Category: Uncategorized

5 things I’ve done on the “most romantic day of the year”

  1. Woke up alone, because the husband was away overnight with work
  2. Hunted high and low for missing paperwork (losing stuff in your own home is so damn stupid)
  3. Went to the supermarket
  4. Applied for a mortgage online
  5. Measured up our existing lounge compared to our “new” one (fingers crossed!)

But you know what else I’ve done?

  1. Got excited about the husband coming home
  2. Exchanged cards
  3. Drunk pink wine
  4. Kissed like teenagers (sorry!) > (not sorry!!)
  5. Listened to “our song” on repeat (only because Spotify was stuck, no joke!!)

valentines-you-me-we

There’s no right or wrong way to do Valentine’s Day. If you want to be all romantic and hearts and flowers, then that’s lovely. If you see it as “just another day”, that’s fine too. Somewhere in the middle? All power to ya!

Love is love is love. And everyone does love differently. Us? We do love with sarcasm, fun, daftness and the occasional bit of soppiness. I love and adore the husband with everything I have (except maybe shoes) and I have no doubt in my head or heart that he loves and adores me. That’s not being conceited, arrogant or smug. That’s the power of emotion, the power of cuddles that convey feelings, and the power of never going to bed / waking in the night / leaving home without saying I love you.

And maybe the power of wine!

How was your Valentine’s Day? I’d love to know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

Plans for 2017

Just because I don’t make resolutions, doesn’t mean I don’t make plans. The beginning of a New Year yields opportunities such as a whole load of annual leave to book, as well as a summer of fun, and music to enjoy.

Here are my plans (so far) for 2017.

plans-for-2017

Move house
This is a biggy! We’ve lived in our flat for almost 11 years, even though when we moved in the plan was to only stay for 5. We’ve been so incredibly happy and settled there and never both felt like the time was right to move but now we’re both ready to take the next step (although I’m not looking forward to stairs, I love one level living!) We want a garden where we can have friends round for barbecues and have wooden sunloungers with drinks holders, and we want another spare bedroom which I can have as a dressing room and display all my shoes in an MTV cribs style (yet to be agreed with the husband). Unfortunately we have a very small search area and also need a garage (rarity where we live) so we’re going to end up like those annoying couples on Location, Location, Location who are so picky you just want to shout at the TV that they don’t even deserve a home of their own.

Go to Whitby
Part of my birthday present was a weekend in Whitby, at a future date of my choice. Home of Dracula, Whitby has the stunning abbey ruins, a pretty harbour and the super cool Bats & Broomsticks guesthouse, which is where we’ll be staying. Each room is decorated individually and the candle lit breakfast room is in the basement. It has nothing but brilliant reviews so that’s one to look forward to.

Go to Malaysia
This is booked and in the bag – we fly at the end of April. I’ve always wanted to travel East and although Malaysia has never really been on my radar this appeared as a deal that was way too good to turn down. We’re spending 5 nights in Penang and 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur and it’s very exciting because we’ve never done a trip like this before. Oh, and imagine the food!

See Guns n Roses
I don’t actually love Guns n Roses (I find Axl pretty screechy at times tbh) but I do love some of their songs and the husband has a lifelong love of the band so when they announced a tour with 3 of the 5 original members it was a done deal that we would go. Lots of our friends are going too so it will be a cool day and night out at the Olympic stadium, although the ticket cost of £95 is disgusting, especially when you consider that £9.99 of that is a transaction fee. Per ticket. Bullshit.

Change my car
I do a 60 mile round trip to work each day so the miles have quickly clocked up on my car. I think it might be best to change it now before the mileage gets too high and affects the value, although I have no idea what I want instead.

Get back into blogging
The end of last year was not good for me – I (understandably) lost my mojo and blogging took a back seat. But I’m feeling inspired again with lots to talk about and, having blogged more regularly so far in January, it feels good to be productive again.

