Sunday, 23 September 2012

Over the hill at 35 - at least according to the BBC...

So as you will know dear readers last week was my birthday, and off to Barcelona we went and had a fabulous time (more on that in another post) but on the day we drove up to Luton for our flight (all glamour for me an EasyJet flight via Luton airport!!) we had playing for the duration of our journey the penultimate Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1.

Chris Moyles's long running radio show (over 8 years) on weekday mornings was often controversial and he was often described as like Marmite - you either love him or hate him. I for one adored the show, the mix of banter between Chris, Comedy Dave, Dom, Aled and new girl Tina always felt like sitting with a group of mates every morning. They discussed the topical, the inane and the downright ridiculous. We got to know about their lives, their friends, their partners, their James Corden so eloquently put it during this penultimate live show it was kind of like being part of a group of friends who have never excluded you from anything, you were always invited, always one of the gang. And the longer you listened the more of a gang member you became as you got the historical references and in-jokes and could laugh along with the team.

Unfortunately this long running show and the millions of listeners who loyally listened every single day singing along to the cheesy song and playing the Monday Night Pub Quiz did the unthinkable for Radio 1 - we got old.

I get that the BBC have a charter, they need to reach each section of the population and catering to these strict demographics means Radio 1 needs to meet the needs of the "youth" audience namely the 15-29 age brackets. And despite the continued success of the Chris Moyles Show (7 million listeners on average) the problem lies with the fact that us listeners who started listening when the show began carried on getting older...unfortunate that. So that elusive young audience grew up. And this is where I get angry....Where am I supposed to go now eh BBC?

As I say, I understand the predicament of the BBC I mean their funding is at risk. But frankly I don't feel old enough for Radio 2. I mean some of the presenters and shows are great but the music, really? It seems when I listed the majority of it just does not appeal to me, I like the chart songs, I like listening and singing along to David Guetta and Coldplay and Rhianna I mean I'm 35 not 65. And as for breakfast shows I just can't face Chris Evans in the morning - I mean I have lots of friends who love him but for me it's just not to my taste.

I could listen to BBC6 I hear that's good, a great line up of presenters, excellent music selections, but it is digital only, so not an option for my 2 hours of commuting per day in my where are my options? How are you serving my age group that are still young enough to want to listen to music and hear about gigs and new releases, or are you telling me Mr BBC that at my time of life I should be staying at home with the Archers?

And I don't think I'm alone here - which radio station is it within the BBC that I am supposed to enjoy now if I'm too old for Radio 1? I take it as I'm 35 maybe I should just shuffle off and tune into my local station - which I often do on my drive home but the combination of the annoying adverts and the excessive ABBA/Bonnie Tyler/Banarama songs that prevent this from being a full time option.

So what have I done? I've moved to Radio 4! Educational, interesting, thought provoking but often depressing - I mean getting into work worrying about the economy and the threat of a potential new world war is draining on a daily basis. I love the business news, the in-depth topical discussions and occasionally thought for the day doesn't make me want to scream but I miss having a giggle in the morning with the team from the Chris Moyles show. I miss the silly links, and the un-PC chat and most of all I miss hearing what my mates (or my imaginary friends that Mr P used to call them when I'd come home talking about what they'd been discussing as though I knew them) were up to. I mean Dom just got chickens!!!

So BBC where am I to go? How about you start a Radio 1+1 you know a bit like Dave+1 on Sky...where all us 30+ listeners can go and still listen to music and chatter...and not feel like we're being punished for being loyal? And if you could bring Chris and the team, Sarah Cox, Edith Bowman and all the other DJ's that you retired out for being too old that would be great too!


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Pre-Birthday Weekend Fun Times

So it may be September and we should all be thinking about winter wardrobes (boots, coats, scarves...lovely autumnal colours - I do love this time of year) but in Blighty it appears our weather wasn't informed that it was seasons changeover time and we've been experiencing some wonderful summery weather - hot with blue skies. Bliss!

And this weekend that was particularly handy as I spent part of it embracing the outdoors lifestyle with a visit to River Cottage Autumn Fair with one of my besties. This was a day basking in sunshine, sampling all the very best local produce (meat/cheese/wine/cider....) and listening to some talks and enjoying some music. Frankly it was just blissful and I came home laden with Elephant Garlic (HUMONGOUS) some super hot Dorset chillis, lots of preserves and some of the most amazing smoked cheese produced in the village I went to school in as well as Raspberry wine from Somerset...I mean I could say that I was researching flavours for our wedding next September but that would be a blatant lie I just enjoyed eating and drinking my way round the show!

