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 myself 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.

So 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. I just hope to enjoy the summer and give myself the time to think it through. Hopefully time away will help.

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, made plans for the next week, nearly finished my book and spent some more time in the sunshine. Here’s hoping this summer is everything I need it to be. 

Good friends, good food, good music and really good TV

My mum and I are SAT IN THE GARDEN. Yep, that’s right. The weather is officially that lovely. There’s not a cloud in the sky. I’m not even just being British. It’s proper summery. I’m wearing a dress and I’m not even the slightest bit chilly. 

As you can imagine having read my last post, the week got off to a shaky start. Monday was super stressful and honestly, I was not in a good state of mind. However, I took a day to pull myself together and things generally went onwards and upwards from there.

The week whizzed by. Before I knew it, I was curled up in bed on Friday night binge watching Netflix like I’d never been to work. Saturday was a lovely day. I got up early and rolled to my fitness class as per. Then I ate lots and napped. One of the ladies from work hosted a BBQ in the afternoon. The food was amazing, the weather was perfect and it was so good to spend time with the brilliant people I work with, without having to work. I had to rush off unfortunately, so I’m hoping there are more BBQs like it on the horizon.

Saturday night I headed to Bar Soho in London with Dave to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The music in the bar was excellent. I highly recommend it. The drinks were expensive and it was so ridiculously warm that on any other occasion I would have spent the night grumbling. Had the music not been so good there would have been no hope, but I was excited to see and meet all the people there and I had such a good time that I danced without a care in the world.

Sunday was spent being happily lazy with the friends who had let us crash with them for the night. We watched a few hilarious episodes of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ (which I’d never seen before and now intend to see more of). We put a film on and we cooked a roast dinner. I say we, Dave and I bought the ingredients and our hosts cooked. It was a delicious roast and we definitely owe them one.

When I got home yesterday evening, we had family over and everyone was sat out the in the garden chatting and drinking. We stayed there while the sun went down, time flew and before I knew it, it was time for bed; hence the lack of blog post. So, all that stuff I said about consistency and posting every Sunday without fail? Went out the window didn’t it.

I’ve downloaded Duolingo and I’m learning Italian! Dave’s doing the same; we’re using our competitive spirits to our advantage. So, right now I’m off to do the next lesson or two. One of my best friends has been living in Dubai for the past year and is finally home, so I’m hoping maybe I’ll see her later. If not, I’ll settle for another evening in the garden. This time with my book for company. 

“Always look ahead, but never look back” – Miles Davis

I just closed my laptop lid and then opened it again about five times in a row. Honestly? This week at work has been really hard, more challenging than ever, and right now I’m full of butterflies. The minute I’m done writing this I’m going to go sit at the piano and sing my heart out. The temptation is of course, to stop writing and just get straight to it, but if all of the ‘top tips for bloggers’ sites agree on anything, it’s that you have to be consistent. Blogging every Sunday except for when you don’t want to, doesn’t quite cut it. 

You know what? If this week has taught me anything it is that I have some amazing people in my life. Not only have I been reminded that the people in my life will support and love me no matter what, but I’ve found that many of the new people in my life are just as incredible.  

AND you know what? The past week aside, this weekend has been great! 

I very nearly backed out of doing anything and opted for a weekend curled up in bed in pyjamas. Instead, I walked ’round the corner to my best friends house. We spent Friday evening, talking everything through, drinking tea and listening to music. By the time I left, she had me convinced I could get on with it and have myself a good weekend.

So on Saturday, I jumped on a train and headed up to Birmingham to visit one of my friends and we went along to the Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival at Moseley Park. It was pretty awesome. The atmosphere was amazing. The rain held off until midnight. The music was varied and brilliant. The artists were all modest, appreciative and talented and each one of them looked like they were having the time of their life. The biggest names were Craig Charles (who was in attendance despite a leg injury and whizzed around all day on a mobility scooter) and Average White Band (who I didn’t think I’d heard of until they started playing hits like ‘Let’s go round again’ and I found somehow, I knew all of the words). Brian Augar was there too and I think he might have been my favourite. For those who don’t know, he’s a jazz keyboardist and he’s super cool. There was such a diverse audience of people too. I hadn’t known what to expect in the lead up, but I’ll definitely attend a jazz festival again and whether you enjoy jazz, funk or soul, or not, I’d definitely recommend it!

Today I came home to the smell of a very yummy lamb roast lunch, my dad announced that he has booked a summer holiday for us all, to celebrate his 50th birthday, and I’ve had time to finally sort my room out.

I’m moving forward; onwards and upwards! After all, everything should be that little bit easier to handle with a holiday on the horizon…

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 simply because I needed sleep.

The cup of tea I had when I collapsed on the sofa was absolutely incredible. First things first, I took some time to binge watch netflix (I hadn’t had the chance to do so during the week after all: Spontaneous after work drinks and various family stuff had taken up my time instead) Saying that, I did see the last episode of Game of Thrones Season 6 on Monday. WOAHHH it was fantastic.

Dave came over later Friday evening 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 up before popping into town for some bits and bobs I’ve been meaning to grab for weeks. We had a great time pulling together to get the gazebo upright and stable and then get the fairy lights just right. 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. 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. Ever the optimist! 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.

Adventure of a Lifetime

Oh my goodness, where to start?

I did go to Reading to celebrate being 22, yet again. 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. I was right to assume that was 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. Birthday’s 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. A massive chicken was out ready to be roasted. 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.)

Time isn’t wasted if you enjoyed wasting it

This week, I almost gave up on Plan A, get a job in a primary school, all together. I’ve had my moody-face on. Somehow, I had managed to convince myself that every day spent out of work was a waste of life. I’d been searching for a job in teaching for just a month and a half and already, I had become convinced that all hope was lost.

It took my dad pointing out that a month and a half is no time at all, for me to come to my senses. I also think I eventually talked it through enough times to realise that whatever path I take in the future, I need to do this first. Getting into a classroom, getting some experience and finding out whether teaching is for me is exactly what I need to do. Until I know just how much I’m going to love it, I can’t possibly decide what on earth to do next. I can’t give up just yet. Especially not now: I’ve found myself an agency whose consultants match my level of enthusiasm. They’ve signed me off for work and this time there’s actually a job on the horizon. Watch. This. Space.

How I found the time to grumble I will never know.

This week, Dave and I booked a spontaneous trip to the cinema. I face-swapped with a minion. I caught up with two lovely ladies who adult better than I ever will. An amazing friend who obviously knows the way to my heart, cooked me a Mexican dinner: She made her guacamole from scratch. Doesn’t get much better than that.  I finally gave in and grabbed myself some gym clothes that I actually feel confident in. (They were in the sale, so my conscience is clear.) AND I road-tripped to Reading with the lads to visit our friend who flew the nest and refuses to come back. We forgive him for that on the basis that trips over to his for the weekend are such good fun. Who doesn’t love an excuse to jump in their car on a Friday night, with some of their best friends and head to a free house for the weekend?

Conclusively, I am a complete wally for nearly giving up so quickly, for thinking I should have everything figured out already and for forgetting who I am.

After all, I’m the girl who has always truly believed you cannot waste time having fun.

The day before the day I go back to university

Having just spent five whole minutes sat in the middle of my bedroom floor wondering where on Earth I am supposed to begin, I am beginning to wonder whether I will ever get used to this whole ‘packing my bedroom into boxes’ thing. If I’m honest, when I sit in my room deciding what to pack, all I want to do is convert the entire bedroom into a car which I can drive to Cardiff, convert back into a room and then live in. Yes, I do still want all 5000 of my Jacqueline Wilson books and I am definitely going to need to pack every item of clothing I’ve ever owned due to a strange sentimental attachment I have to it all that I can’t really explain. Yes, I do want to take my silver spoon collection with me, all of my ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ CDs and every fluffy pen I bought during my last year of primary school. I need the pine furniture I grew up with, including the bunk bed… Even if it is no good for star-fishing in. My family and friends from Chelmsford can come along too right?

Ok, so I will not fit my whole bedroom and every Chelmsfordian I love in the car and I’m not actually quite that sentimental. My point is… this is the hardest part. I am really looking forward to heading back to university. The journey always goes amazingly quickly and I actually quite enjoy the four hours preparation time I get before life goes crazy again. Moving in is always good fun and so is the first night in or out with flatmates I’ve missed loads. Seeing my university friends, going on nights out and using my brain again always does me the world of good. So does having the freedom to order chinese at eleven in the evening just because I’m hungry, studying got too hard and chow mein is amazing.

The hardest part is today… the day you have to come to terms with the fact its time to pack up one life and continue living another. I can never help feeling a little emotional. Today is the day I empty my room and fill the hall way with an abundance of toiletries, books, clothes and high heeled shoes. The day I plan to spend packing, friend and family seeing and eating my body weight in food, but end up curled up on a sofa telling myself I will pack soon… Telling myself I’m not putting it off because I don’t want to think about leaving and saying goodbye, I am just making the most of home comforts.

But hey, all I’ve got to do is stop using my blog as an excuse, shut the laptop, pack, head out to dinner with an amazing friend and then sleep. Before I know it, it will be tomorrow.

‘Goodbye’ has a bad reputation, but it’s not always all that bad. Especially when its temporary.

Expert Procrastinator

Sat at my desk doing nothing other than daydreaming out of my window and singing along to my shuffling iTunes library. There is so much I should be doing. My room looks like a small bomb hit it. I’m sat next to a pile of books so high I’m surprised I managed to transport it from Cardiff to home. My head is filled with dates for my diary that I haven’t been writing down.

Home comforts are beautiful, but they turn me into an incredibly lazy individual.

I headed back to Cardiff with Mummy Maggs for a couple of days last week. I needed to be back so that I could hand a music assignment in, but I wasn’t ready to head back permanently just yet. My mum hadn’t seen my new flat. She hadn’t even spent much time in Cardiff itself: The last time she came to visit she spontaneously turned up for an aImagefternoon just after my 19th birthday… We crammed a lunch, a catch up, a shopping trip and student-style dinner into what felt like five minutes and then she headed home again.

This time, we spent two days tea drinking, restaurant dining, musical-seeing (Priscilla Queen of the Desert is a must-see; it had me smiling all the way through), drink sharing, Wetherspoons’ breakfast eating, sight-seeing, friend visiting, assignment handing in-ing AND shopping.

I now have one more week left at home to get organised, catch up on all of my reading, spend time with my family, see any friends still left in Chelmsford and eat as much food as is bronwenly possible. You may be surprised to hear that despite all my procrastinating, I’m beginning to look forward to it now. I never thought I’d say it, but that small part of me that always stopped me wanting to be back in Cardiff; that always hesitated and wanted to stay at home… It seems to have broken off, run away and left only me, looking forward to being back, to studying, to partying and to living the student life again. Bring. It. On

Smiling like a fool

I’m finally home.

My last two days in Cardiff before Christmas were so much better than I expected. I was expecting to simply spend them at the flat, by myself, working my last couple of shifts and watching the clock tick by. BUT my amazing flatmate stuck around an extra day after her last shift at her work (I’m not the only one juggling a job and a degree you see) to keep me company… We spent Christmas eve’s eve curled up with wine and chocolates, watching a film, exchanging presents and then talking until the early hours of the morning.

Christmas eve wasn’t far from perfect. I succeeded in getting out of bed, despite the late night, and had breakfast with her before she headed out to get her train home. Then I finished packing, got ready and headed into work for my final shift. Work was the same as always, except for the fact I didn’t start till ten, we were all in comic Christmas costumes and there were ridiculous amounts of staff room snacks.

My dad and sister met me at the flat after my shift. The drive home was so exciting I’m surprised I didn’t cry. Instead I just sat there smiling hugely and constantly reminding my dad and my little sister that I was ridiculously happy. I got home, stole hugs, went to bed and before I knew it, it was Christmas day.

Christmas day was overwhelming. I’d only just got home, before I was jumping in the car and heading to my grandparents home. I ate so much food I’m surprised I didn’t explode. I nearly overheated in a house full of radiators that felt like an oven in comparison to my student flat. I saw my grand parents and the entirety of my dad’s side of the family all at once, when I’d only just gotten used to having my immediate family around again. I got loads of lovely presents and woke up boxing day morning to find myself out on a walk in the country side (which I think I had forgotten existed).

Since then I’ve been unpacking, getting organised, working out how to make the most of three weeks at home and worrying about how I’m going to get all my uni work done. Today, I stopped worrying and I spent a whole day doing nothing for the first time in a long time. Having been on an amazing night out last night, I spent the morning in bed… Then a few hours after that curled up on the sofa, cautiously eating dry toast and tomato soup, wondering if a hang over was going to hit me any time soon. Now I’m sat, having finally showered at five in the evening, wearing my onesie, singing along to my iTunes library, waiting for roast dinner to be cooked and smiling like a fool.

My New Years Resolutions are sorted. I’ve thrown out all the clothes I don’t want anymore and I’m buying new ones in the sales tomorrow. All I need to do now is decide what I’m going to say when I get to the hairdressers tomorrow morning, sit down in the chair and he asks me how I want my hair.

Being me, I’ll consider cutting it all off, I’ll wonder if it’s about time I dyed it a crazy colour, I’ll tell myself I should try something new for the new year then I’ll decide I’d like it just the way it is, but just slightly shorter please.