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.
Happy New Year everyone!
Well, Christmas is over, and January is upon us - and for some reason this means that half the population have decided to give up alcohol. In the past I have groaned when my mates have forgone a pint in favour of a cup of tea, but this year I have decided to join them. Yes, you read that correctly - I'm off the booze for a whole month, and, to keep me on the straight and narrow, I'm going to do it for charidee, so watch this space for a link to my Just Giving page!
I have to admit that it has become apparent that a glass of vino had become a regular accompaniment to a relaxing night in, and, without it, I have noticed that I find it harder to switch off - which means I have gone into DIY overdrive! Since returning from my festive travels I have pretty much decorated my bathroom and started up-cycling my kitchen stools, and am planning my next crafting projects. So, come February, I intend to have made yet another homemade gift and possibly a yoga mat bag too! Pictures to follow...
That doesn't mean that I won't be writing too - or rather, getting on with another round of editing and typing up my latest short story which I hand wrote when sans netbook. Oh yeah. and then there's Operation:Pizza - I think we may have a winner, which you can read all about here...
Anyway, on that note, I'm off to dig out my knitting needles whilst I boil the kettle for a lovely herbal tea.
I hardly recognise myself...
So. I usually get this blog out every Sunday. But for some reason I've been really tired the last couple of days and just didn't really have the energy to write it.
I have no idea why. I mean, I've had a five day weekend to get it done. Okay, so I've been out and about a bit, meeting friends for food and drink, going to the Stow Music Festival...
... and checking out other artists at work at Making:Uncovered, but the rest of the time I've been chilling. Well, apart from replacing the light fitting in my lounge, sorting out my electricity account, setting up my life insurance, and registering with a GP that is.
But other than that I've just been pottering at home, mainly sat on my backside writing my Operation:Pizza blog, my Overground Underground blog and doing a bit of editing.
Hey, I even sat on my butt when I did a bit more work on my latest picture and cracked on with some up-cycling - hell, I was even on my arse for half of yoga! In fact, the only thing I didn't do resting on my behind was paint the hallway.
Yeah, I've no idea why I don't feel fully rested...
It's Saturday night! WOO HOO! So, what are your plans? A romantic meal out with the love of your life? A pint down the pub? Or a night on the town, dancing until the wee hours? Well, it all sounds very appealing, but tonight, my friends, I am staying in, on my own, with nowt but a bowl of olives and a glass of wine for company. Why? Because such a night is well overdue...
Last weekend I came down with tonsillitis - AGAIN. I was at my mate Darrens' catching up with my old chumlies when I woke up feeling decidedly ropey. My mates blamed the Red Stag I had been drinking the night before (I strongly recommend the Black Cherry variety) and I put it down to being a bit run down. By the end of the day I was dropping penicillin and huddled under a duvet next to the barbecue. NOT fun.
Of course I tried to push through it, but Alison made me go to bed for a few hours. Very sensible. Lisa then pointed out that maybe my immunity would be a bit better if I actually took it easy once in a while. I have no idea what she means. Okay, so I'd been out late on the Thursday, attended an evening meeting on the Wednesday and enjoyed a bevvy or two on the Tuesday, but that's normal. Right?
Maybe she has a point - maybe I have been burning the candle at both ends. But then, maybe it is a symptom of my recent rise in the responsibility stakes. Okay, so I've had a job that requires a level of maturity since I graduated, but this home ownership thing has thrown me. All of a sudden, I am responsible for the upkeep of the roof over my head, owe Virgin Money more cash than a bear to imagine and not only need to get Critical Illness cover but a Will to boot! Well, I'm sorry, but whilst I have to accept that this means I have reached a new milestone in my life, I refuse to "settle down". In fact, I think I am rebelling against the notion.
That said, my nesting tendencies have also kicked in. I spent the last week decorating my lounge with my dad - and it is looking fantastic. Of course, this means that I have an overwhelming desire to paint all the other rooms, go out and buy more furniture and get all my pictures up... whilst still wanting to go out and party. Along with my creative pursuits, I guess it's no wonder I'm falling apart at the seams.
Yes, I need to slow down - so tonight I am going to stick on a DVD and do my best to keep my diary as free as possible for the next couple of weeks. Okay, so I have plans on Monday (pizza!) and Tuesday (plumber!) but after that nothing for over two weeks other than an appointment to give blood and a date at a spa. And I plan to keep it that way. Sadly, to quote Oscar Wilde, "I can resist everything except temptation" - and there are tasty morsels of fun all over the shop.
Wish me luck...
Well - you don't have to but I seem to be doing rather well at getting out of the big smoke these days. In fact, if I count next weeks Bank Holiday (house party in Stafford coming up!) I will have been away four out of five weekends! No wonder I'm struggling to get anywhere fast with the decorating...
Although I love the hustle and bustle of my life in London, it is nice to get away from it all. Three weekends ago I came up north for a friend's hen do - and saw her get married this Saturday. What made it all the more special was the rural setting of the reception - said friend lives in the middle of the Nottinghamshire countryside where you can see nothing more than fields as far as the eye can see, and the nearest convenience store is a good 15 minute drive away - and even that closes at 10.
As a city girl of thirteen years, I forget what it's like to live out in the sticks. When I was camping near Stratford Upon Avon recently I was delighted to learn that there was a bus service into town so the dedicated driver in our party could enjoy a drink. Needless to say my plan was foiled by the last bus, running at a mere 6.10pm. Oh well...
I guess both ways of life have their pros and cons. Whilst London offers me everything I could possibly want when I want it, getting away from the 24 hour society helps me to slow down and recuperate - something that I really have to work at back in the city. So, whilst I will be relieved to see my local Co-Op open when I get back to Walthamstow tonight, I know that I will have to make myself breathe more deeply and let the chaos wash over me once in a while.
And on that note, I shall say adieu - I have some serious chilling to do...
I hope you are all feeling nicely refreshed after the weekend? I have to admit that, after three nights of camping, I'm quite tired - but then there's nothing quite like sitting around a smoldering BBQ at 11 o'clock at night, playing cards and supping Jameson's whiskey (a new and rather dangerous discovery for old Shell) to re-charge the batteries. Okay, so as camping goes we were pretty well looked after (electricity supply, showers AND clean toilets? Wow!) but cooking outdoors, sleeping with nothing more than a sheet of waterproof fabric between you and the elements and being without all those creature comforts we don't need but depend on is certainly good for the soul. Even if not the back...
It isn't just going camping that has helped me detox my mind - if not my body (one thing at a time people!). I've been reading a book by Gabbi Bernstein, Yoga and Meditation buff whose 108 Miracles Now breaks down developing your spiritual side - and maintaining your well-being - into easy to follow steps. Whilst some of it isn't for me, it is full of handy hints to improve your relationship with the world and look at life with a more positive slant, something I admit I sometimes find tricky.
On Thursday, I found myself seeing positives in what could have been a rather crushing situation. After several rejection letters confused by some very positive feedback from publishers and competition judges, I decided to ask a professional to look at my first novel, Faith, Hope and Chocolate. Deep down I knew it wasn't my best writing by any means but had grown attached to my characters - and still loved the concept. Claire's feedback confirmed this - and her comments helped me see where it wasn't working and think about how I could develop the story line. We concluded that the best course of action would be to start again - and, this time, write with a bit more of a purpose and a plan, something I admit not really doing the first time round. So, watch this space people - just don't hold your breath, as I have novel number two to edit first, plus a couple of other ideas floating about...
Now, with all that in mind, I'm going to run myself a nice bath, read some more "Miracles" and write in my journal - the detox isn't complete yet!
It's been a while since I last blogged, but life has been even more manic than normal - and the lack of broadband in my bachelorette pad has made blogging even trickier. But I'm now connected, back in London - and trying to chill. Because I think moving wiped the ability to do so from my memory...
In all honesty I can't really say that I've been completely wrapped up in unpacking and decorating. There was a little foray to a house-party in Yorkshire over the last Bank Holiday, followed by a much needed holiday in Split, Croatia. The trials and tribulations of being a new homeowner were getting the
better of me (think leaks, lack of hot water and more leaks) and I desperately needed to escape. It was on our last day when we were sat on the beach at Marjan Park and I was bemoaning the amount of things I needed to do to my flat that my friend asked me if I could remember what my New Years' Resolution had been. She had a point; it was to do less. So, after an epic unpack and an overwhelming trip to B&Q, I am having a beer and writing this blog before heading down to my old stomping ground Islington for a party.
The thing is... it's easier said than done. When in Yorkshire I was trying to convince my friends who had just bought a four bedroom house with land up there (read: Mansion) to chill out.
"Take it easy - and enjoy doing it up." I advised.
"Yes - but we want it all done now so we can really appreciate it." They whined. Fast forward two weeks and I completely understand. Whilst things are slowly coming together, I can't wait to get the place painted, some proper curtains up and my pictures on the walls. Even today I was chatting to my dad about what kind of ladder to get for my loft.
"There's no hurry is there?" He asked. "I mean, you only need it for storage." Wise words, but... I want them NOW so I can clear away the excess clutter for my housewarming party - where everything needs to look perfect - PERFECT, do you hear??!!
Okay, so maybe I need to take a chill pill here and try to pace myself. At the end of the day, there is plenty of other good stuff going on in my life which I am in danger of neglecting if I get carried away - including my writing and art - which is really more important than having a flat worthy of a spread in Home and Gardens. So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get glammed up for this party. Just as soon as I've cleaned the extractor fan and put up the caddy in my bathroom...
Happy Friday everyone!
Apologies for the lack of blogging last weekend but I was rather busy indulging in a bit of R&R. It was a welcome break from the mania that has been my life of late (that pesky day job!) but I had a lovely time pottering around Nottinghamshire with ma and the Derbyshire/Cheshire border with pa. In fact, it was so lovely, I thought I'd dedicate this blog to some photos of my rambles...
Look out for my Anglo Info blog in the next few days - and have a great weekend!
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...
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...