My New Obsession… Love Island!

When it comes to ‘reality’ television, I lost a lot of interest in it years ago. I remember avidly watching Big Brother and X Factor for the first three seasons, I got into TOWIE and Made in Chelsea for a while, and watched a season or two of I’m a Celebrity, but other than that my only regular viewing has been of the Real Housewives franchise, and that’s mainly because there isn’t anything else on the TV at 5.00pm which is when it is generally shown on Freeview. Continue reading

More Than Words…

imageIt’s been a bit of a mixed week. I’ve been able to get myself and the house a little more organised in preparation for Christmas, I was in full Blogmas mode and I had plans for various different things to do that would be something to look forward to.

Unfortunately, I’ve also had to deal with a fair bit of negativity, ear bashing and downright rudeness from various areas of my life, and it really killed my blogging buzz. Hence, instead of blogging daily, as was my intention, I took more of a backseat and did more social media promo than writing until I had calmed down a bit – I never quite trust my own ability to censor myself when I’m cross. Continue reading

He-Man and Fairy Wings

Childhood toys that I miss

This month’s NaBloPoMo is all about examining the past, present and future, and I like the idea. I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection over the last six months and I find it useful to reminisce occasionally – it often serves as a reminder as to how far I have come.

Yesterday’s post about my stuffed toy elephant, while it wasn’t planned, seems to tie in with today’s theme of childhood toys.

As an adult I’m a sucker for all things cute and fluffy – cuddly toys being no exception. However, as a child of the 80’s I was obsessed with cartoons and the action figures that came with it. It was predominantly a female household – my father being completely outnumbered by mum, my two sisters and I, but toys were never gender specific for us. He-Man, She-Ra and Thundercat figures adorned my bedroom, along with the She-Ra ‘Princess of Power’ Palace and Lion’O’s large plastic ‘Sword of Omens,’ complete with a central circle that lit up when you pressed a button on the handle. Combined with my epic fairy wings and an Inspector Gadget watch that I got as part of a McDonalds Happy Meal (I always wanted to be Penny and was regularly disappointed that our Beagle, Patch, didn’t possess the skills that Brains had), I was an unstoppable force of awesomeness that saved the world regularly. Indeed, my mother still reminds me of the times she walked past my room to find me saying ‘And then Skeletor had an idea…’ I’m not entirely sure what his idea was – I have no recollection of it – but he was certainly a crafty so-and-so.

However, despite being thoroughly spoilt throughout my childhood, there was one toy that I always wanted: a porcelain doll. I had plenty of dolls already – ones that talked, wet themselves, others that came with makeup so I could paint their face – but porcelain dolls were in a different league. I thought they were pretty, with beautiful delicate faces and curly hair. I loved their little dresses and matching hats. My friend has several, and I always remember the jealousy that ensued whenever I went to her house, particularly as I wasn’t allowed to touch them.

In preparation for this post, I googled ‘porcelain doll’ to remind myself of what it was that appealed to me. I now know why my mother never bought me one..

They’re bloody terrifying.

Dont believe me?

A porcelain doll

 

See! Terrifying!

With their soulless eyes, deathly pale skin and blank expressions, I can imagine that deep in their little petticoats they are hiding weapons of mass destruction to use when they take over the world. I can only imagine the nightmares that would have followed should I have had little Pollyanna staring at me from the top of my bookcase.

I think I’ll stick with He-man and my fairy wings…

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.

What Happened When The Bloke Did My Makeup…

imageDespite having the general fashion sense of a teenage boy, I’ve recently developed a minor obsession with makeup. I’ve always worn it, and have an extensive collection of high street products, but my general makeup routine evolves around the basics. On rare occasions I’ll go all out for a night out, but it isn’t something I’ve ever really been concerned with. I totally blame N – she’s got an amazing sense of style and has talked about her favourite vloggers on numerous occasions, so a little while ago I decided to check out a post or two on YouTube. Continue reading

The Tale of Big Willy…

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During our trip out to Blackpool at the weekend we went inside the famous Coral Amusements. My mum was desperate to play the racehorse game that we played on day trips when I was in my teens and she was excited to find one right in the corner…

Fifteen minutes and about £15.00 later, both my mum and I had won several times and were given a choice of cuddly toys as prizes. As she wanted some to give to her beloved dogs when we got home, she chose a large and a small Om Nom from Cut the Rope.

It was then that we realised that we would have to carry the bloody things around for the rest of the day. Sh*t.

Luckily, the smaller one fit in my handbag, but the big one was so huge that my mum had no choice but to carry it round by its antennae. I found it hilarious, and she was quite self conscious about it after a while, particularly when children started to point it out.

“I feel like I’m carrying it by it’s willy!’ she kept saying.

And thus their names were born: Big Willy and Little Willy.

Throughout the day, Big Willy had several adventures…

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Enjoying the view from Central Pier

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Taking a selfie with me and mum

Even Little Willy joined in the fun at one point:

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Little Willy enjoying a cheeky drink at the station…

When we finally got home (after a two hour journey took three and a half hours), Big Willy met Max, my mum’s springer spaniel. Big Willy liked Max very much.

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Max meets Big Willy

However, it wasn’t reciprocated, and their brief relationship was over in a flash as he was shredded over the floor before moving onto Little Willy.

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Goodbye Big Willy…

Goodbye Big Willy. Goodbye Little Willy. It’s been emotional…

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

 

How To Fail at Being a Brit

With the birth of a new princess, the countdown to Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest serving monarch in history and the upcoming General Election, the country is in the throes of analysing and celebrating all that is British.

However, according to how we are stereotypically portrayed around the world, I am clearly failing at being a Brit:

12 Reasons Wy I am Rubbish at Being English

1. I have good teeth, and I go to the dentist. They are’t brown or crooked, they don’t stick out and I have them all, unlike the snaggle-toothed lovelies that are always shown on the television.

2. I don’t live in London. It always makes me smile when I am abroad, and their response when they find out that I’m English is “ooh, where in London are you from.” Contrary to popular belief, England is made of millions of towns and cities that are nowhere near London. While I love the city, I live over a hundred miles away.

3. I don’t live in a castle. I live in a little terraced house with a small garden – it’s my own little castle but hardly along the same scale as Windsor. I don’t think I would like to live in a castle anyway – the heating bills alone would be a bitch.

4. I don’t know the Queen, nor am I best friends with Prince William. I am very much a royalist, but I don’t have Prince Harry’s phone number. I’m sure they’re lovely, and I’m certain that if we lived down the road from each other we would be popping round to each others houses all the time, but I have never met any of them. I have, however, met Prince Edward when some of my students did a performance for him. Nice bloke. He seemed a bit quiet, but I bet he’s a scream after a couple of pints.

5. I don’t own a Union Jack item of clothing. However, if I did, I wouldn’t be camping outside a hospital whilst wearing it, waving banners and screaming at television cameras, waiting for a baby to be born.

6. I don’t use red telephone boxes. In fact, it’s very rare that you’ll see any British person using these to make a phonecall. This serves as a place for urinating after a drunken night out, or for tourists to have their photographs taken in.

7. I don’t like tea. My father and grandfather had an obsession with the stuff and would spend their days making endless cups. I, however, think it tastes like socks. Don’t ask me how I know that.

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8. I have never watched an episode of Downton Abbey. Try not to fall off your chair. Dame Maggie Smith is a legend, but it just doesn’t interest me.

9. I don’t speak like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, nor like a member of the Royal Family. I grew up in the north of England, which means that I have quite a thick Lancashire accent. If you want to gain an idea, watch a Peter Kay stand up show on YouTube – he is from the same town as me. Common. As. Muck.

10. I’m not a snob. I don’t care how much money you earn, where you’re from and what you own. If you’re an arsehole, you’re an arsehole, whether you’re a rich or poor arsehole.

11. I don’t like football, or come to think of it, cricket or golf. My sister and father are huge Manchester United fans, I grew up near the Bolton Wanderers Stadium, I can tell you what offside is and of course, I’ll watch the World Cup matches. However, I will roll my eyes when I hear the word ‘soccer.’ Take heed.

12. I think English cuisine is lovely and I am more than willing to try food from all over the world. Yes, I have been known to chow down on a face-full of fish and chips in my time, but I have also eaten lots beautiful food at restaurants all around the country. And, to be fair, if you can’t eat a Yorkshire pudding or a crumpet with a smile on your face and a glow in your heart then there is something wrong with you…

13. I can’t queue. I hate them, as I always seem to get stuck between the impatient woman who is tutting, huffing and loudly complaining, and the man with a cold who keeps sneezing into my hair. Where possible, I’ll go away and come back when the queue has gone. Unless I’m queuing to get into a Bon Jovi concert. I never mind queuing for that.

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14. I have never worn a bowler hat and I don’t carry a large black umbrella around with me. Nor has anyone I have ever met. In fact, the only people that I have ever seen wearing them are characters in 1950’s films. Oh, and Matt Smith…

What about you? What stereotypes are assumed about you because of your nationality?

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

 

I Think My Cat Is Plotting To Kill Me…

It’s been a tough few weeks, and I’m grateful that I now have a week off in order to be able to recharge my batteries. That is, unless my cat, Daisy, carries out whatever murderous activity she is planning.

I had brought a duvet downstairs on Saturday afternoon so I could relax whilst catching up on the blog. I was joined by Daisy and her brother, Poppy, (yes, I know it’s a girl’s name – it’s a long story) and I expected her to curl up and go asleep like she usually does. Instead, she poked her head above the cover and just STARED at me for about half an hour. It wasn’t the cute, slightly sleepy stare that I usually receive from her either – she was clearly plotting to hurt me. Perhaps it’s in revenge for all those insulin injections I give her (she’s diabetic), or perhaps she’s just finally snapped after hearing me sing at her for the millionth time that day. There was an evil look in her eyes:

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Either way, it’s not looking good. What do you think? Is my cat plotting to kill me?

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

 

Santa Hats and a Sober Tree

imageI think I enjoy the build up to the festive season more than the actual day itself. The German Market arrives in the city centre, encouraging us to consume enormous sausages (!!),  hot gluhwein, crepes and pofferjies covered in Nutella, and endless craft based crap that we didn’t realise that we wanted until we saw it. Carols and festive songs appear in all the stores and on every television advert. I get to buy presents for everyone and celebrate with my favourite people. Work finishes for a few weeks. I love it. I love the excitement, the decorations that appear, the atmosphere. Aside from the occasional hot, sunny days that the UK receives every summer, this is absolutely my favourite time of year.

I decided to join in the festive spirit and decorate our tree. The Bloke and I bought a fake one (due to the fact that the cats would attempt to eat a real one) about five years ago from Argos, and each year we diligently take it out of it’s box and joke about the fact that it looks drunk. He set it up and put the lights on it while I was away at my mother’s house ready for my return on Sunday, but as I was feeling rough I didn’t tackle it until yesterday evening. Amidst the box of random decorations that we have collected over the years I discovered something that would provide me with hours of entertainment…

I found the Santa hats.

Two years ago I purchased three small Santa hats for the cats, and I consider the fact that I was able to get a photograph of all three of them sitting together and wearing them to be one of my greatest achievements of that year. Sadly, I lost one of the cats earlier in the year at the age of nineteen, so I decided that The Bloke needed to take her place instead (with an adult sized one, of course – we wouldn’t want him looking stupid, would we?). On went the hats, and out came the camera.

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All of them were less than impressed, particularly Daisy when I decided to double my fun.

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I eventually stopped laughing, The Bloke stopped rolling his eyes and I got my decorating on. I tried to spend a little more time on it than in previous years, attempting to space them all equally, colour coordinating etc, and after a few catastrophes with bits of tinsel and standing on a few stray decorations that had fallen on the floor, I stepped back to admire my masterpiece.

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“What do you think?” I asked The Bloke. He turned his head to one side.

“Yup.”

Cheers for that dear. Upon closer inspection, it actually wasn’t too bad – for once my little tree seemed to be… Sober!

Win!

 

What about you guys? Have you got any silly traditions within your family during the holiday season?

You can also find my on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

If Suzie Were a Meme

In her most recent post, the ever fabulous ‘The Bloggess’ introduced me to a new craze on the Internet, during which the subject is required to type their first name followed by the word ‘meme’ and see what appears on Google images. I decided to jump on the proverbial bandwagon, and this is what I discovered:

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How did they know? I got my iPhone 6 the other day after my old faithful one promptly died on me after three years, and I have barely put the thing down!

 

image Damn right.

 

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I’ve never given anyone cooties (or anything else for that matter), but I did turn someone gay just by kissing them about eight years ago. Well, technically he was obviously gay before he kissed me, but he did choose the exact moment we locked lips to come out. I’m always pleased for anyone who has the courage to do so, I just wish he hadn’t told me mid snog. The mutual friend that we had gone out with that night had worked with him for years, and even she didn’t know.

 

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I’m not sure why I would be annoyed at this… I’m always supportive of anyone who looks after their body. I show my support by sitting on my couch and eating crisps. I’m doing it right now.

 

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Erm… Thanks?

 

Finally, did I ever tell you how much I love SpongeBob?

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Give it a try! I’d love to see your results!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.suzie81speaks.com

I Shouldn’t Be This Attached To a Phone, But…

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In the not-so-distant past, my personal life existed without the use of lots of technology. I didn’t have a home computer or the Internet and my mobile phone was a brick that I could use to ring someone, send them a text message or play snake on. I had a stack of hundreds of CD’s and a little CD player, basic television service and a DVD player.

Three years ago, I got an iPhone 4. I was late to jump on the Apple bandwagon, but being in a relationship with an Apple fanatic and all-round computer geek, I was easily swayed when it came time to renew my contract and decided to upgrade to something awesome.

From the minute I was handed that shiny black handset, I was hooked. Everything it did fascinated me and I spent hours poring over all the brilliant things I could now do that seemed almost space-aged to me before. However tragic it may sound, it became almost like another limb. Wherever I went, it came with me.

With the help of this little device, I kept in contact with everyone who means something to me through phonecalls, text messages, email, FaceTime, Facebook, Twitter… It was the source of laughter as my family and friends shared their stories, and of pain as I was informed of the loss of people that I loved. It helped me to mend broken relationships, and end others.

It shared with me major and local news events, corrected my spelling, told me the time in all the world’s major cities, informed me of the weather and reminded me of important birthdays and appointments.

It allowed me to kill zombies with plants, farm zombies, crush candies, match dots and throw agitated birds of various colours and sizes at green pigs.

It kept me entertained during train and plane journeys. It travelled to Paris, Malaga, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, London, Naples and Amsterdam with me. It joined me on the beach, at the spa, by the pool, in restaurants and nightclubs, the pub and several music gigs.

It encouraged me to watch entire seasons of ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ ‘White Collar,’ documentaries, children’s programmes that made me feel nostalgic and Rom Coms that I knew The Bloke didn’t want to see through the Netflix app.

It took this photograph:

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And this:

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And this:

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And over 10,000 more, which are all stored in random files on my computer.

It allowed me to expand my musical palette, downloading songs that I had previously forgotten. It gave me rock playlists to accompany my shopping trips, easy listening playlists to relax me in the bath, Motown and soul playlists when I needed cheering up. It helped me to downsize my CD collection, creating more space in the house and contributing to local charity shops.

It helped me develop my blog, storing my ideas in the notes section for a later time when I could copy and paste them into a new post.

It was my sanctuary when my brain wouldn’t allow me to sleep at night, and would wake me up during afternoon naps at a weekend.

It recorded every significant moment in my life in the last three years, and still doesn’t bear a single scratch.

Today, it decided that it had had enough, and travelled over the electronic bridge in the sky. I have an image of little wings on it’s back, happily flapping through the air and thinking ‘thank goodness I don’t have to listen to her ramblings anymore.’ I shouldn’t be this attached to a mobile phone, but… I’m gutted.

Goodbye my little phone, we had some good times together.

What about you guys? What piece of technology do you rely on?

You can also find me in Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks.