Monday, 31 October 2011

Weekend.



We had a really excellent Hallowe'en weekend, thanks.

On Friday I arrived in Brighton, ready and raring for a night of Charlie Simpson related fun. He was doing a gig at Concorde 2, a venue on the sea front, and a very good gig at that. Gareth has been to see Charlie Simpson (in his various bands) 11 times, this will have been his 12th, yet he still made out (through the medium of Twitter) he was sacrificially going for my benefit. We both bloody loved it. Charlie Simpson is hot totty. After the gig we wandered through the prettiest streets of Brighton, making our way home.

Saturday day time was spent in town, drinking coffee, eating cake and then finally at a pub for beers and 'boy time'. None of the other girlfriends of Gareth's friendship group were around this weekend so I was a bit of a pimp. As the clocks went back on Saturday, Brighton played host to 'White Night', an all night event all over the city. So we all went to a few pubs and did way too much walking. Brighton was buzzing. It was a fun night. My feet and legs were aching so much when we got back I thought I might not wake up the next morning.

We did nothing except watch telly, listen to podcasts, drink tea and eat biscuits on Sunday.

I didn't dress up this weekend. I am dull. Did you?

ps. Gareth bought me flowers for the first time ever in our relationship. He's not as bad as I thought.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Halloween. 

I'm not really a halloweeny girl, whatever that would look like, discuss. So here's some of my (unrelated) favourites from Pinterest this week.

Have a lovely weekend.

(click on the cake picture for the recipe)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Being happy.


Read those words. And then read them again. Good aren't they?

After yesterday's post I have felt an ABUNDANCE of care. From friends, family, and especially you, my lovely readers - the wonderful blogging community. I would like to say thank you, so much, for your emails, tweets and comments. It was really quite wonderful to speak to people about their experiences with anxiety and as a result I feel a little less mental and little more part of a (slightly scary) gang. We should so start a gang.

Thank you. Every one of you is totally ace.

So in the spirit of gratitude, and to make this wee blog seem a little more positive to any newbies passing by, I thought I'd share some things I'm grateful for. Things that make me happy. Ala Becca Dean.

1. Blogging and all the lovely people that come with it. 
2. Friends. Lots of you are away at uni or moving on imminently (Becca ...*sob*), I miss you and I will miss you. I totally love you all. 
3. My baby cousins. Look how cute.
4. Cake. 
5. Cold weather and an excuse to wear layers, thick socks and bobble hats. 
6. Pinterest. Oh and procrastination.
7. Byron's creativity.
8. My family. I've got a good family.
9. Cinnamon. Everything is better with cinnamon. Yes, everything.
10. Gareth. The only person in 19 years to have managed to make me feel as if my nose is not something to be utterly ashamed of. (Lots of stroking was involved). Sorry I'm so mental. I fancy you.


For someone that relishes being moany, that was actually quite nice. I might do it more often. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Anxiety.


I should warn you on the outset, I am in no mood for checking grammar or spelling or making my sentences in any way legible. This is just me, verbally bleeding.

Depression. Anxiety. OCD. Chirpy words aren't they? Before I got ill I was as easy going as they come. Those words weren't a part of my character. I'd really like that back. Since being ill there are situations I just cannot cope with, that I don't allow myself into, or hit all-out crisis mode should I find myself in. It begins with the anxiety. Usually due to a place I am not comfortable being. It's like a shadow that casts itself over me - heavy and inescapable. This anxiety builds and eventually overflows, like the banks of a river in a storm. It floods everywhere, into places it is not welcome and has no business being. Anything can burst the banks; somebody upsetting me, the sight of raw meat, a public toilet, somebody's unwelcome touch, being alone. I'll usually cry and become paralyzed with fear, unable to move. It is the loneliest place I have ever found myself in.

And finally I feel depressed. Naturally, to be honest. It's scary to feel on edge all the time and as if your world is dangerous. It makes me feel isolated and frightened and want to hide. From what, I'm not completely sure. Germs, I suppose.

I'm not happy at the moment and I don't know what to do about it. I'm in a situation that I am not comfortable in and I don't see a way, bar me cleaning everything hundreds of times (and that doesn't even always help), to make it better. One of the worst things about an irrational fear based illness is that nobody understands what you are going through. You are 'mad' and, to be honest, a little bit silly. This doesn't help the loneliness issue. I'm trying so hard to act like a normal person, to eat what other people eat, and not freak out because of a lack of dishwasher and ridiculously unhygienic people, but it's getting a bit much at the moment. The cracks are well and truly starting to show.

