Friday, 14 April 2017

I think it's time

I've been thinking long and hard over the last couple of weeks, back and forth, forth and back, and I finally reached my decision a couple of days ago - it's time to say goodbye to the blog and to blogging in general. I can try and come up with a million and one reasons why, that will be heartfelt and mean so much, but the honest truth? I simply have no time.

I knew that going back to work full time would be challenging which it is, and I am in no way, shape or form moaning about this, but my 'spare' time is becoming increasingly precious and with that are the decisions I make as to how I spend that time. More and more of it is offline, as I now live my all day, every day online. Also a lot of it is away from a screen, or at least a computer/mobile screen. With my new job I sometimes find it hard to switch off, and often wake up in the early hours with tweets and replies to comments in my busy, over-thinking brain, and so lately, the past couple of weeks or so, I've been moving away from online and going old school - reading a book, lounging on the sofa chatting and listening to music, catching up on films I missed at the cinema (yes a screen, but definitely not the same 'noise' that you get from being online), playing with the dog, watching the sunset from the back garden...and it's been so much better for me. I've been sleeping better, and generally feel more rested. Sometimes just being is exactly what you need, what I need. 

Anyway, back to the blog. I have very much enjoyed my brief time here, and I intend to leave it open, just in case I suddenly decide that I want to come back (never say never!) but for now, it's time for me to say goodbye and switch to radio silence. 

Thank you, to everyone who came with me from the old blog, who found me along the way, whoever you are and wherever you are from, thank you. Maybe I'll see you again someday...

...but for now? Over and out. 

Friday, 31 March 2017

March favourites

I'm taking comfort in company that a lot of people feel like 2017 is flying by! A friend recently told me that someone had informed them of how many days it is until Christmas *splutters* I mean, what?! 

It's the end of another month which means it's time for what's been floating my boat for the last four weeks. Take it away...

I have to start with long weekends. Even though it was only a few days ago, that glorious, four day weekend was exactly what was needed. It was relaxing, we spent loads of time together, no-one had to go away, there wasn't any work to be done - the only requirement was to just be, and it was, quite simply, wonderful! I'm happy to report that the chance to do the same again is coming up very soon as Easter falls in April...come on, you long weekends! Woop! 

Next up, let's talk books. Specifically books by Emily St. John Mandel. So far, I've only read two (Station Eleven and Last Night in Montreal) but I have absolutely loved both of them. Montreal particularly has been an absolute delight. As we all definitely know by now, I'm not too good at the whole book review thing, but I would describe her writing as wistful with a side of melancholy. Which is actually my perfect book. There's additional love as the books have very simple white covers with a small illustration on them - also my perfect kind of book. I have no idea why I am so drawn to white book covers, but I can spot them a mile away in a book shop/library and inevitably found myself drawn to them even though I might have heard/read nothing about them before. Interesting fact: Barack Obama follows her on I'm assuming he must be a fan too...clearly a man of taste. I would absolutely recommend picking one up to try, and if you're going to start somewhere I'd start with Last Night in Montreal - part mystery, part melancholy, I have loved every single page. 

This is Us. Yep, it was my favourite last month and it's still my favourite for this month. Every episode I watch both delights and breaks me all at the same time and I have no idea what I'm going to do when it's over...although I recently started following Mandy Moore on Instagram, as you do, and there was mention about a second series so *heart sings* there's that...if I didn't convince you last month, there's still time for you to play catch up. Pack some tissues though, you will definitely need them! 

Spring is springing up all over the place and all around my garden and I am absolutely thrilled! Bursts of yellow, purple, pinks, and green shoots and leaves, oh it makes me so happy! I'm sure it's been helped along by glorious blue skies and sunshine days. The weather is definitely making me feel so much brighter and lighter and like yep, I've totally got this! 

See you next month! April = Easter, so it's likely that chocolate will feature somewhere in there. Have a great month! 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Weekend status: still not over!

I'm declaring it: four day weekends are officially the best! THE BEST! There's something extra specially wonderful about finishing work for the week on a Thursday and then it rolls round to Sunday and you've still got one day off - ahhhh bliss. We certainly couldn't have timed it better either. Someone has very definitely switched the Spring clock to on and it's been blue skies and glorious sunshine every single day. The clocks have also moved that hour forward which means longer evenings too - double bonus! 

So what's made the weekend so lush then? Well, lots of not having to get up with the alarm is always a winner. We've also been outside for pretty much most of it - it was even warm enough to eat our lunch outside yesterday - yasssss! Roll on BBQ season, I can almost sniff your smoke charred wonderfulness! We've been to new places, bought new plants, started all the exciting plans for the garden, strolled around markets and bought yummy bread and tasty cheese, caught up with both sets of parental units and taken flowers and pretty biscuit gifts for Mother's Day today...the best thing is, it's 4pm, it's still beautiful sunshine outside and we don't have to think about alarms tomorrow. Oh happy day, oh happy shiny day. 

Highlights definitely include the discovery of Fairy Dell - a really rather delightful woodland/lake/stream combo that has potential to be up there for my new favourite outdoor place. We strolled around, the dog charged around as he does, threw himself into the pond and then into the stream, and basically all had the loveliest Friday morning in quite a long while. 

I've also really enjoyed having a chance to 'catch up'. This is probably going to sound really lame, but catching up with housework and jobs that I've been meaning to get around to for ages and never quite had the's ever so boring adulting stuff but it feels fab to have actually got around to those things! One step at a time, you never know, by Christmas we should be almost caught up...ha! 

And that's that. There's still plenty of evening for some more weekend enjoyment and then who knows what we'll do tomorrow. There are no plans, the day is wide open, let's just see where it takes us! 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Soggy hair

Curly haired friends: I want to share a new discovery with you today! I think the official term is 'plopping' but that sounds way too much like bodily functions for my liking so I'm going with 'the soggy hair trick'. 

So if your curls are anything like mine, they're tricky to control and require a careful balance of products, not too much drying and staying far away from brushes. Like 20+ years away from brushes - I kid you not, I think it was 1997 when I last brushed my hair. However I digress. 

Until very recently I used to wash my hair and then fling it up in a towel, wrapped turban style, walk around with it for a bit, eat my breakfast, take the towel down and then add the products etc. The end result was a massive amount of frizz and none too brilliant curls. My new magical technique is amazing and my curls have truly never looked better! Here's what you need to be doing:

1. wash hair and rinse out shampoo, conditioner, whatever else you use
2. squeeze your hair very gently to get rid of the excess water BUT keep it on the soggy side
3. take both ends of your towel and gently push together around the bottom part of your hair to take out more water, but once again the aim here is to keep it pretty soggy/wet but not dripping all over the place
4. add in products and then leave to air dry
5. the end result is magical, bouncy curls! 

