Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

I was thinking about the lyrics to 'Auld Lang Syne' the other day and the term 'old acquaintance be forgot' seems so very odd, why should we forgot old acquaintances?! I've been looking into it and the song seems to originate from Robert Burns's poem.

A fresh reminder of the first paragraph of the song:
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And auld lang syne! 


And another thing I was wondering, Auld Lang Syne = Times Long Past.

Anyhow, it appears that the poem/song talks about forgetting past loves and troubles and moving on, which makes much more sense to me, myself and I. Now that that is sorted, time to prepare for our dinner party.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Job Hunting Pt.1

Since Monday, I have been looking for a new job to accompany my new flat and shiny future, unfortunately everyone wants Christmas cover, which isn't ideal. Therefore I resolve to start fresh faced and bright eyed in January and enjoy daytime TV and lie ins in the mean time. Yay!

I always thought January was the worst time to find a new employer but apparently December fills people with epiphanies, which means there should be an abundance of opportunity out there.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Home, Hurrah!

After a typically wank estate agent screwing us over, a few weeks later we found the perfect 'fixer-upper' around the corner from Rowan's work, at a reasonable price and with a huge living room to boot, everyone say 'hurrah'!

On December 5th, we moved Rowans's property in. On the 6th, all of my crap arrived. On the 7th, the rest of our possessions from out of town turned up dusty but in one piece, by the 8th we were all unpacked and moved in.

Here is a little taster for you all:



And Rowan bought this for our lovely new home:


Thursday, November 20, 2014

8 weeks and 3 days

Back at the start of Summer, Rowan was told there was a new drug that his doctor wanted to put him on. We had been toying with the idea of throwing caution to the wind and starting a family. When Rowan had his second consultation about the drug in question, his nurse notified him that it would affect his sperm and could cause high risk pregnancy (possible growth issues and disorders). Rowan decided that if we were to give it a proper go, we would need a few months to try, otherwise we wouldn't be able to do so for at least 8-14 months. With this in mind, we set about removing all boundaries and just seeing how things went, Rowan put off starting the drug until Dec / Jan to give us a fair amount of time and if it didn't work by then, we would put it off until he had completed at least a six month session on the new drug.

Various contraptions were wheeled out: ovulation sticks, ph balancing sprays, positions, advice and research. We took it at face value, tried to remain calm and increased the possibility of it happening.

3 months later, Rowan received incredible news; his doctor told him that there was a brand new drug which had a better affect on MS, with zero side effects. It was a no brainer; with this in mind, we slowed down and allowed our bodies to do as they did. Miraculously in the same month I fell pregnant.

One day after I had expected my period to arrive, my boobs were swollen and I felt strangely different, that morning I told Rowan that I was going to get a test, he laughed and told me that we should wait. That lunch time I popped to Boots and found myself looking at a very faint Positive result. With my belly full of joy and my heart singing a merry tune I walked back to my desk and text my baby daddy the good news.

Once home, I took another test and again, the positive line showed up. We nickname him the 'little prick' due to me getting my words mixed up and telling Rowan that our blastocyst was the size of a pin prick, instead of pin head. A week later I confirmed it with my doctor.

We set about resting, taking everything at a slightly slower rate. We discussed names and parenting styles, followed a pregnancy app to see what was happening and everything seemed rather bloody good.

I would get occasional aches here and there but other than extremely swollen boobs, I had no real symptoms. It was the perfect pregnancy. We shared the news with good friends, I told a few people at work due to wanting to be able to talk to people about it and having people know, in case I fainted or something similar.

I noticed certain things changing: my stomach swelling, my hair thickening, my nails appeared stronger. I longed to drink wine or beer but found the idea repulsive, everything seemed perfect until this week.

On Monday, I woke up exhausted and Rowan insisted that I stay in bed. I was hesitant (since my tonsillectomy I only get paid SSP on any additional sickness), but he pointed out that there was something more important than money and I was carrying him. So that day I slept and rested up. The next day I still felt exhausted but went to work regardless as I couldn't afford to stay at home two days in a row, stupid as that seems, it was the truth.

Mid-afternoon on Tuesday, I started to develop mild cramping in my abdomen and asked to be excused from work early.

Once home the cramping increased and all I could do was lay in bed. I felt as though my period was starting and all I could do was cry. I visited the lavatory and thought my discharged looked a little darker. I put a panty liner in my knickers hoping I could see clearly if anything was up.

My hopeless state continued and I failed to calm myself down, if it wasn't about the pain, it was about the events of the day at work (potentially losing my job), if it wasn't about my job it was about potentially losing my baby, no matter what I couldn't calm down. I read various posts about bleeding while pregnant and eventually calmed down. Rowan came home and we tried to get some sleep.

At around 3am, the cramps became more intensive and I needed the lavatory. Once there I noticed a couple of brown dots in my knickers, as I looked down I noticed a bright red pool and some clots in the loo. With a heavy heart I burst in to tears, I returned to bed distraught, Rowan was instantly concerned insisting that we phoned NHS direct.

The lady at the end of 111 was very kind and calm, she helped calm me down and arranged for a GP to call me. Around 15 minutes later the GP called me directly, advising me that sleep was the best medicine and that she would book me into the EPU (Emergency Pregnancy Unit) first thing, 10 minutes later she called back confirming my appointment for 11:30am. I emailed work to notify them that I wouldn't be in and went back to a state of dazed hysteria.

Around 5pm the pain had settled on to my left side, I freaked thinking I might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, I called back the GP surgery and was told the GP would call me back. As I settled back into bed, I felt an almighty snap in my womb and then a rush of fluid. A couple of minutes later the GP called me back and put my mind at rest and told me if I needed too, I could visit them but they wouldn't be able to tell me anything until the scan had taken place at the EPU.

Myself and Rowan eventually managed to fall asleep.

I was woken at 8am by a call from work, I ignore it and noticed that the cramps appeared to have subsided. I eventually went to the loo, there was more bleeding and more clots but nothing too big. I called work back, explaining that I thought I may have miscarried and wouldn't be in until I knew what was going on.

Around 9am I went back to the lavatory and that was when the worst thing I could see came to view. I heard a tiny splosh and looked down to see a small sack of fluid lying in the bottom of the lavatory. The GP had asked me to collect everything I could to take to the hospital and the idea of scooping out my potential baby was soul destroying, I convinced myself it was the placenta or mucus plug and just got on with it. It was horrific and all I could do was crawl back into bed with Rowan and have a good old cry. Helpless to do anything else. I started to barter, hoping that maybe I had been carrying twins and maybe lost one, all sorts of random things came through my brain, although I knew deep down, there was no other ending for us.

Later that morning we were at the hospital for our appointment, a kind nurse called Patience talked to us, I explained everything and she said that it sounded like a miscarriage. I then presented the tiny mite to her and we were put in a quiet room to cry and console each other. About 15 minutes later a friendly faced Sonographer called Bee came to see us; she led us through and the internal examination started. She confirmed that I had had a clean miscarriage and that I seemed in full health. Patience came back to see us one last time, advising us of do's and dont's.

I am so grateful to the Woman's Health Department at Homerton University Hospital, they were extremely gentle and kind, involving Rowan in the full process and with his support I feel as though we could get through anything. I don't think I could have dealt with it alone and I have nothing but pure awe for women who do. He's been my rock from beginning to end and knowing that I have his constant support is phenomenal. I'm not the only person who experienced my miscarriage obviously, Rowan did too. He lost his potential child too and our future has changed together through this dreadful happening.

One of the hardest part about miscarriage is that it is a very common occurrence. One in four pregnancies result in it and yet we are not supposed to speak about it. I spent a lot of yesterday and today telling people about it and have found out that various friends have suffered the same fate. It seems utter madness to have such a common devastating experience be felt by so many people and yet, "shh, don't tell people".

I guess one of the biggest things is that you can feel like a failure as a woman. I instantly apologised to Rowan for failing to keep his offspring safe. I'm lucky that Rowan wouldn't accept it and kept on reminding me that it was a failure of development and wasn't anything I did or didn't do that caused it. There is still a small doubt in my mind that stress caused it but for now I have to cling to the fact that it is simply a case of bad genetics and that there was nothing I could do.

I feel that this is a subject that should be spoken about; just how abortion is more commonly mentioned in media nowadays. It's not exactly the most wonderful of subject but with the affect reaching so far, you would assume that it could be more openly discussed and people could be more openly consoled about it.

As with any loss, the grieving process is dire but you get through it because you have too. It may seem like a cliche but I feel that there is comfort in statistics, some of my friends who have had similar losses have said they found no comfort, I can not help but fear this is society letting them down by not allowing them to feel as though they can openly discuss this subject and grieve publicly.

It's a dreadful thing but it happens everyday. Nurses, like Patience and Bee, have to break this frightful news over and over, day after day to numerous different faces. I hope one day that miscarriage becomes a more approachable subject, less of the taboo that it currently is, but until that day, I will continue to discuss it in an open manner, as that is the only way I know to deal with these things.

And to our 'little prick' who we lost, I will always think of you and I'm sorry that you weren't intended for this world. Thank you for being with us while you were, we loved you so, so much.

Friday, August 01, 2014

London Taxidermy

I recently had to send an archived item from work off to be cleaned and cased, which meant I got to do lots of taxidermy searching, hoorah! I found lots of wonderful things, like a mouse on a cross - blinking charming and the below company: London Taxidermy.

All I want to do is sit next to the dress lama?! and read a book...



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rowan & his Multiple Sclerosis

About 5 hours in to first meeting Rowan, he told me he needed to tell me something very important. Not exactly something any girl wants to hear so soon on a date that is going very, very well. I assumed it would be a secret child or serving time, however it was on par but not so godly awful, he told me that two years ago he had been diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis).


My reaction suprised him somewhat, I shrugged and said it was fine with me. He asked me if I knew what it was and if I was sure that it wasn't an issue. I did and I was. The way I look at these things is they are what they are and once you know about them, you can learn to live with them and deal with them as best you can. Easier said that done, admittedly, but it at least knowledge gives you a heads start which is always helpful with health related issues.

In addition, knowing that someone, who is remarkable, has any illness/condition but is coping with it, doesn't make them a defect or throwaway, it means that you're aware that they, and you, could come across some difficulty along the way. It's not ideal but it could happen at any point in your relationship, who is to say that you or they won't develop some awful condition during your journey together, it is what it is. It's not as though you would divorce or break up with them due to illness. Why would you decide not to date someone when you find out they are not classified as 100% perfect.

My brother has had ME/Chronic Fatigue for over 10 years now and he still suffers some times, however he has come to terms with it and tries to deal with it as best as possible. It is what it is.

Rowan had come to terms with his diagnosis. Has a top Neurologist who looks after him and has access to the best medical help in London. He sees a nurse regularly and recently received the incredible news that he is officially in remission. Why would I decide to not date him, because he is coping with something that makes life a little harder but not impossible?!

Yes, it won't be plain sailing but who is to say that he won't find the perfect medication and we will live a perfect life after all?!




And who wants a perfect life anyhow, it sounds awfully dull!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Granny Square Blanket Commissions


If you would like a Granny Square Blanket, contact me through the above link as I'm now taking commissions. 

They are the perfect gift for an expectant mother or for your home, which you can add a personal touch to.

On average, my blankets measure to 32 rows, approximately 87cm / 34" wide.
My blankets traditionally have a slight curve to them (see above and below) and can come with a scallop edge, as optional.



They take approximately 4 weeks to make and can be made in any colours and patterns.

32 row, size 4 crochet hook, wool supplied by you: £20
32 rows, size 4 crochet hook, wool supplied by me: £30
If you would like another size blanket or stitch, I'm happy to discuss.

All of my wool is 100% acrylic, to ensure durability and ease of washing.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Post-Operation love from work

Astromelias and Roses from work

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Tonsillectomy

I had my tonsils removed yesterday, after 15 months of suffering from Tonsil Stones and they are finally gone. It was a strange experience:

On the approach to the operation, people kept on asking if I was nervous, which I wasn't. My theory was that the Doctors and Nurses do these operations all of the time and I would just be considered another number, so why be nervous.

Off I went first thing yesterday morning to Homerton Hospital, spending the first 10 minutes lost in the corridors. The hospital was abandoned and empty, it was 7:30am after all. While walking aimlessly I ended up in the Maternity ward and the MRI scan unit. After two employees took pity on me I ended up in the Day Stay Unit.

After being checked in, six women were walked through to the unit, me included. We were shown to individual cubicles with some fetching robes, hairnets, disposable knickers and medical stockings - I have never looked so sexy! I spend the next hour reading magazines, answering the same questions (what's your name? What's your date of birth? Is this your address? etc.), cracking jokes to the nurses and relaxing.

Eventually I'm collected to go and meet my anaesthetic team. I walk into the smallest room known to man, which hosts 5 people and a gurny. I can't help but joke about how it reminds me of my blood test, when I passed out with one woman and woke up with 6 additional people around me.
Once again I'm asked the same questions and I advise them to add a random question in to throw the patient, this ends up confusing one of the nurses. The last thing I remember is the oxygen mask going over my face.

An hour or two later, I'm gently woken by a kind lady who tells me that all is over and wheeled around the ward to another cubicle and placed in a chair, about 5 seconds after vomiting. I then snooze and sleep for the following hour, in between having my blood pressure taken. After about an hour, the drugs which were given to me finally overcome me like a warm hug and I wake up properly.

I'm now sore, achy, tired and weak. I've not eaten all day. They call Rowan and give me some jelly. I am then moved to the TV room where I am subjected to two hours of Jeremy Kyle, which is possibly worse than my sore throat and inability to swallow. I eventually ask the nurses to call Rowan again to find that he's been waiting in reception for an hour and a half due to someones incompetence. I go to the reception to find him asking the receptionist to once again call the ward, frantic out of his mind.

We head home and I spend the rest of the day napping and sipping drinks, I takes me over an hour to drink a cup of cold soup...so this is my life now for the next two weeks: cold to tepid food and drink with no spice, roll on July 16th.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sud de France

I have just come back from my first holiday in a very long time and I feel overly relaxed and at peace, omg! Just in time for my tonsillectomy, not so ideal but it is so...

We stayed here on our first night: Les Iles D'Or
It was a beautiful area of the Cote d'Azur, the sea was incredible, so clear and warm. I highly recommend it, there isn't much to do in the area but there was a delicious restaurant with very friendly staff and amazing food with a fabulous view of the cove. The B&B was charming and the landlady was awfully generous. She didn't speak much English and we spoke 'petit francois' but never the less we managed. She also ran us over the mountain to our Campsite the next day, stopping halfway up at numerous times to allow us to take photos of the view.


For the rest of our stay, we were staying with Eurocamp at Camping Pachacaid. We were fitted out with a fabulous 6 berth state of the art caravan, all mod cons and were welcomed by the Eurocamp staff in fabulous style.

After swimming, sleeping and drinking, we headed to the bar where we drank with the Eurocamp staff, after which we were invited to join them for their 'Eurocamp Christmas' on Wednesday night. I won't go too far into it but after celebrating Christmas with the Eurocamp monsters (legends) I've never seen Rowan so drunk! He fell over and couldn't get up, it was all rather funny and entertaining, in addition no long term harm came to him.

The only photos Rowan and I uploaded to the social media world were miserable faced photos, which kept everyone entertained, while we sunned, laughed and drank.

We visited La Mole, which is a small town near to the campsite. Not much there and no one took debit/credit cards, which made life difficult. Luckily the campsite was well equip.

We popped to St. Tropaz also but it stank of piss and had little too it. I recommend a trip to anywhere else than here. However I did take a panoramic shot of Rowan enjoying a beer in the sun there:


We spent the last few nights in Cote d'Azur at the Camping Les Palmiers, this was akin to camping at a nightclub. I wouldn't recommend the site, however the beach was extremely nice and we spent most of our time here. The caravans were cramped and uncomfortable, all in all, it was dire and tired. Everything evolved around the reception, which meant we spent most of our time queueing due to the total lack of organisation or consideration to efficiency. This didn't dampen our spirits though, we'd had a truly lovely holiday and would highly recommend two out of the three places.



We would also recommend the entire area, everyone is so friendly and relaxed. The bus drivers are not in hurries and the bar staff will allow you to finish drinking, instead of trying to kick you out as soon as they want to close.

It was bloody lovely and I can truly see why people would retire to there.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Craig the Hula Boy

At the weekend, while in Wales, Rowan's Brother in law and Sister were telling us about Craig the Hula Boy. I think I've found my new hero!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A short conversation

Rowan to me: "Do you still have those scummy old trainers?"
Me in reply: "Which ones?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Go...

The beautician who gave me a massage on Saturday kept on saying "Happy Go Larry"; I didn't have the heart to correct her but also I didn't want too, as I really liked it. I now like to think there was a massively optimistic guy which is where the saying "Happy Go Lucky" came from and he was called Larry. Maybe he lived next to Riley?!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sir Robin Arryn

Every time Game of Thrones heads to 'The Eyrie' and the little bitch that is Sir Robin, all I see is Spleen from 'Mystery Men' walking around the screen!
 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pregnant Emails

This week saw the greatest email from a good friend of mine arrive in my inbox, it was about her recent scan of her baby. It had me in so many stitches that I cried with laughter:

"Ok so we had the 3d scan on Saturday, which I didn’t enjoy one bit, in fact I totally disliked it, it made the baby look really odd, like an old man.  Benjamin Button came to mind!
One thing that you can tell from the piccies is that it basically looks the same as the husband, there is none of me in there at all! I would normally have to concede and admit that this was a good thing, however we have all seen the nieces that have “that” nose, I think history is repeating itself!  Oh well at least this time it will be mine and I'll be immune to how unattractive it is……….."

My only response was this:


"Firstly, please remember that all babies are generally born with the same squishy nose so you need to calm down.
Secondly, it/they/he/she will be the most beautiful baby to ever exist, or at least that is what you will both think and we will all agree accordingly, because we will also love and adore the little blighter.
Thirdly, you are the funniest person I know. This email reduced tears in my eyes and for that you rule like a mo fo!"


Roll on every scan from here to delivery...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tonsils Go Bye Bye

I'm very pleased to announce that my referral to ENT was a positive one and I was approved for a tonsillectomy, this is a huge relief to my good self and will bring me, hopefully, a painless future (other than the initial couple of weeks post the operation). To be honest, I'm a little apprehensive, I've never been to hospital and stayed on a ward, I've never gone under general or local anaesthetic but they are all trained specialists and they do it daily so I'm sure it will be fine.

I do feel a little sorry for the nurse who took my bloods today though, as I was hot and dehydrated and passed out on her - one moment I was telling her that my hearing had gone and the next thing I'm being carried by two men (I think they were men, there was definitely one guy involved) to the couch. As I came round, it had gone from being just me and the nurse, to us and an additional 6 people - apparently they were my fan club, I didn't realise it was so close to home, I feel rather blessed.

I know the NHS get a battering at times and of course they aren't perfect but they have always treated me right and I think they do a fine job, a difficult job but a fine one none the less.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Introducing Mr & Mrs Bent



These two lovely people got married today, it was a rather bloody lovely day all in all!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Battersea Park

I went to Battersea Park today, I recommend it whole heartily. It was very pretty, has a large pond, children's play area, water fountains, band stand, yadda yadda yadda, you get the drift but seriously it is a pretty cool park, if you ignore all the idiots on the hire bikes...

I tried to take a multiple of one photo using the iPhones panaromic setting but it kind of failing, resulting in Rowan being normal to one armed to fatter to half a person.


When it works, it's awesome, when it fails, it's entertaining!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Gower

Over Easter weekend, Rowan dragged me kicking and screaming to his homeland of The Gower Peninsula, Wales. I got to meet his Mother also, the big 'Meet and Greet', luckily his Mum is bloody lovely, as is her dog, Phoebe, who constantly wees on Rowan, much to my delight!

We had a very nice chilled evening on the Friday night hanging with Sue and Phoebe. I unfortunately wasn't able to get a photo of Phoebe, but she does this adorable pose which makes it look like she's smiling - I will get a photo next time, without fail!

Saturday saw us heading out to Tenby, we got rather near it and hit loads of traffic, just at this time Rowan's friend "Jim Tones" suggested we park at Saundersfoot and walk along the coastal path for 20 minutes to Tenby...so off we set. 20 minutes into the coastal path we realised something wasn't quite right and carried on, 40 minutes later we met some other walkers who asked us about the length of time to Saundersfoot, we had to let them down that it was about 45 minutes, they broke the news that it was another hour to Tenby.

Halfway to Tenby

Castle Sands, Tenby
One hour later we finally reach beautiful Tenby and it is really very nice...I highly recommend a day trip to the pretty sea side town. We purchased some Rock, ate some delicious Mussels, walked along the Castle Sands, looked at Caldey Island. I was ill prepared and not wearing enough layers, so due to the wind being fierce I requested that we didn't climb St Catherine's Fort at least this will leave us with something to do next time. Rowan bought some Caldey Island chocolate: made by Monks don't you know.

We headed back to Gorseinon and went to join "Jim Tones" for a Cider/Ale Festival on Wine St, Swansea. I'd heard a lot about Wine St but due to it being a Bank Holiday weekend, Wine St was pretty quiet and no fights were witnessed, much to my relief - no valley boys, kebabs, fights, etc!

Sunday witnessed us heading out to the Gower to see the life of Rowan's younger years. It's extremely pretty, I was shown a Giant's grave, a man made lake, a huge hill, the view (below), a trip down to Three Cliffs Bay and in through the valley past Pennard Castle.

Mumbles Pier in the distance

Three Cliffs Bay

Pennard Castle from a distance

That evening saw our trip end with a rather heavier than I had expected trip to the pub to meet the infamous Sam & Jess, our walk to the pub included this pretty little dance from Rowan along the way...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Babies Babies Everywhere...

Everyone I know is having a baby, therefore I've spent the last month or two crocheting away in baby blanket world...here are a couple of them that I have completed/started:


Above is one which I completed with a scallop edge for Rowan's sister, who is due in June.
Below is one which I've started in a rainbow effect for one of my best friends who is due in August.


I've also spent three days cutting up all of my remnants into quilting squares; I now have a large tin of quilting squares that I shall make an oval quilt for her new crib. I'm all rather excited all in all. Roll on more babies.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Such Views of London


Rowan was asked to house sit in Swiss Cottage on the 21st floor in a high rise for a week, I of course accompanied him and boy am I glad I did. Not only was it a lovely home, the views were spectacular!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Krakow, Poland

Over the weekend I went to Krakow on a hen do, it was a rather fun weekend all in all and I'm now basically fluent in Polish, it's a pretty easy language to pick up...if you ask me. I'm unable to report anything here, so I'll leave you all with a little innocent short montage of Krakow...