After our countryside jaunt we stopped off on the way home at West Bay for a sunshine drenched fish and chip supper on the beach. If you've never been you must add it to your places to visit list as it really is just gorgeous!

Also this weekend I was reading the Boots magazine and I was so excited by this interview with the founder of Essie nail polishes that I Instagram'ed the article - the Filofax mentioned in point 3 must be amazing. I imagine it crammed with gorgeous pictures and fabrics bulging at the seams....much like I hope mine will be as I get more into planning the wedding!!

And then there was a magic surprise when I returned home to my early birthday present!!! As you will know from my previous post we are off to Barcelona for a long weekend soon and while we are there I will be celebrating my birthday so Mr P decided as he won't be able to necessarily pack and transport the gift I could have it early and OH MY GOSH the boy done good!

I am one of those people with kinky hair - you know the type that curls under on one side and curls out on the other. The type of hair that with the merest hint of moisture in the air goes frizzy and unruly so the invention of hair straighteners have improved my life no end. But while I know the magical properties of GHD's from my hairdresser smoothing my tresses with them I have never got round to committing the spend on a pair opting to purchase cheap ones that then expire after 6 months use or so. A false economy I know but it always seemed far too much of an indulgence to purchase a pair.....

But no more as the fabulous Mr P has only gone and bought me a pair - I hope because he knows me so well and not because my hair is an embarrassment to him hehe ;0)

So these are the beauties, they have pink sparkly ceramic plates and come in the most gorgeous travel bag with a heat mat as well...stunning aren't they? I really am a truly lucky gal! They are the special edition version that includes a donation to Breast Cancer care which means not only are they super pretty they also contribute to a fantastic cause who could ask for more!


Other things I have been doing this weekend is watching lots of Paralympics coverage - I loved the Olympics and I'm loving the Paralympics equally if not more. The phrase Superhumans that C4 have used could not have been more apt as watching our athletes compete has just been so inspirational! Roll on tonight's closing ceremony for a party to celebrate all the fantastic achievements.

Even Boots has been getting some shut eye so she can stay up and watch the ceremony!!

Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend too


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

What to pack for Barcelona....part 1

Image taken from here
So next week Mr P and I are jetting off to Barcelona for a long weekend and I CAN'T WAIT! Not only will it mean (hopefully) some sunshine, (copious amounts of) sangria and (lots of) tapas but that doesn't even start to cover the amazing architecture and culture...sighs and looks wistfully out of the window!

Now we are flying with EasyJet (groan) which means cabin only luggage, no allocated seating so a bun fight to be able to sit with Mr P and then wrestle to fit my carry on luggage in the overhead racks plus extortionate prices for food and drink should I forget to stock up on water before hand! Of course this is all conjecture as I've never flown with EasyJet before...other budget airlines but not the orange one! But having read numerous articles/blogs/seen Watchdog I have a good idea what to expect!

Anyhoo as this means only one piece of luggage (as in one suitcase to be carried on board - no handbag as that counts as two items and therefore is chargeable I kid you not!) being me I've been making lots of holiday packing lists in my trusty Filofax. This week I'm using the Raspberry Chameleon in personal size which I'm loving and while my diary pages are all working the notes area is a MESS so that's my next task for today - sort out my sections (blog post on that I'm sure!!)

Currently the weather now in Barcelona is 27-29 degrees centigrade (bliss) however the long range (ish) forecast is showing RAIN for next week aaaah. So what to pack?? Originally I was all about the sun dresses and maxi dresses with flip flops - now I'm thinking I need a waterproof/poncho (thank you festival packing) and probably jeans and trainers....

So having Googled what to pack for a weekend in Barcelona I found several useful blog posts including this one by Liberty London Girl  which a) showed me how much I could cram in the case and b) gave some good tips! (Also I'd love her wardrobe the shoes are gorgeous!)

But as ever I needed a list to start from so here is my top 5 so far must remember to pack essentials:

1. A cross body handbag for during the day.
Barcelona is apparently notorious for pick pockets so a small cross body handbag to keep my valuables (camera/dosh) in is essential. Handily I love these type of bags anyway and this is my current fave that I was rocking during our weekend in Cardiff. Cute isn't she and just big enough to fit camera/phone/purse/lip balm & suncream...

2. Technology - of course I am going to have to take my camera (just a little Nikon compact) my Kindle for some plane reading and my iPhone for more picture taking this is just a given, nerdy photo taker that I am...and all the associated chargers...