Honestly, it's changed my life! 

I'm pretty lucky as I only need to wash my hair once a week, maybe twice if I've used any hairspray, so heading out to work with still wet hair is not such a big deal to me. I haven't tried to dry it with a diffuser but maybe the soggy hair technique will still work, even with a hairdryer? If you try it out let me know in the comments! 

As if you ever needed an excuse not to slave over a hairdryer! You're welcome! 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Lessons from a bad photograph

I learned pretty early on that when you have big, mad hair and a large head to go with it, there's not much point getting upset about how you look in photographs. Your hair is invariably going to be bigger and messier than everyone else's and if you're standing next to a person with a normal sized head, your's will look pretty massive. Tis just the way of life. Accept, move on, learn to embrace both of those things as being totally you and get on with it. 

That philosophy was all going really well until last night. I am quick to add at this point that I am in no way assigning blame to the person who shared this photograph, but my reaction really took me by surprise. Mainly because I was upset. Like properly upset. I looked at that photograph and felt enormous in comparison to everyone else. I fat-shamed myself, which made me feel even worse. 

Let me tell you a bit more. Throughout all of my 40-something years I have learned to accept (and most importantly, love!) how I look to the point where 99% of the time I reckon I look pretty kick-ass and I have the sass to go with that attitude. I will freely admit to strutting about in front of my full length mirror and sharing a photo to my social media feeds when I am really feeling my outfit of the day. There is absolutely nothing wrong with some good, solid self-love. I totally own my double chin and size 16 body, the hair that is generally out of control and the style I have chosen along the way. Until life throws you that curveball...

The particular night in question I thought I looked pretty good. I was wearing a fake leather mini skirt, a floaty blue blouse with ruffle cuffs and I'd made my hair extra specially large because that is what I do. Turns out, when you put that next to some gorgeous friends who are all thinner with smaller heads and shinier hair, and you trust a photographer from the bar to take a photo, you're kind of putting your feelings into someone else's hands. This is most definitely why selfies have become so popular in my humble opinion! 

Let's talk about the feelings. Feeling fat is a pretty crappy way to feel. I completely, 100% admit that I could do with losing some weight and doing more exercise, but when it's staring you right in the eyes it is very definitely jarring to say the least. As it happens (and there's a very distinct possibility that it has led to this reaction), Dave and I are currently at the very beginning of a 4 week healthier eating plan. We had both admitted that it was time to take control once and for all and made a pact to work on it together, and then the photo happened. 

A day has passed now and I'm starting to get a little bit of perspective, although it still makes me cringe when I see the photograph. I'm day 4 into the healthier eating plan and I'm feeling positive...and hungry, but that's because it's nearly tea-time. It's not about losing a massive amount of weight or suddenly going to the gym every night; it's about being a better me, for health and wellbeing.

All of that being said, I think it will be a while before I'm happy to smile for any more photographs on nights out. I think the biggest thing that has shaken me the most is how crap it made me feel about myself. I don't enjoy that feeling, it's not kick-ass or sassy, it's mainly sad, and not at all me. 

Life can be so weird sometimes...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Coat of dreams *heart eyes emoji*

It's reached that really funny time of year when it becomes almost impossible to know what to wear. Sometimes it's still super chilly and I need the scarf and the big winter coat, but on other days it's mild and sunny and the winter coat is too big and heavy and by the time I get to where I'm going I just want to tear it off my back and fling it on the floor! Drama queen moment aside, changing weather is tricky. 

So I've been looking for the perfect coat/jacket/outer layer. Not too hot, not too cold, just like Goldilock's porridge - just right. I fleetingly decided that I would have a go at French chic and try a mac. Yep, nice try Claire. I basically ended up looking like some kind of detective parody in the much too formal black mac. Return to sender. 

I also tried a shorter, mac-like jacket/swing coat hybrid. Even though I liked the idea of it on the hanger it just felt really frumpy when I tried it on. It was a weird length and it deffo looked like I was trying too hard. Return to hanger. 

Today, I found the coat of dreams! Well, I call it a coat, it's probably another one of these hybrid thingies that I think is called a duster coat. It's light yet long. It's really lovely fabric and looks like it should be a big thick coat but in actual fact it's just the right side of perfect for these milder days. YES! And, it makes me feel all kinds of swishy. And it's grey. Which is kind of a no-brainer to be honest as I seem to have developed a real thing for grey over the last year or so. It's smart enough for work but cool enough to dress down with some shredded jeans at the weekend. I love it!

Check out those giant pockets too - I love pockets! 

Now, if only I could find those elusive trousers...

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Gardening: not just for grannies

When I was a much younger version of myself being forced to help out with the garden at my grandma's house, I was pretty sure that the whole gardening thing was sooooo boring and should strictly be left to the old forward to the present and a day of gardening fills my soul with complete happiness. Being outside in the sunshine, watching things grow, the first signs of Spring popping up all over the place - I love it! Does this make me a total granny? Very possibly, but you know what? I say pah! I say gardening can be cool too. This I know as when Gardener's World returned to the BBC this weekend, it started trending on Twitter. Yep, gardeners, trending. Need I say more? Gardening = hip. 

This year I have a whole heap of plans for the garden. It feels like this will be the year, the second in the house, when we finally put our stamp on the garden. At the moment it very much looks like the garden that belonged to the people who lived here before us, except the lawn is definitely not as lush and green looking and it might have one less fuschia bush/plant thingy as I may have chopped it all back today and sawed off the remaining branches ready to be dug up...

I want to add areas! And gravel, and a patio, and loads of pots with fabulous sunflowers! I want a big trough building where I will grow my own salad veggies and just pop out to the garden for a few lettuce leaves to go with dinner. I want to grow sweetpeas in as many locations as possible because they smell amazing and are the only pastel coloured flowers I will allow. I want to paint the benches a new colour and change the shed door from that awful dark brown to something way more interesting and pleasing to my eyes. I want more solar lights so that the whole garden is covered in coloured twinkly stars when we sit out on a summer evening and enjoy a glass of pink wine or two. I want, I want, I want so much! Watch this space to see if it actually happens...

But until it's time to start all my jobs, I'm delighting in watching the Spring bulbs burst to life - the clumps of tiny yellow daffodils, the chunky tulips that will make me smile every single day, the big hyacinths that we've never grown before so let's hope they work out okay, and the fragile crocuses with their hidden yellows. I love it all. Gardening is good for the soul, well, this soul anyway. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

No excuses

I honestly have lost all concept of time. At work it's suddenly 4pm, on an evening it's 9.30pm and nearly time for bed, then the alarm goes off and it's time to get up to start the whole cycle all over again. I'm not even sure that the word busy even holds any meaning anymore as it seems to just be a permanent state of being. That and being tired; even the dog yawns as much as we do, like it's somehow contagious. I can't help but feel that I'm on a hamster wheel spinning round and round and it would be so nice to jump off and just be for a while...

