Tag: lists

5 top tips for dealing with job loss

Cup of coffeee, notebook and pen on wooden desk. Text: "dealing with job loss"

If you lose your job it’s easy to panic.

Then think “why me?”

Then go into mental freefall about how you’ll end up eating dust and wearing rags for the rest of your life.

(just me?)

But job loss is rarely the end of the world. As a great believer in fate (it means I don’t have to take responsibility for myself), there are ways to approach the situation that will hopefully help you to deal with it and feel much more positive.

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5 things on my to do list while I’m “between jobs”

Garden leave is quite a strange animal, because technically I’m being paid to do nothing (thank you previous employer), but I feel a bit like I should be doing something.  That’s not to say I’ve been sleeping in most of the day and then sitting on my ass for the rest of it, but I do feel guilty for whiling away portions of time on mindless stuff, even though I’m entitled to take a break and I’m still earning money and paying my bills.

That said, here are some targets I’ve set myself to complete while I’m off. All attainable; some more serious than others!

1 – Get a job

Although it goes without saying, this has to be number one on my list. I’ve been scouring job listings, set up job alerts to be notified of new roles that are of interest to me, and registered with some agencies. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I don’t have to jump into the first thing that comes along, and I want to find a role that is right for me, right for my CV and right for my future, but I also appreciate that “the perfect job” doesn’t exist and I’ll probably need to make some sacrifices.

2 – Give the blog a makeover

This little old corner of the internet has existed in its current incarnation for almost 3 and a half years, and while I’ve remained (fairly) consistent with writing content, I haven’t paid any attention to it’s appearance. A couple of years ago I went self hosted, but it was right around the time my Dad got very sick, and then he died, and I just didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with the new stuff, so I carried on using free WordPress and just let the other subscription lapse. Now I have lots of time on my hands so a shiny new theme is in order at the very least. Also thinking of upgrading to paid WordPress for more flexibility, analytics, etc so any tips gratefully received!

3 – Watch all of the Harry Potter films

Bit of a light hearted one this! I took my sister to Harry Potter World for her 21st birthday back in March and, up until 4 days before, I hadn’t seen 1 film! So I binge watched the first 3 and off we went.

Making of Harry Potter

The visit was magical (I must do a blog post about it) but obviously there were things I didn’t really understand. I intended to watch the rest of the films straight afterwards, but then summer came and time ran away with me. Now is the time to scratch that itch! (I think I may rewatch the 3rd one too, as I got quite confused). I may even read the books as well.

4 – Finishing unpacking from when we moved house

We’ve lived in our house for 15 months now, and we still haven’t finished unpacking. Before you judge me though (I know I would!) for the first 7 months we were squished into a 2 bedroom apartment that was smaller than our old flat while our building work was completed, and then we were so excited at living in our new space after Christmas that we just put it on the back burner! Now, part of me thinks if stuff has been in storage for 15 months and we haven’t missed it then perhaps we just throw it all away BUT some of the bags are full of my shoes, which means it will be like shopping my own wardrobe, which is technically saving money – very important when you don’t have a job! I actually have a partial tick against this “to do” already, as last week I finally sorted out the big bedroom (which used to be the lounge when it was an apartment) – we’ve been lazy chilled out and sleeping in what will be the guest bedroom up until this point. Now we have oodles of space, a king size bed and 3 windows!

Here’s how it looked before (check out the 90s curtains and brass fittings!)

Old lounge

Old lounge 2

And here’s how it is at this moment in time (yes I have a purple leopard and zebra print duvet cover, what’s it to ya?!)

Current bedroom

There’s still stuff to do, like paint the fireplace, change the carpet, and choose the furniture, but it’s good to finally be in there.

Next on the list is the small bedroom (which will be the husband’s music room for all his CDs and guitars) and the utility room which used to be the kitchen.

5 – Go on holiday

Now this might seem like a very indulgent “to do” for someone who isn’t working but, in my defence, it’s been booked since this time last year. And it’s a “special” holiday – to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We’re flying to Athens for 3 nights and then to Santorini for a week and I’m super excited.

Santorinilead-xlarge

We’ve been talking about going to Santorini since we got together 13 years ago, so it’s been a long time coming, and it was on a travel bucket list post I shared a couple of years back – Athens was on part two of that list where I pondered combining both destinations in one trip. On the basis of ticking them off, I’ll need to replace them and write a new travel bucket list post, right?

What’s on your “to do” list for the next few weeks?

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

5 things I’m loving right now

You know when there are simple things in life that bring a smile to your face? These are my current ones!

James Bay – Pink Lemonade

Considering I thought most of the single releases from his previous album wee a load of melancholy tosh, I can’t get enough of this song. Is it recorded in a different key maybe? There’s something about it. Love.

Burgers and outdoor eating

BurgerA couple of years back we bought an electric “barbecue” because the gestapo management company thought we’d burn our apartment building down if we used fire. When we moved into our house last year we expected to retire it, but it’s actually been a continuing revelation for outdoor eating after work when it’s just the two of us and a full on barbecue with coals and stuff is too much like hard work. The husband has it down to a T, and cooks THE most incredible burgers on there. Not even blowing smoke up his ass because he reads this, they’re the best burgers I’ve ever had, ever. Tasty, juicy, moist, yum! Loaded onto a brioche bun and topped with pickles, cheese slices and relish, I seem unable to stop at just one.

Frasier
FrasierI always thought that Frasier would be a pompous, up it’s own ass, not particularly funny comedy show, and never had any interest in watching it. Until the husband, buoyed by watching a few episodes out of sync on Saturday morning TV, bought the box set with a view to starting from the very beginning. What can I say, apart from “I was wrong”. Yup, hold my hand up, it’s nothing like I feared. It’s gentle, clever, dry and very very witty. Niles is my absolute favourite. I love nothing more than snuggling down for a 3 or 4 episode binge and some guaranteed lols.

Sunshine and being in the garden

Plants in my gardenThis needs no explanation. If you follow me on instagram you’ll have noticed I’m a weather obsessive. The sun makes everything better. Waking up, getting out of bed, leaving the house. Even being at work is more tolerable knowing there’s sunshine just outside the door. After a loooooong winter, we seem to have had better than average weather for the past month and I am living for it. Combined with that, my garden is just everything to me. I’d rather spend money on plants than shoes (I said that jokingly a few weeks ago, then realised that it’s completely true and I’m not even bothered!) and potting flowers and waiting for them to bloom is such a joy. The patio resembles a garden centre! We’re having a new lawn laid today and I’m ridiculously excited (sad, I know!) and I’m sure I’ll be sharing pics in the weeks to come.

Royal Wedding

Royal WeddingI wasn’t overly into Harry and Meghan’s wedding in the lead up but ever since I watched the coverage on TV I can’t get enough of it! Pictures, articles, opinions – I want it all. And just how beautiful are the official photos released yesterday? Harry’s smile – could he be any happier? I think it’s a modern day love story; not only about Meghan getting her Prince, but about H getting his happy ending too (no sniggering at the back, rude readers).

What’s dinging your dong right now? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

100 truths blogger tag

I love a tag post – even if it’s one I asked to be included in! (in my defence, Sophie at Wife Mother Life was asking for people who wanted to get involved).

I find these kind of tags quite self-enlightening and thought provoking too. I hope you enjoy reading, and if you want to get involved then please tag me in your post or leave your link in the comments so I can have a look.

With no further ado…!

First things first

1) What’s your name?

Kelly

2) Any nicknames or aliases?

A couple of friends call me Sue (it’s an in-joke). Nothing apart from that.

3) Your gender?

Female

4) Your star sign?

Sagittarius

5) How old are you?

Recently 40.

6) Your relationship status?

Married (10 years in September)

7) Any children?

Hell no!

8) Any pets?

Nope, my lifestyle isn’t conducive to looking after other living things.

9) Any tattoos or piercings?

Piercings: In my ears: lobe, upper lobe, tragus, auricle, helix and conch/orbital. Plus right nipple and belly button.

Tattoos: Lots across my lower back up my left hand side, onto my left shoulder and upper arm and and across the top of my back. They all kind of fit together to make one big piece. And I have a floral beaded cuff tattooed around my wrist.

