Crisp

I’ve had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year so it is officially Autumn and therefore the real New Year.

Fuck January and the blues that subsequently follow the turn of the year. Fuck wet weather and grey days. This is my new beginning, that beautiful crossover, from Summer into burnt and rusty Fall. I’m here for it more than ever.

It’s corresponds perfectly with the start of my new job which admittedly isn’t brain surgery or saving puppies, but it is exactly what I needed to do and I’m feeling much more myself than I have in months. My last new beginning turned out to be miserable and more than that, damaging to both confidence and general well-being and I am so delighted to be free of it now.

I feel positive again and valued, and that in turn makes me want to start creating. I’m dying to get back into writing more, reading more and just being more present in the projects I love – and with people I want to spend time with. I want to do meaningful things, even if they’re just for me.

I want to be me again – and that is what I’ll be focusing on for the rest of the year (like, the official end of the year). I’m going to be kind and generous to myself – start as I mean to go on, basically.

In other news, my new work crew are all lovely and interesting people. I couldn’t be luckier and again, that’s why I wanted to leave my old job in the first place – to meet new people, stretch my wings, learn new things and mix it the fuck up. Now I’m going to enjoy it.

How’s your week so far?

Goodbye Summer

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Picture via Unsplash

How quickly we turn our backs on the summer.

As the calendar flips over to September, the dreams of Autumn begin. Talk of Christmas commences. What will we do, where will we be? Halloween goodies manifest themselves beside the mince pies, hoping desperately not to be forgotten. It’s our turn first, they insist as you pass them by.

As if Halloween isn’t the greatest holiday we have. As if Autumn isn’t the best season.

As if I haven’t been counting every day since last Autumn finished waiting for the next, daydreaming about longer sleeves and boots to crunch crispy leaves beneath.

As if I’m not Autumn’s child.

I can’t wait for the temperatures to drop, for BBC dramas to light the darker nights. For blankets and books and the hard ground. Soft jumpers and nests.

I’ve got it all planned out.

I’m done now, Summer. Move along.

 

 

Smalentine’s Day

il_570xN.877963078_h5peI’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I may have mentioned it before.

In fact, I’ve spent a fair amount of this week whinging about how much I hate the commercialism, the pressure and the girl in the street who can’t even carry the huge bunch of red roses her boyfriend got her.

Evidence yet again that I’ve let Valentine’s get to me and I don’t know why I let it. I mean firstly, isn’t a whole day dedicated to sweet loving my very life blood? I freaking love LOVE, man.

And I am still in love, after all these years. Yet neither of us are VD celebrators (again, the holiday not the STD) so when I drop hints about things I don’t need or even want (flowers/jewellery/a basket full of kittens in pink neckties), my S.O. rightly ignores me.

He knows I’m being irrational, manipulated by a fat flying baby and we don’t have the money for big gifts anyway. Even if we did, wouldn’t we both prefer food? I’m happy and content as I am, Saint Fucking Valenpants, so back the hell off.

That said, I had a mini-huff a few evenings ago over our complete lack of romantic plans this weekend – only to be met a moment later with a new email notification. Ticket confirmation for Deadpool on Sunday. For 2, premier seats.

Burgers for lunch, gelato afterwards.

Proof romance is not dead, not even sleeping. Proof that love still has a pulse and doesn’t need its own day in the sun (but sometimes that can be nice, I guess). Valentine’s always does one thing I can’t deny: it serves to make me think about love in all its forms.

Big, flashy and completely O.T.T. versus Everyday loving.

Neither is the right way and they’re not mutually exclusive, obvs – you can chose any kind whenever you like. But I like the kind that sends the love of my life into town on a Saturday to pick up a package because he knows I hate crowds. When it’s raining.

The kind that delivers a cup of tea every now and again without asking. My favourite is the kind that orders Deadpool tickets and helps me sneak Burger King into the theatre too.

I’m going to stop being so down on the whole thing from now on because it’s not so bad. If I don’t like it, I can buy my own chocolates and jewellery.

Plus, Valentine’s spawned Woman Appreciation Day, AKA Galentine’s and that’s just the best. My princess Tatty bought me flowers and candy to cheer me up, and I sent cards to my local babes (and mum). Not going to lie that it feels good to spread love (and one day I might organise myself to go internationally).