Which we have made happen today. It's lunchtime and so far, the most taxing thing I've done is to finish the washing up from last night. Which incidentally was a brilliant Friday night and exactly what was needed - D came over, I cooked dinner, we ate all of the food - too much food - we watched Bad Moms and cackled and chuckled our way into falling asleep on the sofa. 

Do you even want to know why it's been such a mad week? I suppose the biggest things were Dave being away all week and not getting home until 2.30 in the morning from his business trip. Huge deadlines at work when we are already absolutely slammed to the wall with all the stuff that is going on. Having to deal with some tricky, 'dealing with difficult people at work' type stuff that even though you think you have a handle on, actually ends up affecting you in a bad way mentally (and yep, I totally chose to talk about that in the third person as I still need the distance from it - ongoing tricky shit, my favourite kind!). And I guess just all round challenging, adulting often sucks, life is hard sometimes and you just gotta get on with it type week. I'm definitely hoping for some improvements for next week...

I really want to get back on board with my Year in the Life. I had so many grand plans for the blog! Hopefully I'll get back on track soon...but until then I guess I just wanted to pop my head back up, hold my hands up and say hey. So hey! Hope you're all well. Hope to be back sooner than a week...

And finally I hope you all have a great weekend! Filled with fun and relaxing and laughter and all round happy, shiny times. Woop! 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Friday Find

Part book recommendation, part podcast recommendation, consider this Friday Find a bit of a mixed bag. I first came across Emma Gannon via someone's Instagram - I can't even remember who now. They were shouting out about her book, Ctrl Alt Delete, and it sounded kinda fun so I added it to my imaginary books to track down pile. This actually proved quite difficult as it was nowhere to be had in any library in my local authority (my first port of call always - such a librarian!) and I ended up buying it as an e-book. And I'm so glad I did as it has been a massively delightful read. 

Okay here we go. Rubbish description alert but you know the drill by now. She's 26, her whole life has been lived online, she's a massive social media nerd, blah blah blah, Claire says you should read this book! There we did it! In one sentence too *pats self on back* To add a couple more words, it's funny and sassy and has resonated with me over and over again, not because I'm 26, hell far from it, but because now that social media is my job everything that she talks about is so true! 

She also has a podcast of the same name, which I recently started listening to and am now totally hooked on. Thank god there are 61 episodes available - this means I have some way to go before I will ever catch up, and she does them weekly sooooo, podcasts for ever, YES! The people she has on her podcast are so interesting, the interview/chat/discussion - whatever you want to call it - is also funny and sassy and highly enjoyable. I've mainly veered towards the bloggers and vloggers so far, but there are loads and I'm excited to listen to more. 

I'm not ashamed to admit, I went a bit fan-girl and started following her on Twitter and Instagram too. She has a cool look, think big glasses, crazy hair and lots of clashing patterns, and (ultimate fan girl moment!) she replied to my tweet the other day! Yep, not ashamed to admit that deep down I am beyond thrilled when people like that (i.e. well-known!) actually respond - so. much. excitement! #geek 

Big thumbs up from me. 

Read the book

Listen to the podcast. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February Favourites

Oh February, all 28 days of you, I'm still not entirely sure how it's another new month already...but in the meantime here's a little rundown of some of my favourites from that short but oh so sweet month. 

TV: This is Us 
I finally started watching this series and instantly became hooked - oh my god, I love it! It's funny and heart-warming and sad and basically very, very good. I'm normally a bit confused when things switch from past to present, mainly because big concentration is required to keep up, but with this I don't even notice it. Love the cast, love the characters, love, love, love! If you haven't already, go and catch up on 4OD! 

Pink shoes
I have no idea what is happening right now. None at all. Me? Pink shoes? This is not a thing that has ever happened before but it's turned into a bit of a thing. First of all I bought this gorgeous pair of pink kicks, and then only a matter of days later I found myself trying on a pair of pink boots with a white sole...I know, right? They sound gross but trust me, they look all kinds of fabulous with jeans and I can't wait until it stops raining and it's safe to wear them outside. Pink shoes rule! Here's my oh so pretty kicks, yes, my feet are enormous...

Pancake Day! 
Basically the best day of the year so far! The pancake consumption started the weekend before the big Tuesday. We had to eat them for job is so hard...HA! Then on the day itself Dave and I basically ate way too many and ended up feeling a bit sick. We're so mature. This didn't stop us consuming further bad things in the form of donuts and biscuits on that very same night. What can I say? We are piggies 🐽 (pig nose emoji moment - yassss!) The pancakes and berries of dreams below are from our local tea house and were indeedy as yum-diddly-scrumptious as they look! 

February also meant a final and joyous farewell to the Cold of Doom. Can I have a yippee?!? 

The rest of the month flew by right before my eyes. I'm already worried that it's going to be Christmas in about five minutes...send help! 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Days off when everyone else is at work...

...are the best invention ever! Could there ever be a better phrase than 'you need to take the holidays you have left' Glory, glory, hallelujah! 

Just this last week I had 1.5 days holiday and they were brilliant! I finished work on Thursday at 1pm and I unashamedly spent the rest of the day lounging around on the sofa, reading my book, listening to podcasts, catching up on some TV...basic summary? I did sweet eff-A, and it was the BEST thing ever! 

On Friday I would have had a sleep in, but the dog came running up the stairs, jumped on the bed and proceeded to 'dig me out' of the duvet at 7am. Sleep in? What's that then! I did however have an incredibly lazy start: I ate my breakfast in my pyjamas, I watched some more TV, I took the dog out for a lazy stroll, went and visited my parents and enjoyed a hot cross bun, a cuppa tea and some slightly heated political discussions, went shopping for some new clothes, enjoyed a coffee outside with actual sun on my face, before coming home for some more lazing around. 

Days off! Especially when you know everyone else is at work and you would be too normally cos you're not actually away on holiday anywhere - sweeeeeet! 

And you know what's even better? I have two more left to take - wooop! I already know what I'll be doing...

Friday, 24 February 2017

Style wishes

I know it's not even the end of February yet but I am dreaming about Spring! That slight hint of warmth in the sunshine, blue skies, longer days, flowers popping up out of the ground...CAN'T WAIT! 

I've got a bit of a wish list going on for my Spring style, but I'm having one big problem: I can't find anything that I want. So frustrating! The new season stuff is still starting to come in admittedly, but I am slightly concerned that most of it seems to be a) cropped, as in it might fit my 13 year old niece, and b) all the pastel shades. Now I'm not averse to some of the pastel stuff, in fact I've just bought a beautiful pair of blush pink kicks today but that will probably be my one nod to pastel, it's a tough shade to pull off when you're pale of skin and red of hair. 

