Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Rounding up & off 2014.

It's weird how fast a year flies by, how one moment you have ages to wait until flipflop weather & the next it's been & gone & Christmas has launched itself at you, with all the stress it can bring & the frivolity it will bring & then it's the last day of the year & you're a little flummoxed by how that happened.

So with my bags packed ready for throwing myself off to my brother's & his wife's to ring in the beginning of 2015 with the pair of them, my other brother & his girlfriend & 4 of their friends (& of course 2 dogs & a pregnancy bump) I thought I'd take a moment to launch some moments from 2014 together in a rounding up & off of the year that it was.

January 2014:

Siamese boy discovering he was just tall enough at 3 months old to reach the top of the fish tank; this was also the same point he started climbing up the curtains & life would never be relaxed again! Last month of life at the wine bar; end of shift doodles & wine; even now I have moments of missing being there & the staff who were there with me at that time.

February 2014:

February was a month of oversized sunnies & spectacles; of different hats, long walks, train journeys & bowler hats, it was also the month where my time at the wine bar ended. 

March 2014:

My gorgeous lilac bantam cockerel was potentially the most cuddly creature ever, little odd considering perhaps but we all adored him & he was a willing shoulder sitter, cuddle giver & ever patient listening ear. March also saw me get my first purchase from We Are Hairy People; this lush cardigan with teeny tiny deer allover it. I loved it but alas I went away & my mother washed it on high heat & tumble dried it & it is now nothing more then a grey cardi.

April 2014:

Evenings spent with the then boy were always lovely, sometimes a day can't end better then with The Thomas Crown Affair, cuddles, comfy bed times. Yes I still miss those moments. April was also a good old time for coffee catch ups with people I adore who live a little further away; such as my darling friend Bobkins. 

May 2014:

May was a month that made me all aware I was coming closer to the end of that particular course; had fantastic weather, saw lots of assessments, pub garden evenings with the warmer longer evenings, good friends, my 'mr' at the time & the promise of an escape to Sardinia inching closer bit by bit, which was really needed as it was also the month that we lost Grandpa.

June 2014:

Hello Sardinian sunshine; a gorgeous wedding, fantastic company, one of my best friends (often known as the 'wife'), her man, my then man, beaches, amazing food, scenery. It was the most lovely little mini break, enabling us to come back bronzed & a little more chilled . . . for a bit.

July 2014:

Not my favourite ending to a month; end of a relationship; this led to manic walking; borrowing ma's dogs, endless paper crane making desperate distractions & a plethora of tears. Downside . . . it wasn't clear cut, made no sense to me, came out of the blue & went on to get a little messy in my brain/emotions.

August 2014:

Birthday drinks in a favourite pub for a friends birthday, complete with my 'wife', pints of Lillies - amazing cider, chatting & being with good company. A once in a lifetime experience of the Sandhurst Officers Commissioning Ball; because my brother was commissioning; amazing experience, chance to wear 2 different outfits, 2 different sets of shoes & go all out. Lots of fun & a great distraction. 

September 2014:

Coffee with mini soya milk bottles; in a fantastic coffee hide out, one of the many in my little city & family tree moments, memories, reminiscing sessions, this was my beautiful granny.

October 2014:

Odd moments of working whilst B&B 'sitting'; strange thing to have been asked to do, but amazing to have been able to stay in The Black Hole when it was still very new, plus coffee on tap, an Aga & a pub next door makes working evenings rather fun & yes desperate figure wobbles & a need to increase dire fitness, back to the running world.

November 2014:

I turned 29 on Bonfire night; enter panic stations over the ever quickening pace of years passing & the realisation that I was only a year away from 30; that's a terrifying thought when you are just not ready. So in protest; I dyed my hair lilac & spent many evenings with coffee, wine & olives with the 'wife', my housemate & dancing like my life depended upon it at 'heartbreak hotel' nights at The Railway.

December 2014:

Then December came; end of 2014 a time for excessive amounts of mulled wine, red wine, mulled cider & so much more, of making ceramic christmas decorations from scratch, throwing baileys in coffee & watching tragic films whilst decorating the christmas tree.

Random things I've learnt in 2014:

* Sex doesn't mend a broken heart; nor does it mean that person loves you or cares about you, it also confuses things a lot emotionally.
* Sometimes people are braver then they think they are capable of being; in the same way some are more supportive & others more selfish & usually in ways you had expected to be the opposite of what it was.
* A soya dirty chai latte can fix a lot of stroppy moments, even if momentarily.
* Old habits or coping mechanisms die hard.
* The busier you are the happier you might randomly end up being.
* Drunk people are not always fun.
* Sometimes nothing beats an incredibly hot shower.
* My hair is a pain in the arse to attempt to dye; especially when you want to dye it lilac.
* Loving a job does not mean it is a job that is financially viable & realising that can be gut wrenching.
* At times the positives & exciting areas of others lives you will genuinely be happy about but they will crush bits of you & without warning reduce you to tears.
* Unexpected people can come to mean a great deal to you & you will find at times you miss them at the oddest times. 
* Nipple piercing are a nightmare to heal & can catch with all too much regularity.
* A cuddle can make a big difference.
* Don't go through scary patches entirely alone, it's a horrible experience.
* Cats are both fantastic but also beyond odd.
* Sometimes debates are not debates, when the levels of knowledge on subjects or opinions are outnumbered.

