Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

Wake up feeling moody and down
Thinking of all the things this year that made you frown

For weeks pressure builds up to make your plans the best
Will you be having the most fun on a night better than the rest?

You feel sad over those loved and lost family
And disappointment at the friends who've let you down sadly

All day, shops are bustling as people buy their drink and food
Around you there's that buzz, such an excited mood

You spend hours picking that outfit and getting yourself ready
Look forward to the midnight chimes and a kiss with your partner or perhaps someone new if you don't have somebody

You end up waiting in a long queue in the freezing cold
Paying a fortune on entrance fees, drinks and cab fares, thinking for this I'm too old

Or you stay in and keep warm with those close around you
People you know who care and want a happy new year for you too

As the countdown begins you look forward to the new year in sight
Plans for the future, new friends, new goals, please make them all go right

The party poppers and champagne corks all go off with an almighty bang
Auld Lang Syne in big hugging groups is loudly sang

Ahead are weddings, babies, engagements, hen parties, big birthdays and of course the Olympics
New achievements and being able to see your resolutions list full of ticks

Whatever you do, however you may celebrate
Here's wishing you a night that in your way is great

Happy New Year to you all
Here's hoping 2012 is set to be a ball!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Crisis

So it's the day after all the Christmas celebrations and I've got the grumps.

It's so weird it happens to me every year at this time and I don't really know why. As the festivities end I always find that the whole thing has been a bit of an anti climax, all the prep, all the excitement in the lead up and then all of a sudden it's been and gone.

Rather than thinking of all the things I have achieved through the year and what the new year may bring I instead seem to focus on the bad. I know I sound a right miser but I really can't help it. I don't like this grump either!

We haven't arranged any plans either this year for New Years Eve - first time ever - maybe it'd help to have plans to look forward to. To be honest after the hectic month I am kinda swaying to a quiet night in the two of us though! Ha I feel so old putting that.

NYE is another time that annoys me though, all that pressure to have the best night of the year and see the new year in in style. Then you end up paying a fortune in cab fares, drink prices and feeling disappointed your night wasn't the extravaganza you'd imagined in your head when booking it.

Who knows perhaps this is the start of the Thirty Panic and I'm doing the whole judging my life thing early. Still a whole eight months to go yet though let's remember!

So many people have got engaged or have had/are expecting babies. I feel like I am going to be the last one left. I know, I'm 29, not an OAP but I feel by the time it comes to me everyone will have been there and done that!

I also feel like a hippo the amount of food I've consumed, so I am desperate to sort that out asap.

Apart from that I can't really complain, aside from desperately hoping my boyfriend manages to get a private ambulance job very very soon. Having no job doesn't really help with the whole moving your life on together plan... He is so desperate to get back to work though and when you see people with well paid jobs striking for what seem ridiculous reasons it makes me so mad!

So for anyone out there reading this, help me out guys! Please tell me I'm not the only one with the post-Christmas blues and I'm not just a whining whinger!

For now I guess I'll have to console myself with leftover Christmas sweets and snacks, sit in my PJs and watch some Christmas films...

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

So it's Christmas Eve and I have no more work until 3rd January 2012. I was thinking about New Years Resolutions the other day and I have to say the top one was to blog more. As you may have noticed my posts have been a bit slack lately, but in my defence this has primarily been down to one of my busiest Decembers ever!

Now, after a month of gigs, meals, nights out drinking and dancing, parties and Christmas lunches I have ahead of me days of family time. In fact, because we're at the boyfriend's on Christmas Day, today is the start of my Christmas and we are off to my parents' house for Christmas dinner (number one).

Yesterday at work we had a Children's Christmas Day which was just lovely. I took my niece and nephew along (with the help of my boyfriend) and had a day of mixing doing work, making Christmas cards and gingerbread men and countless trips to the bathroom to clean both the kids up! We had a really lovely time and everybody loved them (well, who wouldn't they are just SO cute!) I was absolutely shattered though, I went to bed at around 10pm yesterday as I simply couldn't keep my eyes open any longer! I've been waking up countlessly throughout the night though, not sure if it is Christmas excitement or my body nervous at the thought of more food and drink again, in even bigger amounts this time!

Due to being so tired last night I didn't get anything ready to take to my parents (we'll be staying there for the next few days). So I have a ton of presents to pack, outfits to choose and a bag to pack with enough stuff in for the next few days (no easy feat for an over-packer like me!)

