Saturday, 28 December 2013

THAT INEVITABLE POST . . .

I saw a comment from a colleague on twitter about how he couldn't wait (obviously being sarcastic) for all the "new year, new me" status updates on Facebook that were going to pop up over the next week. And I'm sure we're going to see many of this type of post on blogs all over in the next week or two also. So let me take this opportunity to add to it...

I say this every year. Every bloody year. But 2014 is going to be it.  THIS is going to be the year I get healthy. I am I am I am!!!

To be honest, 2013 was never going to be the best time for me as there was a lot of change, and stress, and also some nice stuff I wasn't expecting:

*** First I was passed over for a promotion for a job I had already had experience doing, so I felt shit a lot and ate a lot of comfort food and drank a lot.

*** Then I had to move flat after ten years of living in the same place and acquiring a lot of stuff. Which stressed me out a lot and meant I spent a lot of time procrastinating and avoiding the issue by getting drunk instead of packing. Oh, and then I had no idea how to light the oven in my new place and also kept setting the smoke alarm off when I cooked, so that sort of put the skids on all the cooking I was so excited to do now I was living alone.

*** THEN I got the promotion I had been passed over for and work got really busy too, so that meant a lot less time for exercise/the gym/etc.

*** And then very shortly after that I got into a new relationship and it's a common theme that you end up eating a lot of crap cos you're too busy kissing and getting to know each other to actually be bothered cooking or exercising. Oh, and he keeps picking me up to take me to work in the morning so even all the walking I do has gone by the wayside. Oops.

So it's been a pretty busy year really! :-) And I've eaten approximately 5 million takeaways in the past ten weeks, and the last time I went to the gym was the end of October and the only reason I remember that was because my phone went flying off the end of the treadmill I was using because I was too busy smiling at a text my boyfriend had sent me to pay attention to actually a) running or b) actually HOLDING ON TO MY PHONE PROPERLY.

But come January 1st all that is going to change. My boyfriend is meant to be training for a marathon anyway so hopefully we can motivate each other to actually stop eating crap, cut down on the boozing, and actually do some exercise! It's always easier if you're in it together.

My sister has been working out on and off with a personal trainer at the gym for the past few months so hopefully she can also help motivate me. I'm never going to be a gym bunny (although I've obviously had my moments) but even if I can maybe get there with her once or twice a week (in between doing exercise dvds or possibly even running) and do the workouts she does, then this would probably also help.

I'm at the stage where I'm very excited about all this healthy stuff. It's easy to be at this point isn't it? When you're googling clean eating recipes and protein powder while drinking wine and sitting on your arse and stuffing your face with chocolate you were given as presents. It's putting the theory into practice which always proves difficult.

But I'm motivated. I'm going to give it my best shot. And I WILL be blogging about it as I go.

Wish me luck?

Thursday, 26 December 2013

SALES FEVER....

There was a picture going about on twitter today of one of the Westfield Shopping Centres in London, completely and utterly over-run with people. Boxing Day sale madness.

I will never understand it.

Why do people queue for hours to get in to the Next sale every year? I struggle to think of a time I've wanted anything out of that shop at any time of year, for full OR half price. What is it about sales that drive people insane, sometimes even to the point of violence???

Why would anyone put themselves through that?

Perhaps I'm biased because I hate shopping at the best of times. You probably know all about my pavement rage by now. I had to pop in to the city centre on my lunch hour last Friday and although I only went in to four shops, I nearly killed on several occasions.... this was not helped by being giving a row about queuing at the wrong side of a queue in BHS. MAKE YOUR SIGNS CLEARER. I actually almost cried in relief when I managed to exit the St Enoch shopping centre and go back to work, vowing to never ever go to the shops again (as much as I could help it anyway) and never EVER to leave so much of my Christmas shopping to the last minute in future.

I seem to be missing the "shopping" gene so many people seem to have, although I do love spending money. I just can't face the idea of spending hours walking around shops, especially when I don't even know what I'm looking for!!! Earlier this month I was down in London for work and, thanks to colleagues, spent three days in a row at shops, two in Westfield at Stratford and one in Oxford Street. I could have cried by the end of it. I nearly had a nervous breakdown in Primark in Oxford Street because I couldn't handle the people, the endless racks of clothes, and the fact I got stuck in the middle of several racks of clothes unable to move because of the sheer amount of people trying to fit in that gap.

On the second night in a row in Westfield, two of my colleagues wandered off together saying cheerfully they'd see us in two hours. Me and my male colleague looked at one another in horror at the idea of spending TWO FULL HOURS SHOPPING and agreed to meet back after an hour and find a pub. I STILL barely managed one hour of shopping AND managed to set off a shop alarm twice thanks to someone in Forever 21 neglecting to remove the security tag from the snood I'd bought. THIS is the type of shit that happens to me when shopping. And it's always when I'm alone so I have no one to laugh it off with! :-(

So while all the crazy people rush about the shops today, pushing and shoving for some half price item of shit that they probably don't even really want in the first place, I'm browsing the online sales and drinking some mulled wine.

Who's really winning here???


How do you feel about the sales and/or just shopping in general? Friend or foe?

Monday, 16 December 2013

HOW *NOT* TO CHRISTMAS SHOP . . .

  • Pretend Christmas doesn't exist. If it doesn't exist, you don't need to buy anything for it, right?

  • Alternatively, just alienate all of your friends and family until January. Then you only need to buy presents for yourself. :-)

  • Have no money. Because that ALWAYS helps.

  • Walk straight back out of every shop you walk into because you keep remembering that you hate every other person in the world, particularly those who are shopping that day and in your way constantly.

  • Buy things for other people and then realise you bought it mainly because you liked it and therefore it makes sense for you to keep it for yourself.

  • Allot a night specifically to doing all your online Christmas shopping and then spend the bulk of it searching for a new dress for your Christmas night out as you've decided you hate the first one you bought two nights before the night out.

  • Procrastinate over EVERY present you are buying purely because you have absolutely no idea what to buy your boyfriend and are suffering a mental block for ALL present buying as a result.

I may currently be guilty of MOST of these things.... :-(

How's everyone else's Christmas shopping going???

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

TEMPORARILY HOMELESS....

Have you ever been locked out of your home before???

And by that I don't mean LOCKING yourself out. I mean actually your lock has just completely fucked you over and you have the key but you can't get it to work in your lock???

Happened to me this weekend. And it was horrific.

I'd been down in London for most of last week for work. Got back on Friday laden with a suitcase. Got in the door fine. Boyfriend appeared, lovely reunion. We headed out about six-ish the next day to retrieve his car, buy booze, head back to mine...

And the door would not unlock. One lock worked fine, the other just did not. The key would fit in the lock but would not turn.

Luckily the boyfriend was very quick to adapt, we went to his instead, bought extra booze en route (there had been some booze we were banking on in mine), I had contacted my landlord and was awaiting some confirmation as to whether I was going to deal with things or he was from afar... I was cool, but still a wee bit upset.

All I could think about was how ALL OF MY STUFF was out of my hands... I couldn't get a hold of it. I had no change of clothing, no make-up, no phone charger (we had to buy me one of those) ... and I missed my teeny little flat SO MUCH!!! I alternated between believing my boyfriend's reassurances that I would get back into it, and firmly believing I would never see my stuff again ever!

And is it just me or does anyone else wonder if people have to prove to locksmiths that they are the owners before they change the lock??? That's a bit fucked up eh?

Or is it just that it causes so much noise that the locksmith knows a burglar wouldn't have the nerve to break in?

In the end, the boyfriend knew a guy who had a brother who could potentially fix it for me. He basically hammered the fuck out of the side panel of the door until it opened. At seven pm on a sunday night this echoed like crazy around my whole building.

Gives me faith it's not THAT easy to break into a flat.

Every cloud and all that...

Thursday, 7 November 2013

ON WHY LIFE IS WEIRD . . .

So you've just been paid but you're skint. Your promotion wage isn't going to go into your wage for another month because of timing. As a result, you end up cancelling the trip away you planned the following weekend because you can't possibly afford the train fare AND to go out without struggling completely and utterly for the rest of the month.

So you don't go to Leeds, as you intended to do. You are a bit disappointed BUT on the upside you can now go to the night out planned on the Friday of that weekend... and you can stay out for longer, knowing you AREN'T going to have to get up early to brave a longish journey on public transport.

So you go to the night out. And of course, there is all the usual happenings. The copious amounts of drink. The inevitable shots. The idiot who invariably drinks too much and makes a tit of him or herself.

The other unexpected stuff that happens. That you're not sure is actually going to go anywhere. And yet it does.

And you're happy. What the crap is THAT all about?

What's next? Who knows. But... once again, life throws curveballs when you least expect it. And sometimes when you most need it...

Monday, 21 October 2013

"MADE IN CHELSEA MONDAY" . . . HOW TO GET A PART IN "MADE IN CHELSEA"!!!

A tongue-in-cheek guide to getting the starring role of your dreams....

  • You must speak posh. If you don't speak posh, none of the other cast members will understand a word you are saying.

  • Do you have a double barrelled surname? You probably should invent one if you don't.

  • If you can't do the double barrelled surname thing, then how about a ridiculous nickname that bears no resemblance to your ACTUAL name?

  • Do you have a job? You probably won't have time to be on Made in Chelsea if you have a job.  You may want to quit. Hopefully you have an inheritance or something. You need time and money to spend all your time frequenting the wine bars and clubs in and around Chelsea.

  • Alternatively you could have your own business. It means you can PRETEND to work but still have time for all of your leisure activities. Once again, you probably need an inheritance. Suitable business ideas? Swimwear design company. T-shirt design company. Freelance make-up artist.

  • You should probably know how to ski. They go skiing a lot. You wouldn't want to embarrass yourself now, would you? You should also be comfortable with hanging out in hot tubs without many items of clothing on. Which is slightly easier than skiing.

  • Your hair should be perfect at all times. If not you'll probably be fired.

  • You should be okay with sleeping with all of your cast members if necessary. Or pretending you have. And then seeing your friends sleeping with your exes. And pretending they haven't.

  • You're going to probably need to spend a lot of time with people you hate. And be able to deal with confrontational situations.

  • Be prepared for backstabbing too. It happens. A LOT.


Any more???

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

MAD ABOUT . . . "MADE IN CHELSEA"!

I'm not a big reality tv fan. Don't get me wrong, I went through my phases in the past. I used to be a massive "Big Brother" fan for probably the first five or six seasons of it. I never got into "I'm a Celebrity get me Out of a Dead End Job Where No-one Remembers Who I Am Anymore." I gave up on "X-Factor" a few seasons ago too. (I must give you all a how-to guide on that at some point).

I have no desire to watch "Geordie Shore", "The Only Way is Essex" or even "The Apprentice". I like my tv a little less down to earth.

That's why I probably was a TEENSY bit addicted to "The Hills" when it was on. And that is probably also why my one must-watch "reality" show these days is "Made in Chelsea".



If you don't know what "Made in Chelsea" is, then it's a tv show - a "reality tv show" (heavy emphasis on the inverted commas here) set in Chelsea, where the privileged lunch, drink, party and shag around. Do any of them have a job? Do I even care??? I fucking LOVE this show. Every Monday night it has been on I have just felt immensely happy. I sit there watching it, making snarky comments on twitter to other like-minded individuals, and I feel a bit jealous of their lives, and their designer ensembles, and their flicky hair and perfect make-up.... and don't even get me started on the girls! (Ba-boom-TISH!)

I love this show so damn much... that I've decided that, from now until the end of this series, I'm going to make every Monday "Made in Chelsea Monday". Every week (if I remember) I'll do a post on a "Made in Chelsea" theme. It will be fab. For me.

And I know today isn't Monday. But that's okay.


Anyone else a "Made In Chelsea" fan???

Sunday, 13 October 2013

SOMETHING I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SAY . . .

I've become a bit addicted to various healthy eating blogs.

I actually enjoy looking at recipes and wondering if I could try them myself. A lot of the time the list of ingredients is the first hurdle and if it looks too long, or I don't understand what one (or more) of the ingredients is, then I may give up and move on. But I actually LOVE reading them, love finding healthy cheats and thinking about meal planning.

I know. I'm as shocked as the rest of you.

What are your favourite diet/healthy food blogs???

Friday, 11 October 2013

MUSIC SNOBS CAN GO SUCK IT . . .

Music snobs fuck me the hell off. In this respect...

You find a song via youtube you like because you have heard it featuring on a tv show or film and went to actively search for it . . . is that not a fucking good thing??? Especially for the band or singer in question. Right?

I feel like I must be missing something here.

Because you find an artist because of them having a song featured in some sort of show or whatever, and then you get slagged by the fans who already knew them and blah blah blah.  I'm sorry - just cos you were around since they formed or came out of their mother's wombs playing the ukulele or whatever DOESN'T actually make you better than folks who might have just not been exposed to this band's music before.

Grow the fuck up.

I've liked underrated artists in the past and I'm actually over-the-moon when their song gets played on some medium that may expose them to a wider audience. But you get these twats that think they are so much better because they knew a band from the outset.

So I may find a song (or two) by the Yeahyeahyeahs because of a Homeland or Hollyoaks advert, or come to love a band (Clean Bandit - who I still think you should check out by the way) because I hear their tune on Made of Chelsea.... but then I go and listen to their other stuff too because if a song has piqued my interest I've got to think "well, do they have other stuff I would like?" Much in the same way that if I found an author I loved I would want to check out their other books too. Or the way I discovered Dragonette or Amanda Leigh (Mandy Moore's folk album) through other people's blogs???

It's not rocket science. One of the  best ways to get your music out these days is if it's exposed to the masses in a programme, or an advert, or a film. Just because someone ends up liking a song as a result of that and, hopefully ends up becoming a fan of the musican(s) as a result... is that such a bad thing???

Personally, I don't think so anyway. Thoughts?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

THE HEALTH WAGON . . .

Since I got back from Majorca I have been soooo bad. Eating crap (today for lunch I had crisps - albeit healthyish ones - a bit of Mars Bar cake and a packet of Reece's Cups, which is a prime example of how badly I've been eating), drinking wine and my duty free vodka (by the way, if you can find it Absolut Grapevine vodka is so fucking delicious - you MUST try it), going to bed way too late . . . I need to be good again.

I don't even know why I USED the word "again". It's not like I'm ever that good, despite all my best intentions.

But tonight I've did a healthy online Sainsburys shop which will be with me tomorrow eve. There's cava in it so I will be drinking that tomorrow night. But only enough to do me tomorrow. Then it's only water, diet juice and healthy shit. I've ordered almond milk, gluten free bread, lots of protein . . . I'm going to smash the diet this week. Lowish calorie, lowish carbs and GOOD carbs at that, meal prep. And exercise. Lots of exercise.

And no booze. Eek.

My liver most definitely needs a rest most of all.

Add to that more sleep, not just using myfitnesspal to read other people's food diaries as I have been the last few weeks, finally getting my flat sorted (which is probably easier if I'm not lolling about the couch on the internet pissed) . . . oh, and did I mention I've just been promoted? So there's that too. :-)

Who's in?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

THE GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR . . .

I'm creeping around a bit at the moment.

At least when I'm coming and going from my flat.

Accidentally flooding the three flats directly below you, regardless of it being a case of dodgy plumbing as opposed to your own fault, resulting in the water being switched off in the entire BUILDING for nearly 24 hours, will do that to a girl.

Especially since I essentially fled the country just three hours later, leaving others to clean up the mess. (Thank you dad! Thank you landlord! Fuck you, plumbing!)

So since I got back, on Saturday afternoon, I've only left and returned to the flat twice. Once on Sunday to meet my sister, today to go to work. When I open the door, I do it carefully, listening to see if anyone is about. Of course, that can easily change when you have three flights of stairs to ascend or descend.

I barely saw anyone in the building prior to about a week before the incident, save from the guy who lives opposite. Now I'm pretty convinced I am going to see them every time I leave the safety of my own flat.

The ironic thing out of all of this is I used to creep around my flatshare hoping not to run in to any flatmates. Moving into my own flat was meant to stop this from happening. But now I'm creeping around my building to hide from my neighbours.

I guess some things just never change...

Monday, 7 October 2013

CURRENT SONG ADDICTION . . .

This.




The song is amazing, but the video??? I really can't get it out of my head. I think it's because of the hypocrisy involved. I'm also not sure how Lily Cole's character had time to apparently shag every person in town, but I am kind of impressed....

(And yes, I'm aware that this song was out MONTHS ago but I didn't know it until last night so shhhh.)

Saturday, 5 October 2013

ON WHY I'M IRRESISTIBLE . .

So I got back from Majorca earlier today. Had a lovely relaxing time, despite finding out in the early hours of Saturday morning (bearing in mind I was getting up at 4am to be picked up) that something in my bathroom had caused the flats directly underneath me to flood, which started the holiday off for me with quite a bit of stress. But that SEEMS to have been sorted okay, so I tried, after I'd put my landlord and my dad (who had the spare keys) in touch, to not think about that too much.

The weather wasn't AMAZING, although certainly better than it is MEANT to be at this time of year, so my tan isn't brilliant. But I wasn't expecting it to be fantastic so I wasn't that bothered about that.

It was the mosquitos that cast the cloud over my holiday.

Because I am apparently irresistible to them. On a daily basis, several of them would feast on my flesh, taking chunks out of me.

The bastards.

We bought citronella spray to try and ward them off. We bought cream to soothe them. They still loved us, even with our pores oozing citronella, and the wounds caused by the bites were not calmed by the cream. To add insult to injury, they seemed determined to invade our hotel room and attack us there, like silent assassins. One night I got my exercise jumping about on our beds swatting them with a magazine as they congregated on the ceiling to plan their next attack of our bodies.

It seemed like virtually ever hour one of us would find a new bite. At one point I was bitten on the sole of my foot. THE SOLE OF MY FUCKING FOOT!!! It hurt to walk for two days.

It's also even harder than usual to attempt to tan one's legs when they are dotted in possibly infected bites. I could barely even stand to LOOK at them, let alone let other PEOPLE look at them.

This is the only reason why I'm actually happy I'm home. I'm also under strict instructions from my mum to make sure I contact her every day so she knows I haven't came down with malaria or some other mosquito bite related disease.

It's a shame that whatever makes me irresistible to mosquitos doesn't also make me irresistible to men.

But I guess 90 % proof blood isn't what most men are after....

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

HOLIDAYS: THE GOOD AND THE BAD . . .

So I'm off to Majorca on Saturday. This mostly has good points but let's face it, we all have to take the rough with the smooth. For every amazing thing about this, there is a not so great thing to balance it out. Let me elaborate.


THE GOOD: I will be off work after Friday until the 8th October.
THE BAD: I always end up stressed the last couple of days trying to make sure I have all my loose ends tied up admin wise and have handed off all my outstanding work to everyone else. And I only do an admin job... how does someone in an actual high-power career cope with going on holiday???


THE GOOD: I get to buy loads of new stuff for going on holiday (or mainly second hand in my case) using the "I need to buy loads of new stuff for going on holiday" excuse. (That's a thing, right?)
THE BAD: I got paid less than two weeks ago and I'm now pretty skint. And that was despite having about 200 pounds extra in overtime in my last wage. Also, this "new stuff" that I need to buy isn't always enjoyable. Do I REALLY want to spend money on adaptors, padlocks, beach towels etc that I only use once, twice (or on that one year - 2008 - FIVE) times a year? Not particularly.


THE GOOD: Going on holiday after summer is good because, since my last holiday was in April, I have been envious of everyone going on holiday over the summer and now I get to have my revenge and rub it in.
THE BAD: I'm going to Majorca, where the weather can be unpredictable out of season. (The weather forecasts are at the moment looking surprisingly fab, but I trust the weather about as much as I trust men, so that doesn't say much.) And trying to buy summer stuff out of season is actually virtually impossible. Boots didn't even HAVE suncream in earlier when I went in. When I followed the overhead sign that said "Holiday shop" I ended up in aisles full of  (you guessed it) Christmas presents!


THE GOOD: The airport is pretty much the only place (apart from maybe the ferry to Belfast) where it's socially acceptable to drink booze at any time of the day.
THE BAD: Long check-in queues, the trauma of going through security, and the stress of getting your luggage at the other end nearly cancel out the good part of the airport. Wait... I said NEARLY!


THE GOOD: I was using the holiday as a motivation to get a bikini body.
THE BAD: It hasn't worked. I have actually been pretty good diet-wise, and even went off all booze for the first 11 days of September, but then I had a busy week last week and all my good work was undone in one fell swoop of nights out.


THE GOOD: I won't need to worry about making my own food for a week as I'm with my mum and I think we're going half-board.
THE BAD: My intentions are always to stick to low-carb options at mealtimes - after all, there's always loads of meat in these buffet type half board deals. Then I see chips (at dinner) and churros (at breakfast) and I fall to bits. And THEN we usually end up having some sort of snack at lunchtime which usually involves chunks of bread and some sort of cheese and pate, usually accompanied by sangria so . . . well the good intentions that fell by the wayside by this point have been well and truly left behind in the distance.


So you see? That being said.... the good points FAR outweigh the bad points and I don't want anyone to think I'm an ungrateful fucker because there are so many good things to celebrate other than the aforementioned...

  • The weather, while unpredictable, will undoubtedly be nicer than it is here.
  • I get to spend loads of quality time with my fabulous mum.
  • I'll get to laze around and read loads, whether the weather is nice or not.
  • I get to be in a different setting for a week, when the last time I was out of the country was for work in London which was over three months ago now. The change of scenery will do me good.
  • I'll be near the sea.
And, most importantly of all . . .

  • THE ALCOHOL IS CHEAPER!!!


What are your favourite/least favourite things about going on holiday???

Monday, 23 September 2013

FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2013 . . . SO FAR!

(Disclaimer: these books might not necessarily have been published in 2013, but they're books I read then. So... there!)

So I read a lot. But it's been slow-going this year. In part, as I mentioned yesterday, this has probably been down to get used to reading off a kindle. Also, it's just been a bit of a MAD year what with moving flat. But I've managed to read some great books all the same. So let's get down to it . . .

The First Last Kiss - Ali Harris
I LOVED Ali Harris' first book, and so when I was heading to Lanzarote earlier this year (and wanted to take a couple of ACTUAL books so that my sister had something to read too - she doesn't have a kindle), I picked this one up. I LOVED it, although, be warned, it is a REAL tear jerker. Me and my sister both cried A LOT when we read it.

The Tsunami Countdown - Boyd Morrison
This is SOOO not my normal kind of book, but I have a weird obsession with tsunamis, and one Saturday night I bought this online, got pissed on cava and spent the ENTIRE NIGHT reading it. Just utterly gripped. It's a thriller about a tsunami striking in Hawaii, and it is a rollercoaster of a read.

SUNLOUNGER - the Ultimate Beach Read - Belinda Jones and others
This is a compilation of short stories set in various locations over the world and would have been the perfect beach read.... however I couldn't WAIT to read it and mostly read it in my bath in Glasgow. It took me a good month or so to get through because there are a LOT of stories in there, and from most of my favourite authors!

Brooklyn Girls: Pia - Gemma Burgess
I love Gemma's books and she's now released a series about a group of twenty something girls living in New York. This Brooklyn Girls novel features Pia, a girl who doesn't really know what she's doing with her life... so she ends up starting a food truck business. As expected, I loved this book and can't wait for her next one.

