Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #9

Well hello there, on this Wonderful Wednesday morning.

It is a particularly Wonderful one today, too, despite it being dark and dreary, as I finish work at lunchtime today for a whole 2 weeks off! It's not even that kind of break where you wonder what might be happening on your files and what other people are doing on them, as the whole office is fully closed and locked up until the New Year! 

I remember when I started this job just over a year ago and I felt that the annual leave entitlement was a little bit stingy... but then I discovered we get a full 2 week break at Christmas without needing to hold back any leave. That's not too shabby is it?

So... without further ado, on with the Wonderful!

✩ Tiny dancers. I had a whistle-stop tour down to the South Coast on Saturday to visit my oldest friend and her 5 year-old. It was the day of her dance exams, so most of the time was spent sitting waiting, but it did take me back to my youf when I was - I know this may surprise some of you - a very elegant little ballerina. She does ballet, tap and acro (I think that's acrobatic dance, but haven't the heart to ask - you know, they talk about it like everyone knows what it is so you feel silly for not knowing) and she got a little trophy after each one and was awarded honours in all 3. The cutest!

✩ Prosecco and Chinese takeaway.  An interesting combination, no? It was more the surprise element of it, to be honest, with the romantic candles and plastic cutlery, that did it for me. The Boy was back at the weekend briefly to finish cleaning up his house and we spent Saturday night sleeping on my inflatable mattress in his (now old) bedroom. I zipped back from the Coast, met him at a local country club where he was seeing a friend for a goodbye drink, then we got back to the house and he surprised me with the Last Supper.

✩ My own bed. I do miss the Boy now that he's gone, of course, but there was that little bit of me that was excited about getting back into my own bed.

That's about all I've got this week, I'm afraid. It's flown by again and I didn't prepare in advance like I usually do! Share with me your Wonderful...

This is my last post until 2017 now, because I'm off busying myself with the festivities here, there and everywhere, and I want to concentrate on sending off a most unforgiving year and making sure it ends on a relative high... Have absolutely fabulous Christmases and New Years', you lovely lot!

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #8

It's that time of the week again, hump day. After lunchtime it will be all downhill to the weekend. (Although I confess I am writing this on Tuesday while eating my breakfast - it's the only time I've got to do it!)

It's been such a busy week this week that I can't quite believe we're here again. My weekend was spent packing up my things and moving out of The Boy's house back to the Mum's house and helping him pack up his house. Who knew after 2 years of living in a place you'd have so much stuff to take to the tip? That's him, not me, btw...

Anyway, it's another sad time for me in the most saddest of years, so I must hold on to the littlest sparkles of Wonderful. Let's do this...

☆ That sky I know other's have mentioned the wonderfulness of wintery skies, but I had time to notice, contemplate and drink in the lovely colours out of the living room windows. I'll miss living in the true countryside as opposed to just about on the edge of it. That said, when I come to join The Boy in Cornwall I'm sure there will be plenty of beauty to look at.

☆ Bucks Fizz I was given a bottle of champagne when I left my last job in October 2015. It had been in The Boy's fridge since Christmas as we planned to drink it on New Year's Eve, but we didn't get around to it. As I was packing I came across it and the label says it could be kept in a cellar for up to a year. So, there was nothing else for it but to drink it on Sunday evening mixed with orange juice, marvelling in the delights of bucks fizz. Is it an 80s thing or is it still a thing now?! I may revive it in my household, but not with actual champagne though!

☆ Making presents In a waft of sadness, I had a lightbulb moment on Sunday evening. I would make up a lickle photo of The Boy and I for us each in identical frames to keep by our bedsides, for those nights that we are apart. A bit sickly sweet, but I quickly ordered 2 prints of a favourite photo of us together, which I collected on Monday and bought a couple of little frames. I presented them in the evening and they went down a treat. I think it's that kind of gift that is sometimes so much nicer to give and to receive.

☆ The Beginning I know I'm dwelling quite a lot on The Boy's moving this week, but frankly it's a bloody big deal. I've had a tough year and he's been the most amazing rock to me, and now I'm losing him. Sort of. It's that "sort of" that I must focus on, and see it as the beginning of a new adventure. Once the dust settles, we'll be saving money to buy our very own house down where he's moving to and I will need to start job hunting. Making that big a move and for me working in a turbulent sector means that I can reassess my whole career. I can try diversifying and doing something completely new (if someone would employ me...).  On the one hand this new beginning is sad, but it's also a teeny little bit exciting.

☆ Creamy strawberry yoghurt One last random one for me now. Given that I was eating my breakfast as I was writing this, I thought I'd add that a lovely yummy scrummy creamy strawberry yoghurt really goes down a treat in my tum.

I think that's enough for this week. Breakfast is over and it's time to crack on with the day. The Boy's removals van has turned up a day early so I'm just glad I'm not in his shoes this morning with a house to pack up that's not ready! Eek!

See you next week!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #7

Hello my lovelies, it's been a few weeks of doom and gloom in my lickle world, so I've not felt like posting. In fact I'd considered stopping the blog completely. Still doomy and gloomy, but I realised that trying to find some Wonderful could help left the spirits.

2016 has not been my year and I am on a countdown to 2017 when I'm hoping I can turn the corner, with some exciting changes afoot. Hoping it will bring plenty of Wonderful to my Wednesdays. For the moment, though, here's just a few snippets from some glimmers I have seen of late...

On with the Wonderful!

☆ Christmas tree  Yep, the obligatory Christmas tree excitement. I helped my Mum with hers on Sunday, while raising a glass to the Dear One we lost recently, on his birthday no less. Christmas can help sooth many a wounded spirit. It helped put a smile on my Mum's face, so my work there was a success..

☆ Home gym I "inherited" a cross-trainer from a friend some months ago, which has been languishing in The Boy's spare room. It started out fairly well used, but then soon enough became a bit of a clothes horse. Now he's moving, I've got it back at my Mum's ready for me to move back in in a couple of weeks. I've dusted off my dumbbells and Pilates mat and created an exercise space that will leave me no excuse to get back my health and fitness in 2017.

☆ Catch ups with friends I have a lovely dear friend who I used to work with then lived with for a time, who has a strong accent (I know at least one of my followers will know who I mean) and she can talk for England. I mean that in a nice way. So it was lovely to catch up with her over dinner in the last few days. I updated her on my woes and she updated me on hers (so to speak). Hugs and red wine aplenty. 

☆ Trollied Since Only Fools and Horses disappeared from our screens, there's rarely been a British sitcom that I've found so appealing. That was until The Boy introduced me to Trollied. I finished watching all of them quite a few months ago but a new series came on a few weeks back. It's the kind of comedy that doesn't make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, and isn't just silly slapstick. I really like it - it's a hidden gem!

☆ Fresh coffee Another item I inherited, from my Mum some years back this time, was a coffee machine. Quite a simple one, but it has become well-used at The Boy's house of late. Weekend mornings brewing a fresh pot of coffee - Bill's coffee in fact - has become a habit and I now can't seem to go without. I have always been a tea drinker through and through - so rare was it that coffee even passed my lips - but The Boy has shown me the merits of a lazy Sunday morning coffee.

☆ Making plans The Boy's move takes him 250 miles away from me and now that it's only a week away, it's making me increasingly sad. I actively encouraged him to make the move as long-term it will be best for him and all involved. However, it doesn't mean that I actually want him to go. I fully intend on following him down there, but the timing is all dependent on what I decide to do about my career and how easy it ends up actually getting a job, together with how long it takes for us to save to get a Real Live Mortgage. I love organising things, so planning all of this makes me happy, if a little bit apprehensive. In the meantime, we have been planning weekends I will go down there, weekends we will take away, and all the other little things we can do to ease the pain that distance will create.

I think that may be about it for now. My struggle to find those precious sparkles of Wonderful has been a success, methinks.  Do let me know yours and I can draw out the Wonderful for the rest of the week...

Until next time, my pretties...

Monday, 14 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #6

I'm back! Did you miss me?!

It's not been the best couple of weeks, I'll be honest, but I've been mindful of my Wonderful Wednesday task and have made notes every time I have seen a little bit of lovely. Most of the time they snuck up on me when least expected, though there really aren't all that many considering it's been 2 weeks.

Oh well... So, without further ado, on with the Wonderful...

☆ Two Door Cinema Club. Specifically, their new single, "Bad Decisions". I'll be honest, I've liked the band since I saw them play at Glastonbury in 2011. However, the latest single seems to be a bit different to what I'd expect from them.  That said... every time I've heard it come on the radio in my car, I've turned the volume right up and bobbed my head along to it jubilantly! Isn't it great when you find a song like that? Just cheers you up when you don't even necessarily realise you need cheering up!

☆ This. Just this.

