Tag Archives: personal

Monday Blues Banishers #20

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Good Morning!

I can’t believe that it’s Monday again so soon. I can’t believe it’s almost August. I can’t believe it’s 2014.

I don’t just wander around in a constant state of shock at the nature of time like a gormless simpleton. But it does go really quickly, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because the weekend comes around quickly and bad because the week also comes around quickly, more quickly, if you ask me.

Here are some happy things that I’m going to think on whilst the week whizzes by:

1)      List making. I love making lists, they bring sanity and order to my otherwise unruly mind. I like nothing more than to settle down in front of the telly with a cup of tea and a notebook and scrawl out my needs and goals (need = go food shopping, goal = obtain meaningful reason for existence etc). I like to write obvious things on my lists so that I can never fail. Nothing is sadder than a list of un-ticked tasks. Throw ‘wake up’ and ‘shower’ on there and you will almost never fail. Last night I got in bed and listed away. Today I woke up and showered – if I can tick off two items from my list every morning by next year I’ll be a slim, wealthy, successful person with a dog and a driving licence. Wish me luck!

2)      Netflix. I don’t think we take enough, if any, time to appreciate modern technology and the wonders it works on a daily basis. This weekend I watched Beaches, Street Rats, The Rainmaker and Moonrise Kingdom. That’s 4 films that I had no idea I wanted to watch until I saw them on the menu that I then went on to view from the comfort of my own sofa, pausing whenever the mood struck for a tea or bowl of ice cream. I often wish I was born in Victorian times but I am beginning to change my tune.

3)      Port. An overlooked drink unless it’s Christmas time or you’re a rotund, booming aristocrat with a monocle perhaps. I propose we re-evaluate its merits. I’ll admit that I hadn’t drank it properly until this Christmas (I had drank it as a young teenager because it there was always a bottle lurking in somebody’s parents’ drinks cabinet) but what’s not to like – it’s just strong, sweet red wine. STRONG AND SWEET, the best adjectives that can be used in conjunction with any drink. I had a glass last night because we had a bottle gathering dust from Christmas and I identified a desperate need for wine after the shops were shut. Maybe next time it won’t be a last resort.

4)      New (to me) TV programmes. I watched the first episodes of The Big C and The Bridge this weekend and so far, I like them both very much.

5)      Catching up on The Archers – my slice of rural village life. I wish I lived in Ambridge!

Monday Blues Banishers #18

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Good morning!

How was your weekend? Mine seems to have gone really quickly, which is odd because it was four days long… I’m beginning to think you can get used to and become ungrateful about anything. I’ll have to remember to count my blessings (four day weekends being right at the top of that list)!

Here are five thinks that are making me smile this week:

1)      Yesterday’s Sunday Roast. It wouldn’t be a Monday Blues Banishers post without me reminiscing about the previous weekend’s food now, would it? Anthony did himself proud yesterday and made the most delicious roast pork with loads of roasties, carrots, cabbage and gravy. YUM.

2)      The Mill. I was at a loss for something to watch now Game of Thrones has ended. I decided to watch series one of The Mill before series 2 starts. It was good! I love period dramas indiscriminately though, so take my recommendation with a pinch of salt.

3)      Home spa days. On Saturday I decided to have a home pamper sesh. I ran a deep, hot bath and made this green tea face mask (I found the recipe on A Thrify Mrs). The mask was actually really good and my face felt refreshed afterwards, it was quick, easy and dead cheap to make as well (exactly the way I like them).

4)      Pilates! I’ve started doing some pilates videos at home. I love pilates and I’m really glad to have lots of space in my dining room to do work out videos as going to classes isn’t always convenient.

5)      Melons. I bought two this weekend. I could have eaten four. I love them. Lovethemlovethemlovethemmmmm!

Monday Blues Banishers #16

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Gooood morning!

Have you all had a brilliant weekend? Mine was lovely and lazy but far too rainy for my liking. We spent most of our time watching the football because the weather was appalling and it’s the week before payday which is always a quiet time in this household of poor budgeters!

Here are five things that are sending my Monday blues running:

1)      I made a really good celery soup this weekend and the leftovers are waiting in my freezer for next weekend. I say it all the time but nothing makes me happier than being organised. That and soup.

2)      I’m currently ploughing through A Song of Ice and Fire like a trooper. I don’t really like it but you can bet your farm that I’m going to finish all the books in record time and then give you my opinions on them whether you ask for them or not.

3)      Podcasts! This week I saved all my podcasts up (I usually listen to them in the bath, whilst trying to get to sleep or when I’m cleaning) so that I can listen to them at work. This week I have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire in the bath and not cleaning, because we didn’t mess the house up (grown ups) so I will have something to help the office clock tick a little bit faster. My favourites are Desert Island Discs, This American Life and The Archers Omnibus. Any others I should look out for?

