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A weekend in the life of me

So, I had every intention of participating in the One Day On Earth project, until I realised that a) 11/11/11 was going to be super-busy, full of train travel and that the project wanted video and I very much work in photos not videos. So here, instead, is a selection of snapshots from my weekend…

This was actually on Tuesday, eating ice cream on the back of a Vespa at Joe Deluccios in Westfield Stratford City.


On the train. My handbag (the red and beige one) snapped on the way to the station, so I had to hastily repack, then ditch it without looking like a terrorist. Not easy when you go through London train and tube stations looking shifty!



I spend quite a lot of time doing this – sitting on the floor of a train, reading books. People think I’m mad for sitting on the floor, but I like being able to stretch my legs.DSCF5018 

Twitter Mafia love on a Friday morning – love these ladies!


The reminder email that came round from lovely Kim just before the two minutes’ silence for Poppy Day.


Biscuits! Work has a delivery of biscuits and other groceries (tea, coffee etc) every month, and this is what the cupboard looks like just after delivery!


Impromptu trip to Moorgate to buy a new handbag. London is grey but has some striking buildings if you look up while walking.


Mid-afternoon Wispa. Is any day complete without chocolate?!


The emergency/accidental new handbag, to replace the one that snapped in the morning. I like it!


St Pancras station – took this on my way home after a fabulous weekend. It was utter carnage on the way in, and I was trying to sprint which is never a good idea!


And finally home again, with the awesome vintage suitcase we took to Romania. That case started off full of 80s porn magazines, went all the way to Romania on Rusty’s roof, and came home with Team Allegro on their roof. It has a lot more character now than it did when we bought it, but I’m in love and it improved the journey home enormously – I felt like a 40s starlet! (for the first couple of hours, anyway – six hours later I just wanted to be back home, lol). The wheelie case under it was bought for Poland and also came on the rally with us – my luggage is well travelled 🙂


Happy Thursdays… times two!

A double dose today, as I don’t think I was organised enough to do a post last week…

Last week:

Unexpectedly meeting Val for lunch at Nandos

Corsets – hehe, see my posts on Project Pin Up

Tentatively enquiring whether our drunken ‘yeah, let’s do a rally round Ireland’ could become reality and getting a very enthusiastic response from the other teams. Hey, plans made at 3am in an obscure part of Europe under the influence of alcohol are clearly the best ones!

Spending an entire evening talking boys and horses with Lizzy

Type-writing a letter to Dan (another one – I’m improving!!)

Treasure hunting with Mum

Awesome numberplate on a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream van

Deciding we should drink the last bottle of Romanian rum and toast Rusty sometime

Starting my Vivien of Holloway dress fund.

This week:

Lunch with some of the girls from work last Friday, which was fab, as I got to speak to some of the ones I never see during work time

Going through the R2R photos again and reliving the whole thing

Mum coming round and making me soup after a truly hideous migraine on Tuesday

The sense of achievement that comes from having almost built a whole website for a dear friend

Vintage hair and makeup workshop (I really need to blog about this separately too) at Make Do and Mend in Chelmsford with the lovely Mimi and Lou, led by the equally lovely Hannah

Spotting a hedgehog under a tree on the way home from work one evening

An unexpected, glorious, sunshine-filled, warm roof-down blast round the Suffolk countryside on Sunday afternoon

Extended phone and text conversations – I have wonderful people in my life

Finally booking a haircut – I don’t want to lose any of the length but it’s long overdue, it’s lost its swish!

Lights near Bishopsgate in the evening

The general soaring happy feeling I’ve had most of this week 🙂


Fully aware I should have photos in this post but I’m absolutely shattered so may have to add them tomorrow. But really can’t go two Thursdays in a row without posting or next week’s will be utterly ridiculous!

Catching up with myself…

(edit: just realised I’ve forgotten the cocktail pic… will add this weekend! Bad squishy…)

Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks! Any notion I had of life calming down when I returned from the rally and ‘settled down’ to real life again has been firmly squashed, if anything it’s got even busier!

Haven’t even had time to draft a Happy Thursdays post, but instead I thought I’d post a few photos of the rally as a) they’re nowhere else on the internet yet (this is because there are 2101 of them and I have no idea where to start editing that number down to put online. They’d also cost me over £100 to print), and b) it made me the happiest I’ve ever been. Ever 🙂 I clearly have some adventure in my heart!

So… (warning, this doesn’t really even start to cover everything we did, but should give a glimpse.) Don’t forget full write up (well, of the rally – I’m still faffing with the two extra days) is at 🙂

The P-reg Laguna we bought, after a weekend of Nitro-Mors on the bonnet. See how pretty she was… but I think we made her prettier 😛


Trusty Rusty McLusty (ok, that was terrible, but she was very trusty) in my aunt & uncle’s field:



Rusty & Allegro in Germany, camped near the Nurburgring:


The view we woke to in Switzerland (the coldest night of my entire life, I swear):


View from Rusty’s rear window in the Swiss mountains:


Some proper extreme ironing, not far from Stelvio pass:



Popping to Italy for lunch:


Trying to fix Rat Patrol’s car in Budapest:


Me on Rusty’s bonnet at the Romanian border:


A bunch of us parked at the Romanian border:


Scaring the bloke in the petrol station – I think he thought we were about to hijack him!


Some shots of us driving, just to prove we did:





Group shot in Sibiu, somewhere around 2am:



DONKEY! On the Transfaragasan Highway (as seen on Top Gear – the road, not the donkey):


Group shot at the foot of the south side of the Transfaragasan, left to right me, Andy (Rat Patrol), Graham (Rat Patrol), Rob (Rusty McLusty), Craig (Allegro), Jenny (Allegro), Pete (Allegro):



This was a single vodka and coke in Brasov, celebrating the end of the rally. I dread to think what a double looks like!



Me at the top of Brasov, breathtaking view but I did not like being that close to the edge!



Rob and I on the very last day at Peles Castle in Sinaia:



Yeah… there’s so much more I should put into this post but I don’t want to crash anyone’s computer or bore anyone out of reading my blog 😛 Will link to Flickr album when I’ve evntually got them all up there in some kind of order. But you get the idea. Best nine days of my entire life 🙂

Things that make me happy Thursday – 22/9/11

Skating with Jess – and the first picture I have of me on wheels since I was about twelve 🙂

me in skates

Fizzing with excitement over a new project with Mimi from Little Sips of Tea… watch this space for details

Finally settling on my pin up name… to be revealed along with the new project launch 🙂

Having my gorgeous uni girlies over for the weekend, it was so lovely to see them… and then seeing Val & Matt on Monday on their way to the airport for an impromptu dinner and drinks – was exactly what I needed!

Reliving the rally through showing family & friends photos and videos… bittersweet as I still want to be there, but lovely to remember all the little details

Cake!! Bought by lovely Sophia to make work better this week



Speaking to lovely friends and knowing I’ll see some of them soon

Catching sight of my blackbird just as I was feeling a bit down – he always pops up when I need him 🙂

Completing my first bit of freelance design work in ages – gave me a real sense of achievement!

Booking a vintage hair & makeup workshops with LouMimi and Anna at Make Do and Mend in Chelmsford- it’s going to be SO EXCITING!

Bunting in London, most unexpectedly


 The glow after the rally and the feeling of knowing I can do absolutely anything – it’s liberating and a little bit scary!

Wearing beautiful shoes to work

Finding this picture of Rusty online – taken by a complete random when we were on our way to Dover. Muchly exciting!

Talking business ideas with friends and being taken seriously, which is always a good thing

Seeing this lovely little Figaro parked in the smallest space ever – I’m fairly sure it wasn’t a space, but it made me smile. And there’s a Banksy/Robbo rat behind it, which made me think of the rally, which made me smile wistfully.

figaro in small space 

Two new ponies arriving… one that I’d ordered and one that I’d bought on impulse… whoops! Rather nice to have some new faces on my shelves, even if my shelves are ridiculously overstuffed now.

Janine being on my train entirely unexpectedly 🙂

Making a new friend at work via emails about the staff day – we’re going for lunch and drinks when she’s back from holiday, yay!


So many happy things this week… and it’s of course lovely to be back in the blogosphere! Still not used to not being on the rally, my adventuring spirit has well and truly taken hold, but I have plenty to keep me occupied and plenty to plan 🙂 (edit – have updated with some bits I’d forgotten – apologies if you get this twice!)

still coming back down to earth

I’m very much back to reality with a bump, work is mad (it’s the middle of our grad week and there’s loads to catch up on from when I was away) but oh, I’m still struggling with the post-rally blues.

May attempt to relieve this with some skating at the weekend, it’s been much too long and I reckon flying round a rink at speed might lift my spirits somewhat.

I have a lovely friend staying with me till Friday, a big work event on Friday and my girlies coming up for the weekend, plus some freelance design work that has a deadline of Monday, so I might be a tad absent over the next few days but I’m sure they’ll help me deal with my blues.

I have had some lovely texts and fb messages which have made me smile muchly since I’ve been home and I know I’m very lucky to have such a lovely life filled with such fabulous people… But I still miss Rusty, and Rob, and the two teams we spent so much time with who are still touring Europe. Haha, maybe it’s just a touch of jealousy…

On the plus side, it’s given me a new lease of extremely sparkly life and I have many exciting things in store. Just trying to get some kind of routine back and then I will be blogging regularly again 🙂

r2r 2011

I haven’t dropped off the radar but I’m touring Europe in a banger this week – separate blog at and on twitter with hashtag #rustymclusty 🙂 I’ll be posting here again September 12th 🙂

Fear and exhilaration in equal measure

** Warning – waffly post, no photos and may not even appear because has been scheduled. My fingers are crossed.

I am having a feel-the-fear-and-do-it-anyway phase in my life at the moment… with a whole plethora of things in both my work and my personal life. Taking the plunge and just doing something, and leaving my comfort zone way behind, seem to be the order of the day.

This is not a bad thing, but it’s not particularly restful either… my naturally fretful side (which is usually eclipsed by the laid back, anything-goes side of my personality, but which does rise to the surface during times of stress) is having an absolute field day worrying and analysing and generally freaking out.

However, I am doing these things regardless and I have to say, afterwards, it’s a fabulous feeling! We’re talking a relatively long list of things ranging from wearing red (proper red) lipstick and a vintage dress to work on dress-down Friday, to starting skating again, to organising the company’s Staff Day (which is a massive undertaking I would have sworn I wasn’t able to do, but have actually managed ok so far, touch wood) to my biggest piece of madness to date, agreeing to go on this utterly mad rally.

It’s going to be exhilarating and freeing and liberating, and it will be a massive sense of achievement when I’ve done it, knowing I can drive abroad and sleep in cars and cope with not knowing the language and be in a different country every day and make new friends and let’s not forget talk to blokes on an even footing (as opposed to melting into a terrified puddle every time one approaches). There are all these positives and I am still terrified.

But sometimes, life really is too short not to do things that scare you. And that kind of mood comes around so infrequently (to me, at least) that I’m embracing it and doing things I definitely wouldn’t normally.

On the list of things I would like to do while this mood continues are things like attend a vintage themed event, set up another collective, this time with a theme (that’s an ongoing project anyway, but is going to take courage and luck to actually launch), finally get my shops back up and running, make a start on the book, read my old diaries, have a jumping lesson (on horseback), drive through London, etc. They’re all quite small individually but looking at the things I’ve done, I do and I want to do, and comparing the girl I am now to the girl I was just a few short years ago makes me realise how far I’ve come and how much I am, now, the girl I want to be.

Here’s to adventure and happiness… and a healthy dose of recklessness! (Hell, I’m in my 20s – it’s practically compulsory!)

What do you do that’s unusual, that scares you or that you know might not be entirely sensible?

Things that make me happy Thursdays – 18 August

Despite the rain and the dreariness of being back at work after nine days off, I have found some happy things this week…

  • The rally car has a name and is beginning to take on a personality 🙂 Rusty McLusty has very nearly no paint on her bonnet, a roof full of random stuff and a shed load of stickers to be applied.
  • Finding Breyers at a car boot sale for the first time EVER – I haven’t bought any model horses for a couple of years, and these were just waiting for me to take them home. I’m not sure Rob was that impressed… but the little girls I bought them from seemed pleased!
  • Bristle-and-nylon hairbrushes like this one – I now own two and they’ve changed my life and my hair drastically for the better.
  • Lie-ins – I went out for dinner with work people last night, and stayed at my ex-housemate’s new flat in Marylebone. Which is close enough to work that I was able to get up at HALF PAST SEVEN this morning and still be at work just about on time. (As opposed to my usual 5.30am alarm followed by staggering out of bed at 6am and running around like a headless chicken).
  • Getting locked out of Julia’s flat and sitting on her stairs having the most random conversations while we waited to be rescued by her housemate
  • Living on my own. I miss Jules, but it really is lovely having all this space to myself, and when I came home on Sunday night and let myself in, it really felt like home 🙂
  • Jess’s skates have arrived! Which means we can go skating in Hyde Park next Tuesday… assuming the weather picks up and becomes more like actual summer.

I promise I’ll kick myself into gear and do more posts with photos soon – I have loads drafted of stuff I want to share but haven’t been able to get the photos sorted (either haven’t been able to take them in daylight, or have them but have had no time to edit them!)

Hope your weeks have been as full of happy things 🙂

At least a million drafts

I have so many posts in drafts waiting for pics – oops. That can be this week’s challenge (along with rally planning), and I should probably schedule some for the week I’m away too (although I will be blogging en-route – if I have no wi-fi I’ll draft and post when I can :D)

Up in Nottingham this weekend starting to really do stuff for the car – we popped out this morning and came back with some vintage skis, a rusty toolbox and a vintage suitcase full of porn magazines… haha! Fab suitcase though – I might try and bring it back if it survives the rally in one piece! (It’s going on our roof rack).

Have just attempted to take photos and discovered that both my camera batteries are flat – sigh. Pics later then, along with the millions of others I need to post!



This week…

I have been mostly moving my flat around, and not blogging as much as I should have been. This evening I intend to rectify that, but for now a quick text-only update will have to do. I’m converting my housemate’s old room into a studio and moving the whole of the rest of the flat around as I go, so it feels different and I don’t miss her so much. Also means I can have lots more of my random stuff on display 🙂

Today I have discovered I would win hands-down if extreme sleeping was a sport, I can sleep anywhere, any time, under any circumstances. Which is a welcome return to normality after close to four years of insomnia and being unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. I still wake frequently in the night but the quality of my sleep is better (and having this week off work, I’m determined to make the most of being able to lie in in the mornings instead of having to get up at half five!)

This morning I have replied epically to two emails I should have replied to ages ago, which is good… I’ve also kicked into full-on panic mode about the rally. We need to book hotels, but we don’t yet have the route. Some of the other teams have booked some, but I’m still not certain which days we’re meant to be in which country, let alone which town, and I don’t want us to be antisocial and be staying miles and miles from where everyone/anyone else is staying. Quite apart from the fact that the closer we are to the action, the more likely we are to not miss the start every day (you’re looking at Miss Extreme Sleeper 2011, don’t forget!).

Then there’s the actual room booking, I need to make sure it’s ok to share rooms, try and work out where everyone else is going to be and book the bloody ferry as well… aaargghhh. Think maybe my best bet is to get it all prepared and then we can make final decisions as a team at the weekend, and I’ll book everything then.

Last minute much?! It’s an adventure… it will be fun! (No, it actually will be, I’m just a bit flappy at the moment, there’s so much to do and I’m scared of doing stuff wrong as it’s my first rally and I have no clue how stuff works really. Still have creative blank on the tshirt too although if I get a chance this afternoon/evening I’ll have a play with the steampunk stuff that occurred to me late last night. Rust and clockwork and glitter, oh my….)

Rally planning…

With less than a month to go, we’ve both suddenly kicked into panic gear. For those of you uninitiated into the wonderful world of banger rallying, here’s the StreetSafari link which will tell you all about it…

There’s lots of lovely clickable links on there too, should you fancy delving further.


So… banger rally. This one’s to Romania, starting in Calais, in the first week of September this year. When I met Rob he was doing a UK one (Lands End to John O’Groats) and I thought it sounded like so much fun I told him to call me if he ever needed team mates. I was not expecting the call, six months later, to ask if I fancied doing this one!

However, I thought it sounded bloody brilliant and signed up on the spot. We had a weekend of preliminary planning in May, and then have been flat out busy with work and stuff so haven’t given it any more practical thought. After CAE we realised we needed to get a wriggle on, so Rob duly bought a car the following week for us to rat. Here she is, the affectionately named Slag-una…


(Photo courtesy of Rob, I haven’t actually seen the car in person yet)


Yeah… she’s in such good nick it’s almost a shame we’re going to rat her! The theme of the rally is Rat Look, so we’re looking to make her along the lines of this, ideally…

rat look beetle

(photo from


Rob’s servicing the Laguna this weekend, and starting on the paint stripping – I’m on the hunt for roof racks, tricycles, random crap to bolt onto it and cameras to film the trip. Keep an eye on this blog – updates will follow 🙂 (and I’m intending to blog the trip day-by-day while we’re out there, too).