Driving Me to Despair

 

Me and my boyfriend have lived together in our own house for nearly three years now. I like it. I don’t like the area so much. We live near a block of flats so fondly called ‘Cannabis Court’. I think that says it all. In addition to this, I like the parking situation even less. We don’t have off-road parking you see. So on the road, either side, whether we can fit really. It is also a bus route, which doesn’t help. People who don’t live on the street and park up to visit someone, don’t get the ‘unspoken rules’ that you have to shift your car right over or if on the other side then half on the kerb so that buses can fit. Also that you have to wait at one end of the street if car has started coming down the other end. Unspoken rules. Meaning, that we get buses impatiently pipping because a car is parked on the wrong side of the road (not on the kerb) and a bus can’t fit. I always end up peering out the window saying to myself ‘god, such idiots…oooh are they gonna move?’ It’s quite entertaining.

It is not so entertaining, however, when you get up in the morning and realise that your wiper blades have been bent backwards and upwards. This is what I saw this morning as I was about to go shopping. Drunken idiots having a laugh I imagine. I had to spend precious shopping time at Halfords asking for a new wiper blade to be fitted, to then be told that it was the actual connected bit that holds the wipers in place. That was broken because the scumbags had bent them back so far. So not as easily fixed. Great.

In the past, me, my boyfriend and neighbours have all had numerous wing mirrors broken… you know just the glass part so you know that it wasn’t knocked by a car. I think I had to buy 3 new ones for my KA – so we are talking one a year on average just because some thugs get a thrill from breaking property. Tyre valves have also been nicked and some neighbours have even had windows smashed in. Lovely society we live in, isn’t it? My elderly neighbour was telling me that someone set fire to his garage once and his car burnt to ashes. I just don’t get it. Is it just the thrill of doing something they shouldn’t? Or is it jealousy because they don’t have nice things? Or is it blind drunkenness and they just don’t know what they are doing? I imagine it to be gangs of teenagers, who have or maybe not had drink. This is why have categorised this post in ‘Teenagers’ but I know that this is prejudice and it could have been anyone. Sadly, though it does tend to be this age group.

From experience though, I know that the elderly can be just as nasty. When I had my KA, as it was a bit smaller and parking was a real nightmare (still is but I will go round the corner now) I used to park right in front of my house. This is the wrong side of the road if you like – pointing the wrong way – meaning I had to park on the kerb quite a way. I used to consciously think of people with push chairs and wheel chairs and make sure they could still get through. This is why, I was really angry when an elderly woman in a wheel chair had a go at me one morning. It was a Saturday and I had a lie in and then treated myself to some beans on toast with a cuppa and some morning TV for breakfast. Then I heard a massive bang on the window. When I look back now I think it was with a walking stick that she banged on the window with because I don;t know how she could have reached otherwise but I don’t get why she would have had a stick as well as a wheel chair. Anyway, she was shouting ‘move your bloody car so I can fit through!’ Then she wheeled off with a friend in tow. The thing that was the most infuriating was that she was sitting in her wheelchair in the gap between my car and house so she must have fit anyway. I opened my door, in my pink nightie and said ‘Excuse me, but if you have a problem, I would rather you come and knock on my door and talk to me like a civil adult.’ They ranted on about cars being on the pavement and threatened me with the police. She also pointed at numerous spaces over the road… I thought ‘course there are spaced now you stupid cow, people have gone out!’ She said she would scratch my car all the way down the side if it wasn’t moved. This made me not want to move it because threats like that shouldn’t get things done. After I calmed down, I did move it because I didn’t want to risk it getting scratched. But it really made me mad that by kicking up a fuss like that, she got her way. A couple of neighbours mentioned her too and I noticed they moved their cars. So turns out, threatening people can work, sadly. If she had come to my door and gave me a sob story about not fitting through easily, she could have easily made me feel guilty because, as I said, I used to think about that anyway and there wouldn’t have been any need for threats or insults.

The funny thing was, a couple of days later, I came home from work and parked in the same place again. I think it was only going to be for an hour because i was going out again so I thought it would be OK. As I was about to get out, I noticed a girl come batting down the road on a bike and to avoid my wing mirror, she over compensated and banged into my fence. I got out immediately to make sure she was alright and knew I was in for it now as her Mum came closer. Her Mum, though, had a got at her. For going too fast and not looking where she was going and asked me if she had damaged my car! I couldn’t believe it and because she had been so nice, I apologised anyway and made sure she had enough room and said that people complain and a wheelchair woman had a go at me the other day. She said that it was fine and she feels sorry for us having such a problem with parking down there.

Guess it isn’t always the things we do then but how people react. But I now know that number one priority in our next house is …. a drive!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Age is a Growing Number

People say that age is ‘just a number’. Which I guess it is. Especially when it comes to people who you are friends with (age doesn’t matter) and when couples have a huge age difference. You may want to do certain things that isn’t normal for your age…. for example this afternoon I am going to use bright coloured poster paints (that are actually called finger paints aimed at toddlers!) and paint some Harry Potter banners for my boyfriend’s sister’s themed birthday party in a few weeks. So yes in that instant as well, my age of ’26’ is just a number!

But it is a growing number… we all get older every day, every year. And until you get into your twenties, I don’t think you really bother about it. And until you get to 18 you worry about it in reverse as in you want to be older so that you can get into clubs and get served for alcohol. So from 19 – 20, it suddenly loses its novelty yo get ID’D and by the time you reach 22-23 sort of age, you want to be ID’D because it shows you look a little younger. I remember, a couple of years ago, I went out for my birthday with my sister and her friends (who are 5 years younger). So I was turning 24 I think and they were all about 19. We queued up to get into a club and all of them were ID’D and I fumbled in my bag for my pink, driving licence to present it proudly to the bouncer. As I did this, he laughed and said he didn’t need to see mine! Gutted. On the odd occasion that I do get ID’D, it is either because the shop assistant is being over cautious with the ‘look under 25 rule’ or I am looking particularly rough without makeup or something. Or both!

Yes, I’m at the stage there where I love being in my twenties and even though I don’t get ID’D much, I can make my peace with that. I feel more self-assured than I did when I was 18 and more self-confident and know more what I want from life. And I still party sometimes like you can see in Down and Dirty with the Teenagers Part 1 and 2 and Not Sloshed enough to Mosh? My main fear in life is turning 30. Something about that one seems so grown up. Twenties to Thirties. You are more likely to be married with kids in your thirties and do all the serious, grown up stuff. Not as many allowances for screw ups! So for my 30th in three years time, I plan to have a party and celebrate the last 30 years whilst getting very drunk. Surely, you are never too old for that? 😉

It is funny how some people are about ages. At school at the minute, there is a competition for the kids to guess the combined age of the English department. There is a mixture of ages so it is quite amusing. Some are shy about the kids knowing their ages. When kids guess ages it’s normally way off anyway… they don’t seem to have any idea. I have had guesses of anything from 18 – 45 (the 45 guess was from a special needs kid, I will add!). I offered for the department to add my ’26’ age in…. as I am partly with the department too so could be in or out…. and said it could help to lower the average 😉

At the beginning of summer, we had our ten year school reunion. That’s when you feel being grown up and a little older, when you have your first school reunion! Ten years since we left, woah. It was a great evening actually. Some of my close friends organised it and I helped out by getting some old photos together. It was a great night to catch up with people and I actually spent a lot of the night talking to people who I never even spoke to at school. Ten years can change people a lot and the shy, geeky kids are all grown up (I was one of them!) and actually willing to socialise with people. I recommend it to others who are considering a reunion!

I also wrote a poem for the occasion actually, take a look:

Ten years since…..

Ten whole years it has been,
Since years at school as a teen,

Since in Maths we saw Chicken Legs dance,
And over her glasses, she did glance,

Since ‘significant’ Lord of the Flies,
Was a ‘bitty’ chapter in our lives,

Since small, white notes were always passed,
As the back turned they flew so fast!

Since Drama was a Jolley time,
Where farting and burping, both a crime,

Since Collier said ‘Oui’ and ‘Nein’,
Oh Howe did we survive this time?

Since some teachers went into a Buckle,
Pea shoots flew as all did chuckle,

Since Peanut came out of her shell,
If we said too much, she did yell,

Since strict sir Sealy ruled P.E,
But on the fields we could be free,

Since Music gave us fun and smiles,
A purple tracksuit you could see for Miles,

Since Lappy had scared us all so,
But Good Head on his shoulders though,

Since Science gave us Bushes and Woods,
Fires and chemicals and sometimes floods,

And Big Man Watts was the guy in charge,
Where no problem, too small or large,

It really has been a whole decade,
But our funny memories will never fade…

There is a lot of mentions of teachers there, which naturally you won’t quite get the humour unless you went to our school. Many people enjoyed my poem to reflect back on the good and bad times…. which ten years later all seem funny. That’s the thing as we all get older, you have memories that you have built up. The older you get, the more you get.

(See my Circle of Life post for some other thoughts on life and age.)

See you tomorrow, all of us a day older 😉

XSXS

Deliveries from Down Under

I am sat here talking to my Aussie relative on Facebook who is waiting to be picked up for her flight to the UK! Very exciting and gave me  a great topic to talk about today.

We didn’t know we had these relatives just over a decade ago. She was researching her family tree (on my Mum’s side) and found relatives in Australia. This wasn’t a great surprise as we have lots of relatives over there – or ‘rellies’ as the Aussies call it! – my gran’s sister for one and her family and also aunties etc.  But I think of them as aunt, uncle and cousins. Can never have enough aunties can ya? 😉 Anyway, we didn’t know who they were to start with and had the name of my Aussie aunty’s great-grandmother. But my Aussie aunty just so happened to phone my gran one day. She found the surname and randomly circled some of them and it was her fourth call that gained her some extra family. Turns out her great-grandmother, who we had the name of, was the sister of my granddad’s granddad! Woah.

I remember thinking it seemed a little bit too good to be true and felt quite wary. We started talking to them via phone and email. They seemed really nice and down to earth but it still felt quite surreal. They planned to visit the next year, which was 2003. I remember feeling a bit odd about them staying at my gran’s. I thought ‘god they could be criminals – you hear about the aboriginals!’ It was the whole not meeting them thing and of course they had to visit in order for us to get to know them. My aunty came on her own that visit and we all got on well and she met everyone she needed to meet and saw lots of the UK.

Three years later, we went to visit them. Christmas 2005. I was in my second year at Uni, as I remember I had to take some books with me to study whilst I was there! Christmas was odd in Australia. I got sunburnt on a boat trip on Christmas eve! And we had a BBQ for Christmas day dinner! It was great though and we met they rest of the family. I also got to see santa in shorts, which was a definite novelty! Other things that I thought were odd – there was no proper Marmite and the chocolate didn’t taste as good (even though it said Cadbury’s on the wrapper) and they called flip-flops ‘thongs’. I had to remind myself that they weren’t on about wearing a tiny piece of underwear on the beach! Haha. Upsides of course were meeting the family, the weather (even though it was the coldest summer on record for them – it was still very hot for us Brits!) and seeing come great places.

As for spiders….. my hugest fear ever… I didn’t see any! I was oddly disappointed. I went to the other side of the world and expected to see a huge spider. Maybe it would put the UK ones into perspective or it would have cured my fear, I don’t know. Not one black furry leg in sight! The closest thing to anything scary I saw was a shedded skin of a snake. I hope they don’t bring any with them – I’m not that bothered about seeing them!

As my family get ready to come for a visit tomorrow (my aunty and uncle are both coming this time. My sister went to visit them last year but other than that they haven’t seen us since 2005!) my friend is also coming back to the UK soon after being there for a year. I had this vision of them all being  on the same ‘return to the UK’ plane haha – as if there is only one a year! In reality of course, they are coming weeks apart. My friend, though, was very homesick when she first went to Oz a year ago but soon settled in to life down under and now doesn’t want to come home (with weather like this, I dont blame her!)

But I am very much looking forward to catching up with all the Aussie goss from my friend and family. And asking them if water does in fact go down the plughole the other way over there? People always go on about that don’t they?!

See you tomorrow….(UK and Aussie time!)

xx

Remember that?

How’s your memory? Do you remember my name is Sam? That today is Wednesday? What you had for breakfast yesterday? What you did last night? Then your memory is probably about normal. Did you see that programme last night on Ch 4? About a boy, well man since he was twenty, who could remember everything! Everything!

I think you will agree with me that some things we actually want to forget. So imagine if you could remember everything. I talked a little about this a while ago in my post Photographic Memories. The fact that none of us have a photographic memory and need things like photos to help us remember those happy times. Surely we remember the things that are truly important like births of children, weddings, job promotions, first day at school etc. It seems some people can remember further back than others though. I remember my first day at school as clear as day. Not all of it but bits and it is all linked to feelings. I can remember how I felt. I can’t remember what lessons we did or the people I met (even though I know now who would have been in that class) but I remember chunks. I know people of a similar age to me though who claim to not remember their first day at school though. One man claims he can’t remember anything before he was aged ten. He didn’t have a tortured childhood, which he tried to block out. It was probably quite happy. He just can’t remember.

Then there is short-term memory. This guy on the programme last night could remember the day of any date from years ago. He could remember what he did, who he was with, how he felt. It didn’t say on the programme (yet I only wanted about twenty min) if he had good short-term memory. Was he able to remember his dentist appointment later that day? Or his friend’s birthday next week? Surely that would be more use than remembering you went to Cadbury’s World in 2005? Which was one of the examples on the programme. I was in awe though as he could retrieve so much information and his Mum checked it in her diary when they had disagreements about certain days and dates. Must be useful if you needed to remember for a murder case or some sort of enquiry haha.

