It’s been sooooo long

Once again, I am starting a blog post by acknowledging how long it has been since I last updated. It has been woefully long.

I think my last post was from Portland Airport when I was waiting for my plane back to the UK. That was a sad post.

Here’s a whistle stop tour of what’s happened in the last six weeks or so:

Travel
My flight home was great – three cheers for Delta airlines providing eye shades and ear plugs, and plenty of water. I didn’t get a ton of sleep but some was enough. Jetlag hit me very hard on the Saturday night and lasted over a week. It was painful. Diving straight back into mountains of work didn’t really help matters…

But I had a WONDERFUL time. I rested, I played, I prayed, I painted furniture, I stuffed couches, I cuddled, we watched Frozen about 15 times… yes really. We love Frozen. We went to Goodwill (fun), and antique shopping (no finds, but still fun) I made delicious treats with Rachel, we played Settlers, I admired treehouses and splinters, we snuggled and watched Netflix, we played Dobble (a game I took for them), we went for walks, we saw the State Capitol, and we went to Canada for a few days, which was fun despite 16 hours travelling there and back.

There was so much that we did and it was exactly what my heart needed.

It was amazing to be back there.

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Work
Has been BEYOND crazy these last six weeks. I had two Panels to prepare for, that were scheduled on consecutive days (not my choice) and both required so much attention. I spent 4 solid days preparing for one of them, and then 2 days writing my response for the second – my initial paperwork/reports had been completed before I went away. In total the paperwork for Panel 1 weighed 2lbs – my Appendices had Appendices, and for Panel 2 it was over 4lbs. There were 360+ pages in the pack for Panel 2.

But; both Panels went far better than I expected, and this week I have heard that the outcome of each was in our Agency’s favour/in support of our recommendation. So, *even though my validation comes from God alone*, that was a nice feeling.

I actually had a nice time at the second Panel because it was in London, so once we were finished my boss and I took a little (long) walk to Covent Garden and China Town, and had lunch and afternoon tea. It didn’t feel like a work day by the time we got back in the car to drive home.

On top of that I had all of my regular work to do as well. Some nights I felt so drained I just came home and went straight to bed after dinner, like a naughty kid. Once the Panels were over I had a few days of being weirdly emotional – it’s a strange thing to grieve the work that has stressed you out so much that you got your first 2 grey hairs (seriously) but without that weighing on me at work I have to admit I felt a little bit lost. I got over that quickly – there was still so much to do!

Family
I went home for Easter weekend (Thursday night to Sunday night) and had a lovely time. On Friday we went up onto Dartmoor for a big barbecue. We being: Mum, Abigail, Rebecca, Jessica (yes, we stole my baby sister!) and Simeon, plus Rebecca’s best friend Gemma who was back from teaching in Germany, all of Simeon’s family (parents, siblings, brother’s girlfriend and girlfriend’s sister) AND aunt & uncle, and 2 cousins.

It was LOVELY. Gorgeous weather, secluded little spot with lots of trees for hiding the eggs (Easter Egg Hunt – Successful!) and we did the BBQ and played games, and Jessica really loved Simeon’s cousin who is 7/8. They met at the wedding last year and are now sweet friends.

We also taught Simeon’s family to eat s’mores, “Read Style” – i.e. 2 rich tea biscuits, with chocolate spread, and then a marshmallow toasted on the BBQ coals squished between them. It takes a specific knack to manage not to wear the chocolate/marshmallow over your face. We managed to perfect it after 2 s’mores each 🙂

Good Friday 1

Good Friday egg hunt

I spent an afternoon/evening with my stepmum, brother and Jessica. We painted nails, and played games, and watched Britain’s Got Talent, and Jess thought the advert for Haribo sweets deserved to win. She found it so funny! I can’t believe how fast she is growing up. She is enrolled in school for September…how has that happened?

My Dad is still in Afghanistan but he’s home in 7 weeks, for a month, then back out until October and DONE

Abigail is doing EXTREMELY WELL

Abigail cover!

That’s her on the cover of our Local Paper, promoting Plymouth Fashion Week. She’s back modelling, and booking shoots left right and centre. Most of all she’s healthy and having fun…but, she is appearing in her first Runway Show (in London!) next week!

She was chosen to be the model for the Salon which styles her hair, as part of their entry to a Salon competition by Wella. On Tuesday 20th May, my little sis is officially a runway model 🙂 Not bad for a girl who just a year ago was getting tested for lumps in her neck which turned out to be cancer.

Mum and I are going to London for the show; we’re having a mini-mini break and staying over on Tuesday night, then having a day in London on Wednesday just the two of us. I just booked our hotel (hostel!) in Kensington, and my coach tickets.

Tell me, do you know anyone else who could book a night away in London AND travel, and have the cost be less than £25?! You’re looking at her! Did I ever mention I’m pretty frugal?!

Home
Frugality is an important thing for me right now; since I am looking to move out of my house (as my landlord needs to sell it) and I am very frustrated with constantly having to move around. I have decided I want to commit to saving up for a deposit to buy my own place…hence being more frugal than usual right now.

I am hoping to house share for a year, and save hard, and then be able to get a starter mortgage. I just would like to know that no-one can turn around and tell me I have to move; just when I am getting settled.

25
It’s my birthday in 17 days – I will be 25. That feels like a very grown up number. I am having a low-key meal at the restaurant where my friend Aaron works, then a few friends over for a takeaway on my actual birthday which is a workday.

I don’t know how I feel about being almost 25. I was definitely freaking out about it a few months ago…and feeling the big bad wolf of comparison lurking over my shoulder, but now I seem to have adjusted to the idea. Maybe it’s those 2 grey hairs that materialised (that I pulled out…) but I feel like 25 could be a great year for me. Or at least, I should quit worrying about it

Reading and Watching
I have been doing a lot more reading lately. My friend Faith has been lending me the Little House on the Prairie books and I am loving them. These are my breakfast books. I have been trying to read a more diverse selection from the library; so have shunned the generic chick lits for books that are recommended by the broad-sheets and literary prize winners. Consequently these books are taking me longer to plow through, but I for one admire my commitment to the advancement and development of my brain.

Not to get too literary though – I have also been working my way through the Gilmore Girls boxset, and annoying my friend Karen with many many texts about the goings on of Lorelai and Rory. Karen humours me, and it’s good for me to have something to do on the evenings when I’m too tired to really do anything, but it isn’t a socially acceptable time to go to bed.

Speaking of bed…… it is now past 10pm and I have had a very long and challenging day, which (among other things) involved our Finance Director cutting a hole in my office door with a bread knife, because somehow it had locked itself from the inside, like something out of Harry Potter.

So I must adjourn, to my bed. Hopefully it won’t be so long between posts next time…but I’ve said that before…

-x-

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