3. iPanema flip flops - I am obsessed with flip flops just ask Mr P as apparently I have a few too many pairs. Until recently the obsession revolved around Havianas but the same bestie that introduced me to those introduced me to iPanemas - still rubber flip flops but they are just so so so comfy. I even ordered Mr P a pair to prove to him how good they are! I am particularly loving these that I have been wearing to death all summer (Mr P's are without flower though unfortunately...)

4. Dresses - having lost over 18lbs since the start of the summer (I use that phrase loosely in the UK of course) I feel so much more confident that I don't mind/enjoy wearing dresses now whereas before I felt far too self conscious to entertain dressing up in a frock too often. My plan (weather depending) is to take a selection of summer dresses to wear in Barcelona with my flip flops during the day and a pair of wedges at night just so I don't feel quite so midget like...a denim jacket cover up and a couple of cardigans should see me right in case of shoulder chills of an evening too! Plus dresses take up far less room than other bulkier items like jeans etc

5. Minimal toiletries - I'm going to try super hard to only take the bare minimum of the toiletries I need/use main things being suncream, moisturiser and a few make up items. I plan to hit a pharmacy while we are there to get some cheap shampoo if the hotel doesn't provide it just to try and save on weight/room....unless of course I can sneak some items into Mr P's luggage.....

So anyone been to Barcelona? Any recommendations on what to see/visit/take with me?


Sunday, 2 September 2012

It's a life update!

So I've been very slack recently in updating my blog....ahem....nothing since May I mean seriously that means I went the WHOLE summer without blogging - oops oh yes I live in Britain we're still waiting for summer to start and it's September 2nd!

I guess I lost my mojo but hopefully I'm a getting that back y'all (nope I can't pull of an accent even when writing!)

So what have I been up to while I've been away?

We got a kitten
Boots (she has 4 white paws so looks like she's wearing booties) joined us on the 15th May and has dominated our lives since!! She's totally gorgeous, entertaining, affectionate, curious - I have turned into the cat woman obsessed with her "baby" but what's more amusing has so has Mr P!!

As a tiny kitten

Getting a wee bit bigger - check out those awesome whiskers

And she still squeezes in the peg basket (just)

And her current kitty collar come space helmet look...

I went to V Festival
There was no Glastonbury this year so our festival calendar looked a tad empty - until we saw the line up for V...The Killers, High Flying Birds, Snow Patrol, The Feeling were just a few of the fab acts so we went to Chelmsford and drank copious amounts of cider and vodka, danced around a field and generally got super hot as that was the hottest weekend of the year! Bliss

Yep it's a giant foam thumb ;0)

We saw Michael McIntyre in Cardiff
I'd never been to Cardiff before although I had seen Mr McIntyre's stand up before (in Bournemouth so super cute diddy venue) so Mr P and I spent the bank holiday weekend exploring the city. And loved it. Can't reccommend it enough - fab castle (inside the city at the end of the high street - amazing) fab bars, restaurants, Dr Who was all awesome and luckily enough we got a day of sunshine there too!

Cardiff Castle house so pretty

I tried on some wedding dresses!
So our wedding may still be over a year away but last month I just had to start the hunt for £the dress". I was worried that I'd feel old/fat/frumpy/too flouncy so thought I'd better start looking just in case. Complete opposite was true. The stores I went to were amazing, so friendly and lovely and had so many dresses I loved...deciding which one to pick I think will be the problem huzzah!!

No pic here obviously!!!

My hometown hosted the Sailing for the Olympics
After all the roadworks and misery that we had endured here while we "got ready for the Olympics" and all the scaremongering (you won't be able to get anywhere, it will be gridlock traffic etc etc) when the Olympics started it was amazing. I mean the whole of the London 2012 was AWESOME I watched so so much of it and really wish I had gone to some events BUT I did get to see some British medal action on the seas in my hometown and that is freaking awesome!

Winning silver!

And most excitingly we had a new garden done!!!!
You may remember my post last year about garden transformation part 1 (see here) but this year the full transformation was completed...bye bye lawn and weeds hello gorgeous patio and is stunning! We also have some gorgeous teak furniture that we picked up from the Royal Cornwall Show in June and now when the sun (rarely) shines it's a fab place to sit with a coffee, read a book or just relax (oh and Boots loves it too!)
Super lovely patio

So that's me and what I've been up to...I've missed blogging and while I've been reading lots of blogs still I need to get back into commenting/writing and updating as I miss it all. Hopefully this is the start of many I just hope there are still some people out there reading it?

I'm now on Instagram as ninny279 which co-incidentally is my Twitter name @ninny279 so come say hi!


 Oh and I finally organised the shelves.....

Desk shelves