Your nightmares only take a year or two to unfold...

This time two years ago I was on top of the world: I was two months away from getting married, doing a well-paid job that I loved and was good at, I felt really confident in myself for firmly bashing the post-uni slump into submission, I'd just had a hilarious weekend away with a lovely group of new(ish) friends, and my colleagues had just given me a fantastic work hen do. I'd arrived. I was a grown up. Everything had turned out OK in the end. Phew.

Unfortunately it all unravelled. Since then, I've seperated from my husband (and lost that group of new friends, and our flat), been 'redeployed' because I was unable to cope with my old job, been through depression/anxiety/personality disorders (depending on which doctor you speak to), and had three admissions to the psychiatric ward... Life just sort of fell apart.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans, right?

But (and this is the biggie)... Life's not that bad. In fact, it's quite good. Sometimes, it's very good. I've made four very close friends from my hospital stays, good colleagues have become very good friends (one of whom I now live with), and I appreciate the friends and family that have stuck by me throughout all the rubbish; I'm getting better and having therapy and medication that works, and I've gained a perspective on mental illness that I would never have gotten if I hadn't been ill; I'm enjoying having the freedom of being single and doing exactly what I want; my job enables me to work with the smae kids that I used to teach, but I don't have to spend my free time worrying about it; and I'm rediscovering old passions like crafting, blogging, travelling and going to gigs (as you read this, I'll be dancing at Hop Farm).

I guess what I'm trying to share here is that sometimes shit does happen, but the consequences are rarely as bad as you might imagine.

Makes: Paper Cake Bunting

Inspired by this pin, I decided to try and make mini paper bunting to go with my friend Beth's birthday cake (well, her Rocky Road). I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out (sorry for the rubbish photos!):

Here's how I did it...

Easy-peasy! I then stuck some silver stars on mine, but you can do whatever takes your fancy! I think they'd also look good done with patterned wrapping paper, or maps, or magazine pages, or anything really... I used kebab sticks to position it over the cake.

I know this should be obvious, but... Don't mix with candles! Unless you want to dramatically burn your bunting, in which case, mix ahead.

What do you think? Let me know if you try it!

Do you remember the first time? #3

My 30 Before 30 target of 'doing something new every week' is progressing nicely, so here's the latest instalment of new stuff that I've done over the past few weeks... I have:

  • Watched Back To The Future (I know, I know, my film knowledge sucks ass).
  • Been to a gig at Troxy.
  • Been on the Thames Clipper.
  • Eaten waffles in a fifties diner.
  • Played the didgeridoo (quite successfully for a first attempt!).
  • Went to Chessington (this list is basically just a way for me to point out that MY JOB IS AWESOME).
  • Discussed my teenage issues (I've seriously never done this before. It was bloody hard.).
  • Made paper birthday cake bunting (tutorial to follow soon).
  • Eaten at the Pear Tree in Cardiff.
  • Had an iced mocha (another win for Costa).
  • Watched a film in 3D (again, I'm a little, OK a lot, slow on the uptake where films are involved).
  • Bought a sewing machine (the cause of much excitement in my little brain).
Not a bad list, especially as it's not all food-related this time!

Have you done anything new recently?

Eat Me: The Cardiff Edition

Last weekend, I took the Megabus to Cardiff for my friend Beth's birthday celebrations. Seeing as we're old ladies now (and I'm full o' medication) we seem to have substituted alcohol with food. LOTS of food. Such as...

Krispy Kremes.

An amazing baked strawberry cheesecake made by @shinobi_neil. As soon as I can get my hands on a form-sprung tin, I'm trying this recipe!

Chai latte. Not sure why it's been so long since I've had one; it was gooooooood.

Rocky Road. My speciality. I might do another post just about how to make this bad boy.

We also managed to squeeze in trips to Nandos, The Pear Tree and Red Hot World Buffet. I know, I know, we're heroes... Needless to say, this week has been rather more diet-friendly!

Review: Snow White and the Huntsman (Spoiler-free)

Spoiler-free (because I'm nice like that).

First things first: I don't do Disney. I've never seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (or Bambi, or The Jungle Book, or Cinderella, or Beauty and the Beast...) and I never really intend to; I just don't really do cheese. As a Literature geek, I know that a lot of traditional fairy tales are much, much darker and more violent than their Disney remasterings, and are, in the main, great stories. I therefore went to see Snow White and the Huntsman expecting to really enjoy it, because the impression I'd got from the trailer was that it would be a much darker, more grown up and more sinister interpretation that any cheesy cartoon.

I was disappointed. At several points of the film it seemed like things were going to take a more brutal turn, but it just never really happened. The whole thing came across a bit like a live action Disney film. And, while that might be some people's cup of tea, it was not what I signed up for. The script really frustrated me; I just found it to be completely devoid of surprises.

There was, however, one genuinely brilliant thing about this film; it looked amazing. A-MAZING. As much as I'd like to, I cannot fault the cinematography. The visual motif of blood on the snow was perfect, and the scenery was absolutely captivating. I didn't come away wanting to buy the DVD, or watch the Twilight films, but my God I want to get in a VW Camper and head to Surrey...

Greenwich Me Time

Firstly, an apology for the title, I know it's lame, but lame punning is what I do. One thing I love about living where I do (a slightly skanky outer London town in Kent) is that it's really easy to access both the countryside, and the centre of London. Last weekend I made the most of the (most likely over by now) sunny spell, and headed to Greenwich on Sunday with two of my loveliest homies. Here's what we saw as we strolled around in the sun...

 Greenwich park, which wasn't too busy, especially seeing as half of it was closed off for the Olympics preparations.

A huge ship in a huge bottle.

The newly-constructed stand for the Olympic equestrian events.

The beautiful painted ceilings in the University buildings (below). What an awesome place to graduate.


The Cutty Sark. I only take boat photos to make my Dad jealous (he's a ship enthusiast, that's where I get my 'cool gene' from).

What have you been getting up to in the sun?