Let’s face it, our girls are the important ones really. They’re the ones who listen to us moan 24/7, talk to us about contouring and help us sort ourselves out when we’re having yet another crisis of confidence.

Love is a broad thing, man. And this post is practically Belgian, so full of waffle it is.

What are your Valentine’s plans? Do you celebrate, do you hate it like I do or do you have your own cool tradition? ❤

Getting Into Fall Spirit

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I’ve been tagged by Keeping Track to partake in a questionnaire about my favourite time of year. Cute, huh?

The gist is to answer 19 questions about Autumn and then tag 10 fellow bloggers to see what they have to say. I might not get to ten whole nominations, but I’ll definitely pass on the questionnaire.

So, to my questions!

Favourite candle scent? I’m not great with artificial scent, unfortunately. It tends to do my head in so I rarely burn scented candles. However, around Christmas to impress visitors, I might go for something spicy and cinnamon based, maybe a French Vanilla.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Tea, all day, every day. Strong (2 teabags), no sugar, splash of milk. It’s true what they say, never accept a badly made cup of tea.

What is the best fall memory you have? Autumn in Vancouver has been my most memorable to date (2008). I was living alone again, having come out of a bad long-term relationship, had just had a wild  summer and I was falling in love long distance with my now husband, who was in the UK.

My fondest memory from this year was all the walking I did with friends, supping on hot chocolates, meeting my best friend David after work to write in a cafe most evenings, and pumpkin carving with his family for the very first time.

Best fragrance for fall? I don’t wear perfume ever, so nothing.

Favourite Thanksgiving food? England doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving so this tradition is not part of my year, however my mouth salivates at the thought of anything pecan/pumpkin flavoured.

Most worn sweater? Plain grey sweatshirt, a la Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.

Football games or jumping in leaf piles? Leaves. I hate football.

Favourite type of pie? Anything, but if we’re talking sweet, how about cherry or traditional apple?

What is autumn weather like where you live? Wet and miserable usually. That’s the great British summer/autumn/spring/winter. I dream of sunny but cold, crisp days with crunchy leaves underfoot and if I’m lucky I might get a few.

Which make-up trend do you prefer, dark lips or winged liner? I’m all about smokey eyes every day. Black Kohl is my staple, I’m terrible at the winged liner though. I’d like to be more ambitious with my lips as well, and prefer berry hues.

What song really gets you into the fall spirit? Can I have November Rain by Guns N Roses?

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? Fuck yeah. But not the horribly sweet stuff we get in the UK. It’s all about the Pumpkin Spice you get in the US/North America.

Favourite fall TV show? I like the American Horror Story series. And Scream(TV Series) has just appeared on Netflix, and that’s quite good. Anything you can snuggle up to under a fleece blanket will do in the Autumn.

Skinny jeans or leggings? Leggings under a dress or massive baggy tee/cardigan combo. Skinny jeans/jeggings aren’t what you want for lounge wear.

Combat boots or Uggs? DMs. Obviously.

Halloween – yay or nay? All the yays. Except a lot of people here are terrible at it. We’re getting better and personally, I love it. Not sure who I’ll be this year yet.

Fall mornings or evenings? Evenings. I like it when it’s dark straight after work. I like to be warm and snuggly.

What do you think about Black Friday? Again, being English it’s not as big a thing as in the US. It’s started becoming bigger, but I avoid it. I think it’s a bit pointless and indulgent.

One fall 2015 trend you love? Big gorgeous jewel coloured coats. Dark nails. Thick knits. Boots. I’m not sure these are strictly 2015 trends but I love these things every year for A/W.

Here are the bloggers I tag:

What are your views on autumn?

Worry Woman

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I worry I don’t have this hair

My main act of #radicalselflove this week is to stop worrying so much.

I don’t know when I started being such a fretter but it seems overnight I caught the worry worts and now I lie awake at night remembering things I had aimed to do that day, but didn’t get around to or emails I wanted to send.

Go to sleep woman!

I worry about where I am in life at the age of 37, that I’m not earning very much. I worry that I’m not creatively fulfilled. I worry that everyone hates me and that I’ll be sacked tomorrow.

I won’t be able to get another job either, natch and my husband will leave me. I worry because I can’t seem to muster the energy to be healthier. I worry that I’m old before my time.

It goes on and on. It’s not good, is it?

So, I’m taking time out from tying myself up in knots. I know how lucky I am, to have a home, a loving relationship and the most awesome family.

I have a job and I know I’m good at it, even if I’m not doing exactly what I want to be within it. If I do decide to move on, then this is the only area that really needs to change, it can’t be that difficult. I’m a moderately intelligent human. I have a nice smile.

And I live in a world where Patricia Arquette has an Oscar and topped off her win with a kick ass feminist speech that made Meryl Streep fist pump (it’s more of an impassioned finger point). It’s a good time to be alive.

I think they call this period the Blues, usually it stays in January but with climate control and the polar ice caps, it drags on even longer these days.

Relax, I might sound incredibly negative in this post but there are lots of exciting blog things coming up and I love lots of things about my life. I know this is just a week of illness and PMS talking. I feel better sharing it with all of you already, you lucky, lucky people!

How’s your Monday been?

Image via Google.

Galentine’s Day

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I’d set out to write a damning post about Valentine’s Day today, poo pooing anything remotely heart shaped, made of chocolate or encased in red foil. I’ve changed my mind about that, having read a few lovely blog posts sharing intimate and heart warming stories of love and commitment. It’s given me the adjustment that I needed, and yes I really am that fickle.

You see, I love romance and love. I live for it. Nothing makes me happier than people falling in love and expressing that love in whichever way they see fit (within reason, obvs). Give me a grand, romantic gesture any day of the week.

I’m lucky to have a loved one of my own and to be part of a partnership that feels like it was meant to be. It’s no exaggeration to say that I feel like all my wishes came true the day I met Mr Bass.

Yet despite this, Valentine’s day just doesn’t do it for me. I always end up deflated as the 14th draws to a close and I know it’s because I’ve bought into the hype. I’ve got carried away in a frenzy of heart shaped paraphernalia; allowed it to turn my head and make me expect things I don’t even want or need.

Who run the world?
Who run the world?

I’m lucky in love every day so one set date to show and receive love is just not necessary, in my eyes. If I was single I’m sure I’d still be hopeful but I’d feel the same; it’s a Hallmark holiday designed purely to get the cash registers kerching-ing (BAH HUMBUG).

Still, every year as I watch the girls in the office be bombarded with bouquets and shiny things, or get whipped off on boutique hotel breaks in the country, I start to wish for those things myself. When I don’t get the same, I feel let down. Which is rude, ungrateful and frankly pathetic, especially when I’ve specifically said, “Don’t get me anything”.

But since I am going back and forth on this, I have to consider, is it really such a bad thing to encourage people to share their feelings ? I suppose not.

Anyway, in the spirit (and my original theme) of hating VD (the day, not the disease), I decided to stop myself being disappointed this year by spreading love, instead of expecting it. Inspired by my heroine, Leslie Knope of Parks & Rec and her Galentine’s concept, I sent all my best (UK) girls some love, reminding them of why I love them. Which I do, very much and all in different ways.

(Non-UK babes, I’m afraid I didn’t organise myself in time, but this is a new tradition so expect mail in February 2016).

So, today officially it’s Galentine’s Day and I’m all about the ladies.

All my beautiful ladies: I heart you long time. From the bottom of my grumpy heart.

All images via Google.

Blues, Blacks & Purples

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Even pink poodles get the Blues

I found myself sobbing into our open fridge last night, whilst searching for cheese. Full of a sadness that is very hard to define.

It’s nothing new though, this phenomena. I mean, don’t we get all get introspective at this time of year? And The January Blues are a scientifically proven thing, aren’t they? An actual bonafide condition.

The reason for my tears seemed clear at first: it’s been a bitch of a week. I spend way too much time caring about my job. Conjuring up problems that just aren’t there; pretending the issues that actually are there, aren’t. Much, I’m sure, like every other employed person on this planet.

But I’m a lowly Marketing Assistant, not the CEO of a vast company, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue or a brain doctor. I organise things, write copy and give presentations; what is there really to stress about?

I think I can safely say that sometimes the littlest things trigger a very bad attack of The Doubts. Feeling inadequate because things aren’t going perfectly is one thing but given the right environment it can mutate.