I hate the effect it's having on my relationship. It causes a lot of arguments, probably because I have no idea how to convey how unbelievably scared I am feeling all the time. But I don't blame him for getting annoyed with me. OCD is really fucking annoying, and in a way, I am OCD.

Through all the therapy I have had over the last few years the only thing I can think to use right now is the 'do what makes you scared' theory. So that's what I'm doing. I'm here, I'm scared, but I've not run away.

I'm sorry Gareth, for taking out my anxiety on you. It's not your fault in the slightest, you're great. And you're also nice and clean. I wish everyone was as clean as you.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Weekend


It was my smallest cousin Mia's birthday party on Saturday and so we went to hers for party time. It was just lovely. Mia is sweeter than cake. I might like her even more than cake too and that's saying something. Just look at that little face, doesn't she just make you want to cry she's so adorable?

Broody much?

I even got to read Archie a bed time story. AND he was very insistent that Abbie (his aunty) and I join him for bath time. Not, like, in the bath. That would be weird. But he wanted our scintillating company. The 'grownup's spent the evening eating takeout gourmet burgers and talking about toilets. It was grand.

On Sunday I headed down to Brighton and did pretty much nothing all day. I was OCD-ing hard and just wanted to be in bed. So I was. I am now well rested and feeling lots better.

I hope you're all well. P.S I heart leaves.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The big Steps reunion


10 years ago, Steps ended in a bitter tale of emotional turmoil and arguments over who should or should not have had the lead vocal. I was 9 and knew nothing more than the band who's official annual I had read from cover to cover at least 25 times was to be no more. I was devastated. So when I heard, earlier this year, that Steps were set to reunite through the medium of a melodramatic, 4-part, Sky Living documentary I could hardly contain myself.

At the beginning of the series we were transported back to the late 90's and reminded of Steps' success as well as the behind-the-scenes angst that would eventually lead to 'H' and Claire's decision to leave the band. Finally, at the end of the episode, the band mates were reunited in an awkward, entirely filmed, definitely-not-edited-to-create-discomfort, dinner that they had agreed to take part in. It was bloody brilliant television. What made it so compelling was how unforgiving and out rightly angry most of the members were with the 'Robbies' of the band, 'H' and Claire.

The impression I got was that Claire, particularly, was bullied by the other two girls because she was the better singer (and so got more solos) and would rather stay in with a book than go out partying with Lisa and Faye (I'm so with you Claire). The tension, when the girls had their first couple of meetings together, could have been cut with a rolling pin it was so taught. Claire has yet to say sorry for leaving the band, the sorry Lisa and Faye had clearly been so desperately waiting for the past 10 years, and I respect her all the more for it.

Lisa traditionally was my favourite 'Step'. Watching now, I am ashamed of myself. She is, to use the technical term, a right bitch. She is quite plainly bitter about having the weakest voice in the band (see their This Morning performance for conclusive evidence) and feels the need to in some way rectify this by being as bolshy as possible. It's just a bit embarrassing when she demands more vocals, as if no one has gotten around to telling her that she's rubbish. She was hot when she was twenty though, I'll give her that.

Claire seems lovely, down to earth and a little bit uncomfortable with the idea of being famous again. Lee also seems lovely. He gets the least vocal time of anyone in the band - Steps songs being predominantly female-vocals based - and this is obviously a cause of upset for him. He doesn't react in the way Lisa did though. He's far more reserved and sensitive about the issue, endearing himself immensely to the viewers. I fancied 'H' went I was 9. I wanted him and Lisa to get married and have babies and preferably I would have liked to have been Lisa. Oh, the gift of hindsight - I wouldn't have wasted my time on a gay man and mean lady that's for sure. 'H' is still as lovable as he ever was though. Faye? Well Faye is actually a really good singer. I never knew that.

It's great that Steps are back. If there is anything the charts need right now it's some cheesy, 90's style, happy, fluffy, teeny pop songs. But all I really want is some more fly on the wall documentaries following them. Like, every night please.

Friday, 21 October 2011

BREAKING NEWS


I've (almost) decided what I am going to do with my life. After months and months and well, years, of toying with "do I want to go to university?", I have come to the conclusion, that yes, in fact, I do. Getting to study for 3 years with not-too-many strings attached is an opportunity I should probably grasp.

