Friday, 28 February 2014

Life lately

1. Things getting serious last Saturday...
2. My first (but by no means last) attempt at baked cheesecake, so nom
3. Fleeting visits to London and finding a completely empty tube station, never seen that before!
4. Mewster hiding amongst the towels in the airing cupboard
5. Mewster selfie using the Catsnaps app!
6. Mewster (again!) snuggling into a sleeping bag, forgetting her tongue is hanging out
7. Buying special trainer socks and being perturbed that they have 'L' and 'R' embroidered into them...
8. These have seen some hard graft recently, I will be beach ready, I will be beach ready!
9. Pulling a calf muscle badly enough I had to hobble about like a pirate for five days. Le Sigh.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

My A - Z of books

Woo hoo!  I am so chuffed to be chosen as a World Book Night 2014 book giver.  I was a book giver in 2012 with The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak which is one of my all time favourite books.  When I saw that Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch was listed I had to apply again, I adore his Peter Grant books and can't wait to share Rivers of London with friends and strangers alike!

To celebrate I thought I would write a series of weekly posts outlining my personal A - Z of books, showcasing authors and books that have influenced me in my *cough* 32 years.

So lets begin with A:

It seems appropriate enough to start with 'Aaronovitch' as my A on this list.  A friend at work recommended this to me, once I had finished it I was hooked on the series.  A symptom of writing my old 'A Month of Reading' posts on this little blog was that I read books that I thought I should read rather than books I really wanted to read.  Rivers of London was one I really wanted to read and from that point onwards I stopped writing the posts and started reading everything I wanted to whether high or low brow.

I hope you'll join me next Tuesday for 'B' on my A-Z of books!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Fantasy office

*Sigh* I would love to have an office in our house.  The spare room is currently taken over with a small desk for MozzyMr (he works from home a lot) and shelves of stuff we need to comb through and get rid of.  If I did have my own office it would have to include the following:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Resolutions in review

Keeping a monthly check on my New Year resolutions is definitely helping me to keep them and to be mindful of them when I make decisions.  Here is how February has been going:

  1. Be in the moment.  I have really failed at this in February.  It has been a busy month and by the time I get home, have done the washing up or cooking I flake out on the sofa and surf the internet.  Surfing the internet isn't even something I find that interesting but it's easy to do and I just switch my brain off when I do it.  Having said this I am 25 days into my meditation programme and finding it really beneficial.  Looking forward to March I am going to unplug more and do more drawing or planting (we are on the cusp of seed season!).
  2. Take every opportunity to exercise.  BOOM!  This one is going well, netball has been continuing and I've added a weekly Body Combat session to my regime.  I'm loving it, and loving the results.
  3. Be organised about lunches.  Damn I'm still rubbish at this, whilst I do make the odd blindingly awesome soup I don't do it on a regular enough basis so find myself still buying sandwiches at work which are never that healthy.  It's always easier to cook more veg-tastic food when we're yielding the results from the allotment but with the weather being the way it has not much is growing.  I did read there is a 75% chance of the summer of 2014 being the hottest on record... we'll see shall we?
  4. Reconnect with friends.  Combining my socialising with my exercising has been a big win and really motivating.  I don't groan at the thought of going to a class because I will see my gorgeous friends there.  Not only that but I have discovered a mutual love of cinema going with my friends Derfel and Iain, it is becoming a weekly treat, one I enjoy more than just sitting in a pub :)
  5. Allotment time.  Not a chance.  Seriously?  These storms are a joke!  To keep our hand in though we have been planning which seeds we need to plant and when, and the windowsills have been filling up with trays of seedlings.
  6. Seek out culture.  I think my cinema visits count for this resolution.  I've seen The Lego Movie, 12 Years a Slave, August: Osage County and Dallas Buyers Club most of them I've really enjoyed, my favourite being The Lego Movie.  Not only that I took my friend Mel up to see The Drowned Man on Sunday, it was her first visit and she seemed to enjoy it, in fact we're already planning a return visit (another convert!), perhaps with a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour while we're there?
  7. Be more efficient with chores.  I've been trying hard to tidy up a little every day and do one or two chores each day rather than having to make a big effort at the weekend.  On the whole the house has been a lot tidier and therefore a nicer place to be.  This weekend I'm going to tackle the boxes of MozzyMr's childhood fodder which have been on the landing for months, I'm sick of sidling past them, grrr.

How have your resolutions been going?  If you are blogging about them leave me a link in the comments I would love to read all about them.

Anna x

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Following last Friday's news the 100 Happy Days project has taken on a new significance for me, Gretchen Rubin in her Happiness Project says it is easier to be heavy than light, i.e. it's easier to lean towards the negative than it is to appreciate the positive.  During the difficult times projects like this can seem a little superficial, but I think there is value in actively seeking the positive in everyday life.

Here are days 21 - 30, if you would like to follow me on Instagram you can find me here.

21. A pop of yellow from some daffodils my mum gave me, with all the grey weather we've been having these have been very welcome!

22. Mewster was off her food for a few days, this is very rare for her, touch wood we haven't had any issues with her health so when she was sick and then spent a couple of days looking very sorry for herself we were really concerned.  Happily a bit of rest and slowly giving her larger and larger portions of food until she was back to her normal portion size seems to have sorted her out.  She's back to her speed eating, snorting little self again. 

