Friday, 29 January 2010

Freitag




Hello Friday.

I'm really rather pleased to see you this week. Even more so than normal.

I'm pleased to see you because the sun is shining for the first time in what feels like forever. Because it's dress down day at work and I'm wearing blue Henry Holland alphabet tights. Because I had the best fruit salad in the world for my breakfast. Because I get to go and drink pink gin and watch DVDs with N tomorrow. Because I don't have any shifts at the charity this weekend. Because I'm wearing my new rings that just may be the geekiest things ever (see above). Because the pantomime scenery is finished, finally. Because I've got a big bag of satsumas to eat. Because I'm going to go to the gym in the morning and exercise.

For all of the above, and many more reasons, I am having a great day.


Thanks Friday, I love you. Quite a lot actually.


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Time poor



Give me more time, goddammit!

My (seemingly) neverending busy days and nights continue...

Hence the lack of writing/tweeting/sleeping/resting. I've actually written a fair few posts over at my fat-busting blog but that's mainly because when I have had time to sit and reflect, it's been all about losing the pounds. It was my first weigh in at Slimming World last night and I'm fairly pleased with the results, although I am now in full on SUPER SLIMMER MODE in order to have a bigger (fyi, i just spelt that with an 'n'. Good job I noticed, huh? I don't preach no race hate) loss next week. My competitive streak is rearing it's ugly head and I want to be Slimmer of the Week. I WANT IT SO BAD.

Aside from being a dieting superstar, in the last week I have spent approximately 30 hours painting pantomime scenery, I did an overnight shift at the charity last Friday (11-am till 5am... grim) and I've been out seeing various friends the rest of the time. Oh, and I've been working extra hours too.

In short, I am cream crackered.

However, I'm never too busy for pictures of animals. NEVER. Luckily my friends know of my love for pictures of pigs and other joyous litter critters so I get lots of lovely emails containing them. If you happen to find any pictures of pigs in bowler hats or hedgehogs wearing tap shoes, feel free to send them my way.

From the super cute...



To the super ugly...



THE BLOBFISH WANTS YOUR SOUL

"To remain buoyant, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. The relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front of it."


Hmm, sounds like me.


Sunday, 24 January 2010

Joyeux anniversaire à mon papa!





Today is my Dad's 65th Birthday.


I've bought him an Ariel Atom driving experience and some Hotel Chocolat chocolates. Later on this afternoon I'm whisking him and my Mum off to the Malmaison in Liverpool for the night. They deserve a night away and a little bit of decadence. Plus I get to have the house to myself. Hurrah.

I love him for way more than 65 reasons but here are just a few:

1) He always makes me laugh. Always. He's ridiculous and daft and makes up stupid jokes. He drives my Mum crazy and often moves things to make her think she's going mad. He's a complete joker and I adore it.
2) The only times I've ever seen him cry are when family pets have died. He's a big softie at heart but rarely shows it.
3) He loves my Mum more than anything in this world. They've been married almost 40 years and he still holds her hand when they sit on the sofa together.
4) He can fix and mend anything. Seriously, he's the handiest man ever.
5) He never lets me down. Ever. He's been my taxi, my shoulder to cry on, my bank and my removal man more time than I can remember. And I'm so thankful that, although these days I make far fewer demands on him, he'll always help me in any way he can.


Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you xxx


Friday, 22 January 2010

Recognition





How is it Friday already?

Seriously.

This has been possibly one of the busiest weeks of my life. I don't feel like I've had a second to sit down, to take a deep breath, to... rest. Shifts at the charity, painting pantomime scenery, dinners with friends, nights out, etc etc etc.  I've been out every night and I'm out every night for the next 6 days. Then I'm away for the weekend. Then I suppose I'll develop a horrific cold, as is my want when I've been super busy.

How did I ever had time to be at C's beck and call? How did I have the time to sit in and wait for him to text or ring? How did I have the time to obsess and analyse and worry myself sick over things that didn't need to be worried about?

How did I have the time to destroy something that could have been fantastic?

