyday life thrown in for good measure. Over the years I've spoken about various Disney vacations, my love of Christmas, tattoos, Star Wars and my approach to healthy living. Some years I've generated lots of posts and then others not so much.

Then we encountered the this was an unprecedented (a much overused word at the time!) event I decided to document the whole kerfuffle. I started on Thursday 19th March 2020 and documented every day up until the 29th August astounding 893 days! It started as a way to record the events of early 2020 and rolled into an online diary as the world that we knew suddenly became very different and took an inordinate amount of time to get back to anything like the 'normal' we knew before! But at 893 days I decided that the world was as 'normal' as it was ever likely to get and I simply needed a break from daily posting.

By the time we approached Christmas of 2022 I was missing the 'diary' that I'd inadvertently created and started to keep an old fashioned, personal diary, albeit using the power of Google Docs. There was no way I was going to be completely old fashioned and handwrite it as I know how bad my writing has become over the years! And pretty much every day since 19th December 2022 I have documented my daily life...but this time just for me.

So where does that leave this blog?

I think I want to start posting more often and post about those 'things' that are important to me, as was the original intention. 

Back in October 2020 I hit a bit of a hurdle with my writing and at the time I drafted a blog post that I never's some of what I wrote back then when we were still in the midst of the 'pandemic'...

'My decision to write was purely a selfish one; to record what was happening in my life, how the world events were affecting me and those close to me as well as from time to time chance for me to vent and express my own opinions as to what was happening and the why and the wherefore. I also like writing and it was something that I had wanted to do more of for quite a while and so 'keeping a diary' was a good excuse for me to stretch my writing muscles.

Like I said this wasn't started for any specific reason, it wasn't started to find fame or fortune or to find recognition. It was for me, by me and if anyone else wanted to read them then that was fine and if they liked what they were reading then that was a bonus.

But recently my confidence in writing took a bit of a knock...I lost my writing mojo so to speak. My writing was questioned and no doubt my writing about it being questioned will also get questioned but I am not going to let any other opinions out there stop me from doing what I want and writing about what I want, that is personal to me in a forum that I have chosen to write in.

I have been told that the manor in which I write reveals more about me than I reveal in person...does it? I don't know, I can't possibly know because I am not aware that the person I appear to be in person is any different to the person that is writing this. I will admit to not being the most talkative person and that sharing some things can be a challenge for me and so perhaps writing it down, without judgement or interruption, is easier for me.

I have been told that the manor in which I write is opinionated and aggressive; two words that I would never have associated with myself. Yes I have opinions on a variety of subjects but that is not the same as being opinionated, the definition of which is 'characterised by conceited assertiveness and dogmatism'. I like to think that I can recognise that everyone has their own views of the world and while I will always try to impart whatever knowledge I may have I know that there will always be disagreements and different thought processes and that is fine. I have always said that I will not foster my views on others providing they do the same with me. We have to accept that we will not all think the same and that is fine, it's what makes us all individuals, after all it would be no fun if we were all the same. I strive to accept that I will not always be right, that I am open to information that may change my understanding and therefore my opinion. We have to accept that change will happen, it may not be always what we want but it will happen and we need to find a way to embrace and accept it to be able to move on and change and adapt ourselves.

Aggressive; now I don't wish to sound conceited but I have never thought myself to be an aggressive person, in fact I have been accused in the past of being too laid back. I may be passionate about things that I hold dear and if my passion has been interpreted as being aggressive then I can only apologise. There may have been times over the last 220 plus days that I have attempted to express my frustrations or anger at situations, often situations that are too big for me to have any impact on or any control over and again being aggressive was never my intention.' yeah that was October 2020 and if I am honest I think this has stayed with me for longer than I'd realised. I think it stopped me from always being as open and as honest as I wanted to be. It had me censoring myself and worrying about what others would think as opposed to just writing whatever I wanted.

So whilst keeping my 'pandemic diary' for 893 days was certainly an achievement and recorded a time that I could never have imagined we would experience, I do wonder how much of what I wrote was just for recordings sake rather than completely from the heart?

Moving forward I think I will endeavour to get my writing mojo flowing again, to be able to write from my heart and be open and honest and most importantly to write because I want to and because it means something to me.

Yes I will write about Disney, yes I will write about Star Wars, yes I will write about good eating and if you want to read along then great I'll be happy to have you here but if it's not for you then that's fine too.

As we used to say back in the day when we had just a handful of TV channels 'if you don't like what's on either change the channel or switch off the telly; no-one is making you watch it'. I think the same applies here, have a read and if you like it hang around but if not then simply move along. 

Let's see where this takes us...I just have to figure out what to write about first!