10) What do you like about yourself?

My height and my legs (from a physical point of view). Personality wise I guess my sense of humour and my empathy.

11) What do you dislike about yourself?

Nose is probably the only thing I’d actively change (it’s wonky) – that doesn’t mean I love myself, just that I can accept all the other things that aren’t perfect because otherwise I’d drive myself crazy! Personality wise, I overthink things, and I’m a terrible procrastinator.

12) Righty or lefty?

Righty

Lasts

13) The last thing you drank:

Water

14) The last thing you ate:

A boiled egg

15) Your last phone call:

My husband after work last night (I missed other calls later as I was in bed by 9pm!)

16) Your last text message:

To my husband about some washing!

17) Your last email:

To my husband (there’s a theme here…I do have other people in my life)

18) The last song you listened to:

No idea, something on the radio on my way to work?

19) The last book you read:

I’m reading “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller for work, but for enjoyment it was Marching Powder by Rusty Young.

20) The last time you cried:

On Friday, about a homeless person in the snow.

21) The last blog you read:

Vintage Vixen – she’s this amazing lady who dresses solely in bright and funky vintage clothes. She’s not long got back from India and is sharing travel pics.

22) The last person you spoke to:

Work colleague

23) The last place you visited:

The toilet?!

24) Your last holiday abroad:

Rome, for my 40th.

Have you ever?

25) Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

No.

26) Have you ever been cheated on?

Yes.

27) Have you ever cheated on someone?

Yes.

28) Have you ever lost someone special to you?

Yes. My Dad’s death was the hardest thing I’ve ever faced.

29) Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

Of course! Not these days though; I don’t even get hangovers, really (that’s due to luck, not alcohol abstinence)

30) Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

Yes.

31) Have you ever met someone who changed you?

I don’t think so. Probably, but in a subtle way rather than a big change that I can think of.

32) Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

Yes. When my Dad was ill and dying.

33) Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

Totally. I kissed a lot of boys when I was younger.

34) Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

Not actively, but I don’t doubt it’s happened!

35) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

I don’t know? I don’t think so.

36) Have you ever kissed a stranger?

Yes! See number 33!

37) Have you ever had your own heart broken?

I thought I’d been heartbroken at the end of previous relationships, but in retrospect it was no more than (sometimes very) severe hurt. Again my Dad’s death was the worse pain I’ve ever felt, which counts more than breaking up with exes (or being broken up with)

38) Have you ever had sex on the first date?

No. But I don’t judge people that do. If it feels right then go for it.

39) Have you ever been arrested?

No. I’ve been in a police car once following a drunken row outside a nightclub with a boyfriend – they wanted to drive me home and I begged them not to because my parents would have killed me!

40) Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

Yes. It’s more about appreciating attractiveness and personality than something sexual though; like a case of wanting to be them (rather than be with them)

41) Have you ever done something you regret?

Of course. Said things, done things, not said things and not done things. It’s part of life.

42) Have you ever had a threesome?

No.

43) Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

Welcome to my mid 20s!

44) Have you ever misjudged someone?

Regularly, when I was younger. And I’ve also been misjudged in return.

Beliefs and opinions

45) Do you believe in God?

No. If God exists then he’s one cruel motherfucker.

46) Do you believe in yourself?

Not really. Not in a pathetically weak way, just in that I don’t think “I’m capable of doing anything I want to”, you know? I guess I know my own limitations.

47) Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Yes, otherwise I won’t get any Christmas presents.

48) Do you believe in ghosts?

I believe in something. Spirits, maybe. A presence.

49) Do you believe in aliens?

Yes. There’s a lot of truths that are kept from the general public.

50) Do you believe in miracles?

No, but I do believe in powerful coincidences.

51) Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

I’m not sure. I mean, if you think you’re going to fail, then you’ll fail, but I’m not sure the opposite really applies. I guess it helps though?

52) Do you believe in love at first sight?

No. I believe in lust at first sight, but love is made up of so much more than appearances, how can you possibly love someone so immediately?

53) Can money make you happy?

Not on it’s own but it sure can take the pressures of life off, and that contributes to happiness.

54) Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

No. I believe in equality, but I think feminism has gone too far the other way – the term “feminist” is too associated with man haters, and that’s not my bag at all.

55) Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

Pro-choice. 110%. Don’t butt in to a woman’s individual circumstances.

56) Do you have strong political beliefs?

Yes, I believe that politics causes trouble and that there are no legit politicians. Everyone has their own agenda rather than wanting the best for the people. And I believe that Trump and politics should not be connected in anyway.

57) Do you have strong religious beliefs?

Yes, I strongly believe that religion causes trouble. Most of the background and history of religion is way too bonkers to be taken seriously. Having said that, if it brings comfort to a person then good for them.

58) What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

Love, time and attention. And Calpol (spoken as a true non maternal being!)

Right Now

59) Are you eating anything right now?

No.

60) Are you drinking anything right now?

No.

61) What are you listening to right now?

Work colleagues typing..

62) What are you thinking about right now?

My lunch (food is never far from my mind!)

63) What are you waiting for right now?

My lunchbreak (I can have it whenever, but I’m prioritising these questions, lucky readers!)

64) What are you most excited about right now?

A long weekend away this weekend.

65) What’s your pet hate right now?

Winter. Just go away already. Oh, and my hair. I’m in fringe limbo – should it stay or should it go?

66) What’s your favourite thing right now?

Sleep. Early nights. I can’t get enough! (I’m so old)

67) If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

Eating my lunch!

Firsts

68) Your first best friend?

Suzanne Churchill

69) Your first kiss?

Leigh Turner

70) Your first celebrity crush?

George Michael

71) Your first holiday?

Ibiza when I was 6 with my grandparents (my Mom and Dad couldn’t afford for all of us to go, so they paid for me instead).

72) Your first pet?

A goldfish

73) Your first regret?

Asking for the Barbie dollhouse instead of the Barbie caravan (my parents thought the same and changed it for me)

74) Your first job?

Saturday girl in a clothes shop

75) Your first childhood memory?

Sitting on the edge of the bath in the flat we lived in until I was 3, with my Dad wiping spilt milk off my face with a facecloth)

Which would you choose?

76) Love or money?

Love

77) Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook

78) Hook up or relationship?

Relationship. The idea of going back to dating now makes me shudder.

79) Dogs or cats?

Kittens and certain little dogs (like my Mom’s scruffy rescue terrier)

80) Coffee or tea?

Tea, although I do enjoy a morning espresso

81) Beer or wine?

Wine. Make it a large please.

82) Sweet or savoury?

Savoury. Crisps over cake every time.

83) Introvert or extrovert?

Extrovert. Mouthy and opinionated.

84) Vampires or werewolves?

Vampires.

85) Seaside or countryside?

Seaside.

86) Summer or winter?

Summer, no question (fuck off winter)

87) Books or movies?

Books. I’m not a big film fan, I have too short an attention span.

88) Horror or comedy?

Comedy. I hate horror films.

A few random questions to finish on

89) Do you wish you could change your past?

No. I think your past brings you to your present, and if you’re happy with where you are then you shouldn’t change things.

90) What’s your dream job?

Something travel related.

91) What’s your guilty pleasure?

Crappy games on my phone!

92) What are you afraid of?

Being alone. Not for a couple of hours, but longer term. Loss.

93) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

A lawyer (I was an academic child!)

94) If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Eat as much as I wanted and never gain weight.

95) If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

I’d like to have more get up and go in everyday life. Be more dynamic.

96) Would you want immortality?

No. Imagine watching everyone around you die and being left alone?

97) If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

I’d love a chat with my Nan. She died when I was 12. I would have loved to have an adult relationship with her. Famous people don’t bother me that much.

98) Would you say you are happy?

Yes.

99) What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

Don’t put all your eggs in one boy basket!

100) Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Happy. That’s all I ever crave to be.

************

Want to get involved? Copy and paste these questions onto your own blog post! Then answer as truthfully as you can.

1) What’s your name?

2) Any nicknames or aliases?

3) Your gender?

4) Your star sign?

5) How old are you?

6) Your relationship status?

7) Any children?

8) Any pets?

9) Any tattoos or piercings?

10) What do you like about yourself?

11) What do you dislike about yourself?

12) Righty or lefty?

13) The last thing you drank:

14) The last thing you ate:

15) Your last phone call:

16) Your last text message:

17) Your last email:

18) The last song you listened to:

19) The last book you read:

20) The last time you cried:

21) The last blog you read:

22) The last person you spoke to:

23) The last place you visited:

24) Your last holiday abroad:

25) Have you ever gotten back with an ex?

26) Have you ever been cheated on?

27) Have you ever cheated on someone?

28) Have you ever lost someone special to you?

29) Have you ever been so drunk you threw up?

30) Have you ever fallen out of love with someone?

31) Have you ever met someone who changed you?

32) Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are?

33) Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have?

34) Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back?

35) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?

36) Have you ever kissed a stranger?

37) Have you ever had your own heart broken?

38) Have you ever had sex on the first date?

39) Have you ever been arrested?

40) Have you ever been attracted to someone that isn’t the gender you usually find attractive?

41) Have you ever done something you regret?

42) Have you ever had a threesome?

43) Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public?

44) Have you ever misjudged someone?

45) Do you believe in God?

46) Do you believe in yourself?

47) Do you believe in Santa Claus?

48) Do you believe in ghosts?

49) Do you believe in aliens?

50) Do you believe in miracles?

51) Do you believe in the power of positive thinking?

52) Do you believe in love at first sight?

53) Can money make you happy?

54) Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

55) Are you pro-life or pro-choice?

56) Do you have strong political beliefs?

57) Do you have strong religious beliefs?

58) What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is?

59) Are you eating anything right now?

60) Are you drinking anything right now?

61) What are you listening to right now?

62) What are you thinking about right now?

63) What are you waiting for right now?

64) What are you most excited about right now?

65) What’s your pet hate right now?

66) What’s your favourite thing right now?

67) If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now?

68) Your first best friend?

69) Your first kiss?

70) Your first celebrity crush?

71) Your first holiday?

72) Your first pet?

73) Your first regret?

74) Your first job?

75) Your first childhood memory?

76) Love or money?

77) Twitter or Facebook?

78) Hook up or relationship?

79) Dogs or cats?

80) Coffee or tea?

81) Beer or wine?

82) Sweet or savoury?

83) Introvert or extrovert?

84) Vampires or werewolves?

85) Seaside or countryside?

86) Summer or winter?

87) Books or movies?

88) Horror or comedy?

89) Do you wish you could change your past?

90) What’s your dream job?

91) What’s your guilty pleasure?

92) What are you afraid of?

93) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?

94) If you could have any super power, what would it be?

95) If you could change anything about your life what would it be?

96) Would you want immortality?

97) If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose?

98) Would you say you are happy?

99) What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen?

100) Where would you like to be in five years’ time?

Thanks, as always, for reading!

5 things I say regularly when I’m driving

Great news today that, thanks to a Royal decree, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive. It’s impossible to comprehend such a level of sexism being acceptable in a modern day society, but obviously Middle Eastern countries operate differently to those in the West. It’s worth celebrating; Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women aren’t currently allowed to hold a driving licence. Who knows, it may be the start of further equality in the country (but let’s not hold our breath).

The UK government recently announced that learner drivers in England, Scotland and Wales will now be allowed on a motorway in a dual control car (i.e. with a driving instructor). Personally I’m amazed it’s taken this long for the rules to be changed. Motorway driving is quite different from normal road driving in terms of pace, speed and distances, and it seems ludicrous to me that a new driver is allowed onto such a potentially dangerous highway without any previous hands on learning or supervision.

My little sis passed her test in December last year, and bought her first car in January. She announced a few weeks back that she’d recently been on the motorway for the first time “by accident” but “it was all ok” because she “recognised all the road signs” Phew, eh?! Now, not everyone is as much of a dolly daydream as my sis (sorry Jess!) but there are people out there with little road awareness behind the wheel of a potential killing machine that puts everyone on the road at risk. Dramatic? Yes. True? Very.

5 things - the driving edition

I’m not a particularly patient driver, the fact that I’m always running slightly late means I have no patience for people who dilly dally on the roads, but I do always drive safely and with full awareness of what’s going on around me. Which is much needed because some people either a) don’t have a licence, b) have forgotten how to drive, or c) think the rules of the road don’t apply to them.

My recent experience of driving in Greece, on our day out in the Mani Peninsula, was exactly that – an experience! Apart from the fact that the steering wheel and gear stick were in the wrong place, the mountain roads coupled with the craziness of Greek drivers made for some hairy times! Greek drivers think nothing of overtaking on a bend on the edge of a cliff when a truck is coming in the opposite direction and I admit that a couple of times I just held my breath and expected the worst. The taxi driver who took us to the airport said that it’s because local people know the mountain roads so well, and know what they can and can’t get away with, but surely they don’t know what’s coming the other way?! He was also quite disparaging of drivers from other countries, so I guess we all have a higher opinion of ourselves on the road than that of other people.

Here are 5 things I can be heard saying on a regular basis!

“You’re welcome”

This is dripping with sarcasm, usually shouted at someone who has failed to acknowledge that I’ve given them right of way and let them through. Rudeness – both on the road and in everyday life – really gets my goat. There’s no need for it.

“Got no indicators?”

Often aimed at, but not restricted to, BMW drivers (sorry to generalise, but they do seem to be the worst offenders). Seriously, how difficult is it to flick the little purpose built, conveniently placed stick so that the rest of the world knows which way you’re planning to go?

“You could get a bus through there!”

People who drive a small car but think it has the dimensions of a tank. Know your vehicle and know what it is and isn’t capable of! Don’t wait for a gap the size of 3 lorries to carry on your way.

“Put your foot down, love”

People who drive below the speed limit. What is that all about? The fact you’re in a car suggests you have somewhere to be, so why not drive at the allowed limit and get there a little bit faster? There is no excuse for driving more slowly than you’re allowed to on most general roads.

“Are you fucking kidding me?”

The amount of people who drift into the wrong lane, cut you up, blast their horn when they’re in the wrong, gesticulate wildly or just act like knobheads on the road is unreal. So it makes me feel better to shout. Not at them. Just about them. It’s purely a rhetorical question for releasing anger!

Do you drive? Do you enjoy it? Do you get cross at people like I do?! I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

5 things I just don’t get

I know the world would be boring if we were all the same, and I’ve posted before about blogger trends I don’t understand, but here are 5 things that seem quite prevalent at the moment that I don’t understand either (and I think that some of them may be because I’m getting older, which means I’m turning into a generational moaner!)

Tea

Tea

I mean, tea isn’t a new thing obviously, but the people in my office drink buckets of the stuff and in this hot weather I just can’t comprehend it. I’m not a tea drinker anyway, I’ll have the odd cup every so often but very rarely, but the thought of drinking a hot drink on a hot day is absolutely nuts to me! (I appreciate I’m very much in the minority here, in England at least, the Brits love a cuppa)

Vlogs

Vlog

I’m old school. I like to read information and consume content via words. Occasionally I’ll watch an instructional YouTube video if I need to know how to do something. But watching people open boxes or show make up swatches is an alien concept to me. I don’t understand the popularity of it (apart from maybe to be nosy?)

Love Island

Love Island

I have never watched an episode of Love Island, and that’s ok. In fact I’m quite proud of it. I know it isn’t a new program, but it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE this year and people are obsessing over it and I don’t know why? Back in the early days of reality TV – like Big Brother – it used to be fun to watch people interact with each other. Now reality TV is just a stepping stone to “fame” and I don’t believe anyone truly thinks they’re going to find lasting love on a TV program that’s all about ratings. All I seem to see on social media is who’s shagging who and it all sounds vacuous and false and absolutely hideous.

Furry sliders

Furry sliders

So, fur’s for keeping warm and sandals are for keeping cool. Why then would you mix the two? Surely, on a hot summer day, you’re just going to end up with sweaty feet? They don’t even look pretty?!

Contouring and highlighting

Contouring

I understand these two things, and the reasons behind them, but it seems like so many girls are obsessed with changing their appearance and looking the same. I’m all for make up to enhance your appearance but unless it’s done well you just look like you’ve done a really bad make up job and it looks silly. Plus it’s so much effort for everyday. Do it right or just avoid it totally.

Whinge over! What are your bug bears?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

5 things I learnt from living in our flat

We officially moved into our new place on Saturday – how exciting! We haven’t quite left the flat yet, there are still bits and pieces lingering around that we need to transfer over, but its no longer our main residence (I sound like the Queen!)

It’s been a super happy and fun 11 years in that little place, and I’ve loved every minute.

5 things I learnt from living in our flat

I’ve also learnt a few things too!

———–

You can fit a lot more stuff in a 2 bedroom flat than initially thought

As evidenced by the fact that we still haven’t 100% moved, and that we have boxes everywhere, and that I don’t remember our move 11 years ago being anywhere near this messy, it’s fair to say we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Neither of us are good at living a minimal lifestyle – me with clothes and shoes and the husband with music and guitars, so it was inevitable that we’re going to have to buy more storage for the new place!

I love one level living

The idea of living in a flat didn’t come naturally to me at first but within days (more likely minutes) I loved having everything on one level! Not having to go upstairs for the loo in the middle of a TV program, or go downstairs for a drink in the middle of the night – it just really worked! So much so, in fact, that when we started to earnestly talk about moving, I insisted I would only move to a bungalow! And now I have a whole 13 stairs – I’m just hoping they help me lose weight!!

How much I like trees and squirrels

The flat was built in the 1960s, and most of the trees on the estate are from that era, so you can imagine their height and magnitude after growing for 50 years! The surrounding is so very green and lush, with thick trunks and dense leaves perfect for squirrels to climb, jump about and hide in. I love to sit watching them playing or chasing each other. We were worried that the move would mean giving up all the greenery as we live in an urban location, but we’ve been incredibly lucky to find a place that, if possible, is even more green and quiet than what we’ve left behind. Standing in the garden, all you can here is leaves rustling and birdsong, it’s beautiful. And I spotted a cheeky squirrel at the weekend too.

How much I dislike ceramic hobs!

I bought our kitchen hob for appearance rather than functionality and it drives me mad! It’s so unresponsive when you change the temperature, and it’s a sod to keep clean too. Definitely not repeating that when we get our new kitchen!

Fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas

Ah, tiny twinkly lights, how I love thee! From multi-coloured pretties on the balcony, to star shaped ones in the lounge and a Moroccan inspired set in the dining area, I think everything is improved with the soft subtle glow of fairy lights. I’ll be having lots of them in the new place, and even more in the garden!

———–

With all those lessons learnt and experiences…experienced, it feels nice to be starting in a new place with the basics all ticked but the rest as a blank canvas for us to make our own mark. It’s going to be a long, slow and expensive process, but it’s going to be fab!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

5 things I thought on our first day in Malaysia

It’s been almost a week since we left Malaysia, and I haven’t got round to sorting my photos <<bad blogger>> I will be writing lots of posts about what we got up to soon, but in the mean time here were some of my initial reactions after 15 hours of travelling!

Thank God we’ve made it!
When I came across the deal for our trip, I knew it was an amazing offer and not worth not going. I also figured that part of the reason the offer price was so good is because the flights were with Malaysia Airlines who are still trying to (re)build their customer base. Mention them to most people (certainly the people I know) and the reaction is “good luck with the plane not disappearing”. MH370 is still firmly in people’s minds, and no-one’s more than the husband. He was obsessed with the case when it happened and I knew how he’d react at the prospect of flying with them. So I gave him the hard sell on the holiday, the weather, the amazing things we’d see, the food we’d eat. I didn’t tell him anything about the flights until he asked me, and by then he was already hooked on the idea of the trip.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t part of me that was ever so slightly nervous about something happening, and we certainly both joked that if the plane was going to go missing then hopefully it would be on our way back after we’d had a great time, but then I rationalised it by how many flights are operated every single day by Malaysia Airlines without incident and thankfully the husband saw it that way too.

And, do you know what? They were amazing. Legroom, comfort, food and service were all brilliant, and I’d have no hesitation in recommending them. KL airport, pictured right above, was pretty cool too!

Does anyone actually have a driving licence?
Our taxi transfer from the airport to the hotel was pretty hairy, and it was a sign of things to come. Lane discipline is almost none existent, driving bumper to bumper is the norm, and throw in some crazy moped drivers and you feel like you need to hold onto your seat! There are so many mopeds on the road and personal safety seems far down the list of considerations – we saw people riding mopeds with tiny babies on their laps, people wearing no helmets, 3 adults squashed on one moped, people carrying oversized items like big pieces of wood – and no-one bats an eyelid. Although cars are right hand drive and they drive on the left hand side of the road – just like here in the UK – NO WAY would I consider hiring anything on wheels and taking my chances. It was crazy!

This is going to be an ugly holiday for me
You know when you go to a hot country and you get off the plane and the heat envelops you like a warm hug (especially if the temperatures have been less than great at home). Imagine that warm hug being delivered by someone in a wet shirt, leaving you all clammy and damp. That’s what it felt like when we got to Penang. We knew that the humidity levels would be high but it was like nowhere I’ve ever experienced. The only way to cope was keep my hair scraped off my face and tissues to hand to mop my heavily perspiring brow.

Me at Penang Hill

Me at the top of Penang Hill – check out those frizzy flyaway hairs!

Even minimal make up just fell off within 10 minutes of leaving the hotel room! Kuala Lumpur was more manageable, but I still avoided photos as I was looking less than my best!

It’s a lot greener than I expected
Because of the year round hot temperatures, I think I expected the landscape to be a lot more parched and barren. Quite the opposite in fact, it was incredibly green. Our hotel room balcony in Penang overlooked a hill of forest, and everywhere we went flowers flourished.

Clockwise, from top left – view from Penang Hill, flowers at Kek Lok Si temple, view from Kek Lok Si temple up to Penang Hill

We soon realised why, on our first night, when the rain came. It was like someone had turned on a tap and, with only seconds warning, the streets were coursing with rain water. So yeah, the plants get all the nourishment they need!

It’s perfectly acceptable to eat curry for breakfast
We arrived at our hotel just as the breakfast buffet was coming to an end so, being the greedy foodie that I am, I had a little look around to see what was on offer ready for the next day. The hotel obviously needs to cater for visitors from across the world, so the food choices reflected that. Croissants, bread for toast, fresh fruit, porridge, sausages and baked beans sat alongside fried rice, noodles and spicy curry dishes. I love spicy food and can often be heard saying I’d eat it at anytime of day, so I wasn’t going to miss out on a legitimate opportunity! I had a little taster of local cuisine most mornings, and it was delish!

Ooh, so many memories just from writing this short post!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

5 things estate agents suggest to help sell your property

Our flat is going on the market today! The estate agent has taken pictures, made a floorplan and is getting it listed online and in their branch. It’s exciting and nervewracking and lots of other complex emotions.

In the lead up to today we’ve been making sure that our home is in as good a condition as it can possibly be. So we’ve been painting, decluttering and somewhat depersonalising (prospective buyers probably don’t want to see our band artwork or the husband’s bongos – not a euphemism!)

I also had a quick Google to see if there are any other useful tips we might not have thought about. We’ve all heard the suggestion to bake fresh bread and brew coffee to entice buyers, but here are 5 others you may not have heard.

Top tips for selling your home

  • Flowers on the table. Makes sense. Nice scent, a pop of colour; this is something we can totally do.
  • Make your bed, using bedlinen to match the room décor. Bit of a nobrainer this one? Who’s going to leave their bed unmade?
  • Remove selected interior doors to give the illusion of space. Eh? Where are you going to put the door? And what about the hinges that are left behind? To me this would just look like you’re a bit trampy or you’ve had a fight and one of you have smashed the door in!
  • Take a sofa out of the lounge, again for the space thing. WHAT? That’s bonkers! If I went into a lounge with only one sofa, in my head I’d think the room is only big enough for one sofa and it would definitely put me off. And again, WHERE DO YOU PUT YOUR “SPARE” SOFA???
  • Park high end cars on the driveway. OK, so I’ll just go out and hire a Range Rover and a Porsche to sit there until my home sells, god knows when!!!!

Have you come across any bonkers house tips that make absolutely no sense? Moved or are moving house? Hit me up!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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