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!

READING CHALLENGE 2019.JPG

 

 

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!

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 24: What’s your hidden talent

talent (or gift, or aptitude) is the skill that someone has to do something that is difficult. It is an ability that someone is born with. People say they are “born with a talent”. Someone who has talent is called talented. Talented people may have more than one talent. Music, dancing, acting, sports, or other skills have people with talent.

Even if someone has talent they may still have to work very hard if they want to perform well. Some people become quite good at something even if they do not have much talent, but if they are willing to work very hard at the skill.

The word talent used to mean a weight and a piece of money in Assyria, Greece and Rome. This is the sense in which it is used in the Bible in the parable of the five talents (Matthew, xxv, 14-30).

I’m a bit puzzled about the topic of this blog, I mean, I understand people do have talents that don’t need to be shoved down other people’s throats but I don’t know why people should need to keep their talents hidden, Are we that uncomfortable that we cannot just accept some people’s talent? On one of the latest Drag Race series, one of the contestants is very plain in saying she has talent, she can sing, dance, act etc and she shouldn’t have to hide those things. She has to remain humble but not hide the talents away……it would be a waste if you have such talents to waste them and by hiding, I feel that’s exactly what is happening.

I dont actually think I have one……unless being able to drink like a fish once or twice a year counts. I took a couple of those online “who are you” quizzes and both told me my talent was Staying Calm, which for those who’ve seen/heard or read my rants will probably be a bit of a laugh really. I mean, I take 5 – 10 minutes per day when I get home to moan about everything…..even if i’ve had a brill day there will be something that has pissed me off but maybe I just try to hold it in and then process it when it isn’t actually going to negatively affect me!

There’s a lot of things that make me a talented person – empathy, language, some cooking talent, a good sense of humour and ability to make people laugh (at me or through something i’ve said or done – either way, i’ll take it!) but I wouldn’t say these things are hidden per se.

I am the person I am, not ideal but still I do try to be better and maybe it is a talent to constantly be pushing myself to be better? I genuinely don’t know.

Do you have a hidden talent? Why do you keep it hidden? Is it something that is good about you but that you dont want to shove it in people’s faces or is it something which very rarely needs a show off?

Maybe it’s something that changed for me as I got older, I used to feel a talent was something people had a natural ability for e.g. I have a good ear for language – not the best as I learned from a friend of mine when we both picked up a “Teach yourself Mandarin in 5 easy and 78 difficult lessons” (or some such) and spent half an hour reading whilst eating Chinese, at the end of that time, I could say the very basics: Hello, Goodbye, Thank you etc, he however was gibbering away like a native but I digress, I used to be very comfortable doing things, dancing, art, and other things whereas as I have aged, I feel less comfortable showing those things off especially as I am not very good at them – maybe it’s an ego thing, I mean I used to feel less worried about others judgement but then I’ve always been uncomfortable with judgement so maybe not. I genuinely do not know.

I think this is going to be another short one today, the topic has certainly made me think but it’s difficult to talk about a talent when you don’t feel you have one.

 

 

 

Day 22: What makes you sad


Sadness is an emotional pain associated with, or characterized by, feelings of disadvantage, loss, despair, grief, helplessness, disappointment and sorrow. An individual experiencing sadness may become quiet or lethargic, and withdraw themselves from others. An example of severe sadness is depression, a mood which can be brought on by major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder. Crying can be an indication of sadness.[1]

Sadness is one of the “six basic emotions” described by Paul Ekman, along with happiness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust.

I dont really like writing about what makes me sad because it’ll make me sad so this I cannot imagine will be a long topic.

I spend a lot of time feeling inadequate, not because i’m made to feel that way by other people but simply, that’s how I feel. Even when I am the only person in the room who can do what I can do I still don’t feel good enough. I know that this is something I need to work on and improve as it does make life tricky for other people around me and the fact that i’m like this makes me sad. I don’t know where it comes from and would rather it didn’t but just have to try and get better and to allow the negative voice it’s say but not to allow it to have the control over me it has done in the past.

Cruelty is another thing that makes me sad. I tend to be a very easily upset person when I see what horribleness exists within humanity. I tend to be more upset by cruelty to animals than to cruelty towards humans. I’m not saying that humans can treat each other as awfully as they do and i’m cool with that but more that humans often have a way of fighting back, which animals don’t. I adopted an Orangutan last year and am thinking of doing the same for as long as I can, to ensure at least 1 little love is safe from the bad parts of humanity. I can’t save them all but I like to think my little attempt is better than nothing.

Ok, I just cannot keep writing about sad things so I’m now going to be more irreverent, these things still make me sad but are less likely to have me sobbing my eyes out on a regular basis.

Lack of cake makes me sad – to be honest, since I stopped eating things with Palm Oil in them, I have had a severe lack of sweet things which saddens me. I get the reason behind it and that is a good thing but there’s times when people in our office have bought in treats on their birthday and EVERYTHING has Palm in it. It’s so sad and depressing that it is in so much but the sacrifice is totally worth it.

I do love my job very much but something that makes me sad is that at no point has a job been offered to me in either Librarian-ship (I do apply for every opening that comes up but sadly i’ve never been that lucky) or a more unlikely but fun job would be beach and cocktail tester for someone like a holiday company. I’m sure if I had to i’d slum it around the world testing beautiful soft white sands and wonderful exciting cocktails for others, you know, cos i’m selfless like that.

so yes, there’s a few things that make me sad, i’m sure there’s so much more that I could add to this but i’m really trying to not focus on the bad things so I’d rather not go on. Sorry for the short one today, hopefully there will be more info and fun topics tomorrow 🙂

 

Day 17 – Thoughts on Education

To be honest, i’m not sure how someone can be negative about education……I mean, who actually doesn’t want to be educated and aware of how the world works and why?

I had interesting times at school. I would say overall I enjoyed it, the places, the learning – not necessarily the people and the lack of confidence in myself or the stress I put myself under at the time for something which really, isn’t that big of a deal.

I’d like to share some fun stories from my school times throughout my life, about teachers who have inspired me and things which have shaped my views and behaviours! I have already spoken about let’s say, less than positive points in my learning, not being very confident, being bullied and the like but for this, I’d like to share snippets of stories which have had a positive influence on my life and the person I am. I hope that this shows my thoughts on Education and that also not all education is book learning based.

England – Tower Rd Primary School – Mr Pike – such a great teacher, who I don’t actually think was MY teacher at any point but he was definitely a massive influence and someone who made me question the world, and have a thirst for knowledge of how things worked and their places in the world overall. I’m lucky enough to have now found Mr Pike on social media and despite the fact he and I differ on a lot of views and opinions, I cannot thank him enough for being that first teacher who made me feel open to the world.

There are other great teachers that I had at Tower Rd but I cannot remember them all, there was the teacher who put up with myself a best friend acting out scenes from Monty Python, the art teacher who tried again and again to make me an artist, the piano teacher who couldn’t actually play piano, the teacher who let me take the school rabbit home for the holidays and even the English teacher who helped me with my squint and the stupid glasses/patches I had to wear. These people have all made me the person I began my life as (well, the first 11 years lets say) and that gave me a good base to work from.

I passed my 11+ (for younger readers, ask your parents) and went to the local girls grammar school, this was a strange few years for me as it was stressful at home, a bit disjointed with family life and a very sad time in our home and family. I found myself being bullied by some really awful human beings and thankfully the school librarian Miss Gallagher seemed to understand so she encouraged me, let me go in during the holidays to help out, made me feel comfortable and always willing to give new ideas/suggestions for someone who wanted to read everything. She genuinely got me interested in so many random things, plus was one of the first people I knew who was veggie/vegan leaning and I got a lot of info about things which interested her. I liked that she always treated me like an equal, as opposed to a student.

Mr and Mrs Ross were an epic teaching couple, he taught English and she taught Science (I cannot for the life of me remember which specific one) and in the years I was back in the High school after Spain were year heads. I was certain that they hated me – ok this is a bit dramatic, i’m pretty sure they didn’t hate me but I felt like they tolerated me, the fact I had come back off my own back and not gone through the standard system made me feel very out there and an oddity – but in the end of my time back in the sixth form I found them both to be really lovely supportive and made me Miss smiles in the U6 – how the heck that happened i have no idea!! Even she said when giving me the award that other people had brought up how positive as a person I was……I still to this day think they might have confused me with someone else!!

Moving to Spain when I was 14 was stressful and to begin with, I genuinely cannot remember anything about my teachers that I liked, there were ones who most definitely treated me differently due to the fact I was English. My language was not good enough in that first year and some issues did happen but as i’m trying to be positive I’m just going to focus on the fun teachers.

My favourite teacher, and actually someone who even then I considered more of a friend than a teacher was Vicente, my art teacher for the last year or so of Spanish school. He made us watch films and do creative projects and was always open to just learn about people. He and I shared a very similar music taste which as I was very singular whilst there, really helped me feel less weird. I can remember when a favourite band of both of ours brought out a new album, we knew there would be 1 copy in the music store in Malaga and both had plans to get it before the other. Running through a mall to beat a middle aged man to a quality album is a memory that will stay with me forever.

I’m actually really happy as Vicente and I are still friends, he keeps popping up in my life and I love seeing his gallery shows and the way his life has taken him. Am pleased he still accepts me for me though, he’s still incredibly encouraging – despite my general inability to do anything arty!!

The last teacher I will talk about is one who was a good teacher to me but a great show of how people power can have an effect, probably the first time I’ve ever seen that work in person.

The spanish teaching system is generally based on 1 year contracts, every new teaching student will be sent from school to school to hone their skills and our Music and religion teacher was actually brilliant and when we heard that he had been moved onto his next school we all felt like we would be detrimentally affected by this so the decision was made to have a student strike. We superglued all the doors and main school gates for a few days to no avail so then decided to actually have a sit out, we would refuse to go to classes until he was brought back.

To be honest, this was (and still sort of is) totally odd to me, I fully expected to be out there for say 20 mins before the teachers would just barrel out and order us inside with our tails between our legs……so 4 hours later I was getting cold and more importantly bored. I went home, deciding it would be better to at least do some homework or the like. Cue walking into the house to tell mum why I was home earlier……she totally didn’t believe me so (with my dad – for extra punishment if I was trying it on) frogmarched me down to my school gates to find out what I was on about…….EVERYONE was gone. I’ve never been so nervous in my life, bloody typical, I decided i’d had enough and went home, then the teachers had finally snapped and got everyone inside. I was cacking myself!!

Thankfully upon going inside the school I saw the school secretary who seemed surprised I was there, I explained why I was and her response to my parents at least made them see I was telling the truth. Scary but fun nonetheless.

We never did get that teacher back I don’t think but it certainly made me more likely to revolt in future about things I saw an issue with. Sometimes, lessons like that are invaluable.

I hope over the course of these little stories have given my opinion clearly, I loved learning – I still do – and I honestly feel it’s people like this who gave me this feeling and inspired me to always try more and learn more and see more.

I should also point out that there were a multitude of teachers I haven’t talked about, all good in their own way and therefore should not be ignored. I am immensely proud of my schooling and the person I have turned out to be, and I can only hope they feel the same way!

 

 

 

Day 15 – Write about your favourite childhood books.

I was obsessed with reading as a kid, I mean, pretty much all of my life as a younger person I was safe when I was surrounded by books. My brother and I were really lucky as kids but once he left home, I felt a lot lonelier and retreated more into the safety of books, this was only compounded by being the weirdo, the loner, the one who just generally was not liked by kids – that’s not 100% true, my friends were always and always have been amazing – but there were a lot of bullies who found me an ideal target to harass.

My mum says that even as a kid, she knew reading was a big thing for me because i’d read the back of packets, the papers, even when we went shopping, she knew I would take myself off to the paper/books area and just perch myself down and read. I got through countless books in this style which i’m sure the supermarket was thrilled about!

I had an excellent little book set as a child of the entirety of Beatrix Potter’s tales, all mini hardback with gorgeous artwork and they were kept in a special box, this was something that until very recently I have always had with me. I’ve never even dreamed of having kids so i’ve never really known what to do with them but you know when you have something childish yet wonderful that you can’t imagine being without? I think I gave them back to my mum and asked her to sell it, or at least find a home for them where hopefully they will bring as much joy to someone else as they did to me.

I was obsessed with Enid Blyton as a child, The Tales of the Faraway Tree made me wish for excitement, and new friends, and talking trees – ok, the last of those may have been less possible that the first two – and made me see magic in the oddest of places. She made me look at things differently and I’m sure that seeing creatures, clouds and trees and beginning to apply anthropomorphic characteristics to them comes from her.  Plus another joy of a group of friends who stuck together through everything, through thick and thin was appealing to me, I know I had a small group of friends at that point of my life and we used to do similar escapades when we could – going on bike rides, building forts, just playing and imagining what our lives were going to be.

I included Jennings and Derbyshire in this list as although they were not specifically favourites of mine, they have a very special place in my heart as mum used to read them to me when I was in the bath as a kid. I used to love them and for a long time kind wanted to live in that jolly hockey sticks, ginger beer kind of world. I think maybe my obsession with Mallory Towers and the Twins at St Clair’s also started around this time and made me consider that that kind of life was an option – which at no point was it but I always remained hopeful!!

jennings

Reading back the previous list this is all sounding a bit 50s housewife dream kind of style of reading, I swear I read other things too! Like Point Horror – which I’ve no idea are still in existence or if you are younger than me and now asking yourself “what the fudge is a point horror?” but before I started reading lets say, more adult horror stories like Stephen King and Shaun Hutson (if you’ve not read his stuff and like some gore and mental horror then he’s a good person to investigate); I was a bit obsessed with a sort of horror light. It was a series of books which tended to be passed around my group of friends and mostly they were mild frights but for some reason I can remember one book (weirdly my brain has scrubbed over most of the details – including the name) which really terrified me! Well worth it to be scared in the middle of the day with all the lights on….I’m too much of a coward nowadays to read books like that anymore!

We moved to Spain when I was 14 and thankfully I got a lot of books as leaving gifts from people, these became my closest friends when I arrived as I spent so long stressing about not being able to hold even the most basic of conversations without massive pauses and a dictionary so the joy of just being able to open a book and not have to worry was a joy. This is where my love of Pratchett came from. I’d read some beforehand but they really took hold of my imagination at that point. As I said, I really relished having books I could read without having to worry about not being clever enough – which is how I always felt when speaking to people.

I know I’ve banged on about Pratchett in many of my blogs and #PratchettPostal is actually going really well (i’m buying up second hand copies or cheapish bundles from fleabay, advertising them on twitter and then sending them out to fellow fans/new readers. He was such an influence and support to me that I would love to pass that on. If you’ve never read Pratchett you’re missing out but if you are on twitter, come find me at @polmoose83 and maybe come get yourselves a new book – or just come and say hey anyway, I love to have many people around to talk to!

So there we have it, once again, no real specifics but many different options. I would love to be more of a book reviewer in specifics and have read a few good book blogs which have inspired me but currently I’m not sure i’m good enough at specifics and writing my views. We shall see what 2019 has to offer in the way of challenges.

Day 10 – Best Trip Of Your Life

I’ve  been really lucky to be honest and travel has been a big thing for me, I haven’t taken advantage like I should have (travel while you can kids – it becomes harder as you get older) but even since I moved back to the UK, I have enjoyed travel and a variety of wonderful holidays.

I decided to write about a few places as some really stick in my brain but I also don’t want to make it seem like I have had only 1 good trip and the rest have all been mediocre.

  • CUBA
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
  • PARIS
  • ISTANBUL
  • EGYPT
  • PRAGUE
  • BARCELONA

I have travelled a few places (from the list above) and every place I go – even if bad things happen like in Cuba, I feel lucky to have seen the places and experienced the life. I definitely try to relish the positives and kind of work past the negatives.

