Happy, Happy Friday

Happy, happy Friday! Oh, how we miss you throughout the week.

And is this Friday a happy one? Actually, I’m feeling a lot better than I have done recently. This past week in work has been surprisingly uneventful. There was still much to be done with very little help, but I didn’t fall apart. I coped, and I’m here to tell the tale. Proud of myself. πŸ’ͺ🏼

The good news is that they have hired a new manager who will be starting work in two weeks, so things should be looking up. But we will see. Watch this space.

That isn’t the only good news I’ve had (yes, really!) My blog hit 400 likes a week ago, but as I was immersed in a meltdown at the time, I forgot to celebrate. So here it is now – 400 LIKES!! Thank you so much to all of you for sticking by me through my sporadic posting, complaining, and seesaw mood swings. This blog wouldn’t be where it is without ya! 😘

Enjoy your weekend!

Things I Like About Myself

I noticed recently that the majority of the bloggers I have met on social media are in their early twenties. Much younger than me, and that makes me a little sad.

Starting out at 40, I am probably considered a dinosaur in this age of the internet. When I was 20, blogging didn’t exist. Nobody had a mobile phone, and Mark Zuckerburg was a weedy nerd (probably), just starting out at high school. How did we cope, I hear you cry? It was a different time. If we wanted to speak to our friends, we left the house to see them.

Sounds like hell, right?

If blogging had been a thing back then, my life would have probably taken a significantly different route to the path I chose to meander along. And that also makes me a little sad.

But I can’t really blame that on the lack of the internet. If I had pulled my finger out and followed my dreams when I was young, maybe I wouldn’t be so disillusioned and bored with my career now.

So there are the things I don’t like about me. Well, a fraction of them, because there are a lot of other things I could have definitely done better. But hey, this blog post isn’t a list of my worst points.

It’s a list of my best points.

This is going to be tricky. You know when you go for a job interview, and they ask you what skills you can bring to the role, and you laugh awkwardly and waffle on about being hyper-organised and a hard-worker? Or when you have a yearly review and are asked to list your strengths and weaknesses, and the latter is the meatier list?

Not you? Okay, well that’s me. I have always had self-esteem issues, and find it incredibly difficult to look past my intense modesty and ‘big myself up’, as they say. And if I do, it’s the superficial things like being hyper-organised and a hard-worker. I don’t like to talk about myself.

This blog post is about me.

So…. what do I like about me?

Now I am quite self-aware, and I know my flaws. I know I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I can be cold, and difficult to get close to. I deliberately push people away and isolate myself. But then I have learnt the hard way that I can only really rely on myself.

While all of the above is true, I am a better person when I am able to spend enough time on my own. I need to recharge my batteries, and this time alone helps me to be a reasonable person when in company.

So it’s actually for your own good!

But, as I said, this isn’t a blog post about my flaws. This is a blog post about my attributes. Here goes..

1. Despite being a big-time loner and steering clear of high maintenance relationships, I find it difficult to hide my compassionate streak, which is a mile wide. If I see somebody in need, I am there like a shot. I am a fantastically loyal friend, and hate to see anybody I care about suffering. I have spent inordinate amounts of time counselling friends and family through turmoil in their lives, dishing out advice and being a constant shoulder to cry on. I champion the underdog, and take the broken under my protective wing, where I am dedicated to nursing them back to health.

2. I have a crazy sense of humour, and I like to make people laugh. My humour is quite wry and self-deprecating, and can err on the inappropriate at times. I like to lighten tense situations with a stupid comment. Unsurprisingly, when I recently took part in a quiz on Facebook to find out which Friends character I was most like, the answer was Chandler.

3. I am extremely open-minded, and try not to judge people too harshly. In fact, the closer I am to someone, the less likely I am to judge them. If you are my friend, I will accept you wholeheartedly.

4. I’m honest. Sometimes, brutally so. Not to be cruel, but ultimately to be kind. Does that dress make you look fat? I’ll tell you. Is your boyfriend a dick? You can rely on me to point it out. I don’t like to deliberately hurt people though, so I’ll only tell you if you ask.

5. I’ve always got wine in. Always. So, if you fancy getting drunk and silly and putting the world to rights, I’m your girl.

So, there are my best bits. 😊

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

Hello, and Happy Sunday! One day closer to another working week, but let’s not think about that..

