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

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!

READING CHALLENGE 2019.JPG

 

 

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.

Day 23: What are your worst habits

I drink, I smoke, I dont eat healthy enough, I dont take enough exercise, I doubt myself, I have been known to just veg and procrastinate when actual useful things could have been done. I doubt everything. I feel self conscious talking and expecting people to listen. I try to do things well but often fail miserably.

So, as above, a fair few bad habits there really. Nothing like, gross but I know that things like when my mum says she’s doing nothing, what she actually means is she’ll be doing laundry, cleaning, gardening bits, cooking, making things, knitting and watching or listening to stuff whereas when I say i’m doing nothing, I am mostly wrapped up on the sofa, cuppa tea waiting and trash tv on the box. I genuinely can do nothing, which shows how lazy I am!

I know that the fact that I smoke and drink is a bad thing but I genuinely think that my smoking helps keep me calm and less likely to commit murder. Drinking is the same really, I know that diet wise it is not good – empty calories and all that – but I do very much enjoy the odd jack or two. It’s been a while since I went out for cocktails, simply because they tend to be really bad for me but they do help me have fun when out and about hehehehe.

I am really bad at procrastination, I would love to do so much in my life but I spend so long thinking about what to do that I run out of time to do at least 50% of the things i’d like to do. I was saying to the man yesterday that I need to have a jewellery making time, just to try and cut down on the amount of beads etc I have around the flat. I know we don’t have a huge amount of room so tend to stack things on top of others ad infinitum but I am looking forward to when we move to be able to have more of a crafty/art room where these things can be stored and there is space and light to use and appreciate them completely.

People keep telling me that I need to sort my sleep patterns as they are really not healthy, I go through periods that are sleeping heavily and others where for days I will have the bare minimum. I don’t have much of a problem with this as it’s been like this for years but it is always the first thing my doctor told me when I went to ask for help – years ago – was that a better sleep pattern would help. As it was, I was working 5am – 2pm more or less so going to bed early wasn’t an issue, it was that I was still trying to have a full day and then sleeping from say 9pm, apparently I should have been aiming to go to bed about 7pm, which to me was mind boggling! Anyway, I digress, now I am working mocu more normal 9 – 5 but my partner works very early so we tend to have a couple of late nights and then a few ridiculously early ones……when that happens I tend to listen to an audiobook or two until I pass out. I genuinely do not know how to amend my sleep pattern, I think it’s too ground in! If anyone has tips, feel free to pass them on 🙂

I think the above shows a good variety of my bad habits, there are soooooo many more I’m sure (cue my friends dropping in to let me know all those things i’ve missed) but I’d like to think that although I do have bad habits, I am not a bad person. I suppose only time will tell.

Day 19 – What makes me happy

Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness. The “pursuit of happiness” is something this country is based on, and different people feel happiness for different reasons.

Below is a good selection of different things that make me happy, this isn’t a definitive list but merely something to show there are many different things – of differing levels which can bring happiness. I’d rather it not be possessions as I like to live with the thought that if I lost everything tomorrow in a fire or some such, I’m glad to know that a lot of the things that bring me happiness

smiles, moose, orangutans, silly videos, cheese, feeling comfortable, travel, seeing friends, having a man who I adore. so many things really.

I’d like to think that I do try to be optimistic, I know that some of my friends would be amazed to read that as I can be incredibly pessimistic and think that generally I have pretty bad luck but am pleased that after a few bad years, I now actively try to look for the positive as opposed to just settling on the negative.

Above is a good selection of things that make me smile.

My family and loved ones are amazing, I count some of my closest friends as family and am so lucky that they seem to like me (I often do not know why) and they’ve always been there for me, through thick and thin. I’m lucky to still have both my parents around and love spending time with them, I sadly don’t get to see my brother as often as i’d like as I live so far away and Public Transport in this country is a joke but I love the fact that when I need his support, he will be there for me.

Travel is a good thing for anyone I believe, there are some places I’ve never been that i’d love to go to but even if it’s just a weekend away from my normal home, I enjoy it, it doesn’t need to be glamourous or expensive to be a good place to holiday – saying that though, I really could do with a sunny holiday – it’s been bloody years!!

Food factors a huge part in my life, not as much as previously (when I’m pretty sure i’d eat my feelings and those of the people around me) but it is still a sign of my love and care – so if I offer to cook for you, pretend you like it haha – and a good way to make me smile. I know that’s really pathetic but food and the way people prepare, spend time over, care about is a sign of love for others.

Moose are my favourite animal (sorry Orangutans, you guys come a close second) and am so tempted to get myself the cross stitch kit above, I think there’s so many craft things I want to do so being given the option to craft AND make myself something fun is brilliant.

Drag is a relatively new thing in my life but I love it. I love seeing people be their authentic selves and being happy in the person they are. I’ve watched people hide themselves for fear of judgement and to see people finally go “F*ck this” and just decide to make themselves happy, and to live happy is amazing. I’ve always been completely comfortable as the person I am – despite the lack of self esteem and self hatred of my outer form – and I’d hate to be stuck like that, to not be comfortable enough or feel safe enough to just be themselves and that’s something if I could improve for everyone, I totally would do.

Some good things I have used to make myself happy – I was once told that faking it till you make it is a good thing here as you can trick your own brain into being happier, it doesn’t work all the time, but enough of the time – are below. I’m interested to see what other people do for themselves to give themselves a pep or whatnot. Feel free to let me know, lets share the love and happiness and see if we can’t spread a smile around the world.

1. Commit to doing one nice thing for yourself every day. – people focus all their energy on other people putting themselves last, try to not always do this, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of other people.
2. Listen to yourself – trust your judgement and do things which make you happy, People talking shit since the beginning of time, less they paying your bills pay them bitches no mind!
3. Forgive yourself – be more compassionate to yourself, you give others slack, so why hold yourself to higher standards?
4. Accept yourself as you are right now – it may not be perfect, but it is what it is, be strong in the person you are as there is NO ONE like you, you are a snowflake – not in the derogatory sense but in the sense of you are unique, individual and in your own way, perfect.
5. Eliminate toxic people in your life – not always possible but it’s just not worth your life constantly struggling with other people’s issues. Worry about yourself more and let others worry about themselves.
6. Prioritize your health – self care is very important. If you burn out, how will you be able to help other people.
7. Stop skipping meals – seriously, never a good thing, even if it’s a snack, or a salad or something small and tapas like, keep your energy up.
8. Breathe!
9. Give yourself a welcoming space – I found making my bed every morning meant that when I got in at night, it felt a bit like new sheets. It feels so much nicer than just crawling into an unmade pit! Plus, if I were to win the lottery I’d probably ask for fresh sheets everyday – but until then, I will just make do haha!
10. Get some sunlight – sunlight helps make you happy, if you feel a bit blue, even if it’s cold I always recommend going out for a walk. Wrap up warm and go for a wander, you might see something great but if not exercise and sunshine will help lift the mood.
11. Buy premium products for yourself – I do this, not always as I am inside a very frugal person but I do see the point, why treat other people but not yourself? I’m not saying only buy premium for you and screw everyone else but you deserve a treat every now and again too.

 

 

Day 12 – Favourite foods

This is a tricky one for me, I mean, a REALLY tricky one. I think genre or theme of food will be easier….

I am food addict *well, obsessive; I’m not sure if people would agree but I love food, I think about it, I plan my days around it, I have so many plans for dinner parties/food I want to make for people/things I want to try and play with and this tends to take up at least 80% of my life.

I’m happy to say that despite there being some things i’ve never experienced food wise, I have so many loves of food from around the world and those I will write a little bit about below. Probably broken down into areas of where they come from and I hope if nothing else, this might make your mouth water, or inspire you to try something new.

Also, if anyone has any good suggestions as to things to try/new directions for my food obsessiveness, please, do not hesitate to say. I love hearing about other people’s enjoyment of food almost as much as I actually enjoy eating!!

Both of my parents are really good cooks – my dad was a chef and mum I feel has the same food obsession as me! They make epic food – mum is the best at curries and dad makes superb food from all over the place – he’s great at pies and pastry stuff, I wish I could but i’ve got hot little hands and that for Pastry is never good!

Italian – I adore Italian food. I think probably if I had to give up all other foods and just settle with one, this would be it……maybe, possibly not. But having pizzas, pasta’s and of course, Gelato on offer sounds excellent to me! I’m currently obsessed with this restaurant in Southampton, lovely place to eat and spend some time and it’s somewhere I cannot allow myself to go often otherwise i’d be the size of a house!!

When I was doing my A levels I worked in a local Italian restaurant, I loved it. Despite the long hours, the rubbish pay, the stress of holding everything down at the same time but my favourite memories were from the end of the night, Mas (the chef) was happy to cook us all a meal to sit down and eat together or if it was a night I had other plans, he was great at doing me some pasta and bits to take to the pub – often swapped for pints, well, except the pasta carbonara he made, that was ALWAYS mine!

Ideal Italian Meal – Prosciutto and Melon, Carbonara and garlic bread and of course…..Pistachio Ice-cream.

Indian – Is almost the most comfortable food I’ve ever had. I’d happily become a veggie if this was the only food I could eat, I do love veg and the variety of bits and bobs you can try here are simply divine. I am such a lover of flavour, the thing with curries is you can have differing temperatures for them but for me the overriding thing of focus is the taste. There are a huge variety of tastes, textures and cooking styles which mean that I don’t think I could ever be bored!

