You're looking well.

Firstly, I just want to say that writing this post genuinely terrifies me, because it feels like I'm completely tempting fate and will have have relapsed by the end of the week. However, I'm going to stop being a big scared baby and just write it. Here goes...

Recently, I've started to feel, well, WELL. I've actually had days recently where I feel happy for no particular reason. I know this is normal, but I honestly haven't felt that at all for the past 18 months which, as you can imagine, makes the feeling amazing. I've never felt so grateful for feeling relatively normal!

Obviously I'm not cured; I still take a lot of medication, and there's lots I need to work through in therapy, and I think the events of the past 18 months will, in some ways, stay with me and effect me forever. But it's great to not feel like I'm hanging on to normal life by my fingertips the whole time. Apart from anything else, it was exhausting.

As part of a Wellness and Recovery Plan I've put together, I had to make a list of what 'being well' means to me. I wanted to share it because I want to put across how genuinely grateful I feel to finally be able to...
  • Feel like 'myself'.
  • Feel hopeful when I think about the future, and be able to make (positive) plans.
  • Go to work or see friends without feeling completely overwhelmed by anxiety.
  • Enjoy work.
  • Enjoy spending time with people.
  • Feel emotionally connected to the people I love.
  • Have the energy to live a normal life.
  • Sleep and relax.
  • Eat properly.
  • Wash regularly (gross, I know, but I'm being honest here...)
  • Laugh, and laugh so hard I can't breathe.
  • Help and support other people.
  • Challenge negative thoughts.
I'll never take that stuff for granted again. Well, I probably will, because I'm only human... But I'll try not to!

The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hp horray!

Like everyone else in the UK, I have been :LOVING the sunshine this week. And, like every other event in my life, food has been central to my enjoyment of this week! Here's some more gratuitous food snaps for you to feast your eyes on (see what I did there?)...

I went to Zizzi's on Thursday and had one of their epic Rustica pizzas. HUGE and with a super-thin base (I don't do deep pan). The best bit was that they had massive front French windows that were fully open, so we could pretty much sit outside and enjoy the sunshine! I love how late it's staying light and warm for at the moment, I feel like I have so much more energy and motivation!

Friday's epic fruit salad. I know how to kick the weekend off, oh yes I do.

Epic on-bus snack.

Summery pastel nails (not food-related... Shocking.) I loved the colour but the quality was rubbish (to be fair, I did buy it reduced from Peacocks!). Will get some in the same colour but a better quality.

Everything is just so much better in the sun; we had loads of fun at work this week, taking the kids to the park and getting the paddling pool out! More sun-drenched fun is planned for this weekend...

Get in my belly. Please.

Last weekend, I went to Somerset to visit my Mum and Dad, and on Saturday morning I went to Dunster to meet up with my friend Kirsty. It's a bit super touristy but, to be fair, it is quite postcard-worthy. It may not have a bank, but it does have a CASTLE, which I think you'll agree is much, much better. I was going to take a photo of the castle but there was a frozen food delivery van in the way and that somewhat ruined the view. Instead, here's the old yarn market and some shops:

We waited at least 45 seconds before making a beeline for Tessa's Tea Room. Here is their pretty garden, bunting and all:

Obviously I went for a cream tea (because that's how I roll):

I had a second helping of cream that was about twice as big as the helping in the picture. I ate it all. Obviously (because, again, that is how I roll). Now, that would have made for a good food day in itself, but I naturally followed it up with some fudge (it's kind of rude not to in Dunster, there's some seriously good fudge shops). 

However, the cream tea and the fudge were just not quite enough. Luckily, we'd planned to go for a family curry in the evening. I decided not to irritate everyone by taking photos of all my food, but here's  the pickle tray (because we all know that the poppadoms are the best bit):

Yes, your eyes are not mistaken, that is a FIVE PIECE set o' pickles. 

In short, Saturday was the kind of day that the phrase 'diet fail' was made for. And I bloody loved it.

Wanderlust I

In February I booked flights in and out of Berlin during the Summer holidays, the idea being that I'd visit my friend Marta in Poland (just over the border from Germany), then head off on my own through Poland and then to Berlin. Last week I realised that this trip is now not too far away, and I'm going to be flying off in just nine weeks. Very exciting!

This of course means I need to start planning. I'm trying to not over-plan and therefore to force myself to relax a little about how I'm going to get between cities, where I'm going to stay, etc. I think it'll be a good test for myself in a way, because I do tend to get a bit over-anxious about these things and plan everything in ridiculous detail!

As a rough guide, I'm thinking Barlinek (where my friend lives), then Gdansk, Krakow and finally Berlin.  I've started a Pinterest board to collect ideas, which I'll probably be updating quite frequently.

Have you ever been to Germany or Poland? Any recommendations/must-see places?

I can't believe it's been three years since I last went abroad...

In Pictures: Welcombe Mouth and Hartland Point

More holiday snaps for your viewing pleasure (these are the last ones, I promise!):

I get sucked in for hours, over the smallest things.