Suddenly you find yourself cocooned in your robe on the sofa, losing your shit to Don’t Tell The Bride, lamenting how terrible your life is because you’re no longer 27 and what the fucking fuck are you even supposed to be doing with your life anyway?

My dreadful imagination has me homeless on the streets, never to be employed again. It has me penniless and alone because I never get over the horror of losing the job I don’t even know has the future I hoped for anyway. I curse myself for not being better, for not having a talent.

For being a bad person. A bad partner. A terrible sister, daughter and friend. I turn myself inside out, pulling at the stuffing until there’s nothing left. I don’t deserve anything, will never amount to anything.

I might as well leave this crazy city with nothing but the clothes on my back, like Julia in Sleeping With The Enemy on a Greyhound bus. See if I can’t start a new life somewhere quaint. Rebrand myself with a new name, maybe get a little job in a book shop.

Better this course of action than just going to bed, getting a good night’s sleep and getting the fuck over myself.

I blame January for all of this. For being miserable and underwhelming and poor. January angers me because it always comes in to the sound of trumpets and fireworks.

It’s not all that. It’s just another month but 86 days long.

I’m over it. The Blues won’t win this one. But if I want to mope and cry and eat cheese for the remainder of the month, then… so be it.

How you doin’? #january

Resolution Road

And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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Happy New Year! (Got to start with the obligatory NY inspirational quote, natch).

I have, of course, already lightly laid down the gauntlet for New Year. That list contained only a handful of areas I would like to examine in 2015.

I haven’t changed my mind about any of them, though you could argue that I’ve broken at least three already (I’m not counting my indiscretions until 5th January, which is Monday re: moving, being angry and spending though). Hey, these are my resolutions, I’ll be sketchy about the details if I want to.

The good news is that this is Day 2 and I haven’t had chocolate. Sadly this coincides with a crippling bout of PMS cravings. My only fear is that most of my historic chocolate eating has been instinctual. What if I eat it automatically and don’t realise until it’s too late? THE HORROR.

I’m imagining myself as a light and airy waif come December 31st 2015, all my lumpy bits having miraculously melted away due to lack of Dairy Milk. But who the hell am I kidding? I didn’t quit crisps, sweet/salty popcorn, jelly babies or non-chocolaty cake. Butter, cream or bread. I’m not an idiot.

*Insert Homer Simpson-esque dribbling here*

I just wanted to add to my previous Resolutions post, not with too much more, certainly with not too much more New Year, New Me poppycock. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely that this is the year I change absolutely everything that I dislike about my life, lovely thought that might be.

Short of wanting more money, a holiday and not being out of breath when I do up my bra in the morning, I’m pretty happy. I’m trying to be kinder to myself and to believe that I’m fucking fabulous the way I am.

Continue reading “Resolution Road”

Things & Inc

An update post if you will, as boy do we have a lot going right now.

What, it’s Christmas and everybody is buzzing around like bees on ecstasy? You’re right, my bad. How’re you coping?

Here are a few of the things I am thinking about right now.

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  • Lena Dunham

I’m finally on Not That Kind of Girl and haven’t even passed the Introduction yet. But I’m looking forward to it.

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Sadly, the book already has a reputation that proceeds it, given the uproar it has caused over the last few months. People are forming new Dunham shaped opinions all over the shop due to some of the subject matter (and how it has been sculpted by Lena’s choice of language), but I am remaining on the fence until I have a context to relate it to.

I love her style and I can’t see that changing any time soon, but she might allude to stabbing puppies in the final segment, so you never know.

  • Christmas Shopping

I’m done! Did it all in one sitting with the help of the trusty internet. The lovely, lovely internet.

*SMUG FACE*

ChristmasCupid

  • Christmas Movies That Retell A Christmas Carol (And/Or Feature an Alternative Universe) From the Perspective of a High Flying Business Woman (Always American) Who Has Lost Sight of What Is Important 

See Christmas Cupid (TV Movie 2010), Holidaze (TV Movie 2013) and, from this afternoon, It’s Christmas, Carol! (TV Movie 2012).

All, you might have noticed, straight to television masterpieces. And yes, I do love them more than Coco Pops. Amusing because, of course, no woman can climb the career ladder without transforming into a total bitch of epic proportions!

(If any of you know of any more films of this ilk, please let me know).

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  • Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud

I am obsessed.

  • Family

This week hasn’t been easy and some new news has made it even more difficult and emotional (which I’m not going to go into) but I have been reminded that I have a fucking wonderful family who are strong and incredible people, come rain or shine.

It’s easier to deal with the shit stuff when you have an army of rock stars on your side, that’s for sure.

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  • Jake Gyllenhaal

We recently watched Nightcrawler and I really enjoyed it. Following the last of Jake’s films I absolutely loved, Enemy and Prisoners, he’s now pretty much my favourite. Such a talented (and fit) actor.

Nightcrawler follows creepy Louis Bloom into LA’s underground as he becomes interested, and then really quite good at, the business of crime journalism.

  • Ready Player One (the Movie)ready-player-one

OMG this book is fantastic and so completely up my alleyway, that I #canteven! But if I could, I would tell you that the fact that Christopher Nolan has been offered the film version of it is knicker-wettingly exciting and I squeaked a little when I heard.

Cannot wait.

(Even though the scriptwriter has admitted to have taken ‘liberties’ with the original source material, so you know, boo to that).

So, that’s me. I hope you’re all doing well and enjoying the lead up to Christmas. I’m not feeling that merry yet, I have to say but that has to be because I haven’t seen enough Christmas movies yet (I accept non-Dickensian rehashes too). Soon to be rectified, I hope.

Bridesmaids

Is this image a spoiler alert?
Is this image a spoiler alert?

I can hardly believe I haven’t talked about THE BEST NEWS yet. I started to tip tap up a little post about this very thing a few months back but couldn’t find the appropriate words at the time to say how happy I am about it.

And then, something happened, and the thing I am going to tell you about now was brought forward and here I am with it looming in a big fabulous way and I am excited but also dead nervous! What am I like?

I’M GOING TO BE A BRIDESMAID!

A big fat, fabulous bridesmaid, finally! It’s so exciting. Back in the Summer, I was having a seemingly innocuous conversation with my Sister in Law to be, when she slipped in the question. Second best question I have ever been asked, if I’m honest. Well, not including the age-old: “Would you like a cup of tea?” obviously.

So I’m a bridesmaid in less than three weeks and it’s going to be great. I have an a-m-a-z-i-n-g dress that I was allowed to pick myself, a h-u-g-e petticoat of epic proportions (and the one I wore to my own wedding) and I can’t wait.

I’m not nearly as trim as I had hoped to be, since it’s been brought forward five months, but really, who fucking cares? So I could have been a dress size smaller with more time but does it really matter? Sure, less chins in the photos would have been nice but I can’t spend my life hating on myself, missing out of brilliantly fun times. Thin doesn’t necessarily mean better after all.

I’m refusing to sweat the small stuff. Besides, the shoes I’m wearing make me super tall and it stretches everything else out in the end. Just so long as I don’t fall on my arse, right?

My brother and his wife are already married, having tied the knot at City Hall, NYC in October. This is the ceremony for the people who couldn’t make that event (my family included) and so it’s kind of a big deal.

Instead of a traditional ceremony, it will be a tying of the hands, with a friend officiating. I’m doing the reading while they’re tied together! How cool is that?

Growing up I was always so jealous of friends who got to put on (admittedly hideous) dresses and be bridesmaids and flower girls. Our family isn’t the largest in the world, and there were never that many weddings going on, so I was never asked. Plus I was a total klutzy hot mess so there’s no guarantee I even would’ve been, even by default.

Now I’m older, most of my close friends are yet to be betrothed (I can’t wait for them to start, if that’s what they want to do) and so I’ve not been asked by them either. So I was beginning to wonder if this old broad (me) would ever get to have her moment in the sun.

And now it’s finally happening! I can’t wait to spend some time with the other maids and soak up the lovely atmosphere. My new sister is a joy and a very welcome addition to the family dynamic, so this will be a nice way to celebrate that too.

I will follow this up with some images and detail nearer the time but for now know I am buzzing. It’s going to be a lovely lead into Christmas, in a gorgeous little sea-side town – and everything will be so full of love. My favourite thing in the whole world.

Now, I’m off to put my contribution to the party playlist together. Life of a bridesmaid, bitches!