Proud

So, I know it’s been a while so a longer blog would probably be in order but I just wanted to write about my day and how I’m feeling, to try and lock that feeling in. To always be able to remember this high.

Today, March 18th 2019, I finally passed my driving test.

I have managed to do something I set my mind to and feel amazing, I feel so proud of myself for just getting on and doing it. Ok so, it’s taken an age but my dad is right, once i’ve actually started driving, what does it matter how long it took? I should just be proud and take pride in the fact that I did it.

I know I haven’t always been positive about it but I’m glad I saw it through. I started my 40 for 40 list and this was the top one, the most important and the one I was most scared about, not only the fear of the cost and time but of the letting people down. I tried not to tell people this was happening so I didn’t feel pressure but I’m so lucky that everyone who knew, has been nothing but positive, wonderful cheerleaders.

I could not have done this without some really important people, my mum and dad – firstly as they have been my biggest cheerleaders in everything but this was something they both had (it feels like anyway) the upmost belief that I could do this – especially when I had zero confidence in myself. My partner, the silent one who again, for some reason thinks that I”m far more capable than I normally prove to be, certain friends who despite knowing the idiot I am, still felt it was a good idea for me to be in charge of a tonne or so of metal death machine and my boss, who has been lovely in letting me go for lessons and not moaned about how bloody long it’s taken me!

I’m actually pleased I followed my dad’s advice in driving in a manual car, I wanted to do auto but now have the satisfaction of knowing that I made things harder for myself and still got through it.

I don’t often blow my own trumpet (or at least, I dont want to be one of those “me me me” people) and I’m worried about doing that now but I do genuinely feel like i’ve achieved something today, I feel like, I can say, with hand on heart, that I am capable, determined and stubborn.

After I did my first firewalk I felt like I was capable of anything and i lost that feeling pretty quickly, sadly but this time, I think writing this and trying to explain the feeling I have right now will help, if nothing else, I have this to re-read, and hopefully I’ll be able to feel like this again.

I should also thank my driving instructor – Jon, he has been calm, cool, collected and a great help in giving me the belief I could do this. I’m thankful that he got my humour – apparently most people don’t ask if the instructor has life insurance on lesson 1 – and handled my inevitable mind blocks….I always thought left and right were pretty sorted in my mind, yeah, maybe not 100% of the time!

But yeah, I’m feeling really good now.

I promise I’ll start blogging more frequently soon, thanks for sticking with me xx

Have a great rest of your day. I’m off for a wine xx

Happy Jar 2018

So once again it’s time to go through the list – not actually a jar this year, but then saying Happy Envelope is slightly less fun sounding – and see what fab things happened last year and to show how much fab stuff happened that I would have forgotten.

I genuinely think that this helps me to focus more on the positive, I spend so much time stressing about tiny things that go wrong as opposed to just stepping back and seeing the bigger picture, I would definitely recommend this to everyone, even to try it just once, I think you’d be amazed at the things that get pushed away and replaced with bigger “more important” stuff!

So here we go……..

