So as some of you will know, I finally quit my City job last week and will be starting (work!) at the University of Essex in November. This was a fairly emotional decision as while I have been immensly frustrated, tired and cross for much of my time here, I work with a great bunch of people and it will be sad to leave.
I am incredibly excited about the new position, and the joy of knowing I will no longer be commuting on the train, and instead riding my bike for 40 minutes each way, is fabulous… but after a frankly eye-opening conversation with HR about just how much will be deducted from my final month’s pay, it would appear I’m going to have to be very thrifty for a month or two until I’m settled into the new job and money has resumed making its way into my bank account!
I will of course still be doing the things I love, but will be keeping an eye on those pennies until after Christmas. I will (sadly) be taking a break from my burlesque class until January, but I will continue to practise the routines I’ve learned, and until my train ticket runs out, will pop over and see the girls before class every Wednesday anyway.
They are some of my favourite people in the ENTIRE WORLD and I have no clue what I did before I met them! (not all of them in pic below, but I’ll have some after Saturday! That’s me in the polka dots and cherry buckled corset.)
My blogging should step up a notch, and I might even get time to do the long-awaited overhaul of DF. Between now and starting the new job, there’s the official launch of Inkdrops, my first ever burlesque performance, a huge powerpoint project and some serious work to be done with Escape the City and Free Range Humans. Excellent.
Here’s to a new life – and managing to stay in touch with the fabulous people I am leaving behind in the City!
All photos link back to their original page if not my own.
Oh, hello blogland! I have missed you!
This week has been full of madness with some awesome highlights. The main event would be leaving my house for ten mins to jump in the snow, and coming back to find I’d somehow lost my phone. Utterly lost – I’m still mystified as to where its gone :s
One breakdown, a lot of tears and frustration, one trip to town, £65 and about four phone calls to my provider later, I have a replacement phone with my old number transferred to it. Disaster dealt with. But it made me realise how much we rely on our phones… And for me, how much of a lifeline it is as i live on my own and commute… Being in touch and contactable keeps me sane, and my 24 hours away from it was a very strange feeling. I also don’t remember phone numbed anymore – it was only through luck I had a friend’s landline written down so I could call her and panic!
So on to more exciting things… Today is my last day at work before the Great American Road Trip! My suitcases are packed, my technology is ready to be thrown in and I shall be meandering over to mum and dad’s this evening to start the adventure!
I am stupidly excited… It’s a long time since I’ve been to the South and it’ll be so good to be there as an adult and absorb stuff! I will of course be blogging as we go… If dad lets me borrow his laptop some evenings I might even get some photos up!
Things I need to do before i leave tonight… Buy travel insurance, triple check my passport and driving licence, set a security light, remember to breathe!
Other things that have made me happy in the last couple of weeks… * curry in Brick Lane with colleagues being surprisingly fun * putting a deposit on a sewing machine * catching up with old friends * Joe Deluccio’s gelato * cross stitching * new ideas and plans * baby animals (Rob has kittens, Caitlin nearly has a puppy) * true friendship * having a night in with Lou over the phone * icicles * mini cans of Pepsi Max * ear muffs * Lego pick and mix (see pic at top of post) * Polka dots.
Almost exactly a.month ago, the lovely Craftyguider awarded me the Liebster blog award… I was so excited! (Strictly speaking, she gave it to Project Pin Up, but that just gives me an excuse to drool over even more blogs and post about them over there too!) Thank you muchly lovely – it’s the first blog award I’ve ever had! Her blog and shop inspire me on a daily basis to get mine going again, and her tweets keep me sane and happy, along with the other Twitter mafia girls!
So, to accept the award I have to share with you five other blogs I love. If you know me, you’ll know I’m a blog addict so this is not an easy task!
Firstly, and fitting in with my new years resolution to cook more, is That’s Your Lot. Back in August, Laura bought 85 cookbooks at an auction, and promised to.make something from each of them in an effort to improve her cooking. I love the way she writes and how she handles even the most random of recipes 🙂
Next up, Mimi’s Little Sips Of Tea. Mimi has been blogging for six years, has written for Brocante Home and is the other half of Project Pin Up. She has a magical way with words, and her blog is like a little window into her life. Perfect to read with a cuppa and a biscuit – she’s a wonderful pick-me-up!
On Diversion – Jen has blogged for as long as I’ve known her, and while she was travelling for several months in early 2011, it was a wonderful way to keep up! She’s a natural writer and has a wonderful way of putting things. Her blog is now mainly focused on her ambitions as an author, but she also posts about her creative pursuits – she’s a fellow jewellery/bead fanatic and model horse collector 🙂
Chloe’s shop and blog Slightly Triangle are hugely inspirational to me, as is the very talented Chloe herself. Started at around the same time as Ducking Fabulous, she makes the most gorgeous prints, stationery, decorations and mixed media collages. I particularly like her articulated paper horses she’s recently posted about. And she’s one if the most utterly lovely people I have ever had the good fortune to meet!
Last but not least, Becky from Dots and Spots is another massive inspiration… I’ve never met her, but the story of Dots and Spots and her posts that manage to incorporate family life, running the amazing growing business and fab photos give me new determination to succeed with my dreams too 🙂 And her products are gorgeous.
So there they are – give them a follow and a wave 🙂
A double dose today, as I don’t think I was organised enough to do a post 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.
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!
Being, as I’m sure you guys have grasped by now, a fairly crafty type, I had intended for AGES to join one of the many glorious swaps going on. They happen over on Crafteroo forum sometimes, but I’m a rubbish member and don’t pop in nearly as often as I’d like to. (They have however just launched the awesome Crafteroo magazine… proper post on that coming soon, but go buy it for the bargainous price of £1.50 – it’s fab!)
So when I tripped over the Curiosity Project, quite by chance, I signed up. The timescale was two months from receipt of your swap address, and it was totally anonymous until after boxes had been both sent and received. Clearly, anyone signing up would probably be relatively similar to me, and the brief? To fill a box with curiosities and post it to your anonymous recipient.
I was muchly excited when, just a couple of weeks after we’d got our addresses, a box addressed to me, but without my name, arrived. You can see me holding it in the ridiculously cheesy pic above. Here’s what was in it…
A beautiful handmade floral notebook, handmade notecards and the most beautiful brooch. I was so excited I squeaked… my old housemates from uni were up and I think they were a bit mystified (but also used to my bizarre ways!). I LOVED everything, and it really was as if my sender knew me! Here it is on the Curiosity Project’s blog.
I’d been busy collecting things to put in my own box to send, but really wanted to include something handmade and hadn’t made anything in aaaaages. Spurred on by the handmade gorgeousness, I made some button hairslides and this was the eventual package that left my house…
It was blogged on the Curiosity Project’s blog a couple of days later, and looks like my lovely recipient Nicola (who was also my sender, eee!) loved it as much as I loved mine! Even the appallingly hand-typed note, hehe! We’re now following each other on Twitter, and I shall absolutely definitely be taking part again, it was amazing 😀
How can it possibly be past 7 on Sunday night?! I’ve had a stupidly busy weekend, although I did have a sneaky lie in this morning… not that long a one, but was so nice not to have to leap out of bed at half five, I couldn’t resist! (Ok, by the time I post this it’s half eleven… oops).
Have a photo – of one of my newest acquisitions, I haven’t bought model horses for aaaaages (the two I bought while rally shopping don’t count, hehe) and now I’ve had two in two weeks – it’s rather lovely, although my shelves are now protesting!
Spent yesterday with my parents, they brought my filing cabinet over then we went for breakfast and furniture shopping for their new flat – so much fun, but a bit dangerous, I kept finding the perfect chairs for my long-wished-for reading spot… and they were all hugely expensive 🙁
Then went over to Wendy’s for dinner with her and Sharon and Izzy and Jolee – was so lovely to see them all and catch up, and play some Wii Dance (no, no videos will make it to the internet!) and talk about crafty things and relax 🙂 Bored them with rally photos too, and in a minute I’ll upload those to Flickr – the carefully-selected 200 or so, instead of the full 2101!
Today has been filled with filing and admin and a bit of photography – not in the slightest bit exciting, but all necessary, sadly. Was supposed to be seeing a friend but had (and still have, annoyingly) so much to do I had to cancel… which I’m sad about, I don’t see her very often!
Have spent an hour or so sorting out the Project Pin Up blog header though, and here it is – projectpinup.co.uk 🙂 I’ll do a proper introduction to it when we’ve put the first few posts up, but I’m so excited for it and for my pin up journey to begin!
Here’s me with my Curiosity Project box – an anonymous swap of a box of curiosities. We’re hoping to match up senders and recipients once they’ve all been posted and received! Contents post once it’s gone up on the Curiosity Project’s blog! Posting mine tomorrow, can’t wait to see my recipient’s reaction!
Erm… no, that’s pretty much it, I do feel rested but I’m dreading work tomorrow as I have more filing to do, and it’s not so straightforward as my own filing is, mostly because it’s not mine, but it’s just as boring!
(update: at twenty five to midnight, the photos are only 39% complete, so I’m leaving them to upload overnight. Link to come!)
Mostly, when I head for my postbox, I have several letters for the previous occupants (I’ve been there over a year, it’s mental), a bill or two and some junk leaflets. But sometimes I get really exciting mail… I have a small selection of friends who still write the old-fashioned way, including Chloe at Slightly Triangle, Viki at Vicktrr Photography and shortly Amii from Scarlet Pout.
Anyway, the other day I went to check my post and found this waiting for me…
On opening it, there was a lovely note from Chloe and some PRESENTS!! Tiny little beautifully-wrapped parcels… unexpected and very lovely 🙂 More so as I was feeling a bit down for no particular reason, and there’s nothing lovelier to cheer you up than knowing someone’s thinking of you.
Inside the parcel was this utterly gorgeous hand painted pendant by the very talented Chloe, signed on the back and everything 🙂
And some beautiful beads which I shall incorporate into some kind of jewellery very soon, for me to wear instead of to go in the shop.
Thank you so much Chloewoo, you made my day!
(Amii, if you’re reading, your letter is coming soon, and Viki, likewise, along with your Christmas and birthday pressies….)
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….)
I had two letters this week, and a parcel – I feel so loved!
The first was a response to a ‘bon voyage’ card I’d sent to a dear friend of mine who is now in Australia and New Zealand for a month. I miss her already and she only went on Tuesday!
The second was a lovely newsy note from Chloe, who is my most regular letter writing friend. We also speak via twitter, text, forum, email, phone (and in real life when we can, although we live so far away from each other that doesn’t happen often enough!) but letters are my favourite way of being in touch 🙂
My parcel was entirely unexpected, and was from the lovely Viki to say she is thinking of me and to send me beads and a squishy pony! I am ashamed to say I was so excited to have a parcel I forgot to take a photo of it before I opened it *blush*. Photos to follow 🙂
So my plan is to write some letters today, and then find some little somethings to include when I send them. In Viki’s case, I’d quite like to also send her Christmas and birthday presents – I am such a rubbish friend when it comes to being prompt with dates!
Aw, was a bit late but made it home for #bbloggers this evening – discussing blog layouts… the good, the bad and the ugly 🙂
Will be back with some posts after the chat and washing up!
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!
- a lovely colleague bringing us all rock from Brighton. ROCK. So summery!
- getting the giggles (proper ones) with people in the office – maybe I do fit in a bit, after all
- sitting in a roofless Poppy, stretching my legs after a skate, watching the sunset on summer solstice evening
- Caitlin’s email which brought an actual smile to my face after a day of hell
- Pink, purple and turquoise fountain pens for work, so they don’t go walkies (boys don’t like writing in pink, haha)
- Theatre and dinner with my girlies on Saturday – completely gorgeous if a little bit bittersweet, I’d managed to forget how much I miss them
- my accidental blue scarf – realised on the train my dress was much too low-cut, Sar suggested a scarf, I found a perfect one (blue paisley) in the sale at the station and it worked beautifully with the blue dress I was wearing!
- unexpected drink and chat after work with a colleague/friend who made me feel so much better
- a revelation about a postcard
- my MP3 player is working again after a prolonged sulk – the music on it is a bit out of date but I can block out the pesky commuters!
- I entered a competition to win a classic Pashley bike – crossing everything to win, I adore them!