One vivid (and brilliant) memory

The very final task on the Blog Every Day in May challenge is to discuss/share/talk about a vivid memory. [As soon as I read this prompt I broke into ‘memories, memories, looking back on our memories’ in my head, because of course you know singing helps my mind and sometimes you have to embrace the inner weird in your head!] Anyway back to the point of me typing right this second, the blog challenge – the final day, can you believe it! I bet you’ll miss my random daily ponderings, not! Whilst I admittedly have a rubbish memory when it comes to some things – compliments people have played to me, important moments in my life, etc – there are some things that refuse to budge from my mind. Not that I need them to or want them to, you understand, but they are the memories I know will never leave me no matter how old and grey I get and one of those memories I’ll share with you now.

One April day back in 1993, when I was just shy of 8, my parents called my Sister and I into their room one morning to tell us something. Being a typical self-obsessed almost eight year old my brain assumed it was going to be all about my upcoming birthday party, so I was expecting something along the lines of: ‘What do you want as a present?’, ‘Will another cuddly toy dog or set of My Little Pony’s do?’ or ‘What do you want to do to celebrate?’ (FYI the answers would have been as follows: yes, yes and Chessington, please!). But no my parents had big news up their sleeve that would irrevocably change my life forever and ever in the best possible way as they announced that we would have a new brother or sister in just six months.

Even though I’m a twin, up to that point I’d always been slightly seen as the youngest child  and I was always happy to play up to that role. So you might think I would be devastated to have that role usurped in the family. But no, I was just unbelievably excited and my first thought (which I voiced) was: Does that mean Laura and I can get bunk beds now? (prior to this they’d not been allowed). Swiftly followed by the decision that Laura and I would be naming the new baby, whether the parental units liked that or not, and then off I merrily hopped to brush the lengthening hair of my purple carthorse My Little Pony. Clearly having a nother sibling wasn’t as earth-shattering for me as my parents had anticipated and they even agreed to our name choices hence Bex is formally known as Rebecca (Lau) Charlotte (me). I’m so glad that I reacted how I did to the news of an impending arrival, not that I would have stayed upset/disappointed/angry/jealous or anything else for long once Beccabear arrived, but it still pleases me that I was excited about her even when she was a tiny creature. She’s such an important person to me now, in all her cheerful, happy, friendly, non-judgemental, hilarious way, that I’d hate her to know there was a tiny part of me that didn’t want her to arrive even if only for a fleeting moment as a nearly eight year old freckly little girl.


Me and the Noodle (two very tired sisterlings)


Letting Go

React to this term: Letting Go

I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m not good at letting go. This very clearly stems from my refusal to lose control in any situation as I worry too much about the what ifs. Whenever I’m presented with something that is out of my control, or different I find myself asking a mix of questions, such as: ‘Will I look like an idiot if I do this?’, ‘Will I know what to do?’, ‘Will I be good at this new sport/activity?’, ‘Will I do it right?’, ‘Will the bungee rope break?’, ‘What if this makes me ill?’, ‘Will I like it if this ride goes too fast?’ or ‘Will this new person think I’m a complete imbecile if I just start talking to them?’. I know it’s an illogical fear as in reality what’s the worse that can happen, so I do try to let go of these fears at times and I am often pleasantly surprised at what I achieve or how much enjoyment I get. But no matter the positives of an experience there’s still that concern and worry the next time I’m presented with something new and unusual.

Admittedly this isn’t the best post I’ve ever written, but it’s possibly one of the most honest, as I know that my inability to let go of my fears is a huge issue if I don’t want to miss out on things and it’s honestly something I’m working hard on. but it’s most definitely a work in progress.

A musical top five

Wow day 29 of the blog every day in May challenge has arrived – how did that happen so quickly! It feels like I posted the 250 word task just last week, and not 28 days ago. Amazingness. I think I’ve enjoyed the challenge, even if sometimes it’s been a little bit uncomfortable or tricky to talk about certain things, hopefully you’ve enjoyed all the posts so far. So for today’s post the aim is to: share five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Oh I don’t even know where to start with this one, as I have so many favourite songs that remind me of certain important moments and funny stories, decisions decisions. Although you have to promise not to desert my blog because of my musical tastes!

