Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New Website

Come find me here!

It's a work in progress, so please be kind and patient.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kev the Peace Lily

In December 2014, Ro and I moved into our beautiful home and with him, Ro brought Kev, a very down on his luck Peace Lily who had seen better days. When he first arrived, my only hope would be that his leaves would turn green and he may get more than 5, ideally he would grow flowers but my hopes were low!
16 months later, we have our first flower! I am over the moon. Due to our Ficus being bear and fed up, we've moved him to our bedroom which gets more light than the living room and Kev is now in his element in the humid and warm kitchen. Maybe I do have green fingers after all? Probably not, it's probably just luck and circumstance!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Creations: crochet blankets

Look at this sexy picture! Ro let me use one of his fancy, proper big people cameras to capture my charming crocheted wonders! I took most images on the sofa (in situ), however Ro felt that this shot would be more attractive and he was right, bloody professionals!!!

I can't wait to upload these all on to my new sparkly website, where my ramblings will be hosted, etc...new horizons are within view!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ro's new hat

While in Austria a gentlemen spoke to Rowan in German thinking he was German / Austrian due to the hat, until that point they'd all known to address us in English...oh how we laughed!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Today's apology

I need to apologise to the gentleman who was hard of sight, who I helped this morning.
You were perfectly happy and I offered a little assistance to you to cross a busy road. You were grateful for the help. Once across I asked where you were heading next, you said the building we were outside, the second revolving door, you then asked if I could get you to that door and I was ignorant, stupid and didn't just say 'of course' and leave it there, instead I said 'of course, I'd wondered how you'd get there'. How insulting and rude of me. You cope, and have coped for many years without the assistance of others and here I am, an ignorant person of sight judging that it must be impossible to live a "normal" life with sight difficulties. I am sorry for that short sighted comment, I should have kept it to myself and I didn't. I now know and I promise to never say such a remark to anyone else who is challenged, I have felt foolish and insulting all day and all I'd like to do is apologise to your face. So from the deepest depths of my heart, I am sorry for my comment, it wasn't meant with any ill will.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Holiday: Salzburg / Berchtesgaden

Rowan and I haven't been on holiday since our EPIC French camping trip to the South of France. You may all remember it from our numerous miserable holiday snaps - contrary to popular beliefs we actually have an incredible time then.

We decided to grab the BA Black Friday flights by the balls and booked flights to Salzburg. Ro has wanted to go back to Berchtesgaden since he visited there back in 2010, and this was the perfect chance. I've never been to Austria or Germany, so was far too excited about everything. I bought a phrasebook eight weeks in advance and started to host 'German word of the Day' at the office.

Anyhow, on with our holiday...we set off at 4am to Victoria Coach Station, to catch a 7am flight from Gatwick, I had never been there before so was terribly excited, of course. It's the little things...
Once at Gatwick, we did a little shopping and headed to our flight, we had to miss the compulsory Airport Pint, shocking behaviour, but I'm glad to report that Gatwick North has a Weatherspoon, just like every Airport in Britain. We did however have our breakfast booze on the flight, we and a guy behind us made the Air Stewarts open the bar at 8am, oh well we were on holiday.

Once landed in Salzburg, we were greeted by snow capped mountains. Off the plane we got and on to the bus to town we got. Due to arriving early we had to pitch up in a pub opposite the Train Station, upon entering the pub we were greeted by a 'Smoking Bar' and a pint...and...relax! Smoking Bars were a random experience, it's been years since I've been subjected to smoke and beer in a public place. Once checked in to our lovely hotel, Hotel Hohenstauffen, (highly recommended), it was friendly, warm and had wonderful 80s decoration, a flowery wallpaper; the four poster bed had flowery wallpaper on the top of the bed, it matched perfectly.

Flowery Canopied Four Poster

After our nap, we headed into town to have a potter, I got us lost of course by insisting that I knew best, however I didn't and then I was in a grump due to it. After a little walk around, Salzburg is very pretty, we headed to an Austrian themed restaurant and headed home for an early night.

On our first full day in Salzburg, we walked up to Kapuzinerburg. At 11.58 lots of sirens started going off, we concluded that we were about to be bombed, followed immediately by midday church chimes. We concluded that Salzburg celebrated in true style everyday midday! Shortly before this Rowan insisted that I never question him again, do what he suggests, go where he suggests and do EXACTLY as I say. Oh, it's like that is it...BLOODY MEN!!!

Graffiti, Salzburg & Ro

We ended our first full day in an Irish bar, drinking and being merry. Ro decided that we should go for dinner in a traditional restaurant, although I was shitfaced at this point and felt particularly ill halfway through, not a high point...in fact, a terrible low point!

The next day I felt dreadful to say the least. We had to pack up and head to Germany, it's always great to travel while hungover, isn't it?! After a train ride we arrived in Berchtesgaden, Germany! We were staying with Simon, via Air BnB. The apartment was large, airy and had enough space for 6 to share easily. Simon was warm and friendly with great local advice and a dry British humour.
We popped to the local supermarket for some provisions and booze and propped ourselves up on the balcony with some rotwein to watch the world go by...we eventually headed into town and ate some delicious Italian food, heading back to our spacious pad for an early night!

Ro fell asleep before me, as always and jumped so high in his sleep, it startled me and made me laugh...

We had planned while in Berchtesgaden to head up to Kehlsteinhaus and to Konigssee. However, The Eagle's Nest is shut during Winter and the ferries at Konigssee only run half of the lake, to St Bartholomew. So instead we walked along the Konigseer Ache to Konigssee. Along the Konigseer Ache there are plenty of biergartens and according to a local, they don't mind if you eat picnics in their gardens, which I look forward to doing one day.

Once at Konigsee, we awaited our ferry and once on, you get to see sights like the below. Isn't it glorious!


Once at St Bartholomew, we enjoyed the view and four 1 litre steins, much to the bartenders surprise and took in the breath taking views!

2 Litres of BIER!

St Bartholomew, Konigsee
We caught the last ferry home and decided on one more drink before we headed back, we missed the bus and had to ask McDonalds employees to call us a taxi. Everyone in and around Berchtsgaden were so friendly and accommodating. It's all so nice and I look forward to going back very soon...with friends. Once back near our pad, we popped into the new bar at the railway station (apparently once Hitler's private waiting room) and enjoyed a pint and the distance sound of bowling pins skittle across the shiny floorboards above.

The next day we needed some RnR, so headed to the Spa, had massages and floated around in the salt baths. Being able to eat and drink booze by the pool side felt strange but nice. Afterwards, we set off back to Salzburg, realising that the bus is much quicker than the train, so off we popped. We went through some lovely looking towns / villages and found our way to our new hotel, Hotel Amadeus. This type of hotel isn't quite our cup of tea but we really enjoyed staying there and the rooms were large and welcoming. The hotel runs an honesty bar at night which was refreshing and far too easily accessible - as we discovered later on that evening! They also had The Sound of Music accessible on the TV, however it was in German, which I clocked as soon as Faux-Maria started singing...

Also that evening we ate delicious Sushi at Nagano, it was a-ok! Where we received fortune cookies, Rowan's was empty :( , mine said: 'Du nimmst ohne zu zogern jedes noch so schwere Problem in Angriff', translated to: 'You take without hesitation even the most serious problem in attack'.

SNOW!!! Only a little snow but snow still, it's been decades since we've seen snow! It was so exciting, although it didn't settle! BBC Europe has constant re-runs of terrible TV shows, Blackadder and a TV show by Julia Davis, which I hope to watch at a later date.
Rowan bought an awesome hat (and was mistaken for a German) and we then discovered the stairs up to the Fortress, it was a hard climb but we bloody did it and were glad we did. Once up and in the Fortress, we enjoyed the view, the history, the tour and the marionette puppet exhibition.

The Bavarian Alps from Fortress Hohensalzburg

I don't remember Mr Von Trapp being so old!

Salzburg from the Fortress

Our last night in Salzburg was spent eating Japanese, I really fancied a Ramen and was heavily let down by it: £18 for Seafood Ramen. Seafood = a piece of cod, three medium size prawns and some mussels, plus the vegetables included in the soup were of the frozen variety, very disappointing. Ro's sushi was ok, although he felt that some of his rolls had been kept chilled, instead of freshly made. A very different experience from the night before. However, we wouldn't let that dampen our holiday, it was blinking brilliant. We had a super time and for my first experience of both Germany and Austria were wonderful. I can't wait to go back...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Comfort of Escapism

My natural coping mechanism is to talk about everything and yet, recently, I haven't really wanted to talk about anything to anyone; in fact my greatest company of late is that of strangers, strangers don't want to know how you really feel, strangers don't care about your problems, strangers want a smile and a 'fine thank you, and you?' and that has been the greatest of comforts lately, however the problem with comfort is that it doesn't last for very long...it's like crack, you constantly look for your next hit and then you become an addict and if you surround yourself with enough strangers you can escape your own life for as long as you deem necessary, which makes you feel good about yourself for a short while but doesn't actually fix anything.

What does fix things is dealing with the issues at hand but dealing with the issues at hand mean that you have to process our feelings and talk things out and find solutions to things, and that hurts and is painful and takes time.

I would normally talk to friends about it but when it is something so sensitive, it's impossible to start that conversation, a couple of times when I did raise it with friends I burst into tears and then brushed it off with some easy quips and lighthearted comments. There has only been two times that the conversation has been met well, once with a friend who is going through a dark patch also and commiserated with me in feeling isolated and shitty, and the other with a friend who just gets shit and understands and asked the right questions and didn't judge and gave the right responses, I can't explain what it is but she just gets "it".

Rowan has been incredibly supportive, kind, patient and loving and he understands what I'm going through and he also knows that I need to talk to others about it, however I've no idea how to broach or deal with the matter at hand. I basically need someone to walk up to me and tell me to talk and that they'll listen and not pass judgement, as I think right now the judgement or lack of understanding is what frightens me the most. The fear that my friends are too busy, won't understand, don't have time, or can't comprehend and therefore will try to fix things, instead of just listening and saying 'that's shitty'. More so, I'm afraid that they won't care and that kills me and makes me feel worse. I already feel alone and the idea of being rejected or misunderstood is enough to make me not want to bother trying.

I think one of the hardest things about growing older is that you and everyone around you get occupied with their own things and you find that have less and less time to worry about anyone other than the ones immediately around you and so people drift and grow apart, and you find it hard to really talk about the ongoing issues in your lives as you don't want to bother your friends with the shitty parts of life, especially when you only get to speak for short bursts, you want to gloss over the issues and focus on the fun and entertainment, so that your friends call you back next time. Life shouldn't be like that, life should be that you talk about everything, as your friends will want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly but it isn't always so and the more it becomes like that, the more we lose the time to talk about what really upsets us and deal with the issues at hand with friends.

Randomly I have spoken to my family about it at length, having my family there has been a saving grace as they know what I'm like and allow me to discuss it exactly how I need to without asking questions because they feel they should.
My brother Jules said that it's best to take it day by day and to allow my inner self to lead how I act on the outside, which has allowed me to feel as though I should accept that I feel like this and not fight it anymore.
My brother Adie listened for hours and then said 'I alway judge life by Les Mis, it could always be worse you could spend 19 years in jail for stealing bread to feed your starving family', which as stupid as it is made me laugh, a lot.
My Mum meanwhile just listened and laughed at stupid things and told me how silly I am about everything, she also added silly titbits about my Dad or other stuff that is going on.
And my Dad, he just talked to me about rugby and for him to discuss anything at length on the phone is always a win (bloody Dads).

The best thing to come out of all of this is that having my family and Rowan in my life, I feel as though I can conquer anything and I will get through this, I just need to take it a day at a time and remember that I'm lucky to not be Jean Valjean, during the majority of Les Mis.