A Girly Weekend

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while.

Through the Annual Bloggers Bash, I’ve made several new friends that have developed to the point where we all communicate daily – a thread on Twitter turned into a continuous conversation that has seen us through the highs and lows of daily lives. We’ve regularly commented that we wished our houses were nearer to each other, but the other week we decided to do something about it and organise a meet-up. As a result, I found myself on a train to London this morning, preparing to navigate my way through the tube for the first time by myself and looking forward to the first girly weekend that I’ve had in a while.

As always, the train was rammed and I was lucky that I ended up sitting next to a nice girl who was on her way home after a trip to Birmingham. There were various conversations going on throughout the carriage – buying a fireguard to protect a grandchild, a child who felt travel sick and, of course, theories about future world catastrophes following the US election. There were lots of big words being thrown around, including ‘isolanistic’ (I’m not even sure if that’s a real word to begin with) and I was regretting not bringing my headphones as wasn’t something I wanted to listen to all the way to London. Continue reading

An Amazing Week and Some Exciting News!

Ever had one of those weeks where everything just seems to be brilliant? It’s rare I know, but the last seven days have been phenomenal.

I didn’t expect it to be particularly great, if I’m being honest. I was still in a bit of a funk after the passing of my little cat – it isn’t the first (nor will it be the last) time that I will have to experience losing a pet, but the house has felt… odd. There’s a Daisy-sized hole in the atmosphere of each room and The Bloke, my remaining cat, Poppy, and I have had to adapt to a slightly different routine now we know longer have to get up at ridiculous o’clock to administer Daisy’s injection (she had Type 1 diabetes).

However, last Sunday prompted a change in my fortunes. Continue reading

Lego, Steak and Waiting for the Mailman

It’s The Bloke’s birthday today, and before midday I had a bit of a bad start to the morning. While he isn’t particularly bothered about his own birthday, I like to make a fuss because he looks after me all year and I was a bit frustrated because his presents hadn’t arrived in the mail yet. I also managed to forget my purse when I went to the shop and then I burnt his birthday bacon butty, so combined with the fact that I was looking out of the window every five seconds for the postman it wasn’t exactly the day that I had planned. Continue reading

The Wedding Planning Begins…

WeddingActually, if I’m being honest, that’s a complete fabrication. The Bloke and I got engaged in May (after an unbelievable proposal overlooking a 13th Century Scottish castle, and yes, I’m never going to get bored of saying that), and by June I had pretty much decided on what was going to happen on the big day. The Bloke laughed at my initial proclamation that I wasn’t going to do anything until the summer and he was right to do so – I started thinking of ideas the very next day.

Now, when I say ‘I,’ I of course mean ‘we,’ but with me having more free time than The Bloke does I’ve been able to immerse myself in Pinterest for ideas and fill out the necessary paperwork. He’s got used to coming home only to be greeted by my phone being shoved in his face with the question “Now, what do you think of this?” and to his credit he has given me his honest opinion and offered his own suggestions along the way.

I’ve never wanted a big, fancy wedding. I’ve been to a number of them, all which were fabulous and unique with loads of fantastic things to do, but as cliche as it sounds I’ve always liked the idea of a small ceremony and a lack of pomp and circumstance. We get married, we eat, then we get our dancing shoes on and have a great time with people that mean the most to us. I am determined that The Bloke and I get the chance to spend the day together, as one of the biggest regrets that my family and friends say they have about their own weddings is that they were so concerned about everyone else having a good time that they forgot to enjoy it themselves. Continue reading

Meet ‘The Bloke’ – Instagram Meet and Greet!

imageThose of you who follow the blog regularly will know about The Bloke – my partner-in-crime of the last 6 1/2 years. What you probably don’t know is that The Bloke, as well as being my best friend (and now my fiance after he proposed outside a 13th Century Scottish castle earlier in the year – the boy done good!), he is also a fantastic landscape, nature and urban photographer.

