Photo An Hour: 16th January 2016

Saturday was Photo An Hour day! Having managed to take part in November and December but not actually write the accompanying blog posts, I thought this week I should put a bit more effort in and get it done! So here goes:

9.30am: Decided to kick off my day with a Photo Ah Hour tradition: The Obligatory Cup of Tea Photo. Yes, it's January, yes I still use my Christmas mug.

10.30am: Admiring my pretty online shopping returns.

11.30am: I spied a pretty tree on my way to the gym.

12.30pm: I was probably running at this point, so... Post-run selfie instead. Aren't you lucky, getting to see my sweaty face?! Did my second 7k of the week though. Get in!

1.30pm: Lunch and a book. I win Saturday!

2.30pm: Still reading. Should have been tidying. Oops.

3.30pm: Got dressed around my new Tatty Devine necklace. Having admired Tatty Devine from afar for years, I finally made some sale purchases!

4.30pm: This should really have been a pub photo by this time, but we got on the wrong bus so... 

5.30pm: Pub photo! Finally!

6.30pm: Still in the pub, but a different pub.

7.30pm: Yeah, still in the pub. The same pub. 

8.30pm: Takeaway + black tights + me = inevitable spillage.

9.30pm: Aftermath (this also seems to be a worrying Photo An Hour trend)!

There you have it. A pretty standard Saturday, but the perfect kind of Saturday. As usual, thanks Louisa and Jane for organising us!

Getting Married and Remarried by 29

So, after meaning to submit something for ages, I finally wrote my first Zusterchap contribution last week....

Being a 29 year old divorcer (yes, you read that right) wasn’t part of my life plan. I married my university sweetheart when I was 24 in 2010, then proceeded to watch my personal and professional life unravel pretty spectacularly. We tried for 18 months to make things work, then we separated and eventually divorced nearly four years later. It was the right decision, but whichever way you slice it, getting divorced at 29 sucks ass... more.

My Word for 2016 is...

As I went on and on about in my 2015 round up, I stole's Sarah's idea of picking a 'word for the year' to focus on, the idea being that it's a simple way to set an intention for the year, without having a complicated list of goals.  Last year's word (acceptance) worked out pretty well, so I decided to give the 'word for the year' system another go! 

After much deliberation, my word of 2016 will be....


Yes, it's pretty trivial. but that's the point. I want to squeeze as much enjoyment out of 2016 as I can. The last few years have been really hard work in places and, given that things are now pretty settled health/job/career-wise I want to take some time to enjoy my life and everything that's going to right now. I'm feeling happy and settled; I don't need to strive for anything for a while!

2016 seems like it's going to be pretty fun-filled already. So far we've got a wedding, a honeymoon, Glastonbury, Isles of Scilly, a family wedding and a big trip planned.... I also want to try and keep the 'fun' mindset going in my everyday life, too. Since I stopped working in a school I've broken out of the 'counting down the weeks' mindset and I want to make sure I take time to enjoy the every day things too.

I'm not gonna lie, writing this post massively feels like tempting fate (not that I even believe in fate, but still). Must stop thinking that everything will go wrong...

Right, I'm off to have some fun.*

*That's a lie, I'm off to brush my teeth. You can't make that fun, it's just not possible.

My #ThriftyGiftSwap Parcel

I took part in Janet's Thrifty Gift Swap again this year and received an awesome parcel from Gwen

But what was inside..?

The first thing I saw (and opened) was handmade honeycomb and chocolate bars. The chocolate bars had candy canes crushed on the top... Gwen is clearly some kind of festive chocolate genius. Unsurprisingly they didn't last long!

I managed to wait a week or so before opening the rest of the gifts, but temptation got the better of me (this post is basically just me repeatedly confessing my lack of willpower).

I'm on a candle trip at the moment so these cactus candles were a perfectly timed arrival! Not pictured: a cute cat notebook. I flipping love a good notebook.

Christmas socks!!! Mine all had holes in the toes so it this was much needed (yes, I do consider Christmas socks a necessity, alright?). Sparkly silver nail varnish is also a festive essential for me!

And a bird decoration! It's a terrible photo but it's lovely and it'll be on my tree every year. Obviously I love birds too.

I think we can all agree (right?) that Gwen did an excellent job! I really enjoyed taking part in the swap; there's something so heart-warming about putting effort into creating a parcel for a total stranger. If I'd been more organised I'd have a) taken part in more swaps, b) taken photos of what I sent, and c) written this post over Christmas. C'est la vie!

P.S. Thank you Janet for your formidable organisational skills!

My 16 Best Memories of 2015

Firstly a confession: I totally stole this idea from Andrea and Janet (it's ok, they gave me permission). I just loved the idea of compiling a post of my favourite memories, the big ones and the small ones all mixed up together. It's also super useful because I was pretty lazy about updating my blog during parts of last year. D'oh.

In no particular order, we have:

Laughing a lot at Fee's hen do.

Drinking wine and exchanging Secret Santa gifts with the Fake Christmas ladiez.

Going to my first job interview in six years.

Throwing some shapes with Fee at her wedding. She did not let the dress impede her moves.

Trying an oyster for the first time at Borough Market. I planned a day out in London for Pete's birthday; it included drinking cider on a boat, eating oysters and doughnuts and seeing a whale's vagina. Diverse.

Pete proposing. I would have a photo of the actual moment if I'd pressed the button properly.

Dancing to The Prodigy in the pouring rain at Isle of Wight Festival.

Singing the shark song on my last day at school.

Having a day at my new job where three clients things worked out well and I felt an incredible sense of pride at having, albeit temporarily, helped people.

Watching my Mum romp to victory in Cards Against Humanity (she played a blinder with the 'three dicks at the same time' card).

Dancing to Keep on Movin' being mixed into Disco 2000 at a 90s night with Pete.

Working up the nerve to ride on an inflatable doughnut in Kos.

Getting on my first ever long-haul flight.

Doing karaoke in Tokyo.

Seeing Maximo Park perform A Certain Trigger all the way through.

Eating afternoon tea with Amy and Beth in Cardiff.

Looking through my photos I've realised that there's loads of things I've missed off: going to Hastings for my birthday, visiting Portsmouth, wedding/bridesmaid dress shopping, ice skating (twice), NYE, visiting Dreamland in Margate, volunteering, getting a hammock... Good year!

Six Things I'm Going to Keep Doing in 2016

I'm pretty terrible at sticking to new year's resolutions, but I do love making a list, so this is my compromise! Rather than list new habits, I'm going to try and focus on the good things I want to keep doing.

In 2016 I am going to continue...

...trying new things. I've been trying to do something new every week for a few years now.

...being silly. In fairness it's unlikely that I'll ever stop doing this. It's important though!

...running. Starting to run was one of my proudest 2015 achievements and yesterday I did 6km without stopping at all. I've signed up to a 10k in mid-February so I've got a way to go yet!

...writing letters. Lst year I joined #postcircle and it's been lovely receiving post from people who used to be strangers. I think in 2016 I'll also try to put more effort into sending post to people I already know!

...baking and eating. Baking because I love cake. Eating because I love eating. When I got married first time around (ALL THE DIVORCED LADIES) I did Slimfast for a month before hand. Fuck that shit. I'm going to eat.

...being a vegetarian. I tried going veggie for a month at the end of last year and have stuck with it ever since. I've found it surprisingly easy and it's a simple way for me to reduce my carbon footprint.

What are you going to keep doing in 2016? Feel free to join in with your own list, I'm curious!