About a Girl - Lindsay Kelk
Another author I love, a standalone (well, technically it has a sequel but it isn't part of the "I Heart" series) novel about Tess, who after losing her job and sleeping with her best male friend, decides on a whim to pretend to be her bitchy flatmate and pose as her on a photoshoot in Hawaii... with hilarious results!

The Debt & the Doormat - Laura Barnard
I got this book for either ridiculously cheap, or free, on my Kindle, and I have to say I loved it. It had a sexy hero, sexual tension that jumped off the "page", and many laugh-out-loud moments. It was great, I was sad when it was over, and the only bit I'm confused about was why there were a couple of lines taken completely out of the dialogue of "Friends" (as a massive fan I recognised that straight away!). Otherwise an ace book.

Kept - Elle Field
Elle is a friend of mine who blogs here - we originally met through blogging/twitter but are now real life friends although she lives in London so I don't get to see her very often. But I've obviously been following her progress for YEARS and she now has a book out - Kept! It's fab and you should read it.

If You Lived Here, You'd Be Perfect By Now: The Unofficial Guide to Sweet Valley High - Robyn Hardwick
If you, like me, liked the Sweet Valley High books when you were younger, you will love this unofficial guide to the books. I think it's absolutely brilliant and you'll look at the characters in a whole new light.... especially the Wakefield Twins. (I also actually get a thank you in this book as I helped to fund it. But I'm in no way biased.... and get no royalties from recommending it!)


As I am off to Majorca in less than a week, I am already filling my Kindle up with new books (and will probably take a couple of physical books too just in case something happens to my precious e-reader...) so if you have any recommendations please let me know. And if you have read any of the above books, I'd love to know your opinion on them! ;-)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

KINDLES . . . FRIEND OR FOE???

About a year ago, I gave in and finally bought a Kindle, . It was one of those things that I didn't really want to do.... I love love LOVE real books. I used to order a box of books off one of those book clubs pretty much every month and the delight I got when opening the box and looking at the covers and reading the blurbs etc was actually a TEENY bit pathetic. But hey-ho!

So the Kindle. Yes. It has taken me a while but I've finally came around to liking it. Considering I can easily read 10 books on holiday, it's a space-saver, - it is also easier to handle while sunbathing than a book. You can still read it in the bath - if you're careful obviously! And, while I resent having to pay a fiver for a book that isn't physically a book for some of the more popular authors I enjoy, the flipside is you get tons of cheap, and even occasionally FREE books from authors you would never hear about otherwise.

I remember reading about a published author who claimed that e-books would mean the end of paper books, and the end of "the writer" as a profession. I don't really agree with this. Sure, paper books are obviously going to become less popular and sadly they probably WILL die out eventually. And that is unbearably sad . . . and I feel bad that I'm contributing to this but I quite simply can't spare the space for many real books anymore.

But I disagree with the second point. He argued that any old person could basically write a book now. That's true to an extent - after all it is claimed that every person has a book in them, and there is no guarantee that this book would be worth reading. However, think of the personalities who get book deals simply by virtue of being famous in a different field. And how some of them don't even WRITE these books themselves! AND, even then, they're a load of rubbish. (Do you know who I'm talking about here?) Most wannabe authors don't have a chance of getting a book published. I should know.... when I was younger I submitted a couple of books to publishers and/or agents. (I was obviously rejected.) E-readers and e-books make the playing field a bit easier for people who have genuine talent or a genuine book idea in them that can't otherwise get published. And so I think this is an amazing thing really.

So I guess I'm a convert now. I haven't read as many books since I got mine - I think it just took me a while to get used to it - but now it's revving up again, and I love heading onto amazon to see what book bargains I can pick up! I also love the instant gratification of getting the book straight away and not having to wait for it.

(Post on my favourite books this year, so far, coming up tomorrow...)



What do you think about Kindles/e-readers?? Love them, hate them, reluctant convert to them? Please share . . .

Saturday, 21 September 2013

ON LACKING THE TIDY GENE . . .

When it comes to tidying up after myself, I've always been a bit shite. Everywhere I sit, I seem to acquire a pile of clutter around me, as if I've just given birth to it in that position. Even my desk at work is always piled with paperwork, although I like to say that's just because I am such a hard worker. Which is technically true, but other people who are hard workers maintain a far clearer desk...

I think a lot of people get their tendencies to be fanatical cleaners from their families. I didn't. My family all seem a bit lacking when it comes to being houseproud. I DID, however, think that once I got my own place, it would happen. Suddenly I'd grow up overnight and want the place to be spotless, and everything to be in the place that it was meant to be in and just generally want a home out of an interiors magazine. And I DO want that. I just can't put the effort in!

In the past few weeks, I've visited three beautiful homes and, okay, all these people OWN their places rather than renting, but still. It's made me feel ridiculously inferior and a bit useless.

I am in equal parts impressed and scared of those people who NEED to clean, who want to keep everything tidy and who actually DO it. I WANT that gene. Can it be learned?

I really DON'T want a basin in the sink full of dishes that I will reluctantly clean every few days only for it to fill up again. I also don't want to HAVE to wash a dish just because I have no clean ones left. I don't want my clothes to be all over my bedroom (and certainly not in my living room or bathroom - the only place I seem to have NOT developed a habit of undressing in and leaving the clothes lying around is the kitchen - thank god! Although that's probably because I don't want to have to face the dirty dishes...) I also don't want to be using my yoga mat as a rug (it currently IS spread out rug-like on my living room floor... and I haven't actually used it for exercise since about Tuesday!) or boxes of crap that I still haven't unpacked and put away.

I'm pretty useless really.

Can anyone help me???

Monday, 16 September 2013

P DOES SECOND-HAND . . .

My mum has always been a big charity shop visitor. This isn't because our family is poor by any means; my parents have always been good with their money and even now the main thing they spend money on is holidays. We just like a bargain! When I was younger, she would come home with little gems for me. One day when I was about 10, she came back with a lemon puffball skirt. It was the late eighties; it was allowed. I fell in love with it.

And I was so PROUD of it. We had a school dance coming up, so OF COURSE I wore the skirt. And the other girls were jealous of it. I told them happily that my mum had bought me it from Oxfam. Which of course, is when the mocking started. It was nearly as bad as the time I invited a friend home for dinner and she told everyone I was a weirdo because I put dessicated coconut on top of my spaghetti hoops. (Okay, that WAS weird.)

So that rather ruined the glow of charity shops for me. After that, I used to linger outside when my mum insisted on going into Oxfam or the Sue Ryder shop or whatever other charity shop had sprung up in Hamilton that month. And it was only when I got into probably my twenties that suddenly charity shops were cool to be seen in. Probably with the rise in popularity of "vintage".



 
Now, living in the west end of Glasgow, there are charity (and vintage and secondhand shops) all over the place! A few weeks ago, my mum came over and, as I just live off Dumbarton Road now, a breeding ground for charity shops. we did a charity shop crawl. Much to my disappointment, I came back with nothing. Now that shopping second-hand is socially acceptable, it's virtually impossible to find anything decent.

But I still LOVE finding secondhand clothes. So I turned to ebay. It's amazing the things you can find on there, and for cheap too. I managed to get the Warehouse playsuit on the left for a tenner. Silk. Only worn once. The girl selling it said with the facebook "tagging" generation, she couldn't wear it again. So Paula got a fabulous bargain!

I don't have much embarrassment in buying secondhand clothes either anymore. I don't really care if I'm mocked about it. It's nice to get a bargain and also, when I go into a clothes shops or onto a website like asos, half the time I don't see anything I like. I'm often more likely to find someone ELSE'S dress that I wish I had, than find something new. So ebay is a blessing.


And now there's asos marketplace. I'm actually a bit reluctant to even endorse it in case someone has the same style and is the same size as me and ends up buying all the clothes I want before I can, because I am quickly becoming a wee bit addicted to the marketplace section of the site.

I got the dress , a on the right, a wee River Island number, for a fiver. I also picked up a Love Label dress for a tenner for my holiday. I browsed through all the cheap size 10 dresses the other night and bagged a couple more . . . and a denim jacket to replace the one I somehow lost the night I pulled the 22 year old boy!

It's actually better than ebay in a way because you don't have as much stuff to sift through. I've got very ebay-savvy over the years when it comes to searching for clothes, but when someone describes their listing as something like "Boho Lady Gaga baroque dress top skirt size 10 14 18" then you still end up with a lot of junk when you're looking for a size 10 dress!

In short, there's generally less crap on asos marketplace!

And I really do seem more likely to find things I like second-hand than I do brand new! What are the chances???


How do you feel about buying second-hand? And, if you do it, where are your favourite places to shop???



Thursday, 12 September 2013

"SURFING THE CRIMSON WAVE . . ."

I know we all like to rag (pun intended) on our time of the month. Let's face it, it doesn't have many nice side effects. And mine turned up today (I would say like clockwork, but mine tends to just generally turn up whenever the fuck it wants) so of course I can feel the cramps beginning to form low in my stomach because I get my pains AFTER it starts, not before . . . but then I started to think "there's good points to my period too".

You wondering what I mean? Let me elaborate . . .

***You have an excuse for being in a bad mood. Or for crying uncontrollably because someone beat you to the last bottle of £5 supermarket brand cava and you have to buy the £10 bottle of prosecco instead. (This didn't happen to me. Honest. I swear.)

***You can eat WHATEVER you want and blame your period for it. Want a curry with the full works? You got it. Two for Tuesday Domino's pizza even though you live alone? Go for it. IT'S YOUR TIME OF THE MONTH ergo it's allowed!

***You're allowed to lie around and do nothing, but moan about cramps, hold a hot water bottle against you and snuggle while eating chocolate, and watching bad romcoms. You can do this FOR A WEEK OF EVERY MONTH!!!

***It's a good excuse not to have sex, if you can't really be bothered. This is probably only a good thing if you do get sex regularly. Not so much if you're me and, well.... DON'T. But I'm trying to look at it from all angles here . . .

***You can blame any weight gain and/or bloating on it. It's not the curry. Or the Domino's pizza. It's your period! (Technically it is, since it WAS your period that caused the craving for the junk food in the first place...)

***You can use it as a way to make boys uncomfortable. If you want a favour out of them. Or just for funsies if you're a bit sadistic that way. Everyone knows that when a period is mentioned in front of a man, their penis gets very VERY slightly smaller. It's scientific fact. Or I just made that up.  One of those options.


Can you think of any other advantages???

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

TWELVE YEARS ON . . .

I always say that time flies . . . whether you're having fun or not.

And that's very true when I realised today was September 11th. And that the atrocities suffered during 9/11 in the U.S. happened 12 years ago today. 12 years ago. How is that even possible???

12 years ago, on the morning of September 11th 2001, thousands of people woke up not knowing the horrific fate that was going to befall them, or their families. Or the memories or the guilt they may be left with knowing that they survived where others weren't. 12 years on, people are STILL affected by it.

In fact BILLIONS of us were affected by the events of this day, whether we were in the direct vicinity or not. And I think it stays with us all.

12 years ago.

Yet it feels like only yesterday.

Never forget. . . .

Friday, 6 September 2013

THE PRIMARK SURVIVAL GUIDE . . .

So I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the shop Primark. You may already known this about me. I've spoken about it before. There are many MANY things that annoys me about the place, but then when I need a pair of trusty old ballet pumps, a £5 skater dress which would cost three times the price in Top Shop, or a piece of unusual costume jewellery (helloooo rocking horse necklace which ACTUALLY ROCKS LIKE A ROCKING HORSE IF YOU BALANCE IT ON A TABLE!!!) then Primark is one of those shops that you NEED to visit, even if it seems like the biggest inconvenience in the world at the time.
 
 
I think that the below tweet, posted by me back in early April, sums up my feelings regarding Primark quite succinctly. . .

Pollypoptart
Why do I insist on going into Primark when it inevitably makes me stabby? I must be the world's biggest primarsochist.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

DEAR LITTLE BROTHER . . .

Today is your 30th birthday.

Or it would have been.

I nearly forgot about it; I'm sorry for being a bad sister. Then my sister - mine and yours - reminded me yesterday. Today the significance of the date has struck me a number of times and I've found myself welling up a wee bit.

I'm sorry we never got a chance to get to know you.  I'm sorry I was too young to appreciate you in the short time you were here. That the date is just another day in the calendar now. This would have been a special birthday for you. For all of us.

But then you never got to celebrate a birthday. You never even made it to your first birthday.  You never got to meet my little brother. YOUR little brother too.

I wish you were still here and we could have all gotten to know you. Miss you little Mark.

Happy 30th.xx

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

CHILI CON . . . TUNA???

As you know, my recipe posts are few and F    A    R between... and tend to be of the non-healthy variety on the rare occasion they DO appear. But of late I have been trying to eat more healthily and try and cook a bit more . . . and try to limit my carbs a bit also.

So last night I was browsing through recipes online (which is surprisingly fun and so soooo much easier than the cooking part), and it was only later as I was brushing my teeth that I suddenly thought . . . what about chili con carne? (Which is one of my favourite home made meals by the way.) But instead of the carne, how about replacing the meat with tuna???

It made sense to me. For one thing I LOVE tuna nearly as much as I love minced beef. But also - and this is more crucial - on any given day I am FAR more likely to have tuna in the flat than minced beef. With minced beef, I've either forgotten to buy it, forgotten to EAT it (and it's out of date) or sensibly put it in the freezer and then UNsensibly forgotten to defrost it on time. So I figured . . . if chili con tuna tasted good then I would be more likely to have the ingredients for it in the flat next time I had a chili craving.

So after I got into my bed last night, I did a google search on my phone . . . and sure enough I wasn't the first person to have thought of such an experiment. Recipes for tuna chilli were all over the place! So it wasn't as strange an idea as I thought. Although mentioning it on twitter got me weird reactions, from people threatening to unfollow me for insulting beef(?), to dirty "fish-smelling" jokes. But a couple of people also seemed interested in the results.

Tonight, I gave it a shot. Rather than following any of the recipes I found online, I decided to try and make it using my normal chili recipe. Obviously the difference being that I would cook most of the veg before the "meat" part of the dish.


"Chili Con Tuna" - Paula style . . . ;-)

So I started by heating up a tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. From there,  I reckon you can pretty much use whatever veg that you like to bulk this up. I went for red onion, white onion, a couple of chopped up cloves of garlic, a tiny bit of chopped up chili, and some frozen mixed peppers which I defrosted in the microwave before adding them. Oh, and then I threw in about half a carrot grated up because I usually put that in mince chilli and despite me not generally liking carrot that isn't raw, it always seems to just add a little something.

(I added a bit of water to the pan too early on just to stop too much sticking to the bottom of the pan or burning too quickly. My new flat has a gas cooker and I'm not used to it yet, so have a tendency to accidentally overcook everything!)

Then I threw in a can of tuna in brine (185g tin, drained first) and about half a carton of chopped tomatoes in basil (approx. 200g) .mixed it all together and then added dried hot chili powder (1tsp), cumin (half tsp) and paprika (half tsp). I gave it another stir, chucked on a bit extra chili powder for luck and then served it with cauliflower rice, a teeny bit of grated cheese (that's what I generally put on my chili as a reward for avoiding normal rice) and a little bit of sour cream and chive dip.

It was DELICIOUS. I had originally only served half of the tuna mixture onto my plate with the cauli rice (I'd planned to have the other half for lunch cold tomorrow with some red kidney beans to bulk it up) but I was enjoying it so much I ended up going back for seconds. So I guess we will have to say this particular recipe probably only serves one person if you're doing the low carb thing with it - so if you're cooking for two, you may want to double the tuna and chopped tomatoes quantities at least. And obviously you may want it spicier.

It's pretty healthy as well and one serving of my particular concoction contains less than 400 calories according to myfitnesspal (are you on myfitnesspal? If so, I'm pollypoptart79 - befriend me! Especially if your food diary is public because I'm nosy...) so if you ARE ditching the white rice and serving it with veg, it's not going to register too high on the old calorie counter.

I've got a long day at work tomorrow, topped off by pole fitness and then the gym (see? I'm taking this bikini body thing seriously!) so I'm fairly sure that this recipe is going to be repeated again when I get home tomorrow night . And I can't bloody wait!


What's your favourite go-to healthy recipe at the moment?

Monday, 2 September 2013

THE BIKINI BODY COUNTDOWN . . .

So I know I have been banging on about losing weight and getting fit and toning up on a semi regular basis on this blog . . . but yesterday I started back on it hard. I just was getting sick of getting nowhere, so I'm newly determined to just get on the health wagon and stay on it for more than a couple of days at a time.

And as of this evening . . . I have a new motivation to shape up.  Cos at the end of the month I'm heading to Majorca to spend my birthday abroad with my mum . . . this holiday abroad thing has became a bit of a tradition since I hit my thirties, and I love it. Being born in early October I rarely get a sunny birthday unless I'm outside the UK. Of course, Majorca isn't as reliable weatherwise as other sunshine destinations but I'm hoping that late September/early October will deliver some decent birthday sunshine for me all the same.

Last time I went to Majorca a couple of things went wrong. Like us getting into a minor car crash en route to the airport, or having an eight hour plane delay, and then there being a terrorist attack in our resort while we were there. I'm hoping none of that stuff happens this time... on top of hoping the weather is nicer than usual, it's probably a big ask though!

But anyway, I am now EXTRA determined to have a half-decent bikini bod. I have just under four weeks to try and make a difference and I'm sure I can shed half a stone in that time with a bit of dedication and hard-work . . . and self-restraint.

Either that, or I'll do my usual pre-holiday thing where about two weeks before I realise it's making fuck all difference, I'm going to feel fat in a bikini anyway so I might as well enjoy ALL THE FOOD AND ALL THE CAVA IN THE WORLD!

So wish me luck with staying on course - I'm gonna need it. And if you have any tips . . . please pass them along...

Friday, 30 August 2013

THE REASONS . . .

I was looking through my draft folder on this here blog, and I came across a post which I composed in the middle of 1999. About F. I never actually published it at the time, I think because I have always personally found that the second I tell people I'm happy or that something is great, it's almost destined to fall apart. A sort of pride-comes-before-a-fall type thing, y'know?

So I never posted it. It fell apart anyway, which sort of ruins one side of my theory, but hey-ho. I saw it, and it made me smile and you know what? It might be four years old, it might be about a newly-engaged guy from my past who I now, once again, only have contact with via Facebook, BUT? It actually is pretty much my "perfect guy" list . . .


THE REASONS . . .

. . . why I like this guy?

1. He's cute.
2. He cracks me up.
3. He doesn't seem to mind my tendency of blurting out the first thing that comes into my head.
4. He knows I like to fish for compliments but he'll give me them anyway, just to humour me. (And sometimes cos I deserve it, of course!)
5. He asks me what I want for breakfast and then goes out and buys stuff and makes it for me!
6. When I picked up one bottle of rose in Asda the other night, he laughed and asked was I sure I didn't want TWO bottles?

Number six is obviously the best part . . .

So yeah, I'd like those six traits in the next guy I meet . . . without the silly ending I ultimately had with F.

Is that too much to ask???

Thursday, 29 August 2013

TIRED OF . . .

  • the state of my flat. I keep planning to come home and get it sorted once and for all. But work is so busy, I've only had two week days off since I moved, I've been working a lot of weekend days, and by the time I get home I'm just so tired the last thing I feel like doing is sorting stuff out. I thought I'd be able to show it off to you all WEEKS ago but I still have loads of boxes kicking around because I have nowhere to put the things inside them. I think I need some more bookcases etc before I can get it all totally sorted out, but if you remember, I'm low on cash so . . . Yeah. sigh. :-(

  • saying yes when I should probably be saying no.  Sorry for all the cryptic. Let's just say . . . sometimes I want to say no, but I feel like it would be cutting my nose off to spite my face a bit . . . That being said, part of me feels resentful for being told I'm not good enough to do something.... but apparently I'm okay to be the "understudy".

  • people who think they can sit and do fuck all instead of doing their work. Contrary to your apparent belief, you are NOT actually being paid to sit staring at your iPhone all day. Pull the finger out eh???

  • my hair. I asked my mum to trim it two weeks ago and she took more off than I intended. I'm not bald by any means, but I really don't like it. I went much blonder just to compensate for the lack of length. It made sense at the time. But I actually want to be even blonder. Am I blonderexic???

  • my phone battery. Why you run out of charge so quick??? I'M not the one sitting using it all day at my desk after all . . .

What are you tired of right now?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

UNUSUALLY-ASSERTIVE-ME . . .

I'm not good at confrontation. I know it might not seem like that from my blog persona. I like a good rant, don't get me wrong, but my ranting is better carried out in writing, otherwise I get tongue-tied and can't argue properly. I also don't really like people thinking I'm a bitch or falling out with me. I just hate arguments and would rather avoid them if at all possible.  Even if it occasionally means mildly compromising myself (not in a rude way, get your mind out of the gutter, okay???).

Sometimes I think this is definitely to my detriment though as I think people think I'm a pushover and are surprised on the rare occasion that I don't just bend to their will.

Prime example of this was tonight.

As you probably know, I go to a pole fitness class every Wednesday night, and have been for about two years now. And with the exception of maybe five absences due to holidays or illness, I have been to every 5.30pm Wednesday night class that was on for these two years. I have never been to a different time of class.

Recently the class moved premises and downsized to five poles from ten.... and not just downsized in terms of numbers of poles... the poles THEMSELVES have definitely shortened too, although the instructor has been trying to deny this. The place is also much more cramped. But because of the fact there are far less poles now, the class structure isn't as flexible as it used to be. You basically have to tell the instructor if you're going to be at the next week's class while you're at your current class.

Fair enough. However, our instructor is a bit flaky. Last week when we turned up she told us she'd accidentally booked us in for the half seven class, but "it's okay, there's space in this class." Er - thanks for that.... cos it's OUR fault you booked us into the wrong class anyway???

Then tonight me and my sister turned up first and she told us she'd accidentally booked one too many girls into the class and would we mind sharing a pole. My sister said that was fine straight away, but I made it clear I wasn't happy, thinking she would clock it. Which she did. But she just thought we would do it.

Did I mention I pay 35 quid for my weekly class on a four weekly basis? So despite us paying the same amount as everyone else she was expecting us to share a pole? How was that fair. I could feel my blood boiling. So I marched out of the changing room and said I wasn't happy, that the classes were expensive enough as it was without me having to share a pole and get half the benefit and I didn't think it was fair she was asking us to do it.

She was okay about it, and just asked her two friends that come to share in the end (which she should have fucking done in the first place, as far as I was concerned!), which actually makes sense as half the time they all end up trying to do complicated moves on the same pole anyway, but I then spent the whole class feeling guilty that I'd spoken up and basically had a go. But on the upside, I've probably never tried so hard as a result of this guilt and wanting to prove I NEEDED a pole for the whole session.

But this is what happens on the rare occasion I speak up for myself. I end up feeling like shit.

That's not good, eh?

I think I need assertiveness training....

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

MONEY MONEY MONEY . . .

 . . . or lack thereof.