Have you ever asked yourself what you can’t live without? Well, I am going to answer that question right now in one of those lovely lists we are all so keen on. 😊

Maybe lists should be one of my 10 can’t-live-without items. But no, that’s silly. I can live without lists, it’s just that they are fun to blog about.

I’m also not going to include people and animals – obviously, I can’t live without my son, family or pets, but I think that goes without saying. So instead, I will look at things I can’t live without. Such as..

1. Books. I love books, and I love to read. I definitely need them in my life. There is nothing better than putting your feet up with a brew and losing yourself in another world. I adore books, and always have done.

2. Mobile phone. Okay, so I don’t often use it for the actual stuff it was created for, such as calling people. I do use Facebook Messenger a lot to keep in touch with friends. Mostly, I use it for social media. Such as now. I do most of my online work on my phone, such as running my three Facebook pages, taking photos for and posting on Instagram, and of course, writing content for this blog. I’d be lost without it.

3. Wine. Yes, I do love a glass of wine, generally in the evening when I’m winding down. I prefer a nice full-bodied Australian red such as Yellow Tail Jammy Red Roo or Hardy’s Varietal Range Cabernet Sauvignon. As well as tasting yummy, it has health benefits – honest!

4. Internet connection. My phone would be pretty useless without it.

5. Liquid eyeliner. I don’t really wear much makeup. I don’t use foundation or know how to contour. However, I do use eyeliner and mascara as my eyes are pretty small and it helps to give them definition. Also, my eyelashes are very fine, and without mascara they appear stubby. However, on the weekend, I forgo mascara but do use liquid eyeliner, just in case. If anybody sees me without anything on my eyes, they always ask if I’m okay, so I definitely need something to perk my features up!

I use Max Factor Masterpiece Waterproof mascara and Rimmel Glam Eyes liquid liner. I have leaky eyes and both are fabulously smudge-proof.

6. Leggings. I love to chill out at home and as I’m not a tracksuit type of gal, leggings suit my needs fantastically. However, I always wear them with a longline top to avoid any fashion faux-pas!

7. Heels. I love heels. Always have done. I own lots and lots of heels which I hardly ever wear, yet I’d still be happy to buy more. 😍

8. Glasses. I’m blind as a bat, so absolutely couldn’t live without my gigs. I had an eye test yesterday and my eyes are worse, which means new glasses. I’m quite happy about this as I’ve found some lovely new frames. πŸ€“

9. Crisps/chips. I adore crisps, as they are called in the UK. You may know them as potato chips. Whatever they’re called, they are yummy and I could probably live on them. I wouldn’t be too healthy, but you can’t have everything.

10. Music. Loving music at the minute, and discovering new artists. One of my 2018 goals is to listen to more music, which I have embraced wholeheartedly. I still watch TV but definitely not as frequently.

So there you go.

What can’t you live without?

Nearly Christmas! #WeekendCoffeeShare

[Photo Credit: loretoidas on Flickr]

If we were having coffee today, I would offer you a nice cup of NescafΓ© Fine Blend, as its all I have in at the moment. Other than that, I have Yorkshire Tea, which as you may recall I prefer to drink. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, although I have been meaning to try a few different blends in an attempt to find something that suits me. Coffee does seem like a hobby I have missed out on, and one that would suit me down to the ground.

I haven’t been around much recently, which does happen more often than I’d like to admit. I tend to get distracted by thoughts in my head, which I could in fact jot down in my blog in an effort to organise my mind. I’ve always been the same though, and like to keep things in my head, where I mull it over for days, even weeks, without uttering a word. I don’t tend to confide in people, and I have never had much luck with a journal. I lose interest very quickly in writing my thoughts and feelings down in a book where it could be found by all and sundry, and tend to log it all in my head instead. Probably why I get burnt out so easily and need so much time alone. My New Years resolution will be to begin a journal and to take it seriously, for once. I need room for others in my head and in my life as I am becoming far too solitary.

