Saturday, 29 September 2012

Some things...

So I've slightly neglected this poor little child of mine over the past week. I haven't meant to. I keep logging in, and going over all of the boring, blog-related stuff, and then just have no idea what to write about. I mean, I never usually have any idea what I'm going to write about, but now it just feels more and more obvious that I have nothing to write about. Maybe it's time to face it - I'm just not that interesting anymore! (I know, I know... it's heartbreaking)

So, I'm sure you're all positively bursting to know what I've been up to lately? No? Well I'm going to tell you anyway.

Star Track
First thing's first, I posted a little while ago about the Spark+Mettle Star Track assessment day and how much fun I had there, and how it had really boosted my confidence, and all that jazz. Well it turns out I wasn't a complete doofus on the day because the wonderful Spark+Mettle people accepted me onto the Star Track programme. (Woo!)

I've had to set up a Tumblr as a part of the programme (I deserted Tumblr well over a year ago. It just depressed me too much, all those bloody Photoshopped "Inspiration" photos just make me despair). I was given a list of questions to answer and it was stated that I didn't have to answer all of them, but this is me after all so I went to town.

I apologise in advance for just how much I can ramble on with those questions.

I'll be posting about my Star Track experience on the Tumblr, but I will, of course, dump tons of stuff on this blog too. You lucky things!

Yes, work. As in, a real life job. A job that doesn't make me work at nights or over the weekend (the first time since I was fourteen! It's so weird not having to work on Saturdays!).

As with all new things, it's going to take a while to fully settle in and find my footing but I'm having a whale of a time so far. Also, I didn't realise it was possible to have so many nice people in one place at the same time. Seriously, everyone is so lovely and welcoming. It genuinely causes me to live in fear when I'm there. All that niceness is only going to end in the world imploding. Surely there's a rule that states at least one person must be a complete and utter dick in any work place? If there is, my place definitely didn't get the memo. Not that I'm complaining... I love a drama free workplace!

I read a lot. I know this. You know this. The people in Waterstones know this. But I've taken a step back from the historical books I've become addicted to in recent weeks and ran straight for the bandwagon with this...
I've had it on preorder with Waterstones for months but finally picked it up yesterday. I'm only a couple of chapters in and I'm not too sure what to make of it so far, but I'm incredibly optimistic. After all, this is the woman who gave me THAT Snape scene. You know what scene I'm talking about. I can't go into further details with the Snape scene because, to this day, even thinking about it leaves me on the verge of tears. Ms Rowling better not disappoint me with this one!

I really love Battersea. I wouldn't be able to live anywhere else in London. It's where I've lived for 21 long years. It's where I discovered ballet, reading and terrifying dogs. It's where I went to school (primary) and where I got my very first job, seven whole years ago. It's where my favourite family members live and it's home to my favourite London park. 

But if there's one thing I don't like about Battersea, it's the hoodrats and chavs that populate the area. Like seriously, it's an epidemic. Battersea is a breeding ground for absolute tosspots. I normally manage to avoid them by not sitting in parks after dark and not smelling of dog piss. They live in their happy little existence, and I live in my own one. But the fates decided it shouldn't stay that way.

Last night, our paths collided spectacularly.

I'm standing there in Asda, buying yet more yoghurt and post-it notes, when one delightful 16 year old decided that I was looking at her and began a delightful little confrontation that went as such:

"Why you looking at me for bruv?"

Bruv? BRUV? Do I look like her fricking brother? More importantly, do I look like a man? If I do, I'm heartbroken. But I was wearing a skirt last night so I'm pretty sure I didn't look like a male relative of hers.

After ignoring her appalling grammar for a good ten minutes, I eventually snapped. I said something along the lines of "cider's given you terrible wrinkles, m'dear" and waltzed off into the Battersea night to go home and make an amazing vegetarian curry. And when I say amazing, I mean amazing. Monuments will be erected in honour of how good that curry was.

It's been an eventful week and I'm pretty tired.

But it's been a great week (minus the hoodrat)

Let's see what the first week of October brings!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Gmar Chatimah Tovah

L'Shanah Tovah to all of my Jewish readers!

To my non-Jewish readers, today is Yom Kippur. It began at 6:38pm this evening and will end tomorrow evening at 7:37pm (London times). For those who are unaware, I've posted briefly about Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur here but I'll go into a bit more detail now (however, not too much. Far more intelligent people have described it much better on the interwebs already)

Yom Kippur, commonly referred to as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for Jewish people. The day represents an opportunity to repent for all the sins committed in the previous year and is a time to ask forgiveness. It is marked by most Jews (including myself) with a 25-hour fast. Other restrictions include refraining from bathing, perfumes and wearing leather shoes, amongst other things.

It is an incredibly important day for all involved, and a difficult day. I may not be at my best today, but I'll try to fire on all cylinders.

May I wish you all a deep and meaningful Yom Kippur.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Forget your troubles come on get happy...

Making me happy this week:

Being invited onto the Star Track programme.

Writing and receiving letters - much nicer than email!

The leaves changing.

Laughing until it hurts.

Getting really nice feedback on this blog...

...which helped to secure a job for me (Woo!)

Hearing my favourite song randomly.

Singing voicemail messages.

Wishing on fallen eye lashes.

Rolo and Chocolate Orange cupcakes.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A trip down the reading rabbit hole...

A trending topic on Twitter grabbed my attention this afternoon. #BooksIGrewUpWith. I'd barely been on Twitter five minutes and had already fired off a diverse list of books that I grew up adoring, and still read and love to this day. I realised as I was furiously tweeting that reading has always been a large part of my life and has shaped me as a person far more than I had realised.

I learned to read when I was two. My first book was the wonderful Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Something about Max's magical adventure enthralled me, and as I looked back at the mound of children's books I still own I realised that pretty much all of my favourite books as a child featured some sort of magical adventure.

There was, of course, the Harry Potter series (I'm guilty of adhering to 90s kid clichés!) as well as the wonderful books set in a mystical, imaginative world where lions talk and beavers have a mothering instinct (and also, Turkish delight is the nectar of the gods). Dr Seuss features pretty prolifically in my childhood treasure trove of books, sitting prettily alongside Mr Roald Dahl. And then there is, predictably, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland. The book that I'm pretty sure turned me into the creative, imaginative daydreamer I am today. (I'm not sure I've gone longer than a week without speaking of Alice In Wonderland in some form online)

I'll find the right entrance one day.

I have my mother to thank for my love of literature. Like my grandfather, my mum is an avid reader and always encouraged my reading habit as a child. She would discover new books for me, tolerate me trying to throw myself down every rabbit hole I could find as a child, and would listen to me creating additional chapters for the books I loved the most.

I'm not really sure there's a greater gift a mother (or father) can give. The love and respect for literature has followed me around for 19 years now, and I'm certain it's the reason I love writing so much. Maybe I'll never create a world as magical as Wonderland or Hogwarts, nor as enchanting as Narnia, and I'll probably never figure out where the Wild Things reside, but I can continue to daydream. I love and appreciate my mum so much for starting me off on such a magical path in life and I know wholeheartedly that if I ever have children, they'll have a library full to the brim of old and new classics and I'll encourage the love of reading in them. I think I owe it to the great minds who had a hand in raising me.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sisterly Love

For the first two years of my life, I was a happy little only child. Merrily singing along to Funny Girl and playing with my dog without a care in the world. Then, aged two years and eight months (we must be precise) my whole world was turned upside down. I became a big sister.

Suddenly, I found myself feeling like an adult. An actual, real-life adult. Except I was two and barely knew what a baby was, never mind knowing what an adult did or felt like. But there I was, ready to be the best big sister in the world.

Me and Ruby (yes, she's had that name for 18 years. Long before the hipsters jumped on it) were very close as kids. We've influenced each other quite a bit (I've found myself drawn to sketching, which is her thing, and she's found herself drawn increasingly to ballet, which is my thing) and annoyed each other countless times.

Growing up as a big sister has definitely moulded my personality: I'm a forceful, domineering individual who is also fiercely protective and determined to ensure no one hurts my baby sister. I received a further boost to my Best Big Sister pride last November, when my mother crazily gifted the family with this...

Daisy is an amazing addition to the family. It's quite interesting to see how her personality is being moulded by her big sisters (she's loud, dramatic, and incredibly vain. At ten months old!) and I look forward to seeing her grow into her own person. 

It's huge fun and hard work being a big sister. I'm nowhere near ready to be a mum, but I'll never get bored of being a big sister.

And seriously, don't I just have two insanely beautiful little sisters?!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Happiness is...

Realising how much love and excitement I can fit into two years.

McDonald's toffee sundaes.

The amazing dream I had about Wonderland last night (I will find that rabbit hole!)

The beginning of Autumn - my favourite season.

Late night talks with Lurch about our totally amazing futures.

Singing my heart out to the Chicago soundtrack at 7am.

Writing letters.

Reading about dinosaurs.

Early morning yoga.

Hot chocolate.

Spark + Mettle

Today, I was fortunate enough to be invited along to an assessment day with the wonderful people at Spark and Mettle for their Star Track programme. It was an unusual day - the mere word 'assessment' had me fearing all sorts of grillings - but it was surprisingly engaging and productive.