You know, when I moved out of my flatshare at the end of June, I wasn't stupid - I KNEW I was going to struggle a bit. That was one of the reasons why I'd actually chickened out of even TRYING this year.  Obviously my landlord took that decision out of my hands, which I'm probably a bit relieved about because moving into a place myself HAS improved my life. And obviously the fact I didn't have to scout around because of my ex passing his place on to me when he was moving helped too, and I think I would have struggled to find anything much cheaper in this area or any other area I like because what I am paying is pretty reasonable. But . . .

When you go from paying less than 400 pounds a month for EVERYTHING - and I mean everything, from rent to bills, to council tax and internet - to paying MORE than 400 just on rent itself . . . it's pretty daunting. This is pretty much the first time in about six, seven years that I've worried about how much electricity I'm using, panicking because I've left a light on unnecessarily, actually properly worrying about how much money I have on a month to month basis.

I've missed a birthday present and a wedding present for friends so far and when invitations come up for nights out I do actually have to think about whether or not I can afford it. Hell, I've only even ordered off asos ONCE since I moved. Once in two months??? That's pretty unheard of for me.

I'm trying to think of ways to make some extra money, not so much to live on, but as savings "just in case". I've been taking all the overtime I can get (within reason; I do need to have some semblance of life outside of work after all!) I've got some clothes I can sell, I have had three boxes of stuff for Music Magpie that I actually had pretty much packed up months before my move, I'm doing online surveys for a pittance,  I'm writing reviews for ciao again . . . oh, and I have a shitload of change that I really need to take to a Coinstar machine at some stage . . . but it's not going to make a big dent in my skintness.

It looks like I'm going to actually have to - gulp - make up a budget.

I have no idea where to even BEGIN with that, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

In the meantime though, the feeling when I walk in my front door, close it behind me and realise I have the whole place to myself . .. it makes me feel FAR less bitter about my newfound lack of disposable income . . .




Monday, 26 August 2013

CHEMISTRY . . .

. . . is under-rated.

Not the subject in school. I failed that. I didn't fail a lot, but chemistry was definitely my weakest subject.

But chemistry between a person and another?

It's there.

And you can imagine it is there all you want . . . and maybe you're right and maybe you're not . . .

But once you KNOW someone actually likes you and you run into each other and for once, rather than thinking "is he into me? am I imagining it?" but for once you actually KNOW he is . . .

That is a pretty awesome thought.

I miss that feeling.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

THE F BOMB . . .

So F got engaged a month or so.

Were you around for F? If not, he was the guy I fancied in high school. The one who I never told I liked him but ten plus years later I drunkenly started talking to him on FB and after an 8 hour epic facebook chat/drinking game I told him so and he basically said he had felt the same. And then he asked me out a few days later.

And it had been nice, of course, but after the first few weeks had descended into paranoia due to him ignoring me, and blahblahblahtheusual until I was eventually broken up with. Although can you call it breaking up when your "relationship" such as it was had been at the end consisted mainly of sexting and meeting up every few weeks or so for a couple of drinks then sex??? Probably not.

Anyway, I knew he was now in a relationship, and I knew the girl it was (I don't KNOW her, but she had been in one of his plays he'd been directing  so... yeah) but it still came as a wee bit of a shock when it appeared on my facebook timeline that he was engaged.

I looked at it, a bit taken aback, and then I clicked "like" as I realised I was genuinely happy for him. I don't think me and him were really meant to be. I think we both came along for each other at a time when we needed it - he wasn't long out of a very long term relationship and I had been out of my last relationship for a year and was feeling a bit rubbish about myself so to be validated by a high school crush was an AMAZING feeling - and although I was hurt when it all ended, I actually didn't shed that many tears over it considering I do cry over ANYTHING! So.... if this girl is the one... then good for him. He probably deserves it. Despite everything that went on between us, and the way it ended, he was actually one of the good ones.

It did get me thinking though about how any guy I get involved with seems to end up in a super-serious committed situation very soon after we end. I have two who are living with girls, two who are married (one with a kid), even one who ended up in a longterm relationship with one of my FRIENDS right after me (although that came to an end quite a while ago and she has been with someone else for a looooonnng time now.) And now F is engaged too.

Don't me wrong, it's not what I want at the moment. I've only just got to live on my own properly for the first time in 33 years and I'm not ready for a baby either, but I suppose I feel a wee bit bitter in a way. Even if it's NOT something I want right now, you get to a point when you think why didn't/don't THEY want it with you???

But then maybe that's why. Cos maybe they can tell I don't want it with them?

Who the fuck knows though...

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

PAVEMENT RAGE REVISITED . . .

As you probably know, I moved from my flatshare to a flat all to myself about seven weeks ago. It's in the west end of Glasgow, just like my previous one, but it's at a different END of the west end, which means my walk to work has pretty much completely changed, apart from the last five minutes or so of the walk.

And it is soooo boring. Seriously. In my old place, I could vary the route and go by road or through the park and, even when I went by road, I could go down a different road if I wanted a change. But my new route is pretty much just straight along Dumbarton Road for half an hour, and I was sick of it by about day 2 of doing it. I took up listening to music on my way to work again (I go through phases where I can't be bothered and need to keep my mind clear so I can think) but even that hasn't livened things up for me.

My latest challenge to try and liven things up is to use the cardio trainer app on my Samsung Galaxy to track my walk to work and how long it takes me. I average around 40 minutes at around 3.5 miles per hour. Which is pretty good considering I have teeny wee legs (so much so that a possibly cute guy walked past me the other day but he was going too fast for me to establish if he WAS definitely cute or not). So I've been trying to build this up, this is my new way to make the way to work interesting - I am trying to see if I can get my speed up and increase the amount of average miles per hour I can do. I don't think I'll make it past 4 miles per hour on average but that's what I'm going for at the moment.

The problem is, I experience pavement rage in the extreme at the best of times so this new challenge has actually made me even worse.... because woe betide if I get stuck behind you if you're just out for an oblivious leisurely stroll. (Although if you ARE out for a leisurely stroll sub 8am on a weekday then I really DO wonder about you.) And the frigging traffic lights are out to get me too.... they are apparently determined to skew my average by making me weight at junctions for unbelievable amounts of times. It got to the point that I've now taken to stopping the timer on the app if I think I'm going to have to wait for a while... but then I've got to remember to put the fucker back on once I start moving again!

I don't even know what the point in this post is. Maybe it's that exercise actually has the potential to make me even angrier at myself and the world? But then exercise doesn't have a sole patent on that feat anyway. ANYTHING can make me angry really. Except nice things. Tell me nice things. PLEASE???????

Monday, 19 August 2013

Last week I was ridiculously emotional. Like, seriously, my moods were just all over the place. Mostly negative, admittedly, swinging between extreme rage and random freakouts where I just burst into tears and sobbed like my heart would break.

Then my period started and it all sort of made sense.

But it just felt worse than usual. I dunno. I couldn't really put my finger on it. Sometimes you just feel like shit and you don't know why. This has been a weird year all in all. A lot of shit has happened. Nothing epically bad but lots of little things just piling up on top of each other until something really has got to give and the pile of shit is going to topple over and you're going to lose it. Or something.  I don't know where I was going with that metaphor, but I don't really know how to describe it either. It's strange.

Much as I love living alone, sometimes it's weird not to know I could have company if I want it. Maybe my head is just struggling to get use to the solitude after ten years of people always being around.

I want things to turn around though. I want the few months of 2013 to be better, to end the year on a high. I'll concentrate on trying to make myself fitter, continue trying to prove my worth, and hopefully everything will eventually fall into place and I won't feel like I'm struggling, and failing, to keep up with everything.

And, with that, I'm going to be bed. Because it may only be 10pm, and I may not be remotely tired, but my bed is probably the closest to a cuddle I'll get right now.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

SUPERFANS . . .

