Here comes the sun (do dee do doo)

Genuinely struggling to piece this week together. It’s been a long one, a busy one, a stressful one at times, but ultimately a good one. 

Wednesday was a very good day, I remember that. For my birthday, Dave bought him and I tickets to see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre. For those who don’t know, The Woman in Black is a spooky, thriller that has been running at the Fortune Theatre since 1989. Both Dave and I have wanted to see it for years. It’s infamous for scaring audiences silly, but well known for being an exceptional play.

I had booked the day off in advance, planning to spend the whole day with him. We took our time getting up and out of bed and then grabbed an amazing breakfast in a cafe called ‘A Canteen’. I 100% recommend it. We chilled in central park in the sunshine for a long while and then we headed into London. We popped to Maccy D’s super quick before the show started and then we got to the theatre just early enough for the nerves to build before it began. I’m not going to lie, while we sat waiting I began to wonder if going had been a good idea after all and whether I was going to be able to sit through it beginning to end and I’m glad it started when it did because a minute longer and I may have sissied out and walked straight back out the theatre.

I was so impressed. It was clever, funny, unpredictable, gripping and terrifying and I loved it. It was everything I hoped it would be and more and I am so glad we went! It was just the right amount of scary. Not so scary I couldn’t watch, but scary enough to give me chills.

When we left the theatre it was a beautiful summer evening and I was ridiculously happy. We wandered home slowly via embankment and Hungerford Bridge. I do not think I will ever tire of looking at the view from that bridge. Nothing beats it.

Friday was the last day of this school term and I think I’ll remember it for a long time to come. It was probably one of the best days I’ve had at the school. We had a lot of fun and I admit, it all left me feeling a little emotional. Working at the school has been challenging, you’ll have gathered that if you’ve been keeping up, but it has also been amazing in so many ways. Many life decisions are to be made over the next month or so. Whether to stay at the school or not is something I’ll have to decide before anything else and right now, I feel so torn. Where from here? Teaching? On the job training? Back to University?

This weekend has been super summery and a lot of fun too. I’ve caught up with friends, been out for a fantastic Chinese dinner, had a glass of wine or two and nearly finished my book. Here’s hoping this summer is everything I need it to be. Time to think is a luxury not everyone has and I hope I can make the most of it. Come September I have to pick a path and walk down it and whatever will be, will be. 

Good friends, good food, good music and really good TV

My mum and I are SAT IN THE GARDEN. Yep, that’s right. The weather is officially that lovely. There’s not a cloud in the sky. I’m not even just being British. It’s proper summery. I’m wearing a dress and I’m not even the slightest bit chilly. 

This week whizzed by. Before I knew it, I was curled up in bed on Friday night binge watching Netflix like I’d never been to work.

Saturday was a lovely day. I got up early and rolled to my fitness class as per. Then I ate lots and napped. One of the ladies from work hosted a BBQ in the afternoon. The food was amazing, the weather was perfect and it was so good to spend time with the brilliant people I work with, without having to work. I had to rush off unfortunately, so I’m hoping there are more BBQs like it on the horizon.

Saturday night I headed to Bar Soho in London with Dave to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The drinks were expensive and it was so ridiculously warm that on any other occasion I would have spent the night grumbling, but the music was good and I was so excited to see and meet all of the people there, that in the end I had the best time and when I danced, I danced without a care in the world.

Sunday was spent being happily lazy with the friends who had let us crash with them for the night. We watched a few hilarious episodes of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ (which I’d never seen before and now intend to see more of). We put a film on and we cooked a roast dinner. I say we, Dave and I bought the ingredients and our hosts cooked. It was a delicious roast and we definitely owe them one.

When I got home yesterday evening, we had family over and everyone was sat out the in the garden chatting and drinking. We stayed there while the sun went down, time flew and before I knew it, it was time for bed; hence the lack of blog post. So, all that stuff I said about consistency and posting every Sunday without fail? Went out the window didn’t it.

I’ve downloaded Duolingo and I’m learning Italian! Dave’s doing the same; we’re using our competitive spirits to our advantage. So, right now I’m off to do the next lesson or two. Once that’s done, I’ll settle for another evening in the garden. This time with my book for company. 

“Always look ahead, but never look back” – Miles Davis

I just closed my laptop lid and then opened it again about five times in a row. Honestly? This week at work has been really hard, more challenging than ever, and right now I’m full of butterflies. The minute I’m done writing this I’m going to go sit at the piano and sing my heart out. The temptation is of course, to stop writing and just get straight to it, but if all of the ‘top tips for bloggers’ sites agree on anything, it’s that you have to be consistent. Blogging every Sunday except for when you don’t want to, doesn’t quite cut it. 

You know what? If this week has taught me anything it is that I have some amazing people in my life. Not only have I been reminded that the people in my life will support and love me no matter what, but I’ve found that many of the new people in my life are just as incredible.  

AND you know what? The past week aside, this weekend has been great! 

I very nearly backed out of doing anything and opted for a weekend curled up in bed in pyjamas. Instead, I walked ’round the corner to my best friends house. We spent Friday evening, talking everything through, drinking tea and listening to music. By the time I left, she had me convinced I could get on with it and have myself a good weekend.

So on Saturday, I jumped on a train and headed up to Birmingham to visit one of my friends and we went along to the Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival at Moseley Park. It was pretty awesome. The atmosphere was amazing. The rain held off until midnight. The music was varied and brilliant. The artists all looked like they were having the time of their life.

The biggest names were Craig Charles (who was in attendance despite a leg injury and whizzed around all day on a mobility scooter) and Average White Band (who I didn’t think I’d heard of until they started playing hits like ‘Let’s go round again’ and I found somehow, I knew all of the words). Brian Augar was there too and I think he might have been my favourite. For those who don’t know, he’s a jazz keyboardist and he’s super cool. There was such a diverse audience of people too. I hadn’t known what to expect in the lead up, but I’ll definitely attend a jazz festival again and whether you enjoy jazz, funk or soul, or not, I’d definitely recommend it!

Now it’s my favourite day of the week again and I’m moving forward. I’m popping a quote from one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time in the ‘Title’ field before I press post and then I’m getting myself a cup of tea. Tomorrow is a new day.

Peri-Peri: A spice so nice it’s been named twice

Surely not? Surely it can’t be Sunday again.

Not much has changed. I might have a job, but as long as I have to put the word might in that sentence I’m not getting carried away. I’m officially signed up to a teaching agency and they seem optimistic about finding me something. My nose will not stop running. I’ve rediscovered the wonder of lip balm and my love for Avril Lavigne. I’ve also used ‘deliveroo’ for the first time ever and ordered Nandos chicken to be delivered. That blew my mind.

I spent this weekend in London. For those of you who don’t already know – London is my favourite place to be in the whole wide world. Admittedly, I still have much of the world to see, but of all the cities I’ve been to, it is by far the best. It is the one place on Earth that isn’t home, but feels like home. It is the only place I can go, that I never want to leave.

I was visiting one of my oldest friends and I was ridiculously excited.

I made it up and out of bed early Saturday morning to head to a fitness class. I nearly didn’t make it off the sofa again once I’d got home, cooked bacon and sat down in front of the TV, but I got up the stairs, dressed and packed eventually. I was in a world of my own for the entirety of the train journey in and I don’t think I completely woke from my daydreams until the moment I saw my friend outside the station.

That was one of them good kind of moments. You don’t really notice at the time, but one of them you can’t help looking back at through rose-tinted glasses. I saw her, my face lit up and, as I quickly began to realise just how much I’d missed her and how happy I was to be there, we hugged. In my head the sun came out at that moment, but if I’m honest, the weather was pretty gloomy.

I got through two cups of tea while we caught up on life. Then we ended up on the ‘deliveroo’ website and before long Nandos was on its way. We put the last episode of Gossip Girl on while we waited (always my go-to time filler) and it arrived just in time for my tummy to start rumbling. I couldn’t have been happier munching on my butterfly chicken (medium – I’m not a wimp, but I’m not that brave either) and my creamy mash and knowing Michael McIntyre was soon to be on the TV. I got peri-salted chips too, but shh.

We thoroughly enjoyed Michael’s Big Show, very nearly fell asleep when the credits started rolling, but picked ourselves up and headed out for cocktails. Three cocktails later we wandered home and fell asleep very shortly after our heads hit our pillows.

The sun really was shining brightly today. We had nutella on toast for breakfast and then we put our tourist hats on. We spent some time wandering aimlessly, enjoying the sunshine and taking photos and I must have said the words ‘I love’ and ‘this place’ a zillion times. Eventually we ended up in a really lovely pub serving even lovelier roast dinners.

I always leave London feeling like anything is possible. Right now, all I want to do is curl up with Dave and binge watch TV, but I feel like this week I might just conquer life. Even if all I do is get on with my scrapbook, get outdoors even more, get an update from my teaching agency and finish my book.

London I Love You, xoxo

Brown paper packages tied up with string

It’s Sunday again. The whole house smells of roast beef and I can’t stop smiling. Sundays are my favourite thing.

This week’s been a good’un. I’ve had a Cadbury creme egg with breakfast almost every day. It doesn’t get much better than that.

I didn’t wake up until eleven on Monday morning. It’s been what feels like an eternity since I slept in that long and I felt SO good for it.  I jumped out of bed and headed downstairs to find that my grandparents, who’d been over for Easter Sunday, had stuck around. We had lunch while listening to Heart FM, who claimed to be playing the 100 happiest songs of all time.

That night I met a few friends for dinner. I had Bruschetta, BBQ Chicken Quesadillas AND a side of fries and discovered my eyes were most definitely bigger than my belly. We headed for cocktails afterwards, simply because none of us were ready for the night to end when we left the restaurant.

Tuesday, we went bowling. I was the only one in velcro shoes, as per, and I ordered a slush puppy for old time’s sake. I got a couple of strikes, but I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. I very nearly beat one of the guys in a game of pool afterwards though.

Wednesday, I caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen in literally years. I had a singing lesson that evening and surprisingly, considering I really didn’t sing that well, I came away from it feeling like conquering life.

One of my bestest friends and I made it our mission to get fit this year. We joined a fitness class in January and much to my surprise, we didn’t drop out after the first couple of weeks! Our instructor’s been amazing and, much to our dismay, she’s upping and moving to Spain. Wednesday night we went along to her leaving dinner. I ordered fish and chips when I definitely should have ordered the lasagna. That aside, we had a great evening. Here’s hoping whoever takes over is as good at kicking us into action as she was.

I met two lovely ladies for lunch on Thursday. The sun was out, and I wore my sunglasses and that made me ridiculously happy.

That afternoon I had a job interview. Yep, that’s right, a job interview! It went really well and I’m hoping I’ll hear from them very soon. I’m venturing into the world of Primary School education. For a while I’ve been considering a PGCE. I spend so much time ranting and raving about how the education system is going down hill, how I’d love to inspire and encourage the next generation and how teachers are the most amazing people on the planet, I figure I really should step up and at least try it. I’m applying for Teaching Assistant positions, planning to get some experience first of all.

I’ve started scrapbooking too! It’s not going very well, but I’m enjoying it all the same. I started in a pad I found in the cupboard. I’m considering it a draft. I want to buy one of them snazzy Paperchase ones when I finally get another job.

This week has been conclusively better than last week. Sometimes, it takes hitting a bit of a low to get you moving. How can you pick yourself up if you’re already on a high?

My mum just called to say roast dinner’s ready, bang on cue. Onwards and upwards from here.