I'm feeling a bit out of love with my blog recently, or out of love with my writing anyway. I kind of feel that my writing style is a bit lacking at the moment, and all of the wonderfully photographed posts that pop up on my Google Reader everyday are making me feel a bit crappy about the somewhat average images I manage to capture on my humble (but still kinda awesome) Blackberry.

I wasn't really sure that type of post to do today, so I figured I should just write the type of posts I like to read. So, a confession: I am a nosy cow. I follow lots of beauty/fashion blogs, and although I do like looking at the pretty clothes, I mostly like getting a flavour of people's lives and finding out what they've been up to. Therefore, I shall try to be a little more wordy and share a little bit more...

Last weekend I went to see my brother in Canterbury, which was good fun. It wasn't a particularly wild one, I have to say, but a night in with popcorn, cheesy TV and Ben and Jerry's pretty much does it for me these days. I had a look in the Cath Kidston shop, and spotted this amazing dress. At £65, it's way out of my price range, but I tried it on anyway in the hope that I'd hate it and not want it anymore. The plan backfired slightly because it was really nice on. Looks like I'll be scouring ebay/the sales for a cheaper version then...

On Tuesday I went to see The Cribs at Troxy in East London. I've never been to the venue before and I was impressed; the standing area worked well and I loved the Art Deco look. I'm not sure how wise it was to have a Cribs gig in a building with very expensive-looking carpets. Maybe they've got shares in Rug Doctor or something. It's only the second time I've ever been to a gig on my own but it felt fine, I actually love having the freedom to do exactly what I want. It's hard to explain, but the prospect of going to a gig/travelling alone is far less daunting to me than the prospect of going to a party with colleagues... I guess that would sound weird to some of you, but I think it's the social interactions that scare me! Anyway, I've chosen this picture because I'd forgotten that Another Number existed, and when they played it... Amazing. (The video is from Reading 2006, but I was there then as well.... I am more rock and roll than my love of sewing/seaside holidays might suggest.) The whole gig was fabbo, they played a lot from their new album which I hadn't listened to much (it was only released on Monday) which was good, but I mostly enjoyed bobbing up and down to their classics ... and after five albums, they have more classics than I'd given them credit for.

Yesterday I went for a Mexican with two lovely, lovely people (and fellow crazies). Obviously we had nachos to start with (crisps for dinner... Hell yes), and they were goooooood. I had goat's cheese Enchiladas and cinnamon ice cream (for dinner and desert, not together obviously. I mean, OBVIOUSLY). Both were seriously good, although I'm still feeling a bit uncomfortably full. In a good way. obviously. OBVIOUSLY.

So yeah... That's my week in a nutshell.

Altogether now: DO, DO, DO, DO, DO, DO, DO...

Makes: Baby Bunting.

One of my friends in Norway had a baby at the end of March, so I needed to make something that would be a) cute, b) not take 564 hours to make, and c) be easy to post. This is what I came up with:

The baby's name is Tosia, by the way.

I think it turned out ok, there are a few things I'm not super-happy with, for example the stitching along the ribbon is horribly uneven, and buying cheap pinking shears for the edges was probably a mistake. But, all in all, I think it's ok for a first attempt. There might be more to come (one day, not soon, I'm pretty lazy really). 

In Pictures: Westward Ho!

During the Easter holidays I went on holiday with my parents for the first time in 6 years. I was a little concerned before I went that there might have been some forgotten about reason for me not going away with them for so long, but a good time was had by all. Well, it was by me anyway. Here's some photos from Westward Ho!:

Now that's what I call a seaview. 

If I had a beach hut, it would definitely be stripey.

I love being by the sea; it's one of the things I really miss about living in Watchet. Possibly the only thing.

Do you remember the first time? #2

To prove I remain dedicated to completing my 30 Before 30, here's some more firsts. In the last few weeks, I have:

  • Got a tattoo (separate post to follow).
  • Rolled around in a zorb (at work, no less).
  • Eaten eel.
  • Been to the Albert Hall...
  • ...and seen Noah and the Whale live.
  • Looked after a rabbit (it survived, as did I).
  • Been on holiday to Westward Ho!.
  • Seen Silent Witness.
  • Received a lovely email full of positive feedback from a parent at work.
Less food-related that usual as well!

No time for motivation.

I feel like I've lost my blogging mojo at the moment. I mostly blame my lack of computer; I think I've just got out of the habit of going online daily, and blogging feels like more of a chore than it used to. I'm sure my posting (and commenting) will get more prolific in time. I've also been focusing on keeping busy and keeping myself well, so I guess something had to give. Sorry, readers (yes, all 16 of you).

Well, those are my excuses, and now I'm going to do something really lazy... Link you to my Pinterest boards.

My name on there is distractliz. If you have one, please send me your address, I need more pinners to follow! I'm really enjoying Pinterest right now. I'd been thinking about getting a Tumblr for a while, but the fact that Pinterest lets you sort stuff into categories obviously held massive appeal for me!

I know that devoting a whole blog post to just linking you to yet another social media platform is super-lazy. Sorry.

P.S. Why does the Blogger spell checker highlight the word 'blog' as a misspelling?! Ridiculous.