So I'm not a One Direction fan by any means. I mean, I like cheesy pop music as much as the next person, but I don't like a cheese OVERDOSE. Well, unless it's ACTUAL cheese. Then it's okay and I've done it on numerous occasions.

Yeah. They are waaayyy too cheesy for me. And I don't think it's just because I'm outwith their target age range. Even when I was younger, I liked boybands to some extent, but I was never a massive superfan of any of them. Did I want to marry Mark Owen a bit? Okay, maybe. (Thank god I didn't, based on how HE turned out.) But I didn't really want to hunt him down, or even particularly go and see him in concert and consider throwing my knickers at him.

So watching last night's "Crazy About One Direction" documentary on TV was a pretty weird experience. Sort of hilarious, but mostly a wee bit disturbing. This documentary followed a number of their fans over the UK as they tried to meet their idols, or just told us how much they loved the band.



It was a little bit scary. For example, the Taylor Swift thing. Obviously the One Direction angle here is that she dated Harry from the band. Remember, him that dated the girl my age once upon a time??? (still feel very VERY icky about THAT story on Caroline Flack's behalf.)  Now, I am NOT a fan of that girl. I don't know what it is about her. I don't HATE her, but I have no time for her. Some of these fans though? They LOATHED her. And it was a bit "damned if she does, damned if she doesn't" . . . she couldn't win. They hated her when she DATED Harry Styles, they hated her when she DUMPED him.

Then there was the gay fan fiction. Many of these girls seemed to think two of the members of the band are DESTINED to be a couple. I think Harry was one of them. (He seems to get all the action, eh? Even the imaginary kind.) They were actually ROOTING for them to get together. I guess it's nice they're open to that, although seems a bit odd if they are in love with their idols.

But there was one particular story which touched me a bit but actually made me feel a bit sad, and a bit bad for slating these fans at all. There was a girl who had met them, had hang around with them in the past (as a fan first and foremost, not as a friend), and she said all she wanted was to be their best friend, she didn't want to go out with them. But then, when asked if she didn't want a boyfriend, she said she just wanted to focus on One Direction, which seems like a pretty fucked up reason to want to be single. Fair enough if she was IN One Direction and wanted to focus on the "music" (sorry, I HAD to put inverted commas around that) I gradually felt for her a lot. I felt like she was on the verge of a  nervous breakdown and that makes me sad because she actually seemed like a nice girl, albeit a tad naïve and impressionable.

One day she's going to look back on this show (as I'm sure the other fans taking part in it will too) and probably be very embarrassed about the way she was portrayed and the things she chose to say. Do you really want to go down in history as Harry Styles' stalker??? I definitely don't think I would.

So yeah . . . it was all a bit weird and disturbing. Obviously this was only a small portion of 1D's fans.... I'm sure they're not the representative for all of them. But it just showed the difference social media makes when it comes to pop superstardom and fanbases - back in the day, I had no idea where Mark Owen was. Nowadays you can narrow down the coordinates of a specific celebrity just by doing a spot of twitter stalking. It's actually fairly terrifying. I don't think I would want to be famous in this day and age. It must be exhausting.

Overall, as the show ended, I just felt tremendously sorry for the guys in One Direction. Dealing with the fans must be a lot like having a second job! I couldn't do it. I just wouldn't have the patience for it.


Did you watch? What did you think? And were you ever obsessed with a celebrity?

Sunday, 11 August 2013

GYM PROBABLY CAN'T FIX IT . . .

It's been looming for a while now. I put it off for as long as I could, but it was almost inevitable. I could feel it becoming more and more of a necessity . . .  and finally I had to give in.

I made my return to the gym.

Le sigh.

I didn't want to do it. I had all these grand plans that I was going to freeze my membership and use my new flat as my basis for all my exercise. And I'm not using "exercise" as a euphemism sadly. My flat has seen no action of the "good" exercise and not very much of the ACTUAL exercise type either.

The gym is just so boring!

BUT I need the motivation of other people being around to actually do the whole exercise thing. Otherwise I just sit there and watch music TV, curse the fact I don't have a body like Beyoncé post-pregnancy or the girls in the "Blurred Lines" video and comfort-cava-drink (that's a thing, right???).

Sooo I went...

And it was every bit as bad as I thought.

From the two flights of stairs I had to walk up before I even exercised (bearing in mind I now live on the third floor and still breathe heavily six weeks on after doing it at least once a day), to the girls in the changing room invading my personal space DESPITE the fact the place is pretty much deserted, to the actual EXERCISING part.... I did not enjoy it one bit.

My thighs are now actually killing me.

This had BETTER be worth it. It really better.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

THE WEEKEND: I BLINKED AND I MISSED IT . . .

Silly questions . . .
Fastest. Weekend. Ever.

I swear to god, it feels like it was Friday only a couple of minutes ago. It was fun though. Had my godmother's 50th birthday party on Friday night, and that was a good laugh. We don't have many extended family get-togethers (or perhaps it's just that my direct family don't usually get invited) so it was nice to catch up with everyone and get my dance on.




The "dress" . . .
Yesterday I had the evening part of one of my colleague's weddings in Loch Lomond. It was a great night, and I got to debut a new dress. . . although a last minute paranoid moment resulted in me trying to change several times in a panic, eventually going back to the original choice and leaving a trail of "wedding appropriate" clothes all over my bedroom floor. So we headed by bus to Loch Lomond, enjoying a wee cava en route (in plastic champagne flutes, obvs!) and once the music started, I could not stay off the dance floor. There was even an hour of 90s dance music, specially requested by the bride and groom. Once I started dancing, I didn't really drink much, so my hangover was pretty much non-existent today.

That being said, I had to go in and do overtime at 8am and forgot to set my alarms. Luckily my sister had anticipated this and phoned me at 7am to check I was still up. I wasn't. Threw some clothes on and made it in to work dead on 8. Phew. Thank goodness for my sister!


Champagne on the bus . . . we so classy!



All in all, work excepted of course, it's been a good weekend. Great even. Although someone I actually quite respected really pissed me off and surprised me with something he said to me. It could have been the drink talking, granted, but it upset me a lot, and I was really surprised of what he was basically accusing me of. But yeah, I guess when alcohol is involved that's when the truth always comes out . . .

I'm going to try not to let this bother me. The guy in question clearly has some sort of underlying issue with me, and if he wants to believe what he was implying I had did, then fine. Let him think that. I know it's not true and the people who are important of me know it's not true. And that's far more important than some dude who doesn't know the first thing about me, right?

And so on we go . . . I've spent the rest of the day after work in the city centre, trying to calm down after my outrage. Wee bit of lunch, wee glass of wine, wee ranting a bit. I'll calm down soon. Maybe.

Let's use one of my current favourite songs as inspiration.

Just breathe....



Monday, 29 July 2013

PAINS IN THE PROVERBIAL . . .

These are the things currently irritating the fuck out of me:

  • word verifications/captchas - HATE them with a passion. Why must they be so difficult to read??? It puts me off commenting on websites on a regular basis, unless I am feeling particularly patient, have something I REALLY want to say, or have somehow cracked the code on the first attempt.

  • my laziness - I still haven't managed to finish unpacking my flat even four weeks on. And, now that I don't have the pressure of other flatmates leaving dirty dishes around, I'm becoming bad for it myself! In addition, although I've got my utilities and council tax and etc sorted out now, I still need to sort out how to actually PAY them...

  • being stressed - there are not enough hours in the day for things I need to get done. Both inside of work and outside of work.

  • why is it so much easier to be unhealthy? - SERIOUSLY. If I'm being healthy I seem to waste so much time cooking stuff and prepping stuff and really you get to the end of it, feel exhausted and think "I could just order a dominos and it would be quicker"...

  • that the lead singer of this group will probably* never be mine. He is seriously one of the best looking guys I have ever fallen in lust with. :-( I mean, LOOK AT HIM!!!


*I am trying to think positively on this point, hence the "probably"... ;-)


What's currently irritating the fuck out of you?