If We Were Having Coffee #17

coffee and coversationIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is an absolutely glorious day here. The sun is shining, there isn’t a cloud in the sky and it’s beautifully hot – the start of what is predicted to be another heatwave. Good. I love the sun – we seem to spend months on end in the cold, rain and dark in the UK, so any change in the weather is always welcome (although I know that after a few days there will be a number of miserable people who have had enough – us Brits always like to complain about something!). I’ve taken the opportunity to appreciate it already this morning by going for a walk, the cats are indulging in a lazy snooze in the sun and The Bloke has taken himself off to one of the main parks in the city with his camera to go and bother some squirrels. I have given him the nickname of ‘Walker the Squirrel Stalker’ – he has some amazing pictures of them… in their hundreds…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I’ve had a fabulous week – one that I can look back on with a genuine smile. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #16

Coffee and conversation

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how upset I am about the ‘Brexit’ nonsense of the last two days, when the UK (or should I say, England) voted to leave the EU. I watched the results being announced from about 3am, and was genuinely gobsmacked – I’ve always been firmly on the Remain side and honestly thought that the Remain camp would triumph. It was carnage.  By midday, the £ had tanked and there was already talk of another Scottish referendum during which it is almost inevitable that Scotland will leave the UK (seeing as the entire country voted as a Remain majority). Our PM had announced his resignation with the only replacements being offered are the guy who has destroyed the education system and another who’s a bumbling idiot. The Leave camp immediately went back on what they promised about additional NHS funding. And to top it all off, Trump arrived. Great.

Of course, we’re a democracy, the referendum was poorly managed with misinformation being given on both sides, and therefore I have to respect the fact that we have to go with the majority. I just hope that whoever ends up in charge will have our best interests in their decision-making. For the moment, we’re a nation divided, the right-wing and nationalist parties across many countries in Europe are using us as a reason to call for their own referendums, and the arguments and stereotypes are still being thrown around. It’s going to take a while for everything to calm down. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #15

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It’s been a busy few days. I seem to be saying that a lot recently, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that work has been abundant, to the point where I am able to decide on my own hours and as a result I’ve been able to turn some of it down. I’m still conducting freelance workshops, planning for a big concert with a primary school and doing supply three or four days a week, with the knowledge that at the moment I could do a full five-day week if I wanted. Most supply days are nice and calm, and I’m enjoying spending time with some of my favourite students. For example, today I was covering a Year 10 class, most of whom I have known since they started the school in Year 7. They walked in, smiled and greeted me, picked up their text books, sat down in silence and got on with the work that had been set. Every so often, they would ask me a question if they were confused, and other than an interesting conversation I had with one of them about football as they were packing away, and a ‘bye, enjoy your lunchtime!’ as they left, I didn’t hear a word from them. And I got paid for it. Awesome. However, I’ve been able to take the odd day for myself, during which I’ve done exciting things that I enjoy. Unfortunately, I’ve been full of a stinking cold over the last week, but now my head is a little less fuzzy I can get back to some quality ‘me time,’ and doing so while being able to breathe properly. Yay. Continue reading

Jake’s Coffee Box and Tea for Two

I was in town yesterday and after attempting to finish off the final last-minute Christmas present list, I was shattered. I stopped in a cafe to sit down for a minute and have a drink and a sandwich, and checked my Facebook page while I was doing so. This showed up on my feed after a page that I follow shared it…

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Jake’s Coffee Box is one of the smallest businesses in Birmingham, operating from a former phone box on Eden Square. It opened in August, after a charitable trust called ‘Thinking Outside The Box’ was given planning permission to convert the phone boxes into kiosks, allowing them to be rented. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #11

imageCoffee conversational posts are normally saved for the weekend, but the last few days have been a roller coaster. For those who read this little blog regularly, would you expect anything else?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I celebrated my birthday and The Bloke and I’s anniversary. I knew that he had bought tickets to the Good Food Show for Sunday, which has become an annual event for us, so I organised a birthday drinky-poos with some friends on Friday night at Bohemian. There were two reasons for this – I know that Saturday nights after payday are always too busy for me to cope with, and I wanted to ensure that I had at least 24 hours to recover from the inevitable hangover.

It turned out to be a wise decision. It was two-for-one cocktails, and after several hours, six or seven raspberry mojitos and a number of passion fruit yummy concoctions that were called Porn Stars, I couldn’t feel my face and had seemingly lost the ability to do anything other than talk nonsense and giggle at nothing. Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #9

imageIf we were having coffee, I would begin with an apology. For the last seven consecutive days I have been in work, completing two major orchestra rehearsals and a concert, sports day, Immersion Day, staff training day and then all-day rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday for the musical production that we are putting on all of next week. My routine has been predominantly work/sleep/work/sleep, and the blog, my house and my general life is in a state of temporary disarray. Comments have yet to be approved and replied to, I’ve read virtually nothing, and my stats are at their lowest since November 2014. Just bear with me… Continue reading

If We Were Having Coffee #8

imageIf were having coffee, I would tell you that with it being Father’s Day, every area of my social media is littered with messages of love and photographs of the special men in my friend’s lives. I haven’t acknowledged this particular day in a long time. My father is very much alive, but I haven’t had any contact with him in about thirteen years, a decision that I have never regretted. I am conscious of the fact that The Bloke, my mother and many of our friends are remembering the father’s that are no longer with us and are dearly missed. However, I am thinking of my wonderful grandfather, who was one of the most wonderful men I have ever known. For those of you with amazing fathers, and for those with beautiful memories, I’m thinking of you.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have just been ‘up North’ for my sister’s birthday. We went to the same place that we took our mother to for Mother’s Day, 47 King Street West, for a champagne afternoon tea and cocktails. Like the last time we visited, the food was beautiful and we all had a nice time chatting and catching up. However, as we consumed more and more alcohol, the conversation became a little more raucous than it was when we started, and very soon the pictures we were taking went from this:

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To this:

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Gorgeous.

It was fun, but by my fourth Amaretto Sours I was beginning to feel a little bit worse for wear (I’m such a lightweight). My brother-in-law picked us up, which was really nice of him as he had been feeling quite ill recently, and I felt truly sorry for him when my sister and mother decided to crank up the music and sing “Ain’t No Moutain High Enough” so loudly that passengers in other cars started to join in.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that on Thursday I received an email from a colleague at work, requesting food donations and cleaning products for one of our families who are really struggling. After spending the last few weeks throwing myself a pity party, I felt completely ashamed of myself, particularly about complaining about spending some of my savings on vets bills for Daisy, the Dream Killer. Yes, I could have done without it, but when I looked at everything I have, I’ve got nothing to complain about – The Bloke and I aren’t rich by any means, but we don’t want for anything, often frittering our money away on things that we don’t need. We’re lucky, and we live a charmed life.

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After work, The Bloke and I had a chat about it and decided to do something. We set ourselves a budget, went to our local supermarkets and bought enough (hopefully) to last for the next two weeks for a small family. As we were walking round, it was a humbling experience when I realised that there were so many things that I take for granted when I am buying them. I don’t even bother to look at prices sometimes – I know what I like and I go and get it. When we added everything up at the end, we realised that we had spent more on a meal the other week with some friends. In fact, I spent more on my phone bill last month.

It’s inspired me further, and it got me thinking about making a difference on a wider scale and all of the local school children who won’t be eating well over the holidays because they will be unable to get a hot meal at school. My tutor group and I are going to set up a collection over the next month where we are going to ask the rest of the school to donate one thing each, and then The Bloke and I will drop it off at our local food bank before the end of term. I worked out that with nearly 1000 students and 150 staff in the school, we should be able to do something great.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am going to be spending this evening catching up on Season 7 of Castle. It’s one of my favourite TV shows of all time and I was devastated at the cliffhanger at the end of Season 6… No spoilers please!!

And finally, if we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am now on Instagram – you can find me at http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks

What about you guys? What would we talk about if we were having coffee?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

 

If We Were Having Coffee #7

imageIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been quite an emotional week.

On Sunday, my oldest friend, M, lost her mother to cancer. Yesterday, The Bloke and I travelled up north to attend the funeral. I’ve been quite lucky in life in that I haven’t had to attend many of them, but this means that I don’t cope very well during the service section of the day. True to form, I was a snivelling wreck, particularly when I saw another old friend, J, that I hadn’t spoken to in quite a while. All the way through school, M, J and I were a trio, and over the years we’ve created hundreds of memories, but over the last year J and I had drifted apart – busy lives got in the way. J is currently six months pregnant, and when she and her parents arrived we both burst into tears and gave each other a massive hug. It was truly nice to see her, although I wish the circumstances for our meeting would have been better.

The service was beautiful, and so many people had turned up from all over the country to say goodbye that there weren’t enough seats in the crematorium. M was able to read a poem that she had written herself. I admired her strength – I don’t think I would have been able to do the same – and we all laid a single flower on top of the coffin as we left. It was a beautiful send-off for a beautiful lady…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went back to work after a thoroughly wonderful few weeks, and I’ve had one of the best teaching weeks that I’ve experienced in a long time. I think that it’s mainly because my boss has returned from maternity leave so my timetable is lighter and therefore the pressure is less. I have still had a lot work to do, but for once I’ve been able to deal with it without being interrupted with random bit of paperwork that need immediate completion. I’ve been able to get in the classroom and enjoy my lessons – the weather has been beautiful, the students have been in a good mood, and we’re now reaching the final stretch of the academic year. After handing in my resignation about a month ago, the weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have just over 40 working days left, and the job hunt begins!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been a blogging douchebag this week. Comments have been left unanswered, posts have yet to be posted, and I’ve barely touched any social media. The next few days are going to be spent catching up – on busy days I miss the interaction and enjoyment that I gain from the blogging world. I’ve decided to start a mini series about the different places to eat and things to do in my beloved city, Birmingham, and I fully intend on enjoying all the things it has to offer over the next few weeks. I rarely do guest posts, but I have one lined up for the 1st May over at Hugh’s Views and News, and hope you can join me there! I also have lots of advertising opportunities available!

The ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ series was created by Part Time Monster. Everyone is invited to join in, and you are welcome to share your coffee posts on Twitter every Saturday with #WeekendCoffeeShare – hop on over and join in the fun!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks