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Cycling, brownie tins, revisiting the Royal Albert Hall… and the dress fits!!

Ooh, I’m back. The last nine days have been utterly glorious – but I’m having issues with technology so there may not be as many photos as I’d like. (These issues would involve me having lost my phone charger & transfer lead. Oops.)

So last weekend, I headed up to London to meet the fabulous Hannah for a production of Swan Lake on Ice by the Imperial Ice Stars at the Royal Albert Hall.

The tubes were, as usual at weekends, completely useless, so I went up early and planned a bike ride through Hyde Park to get there instead. Here’s my first ever Boris bike.

first ever boris bike

The ride was fantastic – I can’t wait for my Pashley to arrive 🙂

Here’s me being a blogger and taking a sort-of outfit photo, before I got on the bike:

London reflections

Last time I went to the Royal Albert Hall, I was performing. So it was bizarre in the extreme to be walking round the normal parts instead of sprinting round the underground connecting tunnels, half in and half out of my costume, panicking because a crystal had fallen off my hat/boot/face.

Here’s Hannah and I outside… (I’m on the right)


And Hannah and her lovely mum Sue, who also came with us:


We had Prezzo for lunch so I abandoned the diet (the dress was loose by then, woohoo) and had honeycomb smash cheesecake 😀


The performance was utterly brilliant, blending skating, ballet and trapeze seamlessly. I could happily have watched it for several more hours!

Then Sunday was a packing-for-holiday and chilling out kind of a day, punctuated by buying a ridiculous amount of snacks in Asda for the boat, and coming across (and yes, buying) this – butter with a free brownie tray. Why wouldn’t you?!

lurpak & brownie tin Most excitingly, I had a proper sense of achievement when I tried the dress on and found it was actually loose. So having completely stuffed myself for a week on the boat, I shall now be trying to maintain this weight for the next seven weeks until the wedding. 🙂


And I shall continue in a separate post for the pics I have of the boat trip 🙂

Things that make me happy… Erm, Sunday.

I have no idea how it’s already Sunday again, this year is whizzing past! So the main thing that’s happened in the past week is that over the Easter weekend I managed to relaunch my Etsy shop… but despite my best intentions this week, I have not managed to add anything to it! This afternoon I’ve been photographing new stock though, so hopefully will get some up this evening.

Things that have made me smile over the past days and weeks included…

Dashing Magazine and 91 Magazine – online, inspirational craft magazines which I can easily read in my lunchbreak from work. Gorgeous.

Instagram for Android – just in time for my new Sony Xperia S. So now I’m snapping away and posting furiously to Instagram all day long – follow me, I’m @duckingfabulous!

Someone telling me at the roller rink that they thought I was a professional (I am in no way professional, but it’s nice to think that I at least look like I know what I’m doing!)Skates

A corset party I went to a couple of weeks ago, and signing up for burlesque class – squeeeee!

Dinner at Sophie’s with Ellie

National Cupcake Week

Seeing Toria for the first time in two years 

MagCloud – how useful is this going to be for catalogues?!

Mum & Dad’s new house – it’s four miles from mine and is utterly gorgeous.

Dad at St Albrights

The four day Easter weekend

My bed – it’s genuinely one of my favourite places inthe world, though I don’t spend much time there

Experiments with new jewellery being a success

Lovely colleagues buying me chocolate (and ironically, then cutting down drastically on it and actually shifting some weight)

Successfully making pork belly and fennel mash despite an oven that wouldn’t play ball. It was lush.

Sales to friends and family, and my first Etsy sales

Changing my pin up name to something that suits me better


I’m a lucky girl, no?!

Skating love

Stupidly excited to discover that Rollerworld in Colchester, where I usually skate (when I skate indoors) was used in a Boogie Pimps video of a song I actually recognise!


Doesn’t it look awesome? Here’s my other favourite skating inspiration music video…


Fresh inspiration to find some lessons and practice, practice, practice… I WILL be that good! 🙂

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!)

I *love* rollerskating

Rollerskating is definitely my new favourite thing. I’ve waffled about it on here before. I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought my own skates – completely in love with them! When I’m better at actually skating I shall decoupage them so they’re unique, but for now here they are…

I’ve been several times to my outdoor ‘rink’ – the last time I was significantly out-skated by a guy on rollerblades, not that he knew I was watching! Trying to be inspired rather than intimidated, lol! I also popped out to my local indoor rink on adults only night (the theory being that if I fell over and squashed anyone, I’d feel less guilty squashing an adult than a ten-year-old!) and tried to teach myself turning, stopping and backwards crossovers. I might have also developed a minor girl-crush on a fabulously talented but very nonchalant girl there – she was amazing! (for clarity and the pedants, girl-crush in that I wanted to BE her for a little while, not be with her).

 I was sort of getting there but feeling muchly frustrated, and then someone very patiently showed me what I was doing wrong (aside from losing my nerve just before spinning, which I already knew I was doing) – I was trying to cross over the wrong way, and I have a lazy left leg. Bells are ringing in my head from when I learned to skate the first time, so I’m now working on crossing my left leg over my right at every available opportunity… and awaiting a chance to go out and practise!

(Ok, I know, gratuitous skating post… but I love it more than I thought possible AND I’m getting some much needed exercise!)

Paved wth good intentions…

So about two weeks ago, I made a decision, and as part of this decision, I was going to blog more. Blog more, photograph more, write more, comment more, record more. Have I actually managed any of these things? Not yet. Hmph.

In my defence, work has been super-busy, the trains were so delayed last night I didn’t get home until the time I usually go to bed, last week was just chock-full of celebratory things so I didn’t go near my laptop and I’ve also had a couple of crisises (crises?) to deal with.

But I have been lurking when I can on the forums I frequent (even if the inhabitants of one of them are definitely going to kill me when they find out I’m not coming to the latest meet *blush*) and I’ll be back to posting soon, I hope.

Very chuffed to be one of the top ten posters in the Sunday before last’s #bbloggers chat – I’m one of the Gobby Fivesome, hell yeah!!

And on that note, I shall be off.

P.S. I went skating today. But was out-skated by a really cute guy on blades. Who had decided to use the same place I do to skate outdoors. I need to practise more so I can hold my own!

It’s the simple things…

So yesterday was super-stressful and today I just had loads to do… and then this evening after dinner I put my outdoor wheels onmy skates, put the roof down on the car, drove up to the train station and skated with headphones in for half an hour. Then sat in my car looking up at the sky and the gorgeous colours the dusk was making, and I felt the happiest and most content I have in several weeks 🙂

It really is the little things in life that make me happiest, I think.

(idiot me didn’t take a camera so will do my best to recreate the scene tomorrow evening when I get in from work…)


I’m having so many inspired moments this week I might just explode!

Roller skating makes me really happy… but I need to re-learn how to stop. However, whizzing round the rink at speed after 11 years of not doing so is the most fantastic feeling! Sadly, like my car, the minute I stop I feel distinctly ordinary again – there’s clearly something about wheels!

Have had a fabulous weekend celebrating my gran’s 82nd birthday – we BBQ-ed in the rain and laughed a lot and it was just generally really lovely – although I see a lot of my family, it’s rare to see them all at once for longer than an hour or so, so it was gorgeous. Had a proper chance to talk my latest business idea through with Mum & Dad as well, to get an initial feel for its workability – they seem to approve and threw up some very salient points which I shall go off and investigate over the next couple of weeks, but it was rather encouraging!

I have also been drooling over firebox and Corsets UK – the first is dangerous because I adore gadgets, and the second is dangerous because I adore corsets! Had intended to dye my pink one purple this weekend, but failed due to the rain – I don’t dare get bright violet dye out indoors (especially not in my parents’ abode, lol!)

I really must go and dig out my camera charger so I can get some photos into these posts – they’re not terribly interesting otherwise!

New obsessions….

Because I didn’t already have enough hobbies and things to spend my money on, I’ve discovered street skating. Or should I say, rediscovered rollerskating, and realised you can do it outdoors with hundreds of like-minded people! Have spoken to the lovely people at DemonXtreme in Colchester and from Saturday will be the proud owner of a new pair of skates with indoor and outdoor wheels 😀 They’re going to be standard white figure skates as I’ll still want to skate indoors too, but once I get a bit better again, I’ll decopatch them 😀 Patchwork skates ftw 🙂

So once I’ve got my balance back and remembered how to go, stop, speed up, slow down… haha, I’m definitely going to be like Bambi on ice for a bit… then I can go have fun with these guys:

  • Easy Saturday Skate – two chilled out laps round Battersea Park on a Saturday morning – no traffic. Yes please!
  • Sunday Stroll – beginner/intermediate level amble round London on skates on a Sunday morning. Welcomes quads as well as inlines (and I’ve never got on well with inline skates, much though I’ve tried). Again, yes please!
  • London Skate – this I’m hoping to do later in the summer when I’ve built up my confidence and fitness considerably, it’s a Wednesday night street skate sticking to main roads with no hills.
  • LFNS (London Friday Night Skate) – this is for when I get MUCH better, an intermediate/advanced skate round London on a Friday night involving hills and sprints. Yeah… as I’m fairly sure I’ve forgotten how to stop, this is going to take a bit more practice!!
  • The Goodwood Roller Marathon – is on 14th August this year. On the off chance I’m a) fit enough, b) have improved enough by then and c) not in Nottingham sorting out the rally car that weekend, I may possibly try one of the mini races. There is no way in hell I’ll be able to do the 22 miles, but may aim for that in 2012 as skating round a race track has to be a particularly awesome thing to do 😀

Yay 😀

Oh, and I’d love to go and see the London Rollergirls in action, but can’t see me ever joining a Derby team – could definitely get addicted to watching though!