Serendipity

Sometimes something just catches your attention at exactly the right moment in life, whether it’s a song, a book, a quote or a video like the one above. Not necessarily something new, but something new to you, or maybe which you’d already seen and forgotten all about. For me, it was this speech given by Tim Minchin to brand new graduates during a ceremony where he received an honorary Doctorate for being all-round awesome. I was just absent-minded scrolling through my Facebook feed, feeling a bit fed up and under the (rather drizzly) weather when I accidentally clicked on this video – on my dad’s timeline, of all places – and it just happened to be exactly what I needed to hear.

It’s a speech full of things that anyone who is feeling a little bit lost in life needs to hear, so if you’re all at sea like I am right now, give it a watch. I laughed, I cried a little bit and when it finished, I felt completely inspired to get up and get stuff done. Watch it!

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Spark

You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.

– Robin Williams


Rest in peace, Robin. Judging by the world’s reaction to the horrible news this morning, you were very much loved and you will be very much missed.

Who Am I?

My life in the last month has taken an interesting turn. Something has happened to me. Something completely unexpected. I don’t even recognise myself anymore.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have become a football fan. A shouting at the TV, discussing last nights game with the guys at work football fan. I have World Cup fever, and I’m already worrying about what I’m going to do in the evenings when it all ends.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not 100% behind football – it’s still just a bunch of overpaid, entitled egos running up and down a field. I don’t really understand the rules, and no, I have no clue what “offside” actually means, but damn, it’s compelling. I’m particularly enjoying watching slow-motion replays of the goalkeepers’ faces as they realise the ball is going in the net. And laughing at players faking injuries and getting denied by the referee And seeing the cocky teams get knocked out (yeah, Brazil, I’m looking at you).

As it turns out, the best thing about football is also one of the most enjoyable things in life…the delicious schadenfreude. Because there are few things that make you feel better about your own shortcomings than laughing at someone else’s.

Absence

Deck Chair in the Sunshine
I appear to have dropped off the face of the Internet again recently.

I would love to lie and say that I have been busy, but I haven’t. Truth be told, the last couple of weeks have been a bit strange. The days have just merged into one long stretch of eat-work-eat-sleep-repeat. Like I’ve been watching my own life from the sidelines, not really living it. It’s not that I have been unhappy exactly, but more that there has been a lack of happiness. Not sadness, just numbness. I’m trapped in this weird, monotonous limbo – I have no idea what the hell I’m doing with my life, which doesn’t appear to matter that much seeing as other people seem to be trying to make all my decisions for me anyway. Because I don’t need to have an opinion on the city I live in, the house I live in, when I leave my current job, how I spend my weekends… It’s all making me feel kind of suffocated. I just want to escape it all, which is as funny as it is tragic. I am a 26-year-old woman who wants to run away from home.

This weekend has actually turned out to be a very welcome break from that feeling, from slightly warm Chardonnay in my best friend’s garden on Friday to a full-on high heels, short skirt and far-too-many-mojitos night out last night. Today I’ve been nursing a (mercifully) small hangover, stretched out in the sunshine, reading The Fault in Our Stars to see what the fuss is about. It’s been a perfect British summer weekend – warm, laid-back and boozy.

Hopefully I’ll be starting to feel more like myself again soon, and you won’t need to read any more of these miserable, self-pitying posts. Until then, I would recommend that you go and have a giggle at Lucy or Frankie’s blogs, or coo over an adorable puppy on Gemma’s blog.

Normal service will resume shortly.

 

D-Day

When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, we gave our today

Being so far removed from the reality of war, it’s easy to watch the old footage of events like the Normandy landings as though it were scenes from a film, not to dwell on the fact that those are real people, and that many didn’t survive.  But I’ve been sat thinking about it a lot today. Listening to the D-Day commemorations on Radio 2. Reading about some of the interesting people involved, like Piper Bill and Agent Garbo. Wondering what it would have been like to be one of the thousands of men going in on the boats, knowing that the odds were stacked against them. Or a mother, wife or child, wondering if their loved ones will ever come home again.

And I’ve been feeling very guilty about the fact that I struggled to get out of my warm, safe bed earlier because I didn’t feel like coming to work today.

The End

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Yes, that’s right – I am pretending that it’s not already the 3rd of June. How did that happen?

So, that is it. Blog Every Day in May 2014 – done. And it started off really well! I think life started getting in the way towards the end though. I think it’s safe to say that I’m not really made for blogging every single day!

Despite that, I really did enjoy the experience. It was fun to have to think about and get creative with the prompts, even if some were a little more challenging than others!

I have to say though, the best bit for me had to be ‘meeting’ other bloggers. I’ve discovered so many brilliant, funny, thoughtful and inspiring blogs that I might never have come across without BEDM. And all of you lovely people have been so kind and supportive, with everything from career advice to reminiscing about school discos. It’s been fantastic getting to know you folks, and I’m actually quite sad that it’s all over. See you all for Blog Every Day in November then?!

Talent

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…

The Best Things About Childhood

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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

Asturias
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.

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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.

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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!

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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…