A Hen Party in Bristol

I found myself on a train up North to visit the family on Monday evening after just returning home from a two-day hen party (Bachelorette) extravaganza. I had blisters on my feet, a burn on my thumb, I’d had about six hours sleep thanks to a very hangry cat this morning who woke me up at 6am for his breakfast (and I had six hours the night before) and the hangover that I could once shake off in 24 hours in my 20’s was still going strong.

I’m not a huge fan of hen parties, but this one went really well. Four of us, including the hen, trekked to Bristol, where we were joined by nine others throughout the morning. We had been given strict instructions that there was to be no cliche items in tow – penis-shaped objects, L plates, cheap netted veils etc – but as she said nothing about other silly items I took the opportunity to put together a ‘Hen Party Survival Kit,’ complete with Disney plasters, water, chocolate, safety pins etc. We managed to start drinking (and spilling) the wine by 11am, so by the time we arrived I was already feeling a little on the squiffy side.

The afternoon was spent watching Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat – something that I know well through playing the songs in various musical activities but hadn’t actually seen. It was…ok. It wasn’t for the lack of talent – the actress playing the narrator was incredible, Joe McElderry did a good job in the lead role (despite reminding me of a younger Michael Ball) and the supporting cast were all talented in their own right, but it just wasn’t my thing. I had more fun joining in the children’s vocal parts in the songs at the end – something that I don’t think the child sitting in front of me appreciated as she kept turning round and glaring at me. We went for a drink, where I discovered a cocktail that tasted like cola cube sweets, then went back to the hotel and got changed. I decided to risk it and curl my hair (previous attempts to do this have left me looking like some sort of drunken Shirley Temple), and was feeling all smug when it actually worked… until I burned the crap out of my thumb.

Plonker.

Our meal had been booked and the food pre-ordered several months ago, but when we arrived we were told by our poor waiter, James, that there had been changes to the menu and the whole order ended up being taken again. The Maid of Honour had thoughtfully decorated the room and the banter started pretty much as soon as we walked in:

Hen: What do you do, James?
James: I’m a student.
Hen: Studying what?
James: Physics and Astro-Physics
Hen: So, Science then…

That pretty much set the tone for the meal. The guy deserved a medal and credit to him, he gave as good as he got. Considering he was only 19 years old, he dealt with the group of rowdy women brilliantly and ended up making what turned out to be a three-hour event a cracking experience, throughly deserving the monster tip we gave him at the end…

And then… onto the club. I’d made the stupid decision to wear heels but thankfully the Hen had organised a private room complete with wine, spirits and mixers, and I found a spot on a large comfortable couch. It was like my dream scenario – Disoranno and lemonade on tap, my favourite cheesy songs from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, a bride-to-be who danced so much that we had to actually take it in turns to dance with her (depending on our music preferences) because none of us could keep up, and brilliant company. I sang, I danced, I talked utter nonsense and had a fantastic time.

Unfortunately, my feet didn’t, so the hobble back to the hotel was so painful that I looked like I’d had some sort of toilet-based accident, but it was totally worth it.

Her wedding is at the beginning of June, so it’s not long to go now. It feels like five minutes ago that she got engaged (Feb 2016) and if I know her as well as I think I do then it will be a wedding to remember!

Let’s hope that my feet recover before then…

You can also 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

A Nice Easter Break

It’s back-to-work for many after the Easter holidays today and, as always, I have an enormous sense of relief that I didn’t have to drag myself out of bed.

The Bloke took a few weeks off work to coincide with the holidays, so I took a break away from the blog. I still maintained my Pinterest and Twitter social media management and my Facebook group, but decided not to write any posts until I actually had something to say. Continue reading

Ghosts of Students Past

Yesterday I received a Facebook message from a friend that I haven’t spoken to in a while. We met through a project – the school that I worked at did an annual concert with an orchestra and he was the composer for the music that we performed.

He now works for my former University that is currently moving to a new building. When he was cleaning out some of the cupboards, he found this:

Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Motivate Me!

shelley

Meet Shelley!

The opening statement almost seems a little silly to me, as so many within my blogging community already know and love Shelley, but it isn’t as widely known that Shelley has a second blog – Motivate Me!

Motivate Me began as a set of resolutions, as Shelley explains in her extremely eloquent ‘About Page.’

