London's Green Chain: Thames Barrier to Oxleas Medows

It seems a bit weird to be posting gloriously sunny pictures from last weekend when I'm currently sat in bed listening to pouring rain, but I guess that's Autumn for you... Last Sunday we decided to start exploring the Green Chain. We did section five, which goes from the Thames Flood Barrier to Oxleas Wood.

The Green Chain is a series of walks in South East London (which connect together like, erm, a chain). The idea is to get people to explore the parks and green spaces around London. The website (which I've linked to above) has written descriptions of the route, and audio files (which are free to download) that guide you through the walk, telling you where to go and telling you a bit about what you're looking at.


There are signs all along the route to stop you getting lost... We did actually get lost once but that might have been me not listening to the audio description properly. I'm not going to blame the signs. 


You have to admit, it's pretty sexy for a flood barrier.



Although I heard/saw little evidence of it on the night, it would seem that the storm did in fact hit London.


Love this view across Hornfair Park.


Woolwich Common. It felt hard to believe that we were only a few metres away from busy roads. Well, it would have done if we couldn't have heard the sirens...


The audio guide gives you loads of facts about the areas you're walking through. FACT: Public executions were held outside the police station on Shooters Hill to deter armed bandits, who were rife in the area. That's probably not a very interesting fact, but I love facts. Any facts. Go on, tell me some facts.


The view from Severndroog Castle.




Oxleas meadow! We made it...

I'd totally recommend trying the Green Chain (or the London Loop, or the Capital Ring) as a way of getting out of the city without actually having to go anywhere. I'm really looking forward to doing the next bit... As soon as the rain stops.

Baby, You're A Firework (2013)

I've just realised it's been over a month since I last posted. I am a BAD BLOGGER! Everything's good with me, I've just been really busy and can't really decide what direction I want to take my blog in... Yeah. 

On Saturday we went to the fireworks display at Blackheath. Despite it being cooooooooooooold, I really enjoyed it. Here's some pretty pictures:








Sorry that the quality of the photos isn't brilliant, but I was taking them on my phone in the dark. I bloody love fireworks. Plus, the fact that we've had Bonfire Night means that Christmas is the next big thing.... And I really, really, bloody love Christmas.

Life Lately

I think I might have stolen this post title from someone else... Apologies if it's you. 

My posting has gotten a bit sporadic again, I just can't seem to settle into a routine with blogging at the moment. It's not exactly that I don't have the time, more that I don't have the motivation and I seem to be constantly forgetting my camera when I do go to interesting places! 

In the last couple of weeks, I have:
Been to the London Tattoo Convention (but I didn't get tattooed).
Cycled through (a tiny bit of) the New Forest. 
Eaten a cream tea, or two.
Revisited the Pizza Bus, and the Players Bar in Charing Cross.

I wanted to share this picture of Hampstead Villiage that I took a few weeks ago... Where has the sun gone?!


Sorry this post is so scatty, but that's kind of where my brain is at right now! Right, I'm off to watch Peep Show.

I'm going to try and get some of my Isles of Scilly posts up at the weekend... I might even post on my Cake and Tea Blog. Maybe!

See you later, alligators.

Online Dating: Sharing My 'Wisdom'

[photo credit]

I'll admit it: I've tried online dating. Not only have I tried it, I've met someone awesome online. I really don't think it's even that embarrassing anymore; I know loads of people who have met their boyfriends/girlfriends/fiances through online dating. Besides, if you've finished uni and there's no-one suitable at work, how exactly are you supposed to find a new partner without getting online?

I did the online thing for around four months (on and off) before I met my boyfriend. I've been thinking about doing a blog post about online dating for a while, so here it is...

How do you work up the nerve to get started?
Window shop! This is a bit sad really, but for about two months before I even created a profile, I searched dating sites just to see if there was anyone out there that I even wanted to meet up with. When I started to feel like I actually wanted to start sending out messages, I bit the bullet and made my profile (I might have been a little bit drunk at the time).

What should I put on my profile?
This sounds stupid, but something. Unless you are smokin' hot, you're probably not going to get many messages by writing, 'I hate writing profiles, message me to find out more' and leaving it at that. A list of facts (some important, some funny, some weird) about yourself will do. Put up a decent, but not the best photo of you that's ever been taken. Better to pleasantly surprise rather than slightly disappoint when it comes to actually meeting someone.

Don't you end up getting loads of messages from creepy men?
YES. Especially if you're on a free website. In fact, this is one of the most hilariously terrible/brilliant things about online dating. Laugh, delete, continue.

How long should you wait until meeting up with someone?
Personally, I think a week or two is fine. I wouldn't want to invest loads of time in messaging someone I've never even met. That said, it also depends on where you live, because I guess if you're having to travel 100 miles for a date you might want to wait until you know them a bit better. I've always felt perfectly safe on dates, but it's worth remembering that you are meeting a complete stranger, so be safe, yeah?

What if I go on a date and it's a complete disaster?
Leave. Turn the whole thing into a hilarious anecdote for friends/colleagues/twitter.

Any online dating success stories/disasters you want to share with me? Please share, I wanna hear your thoughts on this!

[insert alliterative title about blog posts I liked this week]


Loved this window front from Oh Happy Day. I'd like to do something similar at work... Also, the colours make my tiny brain happy.


Gem posted about the Pizza Bus in Deptford! I love that pizza-y bus. And not just because it's cool... I genuinely love pizza and transport. 

This Yes and Yes post about ways to get creative with all the records, books and scarves you find in charity shops.

Catherine started up this year's #OperationBlogger tag for Operation Christmas Child. Here's my post from last year.

Ever looked for a house share in London? Laugh in bitter recognition at Rachel's account of her search. The photos made me belly laugh. To myself. Alone in my room. Must get out more.

Link me up with more goodness from t'internet, please!

Ooooh, dinosaurs! // Crystal Palace Park, London

My #FMSphotoaday attempts have fallen to the wayside a little, oops! I might dip back into it occasionally, but I do find that forcing myself to post every day kinda takes the fun out of blogging... I stared at the blank 'new post' page for about 10 minutes before I started typing this, so clearly I have absolutely profound to say! Instead of witty insights, I'm giving you dinosaurs...






These beauties are all at Crystal Palace park. Pretty cool, non? They were thought to be life-size when they were first created, but as you can see they really aren't. They're still pretty big though. Crystal Palace park is a bit of a recent discovery for me... They also have a city farm. Best of all, I can walk there from my house.

Right, I'm off to sort my life out. First task: ring up about driving lessons. I'm scared.





The South Bank, London (and more #FMSphotoaday).

Pretending to be a lovely person is hard work, isn't it?

I spent the weekend helping to entertain my boyfriend's parents. I actually had a really awesome weekend, and we did loads, but I always find it pretty exhausting to be constantly lovely and kind and funny and attentive and polite and... You know the deal. 

Anyway, that's my excuse for not posting my #FMSphotoaday over the weekend!

'White'


These upsidedown plant pots were hanging up on the South Bank. I have a lot of love for the South Bank, especially when the weather's good. I really like the fact that the outdoor exhibitions change quite frequently, so you can usually catch something brand new (this is especially good when you're doing the tourist trail with visitors... I'm kinda bored of Covent Garden now). We spent Saturday afternoon on the South Bank, and I got a bit snap happy. 

Here's some more of what I saw:


From a massive mural on the wall of the South Bank Centre.



These signs were up everywhere. I was so happy to capture this perfectly-placed couple! 



We actually went on this. It goes up really, really high, so the views are good, and it was actually much less scary than Boris' cable cars! It was £7.50, which I actually thought was a bargain... Maybe I've been in London too long?!

Right, enough South Bank, let's get back to the rest of my #FMSphotoaday attempts.

'Made by me'


Shamefully, this cup of tea was the only thing I made on Sunday. I do flipping love tea though.


'On the wall'


I try to...

Here Forever // #FMSphotoaday


'Here Forever'


My bird tattoo. Obviously it's not actually going to be here forever, but it'll probably be here for as long as I am! This was my first tattoo. It took me a while to work up the nerve to get it, but I was so glad when I did. A few people have said they think the second bird looks like a bat, and to be honest I think they're kind of right, but I love it anyway. I'm going to the London Tattoo Convention at the end of the month, so I might have some new ink very soon...

Alone // #FMSphotoaday


'Alone.'


Whenever I'm walking alone, I have my headphones in. In fact, I'm pretty surprised that they haven't become permanently attached to my ears. This morning I was listening to Editors, because I'm going to see them in November, yay! They were one of the bands that I loved when I was a super cool still pretty geeky indie kid in 2005. I'm super happy that they've got a great new album out, and I'm really looking forward to the gig.