Start contributing to My Trending Stories
Last autumn I was contacted on Instagram by a representative for My Trending Stories, inviting me to become a contributor. I’ve seen some people suggesting that the website is trying to piggy back on successful bloggers, but I’m just an iddy biddy blogger with a small audience, so they’re certainly not taking advantage of me! Anyway, it was a compliment to be invited and it’s another outlet to share my thoughts and interact with other people so why not?

I’ve seen lots of resolutions around people eating more healthily, going to the gym, etc but it would be pointless me including them in my plans, because it would be an out and out lie! I can only be who I am, unfortunately!

Have you made any resolutions or plans? Leave me your links in the comments box!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

5 things I have been genuinely baffled by this week

There’s a lot of crazy, stupid, daft and inexplicable stuff that goes on in the world – stuff that genuinely makes you think “huh?” But there seems to be more of it around lately than ever, like there’s a big full moon sending everyone a little crazy!

the-world-is-a-little-bonkers

Here are 5 things that have made me despair this week.

US politics
Wow. What a mess. What a huge, great big, bloody mess. A playground hotbed of name calling, he said she said, finger pointing awfulness. Where’s the coverage of actual policies? The only thing I’ve picked up from the media is Trump’s racist xenophobia and plans to persecute non Americans based on the behaviour of a minority. I couldn’t tell you what Clinton stands for or what she’s lobbying about – everything seems to be geared towards the personal behaviour of both nominees. Which, by the way, is appalling. Of all the intelligent, knowledgeable and clued up people in the US, how the hell did the Presidential race come down to these two? More importantly, how in anyone’s mind, ever, is Donald Trump a good bet for becoming the leader of the free world? He’s a misogynistic bully with an overinflated ego, a lack of morals and a questionable understanding of being a human being. Plus his hair is beyond a joke!

New Royal yacht
The news that UK parliament were debating between building a new Royal yacht or recommissioning Royal Britannia made me want to laugh and cry in equal measures. Either option seems pretty bloody unnecessary to me when you look at the cost of it and the bigger picture. Our economy is in a post Brexit mess and the powers that be want to spend £100 million on a fancy boat? Do me a favour! How about spending on the NHS, to make up for all the fabled EU costs that the Brexiters lied about during their campaign? Apparently Britannia helped to secure £3 billion in trade deals in her lifetime and so a new yacht will boost our economy. How??? I call bullshit.

Killer clowns

This is both stupid and dangerous. Anyone who thinks it’s just a bit of fun needs to look up the definition in the dictionary. It’s only a matter of time before it escalates – someone will have a heart attack through shock. The worst thing is, if a person did genuinely get scared and run over a clown with their car, or hit them with a bottle, they’d be the ones in the wrong. A criminal record in response to a bit of “fun”? Childline has reported 120 calls in a week from kids who are scared they’re going to see a clown in their daily life. Nothing fun about terrorising children.

Honey G
How is this silly bint still in X Factor? More importantly, who’s voting to keep her and why are even the judges coming round to her? It makes a mockery of the show and a mockery of real talent. Great singers got sent home so she could have a place. It’s laughable.

Ross is the favourite Friend
I find this one possibly more crazy than the rest of them put together. In a vote on who is the favourite character in Friends, Ross came out on top? What? He’s the most annoying! From his over gelled hair to his gormless face to his “we were on a break” excuse. No. Just no. Chandler was robbed (although I’d have settled for Joey in first place too).

Any craziness that you’re struggling with right now? Things you can’t quite get your head around? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Botox for balls? (Twit of the Day!)

The beauty of the internet is that you find out about things you would never usually come across in everyday life.

Similarly, the horror of the internet is… Yep, you get the drill.

People, I give you…SCROTOX.

Literally botox for bollocks. What the actual living, chuffing hell?

wrinkly-nuts

Who does this? Who thought of this? Who would pay £2,800 for this?

Find out more, including the supposed benefits here.

Now, I’m no expert (after all, the husband might be reading), but aren’t balls supposed to be wrinkly and a bit sweaty?

