We went to the Zoo!

My mum and sister drove up to Canterbury yesterday, and are visiting until Friday. Since I was only able to get yesterday and today off of work, we have made the most of our time together.

Yesterday after Mum and Abigail arrived at around 2.30, Abigail stayed at my brother’s house with him and his girlfriend while Mum and I walked around Canterbury. I showed her Westgate Gardens and we walked along the river to the High Street and bought ice-cream. We also stopped off at  a gorgeous little cafe called Cafe St Pierre and bought some pastries. All their pastries are delivered from France early each morning, and at around 4pm they reduce lots of prices so they don’t have to throw them away – we bought a fruit tartelette, two slices of apple tart, an apricot-custard lattice and a pain au raisin, for 90p each! Bargain.

We also stopped at the new Marlowe Theatre and looked at all the programmes of the shows that I want to see. If I go and see everything, even purchasing the cheapest seats, it will cost me £187. I’m not sure if I can justify that expense…although the shows are spread out over several months (til next July in fact).

After our wander around we headed back to my brother’s house and had dinner with him and his girlfriend. She made a yummy spag bol with mixed fruit and our fruit pastries for dessert. We watched Tangled and Monsters Inc, then Mum and I walked back to my house, had a cup of tea and went to bed.

This morning I had a lie-in, then my brother and sister walked over to my house and the four of us went to Howlett’s Zoo near Canterbury. I’ve never been there before, despite living in Canterbury for almost 5 years. I never knew it was such an amazing place – I was imagining a tiny little farm type place, but they have had a great breeding programme for so many different animals – gorillas, elephants etc, there was so much to see!

So we did the zoo, and cooed and ahhed over the babies animals, then I dropped my brother and sister to my brother’s house (she is staying with him and Mum is staying with me) and Mum and I have been busy since – we went and picked blackberries from the hedges near the river, and Mum felt like doing some crafting so is half-way through making a very cute stuffed dog! Dinner is in the oven and we’re now sat down waiting for Downton Abbey to start.

After we’ve had dinner I’m going to make jam! Yay for ticking off two things from my Bucket List 🙂

Phew! That’s a lot to cram into just 30 or so hours!

I’m bummed that I have to work tomorrow, but Mum and Abigail will find stuff to occupy themselves and we’re going to plan something for the evening, before they leave on Friday morning. A whistle-stop tour, but lots of fun and family time which I’m very grateful for.

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Summer is almost over…?!

We just had the last Bank Holiday of the summer…boo!! But I don’t think Summer is over yet. At least, I’ve pretty much decided it can’t be, because I haven’t completed all my Bucket List things!

I do have plans for completing them…but most of them will happen in September. And I’ve resigned myself that some of them won’t happen at all, probably (spending a whole day with my three sisters means a visit to Plymouth and I can’t get down there until October)

Oh well. I do think that having the Bucket List has motivated me to do more with my summer – only most of the things I’ve done didn’t actually make it onto the list!

This Bank Holiday weekend was Rosie’s Hen Weekend, and it was really good fun. She had no idea what was being planned, except for it being in Gosport (she found the house for us) There were 18 of us over the weekend, which seems a lot but Rosie has a close group of friends from her school days, a close group of Uni friends and also a close group of church friends, so we were all there.

We went to Gosport in Hampshire to stay at the most gorgeous rental house (http://www.gosportaccommodation.co.uk/)

It was amazing staying there – the rooms are all huge, and it had everything we wanted (except a teapot!). Considering that there were so many of us, we weren’t all on top of each other and the most people per room was 3 so we all had loads of space. The best thing was the second dining room, which had a table long enough for all 18 of us to eat together! I have house envy.

The weekend started on Friday when we all descended on Gosport from our various localities (in Canterbury, Bexley, Maidstone, Poole, Hertfordshire, East Grinstead and London) and most of us got stuck in traffic on the M25 and the A3, but that was ok. Those of us that got there in time went to Playzone for their Adults session – we all dressed in black with leopard print accessories (leopard print was a bit of a theme!) and went slightly mental playing on the slides and stuff. We took loads of pictures…but they’re not shared on Facebook yet so I can’t upload any.

On Saturday we had a lazy morning, breakfast with loads of fruit and yoghurt and pastries (this was a big-food weekend) and then me and two other girls went to do the food shop whilst the others went into town and got fancy dress costume stuff for the evening. The afternoon was spent pampering and prepping whilst watching Maid of Honour (yay for wedding themed movies) and then we had fajitas for dinner before getting the ferry over to Portsmouth dressed as Superheroes!

We went to a club called Tiger Tiger where one of Rosie’s friends had booked us VIP booths including nibbles and cocktails and we had a good dance and played some games, like handing out Man Awards to different guys (Best Biceps/Most Impressive Pecs/Mr Congeniality etc) before getting the ferry back across to Gosport and crawling into bed around 2.30am.

Sunday was a verrrrry lazy morning – we ended up eating our breakfast (fry-up!) at 12noon, but that’s ok because it was fun the night before. After breakfast/brunch/lunch, most of the girls took Rosie to the fun-fair whilst Louise (the maid of honour) and I set up for the afternoon’s event: a garden party Bridal Shower with cream tea. We had loads of cakes, sandwiches, drinks and decorated the house’s gorgeous garden with bunting. We had each gotten her Bridal Shower gifts – lots of bath stuff, lingerie, candles, generally pretty things, and a photo book with pictures of all of us and messages of love for her. She cried 🙂

After the food we watched a couple more movies, played Articulate and Scrabble, and just generally chilled out together. Around 9pm getting Chinese food was suggested – more food!! But that was yummy too.

On Monday we cleaned and tidied up the house and everyone had left by around 11. I took two girls back to Bexley and got home myself around 3.30, and I was so tired from all the fun that I just crashed out for the evening! Today I feel a little more human, which is good because my Mum and sister are coming to stay today!

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Bad day

I think that it’s safe to say today was the worst day of my career, so far. And I’ve had some bad days.

I can’t go into it, which is really hard, but in abbreviated terms I had to give advice as a professional, which completely goes against my own personal views.

I hate it.

Team GB

Today I was listening to the Jeremy Vine show, on Radio 2, and it got me SO mad!

Someone, somewhere, has made the comment that the coverage of the London 2012 Olympics are too patriotic to Team GB.

WHAT?!

Seriously, there was a huge debate about whether the coverage of the Games should be less focused on what our team is doing, and be more generalised.

I honestly don’t get this…what is wrong with some people?! To be hosting the Games is just phenomenal, and I think that the sports coverage AND the news coverage has been absolutely brilliant.

We are IN the UK…even if the Games weren’t being held here, the coverage would still be focused on our team’s achievements because that is what the BBC is there to do! The news teams from other countries, like France or Russia, will focussing on their own teams so why can’t we focus on ours?

One of the people on the radio said that she was in the USA for the first week of the Olympics, and the coverage there doesn’t talk about anyone other than the USA competitors – if the USA aren’t in the event, it doesn’t really get a mention.

I think our coverage has been great, and of course there is going to be some bias (for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW7J4J4Bh5I ) but why is that a problem?

Actually, our coverage has been quite well-rounded – in my opinion. Yes, if you’re on BBC1 they switch between different sports if the GB competitor is in contention for a medal, but last night I was watching the Athletics and there was a whole feature on the lovely Kenyan runner, David Rudisha, who set the new World Record for 800m, and the whole world got behind Usain Bolt when he went for the double title and won the 200m final. All through these Games there have been great human interest stories about the competitors from smaller countries or those who have come out of nowhere to break records and do their country proud.

Most of the country have 24 dedicated channels for the Olympics, so they have been able to watch whatever sport they want live. For those that stupidly got rid of their Sky subscription three weeks before the games (who, me?!) there is BBC 1 or 2, BBC 3 and also a third channel just for the Olympic coverage – and you can watch everythingon Iplayer which is what I’ve done quite a lot.

In fact, right now I have the athletics on the TV (muted), and the Men’s 10m diving preliminaries in an open window – I listen to the commentary, and am switching windows everytime a great dive is made or our divers are on.

Anyway. My point is, I think our coverage is completely appropriately biased towards OUR team, and I don’t think it would be any different if we weren’t the hosts.

I for one am so proud to be British…I have cheered, laughed, cried, winced and shouted at the TV pretty much every day of the last two weeks and I think that the whole event has just been the best it could have been (even with the hoo-ha about empty seats and the occasional mess-up – see below!)

I’ve also sung the National Anthem at every opportunity (25 Gold medals at the latest count) and even found myself singing it in the shower yesterday…Olympic obsessed, maybe.