Scott Grimes – Livin’ on the Run. This song screams Summer road trip to me. As the Summer after I finished university my sisters and I played this album non-stop whilst on our Summer holiday in Dorset. We’d have it on full blast and constantly on repeat and it was the perfect summer soundtrack. I love Scott Grimes, such an underated musician and this album is absolutely brilliant!

Norah Jones – Long Day is Over. This is such a beautiful song and the lyrics are lovely. This was one of the songs that we played at my Grandma’s funeral, and as a result if reminds me of here, which makes me love it even more.

Black Eyes Peas – I got a Feeling. This is the song that I associate most with buying my current flat. It seemed to be on in the Winter of 2009/2010 every time we were at a major stage of the house buying process. When we got offered our mortgage. Check. When we drove up to view the flat for the first time. Check. When we found out our offer had been accepted. Check. When we spent day after day painting every single wall or piece of wood in the flat. Check. So ever since as soon as I hear those familiar few beats I’m tapping my toes, nodding my head, like a total weirdo and grinning inanely!

Westlife – Flying without Wings. I was a massive Westlife fan when I was younger, so it would be incredibly wrong if I didn’t include at least one song by them on this list. I took my time deciding which one as a lot of them have connotations with various moments in my life, but I settled on this one in the end as it’s my all-time favourite and the lyrics are lovely.

30 Seconds to Mars – This is War. I only recently heard this song for the first time when it was part of a video for the Harry Potter series of books and it blew me away. It’s such a powerful and brilliant song, which fits absolutely perfect with the characters and events of Harry Potter and I love it so much that it’s rocketed straight up to the top of my list of most favourite songs ever! It’s the perfect solution whenever you’re feeling a little melancholy or in need of a good old sing song!

My Favourites in pictures

Day 28 of Blog every day in May – only pictures

The West Wing – friends – family – books – baking – mini eggs – travelling – the beach – the countryside – London – running – snow – cocktails – Disney – Pixar – coffee – fun nails – Christmas

Letter writing woes

On the blog today as part of the Blog every day in May challenge I’m meant to write a letter to the readers of my blog, yet I can’t think of anything to say, that’s a bit rubbish for a blogger isn’t it?! But in my defense I’m still fairly amazed that this blog has any readers, let alone the 96 it supposedly has according to the clicker on the left of the page. So instead of writing a letter to you that will mostly be waffle as that’s what I do when I don’t know what to say, have you noticed that?,  I thought I’d discussing the writing of letters generally as this is something that I keep meaning to do more of.

When it comes to letter writing I don’t do it at all. Don’t get me wrong I do write postcards and thank you notes to people, but I’ve not written a long letter that’s more than a side of A5 for I don’t know how long. I always seem to revert to shorthand and quick notes to people if I’m sending them something, that’s if I even send them something physical  Most of the time I’ll just send an email or text message as it’s easier. Thinking about it, this is a huge shame, as there’s something so lovely about getting an unexpected piece of post, and wondering who it’s from and then reading the words that someone else has taken the time to pen just for you. It’s nice to run your hands over the page and feel the indentations and realise that this person has taken the time to think about you and has touched the paper you now have in your hands. It’s a great way of feeling close to someone isn’t it? Something that you don’t ever think about when you receive a text or email – something that’ so more impersonal.

If you think about it it’s quite sad that we won’t really receive letters from our loved ones, that we’ll be able to keep and show to our children or grandchildren when we’re older. It’s unlikely that we’ll leave behind a box of letters or cards that show our ancestors how we lived, what was important to us or who meant enough to us that we wrote to them on a regular basis. Instead we’ll leave behind a Facebook account or Twitter handle that has random status updates or @ messages along with an inbox they won’t be able to access and even if they could they’d just see a collection of random emails about money off vouchers, etc. One of the most important things I found when sorting through my Grandma’s house after she died was her collection of cards and letters that her grandchildren had sent over the years. Opening that box sent me into a fresh wave of tears, more than when she actually died, as I was struck with absolute love for my Grandma  and profound sadness that I’d never again be able to send her something that she would treasure so much and yet absolute pride that she’d found my little notes and postcards important enough to keep for so long. I remember thinking on that day that should I make more of an effort when it came to letters to those that I love, even if they life close by and yet I haven’t done anything of the sort. This is something that I’m going to rectify and do something about over the coming weeks, as everyone loves to get letters.

