Week Twenty

It’s late in the day for a blog post, I know. As the weekend comes to an end, I’m feeling particularly melancholy and blogging always makes me feel chirpier, so here we are.

It feels like Sunday evening came around very quickly. It feels like only a few minutes ago, I was rolling out of bed (post- eurovision lie in was a necessity) and getting to work spring cleaning with Dave. The flat needed a good tidy and we rewarded ourselves with a lovely lunch out, so it’s been a good day all in all. I just can’t believe it’s nearly over.

I suppose, there’s still time. Time to get a real wriggle on with the studying. Time to chill and have dinner. Time to curl up with a movie and probably fall asleep in the middle of it.

Week twenty was a great week, if only because we were back to routine and that’s always a bit of a relief after a hectic few weeks in a row. That and the fact that the weather has been so beautiful!

This week I felt a little more on top of everything on the work front. Bank holidays are great, but I’d only just really caught up at work after Easter and then May came around and threw me off track again.  I needed this full five day week to get back on track. I had a very productive and equally lovely working from home day: I spent it working out on the balcony and cooked turkey dinosaurs at lunch time.

In other news, I started reading Adam Kay’s ‘This is going to hurt’ this week and I’m flying through it! I’ve a feeling it’s going to be a full 5 stars from me! The book is hilarious, but also eye-opening. Reading it is so enjoyable, but at the same time so frustrating. Basically, the book contains lots of Adam Kay’s diary entries from when he was a junior doctor. He helpfully translates the medical language and he’s brutally honest. It’s terrifying actually, to hear about the challenges our NHS staff face every day and the lengths they are pushed to. When reading it on the tubes, I felt like getting everyone’s attention and reading extracts out loud to the carriage just to raise more awareness.

I saw two of my best friends and caught up with my sister this week too. A good week is a week that contains multiple catch ups over food and drink…

My sister and I went for dinner on Thursday, which was lovely as ever.

Friday night was spent at Las Iguanas with one of the friends, numerous cocktails and tapas. She brought me the loveliest necklace for my birthday (which happens to be on Wednesday… And I’m going to be 25… EEK!) and we had a wonderful time catching up on life.

Yesterday, I drove to Salisbury to see the other friend. Escaping London was the absolute bestest. It took me ages to get past Heathrow and out the other side, but once I was away from the motorways and off onto the A roads in Wiltshire, I immediately felt happier. I whizzed down the roads, fields for miles on either side of me, until I reached her lovely flat. I was so happy to see her: It’d been way too long! We got a really yummy lunch in town and then did some shopping. I’m relieved to say that I successfully purchased my costume for my birthday party next week…

I can’t quite believe I’m going to be 25! I feel like this is it. This is the best age to be. I’d quite happily pause here for a bit. Determined to celebrate this year. For a few years in a row, I’ve not really made a thing of my birthday. I’m a stressy host anyway and getting everyone together always feels like a huge ordeal. A huge ordeal, that I will have undertaken by the time next Sunday comes around! I’m getting all my friends together this year, for a fancy dress party. Everyone’s coming as something beginning with ‘B’ and so far, I’m more excited than nervous. I just hope everyone has a great time and I can get my 26th year off to a strong start. Absolutely no stressing about hosting allowed. See you on the other side!

Another year older

I’M FEELIN’ 24.

And ‘what does 24 feel like?’ you might ask. Well, I guess I actually do feel a little older.

If I really think about it, I realise that even in the last week or so I’ve done many things a younger me would have been too scared to do. Silly things like carrying birthday cake on the tube and sorting my cars MOT out, to important things like representing my team at a work event and going on a hen do weekend without freaking out. And yes, the prospect of having to carry a birthday cake on the tube would have been absolutely terrifying to me a couple of years ago: I would have gone over and over all the ways in which carrying birthday cake could lead to disaster and probably decided I best not take the risk.

WHAT IF I WERE TO DROP IT, FALL FACE FIRST INTO IT AND SPEND THE DAY COVERED IN CHOCOLATE?

WHAT IF I GOT FUNNY LOOKS OFF FELLOW PASSENGERS?

WHAT IF I GOT ATTACKED BY HUNGRY PIGEONS?

Oh, how far I’ve come.

In some ways, I’ve barely grown up at all. I still can’t wear high heels. I’m currently listening to Avril Lavigne’s Goodbye Lullaby on vinyl. I still don’t like gin and tonic. I’m still terrified of spiders. I’ve never used an iron in my life. I still hate cooking chicken. I still hate cooking full stop (yes – if you’ve been keeping up, the enjoying cooking thing didn’t stick).

Anyhoo, in case you can’t tell, my birthday has left me feeling reflective and reminiscent (oh my, how time is flying by). It’s also left me feeling very loved and extremely grateful. A massive thank you to everyone who posted on facebook, sent cards, celebrated with me and helped to make it so special.

The celebrations started with some awesome work colleagues and wayyy too much prosecco. I also went out for a lovely lunch with my family. I highly recommend Cote Brasserie in Chelmsford if you’re ever over that way… Superb service, lovely food and a free bottle of champagne to say Happy Birthday! My sister came into London to meet me on my lunch break on the actual day and we spent a really lovely hour up in the Sky Garden. I went for a wonderful dinner with some girl friends later in the week. AND some time soon Dave and I are going to be climbing the O2 in London which is admittedly a little nerve-racking, but VERY exciting too.

We had another bank holiday this week and I’m oh so glad. The hen do was absolutely amazing and if I’d had to go back to work on Monday I’d have been super mopey.

Instead I spent Monday sat in a park with a lovely friend I hadn’t seen in OVER THREE YEARS, in beautiful sunshine, eating ice cream and sipping coke.

When I woke up for work yesterday morning I was super sleepy. However, once I’d sat at my desk and had a cuppa, I must say I felt pretty refreshed and I’m actually quite happy to be getting stuck in again.

This Friday night I think Dave and I might finally go see Avengers: Infinity War. Saturday, I’m looking forward to catching up on life admin and giving the bathroom a proper clean (see! That’s something I’d have never said two years ago). Sunday I’ll be seeing the family again, which will be lovely.

Going into my 25th year thinking, life’s not too shabby. Not too shabby at all. In a way I think I’ll never leave my younger self behind, not really. I’m always going to love Harry Potter and Disney in general. I’m always going to love cocktails and prosecco and a good boogie. And I don’t think I’ll ever really like cooking. I guess that’s where that saying comes from. The one that says you’re as young as you feel. TOO RIGHT.

Let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains

Today is my grandad’s and my sister’s birthday. I love birthdays. Waking up this morning and jumping out of bed to give them my birthday wishes made me so happy. I love how everyone comes together too. My grandparents were here for the weekend and my brother came home too. My sister’s friends popped ’round with presents, we had bacon sandwiches, looked through old photos for memories sake and then I had to get off to work.

I’ve been at work for most of the afternoon so I’m now feasting on left over birthday cake and drinking the last of the red wine. Did feel a little down about the fact I had to work, but all in all I think it’s worked out okay: I got home in time to see them blow out their birthday candles and it seems to me the two of them have had really lovely days. Well deserved too!

It’s been another long and busy week. Not all work this week though. Managed to fit in an afternoon with the Alzheimer’s Society, an evening with Dave and a couple of evenings with friends. Spent Thursday night drinking cocktails which made a very nice change from carrying them on trays.

Can’t quite believe how quickly Christmas is coming up. Going to have to start making some time for Christmas shopping too. Can definitely tell winter is on the way. I’ve attached the fur back onto the hood of my coat, my scarf rack is out from behind the cupboard and so are my winter boots.

Another busy week ahead, for now I’m just looking forward to an early night. Bed’s going to feel amazing – it always does when you’re tired, especially when you’ve had a glass of wine.

Here comes the sun (do dee do doo)

Genuinely struggling to piece this week together. It’s been a long one, a busy one, a stressful one at times, but ultimately a good one. 

Wednesday was a very good day, I remember that. For my birthday, Dave bought him and I tickets to see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre. For those who don’t know, The Woman in Black is a spooky, thriller that has been running at the Fortune Theatre since 1989. Both Dave and I have wanted to see it for years. It’s infamous for scaring audiences silly, but well known for being an exceptional play.

I had booked the day off in advance, planning to spend the whole day with him. We took our time getting up and out of bed and then grabbed an amazing breakfast in a cafe called ‘A Canteen’. I 100% recommend it. We chilled in central park in the sunshine for a long while and then we headed into London. We popped to Maccy D’s super quick before the show started and then we got to the theatre just early enough for the nerves to build before it began. I’m not going to lie, while we sat waiting I began to wonder if going had been a good idea after all and whether I was going to be able to sit through it beginning to end and I’m glad it started when it did because a minute longer and I may have sissied out and walked straight back out the theatre.

I was so impressed. It was clever, funny, unpredictable, gripping and terrifying and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and more and I am so glad we went! It was just the right amount of scary. Not so scary I couldn’t watch, but scary enough to give me chills.

When we left the theatre it was a beautiful summer evening and I was ridiculously happy. We wandered home slowly via embankment and Hungerford Bridge. I do not think I will ever tire of looking at the view from that bridge. Nothing beats it.

Friday was the last day of this school term and I think I’ll remember it for a long time to come. It was probably one of the best days I’ve had at the school. We had a lot of fun and I admit, it all left me feeling a little emotional. Working at the school has been challenging, you’ll have gathered that if you’ve been keeping up, but it has also been amazing in so many ways. Many life decisions are to be made over the next month or so. Whether to stay at the school or not is something I’ll have to decide before anything else and right now, I feel so torn. Where from here? Teaching? On the job training? Back to University?

This weekend has been super summery and a lot of fun too. I’ve caught up with friends, been out for a fantastic Chinese dinner, had a glass of wine or two and nearly finished my book. Here’s hoping this summer is everything I need it to be. Time to think is a luxury not everyone has and I hope I can make the most of it. Come September I have to pick a path and walk down it and whatever will be, will be. 

Bleary-eyed, still smiling

This week was a tiring one. In fact, I was so tired Friday afternoon I nearly fell asleep in training at work. Every time I closed my eyes it was almost too much effort to get them open again. The information being presented was interesting and valuable and yet I could not stop yawning. I came home with a tummy ache, because I ate way too much cheesy pasta at lunchtime and a head ache too.

Dave came over and we fell asleep in front of a film. We don’t often get time to chill like that so it was greatly appreciated and made me ridiculously happy.

Don’t ask me how, but I got up and went along to one of my fitness classes first thing Saturday morning. My friend and I were both knackered, so we were in it together. We got through it and out the other side with the help of the good music and the sunshine streaming in through the windows. When I got home, I fell asleep, still fully dressed in gym clothes, for another half an hour before getting breakfast. I woke up feeling happy and refreshed. I managed to toss together a really yummy fry-up for Dave and I, before jumping in the shower happy and full of food.

One of my best friends celebrated her birthday Saturday evening. Dave and I went ’round in the afternoon to help put the gazebo and fairy lights up. We had a great time! We got through a few cuppas along the way, but when we were finished the garden looked perfectly party-ready and rain-proof. It was a really good night in the end too. We drank, boogied, laughed and partied to our hearts content.

Today I enjoyed the longest lay-in I’ve had in a while. My mum cooked an amazing roast dinner, as ever. Dave and I watched a few episodes of Dexter and I popped over to my friend’s house to finally say a temporary goodbye to her, because she leaves for Australia tomorrow. I kept my cool while I was there, but got a little teary eyed on the drive home. I’m still proud I wasn’t a complete mess. Right now, I’m more excited for her than anything. I just hope she stays safe.

Currently, I’m sat watching the football with my family. It’s been an exciting match. I’m rooting for Iceland. They’re three goals behind (currently losing 5-2 with only five minutes to go), but they keep getting goals back and I’m still hopeful. There’s just something wonderful about the spirit of their fans and the fact they’re the underdogs. Can’t help wanting them to beat the odds.

I’m feeling happy at the end of a really lovely weekend. This week was a particularly stressful one and I’m so grateful for the fact this weekend has been everything I needed it to be. Its been chilled, relaxed, exciting and fun all at the same time. For once it hasn’t flown by either. I’m still pretty tired, but I know for sure I’ll be falling asleep tonight with a smile on my face and that feels like the most important thing.

Adventure of a Lifetime

Oh my goodness, where to start?

I did go to Reading to celebrate being 22. I turned up and my wonderful friends were waiting with cards and presents which made me ridiculously happy. Our night out started with Prosecco and ended with MacDonald’s, need I say more? If you’ve never tried MacDonald’s cheesy bites, be sure to do so next time you go. They’re the bee’s knees.

Life goes on. I’m still enjoying my work. It’s been a couple of weeks since half term break and I’m still going strong. I must admit that a week off at half term got me used to the easy life again and that I was worried about getting back into the swing of things. I needn’t have stressed though, getting back into it was easy as pie! If anything I went back to work after half term feeling more confident, even if I’d managed to catch a horrid cough.

I’ve had a bit of a revelation in that I think maybe it’s the care and therapeutic support side of my job I prefer to the teaching side (dun, dun, dunnn), but I’m still not making any real plans for the future. I’m going to keep crossing bridges as I come to them and setting short term goals, Tim Minchin style. I think I want to work with people, helping people. Perhaps I’ll look into Music Therapy, do some research and see where that takes me. Maybe I could do a masters in a couple of years time? The prospect sounds amazing, but baby steps.  

This week, I went to see Coldplay at Wembley! We headed into London early so we could set up somewhere and catch the football. The England v Wales game was a good’un; it kept us all on the edge of our seats. Even I squealed when we went and got that goal in the 92nd minute.

Coldplay put on such an amazing show. There were bouncy balls in the audience and lots of confetti and fireworks. They sang all the crowd pleasers and some extras. They made beautiful tributes to David Bowie and Muhammad Ali and I cried. They did an acoustic section as well as performing all out on the main stage. I don’t know what gives Chris Martin all his endless energy, but whatever it is, I want some.

It was such a good day. I’d give almost anything to relive the moment when the pub full of fans erupted because England scored or the moment when I looked up at the open roof of Wembley stadium and literally saw ‘A sky full of confetti stars’.

Other than that, I’ve spent a lot of time recently just chilling at my best friends’ houses and loving it. I went to see X-Men Apocalypse, which I thought was REALLY enjoyable. I’ve been keeping up to date with Game of Thrones… AHHHH. I’m going to be helping my singing teacher out at a choir she runs, which should be good fun. My friend and I are still keeping up the fitness classes… just. We missed a couple, but we made up for that by doing two last week.

Tomorrow’s Father’s Day and we’re spending it at my grandparents house and I’m really looking forward to a proper chilled Sunday before another week of work. I might finally get on with this scrapbook of mine, or at least finish my book. I’m reading Life of Pi and I’m half way through and so far, it is awesome.

On that note, all that’s left to say is an early Happy Father’s Day to my dad (who just happens to be the best dad in the world) and to all the wonderful dad’s out there. If any of you are reading, I hope you have the best of days. Tomorrow, the tv controller really is all yours and you’re free to make as many dad jokes as you fancy. Enjoy it while it lasts.

“If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out of the corner of your eye” – Tim Minchin

I’ll start with the job. It’s going really well I think. It’s hard work, but I’m enjoying it. The last time I wrote, I was still recovering from food poisoning and that was definitely making life harder. Don’t get me wrong, the week after was difficult, but nowhere near as much so. This half term finishes tomorrow and I’ve told the school I’ll go back after the break. I never would have expected to end up in a job like it, but I’m glad I did. There’s so much more to say, but I also don’t want to say too much: I’m off to a good start and a breach of confidentiality might blow it all. In the interest of staying professional, my lips are sealed.

Life outside of the new job is pretty wonderful. I come home feeling like, in my little patch of this world, I’ve done some good. It feels good to be working hard and I’m proud to be challenging myself. That’s given me such a boost in general. Coming home from my office job was always a miserable affair. I was knackered, my brain hurt and I just wanted bed most days. I don’t miss that one bit.

I’M FEELING 22. Yep, my birthday’s been and gone. Birthdays are amazing things. I’m so glad that, at some point in our past, human kind decided we should celebrate the date of our birth each year. I spent this birthday just chilling at home, listening to my new vinyl records, eating lots and drinking Prosecco and I loved it. I couldn’t have been happier. I woke up next to Dave at 5 in the morning and decided that was a little too soon to be waking everyone up. I woke again at half 7 but again, thought it was a little early. I eventually got up at 9 and got straight in the shower. I was ready in a flash and when I got downstairs my mum was making tea and frying bacon and my grandparents were there with hugs and birthday wishes. I’m a child at heart and I was so excited. I was spoilt rotten and by the end of the day I couldn’t stop smiling.

If you’re thinking that’s all a little too tame for a 22nd birthday celebration, I’m off to Reading with friends again this weekend and I’m certain they’ll make sure I get the necessary boogie-ing and drinking done.

Lastly, one of my best friends shared the below video with me the other day. It rocked my world. The remarkable comedian and musician that is Tim Minchin just sums it all up. He hits the nail on its head. THIS is how I want to live my life from here on in: (Now, I know it’s a long video but stick with it. At least watch the first 11 minutes and 52 seconds. It’s inspirational.)

Musn’t Grumble

The day after I published my last post I was hit by a cold that came with a nasty sore throat and had to refrain from singing for a few days.

I couldn’t sing, but I did keep busy as ever. I managed to do another few days work in a school and volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society for a day too. I spent a beautiful afternoon in the sun with Dave. I also went along to my fitness class as per usual. Middle of the day on Saturday, two of my best friends turned up on my doorstep dressed for a day in the sun. We decided to head to Tesco for BBQ food. The weather was amazing last weekend and we had the best of days. I’m actually smiling just writing about it.

This week’s been exhausting. In fact, if I’d tried to write this post a couple of days ago I’m sure I just would have grumbled about being tired and feeling anxious and about the gloomy weather forecast for the weekend. The positivity that oozed from my last post would have been non-existent. I’d have never imagined that I could feel as optimistic as I do now.

Start of this week, I got what I think was food poisoning, which kind of stopped me in my tracks all together. I was just getting back on my feet after the cold, I’d enjoyed another busy week and then one of life’s lemons came flying out of nowhere. Once I’d regained my strength I did three days work in another school! AND they would like to hire me on an ongoing basis! It’s a school for children who display challenging behaviours and have special educational needs. It’s been challenging so far, but I’ve really enjoyed it too. I’m gaining valuable experience and working with an amazing team of people.

I’m really excited about the few weeks ahead. In fact, I’m beginning to believe that when, on New Years Day, I said I thought 2016 was going to be my year, I just might have been right. I know that’s a big leap considering, but I feel good. I’m busy, I’m singing again AND working in schools so far has been really fulfilling. I’m finally beginning to take things in my stride. The butterflies have been around more than ever, but they haven’t stopped me taking each day as it comes. And for once they feel rational – who wouldn’t be nervous in the first few weeks of a new job?

I think I’m beginning to work out what kind of life I want to lead and just in time for my 22nd birthday. One week to go and I’m just beginning to get a little excited. It’ll be my first birthday celebrated at home in 4 years and it’s on a Sunday. I couldn’t be more chuffed.

And so the sun set on my teenage years

When one of my friends suggested we head to the beach the day before my birthday, I was excited, but I could not have imagined how beautiful it would be. I’d had an exam in the morning, so I spent the majority of the afternoon recovering in bed with a pizza. She picked me up in the early evening. We got fish and chips and then, while the sun set we found ourselves wandering up and down the beach sharing childhoodImage memories and talking about anything and everything. When I got home, after we’d been for cocktails at the loveliest of bars, I fell asleep with the biggest of smiles on my face. Midnight had passed and I wasn’t sad; I felt ready to begin life’s next chapter.

I think that would have been wonderful enough. I would have been quite happy to have considered my birthday celebrated in style.

I skyped my mum while I opened my presents the next morning. I had got more gifts through the post than I ever would have expected! I got breakfast out and I went clothes shopping with one of the loveliest people I know. I went for afternoon tea with beautiful friends. My amazing flatmates baked me a surprise birthday cake, turned out the lights in the flat and sang happy birthday to me. I took a nap and I went out for an Italian with my future housemates. The day wasn’t far from perfect.

Now I’m facing revision again, but with more enthusiasm than ever before. I feel ridiculously loved and I’m so happy. A month ago, I had no idea if I’d even get to celebrate at all. I was convinced that even if I did celebrate it, I’d be too caught up in the stress of exams to enjoy it. I was completely wrong, as per. I had an amazing day and at the risk of triggering cheese allergies… all because I have such amazing family and friends.

This year isn’t quite over yet, but I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to speed by. Recently life feels like it’s coming together. It’s been a good year. It’s been a roller coaster ride, but this time round I’ve enjoyed plenty more upward slopes and exciting twists and turns. I’ve got a great set of friends here, I’m feeling more confident in myself and my degree and I’ve got an exciting summer ahead. Hey, I think I’m beginning to find my way.

And so, I think that’s farewell for now, at least for a little while.

Until that little while is over, keep singing in the shower wordpressers.