The Reason Why We Are Not Friends

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This hashtag has been trending on Twitter for several hours now and I’ve spent some time reading hundreds of responses. Some, as is to be expected, are funny (but not to be taken seriously)… Others, however, I found to be quite poignant, and in some ways, very relatable.

My friendships mean more to me than most things. I have friends from lots of areas of my life, from acquaintances that I know through others, to those who know my deepest, innermost thoughts and who have been with me through my happiest and darkest times. Some I have known for over twenty years, others I have met in the last year. A few are school, college friends or university friends, some are former colleagues, one or two I even met randomly while standing outside a pub having a cigarette. I will speak to some just four or five times a year on the phone and we’ll talk like we saw each other yesterday, while I will meet others every week, month or half-term. Continue reading

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The End of a Lovely Week

I’m sitting on a train that is destined for Manchester as I’m spending the weekend with my mum. I haven’t seen her since my sister’s wedding at the beginning of the month and I’m looking forward to a few days of vegetating on her couch in my PJ’s and a duvet.

For once, I appeared to be reasonably organised, until Daisy (my diabetic cat) decided to have a hypo this morning… Cue the blood curve testing kit and a jar of honey – not what is needed at 7.30am with an unexplainable hangover. Luckily, her levels have gone back up and The Bloke is on standby over the next few hours to check on her.

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I’ve got myself settled into my seat with everything that is necessary for a successful train journey – my phone, headphones, a playlist of 80’s rock anthems, charger, bottle of water and a cheese and onion pasty the size of my face (not exactly the healthiest breakfast I’ve ever eaten, but sometimes it has to be done). I’ve managed to drop half on it on my clothes as I seem to have the coordination skills of a two year old at this time in a morning, which is unfortunate as I am sitting across from a man that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hugo Boss advert. Gorgeous. He’s so pretty I could actually cry. I’m having to turn away before he realises that I’m gawking at him. I’m not the only one to notice him either – there’s a whole group of women (and a man) who have given him the eye as they boarded the train.

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It’s almost the end of the holidays and I’ve had a great time. It was The Bloke’s birthday, for which I bought him the Lego Ghostbusters car (I loved his face when he opened it), met my friend for drinks, I went for several lovely meals, did a bit of shopping and met a group of bloggers – my social life has been more active this week than it has in months. I’m conscious of the fact that I still have some schoolwork that needs completing, but it shouldn’t take me more than a few hours.

My online adventures have also been great – my #SundayBlogShare Twitter party was a huge success and I’m looking forward to this week’s party, and I’ve had lots more views on individual posts because of it. If you’re around on Sunday, you’re more than welcome to participate – I’ll send out further details tomorrow…

Here’s to sleep… And lots of it!

What about you guys? How has your week been?

You can also find me on Twitter an Tumblr @suzie81blog

 

Weekly Word Challenge: Happy

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I have been wanting to create a community challenge for Suzie81 Speaks for some time now – I have gained a following of wonderfully talented and creative people  decided that the best way to do this would be through a weekly word challenge – I will post a new word every week on Sunday at 7.00pm – with today being slightly different as it is the first challenge.

Happiness. There are a million posts published every day that focus on the idea of being happy – what makes us happy, how to achieve it, why we need to be happy in our lives…

For the first ever weekly word challenge the theme for this week is ‘happy.’ How you respond to the word is entirely up to you – here are some suggestions.

1. Create a list of things that make you happy.

2. Recall the happiest events of your life to date.

3. Create a poem that reflects on the word.

4. Share photographs of things that have made you happy recently.

5. Write a ‘how to’ guide on how to be happy.

6. Create a short story.

Once you have finished your post, include the link back to this page so others can see it or post it in the comments section. If you wish to place this badge on your blog or on the page, feel free! The challenge will remain open all week and anybody can participate whether they follow Suzie81 Speaks or not! Each Saturday I will reblog some of my favourites… It will be a brilliant opportunity for you to gain more traffic and followers!

Enjoy! Share with your friends! I’m looking forward to seeing what you create!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to ‘like’ my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Suzie81speaks

Old Friends, Cocktails, Dancing and Sore Feet

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It’s the weekend – I’m happy!

One of my (many) faults is that I am useless at keeping in regular contact with people. I always have good intentions, but life gets in the way.

Luckily, I am blessed with very understanding and patient friends. 

From the age of 16-18 I completed my A Levels at a Sixth Form College that was miles away from where I lived, which required me to get four buses a day. My music class was full of talented young people and we bonded instantly. We performed in concerts, went out together in a large group, went on holiday together, stayed at each others houses and got to know each others families.

After our qualification had finished we all went our separate ways to various parts of the country, but managed to remain in contact. I was there when LR met the man that she would eventually marry, I attended their hen parties and weddings, some of them visited me in Birmingham (one of those visits was to surprise me on my 30th birthday) and I’ve travelled up to Leeds on a few occasions with them.

However, over the last few years I have been rubbish – they have consistently invited me out several times a year and I have always had to cancel at the last minute. So, when I received a message just before New Year, I was determined to go. I thought that fate was conspiring against me with the rather intense inspection I had at work, but by Saturday morning I had pulled myself together and was on an early train ‘oop North’ with my overnight bag and a feeling of excitement about the night ahead. I was staying at my Mum’s so it was a good opportunity to see her too…

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Bolton Bus Station: It’s what horror movies are made of…

As I still haven’t learned to drive, despite being 32 years old, I had arranged with one of the girls that she would pick me up at the bus station near to where we attended college, which meant that I had to undertake the same bus route that I did every day as a teenager. Standing in Bolton Bus Station by myself for the first time in 14 years was a strange experience – it’s a terrifying place and despite the total familiarity I had I couldn’t help feel a sense of utter paranoia that a mad axe murderer was going to jump out at me.

Luckily, I arrived in record time as the driver went so fast he clearly had dreams of becoming a racing car driver, I met my friend without any issues and very soon I was sitting around a table in a beautiful restaurant (which also had a dance floor – I was delighted) with a group of very glamorous, beautiful women who immediately made me realise that I was hugely underdressed. (I can never seem to get it right).

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My friend AH getting into the spirit of things…

It was a fabulous night and exactly what I needed after a very stressful week. We ate, talked, reminisced, danced and shared cocktails. I laughed so much that my face and stomach muscles hurt. I was 18 years old again – despite the fact that most of them are now engaged, married and parents to young children I found myself on the dance floor with the same people that I knew all those years ago. We were the last to leave and I arrived back at my mum’s house at about 2.30am, which I haven’t done in a long time.

I’m feeling a little delicate today, my feet are extremely sore, (despite the fact that I wore flat shoes) and I’m on a train back down to Birmingham where I plan to spend the rest of the day attempting to recover…

Hope that you’ve had a good weekend!

Don’t forget to check out the winners of my Week 2 New Year competition – their buttons are on the sidebar of the blog – this is your last chance before they change!!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81

Why I Am Never Moving House Ever Again. Never. Ever. Never Ever.

imageWhat a week! I’m currently sat on a train on the way up to visit my mother and I can genuinely say that I’m exhausted. This is what happened:

1. Up until the actual move I was feeling a little smug as everything had gone like clockwork. We’d found a beautiful house, we had helped to let our old house and we’d found a brilliant removal firm who could take the piano with all the other stuff without having to hire a specialist. However, they turned up four hours early which set us in a mad panic because we still had a loft to clear. NOTE TO SELF: Never underestimate how much stuff you actually have. I had to ring some of my friends to come and help us throw things into boxes.

2. When we signed the contracts, obtained the keys and let ourselves into the new property we discovered an ENORMOUS amount of rising damp in the kitchen that wasn’t there when we had originally viewed the house a few weeks prior. After frantic calls to the landlady and letting agents, who both denied all knowledge of it’s existence, it became clear that it had obviously been painted over for the viewings in order to ensure that the property had been let. I immediately called a contractor to come and look at it after threatening the landlady with legal action.

3. After we had cleaned the old house thoroughly and handed the keys into the agents I was feeling a little sad, so I went and sat in our new (beautiful) garden and had a cigarette. The Bloke joined me, shutting the back door without realising that neither of us had the key that was needed to get back in, so we had to call a locksmith. Thirty minutes and £60 later, a lovely man turned up and took less than thirty seconds to open the door with a large piece of plastic.

image4. I had to take the next day off work because the contractor came round to look at the kitchen. It turns out that the damp has been there a while and will need to have most of the plastering ripped out, damp treatment injected into the walls and then it will need to be left for two weeks to dry out before it is replastered and painted. The landlady, realising that we have an excellent case to sue, is paying for it to be done immediately and has agreed that we only pay a small amount of rent this month.

5. One of the cats, Daisy, is diabetic and needs to be injected twice daily with insulin. The insulin needs to be stored in the fridge, which has now had to be placed in the centre of the kitchen as it is dangerous to put it near the damp. They would normally stay in the kitchen at night, but because of the massive health and safety issues they have had to be put in the spare room when we go to bed. Unfortunately they have developed the nasty habit of waking up at 4.30am and crying loudly until they get let out. I’ve had about six hours sleep a night for the last week.

6. On the second move day I received a phonecall from my boss to say that I was due to be observed the following day. I work in an Academy, and I was being observed by none other than the Principal of the whole school and a member of the company that owns the school, who also happened to be a former OFSTED inspector. Shit. I was up to my eyeballs in boxes, my laptop was at work and I was stressed out. Luckily, I’d already planned the lesson a few days prior and just had to hope that it was good enough.

7. On the day of the observation I woke up in the new house without a clue where anything was. I scrabbled around in the dark to find the light switches, worked out how to use the shower and then realised I couldn’t find the toiletries that I had bought the day before. I had to wash my hair in shower gel and then spent fifteen minutes attempting to find my box of clean underwear. When I arrived at work I couldn’t find my work iPad, until half an hour later I was told that someone had found it on a table and put it in a drama locker, despite it having my name on it. I had a full teaching day and my observed one was the last lesson of the day so I had no time to prepare anything extra. In my first two lessons one student had a panic attack and another fainted. By the time my observation came up I was more stressed than I have been in a long time…

So, that has been my week. I’m looking forward to arriving at my mother’s house where all I plan to do is sleep. The Bloke is going to do the same and go up to his mother’s house next weekend. He’s been amazing at shifting everything around. I’ve found my shampoo, my underwear and my work clothes are set up for the next two weeks. The contractor starts next week so hopefully everything will be done by mid October. We’ve managed to get the house to a point where we can live in it and even though it isn’t ideal we’re working through all the boxes and attempting to organise the utter chaos that surrounds us. My truly wonderful friends have been a huge support and the last few weeks has demonstrated how incredibly lucky I am.

And my lesson observation? I got an Outstanding. Both the Principal and the other observer said it was one of the best lessons they’d seen in a while. The feedback I was given was so wonderful that I almost cried in her office! I still can’t believe I actually managed to get through that day without having a breakdown!!

I hope you’re all doing well!!!