The Hen and her sister have a heart to heart

The hardcore doers party on...

Even the bottle corks are happy in Poland!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dover

Rowan and I needed a reason to get out of London (well who doesn't!) so we had a random thought to head to Kent, I'd never been and he wanted to see the White Cliffs of Dover, so it was settled that we would head to Dover. One high speed train and one episode of Game of Thrones and we arrived.

After a little walk around, Rowan acquired a new film camera from one of the charity shops (£4 well spent), we headed to our B&B (Hubert House) to book in, the B&B didn't open until 4pm so we headed to The White Horse next door. The White Horse is a rather adorable little pub which is covered with swimmers names and times from swimming the Channel. We eventually checked in and set off for our walk along the cliffs...

Rowan and I had set a challenge to take the most dull photo possible, the photo has to be a decent shot but boring as hell. My dull photos are mostly on the camera film (which is yet to be developed) but some of my boring images are below...


I feel that they are perfectly dull and appropriate for our competition. I'm very much looking forward to the film being processed, it's unfortunate that the film is Black and White, as that always makes things slightly more interesting, damn it! Have a fence and horizon to boot!


We took a nice long walk over the cliffs to St Margaret's Bay, where we enjoyed a pint to reward ourselves. We then headed in to St Margaret's on Cliffe to find some food and an eventual taxi home. 
We ended spending too much time talking to the regulars and nearly got locked out of our B&B, luckily we made it back just in time and folded ourselves in for a restful night slightly drunk.

The next day we woke early ate breakfast and then headed back to bed, well it is Sunday afterall. Eventually we had to leave, which sucked as it was all rather nice tucked up with a warm breeze coming through the window and ventured out into the real world, we opted for Dover Castle and some tea drinking.


I can not recommend Dover Castle enough, there was plenty to look at and do, excluding the War Tunnels and Hospital Wards, which were also extremely interesting. English Heritage has renovated the castle to be similar to how it was at the height of its hey day, the roof is also open for you to enjoy the vast views of the horizon. We ended up spending 4-5 hours there all in all and as we left, I signed us up to English Heritage as members, this of course needed to be celebrated by telling my parents; who promptly ignored my text message.


Shortly after we finished there, we headed back to London; one day we'll get to spend our hours exploring and doing no work, one day...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Scottish Céilidh

I had a random invite to some Scottish Céilidh, which was obviously something that I was going to attend, therefore this evening I found myself in Whitechapel surrounded by trainee Doctors dancing to a live Scottish band.

It was an experience, that is for sure, who knew so much energy would be required to run and swing...I'm pretty sure that it was created due to it being so cold up north and they needed to keep warm at all times!

Below is an action pack shot of some Céilidh in action...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I'm going to see 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' this evening with the Boyo and am very excited!!! Eek!

I've loved Wes Anderson, since I first watched 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and was extremely excited when I heard he was making 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. Roll 8:30 pm this evening...

I'm unable to embed the video, so watch the trailer, it's worth it!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Languages

I was sat on the bus the other morning listening to some Polish men talk and I started to think that I'd like the capacity to understand all spoken languages, then I though 'well, if I can understand them, why not wish to be able to speak them also?!' which is completely understandable, if you ask me.

But then I thought 'if you hosted the ability to understand and speak all of the languages in the world, how long would it take to scan your brain to identify which language were being spoken?', therefore I decided that possibly being able to talk and understand a select few would make more sense, although how would you judge which ones? Bearing in mind that during the 90s, I would have chosen French, German, Spanish and Italian. I'd never have guessed that Russian, Mandarin and Polish would become more relevant. Therefore, if we were having wishes granted, would it make more sense that you can review and add accordingly every few years?!

And now I'm completely lost, but I guess there is no fear, as granted wishes don't exist and it would take me forever to learn one language, let alone numerous ones - this is based on my inability to speak French, after five years of studying of course.

However, dreams are very nice things...

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First Date Review

My date on Friday was pretty bloody great! I was full of nerves when I left work, I'm not generally a nervous person, so that was irritating. I arrived at Seven Sisters station and then stacked it on the escalator, spilling the contents of my bag up them (I nearly lost my mega sexy M&S granny pants also, luckily they stayed put in my broken bag), for some reason this stupid accident made me feel much better and all my nerves evaporated.

I ended up running five minutes late and received a text from 'Spazzy Jeff' (username only) saying that he was there and by the condiments, in my typical fantasy world, I assumed that meant the pub was set out in the style of a shop (yep, because that makes complete sense?! I really do wonder about myself at times). My main worry was how do you greet a stranger who you've been talking to, luckily he had this all in hand and that instantly made me feel better. Although, the first thing I did after meeting him was go to the lavatory, when I came out I asked him "did you get worried that I'd climb out the lavatory window?", way to make a guy feel comfortable...I obviously know all of the best tricks.

It was all rather easy, after the initial awkward chit chat and first couple of drinks. He picked a pretty good pub, the 6 nations were showing, funnily enough it was his team, Wales, who were playing, what are the chances?! It was a good game and half way through he planted me with a big old smacker. In typical verbal diarrhoea fashion, post kiss I blurted out 'I thought you'd be a soft touch and not kiss me for ages'. After this it was rather plain sailing...we even discussed the 1001 things not to mention on a first date, always a good sign that you're on a similar wavelength.

We had a few more drinks, SP suggested we moved on, I got us off at the wrong bus stop and we walked around the back of Farringdon/Angel for a while (this didn't seem to bother him, which I liked, although he might have been playing it very cool and was fuming inside, if so, he is a very good actor). We finally found the road we were looking for and popped into a pub (that I've walked past numerous times and never visited) and had a proper banter session, I won't say about what, it was extremely crude and very funny.

