A Week in New York

Note: all of the images featured in this post are my own and are set as galleries – click on the images to see the full size.

The Bloke and I have just been to NYC for a week. We have visited once before on our honeymoon in November last year, but as we were there for just over four days we wanted to go back and attempt to see as much as possible that we had missed last time. We chose to go at the beginning of September – arriving on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend – with the hope that the city would be slightly quieter and the following week was back to school. 

We wanted to experience both the tourist and non-tourist places, so I spent several weeks before reading blogs and watching vlogs about everything to see and do, mapping out our activities according to each day. This wasn’t set in stone and would allow us to change each daily plan around according to the weather.  Continue reading

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Barcelona Awaits…

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Barcelona: make it so!

Tomorrow, The Bloke and I will be jetting off for our first holiday in five years. We took the opportunity with my new change in circumstances to book the trip during term time, something that our jobs have prevented us from doing previously, and as a result we found a brilliant deal in Barcelona for considerably less than what we would had paid if we had done the same trip during the summer.

Even after several days of packing and organising, I’ve still got a heap of things to do, and therefore haven’t been able to catch up on all of the comments I’ve received. For that, I’m sorry – I appreciate every single one and I’ll do my best to reply to all as soon as possible. However, for the next week, I am hoping to be fulfilling several items on the Bucket List – exploring La Sagrada Familia and The Gothic Quarter,  visiting the Picasso Museum and eating authentic tapas in particular – but I’m mainly looking forward to spending time with The Bloke with peace and quiet and no time limits or demands. And after spending a large percentage of the summer being green with envy at my friends and family’s photographs of their holiday adventures in all sorts of exotic locations, I’m going to take a slightly vindictive delight in posting pictures of my view from the beach. On Monday. When they’re at work. I imagine it will look like this:

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Love the hat…

However, the blog won’t be completely ignored. I have WiFi at the hotel and a number of wonderful bloggers to introduce you to during my absence – it’s always good to share the #bloglove.

Thank you for all your support, your kindness and your friendship. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

xx

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

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I saw this on Facebook this morning – perfect.

I went to the pub yesterday after work to meet my friend. It has been a challenging time for her – after ending her relationship of eleven years she has had to move house and adjust to living on her own for the first time since she moved to Birmingham in 2001. Understandably, she’s been through the whole spectrum of emotions, but yesterday I noticed that there was a slight change in her – it was the first time that she hadn’t mentioned her ex and she seemed much more settled. Just before we parted ways to go home, I recalled a conversation that we had just after the break-up, where she said that she wished she could use a time machine to skip ahead by six months just so she wouldn’t have to go through the process of changing her life. Six months later, she’s at the point where she wanted to be – she’s established in her new home, she’s enjoying her own company and she has reached a point where she doesn’t think about her ex every day. I’m proud of her – she’s been so strong and I’m glad everything is beginning to work out. She deserves it.

I can totally relate to her sentiments all those months ago. I want a time machine too.

I have just six weeks left until I leave my job. I have a plan for how I want my new life to be, but it seems that every time I take a step forward something intervenes and pushes me three steps backwards. While I often live life by the proverbial seat of my pants, being far too disorganised to plan effectively in the way that others appear to do, I have had to ensure that my decision to quit a permanent, full-time post will not have a financially devastating impact on the life that The Bloke and I live. I’ve saved every penny I can and have been living off as little as possible, I booked meetings with important people who are offering me exciting employment opportunities and I finally started to see a small light at the end of the tunnel. The Bloke and I have even started saving up for our first holiday in five years. Normally, because of my contracted hours, we have always had to plan any trips during the school holidays as I am not allowed time off during term-time, but we realised that we wouldn’t have the same restriction this year. We decided that we were going to get a package deal to somewhere in Europe in September – it’s much cheaper and there would be no children around as they would be at school, and we found an offer for the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia (watch Captain Corelli’s Mandolin to see just how stunning it is).

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Daisy, The Dream Killer

However, this week has been a continuous battle. The meetings that were booked weeks ago were cancelled, my workload has been utterly ridiculous due to the fact that it is exam season, all of the coursework has to be finished and we have two major performances (including a musical theatre production) that happen within a week of each other. To add the icing on the cake, my cat, Daisy (who will now be referred to as ‘Daisy, The Dream Killer’) needed emergency dental surgery, taking a portion of my savings – essentially the money we had put away for the holiday, so now we have to start again. Consequently, the anxiety, panic and insomnia has returned and I went into what I consider to be ‘survival mode,’ getting through each day an hour at a time instead of looking at the big picture. I’ve breathed a sigh of relief as I’ve walked through the front door to my home every evening, and congratulated myself for making it through the day. My saving grace is normally the blog, but there has been no time to even look at it aside from a quick post at the beginning of the week, never mind contribute a post or reply to comments, and worse still, I’ve been that stressed out that I didn’t even notice. It was only when I received a few messages from some lovely bloggy friends that I realised just how much I needed to catch up on (thanks, by the way).

I want it to be over. It’s only six weeks, but it seems like an absolute lifetime away.

My friend provided the biggest inspiration yesterday. It’s still going to be a tough road ahead, but she’s proof that every small victory is one step closer to winning that war. Daisy has made a swift recovery and has now resumed her daily routine of sleeping, eating and sleeping some more. I still have several pay checks yet to contribute towards my savings. I will re-schedule the meetings. The next few weeks will be stressful, but it is just weeks – it’s isn’t as if I have to wait months, or years for my new life.

And when I’m sitting on a beautiful beach in September, I know the fight will be worth it.

What about you guys? How has your week been?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and you can also find me on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks