Happy Easter Monday everyone!
Whether you're religious or not, you can't help but love Easter - never mind all the chocolate, for me it's all about the four day weekend!
My Easter Sunday ended up being quite traditional - with an alternative edge. In the morning I went to the Sunday Assembly, a Godless congregation which, rather than banging on about a higher power, makes its mission to help people realise their full potential. It was quite fun, with singing (strictly secular) songs, a poetry reading, a personal memoir on giving up things for lent (no alcohol? For 40 days? Respect!) with tips on how you can help people in this predicament, and talks on optimism and how important is is if you want to succeed. All in all, very thought provoking with some useful reminders on the power of positive thinking - something I am now making a conscious effort to put into practice.
One of the things that was pointed out to us during the talk on optimism is that, if you want to be something, you have to take action - and keep going, even when you feel like giving up. So, with that in mind, I'm chuffed to say that this weekend I've made a start on two collages which, after a little titivation, will be good to go. I've also sent a "pen portrait" to Mslexia magazine in the hope that they will consider it for their next edition. The theme was "Caged Animal" and you can see my (very short) interpretation of this subject here. I hope you like!
Anyway, I digress. After the Assembly I ended up having a traditional Sunday Roast before winning a big bag of Maltesers in an Easter egg hunt - all in the pub, of course! Today I am going to keep the Bank Holiday tradition alive with a spot of mattress and fridge shopping (Middle aged, me? Well, maybe getting there...) as, although things have stalled, I am still hopeful that I will be moving into my little flat in two weeks time. Assuming the tenants in the place I'm trying to buy eventually move out...
So, without further aplomb, I shall wish you adieu. Enjoy the rest of the holiday!
Yep, you guessed it - I've been to Italy. At the grand old age of, erm, 21, I finally got to the country that has fascinated me ever since I saw Helena Bonham-Carter in A Room With A View as a teenager - and it didn't disappoint.
I stayed in the small city of Trieste, near the borders of Croatia and Slovenia, with my mate Lisa and her Italian Stallion (ahem!) Simone. It was beautiful, with two castles, a Roman ampitheatre and the largest public square on a sea front in Europe. And, after a two hour train journey, I found myself in Venice too and, whilst I was very impressed by San Marco piazza, it was the tiny streets and meandering canals that blew me away.
The food and drink wasn't half bad either - I had some of the best seafood I've ever tasted, amazing pizza and glelato, and discovered Faranghina wine and the local tipple, Aperol Spritz. Nom....
So, this week, I thought I'd share with you lovely people my favourite pics from my foray. I hope you like...
So, back here in the UK, I'm feeling refreshed and inspired - if a little bit anxious about my impending move to Walthamstow - and becoming a home owner for the first time. Gulp! Now I just need the vendor's solicitor to get his butt in gear so I can move in before my current landlord chucks me out...
Anyway, I'd love to stay and talk, but I have to go on Freecycle to find some packing boxes to move all my tut. It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks...
P.S. Read more about my travels (this time in the UK) on my Underground Overground blog here!
Well, I hope you have been enjoying the glorious weather today. Yesterday I had to put the heating on but am presently sat in bed with the back door open! Ah, the weather here in the UK...
Although like most Brits I can't help but talk about it, right now I'm more interested in what the weather is doing in Italy - and Croatia for that matter. You see, I have spent the last two days planning trips to both countries. I fly to Trieste in Italy next Friday, and yesterday suddenly realised I needed to get organised. So the last 24 hours have been a mad scramble to order insurance, book taxis and pick up my Euros. So now, other than sorting out what to take, I'm ready to roll. Hurrah!
But it doesn't stop there. After collecting my currency and choosing a guidebook (I am incapable of going ANYWHERE without one!) I met Laura and Leila on the sunny Southbank to plan our trip to Croatia in June. After some last minute soul searching we settled on Spilt and within the hour had our flights sorted and a beautiful apartment in the historical centre booked! Woo hoo!
I'm pleased to say that the holiday came in at under £300 each - which is a good job as, on Friday, I spoke to my solicitor who told me that the local authority search for the flat I want to buy has come through, and advised that we would be exchanging contracts soon - which meant that it was time to transfer the funds for my deposit and think about giving notice on my current abode! Well, you can imagine the flurry of activity this provoked - and the anxiety caused as I saw 70% of my life savings sashay out of my ISA. So far though I have 5 friends confirmed that they will help out with the move (thanks guys!) so, assuming all the i's are dotted etc, I should be in my new flat in, well, less than a month's time. Gulp...
