Yes, I know that sounds selfish, but this weekend, it's just been me, myself and I. After a manic week at work and a busy out of hours schedule seeing friends and family, come Saturday morning I was more beat than I've felt in a long while and sent most of it (read: all) in bed. And whilst I did spend the rest of the weekend more productively, I decided to resist the temptation to fill up my diary and instead pottered around the flat getting on top of my chores and mooched around Walthamtow on me tod.
This afternoon I dedicated to some "me" time - as in, rather than doing stuff that was in some way useful or expected, I decided I should do something purely for my own enjoyment. I admit it's a craft I've not practiced in a while and it took we a while to figure out what I really wanted to do. After some soul searching I ended up in Walthamstow Village, where I checked out Gods Own Junkyard ( a.k.a. Europe's biggest neon sign junk shop!) and perused The Independent on Sunday over a pint. It really was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and one I intend to repeat very soon.
So whilst it might be a bit late for you to do so this weekend, I recommend that you block a day or two out soon to do your own thing, and practise getting that balance between doing what is beneficial and what is purely enjoyable. Okay, so next weekend is fully booked - and one I'm really looking forwards to - but I'll be spending a weekend going my own thing again soon.
I must apologise for not blogging to you all last weekend - after a 14 mile hike with my dad and his cronies I was a wee bit tired!
Yep, as always it's been all go. This weekend I compensated for my trek with a massage and facial followed by afternoon tea and shopping with my ma. I've also been keeping myself busy with my "hobbies"; swimming, writing, yoga-ing, sewing and painting.
Why? Well, I guess you could say I choose life.
Yes, I am quoting Renton's rant in Trainspotting, which I saw at the King's Head in Islington last week. It was a fantastic, brave production, which I strongly recommend you see if the company take it anywhere else.
But why choose life? What's the meaning of it all? Why bother with all these extra-curricular activities? Well, I admit, sometimes I wonder. But then I know that if I don't engage in the process, I'll never find out why I am really here.
And I guess I'd quite like to figure that out.
Good evening folks!
Well the weekend is drawing to a close, and a new week will soon be upon us. I admit, I found the last one quite tedious - the 9-5 grind was getting to me and, coupled with a lull in the old social life, I was more than a little bit grumpy. Alas, I managed to pull myself out of my gloom. How? Well I decided to book a little holiday...
Yep, that's right - in September I will be spending 10 days in San Francisco - and I can't wait! Sad as it is, knowing I have this to look forwards to seems too have perked me up no end. Coupled with the good weather, this weekend I've been pretty chirpy, getting up early and getting on with a new writing project and a bit of spring cleaning. Today I bagged a bargainous four dining room chairs and a coffee table for 40 quid, which I can't wait to paint up along with my ten pound TV stand. In fact, by the time I have my official housewarming in May, I reckon I'll be pretty close to having my flat as I want it - with perhaps the exception of a posh new three-seater sofa bed..
My point? Well, I know I'm lucky to have the means to travel to the West Coast of the US and to play at being Kirsty Allsop, but I also know that I function a lot better when I know I have something to aim for; a reward to all my hard work. At the end of the day, it is that often-tedious job that has enabled me to book that flight and pay the mortgage on the flat that I am so faithfully - and frugally - doing up.
So, as I traipse into work tomorrow, I will do my best to the thankful for all the opportunities it gives me - from stability to adventure, with the odd bit of inspiration thrown in for good measure. And, whatever you do and however challenging it can be, I hope that you feel able to do the same. And, if you can't, book yourself in for a little reward sooner rather than later, whether it be the trip of a lifetime, a jolly to the seaside or an afternoon mooching around your favourite local haunt. I doesn't have to cost a lot, or be particularly flashy. But it does need to happen.
Because Shelly said so :-)
So, anyone else enjoying an early evening glass of wine? I am... because Dry January is officially OVER! Woo hoo! So far I've raised £145 of my £200 target, and hope that a few last minute sponsors will get me there... if so inclined you can do so here - thank you!
I have to admit, today I am in my happy place - and not just because I'm allowed wine again (although it helps...) No, it's because I've spent the weekend up in York with some of my favourite people. Hanging out with my besties always does me good, and talking to them about our lives really helps me put things into perspective. It reminds me that, even though other people's lives often seem so much better than my own, they come with their own problems. Of course, me being me, when my friends share with me their woes, I try to give them reassurance and advice on how they can overcome the obstacles they face - or, more simply, come to accept them.
I'm happy to admit that, whilst advising my lovvies about how to deal with their daily niggles, I did reflect on my own - and considered if I listen to my own advice. I was pleased to see that, generally, I do. Whilst my job can frustrate the heck out of me, I think I've reached a level of acceptance, helped by the knowledge that, whilst I know I make a difference, I am taking action to move into a line of work that I enjoy more. And that when other elements of my existence upset my equilibrium, I confront the cause, weigh up my options - and take action to reset the balance. Okay, so I don't always get it right, but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction, and, without sounding too corny, I believe that you can find your happy place too.
And you don't need wine to get there...
No, no, I'm not talking about the whiskey and Jaegermeister I've consumed over the last week - I'm talking about that goodwill to all men, women, animals and anything in-between! I've been feeling pretty Christmassy all month, but the last week has seen my festive fever grow - and spread. Whilst I admit I've had some pretty fun nights out recently, it's been the things I've been able to do for other people that has really given me a glow. For example, on Tuesday I contributed some home-made German spiced biscuits to a bake-sale for Crisis - adding £19.50 to the £180 raised. Yesterday, I was thrilled to see my mate laugh out loud at the slogan wristband I made her for Christmas. And, the day before, I spread the love among my neighbours by delivering them all a Christmas card and gingerbread muffin - and was really touched to see the family who live below me followed by lead and everyone some chocolate on their doorstep the following day.
That's what I love about Christmas - making other people feel good, whether it's by giving them a present they love, helping them out when the stresses of the season start to get to them, or just making them smile on their commute to work. Today, after a rather frantic shopping trip, I was sat on the tube when the driver wished everyone a Happy Christmas. He probably didn't know anyone on the train, and it wasn't part of his job description, but he did - and it made me smile, despite my fatigue.
Some people of course believe in the religious origins of the holiday season. I personally don't, but embrace it whole-heartedly as an excuse to show people I love them and to spread a little cheer, whether it's by offering a complete stranger Season's Greetings, funding a bed space for a homeless person over the holidays or being there for a friend who is having a hard time. That, in my book, is the true Christmas spirit.
Yep, you guessed it - it's my birthday and I've been to Berlin! And, as I'm busy recovering and relaxing with a glass of red, I'm going to keep this short and sweet.
It was completely by coincidence that I ended up there on the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, as well as Rememberance Sunday, and it was all the more poignant because of this - the Holocaust Memorial even more haunting and the East Side Gallery all the more inspiring. The original position of the wall was mapped out with a line of white balloons, and projectors showed a film detailing the historical moment at key locations across the city. I admit that,as a little girl celebrating my 10th birthday, I didn't really understood what all the fuss was about when it happened, but now,as an adult, it renders me speechless to think that so many people were essentially prisoners of the Communist regime - and many died trying to escape.
Along with my 35th birthday, the weekend turned out to be one of reflection - personally and politically. But it was also one full of inspiration and exploration - all the more enjoyed with a German beer and good company to hand.
I might not be a Berliner yet, but I think I'll be back.
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...