20140530-214900-78540521.jpgI have no idea what photo to use to sum up my talents. Here is a photo of Monty wearing glasses instead…

I am not one to blow my own trumpet. Talking about how awesome I am feels a bit like being in an interview, and I’m not sure I can put myself through that whilst being forced to watch England vs Peru. So here are some talents I have which have, but which are essentially useless:

Remembering song lyrics – can I remember my email password? No. Do I know what my memorable name is? No. Can I recite all of the lyrics to every blinking song I’ve ever heard more than twice? Hell yes I can! There’s valuable space in my brain being taken up by the lyrics to 5ive’s ‘Everybody Get Up’, which is almost definitely why I can’t remember where my car keys are.

Spoonerisms – for someone who studied languages, I am terrible at actually speaking. My personal favourite is the time I (tipsily) told my mum I’d be meeting up with a friend “one gay next beak”.

Hill starts – that’s right, no stalling for me! I have my clutch and accelerator balanced like the best of them. It’s just a shame that most of the drives I do are totally flat…

Accents – a friend and I once convinced a girl at school that we were American for over a year with our spectacular mimicry. Too bad there is absolutely no practical use for my great Welsh Valleys accent.

Buying nail varnish – I have been banned from buying more polish by more than one person, and one more than one occasion but those little glass bottles always find their way into my basket. I once went into TK Maxx promising I wouldn’t buy any and came out with ten! In fairness, they were beautiful…


National Barbecue Week

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you the world’s easiest, yet most delicious, BBQ recipe*…

Salmon and Lemon Skewers


– Salmon (how ever much you like, I would personally recommend ALL THE SALMON)
– Lemon (depends on how much salmon you use – go for 2/3, or in my case ALL THE LEMONS)
– Salt
– Pepper


– Cut salmon into cubes about an inch square.
– Halve one of the lemons, and give it a good old squeeze over the fish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
– Cut the remaining lemons into wedges or slices.
– Thread alternating pieces of salmon and lemon on to skewers.
– Grill those bad boys.
– Add a side-serving of mayonnaise.
– Feast.

* Demonstrated here on a teppanyaki grill, because my mother cannot resist the lure of the middle aisles of Aldi.

The Best Things About Childhood


The best things about childhood, in no particular order:

– The big, long six week summer holidays.
– Dancing to the Spice Girls at school discos in the village hall.
– Potato smiley faces, chicken nuggets and beans for tea.
– Skipping.
– Bawling your eyes out when you fall over, without anyone staring at you.
– Having someone to look after you 24/7.
– Pretending to be someone you’re not, and people thinking its adorable rather than creepy.
– School plays (see above).
– Hiding under the sheets reading Goosebumps stories.
– Wishing you could just be a grown-up already. They have it so much easier, don’t they?!

Being Adventurous

Recently, the only thing I’ve been adventurous with is food. I used to be a seriously fussy eater, a trait I think I inherited from my mum, who ate pretty much nothing but cottage cheese on toast as a teenager! Up until the end of my second year of uni, I stuck to what I knew in the supermarket – pizza, pasta and more pizza. Then I went off to do my year abroad and I was forced to broaden my horizons a little bit.  Largely because I tried to stick to ordering things I could pronounce, regardless of what they actually were…

Since then, I’ve made an effort to try things once to see if I like them. I’ve had varying degrees of success with this – I’ve developed a new-found love of blue cheese, but I have also forced myself to eat pak choi. There is no food I hate like I hate pak choi. Apart from maybe iceberg lettuce. Both are pointless.

But I digress. The point I’m stumbling towards here is that I’m trying to take this ‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it’ policy and apply it to the rest of my life. Say yes, give things a go, learn something new about myself. Pushing myself, rather than sticking to what I know. This time 5 years ago I was booking tickets to Spain, getting ready to hop on a plane without even knowing for sure if I’d have somewhere to live for the year I’d be there. Life since graduation has been about working and saving money, which is obviously necessary, but I’m starting to crave the butterflies that come with an adventure.

After all, the worst that can happen is probably more pak choi.

A Day in the Life

Today, as it turns out, was not a particularly interesting day in my life. I spent most of it at my desk, trying to keep my eyes open. I didn’t think it would really be worth sharing photos! Instead, I thought I’d share some of the things that make days like today a little bit brighter.

The nice little stroll I took into town from work. I left the car at the office on Wednesday and walked along the river, music on, stopping to chat with the ducks because I may be losing my marbles. As it turns out town was out of stock of everything I wanted, and I ended up with blisters and nettle stings walking back, but it was nice to get a couple of hours of me time.