So yes, I've been making a few plans the last couple of days. And whilst I agree with the current mantra that we should like in "the now", I'm also really looking forward to the future - and am relishing getting ready for what lies ahead.
And on that note, I wish you all a buona notte!
Well I hope you are all having a lovely restful day. Those of you who dip into this blog on a regular basis will know that, this year, I have vowed to take it all a little bit easier. You will also be aware that, last week, I had an offer accepted on a flat. AND arranged to have a wee art exhibition in Farringdon. If you know me personally you will also know what I'm not so good at taking it nice and slow and, even with the best of intentions, my New Years Resolution was always going to be something I would struggle with. And events over the last 14 days have not made it any easier...
It doesn't help that I can't say no to a little bit of fun too. This week I've started choir again, caught up with some art friends over mushroom and stilton pie and wine (as it LOTS of wine) and indulged in a bit of girly time oggling Jude Law in Henry V and dissecting his, er, "performance" over pizza and, yep, more wine. Which means that it is Sunday afternoon and, despite my best intentions, I'm starting to feel a bit antsy about all the stuff I should have done - and not quite managed.
I think I need help.
Anyway, on that note, I'm going to crack on with a bit of writing, research my trip to Bristol next weekend (I WILL have a mini-break, I WILL!) and do my knee strengthening exercises before making a veggie stew for my lunches next week and a spot of dinner. As Virginia Woolf said, "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well..."
Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it...
Happy Sunday one and all!
Well, I hope you are all taking it easy and making sure you get a break from the housework, unlike Lisa here who, even when she's at work, can't help herself but to grab a mop and bucket and get stuck in. Any excuse to wear her Clean Queen apron...
As I type I am sat in Mama and Papa Berry's lounge, chilling after a day of fun and frolics with the extended family - think plenty of wine, Charades and amazing cheesecake courtesy of big sis and you get the idea! But today, rather than searching Rightmove for flats, I've found myself rather distracted... by holidays.
I don't know about you lot but I need to escape from the drudgery of January - or at least know I have something in the diary. The problem is, most people don't seem to be free until June - my sis can't even squeeze in a spa day before May - and I'm GAGGING for a break!
What to do? Well, if nothing comes up soon, I'm going to do what I do best - bugger off on my own. Probably not very far, but just to get away from it all. Maybe a weekend in Bristol, or perhaps even a jolly over to France... oh, decisions, decisions! You see, sometimes in life, if there's something you really want to do, you should just go ahead and do it, because, if you don't, chances are you'll only live to regret it. At the end of the day, life's too short, and it isn't waiting for anyone.
Now off you go people - it's time to grab the world by its bits and have a bit of fun. Enjoy...
Today is a good day. Not only do I have the day off work, but I’m spending this afternoon in a spa before heading to Brimingham for a weekend of fun and frolics. And the best bit? I have Monday off work too. Woo hoo!
Okay, so Birmingham might not be the obvious choice for a girly weekend away, but with Europe’s largest Christmas fair (so I’ve been told), a thriving nightlife (“Snobs” has been recommended to me – please tell me if you know anywhere better!) and more than a few curry houses to fuel our fun, it is actually looking to be a darn good weekend.
Of course, I’m hoping to do a fair bit of Christmas shopping too. As far as I’m concerned, Christmas shopping is all about finding that perfect something for your nearest and dearest – and if it is something unique, all the better. The next few weeks I’ll be trawling London’s markets in my quest for the perfect gifts for my friends and families – Camden, Greenwich and Spitalfields, look out – but I’ll also be browsing the web too. No, not Amazon, but virtual craft markets like Etsy, notonthehightstreet.com – and of course CRAFTfest.
Yes, I know, I’ve been banging on about if all week on Twitter (and here for a while too) but not only has it given me the opportunity to show case my own work, but it’s also given me loads of ideas for my own shopping too. Obviously I can’t go into detail (you have to wait for Santa to visit!) but I’ve got a few people sorted – and some ideas for a couple more too. And, even though CRAFTfest finishes tomorrow, I should be able to pick up any bits I’ve seen after the event as all items are sold via Etsy and other online shops. Groovy!
Anyhow peeps, I better go – I have a weekend away to pack for and some serious shopping to do...
Hello my lovelies.
Again I have been more than a little slack when it has come to updating my wee blog. I know it’s a poor excuse, but life has been a bit hectic – the day job has been getting in the way (BOO!), flat hunting has been getting me all a bit stressed out (ARRRGH!) and people have been, well, getting on my nerves (GRRR!).
Yes, my friends, it is time for a rant.
The day job has been, to say the least, trying of late. Okay, so I’ve only been back for one week after a fortnight break, but it took me about half of my holiday to repair the damage that such a draining situation has caused. This is especially annoying as, not only have I been feeling completely wiped out after a day in the office, I have been left with no energy to do the things that I want to do – namely, the things that I write about in this blog.
As for the flat hunting... well, at first it was kind of exciting finally looking to buy my own place. But several viewing no-shows and a general lacklustre service from practically every estate agent I have approach has left me feeling more than a little disheartened. But I shall stop there – planning a blog on the subject for AngloInfo later this month – watch this space!
Then, along with the pressures that my employers and customers put on me and the trials of tribulations of trying to get estate agents to HELP YOU when your budget doesn’t allow for the kind of commission that gets them all excited, I’ve recently come across quite a few people who are, quite honestly, not very nice. Yes, there are the perpetrators who cause my customers such grief, but there are also people who have unbalanced the status quo in my private life – and the lives of those I love. The people who think that it is absolutely fine to cheat on their partners, lie to get a someone into bed and to sleep with their long term friends – only to dump their friendship when a new girl/boyfriend comes along who disapproves of their new squeeze having mates of the opposite sex. Even worse, there are then the people who seem to think it is absolutely fine to abuse their partners – physically, mentally, and/or emotionally.
People like this make me ANGRY.
But, folks, before you reach for the vodka – THERE IS HOPE! You see, whilst I have been observing from afar – and occasionally a bit closer – such disagreeable behaviour, I have also met some really inspiring people. People who, despite being abused, bereaved and sometimes emotionally damaged by the kind of people I have written about above, have stayed strong. In fact, they have not only stayed strong and laid to rest their demons, they’ve also reached out to help other people who are in more pain and have less confidence to let go move on with their lives. People who are truly inspiring and keep me going when things are looking more than a little bit grim.
You know who you are ladies. Thank you for saving my sanity.
So, there you have it. My blog for this week/fortnight/month, depending on how the next few weeks go. But, just to prove that I am still writing and painting – albeit not as much as I would like - here is the link to my London Staycation blog on the aforementioned AngloInfo website and a snap of my latest artwork in progress. Hopefully to follow soon will be a couple of guest blogs – and maybe the above pic in its completed glory.
Well, it’s certainly been a while since I blogged here hasn’t it? I hope you all caught my latest contribution to Anglo info, but it you didn’t click here to read my thoughts on buying in London. Yes, you read that correctly – buying. It is possible, I promise. If you’re willing to compromise...
So, what have I been up to since I last shared my news here? Well last month I went to a Hen Do up in Sheffield which, including cocktails and karaoke, was a traditional affair with a bit of crafting thrown in for good measure. The day started with pot and glass painting and fascinator making which was right up my street. I was quite chuffed with my creations but sadly won’t get my champagne flute until the Big Day in July – but was reunited with a mixing bowl I painted up there last summer when visiting another friend.
think Real Ales, live music and a plethora of stalls selling food – and crafts. I succumbed to a traditional narrow boat lantern, painted in primary colours that now proudly sits in my little terrace – and bought one for a friend too. There were plenty of other examples of English craft and culture on show, from the cringe worthy (Morris Dancers), the tasty (fudge – mmm!), the alcoholic (a wee dram anyone?) to a surprisingly good One Man Band and puppeteer – who could not only sing but got my toes tapping too! As you can probably tell, I proper enjoyed myself – and intend to go the Angel event in September too for a free canoe lesson and more pot painting.
The rest of the Bank Holiday was filled with other traditional activities (read barbequing and drinking) and by the end of it I was pretty knackered. But, a week on, I can’t wait for the next one.
Which I will be in Peru for.
Doubt that one will be particularly relaxing either...
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...