22nd May

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I cannot believe that it was a year ago yesterday when the world mourned the loss of 22 innocent bystanders who were merely living their lives which ultimately lead to their untimely demise. It just ain’t fair! The response to such a catastrophic incident was incredible. People of all races and all walks of live joined together to help those who were at their most vulnerable. An incredible poem was written by Tony Walsh.

This is the place in the North West of England

It’s ace, it’s the best and the songs that we sing

From the stands, from our bands set the whole planet shaking

Our inventions are legends! There’s nowt we can’t make and

 

So we make brilliant music. We make brilliant bands

We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

And we make things from steel and we make things from cotton

And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten

 

And we make you at home and we make you feel welcome

And we make summat happen, we can’t seem to help it

And if you’re looking for history then yes, we’ve a wealth

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself

 

And make us a record, a new number one

And make us a brew while you’re up, love. Go on!

And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league

And make us sing louder and make us believe it

 

that this is the place that has helped shape the world

And that this the place where a Manchester girl

Name of Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side

Led a Suffragette City with sisterhood pride

 

And this is the place with appliance of science

We’re on it, atomic, we strut with defiance

In the face of a challenge we always stand tall

Mancunians in union delivered it all

 

Such as housing and libraries, and health, education

And unions and co-ops, the first railway station

So we’re sorry! Bear with us! We invented commuters!

But we hope you forgive us – we invented computers!

 

And this is the place Henry Royce strolled with Rolls

And we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own Northern Soul

And so this is the place to do business, then dance

Where go-getters and goal setters know they’ve a chance

 

And this is the place where we first played as kids

And me Mam lived and died here, she loved it she did

And this is the place where our folks came to work

Where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt

 

And they built us a city. They built us these towns

And they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound

Of the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves

They were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves

 

And they left us a spirit, they left us a vibe

The Mancunian Way to survive and to thrive

And to work and to build, to connect and create and

Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great

 

And so this is the place now we’ve kids of our own

Some are born here, some drawn here but we all call it home

And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat

All the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets

 

Because this is a place that has been through some hard times

Oppressions, recessions, depressions and dark times

But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit

Northern grit, northern wit in Greater Manchester’s lyrics

 

And there’s hard times again in these streets of our city

But we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity

Because this a place where we stand strong together

With a smile on our face, Mancunians Forever

 

And we’ve got this* as the place where a team with a dream (*Forever Manchester)

Can get funding and something to help with their scheme

Because this is the place that understands your grand plans

We don’t do No Can Do, we just stress Yes We Can!

 

Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round ‘ere

You can fundraise, donate. You can be a volunteer

You can live local, give local. We can honestly say

We do charity differently, that Mancunian Way

 

And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams

We support local dreamers to work for their dreams

We support local groups and the great work they do

So can you …help us help… local people like you?

 

Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes

Because this is the place that’s a part of our bones

‘Cos Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact

That this is the place. We should give something back.

Always remember. Never forget.  Forever Manchester.

It got me thinking once again how we mustn’t ever take our safety for granted but that we also cannot live in constant fear because that is what the bad people want. I’m due to attend a music festival in Germany next week which was evacuated last year because of a concrete terrorist threat. I mean, I could have used that to put me off from attending but I am excited. Me and my friend have been looking forward to this trip for months and it is getting so close! Of course security is going to be crazy and of course everyone is going to be looking at those ‘suspicious’ individuals harmlessly carrying a back pack (just like us!)

If one thing came out of this horrific event last May, we know that we can rally in times of need, we know the North have such a strong and feisty spirit and never let anything phase them. We know that we are hella strong together and that life is too short to live in fear of the what ifs! I’m excited about Germany, thousands will be attending roughly 90,000 from all over the world will be attending! Fear is not on the agenda for our week away.

My Dad’s family are Mancunians, I admire their wit and their grit and the fact that nothing gets in their way. Never stop living your life because you are afraid, it’s too short to let the bad people win. So keep on smiling and doing your thingggg the adventure is only just about to begin.

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Strong Women

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Strong independent women is a concept that I love and admire. I have so much admiration for women that have triumphed in the face of adversity, those women that refused to ever take no as their answer, that leaped and jumped over every single hurdle that ever came their way. Women who have learnt that in order to be loved you have to learn to love yourself first. I love women that are strong, brave and fearless and who are not afraid to be themselves, women that do not rely on men or others for their success and women that are hungry for equality.

It is not easy being a woman. We all go through some utter crap along the way. We suddenly get these hips, a rather annoying monthly visitor, pesky spots and unwanted hair and often our own minds are our harshest critic. It ain’t easy being the owner of boobs and a hoohah (even though my male friends would disagree because its easier to hook up, not that fixes a lot in terms of loving and appreciating oneself might I add).

I am without doubt my own harshest critic and I’ve really come to blows with this during my teenage/early twenties.

But you want to know something?

The last ten years have completely changed me as a person.

Twenty three-year old me has changed considerably.

I truly believed that my self-worth relied solely on being with someone, that my worth lied in being with someone and as long as I was with said someone I would be fine and the world would be hunky dory. Of course it doesn’t work like that.

I would do things to please others and not myself, I worried too much about what people thought till I one day decided (albeit quite a while ago now) that I would wear whatever the heck I wanted. But it was only recently that I determined that just because I am a girl I am not obliged to please the other sex. I am allowed to say no to stuff if I want to. I do not have to go on sympathy dates and I can turn around and just say no. I am ok to do that.

Just because I am single, I do not have to date if I don’t want to. I do not have to go out like I did when I was 18. I can just have a quiet Saturday night at home if I want to. There is no obligation to drink to the point of blacking out.

I do not have to please anyone but myself.

I am allowed to do things for me and not for others.

I am learning to drive because I want to (I’m even booking my test, never thought I’d see the day) but it was about doing it in my own time and doing it for me.

The whole point is, please don’t do things to please others. If it doesn’t make you happy then don’t just do it to please someone else. If that person truly loves and appreciates you then pressurizing you won’t be on the agenda.

I know that if I ever have a daughter, I will bring her up to be strong and self resilient because when your happiness lies in the hands of others its a slippery slope.

 

Hands

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Our love it smouldered and burned as it blackened and crumbled under the ferocious heat and disintegrated into nothing but a pile of ash. Those loving words that once lingered on those lips vanished when the tendons pulsated on your wrists with a tightened grip. Those eyes that once felt like home are nothing but hollow dark ovals staring back at me. Our bodies once synchronised and sprung to life when the song that united us played but now, right now, my body is rigid. Long gone are the warm loving embraces and the all over body fasciculations when your hands traced my silhouette in the dark. The fiery passion and emotion now ceases to exist. The pungent smell of stale liquor pierces the air and makes it hard to breathe. Rigid and lifeless I lay bare. My imperfections on show for your eyes only. I am at my most vulnerable but this is love is it not?

It’s all milk and honey baby!