  • Baking my own bread
  • Claire is coming to Drag World with me!
  • Sitting on Maye’s balcony putting the world to rights
  • The man offering to walk me to work in the snow
  • more 5ks done
  • Molly @ drag world getting us backstage to meet Katya – arrrrrrrrggggggggg
  • face sparkles for day 2 at drag world
  • Light Up Poole – loving the pretty lights
  • Ed’s leaving drinks, love spending time with Amanda, she’s so funny
  • Working our way through Diablo 3 Hardcore – I may even manage to get 1 character through!
  • Watching the world cup – for once I sort of enjoyed it
  • Being called “Cute” by the ACTUAL Alaska
  • The surprise that Hans Enuf expressed when Claire asked for a pic “With me???”
  • Yummy baklava and wraps from the little shop near Drag World
  • Showing the man Stacey’s game collection – he was very jealous
  • RT’d be James O’Brien and liked over 100 times
  • Managed to get to work in the snow, may have taken much longer than normal but I did it
  • Angry Scots in the queue for Alaska giving me a glimpse of Sandra and bolstering my reserve.
  • Buying silly girl clothes and making the man laugh when I try to be feminine
  • Bringing in croissants for breakfast at work with Amy and Amanda
  • Lego Jurassic Park with S, so glad he puts up with my geekiness
  • Nice group of people at Slimming World
  • Confusing Katya by asking for a cuddle – who knew the American’s don’t use that word
  • Winning a tattoo for Drag world – I must learn to read competitions as I thought it was for an autograph!!
  • No negativity at drag world – everyone seemed to be comfortable and not judgy
  • Treating S to a breakfast in town before heading home for a games day – love our “weekends”
  • Sending out more letters and books
  • Super quick haircut – she may have cured me of my hairdresser fear
  • Raspberry pink hair dye, S still thinks I’m fit
  • Epic dog obviously not wanting to be taken for a walk at Hotel 65
  • Making new friends thanks to #PratchettPostal
  • Photo a day challenge done in Sept – I stuck to it!
  • Ordering more coffee and chili jams
  • sending a love box to Becky
  • passive aggressive graffiti in London
  • Tea at Claire’s, putting the world to rights and preparing for Drag world
  • Message from S while I was in London ” make memories to last a lifetime” – he is so sweet to me
  • Tesco’s macarons for dessert with fruit was a much better idea than the fat ones at the burger place we ate
  • Good to catch up with Andy – loved his reaction to seeing me “F*ck me mate, where’ve you gone?”
  • Chatting all the way up to London – so excited for this!
  • Buying NIN merch for S
  • being hungover and going to the George for fat Friday
  • Ben Murray bringing in sweet almond cake with caramel toffee sauce – epicness
  • long stressful week leading to a superb weekend
  • love the fact S now doesn’t work on Sundays
  • Gareth Southgate’s hug to the Columbian player who missed his penalty – top bloke
  • Nice breakkie in Hotel 65 – if only we’d have known about the queue we may not have loitered so long
  • watching the Architects review and holding S’s hand in case it was awful
  • Ankh Morpork bits from Sue – she got to go to the Emporium lucky thing!!
  • Being used as an example of a “good Pratchett fan” by the Emporium
  • Aiden Orange is such a lovely bloke, glad we met him
  • Having early morning laughs with Stacey at work
  • I love the feeling I have now I’m thinner, bit more comfortable as me
  • Seeing a massive car accident in Poole, glad everyone is safe
  • Lovely night with Claire and Charlie, always lovely to see them
  • Day on the 20’s nice to meet new drivers and to hear that he had retracted his resignation.
  • seeing Glemi in town, such a wonderful lady, miss her in my life
  • going door knocking for Poole Labour
  • getting more crafty bits, love making things, no matter how bad I am at it
  • waking the man up to cuddle and snuggle
  • blanket time on the sofa
  • introducing him to Drag Race
  • Dad’s birthday at full plate restaurant, more expensive but still great food
  • starting cross stitch for xmas gifts
  • sorting the filing cabinets at work – they will be more organised
  • 75 books so far sent for Pratchett Postal
  • finding a cute pic of Okto being bathed
  • Taking mum out for her birthday, love her so much
  • Dad has given me his other camera, I need to sort my skills and start focusing more
  • organising a food drive through work, so pleased so many people have got involved
  • White stuff dress with pockets from the doggy trust – like a quid!!
  • new table so we can board game, good business drive from mum – even getting us a discount
  • love it when he holds my hand
  • Alfie nearly making himself sick with quality street
  • Looking at flats together, our lives are moving on
  • Getting involved with Helping Hands in Bournemouth, great charity
  • Tiffany Snowflake necklace – love him so much
  • Pratchett Postal has also helped me, got some of the maps and some books that weren’t in my collection
  • Duelosaur Island received from Kickstarter
  • Issue with a missing card for Architects, fixed really quickly, am very impressed
  • getting chips down by the quay in the rain with S
  • Walking to Table Table for lunch in the summer
  • Buying lunch for 3 homeless in Poole, would hate to be in their shoes so always happy to help.
  • having a wonderful eve with my man
  • Claire and I possibly making it look like we were outing ourselves to Darienne Lake
  • Slimmer of the week!!
  • Going bowling with Amy, Amanda and her friends
  • Watching the “Nature of the Beast” documentary with mum
  • board game Sunday – love having him home for Sundays
  • getting involved and helping out with Defend Dorset NHS and Poole Labour
  • Helping out a new homeless person, Lee, seems lovely
  • Film day with S for my birthday
  • Valentines gaming – I am the champion
  • Claire saying she may come to Drag world, would be great to have a pal along
  • Roosters with mum – nice change from KFC
  • Sue and I talking parachute jumps
  • epic valentine’s day, massive bunch of roses, coffee, pizza tray and cacti
  • wonderful takeaway as a treat while imp on SW
  • Making bookmarks for the lovely Greebos lot
  • lovely working with Alison and Alan in cs
  • Meeting the tattooist at the con and being terrified of him until he found out who we were meeting and then he became really lovely!
  • Buying me flowers to make me smile
  • Seeing the beauties that are Emma and Rach, so pleased and confused as to why they still like me but so grateful they do!
  • Fun with the CS guys – who’d have thought it?
  • sprinkles cookie dough with pistachio ice cream
  • Angry Amanda buying me smellies for my birthday
  • doing some colouring in, very relaxing
  • new phone
  • Finding a good name for the Bonsai
  • Alfie asking for reports from June 2017 and when I sent them to him asking when they were for “June possibly?”
  • chicken pesto and moz panini – yum
  • Bringing in treats for my work colleagues
  • Okto likes to drink, and spit
  • more chili jams – i may have a problem
  • Amy getting a strike whilst bowling and being with 2 people doing Dry January!
  • The man winning Roll and an Ankh Morpork – possibly his best ever day
  • Looking after the man while his shoulder hurts
  • falling in the snow and seeing my homeless man who made me walk to work with him to make sure I’d be ok
  • dealing with the snow, learning to not be so afraid
  • being open with people about why imp so afraid of the snow
  • Charlie hides replied to me – shame we didn’t get to see her
  • mum meeting and scaring Alfie “ahhh the man of the buses”
  • signing up for yet another firewalk
  • buying silly games for S
  • New Pandemic purchased for us to work on!
  • wethers with S when we couldn’t go to see Charlie Hides
  • Slimming world stickers – best thing about it!
  • Seeing Drag Kings for the first time and getting new artist inspirations – Lolo Brow and Scarlett O’Hora
  • Recieving a Mr Grippy Badge – I am part of one of the best groups out there
  • Matt and Beth both doing really well, so proud to still have them in my life
  • phone calls with Liam and Bird, miss them so much
  • lovely message from darienne lake after we met her
  • Passed my theory test
  • booked tickets to see Phill Jupitus
  • offering cake for autographs, who knew I only needed badges for a photo instead
  • “I win everything apart from Roll” S – cue him winning
  • S calls EVERYTHING – MasterChef, bake off, apprentice etc.
  • Front row and MG tickets booked for Charlie Hides
  • Getting introduced to All Stars – not my fave but still, it’s more drag
  • Cactus from my love – Is it cos i’m a bit of a prick?
  • codenames and worms – I am getting better
  • Finding old photos at work and having to explain what negatives were, and the whole experience
  • Buying a Pratchett for #PratchettPostal and realising it is signed – paid double the asking price and got myself a bargain
  • Nice to bump into Chris Kent again, and always nice to be given flowers!
  • organising the tat drawers
  • George fat Friday lunch with Amy and Amanda
  • Tea that tastes of biscuits?
  • Katya smelt AMAZING
  • Angel Wing picture – one I actually kind of like of me
  • Wandering through bits of London to find our hotel, really close and a lovely but tiny room – very cute and it had tea stuff sorted – ideal!
  • loving simply cook – it’s fun to make things together and then enjoy yummy new meals
  • ordering west wing stuff
  • helping CS – glad I don’t have to do it much more
  • Butch Queen – I really hope he showered at least cos the outfit was tiny
  • sizing in Primark making me happy and then sad all in about 3 seconds
  • new pretty wedges
  • book chat on Facebook
  • looking at Prague zoo extensions – cannot wait to go back
  • coffee and dice play date with Amanda, Amy and Claire
  • all characters now at level 70 in Diablo
  • love our weekends off together – well mid-week weekends are the best
  • watching alien documentaries together – he is a  believer
  • Seeing Annelies and family and having a F^ck it meal
  • we’ve been together 6 years – 6 whole years
  • love spending time at Charlie and Claire’s, gorgeous garden in the sunshine
  • deep fried mac n cheese
  • going to clubbercize with Rach, she’s so much fun
  • Discworld Sunday – I am the champion
  • always nice to drop in and see the Rose red family
  • Codenames is a new but rock hard game, we are both rubbish!
  • RT’d by DJ Yoda
  • new cute lunchbox – whale of a time!
  • proud of myself to be able to handle the snow
  • Epic boss letting me go home early so I didn’t get too scared of the snow
  • make mixtapes great again
  • remembering how fun snow can be – heading to the water’s edge and getting some nice shots
  • writing more feels very liberating
  • signing up to walk 31 miles in Jan and actually completing  75miles instead
  • great meet up with Emma and Claire, wish I lived closer as they are both so wonderful
  • sprinkles with school friends
  • new phone
  • Canvas summer bags from work – actually nice stuff
  • Helping Diana with GDPR
  • Mum has lost so much weight, proud of her but don’t want her to be too tiny
  • Communing with WAY too many dogs on my Poole Park wanders
  • Even in snow I managed 10,000 steps a day throughout March for Cancer Research
  • Badges galore
  • he actually seemed to like his Valentine’s day card
  • Schooling him on Roll – one day my luck will run out but not yet
  • planning and actually doing a night out with Heather
  • a night of possibly making new friends
  • my life rules
  • I can do the SW thing, I will do this
  • Burgers as a treat in London, it was that or keep walking for ages!!
  • people at work being so lovely to me about my weight loss
  • Alfie explaining the difference between a canoe and a kayak
  • SW recipe books giving me more inspiration
  • getting a new laptop – well a cheap laptop to write more
  • Filing, organizing and shredding at work, lots to do but nice getting organised
  • Looking forward to our week off together, most time we’ve spent together in ever!!
  • Adam “is it the same as last year cos that’s how I’ve done it” – ok, that’ll be the same then!
  • Despite my fear, S always seems to believe in me
  • Winning an Alaska Funko from Ems on twitter, buying another and giving her to Claire
  • Positive lessons
  • Completed Hard-core – now on to the next level!
  • Exploring Instagram properly, fun to have a new medium to play with
  • Power cut whilst at Claire’s – thankfully the kettle had just boiled!!
  • Seeing Mayes – I miss her face so much, it’s weird only seeing her ever few weeks
  • People being lovely at work during the bad weather, offering to walk me home or the like.
  • Badge swaps at the Jupitus gig, glad to have been involved and will keep my badges forever
  • Mum doing chocolate dipped fruit for a dessert and wanting my help as “she didn’t know how to do it”
  • Dinner at Banana Wharf with Amy, Amanda and Karen – Amanda’s pal – lovely Italian food
  • Small flurries of snow
  • Coming into work through the snow to do the TMF – I know the boss was grateful and lovely of Diana and her husband to wait while I did it so they could lock up.
  • Re-discovering old albums throughout the year – Forever Faithless, Gold Against the Soul, Original Pirate Material and Complete Madness
  • Nikki getting cookies for us when I was in CS – bribery is always positive!
  • Love the feeling of fitting in smaller clothes, feel prettier and happier
  • Having a sod it meal when we saw Annelies and family – cheese, wine, fried things, sauces, yumminess
  • Looking through old pics of Becky’s. Miss her so much.
  • So great to bump into Lacei at Drag world, and to meet her daughter – it has been far too long!
  • Rhianna Pratchett liking my tweet about Granny Weatherwax – She didn’t do good by them, she did right by them.
  • Customer counting on the yellows
  • Starting Pratchett Postal, would be nice to see if I meet nice people and can share my love of Pratchett with the world
  • making mum laugh by my stupidness, so pleased our relationship is good
  • Cheeseboard and chili jams
  • Cuddles with my honey
  • Bianca del Rio autograph for the gorgeous Pixie, I miss her so much
  • Blog posts actually being read, not sure why but I’ll take it!
  • Traveline meeting – actually understood more this time and felt less of an idiot
  • Spending nights in summer just talking and putting the world to rights with the man
  • Signing up for the Poole 5k
  • getting odd socks – best thing for laundry ever
  • Buying silly gifts for friends, sending love packages to Beth, Matt and Becky.
  • Lovely meal with S at Holes Bay, nice summer walk and lunch
  • The colour run – 10m faster than the last one
  • Hitting target at Slimming World – size 12!!!
  • Summer walks round the park with the man, love where we live
  • Making a new friend at the colour run, so glad that Steph was taking part too, she helped motivate me and is a lovely girl to have a laugh with
  • Actually winning at Colditz – escaping in the commander’s car!
  • SW isn’t as frightening as I thought, there were some really lovely friendly people there
  • Organising a Drag Bag for Claire and our weekend away!
  • Alfie moaning about the latest timetable art which is “false advertising as it’s got an E200 on the front and they don’t do that route”
  • Losing at Pandemic and being cooked a conciliation omelette by the KING of eggs
  • Restarting Minecraft
  • Nick bringing in epic trifle for before Xmas – even Alfie came back for it!
  • 5k at Poole done, 43.22 – not as fast as id have liked, feel like death but glad I did it, hopefully next year would be better
  • losing weight, so pleased things are moving and looking forward to being a bit thinner
  • Marc and Nick laughing when I said Pancentric lied to me and turning the screens towards each other to show the lie
  • Phill Jupitus eve with mum, epic night, lots of laughs and got a selfie too
  • Buying a new lunchbox and diary for SW – I will lose weight and will be healthier
  • Driving a day on the dual carriageways, it is getting easier – slowly and surely
  • Speaking with Sandra, suggesting I go and see her once she’s back in Competa, so pleased she’s getting better
  • Bumped into Kev when I was in Bournemouth, bought him lunch. Glad I managed to do this before he passed away, hate feeling like he was alone at the end.
  • Badges for my summer bag
  • Pretzel Dog lunches – a proper treat and a lovely couple in charge, hope they stay for a long time
  • Neil Gaiman liked my tweet!!!
  • Getting a gorgeous love box from Beth 🙂
  • Nick, Rachelle and the kids coming and seeing me at Winton Sally craft fair
  • Buying PretzelDog for the homeless I know, they are such a lovely couple in there, am happy to help out
  • Rhianna, Stephen, Disc Emporium all helping me to get PratchettPostal off the ground by RTing and spreading the word.
