Friday, 31 December 2010

Review of 2010 from fabulous to fraught and all the stages in-between

So as it is that limbo time, the in-between section where one year is coming to an end and a new one is just about to begin I think it is a good time to reflect on the memorable bits of 2010 - good and bad - before starting to work on my resolutions for the new year. So here goes:

The Bestest Bits

~ My first full year living with Mr P
I moved in with the fabulous Mr P at the end of last year and somehow he has managed to to put up with me and all my quirks, eccentricities and mood swings during the whole of 2010 without kicking me out. For that he deserves a medal, instead he gets to play PS3 uninterrupted while I blog...

~ Las Vegas
Mr P and I went on the best holiday ever in the world this year, taking in LV and the Grand Canyon. I look at our photos from that trip often because they bring back such happy happy memories. Travelling with the other half can be stressful (more for him with my list obsessions!) but travelling with an other half who is also your best friend as I found on that trip is just the best feeling :)

~ The iPad
Since purchasing iPad (which didn't go without it's own ironic sub plot - see Un-Imagineable iPad Irony for more details on this!!) I have fallen totally in love with it's magic internet surfing ways, the amazing apps and the beautiful interface. The calendar feature while pretty will never work as well as my Filofax but is cute none the less.

~ Discovering the blogosphere
2010 was also the year I discovered reading blogs, being inspired by blogs and the year I decided to start my own blog. Not with an aim of being popular or inciting thousands of page views (although that does appear to be happening - very strange that people seem to be reading my ramblings!) but more that I started my blog to write about my life as a mini journal. A diary of sorts, where I could practice writing with the view that one day it would help me write the novel that I feel is inside me somewhere....

~ The year of live music
I love live music. Watching bands and singers perform live on stage is just a fantastic feeling when the crowd go nuts and you all sing along in unison - it is just magic. And 2010 involved a lot of that!! From going to dozens of gigs by Mr P's fabulous band, seeing Lady Gaga, the Kings of Leon and taking a very apprehensive Mr P to his first Glastonbury Festival it was an awesome year for me getting out and about. And 2011 is shaping up to be even better with Take That, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury Extravaganza and Glastonbury Festival 2011 all booked in the diary already woohoo

The Leaving in 2010 Bits (or crappy things that happened)

~ The big C - affecting more and more of the people I love and care about. Either directly because they are affected, or because people they care about are afflicted with this horrible disease. Enough already, please go away and never darken my door again. When you have been to more funerals than weddings at only 33 then something needs to change.

~ Nosy family and friendies - as a legally free but happily boyfriended up lady during 2010 reaching the age of 33 seemed to unleash the questions from hell...the If/When/Why not type ones. So in 2011 here is a forewarning - I'm looking forward to being a flighty "single" for a while longer. So no questions about when am I getting engaged/married/having babies please. If I am lucky enough to have any/all the above happen I will tell you I promise!!

~ Getting older - I love birthdays I really do, my own, other peoples, I just love them. However I am done with getting older, so for the record I am remaining at 33 forever more. Thank you...

So there are my highlights and a couple of bum notes that I am releasing into the outdoors never to darken my thoughts again hopefully (wishful thinking maybe but it has to be worth a try)

What are your highlights and lowlights? Have you thought of all you thankees? The things you are most thankful for? I know I certainly am and will fill you in all soon!

- Posted using BlogPress

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Christmas Roundup or who's been a spoilt young lady this year then....

So I love Christmas - all the panicking over presents, the stress and spending and most of all the food mmmm. And this year is no exception just with the added stress of having the snow hamper journeys and plans.

Thankfully we managed to make it down to Cornwall for our planned getaway to Mr P's lovely family ( and the "spare" turkey I'd purchased will be a New Year feast instead). Anyway I digress, we finally arrived down in Cornwall about teatime on Christmas Eve - the fact we made it a miracle seeing as I was driving (with satnav navigation) as Mr P was a little fragile after his works do the night before and the heavy snow and ice still ever present all the way down.

But made it we did with the most treacherous part of the journey being the slide down their driveway to get to the house as with temperatures constantly below freezing the ice wasn't going anywhere but as it was dark we couldn't see how bad it was.

And after a delicious curry and evening with the family it was bedtime and that pang of wishing I was still a little un when Christmas Eve was the most exciting and magical night of the year....however this year waking up and seeing the thick snow outside for the first time more than made my day...

The frozen pond - here's hoping the fish are ok :(

And so it's the big day and Santa has been very busy dropping off lots of chocolate, biscuits, socks (him) and multiple coloured erasable pens (me) that it is a wonder he managed to fit in the rest of the UK! And how much do I love my Pilot erasable pens? Lots and lots and I can have the satisfaction of writing in my Filofax with a pen but with the flexibility of using a pencil with the ability to erase events and dates that change - genius. And now as well as the fabulous blue, pink and red ones I have an orange one - AMAZIN!! I didn't even know that orange pens existed, let alone erasable ones!! Using it on my new yellow Filofax paper (also courtesy of Santa) will probably cause headaches but will certainly brighten up work meetings in the new year.

And then everything wizzes by in a whir - The Santa Clause 3 on tv, an amazing turkey dinner followed by a yummy christmas pudding and apart from Mr P whining about the long wait to open his presents while his ickle brother went to collect his girlfriend it was a serene and picture perfect Christmas afternoon spent sat in front of the fire.

But back to the point of this post - despite being an undeserving recipient I was a very lucky girl and received a haul of presents that made me blush. With lots of lovely toiletries, books, mugs, bowls and a jewellery box I was just so excited with every unwrapping and then there was THE present. The one that Mr P said I had to leave until last and the one that contained a sleek and sexy white appliance - and not one for the kitchen!

So I am now the proud owner of a matt white DSi which came with the latest Professor Layton game. And it is just fabulous and I do have to admit I am a little in love with Professor Layton and his magnificent top hat....Mr P and I (when I can drag him away from Angry Birds) have been solving puzzles for the past 2 days and it's been lush :)

But tomorrow brings a journey back to my mother land of Somerset to visit my side of the family where hopefully we get to do it all again with lots more eating, drinking and presents. Mmmm wine and cheese..... You just have to love the holiday season with it's justified excesses on the consumption front (I just won't think about the new year diet resolutions until after January 3rd)

So wherever you are and whatever you are doing wishing you all the best for the holidays x

- Posted using BlogPress

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Uh oh Filofax is calling again.....

I'm in love, again, fickle sort that I am and this time she's petite, sparkly and very, very gorgeous. Despite my other addiction to all things gadgety and shiny (iPad and iPhone anyone?) my heart really does belong to the humble pen and paper planner. However I really do think that it is time for me to seek out the FA - no not the football association but Filofax Anonymous. As this obsession is getting out of hand!

So here goes. Hi my name is Loulou And I am a Filofax addict.

So far this year I have bought 1 A5 Domino in bronze snakeskin, 2 Personal sized filos; a magenta Adephi and more recently a raspberry Chameleon. There was the bright blue pocket sized Domino - perfect for taking to Glastonbury festival with all the essential information and phone numbers in it and then the pocket Indie that was such a bargain in the sale at Staples I couldn't leave her behind to remain unloved in the Sale bin.

But despite all of these purchases (and of course I've not mentioned all the refills, paper and stickers that I've bought as well) I was getting the obsession under control (of sorts) so what does do? They go and discount the Ivory Deco - the most gorgeous of all the Filofax whom i have been coveting for months and months. Normally she retails at £195 - so for me despite all my planner obsession an unjustifiable purchase when I have so many lovely filos already at home.

But now, it is half price, as is the pocket version, so it is now a far more affordable (if still very expensive) £97.50 - which if you look at it logically and I used it every day that works out over the course of a year at just 27p per day. An absolute steal I'm sure you would agree...

But then there is the pocket version, smaller than my current everyday Filofax which is the raspberry Chameleon, but equally as divine to look at plus a whole £10 cheaper. Would this encourage me to downsize my planner size? And if so therefore be able to downsize my handbag? I'm a bugger for carrying around a handbag the size of a Smart car most days just to fit everything in so potentially a smaller planner would equal smaller bag...