Meet Duncan – The Bloke. Duncan has been passionate about photography as long as I’ve known him, and I’m truly gobsmacked at the stunning pictures that he takes. He seems to have an eye for things that I can’t see, and can easily lose himself for hours with his camera whenever we visit somewhere… Continue reading

25 Mix-and-Match Date Ideas

Date ideasI love the idea of dating, even when a relationship is established. The Bloke and I have been together for six years, but we still enjoy planning and going on date nights – mainly because it gives us purposeful time to spend together and something special to look forward to.

The following list is a set of ideas that can be mixed and matched together to suit you and your own tastes, and don’t involve Netflix (or chill). They don’t have to involve spending a lot of money, or be done during the evenings – many are perfect for during the day too!

1. Find the recipes for your favourite foods and create a formal, three course meal from scratch (with advanced planning, ingredients can be obtained from low-cost supermarkets and farmers markets). Put on some nice music, light some candles and turn off your phones.

2. Build a (safe) fire in the back yard, snuggle up under some blankets and roast some marshmallows.

3. Go for an unplanned drive until you find something interesting (but take your sat nav or a map just in case!)

4. Create a homemade spa, complete with a bubble bath, face masks, pedicures and nice-smelling oils for massages. Treat each other. Continue reading

Suzie and Steve’s Day of Fun!

Ok, it wasn’t an entire day of fun, more like a few hours in the afternoon when he had finished work, but The Bloke and I finally met my bloggy friend Steve (from Steve Says) in Aberdeen today.

We locked eyes across the seating area outside the cinema and embraced like old friends. There was music in the air  (the local Chiquito’s must have sensed how momentous the occasion was as it was blasting out some 1960’s Motown), the seagulls were squawking the songs of their people, and the wind had dropped from the force ten gales we had experienced the day before to a nice breeze. It was beautiful, it was emotional.

Actually, I had been quietly bricking myself all morning. I’ve known Steve for several years – there isn’t usually a week that goes by that I don’t speak to him on Twitter or via the blog comments, and I listen to his radio show every Saturday (that is, when he’s not abandoning his listeners to go and watch the Eurovision final – how selfish of him). He’s unwittingly supported me through some tough times, we have a scary amount of stuff in common and I value his friendship. The thing is, I’ve met online friends in person before, and even though it has always been a hugely positive experience, I always arrive with a paranoia that they are going to be left with the disappointment that I don’t meet their expectations.

Continue reading

Friendzoned…

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After a crazy few days, including a brilliant time celebrating my friend’s birthday, I’ve just got home, and it would be fair to say that I’ve had a few drinky poos. I’ve never blogged whilst intoxicated, but after what I witnessed today I had to write it down or I know I would be awake for most of the night writing a potential blog post in my head anyway. Continue reading

The Reason Why We Are Not Friends

image#ReasonWhyWeAreNotFriends

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

The One That Got Away…

The one that got away

In 2010 I was lucky enough to supervise a trip to America. With 58 students and 7 other staff, we visited three cities – New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and as we were only there for a week our itinerary was jam packed with as many sightseeing opportunities as we could possibly could manage. (We actually ended up being stranded in D.C. for an extra week after the volcanic explosion in Iceland grounded all flights, but that’s another story).

In New York, we went to the Museum of Modern Art, which I was really excited about. During our visit we saw that there was a retrospective taking place, during which Marina Abramović, a Serbian artist performed a thought-provoking piece named ‘The Artist is Present.’ Sitting in silence, she invited viewers to sit directly opposite her at a table. Anyone and everyone could participate, but nothing would be said if they chose to do so. Intruiged, some of our students joined in and sat down for a few minutes. I noticed that after each person left the table she would close her eyes until the next sat down.

A few weeks ago, a story about the performance appeared on Facebook, and I instantly clicked on the video because of the memories I had of it. What I saw moved me very deeply… Continue reading