☆ The John Lewis Christmas advert. Come on, you know the one. With the dog. Another departure from what you would expect to see from John Lewis, but I LOVE it. It made me giggle and well up with tears all at the same time. Admittedly, I watched it on a rather emotional day, but I think my reaction would have been the same nonetheless.

It has been a difficult fortnight. Scratch that, it's been a difficult flipping YEAR.  How about you tell me about yours and I can share in your Wonderful... hopefully I will see you next week with much more Wednesday cheer!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #5

My working week this week started on a very sour note, so I thought it might not bode well for finding the Wonderful. I hit a pigeon with my car on my way to work. HOW awful. I'd only just left home, going along a country road and I saw it in my headlights but it refused to move - as they so often do at the last minute. A flurry of feathers and a horrible feeling of guilt followed.... made worse when The Boy told me he had to hit it in his car as he went along a little later to put the poor thing out of its misery....

What an horrible feeling!! I fear karma is waiting for me now...

On that rather disturbing note, on to the Wonderful, which I did manage to find once I'd calmed down...

Jumpers. I love this time of year, because it means I can crack out all my lovely cosy jumpers, which hide a multitude of sins. In fact my particular favourite is a lovely mustard colour. Mustard is a funny one, don't you think? I'm blonde and blue-eyed with very fair-and-pinkish skin. I'm not entirely convinced that mustard suits me, but know what? I couldn't care less...

 Skechers. Apparently committed to a theme, here, my second item of Wonderful are my new Skechers trainers. I've been nursing a foot problem for over a year now and have recently discovered that a contributory factor to it not improving is the underlying anatomy of my toes themselves. I was given a couple of pieces of silicone to put between my toes and recommended to get a pair of Skechers. Once I got over the shock of having so many types to choose from in their shop, I bought a pair of black ones so that I can get away with wearing them around the office, plus they are lightweight and they have memory foam insoles. Boy oh boy are they comfy! I'm definitely converted from wearing my trusty Converse almost every day... though I feel like I'm being slightly treacherous to my roots... I just hope it doesn't mean I'm just a hop skip and a jump away from purchasing those slacks with the elasticated waist advertised in the Sunday news supplements...

That Extra Hour. I can't think why I didn't put this one first, as it's that annual event that always seems to come at the right time. This time around, I'd been suffering lack of sleep and a stinking cold. Simply perfection to think we get that extra hour in bed on a Sunday morning.

Cake and Dreams #1. I went to see a dear friend on Sunday as it was her birthday and she brought out a lovely yummy Victoria Sponge. It, along with #GBBO, reminded me how much I love to bake. I haven't done any in over a year for various reasons, and I plan to rectify this. I sat down afterwards to write down my list of ingredients for my Christmas baking and that's got me all excited and in a festive mood. I'm spending Christmas in Cornwall this year with The Boy's family (I will be taking my Mum, too) so I'm going to unleash the Skillz on them with Christmas Pudding, Christmas cake and Mince Pies all made from scratch. Stir-Up Sunday is not far away...

Cake and Dreams #2. This sort of has a ring to it, doesn't it? Like the name of a café? Well... there's a reason for that and it's another Wonderful thing from my week. Again, while I was with my friend eating cake on Sunday, we got to talking about her wedding cake and my love of baking combined. You'll be pleased to know that I haven't offered to make her wedding cake - Oh. God. The PRESSURE though. - but I'm going to sign up to some kind of cake decorating masterclass to perfect my skills, with a view possibly, POSSIBLY, to making cakes to order. Again, not wedding cakes yet, but birthday cake type things, perhaps. This is the dreams element to this part - The Boy and I would love to open a café wherein I will make all the bread and cakes from scratch (Cake and Dreams could make a good name). A family friend recently suggested I start by making cakes to order to first practice and to hone my skills, but also to build a reputation for making Good Stuff before opening a café. It's that wonderful feeling of having a dream and making a plan...

☆ Mustang. For those of you who don't know me, it may or may not surprise you to know that I am a bit of a petrol head and a one-time off-road motorcycler. For my birthday this year, my Mum bought me a drive in a classic 1965 Ford Mustang, the GT350. I had the drive on Saturday and it was so much Wonderful!! A bit of a hiccup at the start meant that in fact I drove a brand spanking new GT500 Mustang first for 3 laps, but then I got to drive the classic and though it was a bit hairy with very heavy steering, it was so FUN. And the SOUND though. Vroom vroooom!!  Just look at that grin...

(By the way, I'm not naming the company I went through as I actually wasn't that impressed with their organisation overall, but the driving itself was great)

So what do you think about my wonderfulness? What's been wonderful about your week?  Sharing is caring!

Have wonderful weeks all!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #4

My goodness how time flies these days. I am surely not the only one to think this, right?  Even worse the older I get, though that could just be because Adulting is so much busier than I expected.

This week has been really hard. Like, unbelievably hard. However, I have tried to take hold of the wonderful in the midst of all that so that I have a few snippets for you lovely lot.

☆ The satisfaction of hard graft. Now, this one might make me seem a little arrogant, or something, but I worked my little socks off in my Mum's garden on Saturday, moving a bit pile of old slate chippings from the front of the house to the top of the back garden (= A Long Way) then repairing some damaged wooden border edging and replacing in the front border (we had some unfortunate criminal damage a couple of weeks back - don't get me started on that; very in-wonderful). I managed to hammer my finger and mallet my hand but despite the pain and bruising, Getting Stuff Done was such a wonderful feeling. I'm sure you know what I mean, on a completely "not blowing my own trumpet" kind of way?

☆ Family. My brother was here for a few days and along with my Mum, we spent some quality time with my Uncle and his eldest son in particular. My Dad and my Uncle were born just before or during WW2 and for various reasons went to different schools and had quite different lives so we have never been very close with each other's side of the family. It is sad to think that it takes a sad event to bring you back together, but, chatting and reminiscing about the last 75 years (only 33 of which I've been around) was a wonderful tonic.  

☆ Hiding from the rain. Just look at this photo of the sneaky robin hiding under the wheel arch of my car. He was such a little poser to the camera but oh-so-cute. I'd not long got home and it was raining, so he was taking shelter there with the warmth from the engine.

☆ Autumn sunsets. It's that time of year where if we're lucky with a dry sunny day, there is a beautiful sunset to be found. Reds, oranges and even pinks/purples to go perfectly well with the changing leaves. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we don't get too many grey dreary days this autumn.

☆ Pancakes. These make the perfect lazy Sunday morning. Made with a hint of syrup in the mixture then they can still be dressed however you like them - traditional sugar and lemon, bit of maple syrup, or even some fresh fruit or jam... so much choice from such a simple thing as pancakes! (Also great to be made with your favourite person.)

So that's some of the wonderful of my week. For far more Wonderful Wednesdayness, check out the fabulous blogs of Cat and Sally and all their friends... #WonderfulWednesday

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #3: Bittersweet

As I vowed to do last week, it is now Tuesday evening as I write this post. Yay me.

While this blog is all about the Wonderful, I am afraid it is heavy with sadness this week. I cannot escape it as today I lost a very, very, dear person in my life who will be forever carved into my heart. As I spend the next few hours, days, weeks, months, years mourning but also remembering all the wonderful times I had with this person, I must keep focused on the now and repeat to myself that all is not lost.

This week is also bittersweet, as the title suggests, because on the same day as I lost this person, I celebrated an anniversary of having found the man I hope to spend the rest of my life with. All of the wonderful this week could easily about him and our celebrations, but I have tried hard to pinpoint the other things.

So, on with the wonderful.

☆ Laughter. There really is nothing better than a good hearty laugh until your eyes water. I went to the Comedy Store with The Boy as part of our celebration and it did not disappoint. I have been there before and a similar comedy club, but he has never been. I have seen acts who barely raised a snigger from me, but each of the acts we saw on Saturday night - in their own ways - were laugh out loud funny.

☆ People watching. Like that scene out of Love Actually, where you see clips of people greeting loved ones at the airport, The Boy and I spent about an hour at London Victoria on Sunday morning, while waiting for a train home, watching people. There was a ruckus by the gates which was very exciting, and there were plenty of people with questionable taste in clothing (who am I to judge?), plus a very nervous looking dog with owner to highlight a few.

☆ Human beings. I think there is a lot wrong in the world right now, but I have seen so much kindness in the last 24 hours from those close and those whom I have barely spoken to more than once that it helps me keep the faith that all is not lost for us.

☆ The Boy. Because, well, he is wonderful.

I am sorry for the tone of this week's post; it's not quite what it should be. I contemplated not posting at all, but I wanted to write something, even if it is not quite fulfilling the brief. I hope you have all found the wonderful this week and if not, well, that's OK too.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #2

Here we are again, hump day!

I'm making a note to myself in my bullet journal (eh, Catherine?!) that I must try and do this on a Tuesday night. Week 2 and I'm in my lunch hour trying to get it done so that it can be read on the day it is intended for.

These are a few of the highlights of my week that I'd otherwise take for granted...

☆ Mischievous babies. I went to a 5 year-old's birthday party at the weekend, which is usually enough to give me a headache for the rest of the day. However, a highlight was catching sight of a Daddy attempting to keep control his 6-month-old. This lickle munchkin, with big blue eyes and an even bigger toothless grin, kept me giggling as he made various escape attempts, risking life and limb by crawling at warp speed under the tramping feet of a herd of 5 year-olds on the dancefloor...

☆ Autumn walks in the countryside. I used to live in Uxbridge and the best thing about that was escaping merely 3 miles away from London to find big expanses of woodland and countryside. However, it still couldn't beat the "true" countryside of home - that is, Kent. Went to Trosley Country Park for a Sunday afternoon stroll and it was just so lovely. The views were stunning even though we did get ourselves lost following unmaintained public footpaths.... Here's a couple of pictures I took:


☆ Clean sheets and pyjamas. Another thing I did at the weekend was buy a new set of bedding. I didn't really need any, I just felt like buying some as mine are a few years old now. On Monday after work I rushed home to wash and tumble them then - yes - iron them (a one-off, first-time use thing - I'm not that organised!) and created my new look bed. Shower, clean pyjamas and I'm a happy little sleeper!

☆ Not to mention the hot water bottle... Yep, added to the fresh sheets was my hot water bottle. I know we aren't into proper winter yet, but there's nothing quite like being cosy. When you're used to spending half the time with a human hot water bottle in bed, it's nice to make up for it on those nights he is absent!

☆ Bloggin'.  I am very much a novice of this writing blogs malarkey. I've only ever really done it for work and each one takes hours - crazy - for fear of getting the law wrong or something horrendous like that. I found myself this week noting down the little highlights for using in this blog and it helps spread the joy through the week. It's fun... but I could do with a little help. How do I make my blog look as Wonderful as Wednesdays??? I've got a background picture so far...

So that's a little insight into my week. Well, OK, mainly my weekend, but still - that's where the joy lives.

How about yours?

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Is it Wonderful Wednesday?

I don't know if anyone remembers the #100happydays trend? I did that with photos on Instagram in 2014 and I found it really helpful to pinpoint at least 1 thing that made me smile each day.

Recently, I have noticed my lovely friend Catherine, of Happygoluckycat fame, has been blogging about Wonderful Wednesdays every week. It appears to have a similar idea behind it - to appreciate the small things in each week that she is thankful for.

2016 has been a year to forget for me in many ways but it is also the year I have fallen in love with the man I would rather like to grow old with. This in itself is something I am thankful for. In moments of deepest darkest despair, I have him  there to hold my hand.

Spoiler alert: That despair is not yet over and is in fact static, flying low over my head, waiting to come crushing down at some stage in my future. Dramatic, right?

So anyway, I am going to try and find things to be thankful for as a reference point for My Self, to help keep my head up above the waves. That way, I can also protect the relationship that I hold most dear by not using it as a constant crutch (even though it's totally allowed at times).

☆  Bill's breakfasts. Met The Boy on Saturday morning at my local Bill's restaurant for a cheeky breakfast - we don't spend Friday nights together as a rule, so it was a real treat. The coffee is great and the blueberry pancakes with banana, strawberries and maple syrup are beautiful. Breakfast is such a simple pleasure made so luxurious simply by not having to cook it oneself...

☆  Getting dolled up for a giggle and catch up with the best of friends. One of my dearest friends from school spent some time in Peru in 2013 where she met her now husband, who is in fact Peruvian. She has been back in the UK for many months now working on their case for him to be given a visa. A very difficult process meant that he was finally welcomed here a week and a half ago and a party was thrown at the Blues Kitchen in Camden in celebration. Lovely to have finally met him in such a relaxed way over drinks and blues (if somewhat intimidating for him!)...

☆  ...Also wonderful to parade The Boy out with friends who haven't met him yet...!!

☆  Pilates. Having been nursing some foot trouble for a while I've had a few weeks off from Pilates. I returned last night and despite the cracks in my joints and aches and pains waking up this morning it just felt so good to be back. It's fantastic for everyone to do, to build and maintain core strength to protect your spine if nothing else. I started doing it due to back pain a few years ago and I really notice the difference when I have a break from it.

I think that's probably enough for this week, I'm struggling really to find anything more exciting than that. I know what you're thinking - the fun never stops! ;)