Cuba was the first place I had travelled alone, I had a real wanderlust when I was younger and when I left school, worked for a while, but Cuba was going to be my jumping off point. Unfortunately, I got mugged halfway through the first week and came home early, before I had seen and experienced what I wanted to – something which I regret to this day!  I did love the joy of seeing the crystal clear waters, and the fun of speaking with Cubans and actually finding out about their lives, which was mind-blowing and if someone had said to me “give me all of your possessions” I would have done – and then at least been able to keep hold of my passport! anyway, it was still a wonderful trip.

Sadly I don’t even think I have any of the photos I took in Cuba. I’ve moved about 10 times since then and somewhere along the way, they got lost but the memories of watching storms fly overhead, snorkelling with a barracuda, gorgeous flowers tumbling down in the main hall of the hotel and the wonderful 4 pools and azure sea. Sometimes memories are good enough.

I went to the Dom Rep years ago with the ex who shall not be named. It was a good holiday but unfortunately he managed to ruin a lot of it – we met some lovely people who he managed to push away with his attitude but still, it was nice to see dolphins, swim and feed fish with bread and to generally meet new people. I am still in touch with a wonderful couple we met and that for me is a real bonus. Again the Caribbean is superb and wonderful and despite the negatives from it, I managed to take away good memories.

Paris is somewhere really special for myself and my family. My dad lived and worked out there and it is most definitely his spiritual home. He loves spending time there and I adore being there with him and exploring and seeing how his world has been shaped by it. I try to spend time there as often as I can, I love eating at the restaurants he worked in and seeing the world he lived among. I do enjoy this and love learning random facts every time we go.

My parents and I went to Istanbul a few years ago for my mums birthday. It was really wonderful to be able to stand on 2 continents as it were and a really wonderful place to spend time (I’m not sure how comfortable I would be now as I have heard it is much less friendly to westerners now but I still enjoyed it and apart from a couple of places, I didn’t feel harassed or uncomfortable. It is a wonderful mix of culture and style, such wonderful places to see, lots of beautiful markets and buildings and despite my general dislike of Churches, I do really like Mosques and had a great time exploring and seeing the places which I had read about.

I was so lucky to go to Egypt years ago with my parents. I’d always dreamed of seeing the Pyramids and I actually never thought it would be possible so when I was given the opportunity I jumped at it. I loved it, it is stunning and wonderful but the level of poverty is scary. I would happily go back but feel that my own personal levels couldn’t handle it. I can remember haggling for an ashtray for a friend, and I realised I was haggling between 40 and 50 pence. Which I’d have been happy to pay full price if you see what I mean. I’m not sure how I could cope. I’d definitely recommend it to people though, just be aware of the looky looky men who are very brazen.

Prague was a great holiday, we went for my dad’s birthday and I have written about it previously (see the link here: share about a recent holiday) but it is certainly somewhere I will be going back to. Full of history, culture, galleries, epic food and drink and a real great place to spend some time. Even those places which weren’t the most glam, were still fun.

Lastly I thought I’d talk about Barcelona. I truly love this place and spending time there, I feel comfortable and free there. Great bars, great buildings, fun places and epic restaurants. I used to travel there alone (very much like my dad with Paris) but am looking forward to showing it off to the man, sharing my life and the places I love with him, which, considering that Parc Guell is where I want to be scattered when I pass away, it would probably be a good thing for him to know where it is for example 😉

So, I’ve finally reached the end of my list. Ok so not specifically “The best trip” of my life but I prefer seeing the positives in a lot of things, at least this was I can appreciate all the trips I take as opposed to trying to make one better than the rest.

I’m hoping to take the man somewhere sunny next year – somewhere cheap and cheerful is always appreciated and we’ve never actually gone somewhere warm so if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears. I’d love somewhere with a bit of history and culture but also somewhere pretty and fun to enjoy nature and relax. Think that would cover all bases!