After this, we went to a late bar and had some more banter, conversations and drinks. SP suggested that we head to where he originally wanted to take me (before I got us lost) and I suggested that due to it being rather late, we could walk around the city, which we did. We ended up south of the river and I wanted to know everything he's ever thought and felt. Needless to say that our date turned into brunch. I know, you're not supposed to emerge yourself in someone so quickly but we just seemed to click and I didn't want to go home.


We had a second date on Sunday evening in Greenwich, I got to see some of Greenwich, as I got off at the wrong stop, doh! and I also got to see the Cutty Sark, it's only taken me nearly three years to get anywhere near both places.

SP took me to Up the Creek Comedy Club in Greenwich. It was a fantastic evening, with some brilliant comedians. The highlights were the compare, who was rather quick witted. The first guy who was from Granada and was upset that Granada isn't known for anything cool, just Nutmeg; he wants to become the Nutmeg King. This was very funny and I'm explaining it abominably! A girl who's act was a hyper chatty hairdresser and a vegan comedian who said that all phrases were generally biased against all vegans, as most of them are about harming animals, leaving vegans with only "You can't make an Omelette!".

All in all, a blinding weekend.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Random Almond


There was a huge almond on the seat next to me tonight, it was mammoth. I wondered if someone was afraid to eat it due to its size and left it behind. They didn’t even leave a note – the poor thing. It was suggested to me that I should have taken it home to plant…I don’t think Hackney council would be happy with that. But what if it was a bean (disguised as an almond) and now I’ll never get to climb the stalk to the castle?! Although this is probably a good thing, as I’m afraid of heights and have poor upper body strength.

You win some, you lose some!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

First Date Fear

I have had the arduous task of reformatting a spreadsheet of over 2000 entries over the last few weeks at work. I've been listening to the eight hour biography of Johnny Cash while doing this, it's been good company, other than the first 20 minutes which spoke of June Carter's death, which caused my eyes to flood, which meant I was unable to see the screen properly to format correctly - curse you, you silly real life story and my achilles heel of crying as soon as death is mentioned, grr!

It ended today with Johnny's sad demise and death, this also caused numerous tears, god damn I am weak! Yep, more tears were shed! I remember the first time I heard 'American Recording IV', I'd been at Courtyard for a few years and we'd received it from Island Def Jam through the post. Bryce and I went up to the living room for some time out and upon first listening, as soon as Johnny opened with 'Bridge over trouble water', Bryce and I had had our fill. Who knew that a few months later, we'd be playing it on repeat?! Hence the classic, "don't judge a book by it's cover" and "don't let first impressions cloud your judgement", which are both so much easier said than done...

This entire tedious intro leads me to my main purpose for writing this evening...I'm filled with a mix of emotions, most are exciting and crazy immature balls of energy, but others are nervous bubbles of gas, which could and most probably will burst out of me at the wrong time, causing some strange noises to occur from my mouth...arhjbgbiejgn riogkregnegm! For an example!

I have my first proper date tomorrow evening. It's the first since, oh God knows?! Umm, 2009? Possibly Summer 2009. OK so it's not extra long ago, but it's long enough to have forgotten and therefore be filled with dread about a first date. All I can remember is how awful all of my previous first dates have been, I keep on trying to remind myself that it's just drinks with a future friend/future stranger, but then the excitement bubbles and all turns to shit. The main reason for my fear is that, and I know I shouldn't and deep down I don't but I feel that possibly I should do so, I'm listening to other people's fears. FOOL! I know, I know! I try my best to ignore them, I always have, ever since some bitch told me at the age of 11 that I'd forgotten to put something on, in the changing rooms and I retorted "What? My bra? Why would I wear one, when I've nothing to hold in place?!", she then exclaimed loudly that I was obviously a freak - I think we all know who was the real freak!

I've done my best to be me via messages and I feel that we have good rapport, or possible good rapport but those with weak dispositions have started to imply that his banter may not be as good and as lively as mine in person and therefore the date could be frightful. I stifled the concern for long enough but I've now allowed it to consume me....follow that with random 'far too comfortable' texts from me about 'coats made of the skin from my previous dating website counterparts' and 'dead family hunting trophies' and I think if he does turn up, he may be clinically insane. Fuck!

Damn you insecure, extra weary, lovely but foolish people who I love! Damn you all! Why couldn't I just carry on living in my mad, wonderfully Disney world where we wacky people find our own kin through the strangest of circumstances and just get on.

Maybe, he is, as I keep on reaffirming to myself and others, a casual guy who doesn't sit on his phone and is that laid back (unlike a certain person I know, where you would have thought his phone was an extra limb of his) and he just responds when he sees it, rather than waiting and instantly texting back. Therefore he is banterous and a good time, it just appears rather staggered through the medium of text. Yes, this is my sunny disposition clinging to hope and god damn, I'm going to cling to that fine fine strand.

I guess, the worst thing is that within 24 hours, I will know and what will I have lost?! An evening where I would have been sat at home, instead I'll be sat in the pub with a stranger. This is as bad as it can get and that is what I need to remember. No date will ever be as bad as sitting in 'The Duke' in Oxford on a Sunday afternoon stuck talking to a perfectly pleasant but dull middle age man about the same topics of conversation which we had covered the day before and this is what I need to remember. I've already talked to the most boring people I've ever met. Nothing that this guy says or does will be as random as I've seen or heard before, unless he takes off his sock and sucks his toes in the pub, that would be pretty random...and if he is just actually that boring, then I've a new story to tell to current and future friends.

Yes, I may be tempting fate but fate, I tempt you. You've always been rather kind to me, so I implore to you, please be kind once again. Until this time tomorrow, Adieu!