Work has been pretty meh recently. Nothing much to write home about. It is so monotonous that nothing ever really changes. Some days I get on with it, other days I am bored out of my mind. I do like to be challenged at work and this rarely happens. However, things may be about to change. Our office manager is pregnant, due to give birth in April, and she is currently sorting out her affairs and putting cover in place to pick up certain jobs when she goes off on maternity leave. I have been asked to attend a meeting next Friday with her and the payroll manager to discuss duties, which is interesting. I’m not really sure why I am included in the meeting. As a part time payroll administrator, up until recently I was treated as a spare hand and it took my full-time co-worker leaving for them to realise who had been doing the bulk of the work. How the times have changed! I’ll be interested to discover what extra tasks I am being entrusted with. Might shake things up a bit.

In other work-related news, we had our Christmas lunch on Thursday, which made a nice change from a Twix and a packet of crisps (I know, I’m so healthy!) There was even wine, which always goes down well in any situation. Our Financial Director sat with myself and my co-worker Jane, and downed a full bottle of red on his own, in an hour. A man after my own heart! Of course, I’m well-behaved these days and stuck to one (large) glass. I was driving, after all, plus I’m not really comfortable enough with the team just yet to be getting sozzled and shouty.

I only have one more week and a day left in work before I finish until the new year, which is exciting. I have never before worked for an establishment that actually closes at Christmas, so this is all very new. I do have to work on the 27th but that’s it until January 2nd. Bonus! Maybe I don’t hate this job so much after all!

In other news, I have completed my Christmas present shopping and now just need to shop for cards, wrap gifts, and do a food shop when I get paid next Friday as I am hosting Christmas at mine this year. This is worrying in itself, and I’m not really sure what I need to buy, or even how to cook it. I’m no domestic goddess after all. Hopefully, everyone will live to tell the tale!

Well that was my week in a tidbit. I hope you enjoyed your Fine Blend. You never know, next time I may be drinking coffee with you instead of my habitual cup of tea.

It’s Friday, I’m in Love.

It’s my favourite weekday again! That’s Friday, for those of you who haven’t caught on yet. It is time to put my feet up with a good book, and crack open the wine!

That is exactly what I will be doing when I finish work today, as well as putting the heating on as soon as I get home. There is a definite chill in the air! Winter is nearly upon us, bringing the Christmas season with it. Exciting times!

I’ve noticed that a lot more people are kicking off the Yuletide early this year, with Christmas lights already twinkling in some houses. It is difficult to avoid it these days, as the shops are shoving Christmas in our faces from September onwards, and the festive adverts are already on our TV screens.

I must admit, I do love everything Christmassy and will be joining the Christmas decoration brigade in a couple of weeks. There is nothing quite like twinkly lights to brighten up a dark, chilly evening.

Happy Friday! πŸ’œ

Time For Wine 🍷 #WeekendCoffeeShare

If you were joining me today for coffee, I would actually offer you wine. I’ve just opened a lovely shiraz, courtesy of Jacob’s Creek – probably the only creek I’d like to be stuck up without a paddle! Hehe! Too early for you? I will put the kettle on instead. πŸ™‚

I have so much writing to do at the moment, yet I can only concentrate on one commitment at a time, which is annoying. I’m not posting nearly as much as I’d like to on this blog, plus I have a 700-1000 word article on dating in the wake of #MeToo to write for my freelance journalism course. Instead, I’ve been writing poetry.

Now I’m not claiming to be a brilliant poet, or even a poet full-stop. I just attempt to put words together in a pretty way and click post. I’m not sure it even works, but it appears to be my passion right now. If you’d like to, you can check out my ‘poetry’ over at Fragments of my Mind. It is pretty dark stuff, but I’m channeling from my darkest moments. People seem to relate to this stuff, on Facebook anyway.

My reasoning is, if I want to get something published soon-ish, then poetry may be the direction to head in – for now anyway. It doesn’t seem too difficult. However, the general public may have a different opinion!

I really do have to start/finish my article though, and pretty sharpish. I enrolled on the Professional Freelance Journalism course back in September 2016, and the article is only my second assignment. So I am embarrassingly behind, and it isn’t even funny anymore – not that it ever was. I need to pull my finger out, as they say. I may post it once I’ve completed it, and ask for feedback. So watch this space.

What is funny is the amount of ‘important’ things I find to do when I should be writing. Spring-cleaning seems to be very interesting at the minute, and it isn’t even spring. I’m also watching a lot of tv, mainly box sets on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I’m particularly loving Lucifer, Scream, Bates Motel, and Blue Planet 2. And I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here starts tonight, which is my favourite reality tv show. For those outside of GB, ten ‘celebs’ are dropped into the Australian rainforest and left to fend for themselves, while taking part in lots of yucky Bush Tucker Trials to win food for the camp. Expect snakes, huge spiders, and contestants eating kangaroo’s testicles. I kid you not! It’s brilliant!!

Anyway, I should go and carry on with/start my assignment. I’ll post it when it’s completed – any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated!

I hope your coffee was okay. I think I’m starting to get the hang of making a decent cup of coffee. Apologies if I’m deluded!

Enjoy the rest of your day! πŸ’œ

TFI Friday!

A little harsh, maybe, but it kind of explains how my week has gone. Work is currently a swear word and this Friday couldn’t have come soon enough! I am looking forward to staying home, chilling out, drinking some wine, and watching box sets. I have recently subscribed to Netflix, four years behind everyone else (I certainly know how to move with the times!) and I’ve just finished watching season 1 of The Mist (based on the Stephen King novel). I’m now halfway through season 1 of Bates Motel, which I’m really enjoying. So I have a hot date with my TV this weekend. Wow, I really know how to live! πŸ˜‰

Have a wonderful weekend! πŸ’œ

My Weekend

Do you know when you have one of those weekends that are so hectic and action-packed that by Monday morning you need another weekend just to recover? Yeah, well I’ve had one of those. I’m exhausted this evening, and already ready for bed – at 5.45pm! What a lightweight I am these days.

On Saturday, we went out for a meal with family and friends to celebrate my step-dads 70th birthday. He chose a Chinese eaterie called The Maplewood Restaurant, popular for its classic Cantonese menu. (https://www.themaplewood.co.uk/) We haven’t got together as a family for a long time, so it was an event I, for one, had been looking forward to (I can’t really speak for everyone else, but let’s just assume they were all as enthusiastic as me!) Plus, The Maplewood is a popular restaurant and I like to eat out when I can (afford to!) 

Our table was booked for 7.30pm and the restaurant was busy when we arrived. We sat in the lounge area at first with a drink, waiting for everybody to arrive. There were 14 of us in all, my siblings, mother and stepdad (of course), grandmother, my friend Michelle, auntie and uncle with their respective partners, and my stepdads brother and wife. We had booked the ’round table’ – unfortunately not King Arthur’s round table, but a big one placed slap bang in the middle of the restaurant with a rotating plate in the centre, making it easier to share the banquet, which the majority of the party ordered. 

My sister Jenna, Michelle and I decided to opt out of the banquet and order off the menu instead, which in hindsight was a mistake as we seemed to spend a lot of the time sitting around watching while everybody else ate. I think the restaurant focuses heavily on its banquet menu, especially for larger parties, and we three who opted out seemed almost to be served as an afterthought. The food was gorgeous, but the wait in between courses killed my appetite. By the time my main arrived, steaming hot and looking extremely appetising (stir fried beef in oyster sauce, with soft noodles and beansprouts), I could unfortunately only manage a few bites. Michelle faired a little better with her beef curry with egg fried rice. I did manage to swipe a few spare ribs off the banquet, as the platter went past on the spinny thing in the middle of the table, and my starter of chicken and sweetcorn soup with (banquet) prawn crackers went down very well. The shared carafe of red wine was a welcome addition.

All in all, it was a fabulous night out, apart from the loss of appetite. The staff were very attentive and friendly, and the atmosphere was buoyant, busy but not annoyingly so. The menu was admittedly quite pricey, especially the wine list, but the house red was more than acceptable, and the food was worth the stretched purse strings. I’d definitely re-visit, although I would probably have the banquet next time! 

I wish I’d taken pictures, as it would have been a great accompaniment to this blog, but I was having far too good a time – next time, maybe!

Sunday was spent sunning ourselves (Michelle, my son Ryan and I) in the local beer garden. We decided to mosey on down to The Farmers Arms (https://www.thefarmersarmsfearnhead.co.uk/), my local drinking establishment, to get fed and watered, and ended up moving out to the beer garden once we had eaten to soak up a few rays, accompanied by a bottle of Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon – for Michelle and I, anyway. Ryan stuck to orange and passionfruit J20, and commandeered the swings, pestering us to take part in a swinging competition. The sun was out and the wine was chilled and very potent, and I definitely needed a rest afterwards. I’m not used to such busy weekends! But I’m not complaining. 😊