I’ve always fancied a trip to learn how to properly cook Indian food but I know that the food I eat from takeaways is probably very different to actual Indian food as it is eaten over there. I suppose the joy from a takeaway is being able to travel the entire country and then pick and choose.

Ideal Indian Meal – Vegetable Samosas, Bhindi Bhaji (ladies fingers), Saag aloo (spinach and potato), Samba Daal (this is a daal made by my local takeaway, it’s full of lentils and veg and it’s super hot which I adore) and then for dessert? Hmm, maybe just more of the same?

Spanish – When we moved to Spain, I was already aware of the standard spanish fare, but I learned so much while I was there and there’s been some recipes I’ve been introduced to which I adore and there are others which if I never had to eat them again I’d be completely fine with!

Lenteja is one of the meals I now adore, it’s a warming lentil stew, often cooked with potatoes, pig knuckles (I use chorizo) and amazing bursts of warmth and comfort. It is a real classic for me and something I feel i’m going to be tinkering with for years until I get a recipe I know is foolproof!!

The thing I found most bizarre when eating out in Spain was the lack of veggie/vegetarian options, apart from salad or weirdly, tinned veg. I used to love Salad about 75% of the year but seriously, even in Spain, salad doesn’t cut it in January!! It was a pleasure when I came back to the Uk to be able to get loads of variety and ok, I know a lot of it comes from Spain but I never thought I’d get better veg options in the UK – i’ve been spoiled obviously!!

Ideal Spanish Meal – Gambas Pil-Pil or Lenteja, Pollo con Vino de Competa (a local wine which was produced in our Village) and then hmmmmmmm, crema catalana, which is very much like flan but has burned sugar on the top. It is simply superb!

English – I think finally I should talk about all of the foods that I adore from this country, that i’m obsessed with or for the love I have of these as far as I’m concerned, ultimates in comfort food.

There’s so many things that I love, cottage pie, stews, roasts (oh the mighty roast) steamed puddings, cheese, pasties, cereals and the like, as you can see, a huge variety and probably not much that can be considered healthy.

I do very much love cooking and using my Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker so a lot of the above tend to be staples in my household. We’ve been experimenting with chilli con carne recently but I have a hankering for a good old cottage pie, some veg and gravy. Sounds good now that the weather is becoming more wintery!

So what about you? If you had to decide on a favourite food, meal or something like that, what would it be?

 

 

Day 9 – 5 Current Goals

I have a lot of targets that I set myself – see my 40 for 40 list as a good example but I try to also do littler things throughout the years, like this years Pratchett Postal.

These are some challenges I have been trying to do this year so thought i’d share some of those and then we can have a re-cap as to how things are progressing and if there are still things happening throughout the rest of the year.

1: Pratchett Postal – Objective: To buy up duplicate Pratchett books (Neil Gaiman too apparently this has now been extended to) and then send them out to complete strangers online.

I decided to do this on Twitter as i’m so used to Twitter being the place where people are horrible to each other but I was desperate to prove that nice people inhabit that place too. I think that this has gone fairly well, I mean, thus far I have sent 80 books out this year, made a whole heap of new friends, learned some really interesting stuff about both myself and the world of Discworld and more than anything, am really pleased that the love I have for this series, is now being passed around the planet to others.                       pratchett 12

 

2:  Improve my writing – Objective: To become more comfortable with writing and expressing myself.

I love blogging but have always found that I do not have the impetus to keep writing and publishing every day so have set myself more manageable goals of writing twice a week (until this current challenge which is a daily thing, wish me luck because i’m scared!! I’m hoping that if nothing else, I find people who I like to read and to find people who like what I say. I don’t ever think i’d be writing novels or the like but I started this as a way to vent, deal with things and get my thoughts out and I genuinely hope that by the end of this year, I will be able to continue this and continue improving.

3:  Take part in more racing/running events – Objective: To become healthier and fitter, I have set myself a challenge of a Marathon before I turn 40 so thought I’d start small.

I signed myself up for a challenge in January to start small and cover 50 miles throughout the month then after that, a couple of 5ks, a colour run and a local 10k. I achieved the January target with no issues and the colour run and 5k, though I was incredibly slow and unfit, both were finished and both went well. Unfortunately due to health issues – relating to my knee – I had to drop out of the 10K, I did think maybe I could walk it but was worried I’d be too slow and therefore not actually finish…..am hoping that next year will be better, I’ve booked to do a couple more 5ks via Virtual Racing so if nothing else, I will be doing the work, it may not be fast, but am proud i’m getting better. This is my before (from 2015 on the Left) and the now, 2018 on the right.

colour run 2015 & 2018.JPG

4: Attend a convention – Objective: To attend a convention into something I enjoy. 

Actually this year, I’ve actually attended 2. Both superb fun and definitely a good introduction for hopefully bigger and better ones next year, or at least, in our future.

Firstly in August I went to Dragworld Uk – a festival of glitter and fabulousness all to do with the world of Drag. I loved it (and wrote a blog about it which you can read here https://wordpress.com/post/halfbakedproductions.blog/1618)   I loved it, cannot wait to go back (the pre release sale happened yesterday) and this time the man in my life is coming with me. He has some social issues (he has a lot of anxiety) so I’m hoping that to be surrounded by so many lovely and accepting people will help him. I’m already so excited!!

The second con in October was more for my other half than for me, he is very into board games (ok, we both are but he spends more time watching vids/listening to podcasts about them) but we knew there was a large expo up in Birmingham which sadly we could not attend – money for public transport in this country is insane) so when we found out there was a smaller convention in Southampton, it seemed like a no brainer, I booked us a cheapish hotel nearby and we decided to take my copy of Ankh Morpork in case there wasn’t much we wanted to play. We also found a local board games cafe, with a superb collection of games and also really lovely friendly staff and have definitely decided that we will go back, maybe even just specifically for this place!

The con itself was good, we met a couple of new people, played some new games – and some games that we probably wouldn’t own but that it’s fun to experience. It was a good introduction to a little convention and I’m hoping that next year we can do something biggr and better.

5: Get my 10% body award with Slimming World. Objective: To lose 10% of my starting body weight (at the time I was basically 13 stone and a fat size 18). I spent a long time as a younger person trying to diet and adhere to beauty standards but as I’ve got older, I’d got bigger and eating became a really important thing to me. I’d met up with some wonderful old friends and they (as usual) took photos to memorialise the day but when I saw them, they were horrible. I looked awful. I’m really used to being the fat one out of my friends but I felt gross.

Luckily my work were doing a special promotion with Slimming World where when you lost 10% of your weight, my work would pay back a max of 12 weeks subs, this seemed like an ideal way of doing it and threw myself into it. It took 14 weeks in total but I lost just under 2 stone. I am now a much healthier size 12 and feel amazing! it’s mad really as i’ve never been this size before and I love it.

I should be clear, at no point did my other half say I had to lose weight or anything like that, I did this for me and thankfully he still finds me attractive and I know he sees that I’m so much more confident, which for me is the best thing.

So there you have it, 5 challenges or goals I am currently working on. I have really enjoyed these so far so am looking forward to more next year – or maybe not more, maybe just improving my current ones and continuing to work towards my 40 for 40 list. What about you? Do you have any challenges that you are setting yourself or working towards?

 

 

 

Day 7 – Your 5 Favorite Songs

This is a tricky one, my music taste can change from minute to minute so I think this blog should possibly be renamed as “My favourite 5 songs, right now”

1: Geronimo: RuPaul – I really love this, it has a great mix of dance and sass, I’m a pop girl at heart so this really speaks to me, plus, to be honest, the Ru Obsession is real and therefore anything related to MamaRu is a positive for me!

album 1

2: Wish: Nine Inch Nails – alright, I know I said I was a pop girl at heart but this band has been one of my favourites for most of my life now. I got introduced to them in my teens and have only met a handful of people who have even heard of them, so imagine my surprise and pleasure when I met the man, we were chatting and they came up as conversation! Means that we were meant to be in my opinion. He has also learned that if he walks into the house and i’m listening to this song, he should probably turn around and come back again later once i’m calmer.

album 2

 

3: Voodoo People: The Prodigy – This song is one that has stayed with me for years and weirdly, I don’t yet feel like it’s been over played. I can still listen to both this song, and the album it comes from and be transported back to being 17 or so again and having a dance with my friends with my brother behind the decks. A song that really takes me back to my past.

album 3

 

4: Cheap Thrills: Sia – one of those songs which I heard, had no idea who had made it but it made me smile, laugh, want to dance and generally feel good about life. I’m not the biggest Sia fan as I feel that she’s a bit shrieky and ballady for me but this is just a funky song.

album 4

5: Justified and Ancient: KLF ft Tammy Wynette – this is, and probably always will be one of my favourite bits of music, my funeral song, a song I remember from my youth (all those years ago) and that I am so pleased is in my life. The album this comes from is superb and well worth a listen if youre a fan of dance 90s hits. Tammy Wynette’s voice fits perfectly and even the first few beats of this song will guaranteed have me on my feet dancing like an idiot, no matter where I hear it!

album 5

So there you have it, 5 songs I love. I cannot say they are my favourites as it completely depends on my mood (Guns and Roses, Pendulum, Faithless, and the Beatles should all feature in a list of songs I love but in this instance, as I’m feeling today, what is above is what you got!)

What about you? Do you have songs that help calm you, or bring you back to humanity? What is the song you want to have played at your funeral? Is that too deep and dark a question? ok, probably, so if that’s the case, tell me about a special song in your life, I’d love to hear new music and suggestions.