  • I actually feel like i’m making good friends online, even without meeting them
  • Hearing all about Denise’s holiday plans
  • Snowflake necklace from S for xmas, possibly the best xmas gift i’ve ever had – so beautiful
  • seeing the boy ROCKING his gold high heels on our way to Dragworld
  • Introducing the man to Drag Race, not sure if he’d like it then getting a text the next day asking to watch more – ONE OF US!
  • Got a takeaway with S and an early night as helping out in CS is going to be a nightmare!
  • Starting to look at flats – our lives are moving forwards
  • England had a brilliant world cup – even I got involved in the excitement
  • Buying new clothes – smaller sizes
  • Duvet down and lots of computer silly games
  • Going for walks in the summer once the sun has gone down a bit – less blisteringly hot
  • ice creams together in Poole Park
  • Meeting Rach in town for a coffee – we will plan on SW and clubbercize together
  • Worms champion!
  • First SW target (10%) hit on week 14
  • Baking bread, can feel my confidence growing
  • asking S if he wanted to come see the Queen film and getting a response of “let me get my tache and cape”
  • Message from Mrs Kasha Davis ❤
  • walking round complimenting so many people at DragWorld, they looked so beautiful
  • Finishing the X stitch for S for xmas
  • getting thud for xmas, fun but not sure we’ll ever be experts
  • Emma liking her Pampling T – Disney Princesses
  • Making my own bread, feels amazing but very bad for me – will need it to be an infrequent thing!
  • I love the fact the he is being more open with me, I want us to be stronger together
  • Peanut butter with no palm oil!
  • 7 day black and white challenge completed
  • Sitting in McDonalds and catching up with old friends
  • Nick telling everyone to read last year’s list – he’s always so lovely to me and supportive
  • Making soup to go with my bread – feel very house on the prairie
  • Going to Stabcon South and playing new games and also seeing a (sort of, very minor) gaming celeb.
  • Denise buying cakes for CS and popping one in to me – epic work mum!
  • Soup and sandwiches – we’re so rock and roll
  • Meal at the Shah with mum, dad and the man – last meal out before I start SW
  • Getting sent files for PratchettPostal by a lovely person on Twitter – now my background pic, really lovely touch making it look more professional
  • New games for us to play – Iberia is very fun
  • I’m so lucky I have such a great man, he is so wonderful to me
  • making a chicken bacon and leek pie, sharing a pic and being nagged to make one for work too
  • Genuinely enjoyed Phill Jupitus, a great show and very nice person
  • Chatting with Claire, miss seeing her everyday but so lucky we still keep in touch
  • RT’d by David Baddiel
  • Buying Colditz as a whim, never gonna win but hey, a new game……wait….how long are the games????
  • Gamster T for my Gamster
  • size 14 and getting my stone loss award  – exciting
  • Helping mum in the garden, not my favourite thing but love
  • helping the homeless is becoming a bit of an obsession
  • Love my work mates, watering Shiri whilst I was away
  • Started watching the Alienist
  • phew Childish Gambino is HAWT
  • Seeing Bohemian Rhapsody with Mum and S, a very fun time and a great film.
  • Possibly looking at a cheap sunny holiday, would be lovely to just chill out and enjoy the sun
  • Looking at a house together, it didn’t work out but looking forward to us having our lives move forward
  • Slow cooker fun with S – chicken curry, sausage casseroles and bolognaise – really looking forward to seeing what else we can create
  • Signing up for more runs, I will hit my target at some point!
  • getting a lovely response letter – with handmade seal from a Pratchett Postal recipient
  • so pleased people seem to be getting involved with the Pratchett Postal – 50 books sent so far
  • So many lovely people online
  • toasties are my new favourite thing
  • Claire buying me the “Dammit Janet” necklace
  • Being part of the AFP club, she speaks to me and it really resonates, glad to be helping her out at the same time
  • mail from Miz Cracker – little bit in love
  • Starting to back things on Kickstarter
  • Love it when he tells me he loves me
  • Seeing Kelly’s photos -shes such a wonderful model
  • RT’d by the book trust “what have childhood books taught you?” Pooh Bear was my inspiration
  • not being sure we’re going the right way until we got on the tube to see people wearing glitter, feathers and a lot of bling – we found our tribe
  • looking at possible summer holidays with S would love to go somewhere warm together
  • epic lunch at work, great team and we all seem to pull together well
  • Architects of West Kingdom arrived safely after 8 months
  • Meeting Nathan Law at Drag world
  • Charity shop bargain – finding Catan for 3 quid
  • Feeling more confident with my reports – glad to know I am helping at work and fitting into the team
  • Funky jewellery from Over the Rainbow
  • Vinyl arrived for S for his Xmas gift, ltd. edition NIN new album
  • Beanies coffee may be my new obsession
  • looking into doing a fire and ice walk
  • buying Pampling stuff for friends and loved ones
  • Amy and Amanda came and supported me at the colour run
  • mum and dad as always the ones who support me most
  • Homeless man with a laptop – mums epic classic lack of observation rises again as it was actually a BT engineer
  • getting organised with VOSA at work, glad to be taking more control over bits at work
  • Being bought Lin Manual Miranda’s book by a random stranger thanks to Pratchett Postal
  • RT’d by mama herself, Michelle Visage
  • Playing Newmarket with S mum and dad on Boxing day, lovely snacky food and nibbles and as always fun times
  • silent discos on a sat morning while the man is at work
  • Meeting young Thanos at Stabcon South
  • Trying a variety of the Cornish bake houses products simply to find something that holds the warmth
  • nagging the boss to go home after his hospital time, good that he eventually will listen to me
  • Making my own sushi – this could become completely obsessive!
  • Buying myself Ru’s signed book
  • Listening to Bianca Del Rios book, love how salty yet loving she is
  • starting doing cross stitch things with S, he’s so creative
  • waking up for cuddles on a Sunday
  • lessons seem to be going ok, getting more confident
  • Calling dad for bread advice
  • finding new games for S for Xmas, hope he likes them
  • filling my fridge with SW friendly foods – I will lose weight
  • Heading to Stabcon with S, looking forward to new games and meeting people
  • Great that Amy came to Stabcon, lovely to spend time with her and great she gets on so well with S, makes him more comfortable
  • meeting mayes for breakkie, within about 5 mins we’ve caught up on all news
  • Popping to Bos Vegas to see Andy, always nice to see the fella
  • Played Catan, Ticket to Ride, Tobago and Isle of Skye when at Soton
  • love the fact he holds my hand when we go out
  • Brave S coming into the office as he forgot his keys
  • Ginger Minj wearing trainers!
  • adopting Okto ❤
  • Really sweet text from S looking forward to us being somewhere new and together
  • meeting S for lunch and despite the rain he got out a carrier for us to sit on so we didn’t get wet bums
  • cleaning the flat and buying flowers, all to make it beautiful
  • clearing out the old cupboard, nice to lighten up the rubbish we have
  • taking mum for coffee in Poole
  • dad’s birthday at Full Plate, so pleased my parents and S all seem to get on
  • Love him for always saying yes when I ask him to do stuff, he does so much for me
  • Seagull vs the man whilst we had a mixed fillings sandwich – the seagull won
  • Cooking sausage casserole while we wandered round town and then back to play games
  • RT’d by RICHARD SCHIFF!!!!!
  • Finding the West Wing Weekly on Spotify!
  • getting Cougar town on boxset for like a quid
  • Over 100 books sent out for #PratchettPostal. Am blown away and looking forward to something equally as random in 2019!
  • Lots of people getting involved in Pratchett Postal
  • He’s so supportive of my photos – suggesting photo ideas for the future
  • RT’d by Pro Green
  • Getting to scratch off more of my 40 for 40 challenges.
  • He is just so lovely to me. Felt rubbish today at work and he gave me big hugs and totally catered to my whims