So here in no particular order is what I want in my wardrobe for Spring. If you've seen any of these things please shout up in the comments! 

1. A long line blazer, slim-ish fit but with slightly baggier sleeves that can be rolled up to about three quarter length. I'd like this in a navy or a black to be classy. Think Julia Roberts in the final scene of Pretty Woman...

2. A pair of trousers. At this point I'm not fussy about anything. Today I visited about six shops and tried on countless pairs. They all look awful. Any big-bottom-ed girls out there who know where to buy trousers, please share, PLEASE! I desperately want some! 

3. All the florals - loving this trend! Any colour, any style, bring them on! 

4. A couple of nice loose (but not too baggy), cotton (but not see-through) shirts that I can wear for work tucked into skirts and paired with the mythical trousers that may not exist. 

5. Some brown/tan suede loafers. You would think this is easy but I have a couple of new demands on shoes now - they cannot be completely flat to the floor anymore (all that pounding the floor in libraryland number 2 in rubbish shoes has done bad things to my legs!) so a bit of a block heel, maybe like an inch. And they also have to be totally comfortable from day one. Blisters are evil and make your life a misery. I cannot be doing with any footwear that requires 'breaking in' - been there, done that with the Doc Marten boots that actually cut my feet to shreds back in the day - memories - ugh *shudder* 

6. A moving into Spring skirt. I'm still to decide on the actual type but maybe one that is a little bit lighter than fifty shades of grey and blue which is my current skirt situation. 

7. A three quarter sleeve cardigan that is lightweight cotton but does not contain any lace. Lace is itchy and rips easily and as we all know Claire = clumsy so not a good combo.

8. Some new trainers that are worn purely to look good with an outfit and do not, in any way, shape or form, turn into dog walking trainers. I'm still considering New Balance...

9. A white t-shirt that is good quality cotton, will wash well and is not see through. This does not seem like too tall an order but paired with the mythical trousers has yet to be discovered. What's up with that?!?

10. Blush pink kicks - YES! Tick! Bought today and already loving. 

So in summary: some pretty specific demands that give a clear indication that my style is evolving. As I move around in this 40-something decade I'm feeling a need for quality over quantity and am definitely willing to pay more if this means that a clothing item will endure countless wears and still look good. I'm also finding that I'm way more about looking as chic as I can manage (with the messy hair it's never going to be entirely chic and sophisticated) while still being totally myself which is a little bit funky, a little bit cool-cat, a little bit, dare I say, smart...? Who would have thought that would ever be a word I would use...

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Postcards from the edge...

I feel like I say this a lot but I genuinely have no idea where the time is going. How can it be almost March? How?! It was only Christmas five minutes ago and now, at work, they're already talking about Christmas this year...I cannot even deal. And as for this week? Schummmmmmmmmm! (the sound when time flies by in an instant)

Admittedly it was a particularly busy week. First of all I went on a training course to Manchester. Due to the early start I travelled down the night before and stayed in a hotel. All by myself. It's normally Dave doing this kind of thing but this time it was me, talking through the iPad and confusing the poor dog no end - I can hear the human lady, but there is no way she will fit in that black box with all the cakes she has been eating...I stayed in a Premier Inn which in terms of style is not that high, but in terms of comfort? Beds of dreams! Also, as I was to discover, breakfasts of dreams! And I opened the curtains to the most beautiful building right opposite me! 

The course was really good - I met loads of lovely people and the instructor guy (also really nice!) reinforced my belief that I am approaching my job in the right way. Quality over quantity, don't say something for the sake of it, be creative. Tick, tick, tick. Claire = happy. 

I had all these grand plans to wander around Manchester afterwards as it's somewhere that I have always wanted to go. I set off in the direction of the Northern Quarter where all the cool cats live...but it started to rain...and I had holes in my boots and the fluff round my hood was getting soggier and soggier, the final nail in the adventure/wandering was when I realised that my rucksack that I was carrying had been making my skirt ride up at the back and my coat too and I was probably showing the whole of the North West my blue pants that would be clearly visible through my black tights. Classy. Enough adventuring for one day, I headed back to the train station. I would definitely like to go back though. Just not wearing those boots, and maybe not that skirt either as that is one sartorial misadventure too far. 

This week I also ate yet more cake. This absolutely, positively, definitely has to stop and this time Dave is with me, as he ventured on to the scales and did not like the numbers that came back at him. For me, my clothes are starting to feel not that great - I always think it's probably a sign it's gone too far when the comfiest clothes in my wardrobe are my pyjamas. Ahem. Two is stronger than one in the eating better department. We can do this! We can. But that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy a photo of the cupcake that I enjoyed on Tuesday. 

The biggest accomplishment of the week was definitely being told by our new 17 year old apprentice that me (and my work buddy Rachel) are cool. In true Claire style I immediately removed any sense of that by announcing to everyone that we had been declared as cool...but for that brief moment, well, what a day! I could be her mam! I mean at a push I could probably be her granny...maybe not...but you know, me = old, her = young enough to believe that she can eat 36 mini donuts in a week and remain a size 8 forever (I kid you not, that is actually real, and is also just a drop in the ocean for the actual consumption of food, oh and 24 of those were in one sitting...) 

The weekend finally rolled around. I had my hair did, I met up with Andy for some serious catching up and a wander around a rather big but definitely disappointing charidee shop, and ended Saturday at theatre with the cast and crew enjoying a pizza and a couple of social beverages - gosh, how civilised! Sunday has been dog walking, dog showering due to galloping at top speed through every single muddy puddle (there were lots of them), cooking lunch for Dave's mam, and then discovering that I can download Girls via iTunes - oh! Yes! I can finally catch up ready for the new series, which hopefully I will also be able to get through there. Who knew? Why did I not Google this sooner? Durrrrrr. 

And now another weekend has ended. Why so fast? The soup is on the hob and I'm winding my way into another snoozy evening so until next time please enjoy this view, which I think looks kind of like an English countryside painting of old. It's fast becoming one of my favourite places to wander and lots of happy memories are being made. Hope y'all had a happy weekend too! 

Monday, 13 February 2017

The good, the bad and the totally brilliant

I know I only had a lotions and potions post on Friday but these early months in the year are when I step up my skincare testing to try and combat the winter skin effects - in my case red, sore, dry and all round hydration-seeking. Here's my latest round up of the good, the bad and the totally brilliant. 

First up let's start with the bad, the rotten tomato in the group if you will. When it comes to base I'm not really a foundation kind of girl - more often than not I use a tinted moisturiser, a primer, or some equivalent like a CC cream. I can't even remember why I decided to spend ten of my hard earned pounds on this L'Oreal Nude Magique Blur Cream, perhaps I'd seen a review somewhere online that sounded like it would be the perfect product for me. Except it wasn't. It was, to put it bluntly, utterly shite, and a massive waste of money as it's going in the bin. 

Let me tell you why. First of all it has a weird texture, that strange silicone type that feels all weird on your fingers and even more so on your face. In all fairness, it probably wasn't the right time of year to try a 'blur' effect cream - those kinds of things are generally better for summer when my face has some colour and doesn't really need much adding to it, but I still think it could have been better. It took a lot of product to cover my skin (and I have pretty good skin that doesn't need massive coverage!) and it's a pretty small tube so if I had committed to using it, it wouldn't have lasted five minutes...but! 

There always has to be a but! The absolute worst thing about this was the way the stuff came out of the tube. I'm not even sure if I can describe it accurately without grossing everyone out...let's just say it spurted out, making some very disturbing farty noises along the way, and it was all bitty and gross and the slimy silicone feel of it...eeewwwww! It was grim. It's going in the bin. Big fat waste of a tenner. Do not buy this product - ever! 

Things can only get better now! On with the good - step up the Body Shop Almond hand cream. Lovely product, lovely smell, lovely feel, all round loveliness. The only thing that kept it from being brilliant was the tiny, tiny lid. I have a real problem with screw lids on stuff, and if they're even more fiddly than usual it's my worst nightmare. Coupled with hands that have just had hand cream put on them? Little tiny black lid flying all around the bedroom! 

Sidenote: As you can clearly see, that tube has been well and truly wrung by my marvellous tube wringer device! Absolutely genius and the best £25 I ever spent! A lotions and potions lover's dream to ensure you use absolutely all the product up. I digress. 

Time to move on to the brilliant. 

My brilliant trio. Lotions and potions of dreams if you like: Avene Hydrance Serum, Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil and Weleda Skin Food. 

The serum was lush, totally hydrating and sank right into the skin - a real winter saviour and one that I'll be seeking out next year at the same kind of time. I think it came in at about £16 and I used up every single drop in a month so pretty good going really. Well worth the extra few pennies when your skin needs it most, and easily available too - I bought mine in Boots.  

Ah Caudalie, Caudalie, I love every single product that I try - so nice! I recently watched a vlog when someone went to the spa in France and it looked AMAZING and when I'm rich I'm planning to go myself. Just saying. The Vinosource range is one of my favourites and this oil was an absolute delight to use. So nourishing and hydrating, and it smelled delicious! As with all Caudalie things, it wasn't the cheapest but for me, it is a brand that is well worth splurging on (by splurge I'm talking between £25-40 which may seem a lot but we're talking really good quality here). I've picked up a different brand to try as a replacement and I'm already wishing that I'd re-invested in this - you live, you learn. Definitely a re-purchase for me though and one I think I'll come back to over and over again. 

And then we're back to Weleda Skin Food. I blogged about this on Friday so scroll back through a couple of days and have a read - it mainly involves words like marvellous and brilliant and I can only repeat those same words here. Very highly recommended and a bargain to boot! 

Good, bad, brilliant. Any recommendations that I need to try? I'm very easily persuaded when it comes to lotions and potions...

Saturday, 11 February 2017

New time!

Now that I'm back from outer space and back in the (almost) daily blog game, I've decided to switch things up and change my times. I used to go for 9am but I decided that after 5 and into the evenings is much more accessible. That way when I just sit down at the end of the day and hammer some odd ramblings out, it's all more likely to be going out at around the same time, giving you the consistency that you may desire...or not...either way, if you've got a comment, feel free to shout out below. 

What a week. It's flown by! And each day has properly flown too. I worked from home on Wednesday and I swear it was like just after lunch but when I looked at the clock, it was 4pm! I still don't know where those three hours went to. 

🍩 Ha! I am loving that you can now add emojis to blog posts, I hope they're showing up as that. Just in case, this one is a donut. Which I decided to share because I recently started following Krispy Kreme on social media and this has not been a wise move at all. They post very regularly and I want to eat EVERY SINGLE THING that they post. And we don't really have one nearby which is kind of a bummer. But also probably for the best or I might start looking like a donut. Truth. 

We've had a day off today! The set at theatre is completely finished which means we have enjoyed a rare Saturday at home. Woop! I'll let you know what we got up to in my weekend round up tomorrow - bet you can't wait! See you then! 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday Find

There is absolutely nothing better than a new discovery, in any way, shape or form, I love finding new stuff that pleases me so. Yep, I will freely admit, that stuff often comes in the form of lotions and potions. Step up my most recent Friday Find - Weleda Skin Food. 

Weleda skin food

I had heard many, many good things about this wonder product, mainly from 'green' beauty bloggers who talk about organic and cruelty free products. Now having used it, I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to trying it, because frankly, it is bloody brilliant! 

It's called Skin Food for a good reason - you can basically use it everywhere! So far I've used it around my red and raw nose (ha! obligatory cold of doom reference!) which took less than 48 hours to heal; also on my red winter suffering cheeks, my lips, my elbows, dry skin patches around my ankles, and even (turn away now if you're squeamish!) up my nose! Regular morning and evening use and all have taken less than 48 hours to become baby soft and significantly less red and sore - it's genius, I tell you! 

As you can see by my squished up tube, supplies are already starting to run low, but I can say with absolute certainty that before that tube is empty I will be replacing it as I honestly think it's something I now won't be able to live without! A true find! 

The 100ml version is £6.95 from Holland and Barrett and there are several other sites that sell it online and include free shipping. Brilliant, bargainous and bloody marvellous - what more do you need! Buy it now! Go! 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

TV Times: Apple Tree Yard

I am all about the recommendations this week! You'd think I've not done anything else except lie around and read books and watch TV...actually that's kind of true. What? It's cold and dark outside and if you can't do those things in the chilly winter months when can you? If we were in Denmark they'd be calling it 'hygge' - gawd, anyone else sick of seeing that? I've been doing it for years! Loads of people have; in fact I would say that a large majority of people are proper experts at the whole hygge lifestyle without ever knowing that it had an actual name, however, as per usual, I digress. Back to topic. 

Let's talk TV. And by that I mean let's talk one of the BEST series I have watched in ages, and you know I never say that lightly...unless it's Nashville and I have said on many an occasion that you can judge me all you like, I don't care. Again, digressing. Stick with it woman! 

Apple Tree Yard. BBC drama. Starring Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin. Drama, thriller, call it what you will, by episode 3 you will literally be on the edge of your seat and be ever so grateful that Aunty Beeb decided to show the last two episodes over two nights. Except of course you will be watching on catch up or on demand or whatever, so you will have the added advantage of watching them all in 4 hours flat. And trust me when I say, you probably will. Set aside an afternoon, grab a cuppa, some munchies and a few cushions/big jumper/someone big to hide behind cos you're gonna need it! 

