Ignore the Chicken…

I awoke to find that something had happened overnight with my blog. In my sidebar I have a number of widgets – blogs I enjoy, awards I have won, some of my favourite posts etc. However, this morning I discovered that some of these have been resized and replaced with random images from my media library, including a picture of a chicken named Tikka that I met at the weekend (you’ll see what that was about in my post later today).

So, for now, while the lovely engineers at WordPress are working out what on earth is going on, please ignore the chicken and other random pictures that are currently sitting at the side of my blog. Well, don’t completely ignore him (he’s an awesome chicken), but don’t think that I have a habit of promoting random fowl on the blog. That is, unless you read my post about Derek, the Stealth Chicken who appeared in my back garden a few years ago…

The Problem with Overthinking

Of all the negative personality traits that I posses, one stands high above the rest as being the most destructive.

I’m a thinker. If something bothers me, particularly in a situation where I feel unfairly treated, I’ll think about it… and then I’ll think some more. I’ll even think about the way that I’m thinking about something and by the time I have finished thinking I will have inevitably blown the initial annoyance out of all proportion in my mind. I think about what I could or should have said or done, what I wish I hadn’t said or done, what I will say and do in the future. I think about what has been said and done to me, and what should have been said to me instead.

It’s a lot of thinking… and it’s exhausting.

Despite the fact that I’m fully aware that this is not a healthy thing to do, I have found it difficult to control at times and the end result is always the same – I will have wound myself up and become agitated, the problem still remains unresolved and the only person left feeling angry, anxious or hurt is me. Continue reading

Adopting my Inner Sheldon


There’s a scene from The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon is ill. We hear “Leonard! I’m sick!” and see Leonard frantically running out of the apartment, still trying to get dressed. We quickly discover that Sheldon is particularly dreadful to be around when he is ill, to the point that his friends have a code where they hide as much as possible to avoid having to look after him.

That’s me.

I really dislike the term ‘man-flu.’ When The Bloke is ill, he gets up and carries on as normal. When I’m ill, I turn into a snivelling, snotty mess and spend most of my time complaining. 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

The 2017 Magical Manifesting Diary!

With the start of the new year, I have read a whole host of posts by bloggers who are making plans for the next twelve months. One of the most prominent themes within many of them is how to plan and the format in which to do so.

I love diaries. Love them. I also love planning, writing lists, keeping inspirational quotes and recording my daily adventures in journals, but it is rare that I can find a diary that has all of them together in one place. However, I was on Facebook last month and I saw this:

Continue reading

A Saturday Night In…

saturday-night-out-kidding-in-my-jammiesIt’s Saturday night, and I’ve got myself into a highly comfortable position on the couch, snuggled up in my jammies and fluffy blankets. It’s the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, it’s St. George’s Day and if any day was the day to don my England shirt and go to the pub, it would be today, but I’m having my own little personal celebration at home instead. I’ve got my headphones in as I’m listening to Steve’s Talk About Pop Music radio show, while The Bloke watches a random film with the ever lovely Jason Statham, and the cats are still snoring after stuffing their face with fresh chicken earlier in the day. I’ve made myself an Amaretto Sours too! Actually, that’s a lie – I’ve poured a load of amaretto in a pint glass, shoved some lemon juice and lemonade on top, and then tipped lots of cocktail cherries in to finish it off. The cherries are now sitting on the bottom, I’ve forgotten to put the egg white in and I can’t be bothered to get up again to sort it out, so I’m making do – it still tastes yummy regardless! I would show you a picture, but it looks like I’ve urinated into a glass… Continue reading

Three Things Thursday

imageThis was an idea I originally saw on Jenny in Neverland last year, and then a similar thing appeared on Facebook a few weeks ago. I thought it would be a fun idea to try it myself…

Three names I go by:
(Of the printable, non-offensive ones…)
1. Sue (which is odd for me, as until I’d moved to Birmingham nobody ever called me that)
2. Suzie
3. Madam (the school that I often work at insists that female staff are referred to as ‘Madam,’ instead of ‘Miss.’ Even after 4 years I still find it odd.)

Three things I blog about:
1. My daily life – almost in the form of an online journal.
2. Things that amuse me.
3. Restaurants I visit.

