Cheers - Salud - Saluti - Yaki Dah
And just like that pfft the tree is drooping, the receipts located, the fridge is empty and the sales are on … I mean, what happened to waiting for the January sales? Actually, only 1 item needs to be returned to be fair and if I count both veggie drawers, we could last until at least the 4th of January … the tree still looks rather splendid to me and we’ve really enjoyed spending time with each other, so three cheers to that - I hope you’ve all had a lovely time too.
I’m sending this out before I head up North with my family for a few days armed with more lateral flow tests that I can shake a stick at – this also means there will undoubtedly be more misthakes in month's news ... (just covering myself as most of you know there's always some boo boo or other in these newsletters). Before I attempt to force down the boot, I’d like to say a huge thank you to you all for sticking with me this year – thank you for reading my monthly mix of all things gin and yin in newsletter form and a ginormous thank you to those of you who weighed up the odds and threw caution to the wind (in a calculated fashion) and either retreated with me this year or attended an in-person or online event, it means the world to me ‘Yaki Dah’ to you all, which is a toast to your good health in Welsh. Cheers also to Vicki Knights Photography for taking the fab photo above.
Over the last few days, in between sips and scoffs, I've been reflecting on some of the best bits along with some of the not so best bits at Gin & Yin HQ which I thought I'd share with you (you lucky lot), so here goes:
Best bits … Hosting 2 wonderful retreats to gorgeous properties in Ibiza and Italy - Collaborating with over 50 marvellous small businesses in the gin, creative and wellness industry who not only helped me to host my on and offline events, but also fill the goodie boxes with amazing products which always get the best feedback - The outdoor yoga, the sunrise hike and supper out in N. Ibiza which we’ll never forget (thanks to Jo @jogabeats) - The fun cooking classes, the delicious day out in Le Marche and daily yoga in Italy – also wonderful (thanks to @lisa_dunn_yoga and @lascienzachesimangia) - Grateful to be asked to put together ‘Gin & Yin’ goodie boxes for someone else’s UK retreat attendees - Organising a fab sundown paddle-boarding session and gin-pic-nic on the The Thames - Donating to the ‘Heads Together’ Charity through the DJ’d Yoga & Gin night - and last but not least, the never ending love and support of my family and friends to keep doing what I love doing x
On to the not so best bits … Postponing 2 retreats and putting 1 on in-definite hold until things are more stable - Cancelling 4 UK events boo hoo - Worrying about the ladies coming on the retreats, worrying while we were there and worrying about them returning home! (I predict I'm keeping Clairol's 'Root Touch Up' on the shelves!) - Adding ‘group’ lateral flow test with breakfast to the retreat itineraries! ... and refunding over 20 ladies this year (although also proud to have refunded everyone fully too). All in all, the best bits outweigh the not so best bits, so I hope you'll join me and raise a festive glass of Baileys to the best bits that this year has delivered. x
What's been happening at Gin & Yin HQ?
This month I had the pleasure of collaborating once again with China Jordan, founder of Artistand.co.uk on a 'Life Art by the Glass' online class with a real life model no less - I have to be honest, drawing a real person with charcoal was harder than I expected - thanks to China and to our model James for their instructions and also for making it such fun. I also have new found respect for the models who have to hold poses for several minutes or hours in some cases - I'm lucky if I can sit still for 3 minutes and that's a push! As this was a festive workshop, a Sloe Royale Cocktail was in order thanks to Hayman's Gin - see photo above of the boxes for this one. If you get the chance to visit their Distillery in Balham (https://www.haymansgin.com) it's well worth a trip and I have to say they had the best gin bottle Xmas tree I've ever seen! Note to self for next year.
So What's Next?
Online or In Person Events
Various Dates - Approx. 90 Mins
- - -
Extraordinary times calls for creative thinking when it comes to staying connected with friends; family and colleagues. Over the past 18 months with the help of other wonderfully imaginative souls and zoom (of course) I've been able to deliver a series of creative and delicious events online which have been informative, engaging and great fun too.
If you're looking for something a little different either for a friend's birthday, or a family celebration or maybe for your team - drop me a line and we can work on a plan together.
Prices start from £30 per person.
Retreat to the Mountains Shanti-Som - Marbella Thurs 9th to Sun 12th June 2022 - - -
This wonderfully restorative retreat offers a mix of doing and not doing with the option of outdoor yoga; a morning mountain hike; an introduction to meditation; a walk around Marbella Old Town; amazing food; friendship and chat as well as peace and quiet to just be. This hidden gem is only a hop and a skip from Malaga Airport and yet it feels like you're somewhere in Indonesia, honestly this place really is that good - It's a one of kind and I only have 4 rooms left - the cost is £850 pp sharing an ensuite twin room, or £1,100 for total privacy with your own private balcony. £200 secures your space.
Be Your Best (S)Elf
I'm ending this year as I started it by re-reading 'DO/PURPOSE - Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more' by David Hieatt (also check out the brilliant interview with Holly Tucker and David here: https://holly.co/podcast/david-hieatt/) and 'DO/FLY - Find your way. Make a living. Be Your Best Self' by Gavin Strange both published by Do Book Co. They're excellent little pocket rockets in book form, perfect small business pick me ups and great reminders to be authentic, honest, change things, make things, break things (in a disruptive way) do interesting and engaging things and most importantly remembering to
'enjoy the ride, because it's your ride'
I very much hope you'll join me for some shiny new rides and experiences next year.
In the meantime - stay safe, laugh lots, sip sensibly and have a
Happy & Healthy New Year.