Bits of 2014 I am totally sad to say goodbye to but mostly it's just another year & one that had too many lows & struggles in one way or another. The laughs I will love having had, the cuddles, kisses, the moments of potential insanity, but it is just a year & I think I am very much ready for a new one. 

Are you sad to see 2014 head off? Are you looking forward to a new year?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Thank you letters are important.

Courtesy of We Heart It.

I am someone that had thank you letters & the importance of them drilled into my very being from birth onwards & I mean drilled, so I came to really value them, I love letters in general both getting them & writing them.

From the start anytime we got a gift, stayed at someone's house, had a birthday or a christmas, letters were written & lists of who gave what to whom were created & pleasingly crossed off with every letter completed, addressed & stamped ready to send. I don't write a quick thank you, I tend to add a few snippets about Christmas or similar & ask after the person I am writing to; I am not a fan of a 'one size fits all' letter, in the same way I don't send round robins or newsletters - they bore me & feel hideously impersonal.

So today here I sit after 3 'christmas days'; the wonders of 2 brothers with a wife & girlfriend & 2 parents who are divorced & have remarried, in the comfiest, sloppiest attire & warm slippers, large steaming mugs of (regularly microwaved) coffee & a selection of differing notecards, paper & pens & I am all set to continue to tradition of writing to those who thought of me this year. Yes even my parents get thank you letters.

Laundry is being done, bed is made & although I have a plethora of other things to do over the next few days, including celebrating new year with family, writing other 'just because' letters, applying for jobs & doing tasks related to upcoming interviews, thank you letters have taken first place on the to do list, in part because I loathe the idea of people ever thinking I take things for granted or don't care that they thought of me.

So I was wondering, are thank you letters still important in today's society? Do people still write them? Do you write them & do you ever receive them?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas Wish List.

Courtesy of We Heart It.

So Christmas is really very close now, most people I know will have done all of their gift shopping, organising & wrapping by now, but there is still time to catch Father Christmas prior to Christmas Eve hence doing a wish list for Christmas. I am still baffled by how fast it has come around, odd knowing that in 4 days the Christmas market will have ended & it will start being taken down. 

Anyway, before I get distracted by other topics, onwards & upwards with the Christmas wish list that would make me very happy if Father Christmas & his elves fancy it. 

These are things that are the difficult to buy or can't buy items (pictures are courtesy of we heart it), English Setter Puppy - I adore these dogs, completely & utterly adore them, always have done & would love one of my own one day, If Christmas morning could start like this for me with a particular person & then mornings to follow, I know who this person is, they know who they are alas at present it's not an option, nor is a cuddle from them but patience & all that & finally a proper Christmas day, I know I won't have one of those this year as my brothers & I will be dotted about, so where I will be with ma on Christmas day they are not, for me dotted about on Christmas day is a little weird, so my Christmas will be occurring on Boxing Day I guess. 

Not on the High Street: Giraffe Art Print; £25, Hangit Photo Display; £28, Lace Papel Picardo Tissue Garland; £20 & Set of Mini Kiko Frames; £24.95.

ASOS: Trousers in Midi Length; £22, Velvet Kimono Duster; £75, Mary-Kate Frill Edge Bra; £16 & Mary-Kate Brazailian; £8 & Maxi Dress with High Neck in Bird Print; £65.

So there we are, some of the bits I'd quite like for Christmas, granted you can add to that with other bits; a rocking chair (itching for one of these), a kindle, an iPad would be fantastically useful with life, work etc, ChloĆ© perfume, other perfumes, perhaps shares in tights would be wise as somehow I keep laddering mine immensely & getting holes in the toes & random bits & bobs. 

What are you hoping to get in your stocking this year? 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Not on The High Street Christmas Decoration Wish List.

So it's the first weekend of December, houses all over the world are slowly but surely getting decorated in a myriad of different ways, Christmas cards have started plopping through letter boxes asking to be pinned up & around to ooze festive cheer, so I am doing what I do best on a Friday . . . lusting & creating mental wish lists. This time, for Christmas decorations I'd love to have in my house if Not on The High Street were decorating for me.

For the tree:

Bristle Red Nose Reindeer Decoration; £11, Christmas Nativity Wreath; £15, 32 Red & White Christmas Bell Decorations; £12 & Christmas Reindeer Decoration Sewing Kit; £3.95

Cream Wooden Christmas Tree Decorations; £2.50, Felt Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations; £6, Grow Your Own Christmas Tree; £2.50 & Woodland Reindeer Christmas Tree Decoration; £4.

Stockings & Sacks:

Personalised Christmas Bow Stocking; £35, Hessian Christmas Toy Bag Sack; £10, Personalised Pet Stocking; £25 & Wooden Alpine Sleigh Gift Holder; £195. 

Counting down:

Christmas Advent Candle Mulled Cider; £15, Rusty Bucket Advent Calendar; £39 & Natural Wood Light Up Advent House; £65.

Wreaths & Garlands:

Berry & Pine Christmas Garland; £14, Hessian Tree Print Bunting; £8.99, Christmas Star Garland; £22, Large Brussel Sprout Wreath; £39 & Twig & Berry Christmas Garland; £28. 

& to end finally, for the house:

Christmas Candle Holder & Treat Dish; £23.50, Christmas Deer Wheat Heat Bag; £14, Oak Wooden Letters; £7.75 each & Christmas Tree Scentsicles; £11.

So what would you get to aid your festive feelings when decorating this month from Not On The High Street, or other favourites you might have? I strongly suggest a dose of Soya Hot Chocolate with Baileys & Christmas songs or The Muppet's Christmas Carol whilst you decorate. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Prior to 30 I'd like to . . .

Having a hope or a list doesn't necessarily make the contents come into fruition, but without a starting point, even if only a mental one, nothing can come to be. So sometimes you have to at least put the beginning of the wheels in motion process in well motion. 

So here are some of the things I'd like to do, or start doing or working towards prior to turning that utterly ghastly & somewhat scary number that is 30.

- Learn to drive (yes finally!)
- Ride a unicycle & nail it.
- Try to learn to be a little kinder to me.
- Apply for my next course on the pathway towards qualifying as a counsellor.
- Make a plethora of fantastic memories & experiences with people I love & who are important to me.
- Move house into a house where I can have my siamese back with me.
- Work out who is really important to me & my life & try to be more ruthless with those that just cause energy to be zapped & upset; 30 will be a big number so perhaps culling will be necessary.
- Try to work out what is really important to me & who I want to be as a person in all life areas.
- Read the books I always wanted to read but put off or 'didn't have time' for.
- Quit smoking; got to try to save my face & body somehow & I've been smoking for a little too long.
- Create a blog space I can enjoy, be dedicated to & to a degree be proud of.
- Do more of what I love, with who I love or with myself; creating, art, projects, fashion, writing, dreaming, drawing, walking, etc
- Actually do some saving!
- Get a job that doesn't leave me in the precarious positions that this job has done financially; hard situation when you love a job but it is making survival hard.
- Be braver; in life, with a blog, with myself, my heart, with experiences, with telling the truth & not always being who people need me to be but who I am . . . eeek!!
- Have a Canopy & Stars long weekend away.
- Have a long weekend or a week's holiday with the 'wife' again, we haven't done that in 2 years & we had a giggle last time. Sometimes making time for girlfriends is important.
- Go to at least 2 festivals this year.
- Take photos; keep mementos, make memories, capture all sorts.
- Get the 4-6 pack I used to have back; even if getting there slightly kills me.
- Detox on a month by month basis; sometimes you have to acknowledge that you are ageing & your system will eventually not allow you to consume alcohol in quite the same 'untouchable' ways.
- Zentangle a day.
- Properly start keeping personal journals again.
- Get back into swimming again & generally massively boost fitness & erase wobbly areas.
- Risk getting hurt again; some guys are not the right ones, I guess no matter how much that might hurt I have to risk or be willingly to risk the hurt that can again come from putting my heart out there & hoping.
- Get another tattoo that I have designed & ideally get a friend to do it for me.
- See friends, ring friends, Skype, text & write to friends with far more oompf then I have managed as of late. Important people may not always know you think they are important if you don't remind them.
- Be more of the person I want to be in all areas; style, lifestyle, events, experiences, manners, activities etc then the person I seem to have allowed people to determine me to be & in turn spend more time on those who love me for me & let me be the person I am; layers, henna & all.
- Do, or at least train for, a marathon.
- Go horse riding again even if only a few times & not how often I used to; I miss it.
- Learn a language; if possible 2.
- Attempt to learn sign language.

There are numerous other things I have to put on this list, but for now it feels daunting enough to see the list & to accept that I'll be turning 30 sooner then I would like.

Would you have a list of things that you'd consider doing pre 30? Does age matter that much? Is it really worth being daunted by?