Today's photo prompt is quite appropriate for me, because I'm essentially a bit of a recluse. Some people feel energised after spending time with others, I feel energised after spending time alone. Introverts are awesome.


Lines // #FMSphotoaday


'Lines.'


This is today's page from my Five Year Diary. I got it from Beth for my birthday (she blogged about her's here). Each day contains a question, and a few lines to write down your answer. The idea is that you work through the diary for five years, so you can compare how your answers change over time. It's such a great idea, and it's the only diary I've ever had that I actually remember to write in every day!

Today's been a busy one.. First day back at work, then a swim (and dinner with friends later on). I wanted to take a photo of the swimming pool lanes for today's picture, but I'm pretty sure that taking photos in a public pool is frowned upon. 

A couple of people asked me about the lasange sandwich I mentioned in yesterday's post. It's exactly what it sounds like; leftover lasagne in between slices of bread. I used fancy tomato bread if that makes it any better? I don't think it does really, does it?! Please, someone tell me I'm not the only one...

My Name Begins With... // #FMSphotoaday


'My name begins with...'


Not many points for original thinking, granted, but I am a bit of a Scrabble fiend so it seemed pretty apt. I'm one of those irritating people who have to clarify all the rules before I start playing. And don't even get me started on people who think that using proper nouns is a good idea... I used to play Scrabble with my grandparents a lot, and I miss it... You don't know what you've got until it's gone and all that jazz.

Anyway. Today's my final day of the summer holidays (I work in a school, I'm not 14), so I'm having a chill out day. Spinning this morning, now a blog catch up, later some sewing. I am so freaking rock and roll. In other news, I just ate a lasagne sandwich. I know, I know, I'm a pioneer...

Together // #FMSphotoaday

Let's face it, I've been a bit of a rubbish blogger lately. I need to get back into the habit of posting regularly, so...

This month I'm going to be doing the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge. Basically, you have to take photo every day, and it has to relate to the prompt word given. Yesterday's was 'Together'. Here's my photo:


My wellies that I bought for Reading Festival. Seeing as tomorrow is 'back to school' day, I wanted to pick something that reminded me of what an awesome summer it's been. Reading was basically a weekend of listening to some of my favourite music with some of my favourite people. And I didn't even feel that old...

Are you doing the Photo A Day challenge? Send me your links please! 

Reading Festival 2013: My Very Important Thoughts

Last weekend I went to Reading for the first time since 2006. As predicted, I did feel pretty old (there are a lot of 16-18 year olds there) but it wasn't too bad! I had an awesome weekend. So awesome, in fact, that I was rendered practically speechless for two days afterwards (too much screaming!).

Here's my thoughts:

Act that most surpassed my expectations: Without a doubt, Johnny Marr. I didn't know if he would even play any Smiths songs, so I didn't let myself get my hopes up. He played Stop Me..., How Soon Is Now?, Bigmouth Strikes Again and There Is A Light... Go and see him. You get to listen to Smiths songs without putting up with Morrissey's shit. I genuinely was speechless (and a little teary) afterwards, and not (entirely) because of the screaming.


Best set list: Green Day. The day before we left for Reading, I tweeted this:
At the time that was extreme wishful thinking, but they only bloody did it! The whole way through. My friend Kirsty and I usually dance hard, but this was something else... Apologies to anyone who was stood near me.

Best thing to put vodka in: This is a tie, between an inflatable beer cooler (for storage), slush puppies (for drinking) and my pants (for sneaking in).

Most disappointing band: Foals. I was so looking forward to them, and they played a rubbish set list. No Cassius, and I'm pretty sure they didn't play Bad Habit. Gutted.

Favourite new band: This is a difficult one because it was a great weekend for checking out new stuff... I think Savages. Or maybe Tame Impala. Or maybe Frightened Rabbit. DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

Most brilliantly eccentric band: British Sea Power. My favourite eccentricity was the 8 ft tall bears dancing and fighting in the crowd.

Best thing to do in the arena: Silent disco, baby! This is what actually ruined my voice (and my knees, and my ankles, and my self-respect...).

Worst thing to do in the arena: Female urinals. For some reason I decided to try it twice. They didn't call me 'Lizzy Pissy Pants' for nothing.

Weekend Wanderlust: Vis Island, Croatia.

We spent two nights on Vis, which is one of the less touristy islands. It took just over two hours by ferry from Split, and buying the tickets was easy. Although Vis town itself was quite busy, it didn't take long to find secluded spots.  I'm going to mostly let the pictures do the talking here, because the scenery was seriously beautiful.  We didn't do an organised tour or anything, we just walked from Vis town. Here's what we saw:


The streets had a real Mediterranean feel about them (probably something to do with being in the Mediterranean). I felt like I was walking through an olive oil advert.


Look how clear the water is! Amazing for snorkeling...






Just, wow... I don't think most of those pictures even need a caption (lazy blogger alert...).

*FOOD KLAXON* If you go to Vis, get a pizza at the Karijola Pizzeria. Mmmm, pizza...

Next week: Brac Island. 

Five Things That I Irrationally Hate.

Eastenders. The scripts are shit and it takes itself far too seriously. If I'm going to watch a soap, I want something a bit tongue-in-cheek (hello, Neighbours and Coronation Street). AND WHY IS EVERYONE ALWAYS SHOUTING?!

Tim Henman. It feels unfair to hate Tim Henman, because he does seem like a nice bloke, but I think this is part of the problem... He just seems irritatingly vanilla. Sorry Tim.

The song Sweet Child O' Mine. This isn't my least favourite song ever, but I do bloody hate it. I think the main problem here is that a lot of my friends like this song, so I am sometimes forced to listen to it. And it's long. There's a lot of song to hate.

People (well, it's normally children) sucking their jumper sleeves, or other absorbent materials. It makes me feel sick to my very core. *shudders just thinking about it*

Emails from Transport For London. I always feel like I need to read them, in case there's anything important, but there hardly ever is. And there are so many of them. I've had about nine about a bloody bike race that's happening when I'm on bloody holiday. I DON'T CARE BORIS!

Ahhh, that feels better.

Nine Of My Worst Habits

Completing about 90% of a task, then getting distracted before I can finish it properly. As I type this, I'm supposed to be packing for my holiday....

Snoring, starfish-ing, hogging the duvet, being impossible to wake up.... I am, essentially, a terrible person to share a bed with.

Laughing at inappropriate times. Usually when someone is telling me a story about their sick/dead pet. I know, I'm going straight to hell. 

Being completely unable to respond to compliments in an appropriate way. 

Singing whatever crappy song is currently on a loop in my head (not only that, singing the same two or three lines over and over again...). Right now it's, 'Sipping on coke and rum, I'm like so what I'm drunk, it's the freaking weekend baby I'm about to have me some fun....'

Being a massive pedant, and going on about it when I'm right about something. I cannot stop myself. I was a precocious child and I never really lost my love of being a know it all

I think these are my worst habits anyway. There's probably a whole load of other shit that I'm not even aware of... But it's ok, I'm still pretty much awesome.


Weekend Wanderlust: Split, Croatia

I got back Croatia on Tuesday and, well, it was rather awesome. I've split (HAHA) my photos up into three posts, starting with Split. 

We started and ended our trip in Split, using it as a base to explore some of the nearby islands. It's quite a compact city and it's really easy to travel in and out of, because the bus station, train station and ferry port are all in the same place. I wasn't really expecting much from Split (I was more excited about the islands) but I was pleasantly surprised by the city.


The most famous part of Split is probably Diocletian's Palace, or 'the Roman bit' as I like to call it. Most of the roman walls are still intact, and the area is a maze of alleyways filled with little shops, bars and restaurants. Definitely worth getting lost in.



I wasn't really expecting Split to have any decent beaches (although, to be fair, my pre-holiday research was a bit rubbish). We spent the afternoon at the beach and I was really impressed by the clarity of the water (and the lemon beer at the bar). I'm not sure of the name of the beach we went to (google isn't helping) but it was the one nearest the port. It was busy, but I reckon if you're willing to walk a tiny bit further you could find something a bit quieter. 



On the last evening of our trip, we walked up Marjan hill to check out the views over Split. The park area looks pretty massive, but we were short on time so we just ventured to the first viewing area. Added bonus: there's a bar there so you can have a drink and look over the city (and stop sweating after climbing up all the steps!).

Next weekend: Vis.

Happy days.

I seem to be in the habit of stealing post ideas from Beth at the moment. I'm not sure if this is down to my current lack of creativity, or my secret love of those questionnaires I used to email to my friends when I was 16. It's probably a mixture of both. 

Last week she posted a list of things that made her happy, and I've decided to copy her idea. Here's of few of the things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:










I couldn't do this post without linking you to the Just Little Things blog (again), which is dedicated to the little things that make life awesome... Go follow, it's ace.