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TGI Friday,

I’m not sure whether I should do an actual book review on this particular book because I feel everyone and their cat has read this ‘poetry’ book. I mean it is good! It is brutal and it is honest and its the kind of book that is best enjoyed with a double rum and coke sat on a window ledge with the sun going down and an incense stick burning (do you feel me?)

It’s all milk and honey baby!

Life is a crazy old thing.

We all just buzz around and travel from one hive to another on a daily basis.

We drain the nectar around us, and we produce honey.

Honey is sweet but it is sticky.

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In terms of life it can be sweet and it can be bitter. It can be raw and it can be refined. It can be going great and it can be going bloody dreadfully.

It’s what you make of it as the saying goes.

However imagine a brain that is struggling to see through the crap, the equivalent of a fly stuck to a spiders web that is in that stage of being drowsy but still alive, the way out is plain to see but you are just too tangled up and too exhausted to try?

Sometimes you feel the life being drained from you or the overwhelming realisation that you are slowly suffocating from the crap you ran from your whole life.

I do not believe for one moment that this book is a work of art, I do have admiration for how incredibly honest the author was from start to finish. It wasn’t deep and meaningful, it was words that have escaped from my very own lips. Lines that tell tales of despair but also hope.

It was effectively a diary of a broken woman summarised by a few lines here and there. A documentation of the poignant moments of her life.

Those defining moments whether they were positive or negative.

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One thing that resonated with me is that I too fail to understand or appreciate the art of a balanced life.

I am and have always been an all or nothing girl in every aspect of my being.

My brains works solely in black and white.

In my world there has never been any middle ground.

In relation to food it is all or nothing and the same goes for exercise.

I am a girl that struggles to stop once she starts and that is probably one of my biggest downfalls.

I have changed an awful lot.

I was never an angry person, I was placid and calm for the majority of time. These days I feel like a smouldering and bubbling eruption ready to break through and shatter foundations. I feel paranoid and disassociated from the world around me. Some days I just want to run away and not have to speak. Some days I just want to be held but can’t bear the thought of being intimate. Sometimes I just love the bubbly filling feeling of gin in my stomach and the light headedness that it brings. Some days I love the hunger pangs and the throbbing legs after an intense work out.

This book resonates with me, albeit probably for all the wrong reasons.

And I would walk 500 miles, no let’s start with 7/8 shall we?

But I would walk 500 miles And I would walk 500 more Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles To fall down at your door

Happy Sunday my loves!

It is a beautiful day out there and felt like now was the right time to talk about my fitness goals. I feel 500 miles is a tad excessive but 8 is doable even at the end of a long old day and many hills and sun to contend with. Me and my girl did it!

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When we left her work we made a passing comment that we should walk home, and we kinda ended up wandering along the front through town, up some stairs, along the Grange, past Jefferies, past the Wicked Wolf and decided by the time we’d reached Forest Road Garage we should stop for a drink of water and 31 calories of deliciousness (a mini milk) and then before we knew it we were at Guernsey Airport and back at Lauren’s at it was over before we knew it. Lauren as always looks put together with a face full of makeup but I’m a girl that doesn’t ever look put together and that is fine by me.

I feel like this whole fitness thing isn’t just for ascetic reasons, it’s about becoming stronger physically and mentally, it is about embracing all of my bodies flaws and pushing through any barriers that are in my way. It is about being strong and not skinny. It is about nourishing my body with the right things and also listening to my body when it is weary.

I’m trying to practice the art of everything in moderation and I’m really trying to combat my black and white thinking and my all or nothing attitude to food or exercise. I am determined to become the best possible version of myself. I also did another 7 mile walk last week.

I’m proud of me.

The girl with the rum and coke.

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My mother warned me of girls that drank rum and coke, smoked malboro’s and fluttered their eye lashes at strangers in dimly lit bars, she warned me about the perils of adult life, of heart break, disease, betrayal, addiction and romance. She said it was inevitable and said that life has a habit of not turning out the way you planned it. She said you find love when you are not looking, she said that a broken heart will mend and she warned me that waking up in strange beds fixed precisely nothing. She has told me that despite what the worlds leads me to believe.. that I am enough.

Even when I am at war with my own skin I am one of a kind and worthy of love and happiness. She told me that I am intelligent and sassy and that I am resilient and that I can do anything I set my mind to.

I am a rum and coke girl, a double gin girl, a vodka and lemonade girl, pimms with heaps of fruit and a sprig of mint girl, a good Yorkshire brew girl, a soda water girl, a tarty tea girl and a bog standard water from the tap kinda girl.

My eyes are a window to my soul.

My lips are my vessel.

I am a girl who has loved and been loved.

I am a girl who has been hurt but also hurt others.

I am a girl who has wished to be someone other than myself.

I am a girl who has been broken and abused.

I am a girl that has bounced back from the brink.

I am a girl that learnt to not rely on others.

I am a girl who learnt the hard way that drink or pills is never the answer.

I am a girl that learnt that love can sometimes be toxic and suffocating.

I am a girl that learnt that crazy things in life happen for a reason.

I am a girl that was broken but I am not anymore.

I am a girl.

That is all.

#chargetsfit: The Beginning

Evening my loves

Yes, you heard it here first…

I am making a pledge to get fit!

This is my hashtag: #chargetsfit

In actual fact it is coming up to a year when I was knocked off my feet quite literally and spent many months in and out of the MRI scanner and the neurology department i.e. the mini stroke.

But alas this girl is back on her feet and I am sooo ready to do this.

Way back in September 2017 I decided to upgrade my old fitbit to a Blaze which has a snazzy screen and notifications and different watch faces and I’ve dug it out the cupboard and thought f**k it, now is the time to do it.

The general fitbit step goal is 10k steps a day, I mean it probably isn’t the gospel truth but it is a good step in the right direction (fitness pun was most definitely intended)

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My parents house is ideally situated close to a park which has a very handy concrete path running around the outside. I have made the executive decision to get out of bed at 7 and be out the door for quarter to 8 and to then do laps around the park, in an ideal world I probably aim to do 5 laps which equates to around 5600 steps (which is already over half of my 10k goal) I find I feel a lot more energised in the mornings and once I’m up and wandering it really isn’t that bad!

In even BIGGER news, guess which girl has been running. Yes, you heard me correctly… RUNNING! Me and my gal have started running. It is free, it is good for the bod and the mind and it gives me something to focus my emotions on. I’ve literally just ordered a snazzy pair of Asics running shoes and I’ve dug out my running leggings and tops. I’m also blooming happy that my boobs are the smallest they have been in a long time (so that is on my side).

On my lunch breaks I have been walking the coast of Guernsey and find myself hitting that 10k mark by the end of lunch! I was hesitant how I was going to fit in driving Poppie but after work I go for a 20/30 minute drive, park at my grans house and then normally do a further two laps around the park before heading home for dinner.

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My past two lunches I have spent the hour walking around the coastal paths and it just goes to show that you can get fit even with an office job! RESULT!