4)      Our house. I just love our little red-doored home. Nothing makes me appreciate it more than spending a few days a week away from it. Right now, as I type this in my dining room I feel so happy to be here, with all my stuff. God knows I love my stuff.

5)      My nails have grown to a ladylike length and I’ve filed and painted them in a ladylike manner. I’ve had a desk job for four years now and I have no strenuous hobbies and yet this is the first time I’ve managed to grow strong, long nails and maintain them for any significant period of time. I have no idea what’s caused this but until I work it out I am not going to change a thing.

What’s putting a spring in your step today? Let me know, it’s lonely in Scotland.

Cornwall

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On Saturday morning Anthony and I woke up after a mammoth lie in with bright sunshine filtering through the curtains. He turned to me, half asleep, and said ‘I wish we lived in Cornwall’. My sentiments exactly. It felt like the perfect morning for brisk beach walks and exploring forgotten parts of the coast. Exactly the right morning for a blustery walk up to Pendennis Castle followed by a cup of tea somewhere cosy.

Me and Anthony met in Falmouth where we both studied English, and whilst we knew how lucky we were at the time to be situated in such a beautiful part of the country, nothing really prepares you for moving away and facing the reality of living somewhere sort of…ordinary.

I love Manchester, don’t get me wrong. There are loads of things to do if you just go out and find them. The difference with Cornwall is that you step out of your front door and it’s THERE. RIGHT. IN. FRONT. OF. YOU.

The beaches, the woodland walks, the charming pastel coloured houses, the tiny, whimsical gift shops, the boats bobbing in the harbour. The sea is enchanting when the sun shines, majestic when it’s stormy, strangely comforting on a grey day and most importantly, free.

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There are lots of paid activities to do in Cornwall as well, but there are plenty of things to do that won’t cost you a penny.

Where we live at the moment is so far away from the seaside, and although the countryside is only a short drive away we never find ourselves getting out in it because it takes planning and map reading and effort. In Cornwall it was just there for the taking. I think that’s what I miss the most. Alone or in a group, every coastal walk was an adventure and it required no driving, or picnic packing (unless desired), or overall planning. I loved just heading out on a Sunday morning with no plan of where I’d end up and just wandering parallel to the sea until I got tired and walked back towards town.

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Whilst I don’t think a move back to Cornwall is possible in our immediate future, it is somewhere I’d most definitely like to live again. Whenever I spend time remembering Cornwall like this I always come away feeling so dissatisfied with where I am now, and what I’m doing. It makes me realise that although what I have now is good, it isn’t quite right. It isn’t enough. It isn’t the dream.

I don’t know if Cornwall is even my ultimate dream place to live, but it does tick a lot of boxes on my wish list. It is an easy region to access the outdoors from, that sounds silly, but what I mean is from wherever you set off, after a short while you will end up in the countryside. It also has lots of small towns and villages, and the sea, and excellent food. These are all attributes that I think are important when considering a place to live. Unfortunately, house prices, cost of living and employment are also things that I am forced to consider too, so it’s a no to Cornwall for now, at least.

Do you have a dream place that you want to live? What do you think is important when considering where to live and what sensible reasons are holding you back from moving there?

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Monday Blues Banishers #14

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I don’t know about you lot but I definitely need five reasons to smile this morning. The prospect of a train to Glasgow hanging over my head has not left me feeling chirpy, especially because it’s half term – a dreadful time for all commuters. I like children, I really do, just not on public transport. Can we not just ban them?

However bleak things may look, there are always reasons for cheeriness and here are mine (I’m going to force myself to remember these on the train):

1)      I am one of those people who anticipates the working week with a certain feeling of dread. I like working, but I also like being at home, in my house, with all my things. I chose the house, I chose my things, and I put my things in places of my choosing within the house that I chose. Why wouldn’t I want to be here?! That’s not the point I’m trying to make here though. My point is that my working week is only Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. By midday on Thursday I’ll be back on my settee for a looooong weekend of doing stuff I choose with things I choose in the house I chose. Phew.

2)      It’s June. It’s actually the summer now and no one can stop me wearing sandals and floppy sunhats.

3)      I have a general ‘good’ feeling at the moment. Do you ever get that? I feel like there are a lot of possibilities, that I can do anything and that something excellent will happen, soon. This is preferable to the other feeling I get, which makes me think I should just stock up on ice cream and never see another living soul again.

4)      Coconut oil has made my skin HAPPY. Of course I had read millions of blogs and pinterest pins extolling its virtues but I never believed it until I tried it myself. It is now my moisturiser of choice. My purse is happy too because a big jar of coconut oil is £6 which is pricey for a cooking oil when you think olive oil is £3 a bottle…but when you compare it to a teeny-tiny double-walled pot of £20 moisturiser it is quite the economy.

