Monday, 30 January 2012

Childminding, lonely, letters challenge, Fill in the blank Friday

So, for once I've managed to post just a week after my last post, which is good for me at the moment! There isn't really too much to catch you up on; more little bits of interest.

Firstly, last week was a loong week of childminding - firstly, because I did four days instead of three for the second week running. Secondly, because B was off ill the entire week with tonsillitis, which meant I had two little ones to look after all day instead of one. Whilst this in itself wasn't too difficult, the problem lay in that because B was ill, she wanted things her own way and she wanted to do her thing, rather than being flexible about the fact that BB was too little to enjoy the same things. but we got through it, and B seemed miles better by Friday, so hopefully this coming week should be back to normal and less exhausting overall!

I've been very lonely recently. I can't remember the last time one of my friends texted/rang/messaged me without me texting/ringing/messaging them first. It just seems as though I'm making a heck of a lot of effort and not getting it back. Or something like that, anyway. Even the wife hasn't in an awfully long time. I feel as though I'm invisible to them all, and yet in their way as well. I miss getting a text without warning or prompting from a friend saying something even as simple as, 'saw ___ and thought of you', or, 'hope you've had a lovely day!' Is it me? Is it actually me? Am I demanding too much from people? Or am I just rubbish at friendships? Because I don't know anymore, I really don't.

On a lighter note, I've signed up for the Month of Letters Challenge from Mary Robinette Kowal. It seems pretty simple - 24 letters to be posted throughout the month of February. I reckon I could probably do it! I look forward to trying, anyhow.

Also, I've been meaning for a long while to do Fill in the blank Fridays from the little things we do, but somehow I always manage to not do a post on a Friday, or forget that I want to fill in the blanks. So I'm starting it now, even though it's a Monday, in the hope that I'll feel more committed, and start doing it on Fridays!


My favorite place i've ever traveled to is London with the wife. It was an incredible adventure, just the two of us, being teenage and independent and awesome. We watched Wicked - the wife's first time - and we went to London Aquarium, like all self-respecting 18/19 year olds do. There was no pandering to other more demanding members of the friendship group, we could do as we pleased and be comfortable without feeling awkward or in each others' faces. We're going back this summer to watch Les Mis!

Australia is somewhere I'd love to go someday

I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by reading, staring out of the window, and making up stories about the lives of the strangers around me.

My three must-haves when I travel are a good book, a phone with a full battery, and a spare jumper.

My favorite travel companion is myself. Although travelling with the wife has never bothered me either.

The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is I bumped into an old teacher whilst stood on a platform with two young children. I hasten to add they were not my own, something I think was one of the first things I said to my old teacher! She wasn't keen on small children and didn't chat for long.

The most exotic food I've ever tried while traveling is goat, probably? Not sure.

If I could live anywhere else, I'd live in a warmer country. Anywhere warmer than England.

I have been to no states in the U.S.

So yeah! My first Fill in the Blank Friday! Hopefully next time it will be done on a Friday, too! Oh - I made a soft box yesterday. Pictures soon. Probably when I get around to making the second one I have planned. And I cooked some yummy meals recently. And... that's all I have to say for now. Hopefully I'll have more interesting stuff to say next time.

Love love xxx

Monday, 23 January 2012

ill, childminding, childminding, childminding, plans for next week, letters and yoghurts, wifey

I'm sick. Still. Not drastically so, but enough to make me all unhappy about it and say all the time, 'this being ill thing really sucks It's just so frustrating!' Mamma reckons it's glandular fever. I reckon I don't care, I don't want it regardless of its name. Even if it was called Naya Rivera I would not want it. Because it is hurting my feelings, and you shouldn't associate with things that hurt your feelings. having said which, if Naya Rivera turned up on my doorstep, I would not refuse to associate with her. But then I don't think she would hurt me like this stupid illness is.

So yeah. Not done much of anything, still. I've been childminding, obviously. It's been pretty fun. BB is now pretty completely potty trained - yay! She's learnt this funny trick now, where she does a poo, then bends over and touches her toes so that I can wipe her bum clean! It does make me chuckle. On the other hand, since we started the whole potty training ball rolling with a reward jelly tot for every successful trip, she's developed this whiny tone of voice that demands a 'jelly top' after every single potty trip. I'm afraid I'm big and nasty and refuse to give her the reward until she asks politely in a more normal tone of voice. She's 2, she's not going to tell me what to do in that way!

We've just wiped out her nap completely, too. She decided she no longer wanted it over Christmas, and refused to go for her parents. But she was going for half an hour with me. But since it's making her faff about both when going to bed and when getting up in the morning, we just agreed we'd scratch it and see how she did. She seems okay - she crashes a little come the afternoon, but doesn't get her family up at 5.30 in the mornings now, so all in all a pretty good job! B is much the same as usual - school, homework (way too much for a 5 year old as far as I'm concerned!!) and we've been enjoying reading some books together.

We all jumped in muddy puddles the other day. It had been raining during the day, but the sun had come out and it was pretty warm. We all had wellies on and waterproofs, and there were some deep puddles just outside the house. Sure, the waterproofs needed a sponge off afterwards, sure the 5 year old slipped and got coated in mud and needed the fastest bath known to man, sure her clothes all went straight in the wash. But the two of them got to run around in winter, jumping around, laughing and playing together, and we all enjoyed it. So worth it!

Aside from all this I haven't done anything else much. Next Wednesday I'm meant to be going out for a ballroom dancing class with a friend, which should be hilarious fun! And on Thursday I'm going to see the ballet of Beauty and the Beast with mamma at the Lowry. I'm very much looking forward to it - it's been a while since I saw a ballet, and I do enjoy them!

I've also written a few letters to people, so I'm going to go now and post those. It's a good way to get me out of the house! I might take a walk to the texaco at the same time and pick up some yoghurts, too. I've been craving them for ages and we haven't bought any!

Love love xx

Ps. Still missing the wife terribly. It sucks that she chose to go to a uni so far away.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

blah, wife, truffles, truffles, truffles, dungarees

So I realise I should be doing useful, constructive stuff whilst I still have time to before I have to go back to work. Don't get me wrong, I love my job fiercely - but I get this sense that there's some stuff I should be doing whilst I have all this free time that I'm not doing and won't be able to do when I'm working. And I'm not. I've spent the whole of today doing - wait for it - nothing. Yep. Just like I've spent the past 2 weeks doing nothing. Bummer. My brain is like a great huge marshmallow at the moment, I don't feel entirely well, and I'm certain that spending all day doing nothing isn't actually helping that. It's probably some kind of vicious cycle - you know, you do nothing, then you feel crappy, so you do a bit more nothing because you feel crappy, and for some strange reason you still feel crappy after you've done more nothing. Yeah. Sucks.

Part of the problem is that the wife has just spent a week in London. I'm glad she got to spend New Year there, I really hope she's enjoying herself - but it seems as though I haven't actually seen very much of her recently. I can snatch the odd hour of her time here and there, but I'm not too high on the priority list. Considering that, I don't seem to be high on any priority lists right now. Most of the people I know don't even have me on their lists. I'm starting to slip down on my own priority list. Bah!

On the upside, I made truffles during the Christmas period! Yay! And they were rather yummy, I thought:

See how pretty they all are?

These ones were the hardest to do, because it involved creating chocolate cases by using paper cases as moulds - not an easy thing to make work! They were chocolate liqueurs, so the filling was a passion fruit liqueur cream. Also, there was a macadamia hidden in the bottom of each!

These were white chocolate cream inside - white chocolate, cream and a hint of limoncello/passion fruit liqueur then coated in melted chocolate. The middling difficulty, but incredibly good, if a little over-sweet. These were best eaten one at a time!

These were easy-peasy, the easiest of all. They turned out better than I expected, but still just a little dry. I would add more cream next time, I think. They're dark chocolate almond truffles.

So yeah! Skills, right? So much fun to do, if a little time-consuming - the wait between each step as mixtures cooled or set or whatever'ed was a little frustrating but worth it in the end.

The other thing I did recently was that I made two little sets of dungarees for the dolls of the girls I childmind. This was a little tricky, as it involved taking sneaky measurements of their dolls and then sewing the clothes without having the actual dolls there to fit them to. I really hope the clothes fit!!

Kinda cute, I think! Yay me for being really creative... 3 weeks ago. Let me celebrate that I have not always spent forever doing nothing. Ummm.

Love love xx

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!, reflections, resolutions

The New Year is begun! It is officially the first day of 2012. 2011 is finished with, to be boxed up with so many other previous years. So many people my age seem to look on the year that's gone extremely, considering it to have been either the best or worst year of their life. Well, at our age, we haven't really had many years to compare it with. Nor have we have that many significant events in our life that would put a spin on how good or bad a year has been. But all the trivial things in our lives seem to be so major to us. And we seem to judge how well a year has gone on the last month of it, or thereabouts, our mood at the time of writing our facebook status about it having a large bearing on how we judge it. But if they actually really thought about the year, maybe they would realise that, overall, it's been a pretty good year, perhaps with a crappy finish - but pretty good overall. Or maybe that it's been a bit of a mixed bag. Or maybe that it was just another year, neither good nor bad, which in itself might seem a little sad, but is still better than a bad year, as it gives ground to build on. But I doubt that for most of the people my age whose years have been 'the best' or 'the worst' of their lives, that they actually have.