so there we go – finally! I’m sure there’s little things i’ve forgotten but overall, I would say this is a pretty good list. Here’s to a brill 2019 and I hope for those who read this, they aren’t too confused or embarrassed!!

Blatant plug for my new blog!

Hello you lovely lot 🙂

Just a quick blog post to hopefully drive some traffic over to the new blog I’ve started……it’s more book related and am trying to split this page – this one being more for everyday bits and bobs and the other Bartlett’s Book Nook for reading and reviewing purposes.

Obviously i’d love it if people read both but can also understand those who just want a specific subject so thought i’d publish this and hopefully then people can have a choice of both pages!

I’ll be honest, this last year of as it were “general” blogging has been challenging but a supreme amount of fun and i’m hoping that this will continue tenfold in 2019. I’m looking to read classics to begin with, and ones that I do already know and love but have also given myself a reading challenge (shown below) to add some variety and introduce me to new authors or writing styles. I’m always open to suggestions so feel free to contact me, share your thoughts, suggestions, likes, dislikes and anything you feel I should read. I’m taking on all suggestions and will try to give everything a fair go.

So, yes, feel free to have a nose – ok, maybe not today as there isn’t any reviews on there yet – come back tomorrow to begin your journey but please like, follow, share and I hope everyone has a really wonderful New Years Eve – if you’re out be nice to the bar and wait staff and make sure you get home safe and sound and if you’re working, please keep safe, thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing a really thankless job and do not worry, the madness of NYE can only last a few more hours!

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Why do I blog?

Ever since I started blogging, people have been asking me why do I blog. Even I ask myself the same questions, “Why do I blog?”, “Should I continue to blog?” day in and day out. I find myself constantly questioning myself, my worth and the point of it all……in thoughts such as these and many more!

I am not a good writer, why should I write?
There are so many great articles out there, why bother trying to reach that level?
There are so many people that are more knowledgeable than me, why try?
No one will read my blog, why should even write one – I talk to myself a lot anyway, why would anyone else want to read it?
I have never been a good writer, why should I try and inevitably fail …?
My content quality is shoddy…

This is a going to be written a fair while before I share it, the current 30 day subjects is scary – I’m stressing about writing every day. This isn’t easy and am tempted to go back to less blogs simply to give my brain a break haha!

But yes, why do I blog?

There are many things that I use this blog for, I wanted it to be about my crafting, my journey and the like but as time has gone by and i’ve done less of the actual work my cottage industry needs this blog has become more of a balance space for me. I do enjoy writing – fear about the daily challenges aside – and am genuinely baffled that some people actually seem to enjoy what I write, and am enjoying using this as more of a therapy tool for myself.

Sadness can be a drive:

I do have a very up/down mentality and I know that sometimes a tiny thing can have me feeling really down. I am trying to improve and be a better version of myself but know that it can be useful to vent on somewhere technically anonymous and then I don’t have to worry about the fallout when loved ones see that I am down. Does that make sense? I can vent, get all my feelings out and by the time I hit that publish button – often WEEKS after having the rant in the first place – I am totally done, whereas if I was to share on Facebook or Twitter my instant feelings I’d have people on me all the time checking on me and more to the point, stressing about me and I never want that.

To help me work through:

I write to keep me sane, to keep me calm and to keep me balanced. I am enjoying writing the day challenges as they often give me new things to think and talk about, it’s also a great way to ensure that I stand by my views, they make me think about things and I use the blog as a way for me to answer some of my own questions too. I know that there can be a fair few which duplicate but I am hoping to be more organised next year and maybe split the blog into different moods for different jobs…..cooking, books, craft work and general life. I’m not sure. I need to get more organised in so many ways!!

Why else would I blog?

To share my views:

I suppose in an ideal world, I’d like to write a blog which people enjoy spending time with. I’m never going to be able to do this full time – and to be fair, who would want me to be wittering away like that? – but I just enjoy when people comment or share and give me their thoughts. I love hearing what people think, or starting new conversations and I’m loving that on here, it is always a good way to help express myself and to aid me in finding my tribe.

Blogging has helped me (i’d like to think) that I do have an opinion, if I want to talk about something I should just throw myself into it and use this for me, for my platform, for my views.

I am genuinely really enjoying writing at the moment, I know I say that I stress – especially with a daily challenge when I don’t actually have much spare time and I would like to do it more and am hopeful that 2019 will be the year or crafting my work, however that decides to show itself – but I do really love writing, getting my thoughts on paper (or the computer) and being able to get them out!

What about yourselves? I’m assuming you are here for a purpose and if so, what is that? Have you changed the way you write in your time here or am I totally out of the loop?

Have a wonderful day, I love reading all the blogs I follow (and those I find randomly) and if anyone wants to suggest new things for me to read, please feel free!

A 30 day slow cooker challenge

I tend to do random things as New Year’s Resolutions every year, they don’t tend to be giant change the world type of things but more little challenges to challenge me and to keep me going.

One of my 2019 goals is to do a 30 day slow cooker challenge, I probably wont do this every day for 30 days as myself and the man don’t often eat together and neither of us eat 3 meals a day but i’m hoping to have a list of 30 odd days worth of recipes which when I (or we) make them I will do my best to document and we I think will do a kind of top 10 of the meals once we’ve had them and that’ll give me something else to focus on.

I love experimenting with new flavours but also old classics, last night, we made a chilli con carne with A LOT of carolina reaper sauce and it was yummy – lots of beans, jalapenos, good mince, onions, peppers, mushrooms and the standard spices of coriander, cumin, tabasco, and the aforementioned Carolina sauce. I have even got some for my lunch today, am hoping the flavours will really have improved overnight.

Here’s a list of recipes I’ve found from Pinterest mostly which I’m thinking sound delightful and therefore need to be played with! (where I can, I’ve also share the link to the recipe page, have a look, see if anything tickles your fancy!).

So there you have it. 30 recipes I will be trying, i’m also learning to use a new camera so now I have a perfect chance to practise my food photography!

Do you have such recipes you always rely on? feel free to send me anything you think would appeal, am always happy to expand my knowledge!

A brief interruption from the daily challenges.

Today, I’d like to do something a little different to the current writing challenge and spend some time giving a bit of love to my mum Barb.

family 3

It’s actually her birthday today (so if you are reading this mum, have a superb day) and if you are reading this and aren’t my mum, why not send her a Happy Birthday from around the world?

I should say, she’s going to hate some of these pics probably so wish me luck that she takes them in the spirit it was intended!!

My mum is great. Yes, ok, I know most people say that but I’m actually right! She and my dad have always done their best for me – in every way and I cannot thank them enough. They have both supported me, and although I tend to wax lyrical about my dad more frequently, I felt it was time to share the love of my mum.

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I know that during my life, we have not always been the best of friends, a lot of the first few months in Spain we bumped heads a lot, we are, I feel, quite similar and unfortunately we didn’t always see eye to eye. I know looking back on it now she was doing her best but I know that a lot of hurtful words passed between us and when I moved back to the UK, I really tried to bite my tongue. If mum said something that would normally piss me off, I definitely tried not to rise to it. I knew that arguments would not help our relationship and I’ll be honest, there have been times when she has said something really hurtful, or cruel as far as I see it and I’ve just not bitten because what would come afterwards would be far worse. Over time I’ve also learned that this was the same towards my mum, I know i’ve said some really unkind things and also said things that to me didn’t mean anything but to her cut to the bone.

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I’m making it sound like we were constantly at each other’s throats which isn’t true at all, I feel we’ve both mellowed as we’ve got older and I know that due to the few periods of stress and  depression I’ve had we’ve had to learn how to talk and more importantly LISTEN to each other properly – I think we’ve both been open and realised how much we have hurt each other in the past but now are actually working to improve and try to be more loving.

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I know my mums relationship with her mum is very important, they were both so close and loved each other so deeply and I know my mum wants that with me, it may not be as close but I’d like to think that we are friends now and will be able to carry that on for many more years.

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I know that when I was at my lowest, it was my mum who dragged me out of it, she was willing to listen to my sadness, to feel my lethargy and to (thankfully) not judge. I know sometimes I wouldn’t have been 100% honest with her during those times as I know that if I had been, it would have been more hurtful (I mean, how can you tell your own mother that you’d sat looking at a bottle of pills for over 4 hours just debating who would be the one to find you, how to make sure it wasn’t her, how to look after her even when I wasn’t here) so although I know I lied, I’m so proud of her for just taking everything I said and not making me feel bad for struggling. I think we both learned a lot during that time (if nothing else that things we had both said in the past had really affected the other person so to be more mindful of the off the cuff comments we make, as we do not know what the other person will be going through) and I think that our relationship really matured and became much more close at that point. I know now I can be honest with mum, I can treat her as a person not just my mum and that helps a lot.

One of the few things that I took from my last bout of therapy was about learning to accept your parents as human beings, people capable of both good and bad things as we all are and to not hold them up to a higher standard. Everyone makes mistakes, just because they are your parents doesn’t mean they have all the answers and throughout my childhood, my mum and dad made the best decisions as they saw them at the time, doesn’t mean they all worked out that way but that I should stop holding them responsible for things which they didn’t know the outcome of. I used to hate the fact we moved (when we moved there) as I felt so alone and scared, but ask me now and I say that Spain was the best thing to ever happen to me, it strengthened me, it shaped me, it formed me into the wonderful person I now am and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Like I say, they thought it was a good idea but I cannot blame them for the bad things I went through by them making the decision in the first place.

Now we are closer, I try to go away with mum every year (we didn’t this year but hopefully next year?) and we tend to go up to London, wander round, see the world, catch up, do touristy things and generally just relax. We don’t really do much in depth stuff but we spend time together, eat, drink, put the world to rights and just enjoy each others company. Last year when we were in London we took a boat tour on the Thames and saw one of the boats my dad used to work on back in the day – The Will, I had to take a pic of her with it, 2 of my dad’s favourite things in 1 pic 😀

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I do genuinely love my mum, she is caring, kind, a bit stroppy upon occasions but when she wants to show her love, she will do so. I wish she and my brother were closer as I feel that would make her happier but I hope that no matter what, she knows how important she is in my life. I genuinely don’t think i’d be here still if she hadn’t been there when everything went bad, even from letting me cry in her lap when my heart was broken, or just taking photos away from me that a friend sent of me at her wedding and they made me cry. I looked so awful and I’ve never been a fan of myself but these were simply appalling and I wanted to throw them away but mum kept them for me as I didn’t want to offend my friend in the first place. She has influenced me and made me a lot of the person I am, a fighter, someone who is opinionated, brave, silly, loving, very sweet towards her friends and someone who will help out in a crisis.

One of my favourite things about my mum is her humour, I love making her laugh and I am very grateful she puts up with my dire jokes and still laughs. I know there’s times I really tickle her and I love that, I’m hoping that no matter what happens in our future, I can keep her laughing for as long as possible.

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I suppose this can be summed up as a massive thank you to my mum, for everything she does. She is brilliant and caring and I am so grateful she is in my life, I know not everyone’s relationship with their parents is strong as mine and I know I’m lucky for having them. I know we don’t always get on, or see eye to eye but I hope that our relationship is better than it was and continues to improve that way. You drive me mental at times, but I wouldn’t change you for the world.

Love you so much mum, hope it’s a great birthday and you have a wonderful time, see you Thursday and then Sunday for a lunch and presents xx

Day 27: If I could have another talk with someone who isn’t here now………

This is a tricky one, there’s a few people in my life who I miss, who aren’t here to talk to and having to pick one of these people over all the others is HARD.

I think that as this is my blog, I’m going to break the rules a little bit. I’m going to talk about a few people and the chats i hope we’d have.

I’ve spoken before about Sandra – a friend who lived in Spain when we were there, she passed away earlier this year and to be honest, veery time I think about her I cry so if you want to know about her, feel free to read the blog here: Thoughts on the loss of a friend

In my life I’ve also lost a few family members, my cousin Kevin when I was very young and sadly, it’s been so long that I remember very little about him, he was always lovely to as far as I can remember and his death was sudden and unexpected so more like an instant loss. I’m sad that I didn’t know him better.

For the longest time, the most important person I knew who passed away was my nan, my mum’s mum. She was amazing my nanny, she looked after both myself and my brother and I used to love going to the market with her and she would buy us crinkly chips from a chip shop in Boston and we’d go to the riverside and sit and eat them and I loved that so much. When we moved into our house where she was going to live with us, I used to go and sit with her most evenings, she just used to accept me and love me and I think that’s why I hold so much guilt about her death. I’d had a birthday party – it was my 10th Birthday and when we’d got home we’d eaten and had a really fun evening. I’d gone to bed and realised that I needed batteries for my walkman (or something like that which i’d been given for my birthday) so I went downstairs to get some and she was in the kitchen washing up. She asked me to go and get her angina spray which I did and then I took myself back off to bed.

She died that night and I’ve never forgiven myself for just walking away, I should have stayed, I should have gone and got my mum, I should have done SOMETHING and I hate the fact I didn’t.

I know (well a lot of people have said) that she wouldn’t blame me for that but still, everytime I think about it, I tear up – like right now in fact – I wish it’d been something I didn’t have to deal with, it changed the life and way of our family and I know that as far as I’m concerned, my life was better afterwards – not because of it, but the way our life went made me a better person and I can only hope that if she is up there looking down, she isn’t too ashamed of the person I am. I’d like her to like me, even now.

I think that apart from Nanny, the only other real sense of loss and death I had was when a friend of mine was murdered.

Stevie was great, a friend of my brother back in the UK that when I moved back, really looked out for me, she was caring and loving but also could be completely blunt and honest, generally she was the “grown up” in our group – if we ever had bbqs she would be the cook; lest we poisoned ourselves! and despite the fact that I wasn’t living in Boston when she was killed, it really hit me hard. She was taken from us and I know that her death caused a lot of division in the group, simply because it sent us all down our own little paths of sadness and grief. My sister in law Bird rang me (on my mums birthday) to say she had been killed and I hated the fact I was so far away from them and couldn’t hug and weep with them, I was alone basically and I know that I unloaded on my mum – which was awful considering it was her special day but I’m so lucky because once again, she picked me up and made sure I was ok.

I went up to Boston to see my friends for my birthday and unfortunately, it turned out that was the day of Stevies Cremation. I couldn’t cope with going to the crem and just had a quiet time at the riverbank – where I spent time with my nan – and I cried and talked to her a lot. I miss her so much and hate that I hadn’t seen her in so long before her death but I am glad that the last time I saw her was such a surprise for both of us and her facial expression of shock, disbelief and then a massive grin and cuddle will stay with me forever.

There have of course been other people in my life who I have lost, but these are lets say the most heartbreaking for me. People who I loved who sadly I didn’t get enough time with.

I genuinely now would rather tell everyone how I feel about them and have them think i’m overly close or I am a soft touch. I never want to hear that I’ve lost someone – no matter how insignificant in my life – and feel that they didn’t know how important they were to me. I’d rather have love than hate and I’d hate to argue for example and then find out there’s no way to take the mean words back.

I know i’m a softy and a bit wet but still, having lost important people in my life, I need to keep those who I care about more in my life, I don’t like letting go and that is often why I will send letters, random gifts etc to my friends, they should know throughout the year how I feel as opposed to just doing it because it’s considered the norm……I hate Christmas for that exact reason, I have people stressing over what they can get for everyone they know and they would rather get Christmas crap than actually get something special for someone. I’d rather get a gift in March from someone who saw it and thought i’d love it as opposed to just something throwaway at Xmas anyday.

So, if I could have a chat with someone who isn’t here, I’m greedy, I’d want to speak to so many people, I’m not sure they’d like me, the person I am and the way I am but I’d like to think they see me and are happy I’m living my life, the best I can.

Day 26: What holds you back?

01. You keep waiting and waiting and waiting for the right time.

02. Your planning and focus are in disarray.

03. You change nothing and expect different results.

04. You close your mind to new ideas and perspectives.

05. You refuse to accept necessary risks.

06. You let a few negative people fill your mind with garbage.

07. You avoid the truth.

08. You make the rejections of yesterday the focal point of today.

09. You aren’t taking small steps every day.

14. You want things to be perfect.

To be honest, I KNOW what holds me back but wanted to see what the world of the internet said. I think some of the above ring very true and others not so much, I get that these are considered the “main” reasons someone would be holding themselves back but I think that these may differ from person to person.