Sitting in the garden and reading in the sunshine. I’m so glad it’s warming up now, I love walking out of work and feeling the sun on my face. For some reason, I didn’t read very much last year, so I’m trying to make up for it in 2014!

Playing fetch with these two clowns. They never get sick of running back and forth after a tennis ball, no matter how many times it goes in the bloody pond…

Blog Chat

A cup of green tea
May 15th – we’re half way there people! Now seemed like a good time to stop and reflect on the Blog Every Day in May experience so far, and I have to say that I’ve loved it. There have been days where I’ve struggled to think of things to write and days where I’ve just wanted to crawl into bed instead of typing away, but I’ve really enjoyed being pushed to write something new every day. More than that though, I’ve loved ‘meeting’ other bloggers and getting to know some wonderful new blogs! You see so much on Twitter about how blogging communities are cliquey or bitchy, but I’ve found it to be the exact opposite – you folks have all been so kind and supportive. I get so excited whenever I get a WordPress comment notification on my phone!

There are still some bits of blogging I don’t understand though. Like Dipytique candles (it’s just wax, surely?) or all-white furniture. I’m too busy eating my food to Instagram it. I still don’t really get Twitter. But I’m really enjoying dipping my feet into an interesting new pastime. I’m so glad I pressed ‘Publish’ on my first post in February, and that I signed up for BEDM. I feel much, much happier now I’m writing again, and I’m getting to know some fantastic people to boot. It’s a win-win!



Beauty, Fashion & Grooming

A lot of the posts I’ve seen on this topic today have been more along the ‘beauty comes from within’ line of argument and I feel like I should be going down a more thoughtful, philosophical route, but I’m not going to lie to you – I’m a sucker for beauty and fashion. My last blog was a beauty blog. I check ASOS pretty much daily. Call it shallow if you like, but I love it.

As a big fan of all things beauty, I tend to get caught up in the flashy new product releases, buying things I probably don’t need and which rarely live up to the hype. There is one little pot in my bathroom, however, that I discovered through beauty blogs and wouldn’t ever be without…


I figured it would be best to spend today’s post talking about products that actually delivered on their promises, and there was really only one thing that stood out in my mind. Good old coconut oil!

Even if you’re not big on beauty, coconut oil is a seriously useful thing to keep in the cupboard. I use it for pretty much everything, from hair masks to lip scrubs. Coupled with a face cloth, it makes light work of make up and leaves your skin super soft. It makes a great moisturiser too – it sinks in nicely and leaves you smelling like a Bounty bar. For extra bonus points, it’s great for sensitive skin – it’s the only thing I can use to shave my legs that doesn’t leave me with an angry, red rash. And did I mention you can cook with it? Not bad for about £7, eh?

Walk to Work Week

I would love to walk to work, I really would. However, my walk to work would be an hour and forty-five minutes, and my shifts this week start at 7am. I’ll take the extra time under the duvet, thank you very much! That had left me stumped for today’s topic, until I looked out the window at lunchtime and had a brainwave – I would have a stroll into town along the river once my shift ended and blog the walk from work instead. The sky had other plans, though, and when I set out at 3pm, the heavens had well and truly opened!

So I hopped in the car and resigned myself to the fact that some days are not meant for nice walks. Some days are meant for hot chocolate.


Or for flicking through a new book.


There are days for wandering aimlessly in the rain. Today is not one of those days. And if that means that I can spend the best part of the afternoon snuggling in my PJs with the dogs, then that’s just fine with me!

Local History Month

I currently live in Staffordshire, right in the middle of England’s green and pleasant land. I’ve said before that it is much further from the shore than I would like, but there’s no denying that we’ve got a great deal of interesting history going for us. We have the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard and the ceramic heritage of The Potteries, as well as countless churches, cathedrals and steam railways, apparently.

The local history story that interests me the most has nothing to do with any of this. My favourite is the tale of a young man who came to stay in my village in 1916, whilst recovering from trench fever. He was so inspired by the area and its landmarks that he decided to incorporate them into the book that he was working on at the time. That young man was JRR Tolkien, and the book was The Silmarillion.

I like to think that this means that I live in Middle Earth, and that every dog-walk is the start of a long and arduous trek to return the One Ring to Mordor. More importantly, it means I can choose to believe that, at 5’1″, I’m not short or stumpy or petite – I’m just a real-life Hobbit!