Fingers crossed you don’t mind that I’ve not written you a letter, but if I had all your addresses I promised I would! On that note, does anyone want a pen pal or is there a site where you can find pen pals. That might be fun to do!

A lazy lately post – sorry!

My week in bullets (because I’m having too much of a lazy bank holiday weekend to make this post have proper sentences and on Monday morning I’ll be otherwise engaged running a 10k so have to write this post now and schedule it for then):

  • A lovely lunchtime catch up with a friend who has got married and had a baby since I last saw her. Hence lots of Leon food, nattering and news sharing on Monday lunchtime.
  • Finally seeing The Great Gatsby, what feels like a year after I originally saw the trailer. My thoughts on it: epic, tragic, colourful, amazing, spectacular, awesome casting, better than the book, glamorous, fantastic. I absolutely hated the book as I found the characters unappealing and hard to sympathise with, but Baz Luhrman managed to turn that opinion on its head with his film, as I found I could empathise with (most of) the characters and actually found this tragic love story interesting.
  • Home made pizza
  • More West Wing episodes – including the death of my favourite character. Somehow I contained the tears.
  • Sunshine on the one day I walked in to work
  • Devastation for the family of the soldier killed in Woolwich – I honestly can’t comprehend some aspects of that case. Truly horrifying, the poor people who had to bear witness to the dreadful attack, and his poor family. It’s heartbreaking.
  • Anger at the way people/groups/campaigners have hooked on to the story and are using it to further their agenda – shame on them.
  • Last minute panicking about a 10k – ekk!
  • Attack of the Pringles and Marvellous Creations – I honestly have no willpower whatsoever when these two food items are involved
  • An epic work meeting that went marvellously – phew!
  • Birthday celebrations at work, you can’t beat macaroons from Paul as a birthday cake substitute
  • Sunday laziness. I’ve done nothing but a food shop, reading, blogging and coffee drinking today
  • Falling asleep on the sofa at 10pm on Friday night as I’m a total work lightweight
  • 8.30 am conference calls = hell.
  • Day trips to sunny Surrey
  • Spending far too much on dresses, that’s a post for another day, but on the plus side I’ve discovered a new favourite outfit for the summer and winter
  • Wearing black tights in May – WTF!
  • An epic cleaning session, I forget how satisfying dusting is!
  • Saturday night dinner at a country pub – bliss
  • Laughter and fun times with family and friends and remembering how lucky I am with the people in my life
  • Watching  finale episodes of two of my favourite shows: Grey’s Anatomy and Arrow – Heartbreaking and epic in equal measures.

Addicted to Books

The task for day 26 of Blog every day in May is to blog about something you read online. There are a number of things I’ve seen online over the last few days, which I will share with you in the not too distant future, but I chose the below link for today’s challenge as it fitted nicely into a planned post that I’ve had on my mind for a few days anyway. So it seemed silly not to combine the two and kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. So below is the link to the BuzzFeed article I want to talk about.

25 signs you’re addicted to books

When I saw this, via the medium of Twitter, I literally laughed at each point as each and every one of these images and GIFs describes me/is me to a ‘T’. It’s actually a little bit spooky if I’m honest. I particularly liked point number seven because I way prefer Winter partly because then I don’t feel guilty for sitting inside all day with a good book. Which point describes you all the best, or is just me that’s a bit of a book freak?

Although, to be honest I’ve not been feeling the usual love for books over the past month or so.  As I discussed in this post on my 2013 Book Challenge progress I’m finding it increasingly hard to get into a book and concentrate on a book – something that it usually far from a problem for me. Case in point, is that since the 4th of April, when I blogged about my March reading habits, I’ve only read five books. That’s five books in almost eight weeks, not up to my usual standard at all – I just don’t know what’s wrong with me. This concentration issue has really set me back on my Good Reads reading challenge, and I don’t like it AT ALL.

