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.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Depression Update

I've been to the Doctors and will get a referral, Ro things that maybe it is my emotions being misplaced and materilising through anger and impatience, instead of tears. We shall see, it is definitely an option...what ever it is, I hope it changes soon, I'm fed up of being angry, bitchy me, who hates seeing people she loves, feels isolated and spends her time surrounded by people I hardly know so that I don't have to talk about me.

In fact on that note, I saw a friend for lunch today and we discussed miscarriages and death, she lost her Father last year. We spoke about how bad people are at dealing with people who have lost and how they over think everything, rather than allowing the bereaved to lead conversations and to carry on as normal, letting people come to them if they want to. It is so funny how we all experience loss over and over again and yet we are generally terrible at talking about it and knowing how to support people who have been affected. We agreed that if we all just opened up a little and discussed it in a more open forum then we could be more effective and helpful, maybe one day.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

A happy little Otter

Rowan bought this for me this weekend in Grantham, I adore my happy little Otter...

...and I bought this for myself (sans frame), it is a 1930's postcard from Germany, I couldn't resist it.

I love postcards and can spend hours sifting through all technicolour postcards and photos of any and everywhere, in fact Rowan and I bought the postcard below from Hastings, last year, as it was of the Los Angeles Irrigation Canal as we thought it was hysterical, we'd love to know who thought it was a good idea, or more to the point who bought it???

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Crazy lady

The other evening I was on handsfree talking to my Mother and on her end of the line she was talking to my Nephew, so there I was walking down the street screaming 'talk to me' repeatedly with my hands in my pockets and insanity in my eye!

If it had been busier, as my Mother joked I may have had an ambulance called and a strait jacket donned!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

War and Peace

During Christmas 2014 I was given Tolstoy's War and Peace, the novel by my future mother in law, she accompanied it with the Audrey Hepburn film on DVD. I started to read it last December, having got 200 pages in before the BBC adaptation aired. Giving up on lugging 'the brick that is...' around in my bag, I accepting that some books take years to complete, I started to watch the BBC's version. 25 minutes into the first episode the 200 pages I had read were done and dusted and they'd only missed out a dull dinner party, an 8 page discussion about who should blow up a bridge and a war, nothing to it.

The adaptation is very nice, however I do wish I had continued with the book, maybe if I find myself laid up for some time I shall commit, along with 'Notes from Underground' which I just couldn't wrap my brain around on the tube or before sleep.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Depressed, me?! Maybe...

I have a lot to write about, over the last three months...however I'd like to be self indulgent and talk all about how I feel: me, me, me!

Excitedly a lot of my friends and family are expecting babies during the first two months of this year, some of which are first time parents and I'm over the moon for them, however I also keep on bursting into tears sporadically, 'over the moon for them'  indeed!

I think one of the biggest issues is that I haven't actually completely dealt with my grief attributed to my previous experiences, additionally not being able to attain one of the things I've ever wanted from a young age, is proving to upset and frustrate me beyond belief.

I know that all of the old adages apply and eventually it will happen, but what if not? And why me? And how come it appears to pick certain people and not others? And why do so many people think that it's irrelevant and not worth mourning over; the list of questions is unending, typically.

I watched an interesting Ted Talk about Depression, here is the link.

I had always thought that depression is exactly what most people think it is: a constant darkness and an unending feeling of despair, however Kevin explaining that the not knowing why you don't want to get out of bed because everything in your life is peachy, actually rang true and resonated with me. I hadn't realised it, but I have been suffering from a bout of depression...I am depressed.

I spent most of my time trying to push the upset, hurt and endless questions to the back of my mind, I spent most of my time distracting myself, projecting my issues on to silly projects and dreams of 'one day', but what if one day doesn't happen and I am still struggling to keep my head above water. I know that I have a good family and a great selection of friends, I know that my job is good, I have my health, a loving partner, etc., but I also want to cry, most days and for no real reason at all and that is what is so hard about all of this, the admittance that I am depressed.

The BIG reveal took a massive argument with Rowan while driving through Gloucestershire for me to finally admit, he had known it all along. I'm a lucky lady to have him and I thank my blessings daily.

The next step, after admitting to things is to look to fix or mend them, off to the Doctors I go...

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Years Eve 2016

This year we waited for an invite to any, all events, a letter opening even. Did we receive one? No.

During NYE 14/15 we hosted a dinner party for 12 people, invited about 16, and had a mental pissed up photo shoot in Rowan's photography studio, good times all round!

This year we were sure we would receive something, so we made no plans and waited, alas it wasn't to be. So we planned to spend it in, or at our local, potentially heading to Lambeth bridge to watch the fireworks, if we were still standing at that point. And we did just that, we had a couple of drinks at home, headed to our local drinking beer and watching the tattoo at Edinburgh Castle on TV, eventually around 11.15pm we ordered a car and headed to Lambeth Palace Bridge, however our Dickhead driver thought he knew best, choosing Kennington / Elephant & Castle which fucked me off, as that is not going to help anyone. Shockingly, he couldn't make it to LPB and turfed us out at the Imperial War Museum 'great'.

This irritated me, I hate Taxi drivers who think they know best and us mere mortals know nothing, I hate people who take advantage, I hate people who are only out for themselves and to gain, etc. Therefore as we started walking towards Waterloo (not where I wanted to be) I ranted, I ranted within an inch of my life, I ranted so much that some arsehole Policeman approached us and said 'excuse me Miss, can you stop swearing as I'd hate to have to lift you'. In my head I was dumbstruck and thinking 'Lift me? Lift me? Who on Earth says 'lift'? Did you learn the lingo from the Policeman of London handbook? Did you see it on a film and thought it made you look big and clever? Dick!', during this entire time my face must have been one of confusion, mean while Rowan says 'it's ok Officer, she's a little upset but she'll calm down now', I'm still dumbstruck. Mr Officer then says 'There are lots of families around tonight, I'd hate for one to complain and for you to spend the night in a cell', once again I'm dumbstruck and in my head chuckling now, as this guy obviously thinks he works for Sunhill in the 90's. Once again Rowan steps in and is terribly polite, he's such a legend, all the while I'm suck surprised by the whole event.

We eventually walk off and head to stand at the back of Waterloo, seeing approximately none of the full spectacle, as you can see below:

c/o instagram.com/rowan_cr2/
However the crowd were fun and it was nice to be able to say 'we saw London's NYE fireworks first hand'.

To see the spectacle in it's full glory and synchronised to music, click here!

Here's to 2016, may it be 1000 times better than shitty 2015!