5)      Eastenders. I love the Who Killed Lucy Beale storyline with unabashed passion. I refuse to be embarrassed – Ian Beale forever!

Lately

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I feel like I haven’t tended to my little patch of the internet for ages. But I promise it’s all been for a good reason. I started a new job a couple of weeks ago and it involves working nights, in Glasgow. So with getting the hang of a new job, being away from home from Monday lunchtime to Thursday morning, and forcing my body (and mind) to become nocturnal there really hasn’t been much time for blogging!

I’m getting more into the swing of things now so expect regular posting to resume over the next couple of weeks. For now, I thought I’d do a little ‘lately’ post like I’ve seen from my elders and betters in the blogging community. I love these sorts of posts because they include lots of details that don’t really fit anywhere else.

Lately I have been:

Loving:  sleeping in my own bed after a couple a nights a week in a hotel room. We got a memory foam mattress last year and now all other beds feel like beds of nails. I’ve been spoilt forever but it does make coming home a joyous occasion.

Reading: Game of Thrones. I’m currently plodding through book 2 after whizzing through book 1. I have watched all the TV series and I knew I wasn’t going to like the books but I also knew I’d have to read them to compare. I don’t like the books but I find them strangely compelling, despite knowing what’s about to happen all the time, make of that what you will.

Watching: Mad Men. This series is so good, I can’t wait for the next one. I love the clothes, the sets, everything.

Eating: Jambon-Beurre sandwiches from Pret. It’s a bit of baguette with loads of butter on it crammed full of ham and cornichons. It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Gotta love the French for using butter as a sandwich filling rather than just a lubricant for bread.

Wanting: A haircut. This brief spell of sunshine we’ve experience has made my hair grow super quick and it’s just hit the awkward shoulder length period. The colour could do with a refresher as well. I wish haircuts lasted longer, they are so expensive that they seem like a luxury when in actual fact they are a necessity.

What about you?

 

 

Monday Blues Banishers #13

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Good morning!

How were your weekends? Mine was good. It rained or was overcast for the duration here so I took the opportunity to snuggle up on the sofa and watch Netflix and drink too many cups of tea. I also slept like it was my job. I am completely well rested now.

The rain is continuing into the week in my neck of the woods. In fact, I woke up to glorious sunshine so I ran downstairs to hang some wet washing on the line. That was five minutes ago. It’s now raining. I’m not going out there to rescue it, but I could do with remembering why I should be happy on this Monday:

1)      Desperate Housewives. I’ve been watching the final two seasons because I had watched all the rest years ago and then just given up. It’s the perfect fluffy TV show to binge-watch and even though some parts of it make me cringe I still love it. I’m equal parts embarrassed that this is top of my list and desperate to get to my settee where the next episode is on pause waiting for me.

2)      This American Life. I think I’m late to the party on this one but I don’t care. This American Life is my favourite new podcast, in fact it just got picked up by BBC Radio 4 Extra. I haven’t listened to this week’s yet and I can’t wait to have a bubble bath and put it on.

3)      I’m going to make an exciting (and thrifty) vegetable stew later on. I love having something in a pot I can just reheat at mealtimes.

4)      This time last year I was in Italy with Anthony. I have been loving looking through the photos and remembering what a brilliant time we had (even though it makes me a little sad that we won’t be going on holiday this year).

5)      My nails are long and I filed them so they aren’t all crooked and jagged. Today I’m going to paint them and will probably spend the rest of the day staring at them and saying to myself ‘You’re so grown up and put together’ whilst I watch cartoons in my accidentally bleached cleaning leggings and eskimo slippers.

 

What’s making you smile today? I’d love to know.

Monday Blues Banishers #12

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Morning Gang!

How are you this bank holiday Monday morning? Did you wake up to the sound of angels singing? I did, because I love a bank holiday (as you well know). The extra day just means you can create the right blend of fun, laziness and productivity needed to enjoy the perfect weekend.

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As if we needed more reasons to smile, here are my Monday Blues Banishers – things that are making me smile this morning that might make you crack a grin too.

1)      My bedroom is still clean. That’s a total of seven straight days of cleanliness, a new record. Perhaps I’m finally a grown up. It’s so nice to sleep and wake up in a relaxing, peaceful, and most importantly, uncluttered space.

2)      I found the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe on my beloved Pinterest this weekend. I made a batch for my Saturday night treat and conveniently I already had all the ingredients in my cupboard. It’s this one if you’re intrigued – just remember to chill the dough for a bit before baking. Why am I still smiling about it? Well, for one it was really, really delicious and the memory alone is enough to keep me happy for the rest of the week, but on top of that I made enough dough to cook two batches and freeze some so that next time I crave fresh from the oven cookies it’ll be easy and mess free. I’m so smug about this.

3)      Anthony cooked an amazing beef pepper pot stew on Saturday and we ate the lovely leftovers yesterday. It was delicious. Today he’s cooking me a beef brisket pot roast with all the trimmings. I am so spoilt and I can’t wait for dinner time.

4)      Green tea. I haven’t drank any green tea for ages but over the last week I have regained my taste for it. I’m so glad because it’s so healthy and I feel so good when I drink it.

5)      Despite rediscovering my love of green tea I have plans to make an iced coffee on the first sunny day this week, it’ll be my first one of the year and I’m very excited.

Monday Blues Banishers #9

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Cleanest of clean fridges

Good morning! I have to admit, despite having some fairly awful nightmares last night this morning I’ve woken up with a spring in my step, feeling happier than I have in a long time on a Monday morning. I might not even need any blues banishers to help me get through the rest of the day! But enough of my bragging. It’s good to write things down and come work time I’m sure I’ll need a black and white reminder of exactly why I was so chipper at 10 am.

1)      Spring cleaning. Yesterday I did the kitchen and bathroom. I used so much Dettol Mould and Mildew Remover that my lungs felt like they had been ripped to shreds. It was painful yet strangely satisfying. I also disinfected my kitchen bins, cleaned the fridge and organised it by restaurant health and safety standards and got through a massive chunk of the laundry pile. There is still a lot of house left to clean but that doesn’t make me any less proud of what I’ve done so far.

2)      Only four days until the bank holiday. I am so excited. Four consecutive days off, and chocolate eggs. What could be better?

3)      I can smell a fresh pot of coffee brewing as I type. I’m also considering what wonderful things I can concoct for breakfast using smoked mackerel and cheese.

4)      I made a roast chicken yesterday and now I have lots of meat left over. I love making new meals out of leftovers – especially when they are as quick and easy as a chicken salad.

5)      The satisfaction of a weekend well spent. If you have read even a handful of my posts you will know that I prefer my weekends pyjama-ed and indoors. Well, this weekend was exactly that. I ventured to the supermarket for supplies and sat in the back garden listening to The Archers whilst I disinfected my kitchen bins but apart from that I was in the house all the time. Whilst I do love being out and about, I always enjoy a laid back weekend of just being home with Anthony. Why wouldn’t I want to spend time in the house I chose, surrounded by the things I chose, with the person I chose?

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Monday Blues Banishers #8

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Here’s wishing you a happy week ahead on this grey and drizzly Monday morning (it is gloomy where I am, anyway, and I’m starting to get really sick of it). I hope everyone had a brilliant weekend. I certainly did, but as ever it was far too short and it whizzed by really quickly and I didn’t achieve half of the things I wanted to.

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Unrelated photo of Formby

Here are some things that are cushioning the blow of the start of another monotonous week!

1)      I have tomorrow off work! And whilst that’s enough to be a standalone Monday Blues Banisher – I have the day off to go and see Justin Timberlake with one of my oldest friends who I haven’t seen in absolutely ages and ages. Icing on the cake? The tickets were a birthday present.  A quadruple whammy, if you ask me.

2)      My Aunty is about to pop round with my three little cousins. I don’t think there’s a better way to start your day or week than with small children, although I’m almost certain my stance will change on this matter once I bring a few bright lives of my own into this world and waking up to screaming and Cbeebies is the rule, rather than the exception.

3)      Yesterday I went to watch the Manchester Marathon because a) it was a free activity which got me out of the house and b) my Dad was running in it. I really enjoyed myself and it inspired me to focus more on my fitness. You never know, perhaps next year I’ll be running in it rather than clapping politely from the side lines – I was just too embarrassed to cheer or whoop at anyone. There was a lady next to me who kept shouting ‘GREAT RUNNING’ at the participants with what I can only assume were the best of intentions, but we were stood at mile 24 and a large proportion of the runners were walking or even hobbling by then so it just came off as sarcastic.

4)      Not long to go until Bank Holiday season! I love a long weekend. I’m going to start making plans now so that Anthony and I don’t just waste it by sitting in our pyjamas watching cartoons (Anthony would not actually consider this a waste). I mean, of course there will be a great deal of pyjama-ed cartoon watching but there will also be activities which take place OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE. Plus I’m intending to roast some meat to perfection and bake an Easter themed cake. What are your plans? Tell me so I can steal them.

5)      I didn’t listen to The Archers omnibus yesterday which means I get to catch up with it throughout the week. Nothing makes cleaning and folding laundry bearable like a trip to Ambridge.

 

What’s making you smile this Monday?