Obviously I can't give too much away, but let's just say you will not be prepared for what happens at the end. And you might even gasp out loud and do the whole shocked face/massive bulgy eyes emoji - effin brilliant! 

Doing it all backwards, I've ordered the book from the library cos I simply have to read it now - if the TV version is that good can you imagine how good the book must be?! Need! I'll keep you posted...but at least I'll be prepared for the ending now and hopefully won't gasp out loud if I'm reading it in a public place...

I still can't get over it. SO GOOD! 

Apple Tree Yard, available from iPlayer near you. Go! Hurry! 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Bookshelf: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Today I finished the first of my three giants - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. There are so many reasons why I'm glad I picked this one up first, even though at 864 pages it is a proper weight of a book that was so wide it wouldn't fit in my handbag. Admittedly this is probably more handbag issues than book size issues...

Generally I'm a little intimidated by books that clock in at that many pages. But somehow with this one, once I had started it didn't even occur to me, mainly because it has been an absolute delight to read. First up I should have probably told you that The Secret History, her first book, is one of my all time absolute faves - the copy that I have has been read so many times the spine is almost threadbare - so I was really excited to finally get around to this one. And it hasn't disappointed at all. 

You know the drill by now, I'm really not good at these book review things, but I so like to share that I keep on trying! I would describe this as a pretty epic tale really, spanning a life from a shocking tragedy at 13, taking something that you really shouldn't have and the consequences of it all throughout the rest of your life. How's that for a rockin' description?! I'll bet you're rushing off to the library right now to order your own copy...

Ahem. Maybe instead of trying to do the whole review thing we should just call these posts "Claire says you should read this", post a picture and have done with it? 

So in that spirit. I say that you should definitely read this. It is 100% worth the 864 pages and you will thank me for it. 

And when you're done with it, ask me if you can borrow The Secret History. And hope that it doesn't fall apart as you read it cos that spine really is looking a little bit fragile now...

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Back from outer space!

Helloooooooo! I'm back! Wow that was a long break away feeling sorry for myself 😊 The good news is that the evil cold of doom is almost gone! I say almost as there are still some lingering things that don't really need to be shared, especially if you are in any way squeamish and don't like the words snot and phlegm...I still went there, ugh! I just can't stop it now. STOP IT! 

Anyway, I decided I was well enough to be able to come back and not only talk about the cold of doom and I still managed to fit it in the first paragraph! Oopsy. Let's move swiftly on shall we? 

What's been happening? Any exciting news to share with me? 

I have so many things that I want to do now, it's not even funny. So many films to go and see! I've been patiently waiting until the cough had gone as I would have been annoyed at myself coughing through the film, much less any other poor audience members who had paid all that money to enjoy the film my cough. Trainspotting 2! La La Land! Lion! Manchester by the Sea! A Monster Calls! I have no idea when I'll actually fit them all in, but I'll give it a good shot. This is truly the best time of year for films, all those Oscar contenders - love!

I also want to get out in the garden and get ready for Spring. So many plans for this year's good life living. Come on you Spring! 

And house jobs...and sorting of the things...and and and! I can't keep up with my head! 

It definitely feels good to be back in this mode though, the exciting and planning mode. I'm sure you might have picked up on it from the endless moaning but the cold of doom really got me down. It's been a long time since I've had anything that bad that has truly "knocked me for six" as Dave has kindly said on more than one occasion. Coupled with the whole January being all dark and grey it's felt like a bit of a bummer start to the year, but onwards and upwards! I've got all sorts of things to chat about on the blog now, so here we go again. Take two as it were. Let's do this loves!  

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

January stuff

I decided to make a quick comeback with a stuff that made January bearable post. It's been a hard month really, and I seem to have felt the dark mornings and dark nights so much more than in other years, but I think that has mainly been down to the general 'bleurgh' that has come with the cold that shall no longer be named. 

Being hermitty has been right up there as one of my favourite things to do. I've liked nothing better than putting the fire on, turning the lights down low and snuggling up on the sofa with my favourite human and animal and settling in for the night. There's been some TV watching but a lot of the time I've been completely and utterly absorbed in my current read, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. There's something really cosy about reading when it's dark and cold outside and the curtains are closed against the outside the equivalent of a big fluffy blanket! 

The only other really rather good thing about January has been the birthday celebrations - it's both mine and Dave's this month and we had a big family gathering, a night away, a pizza feast with our theatre family and lots and lots of cake. It was pretty fab really and my birthday keeps on giving as I'm still catching up with people who always seem to bring me presents - lucky me! Lots of snuggly, SO SOFT scarves have come my way, as well as some delicious lotions and potions and other delightful treats. Girl truly feels spoiled. 

I will definitely be glad to see the back of January 2017. So much bad and sad and snot and coughing STILL! But I don't want to end on a bad note...I'm hoping to be back in February with my daily blogging, well nearly every day, as long as there's something interesting to chat about. We'll see how it goes, no pressure, just fun. Fun in February - here's to that! 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Year in the life rethink

Well that didn't take long did it? Turns out that when the only 'interesting' thing you have to talk about is how the cold of doom is progressing, the idea of blogging every day doesn't seem that appealing. And not for the reasons you might think. It's actually not been that difficult to just sit down for 10 minutes at the end of each day and type something up, but I cannot help but feel that you must all be BORED RIGID by now of the constant moaning about the cold of doom. 

It honestly feels like it might never go away at this point. And until it does I think it's time to take a rest from sharing my snot stories with you just for the sake of writing something every day and just wait until I have something fun to share. 

Thanks for reading along so far, and I will still be here, just maybe not every day. And hopefully when the cold has gone for absolute good...

Bye for now friends, see you on the snot-free side! 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Best birthday!

I had an absolutely tip-top day yesterday, on the day of my birth! I'm sure it won't come as too much of a surprise that it mainly included eating all of the food and all of the cake. You didn't guess? Nah I don't believe it! 

Work was work, but it was broken up really nicely by going out for lunch. And then going to buy cake. And then eating cake number 1. Woop! 

Came home to heaps of cards to open, flowers from Dave, more flowers, pink fizz, super hot chilli chocolate - so many lovely gifts and so unexpected! More wooping! 

Went to theatre and ate some really bloody delicious pizzas and chips with my theatre family where more cards and presents appeared - so spoiled! 

There was lots of coughing (standard cough and cold of doom comment - has to be done) but there was also more cake. Two more pieces of cake in fact. Yep that totals 3 cakes in one day. Yes I am a pig. And sadly yes, I guess I do care actually. 

And so today, the day after my birth, is the day that the gluttony stops. I'm not going to promise it's healthy eating all the way as I know that will be impossible and also not entirely desirable, bor-ring in fact! However there is some necessity for a pause and reboot type situation - just say no to the chocolate! 

Cold of doom and no cake. I guess no-one will want to read along now *sad face*

Over and out! 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Happy eat all the cake day!

I can hardly quite believe it, but today I am going to be 42 years old. WHAT? How did this happen? 

All you need to know is that today I will be eating all of the cake. And the pizza. And basically any other treats as I see fit. Because I can, and want to. 

Cake rules! 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Night Nurse nightmare

Take this, the pharmacist said, it'll knock you out and help you go to sleep...

That was a complete and utter lie. I took it. And BANG! I was wide awake! By 2am I still wasn't asleep. I finally dropped off about half an hour later and woke up feeling not so great. Thank god for being able to work from home! I've spent most of the day in a total daze, but a pretty productive one. Lots of things achieved, on top of my 'to action' emails, all in all, not too shabby, considering I've had approximately 4 seconds of sleep. Liars! 

I went to the GP instead. Lots of deep breath in, deep breath out, blow into this puffer thing and try not to fall over at your rubbish lung capacity...I now have a very short dose of steroids to reduce the inflammation and hopefully send the cough from hell out of my body. Come on! 

All that breathing in and breathing out wasn't so good for me. I came home and for about an hour I coughed and coughed and coughed. There was a lot of swearing. A lot. Even Bob covered his ears at one point. 

Anyhoo, that was today. How was your Monday? 

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Weekend summary

1. ALL OF THE FOOD: This has to be in big, angry shouting capital letters as frankly the weekend can be summed up as eating all of the food. It started on Friday when I went to Deb's and we basically ate half of a rather large rectangular pizza each, accompanied by potato salad from Marks and Sparks and half a bar of hazelnut Lindt chocolate. It didn't really get any better when on Saturday night, our night away (!) I had an Asian style chicken burger that was so huge I could barely get my mouth round it. Of course I rallied on to ensure that the eating took place. This was accompanied by three times cooked chips (oh! so good!), fruity coleslaw and half a portion of beer battered onion rings. Deciding that wasn't enough we then went on to share The Dirty Dozen, a sharing dessert platter that was three types of ice cream, meringue, cookie crumble, brownie crumble, chocolate sauce, white chocolate chunks and berry compote. That kind of ended up doubling up as breakfast as when we woke up in the hotel this morning, the very idea of going to put more food into my already massive food baby belly was rather stomach turning. It's now several hours later and I'm about to polish off a Sunday roast which Dave has cooked for me. This very large paragraph is actually pretty grim reading, talk about gluttony. I think after the birthday it is most definitely time to take stock and get the food eating back on some kind of even keel. 

2. Watching 'Sisters'. When you have a cough that is brought on by laughing it's probably not the best thing to watch a totally hi-larious film all about sisters starring the wonderful Tina Fey and Amy Schumer. Oh how I laughed. Oh how I coughed! Big love to Debs for a) letting me go to her house with the cold of doom and b) discovering said movie, which she has actually now watched about eight times, not a lie. 

3. Birthday weekend away: After five years of cancelled plans due to various reasons that we don't need to go into, we finally made it away for a birthday weekend celebration! We headed to the rather delightful Kingslodge Inn, in Durham. We arrived in the dark and drizzly rain but that didn't stop us taking an evening stroll around the beautiful city before heading back and eating all of the food (see number 1 and try not to judge). The hotel was beaut, we had a sofa in our room, I know! The food was lush, the bed was big and comfy, all in all, a lovely time away was had. We would have stayed around for longer but we had to head home to pick up the Bobster from the dog sitting people... 

4. Speaking of big, bad Bobster, he stayed out for the very first time on an overnighter. We were assured that he behaved really well but since he's arrived back at home he's been sick all over the carpet and slept all day. Either this has something to do with the murky black stuff that was lingering around his mouth when we picked him up (dogs will literally eat anything, they are gross, true fact), or he's in meltdown cos we left him overnight for the first time and has decided to punish us. I'm swinging from one to the next at the moment. I'm not sure he's so bright to feel such stress, even the dog sitter basically said he is a big dopey blonde with nothing between his ears...cheeky, but kinda true *chuckles* but I'm sure he'll be fine tomorrow. This dog ownership thing is all kinds of tricksy! 

5. Cold of doom: Well I had to give you an update! It's still there. The cough literally will not die, and may kill me in the process. It's now advanced to some slight wheezing - worrying. I'm trying the pharmacist advice of this Day and Night Nurse for three days and if it's not gone by then I'm calling in the big guns and making a doctor's appointment - maybe it just needs some really good antibiotics to get rid of it for good and proper. But all the advice tells you to avoid visiting your GP and visit your pharmacist. It is truly hard to know what to do for the best as I really don't want to waste any GP time, but at the same time I can't put up with this for much longer, it's bloody rubbish! Stay tuned for more exciting updates...

6. And that's it! A rather eventful weekend but a blooming lovely one! If only they could all be this chill. Well, except for the dog barfing, but I guess you can't have everything! 

Hope you had a fab one! 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Girls just wanna have fun

I'm writing this post up on Thursday night, ready to go live tomorrow, cos I am going out! Yasssssss! Me and the D are having a girlie night in, eating pizza and watching films. I can't wait! I haven't seen her since Christmas Eve and that is just way too long. The evil cold of doom is to blame, as it is for so many things at the moment. Will we ever make it through a post without mentioning it? Not until IT HAS LEFT MY BODY! Just sayin' 

There's all sorts of scary shizz has taken place today, which I try not to think about too much, involving the man with the ridiculous hair who is now the most powerful man in the world. I'm still the goggle eyed emoji over how that happened. Let's just hope that the world actually survives the next four years and makes it through in one piece. I'm not so sure...

Instead let us think about pizza and watching films with Tina Fey and Amy Schumer and catching up on all the gossip and travel plans and lotions and potions and all the fun and frivolous things in life. 

Have a cracking Friday night, whatever you may be doing. Bring the weekend ON! 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Joy to my ears

I recently re-subscribed to Spotify Premium and it is filling my ears with joy! Just before Christmas I basically searched every single Christmas playlist I could find, picked my favourite one and then played it every single day in December. True story. 

Along the way I've found so many other playlists to follow and mixes and oh! Joy of joys, there's even a whole playlist for grime music, which somehow (I still have no explanation for this) totally floats my boat! I've yet to blast that one out as I am 100% certain that is something that Dave will not enjoy one single tiny bit. Just wait til he's out of the house again though...

The best thing about it, for me, is listening to a song on the radio that I really like and then coming home to find more music by the same band. Tonight was Blossoms. Turns out I really like them too! Woop! It truly is joy to my ears every single day. 

Not so much joy to my ears is that whenever I yawn my right ear crackles. That I can tell you is definitely not joyous. Instead it is totally horrible and a reminder of how rubbish my ears actually are. If only getting different ears was an option. I could get on a plane again and fly to New Orleans for all the amazing music that would bring all the joy to my ears... *sigh*

In other news:

The cold of doom still will not die. It is actually really starting to wear me down. And today someone else is clearly starting with it in the office so it's just going to go round again. Nope. It cannot continue. Should you have any miracle cure for the cold of doom please do let me know. I beg of you! 

Busy busy work week - I can't believe it's Friday tomorrow! How did that happen?!?

I can see the weekend in sight! It's there! So close! Get in! 

See ya tomorrow! 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Roving reporter

That whole day on a gritter thing at work the other day really started something off! Today I was down at a site where they were doing a massive clear up on a whole heap of fly tipping, followed by a visit to the bus station where there was an official opening of a dementia friendly quiet room with ribbon cutting and everything! I have to admit, it's kind of cool! I feel a bit like a roving reporter and am thinking of asking for a new job title. Join Claire as she live tweets from [insert random location and random task here] ... it could totally be a thing! 

Tell you what though, that adventure and a couple of meetings meant that I wasn't really at my desk at all and so it didn't feel like a productive day. Even though I obviously did get loads of things done, just in a different location and format I guess, from the usual type of work. 

Also it was really quite unfortunate that to get to the fly tipping site we basically had to cross a massive muddy field. And I was getting a ride in a car that was like a sporty saloon number where you have to clamber in and out of the back seat...and it had cream leather interior...cream leather + mud + trying to get in back seat = tricky shit! Followed by a really big team meeting with a brand new director and I had mud all over my trousers. Hmmmmm. Maybe I need some kind of waterproof suit to go with my new roving reporter status. Wipe clean? Too far? 

I ended the work day trying to take a selfie outside of a museum in town with my work buddy for museum selfie day. That is almost an impossible task when the museum is closed and it's dark outside. Just in case you were ever thinking of trying it for yourself. Don't. But if you want to fall about giggling helplessly as you try to decide whether kneeling on the floor with the camera pointing upwards will help to get the shot, absolutely have it as that is hi-larious! 

I might work in a 9 to 5 job but I can absolutely say that no two days are ever the same! I wonder what madness Thursday will bring? Bye-eee! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Rag Bone!

I have a sneaky suspicion that a rag and bone man is very definitely a British thing. The ones who walk up and down the streets shouting RAGBONE really loudly and collecting scrap metal? Yes? No? Is this a universal thing? 

Do we really need to know? I suppose not. 

But you very definitely should know about this Rag'n'Bone Man. Cos his song Human is my absolute fave right now. You know the drill by now, it comes on the radio, I turn it up loud, sing at the top of my voice and do my car seat dance shuffle. LOVE. IT. 

Interestingly, I had no clue what he looked like and thought maybe it would be another George Ezra type thing where that big deep melodious voice actually belonged to a skinny white dude. Turns out Rag'n'Bone Man suits his fantastic deep, gravelly voice very well! Take it away Man...

Monday, 16 January 2017

Erm, where did Monday go?

Monday, wow. Dude, where did you go? One minute it was 8.45 and I was just logging on and the next minute it was after 5 and I was packing my laptop away to work from home tomorrow! I wish every Monday went by that quickly! It's been the same this evening too. Came home, made tea, tackled the giant ironing pile, did two loads of washing, washed up, did a couple of blogs, oh yeah and watched the very last in this season of Nashville! 

Nashville! What are you trying to do to me? I'm going to be totally honest with you here, I yelled a lot at the TV tonight. Mainly calling all the awful lay-dees the nasty names, so many bad ladies in this series! That Layla? Bee-atch! And Autumn? Ooooh missus, you be mean with a capital M! So much snogging, so much of the fuzzy feels, so much cliffhanger ending! WHEN WILL YOU BE BACK? Blimey. 

But what will I watch now when I do the ironing? It helps me to get through. Please send any suggestions in the comments. It preferably has to be a TV programme that contains lots of sparkly dresses, big hair, some easy on the eye, eye candy and all the drama. It's like my weekly fix! *sobs* 

I'd love to write more but I've got the washing up and the sorting of the socks to do before bed. This day shall be known as all of the jobs Monday. 

Later alligators. 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Birthday weekend / who's that ginger bird?!

Noooooooooo I missed a day! Bugger! I'm blaming the wine. It was birthday party weekend and everything, surely this is enough of an excuse?! Anyways, I'm back now and what a blummin' fab weekend! 

Yesterday was basically party central. Well, I say party, I think gathering is more of an appropriate term. Nearly all of Dave's family and my parents (had to have some Jennings representation against all that lot!) came round our house. We ate too much party food, definitely drank a few too many glasses of vino, enjoyed sparklers on top of the most fabulous cake and all round had an absolutely lovely afternoon/evening. By the time the majority of people had toddled off home it was just me and Dave and his brother and wife, which was simply fab. They fell big style hard for the Bobster so there was lots of cuddles and play fights which ended up in Bob deciding to climb on top of them and settle in for the night, which can be a bit of a shock the first time all forty kilos of him lands on you, but they loved it really! 

Shortly after they'd gone I decided it was still early enough for me to head off into town and catch the last couple of hours of Cat's birthday party! As you do. Just like a student, past 10pm, I got into a cab and headed to the second party of the day! It was really nice to see lots of familiar faces (and many I didn't know) as well as get to see the birthday girl in her poshy-posh dress and fancy fascinator - so glam! Drink a bit more wine, catch up with some people, see people that I haven't seen for absolutely years and pick right back up again...deffo worth leaving my toasty warm house and braving the cold weather! 

Sidenote: one lovely lady that I used to work with was there with her husband and when I came in he said to her, who's that ginger bird, I know her! She reminded him that I'd been at their wedding *chuckles* but it made me laugh all evening. I'm choosing that as the new description for myself: ginger bird. 

Came home just after midnight, so that I didn't turn into a pumpkin. Went to bed. End of Saturday. 

Sunday - the big birthday day! We slept in til 9! Shocker! Been to the beach with Bob, eaten some more birthday cake (anyone want any? We've got HEAPS!) I've been to the supermarket for the big shop and now we're winding down into a chilled out birthday evening - a tasty pizza for tea, cheesecake for pudding, maybe another cheeky beer or two, happy birthday to you! 

All in all, a rather fabulous weekend. 

But now we're all verrrrrry sleepy...

Over and out!