I've been struggling all day to remember where I first heard about the programme, and I can't pin down the exact details, but I'm sure it was on Twitter somewhere (since I am always on Twitter). I wasn't fully prepared to apply, fearing that it would be an absolute waste of time - but I did, and I'm so glad I did.

The programme was created to help less privileged young people figure out their dream career. The team - who are called agents (yes, they're that awesome) - act as mentors to the young people, to help them map and launch their ideal future. They're big on flourishing and developing young people and all of it just seemed so exciting to me.

The assessment day filled me with dread - and didn't get off to a great start when I got stuck on a bus in Westminster for half an hour, mentally planning ways to ruin the day of the people who closed Lambeth Bridge - but the team managed to shake off my fears almost instantly. There was a quick "speed networking" activity, which was followed by a group activity, and then one-to-one interviews, and personal pitches. Oh, and tons of free flavoured water. Anyone who gives me free flavoured water is an absolute rockstar.

It seems like an insane amount to fit into four hours, but the day flowed naturally. I met some incredibly innovative and inspiring people and if this is as far as my involvement goes with the programme then I'm glad I was able to meet such an awesome group of people. I also realised I'm not totally awful at public speaking (but boy is there work still to be done there!) so that's one great big massive bonus.

I have absolutely no photos of today (sorry!) but here is the amazing logo for you to daydream at.

(C) Spark + Mettle
More information about Star Track can be found here and the Spark + Mettle info is all contained here.

I honestly cannot recommend this amazing programme more. They truly do have something to fit everyone. Check it out!

Two years

A lot can happen in two years. Two years ago...

  • A devastating earthquake struck Haiti.
  • The Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted and caused air travel chaos across Europe.
  • The vuvuzela was introduced to the world at the 2010 World Cup (which Spain won)
  • Wikileaks Mania began.
  • We said goodbye to Norman Wisdom, Tony Curtis, Alexander McQueen, Corin Redgrave, and many, many more.
  • And this man was an absolute stranger to me...

But then, on September 15th 2010, he walked into my life, and I'm so glad he did.

We've had a tough time, with some truly awful moments, but we've also had plenty of amazing times. It's been a fun, exciting time and I've had so much fun. I've learnt a lot from him and I hope that at least one of my little lectures has sunk into his brain. He's definitely contributed to the person I am today.

 Two years is a long time, but it's gone so quickly. 

This is the first ever picture of us together as a couple.
I don't know why we look so miserable.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Do YOU 10Q?

A friend introduced me to the 10Q website three years ago and I've used it every year since. The friend in question is Jewish, and knew about my slight Jewish heritage (grandfather is Jewish) and he thought I'd love the idea. Well, he was right.

Every year, during the ten days of reflection that take place during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the 10Q website fires a series of thoughtful and reflective questions at you. It's entirely up to you how you answer - deep and meaningful, short and sweet, sarcastic, it all goes - and your answers are locked away for a year. The following year, your answers are unlocked and your able to look back at where you were and consider it for where you're going.

You don't have to be Jewish to take part, and many of my non-Jewish friends have used it as a means to reflect and let off some steam. Your answers are kept entirely private unless you choose otherwise and it can be quite intriguing to get your answers back after a year.

I've found myself increasingly looking forward to Rosh Hashanah as it means I get to answer a few more questions that will force me to remember the past year of my life. It's amazing to remember how much you've actually done over the year! I suggest you at least check out the website, and nose around the FAQs, past questions, etc. before you commit to signing up. But you have nothing to lose by signing up. Oh, and it's totally free to boot!


You make some awesome sugar cookies that have to remain plain and undecorated...

Because a certain cheeky monkey instead decides that she wants you to play peek-a-boo.

It was a fun hour.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


One of my favourite things about life in London is the fact that there is just so much for me to do and it's all so incredibly close to me. Yesterday, me and Valentine found ourselves on Oxford Street, and it wasn't long until I was twisting his arm to accompany me on a trip to Hamleys. It's one of my favourite shops in London and there is so much fun to be had there, for kids of all ages! Unfortunately, I had a bit too much fun on nearly every floor that I didn't think to take my camera out. I remembered that I had it once we reached the top floor, just in time for Valentine to play dress up....


These giant tins of Drumstick lollies made us very happy!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A busy week...

The past seven days have been incredibly hectic for me. It started on Saturday, when we decided we would celebrate Valentine's birthday. We grabbed his closest friends and headed out for a few drinks for a much needed hilarious night...

My mum and Daisy popped by on Sunday...

...and we paid them a visit yesterday...

Blowing a kiss for the camera...

I think he was sick of the camera by this point.

How was your week?