I know that the main thing which holds me back is me, my mind, my perceptions and my views. I am quite self conscious and doubtful of my own talents. I have a huge fear or failure – which is weird because i’ve succeeded in every challenge i’ve had so far but despite that, every challenge I face I face with fear and wanting to not let people down. I have low self esteem (which is getting better slowly but is still quite prevalent) and I know that this can stop me making plans and sticking to them. I find that it is easier to hide and give in often before something serious could happen. There are few exceptions to this but most often in my life, I need someone else pushing me to do things. I’d love to be strong and independent, and dont get me wrong. I can be. Just not that often.

I spent a long time when I was younger waiting for the right time, I genuinely thought life went 1 -2 -3 4 etc. and needed to learn that there never really is a right moment, so waiting around for one is pretty much a waste of my time. I’ve written before about my ability to procrastinate and waste my time and it is something I’d like to turn away from. There’s so many crafty/arty things i’d like to do and I’m hoping some of my 2019 resolutions will help there.

Some of the articles I’ve been reading recently have offered ways to help yourself be more forward, less likely to hold back and to aid you in moving forward to the place you want to be, I’ve written some of these down and am going to implement them more next year. Keep checking up to see how it’s going!!

  • Learn to let go – I’ll be honest, I try and practise this already as I used to hold on to stuff for YEARS and the problem with me stressing/thinking about/worrying over something is that it’s my life and time that it’s taking. If I have an argument with someone and spend the next week worrying, that’s just wasted my week, the other person probably doesn’t even care.
  • Start Small – there’s no point in setting yourself major goals (see the world from space – handily forgetting to become an astronaut first: extra cool points for whoever reads and know who said that!) and failing at the first step, take little steps and each one will help you along the road you’re travelling.
  • Keep your happy thoughts at the forefront of your mind – I do this by using my Happy Jar, happy thoughts are kept in there to remind me and this helps me keep positivity at the forefront and try to ignore more of the negativity. Or at least, to try and focus more on the good as opposed to just getting bogged down with the bad.
  • Try and schedule more – I am definitely going to do this next year, even if it’s just Saturday mornings before I meet up with my mum that I get up earlier, sling some music on and make some things, be it sewing, writing, jewellery making or cooking, it’ll hopefully help me actually do more and feel more positive.
  • Take responsibility – this tends to be easier said than done, I’m often stuck between wanting to be me, but also taking responsibility to try and be better. I know it winds up some of my friends when I say  “I am who I am, take it or leave it” but that is how I feel, I don’t want to change myself for other people, I like me and the person I am but can see why some people feel that that statement is a really negative thing. I suppose I mean it one way, but it can be interpreted as many others. I am trying to spend less time being horrible for no reason, I used to spend a fair amount of time on Twitter watching and getting involved in arguments and often would just say things I knew would be hurtful and now I look back, I realise I probably shouldn’t have acted like that so in a way, I suppose I am now taking some responsibility, which I’m hoping shows growth and an improvement of the person I am.
  • Think more about others – I’m happy to say that I generally do think of others as opposed to myself. I’ve really channeled that this year with #PratchettPostal and am thrilled it got such a positive response. I’ve been making payments every month to a food back locally – sadly I know this doesn’t help everyone so am hoping to change next year to a homeless charity and am trying to be as kind to people as I can, be that giving more compliments, sending random little gifts and cards to friends or even just smiling and spending time with people, every little helps I feel.

This actually turned out longer than I expected – which is nice! I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions as to their own self care/forward planning and I will keep updating you as to my progress towards being an overall more positive person.

 

 

 

Day 25: What’s in your closet?

Well, shockingly, clothes are the main component as I would assume everyone else’s would be…..

I’m not a girly girl at all, and although I know this will dismay some of my more feminine readers, I tend to have a pile of clothes as casual and then a selection of work stuff.

I went through a period a few years back where I was much larger and tended to just wear work clothes – anything in black to try and hide away from people’s attention and then when I would get home, I would change into pjs or a onesie. Again, anything to hide away. But I had many more pjs and that style of clothing as opposed to going out clothes. I cannot imagine ever being one of those people who is comfortable clothes shopping, or even someone who likes the way they look and therefore shops to accentuate it but I am much happier now at least to browse, and think about clothes so am pretty sure, if nothing else, my mum feels a bit better about things!

I think to be honest, I tend to focus more on jewellery, bags and shoes – not handbags and heels specifically but I’ve always believed that no matter what size I am, I can still have some lovely accessories, I find it easier to accessorise than focus on the main clothing and trying to make the best of a bad situation!

Our closet at home has a massive top shelf (it’s fitted into the wall of our bedroom) so before I lived there the man had his selection of CDs, Vinyls and general storage up there. I haven’t encroached on this but have added a little step to make it less like he’s trying to crawl into Narnia every time he fancies listening to music!

When I was a kid, before we moved to Spain, my parents had purchased an old Convent to live in, it was brilliant and each bedroom had a little sink and fitted wardrobe which was massive. I used half of it for clothing and the other half for toy/book storage and I can remember reading a book about a girl who had a wardrobe like that and she made a dolls house out of a couple of the shelves. I loved this idea but thankfully had actual dolls houses to play with and the wardrobe (apart from being a good place to hide if I was feeling down) was just left as storage. To be honest I dread to think how badly it would have looked had I tried that!

I do have a couple of girly items – she says, totally contradicting an earlier paragraph – and was really lucky last week as I managed to find a dress to wear for our work Xmas party, the main exciting thing about this for me was the fact that it has pockets……all dresses should have pockets as far as i’m concerned, at least then I don’t need to worry about having an handbag!

I also keep some clothes which are favourites of mine from my past. I have a dress I bought in Spain when I was 14, it’s covered in cartoon strips and I loved it then, and I still love it now. When I moved back to the UK I cut the arms off it as it was getting too tight and obviously as I’ve aged and got fatter, the dress became too small but still, I couldn’t bare to get rid of it so it stayed with me throughout all of my moods. Imagine my shock when after going down to a size 12, I managed to get into it…….ok, it’s now short like a top and therefore will NEVER be worn outside my house, but it really made me smile to know that I could still pull it off!

I’m going to take a couple of pics of favourite things from my wardrobe to add to this, they won’t be epically amazing to other people probably but I think it’ll probably show my “style” or lack of!! What do you think? Do you have specifics that you love and keep for special occasions, or something you love but don’t wear anymore? Share your stories, I’d love to hear them.