Tag: happiness

Friday Feeling [21] – the couple that dresses together…

Are you in a couple? Yes? Imagine for a minute if you suggested to your partner that you wear coordinating clothes? Or they suggested it to you?

One of you would be running for the hills, right?

Not so for cute couple Bon and Pon, who dress along the same theme daily and Instagram their sartorial goings on for all to see.

Just look!

Screenshot_2017-11-03-19-41-38-1

The couple have been married for 37 years, so they’re obviously doing something right, and they have over half a million followers on Instagram!

Read the full story, and follow them on Instagram here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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Friday Feeling [17] – love before status

In the embodiment of the saying “love makes the world go round” a Japanese princess is giving up her royal title in order to marry the man she loves.

In Japanese tradition, if a female royal marries “a commoner” she must renounce her Royal status. Annoyingly, male royals are allowed to marry whoever they choose without having to give up their status, but that’s a rant for another day.

Such is Princess Mako’s love for her boyfriend of 5 years, that she believes it’s worth giving up the rights she was born with in order to be with him. That’s the power of love.

Princess Mako and Kei Komuro

All together now, awwwww!

Read the full story here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Friday Feeling [10] – it’s all about you

We all know that Instagram can be, and mostly is, a self serving narcissistic platform for people to garner likes and approvable from those they may or may not know (I am no exception in this <shameless plug> you can follow me on instagram here).

So just how cute is this older gentleman who uses his instagram account to post pictures of his good lady wife throughout the years, talking about just how much he loves her?

Cute old couple instagram

Isn’t that just adorable?

Heart. Melting.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Feelgood Friday [3] – Robin Red Breast

If you’ve ever experienced the death of someone close to you, you’ll know that you can’t help but wonder if there is some kind of life after death, or a spirit or just something. To many people, it’s a comfort to believe that death isn’t the end, and that it’s just a transition to another state of being.

Robin at gravesideWhich is why this story of a lady who lost her son at the age of 4 and has been visited by a robin at his grave on the anniversary of his death is so so lovely. I’ve heard on numerous occasions of people who’ve lost a loved one and then regularly seen a robin (butterflies are another one) but this little bird went one step further and actually sat calmly on her hand, still enough and long enough for her to be able to take a photograph.

Of course there are haters who say it’s a load of old nonsense, but if it brings this lady comfort then does it really matter if there’s any science behind it? It’s just lovely that she can feel a closeness to her son, and believe that he’s telling her he’s ok.

I know that I took a lot of comfort in what we believed to be signs from somewhere when my Dad died last year, and I’m one of the biggest cynics there is!

I hope this story brought a smile to your face.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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It’s been emotional

I’ve been an emotional wreck for the last few days. I don’t know why I’ve been so touchy, but that’s life. Not really the best subject matter on International Happiness Day – sorry!

Be Happy

It started with this story which had me in tears at my desk on Friday, Seriously, it hit me right in the heart and I had to go and shut myself in the toilet for a sob. 7 year old Filip’s Mom died when he was just 2 years old and is buried in Poland. Now Filip is dying from leukaemia, and his wish is to be buried alongside in his Mom so she can look after him in heaven. That poor little boy. His photograph broke me, the story broke me, and his Dad’s crowdfunding efforts to grant his boy’s dying wish broke me. And, no offence to anyone reading this who believes in religion, but stuff like this is further proof to me that God can’t possibly exist, because why would an entity that’s supposed to be good ever ever cause so much pain and suffering for an innocent child?

I never really donate to crowdfunding efforts but I couldn’t not chip into this one. The nice news is that they’ve smashed the initial £6,500 target, so poor little Filip will be reunited with his Mom when the sad time comes.

On the back of that (and crying over it again on Saturday as I was telling my Mom about it) I got all emotional about our impending move. A couple in their late 50s came to view the flat, with a view to just the man buying it. They’ve been together for over 30 years but don’t want to be together any more, even though they’re still great friends. And that made me really sad. People try so hard to find love, and when it comes to an end I think that’s heartbreaking (unless someone cheats in which case it’s bloody good riddance after smashing up their stuff and badmouthing them to anyone that will listen).

Those tears (which came after the viewing was over!) soon developed into a full on blart fest about leaving the flat. We’ve been so very very happy here. We only intended to stay for 5 years but have been here for eleven, and they’re the happiest years of my life. I know it’s only bricks and mortar but I feel content, safe and settled here. And while the new place will be great, it’s still a big wrench to leave our little space in the sky.

Crying about moving on to better things in life, nuts eh?