I still want to be a journalist more than anything but, after some advice from people in the know, I will be applying for an English Literature and English Language degree rather than one in Journalism. I'm good at English, so that's cool with me. Thomas Hardy gets on my tits though.

I still very much wish to live in Brighton ASAP and so top of my list is, of course, Brighton university. I've had an encouraging email from their admissions people today, saying that from what they've heard from me, I should hopefully get an offer. If I'm a Brighton fresher in September 2012 I will be an extremely happy camper. Fingers crossed. If anyone would like to put in a good word for me... I'll make you a pie. Everybody likes pie.

It feels good to have a little bit of direction in my life. For the rest of this year I will be finishing off my Philosophy A Level (and possibly bettering my English one). After university I will do the NCTJ course (Journalism qualification) and then I will start applying for my dream job. The Times; here I come.

As an aside, I passionately loathe UCAS and their application system. Sort it out.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My first Nibblebox


I jumped on the Graze band wagon this week, signing up for my first box, 'liking' the hell out of all the sweet, chocolatey snacks and 'binning' the olives. I like olives, I just don't like the idea of getting them through my letter box. 

My first box consisted of Apple and Cinnamon flapjacks (sweet, autumny goodness), cracked black pepper cashews (safely hidden away from Mother), pieces of dried apple with toffee sauce for dipping (amazeballs), and 'banana split' basically consisting of chocolate bits, dried banana and nuts. Yum. 

Now please excuse me while I do some serious grazing. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Weekend


We had the most lovely, chilled out weekend. Autumn is well and truly working it's magic. Sunny, blustery days and cold evenings aplenty. Anything that exemplifies the need for hot drinks and blankets gets a high five from me. Gareth arrived on Saturday morning, we had lunch and I dropped him off at a non-league football match close to where I reside. I kind of wish I went now, after a player punched the ref. and the police got called, but instead I did some writing and drank some coffee. X Factor was, as always, a delight.

Sunday morning was lazy despite my mother's efforts to get us to church. We turned up at 11am, for coffee and card games. Like any good Christian. (Sorry Jesus, you shouldn't have made beds so bloody delicious). After a giant roast dinner we finished season 5 of Dexter. OH MY WORD, I almost had an accident it was so good. We have to wait a whole year for season 6 to come out on DVD. Not cool. Guys, watch Dexter. He's hot.

Good weekend. What did you do?

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Gareth does Movember

My boyfriend is taking part in Movember this year, to raise money for prostate cancer. If you don't know what Movember is (I totally didn't) let me explain.

He, along with many other males (and females if they are unfortunate enough), will grow a moustache for the duration of November. And people will pay them.

It's for a good cause and he'll look like a twat. I, almost definitely, won't fancy him anymore.

I think you should sponsor him - cancer is scary and horrible, and as if that wasn't enough, THERE ARE MOUSTACHES INVOLVED. You can follow his progress on his Movember page or on his blog. I might even whack out the old fake stick-on moustaches (which I genuinely do own) in support.

This is his lovely face now:


Stroke it. Because soon he'll look like this:

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Welcome, friends.

Hiya!

I started a new job this week. I am working for my dad's company and I get to roll out of bed and walk downstairs to start work in the morning. That definitely makes up for the fact that I am alone in an office with only cups of tea for friends. Do you like my hat? It's been on my head for 3 days now (excluding shower and bed time, I'm not an animal). I'm going to get a range of knitwear for my head (otherwise known as 'hats') this autumn/winter. I'll be the girl with the warm head. 

I just wanted to say a big thank you to Rosie from A Rosie Outlook (I strongly approve of the pun) for allowing me to guest post on her lovely blog. And hello to my new, courtesy-of-Rosie, followers! Welcome. If I knew you were all going to stop by I might have tidied up a bit, done my hair. Let's be friends.

Must dash now, there are energy comparison reports to be made and they've got my name on them. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

My Autumn to-do list

photo source 1 and 2

go outside
adorned in multiple layers of knitwear
breath in that fresh, chilly air
wear hats
preferably with animal ears on
drink hot chocolate
and spiced chai lattes
eat apple and cinnamon cake
loads of it
for breakfast
take pictures of the colourful leaves
snuggle
watch x factor with a fire going
wear blankets as if they were clothing
bake
and make the house smell good
eat rice pudding
go for walks in the woods
take it all in.