I've been a super lucky girl already though I must admit. Secret Santa at work I got some super cute earrings and a book, my boss gave me an Amazon voucher and card and I got two Christmas presents early from my man - Stereophonics gig at Shepherds Bush and Rihanna at the o2. Amazing! So only knows what's in store for me the rest of Christmas!

I'm also lucky to be getting the best of both worlds this Crimbo - Christmas dinner and celebrations with my small family and things I'm used to, a day with my boyfriend's family which will involve 8 adults and 2 lovely kids, a calmer day at my Auntie's and then a combo day with them all mixing together!

The only issue with all this is I've already been overeating this month and consuming too much alcohol. So is my body going to hold out? Only time will tell, one thing's for sure I'm not going to be able to fit through the door at work come January and as for my bridesmaid's dress fitting perhaps a nearby camp shop or local funfair might be more appropriate - a Big Top tent is coming close to being my ideal fitting option!

Whatever you are up to over the festive period I hope it's amazing. Merry Christmas to everyone!!!!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Busy doing nothing

I am currently lying on my sofa in front of Masterchef, wearing spotty patterned winter pyjamas eating chocolate and drinking tea. Sound pretty dull? Maybe so, but to me after the recent manicness that has been my life it feels like pure bliss.

You know what it's like, Christmas time inevitably means lots of social plans and your month fills up in no time with various parties, meals and general celebrations.

This month I have participated in a mixture of three client lunches, my work Christmas party, an 80s themed fancy dress 30th birthday party, a surprise baby shower, a Kasabian gig, a day trip to France, a Greek restaurant and visit to a z-list celebrity venue, numerous meals out catching up with people and of course trying to fit in Christmas shopping around it.

It has actually made me feel tired just reading all that back.

Still to come are another 30th birthday party, a surprise night out (an early Christmas present) and of course Christmas itself (so far we have four family days lined up). Oh and I've decided to take my niece and nephew to my office next week for our work Children's Christmas Day!

Now don't get me wrong there should really be nothing to moan about here. But...I am absolutely shattered. Yes, it's great to see lots of friends, have an active social life and celebrate festivities all through the month. To be able to even afford to do this in such recession heavy times is something I know I should feel lucky about.

On the flip side though I have put on so much weight, spent so much money and feel drained. I'm really worried that Christmas will get here and I'll be ill!

I haven't even got any plans for New Years Eve as yet, although that is another thing I could easily moan about - that pressure to always have an amazing night, when in reality most people end up getting overcharged and facing an anticlimax.

The joke is I know if I didn't have any plans I'd be moaning because my diary was empty. Never happy eh?

Although I have put on a ton of weight - all my clothes are tight already! (Oh did I add I have a dress fitting for my friend's wedding the first week in January this point I'm just hoping I can make it through the door, let alone try on my bridesmaids dress!) I must say I have sampled some great food this month, something I'm reminded of watching Masterchef now...

A 12 dish extravaganza at Shoreditch House (of which featured salmon tartare and wild mushroom risotto), a humongous plate of scallops at Santini, amazing steaks, goats cheese, escargot, pollo al limone....the list really could go on and on.

For now though I'm afraid this blog is ruining my evening of doing nothing. So that's me done for now, off to enjoy some TV and might even treat myself to a soak in a lovely hot bubble bath and a facemask, it's a hard life...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Au revoir sanity

I can't feel or move my right arm, I feel utterly exhausted and I'm freezing cold. All around me are piles upon piles of boxes and bags, increasingly encroaching on my personal space. I can just make out my boyfriend's head if I contort my body in a strange angled way.

I just want to be home. Nearly thirteen hours and I am slowly losing the will to live.

Outside it is pitch black, the wind is lashing against the windows and I keep falling asleep.

Am I kidnapped? Am I being tortured?

Hell no. I've been on a daytrip to France. With my parents and boyfriend. On what feels like a one-day mission to buy as much alcohol and test exactly how many boxes and people you can cram into a VW Passat at any one time. Oh and how many times you can visit the same shop and walk around it in a back to front order.

After Sunday's Winter Wonderland shenanigans in London, we headed off again on one of our annual jaunts. This time the Channel Tunnel trip from Folkestone to Calais involving shopping for French treats, wine, beers and spirits and gorging on a sumptuous five course+ meal.

Picked up at 730 for our 1020am crossing (well, where did you THINK I got my anal levels of organisation from??) we braved the dark skies, heavy showers and gale-like winds in my parents car.

We have enjoyed a gorgeous meal in the village of Coquelles - Kir Royale aperitif, mise en bouche, trio of salmon (smoked, marinated and tartare), fillet steak with a mushroom sauce, cheese selection with fresh French bread and mousse au chocolat, washed down with red wine. Lovely.

We have also visited around half a dozen shops/supermarkets in order to buy cheese, wine, pastries, chocolate and nibbles. Sounds pleasant enough but not when you're with Mr and Mrs List, the wine guzzlers that are my parents (aw Mum n Dad you know I love you! Please don't take my Christmas presents back lol)

So now I find myself wedged into the back of their car in between copious boxes of wine, full up and absolutely drained of all energy.

But you know what as much as we've all bickered about the space, what to get and how much time we're wasting, we've had a great day. Granted most of it has been giggling at random things that have happened today, but we still laughed!

So I'm going to go as I'm yet again typing on my phone - excuse the typos! I also have a stiff neck and my arm has gone dead. If you don't hear from me for a while please send out the search party, I'll be the armless, legless, drunk and overweight one underneath all those boxes in the back of the blue VW...

Monday, 12 December 2011

Too much of a good thing?

This weekend I visited Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park. After first trying out this festive event a few years back, the visit has since become an annual trip for my boyfriend, me and my parents.

I remember our initial visit to the Christmas attraction and feeling so Christmassy I could've moved to Lapland and become one of Santa's elves there and then!

The German market full of festive food, handmade crafts and delectable drinks couldn't help but raise images of Christmas in your mind. Your tummy was filled and your hands warmed from holding mulled wine and stuffing your face with huge bratwursts.

In addition, I always go to Somerset House with a close friend of mine each December. This year we've both been a bit tied up, so on my family annual visit to Hyde Park we popped in to Somerset House first. Don't get me wrong, I don't ever actually skate! Oh no, I like to sit and sample the mulled wine or special hot chocolate in the bar and enjoy some giggles over wobbly skaters on the rink.

So, you're wondering, what's the big deal? What am I building up to here? Well, at the risk of sounding like Scrooge - again - it was a little disappointing.

I really was trying to get into the spirit of things, honest. Yet when we were sitting in the bar watching the skilful skaters and not-so-sure novices, I just felt kind of, well, nothing. I kept thinking 'oh same as last year then'.

On our way to Winter Wonderland I was wondering what we might find this year. I was also a little concerned as I'd heard how busy it was this year some people I knew has queued for 40 minutes just to get in to enjoy an elbow-to-elbow walk amongst hundreds of strangers. Others didn't get in at all. The website had warned on weekends 3-7pm were the busiest times and they had to adopt crowd control. So when we reached Hyde Park Corner and the swarms of people I was getting nervous if we'd get in at all.

Hurrah! We did make it in and without any need to queue. Walking round I found I took very few pictures (which anyone who knows me will know my obsession with photos). We also seemed to walk round the whole offering pretty speedily. The reason being? We'd seen it all before.

Whereas in past years I've felt I'm experiencing something somewhat magical, this year it seemed more like we were just at an oversized funfair. The trinkets seemed a tad like tat and there seemed to be too many people. Security men in bright yellow vests, booming 'Keep Left!' and holding boards donning the same message didn't really help to create a We heart Christmas vibe either...

So we looked at some stalls, we took a few pics and we sampled the obligatory bratwursts, Bavarian beer and mulled wine and then we decided to make a move. Admittedly it had started to pour down with rain at this point, which added to a dampened mood (and clothing!)

I've also found the same with eating out. I'm just not enjoying my food at the moment (although still eating plenty of it!) I've already had quite a few celebrations this month (meals or drinks with friends, work do, client meals and the like) and have a pretty hectic social calendar until 2012 arrives. Problem is I don't do 'in moderation', so although no turkey dinners have been consumed themselves as yet I am closely to feeling partied out. All my clothes are tight, I'm bloated out and feeling tired and we've still got 12 days until Christmas comes!

So the moral of the story is this, no matter how much you think you love something, don't overdo it. There can be too much of a good thing. Vary things up a bit, plus life's too short to always do the same anyway (brave words for a bit of a creature of habit!)

Ps SORRY it's been so long since I blogged, what can I say? I can't stuff my face and shove down wine AND type at the same time! Now if you don't mind I'm off for our annual booze cruise and meal in France...