Tuesday 30 March 2010

Why Don't You #1: Volunteering

In the spirit of one of my favourite childhood television programmes, Why Don't You?, I'm going to do a series of blog posts with the general theme of 'why don't you just switch off the internet and go and do something less boring instead?' For the first post in this 'WDY' series I thought I'd talk about something that's become very important to me over the last few months. Volunteering.


Now, I'm well aware that not everyone has the time or the inclination to volunteer but, if you've ever even considered it, then I'd like to encourage you to give it a go. The benefits you can reap through giving up just a little bit of your time can be enormous. From a purely selfish point of view, volunteering makes you feel really really good about yourself. From an altruistic point of view, you'd be helping people/projects/animals who really need it. So it's basically a win-win situation.

I began volunteering as a listener for the Samaritans in October and, more recently, I began volunteering as a dog walker for a local dogs' home. Both are incredibly different but provide me with the same sense of satisfaction and a feeling that I'm doing something to help, no matter how small. A small, but lovely, bonus point is that the other volunteers you work with tend to be pretty much the nicest people in the world. But then I guess you'd expect that. As an aside, most volunteers I've met seem to volunteer for at least two different charities. So be warned, it can be addictive!


Think about causes that interest you, and that you might be able to get involved with. Do you love animals? Conisder getting in touch with a local dogs' home, Dogs Trust or Cats Protection. Do you feel strongly about the welfare of children? Get in touch with Childine. Or, if you want to provide emotional support to people in their darkest hour, when they have nowhere else to turn, then consider the Samaritans. Although I do appreciate that it isn't for everyone. It can be fairly hard going but, ultimately, it's the most rewarding thing I've ever done. There are, quite literally, thousands of charities just crying out for more help from lovely volunteers so there's bound to be one to suit you.

If you've got any questions and you think I might be able to answer them then feel free to send an email my way. I'm not an expert by any means but I'll happily answer any questions about my experiences in the wonderful world of volunteering!

Sunday 28 March 2010

Recipe for joy


1 girl, without a hangover
1 pair of Hunter wellies (green)
1 lumberjack shirt, old red vest and pair of leggings
1 pair of oversized sunglasses
A park, preferably large, with plenty of daffodils and dogs being walked
Blue sky


Preheat temperature to a crisp yet sunny 10 °C
Combine all ingredients
Spend an hour walking around aforementioned park
Smile. A lot.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Destination Happiness

Animal hoods - always guaranteed to make me blissfully happy

So, as a few people have asked and emailed...

I thought I'd clarify what I meant when I said I was going to take this blog in a "slightly different direction."

Basically, when I started this blog I was very very sad. I felt lost, heartbroken if you will. I wrote to try and find the beauty in my life, to try and find things that were good, that were happy, that kept me going. There are many posts that I'm not particularly proud of and that make for difficult reading but I'm not going to delete them. They represent how I felt at particular moments in time. Snapshots of sadness. Occasionally I do read old posts back to myself and, I cannot lie, they bring tears to my eyes. Some happy and some sad. Sad for the person I was then, that melancholy, confused girl.

These days I am happy.


I drove to my friend's last night and I suddenly realised that I was grinning from ear to ear. I must have looked like a lunatic, a raven haired girl in a silver Fiesta with a huge smile on her face for no apparent reason. But I was grinning because I truly love my life. Sure, I still have the odd moment where I wish for more, where I wish that certain things were different, where I feel sad about things that have happened, but I feel blissfully happy at least once every day. And who can ask for more than that?

So, as for this blog, the different direction is.... happiness, I guess. A love letter to my life and the world around me. More lovely photographs, less moaning. More joy, less sadness. I can't promise that I won't have my moments where I rant and rave or post sarcastic diatribes about the Post Office or men who wear boat shoes but I want this blog to be a beacon of positivity. I want to write posts that make people happy, that bring smiles to faces and possibly even raise a laugh or two.

So there you go, nothing life changing, just a shift in emphasis.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Little ones

Dear new shoes,
I adore you. You make me feel full of the joys of spring, even when it's raining outside and the skies are grey.

Dear body,
I berate you for not losing weight fast enough but, really, I love you. You're changing week by week and for the first time in years I don't hate you when I see you in the mirror. I'm sorry I've not been getting enough sleep. Tonight I will get an early night. I promise.

Dear Glee,
You are incredible. You make me wish I'd gone to high school in the US. Although, to be honest, I probably wasn't even cool enough for Glee Club.

Dear Tinie Tempah,
Your song reverberates around my head constantly. Make it stop. Please? It's driving me crazy.

Dear time,
Please stop going so fast. The days and weeks are flying by at the moment and I cannot believe that it's almost April. This time last year I was getting ready to go to New York and it feels like yesterday. Also, I cannot accept that I'm going to be 29 this year. I feel old. How about slowing it down for a while? Yes?

Dear Barcelona,
I'm coming for you, baby. Cannot wait.

Dear scales,
Please be kind to me tonight. I've had such a good week, eaten so many good things and done so much exercise.

Dear thighs,
I'm sorry you're in pain. Davina is to blame.

Dear life,
You're great right now. Thankyou xx

Sunday 21 March 2010

What's the time, Mr Wolf?

Hello Sunday.

As I type this I'm wearing a wolf hood. With cat print fleece lining.

I'm also wearing a red cardigan with blue stars, polka dot pyjama bottoms and my I Love Boxie t-shirt.

My mum walked into the room a few minutes ago and gave me a look of indecipherable meaning.

But life is too short to not wear animal hoods, to not paint my nails with spectacular glitter, to not dance like a fool to dubstep on a Sunday afternoon.

So I shall do all of the above.

And so much more.

Friday 19 March 2010


 Taken by my gorgeously talented friend Leigh

This is my 300th post.

300 posts have brought me far from where I started.

300 posts have seen tears, joy, immense sadness and overwhelming happiness.

300 posts have helped me to meet some of the most sensational people I've ever met.

300 posts have helped to bring me back to life, as silly as that may sound. Without an outlet for my thoughts, my fears, my hopes, my dreams, I'm not sure I'd be as happy as I am right now, right here in this moment.

Writing helps. It always has. I hope it always will.

As I reach the (slightly odd) milestone of 300 posts I feel that now is the time for this blog to go in a slightly different direction. So much of what I've written here has been about, or because of, him. Because of Chris, to give him his proper name. I'm done with that now. That particular chapter of my life is over. And it's time to finally say goodbye.

I thought I'd wait forever. It turns out that forever was nine months.

I guess everyone has their limits.

Monday 15 March 2010

Sunshine on my feet

Yellow shoes make everything better. Fact.

Particularly Mondays.

Particularly Mondays back at work after a weekend so good it made my face ache from all the smiling.

In other news, I've decided to stop hiding and I've put a link to my weight loss blog over there in that there sidebar. Read it, don't read it, it's your call. I just thought now was as good a time for honesty as any. And I don't feel the need to hide parts of me any longer.

I guess I'm not ashamed anymore.

Saturday 13 March 2010

In the land of Robin Hood

This weekend I am mostly having the time of my little life in Nottingham.

Thus far:

Gin, beer and cottage pie last night. Followed by New Moon (I've finally jumped on the bandwagon and I LOVE it) and chats 'til 3am.

A lie in this morning (!!!). Bliss. Although it was only until 10am which is poor by some standards but pretty damn late for me! Then iced latte and a fruit salad in the sun for breakfast, wine in the sun to accompany lunch (not Slimming World friendly, oops) and the afternoon was rounded off by watching a man getting chucked out of Tesco and manhandled to the ground by three security guards for stealing some matches. Only in Nottingham.

Tonight I will be wearing sequins aplenty, consuming gin aplenty and dancing with gays aplenty.

Pretty much the perfect evening then.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday 11 March 2010

So here's to you...

Ah blog, I have been a neglectful witch haven't I?

Sometimes though, I guess real life gets in the way.

And by real life I mean laughing, drinking, 19 year old boys (well, boy actually), weekends away, work, more work and yet more work. Oh and disappointment. And then happiness. And then a bit more disappointment.

In the past week I've experienced a rollercoaster of emotions. I think I'd forgotten what it feels like to be sad. I guess a reminder every so often isn't such a bad thing, to put things into persepective and make me see that life is actually pretty fantastic most of the time.

I have a new plan to drag me out of this mini slump I've been experiencing. Sleep. Sleep will solve all the world's ills. I don't remember what a lie in feels like. I can't remember the last time I had an evening in. I think it was the beginning of last week but I can't be sure. I need to slow things down, take some time for myself and just sit.

I miss sitting.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Time goes by, so slowly?

 Props to you if you get the picture reference

Can someone please explain to me HOW it is March ALREADY?

Where is this year going? Have I just been living in a volunteering/running/weighing/friends-ing bubble or is this year flying by for anyone else?

And that concludes the questions part of the agenda.

My first week in my new job is drawing to a close. It's gone really rather well. I haven't had to shout at anyone. I haven't had to be a giant bitch and put my boss hat on. I haven't had to bribe anyone with piglets or cakes (I can, however, be bribed with both, just fyi). It's just been... nice. Which is a strange thing to say about work, I know. But I genuinely enjoy my job. The work can be terribly dull but the people never are.

This weekend will mostly consist of a weekend away in an old boarding school with a bit of roleplay thrown in for good measure. Sadly it's not going to be quite as kinky as it sounds. Nope, I'm off for a selection weekend for the Festival Branch of the charity that I volunteer for. I predict the weekend will contain the following: rubbish food, not much sleep, midnight feasts, sneaky boozing.


(Although it's gin and slimline tonic all the way for me, and I have to count how many I have. Damn you Slimming World)

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Swan song

Last night I went to see Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

To say it was amazing would be to do it a disservice. I laughed, I cried (predictable, I cry at everything), I wanted to be a ballet dancer (alas, not with these thighs), I pretty much fell in love with the Lead Swan. Any man who can dance in tight leather trousers is absolutely fine by me.

However, I have one question....

Where the hell can I get a pair of these furry trousers?