So, there you have my uplifting take on International Happiness Day – ha! I can’t say I’m any happier today, and I don’t know why! I need a bang to the head!

In spite of all that, I actually had a nice weekend; family time and Indian food for my Mom’s birthday on Friday night, friends time at a gig on Saturday night, and husband time on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

What have you been up to?

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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And the bride wore…black…

I think I’ve mentioned on here that I was lucky enough to be asked by two of my amazing friends to be a bridesmaid at their wedding. Right from the off it was obvious that it wouldn’t be a conventional wedding, so I was totally unsurprised when the bride told me her dress would be black.

its-a-nice-day-for-a-black-wedding

I was also unsurprised at them selecting a gothic venue which would be a dramatic backdrop to a stunning day.

We had the most amazing time. The husband and I, along with some of the wedding party, stayed over on Saturday night, so were able to get a feel for the venue and the surroundings. Sunday, the day of the wedding, was just amazing from beginning to end. The venue, Ettington Park Hotel, has chapel ruins in the grounds which is where they hoped to marry. We’ve eagerly kept an eye on the weather forecast, hoping for the best but fearing the worst for the end of October. We needn’t have worried. It was a really mild day with a light element of mist that gave an atmospheric eeriness to proceedings. Everything went perfectly, from getting ready, through to the ceremony, through to pictures, the wedding breakfast and the party in the evening. I stumbled off to bed at 4.30am full of happiness, love and joy. It was an absolutely fantastic weekend.

I got to wear a beautiful dress, which was bought as a plain purple frock and then custom decorated with black lace.

purple-and-black-lace-bridesmaid-dress

The husband and I had strong shoe game; check out those purple suede boots! (he was one of the best men – there were three)

bridesmaid-sandals-and-best-man-purple-suede-boots

The timing, the day before Halloween, obviously lent itself to themed decorations which could, quite easily, have fallen into tacky territory. It was quite the opposite. Quirky, with little bits and bobs here and there, hand painted bottles and brightly painted pumpkins in little nooks and crannies, lots of black lace and floral decorations. Everywhere we looked there was something to marvel at, subtle spooky skeletons and bough after bough of ivy with 2 full size skeletons in bridal wear positioned in the hotel entrance.

The best thing I can do to give you an insight is to share some pics with you. Just visually stunning.

Photographs by myself, various guests and the amazing official photographer Sassy at Assassynation

Cake by Little Cherry Cake Company

Aside from the sheer beauty and fun of it all, it really was an honour and a privilege to see our dear friends get married. They’re so great together, so right for each other and so in love that not one person in the room could have questioned whether they were doing the right thing, and that’s really what it’s all about. Take away the beautiful outfits, the gorgeous backdrop and the brilliant party, and their relationship is the same now they’re married as it was before. They have a relationship built on laughter, not taking each other too seriously and mutual respect, as well as adoration, and a marriage certificate is just the icing on the cake for them. Being part of their day was such a beautiful thing and I was so touched and excited to be asked; I’ll treasure the memories of the day and their ongoing friendship forever.

Oh, and I’ll also treasure this, possibly the coolest wedding photograph ever!

purple-and-black-gothic-wedding-party-group-shotPhotograph by Sassy at Assassynation

I can’t think of anyone who’s getting married next year, and that makes me really sad. I love a good wedding!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

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The Happiness Tag

Now that my head has stopped rebelling against happiness (so dramatic!) I thought it was time for something lighthearted to lift the mood. That’s not to ignore the terrible stuff that has happened since (RIP Jo Cox) but sometimes humour is needed in the depths of despair.

On that note, I  was tagged by the lovely Dannii Jane at A Beautiful Thing to talk about things that make me happy. So here we go!

Happiness!

The rules for this tag are simple. List 5 things that make you happy, 5 songs that make you happy and then nominate 5 bloggers to complete this tag.

5 things that make me happy

  • Sunshine. Instantly lifts my mood and makes me a nicer, happier person (and easier to live with too!)
  • A really good meal. That sense of yummy enjoyment when food is speaking to your very soul.
  • Holidays. Planning them, but more so going on them! Seeing stuff, visiting places, taking photos, lying on a beach – I love everything about getaways.
  • My balcony in summer. I love planning colour schemes and potting new plants, watching them grow.
  • Singing along to powerful songs – the likes of Mariah and Whitney – trying for (and missing!) the high notes and doing the whole fist grab warbly diva thing!

5 songs that make me happy

  • Chris Isaak – Wicked Game

This song reminds me of my husband, we used to listen to it loads when we first got together and it reminds me of that time.

  • Motley Crue – Smokin in the Boys Room

This was always the first song I put on the jukebox in the many nights we spent in the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, LA. It’s so fun!

    • Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition

I loved this song from the first time I heard it. When we were at the Rolling Stones Hyde Park gig a few years ago I was running round trying to find some friends who’d travelled separately (Hi Cookie and Sadie!) We kept missing each others calls and texts and struggled to get in touch due to poor signal and then I found them when this song was playing. I will always always remember it for that.

  • Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

The ultimate summer song and one that never fails to make me stop what I’m doing, smile, dance and singalong. I truly believe it’s the best summer song ever! You know I’m right!

  • Finally, a very unseasonal one! Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You

I can’t listen to this without singing. I sing it so badly and I don’t even care, that’s part of the fun! It’s the ultimate Christmas song that I also do a weird hybrid pirouette dance when I hear it at home to make the husband laugh. For that reason he plays it on purpose when I’m doing other stuff, because he knows I’ll drop everything and come and dance in the lounge!

I’m actually not going to nominate anyone specific because I don’t want to put anyone on the spot, but if you’re reading this and it sounds fun then please get involved! And don’t forget to leave me a note in the comments with a link to your post so I can check out your answers.

Happy Friday and thanks, as always, for reading! x

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A post about mental health, for World Health Day

Well, lookie here, no fancy pants title or trying to be funny.

Then again, mental illness isn’t funny.

It’s also nothing to be ashamed of.

I’ve been on anti-depressants for many years. That isn’t supposed to sound as flippantly blasé as I know it does, but it’s a fact. And facts are important.

Ironically, the “face” of depression – the weeping, wailing, staying in bed all day – is about as far away from my symptoms as can be. I did go through a period like that, after I’d been diagnosed but before I started taking medication. I had 3 weeks off work, slept all day and lived on cereal. I also used to laugh with my friends on the phone and go out clubbing. There was a real dichotomy to my diagnosis.

But, for me, mostly, depression is about anger, irritation and the inability to deal with normal situations in a rational way. An overwhelming overwhelmedness.

I had started to be this irrational, short tempered, irritable person who snapped at nothing and everything. I couldn’t see it myself. I was living with my Mom at the time, after she and my Dad had separated, and inevitably most mornings would wind up with her in tears and me thinking it was all her fault. During a brief moment of clarity when I realised perhaps I was partly to blame, I booked an appointment with my doctor. Where I spilled everything and had a good cry to boot.

Being diagnosed with depression when you’re not that weeping wailing ball of sadness that you associate with the illness is a weird one. I had no intention of taking the anti-depressants prescribed by the doctor, because it was obviously just a phase and it would pass. Besides, people on anti-depressants were generally nutters, right? It wasn’t a category I wanted to associate myself with. But the situation worsened over the course of a week and came to something of a crescendo when I threatened to take a packet of Nurofen if my Mom didn’t back off. She carted me off to the pharmacy, with the much hated prescription in hand, and made me take my first tablet there and then.

It would be overly dramatic to say she saved my life, because I wouldn’t really have taken the Nurofen (I think there was only a few in the packet anyway), although there were times during the weeks that followed that I’d have been happy for it all to end. Not suicidal as in I wanted to deal the final blow, but if I could have stayed in bed and everyone came to say goodbye and then I just went to sleep, that would have been groovy. Of course that didn’t happen, and I’m rather glad. She certainly saved our relationship at that point in time, because there was no way we could have continued living together had things progressed any further.

Initially I went through the stigma of not wanting anyone to know and keeping it a secret. I shared it with a few people and then had it thrown back at me, by someone who should have known better, telling me that I had nothing to be depressed about and didn’t know what a hard life was all about.

But I’m not ashamed. I don’t declare it from the rooftops, but I’m open with friends if it comes up in conversation. My husband and I affectionately refer to my Prozac as my “loopy tablets” and they’re a source of relationship glue for both of us. I say that following an episode 2 years ago where I decided to come off them without telling anyone, because I was feeling strong, and unknowingly put our marriage under a lot of strain. Same situation – me being intolerable and nasty and short tempered but thinking he was to blame. Of course that’s not all that keeps our marriage together! But it certainly contributes to the stability of our marriage. Because, let’s face it, who wants to be legally stuck with someone who’s aggressive, accusatory and irrational?