I feel really passionate about this.

My poor little body has been through an awful lot and I now feel ready to get myself back into tip top condition and I am committed to the cause.

So watch this space and be ready to see lots of real photos with messy hair and blemished skin because I’m all about keeping this real. Who runs with foundation!?!

Not me.

Oh also my new Osprey backpack is my ideal walk/run companion on my way to work… perhaps I’ll do a review as I am also taking this baby to Germany with me and Canada 🙂

I can’t actually see without my glasses, I know they don’t really feature in running but a girls gotta see what she is doing right?

This is my current moto

You do you.

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Get Your Shit Together: An honest review

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Happy Sunday,

I’ve been reading a fair bit recently and one of my purchases was ‘Get Your Shit Together’ by Sarah Knight! I feel like this book was massively hyped on social media. So here is my honest view on it.

So whilst I was in Bristol one weekend having existential crisis No. 310 I was wandering around Bristol airport and found myself staring at the self help books. I’m not sure what on earth possessed me to believe that £12.99 would be THE answer to life’s problemos but it’s crazy what you do when your head isn’t in the game. So I bought it. I suppose we all need to know the art of list writing and budgeting and measuring how long we spend doing certain things in our day. I suppose I needed to know about the keys, wallet and phone theory and I REALLY needed to have a flowchart to sort 💩 out. All jokes aside, my pal politely told me…”Char did you honestly think one book was the answer” of course not but it’s a nice thought right?! I mean it was humorous and had the added bonus of having a colouring page and some flowcharts and stuff and it kind of dealt with deep shit (maybe…)

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I mean I also bought the ‘Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A Fuck’ on the same day and I am yet to start it… so what does that tell you? Give me a murder or a thriller book any day! I’ve got about two books on the go at the moment! But to conclude, if you can’t tell I’m kinda wishing I spent that £12.99 on a sausage sarnie and a white hot choc sighhhh, actually scrap that… A doubt G &T 🙇 Darn you for using expletives on the cover 🙈 🤗

An update of sorts

Evening my loves!

It is a Friday and for the first time in a super long time I”m spending Friday at home which means a bath, wine and a book… absolute bliss!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in like over two months which seems crazy.. I suppose I have just been extremely busy living my life which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve just been busy working, saving and splurging a small tad on several things along the way! I felt like I’d got my head in the game till one weekend in particular where I seemed to slip back to square one again.. this blooming life thing is hard right?

But alas despite a few blips here and there I’m not too shabby. I’m going to Germany in 6 weeks to a festival and I’ve got a few trips planned and my big trip to Canada really isn’t that long away now! I’ve been loving where I’m working, it has been super good for me and I just feel like I do have a purpose and it feels great.

I also think this weather is helping massively, I mean the sun just makes everything 10000x better right? I think so.

I have a new little baby in my life and her name is Poppie and she is funky and cute and a bit quirky. We are a match made in heaven. This is my first real adult purchase.

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She has got ALL the mod cons and reversing cameras which I’m not complaining about! My driving is going super well and I just feel like I’m in charge of the car and that it is no longer controlling me… win win! I cannot wait till it’s just me and her popping to Ikea and stopping for meatballs and doing late night Mc Donald runs or early morning breakfast runs…. oh the possibilities are endless!

Other than that I’ve been going out a lot, with quite a lot of different people and I’ve actually been rekindling some of friendships from over the years! I met up with my friend Aimee who I haven’t seen in YEARS and it felt like nothing had ever changed.

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I’ve also been reading quite a bit recently and making plans for the future. It’s been a busy old time. I’ve had my room redone and it now feels like a total different space which is what I wanted. It is now very industrial with only pops of cuteness… Perhaps I will do a blog post on it and some book review.. oh and some outfit posts because Char is back when it comes to her quirky dress sense!

Have a blooming wonderful Friday you cutiepops

MRS GREN

Afternoon my loves

It is Sunday and something really spoke to me this morning whilst at church (I know I tend to not talk about faith on here but it really hit home with me). To those of you who are not familiar with the acronym ‘MRS GREN’ it is an acronym that identifies all the fundamental features of a living organism.

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Todays word was ‘Nutrition’

The basic meaning behind this is that all living things need nutrition in order to grow. Food is a necessity in life but do we sometimes fail to acknowledge that sometimes we fail to nourish our souls?

Something really struck a cord with me when we were encouraged to evaluate whether we are guilty of leading a distracted life. Too many of us own far too many possessions and that in the UK 45% of us are estimated to use self storage units and we spend roughly £22 per sqf, too many of us get sucked into the wonderful world of tech, we all have far too much and it is estimated that the overall occupancy of self storage units in the UK is in the region of 75%. In terms of the amount of money we spend on advertising we spend roughly 25 billion on advertising ‘stuff’. The United Kingdom spends the most out of the whole of Europe on their advertising. Lent is therefore the perfect opportunity to reevaluate. So many of us will give up sweet treats or the booze but instead maybe we should be nourishing our souls and not just our bodies? It is important that we learn to nourish both the body and the soul.

In the UK it appears that we need these 5 things in our life in order to ‘grow’ (or so it appears).

  1. Food
  2. Sex
  3. Technology
  4. advertisement
  5. Money

This might be true if we are only interested in growing exponentially in order to hit targets and expand services and businesses. By doing this we are only satisfying our bodily needs and we ultimately neglect our souls.

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There are thousands of articles, books and publications about how we can nourish our soul. Here are just a few examples:

  • Make time in the day to be alone with your thoughts
  • Read, write or paint
  • Spend time in the great outdoors
  • Serve someone other than yourself
  • Practice the art of forgiveness

However does reading a self help book, drinking herbal tea or climbing a mountain really nourish ones soul?

Todays reading came from John 4 v 13-14:

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

If we continually just satisfy our physical needs and neglect our souls then we will remain thirsty (metaphorically), it is pivotal that we nourish both our body and soul. Today we were encouraged to think about whether we feel something in particular has been placed on our hearts.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that we must not neglect our soul and just feed our bodies. Your soul must be nurtured so that it can grow… don’t forget it!

We all need to hear this

It is Friday.

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Whether we are currently alone, sat with our loved ones, out and about, possible even working or maybe tucked up in bed this message is for all of you (including me on a bad day).

Even if you are surrounded by people and living in a hustling and bustling city we can sometimes all feel completely alone. Sometimes we literally feel alone even when we are surrounded by people, don’t worry it happens to us all.

But I want you to know that despite these feeling and nagging doubts no one is ever alone.

I want to say that every single person is deserving of love.

That we all deserve a second, third or sixth chance.

That no one is ever past the point of being saved

That not one single one of us in this world is a lost soul.

That we are capable of things that we cannot even comprehend ordinarily.

That we are all extraordinarily wonderful and that we each have our own talents.

That we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

That we are strong and brave.

That we can make bold and courageous decisions.

That we are all beautiful and incredibly unique.

That all the shoddy stuff in life must happen for a reason.

That nothing worth fighting for ever comes easily.

That you, yes you that stumbled across this post.. you matter and you are worthy of life so embrace it and never waste it because it is blooming precious.

 

 

 

I am missing: Tim Weaver BOOK REVIEW

Evening, or should I say morning?

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Whilst E is sending me photos of her looking very hot as she is going out out I am lying in my clean bed and I’ve just been doing a spot of reading! But alas, I have now decided that 12am is a perfect time to do a book review because why not? So the book is called I am Missing and surprisingly enough it is about someone who is missing (absolute shock horror)

So in short, a guy washed up I think it’s in the docks in Southampton but maybe not and he has no memory of who he is or where he came from and it is established that he is suffering from amnesia. The guy obviously attracts a fair bit of media attention and as a result he manages to get in touch with a private detective in the hope that the PD will be able to discover who this man is and where he came from. The book itself contains a LOT of twists and turns and part of the book is about almost folk lore stories which at first you cannot quite seem to make out why that features so heavily! But… It all makes sense in the end! It’s a book that deals with an awful lot, murder, corruption, fraud and scandals! It’s quite the full on mystery/thriller kind of novel!

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There are a lot of poignant characters that feature heavily and that all play a part in this sorry tale. It is quite the page turner and at parts it even felt a bit like an action book with some of the goings on! I don’t think I have read a book quite like it and I must admit that the momentum was upheld throughout the entirety and unlike my last book that I reviewed I was a LOT more satisfied by the ending.

So if you like a bit of mystery, suspense, surprised, blood, guts and the odd fight then this little gem might just be the book for you!

The unknown

Evening,

I thought I would write an incredibly honest kind of post. I thought I’d include an extract of a post I wrote back in July 2017.

Could you imagine waking up one morning and realising that you can no longer feel the left side of your face. From one moment to the next your body just feels like it is being invaded by something unknown. Imagine looking at the person you love to be told that your face doesn’t look ‘normal’ or that one eye that you think is looking dead into your loved ones eyes is completely looking at the wrong thing.

I’m twenty two, but my body currently feels about 92.

The only way I can possibly describe how I feel is this. I do not feel right, I mean I’m not exactly sure what ‘right’ equates to. I feel like my body is rebelling against every single thing I want it to do.

Fast forward seven months.

I have regained my mobility back and I can now walk. In actual fact I am now working and learning to drive and to be honest I am completely independent. However, despite making an almost full recovery except some weakness in my left side and my inability to walk in a straight line without veering to the left and the chronic tiredness I am ok! However the unknown is kind of a bit daunting? It is such a game of the complete unknown. No one knows why it happened, no one knows why my body spent months in complete utter turmoil, something went wrong and they cannot say whether whatever happened could happen again in the future. Basically, it is a bit like this… one day I could be walking fine and the next I could wake up and not be able to walk or who knows what else could go down. It is very unknown. It is a game of the unknown, but isn’t that just life? Who are we to predict how long we have here. I could chose to dwell on the fact that each day is a complete mystery but what would that achieve.

I am blooming proud of my little body and all that it has done and achieved and all that it continues to do. I wouldn’t change it, despite the occasional moan and whinge I have learnt a lot and it has made me into who I am today. I could let the unknown frighten me but what is the point? S**t happens, we learn to deal with it and we put on our boxing gloves and fight for our lives when the going gets tough. Still waiting on the results from my MRI scan and blood work and I’m probably being referred to somewhere else but whatever the outcome I am a strong believer in that everything happens for a reason and I’m planning on rolling with that throughout my life.

In moments of doubt, I must remember how far I have come from the poorly girl I was 7 months ago and how I was only a shell of my former self. I have bucket loads of sass back and I can envisage a future, a happy one.

The unknown will not defy me.

 

72 hours in Bristol

Happy Saturday my loves!

I have recently returned from my latest trip which was 72 hours spent in Bristol. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give you a run by account of what I did in those 72 hours. We arrived in Bristol on Monday, it was a short flight roughly around three quarters of an hour! The landing was terrible bumpy as it was rather windy in Bristol and extremely foggy! We then got an uber to Bristol City Centre and checked into the hotel.

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After dropping our luggage off we headed down the road in the direction of Cabot Circus. Me and Mumsie had been to Cabot several years back with some friends and I had been several times since! From where we were staying I suppose I would say it was about a 10 minute walk max! It was around 12ish when we arrived in Cabot so we do a quick scout round for where to eat and we settled on Zizzi’s. We both fancied pasta so Mum had ravioli with goats cheese, tomatoes, super green pesto and pine nuts. I had oven baked pasta with chicken, basil, cheese and tomato with a sprinkling of parmesan. Sooo good! and I was far too hungry to document the moment! I did however document the dessert which was insanely good and I find myself still lusting after it!

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This incredible dessert was a chocolate and banana calzone which is essentially a folded pizza and it came with a dish of caramel sauce… so naughty but SOOO good! We also had a rather delightful gin and prosecco based cocktail with berries which was lush! After dinner we wandered around Cabot, we looked in the shops, did a spot of retail therapy shopping and we also booked to see the Greatest Showman at the cinema (which was a very good decision to make). I am used to Meadowhall in Sheffield which is hugely vast but I must say I think Cabot is a LOT classier and a lot calmer! I also like the shops as there are some quirky ones which I love such as Monki, Pull and Bear amongst others! After several hours of wandering and shopping (I also bought the NICEST luxury waffle dressing gown from M&S after spending years lusting after the plain white dressing gowns that you get in swanky boutique hotels. We then made our way back to the hotel resembling pack horses and spent around 30 mins just reading and relaxing before we headed back out for some dinner! Me and mum quite like to try new things so when we saw The Real Greek we just knew that we must try out one or three of their mezze’s!

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It was recommended that each person has at least 3 but preferably three! I decided to go for halloumi fries, calamari and fishermen prawns (each dish was grilled so was quite healthy but also tasted absolutely delicious!) I also tried a pot of their Greek Mountain Tea which was satisfy any herbal/green tea lover! I also absolutely LOVED the interior pops of mint green and sea blues and then striking black and white stripes to contrast… future house goals for sure! I’m pretty sure that large scale photo is from Santorini which just looks incredible! After we had worked our way through our mezze platters we then literally popped next door where the cinema was! It was time for the Greatest Showman. I had heard that a lot of people had compared it to La La Land so I wasn’t 100% convinced that I would love it.. oh how wrong was I! I didn’t realise it was Hugh Jackman who was the main man alongside Zac Effron which is so much dishier now that he has grown up! I loved Jackson in Le Mis and he sure didn’t disappoint in this either! So good. YOU NEED TO WATCH IT! After the amazing film we just headed back to our hotel, I finished reading my book (review shall be coming your way…) and Mum also read her book before we headed to bed.

Tuesday was the day of my neurology appointment so once again I got an uber to Southmead and we were there for around 3 hours in total as there was quite the queue and my neurologist was running behind schedule! We got some breakfast from Costa and I had a green tea (really into my herbal teas again!) Southmead is one HUGE hospital and it is so very clean, airy and bright!

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Anyway that happened and then after the appointment we got in an uber straight to Bristol Aquarium which I have been wanting to go to for quite some time! I think it was roughly £7.50 for an adult so £15.00 for two adults but I would recommend it! There is quite a lot to see and it is done pretty well! Bristol Aquarium is near to the Waterside and basically opposite to Pitcher and Piano where I went on my last trip to Bristol. It is a really lovely area with lots of eateries and cute wine bars and barges!

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The aquarium itself is full of wonderful species and there is a lot of interactive things to do if you have little ones! There are also a whole host of tropical looking plants in between each different section and even a few creepy crawlies and frogs thrown in to the mix!

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It really was lovely! Instead of bombarding you with images I think I’ll just encourage you to check it out for yourself! There is also a cute gift shop for little ones or big ones that like things little ones might like… I might have bought a sparkly fish called Aqua as a little reminder of our trip… After we finished at the aquarium we decided to have a little wander as the weather was lovely and the sun was out! We headed over the bridge and tootled our way alongside the canal before we headed along Colston Avenue and turned up Clare Street heading towards Cabot Circus. As we wandered we recognised the street from a previous visit and we carried onwards to Corn Street which is where we found The Cosy Club!

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I really loved the atmosphere! It was such a nice place and it was in the most beautiful building with such an elegant ceiling and had that general feeling of grandeur! We decided to have a spot of brunch so it felt apt to order the rather elegant brunch which was scrumptious and we also tried a new gin known as Burleighs which apparently had dandelion and burdock and elderflower and it was incredible and nothing like I have tasted before!

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The elegant brunch consisted of a potato cake with chives, bacon, avocado, kale, poached egg, sundried tomatoes and sunflower seeds! It was incredibly and actually pretty healthy! I have really got into kale! I love roasting it with chorizo and cheese… try it!  We both agreed that we would be going back there for sure! Such a nice place to brunch and to just have drinks! Happy with our find! Once we had eaten we carried on wandering around and went through the markets and took a leisurely walk through Castle Park where we stopped to admire the rather eye catching yellow scaffold pole work which I think was meant to be a pineapple. The artist that creates this work in Duncan McKellar if you want to check his work out! We then took a short cut through Castle Park which took us back towards Quakers Friars before heading back to Cabot for a spot of retail therapy shopping!

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We stopped for a cheeky tart at Patisserie Valerie and a pot of tea before a quick wander and another cinema trip to watch three billboards outside of Ebbing Missouri. It was a good film! Some good comical parts! A friend had recommended it but it was one of those films that leaves a lot of questions unanswered! Once the film finished we grabbed a hotdog from Coal before making our way back to the hotel!

Wednesday was our full final day in Bristol, we had a lazy morning and had a bit of a lie in! We got up and thought we would revert to being big kids and played a game of crazy golf at Rumble in the Jungle. I am pretty sure Mum won but I did score 3 hole in ones…

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After our energetic game of crazy golf we went to Giraffe for brunch and had another gin based cocktail before we embarked on the hunt for some boots! There is quite a nice assortment of shoe shops and I found mine in Deichmann and Mum got hers in another store that was close by! We did some wandering and bought a few presents and decided it would be best if we took out bags back to the hotel before we went to watch our third and final film at the cinema! We both really wanted to watch a bit of Liam Neeson and fancied an action packed film but the only way to watch it was by choosing the directors package which we had no idea what it meant! Basically it means free drink and popcorn and access to the directors lounge and a really darn comfy chair! Everyone seemed to be as amused as us that we had to do this in order to watch the film!

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The film was good! It was a typical Neeson film with lots of fighting, crashes, blood, guns, twists and action from the minute it began to the end! I enjoyed it! Once we finished the film we thought it would be fitting to go to the place where we started the week… Zizzi’s I bloody love pasta! So I had the ravioli Mum had the first time around! Mum had a calzone and we of course had yet another gin based cocktail because gin is love and life right?! I had another chocolate and banana calzone because why the hell not? Life is waaaaaay too short not to eat the damn cake.

We honestly had the most lovely couple of days away and with each trip I fall in love a bit more with this quirky city.

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Thanks for having us Bristol, I am sure that there will be plenty more dreamy memories to come in this place.

 

When a long term relationship collapses in your twenties

Evening, it’s a Friday, I’m in bed alone and to be honest it isn’t as bad as it is cracked up to be. So I felt I would take this wonderful opportunity to talk about break ups. In the early days I read so many different articles about break ups, the what to dos and the what to avoid! I read posts which compares break ups to having limbs physically torn off your body, to posts that celebrate the freedom and very much share that f**k you attitude because I am a strong independent woman that needs no man in her life. I mean, I think the general gist is this… There will be life after a break up and you are not the only heart broken twenty something in the world. I hate to say it but really it’s nothing big or special it’s just a part of life. Sometimes s**t works and sometimes it doesn’t.

The initial few days after a break up are probably the worst and that’s when you can really fall victim and look like a right k**b when you listen to your heart instead of your head. You might spend your time just waiting for your phone to buzz because let’s face it ex still has a special light for his/her messages and a dedicated tone to distinguish theirs from the rest. That is just a fact of life. If you haven’t changed their contact details to crude/profanic words then they are probably still saved as ‘baby boo’ or something equally as sickening. I mean it’s hard to forget when social media is a constant blooming reminder when all you see is you and them in post after post after post!

The first few days you will trawl through said happy posts and either think what did I do that lead to this and play the f*****g stupid blame game over who is to blame for the break up and think it was all your fault and will probably end up looking like a panda. I feel like you switch between that and then looking at posts and images and picking flaws with them and find yourself actually exposing the truth behind that photo and making it negative as it is easier to deal with. No one wants to admit blame after all!

A couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly it doesn’t bloody matter if you’ve gone a tad AWOL I mean it’s a big old change and who cares if you take a little detour off the rails we all deal with crap differently. Are you alive, eating, washing? If so fab, consider that a success and even if you think people are judging guess what the world we live in is blooming selfish and sadly everyone looks out for themselves at the end of the day. Not a lot of people really care so don’t even give two hoots about what people think. Focus on you and blow your own freaking trumpet for getting out of bed and facing the world when all you want is for your duvet to consume you whole.

Something else to think about is the whole being stupidly comfortable with Mr/Mrs ex. You spent years probably peeing whilst they were in the shower, wandering around in your birthday suit, suited and booted, looking gross and wearing pants Bridget Jones would be proud of and sharing in-depth conversations about ones bowel habits… I mean you can’t make that s**t up.. the toilet pun was most definitely intended! It is quite the big change when you find yourself stood in your bday suit in front of a different prospective big or little spoon! Long term relationships become habitual, you get comfy with each other, you tend not to comment on the fact your boobs are getting saggier and that there is more love handle to grab onto… But, when you are starting over sometimes all of that is a daunting prospect. But you know what? As long as you are confident and feel good in your own skin I can assure you that he/she will not even notice the flaws you have been worrying about since day one. I tend to go with the premise… what you see is what you get, it hasn’t failed me yet!

Also I feel like I just need to address this… But what the hell is dating these days?! I feel like I’ve been out of the dating game for so long that I now need a guide for dummy’s on how to date! I just want to meet someone the old fashioned way! For them to get to know me, fall in love with my quirky dress and sasspot attitude and be my bearer of fur and human babies (is that TOO much to ask for?) I feel like going on a tinder date with someone that all you have in common is the fact you both watch GOT and like gin isn’t a firm foundation to base a relationship. Maybe I’m just getting too old for that s**t?!

Also don’t even get me started on flirting, I’ve apparently given the wrong impression more that once when the male kind has mistaken my general gift of banter for flirting and trying to get my self into their pants so to speak. I’m just a pretty darn natural flirt, I use winky face emojis far too much and it’s no secret that this girl gets on with lads SOOO much better than girls!

I also feel like my tolerance for late nights and mad sessions has diminished. Sometimes I find myself stood in clubs looking at these youngsters that are barely clothed and stumbling around in heels that they cannot walk in. Just give me a gin and a nice meal anyday over that… Wtf did I pay £7 to get into a club overun by sleezy old men and overpriced booze? I then have that internal battle… Do I need a man to binge watch crap with? Or do I like the fact I take money out and come home with the majority of it!? Hmmm not sure!

All I know is that sometime I look at my happily married friends and think gosh I want that, why didn’t that happen with me and then I lust after baby clothes in John Lewis and make the decision there and then that I want a man otherwise I risk turning into a bit of a crazy cat lady… And then go through the whole rigmorol of questioning whether anyone will ever love me again, am I that unattractive and will anyone look past my wobbly bits.

Basically the point of this post is to reiterate that you are not alone. It is undeniably s**t but that is just part of life. As the quote goes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your prince.

I also found chopping my hair off and spending a ridiculous amount on highlights and new glasses and retail therapy shopping really bloody helped!

It really does get better, one moment your ex will be all you can think/talk about. The next you will have moved on and will find yourself actively changing your future and doing some serious adulting and making decisions with your head and not just your heart. The first few weeks are rough, it is early days and feelings are still very much part of the equation.

So if you ever find yourself in this predicament take it from me..

  1. Do not sit and wait for them to message you.
  2. Surround yourself with friends and try and stay off social media.
  3. Be selfish and focus on you and do not jump into a relationship too quickly you need time to heal and learn to be ok on your own.
  4. Scream, shout, cry, sob…whatever you need to do, just do it! Don’t be a bottler.
  5. Never doubt your self worth, because you are bloody fab!
  6. Keep your head high and shoulders up!
  7. Show the world what they are missing and always remember to be yourself because the right person will love you for solely just being you!

I hope you found this useful you lovely bunch!

C xx

 

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MRI’s

Evening my loves!

I am doing a bit of a different kind of post tonight.. anyway if you hadn’t guessed, it is all about MRI’s but bear in mind that this is my take on it! Quite often people expect the worse with them as all people can envisage is spending a ridonculous amount of time in a fairly small tube (which I suppose is kind of true thinking about it). I have now had three MRI’s in total. So I thought we would start with the basics (because if I can put just one person at ease about the prospect of having one… I’m one happy Char!)

So, MRI stands for: ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging’ it is quite complicated but think of it as a huge magnet that basically uses radio frequencies in order to compile pictures of the body and its processes.

There are many different reasons as to why you might need an MRI but they are typically used for detecting disease, monitoring disease, diagnosing or sometimes treating different disorders!

I had my first MRI scan after a period of neurological symptoms and weakness in one side of the body and a droopy face! I was referred pretty darn quickly and had my MRI within a week of seeing my GP. When I first received the letter from the hospital I suppose I didn’t really know what to expect! I knew it involved lying very still and being in a tube of sorts but that was about it! In my letter from my local hospital it set out some requirements and things to flag up before the procedure was done

  • Not to wear any metal i.e. jewellery!
  • If there was any chance you might be pregnant make the hospital aware.
  • If you have any pins, metal, shrapnel anywhere in your body or there is any possibility also make this known before your appointment! Oh and pacemaker or any sort of patch that you might be wearing on your body.

On my letter I think it said to turn up approximately 15 minutes before the appointment and it said to either wear clothing that contained no metal or to bring suitable clothing to change into such as pjs. I think on my first scan I just wore a cotton dress which had no metal and ballet flats but I was wearing a bra which of course had to come off for the scan itself! The second time round I had it sussed so to speak so wore a wireless sports bra and a long tunic with leggings and I wore a very similar outfit for the third scan but a jumper dress as it was only last week! It does save some time if you avoid wearing metal of any form!

In terms of personal items I was given a key to a locker which was just outside the room in the corridor where I could put all my stuff. I had been given a form when I first arrived which is part of the preparation stage which asked several of the flagged queries I have already discussed but also have others such as

  1. Have you had an MRI scan before
  2. Do you have a history of heart or kidney disease
  3. More questions about metal being in your body
  4. Another check about the whole whether you are pregnant if you are child bearing age!
  5. Your weight
  6. Then your consent to have dye put through if it is deemed necessary.

I completed that form in the waiting room and then took it with me into the small consultation room before my scan.

So some things to bear in mind for an MRI scan I find it generally quite cold when you are in the tube but I also wouldn’t recommend wearing far too much as it isn’t advisable to be uncomfortably hot and having to stay as still as anything! I found that my body started to hurt after a little while as it is vital that you stay still in order to get the best images. So I would recommend that you wear something comfy because you are going to be there for a little while and also I tend to not wear makeup as it is just easier in general!

My first MRI was on my brain and part of my spine. I suppose I was in the scanner for around an hour! When they are scanning your brain a sort of frame will be placed over your face which can feel a tad claustrophobic to begin with. However despite initial hesitation about having this frame over my head I found that it wasn’t too bad overall! You are given a pair of headphones as the MRI machine is so loud and makes a variety of clicks and bangs as it produces the photos! The radiologist will give you a button when you lie down on the bed which can be pressed at any time if you need any sort of assistance. For my first two scans I wasn’t given the option of having any sort of music but for the last one the woman asked whether I would like the radio on, which helped a little bit!

It is extremely noisy and my ex actually commented on how loud the machine was from the waiting area outside! It is loud but it isn’t as daunting as you might think! The first time I found myself composing a sort of tune from the various different noises!

The duration depends on a lot of different factors and depends on the areas that they are scanning! My latest scan on my spine was about 40/50 minutes long! I suppose it also depends on the queue and whether there is someone that needs an emergency MRI which will take priority. Also the appointments can range from super early in the morning at like 8.00am to 8.30pm at night! I’ve had mine during the week and on a weekend as well!

I think what you really need to bear in mind that this procedure is often a necessity in order to determine what might be wrong with you and if the idea of being in a small confined space is a scary thought then maybe close your eyes and try and maybe even have forty winks to put you at ease about the experience.

So there we go that is my take on MRI’s I don’t find them particularly daunting and I suppose I never really did but to sum it up wear comfy clothes, avoid metal so you don’t have to strip and if the radio or music is offered take it up and remember to stay calm and think about the reason behind the scan and think of it as a necessity in terms of your treatment!

I am aware that this is a bit of a different kind of post but I thought I’d use my experiences to maybe educate others going through a similar situation in life!

I hope you found this informative and maybe useful! Who knows! Anyway untill next time

C x

Book review: Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman

I read this gem a little while ago now but I’ve just got round to actually writing a review on it. Anyway in summary I blooming loved this book! The book is based on a thirty year old woman and the highs and lows of her life. Basically, Eleanor Oliphant is basically anything but fine! The book deals with a lot of topics and tackles quite a lot but achieves doing so in a beautiful fashion! This book is incredibly honest and was actually quite refreshing as life is often portrayed in such an unrealistic manner! It is well written and the main star of the show is a pretty quirky kind of gal… and highly relatable might I add! EO has some peculiar ideas and perceptions of the world and the overwhelming sense of guilt is impacting massively on her life. EO has not had an easy life and she has overcome an awful lot in order to get to where she currently is. The book also deals with mental health as well as overdoses and there are a few surprise twists throughout. So often books like this always have an unrealistically happy ending but this book keeps it real! It explores so many different emotions and they are captured just beautifully and the character Raymond is such a babe. I found myself unable to put it down which acculmulated in several late nights/early mornings!

Highly recommend!

This was my first read of 2018 and I couldn’t recommend it enough! Read it, love it and fall in love with Raymond and the quirky Eleanor!

 

A bit of a catch up

Hello my loves!

It is such a beautiful day today! The sun is shining, it is crisp, cold and bright! I had to pop into town this morning and ended up mooching in the shops and just enjoying the fresh air before hopping on the bus home! I also got my flight reminder for Monday which means I am off to Bristol from Monday to Thursday and then doing the same the week after! It’s all go! I cannot remember the last time I actually wrote a blog post, it’s been a little while now I suppose! Anywaaaay I have good news!

I’ve got myself a job, I am now the new temporary office manager for a local company and it involves a bit of legal work too which isn’t too bad in my opinion. 

So yeah, that happened! I just all round feel like a bit of a sassy madam! I also got my hair chopped off and it’s now very dark and I blooming love it, it works so well with my new rust coloured boucle coat ❤ literally a match made it heaven! But yeah back to Bristol and the future and everything else.. I have finally made the executive decision to pursue a career in law, I suit it, it suits me, I’ve got a degree in it… it makes sense! So I am looking at doing a masters which combines the LPC at BPP and I’m quite excited about it I must admit! I plan to do it part time and then work the rest of the time so I think I’m going to be quite the busy bee!

I also went to Specsavers to get some new sassy glasses (I’m also slightly struggling with one of my eyes and I feel like the left eye is doing all the work) Anyway when I was there the optometrist was puzzled by my eye test and saw about my previous neuro thing and sent me for further tests because my right eye was a bit different to the left! I had the pressure measures, various lights flashed into it and then a peripheral vision test which I had to redo… i’m basically a mystery as I missed different lights each time so she basically said she is going to write a letter to my neurologist with her findings (your guess is as good as mine!)

Talking of neurology, I’ve got another MRI coming up on the 24th (hence why I’m in Bristol) and then I have my follow up appointment with her on the 30th (I was hoping to be discharged but it depends on this letter I guess!) but at the same time I plan on staying with that hospital because they have been extremely efficient so maybe it doesn’t matter?

But you know what? I am good.

I feel good, I feel hopeful and I think I’m coping pretty well! I’m starting to feel like that I’ve got this instead of it having me so to speak! I’ve got my independence back and it feels great and me and mum were watching a programme about dogs the other day and she basically encouraged me to get a fur baby when I’m back in the UK. I’m already imagining the scene now.. Charlotte and Conrad the Airdale Terrier (despite wanting a cockapoo, they are just so common and they are everywhere or a sausage dog… I must admit I have gone off them slightly ! Me and mum both thought I wouldn’t suit a dog that every one has and I have literally fallen in love with them! I’ve already got a list of names to choose from:

  • Conrad (C&C)
  • Hamish
  • Hugo
  • Horris
  • Maximilian
  • Seamus

I can already imagine the cuteness of taking Conrad for a walk, with my Cath Kidston Picnic bag on my back and the picnic rug under my arm and my free waitrose coffee! I can just picture it! That is what dreams are made from!

I’m not sure what else there is to say except I’ve been just busy living my life and spending time with friends, learning to drive, finding a job and just finding the sassy madam again (who is most definitely back in business). And as the featured image goes…

The best time for new beginnings, is now. 

On that note I’m off to binge watch a series whilst I have the time before starting work!

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Love.

Something has just been on my mind recently and it’s the topic of love. We all too often associate that word with romantic connotation and assume that love must have to involve a romantic element to it in order for it to be deemed as love. However, this is my take on the matter. Love to me can be associated to romance undeniably but it can also be attributed to friendships, hobbies, material items (although I’d say that is questionable) as well as love for our pets. Love is a strange old thing, it’s something that no on can truly describe, I tend to think of it more as a physical feeling as too often these days the word is thrown around by young teenagers who often mistake lust for love. 

In particular I want to talk about love when it changes from one sense of the word to another. The people we date in our lives, we undeniably loved in a romantic sense at one point or another but when that relationship comes to an end… Do you automatically stop loving that person? 

For me personally the meaning of love then often changes, love is about caring for someone, for wanting the best for them and the desire for them to live a long and fulfilling life. It is hard to just automatically stop loving someone when you have shared so many memories together. In these cases I still love that person and would wish no harm to come to them ever but quite often when the time comes there is no physical meaning and to some extent is is more of an emotional sense of the word. I love a lot of things in life. I love my family, my friends old and new, people that are no longer in my life and people that are associated with those people. I love certain places, foods, activities, clothes (dungarees, I mean come on!) Basically I love an awful lot of things. To anyone reading this who stumbles across this post who knows this weirdo in real life I have a lot of love to give and I can safely say that I hate no one because hate is what kills love. Love is strong, powerful, incredible, amazing and often fraught full of danger if you let it.  

I intend to use love for the greater reasons because we all deserve to be loved in life in one form or another. Love can heal wounds, broken hearts and filter out unkind words that have been spoken. Life is too short to hold any sort of grudge. So let it go, look around you and fall in love with the beauty that surrounds you, don’t end an relationship on a bad note and never EVER doubt love because it is real and should be harnised.

What I have come to realise: Some life advice

It’s 2018, it has been for an entire week. It’s that time where we all come up with bullshit resolutions that we persevere with up until around mid February before that fizzles off for another year.

2017, was a year full of learning experiences, in actual fact, I think my whole twenty-three years here on this wonderful planet has been one big old learning experience.

But here is some life advice from twenty-three year old Char:

Last year reiterated that our life is not guaranteed, it is just not. Life is damn precious and it should be treasured and embraced. No one’s future is promised, I mean it is a silly thing to presume age is on your side because life just doesn’t work like that from my experience.

So often we all get caught up with the insignificant shit in life and at that moment the fact the boiler has broken or the pipes are leaking might seem to be the most disastrous thing to happen and yes the £2k for the replacement boiler and the £5k spent on the new bathroom is quite the inconvenience but shit happens.

Let’s be honest, mundane every day life is dull, there is no way around that and it’s hard to make the weekly shop into anything memorable and there will be disputes about what is and what isn’t going to make the cut in the shopping basket and there will be heated moments with your nearest and dearest, SO’s, flatmates and whoever else may be present but be damn grateful that you are alive to have these moments.

Embrace the little things, the sparkle in your partners eyes as they look over to you whilst binge watching the latest series on Netflix or the way your child looks at you with  pure trust and complete adoration. Never forget the inside jokes, or the crazy moments when you are sat in bed watching try not to laugh videos on Youtube at 3am. Even the forced chats with your hairdresser who is completely obliged to make small talk as part of the service… but never the less, it is STILL a moment.

Think of the times when you have been stuck in the car in a queue of traffic and think of the frustration and anger you felt towards being 15 minutes late. Or the time when you got to the supermarket to only discover that your points card was in another wallet or when you missed the delivery man by 5 minute and now need to make the huge 5 minute journey to the depot to collect your parcel. Forget that shit, let it go.

Stop wasting your time trying to document the moment and instead just live it, embrace it and breathe it in (this is one of my realistic resolutions, somewhat failing). At the end of the day why are you trying to document the moment for other people, when your time comes these moments will only matter to you.

Those five hours you spent in the NHS waiting room may have seen excessive and pointless but the NHS do fantastic work and are under so much pressure that it simply didn’t matter how long you were there for, time is irrelevant when it comes to the importance of your health. That Saturday morning MRI appointment was a bit of a ballache but your health matters and you must never think anything different.

We spend so much of our lives worrying about the small stuff, about minor problems which may feel like small mountains to us but in the scheme of things they are normally fairly insignificant. I see people posting on Good and Bad business pages about the most pathetic shit imaginable and sometimes I think why the heck do I not step back from this whole social media frenzy and learn to just enjoy the moment not through a lense, snap chat filter or an Instagram story.

Love yourself. So much time is spent focusing on our imperfections and precious time and energy is wasted on self hatred, weight doesn’t define a persons worth or measure in the world. Food is and will never be your enemy it is a necessity and should never be viewed in a negative light. So what if you don’t weigh the amount you want to and you have a bit of cellulite and the odd wobbly bits… embrace it, because your body is a wonderful vessel which allows you to do incredible and marvellous things!

2017 taught me to never take your health and body for granted so embrace exercise and breathe in and remember those beautiful coastal walks with the post obligatory hot drink. Be grateful for the fact that you can physically exercise and that your body allows you to do it. Always be kind to your body as you are only blessed with one.

When it comes to work, so much of our lives are spent working. Do something you are passionate about, do not let your work choices be dictated solely by money… we cannot take our money with us when our time is up and to be brutally honest our most beloved possessions may well end up in a charity shop or worse… landfill.

The things that truly matter in life cannot be equated in terms of money or possessions, life is all about the moments we share with people, the times our friends have come over late at night to console our broken hearts, the copious three course meals that we have shared, the road trips, the holidays, the delightful afternoon teas, the far flung holidays, the day trips, the weekend girly trips, the movie nights, the nights spent at the pub, the nights spent curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a furry feline companion, the cuddles with your favourite smalls (albeit usually lasting 0.5 seconds at best), the greasy student kebabs and pizzas, the dancing around with pudding balls on your head, the summer swims in the salty sea, the taste of fish and chips and the occasional crunch of sand, the teenage regrets, the mid twenty regrets, the copious number of dates, the massive 18th birthday celebration, the rather subdued 21st celebration, the late night motivational talks, the reminiscing about childhood, the hours spent at the Grandparents houses, the happy hours spent playing with sylvanians in the playroom, learning to ride my bike with my Mum and Dad at Saumarez Park, the elation felt when I finished my final law exam, the messy nights out in Plug, the saucy times, the annual sleepovers in caravans in Somerset, the summer parties and BBQ’s, the day trips to London, sharing nachos and pulled pork, beautiful days spent in the glorious Peaks, the almost rolling down a volcano experience, the day I graduated and pranced around in a cap and gown, the wedding celebrations, the annual christmas light drive… all of which are the happiest of times.

These thing are what matter.

Prioritise not just your physical health but also your mental health. Practice the art of self love and as cliche as it sounds.. FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF! Please do not rely on others for achieving you happiness… it comes from within. Sometimes you NEED to be selfish and you need to put yourself first because you, me, I… we matter!

Try not to waste your money on material things which hold little significance… spend it on experiences in which incredible memories can be made.

Never compare your achievements to others, some people want to do the whole living in the city and being big and important and you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you just want to get by in a job you like and living out of the city to save some dollar.

Also, do not be fooled by people with the so called ‘picture perfect’ life on social media.. I’ll let you into a little secret… it’s funny but we tend to only showcase the good bits and not the bad… so the 3am arguments, tears, alcohol induced behaviour, the unkind words spoken and spilt milk (literal and metaphorical) sometime just don’t make the cut y’know?

We only have one shot at this life. When our time comes will we look back in anger at how we spent it? At how we spent so much time being pissed off about such small and insignificant things? Or how we reacted to certain situations?

This is our life, the only one we are gonna get.

Please don’t waste precious time on thinking about the what if’s or by having regrets about things that you have done/happened in your life.

Eat that damn slice of cake.

Book that holiday with a friend.

Dream big, ambition is sexy.

Travel the world because you want to, not just because it’s societies expectation!

Be selfish (in moderation)

Be you!

Be confident in your own skin, in your abilities and keep those shoulders high, because girl you’ve got this!

Open your eyes to the beauty that is around you! Smell the flowers, dip your toes in the sea, breathe in that salty air! Embrace the fact that you my friend are ALIVE.

Also listen to some good old country music and look up the lyrics, they are good!

Never leave your loved ones on a cross note, always make up after an argument and never forget to tell your nearest and dearest how much you love them every single day. These people matter the most, don’t forget it.

We never know how long we are going to get but this is just my take on this crazy adventure known as life.

Char

xoxox