Three places I have visited:
1. New York
2. Pompeii
3. Barcelona

Three places I would like to visit:
1. Tokyo
2. Sydney
3. Las Vegas

Three places I have worked:
1. A well-known fast food restaurant. (I was there for eighteen months and can categorically state that if any other stores are like the one I worked in, the horror stories you have heard are most likely to be true).
2. Supervisor at a nightclub (best job ever – like getting paid for a night out).
3. Secondary school.

Three favourite drinks:
1. Volvic Lemon and Lime water, straight from the fridge so it’s ice cold.
2. Raspberry mojito.
3. Amaretto sours, with the egg white.

Three favourite things to eat:
1. Garlic and rosemary roast potatoes.
2. Yorkshire pudding.
3. Chocolate fondant.

Three memories I cherish:
1. Sitting on a balcony in Malia at 2pm on a blisteringly hot day, with a beautiful view of the ocean, sipping a drink and smoking a cigarette whilst listening to Eva Cassidy’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’
2. Last Boxing Day with my whole family – our partners were all with us and we sat, played games and laughed lots. Can’t get better than that.
3. Watching a cellist perform Bach’s ‘Air’ outside the Sacre Coeur in Paris.

Three things I am looking forward to:
1. Going on holiday with the whole family – we’ve never done this before and I’m sure it will be a laugh…
2. A few days to myself. When that will be, I don’t know, but I like to have a few days alone every so often just to recharge my batteries.
3. The surprise I have planned for The Bloke next month.

Three words I love to use:
1. Cherub – I call my students this every day and I love the confused look they always get on their faces.
2. Nonsense.
3. Shrubbery, usually with a Monty Python style accent.

Three dreams I regularly have:
1. That I can fly (those of you who know who Keith Harris and Orville were will know the song I currently have in my head).
2. My teeth fall out.
3. I’m in a school I don’t know, I can’t find my timetable and every time I try and ring my mum (?) to help me I keep pressing the wrong numbers. That’s always a fun one…

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, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.

It’s Not Like That On YouTube!

imageRecently I have watched a number of inspirational videos on YouTube that have focused on random acts of kindness, particularly for the homeless. As well as reducing me to tears, they have served as reminder of how lucky I am in life, and while I try and do my best for others when I can by collecting for homeless shelters, raising money and giving to charity shops, I can always do more.

Over the last week the weather has changed, suddenly becoming bitterly cold with almost continuous rain and heavy winds. In my little town on the outskirts of Birmingham, I have seen several homeless men taking shelter in the doors or shops at night, and despite the fact that I haven’t got much money at the minute so I decided to try and do a little something for them when I could.

This is what happened: Continue reading

A Snapshot of Me

A snapshot of me and my blog

When I tell someone that I have a blog, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I am asked the same question every time:

What do you write about?

The problem is, I’ve never quite been able to think of a suitable response. I don’t have a niche – I prefer to write about whatever subject I choose whenever I feel inspired to do so – and this means that I have written travel, lifestyle, beauty and food posts without actually falling into any one of those categories.

So, what do I write about?

I realised that in a few days I will have been blogging for two-and-a-half years, amassing a collection of about five hundred posts (and deleting almost as many along the way). In an effort to try and figure out how to answer this question, I took a look through my archive, attempting to find some sort of commonality, but to no avail. It’s simply a collection of various musings – or as I like to refer to it: ‘random crap.’

However, I was reminded of a guest post that I had done for Hugh over at Hugh’s Views and News earlier in the year. I was experiencing a bad bout of Bloggers Block, and struggled to develop any form of idea of what to write about. Eventually, I decided to get together a group of thoughts from a whole selection of posts as an overview of what this little blog is and what I stand for, and as my little milestone approaches, I’d like to take the opportunity to share an updated version of it again.

This is what I write about. This is a snapshot of me, in just a single post.

1. The people with the best advice are usually the ones with the most problems.

2. You know when you’re a teacher when regardless of where you are – shopping, the cinema, in a restaurant, or worse still, at the beach on holiday – you’ll almost always hear ‘Hi Miss/Sir!’ and instantly know that a student is standing behind you. The event of this happening is far more likely when you’re wearing your scruffiest clothes and haven’t washed your hair.

