Things That Have Made Me Cry Recently

I’ve had a bit of a funny turn recently.

Everything became a bit much for me, as life occasionally does and I took a slight step back. Not even from anything in particular, just a step back from everyone and everything and just hid for a few weeks.

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Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev on Unsplash

Couldn’t even particularly tell you why, just that I am still anxiety’s bitch and sometimes will still succumb to its will.

It’s been a bit of a write-off, so I’ve decided to ease myself back in gently by writing about utter tosh.

Whilst I was taking some time off from being a member of society,  laying on the sofa and ignoring the crust of Cheerios and dust that was covering my entire house, I seemed to be on an emotional rollercoaster. Having an anxiety moment meant that I was living on a knife-edge and the slightest thing could have me tearing up.

And I thought I’d share the pain, because if I don’t laugh I’ll cry even more.

Here are a few choice things I’ve cried over whilst hiding from the blog, from my inbox, from my friends and from myself.

  • One morning, I woke up and decided I wanted to wear my dungarees. I got them out of the wardrobe, only to find that somehow one of the metal bits had come undone. I had no idea how to get it back on, no idea how it had fallen off and no idea what else I was going to wear. I sat there in tears before I realised a) that I could wear anything else in my wardrobe, including my leopard print culottes with the elasticated waist which are practically pyjamas and b) that my period had arrived.

 

  • Mrs Hinch’s Instagram stories where she videos herself folding baby clothes whilst We Belong Together by Mariah Carey plays over the top.

 

  • Reece and I started watching The Office US and I just thought about the Niagara episodes. The only time where Chris Brown can be played without judgement. It’s also Reece’s first time watching it, so I got to enjoy Jim and Pam for the first time all over again through his eyes and got a bit more emotional.

 

  • After writing that last point, I found the scene in question and watched it on Youtube. Now crying again.

 

  • Sir Terry Pratchett’s hat had it’s own chair at the Good Omens premiere.

 

  • At a seriously low point, I looked at some Father’s Day cards and an Ed Sheeran song came over the shop radio. I had to leave as I was getting a quivery bottom lip and it was actually embarrassing.  When I told Reece this story, he started laughing as I said, a bit wobbly, ” I just…people out there love their dads so much they want to buy them cards!”

 

  • I had a shower and listened to Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi and cried in the rain so no-one could see my tears.

 

  • I spent a week listening to Tell All Your Friends by Taking Back Sunday in full, on repeat, as I’m seeing it live in two weeks time. Teaming that with re-living the pain of Jim Halpert in Series 2 of The Office meant I turned into an angsty 15 year old. I have since stopped listening to said album and have remembered I’m a happily married woman before I start making bloody Piczo graphics of Cute Without The E lyrics again.

 

  • Elliot put a baseball cap on backwards and started singing the Pokemon theme tune at me and it was just really, really cute. The first time. By the seventh time that day, I was wishing for a Charizard to burn me to death.

It’s been a tough ol’ week, I’ll be honest. Onwards and upwards, I spose!

Realistic Renovations: Goals For The Year

Haha, bet you thought you’d seen the last of this segment!

After our sudden burst of excitement regarding the bathroom last year, we’ve plateau’d a little bit over the past few months as we had birthdays and Christmas and New Year then Elliot’s birthday and holidays.

Basically all we have left to do in the bathroom is buy a toilet roll holder, a cabinet and get a new light fitting as our current bug graveyard is slightly depressing.

BUT I’m getting twitchy fingers and am looking at the rest of the house with critical eyes, working out who the next victim will be…

We’ve only got a tiny house, so there aren’t that many rooms to deal with so it should be really easy!

Anyway. Here’s my ideas for the rest of the house. (I know I said the year in the title but that may be slightly idealistic but we’ll ignore that for now.)

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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Elliot’s room needs painting and new curtains. The accessories of the room are all orange, so we need to think of a colour that will go well with orange. I have concluded that no colour goes with orange and I’m at a standstill as I am adamant that his bedroom will not resemble the inside of a pumpkin. I’ve bought jungle themed wall stickers and have been eyeing up these curtains to give everything a bit of a theme.

Our room needs a reshuffle. We have a MASSIVE almost walk-in wardrobe but it’s currently really badly organised. I’ve been dreaming about wardrobe compartments which shows a) I’m at a turning point in my life as I’m normally the untidiest person you’ll ever meet and b) I’m really fucking boring.

Honestly, a custom fitted wardrobe advert came on telly earlier and I sighed a sigh that’s normally reserved for when I imagine a Jake Gyllenhaal/Tom Holland sandwich with a Hayley filling.

I also really want to paint it pink. WAIT, REECE, HEAR ME OUT. I’m going for a more boudoir vibe than jumble sale, since I’m a grown woman who dreams about wardrobe compartments.

The landing/hall/front room/dining room are all the same – yellow and boring. It all needs painting to give it a new life, I’m thinking a neutral light grey with loads of frames. I’d also like loads of plants but I’ve already killed Elliot’s beanstalk from school that he brought home the other week so I won’t hold out much hope.

The kitchen *rubs hands together* will be the next biggest project. This will be hopefully started this summer, as we can live off BBQ’d Halloumi and chinese takeaway whilst my 90’s hellhole is being removed. I cannot wait to live in a Wickes show room, standing there cooking some lovely fresh meal that is definitely NOT oven chips whilst admiring mug storage. Just with more Star Wars themed accessories. BB8 biscuit tin, I’m looking at you.

I love talking and reading about interiors and I’m excited to get going with this whole renovations series again.

I’m currently preparing a bumper kitchen post, full of ideas and inspiration – both Pinterest and practical, so keep your eyes peeled for that as well.

Speak soon!

 

Monthly Favourites #4

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I’m reading Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, and to be honest it’s amazing. It’s about a girl called Frances and her friend/ex Bobbi who get friendly with a couple and how things get more complicated as the four become intertwined. I didn’t know anything about it when I bought it, other than people online had said it was good – and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It’s amazing. I’m eeking it out for as long as possible, because I don’t want it to end. Frances is such a real character as well, if you’ve ever fancied someone you shouldn’t you’ll feel twitchy with recognition at how she feels.

I’m aware I’m probably going to be reading this book for the whole month so in lieu of other books, please take my advice and read this piece by Joel Golby about what the fuck happened in this house. It honestly has me screaming with laughter every time I read it.

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I have become completely obsessed with Buzzfeed Unsolved on Youtube. It’s true crime AND ghosts, two investigators – one skeptic, one believer go to all these creepy places and see if they can solve the ultimate question – are ghosts real? The Haunting of Hannah Williams is my favourite episode by far but they’re all hilarious.

Also, I don’t think I need to say much about Game of Thrones returning. Don’t want to detail what’s happened as ~spoilers, as I’m not that girl. However, if you haven’t watched it I’d get going straight away as it’s really good. One note is this series hasn’t been thaaaaaat gory yet, I haven’t had to hide too much. PLUS you get 10 points from me if you notice Mac from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s five seconds of fame.

Movie wise, all I want to talk about is Avengers: Endgame. Oh my word. If you’re into Marvel in any way, you’ll have seen it anyway or are planning on seeing it but I cannot stress how good it is. If you’re not into Marvel, I’d recommend getting started. And get your skates on, as you’ve got 22 films to work through and I want to discuss them with as many people as possible ASAP, so hurry up.

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Although it’s not technically a podcast, I’ve been listening to Simple Creatures new EP on repeat. It’s the new creation of Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low – a recovering emo kid’s dream, right? Their EP came out on the 29th and I gave it the ultimate test – listened to it whilst cleaning my house and walking back from the school run and it passed both with flying colours. I’d most recommend the song How To Live, which sounds a bit like the new Bring Me The Horizon album (but GOOD!)

Podcast-wise, I would recommend Shagged, Married Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsay which I have been blasting through. I attempted to play it as the “Doing Housework” podcast but every time I’ve ended up sitting down cackling with laughter surrounded by piles of washing so it’s not going too well in that direction. Also: beware of listening in public, as it’s really hard not to laugh out loud.

Apologies that my favourites seem to be a bit sparse this month,  the Easter holidays really threw a spanner in the works and I’ve been sacrificing everything in my life to watch The Crown for the past week or so. Writing, cleaning, ….weeing, everything has gone straight out of the window for that show. But I’ll tell you more about that later…

Adventures: Museum Of London

Hi! How are you finding the holidays? My house is slowly descending into madness, I caught Elliot watching Masha and the Bear with audio description this morning and I genuinely felt like my nightmares were being narrated to me in minute detail.

But. Back to the topic at hand: our trip to the Museum of London.

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I am a London Geek, everything about the city intrigues me. I have been known to Google the history of random streets just to see what’s happened on them 150 years ago, I love it that much. So the Museum of London had been on my list for a long time, and I was glad to finally be able to take Elliot there for the first time yesterday.

First things first, where is it? It’s near the Barbican. We got the train to City Thameslink and wandered along (via a Boots for a meal deal) and it took about 8 minutes top. It’s also really close to Bank station and St Pauls if you’re fancy and live on a Tube line.

Elliot shielding his eyes in a random church tower we came across

Round the corner from the museum, there’s also amazing things like this church tower from about a thousand years ago. It’s a) brilliant to be able to wander around these things and b) it’s cool to see these in between all the massive glass buildings of the city. ~Juxtaposition.

When we got there, it was free entry (winner!) and they had more activity sheets available, which we collected and Elliot chose to look at the Prehistoric London gallery, so we trotted in there and saw some really cool bits, like an actual elephants foot and some horns and skulls, etc. The activites were really good as we were able to discuss things more than “LOOK AT THIS ELLIOT, IT’S SO OLD.”

Cutest moment might have been Elliot looking at a skeleton and saying “I BET SHE BRUSHED HER TEETH WITH ROCK!” That one episode of Masha and the Bear where they travel back in time is his only knowledge of the prehistoric age.

After looking at prehistoric London, Elliot got hungry so we popped outside to the Lunch Space, where you can eat your packed lunch or meal deals and planned what to do after lunch. We decided to go downstairs to look at the Galleries of Modern London. (My Classical Studies heart was a bit gutted to miss out on Roman London but…there’s always another day.)

I was genuinely surprised by the exhibits downstairs, they were really cool. My favourite bit was a Victorian street, which had a toy shop, barber shop, bank and pub on show, and you could walk along the cobbles. I showed Elliot some old toys – “no Nintendo DS here!” and we sat in the pub and imagined he’d just finished a shift as a chimney sweep and was having a cuppa tea.

A view of a Victorian shopfront in the Victorian Walk at the Museum of London.
This was the random Victorian street – very cool! Also not my photo, I was too busy repeatedly saying “Elliot, look, Elliot come back, Elliot look” to take any photos in the museum.

There’s quite a few bits for kids to get hands-on with, toy trains are always a winner! And there’s a Playtime section that’s only tiny but has a few toys in as well, so Elliot was playing with Andy Pandy and an abacus whilst I remembered just how creepy Bill and Ben truly were.

The main thing to take from this museum is: it’s empty. Maybe we just missed the busy exhibits, but everywhere we went, it wasn’t crowded and we were able to amble around and really look and enjoy everything. We weren’t pressed in anywhere – didn’t even have to queue in the toilets!

The gift shop at the end (possibly the best bit of any museum) was also really good, and had a great book selection. Elliot bought a Mr Men book and I toyed with the idea of carting a million books about suffrage, London and the plague home but thought against the idea. Dragging Elliot AND a bag of books through London is not my bag. Also, I think it’s worth noting it wasn’t MASSIVELY expensive – I thought the Mr Men book was gonna be about £7, but it was only £3.99, so you can get a souvenir without breaking the bank.

Elliot standing proudly on a bit of ancient city wall.

I’d definitely recommend if you’ve done all the big museums in London and are after something a bit different, and quieter!

Adventures: Coram’s Fields

It’s April, and the sun is out (occasionally, very aware I’m writing this and it’s hailing outside…)

Since the Easter holidays are stretching out ahead of us like the writing at the beginning of a Star Wars film, I thought I’d dedicate most of this month’s posts to cheap (or free) ideas for days out around London, since that’s closest to where we live.

You could almost call it ~April Adventures~ if you were feeling that way inclined.

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You could almost make it official with a title if you were feeling double fancy.

The first place I’m going to talk to you about is one of Elliot’s favourite places: Coram’s Fields.

I’ll be honest, it’s not the Alton Towers of playgrounds, so don’t go expecting the world’s best climbing frames. However, for a five year old – it’s an absolute dream. And for a parent – IT’S FREE.

Elliot adores it there and has can spend hours playing with everything. There’s a few different areas in the park, from a tall climbing frame with slides and a zip wire in one corner to a sandpit and some smaller structures in another, and Elliot at age five is the perfect size for both.

They’ve also got rabbits and a goat, which I think every park needs. All we have in the park round the corner from my house is broken glass all over the floor and a man asleep outside the garages opposite the entrance gate.

Elliot posing with an adorable bunny rabbit at Coram's Fields

Another good thing is that Coram’s Fields has the rule that adults can’t go in there without a child accompanying them – meaning you won’t get any strange characters clutching a can of Stella outside the chicken coop.

Oh, yeah – they have chickens too!

The adult-free aspect of the park is great, in my opinion, because I can give Elliot free reign, basically. (As well as no adults being allowed – there’s normally someone manning the entrance gate plus it’s very heavy so even if he made his way over to the access gate he’s not going to get out of it before I catch him.) I can plonk myself on a bench and half cheer him on as he goes down the same slide twenty times and half check Twitter for Brexit updates without feeling like a complete failure of a mother.

Elliot coming out of a tunnel slide at Coram's Fields

It’s just basically an adorable green space in Central London, in a really handy area. It’s just behind Great Ormond Street Hospital so if you ever have to go there for a hospital appointment, you can bribe your child with a trip to the playground. It’s a short walk to the British Museum, and will serve as a calming slice of quiet after the madness that is a museum during half term. It’s also not far from Kings Cross, so you can easily get home afterwards.

To complete the day, there’s also a shopping complex – the Brunswick just around the corner that has a Giraffe, Nandos and a Starbucks so is perfect for grabbing a coffee to go to the park with and also for grabbing some halloumi afterwards.

My final and possibly most important point is that the toilets at Coram’s Fields are some of the nicest public toilets I’ve been to. They’re not portaloos, they’re in an actual building and they must be regularly cleaned because they’re always in a decent state when I’ve been.

Couch to 5K: Losing My Momentum

OK.

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Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

So I gave up on Couch To 5K. Only a little bit, mind, not completely.

But I’ve not been running for a few weeks because…life got in the way, basically.

That’s a terrible excuse, I know.

Actually. I take that back. I don’t need to excuse myself. I don’t give a monkeys if you care that I haven’t been for a run in a fortnight. I doubt you even care, so I’m doubly not going to apologise for that.

You might remember my last Couch to 5K post was a while ago, and I detailed how hard I was finding the jogs, and that I’d hit my own personal wall with regards to the entire running lark.

Life then got in the way, I got a weird cold, my period slapped me in the face and I never want to run when I’m cramping no matter how many articles will repeatedly tell me exercise is a healer. Reece went on holiday so I wasn’t able to keep my routine up, Elliot got chicken pox and turned into a velcro child so I couldn’t walk to the toilet on my own let alone go for a half hour run, I also got a stinking chest infection which just threw me back a thousand steps as well.

Overall, everything just went out the window and got blown away in Storm Gareth and I decided to just give up and let myself just be taken away by the wind. Imagine my will to live being Jack floating down under the water at the end of Titanic.

Unfortunately, I have realised that I felt better when I was running regularly. I was feeling more, that’s for sure.

Not like Beyonce style feeling myself but I would come home and feel proud of myself, which is a lovely emotion that doesn’t come out often. I would sometimes come home and cry because half an hour of running around with my own thoughts was like therapy (with me coaching myself through my own thoughts so probably not the best kind of therapy) and I felt stronger, both mentally and physically.

Anyway. Back to the actual point, this is me telling you. And myself, mainly because we already know you don’t really care. I’m telling the void that I’m going to start moving again.

It might not be Couch to 5K, okay! I don’t want to pressure myself into the timings of the runs, as I find myself counting down the seconds and the minutes instead of actually thinking about  and enjoying the physical act of running, which I think is the actual point.

I’ve been contemplating dragging the yoga mat out again. A few years ago I really enjoyed Yoga With Adriene and got really into it, I even managed crow pose one and was touching my toes on the regular. But then, as per usual, life got in the way and I ended up letting the yoga mat gather dust behind the sofa.

I even found myself staring at my swimming costume the other day, daring myself to pop down to the pool for a few lengths. Bear in mind, I haven’t done any proper swimming since I was about 12, so this would be a real jump into the unknown. My main reservation with this idea is that they haven’t sorted out a way that I can listen to music whilst swimming. I’m not here to listen to Barry in the slow lane huffing and puffing.

I’m going to tentatively dip my metaphorical toe into the metaphorical pool and see what works and what happens and, as always, will keep you updated when I inevitably give up on this new venture in three months time.

See you then!

 

Favourites of the Month #3

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In this month’s edition of Books That Were Released At Least 20 Years Ago And I’ve Only Just Read Them Now: I picked up Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk in a book shop in Bristol. (EVERY BOOK WAS THREE ENGLISH POUNDS, I HAD TO!) I zoomed through it, despite the dark and slightly gruesome parts that seem to be obligatory in Palahniuk’s work.

It tells the story of Tender Branson, the last surviving member of a death cult who shoots to the highest pinnacle of fame due to this and how his entire life spirals out of control and I’d definitely recommend it.

I’ve also just finished My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, which I found amazing! It’s set in Nigeria and tells the tale of a long-suffering older sister Korede who is called upon regularly by her younger sister Ayoola to help clean up her messes. I don’t need to spell it out..it’s literally the title of the book. Anyway. Ayoola starts dating one of Korede’s co-workers that she has a serious crush on, and she has to choose between her sister or a man.

It sounds weird but I feel like this story held a bit back. You have to work with it, and make up your own mind about the bits that Korede has held back. I’d really recommend it, it’s only a fiver on Kindle so give it a try!

I know it’s not technically a book, but I really enjoyed this article from the Observer, which was an interview with Phillipa Perry regarding parenting. I loved what she had to say so much that I’m even contemplating buying the book – and the last parenting book I was given ended up in the bin because it’s outlook on how to treat your kids pissed me off.

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We watched The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a comic book Gerard Way (my favourite person in the universe) wrote about a decade ago. The plot is basically a dysfunctional family of superheroes facing the end of the world and it’s just so fucking cool. The setting, the music, the characters – it’s all spot on.

It’s also introduced me to Tom Hopper, for which I am eternally grateful. (I’ve linked his Instagram – thank me later!)

The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann dropped on Netflix, and if I’m honest I’m watching it as I’m typing. I’ve heard differing reviews of the series from some saying it’s dry, to others saying that it’s all stuff we’ve heard before. And I’d have to agree with the latter, as I’ve read many an article and listened to many a podcast regarding the tale of the McCanns so I know a fair amount about it. However, if you’re into true crime and/or conspiracies I would recommend, but obviously it’s a hard watch for anyone – let alone a parent.

24 Hours In Police Custody came back to Channel 4. My recommendations this month are pretty hard going, haha as this series do not hold back. We’re two episodes in and they’ve been about rape and indecent images of children, so they’ve gone straight in with two intense topics. However, that feeling when they catch the bad guys is joy like no other. We shouted “SCUMBAG” at the telly quite a few times during the episodes and it was almost refreshing to watch some people get reprimanded for their crimes after the McCann series..

I’ve also watched Leaving Neverland, which I wouldn’t say I enjoyed but I think it’s essential viewing for anyone who liked Michael Jackson and his music, or anyone who denied the fact that he was a wrong’un.

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I’ve loved listening to The Tip Off, which is a podcast about investigative journalists and the process of how they found their biggest stories. I’d definitely recommend the Web of Death episodes about Russia, murder and money laundering. The fact that the journalists started to see people just sat outside their own houses sent shivers down my spine.

I’ve also really been enjoying Love Stories with Dolly Alderton, especially the Matt Haig episode. It’s a series where Dolly asks various celebrities about all the love they’ve experienced in their life i.e first love, everlasting love, unrequited. Admittedly, I haven’t read any of Matt Haig’s books but they sound absolutely amazing and when he read an excerpt on the podcast, Dolly ended up in tears which coincidentally made me cry. It’s deifnitely a must-listen and lovely for if you need something to listen to whilst you’re making the beds and dusting the banisters.

And I don’t want to get started again because I got carried away last week but David Tennant’s podcast is still fantastic. His latest one with Catherine Tate was absolutely hilarious. She’s my favourite character ever from Doctor Who and now I know she’s never watched a bloody episode in her life. Also, I really enjoy everyone’s surprise as they realise David Tennant is actually doing a proper podcast and he’s actually being serious.