I know you’re not supposed to be on anti-depressants for a prolonged period of time. But I’m also a great believer in knowing your own mind. I’ve been through times where I’ve taken a tablet every couple of days and felt fine. There are days when I take them religiously each day. There have been times when I’ve upped my dosage for a while (although always with a doctor’s consent). The key to me is doing what’s right for me, and what makes me feel ok. And, in the experience I’ve had with not taking them, I can honestly say I need them. Not an addiction, or falling apart at the seams if I miss one. But that little bit of connection between the wires of my brain that don’t quite match up makes me the “real me” and not the “angry me”. And why would I give that up just to not be a statistic?

I love this cartoon, which I’ve seen a number of times and totally sums it up, for me.

Depression cartoon

If I had diabetes, I wouldn’t not inject myself because of the stigma.

If I had a heart condition I wouldn’t refuse beta blockers because I didn’t want to be on them.

So if at some point in this journey of life my mind stopped working to it’s best ability, then I’m damn well going to give it everything it needs to bridge that gap – for my marriage, for my family, for my employers but, most importantly, for me.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Love is…fun!

There’s a lot of things that encapsulate love. The hearts and flowers and mushiness is just a small part of it.

I think that one of the key factors for a long and happy relationship is fun. Being able to laugh with each other and at each other. If someone makes you laugh it’s impossible to stay mad with them for too long. Laughter makes you feel good, so it’s important to do it as much as possible.

With that in mind I found these funny Valentine’s images and cards. I’d be happy to receive any one of these on Valentine’s Day – more so than a fluffy puppy holding a heart saying “I wuff you” any day of the week.

Political and tyrannical (by Ben Kling, check out more here)

Cheesy!

Satirical (although who’d want Kanye’s face in their home?!)

Valentines card Kanye

Simple

The ones below are all from Moonpig, and some oft hem can be personalised, which is always a nice touch.

Observational!

Foodie

And, my personal favourites, punny!

 

What kind of Valentine’s card do you send, if any?

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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7 years and counting – it’s my Wedding Anniversary!

Well, not just mine obviously. It takes 2 people to have an Anniversary. And I couldn’t be happier with who I get to share mine – The Husband.Love blocks

Although I refer to him quite a lot on here, I don’t share a lot of detail about him. I don’t really think it would be fair, because this is my blog and my choice to share my thoughts with the world few people that read it. I shouldn’t really drag him into it.

But because it’s a special day, I’ll tell you a little bit about him and our marriage.

  • We were very good friends for 2 years before we got together, so by the time we became a couple we already knew all the bad bits, the exes, etc!
  • We’ve been together for 10 and a half years
  • We moved in together after just 8 months (I didn’t wait for him to ask me, I told him I was moving into his flat – no point hanging about when you know it’s right!)
  • We don’t have, or want, any children. It’s just “not us”
  • We got married on a beach in Mauritius, just the two of us
  • We had a “second wedding” the day after we got home for family and friends (a renewal of vows ceremony)
  • He’s 7 years older than me, but just as silly and daft as I am
  • He has long blonde hair, 2 full sleeve tattoos, wears earrings and looks NOTHING like when we got married!
  • He owns a red sparkly Harley Davidson
  • He’s a MASSIVE music geek, and knows the release year of pretty much everything ever, even stuff that’s not his genre
  • He still makes my heart go boom-diddy
  • He’s my best friend in the whole wide world

Here’s a picture of us on our wedding day.

Us on our wedding day

And here’s one of us taken at Moseley Jazz Festival this summer.

Us at Moseley Folk Festival

Here are 10 of the (many) things I love about him:

  • He’s seen me through some tough personal emotional and mental times, with more to come, and been my absolute rock
  • He occasionally lets me plait his hair like he’s my own personal Girls World
  • He thinks that wine cures everything and always tells me to have one more glass
  • He always smells delicious, even after the gym
  • He’s very very funny and daft and indulges me in silly in-jokes
  • He uses the blonde girl in the orange jumper phone emoticon to represent himself when he texts me, because he knows it makes me smile
  • He’s always got hair product I can borrow
  • He’s tall so I can wear the highest heels, and has really manly broad shoulders to give good cuddles
  • He loves clothes and always gives me good advice when I buy stuff (only if I ask for it, he’s not a control freak!)
  • He accepts me, warts and all

The last one might be the most important of all. I’m not the easiest person in the world to be in a relationship with; I’m very untidy, I have too many parcels delivered, I can be short-tempered and irritable. My mental stability has been questionable in the past, I drink too much and I’m constantly nagging to go places and see stuff.

But somehow, it works. And it works brilliantly. And I hope we have many many more years to come.

I know he’ll read this at some point, so:

“I love you Husband!”

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