23. Post nap sleepy eyes.

24. With all the rain and storms there has been no time to get to the allotment.  All the grass and weeds we laboured to get rid of are slowly creeping back in, but with the ground so sodden there is no point trying to dig it out the soil is too heavy.  But these fab pink stalks of rhubarb are making it,  hopefully the broad beans I put in earlier in the season stand a chance as well!

25. In an attempt to engage with more culture I have been going to the cinema on a fairly regular basis.  My friend and I went to see Dallas Buyers Club last Monday, when we turned the corner into the cinema we realised we were the only ones there! 

26. Netball is fast becoming my favourite form of exercise.  The group I play with are lovely and include two of my ex-habitat colleagues, all of our competitive edges are beginning to show though so the weeks ahead will be interesting...

27. Every single day I refresh Mewster's water bowl and every day she insists on drinking from the bath tub, the bathroom sink, the kitchen sink and from any glasses of water you may leave unattended.  Poor deprived puss cat!

28. Last Sunday my friend Mel and I travelled up to London to see The Drowned Man.  The sun shined and there were zero problems with the trains, happy days!

29. The sunflower room, part of the set on The Drowned Man it took me until my fourth visit to find it (despite all of my friends finding it on their first visit).  The visit proved a great distraction and taking the opportunity to meet up with my brother was good too.  Visit five is already booked in for March!
30. Decorating the living room for MozzyMr's Birthday.  Years ago I bought my nieces some Charlie and Lola biscuit bunting, whilst I was at it I bought some for myself but haven't used it until now.  What with using up the Hello Kitty wrapping paper I had left over (I bought a massive roll of it thinking it would be great for the nieces only to discover one Birthday in they had outgrown Hello Kitty.  As such MozzyMr has had Hello Kitty wrapping paper every Birthday since) and the biscuit bunting it actually looked like I had organised a little girl's tea party.  Hey ho.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

A goodbye

Yesterday my friends, colleagues and I said goodbye to our much loved Anne.  It is heart-breaking.  I had known Anne for coming up to eight years, she was my unofficial mentor at work, my Pinterest buddy, my fellow appreciator of vintage/retro design, but most importantly my friend.  Don't get me wrong on occasions we would wind each other up something chronic but she had a daft laugh that would bring a smile to your face and was so cheerful and positive at all times.  She will be so missed.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Life lately

  1. Perhaps a little too much time spent playing Zelda: Skyward Sword... ho hum it's raining out
  2. Fruity sweets :)
  3. Hello Kitty gifts to the office from a lovely colleague
  4. Nom, "Best & Delicious" - yep!
  5. Giiiin, so much lovely gin
  6. Ok so the rain and the storms haven't been great but there have been a lot of awesome rainbows of late.
  7. Students modelling for our next brochure.
  8. Adventure Mewster!
  9. Chillin' Mewster on her new wool cat mat.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Allotment geekery

Ever since Christmas I think there has been either a storm or heavy rain shower every day making time on the allotment scarce.  Happily on Saturday there was enough of a break in the rain for MozzyMr and I to get the new incinerator (an early Birthday present from MoMa and MoPa to MozzyMr) out and give it a whirl...

Before we could get started we had to sit out a heavy rain shower in the car, it didn't last long and we took a moment to listen to the radio.  We're really stacking up marks on the middle age bingo card aren't we?? 

There has been much debate between MozzyMr and I over what to call the incinerator (we name everything) I started off calling it the beast but Moz didn't like that.  We have settled for Bernard or Bernie to his friends... get it?  Bernie....?

Feeding Bernie weeks and weeks worth of weeds, the Christmas tree, paperwork and cardboard.  Whilst Bernie was doing his thing we set to cutting back the apple tree, Bernie is so efficient you can pop green wood in there and within ten minutes it will dry the wood out and burn it as if it had been dried for weeks.  This may not seem like a big deal but will in actual fact help us clear down the allotment more efficiently, and efficiency we like!

Sunday, 2 February 2014


I'm not an everyday poster when it comes to #100happydays, and in fact some days I think I might post a couple photos with the #100happydays tag but meh it's my gig I'm going to tag as I like :)  So here are my next batch of ten photos, you can find photos 1-10 here, enjoy!

11.  I spotted these at the till in Aldi, I love it when spring and Easter themed bits and bobs come out in the shops they add some much needed colour to winter!

12.  In line with my New Year resolution to do more cultural things the tickets are stacking up behind ticket dog!

13.  Boozy Saturday nights playing Scrabble with two gorgeous people, perfect!

14. Lazy Sunday afternoons making batches of sweet potato, leek, ginger and garlic soup - delicious and much appreciated on Monday and Tuesday lunchtimes!

15. Hello Kitty green bean flavoured cake... very pretty but sadly not the tastiest thing in all the world.  They were a gift from a lovely colleague who had been working in Thailand.

16. Attending a photoshoot on campus for a new brochure currently in production.  A perfect Friday afternoon activity for a very slow week at work.

17. Coralianus live streamed to the Picture House, I liked it a lot.  Mark Gatiss once again was my favourite, I love the way he is able to de-mystify Shakespeare making it more accessible.

18.  Oh my days Friday night was perfect this week, slouchy, comfy clothes, a delicious takeaway and a drop or two of cider.  

19. Warming cups of coffee on a Saturday morning before heading off to the allotment.  Perfect.

20. I couldn't let ten days pass on the #100happydays journey pass without a photo of Mewster, she is a little bit poorly today and taking things easy.  Hopefully she will be on the mend soon x

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