How? Because I made myself completely available, that's how. I stopped caring about anything else. I gave up my interests, stopped myself developing new interests, stopped myself from meeting new people and making new friends. I became a person I didn't recognise, so different from the independent girl I'd been before. I became someone I hated.

These days I rarely worry, I simply don't have the time. Less worrying means that I'm happier. Being happier means that I get more done and therefore have more time to do whatever my little heart desires. Productivity breeds productivity it would seem.

Now I barely even recognise the girl I was a year ago. She's gone for good, no matter who or what may come to pass.


Love it.


Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Fatty bum bum





So I did it.


I joined Slimming World. Walking into that room full of women (and one man, bless him) was more frightening than taking my driving test, going on the Fourth Plinth, and getting my final University results combined. Or maybe it just felt that way because the terror involved in those experiences has faded into nothingness. I stood outside the meeting room for about five minutes, predictably. I pretended to play with my phone, I talked myself out of going in about six times and then I mentally braced myself for cries of "Oi, fatty" and people grabbing harpoons when I walked in.

Of course, none of that happened. I wasn't the fattest in the room, by a long way (which was my biggest fear), everyone was lovely and I actually had a good time (shock horror). The camaraderie amongst the slimmers was lovely, the atmosphere was lighthearted and there was not an ounce of making you feel bad about yourself.

I've started another blog to document my exciting weight loss journey. I use the word exciting loosely, obviously. I don't think I'm going to link to it from here but if you would like the address then drop me a line and I shall send you it. Be warned though, I've written a post that includes my current weight. It ain't pretty.


Bring it on, Slimming World.


Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Avatards





I love Avatar. Really, I do.


I think it's a great film (even better viewed whilst eating a Ben & Jerry's hot fudge sundae). The concept of only taking what you need from the earth and giving back is a very relevant one. The 'war on terror' that the humans wage on the Na'vi in order to mine the Unobtainium (hi, worst name ever) is also very topical.

However, there have been communities set up by people that think they used to be Na'vi. People who actually believe they've been hunters and ridden Ikran. People who claim to have memories of their time on Pandora.

I have but one word for that...


No.


But, if it does turn out to be true then let my introduce myself. I'm a Fourth Generation My Little Pony. My name is Twiglet, I have a brown and white speckled body and long brown hair. I like crisps, marmite and jumping in puddles.

Neigh.


Friday, 15 January 2010

Fabulous Friday





Fridays are made of WIN.


To that end, and because I haven't done it for a while, I thought I'd compile a little list of things that have delighted me this week. I've got a ridiculously busy weekend ahead and won't be around much so I hope you all have a good one!


Things that are making my face super joyful:

  • Things with my initial on. I love the letter H. Its symmetry pleases me. Necklaces, bags, big cardboard letters (see above).
  • Sleep Talkin' Man. It's the blog that everyone (well, a lot of people anyway) is talking about. An English man who talks in his sleep. His American wife who records it and then posts about it. Hilarious. My particular favourite is "Big pig. Massive oink. Little curly tail", for obvious reasons. C used to talk in his sleep, much to my delight, although not on quite the same scale as STM. I've forgotten a lot of the things he said (should have written them down, darn it) but one that sticks in my mind is "Wake me up after the ceremony, but before the pudding." Occasionally we'd have conversations where he'd fall asleep in the middle and discourse (I always think that word looks rude, always) would take a surreal diversion. I kind of miss it. A lot. 
  • Nancy & Betty. Their cards are gorgeous and I just want to buy them all. Alas I need to seriously curtail my spending for the time being as I have exciting things to save for.
  • The wikipedia page for Bears, particularly the terminology part. I particularly like Sleepy Bear and Otter. Literally incredible.
  • I ♥ Boxie. Lovely lovely t-shirts that have stories, sometimes heartbreaking, behind them. Can you guess which one I own?
  • Other miscellaneous things include, but are not limited to... Mr Scruff's Big Chill tea - rooibos, pear and cinnamon. Yum! // my Dad's lack of stomach cancer, obviously // laughing at perverts who post comments on my Flickr photos // Covent Garden minestrone soup and Vogel's soya and linseed bread for lunch // tickets to see Passion Pit in March <3 // The Body Shop passionfruit body butter. I love to smell like fruit // the snow thawing, finally! 


Thursday, 14 January 2010

I am a weapon of massive consumption





Grrrrrrrr!


I love my new hood an awful lot. It's the best thing I've received in the post since... well, yesterday actually. But, in my defence, I do buy far too many things and therefore I end up with lots of exciting post. However, there are few things I love more than animal-themed accessories so this was a pretty special delivery.


Get your own from merrimaking.co.uk and let the wild rumpus begin!


Snippets



It's a tough choice

Last night I:
  • Watched Avatar again. My desire to lick cashew nut butter (try it people, it's incredible) off Sam Worthington's stomach has now increased tenfold. He is delicious. Still not sure if I fancy him more as himself or as a big blue marauding beast though.
  • Ate a burger at Bluu. It was joyous. See below.
  • Nearly slipped over on the ice approximately 40,000 times (possibly not accurate)

Today I:
  • Emailed my friend N a review of the burger I ate. Yes, I'm a loser.  
      "Bun - Pleasingly toasted. Enjoyed. 
       Burger - Yum. I heart meat.
       Bacon and cheese - Not enough for my liking.  NEVER ENOUGH.
      Salad - Didn't touch it. Fatty.
      Salsa - Tangy. Quite nice.
      Score - 7/10. Trof still has the edge for me"
  • Have eaten two bell peppers out of a tupperware with a frog shaped lid.
  • Have actually been quite productive at work, apart from aforementioned email.
  • Wrote 'touch' instead of 'tough' and spent about five minutes wondering why it didn't look right.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Hoardsville


 
Not mine, I swear. One day maybe.


Are you a hoarder? Or a declutterer?


I tend to hoard. I'm always reluctant to throw things away 'just in case'. Just in case what, Helen? Just in case nuclear war breaks out and you discover that the only thing that can save the world and then help to repopulate it is that twenty year old copy of 'The Body Book' by Claire Rayner? Or in case marabou feather-trimmed sheer cardigans come back into fashion? Or in case you suddenly find a use for the ten pairs of utterly knackered shoes at the bottom of the wardrobe?

I'm also a hoarder when it comes to email. I've just been trawling through my Gmail account, the one that I've had since 2004. Six years worth of emails from my Dad, emails from old boyfriends, emails from friends that I no longer speak to. Reading some of them brought tears to my eyes, some made me laugh out loud, some brought back long-forgotten memories.

Pet names that my old boyfriend P and I had for each other (beehive, beav and badgertron being just some of his nicknames for me... your guess is as good as mine!) and the 'Song of the Day' emails he used to send me, filled with ridiculous words, injokes and an mp3; emails sent to my Dad at 2am when I was sitting in a computer room on campus, panicking about exams and pretending to revise; amusing emails from when C and I first met and spent a couple of months sending each other the most innuendo-laden pictures we could find (some related to the horrifying phrase 'duck butter').

I think the reason I have trouble throwing things aways and deleting old emails is that, quite simply, I don't want to forget. They may look like battered old shoes to you, but for me they evoke memories. That email may look banal or trivial but it probably reminds me of a time in my life that I don't want to forget.


Is this normal? Or am I doomed to end up like Mr Trebus?


Tuesday, 12 January 2010

In your face, cancer





My Dad got his post-chemo scan results today...


The cancer in the lymph nodes surrounding his stomach has gone. Completely. Not a trace remains. His full body scan also showed that, touch wood, there are no metastases anywhere. Only the prostate cancer remains and that should either be treatable or maintainable. He'll know more when he sees his Consultant in a few weeks. (His appointment should have been last week but was cancelled due to the snow. She kindly rang today to give him the good news)

So yes, today is a great day. It looks like he's fought off the cancer that was the main problem, leaving only the more manageable behind. My Dad is a living legend, I bloody love him I do. And it looks like he'll be around for a good while longer yet.

The only casualty from this? Slimming World. I've forsaken tonight's session in favour of fajitas, sparkling wine and ice cream. This is something to celebrate, after all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to give my Dad a huge cuddle and spend some time with him, without the Sword of Damacles hanging over us.


*The picture is of my Dad, taken in the 80s. He was an incredible table tennis player. Gotta love that moustache too.


Monday, 11 January 2010

Lamination sensation



For the love of God get your hand away from that machine, NOW


I have an important question to ask you...


If you had to laminate one part of your body for £120,000 which part would it be?

(You weren't expecting that, were you?)

This is merely an example of the kind of highbrow conversations that go on daily in my office. Working in a legal job that deals with a lot of personal injury cases causes you to become fairly blasé about most types of bodily injury. We see it all, on a daily basis. And when I say see it I mean see it, there are always photos. People who've fallen and impaled themselves on railings, people who've fallen into big holes, people who've been ice skating and, ahem, lost a finger or two. And the latest one is a lady whose hand was laminated when the machine she was working on suddenly turned itself on, causing some fairly nasty burns and scarring.

She did get £120,000 though which, although it in no way makes up for not having a laminated hand, is a hefty sum of money.

Hence the conversation about which bodily parts we'd laminate to get that sum of money. My friend A said he'd laminate his entire body to preserve himself for the enjoyment of future generations. Fool.


I think my job has made me into a bad person.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

Hog days are over





So we're ten days in...


How is 2010 treating you so far? How many resolutions have you broken? Or kept? So far 2010 has bewildered me, mainly due to the snow. I've been having a lot of trouble working out what day it is due to having lots of snow days and working from home days in the past week. I've never seen so much snow in my whole life and I've loved every minute but, to be honest, I'm ready for it to melt now. I had lots of evening plans for the last few days and I've had to cancel every single one due to the treacherous nature of the roads. It turns out that snow is not good for your social life. Who knew.

More than that though, I think I've been using the snow as an excuse to not exercise and to not eat as healthily as I should have been. 'Ooh it's snowing, pass me the hot chocolate' or 'Ooh, it's snowed, I can't possibly go to the gym now, I'll have to sit in front of the fire with a box of chocolates instead' or even 'Ooh the snow's still here, pass me that bucket of butter and I'll bathe in it for a while'. It didn't help that Slimming World was cancelled last Tuesday as I took it as a sign that I SHOULD EAT LIKE THERE WAS NO TOMORROW. Fool.

So today was the last supper. I went to Bluu in Manchester with my friend N and gorged myself on three courses of pure joy. All food is half price for the whole of January so it would have been rude not to, right? Salt and pepper calamari, chicken, bacon and leek pie with mash and peas and half an assiette of desserts are sitting nicely in my belly and I'm now ready to forsake decadent food for the foreseeable future. And get myself to the gym as often as humanly possibly.


Sob.


Friday, 8 January 2010

Come with me on a little Winter walk...




Shaky camera work and general idiocy by Me; Music by Passion Pit


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! xxx


Thursday, 7 January 2010

"The greatest gift that I possess..."





My brain is filled with snow fog at the moment.


Seriously, I'm obsessed with it. Obsessed with it being -13, obsessed with the terrifying ice covering all the roads, obsessed with the ten inches of snow that still covers my back garden. OBSESSED. So, to save you all from yet more pictures of snow (forgive me just one) and more 'OMG it's snowing/it's snowed/is it going to snow' drama I thought I'd write a big list of happiness-inducing joy. Smidge passed on the Happy 101 award to me and what better way to pass a January evening than writing about happiness.



So.... "List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and link back to the person that tagged you. Then tag 10 other bloggers that brighten your day."


My family and friends

Sappy, cliched but totally true. Last year was uncommonly rubbish for numerous reasons but they've been there for me through it all. My Mum and Dad are wonderful, supportive, loving people and, without them, I really don't know what I'd do. They've put up with so much from me throughout the years and always been there with advice (even though I may not appreciate it at the time) and whatever help I need. My friends are ridiculous, fabulous, incredible people and I feel truly blessed to have them in my life. At times of upset and distress you find out who your real friends are and I really have. I've known most of them for at least ten years and I love that I have that support network there. Your friends are the family you choose for yourself, after all.

British comedy

I'm Alan Partridge, Peep Show, Nighty Night, Black Books, The IT Crowd, Monkey Dust, The League of Gentlemen. The list goes on. There are few things more likely to cheer me up than a bit of dark humour. Particularly good on a day when the hangover is brutal and you haven't actually been to bed yet. Just add wine for maximum joy.



Ridiculous jewellery

Big costume rings, ludicrously shaped necklaces, chunky bracelets. I love it all. Current favourites are my gold perspex custom 'MCR' necklace (Manchester fo' life), teacup ring and Jackie Brazil resin bracelet because it looks like sweets and I adore it, always (it's similar to this one but infinitely better).

Camping

I love it. There is literally nothing better than throwing a few essentials in the car and setting off for a weekend in the country. Sleeping under canvas, cooking bacon in the mornings, listening to rain hitting the tent walls, waking up and breathing in the glorious clean air and then heading off for a bracing walk in the hills and following it up with a pub meal and a few pints of cider. I love it all.


Homemade gingerbread loaf cake with lemon frosting

Cooking

I really don't cook as much as I should but I absolutely love it. Putting some good music on, digging out my Mr Scuff apron and finding a recipe to follow fills me with utter joy. It's therapeutic and relaxing and incredibly satisfying. Each year at Christmas time I cook my parents a three course meal. from scratch The menu this year was breaded goats cheese with grape chutney, slow cooked lamb shanks with piperonata, mashed potatoes and curly kale, with key lime pie for dessert. It rocked.

Healthy eating/the gym

This might sound strange but I'm always happier when I'm eating well, drinking enough water and visiting the gym regularly. These three things are all paramount to my wellbeing and energy levels. I love fruit, vegetables and green tea and they make my body happy, which in turn makes me happy.



Festivals

I'm a festival girl at heart and have been to more than my fair share over the last few years. I've been to Glastonbury (this year will be my sixth!), V, Bloom, Creamfields and Leeds (in the distant past). Festivals are a chance to take a few days away from real life, drink Strongbow at 8am without fear of being judged, and get thoroughly filthy (I abhor the idea of showering at a festival, haha). Some of the greatest, defining moments of my life have been at festivals and I think I've got a few years left in me yet.

Food/nice restaurants/good wine

I love food. Anything from Chinese, Thai or Indian to Italian, Mexican and good old British fish and chips. I appreciate good food hugely and I love a meal in a fancy restaurant once in a while. Food is a celebration of all that is wonderful and I truly don't understand people who 'don't like eating.' Sadly my food love has to be curbed for a while as I'm a porker at the moment. Similarly my love of good wine has been put on the backburner, at least for the moment. FYI, I prefer red but will gladly guzzle down a glass or five of ice cold Sauvignon Blanc.



Blogging/taking photographs

Trying to better myself as a photographer and a writer are two of my latest loves. My blog is a mish mash of different topics and styles of writing but I like to think that it's very 'me'. I always write from the heart and am always completely honest in everything I say. I like to try and be amusing, it's always nice to make people smile and laugh but, to be honest, I write mainly for me. Because it's always nice to look back and see how you were feeling at a particular time, in a particular year. I'm currently saving up for a decent DSLR camera so that I can develop my photography skills further. I have the ideas but I just don't have the equipment to realise them at the moment.

Making plans

Over the last year or so I've really started to enjoy challenging myself to do things and planning exciting things for the future. I used to be quite happy in my little rut, neither moving forwards nor backwards, but then I realised that I was just stagnating. If you don't challenge yourself or constantly try to be the best that you can be then you're selling yourself short. We are all capable of such fantastic, magical things and all too often we take the easy option and put things off 'until tomorrow'. 2010 is my year of not putting things off, of moving forwards and upwards and of saying 'yes'.


Done! I'm supposed to tag ten people but a lot of people have already done it and a lot of people won't want to do it. So, do it, don't do it... it's your call!


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Jolt

v., jolt·ed, jolt·ing, jolts.
v.tr.
  1. To move or dislodge with a sudden, hard blow; strike heavily or jarringly.
  2. To cause to move jerkily.
  3. To put into a specified condition by or as if by a blow.
  4. To make suddenly active or effective.
  5. To disturb suddenly and severely; stun.


Can I add a 6?


6. To experience a jarring to the brain, caused by seeing a picture of him. Side effects may include: reliving every happy memory you've ever had together in a split-second; realising that he knows more about you than anyone else and missing that closeness; inadvertently remembering what he looks like naked; wishing you could play in the snow with him because he's childish enough to appreciate it; remembering where you bought that t-shirt for him and numerous other mind-invading thoughts.


In other news, I done gone made a snow pig...



OINK OINK!!


Snow day 2: This time it's biblical




Monday, 4 January 2010

Scattered



The horror, the horror


Things and stuff....


Why do people use Facebook to tell their other half they're madly in love with them? Or, even worse, to tell people about their prodigal child's potty training habits? I DON'T CARE. I've been toilet trained for 27 years, big whoop.

The hard drive on the family computer died today. So that's 6 years worth of music and photos gone then. Unless someone can work a miracle and bring it back to life. Devastated doesn't quite cover it. I'll NEVER replace all that those terrible novelty songs and 'artistic' photos of my feet.

I'm starting Slimming World tomorrow. I've never felt the need to get 'help' with weight loss before but I figure I've got nothing to lose. I also think the shame of a weekly weigh in will help greatly with the old willpower. I am, however, fearful (mainly that I'll be the fattest person in the room, oh the shame) and my head is filled with images of Fat Fighters. "Dust, anybody?"

My first day back at work was, predictably, hellish. Hours spent working - approximately 1.5; Hours spent moaning about being at work - 2.5; Hours spent playing Farmville and wanting to punch myself in the face - 4.

I have got yet another nasty cold and have also pulled a muscle in my stomach (see kids, the gym is bad for you) so sneezing has taken on a whole new dimension of horror. As soon as I feel a sneeze building I'm filled with abject terror. Fun.


I think I need to take my grumpy face to bed now.


Sunday, 3 January 2010

Hello, 2010



Another resolution: Have more appropriate dinners

Yawn.

I'm awake, barely, at 11.15am and blinking bleary-eyed into the glare of the new year. This is my tenth day off work and my usual structured routine (I never wake up past 8am, even at the weekends) has gone completely to pot. Drinking too much, watching too much Family Guy (damn you BBC3) and The Wire and a huge number of films, rising late (and later) and eating far too much rich food has all left me feeling rather lethargic and weary. I am human slug, hear me roar. Or whimper quietly as I shovel some more cocktail sausages into my gob, more like.

New Year's Eve was, predictably, carnage. It began with pink cava, moved swiftly onto Jaegerbombs and ended with drinking vodka and ginger beer (?) at 6am, via drinking I-don't-know-what from a plastic glass in a club rammed with topless men (gotta love those gays). Great night, seriously, but I've been in a bubble of fatigue ever since and now, with work approaching at a frighteningly rapid pace, I'm in the mood for a few resolutions.

I feel the need to cleanse my soul and absolve myself of festive fatness-induced guilt so, here goes....


In 2010, I want to:-

1) Develop a healthier relationship with food and, in the process, finally lose the weight I've been resolving to lose for the past five bazillion years (may not be entirely accurate). Hand in hand with this, I will start going to the gym more and am going to aim for three visits a week.

2) Complete The Big Fifty and to have as many new experiences and adventures as possible. To be open to all possibilities and opportunities and to grab any that come my way.

3) Learn to appreciate everything that I have and live every day like it's my last. To stop wishing for things that may or may not happen and just let what will be will be. Because things always work out in the end, one way or another.


What are your New Year's resolutions?


Friday, 1 January 2010