My next thought after being utterly amazed was confusion. I mean how does all that information fit into his brain? Where does it all? We let go of the mundane, everyday kind of things that we don’t need to remember, yet he has it all. Maybe he has to sacrifice other things like knowledge? Surely only so much can fit!

So remember what you can and definitely don’t forget to drop by again 😉

Come Wine with Me

I am very lucky to have not one, but two, groups of very close girly mates.  And guess what? They ply me with wine and cook for me sometimes too! I love having different groups of mates. last friday I had a girly night out with one group and we went to a Rock club (see Not Sloshed enough to Mosh?) Last night, I spent it with my other girly group (who are ex-colleagues and we have stayed close friends). We sort of do a Come Dine with Me evenings… you must have seen the programme Come Dine with Me? Each of us take a turn to cook….. except it doesn’t happen within a week but normally months apart and we don’t particularly score each other but I think we should! I then started doing this with my rocker friends girl group and I am going to one of them next weekend. So yes, all yummy food and wine and chatter… Mmmmmm…

Last night, my friends did tapas and a paella. We try to do a theme each time. No prizes for guessing that last night’s was Spanish. It was yummy and much wine was drank. The chatter focussed around our friend who is engaged (see Two hearts, Two rings). She even tried on our host’s wedding dress from years ago in between the main course and dessert! See, just ike the programme where they nosey round each other’s houses and  try on random outfits!

One of our most memorable Come Dine with Me’s was a few years ago and we went to one friend’s flat and she cooked us a Mexican menu. It was great, we had fajitas, enchiladas, nachos etc. We even had creme caramels and we had a game to see if anyone could suck a whole one up in one go! I failed miserably! We even made our clothes match the food that night and we came dressed Mexican themed! We had plastic toy guns,  a sombrero (borrowed from the Language department at school!), some tequila (for prop use only of course!) and moustaches to add a final touch. We all looked hilarious! Too hilarious to stay in a flat all night. After much wine and few tequilas, we decided that our outfits had to be shared with the world (well in our little town) so we went out to a bar. We got much attention as we were really five women dressed as moustached men! I tell you, I have never had so much male attention on my life!! I think it was the whole ‘up for a laugh’ attitude we clearly had and we clearly couldn’t care less what people thought of us! The alcohol helped with that though. I may have cared a bit if I was sober or in day light! It was a very funny night and one of those nights that are so brilliant just because it wasn’t planned and totally spur of the moment (well the bar bit!)

so don’t just come dine with me. Come and wine with me. Dance with me. And be a drunken Mexican with me!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

It’s a Small World…

You know the expression ‘it’s a small world’? I use it a lot and it never fails to amaze me when I meet someone from one area of my life and they know someone else who I have known for years in a totally different way. Facebook helps a lot with that and when it says ‘mutual’ friends and you’re like ‘What? They know them too!’ It is weird. But obviously it is a huge world really full of billions of people and we won’t get to meet that many in the grand scheme of things. How many do you think you will meet? Hundreds? I suppose it depends if we literally just walk past someones, say hello, bump into them or actually have a conversation or a full blown friendship. I think that we meet who are we supposed to meet and everyone has a purpose and a reason to come into our lives. Leading onto my favourite quotation:

People come into your life

for a reason,

a season,

or a lifetime.

The quote actually comes from an episode of Sex and the City. I love it and think it can be applied to anyone. You will find some people come into your life for a reason, whether it is to advise you in a shop, help give you first aid, give you a job or for a longer purpose. Then there are those that come into your life for a season. A work colleague perhaps, a friend from school, a neighbour. Then there are those special ones who may enter at any point but aren’t going anywhere.

Nice thought for the eve…..

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

 

Lost in Transit

I had a whole other post planned for today. I was going to share my favourite quote with you and talk about that. But that’s down the pan. Because, something so bizarre just happened that I just have to share with you……

Have you ever thought about the people who lived in the house before you? You may have met them if you bought the house off them. We bought our house off the previous owner’s daughter as she had died – after turning the lovely bathroom suite into a disable and she didn’t even have the time to make the most it, we all lose on that one. I also tend to think about owners before her. Our house was rented for a few years before we bought it so there has been quite a lot of occupant. Some things from the old woman and her husband remained though. Like the locks on the stair and pantry door. Odd. I thought she was trying to keep her husband from the food or alternatively lock him in there! I found out after because my Dad is mates with the woman we bought it off (see it’s always who you know 😉 ). Turns out the man had bad dementia and would go into a room and forget how to get back out. The locks were to stop him going either in the pantry or upstairs. We also found a trap door in our living room when we bought a new carpet. I was already gob smacked as the old carpet had a date of purchase on it and it was 50 years old!!!! I thought about the day it got put down and how the floor had not seen any light since. We then discovered the trap door and were muchly excited at the thought of money… or not so excited at the image of a dead body. Neither were down there and it was just a view of the pipes. Very odd. Viewing hole perhaps? The screws were so old when we got it open that we couldn’t put them back so we sealed it shut, preventing future occupants the joy of anticipation of what could be in there.

Anyway, the odd thing that happened to today! I got home and there was a letter, a small envelope in a plastic wallet with a note from the post office of apology. It said how Royal Mail were very sorry that the letter had taken so long to arrive. I couldn’t think of anything we had not received and then looked at the address ‘Mary Smith’. Mmmmm… we have lived there for nearly 3 years so it had taken a long time to arrive. I then looked at the date of postage and it was 2003!!!!! It had taken 12 years to arrive…. lost in their network it said. I was quite excited about what could be in so had a peep inside. You know what it was? Something really important since it had an apology letter? Something really worth waiting 12 years for? Nope. A Christmas card! I then felt unreasonably angry for some reason. I thought: ‘How much money and time has been wasted to get this to an address, with now different occupants, twelve years too late! And it was only a christmas card! Poor Mary must be thinking ‘God, I never did get a Christmas card off Doreen in 2003!’ Maybe she even stopped sending them in return because of this. I know my Gran does that. She will say, ‘Well she never sent a card last year so I’m not bothering again!’ So maybe the contact ended between Mary and Doreen because of that. Sad thought. I just still can’t get over the fact that it has been floating around the ‘network’ for 12 years. Crazy.

Something similar happened a while ago. We received a parcel addressed to someone else but with our address on. I opened it. I just had to. It was a lovely card, a little girl’s jumper and a handmade wooden teddy bear. I felt sad that the owner would never receive it. I kept it for some reason. I just had a feeling and figured that eventually I would give them away. I was convinced the woman would never know because how close could these people be if they didn’t even know each other’s correct address? Anyway, a few months later, guess what? She showed up at the door. I was so glad I had kept it. She was very happy and said the sender would too. We exchanged a bit of small talk and she commented on how the house had changed etc. Must be weird going back to your old house years later. Happy ending that time…. just wish I could tell Mary that Doreen did send Christmas wishes 12 years ago!

We also get junk mail for various people and get calls for ‘Mrs Curtis’ very regularly. I like the fact the house has a history though…. a bit of character. Maybe one day something more useful will arrive through the post or I will find another money laden trap door 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Trip to the Orient

Afternoon people,

I went for a Chinese last night. That phrase always makes me laugh when people say that or: ‘I’m having an Indian tonight.’ An Indian or Chinese what? Obviously, with the restaurants and takeaways so popular, we mean a meal. But I still think it sounds like you had a Chinese/Indian man or woman in another way 😉 Probably my rude mind!

We went to one of those Chinese buffet ‘all you can eat’ restaurants, which quite frankly are more like canteens. Me and my boyfriend went with some of his rowing buddies to celebrate two of their birthdays. It surprised me as we ate that a few of them said that they didn’t even like Chinese food. It made me think that actually you didn’t need to in a place like that.  As I looked at the trays of food I saw that there was chips, chicken nuggets, a BBQ section (who knew the Chinese were good BBQers?) and also samosas, which I swear are Indian?! So yes, you can easily get by and not eat Chinese! I, myself, had some of the starter foods like spring rolls, satay chicken, crab claws – but you find it is all deep fried! I also had sushi, which I love, but again I thought that was not Chinese but Japanese?! I normally, for my main, visit the Teppanyaki section, where they cook to order for you. As much as I love food that has sat there for hours, I thought I would have some freshly cooked! I chose raw prawns, chicken, beef, veg and noodles and they cooked whilst I watched. One man asked them what their secret was and the big, Chinese chef joked that he couldn’t tell. It made me laugh because all the ingredients they were using to cook it with seemed to be labelled anyway. So I think I cracked the secret code – he used some onion water (whatever that is!), something labelled as ‘spring’, which I am assuming is also water… some wine and some oyster sauce. Right, I’m off to set up a Teppanyaki bar now…..

The meal was nice but not amazing. A highlight for me was the chocolate fountain, but again not very traditionally Chinese! Very nice over some ice-cream and other tasty bits though. I drank water with me meal, mainly because Chinese food always seems salty and I get quite thirsty. It reminded me when I went to the same restaurant with friends a few years ago. They didn’t seem to understand the concept of a ‘jug’ of water and kept bringing it by the glass. We ended up with ’22’ glasses of water on our bill, which were free because it was from the tap but it still showed up. 22 glasses for them to wash up… which I guess they wtill would have had to be fair and they saved on the jug 😉

 

I like Chinese in my house and not just the kitchen. I love all the symbols and any decor relating to it. When I lived with my parents, I had a chinese bedroom. Now it is our dining room!! I have pictures on the wall, candle holders, cushions, dinner sets etc. Love it. It always makes me wonder why I am so obsessed with it all. I have a secret thought… which I have only ever shared with certain people when drunk or feeling particularly honest…. but I think I may have been chinese in a previous life 😉 Yeh, yeh go on laugh!! Do any of you believe in that? I just seem to have some stong feelings towards the Chinese culture and I have never even been. Very weird. Shame I can’t remember how to use chop sticks though 😉

I’ll leave you with that thought as you enjoy your Chinese takeaway tonight 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Not Sloshed enough to Mosh?

Afternoon people, you may have noticed that I didn’t publish anything yesterday. I’ve decided that I am going to fight the guilty feeling from this and not go into this whole ‘apology’ spiel when I don’t manage to post anything. It’s boring for me to write and boring for you to read. Sometimes, I don’t get as much time as I would like and as good as my life is…. I don’t always have something fascinating to write about! So, I would, on occasion, rather write no post than a rubbish post – again better for me and better for you 😉

Anyway, last night I went on a girls’ night out. We had fun with drink, laughter, banter etc and then we ended up in a ‘rock’ club. Not my thing at all and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. I am not opposed to ‘rock’ music as such. I like a lot of the mainstream stuff such as Green Day, Sum 41, Blink 182 and all that. I know some of you out there will be like ‘that’s not Rock but something more specific like …. I dunno… I can’t even think of anything else except Indie and I wouldn’t categorise them as that. That’s the point though isn’t it? All this categorising is a pain…. I just like what I like, no matter what the particular ‘genre’ is. For the sake of this post, I will use the term ‘rock’ loosely depending on how individuals view it.

Why did we end up in this ‘Rock’ place? Well, two of my girl mates are true Rockers at heart. They always come to the mainstream places with me and my other, cheesy pop loving night out, friend. Last night, we had agreed for it to be a belated celebration of the two rockers’ birthdays and when their faces drooped when we went into our usual club, I thought – ‘oh, we need to take one for the team and go to Mosh.’ Mosh is the name of the Rock club you see. So off we went….. to the Dark Side……

I’d had a few drinks but nothing like last weekend (see my post Mixing Drink with More Drink). This was when I thought, ‘I am not sloshed enough for Mosh’ Haha. We walked in and there was a smell. Of sweat mixed with stale sick. Yuk. The music was loud. I know, I know, I sound old. I felt it too at times… as just like we went out for Dirty Thursday (See posts Getting Down and Dirty with the Teenagers part 1 and 2) there was a lot of teenagers out. It was too early for Fresher’s Week but we thought that maybe the 2nd and 3rd year students had come back early to party – or mosh. Anyway, yes the music was ear bleeding, heart pounding loud. The good news was – I knew the first song!!!! Motivation by Sum 41! Oh yes. I thought maybe I would like it in there afterall…… trouble was, I didn’t know the next 20 songs that followed!!!!  I thought maybe if I was drunker, I would have happily danced away anyway. I also wouldn’t have been so conscious of sticking out like a naked person in a sea of appropriately dressed people. Except, I wasn’t feeling under dressed but the opposite. In my little blue and white polka dress, black heels, pretty jewellery, I felt a bit out of place! I felt like I was wearing a huge banner on the back of my dress saying: ‘I don’t belong here – my friends dragged me!’ Haha.

The place had three floors and we seemed to spend the first half an hour walking from one to the other to find the ‘right’ one for us. Quite frankly there was no ‘pop’ floor so I wasn’t really bothered! I knew a few more songs later on but just not enough. It made me think how important music is to a night out. You need to know the songs as they keep you motivated to keep going until the early hours. You get all excited when a song comes on you know and the next few minutes goes by in seconds as you eagerly await your next favourite tune. This is how it was for my two Rocker friends. They have always been into this music since school. They used to dress in real rocker clothes too and one used to have dreadlocks and one had pink hair at one point too! They were called ‘grebs’ or ‘grunges’ back then. They used to drag us to this shop where they could buy their flared, bright coloured corded jeans, skull T-shirts and so on. Me and my other mate joked that this was the closest we had ever come to smoking weed – second hand – because the place stunk of the stuff!! Ha. So yes, last night they had the time of their lives. So it was worth it – I guess 😉

So for a night out, you need good music or if not, more alcohol!! 😉

See you tomorrow (hopefully!)

XSXS

Teenage Sitting

 

 

Noooo…. I am not sitting on a teenager. I am, to put it in more ‘normal’ way, babysitting. But it is for the Special Needs boy I know, who is 15 so to call it ‘babysitting’ feels a bit wrong! I find the whole term ‘sit’ strange anyway that it means to ‘mind’ or ‘take care of’. Weird… sit on em to keep em quiet! Remember I told you about the lad in my posts Never Play with Animals or Children and Swimming in Play Doh and Fish Tanks? Well, his Mum and Dad wanted to go out for dinner tonight so they asked me to watch him for a couple of hours.

I am currently writing this because he is completely engrossed in some Truck programme. He is obsessed with tractors, trucks and any other vehicles really. But the bigger the truck, the better. He is no trouble at all; doesn’t even know if I am there at all to be honest let alone that his parents have left for the evening. No trouble at all. I am, however having trouble with the dog! You will know that I am not used to or great with dogs from my previous posts Never play with Animals or Children (again!) and Two Legs in Charge, Four legs not. The dog, unlike the teenager, does know I am here. From the moment I walked in, she was all over me. Nuzzling me, rubbing up to me. Female attention, not male – dammit! Then when I was just washing up from dinner, I came back into the living room and the dog was eating some tiny pieces of something. It turns out she had come to the kitchen, took the remains of a red pepper and all the seeds had gone onto the carpet. Grrr. So no, no trouble with the Special Needs teenager but the dog has made me extra work! Haha.

We just had some pizza. Last time I came round to have lunch with him and his parents we also had pizza. Must be a favourite of his! His Mum let him put it in the oven as when given the baking tray and the uncooked pizza, he knew what to do. There was 3 pizzas in total to share between four of us. We chatted as they cooked and then his Mum went to check on the food. She exclaimed, ‘Oh he’s only put one pizza in!’ She then realised it was a very very thick pizza. he had stacked them on top of each other! Haha. Good space saver that! Bless him. Today his, Mum put the pizzas in before she went out. I joked that she should stack them as that is clearly how he likes them!

Anyway, I’m off to see what the youngster is up to before it’s time for bed….. guess I’m risking cutting this short as something else is bound to go wrong! Haha… guess I’ll have to update you tomorrow!

See you then,

XSXS

50 Darker Shades of Opinion (by Miss Gray)

Evening guys, thought I would finally share with you my thoughts on the second book in this famous trilogy. I summed up the first one as ‘bad writing, good sex.’ If I have to sum this one up in the same way, I will say, ‘Less sex, more plot.’ I preferred this one a lot more. I suppose people will be drawn in to read the trilogy by the sex and by the second book they are engrossed and want to know what happens in the actual story.

I still stand by my first review as I am trying to look at them as separate books. The writing is similar but I can happily get used to that. The characters do seem a bit more developed and I start to find them believable in this book. In fact, I like them quite a lot. Ana seems to come to terms with who Christian is and takes on, not only her first ever relationship, but a very complicated and high maintenance one. She starts to accept him for who he is, which brings out favourable qualities in her. She seems to be tipped over the edge a bit too often for my liking though and I don’t get the fact that she can handle his screwed up past but can’t handle him giving his mentally disturbed ex-submissive a bath? Guess she has a lot to deal with though…. Christian, we found out a lot more about and it becomes very interesting why he is like how he is. Power, control are the only things he has ever understood and the only way he has learnt how to be. As Ana learns to deal with more about this for their relationship, he also learns the other side; ‘hearts and flowers’. There is more romance in this book to balance out with the sex.

One theme that I have discovered runs through the book is ‘hunger’. That’s what I would write about if I wrote an essay about it. Yes, I think about that sometimes being the English writing geek that I am! Christian spent his childhood being ‘hungry’ for food, which is why we discover he is obsessed with Ana eating regular meals so that she is not hungry. Ana is always ‘hungry’ for information. Constantly asking him about his past, the Room of Pain, ‘Mrs Robinson’, his ex submissives, his real mother etc etc etc. She is like an inquisitive child, pushing her luck really with someone who doesn’t really like being open and talking. And of course they are both, quite frequently, ‘hungry’ for each other. For sex. Ana often responds to the, ‘Are you hungry?’ question with the response, ‘Yes, but not for food..’ Ooooh how saucy.

‘Mrs Robinson’ features in this book. Obviously I give her name in quotation marks, as that is not her real name. For some reason, I picture her to be that actress who plays Stifler’s Mum in American Pie. I think it’s because she, too, goes for the younger man and the song Mrs. Robinson plays in the first American Pie film when Finch first sleeps with her. I think the character in 50 Shades is meant to be more sophisticated and more beautiful (no offense to the actress!) but that is how I picture her at the minute. So, yes we neet her and that definitely adds some action to the plot. As does, his ex-submissive Leila and Anna’s boss, Jack. We are talking, thrown drinks, arguments, sexual assault, guns and break-ins. But I won’t give anything away 😉

When we read we like to escape don’t we? Escape our reality and to know that anything could happen. This is why I quite enjoy the whole ‘rich lifestyle’ of it all. Ana gets to fly in helicopters, visit fancy restaurants, view mansion style houses that are then bought, sail on amazing boats and drink expensive white wine and Champagne all the time! Jealous, much?! The thing I am jealous the most of all is that Christian has his own library in his own flat. He must be the person who has a Red Room of Pain full of whips, nipple clamps and handcuffs and also a room full of shelves of great literature. Of course, the most endearing thing about it all is that Ana isn’t impressed by money. She enjoys all he has to offer yes but that isn’t why she is involved. I guess it helps though! It’s almost like she has to ‘learn’ to be rich and get used to having whatever she wants. Mmm… hard life.  I found the part when she bid on the auction at the masked ball hilarious. Not very often I laugh at books but that was funny, as she had no such money but got swept along with the moment.

So yes, I enjoyed the second book and it has a great cliff hanger at the end too 😉 The question now bugging me is – ‘Who is going to play Ana and Christian in the film?!?!’ Everyone seems to have views. Will Ana be beautiful? It seems to say she is nothing special, physically. But we have to remember that it is from her perspective and she doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself. So, will she be more beautiful that she lets on?? Christian, naturally, has to be a god in human form. Brilliant opportunity for some actor out there, they are going to be loved by all women! I imagine him as Neil Patrick Harris in his role as Barney Stinson from How I met you Mother. But a bit more rugged and less cheesy. Maybe no man exists? Truth is, whoever is chosen, someone is going to be disappointed because we all have our own visions of who the dark, handsome millionaire will be. I look forward to finding out….

So, on to the third book…..

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Hair today, gone tomorrow…

Evening everyone… I have just had the snip!!! Noooo not like that, I’m female remember! I’ve been for a hair cut. Nothing major, just a general tidy up and a trim! It made me think how it is quite an odd thing we regularly do – go to have parts of our body cut off by strangers. Yeh, yeh, I know it’s dead and we can’t feel it but it is a bit weird. Why do we even have hair? And I guess we have it growing everywhere, but thankfully not as long. I have a friend actually who gets a very long, freakishly long hair growing out of her arm. It’s very fine so she doesn’t really realise it until it has grown to a good few inches… very funny when she pulls it away from her arm and we can see how long it is!

After looking on my fountain of knowledge Wikipedia I have discovered (thought I was pretty sure this was why) that we have hair in order for heat insulation and to protect the skin. Obviously, that’s why animals have hair and fur etc and we don’t need as much these days (Wikipedia seems to think we have lost some due to lack of functionality) because we have the wonderful invention of clothes to serve this purpose. Isn’t it funny that everything we need, like hair and clothes, we turn into a fashion statement and have certain styles and colours. When really it is just to keep us warm and safe!

Hair has becomes something personal to us, to make us look a certain way. We choose the style and the colour (See my Ginger Rules post for a funny look at ginger haired folk) and the length. We have it up for sport or in a fancy do for formal occasions or have it hanging, long and swaying for everyday. Or some people choose (or not) to not have any!! Must get a bit chilly up there I think! Yes, it becomes a statement and I guess we get judged on it. If it is messy then we are thought of as being grubby and not taking care of ourselves, if it is unclean or greasy then we are thought of as dirty people. It really is a reflection of us because if it is shiny, healthy and strong then we are believed to be shiny, healthy and strong people.

Going to the hairdressers is always a nice experience I think. Half an hour of being pampered if you like. I always go to my hairdresser’s house. She has a little salon in her back garden, which is pretty cool. More of the personal touch. I go in, get put in a cape and get to talk about myself for the next twenty minutes (obviously I ask about my hairdresser and her life too!). I wonder if hairdressers get training on ‘small talk’ and how to use that skill in their work? It is important. The whole stereotype about hairdressers being ‘nosey’ and talking too much is a load of rubbish in my opinion. Some of my friends say that they would prefer if their hairdresser didn’t speak and they could just sit quietly as their long strands get chopped off. I would be deeply uncomfortable with this. I don’t like silence, not when I am around people anyway. Hairdressers should have the ability to ‘make chat’ and put their clients at ease. Mine does and I always enjoy the chat for a while. It’s all about customer service. Like in a shop, I like the sales assistant to acknowledge me at the very least and I would be happy with some small talk too… but obviously you are not with them as long as your hairdresser (unless you have bought the shop or they are very slow at working the till!)

So, I feel good now. Something about having your hair done that makes you feel good. Annoying thing is that I have nowhere to go this evening. You know how your hair never looks as good when you do it? Well mine doesn’t anyway and I always feel my post-hairdressers is wasted if I don’t go out anywhere afterwards! Hopefully, my boyfriend will notice at least… but bet you the cost of my next hair cut that he won’t 😉

Happy styling people and don’t be afraid to let go of some hair because it makes you feel good!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Gym’ll Fix It!

Hi guys, I’m back to start a new week, recovered from the alcohol fuelled weekend and raring to go! Well I was…. I went for  gym session (get me 😉 ) but now I am pooped! I thought after a weekend of indulgence I should go to the gym. It’s a free one at school and I am going to start taking full advantage of my work perk.

I told you that I used to have a swimming membership, well I quit it last week. I still love swimming but I just wasn’t using it enough to make the most of it so I thought I am going to start doing free things, like the gym, walking etc – as I am a girl always up for a freebie 😉 So yes, I went to the school gym about 3.30 for about an hour – actually for exactly 55 min of exercise (I am very anal when it comes to adding how much of a work out I have actually done!) I walked in and there was a kid in there, a 6th form student I assume, I said ‘hi’ and he didn’t respond, let alone look up… my mind was entering the whole rant of ‘kids today are so rude blah blah blah’ when I realised he had headphones in that were blaring music into his ears. Oops. This also reminded me that I had forgotten my MP3 player. Dammit. It was going to be a long hour….

I don’t know if any of you go to the gym. But it is an odd concept when you think about. Half an hour of running when you are still where you started afterwards and haven’t got anywhere – well in a literal sense! Hopefully you have made progress in getting tired, getting fitter and getting sweatier! I don’t know what is it about the gym but if I don’t stink afterwards then I think I haven’t worked hard enough. That is my measure of a good workout!

I did 25 min on the cross trainer today (with a 5 min ‘Cool Down’ – what is that about? I just end up running slower for 5 min!) and I swear without music every minute lasted an hour. It’s all about time at the gym isn’t it? You are counting down what you are doing so that you can move onto the next machine. 30 min took a sweaty lifetime I tell you. I kept trying to distract myself by reading the signs on the gym walls. And there are a lot. Who knew exercise had so many rules?! ‘Members please sign in,’ ‘You must have a towel to wipe down the machinery’ (turns out other people get very sweaty too!) ‘Only trainers must be worn on the treadmills,’ ‘pupils must not use the weights during school time,’ ‘Do not turn the TV volume above 40’ – heaven forbid that people will get deafened whilst they work out, it could make them run faster if it makes then jump though!

I read all these signs and a minute had gone by 😦 so then I started to play games with myself. I looked out the window and said to myself ‘when I see a year 7 pupil run past while doing football practise then I get to look at the timer’ Or ‘I’ll take a peek at my progress when I see a bird!’  I eventually survived the 30 min and then moved onto 20 min on the exercise bike. By this point, some other staff came in and they put on the TV music channels. Time went a little faster than and I was cycling to hits of ‘the Hot babes of America’ or something like that. Pussy Cat Dolls, Britney etc. And when I came to the last 5  min on the rowing machine, I told myself it would be roughly 2 songs worth as the display timer wasn’t working on the machine! The things you do to get through that gruelling workout. Tomorrow I am taking my MP3 player!

So guys, indulge all you want and have exercise free weeks because end – Gym can fix it 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Mixing your drink… with more drink!

Hello everyone, I must start off with an apology. I didn’t post anything new yesterday! I know, shameful. And on a saturday when I had no work to do. I was annoyed at myself because I had managed to post something everyday up til then and every day of my first week back at work – even the day I had my pounding headache! Ok, my excuse is this. We went to a BBQ in the afternoon, at like 3pm. I figured that we would be back mid-evening since we were going so early… Mmmm turns out we got in at 11ish and I wasn’t in a suitable state to do most things, especially blog! So apologies for that. I will fill you in on all the gossip from last night to make up for it. 😉

I am pleased to say that I started the afternoon on water… see I was sensible – to begin with! I soon began the pouring of the wine though as the food sizzled on the BBQ. Mmmm a nice chilled, crisp white wine contrasted with a hot, juicy burger. Yum. Went down very nicely I can tell you. We also had hot dogs, salmon, potatoes and salad. There is something special about eating outside isn’t there? Especially in September, like we are living on borrowed summer time. Or it is a reward for the mainly rainy summer we did have. We chatted as we ate the al fresco food and soon a fly zapper was brought out that seemed the entertain the males for quite a while. It was tennis racket shaped and zapped and insect that it hit. The lads, naturally, tried to get each other with it… on the face, head, arms, legs etc… boys will be boys! My boyfriend soon tired of this though and then tried to kill spiders with it. I think we could do with one at home since I hate the eight legged monsters! We heard little bangs as the poor spiders fried against the zapper, causing much laughter. Things get funnier… the more you drink right?

Well things got hilarious later on! We were asked if we wanted a blow job. No.. don’t worry, it’s not one of those blogs. I don’t mean that sort. I mean the cocktail! I had never tried it before and my boyfriend’s twin brother wanted to make us all one. Here’s the recipe for those who would like to experience a blow job at a party 😉

Blow Job

  1. Pour one measure of Creme de Menthe into a small glass (we also used Blue Curacao and Cointreau but they may have different, just as rude names)
  2. Use a tea-spoon (someone recommended to turn it over) to allow one measure of Baileys to be poured slowly into the glass. So hold the spoon in the glass over the creme de menthe and pour the Baileys over it slowly. This is so it settles on top.
  3. You should have a two-layered drink and then down it in one – and make sure you swallow, not spit 😉
Get your tongue round that 😉

Since we had gone into ‘mixing’ mode of drinks.. we decided to play a drinking game with a ‘dirty pint’ in the middle. For those of you who do not know what this is, it’s basically a mixture of what everyone is drinking. Unfortunately, we all have different tastes so there was all sorts in there! Gin, wine, champagne, beer, cider, martini and Baileys. Bleurgh. We played Ring of Fire. You have a circle of cards, the full pack, in the middle of the table. Everyone takes it in turn to pick a card – and you mustn’t break the circle, which naturally gets harder as you go on. Every number and picture card means something different. For example ‘six’ means ‘dicks’ so all the men drink. ‘Fours’ means ‘whores’ (another form of positive terms for women I see!) so all the women drink. I am quite impressed I have remembered as much as I have actually for saying how full of blow jobs and martinis I was by this point! Occasionally, someone has to take punishments and drink from the ‘dirty pint’ in the middle and the last person has to finish it  – which surprise, surprise was me!! It was very curdled by that point, disgusting! Another rule was to not say the word ‘drink’. Being a drinking game and all, I tended to say it a lot – the more I drank, the more I said it! Also another rule when you pick an ‘eight’ is to choose a ‘mate’, who has to drink whenever you do. My poor friend, had to drink whenever I did, haha! Very much fun.

Yes, mixing drinks is always my downfall and I have paid for it today. Even in my 26th year and after three years of university drinking culture, I have not learnt this valuable lesson. I get bored and change my drink and I bow to peer pressure and ‘down it’ when told to! And of course the drinking games you cannot survive without consuming many different alcohols – well at least I can’t!

So learn from my mistakes and avoid mixing blow jobs with wine – and you can tell your boyfriends and husbands my advice too 😉

Have a good evening!

XSXS

Put all your Balls in one Basket…

Evening guys, you’ll be pleased to know that I am feeling much better after my headache and was actually motivated enough to take part in sport after school! I know! I play at my old school with the staff there – partly because it is right near my house, partly because I enjoy it but mainly because it took them 2 years to persuade me to come along and join in so I thought after starting a new job, I should make sure I still keep going! It is fun, a good workout but I’m not very good. I have never been very coordinated, competitive or ruthless – vital characteristics for team sports!

It reminded me of my two posts from a while ago, titled; Exercise is Dangerous as it can get very rough! There has been quite a few accidents since I have been playing. Touch wood, fingers crossed, I have only have ever had banged fingers or the occasional sore face from the ball hitting me. But once, one of the female student teachers went flying after tripping mid-air to get to the ball. She slammed onto the hard, wooden gym floor. I know it’s the ball you are meant to slam dunk, not yourself 😉 She went head first too and her head, above her eyebrow was gaping open. Awful. Game stopped because of this… the tired side of me sighed with heavy relief but the rest of me was really concerned for the poor girl. She went to hospital and it got ‘sewn up’. See how exercise is so dangerous?!

On an average day though, it is just anywhere between 6- 12 of us running up and down a school gym, throwing the ball back and forth until a good few baskets are scored. As I say, I am not very good. Today they were deciding on teams. Normally it works out with colours we wear… 5 people will turn up in blue and they will form one team. But today we were all inconsiderately in random colours so the teams were being picked to make it even in terms if ability. I stood quietly and said how it felt like school where I was always tha last to be picked 😦 haha! I sometimes feel quite awkward trying to get into a space and I find it hard to mark the other team… I think it is mainly because I am a bit ‘scared’ of the ball and can’t just ‘get in there’ as much as I would like. It took me a long while to even have a go at dribbling… if I caught I would be so pleased that I would  either quickly pass it straight it on in excitement and it would go to the other team or I would inwardly celebrate and then it would get taken off me in the meanwhile! Hopefully, I will get better with time though.

I have managed to get a few baskets in whilst playing… got 2 in today yay! When i first started, everyone was so enthusiastic when I got one in…infact I think once they all kept throwing it to me until I got one in! It is slightly embarrassed as they all say, ‘Nice basket, Sam!’ I asked myself why I feel embarrassed because I can comfortably take compliments about most things but when it comes to sport related things I feel a bit awkward and I think it’s because it always been a bit of a stigma for me because I have never felt confident about it or been any good at anything like that! But as I have got older, I make myself try different things and I think at the end of the day at least I have haha a laugh and got some exercise in…. as dangerous as it may be 😉

As I said, I am not very competitive and I just like to have fun… my sporty friends laugh at this and day its more fun if you are competitive. Nah, I can have just as much fun by laughing at myself dropping the ball than anything else!

So guys, don’t be scared to try something new… it may be dangerous but it’s ok, as long as you have fun 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Romeo, Romeo, you are a stud!

Evening guys, just a quick post tonight because I have had a pounding headache all day!!! Those damn kids… it has been my first full day today so that must have something to do with it!

We are studying Romeo and Juliet and an interesting point arose today in the lesson. It fits in very nicely with my post from a few weeks ago actually, Adding Fuel to the Feminist Fire. We were talking about how things were sexist in Shakespeare times and how, in some ways, they still are today. The pupils had to write down things they associated with the word ‘Romeo’, like if a man is a ‘bit of a Romeo.’ They came up with words like ‘romantic’ ‘a flirt’ ‘a ladies’ man’ ‘charming’ etc. We then got a dictionary definition and Romeo means ‘any man who is preoccupied with or has a reputation for amatory success with women.’ Mmmm interesting…. The teacher (a male teacher if you were wondering 😉 ) then made the point of, what do we call a woman in the with the same definition? A Juliet? No sadly, that doesn’t exist. It will be one of the derogatory terms like slag, slut or whore. I had never thought of this before but I have thought about how men get to be called ‘studs’ when they pull lots of women, whereas women get called the above.  Like when men get to be called ‘bachelors’ when single yet we get the oh so lovely term of ‘spinster’.

So that’s a thought to leave with you with today… and watch out for Romeos 😉

See you tomorrow – hopefully headache free!

XSXS

Shop ’til you drop…or run out of money!

Afternoon guys,

I had to do a big food shop today, you know, stock that fridge up and also to make sure I had some food to take to work for lunches – because it’s back to school tomorrow 😦 I know, I know, I love my job but just imagine that Sunday night feeling times by 6! Maybe my purchases of houmous, yummy fruit and yoghurts for my healthy lunches will help ease the Monday morning pain.

Because don’t you think that is why we sometimes shop? To make us feel better about something or cheer us up. They call it retail therapy and I guess it really can be. We’ve all had that ecstatic feeling when we have bought a new pair of shoes, a new top or a car or a holiday! It’s that exchange of money for something sparkly and new to enrich our lives in some way. And it doesn’t have to be something expensive. It can be a £2 necklace or ring in the New Look sale. Which, is what i sometimes purchase if I need a pick-me-up and I can’t afford much… because let’s face it we can only buy things to cheer ourselves up and make ourselves happy for as long as our pay cheque lasts. Unless you are daft enough to exercise many credit cards and use loans etc…..

I don’t like to think of myself as ‘tight’ but I am careful especially with the day-to-day stuff. I like to save up money for our next domestic purchase or even better for our next holiday. This means cutting down on all little things throughout the year. We do eat out yes but not that often… even though I think there are a couple of months in the year where there seem to be birthdays every week and therefore a birthday meal. We do have treats but one think I do think a lot about is food shopping. I buy a lot but I get things on offer. I think I am a very good bargain hunter… my boyfriend would disagree and would think that I buy more than we need. And I do, but what’s the harm in buying ten tins of tuna if they work out way cheaper than buying just one? They aren’t going to go out of date any time soon. God bless tinned stuff! Yes, I do like a bargain. Sometimes I get quite disheartened when I go to buy butter for example and nothing is on offer. I don’t mind which brand with items like that… call me a brand whore. So I just get whichever is on offer that week… when there isn’t anything I feel very unsettled and even consider not buying any! Like today, we needed mouth wash. My fussy boyfriend will only have the purple Listerine. It’s nearly £4 for a standard bottle, crazy if you ask me! I normally get it on offer when it is £2 – £2.50. Today we had completely ran out and it wasn’t on offer, I winced and flinched as I put the full price purple liquid into my trolley!

Another thing I don’t believe in spending loads on is presents. I don’t expect to receive them and I certainly do not send them. Yeh, there are some exceptions if it is a special birthday or a joint present or whatever. What I mean is these couples who think they need spend over £100 on each other – absolutely ridiculous! If we did that, £200 down the drain, i’d be like, lets put it towards a holiday! I don’t need to receive expensive gifts to know I am loved. Last christmas, me and boyfriend bought some DVDs that were new out between us so we had something to do together. The best presents are when it is something thoughtful, like a book by my favourite author (I must admit this is a rick because I have that many books and I will probably already own it), favourite chocolates and most of all I love photo related gifts. A framed photo or an album. I have a photo canvas of me and my boyfriend on our first holiday. I must admit it was probably pricey too but the thing is – he could have spent a £100 more on some gadgety computer thing and I wouldn’t have like dit as much. Last Christmas, I made lots of photo calendars online for presents… great, personal gift. So yeh, we don;t have to spend a fortune to buy a really nice, thoughtful, personal gift.

I’m trying not to shop at the minute. I mean clothes shop mainly. After our hols and now my car payments are coming out, I need to cutback… before all the christmas shopping starts – sigh! Can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!

So save the pennies guys and they make up the pounds for the big things. But nobody can deny you a treat every now and then… even if it is expensive mouth wash!

See you tomorrow… after my first day back at work!

XSXS

Sweet like Chocolate

Since it is the weekend and we are all in the mood for a treat, I just had to share with you a highlight of our holiday. Visiting a chocolate factory in Switzerland! Mmmmmm…..

We drove over to Switzerland from Evian one day and paid 10 euros to get into to the Nestle factory. It turns out Nestle, a French guy and also Cailler, a Swiss guy (maybe?) joined forces to make a company. Of course over here, we have Nestle and I seem to recognise Cailler too? What you think?

We learnt all about the history of the company and how chocolate was made. We even got to try the ingredients, like the cocoa butter, nuts, almonds and cocoa beans…

Me trying a very bitter cocoa bean!

We got to see the chocolates being made.. as the chocolate gets mixed and then made into sizeable chunks….

My kind of machinery!

If you have ever been to Cadbury’s World you will know that you also learn about the history of the chocolate and how it is made. You also get to take some chocolates away with you to eat – but that’s just like having free bars as is from a shop. Even though I must admit, they also had a room where you got a free pot of melted chocolate and could choose you own sweet/crumble/biscuit topping – that was pretty cool. But at this chocolate factory there was an actual tasting room to try every type of chocolate that they make. A way for me to easily get my 10 euros back haha. I felt a bit like I was at Willy Wonka’s factory without the shrinking or blowing up like a blueberry part. It was great, there was a whole row of just milk, dark, white and nutty solid chocolates. That was to ease you in because you went round the other side and there was all the fancy pants stuff like truffles, caramels and lovely soft centred ones. That was my lunch that day – it was soooo good!

The Tasting Room. Remember if you recognise any of these lucky choc munchers, like I mentioned in my post Photographic Memories on Friday, then let me know!

Yummy, oh just one more then!

So yes it was a great day and I fully recommend this if you are over that part of the world. It is definitely worth the ten euros. In comparison to Cadbury’s World (which I also fully recommend and one that I would definitely go to again since I live in that part of the country) it is cheaper but the tour isn’t as long and there isn’t quite as much to see. But the tasting room, as I say, is definitely worth it and you can spend as long as you want int there. There is also advice on how to taste and saviour the chocolate properly haha… I tried that ‘advice’ for like two chocolates and then gobbled the rest. To me chocolate is best in chunks, dipped into a hot mug of tea so that it melts… Mmmmmm….

The best question that came up that day was:

As you can see the translation underneath… For you, when is it time for chocolate? This was a room with a writing shelf so that you could write your answer and then fasten it to a display board. I answered… ‘anytime, anywhere!’  What would you say?

I have used lots of photos today, as you can see. That is because I can describe the gorgeous, velvety chocolate in thousands of words but I think you need to see it to fully appreciate its glory!

Enjoy a nice evening with a chocolate or two… or what am I kidding, five at least!

See you tomorrow,

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