As or me, I've spent a lot of time considering the past year, and I think, on the whole, it's been pretty good. Last year, I: completed college; got wonderful A level results; went to London with H to see Wicked; began work childminding; suffered from incredibly painful tooth infections; sorted out and had the majority of the dental work needed to give me a healthy smile again; developed some incredibly open and hones closer relationships with friends; grew closer to God than I had felt in years; wrote a couple of articles for The Band; made my first quilt; and began to grow upwards as a person. Boy, that's a lot! Sure, there have been downers in my year - some hefty ones, at times. But even they have provided me with the ability to think and reflect a lot on myself, and not only to come up from them, but to grow further. I learnt a lot in the past year about myself, about my friends, and about the people around me - spiritually and emotionally, I feel I have grown, at least a little. So many incredible memories have been made in the last year. I am higher and more stable than I have been in years. And I look forward to the year ahead of me. I can't wait to create new memories, and to face difficulties head-on (I know, this is getting corny).

I already know that in the coming year I shall: continue childminding; give B as much help as I can; go to see Les Mis with H in London; start at nanny college; and do lots of writing! I hope I shall: stay in touch with people; grow even closer to God; grow more in myself; learn lots of new things; ask for help when I need it; and keep being happier. I hope to continue my diary - and my blog, perhaps more frequently than I currently do! I want to enjoy every experience I can, and perhaps capture a few of them with photos. My dental work will be completed in the first quarter of the year, which I am very excited for!! So overall, it feels like a year filled with potential and promise!

I've spent quite a bit of time considering New Year's Resolutions. It's not something I usually do, simply because I can't be bothered and I can't see the point. I guess I've figured out that the reason we make New Year's Resolutions is because a fresh year feels like a fresh slate - we can rub off the mistakes we made in the last year, and resolve not to make them again this year. So! I decided to make some New Year's Resolutions, and I found some helpful suggestions from The Happiness Project for making your Resolutions realistic and attainable, such as making them specific actions that are measurable - for example, if you want to be healthier, just writing 'be healthier' is not easy to measure. It's a big, general statement, and you're likely to feel frustrated every time you do anything that isn't healthy. And that means you're likely to give up. So instead, making the Resolution to eat a certain number of fruit and veg portions every day, or to do a certain amount of exercise a week will enable you to measure your success. I actually joined the Happiness Challenge for 2012 (something you can do here) as well, because I want to become happier during 2012, but it's a difficult Resolve to specify into measurable actions. But anyway - here are my Resolutions:


  • Get out of the house for a walk at least once every 2 days
  • Exercise at least 5 times a week
  • Eat 3 fruit/veg everyday
  • Go to bed no later than 11, except on special occasions

  • Write in my diary at least twice a week
  • Keep up with my letter-writing
  • Start and complete at least 1 knitting/sewing/crafty project a month
  • Read at least 1 new book a month (ie unread)

  • Change my bed once a week
  • Complete 1 housework task every 2 days
  • Tackle 1 room in the house a month

  • Try to trust people more
  • Be more honest with people about my feelings
  • Appreciate other people more - and let them know
  • Be more honest with myself about my feelings
  • Appreciate myself more
  • Accept my limitations, be realistic with my expectations, and be patient and understanding with myself
It looks like a lot to aim for, I know. I'll probably have to introduce things bit by bit, rather than trying to do it all at once. I can't expect them all to happen overnight, after all! So I'm going to start by aiming to do the walking one, the fruit/veg one, and the diary writing one. Those 3 are a good starting point - they all feel attainable, they're not too big a change from my current lifestyle, and they're enjoyable ones too. And by starting with just those 3, I'll be working on some from the Happiness column. The bed one in Housework is something I already do, which could be called cheating I guess - but I'm thinking of it as a big automatic tick to help encourage me! The Happiness column is the hardest, as I don't think they're things that can be done consciously really. But I want them there anyway, so that at the end of 2012 I can look back and reflect on whether I feel those Resolutions developed or not. I guess they're more a mental reminder for next year.

So that's all for now - a long post, I know! But a good post to start off the New Year, positive and fresh-feeling! So - a Happy, Prosperous New Year to all, including myself!

Love love xx
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