My point is… The London Olympic Committee have done an absolutely wonderful job putting on these Games, and I think the coverage has been completely excellent. Our athletes have trained for 4 years for the honour of competing in the Olympics and the fact that it’s happening on home-ground is even more awesome.

So shut up, stupid grumpy, non-patriotic people, because we are Team GB and we really are doing GREAT

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Why can’t I sleep?!

In my last blog post I said that I haven’t slept properly, apart from 2 nights, since Tasha has been away.

I still can’ sleep – it’s been two whole weeks and I’ve had two good night’s sleep.

ARGH!

I’m so tired in the middle of the day, but when it gets to bedtime, around 10.30/11pm, I’m suddenly wide awake again and even if I go to bed then I don’t fall asleep til at least 2am … which means that I wake up absolutely exhausted.

On Sunday I went to bed at 11, but couldn’t sleep so I ended up watching The Notebook at 1am – including all the deleted scenes. After that I still wasn’t even nearly tired, so I then read half of a book. Eventually I felt midly sleepy, around 3.30am and turned out the light. I slept til 9am and woke up without my alarm since it was my day off yesterday.

Last night I went to bed at 11.45pm because I felt sleepy after not having enough sleep the night before…thinking and hoping and praying that I would be tired enough to sleep.

Did I sleep? No.

I was still awake at 1.45am…I think I eventually slept sometime around 2.30am. I had to set my alarm for 7.15 to get up for work and now I am exhausted.

I’m on a split day today, because I was in Hastings this morning, and I have Fostering Panel in the evening so I’ve got 4 hours off in the middle of the day. I want nothing more than to have a nap, but if I do that then I won’t be tired at bedtime and it will keep happening. On the other hand, if I don’t have a nap I risk yawning my way through work this evening which is not the best presentation.

What do I do?

I’ve tried having a warm drink, dimming the lights for the hour before I go to bed, changing the duvet, washing the pillowcases so they smell like flowers and stuff, putting classical music on, reading, having the door open, having the door closed … nothing works and I AM TIRED!

Any advice will be gratefully received by this very sleepy girl

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I am bored of myself

My housemate has been away since July 23rd, so essentially I have been living by myself for almost two weeks and

I AM SO BORED OF MYSELF!

There is a reason that I don’t live alone, full-time. I just don’t like long expanses of time when I’m by myself. With the weekend stretching out ahead of me I’m already making plans so that the time where I’m alone is limited.

It’s strange really, because when I lived in a student house with three other girls, I absolutely craved my own time and couldn’t wait to have the house to myself for a night or an afternoon – but that was a rare occurrence just because there were more of us in the house. It felt like a luxury.

Now that I have a flat to myself, that luxury is now actually more of a drain.

It’s not all bad, of course it’s not; I’ve had friends around and been out to see people some evenings, but on the nights where I haven’t got plans and have only the TV and internet for company from 6pm til bedtime, it’s just a bit too much.

This week I’ve been to the gym four times, just to get out of the house and see some actual humans in the flesh! One of the trainers said “you again?” when I swiped my card this evening. Maybe she thinks the Olympics are inspiring me…but in reality I just want to delay going back to the flat by another hour.

(A benefit of this is that I’ve lost a few pounds and I’m well on the way to a flat tummy…but that’s besides the point)

Another downside is that I have much less motivation to eat, and am having to actually force myself to get off the sofa and cook a meal rather than just eating cereal for dinner. I’ve discovered the best way to do it is to set the table and grab a book … but then the sight of a table laid for one is quite depressing.

If my table looked like this I might be more interested?

Oh I don’t know.  There’s that stupid saying that only boring people get bored…I really don’t think I’m a boring person. It’s not like I want to go out clubbing, or bungee jumping or even do anything, really.  I just think that I need the socialisation of having another person around, so that when weird things happen like they have this week, I can voice it instead of twirling it round in my head and getting even more confused. I need a sounding board sometimes, and as much as I love my little garden balcony…my baby plants don’t talk back and give advice. Boo.

I also have discovered that I don’t sleep very well in an empty flat. Even though I feel completely safe here, I’ve only had two good nights sleep since Tasha has been away and one of those was the first night back after my holiday when I was so tired it hurt and I probably could have slept through a pneumatic drill outside my room. The other nights though…I just can’t get to sleep, and then I can’t stay asleep because my brain is over-stimulated from lack of proper conversation!

This blog post is far too long and pointless now…thanks, blogosphere, for putting up with me!

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