3. The cliché phrases that I have often heard spouted by so many people over the years have never made any sense to me. I just nod and smile.

4. If you are undecided about two options, flip a coin. Your instinct will tell you which one you’re secretly hoping for when you feel happy or disappointed with the result.

5. These sentences didn’t exist in my vocabulary when I was at university:
I’ve just binge-watched the entire series on Netflix.
I’m going to put that on Facebook later.
I saw it on Breaking Bad.
I unfriended them the other day.
I’ve just rented it from iTunes.

6. If I were to write a ‘recipe of me,’ would it be wrong just to write ‘Bloke, cats, Mojito?’

7. No good apology will ever contain the word ‘but…’

8. Of your 99 problems, 86 of them will inevitably be completely made up nonsense and will result in unnecessary stress for no logical reason. These will undoubtedly surface at 3am when you have an important event at work that day.

9. Life is too short not to get drunk in a costume. I only wish I was still thin enough to fit into my She-Ra costume. That costume rocked.

10. Somebody found my blog recently by typing ‘marine send back soiled dirty feet.’ This troubles me.

11. Note to self: you may know all the dance moves to Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies.’ However, your version closely resembles a frog in a blender. Stop doing in on the dance floor – people are beginning to pity you.

12. We don’t owe anyone explanations. The act of explaining ourselves is often an attempt to justify our actions to another person, as if a decision needs validation. We don’t have to explain ourselves for the way we choose to live, who we choose to live with and the priorities that we have.

13. Can you refer to yourself as a ‘professional writer’ if you have never been paid for writing something?

14. When someone says that they will be there as soon as they can and currently are still waiting for a taxi, they often really mean that they still haven’t got dressed and can’t find their handbag.

15. I remember the Empire State Building, the piano and the bag. I remember the sand, the Ferris wheel and the graffiti. I remember the chess, the sore feet and the sunburn.

16. Before you are twenty-three, you should know how to look after yourself and keep you and your home clean, cook from scratch, be financially knowledgeable (even if you have very little money yourself), and appreciate your own company.

17. I dislike the idea of expectation. To expect something suggests a sense of entitlement, and this can often lead to disappointment.

18. It’s been over eighteen months, but I still miss my little friend.

19. Over the last thirty-three years, my mother hasn’t just had the job of parent and PA (the job she actually gets paid for). She has taken on the role of taxi driver, teacher, therapist, chef, cleaner, maid, waitress, hairdresser, tailor, party planner, nurse and personal ATM. How lucky I am.

20. Don’t base the quality of your interaction on the numbers another blogger has. I remember in my first few months of blogging I attempted to speak to someone on Twitter who had thousands of followers, and they shot me down as a little newbie pretty quickly. I’ve never forgotten that. I also know of several who will go out of their way to support the more popular bloggers, but are very ignorant of newer ones.

21. In my twenties I holidayed in 18-30 resorts with the sole purpose of drinking as much as possible. In my thirties I like to go ‘somewhere quiet’ where I can relax and take beautiful pictures of the scenery and architecture.

22. Surprise gestures make me happy. Lots of people I know dislike surprises, but I love them – I often receive little surprises from my nearest and dearest and they always make my day!

23. When travelling to Barcelona, work out in advance what it is that you really want to see, and where possible, book tickets online before you go as there are enormous queues and long waits for the main attractions. For example, we arrived at La Sagrada Familia early, but had to queue for about half an hour to buy a ticket and then waited a further three hours before we were allowed in as there were timed entrance spots. It may be also useful to take a guidebook and print off maps of the areas you wish to travel to in advance – we had to buy a map when we were there and soon discovered that it was poorly labelled and many of the sights were in the wrong place.

24. The weirdest thing that I find attractive in a person is the way they drive their car. Despite being in my thirties, I’ve never passed my driving test, so have always been in the passenger seat. I notice when someone drives in a relaxed (but safe) way, and I’ve always found that sexy.

25. The good has not outweighed the bad for a long time. Today, I took the risk…

What about you guys? What sort of category do you fall into?

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, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks