A Glorious Day and a Wasted Journey

It was the hottest day of the year on Thursday and the sun finally made an appearance after what seemed like the longest and most depressing winter ever. It was so nice to see a blue sky. Everyone was in the park, the people daft enough to buy convertibles were driving around with the tops down and the music blasting (basically because it’s one of about 5 days a year that they can actually do that here in the UK), and every man in sight was walking around without a top on for exactly the same reasons. Before the evening had even started there was a smell of barbecue in the air as everyone decided to burn some meat outside, just because they could, and I could hear an ice-cream truck on the next road up.

I, however, was affected by utter moron-itis. Continue reading

Advertisements

Laryngitis and a Polygamous Relationship with an Aldi Raspberry Sorbet

Last weekend I felt really rough. I put it down to being hungover after going out with my friend to celebrate her birthday on Saturday night – my failing voice and sore throat was initially thought to have been caused by singing a bit too enthusiastically as I was dancing around, which isn’t uncommon. However, by Monday afternoon I started to feel particularly unwell – hot and cold flashes, sore skin, headaches – and by Tuesday morning I realised that my ‘hangover’ was actually full-blown flu, which was later accompanied by a nasty head cold and a hacking cough that just wouldn’t go away. After spending the week feeling like death-warmed-up I went to the doctors where the genuinely lovely GP took one look at me and said ‘yeah, you’ve got laryngitis – I had it myself two years ago so I know you must be feeling quite poorly.’ I really did – the most poorly I’ve felt in a very long time. Continue reading

Shhhhh! I’m Feeling a Bit Delicate…

Suzie + nightclub + alcohol = Suzie with a lost voice and fuzzy head

It was my friend’s birthday celebration last night and for the first time in months I went out to a nightclub. I love getting ready to go out, particularly when doing hair and make-up so I had a great time putting my face on, almost doing a lap of honour around the living room when I managed to put on my false eyelashes successfully on the first attempt without glueing my eyelids together or looking drunk before I’d even left the house. Continue reading

Lunch for One…

I took the day off today and decided to actually get out of the house and go into the city. The initial plan was to go to the cinema first but I left a little too late, so instead decided to spend the money that I had budgeted for the film on things that I don’t need, but what makes me happy.

The weather was bright and sunny, which was fabulous considering we’ve just had what feels like an eternity of dark and gloom. I walked across most of Birmingham – I bought some highlighters from Cass Stationery, my favourite bath stuff from Lush, some of The Bloke’s favourite sweets from the awesome sweet shop in the Great Western Arcade, something from Forbidden Planet comic shop for The Bloke and then o took myself off for lunch. Continue reading

Snowmageddon: The Beast from the East

This week the UK has been hit with The Beast from the East and Storm Emma – a week-long heavy snow storm with temperatures falling to well below zero.

I can practically hear my Canadian friends guffawing from across the pond as they shovel the 10,000 feet of snow from their driveways for the third time today.

Schools and hospitals have closed, a Red Warning has been issued, there’s been panic buying in supermarkets, drivers have been stranded, operations have been cancelled… We’ve even had dedicated hour-long news programmes to cover the fact that we’ve had a lot of snow and it’s reeeeally cold. Continue reading

Lessons, Limoges and Lilliput Lane

George Orwell’s house in Notting Hill

This week has been a little hectic. The Bloke has had a week off, we’ve been organising a bajillion things at once and trying to spend some quality time together, and I’ve been desperately trying to keep on top of my daily checklists. It’s been a mixed bag of fun and stress all rolled into one busy package.

But, we’re never too old to learn new things, and this week I have learned a lot.

A raspberry in a glass of prosecco makes it taste less like what I imagine unwashed feet do. I must be the only female I know who doesn’t like it, but it’s almost palatable with a raspberry.

Upgrading on a travel West Midlands train is a pointless waste of money.

I make a mean French Toast, after trying it out for the first time last Sunday. My buzz was cut short, however, after my friend informed me that her 11 year old regularly makes it for herself. Continue reading

A Massage, Merchandise and Motivation

There’s an awesome quote that appeared on Pinterest a little while ago by Colette Werden:

‘It’s ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire…’

This. This is what I needed to remember last week, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve got into the habits of doing smaller jobs every day, but this week I was feeling particularly fired so up decided to throw myself at much larger tasks and goals. As a result, my mind feels clearer, my space is tidier, my blog stats are up, I’ve lost 5lbs and I have a whole list of positive things that will be happening in the future (no, I’m not pregnant before everyone starts freaking out). Continue reading

So, What Now?

The Bloke and I met up with a friend that we haven’t seen in a few years. As we were chatting and catching up, he asked us a question that has been in my head ever since:

‘So, what’s the plan next?’

I suddenly realised that, for the first time in over two years, I didn’t have a plan, or goal, or even a general direction that I wanted to go in. Since 2015 I have changed my job, got engaged, got married and been on our honeymoon, and these large life adventures have predominantly taken up the majority of my headspace. Now that it’s all done and dusted, what do I do now? Continue reading

Highs and Lows

Nearly two weeks after we got married, it’s been a time of enormous highs and some crashing lows.

