Half term has arrived, and I am delighted to let you know about some of the great courses we have starting soon…

The full list of courses starting soon, can be found here.

And all our courses can be booked on our online booking site here.

Don’t forget although our longer language courses have just started, it may still be possible to join, so please email us at stokelodge@bristol.gov.uk to find out more.

Valentine’s Day

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day for Sunday.

Perhaps you think valentine’s day is a bit of a gimmick to sell some cards and flowers, a joyful time for some can also be a time to remember our lost loves, romantic or otherwise.

Valentines day certainly has the potential to trigger feelings of loneliness and sadness as well as those of love. Particularly as we cope with lockdown restrictions and social distancing. Valentines to me should be about celebrating love in all its forms not just romantic love. Love for your family and friends, your pets, the view from your window, the beautiful daffodils desperately fighting through the frozen ground, the smell of hot buttered toast or the taste of a nice glass of wine! Its also the perfect time to show ourselves a bit of love and compassion.

So, this week I challenge you to do one or two of these things as a valentine’s gift to yourself.

  • Do something you love – write a poem, paint, sing along to your favourite song, go for a walk – take a moment to savour how much joy it brings you!
  • Take a nature bath – not actually exposing yourself in this chilly weather, but brave the garden or park. Sit for a minute and take in the surroundings, feel the leaves of a plant, or the bark of a tree, admire the variety of colours on show, even in the winter.
  • Breathe – ok bit obvious but take 5 minutes to sit quietly and just focus on your breathing.
  • Keep a diary or journal – maybe not everyday but a couple of times a week scribble down something you liked about the day, something you are grateful for or something that made you laugh.
  • Forgive yourself – yes, the recycling box is still outside, and you haven’t cleared out that cupboard, but things are tough right now.  Its okay to just let go of that feeling and give yourself a break.
  • Treat yourself – buy yourself a bunch of daffodils or a magazine when you get the milk, have your favourite chocolate bar with a nice cup of tea or watch that old movie you love.
  • Share the love – show someone else you appreciate them, says thanks, send a compliment.  Remind someone of something they did or said that meant a lot to you.  Stick a card in the post, give them a quick ring or write them an email or text message.  Everyone likes a bit of positive feedback!

Half Term – Virtual Big Day out with Radio Bristol

BBC Radio Bristol have some half term days out planned which you can watch live on their Facebook page (or catch up with the videos after). (3) BBC Radio Bristol | Facebook

Yesterday they were feeding the meerkats at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm https://fb.watch/3Gi6D3nr9o/

Today they are at Aerospace Bristol at 2.30pm, Bristol Aquarium on Wednesday at 10am, We the Curious on Thursday at 2.30pm and with A&S Police dogs and horses on Friday at 2.30pm.

Vaccine Sculpture

Have you received your first covid vaccination yet?  Have you also seen the (rather beautiful) glass sculpture of the Oxford AstraZenica vaccine created by Bristol artist Luke Jerram.
AstraZeneca vaccine sculpture revealed by Bristol artist – BBC News

Stay safe and take care

Kindest regards