But the final thorn in my side is the fact that allegedly the Ivory Deco is to be discontinued so if I don't purchase it now it may be gone forever, a thought far too painful to entertain...

Aaah maybe I should just get both to be sure?

Monday, 20 December 2010

Being Prepared (or how to have a snow plan)

So unless you are living under a rock you will have heard about the current wintery conditions affecting the UK at present. Even Weymouth, the only place not to be affected usually has been struck down by the snow and ice this time around. Although we are now clear after a lovely spell of torrential rain this morning, the whole of the surrounding area is struck down under several inches of snow.

This is a major issue and I'll tell you for why:

1. Lack of post/couriers - I like thousands of others am stuck waiting for presents to arrive therefore leaving in "do I buy again" limbo. I mean do we court the Law of Sod and re-purchase those key gifts (assuming we can a) get to the shops and b) they have the bits we need) or do we hang on and pray to the god of Postal services?

2. Getting about - going to work should not involve dicing with death on icy roads, it is simply not fair. Now I am lucky that I can access email etc and work from home but I have realised I'm just not cut out for that. I am getting lots done but I'm LONELY!! So National Rail here I come tomorrow don't let me down pretty please as I have presents to drop off, shopping to do and I guess some work to do!!

3. Cancellations - I was supposed to be at a very, very important meeting today which got cancelled due to the weather. Everything else I can live with but when vital appointments are affected it becomes a more serious issue. This is the same for thousands who cannot make hospital appointments, family events, social engagements and let's not get started on the flight debacle currently happening all over the UK. I really feel for those people trapped in limbo at the airports just having to wait....

4. Christmas dinner - the lovely Mr P and I have plans to travel and visit his family in Cornwall for the festivities. But with their village currently snowed in and even my family trapped in their village in Somerset I've been forced to take emergency measures. Cue one turkey crown in the fridge with a "cook in case of emergency" sticker on it should we not be able to leave our lovely little home. I also have the must buy Christmas food list all prepped and ready in my trusty Filofax ready for any supermarket I can make it to this week!!

So here is to being prepared and having a plan but most of all here is to spending this evening dancing around the lounge in a sun dance praying for the thaw!

P.S. Apologies for the poor quality of the photo: a mix of crappy phone camera and dark lounge combined with my appalling photographic skills..I feel a New Year's Resolution to develop my camera skills coming on...

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Lessons from the Lady (Gaga)

So this weekend started badly, got worse and then improved no end with a fantastic night watching Lady Gaga at the O2. The 5 1/2 journey there from Dorset not so great but fantastic navigation by IB and driving by RN plus a bucket full of sweets made the journey an absolute joy. However a quick glug of vino and a quick change later and we were ready to rock.

And rock along we did, Gaga certainly knows how to put on a fantastic show. For all the crazy outfits and antics that steal the headlines what you forget is that Gaga not only writes her own lyrics and melodies but also plays the piano/keyboards and can dance like a queen.

All the way through the show Lady Gaga sings her guts out while dancing in perfect co-ordination with her troupe of backing dancers in a way us mere mortals could only dream about. Her show infuses a mix of all her pop songs with a heavy dose of interaction with the audience and even a mini self-help section talking about how you need to believe in yourself and not listen to the haters/bullies in your life - all based on her own life experiences which clearly shaped the eccentric alter ego now seen on stage.

But as a pop concert goes one of the best I've been to - atmospheric, dynamic, fun and with a bloody good singsong at the end (can't beat 90,000 people singing along in unison to Bad Romance)

But through all the costumes, the fun and the crazy her over riding message is one of strength and self empowerment. Very refreshing listening for someone needing a few inspirational words.

Of course that new positive serene thinking all went to pot traversing the roads of Euston and greater London on the way home (driven expertly by gorgeous MB) when blizzards, ice and deep snow made the planned shopping day in the capital impossible.

However I will be embracing the positive messages she conveyed into my new lifestyle where positive thinking is paramount and belief in the ability to make your own destiny is going to be a new key strategy.

Ooh that and the sparkly flame throwing bra - that will definitely come in handy when trying to beat the que in Tesco!

- Posted using BlogPress

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Un-Imagineable iPad irony

So here is the latest instalment in the iPad saga..readers of my recent blog posts will know all about my dilemmas over whether to purchase an iPad or not. After all the "will I use it" and "is it worth it" questions I finally caved and 2 weeks ago bit the bullet and purchased my gorgeous, shiny new 32Gb wifi only LoulouPad.

And we have had a very happy 2 weeks together iPad and I. We have bonded well together over movies, magazines and the apps store - special mentions to the Net-A-Porter, Sunday Times and Flipboard as today's favourites.

Flash forward 2 weeks and my colleagues are all partying at the annual Christmas do when our bosses make an extraordinarily generous announcement, FREE iPads for all employees. I mean seriously, they are giving everyone a free iPad, no strings, no signing in blood just old fashioned generosity. 

However I can hear the laughter from certain friends from here. Oh the irony of spending months evaluating whether to purchase an iPad to find after the decision has finally been made to then find out I'm potentially getting a free one.....

Ironic but yet amazing. And Mr P is smiling as he can see potentially the current LoulouPad becoming a Mr i(P)ad. 

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas Shopping, the parental way

So it is barely 10 days until the big event and currently I'm sitting pretty as I've nearly completed all the present shopping. I do however reek of cheese. Today we received a very lovely gift from a supplier at work consisting of Prosecco, Chutney, Crackers and the stinkiest French cheese that you could possibly imagine. While managing to offload the cheese but hang onto the Prosecco (win!!) I received a helpful email from my Mother about some Christmas gift suggestions for her and me Dad. Or at least it was helpful until I read it...

It started innocently enough with a standard (if slightly boring selection of gifts) of slippers, socks and similar until the fifth bullet point "CD (have to get back to you on name)". Now while I'm all up for a treasure hunt challenge to find the perfect gift when out shopping  and despite the fact that when given a hint I do feel find it necessary to follow it for fear of disappointing the potential recipient I am not a mind reader (contrary to popular belief). But even with my massive powers of deduction (Sherlock Holmes has nothing on me) the limited information on this suggestion means it needs shelving for now. So with further information hopefully looming on the CD I moved on.

So next on the list were more standard Christmas items perfect for the father figure in your life (jogging bottoms, hankies, family really aren't as boring as these gift ideas suggest I promise) and I find this suggestion lurking mid way on the page "DVD - something funny (can't think of his name but they're advertising it on the TV)" So this could range from box sets to Sex and The City????

So lets recap after socks and slippers I'm hunting around in the high street for a CD artist unknown (male/female/band/Mr Blobby??) and a DVD being advertised on the TV - at Christmas - that narrows it down then!

My only conclusion is that it would appear thinking of your own Christmas list is just as difficult and stressful as thinking of what to buy other people...unless you decide to leave hints instead of clues. In which case the obligatory toiletries and chocolates come out to play. Well it may help disguise the Eau Du Fromage at any case!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Cornish Shenanigans

So this weekend we have travelled down to Cornwall to spend some time with Mr P's lovely family plus tick off a few to do's while we are at it. Included in our action plan was:

1. Go to Launceston for late night shopping on Friday night (real reindeer yes please)
2. Go christmas shopping in Truro for the day on Saturday (and try to prevent Mr P freaking out in the busy shops)
3. Do a tour of the Launceston and the village's Christmas lights to really get in the festive mood (love all the lights even if the electric bill in this area must be triple the national average)

So how are we doing against the list....

1. Launceston's late night shopping evening was just lovely - real reindeer who were miniature sized, similar to a Shetland pony and very good natured, so cute. There were Carol singers outside the church, brass bands playing and the smells of hot cider and Christmas cake mmmm. Now as this is Mr P's home town it did mean we did the "local boy moved away and back for the weekend" shuffle where you bump into so many people you know that it takes an hour to get 3 shops down the high street but seeing so many people out supporting local retailers and getting into the spirit of Christmas has meant I'm now feeling proper christmassy - be warned expect lots of Maria Carey and Elf at home from now on!!

2. Having never been to Truro I had no idea what to expect of this Cornish town with the famous cathedral but now having spent the day there I can whole heartedly recommend it as a shopping destination. Packed full of beautiful independent shops as well as all your core high street essentials (Debenhams, Marks and Spencers etc) it was a lovely day out. And clearly not just for the ladies as the anti shopping hero Mr P even managed to last the whole day - albeit solely fuelled by the lure of a Burger King lunch (I have no idea what the appeal of BK is to Mr P other than we do not have one in our hometown but the level of excitement generated by spotting the illuminated glow of the logo really is unfathomable. Since I started dating Mr P any day trip out always seems to involve an XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger for him - including Detroit airport, Sharm El Sheik airport, Exeter, London, Truro, Yeovil......can you see a pattern?)

3. Christmas lights around the villages and Launceston town are just gorgeous this year and visiting Mr P's family also means we get to see their house lights with waving santas, sleighs, snowmen and the most lush blue icicle lights - despite my begging no chance of us having any of those at home so it's lovely to come and make the most of the christmas season somewhere so festive...

As for tomorrow no plans yet but I'm sure our Cornish weekend away will continue with a seasonal theme.....much to Mr P's joy (just call him Scrooge hehe)

- Posted using BlogPress

Thursday, 9 December 2010

iPad's First Day Out - The Verdict

So after an incredibly long day yesterday travelling to and from Kent I certainly got plenty of time to play with my new toy and here is the no holds barred verdict.

1. How's the juice?
Amazingly despite watching a full length movie, spending several hours typing notes, surfing the Internet and even writing the blog post not even half the battery was used up - shocking seeing as the iPhone needed charging halfway through the day. Big tick for the iPad on longevity

2. Apps...the good, the bad and the ugly?
Most successful apps of the day have to be VLC for watching a movie on the train on the way home, Cut The Rope for pure fun factor, Solitaire for a less taxing gameplay and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Project the new Richard Branson iPad magazine. Admittedly I am probably not it's direct target market as it appears to be more aimed at boys who love their gadgets rather than girlies that adore handbags however I loved the video angle, the Wired-esque story snippets and putting Jeff Bridges on the cover - genius. It may take FOREVER to download it but I think it is well worth it

3. iPad verses the Laptop - did it cope?
Normally on the epic Kent trips I cart around my very lovely but blooming heavy HP laptop. This way I have email, spreadsheets, lotus budgets and artwork all to hand. However this time I thought I'd give the iPad a go. See if it could cope being the all encompassing business tool that I needed. Again a resounding was easy as anything to access, the spreadsheets I needed were accessible although I think to be able to manipulate them I will need to cough up for the Numbers app but in terms of just viewing numbers and data absolutely fine. But the best thing was viewing the artwork on this gorgeous giant screen - amazeaballs. Clear and easy to view adverts, zoom in and out on the small print and made approving artwork a breeze.

4. List-tastic
I love lists (have I mentioned this before???) and the iPad offers a listaholic plenty of options, there is the in-house Notes function which just looks gorgeous and offers multiple lists and shortlists all in one place:

But in addition to this you can download hundreds of apps to help organise your life from To Do lists to note taking apps. My only problem is finding one I love enough to stick with forsaking all others and not keep on being a list app whore. While the iPad will never replace my filofax as you just can't beat using Pen and Paper sometimes but the iPad is certainly a strong addition to my organisational toolkit

5. Finally of course seeing as it is just so easy and gorgeous it has to be the BlogPress app leaving me no reasons not to blog more frequently and that alone surely justifies the spend on the watch out readers lots more to come from Loulou x

- Posted using BlogPress

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

iPad's First Day Out

So today is iPad's first day out on a proper work/travelling expedition. We are on our way to Kent for a meeting so spending 5 hours on a train there and then another 5 hours home again should be a really good test of a) the iPad and it's battery life but also b) my selection of Apps and how well they can stand up to entertaining such a long journey.

Currently loaded and available for use are:

1- Project Magazine. I've not had a chance to properly look through and read this new ipad only magazine by Richard Branson so am looking forward to starting it post my first coffee of the day

2- Eureka Magazine. Similarly to Project I've downloaded but not properly yet read the iPad version of Eureka - a science supplement that comes with the Times newspaper

3- Cut The Rope. Having completed the Lite version after Mr P downloaded it I'm going to give the full version a bash and see how long it takes before I get so annoyed I can't complete it that I give up!!

4- Christmas Presents App. Aiming to be fully organised this year I have a new app to record all the ideas/purchases for people for Christmas (this works alongside my Dodo Pad Christmas binder that I bought in the summer. Well I do love my lists!!)

5- Notes. A standard app but one at works so well for a list maniac like myself. Currently included in the list of lists are an order for the chinese takeaway we had on Monday, a list of presents I've bought but not yet decided who they are going to, a to do list for work, a to do list for home, a supermarket list for when I finally get to Tesco and my christmas wish list for my Mum

6- VLC. This app is designed so I can watch movies on the iPad that have not come directly via iTunes - exciting now I can watch movies on the go

So here we go.....

- Posted using BlogPress

Location:Trains all over the south

Saturday, 4 December 2010

iPad.......the final!

So after many months of deliberations and trying to justify whether an iPad was an essential or excessive purchase I've only gone and bloody done it!! I finally succumbed and bought myself an iPad, upon which I am currently typing this blogpost no less.

My reasons for suddenly being able to hand over that fat wedge of cash for a non essential technical device after so many months spent debating the purchase? Ultimately it came down to 3 things:

1. Work - with so many magazines now offering iPad editions, apps and downloads specifically for the iPad being able to keep track of who/what/why becomes increasingly difficult when you can't see the pricing/interface/quality - this was only emphasised further by e release of Richard Branson's latest foray into publishing "Project" an iPad only magazine released this week(more on that later!!) And the news that publishers can now include iPad subscriptions into their ABC circulation figures makes the iPad versions even more important an element in my job!

2. A bad day - as lame as that sounds and while I had almost made that final decision it was a spectacularly bad customer experience in a certain high street opticians this week while I was attempting to spend the best part of £250 on some new glasses - I failed in this task due to the incompetence and rudenesss of said staff - that made me think sack it let's invest that money in an item I really do want and treat myself I can downsize the glasses spend to help pay for it!!

3. Short term living - it has been a strange few weeks with the loss of people close to so many and again making you rethink what is important and precious. Now while my family, Mr P and my friends come top of that list I did start to wonder what exactly I was waiting for regarding my iPad purchase. I mean having savings is very important but currently they are not making a huge amount of interest and let's face it with my family history I'm not likely to reach a particulary ripe old age so saving my fun times until retirement is a very lame plan.

So to hell with caution and reserve and hello to the Apple shop. And probably the easiest sale anyone has ever made on a £500 item! Me "Hello I would like to buy the 32g wifi only iPad please and a case" Salesman "um ok do you want to see what it can do" Me "No ta just bung it in the bag and let's go!"

So I have the shiny new iPad what have I done with it so far? Not a lot. Lots of web browsing (awesome it's just so quick to turn on, light to use and the screen is just amazing) downloaded a few magazine apps (omg they take forever to download with all their fancy video and graphical content - Eureka/Projet/Wired yes I mean you!!) and started to make lists and notes on things - mostly shopping things that I would want for Christmas but honestly I am trying to use it for good!!

So many more posts and reviews to come no doubt...but first surely there is a blogger app so that posting becomes even easier??

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Happy doing nothing....

Currently it is 3.36pm on a Sunday afternoon and so far I have watched last night's X Factor while Mr P was still in bed (saying he is not a fan is an understatement and frankly there is enough whingeing and bitching between the judges to keep me entertained without adding in his twopenneth as well), watched the Grand Prix while squealing behind a cushion ( - so close and yet so far for Lewis) oh and put 2 loads of washing on, but generally that it is it.....and that's just how I like it frankly. Well it is Sunday after all!

Yesterday I read an article by Amy Molloy in this week's Grazia about people suffering in the "Burnout Generation" Molloy describes how she is one of a generation of mid twenties over achievers who are struggling to be able to down tools and just relax doing nothing - not something clearly I struggle with - apparently with all the stress and distractions of work/looming redundancy/debt alongside twitter, facebook, urban family demands as well as the real family it appears there is a whole generation of people so focused on building their career and packing every moment of their day full of experiences so as not to miss out on "opportunities" they are completely missing the joy of just being in the moment. It would appear that these Burnouts push themselves so hard to be the indispensable one at work, the friend that everyone turns to and as well as being the perfect son/daughter/boyfriend/wife etc that they completely miss out on all the small pleasures that life can offer up.

Now while I can relate to the manic lifestyle described by Molloy in this article as being indicative of my late twenties where working for a large retailer as a Marketing Manager I seemed to work very long hours, weekends and holidays and yet never really seemed to achieve anything. Looking back I can see now I was working not just to do the job/further my career etc but more working so hard as an escape to avoid facing the reality of being unhappy at home. And working in retail certainly offers an escape route as even the most family of events, Christmas, is the busiest time of year - gearing up for the boxing day rest for the marketing team then!

Fast forward 3 Christmases and I still work in marketing but only a 4.5 day week and instead of living to work it is working to live - and some of my happiest times are now just being able to enjoy the simplest things like sitting on Mr P's couch reading a good book (or a trashy magazine) while he zooms around playing cars on the PS3 (no I don't want to play and yes the graphics are fantastic) but the true pleasure is just being there in the moment, a snapshot of contentment and ease at just being ourselves but coexisting happily in the same space.

Admittedly the view isn't quite as awesome as the Colorado River from Plateau Point in the Grand Canyon but it is the same sense of contentment I feel looking over as he wins another race just without the exhausting walk back up the Canyon to look forward to.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

An afternoon jaunt at the Grand Canyon.....

So midway through our trip to Vegas we spent the weekend at the Xanterra Lodge on the edge of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon - a national park. Anyone who has been to the Grand Canyon will know the awe and beauty of the place which simply can't be described so I shan't even try however as they say a picture speaks a 1000 words.....

However what I can tell you all about is our adventure trekking down into the Canyon and the near death experience of getting back out!!

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and had a little amble around the top of the Canyon which is where this photo is from and we walked around looking for a good vantage point to watch the sunset, which was just stunning and causes all the rocks to change colours and hues continually as the sun drops lower and lower into the sky one of my best memories of the entire holiday (if you ignore all the other annoying tourists who were there - did they not know that we were claiming that spot of ground to watch so rude!!)

So while padding around we popped into one of the many gift stores and picked up a trekking leaflet and lots of information on the different trails that people can do. I also picked up the book "Death in the Canyon" and used it as the guide of what not to do. It would appear that most of the deaths in the Canyon are from 3 main reasons - not weather or rockfalls or even the local wildlife the main reasons are:

1. Photography - taking too many steps backward to get a good photo - I mean seriously you are on the edge of a cliff face and yet people loose all sense of danger in pursuit of the perfect landscape photo
2. Tomfoolery - again it is a cliff face made of rock and therefore crumbly but this doesn't seem to deter people leaping from rock to rock to show off and then slipping and tumbling
3. Stupidity - trekking up and down the Canyon takes a long time and involves using a lot of energy. Seemingly fit people have perished by simply not thinking it through and not taking enough water and provisions with them - something easily avoided by reading up on the do's and don'ts!!

So having read the book and the trail leaflet and deciding that the Bright Angel Trail was for us we figured we would see how far we could get - after a quick pop to the general store for the following key essentials:
  1. Water - 2 half litre bottles each (knowing that there are drinking water taps on the Bright Angel trail meant we could refill these on the route)
  2. Salty snacks - pretzels, nuts and Reese's pieces covering salt, carbs and chocolate wayhey
  3. Gatorade - packed full of essential electrolytes we would need to get back up the hill
  4. Torch - just in case it got dark
  5. Hats - keep the sun off and heat in - being bargain hunters we managed to get 2 Grand Canyon baseball caps for $10 bargain and we looked v cute in our matching headgear honest!!
And then it was time to set off, we left about 11.15am quite late it would appear as we passed so many people already on the way back up and frankly looking like death (it was the midday heat we figured as the walk down was deceptively easy we bounced down the hill at quite a speed). Walking down you get to see so much of the Canyon although I wasn't allowed to stop and look as Mr P said you can look at the view on the way back up you'll need the rest - charming!! So after reaching Indian Garden where we thought we would turn around to come back up we got chatting to another walker and realised it would only be a 20min flat walk to get to Plateau Point and a view of the Colorado River - stunning view and well worth the extra walk or so we thought at that point - of course it had all been downhill!! But to of gone all that way and not seen the river would have been a travesty.

So the long trek back up begins and oh Boy its long. They say it will take twice as long to walk back up as it does to walk down and as we left Plateau Point at 2.45 that meant using the maths it took us 3.5 hours to get down it would take 7 hours to get back up - and we'd arrive at gone 9pm!!! Eesh. So it was hotfooting it time and power walk the cliff side.

And it was hard going I really struggled the first 2 segments of the walk up with the lovely Mr P cheering me on we finally get to the last rest stop where we only had about 1.5 miles to go and had made amazing time as it was only about 5.30 and got chatting to 2 other guys who had been trekking from 6am that morning as they had walked from the North Rim (now that is a long long long walk) and here I got my second wind ready to bounce up the rest of the trail with the end in sight. However Mr P having for so long been our cheerleader crashed and burned so it was left up to me to be chief motivator for the last stretch. Following the chaps from earlier (a shiny yellow mac became my guiding light to follow) we ploughed on one foot in front of the other and then  torchlight with one foot in front of the other until joy of joys we turned a corner and there were LIGHTS we had reached the top and could see lodge lights and it was only 7pm so we did the entire 12miles in less than 8 hours not bad for two unfit novice walkers (no sticks or waterproofs which posed issues when it started raining halfway up) and all thanks to the Gatorade.

I would go back in a heartbeat though and next time I want to hike all the way down to the river and camp down there - just as soon as they get a lift in to take us back up to the top!!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Vegas Round Up

So I've now been back home a week after the holiday of a lifetime to Las Vegas with Mr P, and frankly I'm not happy about it. Las Vegas was everything I had hoped it would be and more I LOVED it, didn't want to come home at all and could quite happily have stayed there for weeks more. But seeing as I'm back here is my pocket sized guide to all the awesomeness that we experienced in my Top 5 from Vegas

1. Freeeeeee stuff
There is so much to see and do that is totally free in Vegas it blew my mind, from seeing the lions at MGM, to the moving statues at Caesars to the Mirage's Volcano and the pirate ship show at Treasure Island it is so easy to spend days just wandering up the strip dumbstruck by everything. My favourites were the Bellagio fountains (well we were staying there and they were amazing) and just looking at the New York New York skyline

2. Cocktails
Now I love a good cocktail (favourite is the classic Woo Woo, with vodka, preach schnapps and cranberry juice lush) and in Vegas they were on form, mainly due to the fact that I only needed 2 to be flying - strong is not the word for the measures but tasty they are. The best ones I had were in Treasure islands Oriental Bar and at the Venetian in the Venice bar, both were amazing and knocked me off my feet hehe

3. Helicopters
The lovely Mr P has a slight obsession for helicopters, he does get very giddy when he sees one while we are driving so I'd been thinking for some time that for his birthday this year I'd get his a helicopter flying lesson. However our Vegas trip coincided with his birthday so instead I booked us on a Maverick Helicopters trip from Vegas, out over Hoover Dam (and bridge!!) to the Grand Canyon north rim and then a long flight down the strip. Originally planned for a sunrise flight the stormy weather meant our flight was cancelled and we flew out on one at 12 instead. Now I'm not the greatest flyer, I get very nervous on take off and landing and turbulence freaks me right out so I was pretty worried that I'd be a proper girl and freak out in the helicopter. I could not have been more wrong flying in a helicopter is the most awesome thing ever. Being able to see so much all around you as you fly over such amazing scenery was just fabulous and one of the best experiences of the holiday by far!! I highly recommend everyone tries it

4. Shopping
Now as much as Mr P finds it very hard to understand the shopping was fantastic too. Being able to walk through the hotel lobby at the Bellagio past Prada, Dior, Tiffany etc was just fantastic. Window shopping only I'm afraid but it was fantastic to feel like you belong in the high roller world where spending $1,000 on a pair of shoes is a common occurrence. Should I have won big (which sadly I didn't) that would have been my first port of call - especially as they stay open until Midnight!! I did however indulge in a new bag, which I saved for before the trip and saved $$$$ compared to purchasing in the UK and despite Mr P's shock at the price is only about 25% of the cost of his new bass that he had recently and I can use my bag everyday!! The most gorgeous memento of the trip however is my new Tiffany necklace which in Pretty Woman style Mr P asked while I was trying on "Shall I buy that for your birthday" and whipped out his credit card. I do love that man!!!

5. Casinos...
Now you can't go all the way to Vegas and not talk about the casinos. They are so vast with so many tables, machines and games it is mind blowing and no matter what time of day you are there it is always busy. The machines are full of ladies of a certain age who just keep hitting buttons, the poker machines have aged, haggard old men who look like they have been there since before the hotel installed the machines and the high stakes rooms are full of the glamorous people who know how to play (unlike me) and play big. The most confusing game has to be Craps though, extremely popular and the only gambling game where it seems acceptable to scream and holler when winning despite reading the gaming rules and instructions remains an elusive enigma to me - I get that you throw dice and need to roll certain numbers but as to where you place the bets or how exactly you win anything confused to hell. Fun to watch though!!

So there are my top 5 - which to be fair does include much more than that and there is so much I've missed out if you get the chance to go - take it! And stay at the Bellagio its fantastic!! x

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Disappearing time....

I don't know how this has happened but it is only 1 more week until the lovely Mr P and I depart for our Autumn sojourn to the bright lights and glamour of Vegas. Understandable I am tres excited, I have only visited the USA once before an amazing and frantic 4 day trip to New York but never with a young man have I travelled so far.

So a quick travel guide to remind Mr P just what he has let himself in for on this trip away:

  1. Packing Lists - I love lists, like proper LOVE them. I love writing them in my Filofax, on post it notes, in spreadsheets and a holiday means lists extraordinare - what to pack, what to take as hand luggage, what to wear, what not to forget, what to buy....the joy of creating all these micro organisational elements of the holiday become a huge part of the fun for me (tragic but true)
  2. Passport Panic - I am a frantic passport/ticket checker, multiple checks an hour just in the rare chance that instead of putting the tickets back in my handbag I tossed them out of the window while we were driving up the motorway - how else to explain why I will check the tickets even while still in the car having checked them already upon getting in and securing the door. Truly bizarre and probably a tad annoying to any normal person but seems perfectly sensible to me
  3. Airport Shopping - I love shopping at the best of times and airports have all the loveliest things all tucked away together ripe for the picking - at discounted prices. I could easily spend my holiday money in the departures hall so that I'm shopped out before even getting on the plane
  4. Freaking Out On Planes - I'm a bit of a scardy cat when it comes to planes. I really can't understand how these big things stay in the air, or take off, or land? And when I start to think about it as invariably you do when strapped into one I start to freak out. It's the loss of control I think - no lists for me to create for the staff and pilots without fear of being thrown out the plane at high altitude
  5. The Itinerary - Back to the lists I have a mehusive list of things that I really want to see and do - from watching a show (Cirque du Soleil??) to riding the Stratosphere to seeing the Venetian gondolas and walking the length of the strip - I want to see and experience as much as possible - I mean I bought new trainers for the occassion and everything!!

As you can see despite all of these things that Mr P witnessed on our first holiday to Egypt together it is surprising that he has signed up for a long haul mission to the states with the travelling companion from hell. Spontaneity and fun I don't think so. Tightly scheduled lists of activities oooh yes please. And there is still the iPad question...a perfect travel companion do we think, is this the time to bite the bullet and finally purchase my new toy?

So will Mr P survive the holiday travel planning in one piece? Will I? Watch this space....

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

3D Star Wars - oh yes yes yes please

I am having a proper OMG, so excited I could squeal moment much to the disgust of Mr P because I came home with the news that George Lucas, inspired by Avatar is going to 3D up the Star Wars series.....


I am literally joyous at this prospect - does this make me nerdy hmmmm I think the answer there is a resounding YES!

But listen, while episodes 1-3 (the newer ones) I will agree are not great, episodes 4-6 (the original 3) are awesome, my favourite films of all time and the ones if I were stuck on a desert island I could watch all day, every day (assuming I had a working TV and DVD player on a desert island obviously!)

I mean can you imagine watching Darth Vader and Obi Wan fighting with the light sabers and literally popping out of the screen in front of you...eeeeee I'm so excited for next year's cinema trips!!!!

Find out more here

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Oh iPad how I love thee...

Ok it's true while not a mega technical geek (see previous posts) I am so desperately in love with the gorgeous new iPad that while typing on this laptop I am contemplating what would happen should I throw it on the floor and stamp on it to justify purchasing one right now....

Actually I know exactly what would happen if I did throw my laptop on the floor here in Mr P's lounge. I would be homeless!! Or at least sleeping in the garden for a few days.. This floor was a labour of love for Mr P and while as yet unfinished (well it has only been 2 years and you can't rush perfection or so I am told) it is his pride and joy. To the degree that we had to choose a sideboard that went with the floor (feel my pain oh readers of trying to co-ordinate your lounge furniture with your flooring have you ever tried to find soft furnishings in Oak?!!)

Anyway I digress, the iPad, a computerised vision of loveliness that can be a book, a magazine, a photo frame or just a portal to the wonder web. It however is also the best part of £800 (taking into account case, SD card adaptors and the like) this is much monies... So I have a Pros and Cons list for the iPad lets see if I can justify the spends:

  1. Travelling- the iPad would make travelling (trains/planes etc) far more fun and the luggage far lighter as the iPad could hold numerous books and magazines plus movies and music for entertaining me while trapped in the confines of public transport hell
  2. Work- being in the magazine game being able to view, subscribe and interrogate magazines on the iPad will become a vital part of my job - I neeeeeed to be on top of all these technical advances otherwise I will loose my edge (or something like that..)
  3. Socialising- with all my photos, internet, blogs, facebook etc on one speedy easy to use device keeping in touch will take less time allowing for more reading
  4. Photos- being able to download holiday photos while still away thus creating a record and saving the photos (handy when you are as clumsy as me!!) makes sure that all the photos can make it home even if the camera doesn't
  5. Post- Mr P will of course be delighted that many of the magazines that currently drop through our letterbox on a daily basis are available as iPad Apps thus removing the need for Wired to be delivered monthly adding to the recycling mountain I generate every week


  1. The Cost- do I really need one? Isn't £700+ a little much to spend on a gadget that technically I don't need (although referring back to a previous post I would probably have less issues with spending £700 on a handbag than a piece of tech!)
  2. The new one- and as if the mehusive cost wasn't enough there are strong rumours of a iPad version 2 due out pretty early next year - surely waiting for a new one is a good idea?
  3. Sharing too much?-with the iPad offering Apps much like the iPhone - will it become too tempting if people see it to just scan through my email or check and update my Facebook status. I know you can pass code protect it but is that not saying "hello lover I may love you but I don't trust you" or is it really just based on knowing that if it were the other way round I am far too nosy not to peek???
  4. Duplication- surely my iPhone is enough? Does the iPad really do that more??
  5. Competitors- with so many new tablets out over the next few months are any of them going to be even better than Apple? The Microsoft Courier looked like an awesome potential competitor but word is that project has been shelved and with the Blackberry version not yet available for journalists to see does it mean that no-one else has really nailed the tablet premise?

So here we are - will I actually read books on it? - I love paper, the smell of a magazine or new book can be intoxicating and at least if I drop it in the pool it is only 1 book and not £700 caught in the drainage system...Will an iPad really reduce my paper recycling contribution in Dorset? Would it become that random techy thing that was a waste of money or will it become as vital to my wellbeing as my iPhone and chocolate?

Hmmmm decisions decisions...

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Classically Edgy?

I am having trouble getting dressed. There it is, the very shallow and superfluous but utterly frustrating issue currently facing me every morning. I have a fair old drive of a commute so I get up early and leave the house at about 6.45am. I also work in an office where wearing flip flops, cut off jeans and a crop top is dressing smartly. I long to be able to wear the Mad Men inspired ladylike looks, with pencil skirts and sexy secretary. I miss the days of dressing up for work to look professional and smart, frankly ironing a vest top is about as close as I now get to immaculate preening. However the main issue is being able to gain valuable extra minutes in bed so removing any issues over what to wear would save me much valuable time.

Therefore I have decided I need to create for myself a "capsule wardrobe". For the capsule wardrobe is an enigma, it consists of having the perfect number of items that not only flatter your body, make you feel amazing but also work for any occasion while seamlessly mixing and matching effortlessly. This is fashion Mecca.

I however am the antithesis to a capsule wardrobe owner, I own a wardrobe groaning at the seems with clothes and yet I have nothing to wear. How so the lovely Mr P often asks (he who shops barely once a year and yet always looks dapper and well dressed) with all these clothes can you have nothing to wear???

Well after reading Red magazine this month it seems clear it is because I have not yet uncovered the 3 words that epitomise my "style". Whether this be Modern, Chic and Edgy like the author of the piece Anna Van Praagh or Elegant, Eccentric and Edgy as Brix (Gok's "aaaaaah fashion" glamorous sidekick) Smith-Start would describe herself. Now I am in no way in the league of these glamorous ladies but could the 3 word principle help in my search for wardrobe nirvana?

What is my style and how would I sum it up in just 3 words? Frankly based on the examples given in this article my initial thoughts of Creased, Comfy and Casual just won't cut it...So I decided to compile my fashion saviours to see if they can shed any light:

1) Denim - I love denim, jeans for work, the perfect denim jacket over a dress, hotpants (well maybe not but you get the drift)

2) Black - I adore black - it suits me (officially I had my colours done years ago and I was a Winter the only black wearing season and also why you'll never see me in pastels as I look like I have developed some tropical disease which has sucked all the life out of me). Black is cool, glamorous, chic - just look at the photos of the fashion editors at London Fashion Week if you don't believe me!!

3) Accessories - I love beads, bangles, boots (hmmm I'm sure there are other non B related items that should go here too) generally all the accoutrement's that you can use to dress up a simple outfit and personalise it to make it your own. Plus even in the midst of the occasional crisis called "having a fatday" my accessories still fit

4) Handbags - now technically while bags may be classified as accessories anyone who knows me can testify to my love of handbags. I have far too many I'm sure but I love them all and they all add a different edge to whatever I'm wearing. Prim and proper with a structured hand held bag or edgy and glam with my new tasselled tote courtesy of lovely Mr P. Each bag epitomises a different look or personality and spruces up the sometimes bland uniform I can find myself in.

5) leopard print - I am so very excited that leopard is back in fashion in a big way this winter. I own shoes, scarves, bags and soon to be a belt (hopefully) as I think leopard print done carefully looks so chic and old school glamorous (think 60's Sophia Loren not 80's Bet Gilroy)

6) High heels - I am a munchkin it is official at only 5'3 now while this is a giantess compared my sub 5' mother I am of dinky proportion to my social circle as highlighted by a friend on Friday who commented "my aren't you short" I've known her 2 years and clearly always wear heels when I see her based on her shock at my diminutive stature. I love high heels, sparkly ones, wedge ones, stiletto ones - I feel sexier and more glamorous dressed in them and I wouldn't dream of presenting at work without them.

7) Earrings - or more specifically the small silver stud in the top of my right ear. I had my ear pierced after having a mini mid life crisis when I turned 30. After quitting my career, home and relationship I planned to mark my rebirth with a tattoo, permanently commemorating the new me. However rebirth or not I'm terrified of needles (did you know that tattoos involve needles and pain!!!) the tattoo idea was short lived but as mark of rebellion the ear was pierced. Baby steps that's me - rebel without a clue.

So for fear of boring you (and potentially me) any longer what do these 7 key themes to my wardrobe mean to my "style" ?

Am I edgy? Not really.
Am I urban? Not at all unfortunately.

My 3 words I think then are as follows:

Structured - I like to wear things that skim not smother so that I celebrate the curves rather than drown them (otherwise I can look like the size of a bus)

Classic - simple separates put together, practical but not boring, classic chic looks if you will

Rebellious - whether it be leopard print or new ear piercings every day there should be something subversive or edgy without being too overt. An accent dish not the main course.

So now I have my 3 words it is time to use them to inspire my autumnal shopping - therefore this is my current wishlist for the new season:

A) Leopard print belt
B) the perfect crop trouser (gap?)
C) a lightweight trench coat (gap again)
D) a black lace t-shirt for layering
E) a furry gilet - Oasis have shown some lush ones
F) high heeled hiking boots from Red or Dead

So, thoughts? What would your 3 words be and do you agree with mine? Or what are your new season wishlists?

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Birthday jollys and musings

Firstly apologies for the length in time between posts...I have been enjoying the gym and nights out and appear to have lost a whole month - this is very careless at my age - and with only 98 sleeps until Christmas I need to re-engage with my life before it turns out it is January!!

So it was my birthday this week, I love birthdays, mine, my loved ones, friends, random strangers who have happy birthday sung to them in Italian restaurants - I just love the celebration and not just because of presents (although I love those too) I think birthdays are special because they are a matter to celebrate still being alive and going.

Call me maudlin but as we get older more and more people we know and love disappear each year as you loose touch, or due to hideous and disgusting illnesses and the like. This is why birthdays I think are a fantastic chance to say "Wayhey I'm still here and I'm going to make the most of the next 12 months until I get to be the centre of attention again!!"

So to celebrate my birthday - which of course I have stretched over several days to maximise the attention being on me hehe has resulted in the following loveliness - actual birthday Thursday - dinner with lovely Mr P, Friday cocktails and singstar with the urban family more to follow on that night of excess soon however I do now have a v poorly Mr P who is still in recovery, fingers crossed he recovers in time for tonight's Saturday night dinner with my lovely family for Thai food (my fave) and then it is Sunday, a time to relax and pump my liver full of anti-oxidants....

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Gym Love

It's official I'm a convert (well for now anyhoo) tonight I once again ventured to the scary moving machine place - otherwise known as the gym. I joined a little while ago and went for my induction (very good) and a boxercise class (nearly died) 5 weeks ago but the lush weather and balmy summer evenings plus work/social/geo caching commitments (laziness) has meant I hadn't been back...well we resolved that this evening with a sess on the cross trainer, bike etc.

Now I may look like a floundering sea-lion trying to work out how to operate the advanced machinery that wouldn't look out of place in a Terminator movie attacking the heroine but my heart is in the right place and I was soon pounding away watching a bit of Emmerdale mixed in with Coast and Sky News - eclectic reading when you just catch glimpses of the subtitles while puffing away - I believe they are looking for some penguins who are either playing in the England team or have committed a double murder in Scotland (I for one will be watching the 10'o'clock news tonight just in case!!) however tonight's visit was marred by the very annoying England match build up on the telly - frankly I could not be less interested but all the men (and there were lots staring aimlessly at the goggle box this evening) were enthralled and got in the way - a lot!!

Anyway my aim is to try the scary boxercise class again tomorow which will mean the following
  1. If you hear the air ambulance has been called out around 8pm tomorrow fear not it will only be me
  2. That come Saturday I will be unable to walk
  3. Or lift my arms above my head
  4. Or turn sideways

But I will feel morally virtuous and able to scoff chinese food on Friday huzzah!! bring on the pain...

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Musical musings. Part one...

So I got to thinking today while driving home listening to the dulcet tones of Wessex FM (imagine your typical south west yokels let loose with a record collection circa 1985) about the importance of music to me and how certain records really do provide the soundtrack to my life.

Now I warn you the following post may offend some people (those with musical tastes for example) but these are the songs and why that make up my Top 8 ...

Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
Now I love ALL the Dire Straits songs, they are just one of the best bands ever in my opinion (just in case anyone was unsure I am totally the un-coolest person I know) and this song above all epitomises them to my eardrums. The riffs, the lyrics, the mix heaven in a audio file. It brings back memories of hearing my Dad typing into all hours of the night, of my Mum walking down the stairs that always creaked to tell him to turn it down as it was late and we were supposed to be sleeping. Most of all it reminds me of being happy and safe and secure and a kid.

The Verve - Love Is Noise
This song epitomises the summer of 2008 to me, a turbulent year when I decided to totally change my life (quit my job, ditch the London life and the unhealthy relationship that went with it) watching The Verve play this at Glastonbury that June barely a month after my total life change was an awesome moment where for the first time I knew for sure that no matter what happened I'd made the right decisions and I remember hobbling to dance - this was the year I foolishly wore trainers as it was sunny on the Thursday drank cider (and wine, and shots and erm..) and then managed to slip over and sprain my ankle so badly I spent 3 months in flat shoes - oh the shame.

Faithless - Don't Leave
A haunting but amazing song taken from the soundtrack of A Life Less Ordinary. I don't know why I love this song so much but it is one of those that is always on my most played list and would be a desert island disc number purely because it resonates so much with me. The haunting simplicity of the lyric don't leave i think encapsulates how sometimes you can be so totally wrapped up in yourself that it comes as a shock when the person you need the most ups and leaves.

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
I was lucky enough to see Michael Jackson twice in concert - on the Dangerous and HIStory tours in his prime these were the most awesome and exciting concerts that you could possibly home to see

Don Henley - Boys of Summer
I love everything about this track it sums up summer in 4.48 minutes with iconic lines like "I saw a deadhead sticker in a Cadillac" it makes me smile every time I hear it and to be best enjoyed it has to be full blast in the car on a sunny day with your sunglasses on :)

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
This song was played at my Dad's funeral - now this was nearly 20 years ago but as soon as I hear the first few bars of this song it takes me back to being 14 years old and missing my Dad, however this is also why I love it - the song in some way links me back with that 14 year old me; the one that was confused and hurt and unsure of what was to come and being the old timer that I am now it is almost a link to the past to say it's OK, it sucks but everything will turn out the way it is supposed to.

Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Summertime
I am of an age where if you don't know all the words to this song shame on you! The most timeless and iconic of the early 90's everything about it just makes you laugh and smile. From the lyrics to the happy sample straight through to the rapping (so bad it hurts but it rhymes and is child friendly so not all bad if not as hip as some rappers like to be these days)

Jamelia - Superstar
This song takes me back to the September of my first birthday bash in the house I had just bought in Yeovil. I played this single (remember CD singles??? Back in the day before mp3s and iPods became the norm - lord I am so old) dancing around my lounge playing it over and over and over again - my poor neighbours I don't think they ever recovered. I had all my friends round for drinks starting at mine before hitting up the bright lights of Yeovil town, all the girls were out in the kitchen/garden knocking back the cocktails (I love a good cocktail me) the boys were sat in the lounge dribbling over the Eric Prydz video - you know the one some random dance track with scantily clad exercising ladies in lycra

Now I know 8 is a random number to have a top list of anything however I figure my musical tastes are so amazing I need to take this blog over several entries to build on the excitement you must be feeling by now!!! Surely I can't top this selection? Oh but I can..........

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Getting the wrong end of the stick and running with it

Well here it goes, it would appear that I may have gotten the wrong end of the stick in a conversation with Mr P last week that resulted in my recent blog about holidays....

Now I know many of you will understand the difficulties of a boy and girl living together with the differences in the communication that we have. Especially when you add some wine into the mix...

Here is my recollection of said recent discussion:

Me: So when can we book our holiday to Las Vegas?
Mr P: I don't want to go this year

(please note there may be missing stages due to chardonnay induced amnesia)

It would appear however after speaking to Mr P afterwards that this was not the full extent of the chat - or even the actual transcript of that moment in the conversation...

So it would seem he may have been the victim of a PFD moment..or Psycho Female Disorder for the uninitiated.

PFD is that classic moment when all sense goes out the window due to some inconsequential item and a rant becomes inevitable. Not my finest moment me thinks...

So it got me thinking, what is it that makes me occasionally slightly nuts and how in future can I avoid taking it out on Mr P?

  1. Avoid drinking (hmmm unlikely what else)
  2. Avoid talking to Mr P (also unlikely seeing as we do live together)
  3. Try new age meditation to remain calm at all times (????)
  4. Excessive valium intake (hmmm that is as bad an idea as no 3)

And here I become stuck....ideas please

Super Shiny Weekend

Well it is Sunday night which normally would mean BOO but having had the most relaxing weekend I feel for a change ready to face the week ahead (handy as it's gonna be a busy one at work!!)

So reasons for happy Sunday evening-ness?

  1. Finally had my haircut - it's been so frantic I've not even had a change to visit the salon but now once again have swingy, shiny, styled hair hurrah!

  2. Saw 2 blockbuster movies - A-Team and Toy Story 3 - both AWESOME

  3. Went for a 5mile Geo-caching hike around Kingston Lacey - beautiful countryside, sunshine and fresh air plus we found all 16 - AMAZIN!!

  4. Took Mr P to Lidl to get some essentials - and he actually didn't mind (Mr P hates the supermarket and normally will avoid at all costs!! This one however he managed to get round without wincing too much)

  5. Good food - Mr P cooked his world famous chilli and we had amazin burgers for tea tonight as reward for the massive hike

  6. Sherlock - perfect Sunday night tellybox watching uber lush

  7. Monday night means fireworks - here in our lush seaside town it is now officially summer season so the fireworks start - every Monday until the end of the summer, but as I'm a newbie resident (i.e since after last summer) I haven't yet seen them but tomorrow we are planning on going :0)

So there are the top 7 reasons why I am a happy lady...Oh that and we booked a little holiday,

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Amazing simple joys....

Today has started in the bestest way ever! Why because on arriving at my normal parking area I was greeted with the horror of having to parallel park on the wrong side (don't snigger you know what I mean - there is one side that every parallel parker can do without a worry - and then there is the other side, the one you avoid at all costs, as it will take several attempts to manage to get your car in the space, always on an angle and usually in front of an audience laughing at your ineptitude.

Well today I arrived, no spaces on the passenger side - the parallel side of choice - so I had no option but to attempt the tricky manoeuvre on the drivers side. A quick check for audience (just a dustbin lorry full of young boys, excellent no pressure then) and off we go - sun blinding me in one eye just for added bonus and despite believing that as normal my reversing in would be way off and require copious re-manoeuvre's I got in the space first time.

And not just in the space, a perfect distance from the curb, equally on both front and rear - it was an awesome and perfect moment. One which I shall cherish for the rest of the morning if not day. The simplest and smallest things are often the ones that make me most happiest and I just had to share!!

Good day to you all Lx

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Holiday Conundrums

So being as I live in one seaside resort and drive daily to another one for work when it comes to that time of year when one's mind starts daydreaming of relaxing on golden beaches with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other I have plenty of inspiration on my doorstep.

However as I live with a official fidget whose worst nightmare appears to be exactly this style of fly and flop the negotiations over holidays can prove interesting. Earlier this year we partook in a winter getaway to Egypt - Sharm El Sheik to be precise - needless to say this was not without its issues - namely in a region that NEVER has rain we were present for a monstrous thunderstorm that included so much rain our hotel was flooded, the swimming pools filled with mud and part of the airport roof fell in (I kid you not google it!!). However we had a fab time and on our return started talking about where we could potentially go next...

So with beach holidays not being top of Mr P's wish list, and skiing not being a favourite choice of mine (true I've never been but exercise, freezing cold and snow are not top of my list when it comes to picturing a holiday from the norm) we started to talk about the good ol USA and more specifically Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

Please note there is no hidden meaning towards a) a quickie wedding b) a gambling addiction but more an urge to see the awesome wonder of the Canyon and spend a few hedonistic days together somewhere fun.