It all started with a New Year Resolution…

One New Year’s Eve I set herself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set my children and myself a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions (one for each month of the year). Continue reading

Want to Build Your Twitter Following? Join my Twitter Link-Up!

At the start of 2017 I created a Facebook group – ‘Big Up Your Blog.’ I’m a member of several Facebook groups, but I find that there aren’t very many opportunities for people to actually connect and share their blog and social media accounts, so I started a ‘Social Saturday’ every week where participants could share their social media links, grow their following and connect with lots of other bloggers. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Deb’s World

debs-world

Meet Debbie, the creator of Deb’s World.

As a lifestyle blogger, she has one of the most interesting ‘About Me’ pages that I’ve ever seen. Here’s just a small selection…

I am Debbie – I am a wife; mother; daughter; sister; friend; blogger; reader; runner; walker; cyclist; Rail Trail enthusiast; traveller; Rotarian; Whovian; teacher.

And now I’m a retiree!!  Very early retirement!

I have three beautiful daughters who are all grown up and making their own way in the big wide world. I like to write about my family…

I am into keeping healthy and have learnt how to run again. I feel fantastic as a result of my efforts and I sometimes blog about my  running journey. Continue reading

Suzie Speaks: Social Media Manager!

Social Media Management

I can’t believe that it’s the start of February already! And what a month it has been!

No two days have been the same – I’ve been doing some supply teaching and freelance music on certain days, blogging on others. My niece – Baby Squidge – arrived and I’ve been up north a few times to bask in all of her squidgy glory. My new Facebook group has gone from strength to strength, becoming an amazing group of people that I’m immensely proud of… Continue reading

Friday 13th, a Makeover and a Book Launch

I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly superstitious, but I wasn’t looking forward to yesterday – I had a day of supply, which is the first one since the beginning of October, and with it being Friday 13th I was anticipating that it was going to be a challenging day. My prediction seemed to be coming true when I woke up as we had some snowfall overnight, which was just enough to cause an inconvenience when getting to work…

A kitty feeling very sorry for himself

A kitty feeling very sorry for himself

Up until yesterday it had been a fairly calm week, aside from Poppy – my cat – who caused me to have two trips to the vets in a single day. He had a small lump under his jaw and after losing another of my cats to cancer, where the tumour was under her jaw, I wasn’t taking any chances. This was how it went:

Took cat to the vets
Vet wasn’t concerned about lump, but took the opportunity to give him his vaccination booster injection
Cat got upset and wouldn’t keep still
Took cat home
Cat started shivering and appeared to have a reaction to the injection
Rushed cat back to the vet
Cat suddenly perfectly fine at the vets
Took cat home Continue reading

How to Stop Being a Doormat

How to stop being a doormat

It’s nice to be nice. It’s nice to do nice things for others. However, when nicety is unreciprocated, taken for granted or turns into an excuse for others to be dismissive of you as a human being, then it becomes a problem.

It occurred to me a few years ago that I was held in a very different regard by others to what I had always assumed. Activities and meet-ups often involved multiple changes that would inevitably make it more inconvenient and expensive for me. I spent hours waiting for people to turn up. I was repeatedly interrupted. I was owed money. It wasn’t uncommon for me to receive messages or have conversations that began with a phrase that I have come to loathe:

Can I ask a favour?

The favour. The seemingly easy and straight-forward request that would always turn into a complicated mess and leave me feeling stressed and resentful, particularly when there was no acknowledgement or thanks afterwards. And yet, the one time I remember needing help which would have meant someone having to go out of their way, not a single person responded. Not one. Continue reading

Big Up Your Blog – My Facebook Group Launch!

I’ve been looking forward to today…

I am officially launching my Facebook page – BIG UP YOUR BLOG – and anyone who who has a blog is welcome to join!

As with many things, I only realised the power of Facebook groups a few months ago. I’d been a member of one or two for about a year, only really participating in one, and then after some inspiration I joined a few more, and then a few more, and BOOM! My connections increased massively. I’m still only in less than ten, but I decided to start my own as I have found that there are a number of groups that prevent bloggers from sharing their own links and social media accounts with each other, which almost defeats the idea of being in a group to begin with.

However, instead of it being a constant free-for-all, which usually only attracts link droppers and no interaction, I have decided to set out a weekly schedule that will help to target blog interaction and social media growth. For now, I have kept it small and simple. Continue reading