Saturday 29 May 2010

Full circle

I had a strange moment on Thursday.

You see that hat in the picture above? I wore that hat on my first date with C, way back in 2007. Before we met he'd seen a photo of me wearing it and mocked it. In that 'I like you so I'm going to pull your pigtails' way that boys do. So of course I wore it when I went to meet him. Because girls secretly like it when boys we like mock us in that way.

After that November afternoon I couldn't find the hat. I was sad for it was my favourite hat. Over the course of our relationship I used to joke with C that he'd thrown it out, in a fit of hat envy. (I genuinely suspected he had hatnapped it though)

I looked everywhere for that hat. It was nowhere to be found. I moved on. There were other hats. But they never fulfilled me in quite the same way. My hat was lost. Somewhere along the way, in the midst of relationship worries and traumas, I lost myself too.

I found the hat on Thursday. It had fallen down the back of my chest of drawers. Seeing it gave me a strange feeling, it transported me back to a time when love was beginning to blossom. Before things got broken and confusing and crazy.

This is the photo that C saw of me, before we even met. I look like a completely different person. I barely recognise myself in this photograph. By the time our relationship ended I recognised myself even less.

It feels like everything's come full circle. I'm not lost any more. And neither is my hat.

This post was brought to you by the realisation that one year ago today was the last time C told me he loved me. It was also the first time he'd properly admitted it.

Life's a funny old game, isn't it?

Friday 28 May 2010

Ich liebe...

Love is...

... Going to Edinburgh for the bank holiday weekend with some of my favourite ladies. I'm flying up and am ridiculously excited. I've never been on a plane on my own! Yes, I am a loser. Things I intend to do: drink Irn Bru, look up boys' kilts, dance my little socks off.
... My new Lazy Oaf t-shirt. Chicken drumsticks for the win.
... Glastonbury in four weeks time. Cider! Pieminister! Bands! Boys! Blistering sunshine! (Please?)
... Blogging. I am loving it at the moment. I've discovered some glorious blogs this week and I've got my blogging mojo back. Hurrah. (I've used the word blogging too much haven't I? Gah! And again!)
... Being able to fit into all the clothes in my wardrobe. For the first time ever. All those things that I bought and thought 'Ooh I'll slim into that' now actually fit me. Tre-mendous.
... Curly hair. For the first time in my life I'm embracing my natural curliness and I'm absolutely loving it.
... Smiling. It's my favourite.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! xxx

Thursday 27 May 2010

The Green Fairy

I don't often do reviews of products here. Mostly because the things I seem to get offered aren't things that I have any interest in (or that I think you'd want to read about). However, when I was offered the chance to sample some absinthe by the Absinthe-Shop I thought I'd give it a go.

I've tried absinthe a fair few times in my life. The first time was at our local student pub when I lived in Nottingham. I like to pretend the absinthe is the reason I don't remember getting home that night but, in reality, it's probably the 12 cheeky vimtos I'd had previously. The second time I tried absinthe was in Prague. Now that was some vicious alcohol. I bought a bottle home for my boyfriend at the time, P. We developed a penchant for drinking absinthe and cloudy lemonade before a night out. I think I really can blame that for the nights I don't remember getting home.

I was sent a bottle of Lemercier Absinthe 72 (yes, the 72 stands for 72% proof) and asked to drink it in the 'traditional way'. Which basically means pouring water through a sugar cube which is sitting atop an absinthe spoon. The water dissolves and mixes into the absinthe below, which changes the translucency of the drink, forming a louche.

My Dad's hands, I swear. I don't have giant man hands

You're supposed to use a sugar cube but, given that I don't live in a posh tearoom, granulated sugar on a teaspoon was my alternative. Although it does make it look rather like me and my Dad were prepping some smack. Which is nice. But it worked! And I drank it. And now I'm a little bit tipsy. I think adding the sugar to it actually makes it quite drinkable, despite the potent nature of absinthe. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to have a little lie down...

*If anyone would like to treat themselves to a little dalliance with the Green Fairy then the lovely folks over at are offering a 10% discount until 30th June 2010 with the use of the code FMBLUV10.

Monday 24 May 2010

Splashing around

This weekend....

Sun! Sun! SUN!! // Splashing in my paddling pool... best £2.95 I've ever spent // Red toenails // Barbecues x2 - chicken, marinated pork steaks, homemade burgers, peppers, cucumber, feta cheese <3 // Sunbathing // Sunburn // Sunstroke // Garden appreciating // Photograph taking // Homemade lime iced tea // Ice cold water // Barbecued pineapple with lime juice squeezed over it (try it... NOW!) // Doing absolutely nothing that I needed to do and revelling in it // A tiny pang of longing for the Summer of 2008 // Lots and lots and lots of sleep...

I don't want to be in work right now.

How was your weekend, my loves?

Friday 21 May 2010


Dear Dad,

It's been a while since I mentioned you (and the dreaded c-word) on my blog. I guess I've tried not to think about it too much. If I didn't think about it then it wasn't really happening.

You went through chemotherapy at the end of last year. Let's face it, that was a horrific time. You changed into someone I didn't recognise. Gone was my big, strong, dependable Dad. You were frail and weak and you looked different. The steroids bloated you, you lost your hair, your fingernails fell out. You hobbled when you walked because the nerve endings in your feet were damaged. It upset me to look at you, to see how in pain you were.

Radiotherapy wasn't exactly a walk in the park either. Seven weeks of daily hospital visits. I missed the brunt of it because I was at work but Mum went with you every day. She drove the 70 mile round trip most days because your feet were worse than ever. You were tired. So unbelieveably tired. My Dad, who was always up with the birds every morning, started sleeping in. For the first time ever. As I left the house each morning it was strange looking at the empty window where before you'd always been, waving me off to work.

Then the treatment ended. As suddenly as it had begun. And, gradually, life became a little bit more normal every day. But there was a wait of a few weeks before you saw your Consultant. Those few weeks were strange. Limbo. Waiting. Anticlimactic.

You saw her yesterday and she's pleased with how well you've coped. She doesn't need to see you for six months in fact. Your PSA level is down to 0.1, from 29. You're basically as well as you can be.

I'm happier than you could ever know, Dad.


Helen xx

Thursday 20 May 2010

Pillsbury Doughgirl


That is the sound of my liver crying and decaying. And my brain cells diminishing.

Yes, I went out last night. Yes, I'm vowing never to drink again. Yes, I had a big fat Nando's for lunch. Fairly textbook.

Hence the reason why my face does not appear in the picture above.

I do love my outfit today though (most girly thing ever written on this blog?). I feel like Emma Pillsbury crossed with an alcoholic. Which, let's face it, is pretty darn great.

Cardigan: H&M
Top: H&M
Flower: H&M
Necklace: Tatty Devine

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Flutter by

When a ring as beautiful as this pops through your letterbox,
there's really only one thing you can do. 


Wander dreamily around your garden of course!

Wear with: Yellow shoes and a big smile
Listen to: Laura Marling - Rambling Man
Drink: Iced tea or homemade lemonade
Think: About how Summer is on the way!
Smell: Lilac. One of the best smells ever. Fact.

Monday 17 May 2010

Mrs Bun the Baker

Oof, what a busy little bee I have been!

My boss (I am mini boss, she is big boss) is off for the next 3 and a half weeks. She's getting married. The cheek of it. I'm left running around like a headless chicken, files inexorably piling up at the end of my desk, fielding questions left, right and centre. I keep expecting everyone to realise that I'm actually not that good at my job, that I'm actually a child who's playing at being a grown up in her pencil skirts and her high heels. But apparently that's not going to happen. Apparently I'm coping rather well. Who knew.

The weekend mostly consisted of the following:

- Guitar Hero. How have I never played it before? How?! HOW?!! I love it. Lithium by Nirvana almost defeated me. Almost. I woke up yesterday morning with a claw for a hand (think Chandler from Friends playing Ms Pacman relentlessly) but I feel it's a small price to pay.

- Lovely booze. I spent yesterday in Manchester with G and M. It was sunny! There was gin! And a chicken salad (the less said about that the better. Everyone else had a burger and chips and I've never been so envious). There was also running (not by me, but by the participants in the Great Manchester Run).

- Not enough sleep. Again. Tut.

- Baking. I have discovered the perfect cookie recipe. It makes gloriously soft cookies with a slightly chewy centre. So I've been making batches of them. Super willpower woman I am though as I've only eaten a couple myself. The rest I've given to my parents and work colleagues.

What about you, my lovelies?

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Pearl necklace

Things I love about losing weight #465/466/467:

Being able to fit into this leather jacket that I bought about 18 months ago. I bought it with one of my very first paypackets from my job and I've never been able to fit in it. Until last week. Hurrah!

Being able to wear things to work that don't make me feel like a giant frump. Out with the baggy black trousers, in with pencil skirts, heels and fitted tops that don't look like sacks.

Being able to walk in heels without being in agony. My legs are much thinner than they were and I think losing almost 35 pounds in weight is enabling me to prance like a beast in high heels. Woop.

Tights: Asos
Shoes: M&S
Cardigan: Channelling Gaga via H&M
Necklace: Topshop
Jacket: Topshop

Monday 10 May 2010

Dog days

My parents have gone away for a few days, to bonnie Scotland...

This is what I have to contend with in their absence...

How am I supposed to get anything done?

Sunday 9 May 2010

I'm so dizzy...

... my head is spinning.

Spinning like a really spinny thing, if I'm honest. Like a waltzer with a terrifying carny perched atop it, making it go faster, ever faster.

I'm starting to get restless feelings again. Once again I'm torn between putting down some roots or jetting off for a year of travelling. One minute I'm looking at houses and flats, mentally decorating them and planning the housewarming. The next I'm on the Trailfinders website, planning a trip around the world and getting prematurely excited about the places I'd see and the people I'd meet.

I. Don't. Know. What. To. Do.

Will I regret it if I don't go? Will I regret it if I do?

I'm 28. I'm single. I have no real commitments keeping me here (bar my job, which I'm hopeful I could return to afterwards). Is this my last chance to see the world and all its wonders?

I am useless at making decisions, this is the only thing of which I am wholly certain.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Get your vote on

Red Bull. Check.

Beef jerky, pomegranate seeds and assorted healthy snacks. Check.

Pyjamas. Check.

Duvet. Check.

I think I'm all set for a night in front of the election coverage. I've taken a half day at work tomorrow and fully intend to see it through to the bitter end (which I think is 6am). I'm not political in the least and it's not really something you'll ever find me talking about, but I do love a bit of excitement. And I think tonight has the potential for just that.

Whatever your views, beliefs or opinions, I hope you used your vote.

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Bank Holiday joy

So, the Bank Holiday weekend then. How fast did that go?!

Things I did:

- Wore 5" heels and didn't fall over once. I did hobble though
- Met Scott Mills
- Ate Nandos. Oooohhhh Nandos, how I love you and your spicy goodness
- Celebrated the birthday of one of my BFFs by drinking homemade sambuca (just don't), shouting 'CRAB CRAB CRAB' to try and get people to do the crab, playing on an adventure playground (zip wires and slides whilst drunk, just do it) and eating limoncello ice cream cake (thanks to my super talented friend E)
- Went to the gym and ran for ten minutes straight. That may not sound like much but for someone as untalented at running as me I can assure you it's a big deal

Things I've done since:

- Got my two stone award at Slimming World. I've lost 30 pounds in total. Pretty pleased with that considering Barcelona, London and numerous gin and tonics.
- Saw Foals last night, supported by the rather wonderful Jonquil.

So, that's me. What about you?

Sunday 2 May 2010

Let them eat cake

"Cake or death?"

"Eh, cake please"

"Very well! Give him cake!"

"Oh, thanks very much. It's very nice"

My soul for a cupcake!