In the mean time, have a little cry to Johnny's last video:


Dear Old Granny, Died 15th January 2013, Mounted 15th March 2013


Rudi, my office's Roe Deer
This morning, I was thinking about the mounting of dead animals on walls as trophies, which is a rather odd thing to do. I was then thinking about whether you could do a similar thing with human skin, as we do with animal hides bearing in mind they are both living organisms, therefore being able to do it with one and not the other seems rather odd. This led me to think about Gunther von Hagens (aptly nicknamed Dr. Frankenstein) and how he’s developed the art of preserving human tissue by plastination. Therefore, one day, mounting your dear old granny on the wall could be a possibility.
 
Although, the main difference between mounting an animal hide and a human would vary, due to the fact that creating the mould for animals is relatively simple, as even if it’s not exact it still looks like an animal. Even really bad taxidermy has it’s charm...even if they don’t look exactly like the original animals (I’m finding it hard to stifle the laughter and keeping a straight face as I type)?!. 


The perfect Coat Stand?
How hard would it be to make the mould for dear old granny, bearing in mind that every face has a 1000+ different feaures and points which make them so individual and if we did start to mount family members on the wall, would there be a heriarchy of good to bad taxidermy and would poorer families accept piss poor versions of their dearly departed?! Or could we get them posed and they could become handy items of furniture around the house?

Also, would the mould need to have a softness about it, or due to the plastination would it be hard and would this also detract from the initial facial features, etc.?

Maybe I need to write to Gunther...I think answers are required.

Tangent Time: I went to see Body Works when it was in Brick Lane years ago with my Mum and once I had gotten over the initial shock of it (which was set off by one of the slices of human having a tattoo, which brought back the fact that they once had reletives, lives, thought and movement), I found it fascinating and wanted to go back around again. I definitely recommend it to all who are mildly interested in biology and the human body.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Accidental Chocolate Brownie / Tart


One evening I was making Chocolate Brownie for a dinner party, that I was going attending, and realised at an extremely late moment that I'd run out of Caster Sugar, so I added extra chocolate instead. It didn't cook properly due to the consistency being too wet but it did make the most delicious chocolate brownie tart thing. 
Due to the London Tube Strike, I was unable to come home to collect it for my dinner party, so I took it to work the next day and it's now a firm favourite with my colleagues, although I'm not sure if it's a firm favourite with their waist lines. Try it, trust me it's scrumptious!

Ingredients:
100g (4oz) Unsalted Butter
300g (12oz) Dark Chocolate

100g (4oz) Plain Flour
100g (4oz) Caster Siugar
2 Medium Eggs
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Vanilla Essence

Instructions:
Melt the butter and chocolate together.
Mix the remaining ingredients together.
Add the melted butter and chocolate to the remaining mixture.

Place the mixture in a greased dish and pop into a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes at approximately 200c / Gas Mark 5.

Take the chocolate brownie/tart out when the mixture is still kind of moist / wet in the middle and leave to cool.

Once cool, cut and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Clotted Cream.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

3D Letters


I made this for a friend's birthday, it is made from 6 layers of foam board, stuck together, then covered in newspaper and PVA glue.

I laid the material on with double sided sticky tape, to ensure that I could reposition if need be and to ensure that the fabric wasn't ruined with glue.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Where will the craziness end?

Confession time. I have now joined 'Plenty of Fish'. I’ve done it, I’ve joined an online dating website. I swore when I became single last summer that the one thing I would never, ever, ever do was join a dating website. I swore blind, while sober/while drunk that I couldn't even comprehend the possibility of joining something that only "desperate people" turn to and look at me eating my words by the ladle!  And worse still, glup, I’m enjoying it! Oh the humanity!!!

After playing with Tinder for a couple of weeks, I’ve gotten bored of not really being able to see anything about the guys, not knowing what they do, like, think, etc.. Now don’t get me wrong, playing ‘hot or not’ will never get old but being someone who is all about personality and loves a good laugh, I need to ensure that these suitors have a sense of humour, some intellect, the ability to string a sentence together and use basic grammar, etc.. It even appears that some of them are lacking basic life skills: the ability to maintain a conversation, sensing written inflections (ok, I’ll allow that this is hard to pick up on when two dimensional but come on...). These are things that I cling to in everyday life, the blood and soul of basic human interaction. I guess maybe my big problem is that I'm a very physical person; I'm very verbal and expressive and like to be able to see and hear how and what people are saying. Obviously, I'm a master with words, can't you tell?! But my one love is conversing with others when the communication just flows and is natural. Small talk and forced conversations are the worst!
 
So, Plenty of Fish, how is it treating me? I joined on Wednesday evening with help from Rupert, who has previously been on there and he has given me some male pointers. But Rupert struggles to express himself through the written word and as we know, I do not, so some logger heads were met. I think I've summed myself up pretty well...I've added a disclaimer, well if all else fails, add a disclaimer, that is what they say isn't it?!
 
Last night, I had a little peruse and messaged a couple of guys. Just as I was about to log off, I spotted a nice looking chap, so I messaged him and happened to use the word 'diarrhoea', I was trying to explain my verbal dysentery when I feel awkward but in doing so, I also raised a not so pleasant image. Well if nothing more, at least I will be memorable.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tinder - it's a strange new world!

I downloaded Tinder last week, well why not?!

It is the strangest addictive game of 'hot or not' that I've ever played. I think I've said yes to about 200 guys, which is unnerving, also unnerving due to letting my married friends play with it, therefore I've had random messages from men I've never seen before. Thanks "dearest friends"! I guess they were getting their own back for my constantly saying that every guy on there looks short or freakishly tall!

I was talking with Tom about it on Friday, who is also on it, and he recommended that I use a profile picture which features a Roe Deer, apparently most girls on there have constantly pretty photos, so to have something a little random means the guys will take a further look - I'm pretty sure that those two days were the worst for matches. Plus, which guys (who feature on Tinder) are actually going to bother to look further? And, do I really care?

I've had a couple of messages from some nice looking guys; one was a little too soft and nice, which isn't my kind of thing. The other seemed to be going rather well but I was a little too drunk to be conversing with anyone! Funnily enough, that conversation ended rather early...damn me and my afternoon of drinking post a long walk. Oops!

On Saturday afternoon I was speaking to a barman (Jo, 29), who was also on Tinder. It appears that everyone is on there, who knew so many single people existed?!

On this note, I spoke with Viktorious last night about it and was saying how I originally believed that the whole of London was made up of married people - everyone on the tube and in all the pubs (who I find hot) are married. I'd convinced myself that everyone in the universe is in a couple, apart from me. Now Tinder has made me believe that everyone is single. It's a total mind fuck, just like life generally.

Anyhow, this barman was in the belief that it was nice to talk to girls but he had no interest in ever meeting up with any of them, due to so many friends saying that none of the girls they'd met looked like their photos. I hope this isn't true, as that is pretty scary...I guess the whole thing is pretty random and strange. Additionally, according to Viktorious' housemate, a lot of the girls on there are dull as dishwater, which at least gives me one bonus over them - you couldn't fit more personally into one body. In fact I think doing so, is considered a personally disorder...

I've also been advised to not start the conversation with those who I am matched with, as that implies I'm only up for getting laid, can that really be the case?! I've messaged some of the guys anyway, well yolo (please note that is the only ever time I've used that (my first and last), I had to think about how you'd write it, although that might be the hangover talking?!).

Basically, I'm even more confused than before I'd ever seen or knew of Tinder - oh so confused! I swear being single wasn't this difficult or addictive previously...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So...

...as predicted, my Dryuary ended pretty much with an unhappy friend but the exercise is continuing, in one form or another. As is my productivity.

I made this little beauty a few weekends back. A tutorial will follow soon.



The same weekend I made this, I finally saw a ballet. I saw 'Le Corsaire', which was very good. Although I had expected them to sing for the first fifteen minutes, which was rather confusing. Plus, the lead guy chose a 'ho' over his 'bro', yes his bro was a douche but still...he'd only known the girl for a short amount of time.
I'm very much looking forward to attending my next ballet. Yay!

I've not been up to much otherwise; a huge walk on Hampstead Heath this weekend just passed, various birthdays celebrated and endless nights chilling at home. Everything is rather pleasant! (that's not me gloating, it's me being very grateful for this blissful period of my life. Thanks universe!).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Certain hurdles in the abstaining...

Life sometimes throws you little hurdles, which you either jump, run into or run away from.

Yesterday I saw a friend who has been having some troubles in her love life, which meant that I had to take wine for her to cry in to and you can't allow a sad girl to drink wine on her own, it just isn't right. So I had to consume a glass of wine or two... It's not my proudest moment and I did feel bad but that was more because of her situation, rather than drinking the wine. Of course, I'm a good friend, not a crazy person!

On the upside, I'm finally getting to go to the Ballet on Saturday. Hurrah! It's been a long time coming (at the age of 4, I wanted to be a ballet dancer) but for some reason, I've never gotten around to going. I guess I hoped someone would take me but it never came to fruition. I can not wait! I saw an opera in Venice with my mother years ago but the ballet just seemed to allude me. It's only recently that I've been thinking of things I've always wanted to do and not gotten around to doing, and this popped back in to my pea size brain, and I've seized that moment/chance/opportunity (delete as appropriate).

Golly, men in tights with strong arms, lifting waif like girls to beautiful music - what isn't to like?! And it's been suggested that we ladies wear pretty dresses. I love getting all pretty. If you can't tell, I'm terribly excited!

Roll on Saturday evening:


In fact, it's a fab weekend all round. On Sunday I'm going here: Ice Sculpting Festival
Which brings me to another thing which I've had on my list to do for ages and not done: visit Canary Wharf! I've been to Isle of Dogs arena but never quite made it to actual Canary Wharf. I'm hoping to see this also:



It will all be finished off with a big serving of home made casserole with cheese dumplings - roll on 4pm tomorrow, when my weekend starts!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Anxiety Dreams Already

I had an anxiety dream last night, where I was offered a Gin and Tonic, accepted, drank it and then remembered that I was supposed to be abstaining - at which point it was too late, oh well was my dream theory - really rather typical of my good, committed self!

Earlier today, I bumped in to my mate, Glen, and told him that I was trying to abstain from booze. Stating that it's not for health reasons, it's more to see if I'm able too. Based on the fact that I used to drive everywhere and not drink and stay out all night without a drink and have a great time, and I'm interested in whether I can do this again. I also stated that my main problem with this is that I actually like the taste of booze - I love the wheaty fizzy freshness of beer, the round soily flavour of Malbec and the sweet gooseberry notes of Sauvignon Blanc, not to get drunk but for the taste and this is what I worry about.

Especially, as when I saw Glen on the street, the first thing I asked if he fancied a quick pint and a catch up - FAIL!

SHHHIIIIITTTTTT (said like Clay Davis)! This is going to get tough!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Dryuary

I've set myself a little task: I am going to try to abstain from alcohol for the whole of January - I know, I'm one of ten million desperate winos who are trying to not drink for the first month of the year, how cliche! But I haven't not drunk for a period of time, for at least 6-7 years, and feel that I should challenge myself. I guess, I have a lot of time on my hands.

I'm three days in and was going strong, until I was given a bottle of wine at work today and now I've painted two walls in my room and I'm desperate for a large glass of full bodied, earthy, ashy, thicker than thick red wine to reward myself with, I want one so so badly!

And I've also been invited to a 30th birthday party on the 18th - this is going to be much harder than I initially contemplated...bugger!