The date for this planned trip was to be October, Vegas weather cool enough to be bearable, good time for vacation time from work etc etc. However it would appear this is not to be...upon a brief discussion with Mr P it seems our jaunt to Vegas is in a permanent state of pause the true reason I am unsure but needless to say a disappointing state of affairs.

However ever the planner that I am with my trusty filofax by my side I have made a list (if you know me you know my love of lists) of places to visit for a weekend away as with my birthday looming in September this could be the perfect opportunity to explore some as yet unLucyified European city so in order of preference what are your thoughts? Where would be good for a potential mid September getaway?

  1. Barcelona
  2. Venice
  3. Paris
  4. Milan
  5. Madrid

Decisions decisions x

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A new hobby?

Well these are words I never thought I'd say but I'm becoming a bit of a geocaching nerd and absolutely loving it. Geocaching is a new concept to me - and I can understand why several of my work colleagues sniggered when I told them how I spent my Sunday walking around trying to find hidden treasures in hedgerows - but until you've tried it you just can't knock it.

For those of you unaware of the joys of Geocaching ( this is an underground movement of people hiding caches in the countryside and the logging their GPS co-ordinates (for the technology minded I can recommend the iPhone App amazin!!) for others to search for.

Currently Mr P and myself have gone on 2 trips - our first haul was a find of 4 caches out of 5 not bad for our first trip. So buoyed with this success (and traumatised by the elusive ivy covered log we failed to locate) we went out foraging again this evening.

Now for those people who know me - it was raining! And I still went!! For those who don't know me - I don't do rain, it ruins hair, makes jeans wet and clingy and generally is not a look I try to sport.

However tonight the lure of finding treasure over rode the rain aversion and donning waterproof coat and sexy pink rainhat (yes rainhat - it is lush even if I do look from the back like a 90 year old granny) out we trotted. Now for the uninitiated when you spot people around where you are searching (known as muggles) the following feelings are common:

  • guilt
  • shame
  • collusion
  1. Guilt - do I look like a burglar/mugger? Unlikely in my pink rainhat but you never know!
  2. Shame - frankly digging around in hedgerow can make you look a tad nuts - a pooch would be a fab alibi however I am now allowed one by Mr P (- more to follow in subsequent posts on this!!)
  3. Collusion - the excitement of being a cache finder out on a mission is ace and thankfully overrides 1 & 2

I think the appeal for me is the treasure hunt element - the joy of solving a puzzle or finding something hidden by others is so exciting and all of this is FREE and involves exercise in the fresh air and showing off on the internet (you can log your finds on the geocaching website) I think it may become a regular thing.

Because normally if Mr P suggested that we go out walking for 2 hours in the rain on a school night I would assume he had gone slightly nuts and throw things at him. But with our new shared hobby this is an exciting plan that even a little torrential rain can't deter.

But these added health benefits frankly are an irrelevant but happy bonus. A normal walk while allowing the observation of views (and as I live on the Jurrasic coast I am most fortunate to be able to see some of the most amazing views in the UK) and exercise frankly can be a pointless affair where walking for the sake of walking occurs. The lure of the cache however means you walk faster and with purpose to hunt down your next find.

So where will you find us tomorrow evening? Most likely on our third hunting trip of the week wish us luck!

Friday, 16 July 2010

The dangers of matchmaking...

After a very lovely dinner with a friend recently where we were trying to work out why some of our very lovely friends (both male and female) have still yet to meet Mr (or Miss) Right despite the many many tools that we all have at our disposal now with Internet dating being the biggy.

Now I am happily ensconced in a relationship with a very lovely man, we met via the wonderful site having been "recommended" respectively by close friends we were each others first date from the site and have been happily together for nearly 2 years.

However our success story also seems to work in reverse for our friends, fearful that they are unlikely to be as lucky as were to find each other they have completely gone the other way and avoiding the whole Internet idea completely!

Now I am not one for having to be with a partner for the sake of it, and frankly several of my friends would be far happier single than they are with their other halves but one thing I was certain of coming out of a 10 year relationship was that I would take every opportunity and chance to have fun, meet new people and for a change prioritise my life instead of my career.

This is how I ended up on msf (plus my friend's insistence that I had such appalling taste in men she needed to stage an intervention) and is how I met the super lush Mr P.

However this foray into the world of internet dating came after my first single summer in my 30's where I gave out my phone number, talked to strangers, snogged men in festival beer tents and generally lived a bit.

So for all those singletons who are spending all their time looking for Mr/Miss Right and have a huge list of the "must haves" (wealth/job/car) instead of just wanting to find someone to have fun with, go out with, share time and experiences together with I say relax. Take time to enjoy the time you have with your friends, learn something new, do something scary and think if tomorrow was my last day do I want to look down and think darn it if only I'd gone out and taken that chance at least I'd have some happy memories to reminisce over for eternity instead of fretting about being left on the shelf.

After all our 30's are the new and improved 20's with better shoes and more money!!!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Dragons Den

It's that time of year again when Dragons Den comes back on the screen - and I love it :)

From flashing signals on no entry signs (erm why???) to an inspirational young lady with her non ice cream business it is one of those programmes where you spend half your time shouting TV about the poorly prepared pitches for useless products and then you are shouting at the Dragons wondering why they aren't investing in the latest flugal binder!

It is just perfect mid week telly long may the Dragons reign

Monday, 12 July 2010

Obsession Much?

So there I was in a very serious work type meeting with very serious work type people talking about incredibly important work things when I suddenly realise that I've spent the past few minutes obsessing over this pair of shoes I've seen that I desperately want.

Now before you sign me off as one of those very shallow shopping obsessed ladies let me just say (yes I am but) what is it about certain items that they can create such adoration and lust - right up until the moment you secure them?

I frequently spot things that I like but am relatively ambivalent towards until a) I find they don't have my size or b) they don't ship to the UK (it truly is amazing what you can see on the tinterbob shame that global delivery services aren't quite so advanced).

This "can't have" situation then creates a level of obsession scarcely seen since Heathcliff came storming back off the moors. I will spend hours researching, trying to hunt down said item usually a complete waste of time. However on the rare occasion I do track down the current object of lust it is as though a switch has been flicked and the item no longer has any hold over me and I can set it free!

Then there is the contrast between the ubiquitous wish list items and how I shop for them. When it comes to technical items (cameras/stereos/laptops/ipads) I can spend months and months researching the best option, what it does, what colour, how much processor/memory etc etc it all has. I will then sort of make a decision, almost decide where I am going to buy it from and then......nothing. I'll watch it in my basket, stare at it regularly and check it is still there and yet still nothing.

Contrast this with a handbag purchase (in the last case which cost more than said digital camera) it took mere moments to click buy. No research, no debate, no guilty conscience over the money...

This weekend after needing a digital camera for months and boring my OH to death with the options and the pros and cons on the one that I decided on months ago I still had not plucked up the courage to purchase her.....the continued deliberation drove the OH to escort me to to our local Currys (excellent price matching in store that one) to collect my shiny new red camera.

As he put it. "You've researched it, need it and know what you want. What is stopping you?"

Quite unsure of the answer to this very philosophical question other than handbags are pretty and cameras are technical and therefore less exciting (I decided against mentioning the black wedges at this point for fear of seeing an exploding boyfriend) I purchased the camera to the relief of Currys man and my man. Whether I can learn to love the camera the same way that I would with new shoes or bag remains to be is certainly more technical!!!!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

The difficult first blog....

So hello, here it is my first ever blog post. An avid follower of several other blogs and a frustrated writer in hiding I've often thought about starting a blog but was far too worried about the following to actually bite the bullet and start one...

  1. What if I can't think of anything to write about -now I have no issues with talking a lot as anyone who knows me will testify to but writing a blog...what if I am boring? Or no-one reads it? Or worse......what if someone reads it and hates it/me???
  2. The techy angle - will I be able to work out how to set one up? Oh the shame if it turns out I'm a little too technophobic to start one properly!!
  3. Newspapers, magazines and pens are the things dreams are made of...I love the sound it makes when I write in my journal can a blog ever compare?

But the time has come - as clearly I have too much to waffle on about that I can fit in a tweet or a Facebook update I have decided to seize the day and start here we go!!!!