Haven’t men (and women) managed for years without sticking needles in their plums? Aren’t good hygiene and clean pants enough to keep the downstairs region fresh? Do balls need to look bigger? Does it make a difference? I’ve never judged a man on the size of his knackers.

(also, how many more words for testicles can I fit into this post????)

Scrotox givers and receivers doctors and patients – Twit(s) of the Day!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

When the going gets tough…

…the tough go shopping.

Or so the saying goes.

I think the actual saying is “the tough get going” (or at least that’s what Billy Ocean sang – if that makes no sense to you then ask an older person. One that isn’t me). My personal fave is “the tough have a drink”. But that’s just my own mantra and not immortalised anywhere. It also works for when the going is easy, or the going is neutral.

That’s besides the point.

I haven’t actually been shopping, I couldn’t think of anything worse at the moment, but I have been slightly cheered by a parcel I ordered last week, before life fell apart all over again. In fact it’s been sitting unopened since before the weekend, and I’d actually forgotten what was in it.

Cue some smiley happy shoes.

I love shoes. They always fit, they never make you look fat, and they have the power to transform an outfit from just ok to “wow”. Bags I don’t really get. But shoes? Oh yes!

These are two bargain beauties from H&M.

Multicoloured lace up roman sandals – £9.99 (reduced from £24.99)

Buying sandals at this juncture in summer may seem an odd move, but I get a lot of wear out of sandals and this style is right up my alley (in fact it’s pretty much the only style I’ve bought this year). I love the multi colours, and the versatility and I know I won’t tire of them so they’ll be great to wear into next year as well.

Yellow suedette heels – £12.49 (reduced from £24.99)

These are less versatile and I will get less wear out of them, but fuck it! They’re a lovely bright colour and, despite looking like they might have the same effect on your toes as cheesewire, they’re surprisingly comfortable, because the toe strap is soft and padded and the slight platform offsets the heel (which is already lower than many of the pairs I own). The buckle sits slightly awkwardly on my ankle bone, but I can handle it, I’m hardcore 😉 I’m going to pair them with all shades of denim, dressed up or down, and maybe with a dress too if the occasion arises.

Are you a shoe monster? Hit me up!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Some purchases from Peacocks

Back in the time before I had put myself on something of a spending ban (or at least severe limitation) while I get my finances back to where I would like them, I bought a few bits from Peacocks.

I actually bought them in store, and then got an email with a 20% discount offer so returned everything and rebought it (that’s just good economics, no?)

Printed viscose top

Peacocks paisley print sleeveless top

This is lovely and light and airy, looks and great with dark denim

Lace up sandals

Peacocks yellow lace up sandals

These are advertised as yellow, but they’re more of a neon acid chartreuse I think (ooh, get me!) I suddenly realised that most of my sandals were beige or black and that I (wanted) needed some bright summer shoes in my life, and these were the answer.

Beaded sandals

Peacocks beaded ethnic ankle strap sandals

“While buying one pair of sandals, I might as well chuck another in,” thinks I. So I did. These had me convinced that I had one ankle which is considerably bigger than the other as the right one felt tight, but they’re more comfortable as time goes on – which means either the leather has stretched or all that hopping on one foot has been paying off.

Dark denim shorts

Peacocks indigo denim shorts

Just because. I thought I’d wear them loads. I’ve worn them once. Must rectify.

All that for the princely sum of £41.60 – pretty good eh?

Oh, and then the sale started and I picked up this fringed black and white Aztec poncho kimono thing (a kimoncho?) for £7.

Peacocks aztec print kimono

Send me links to your latest buys; I’d love to have a nose!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Days out: Chester Zoo

On Saturday the husband and I drove up North to Chester Zoo!

I have mixed feelings about zoos, because of the captivity thing, but Chester Zoo is renowned for doing lots of conservation work with animals and looking after them really well, plus I’d heard that the animals have lots of space and anyway, I really wanted to see the giraffes!

It wasn’t cheap (£21 each and that was buying online in advance – it costs more on the gate) but it’s well worth the money. Parking is free and plentiful and there’s so much to see, it’s a full day out.

First stop was the elephants.

Followed by the one horned rhinos – these were fascinating. They look as close to prehistoric dinosaurs as you can imagine; their bodies look like armoured plates. The husband fancies himself as a bit of a Rhino Whisperer, because he beckoned it to come over from the other side of the paddock and it did!

We watched the giraffes for ages!

Just seeing how tall I am today!

Chester Zoo tall giraffe

This is an Okapi – part of the giraffe family. No-one even knew they existed until the beginning of the 1900s!

We saw penguins and flamingos.

A spectacled bear and zebra.

This is a scimitar horned Oryx. Now I admit to being rather underwhelmed with these, until I got home and read that they’ve been completely extinct in the wild since 1999. Isn’t that sad? Also they can survive up to 10 months without any water! Say what?!

Chester Zoo scimitar horned Oryx

Part of the Zoo has been designed to resemble tropical islands and over here live the tigers, gibbons and orangutans. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any pics; they were all feeling a bit shy. But there is a charming lazy river boat ride which runs through the islands.

Chester Zoo feels more like a wildlife park than a traditional zoo; it’s very open and green, with lots of pretty flowers.

The animals, on the main, have lots of space and there isn’t the feeling of being overly caged in. The lions had a big area with lots of trees and rocks and there were lots of swinging ropes and things to climb on in the monkey houses. There was plenty of information about the animals, including their names and history, birth place, relationship to each other, which is nice.

Apparently there are over 20,000 animals! That’s a lot of meals to prepare!

I’d definitely recommend a visit if you ever get the opportunity, but be sure to wear comfy shoes, there’s a lot of walking involved to do it justice.

Have you ever been to Chester Zoo? Or any other UK zoos? I’d love to go to Edinburgh and see the pandas…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

Barbecue on the balcony

As soon as the sun comes out, Brits love to barbecue. It’s a like a rite of summer passage. If you have one planned and the weather forecast changes, tough. You grit your teeth and do it anyway.

Living in an apartment I don’t have a garden, which suits me most of the time. I have a perfect little space in the sky for a garden furniture set for two and plenty of flowers, with views of lovely gardens that I don’t have to do anything with (we have a gardener darling 😉 )

Of course we have to pay a monthly service charge for said gardener and are at the mercy of the dictatorship management company, who come up with all sorts of silly rules like you can’t leave your car parked in the same place for more than 48 hours and…more importantly…you can’t have a barbecue.

Now part of me understands the logic in this, because our balcony railings are made of wood and, if one flat goes up in flames, it’s likely to spread quickly. I also believe that, as a responsible adult (ahem) with a mortage and an insurance policy and a lack of desire to burn myself and all my possessions, I should be allowed to make decisions about my own property and what’s best for it. Unfortunately the gestapo management company obviously has spies everywhere, because last time we flouted the rules and cooked like cavemen, with fire, we received a letter in the post within two days reminding us that we have no power to live autonomously and they will send hungry wolves round to tear us limb from limb if we do it again (exaggeration may have been used here).

Undeterred, the husband has a plan B. An electric barbecue.

Now, the purists and pedants amongst you will spot this for what it is – a grill! But, in the face of adversity, it’s better than giving in to the despots management company and cooking all our meals indoors. Husband is already chomping at the bit for someone to report us so he can gleefully wave the plug at them and smugly return to sizzling his sausages. I think he secretly hopes that we get “busted” so he can go all gangsta and shout IN YOUR FACE. And I would secretly like it too because, although I really love where I live, it can get tiresome worrying if you’ll come back from holiday to a big fat telling off sticker on your car window because you didn’t put it in the garage (yes, that’s another thing, you tell the autocracy management company that your car will be parked for longer than 48 hours and they ask you why it isn’t in your garage? Bloody cheek!)

Now, said electric barbecue was ordered when we had that blink and you’ll miss it couple of days of sunshine earlier this month. By the time it arrived it was raining, and seemingly has done ever since. If it’s been raining where you are then just blame my husband and his silly Amazon ordering finger. Nothing like making summer plans to put a halt to summer, eh? We’d be better off sticking a pole in the lid and using it as an umbrella for all the use we’ve had from it so far. But we clung onto the fact that things can only get better, right? It can’t rain forever! And filing that, we’d just bring it inside and use it on the dining table. An indoor barbecue! You can’t do that with real flames….

Unbelievably, despite the fact I needed an ark rather than a car to get to work this morning, this afternoon tuned into a beautiful summer day which continued into evening, and were able to christen our new purchase. Hurrah!

Here it is all set up, and in cooking action!

You can find the Andrew James electric barbecue on Amazon.

Are you a barbecue fan?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Back to reality…

…except not.

The last week has been eventful in many ways. Download was muddy (oh so muddy), drunken (oh so drunken) and muddy again (did I mention the mud?)

I got overly drunk, which to some seems funny but, in retrospect, I’m pretty pissed about because:

a) I should know better

b) I’m too old

c) I missed out on stuff I would have liked to see

Still, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I haven’t hurt or upset anyone (quite the opposite, I’ve been a source of comedy it seems) plus how else was I supposed to deal with the mud? (I know, I mentioned that).

Reality has taken it’s time to join forces with me ever since, and I’m not sure we’ve quite connected yet.. The news of the Orlando shootings filtered through but seemed so very far away until the bands had finished and Monday’s hangover kicked in, and then the inevitable social media skim to see what we’d missed really hit home. I was especially angered by the Sky News reporters who refused to acknowledge a blatantly homophobic attack for what it was. Good for Owen Jones on walking out. I’d have lost my rag way before that.

The drive home, which should have taken an hour, took 2 and a half, due to someone who’d climbed up on a motorway gantry sign and been in situ for 18 hours. The worry was obviously for his mental health, but I’ve seen no conclusion as to why he was up there either way.

A bag of muddy clothes proved too much for my washing machine which then stubbornly jammed up to cause me even more headaches. Big thanks to my very understanding manager who granted me a last minute extra day off which I used to sleep in until I could face my domestic disaster (which now seems to be resolved, fingers crossed).

In truth my head is still not fully connected; the cataclysmic weather and humidity is playing havoc with my sleep and I feel somewhere quite detached between the muddy fields of Donington versus the expected nirvana of sun and all the bands; the disappointment of spending a lot and not seeing enough; the rabid disbelief of death and politics (seriously, between idiotic referendum speak and the very real threat of Donald Trump I worry for the future of the world) and my ongoing headache which may or not be a mix of stressed hangover with bad weather head pressure and cumulative three day lack of sleep. It’s not a hugely pleasant place to be, but is a very real result of my own excesses (combined with those awful awful real life events that we all seem so powerful to prevent).

On that note I’m feeling rather cross with myself and the dullness of this post, so I’m signing off with the promise of lighter heartedness to come!

Sweet dreams people, and thanks as always for reading! x

 

 

Selfhosting

So, the buggers at WordPress have run out of storage (OK, I’ve used up all the storage I get on my free account because I like pictures. All the pictiures) and now people are talking to me about self hosting and it seems like something I should do for my blog to continue.

I have to be honest in that I don’t really understand it (even though I’ve worked in IT for many years! But I’m a wordsmith, not a technical person). I mean I kind of get it but only conceptually.

And it costs money! For something I can’t eat or wear!

Anyways, it’s all very exciting and nerve wracking (I don’t know why, it just is) so I’m looking into it and finding out more.

I’ve been recommended both BlueHost and NameCheap.

I also have a friend who says he can help me to host it on his server.

Anyone got any tips for me? Things to avoid?

All advice gratefully received!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x