Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas Coughing

Last year I kept getting colds - I do seem prone to catching them with my asthma. As a result I delayed getting my flu jab, again something my Doctors always get me to have due to me having asthma.

Despite having a cold (which I'd been told before wasn't ideal for having the vaccination) the doctor told me it was fine and proceeded to give me both a flu and pneumonia jab.

I was really ill last year and had a whooping style cough and had to have lots of time off as I was so sick.

So far this year I haven't had my flu jab and have been considering not having it this winter season. Someone I know who is also asthmatic told me she's always been told the flu jab isn't good for you if you have asthma!

So what is right?

Well, my fiancé was ill all last week with a bad cough, throat etc and I kept feeling like I was getting it and then I was fine.

However, lo and behold I've now caught it. 

We had a great but busy weekend and my voice started to go on Saturday night, I thought from too much alcohol and the late night to be honest. 

I then woke up Sunday with a killer of a hangover and couldn't really speak. 

Again, I put it all down to the late nights and struggled through the day. We had my fiancé's parents round and were taking them out for a thank you meal. By the time we got home my voice was a squeak again.

Now I'm on my second day of resting and dosing up at home. It's my last week at work for the year so it's rubbish timing and of course it's the festive season so I had social plans lined up last night and tonight which are now messed up.

Thursday is our work Christmas party too.

As you can imagine I'm not a happy bunny.

I'm also praying now that I've not got what others have had, as people are telling me they've had it for three weeks!

Hosting Christmas Day and a nice two weeks off planned does not combine well with being ill. I'll be fuming if I'm ill now until the end of the year! 

Keeping everything crossed it shifts soon. 

As nice as it is lying in bed and on my sofa watching daytime TV, the novelty soon wears off! And coughing every time I speak or laugh or pretty much move is not exactly making me smile either! 

So what are your thoughts on the flu jab?  Good or bad? Do I get it when I'm better or try a winter without and see how I fare?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Festive fluster

This evening I am going Christmas shopping. With my fiancé. In Lakeside (local shopping centre that is always packed normally)

Recipe for disaster right?

Add to that, my partner is unwell at the moment and is not in the best of moods. I’ve been to work all day and I feel like I’m catching his germs.

We must be mad right?

I’ll let you know how we get on, but I wanted to share as I wondered if others have the same dilemmas I always do with Christmas?

I get into this massive panic over Christmas presents and cards – everyone else seems to be super on top of buying them/writing them/sending them and I haven’t even started.

So then I go on a mad dash to get started and I go a bit mad.

I bought my cards last week and one evening I then got them all written and the next day got stamps and posted them as soon as I could. My family cards I wrote and have been pestering my other half to give to his family non-stop ever since.

Then of course it’s panicking over Christmas presents. I blame you lot out there, those people who get things in the Summer and publicly announce to everyone on social media how organised you’ve been.

The rest of us then end up in a total panic and feel guilty until we too sort out the festive purchases.

We got started on the present shopping and got quite a way through and our list. I started to feel quite proud. But then we stopped.

My stressing out restarted, hence now we are going to a shopping centre tonight which is going to be crammed full of people (not to mention the likely traffic jams there and back). I may even go to Westfield (nearer me at work) after work tomorrow evening too if needed.

The joke is? When I’ve spoken to people now about it, everyone seems to be saying how organised I am and they haven’t even started?!

Where are these people earlier in the month/year when you witness the smug organised ones??

We’re (read me) hosting Christmas Day at our new house this year too so I’ve just realised this week I need to buy games, drink, nibbles and a whole lot more. That will have to be next as I can’t face tackling both just yet.

So off to Lakeside we go, let’s hope we’re successful on the trip or god help my stress levels!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Get your priorities right

Have you ever noticed how people’s ideas of priorities and what’s really important can differ so much?

For many the most important thing in life is family – they should always come first.

Then there are things such as health and making the most of life.

How do you decide what should take priority and is truly important?

Is there really a right or wrong?

I, for example, feel family always comes first and it should do. Life is too short and you should always be there for each other.

Others it seems do not feel the same way.

What do you do though in these situations and what should you do? Should we maintain a life of biting our tongue so as to keep the peace and harmony amongst family and friends.

Or should we be open and honest and say it as it is?

Are people often what we see as selfish as they don’t know any better or have just got their priorities muddled?

For example what would you do in the following scenarios:

Do everything for other people, but not be there to support your family members?
Enjoy an active social life as you’re on your own, but never make time to see family?
Spend money on material things, or think about others around you who you could help?
Check in with other people or just go to them when you need something?
Take the time to think about gifts/conversations or go for the quick and easy option?

Notice a pattern here? Hm, me too.

As we approach Christmas and are now in the festive season, this should be the time for giving. Sharing, caring and being kind to all, right?

So why do some people find this time of year it’s actually more appropriate to think of number one? But when it suits pull the sympathy card out?

Does this ring any bells for anyone? On talking to some people this seems more common than not.

The thing I get stuck on however is whether to pull people up on these lapses in judgement and behaviour, or to let them work their way through said weird spell and ignore it until they’re back to a more normal self?

Any advice would be much appreciated? That’s if you’ve got time to spare for me of course…

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Shopping shenanigans

Unless you've been hidden under a rock the last few days, you'll have witnessed the ridiculous craziness that was the UK fully embracing Black Friday.

Typically Black Friday has been the kick off to Christmas shopping around Thanksgiving in the US where retailers offer big discounts.

This year the UK has really gone for it. As well as online sites offering shoppers deals, people could this time go visit shops in person. 


People went insane, there were so many videos of people pulling things off shelves, fighting, barging each other to get to the deal first.

Absolute carnage, it looked like we were in the middle of a world disaster and people would never be able to get these items ever again!

Even the websites were crashing/creating queues for visitors due to the super high demand. 

I love a bargain, but even I'd rather miss out than face such a nightmare! 

However, this weekend I actually did need to hit the shops. 

Thankfully, I didn't have to venture into the Black Friday hellhole as I was at work. And after work I was busy enjoying cocktails thank you very much.

Yesterday and today I needed to visit the high street and stock up on various homeware. There was no way out of it.

Now, lying on my sofa exhausted, I'm pleased with myself as I managed to get many items. With only a few weeks until Christmas you can imagine how busy the shops were.

I've been stressing out how behind I am with festive preps. Everything has been about getting the house stocked with items so we can entertain guests (and in particular I can host Christmas Day in our new home). 

Today I finally completed my checklist of items needed (well, for now). AND I've made a tiny bit of progress on Christmas shopping. Hooray! 

I've bought all my cards (yes alright smug people who got yours in September and have already got them piled up to post). There are even a few Christmas presents purchased. 

As always my inner control freak,that has been causing me non stop panic the last few weeks, is finally feeling a tad more settled after this weekend.

I probably cant say the same when it comes to my credit card and bank balance! 

Here's hoping our deliveries go to plan over the next week and maybe just maybe I'll be able to relax on my days off! 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Sometimes wonders

She sometimes wonders 

Why life is never simple
Why every year brings a new drama

What she's done wrong 
How other people seem to have the life they want

Why even the basics seem so hard

What she should do differently 
If things will ever be normal

Why life 'as a grown up' isn't at all like you think it is when young 

When compromise is going to stop and be the odd occurrence not common everyday 
How quickly life seems to pass by 

Is she just being dramatic

Why there's always ups and downs

Should she take control and change

Is she the one who needs to make it different  

Whether she just needs to reset on it all

She sometimes wonders...

More and more everyday 

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Disgust on the District Line

I’ve blogged before about manners and where have they disappeared to in the UK?

However, something happened on Monday to get my week off to a cracking start!

Since moving I now have to travel a different way into work. Those of you from the London area will have heard of the 2 routes I’ll refer to, for those of you who don’t I’ll try paint a picture.

In a previous company I had to travel on the district line, part of the London underground, I’d then change and get another underground train. When I moved to my current company over three years ago I could travel in using National Rail – an overground train which has set scheduled train times.

Typically the District line is cramped, full of rude people and always seems to smell or have some sort of unpleasant experience happen on it. The rail train tended to seem more pleasant, although I soon found you got your fair share of rude people on there too (think arrogant businessman barging into everyone or whiny chav talking super loud about their private life).

When I moved I realised my routine of getting the overground train was going to change and I was going to be back to the good old District Line, I won’t lie I was dreading it. It always has delays and always makes me feel sweaty and dirty on disembarking.

However, for most of the journeys in the last few weeks (bar this week) it has actually not been quite as bad as I remembered and in fact I quite liked the slightly longer time on the train as it gives me time to read my book for longer and catch up on work emails on my way in at times before we go into tunnels.

On Monday though, my experience was not so good. In fact it was probably one of if not the worst time I’ve had on my commute in. And to be fair to TfL for once it was nothing to do with them.

It was a passenger.

Thankfully we were only a few stops from where I need to get off.

I was sitting minding my own business reading my Kindle when I heard an odd noise – it sounded like a child. Then I noticed people looking in the direction of the noise (the carriage was pretty packed as usual) and they looked a bit uncomfortable to put it politely.

Eventually I turn my head to look through the gap in the crowds and I see what this unpleasant sight is…

A Mum with her little boy and girl. The little boy had clearly been taken ill as they’d stepped on the train. He was being sick. Obviously he can’t help that.

The Mum? She was just standing there letting him being sick on the floor. Then she started to just hold a tissue out.

You can imagine the scene and the mess. It was horrible.

The best bit of this tale? The Mum proceeded to dump the dirty tissues straight on the carriage floor around people.

Then when we arrived at the next stop? She just got off, took her children with her and left the rest of us in the carriage to the mess. Nice.

An older gentlemen then found some old newspaper and just covered things up.

Now, I know the child can’t help being ill. I am not one of these people that sneers at children on the train (well not unless I’m in a real grumpy mood!)

However, as the adult in the situation I couldn’t believe how the woman was not more aware of what was happening, other people, the germs, not to mention her little boy standing there openly vomiting on to the floor.

My tummy flipped over quite a few times and I did start to wonder if I’d be next. You’ll be pleased to know I wasn’t.

It just got me thinking again though about thinking of others and common courtesy. The way the mother behaved and also the passengers at that end of the carriage, I realised nobody offered the little boy their seat whilst he was unwell either.

Are we just becoming a society now of everyone for themselves and looking out for number one? I sincerely hope not.

Still, we’re approaching Christmas now so perhaps all these festive ads everyone harps on about will help warm people’s hearts and get them thinking of people around them and not just themselves…

Friday, 14 November 2014

Busy doing nothing

I’m writing this blog as I want to know if I’m the only one who faces diary dilemmas.

Lately I’ve been tied up sorting our house out and if I’m not at work I’m doing something or planning something for our home.

This then led me to get quite grumpy this week and feel a tad like I’m in the middle of Groundhog Day syndrome and doing the same thing over and over, whilst not enjoying life itself and socialising.

Cue me then desperately reaching out to people to make some plans.

Of course the time I leave it to arrange things now most people are busy and tied up already. This then leaves me to get a bit mopey and complain I have no social life and am getting boring.

I’ve now made a couple of plans so hopefully I won’t feel like I’m ‘wasting’ the weekend, and in all honesty after all we’re spending on homeware my purse could probably do with a break from socialising.

However, as the festive season approaches I’m pretty sure we’ll start to get booked up as we always do. I’m already stressing over the fact we’ve had one set of friends over to the new house socially and have loads more to see and invite round. Our poor family have only come for very brief visits too – or to help us set things up!

I’ve just chased our furniture company in fact to see if there is any update, I just want our big corner sofa and dining set in so I can buy new crockery/placemats etc and have people round! I am getting very impatient now.

The one problem with all this?

Picture this – a diary full of plans most days of the weekend and in the weeks ahead. How will I react to this scenario?
Do you know what, I’ll have the hump I’ve got too much on and just long for a quiet night in!

Never happy!

So, do other people get like this? When you’re busy and going out do you want to stay in and relax? Then when you’ve got quiet nights in do you wish to go out and party?

Or am I the only one and just never happy?

Let me know and if you’ve got any tips to get the perfect balance even better!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Customer dis-Service

Working with customers for most my working life I always feel very passionate when it comes to good customer service.

Lately (see Workman Woes post) I've really been feeling at the raw end of the deal end of the scale where good service is concerned.  

I often joke with my team how our role makes us worse and we perhaps have an unreasonable level of support we expect in our personal lives when we become 'the client'. 

This was clear when I had an almighty bang back to earth and reality when dealing with solicitors and estate agents.

What's bugging me is this is starting to become the norm.

We ordered some fitted wardrobes not long after we moved in (it's clear now we WON'T be using them again) and every step (since signing that is) has felt like a saga. 

The different elements of the business are so segregated and clearly don't speak to each other. 

And now even post installation I'm chasing them for answers and actions.

One example today, a replacement panel got delivered to the house whilst I was at work and my fiancé was asleep in bed. Nobody had booked that in with us. In fact we hadn't even confirmed we definitely wanted said replacement.

I call today to speak to our 'dedicated' installation manager and get told he's not in until 1130 today. This is the same guy who text me to say he's on hand for anything and the next day left work early and didn't respond to anyone (myself and his staff included). 

I leave a message and by around 2 I've had enough - having been told he'd call me as soon as he was in. No apology. He didn't get in until 1245 actually and he's about to go into a meeting?! 

Without going into the details I then push him to call me once out said meeting ASAP. It's now nearly 630 and I'm on my way home. No call.

Still he's in until 8pm tonight so I'm sure he'll call me (*said in extremely sarcastic tone). 

I know what I'll do then I'll check on my sofa, dining table and chairs and sideboard instead with another company. It was ordered 5 weeks ago this Saturday. At the time they said delivery in 5 weeks if not before. No call as yet.

After calling the local store a few times to no answer I used their live chat service online. They can't access order details...

So I ring the group customer service number. They can't access order details...

The lady did offer to email the store and ask them to call me back.

To be fair some time later they did call back. Once at 340pm where they said most of my items are at the warehouse but they need to confirm on the dining set as it comes in a container and needs to be found/properly checked and entered in the system. He'll call me back when the warehouse lady phones him back. He's in until 8pm so he'll call back today.

An hour and 20 minutes later he calls back to say he'll call me tomorrow and pretty much the exact same spiel he gave before. Helpful.

I won't go into all the other experiences that have taken place the last six weeks, but needless to say not many of them have been good. Bar the credit card company who let me know someone had committed fraud against me (thank goodness their approach was good!) 

Again, as I asked re workmen, how do they get away with it and why are they happy to act this way? 

I'm still waiting for a goodwill gesture sum of money from one online appliance company that messed up my initial cashback due to delays. The goodwill money itself to say sorry for delays has now been delayed too.

For the solicitors and estate agents post dealing with me they sent me surveys on my views of the service. I was honest at how poor they were. I've heard nothing.

I'm hoping I'm going through a bad patch and this is not the way B2C customer service in the UK is now going to be.

In the famous words myself, my team (and I'm sure most people in B2B client service) say everytime:

"If I treated my clients like that I wouldn't have a job".

Rant over, now to await my mythical calls back! 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fifty shades of grey ...carpet

Another day another post to share my new home stories with you. 

I'm currently on my way home, hopefully heading home to another completed feature wall wallpapered by my lovely future father in law and my fiancé. 

As my fiancé said today you do one thing and another five seem to pop up that need help. 

He's right. My To Do list for the home just keeps on growing. 

We've decided to just get the two main bedrooms done and take delivery of our sofa and dining set and then hopefully we'll be done until the new year.

Although I love kitting out the house and dressing rooms with lovely new furnishings, I do agree with my partner that it would be nice to just enjoy our home together.

I.e. not spend every spare moment decorating, planning or shopping. Although ooh how I am getting skilled at spending on things for our house!

Our change in taste continues to shine through. This came to light on Sunday when we purchased the ornate black mirror and black chandelier style light fitting for our main bedroom. I was beaming. My partner was not too impressed (nor moreso with the duvet set I showed him when he came home from work Saturday night). 

However, after painting and having wardrobes fitted we've pulled up two sets of carpets in the two main bedrooms. So off we went carpet shopping.

I thought we'd agreed a light grey in our black and white bedroom and some shade of cream for our guest room.

Oh dear. Who knew. We proceeded to take near on 30 minutes picking out carpets (and even then still changed our minds last minute when we realised we'd missed the 50% off ranges!)

The crowning moment was standing looking at huge rolls of carpet and flipping through numerous samples and just not being able to agree on the shade of grey.

Yes seriously.

Brings a whole new meaning to 50 Shades of Grey eh?

You'll be pleased to know we eventually got a great deal and compromised to get two carpets we could both live with. Hooray! 

It also begs the question what on earth are we going to do in a few weeks when  hopefully the main things we'd planned are sorted? 

Panic about Christmas that's what!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Terrible Tuesdays

II hate Tuesdays. 

I don't know what it is, but I always seem to have bad luck on a Tuesday. 

Today is no exception.

There's been one frustrating thing after another today. Which is why I've taken myself out the office and am now sat in Costa with a skinny hot chocolate as a 'treat' to try cheer up.

I won't go into every detail, but there's been lots to push my buttons today. My work email and computer playing up all day so far and making work near on impossible isn't helping.

The main culprit of sadness, anger and annoyance today? 

I've been the victim of credit card fraud.


I got home last night to a letter from a credit card company kindly letting me know they've been made suspicious. Someone seems to have registered for a credit card pretending to be me.


My first reaction to be honest was it must be junk mail. I've had a constant flood of spam since moving. And was this some sort of scam?

After being on the phone for ages last night and then again this morning, no it appears not. It is real.

Another thing to add to my neverending to do list it seems. 

To be fair the company have so far been great and the lady I dealt with was very helpful.

It also seems so far to be the only attempt.

Now, however, I have become Little Miss Paranoid and if im honest I feel a bit freaked out.

I'm going to be so anal now over my details and shredding etc I can already tell.

They've pretended to be me. I've obviously left some details stupidly during the moving process and some scumbag has decided to try be me and use my credit.

Thankfully they don't seem to have actually spent anything yet. Who knows maybe it was some random mistake.

For now, I've decided I'm going to try stop moping, sulking and stropping.

I'm going to sip my comforting hot chocolate, relax on my break and then focus on the next few hours before I'll be back at home and can enjoy my evening. 

Let's just hope there aren't any other 'surprises' awaiting me when I get home as this Terrible Tuesday has been more than troublesome enough! 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Interior addict

Six weeks ago today we moved into our house, our first home together.

I can safely say at this point I'm becoming obsessed with home improvements and decor. 

No sooner do we work on one element of a room or area, I'm thinking up what I want to change next. 

I'm hoping in a few weeks time I'll have calmed down as all the 'big' items will be sorted.

The rate I'm going though who knows.

My fiancé at this point has had enough and just wants to live in the house. 

Me? I was beaming like a Cheshire Cat yesterday upon purchasing an oversized black ornate mirror for our bedroom.

I ooh and aah over our 'boutique hotel' bedroom, my partner refers to it as 'a tarts boudoir'. 

From the minute I wake up until the moment I go to sleep I'm thinking of wallpaper, carpet, light fittings, bedding and more.

Walking round homeware shops has become my new favourite pastime. 

I can't even describe how proud I felt at the weekend upon getting all my clothes, shoes and bags into our new fitted wardrobes. 

And the relief yesterday at ordering our bedroom carpets was ridiculous. 

Plus Christmas is fast approaching and I've said I'll do Christmas Day at ours. 

Cards, presents, any social plans for Christmas are all still TBC. I am obsessed with getting things right in the house first!

I saw someone share a picture that it's 7 Saturdays left until Christmas. That really stressed me out as I have so many home things to get done before then. How on earth am I going to fit in actual festive preparations themselves? 

Even eating out or watching TV programs I'm getting distracted by decor I notice or things that might tie into our 'themes'.

Someone please tell me this will stop as I don't think my fiancé and moreso my credit card can take much more! 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Workman woes

I know a friend who took a week off work to get some DIY done in her flat. She just about got one quote for work, let alone anyone turn up to do it.

My parents tried countless times to get the ceiling around their loft cover repaired.

I know many people who've waited in often to find nobody turns up.

Up until recently I never really had much personal experience with workmen. Now, owning a house, a house which was originally built 44 years ago, I need to deal with such people.

And oh how I wish I didn't need to.

We need to get a loft ladder fitted, that's all. Pretty simple. 

After a couple of weeks in our new home we were armed with a recommended workman to use. So we make arrangements for him to come over.

He didn't turn up. He didn't respond to messages asking where he was. And, we've not heard from him since.

This week we've gone through nearly three days worth of fun with a workman. To be fair he was the best of a bad bunch in the company we were using and by some miracle he turned up relatively on time.

He drank copious amounts of hot drinks and was quite vocal if we dared to forget to offer him one. 

At least he turned up though.

Although his customer facing skills were about as good as those people often complain about tech bods having.

What I don't get through it all is this, how do these people get business?

They turn up when they like, if at all.

If you contact them they don't reply when needed, it's on their terms.

Imagine in any other business, not delivering when you say you will. Not turning up. Not responding to comms.

You'd get the sack.

And if you were self employed you wouldn't get many customers. 

So how do these guys survive and make money?

And why are they like they are? 

Is there some secret circle like magicians? 

If they don't want to do a job how comes they don't just tell you so?

I did use Rated People to get the gas and electrics tested before purchasing our house and to be fair they turned up and seemed legitimate and fair in their approach and costs.

Maybe that's the way forward I thought, but then my parents tried it and had a couple of seemingly dodgy responses and visits.

I thought then you go by word of mouth, but again that option seems to fall flat.

So, if anyone out there has any tips how to find the good guys amongst workmen let me know.

And if you are a workman or know someone who is please please do let us know what the secret is. 

Until then I'm going to be a nervous wreck having to use workmen and thank goodness my future father in law is so handy! 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Boozing with a bump

There has been a lot of talk in the news the last few days about women who drink when pregnant.
The debate has been sparked after a court case whereby a baby was born disabled, following her mother excessively drinking whilst she was carrying the child. Whilst pregnant at 17 the female drank vodka and beer to extremes and now the judges are being asked to offer the child compensation and overall for women who drink when pregnant to be made illegal.

So what do you think?

I’ve not had a child or been pregnant in my life so far and it has to be said I do enjoy having a good drink – whether a nice wine with dinner or a more heavy night out with friends drinking and dancing.

However, I really do think I would be Little Miss Paranoid if I were ever pregnant and would watch what I ate and moreso drank like a hawk. I would hate to think anything I’d have done would in any way harm that baby.

Never having been pregnant I don’t feel I can really judge, but on my views as they are, I can’t imagine you’d want to drink when expecting or do anything that could be bad for that unborn child. Let alone need a legal system to be put in place to stop you.

Whether women should be arrested that do drink when pregnant is another case in point. After all there are no set rules to parenting, people choose to bring up their children as they feel best – to some this could be seen as wrong, but to others the right way.

I know some Mums-to-be who have had the odd glass of wine or even Guinness (the iron is said to be good apparently). However, I don’t know of any who went out binge drinking!

The same goes for smoking, again why would you risk harming your unborn child?

Looking online at some of the articles talking about how the alcohol can impact a baby’s growth and wellbeing I can’t imagine anyone even considering binge drinking, but then again people smoke despite horrendous images on the packs and similar. People know the risks but choose to ignore it. That said, harming yourself is one thing, an innocent life is entirely different in my view.

I do feel making this a legal issue and arresting those drinking when pregnant seems a tad extreme and it also saddens me that there are people in this country who have behaved in such a way to even cause this debate to come to light.

We don’t want to make it so that everybody’s every move is under constant scrutiny, but I do agree that if a case is found where a child has been born with a condition and it can be proved to be the result of the mother drinking excessively or smoking then some form of action should be taken.

I don’t think it works going up to anyone you see with a bump drinking something alcoholic and arresting them there and then with no context though.

Really it seems to come down to a lifestyle choice – guidance to us for all issues changes constantly – you shouldn’t drink this, you should eat this, you should have more of this but less of that and so forth. Would some argue exercising too vigorously during pregnancy is also a form of neglect and as I’ve heard others ask – where does that leave abortion too? How far do you go?

I’d be interested to see what any expectant Mums think or those who have had children already.

And what about those that drink before realising they are pregnant, when you are not knowingly doing harm to your baby? I know a few people that has happened to, my Mum included and I turned out okay (well I think I did…)

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Living together lessons

I’ve been with my partner for over 9 years.
We’ve been engaged nearly 1 year.
We’ve been living together in a house, our first home together, for 1 month.


Previously I was living in a one bedroom flat which I bought around a year and a half/two years into our relationship. My fiancé used to stay over quite a lot but we didn’t actually live together.

We’ve been wanting to live together properly for years, but various reasons have meant financially that wasn’t an option.

Our search began in February this year and rather naively it didn’t hit me until literally the week before we moved in that this was it, we were actually going to be living as a proper couple. Still, I didn’t expect much to be different, after all we’ve been together years.

Wow, was I wrong.

It feels so so different. Where my fiancé does shifts we don’t see each other as much as other couples do anyway, but most mornings he gets up and says goodbye to me at the door which is such a lovely feeling. On those days he’s not working it’s lovely to have him here, particularly to come home to after work.

One slight issue, we are so different in character. Clearly this is something we’ve discovered way before now, but certain elements haven’t mattered as the flat before was my home and my property, now we’re in it together.

If I have things to do I like to crack on and just get them done. My fiancé likes to do things within his timeframe.
I like to keep things quite tidy and my fiancé often teases me I am ‘Monica’ from Friends. My fiancé isn’t messy as such, but is much more relaxed about tidying everything up.
I like to get help and guidance from our parents who have more life experience on things than us. My fiancé is keen we do things ourselves and stop involving others.

I could go on. Nothing here is horrendous, but as you can imagine we have bickered quite a bit in the last month.

I’ve also been learning a lot about myself (perhaps it’s being an only child), but I am quite selfish at times. I didn’t realise until we started looking at items for our home.

My fiancé describes my taste as ‘Essex’ and some pieces I’ve seen he feels are ‘chavvy’. I on the other hand think what I like is modern and looks good of course!

When we walk round I will see something I like and he’ll tend to not like it but look to compromise and see the good and bad in the item. He suggests something? My response mostly is ‘No’ and walking on. Awful, I know.

Until our wardrobes are fitted and complete my partner still has near enough all his items (clothes etc) at his parent’s house. His parents live really close to his base at work too so he’s still getting food for work from his Mum and picking up his clothes from home (as well as his washing). This also means we’re still not quite experiencing living together properly and it’s making things awkward around meal times and the like.

I really didn’t realise how even after so many years together we’d need to learn each other’s ways like this and need to adapt again and learn to compromise and take on each other’s ways.

Most people I know live with their partners already and have done for years, so I guess they’ve been through the same. I’ve had people at work giving me tips on how to ‘get things done’ by your other half and similar! But how about you guys? How have you found it when moving in with your other half? How long did it take you to get used to each other and settle?

Overall, I’m so pleased to be living together finally and be able to move forward in our relationship after so many years. I must admit though it’s not easy learning things about yourself (and your partner), particularly for someone who’s stubborn and of course ‘always right’ like me!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Buying blues and selling sagas

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m getting back to my blogging!

This year has been pretty quiet on here. I’m not going to go into a big apology, as it’s getting a bit repetitive now!

The reason for my complete silence in 2014 has pretty much been down to one thing. One thing that I can safely say has taken up my whole year near enough.

I’ve bought a house and moved into my first home with my fiancé.

Wow, congratulations, I hear you say. Hm.

Yes, now we’re in our first home as a couple I can graciously accept any well wishes from people. However, there have been times this year that I seriously doubted if we’d ever get to this point. The amount of times I’ve heard ‘It’ll be worth it’ and ‘What will be will be’.

I’ve heard people say before, buying property is one of, if not the, most stressful thing you can do in life. Anyone else who has been in this position will agree with me, no truer word has been said. I’ve spent this year making myself ill with the whole drama.

We got engaged in December last year and quickly decided we needed to move into a home of our own before any wedding plans were made.

So 2014 was our year to move. Of course I already owned my flat so we needed to factor in selling that too.

I still to this day do not know what is the best way to go about buying and selling property. Should you put your home on the market first and then buy, or should you look around and secure somewhere and then sell? The market really does influence this.

We started this whole process in February this year, 9 whole months ago. I will need to go into detail into separate posts as to each different stage/element as there is too much to tell!

The market was ridiculous – we always seem to have a knack for timing things at the most hectic of times. There was the positive side that things were selling quick and at high prices, great news for selling my flat. However, when we came to view houses we were met with a lot higher asking prices than expected and by the time you saw them online and went to view them they had already been sold!

Dealing with estate agents and solicitors was by far the most horrendous part of the process. I have felt for months I’ve been juggling two jobs – acting as liaison between them all and as PA to my solicitors. My partner and I ended up bickering constantly through the stress and I vowed I would never move again.

It is funny, when I bought my flat, seven years ago, as a first time buyer, I thought that was a bit troublesome and remember at the time thinking the solicitor was so poor. Ah the naivety!

If I could go back and see my younger self I would tell myself how easy it all was and to embrace it and enjoy the fact the whole process took 3 months or less.

When you have something to sell as well it complicates things, when the property you are selling is a flat, it complicates it further. And if you own, but your partner doesn’t? Crank up that complication even more.

I feel like we’ve not had this year. I don’t remember key events or the seasons changing. The fact we’re in November doesn’t even feel real to me if I’m honest.

We’ve now been in our house for a month. The relief when we completed I cannot describe.

However, now of course, is the decorating and DIY.

The house is in relatively good condition so it’s not like we’re going all DIY-SOS. However, it seems once we do one thing I think of somewhere else to do. Plus we just started to feel a bit homely and now we’ve been decorating/having things fitted we are living in complete disarray again!

But of course, I know now, all I need to remember is those wise words ‘It’ll be worth it in the end’!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Weight loss worries

This morning I've woken up and I'm feeling a little disheartened if I'm honest. This is a theme that's been present most of this week so I've been trying to tell myself to 'stop moping and just get on with it'.

As I do each week I woke up this morning to weigh myself for my weekly weigh in. Most Saturdays, plans permitting, I also get ready to go to a spin class at my local gym.

Today I've woken up super achey from last nights cardio workout. Great, I thought, I must've worked hard if I'm feeling like this. Admittedly that also made me hopeful for something positive on the scales.

I already was a bit disappointed as I really am too achey to go spinning and I've been reminded by people before to let my body rest and recovery is important too.

Anyway off I hop onto the scales. What do I see? I've put on. Yes super minimal 0.4 of a pound, but as I typically round my weight up when logging on the likes of MyFitnessPal it effectively says I've put on 1lb. 

There are two schools of thought here, some people say 1lb is nothing and not to worry if you put it on. Others show images of just how much a pound of fat is to illustrate just how much fat you've lost when you lose 1lb. So who is right?

If I don't weigh myself weekly, something others have suggested, I lose the feeling of accountability and tend to find I get lax and don't feel a sense of achievement or progress.

I've felt the last few weeks my body feels heavy and bloated and normally when I've exercised I do feel lighter. I'm not feeling that lately (and in fact have been worrying now I'm in my 30s that maybe I'm experiencing that as-you-grow-older problem people talk about where your body just clings to fat). Who knows.

So I'd purposely started to mix it up this week. In fact, including last Thursday I've made seven gym visits. That's seven times over ten days. That to me is pretty good. 

Of those seven, three have been spinning, 45/50 minute classes. The other four have been cardio. 

Each of those cardio I've tried to mix up, different machines, sometimes using weights, trying different modules on machines, different orders of using machines and times/levels. I've been feeling it each time and aching the next day most times and sweating non stop during the sessions.

Typically my fitness 'week' starts on a Saturday so if you look at it that way I've exercised five days out of seven. Two rest days. 

The only 'cheat' day I've had was on Wednesday for my Mum's birthday when we ate and drank out. 

And so after actively watching what I eat (bar one day) and made a conscious effort to push myself in exercise, I just don't understand why my weight loss is not showing an impact. 

My fiancé feels I'm stressed out and worked up about certain things (primarily our house buying/flat selling fiasco that feels like it's pretty much taken up our year and has been ongoing since March). He thinks maybe our bodies are just exhausted from it all and not working as optimally as they would typically. 

When I went through a really stressful time last year - and didn't resort to my typical comfort eating approach - I really dropped in weight (and in turn reached my lowest). I therefore don't understand why this tricky time my body is reacting differently? 

I thought why not post on social media and blog about it, in a bid to see if anyone out there has tips and can advise. 

I'm not at my ideal weight or at my lowest, I'm currently 10lbs heavier than the lowest I've preciously managed to achieve. 

As you can probably tell I truly am baffled and a tad fed up. So it's over to you. 

Please comment away and tell me what you think or what you've found works for you. I'm at a total loss and unfortunately it's not weight loss! 

My 'progress' over the last 6 months (the yellow line is the 'trend line', the average/underlying weight taking out fluctuations). 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Birthday blogging

It's Wednesday 13th August. It's 2014.

This means it's my birthday!!! And it also means I am now 32.

I've now got two days off work to celebrate (doing whatever surprises my fiancé and parents have set up), but I've typically woken up really early and can't get back to sleep.

Lots of people have commented lately I've not been blogging, so here I am. Might as well do something whilst the other half snores next to me (bless him he came to bed super late last night). 

Birthdays are a big thing in my little family. There's only Mum, Dad and my Auntie. Oh and me of course. When it's somebody's birthday we tend to have more than one day of celebrating.

If it's a special birthday (18, 21, 30, 40, 50 etc etc) then it's ridiculous (well in some people's eyes, we love it!)

Two years ago I was spending this day on a beach on Koh Phangnan for my 30th. Yes I had a party/meal, a family thing, celebrations with my partner and a 2 week amazing holiday to Thailand. Well it was the big 3-0.

Everyone always comments how when we all turned 30 there was a big change in us and our outlook. We really studied our life so far and where it was going.

Strangely I feel that's been the case ever since.

I find birthdays, a little like Christmas, bittersweet. I love being the birthday girl and celebrating and spending the time doing something nice. However I do then start to judge things, "oh I thought by 32 I'd have this/be doing this/have been there/have tried that" etc etc. 

I also seem to get really focussed on friendships too. If someone I was close to forgot my birthday I know I'd really take it to heart. Silly I know as it's just one day and we all have lots going on in our lives. 

So why do we make such a fuss over birthdays in my family? I guess as there's so few of us and unlike others we don't put so much emphasis on Christmas presents etc. 

I guess it's because it's your day and all about you, you're not sharing with others.

Although technically of course you are - others born the same day. Like my late Granddad Jack, who too was a 13th August Leo. 

That's another thing on birthdays I tend to dwell on those no longer here. 

Still, I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing, all these points just tell me my emotions just crank up a notch at birthday time. 

So now I'm going to try laze in bed until my other half wakes up. And I'm going to blimming well enjoy today (and tomorrow...of course I'm celebrating twice). Let's see what surprises there are in store. 

It's been a stressy year so far, full of house buying sagas so my birthday is going to be fun! I'm excited to see what surprises lay in store.

Oh and of course when I go back to work Friday I've got girly drinks to look forward to too in the evening (alright alright, I know THREE days??!) 

Well here's to 32 and who's to say this can't be my year of having and achieving it all?? 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Changing your approach

One of the beautiful things in life is how diverse humanity is, no two people are the same whether in looks, behaviour or attitudes.

However, it can also be one of the most irritating things.

Nobody is perfect and there are good and bad points to each approach people choose to take.

Over the years I’ve learnt more about different management and learning styles and I’ve worked to become more adaptive to others.

One thing that I have become conscious of throughout this is I have a set style and I tend to work much better with those who adapt a similar approach. This can be both in my professional and personal life.

As I’ve worked through these courses/books/training I’ve learnt how different people can get on with different traits to their own by compromise, being more flexible and identifying said differences.

However, the problem is if you are not a flexible person you’re not going to try and consider other views and look to work together. Your way is right end of.

As a result I often find we end up in a never-ending cycle of those of us who are more sensitive/wanting to ‘keep the peace’. We start feeling peeved with other’s attitudes/behaviour -> then remember the different types -> we then realise we need to learn to change -> we try and change -> and are then met with others seemingly not bothering to make the same effort -> we then get annoyed again that we’re always the ones trying to be helpful.

So how do we overcome this?

This is something I still feel I’ve not found the answer to.

I get regularly frustrated when others don’t respond in a timely manner, don’t take ‘hints’ and wait for me to be completely and utterly direct and obvious (which they know I may not be comfortable with) and don’t get me started on being the ‘client’ outside of work. I often think of how I have always treated clients and worked for them and cannot believe what a bad service I’m then experiencing when I’m not the service provider out of work.

I’m going through similar things again at the moment. So I’m trying to broaden my approach and read up on it. Yes I’m in the cycle where I’m trying again to change and adapt, but not wanting to get annoyed part way through with others involved. Tricky.

Right now I’m reading a book by Karren Brady on how she worked her way up as a woman. She clearly has a very different tact to me, but I’m sticking with it and trying to learn something.

I’ve also still got Stephen Covey’s book on my Kindle to read and have recently purchased a book about change for work.

Let’s hope these provide me with all the tools I’ll need! I’ll let you know…

In the meantime any tips will be greatly received!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Our love of technology – terrific or terrible?

Thanks to my own stupidity I am completely without my mobile phone today (read: I had too much alcohol this weekend, dropped my iPhone 5 on the floor outside the pub and smashed the entire screen).

My lovely fiancé is trying to take it to a shop and get it repaired for me before he starts his shift so I left my phone in his hands and will hopefully be reunited with it (and it having been fixed) this evening.

I am lost.

I’m not exaggerating, I am actually having withdrawal symptoms at not having it in my handbag, on my desk at work, by my side as normal. I do feel a little on edge.

This, I totally appreciate, is ridiculous.

I can remember years back going on holiday and not taking my mobile phone, I’ve had mixed experiences. When I was younger I missed my phone being there and actually at times reached into my beach bag on hearing a phone, totally forgetting I didn’t even have mine with me! At other times I’ve loved being totally away from it all and nobody contacting me or obsessing over social media updates.

Yet, having to come to work and in the middle of sorting out all sorts in my work and personal life I feel like something huge is missing. I am extremely conscious my phone is not sitting even on my desk for example.

I’m already realising I won’t be able to input my food/drink on my fitness app I use, I won’t be able to check when the bus is due on my journey home, I won’t be able to text my fiancé or friends and family during the day or call them on my break. And as for social media updates, don’t even get me started!

On reflection, I feel this is a sad state of affairs and really worrying that I am so dependent on a small piece of technology.

I’m already well aware how we all live our lives too absorbed in our Facebook accounts for example and was a big fan of the Look Up From Your Phone video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY&feature=kp – even if ironically we all watched it and shared it on our phones!

We’ve all seen whether it’s with our own children or young relatives how familiar the younger generation are with technology nowadays and so early on and it leaves me constantly torn between whether our love of technology and frankly our obsession with it is a good or bad thing.

Working for a digital company of course I should be interested in and embrace all things digital. And to an extent I do and find it amazing how digital constantly evolves and we’ve got all these cool gadgets and ways to help us in our lives. The fact children are so clued up on this stuff is great and just leads to a future of ever increasing options and digital evolution.

However, another part of me feels so saddened by it all.

I can’t help but feel we’re becoming a society of robots. Our social skills are lacking based more on our virtual friendships on social media platforms and letting everyone know what we’re doing all the time. I myself am completely guilty of regular ‘check ins’ on Facebook, Tweeting when I’ve had a great class at the gym, taking photos on my phone and uploading them religiously and filling in App information as if it’s a regular job (GoodReads book progress, MyFitnessPal dietary and exercise behaviour, tracking my weight).

We see constantly how stats are coming back showing how many people are viewing online content via their phone now, users are constantly digesting data on the go. Websites now need to be responsive and even the type of content shown on a dedicated mobile site needs to be considered differently to previous ideas.

Think about at home when you sit down to watch the TV or read a book, how soon is it before your browsing on your phone and distracted?

I cannot remember the last time I sat down indoors and just sat and relaxed and focussed completely on one thing, without distraction.

So, is this a good thing? Is it great our kids are so technology minded and the area is no longer seen as just ‘for geeks’. Have all these apps meant we’re more in control of our lives and we’re super capable of doing so many things simultaneously? Are we expanding our brain’s capacity? Or in turn are we actually stunting our social skills and development? Are we only able to live through our social media persona now and unable to switch off?

Films used to show the future as a world of robots, super intelligent metal objects which people found far-fetched and rather uncomfortable. In fact are we instead simply creating a world of human ‘robots’ who have no off button and living life in a virtual world?

As you can tell, I really can’t decide which side of the debate I fall on. Does there even need to be sides? I’d be really interested what you think? Particularly those of you who don’t have a job within technology.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Fathers Day 2014

I decided to cook a meal at home for my Dad for Fathers Day

Seafood gnocchi 
Chicken with mozarella in arabiatta sauce with asparagus, carrots, baby corn, mange tout, pesto mash and green beans 
Toffee apple crumble pie with cream
Baileys chocolate shots

And a selection of presents based on things he likes

I hope you've all had a good day too, whatever you did

Friday, 13 June 2014

Fitness fakers

When you think about going to the gym and the essentials needed what do you think of?

Your gym kit, bag, water and a towel?

Or rather is your fake tan topped up, your makeup thickly applied, your best gym gear and revealing outfit packed, along with your designer sunglasses?

I often on a Saturday morning roll out of bed, put my gym kit on and head straight to the spin class, so you can tell which camp I’m from…

Yes, I will have makeup on if I’ve gone for a workout straight from work, but that is the only reason why.

Yet attending my local gym recently I felt like I’ve been surrounded by bronzed-up gym bunnies and arrogant muscle meatheads.

Don’t get me wrong if I had a hot body I too would want to flaunt it and show off how the hard work had paid off.

However, often these people are rude, bowling through the building and barely break a sweat as they wander round the machines not really doing much at all.

Take my spin class, some females have been known to whoop throughout as if they are out clubbing. Now I’m not a complete bore here, when you really get into it sometimes the instructor makes noises and gets everyone going, but an individual doing it on their own when nobody else in the class is of that nature is just cringey.

One lady recently rudely shouted out to the instructor “Oi turn the music up, I can’t ‘ear it!” Charming.

As for the men. What exactly is the point of going to the gym to hog a weights machine and sit on it in your jeans with your woolly beanie on chatting to your mates about your next night out? Or lifting weights that are clearly far too heavy for you and then simply letting them drop with an almighty clang on the floor? Don’t even get me started on the grunts and groans!

And if you dare to walk in their pathway don’t expect them to move. Oh no, they own the gym didn’t you know? They are the kings and queens of the faux fitness world so you better all move around them.

My fiancé has ended up in a coughing fit on the treadmills after a girl jumped on a treadmill directly next to him (there were loads spare, another pet hate!) and had so much perfume on she affected all the surrounding air.

Also I’m sure you’ve experienced the people on their phones (despite numerous signs saying you shouldn’t use them) on the treadmill and bikes? Or the friends in matching Juicy-esque tracksuits side by side on the treadmills having a conversation the entire time.

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but is a gym not a place to get fit, lose weight and work out?

Apparently, it’s actually the place to go to ‘check in’ on Facebook and let people know you’re at the gym yet again, but in fact you are there to pose. I’m all for fitness having a social element and people having workout buddies and really embracing the healthy lifestyle. An hour plus of wandering around chatting and eyeing up the similar ‘talent’ is a whole other world.

In another spin class, I was in the middle of stretching at the end when I had to let 2 or more people past (of course they’re ‘too cool’ to stretch!). The best was my return to the ladies changing room to find one female standing in front of the mirror preening. She was literally standing admiring herself – checking out her bum, her tummy and pouting!

She then proceeded to leave the gym in her leopard print hat, skin tight outfit, fake tanned skin and huge sunglasses (worn inside of course!).

Since when did gyms become more about showing off than shedding fat? Flaunting the fact you are ‘fit’ in the attractive sense, not health-wise?

Do you experience this at your gym? Or is it just an Essex thing?...

Fitness favouritism

I've mentioned before about my pet hates in the gym and the etiquette most people follow.

Recently I've rediscovered my love for spinning and have attended a few classes. I'm actually hoping to get back into my old routine of 3 classes a week.

Last night reminded me of 2 things. 

1. The power of the instructor and music and their influence on your class experience

2. Gym posers still exist 

It's fair to say I am quite a creature of habit and nobody will agree moreso than my partner when it comes to spinning!

He already got a telling off last night for just picking any old bike, after strict instructions to 'test them out' first.

Anybody whose done spin before will get my point, particularly in Fitness First Romford where it's often a case of bike roulette in the studio. 

You want to make sure you haven't got:
A wobbly bike
A bike where the resistance doesn't adjust properly
A bike where the pedal straps don't tighten or stay done up 
A bike where any of the height adjusters are too tight to change 

All of these points can make your class painful, frustrating or even cause injury.

Anyway, being an old 'veteran' of the classes I knew Thursday nights were run by a lady called Carmel. But as I got into the studio, met by my fiancé standing next to a wobbly bike (god forbid!) I realised there was a cover teacher.

Sometimes this can be a good thing as they challenge you more and teach you new routines.

To be fair this teacher did that. However, until quite near the end I found the class painful and admittedly rather boring.

The music in the main wasn't my sort of thing and it was so quiet. The instructor was very mumbled and so you couldn't really tell what she was saying. She also had this rather interesting approach to getting us to a standing position on the bike - whistling at us like herding some sheep (a reference I owe to my partner!)

Yet again my taking things a bit too far approach kicked in as I also found it annoying the way she kept referring to adding a gear. Most instructors refer to 'turns' and you add either a full turn, quarter or half.

Safe to say I wasn't overwhelmed by the experience and am hoping the regular lady is back next time.

The difference compared to the recent two classes I've done was huge. My legs didn't seem to want to go very fast at all, I found myself tiring more quickly and I seemed to take a long time to feel the effects in the right places (with other classes I can feel the ache in my quads, abs, arms etc straightaway).

As for the gym posers, well, I'll come back to them in another post - they need a blog of their own! 

The class last night made me think though. 

Do you get more out a class where you know the instructor and their methods?

Do you actually hold positions in the correct way if you know the teacher? And as a result get more benefit?

Or is a 'stranger' key to giving your body a shock and actually working different muscles and working you harder? 

Should you in fact go to other classes to break habit and stop your body getting too used to things? 

I'd love to know your thoughts, whether you go spinning or classes, or just generally are into fitness in some way. 

Comment below... 

Friday, 30 May 2014

Comfort food

This post may surprise you. 

No I'm not writing about chocolate, crisps, pizza, pasta and ice cream or drinking wine. 

I'm taking comfort from food and exercise. 

Things are going a bit off track with the house purchase (don't ask!) and I've realised I can't control any of it.

So what have I done? Returned to my trusty old friend food and exercise.

I can control what I eat and how often I try and work out.

And as I said I'd blog my progress with the 30 Day Shred here I am writing about it.

I've been completely stressed out all week, tired out and had a banging headache.

As is always the case when you get yourself into exercise you always feel better for it. 

Exercising this week has helped me de-stress and switch off temporarily. 

Tomorrow I am weighing myself to see what progress I've made this week.

I'm really hoping to see something positive.

This week I've stuck to eating healthily, within my recommended calorie allowance to lose weight, for all seven days of the week.

In terms of exercise I've done my workout DVD (30 Day Shred) for five of the seven days. 

Fingers crossed as well as benefiting me to help relax, this week's food and exercise efforts have helped me lose weight and get fitter too. 

Until tomorrow's weigh-in...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Two weeks on: bringing back the balance

I met up with a close friend a few days back and she reminded me of my plans to blog about my diet and exercise.

Of course those of you who read my posts regularly will know that I haven't actually done this.

The reason being? I didn't get off to a great start if I'm honest.

On Sunday 11th May I started off my 30 Day Shred workout DVD and in the main stuck to my calorie limit.

And then? I ate healthily but I didn't do any exercise again during the week.

I'm pleased to say that things are now looking up again (of course they are that's why I'm blogging!) 

I've now completed 9 days of level one of the 30 Day Shred and I've eaten healthily.

The balance is still there as I pigged out last Sunday at a family BBQ and I've been out for meals. When I'm eating out at restaurants I'm staying within my recommended calorie intake this time and logging my diet and exercise on MyFitnessPal.

I finally seem to be getting back on the fitness 'wavelength' again. 

It's paying off.

Since starting 'The Shred' I've lost 5lbs in weight and lowered my body fat and BMI as a result. 

I've still made plans and kept a social life.

Yesterday I went on a bit of a shopping spree and was pleased to see I'm still fitting in size 12 clothes in the main too. 

Let's hope I manage to keep it up and keep blogging about it! 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Selfish? Me?

A thought for the day.

I'm always having a whinge about other people nowadays. How rude people are with their manners and mainly how selfish they are.

Common courtesy and helping others tends to go out the window a lot now.

Everyone seems to be worried about what's in it for me. 

At work we often get annoyed how someone couldn't take time out just to reply to emails or update us.

Me and my fiancé get frustrated at the selfish people who never let us drive out of our turning where I live.

Today I was due to meet my old closest university friend at Stratford Westfield for a long awaited catch up.

A few hours before we were due to meet I checked the National Rail app and found the trains had delays. The extent of those delays kept changing.

I noticed the reason for the delays - a person had been hit by a train at Ilford.

I let my friend know and we tried to see if we could still meet.

In the end we postponed our catch up.

We were both fuming.

I took to Twitter to complain - of course! - and the rail company Tweeted me back with the reason. 

All day I've been moaning about my plans being cancelled.

The fact is someone got hit by a train today and can only imagine they sadly lost their life. A family lost a loved one.

Did I stop to consider that? 

All I've been worried about is moaning about my plans.

Who's the selfish one now? 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Putting things in perspective

I've been feeling pretty fed up the last few weeks. Whether it's through work, or stressing in my personal life, regarding the property fun and games. 

I finished work nearly 90 minutes late today and got home exhausted. 

I've been finding it really hard to exercise and eat healthily lately and have been getting down about that too as I can see where I've put on weight.

Tomorrow's set to be pretty horrendous at work again too. 

And don't get me started on panicking about the future and finances. 

Now, I'm sat on my sofa in my PJs and relaxing, deciding to put aside exercise and insurance quote hunting/conveyancing checklisting for tonight.

Then I look on social media and take time to read properly some key items from today. One jumps out. 

Stephen Sutton, an incredibly brave young man who was battling cancer and raising awareness, has sadly passed away.

I've also switched on 24 Hours in A&E on the TV and only a few minutes in I'm faced with heartbroken families and tales of people suddenly struck down with life threatening conditions.

You know what suddenly things don't seem quite so bad after all, do they? 

Monday, 12 May 2014

Day 2 of bringing back the balance

In order to attempt to restore balance in more ways than one (or perhaps to get the excuses in early!) I'm thinking I may not be doing my workout DVD when I get home this evening.

Yesterday, as you'll know from my blog, I did my workout DVD (30 Day Shred, my trusty favourite) for the first time in a long time - in fact the first exercise I've done in about 3 weeks!

Today I had a course on Investor Relations and Financial Markets at work (contrary to what you'd think it was actually rather interesting). As a result I'd be on the course and unavailable 9-430, therefore I did some work on the train in and got into the office half hour early. 

As is typical with most of us these days in the working world any lunch or tea 'breaks' were spent back at my desk doing work. 

Knowing I had to be in early must have been playing on my mind as I just could not sleep last night. You know those situations where you wake up every half hour and on the hour? So much fun!

This morning as a result I awoke shattered and in turn super achey from my exercise attempt on Sunday.

Throughout the day my muscles, in particular my quads (thighs) have got tighter and more sore, to the extent as I walk it feels like my legs might burst!

I'm cranky, tired, have had no fresh air all day and am super sore. 

Add to that brain melt from all-day training and I'm not in the best of places for this evening.

Nope I'm not already talking about doing my workout.

Oh no I'm talking about the long phonecall I have this evening with my fiancé and our mortgage broker. We're going to be talking losing your job, getting injured and dying. Well, moreso critical illness cover, lifetime protection and the like.

I did thankfully leave work 15-20 mins 'early' today so am now on the commute home.

Right now I'm really not keen on doing any form of exercise when I arrive home.

Of course, as a result, I am now starting to feel guilty and to be honest a bit of a failure, for on the second day only thinking of not doing the workout.

Am I being lazy and a failure? Or am I being sensible letting my muscle repair and recognising I am exhausted?

Help! Please answer!

I either need reassurance I'm okay and doing what's best, or if not a virtual kick up the a*se to get myself in gear.

Please do tell me what one... You've got about 30 minutes before I crash on the sofa and eat my dinner (healthy of course !)

Oh and not wanting to sway your judgement or anything but I thought you should know:

At breakfast at the course there were freshly baked croissants and biscuits.
I had my light yoghurt and a low fat cereal bar

I drank over 1.5 litres of water.
Not tons of the coffee and tea in the training.

At lunch they'd ordered in Pret sandwiches, crisps, juice and biscuits/cakes/sweet treats. 
I went to my desk to check work emails and ate my homemade salad.

In the afternoon the temptations remained.
I snacked on my mango chunks and then some low fat crisps when downstairs.

So? What should I do? 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Busy Bookworm

I last blogged about my reading antics in January. I'd read 4 books.

Now we're in May and I'm onto my 17th read.

Surely I don't need to say it, but I love reading. I find it's truly one of the things that can really relax me.

Whether reading before I go to sleep to unwind and make me sleepy, on a break from work or on the commute to make me switch off. 

I've read a mixture of books over the last few months - some I downloaded on my Kindle, those I'd been recommended by others and also books leant to me. 

I may start blogging after each read again, we shall see. 

For now here's a very quick summary:

The Hidden Cottage by Erica James

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

The White Witch of Rosehall by Herbert G. De Lisser

Vivien's Heacenly Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements 

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

My James: The Heartrending Story of James Bulger by His Father by Ralph Bulger, Rosie Dunn

Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup

The Never List by Koethi Zan

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Longbourn by Jo Baker 

Cold Killing by Luke Delaney

Don't Let Me Go by Susan Lewis

14 were fiction 
2 were non fiction

I'm now on to book number 17 The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, which I've heard very mixed reviews about. 

Any recommendations of new reads I should try let me know!