      2013 Reading Challenge

          2013 Reading Challenge
        Fi has
read 15 books toward her goal of 52 books.
        15 of 52 (28%)
          view books

However, I actually think I’m starting to turn a corner, as over the last week I’ve finished one book, which I absolutely loved and started another, which I’m already enjoying a lot, so that’s got to be a good sign, right? I hope so anyway as I’ve got a lot of work to do over the coming weeks if I want to hit 26 books by the end of June, that’s roughly two books a week for the next five weeks. Fingers crossed I can do it.l I want to feel like the people in images 2 and 23 of that BuzzFeed article again sooner rather than later as I like those feelings, I know those feelings – they are much better than the lost feeling I’m currently experiencing.

Think before you speak

Blog every day in May challenge, day 25 – something someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget (good or bad)

Whilst pondering this post, which I’ve been doing for the last week or so, I came to the conclusion that my memory is shocking. I don’t seem to be able to remember anything important these days. Don’t get me wrong I remember some stuff, I don’t have Alzheimers after all. The things I remember though are not necessarily the big things (or the things that are pertinent for the Blog every day in May challenge), they are things like the name of the song that’s on a certain episode of Grey’s, what Ross says in reply to Rachel in an episode of Friends series seven or which film has starred both Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore (do you know?!). But when it comes to remembering things about my life I have a much harder time. I mean take today’s task, I’m struggling to think of much at all. My silly mind isn’t quite playing ball! Eventually I managed to come up with something that has always stuck in my mind.

‘Your sarcasm will get you into trouble one day, if you don’t think before you speak.’

This gem comes from my dad who it seems was proved right a few times since this statement was made, as I do have a tendency to make a silly sarcastic remark without thought and then people are offended. A prime example of this was a conversation I had with a friend at university where I effectively called her a slut, oops. Clearly that wasn’t my intention but nonetheless that’s what it sounded like. Ever since that incident I’ve tried to think before I speak, but inevitably it doesn’t always work. But hey at least I’m trying!

Just three bad traits

So when asked to write about my top three worst traits, I of course came up with about 20 bad traits in my head didn’t I?! So I’ve spent the last ten minutes trying to choose my worst three and I think I’ve finally decided (I think that’s possibly a sign of my inability to make a decision – a bad trait yes, but not one of my worst!). So back to the bad points about myself.

I have a lack of willpower – whether it’s when faced with a bag of peanut m&m’s, a Starbucks grande mocha or part way through a 10k run, my willpower always seems to desert me at the most inopportune moments.

A suffer from a severe lack of confidence – I hate putting myself in situations with new people or when I’m not sure what to expect. I’m rubbish at making conversation with people when I don’t know what they like or what they do and I’m always concerned that I’ll  make a total idiot of myself by saying something stupid or doing something ridiculous.

I love a good old gossip – Yes I admit it I’m a bit of a gossip and I’m also not great with secrets. It’s not done in a malicious way at all but I just seem to have a thing about sharing news. I try to kid myself that I’m doing a service by keeping people informed but let’s be honest it’s not is it – it’s a bad thing. Hence why I’ve popped it in my worst traits post!

Eurgh, things I’ve learnt whilst writing this post? That I hate this sort of thing – I should not spend so long pondering my own issues. Now where’s the chocolate? I have some serious emotions to eat.

Pinterest Corner #22 – Non school lessons and Pinterest learnings

Things I’ve learned that school didn’t teach me:

  • Bright coloured nail varnish is brilliant at cheering me up
  • Whatever the problem, cake is always the answer
  • Friends and family are THE most important thing in your life. They are the ones who will be with you through thick and thin
  • The ability to escape to an entirely new world through the pages of a book or via a film can be life altering
  • A smile is one of the most beautiful visions in the world and a laughing fit is one of the best feelings ever
  • and finally, I’ll leave you with these two very sound pieces of advice from the wonderful world of Pinterest:

source and source

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