Summer 2022 in Birmingham

Summer 2022 in Birmingham

A look back at Summer 2022 in Birmingham

As always summer has whizzed by. A lot has happened. I didn’t get away for an official holiday but I managed to fit lots in and have fallen for my home city of Birmingham. Here’s a look back at summer 2022 in Birmingham via the power of photos.

Midlands Open Water swimming 1
Midlands Open Water Swimming 2
Midlands Open Water swimming 3

Having moved to Birmingham just before Covid hit I’m still getting to know my way around. Summer 2022 in Birmingham has firmly placed this city in my heart. Do you live in Birmingham? Help a girl out here… What’s your favourite place or thing to do. Comments below please?

10 Simple things to combat Blue Monday

10 Simple things to combat Blue Monday

10 Simple things to combat Blue Monday

OK, I admit it, I’ve been getting really down about my health. It’s coming up to 2 year anniversary having Long Covid and the last 2 weeks have been particularly bad. It wasn’t till I woke up this morning that I realised it was Blue Monday but I was in the perfect mood for it.

I wrote about walking for health and wellbeing recently but today I wanted to share with you the 10 things I did today to combat Blue Monday.

blue monday

The 10 things I did today to lift my mood

  1. Cold shower
  2. Cleanse and moisturise
  3. Take a stroll
  4. Make vitamin D
  5. Reach out to a friend
  6. Aromatherapy 
  7. A little treat 
  8. Invest in a SAD daylight lamp
  9. Download a affirmations app
  10. Listen to some music

Cold Shower

This isn’t as horrid as it sounds. I started cold water therapy last summer to help with Long Covid symptoms. As winter came I stopped taking cold showers but this week I’ve started up again, here’s how: After you’ve finished your normal hot shower simply turn off the hot and turn up the cold to full. With only cold water running from the shower let the water run down your back for 30 seconds. Breath slow and deep to prevent hyperventilation. The following day stay for 40 seconds, each day increasing your time by 10 seconds until you reach 3 minutes. The cold water helps with low mood, inflammation as well as having many other benefits.

Cleanse and moisturise

What I mean by this is that I took a few minutes longer than normal to get ready in the morning. Taking more time to get ready and applying lotions and potions to your body makes you feel better. You could even apply your favourite fragrance, even if you’re not seeing anyone.

Take a stroll

With my health being so rubbish last week I’ve not been able to get out on a proper walk but  today I took a very slow ambling walk into my local village. It’s about a 5 minute walk but I wasn’t in a hurry so I took my time, looking at everything on the way.

Make D while the sun shines

While in the village, I bought a few supplies.  In one of the shops I overheard the shopkeeper say “make D while the sun shines” and I thought that’s exactly what I need. So on the way home I sat on a wall with the sun on my face, closed my eyes and soaked it all up, creating vitamin D that I’ve probably been lacking the last 7 days. When I got home I found another patch of sun on my balcony. I sat for 15 minutes and felt the warmth on my face.

Reach out to a friend

Because I’d been stuck in a rut with my health, when my neighbour messaged me I kindly took up her offer to have a cuppa and a catch up. It was so lovely to have a chat and find out about her graduation. She also gave me a lovely little miss sunshine card which is just brilliant. It really did me the power of good and I’m very grateful.

Blue Monday 2



When I eventually settled down to do some work today I light my oil burner and put a blend of sweet orange and geranium oils in it. As well as smelling gorgeous the orange oil is uplifting and can help with anxiety and depression. 

A Little Treat

I know it’s not always favourable to treat yourself to food but I find cooking relaxing so I bought some nice ingredients to make a delicious dinner tonight.

Invest in a SAD daylight lamp

I’ve heard good things about daylight lamps for Seasonal Affective Disorder so I ordered mine last night. I will report back on how it works.

Download a affirmations app

I spend a lot of time on my own, mostly that’s fine, but sometimes the conversations I have with myself can become negative without me even consciously realising it. Yesterday I downloaded a unique daily affirmations app on my phone. Each day it gives you a positive affirmation, you can get alerts through the day to remind you to read it. You can record yourself saying the affirmation and you can even get Siri to read it out to you. A bit of positive brain retraining can’t do any harm.

Listen to some music

I’m just off to cook my evening meal and I will be putting on my favourite uplifting tunes to help me along. Often I get so distracted by my brain that I forget to put on some music to sing or sway along to. Music is a very powerful mood changer.

How did you combat Blue Monday?

I hope these 10 simple things to combat Blue Monday are useful to you for today and beyond. Please let me know if you try any of them and how they work out for you. Have you got any good tips to turn your mood around during these winter months? Please write them in the comments below.

Take good care of yourself, Elizabeth

blue monday 3
Midlands Walks Part 1

Midlands Walks Part 1

Midlands Walks part 1

I’ve decided to document my Midlands walks here on my blog. Hopefully they will provide some useful inspiration for readers who may have Long Covid, or are local to the area or just want to view pretty photos of the West Midlands through the changing seasons. 

As a side note I want to add that I am not a photographer. I photograph anything that appeals, from landscapes, reflections, paths to nature textures. I try not to apply filters so what you see is what you get.

The last walk I wrote about was the King’s Norton walk which you can read here.

Between Christmas and New Year I decided to treat myself to a spa break in Sutton Coldfield and whilst I was there i went for a chilly walk in Sutton Park.

Sutton Park 3
Sutton Park 1
Sutton Park 2
Sutton Park 4

My first Midlands walk of 2022 was in my local park, Highbury Park. I love this park all year round. It is vast and wild and full of trees.