Autumn pretty much punches Spring, Summer and Winter in the balls.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Weekend


Boy was this the perfect weekend and just what I needed. I'm so premenstrual, but the anger barely got a look in, so lovely it was. (I did shout quite a bit today however, I cannot lie). I spent it with some of my favourite people, eating and drinking delicious things, watching brilliant local live music, shopping and watching both a terrible and an excellent movie. I fancy Dexter even more in season 5, I think because he carries a cute baby around. I bought my winter boots which, although they totally crippled my feet today, are fake leather at their sexiest. We lit a fire because it's OCTOBER. Practically Christmas. So snuggly. And I thought the X Factor was ace. Craig to win. What did you do?

Friday, 7 October 2011

In bed with Bear-Bear

I missed last week's In Bed With Bear-Bear - ever so sorry. I'm not very good at this.


Bed time reading material



Sushi For Beginners by Marian Keyes. Anyone who knows me will know I adore this lady. She is the writer than I aspire to be.  She's not literary, she's just perfectly readable and utterly hilarious. People look down on chic-lit, and sure, some chic-lit is rubbish, but this is incredibly well written and being that funny is a talent very few people have. Excellent in-bed reading.

Bed time telly



It's all about New Girl, Zooey Deschanel's new comedy series. I reckon it is Zooey at her very best, and I've liked her in everything. She makes being geeky, awesome.

Bed time biscuits


Gareth hid my Hobnobs from me earlier this week, either because he's horrible or because he's worried about my teeth. I got very angry. Last week I baked my own chocolate chip cookies, they were average at best.

Bed time beverage


Coffee. Because I've been sleeping in the mornings and it's been wonderful.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

For Me, For You fundraiser


This is one of the few blogs that made me fall for blogging and it's community. Kate, the voice behind For Me, For You is a photographer and graphic designer from LA and her blog, her writing and her pictures are simply stunning. Last week she shared some awful news; her boyfriend, Will, has been diagnosed with cancer. He doesn't have health insurance and so is thousands of dollars in debt due to doctors bills (I will never take the NHS for granted again!) They've organised a fundraiser, selling their prints on Etsy, and so I wanted to help publicise it in the little way I can. It's gorgeous art work apart from anything else.

You can find their Etsy shop here. Kate's announcement of it here. And her heartbreaking post from last week here.

I'll be praying for and thinking of you both.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

An ode to Brighton


I should write blogs in coffee shops more often. Drinking a chai latte, pattering away on my laptop; I've almost forgotten how gross my hair looks. This is pretty idyllic.

I drove back from Brighton this morning, leaving my sick boyfriend (courtesy of me and my coughing) behind to look after himself. Upon arrival home I made myself a large bacon sandwich and cup of tea, and sat down to watch Neighbours. To soften the blow of leaving my true love for almost 2 weeks (Brighton).

I thought I'd give you a brief explanation of what it is I adore so much about the place, in the form of a low-down of one low maintenance, inexpensive day in the city. I didn't expect anything of yesterday, in fact the only thing of any promise was a lunchtime coffee with a friend - besides quality time with my fella, of course. I slept in till 10.30, got myself looking respectable before venturing out to a new-to-me coffee shop just 10 minutes from Gareth's flat, and (as is the beauty of Brighton) pretty much anywhere else. I met Cathy there, a journalist lady who is great, to put it simply, and I noted, with glee, the rustic decor and big wooden tables. We had chats and I was presented with the prettiest cappuccino. Afterwards I went into town to wander round the shops and ended up in a bookshop. I spent the good part of an hour in there. I met Gareth on his lunch break in one of my very favourite cafes. It is unassuming and relaxed, the tables and chairs are mismatched and the floors are the kind of wooden floors that I want in my dream house. The food is DIVINE. Yes people, DIVINE. I'll stop saying divine now. When Gareth had to leave I walked around a little more, just soaking up the sunshine and laughing at the woman who beeped at a pigeon in the road. The pigeon wasn't fussed and crossed the road just as slowly as before. I was totally on the pigeon's side.

I bought dinner on my way home, made a cup of tea and watched Made in Chelsea (granted the last three things are possible pretty much anywhere). But it was a nice day. And I don't think it would have been so nice had in not taken place in Brighton.

That place heals my mind.

It's nice to be home and see my family though. I know this is really gay, and I promise it won't happen again for a very (very) long time, but I'd just like to say thank you to mother and father. You are very lovely people. I've felt really supported over the past couple of weeks, even when I was horrible to be around and took all my anger and upset out on you. You're ace.