I’ve been loving all of the pictures that we have been getting from our friends and family from the wedding. Some of them are gorgeous, some are less that flattering, so I’ve been collecting them into folders and I’m going to make a montage of all the awful ones and hang it on the wall. It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

However, it didn’t help that two days after we got married The Bloke was told that Ofsted (the national inspection service for UK schools) would be coming to inspect the school he works at. Anyone who has ever worked in an educational institution in the UK knows that there is nothing more stressful than Ofsted – I’ve seen grown professionals reduced to tears – and as an IT Technician The Bloke receives enormous amounts of tasks and pressure from every area of the school, so he did incredibly long days and was shattered. I felt awful for him – not exactly the start I was hoping for.

We’ve been excitedly preparing for our honeymoon, getting together the last items that we will need for five days in NYC. Despite being given a large luggage allowance, we are repeating the same process that we did for Barcelona a few years ago and just taking a small, capsule wardrobe of outfits each in a rucksack that we can take onto the plane as hand luggage. We figured that it was going to be cold, we are spending most of our time being tourists and therefore we can get away with taking warm sweaters and t-shirts and just one nice outfit for something posh we have planned. It also means that there is zero chance that our bags would go missing (this has happened to me on flights before) and we don’t have to waste time at the baggage section when we land – we can just take our stuff and go. Because of the time of our flight, we’re traveling down to London and staying overnight at the airport hotel, and it’s that beautiful time of year where the lights have just gone up for Christmas so we can have a nice touristy time in our favourite city too.

We also had the opportunity to meet up with a group of Blogger’s Bash bloggers in Birmingham last weekend. We met at Bacchus, one of my favourite bars, and it was lovely getting the chance to catch up and say hello. The Bloke was in town doing some shopping so he joined us afterwards, and we indulged in lovely food and had a nice chat. I always find it strange when meeting bloggers that I have known online for years – I’ve met most of the people who were there just a few times before, but I feel I know them a little and the conversation is never boring or stunted as we all know each other’s stories from the blog posts that we read. I think they stayed for a while, but The Bloke and I had to leave early because we had to get ready for the fancy dress 40th birthday party for one of my favourite people, as you do.

The theme was film characters, so we decided that the obvious choice would be to go as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World, of course. I managed to find the hat and wigs from eBay and then I bought the rest from charity shops. What resulted was a Wayne and Garth that looked like they had been on a steady 10 year binge of hard drugs and alcohol. The party was fun – there were lots of friends and former colleagues that I hadn’t seen in years and some that came to the wedding but I didn’t get much chance to speak to them properly at the time, so it was great to be able to catch up with them all and find out how they were doing. I found it quite amusing that some of them didn’t recognise us because of our outfits – we were staring at one former colleague and even though she looked directly at us she walked past and The Bloke had to go over and say hello at the bar.

The other day, I was working through my social media checklist and saw I had a Facebook message. I was then greeted by a whole group of members of my Facebook group who had secretly been collectively scheming and squirrelling a donation for The Bloke and I for our wedding and honeymoon, and I was presented with an enormous sum of money. It isn’t often that I’m lost for words, but this was one of the rare occasions where I had no idea what to say, and I knew that thank you wasn’t enough. What an unbelievable surprise – we were totally gobsmacked. Em, Lorna and everyone who contributed – thanks so so so much… Yet another reason why the blogging community is a wonderful place to be, and I’m so lucky to know them!

And then, we had some devastating news. Our friend and former colleague passed away earlier this week. She came to the wedding and I spoke to her last Saturday via Facebook messenger, and on Monday of this week she had a sudden and unexpected illness and passed away a little while later. She had only retired a few years ago, was a devoted mother and grandmother and loved by everyone who worked with her – staff and students alike. It was a total shock, and I’m still reeling from it. She was such a fabulous woman – never forgot a birthday, always had a kind word and offered many (including myself on numerous occasions) a shoulder to cry on, and the outpouring I’ve seen since her passing has shown just how many lives she touched. I’m so grateful that I got the chance to see her and tell her how much she means to us before she passed, and that she saw so many of her friends. She very kindly gave us some money for the honeymoon as a gift so we’ve made a donation to the RNLI (of which she was a huge supporter) in her name and we’ll have a drink for her when we’re away.

Jan, we love you and thank you for everything that you have done for us… We’ll miss you and your friendship very much. May you rest in peace xx

I’ll be away from the blog for a while – I hope you all have a calm and peaceful time and I’ll catch up with you soon!

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

Wedding Prep, a Birthday and Wagamama

Last week was my sister’s 30th birthday, so we made plans to meet up as a family for lunch yesterday. As my sister lives 100 miles away, I got the train up north on Saturday and stayed at her house. It was also the perfect opportunity to spend some time with my brother-in-law and Squidge (my niece) who is now 5 months old.

As always, traveling up in the afternoon is always busy, and it didn’t help that my train was severely delayed, but by the time I arrived I was met with this gorgeous face, which made it all worthwhile. Her hair is beginning to grow so she is looking less like Grant Mitchell from Eastenders now, which is always a bonus!

 

Saturday night was fairly relaxed – the delayed train and the awful traffic meant that we didn’t get home until late – and my brother-in-law was out with his own siblings so after Squidge had been put in bed my sister and I over-indulged on the snacky treats and watched our favourite chick-flick – Only You – while catching up and generally talking nonsense. To save her the time and effort of setting up the airbed I stayed on the couch (which happens to be the world’s comfiest) and enjoyed the luxury of Sky TV, which The Bloke and I don’t have. Continue reading