Highbury Park 1
Highbury Park 2
Highbury Park 3
Highbury Park 4

On 3 January 2022, I was invited by a lady I’d met on a previous walk, to walk the Harborne Walkway (a disused railway line) and around Edgbaston reservoir. It was a sunny but cold morning but I joined her and a few other ladies on the lovely 5 mile walk. 

Harborne Walkway 1
Harborne Walkway 2
Harborne Walkway 4

On 9 January I joined a meetup group for a walk along the Stratford and Avon canal (starting just north of Stratford) to Wilmcote village and back. The total was 4 miles and the sunshine made for a beautiful walk with friendly folk.

Wilmcote 1
Wilmcote 2
Wilmcote 3
Wilmcote 4

Because I’m still being cautious about Covid and because I have Long Covid myself, walking is one of the only exercises I can do at the moment.

I’m still learning my own limitations with this illness and what my body can take without causing severe fatigue etc. It’s a fine balance to walk without overdoing it but still going out walking for all the benefits that it brings. In November I stupidly decided to go on a 9 mile walk and was sick for a month afterwards as a result. I’m finding 4-5 miles is a good distance for me at the moment. And walking once a week seems doable.

I hope my notes and photo from these Midlands walks have helped or inspired you. Please leave your comments or feedback below. I’d like to hear from you.

Kings Norton Walk

Kings Norton Walk

kings norton walk 1

King’s Norton Walk 

Like a lot of us, I took up walking in lockdown, I find walking in nature so beneficial to mind, body and spirit. Yesterday I went on a King’s Norton walk, my first led walk since November 2020. It was a great short urban walk with the city of Birmingham Ramblers that took in a lot of green space, and some rain! It was an enjoyable morning with a lovely group of people from all around Birmingham. 

kings norton nature reserve wild garlic
worcester and birmingham canal
worcester and birmingham canal
kings norton walk

Walk and explore new areas

Walking is one of the few exercises I can do at present, since having Long Covid. I joined the ramblers to walk and explore new areas whilst being led by an experienced guide. Being fairly new to the area, walking is a great way to discover areas both in the city of Birmingham and the surrounding countryside.

the old grammar school kings norton
Kings norton church
Kings Norton birmingham
Saracens Head

City of Birmingham Ramblers 


Yesterday, 15 May 2021, I joined the City of Birmingham ramblers group on a guided King’s Norton walk, somewhere I’d only passed through and didn’t know well at all. The 3.5 mile walk took us through King’s Norton nature reserve, King’s Norton Park, King’s Norton playing fields, along Worcester and Birmingham Canal, the river Rea, past Saracen’s Head and the 15th century old grammar school. Here are a few photos from the walk.


Kings norton nature reserve

Walking for health


If you are interested in joining the Ramblers association, or more specifically the City of Birmingham Ramblers, I can highly recommend it. Benefits include walking for health, walking for wellbeing, meeting new people and discovering new areas, both city and countryside. 

Warning this granola recipe is addictive!

Warning this granola recipe is addictive!

Warning this granola recipe is addictive!
<iframe src="" width="500" height="161" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true"></iframe>

Granola Recipe Ingredients

When I’m not teaching jewellery courses or making jewellery commissions you might find me mixing up this granola recipe. This recipe is very easy and makes a mountain of granola so I highly recommend it.


  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
  • 125 millilitres of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of Honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 300 grams of rolled oats
  • 3 teaspoons of sesame seeds
  • 3 teaspoons of brown linseed
  • 50 grams are sunflower seeds
  • 50 grams of pumpkin seeds
  • 50 grams of flaked almonds
  • 150 grams of assorted nuts (I choose raw cashews, pistachios, brazils, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts)
  • 50 grams of dried fruit (I like sultanas raisins, apricots, cherries)
  • 50 grams of toasted coconut flakes

Following on from our conversation the other week on Facebook I decided to look up a good granola recipe and make it myself. I admit since I made this granola I have been addicted to it. breakfasts are something to jump out of bed for now. I was getting bored of porridge and banana. The following recipe is my adaptation of the BBC Good Food recipe which can be found on the Good Food Show website.

This granola recipe is heavy on nuts and light on fruit because that’s how I prefer it but you can put any combination are fruit and nuts that you like in it. Taking you up on your suggestions (thank you!) I’ve found this granola is delicious for breakfast with plain yoghurt and fresh fruit. Flat white peaches, that are in season at the moment, are particularly delicious with it.

It did cost a little bit to buy the ingredients for the granola but I wanted good quality nuts that would make a tasty breakfast. Plus now I have plenty of ingredients to make more granola whenever I want it.


Set Oven temperature to 150° C or Fan 130° C or Gas 2

  1. Weigh out your nuts and break them up into large chunks with the end of a rolling pin
  2. Take a large bowl and mix together the dry ingredients below (except the coconut and fruit)
  3. In a  jug mix the oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla essence together well
  4. Pour the sweet mixture over the dry ingredients and coat well
  5. On a large metal baking sheet (or two smaller baking sheets) spread out your coated granola mixture
  6. Bake the granola in the oven for 15 minutes at the above temperature
  7. Weigh out the coconut and fruit and mix it into the hot granola mixture with a spoon
  8. Return the granola mixture to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes
  9. Allow the mixture to cool before serving
  10. Store the granola in an airtight jar or container and it will last for up to 1 month

If you try out this recipe let me know how you get on with a comment below. Also let me know if you tried out any variations on the fruit and nut ingredients and how that tasted. ENJOY!

I Lurve Instagram

For beautiful images, sneaky behind the scenes pics and videos be sure to follow me on Instagram here…

Join my mailing list

Be the first to hear about special offers, giveaways, invitations to events and exhibitions. You’ll only receive one email per month.

Become a Facebook fan

Get social with me! Like my Facebook Page here for chats, what’s new and all the good stuff you need to know…