08 September, 2015

#WIDN - September

I like to make mental lists of all things that I have to look forward to on any given day, in any given week, for the remainder of the year. On a bad day, it helps to see past whatever sh*t you might be wading through, and on a good day it's just really exciting to think about all the things that put the icing on your metaphorical cake. Incidentally, the Bake Off is currently one of the things on my list.

Sometimes I focus on big things, like holidays and dreams for the future, and other times it's just about the small things, the little islands that carry us from dawn to dusk each day.

At the moment, I am enjoying a few new things in my world. Partly because it's that time of year - GBBO! Chunky knits! #MICLA! - and partly because I'm immersing myself in a whole new chapter of my life, a fresh world and a different horizon.

These are some of the things currently making my days, painting a smile on my face (quite literally #6) and helping me to love life.

What are you enjoying this year?


1. Netflix
I was such a late adopter of Netflix it's a wonder they even took me on. Now, I couldn't spend a better £6.99 every month. Having refused to partake for the best part of my online life, I have finally discovered that Orange really is the new Black, that Homeland is 100% where the heart is, and that DVD box-sets are pure retro.

2. Having my own daymn car

It is probably a gift that I haven't been driving as long as most (to say I had a speeding ticket within two weeks of passing and have no sense of direction to speak of) but man I'm happy to have discovered the joys not only of driving, but having MY. OWN.VEHICLE. The independence, the freedom, the thrill of cruising with the petrol warning light shining bright in your eyes...It be tiny, it break my bank, it might emulate pure Noddy, but it's mine and it matches so many of my clothes.

3. First signs of Autumn

I am not the first person to say this, but I'll say it anyway. Autumn may not be Summer but it rocks in it's own colourful way and I have been permanently excited since the temperature dropped. Mainly because of leaves, cardigans/coats/boots, THE HEATING, and all of Autumn TV. Rock ON.

4. Eating*

Meals. Food. Thinking about food. Talking about food. Making food. Eating food. Looking at other people's food. Cooking. Baking. Watching other people baking. Shopping for food. Browsing menus of eateries on the other side of the world and planning what I'll eat when I go there in 2019. That is normal.

*this has been a constant since 1986 and is not specific to now.

5. Having pen-pals. Plural.

For one so online and so very social media, I do love a traditional correspond. And I am happy to announce that I've this year secured my self a few pen-pals. Not only do I get to buy out half of Paperchase, I get to receive the other half back through my letterbox. Never again will a motivational postcard go un-bought.


I feel mainly naked if I leave the house without Lipstick on. Some days it's my armor. When I am ill, it makes me FEEL better to look brighter. When I am happy it matches my mood. When I am exhausted at life it averts the eyes so you won't notice the attractive saggy bags under mine. I am currently sporting Heroine by Mac, as inspired by Hannah Gale, and I feel like a Heroine in it.

7. Friends. The actual ones.

Okay, okAY. So we all love our friends. But still, mine need a mention here. They have stepped all the way up in what's been a transitional year for me. They have made me laugh, sent me cards, got me (very) drunk, kept me sane, made me proud, inspired me, amazed me, humoured me and basically just been the absolute balls. Thank you, friends. If birds of a feather really do stick together then I must be awesome because you guys rock my world.

8. Autumn viewing

How timely that just when you want to swap your stilettos for slippers and your wine for...sofa wine, we're being fully seduced by the new series of everything. X Factor has slipped out of my life this past few years, but I am so excited to say it's making a full comeback. No, I do not care that you judge me, I just wish it was Rita Ora and Simon Cowell judging me so that I could go back stage and meet Caroline of Flack fame. And let's not forget, Bake Off, Made in Chelsea, Luther, Downton Abbey (Admittedly I don't actually watch this, but who knows what might happen this year) and, okay, football.

9. Planning my H O L I D A Y

I am THAT person who is going away really late in the year. November to be precise. We are annoying people, because we're currently moaning that everyone is going away except us, and that we really need a break. But then we're just bragging about the awesome trip we have planned and how everyone else will be back and we will be like BYE. Being a bit serious, this is the first time I will ever have had more than a week's holiday in all my career, AND it's my first bit of time off all year. Given the year it's been, I am clinging on for dear life for the moment I can just lie down in the sun for 14 days straight, and maybe squeeze in some culture. Thailand tips - welcome.

10. Horizon broadening

I have long since been one to go out there and just soak up life, giving it everything I have got in return, but nothing inspires that more than a big life change. 

This year I have done so many new things, ventured into new territory, faced new fears and challenges, done so much by myself, for myself. I am loving just saying yes to all the adventures life throws my way. There are times in life when you need to stand still, and enjoy where you are, and there are times when you need to move forward, reach further, and travel to horizons you didn't even know were a thing.

11. Grande Americano with hot skimmed milk an a sweetener, please

I only started drinking the bean-based caffeine drug a few months ago and am now a full addict. I love that now I don't need to be boring and order "English breakfast tea" when I go to a coffee shop. I get a biscotti free with my beverage (why don't they give you that when you order tea?) and a pretty pattern on my foam. And I can Instagram my name on a cup with the best of them. Some days, you just need the caffeine  equivalent of a hug and a chat with your best-friend, and I really feel Starbucks can give that to me. Americanyes!

12. Writing again

13. Mapping my run

Running has only ever been for pleasure for me - it's my meditation, my exercise, my inspiration  and my strength. It's only recently I started tracking my distance, time and pace. And, man, does it make you work harder. Sometimes I leave the app at home, if I want a bit of headspace, but most of the time now I track every step. I know the pace I am working towards and I run to that. It can be frustrating on a slow day, but the exhilaration of getting a PB or seeing how far you have run - that's truly something. Currently I am using Map my Run but word on the street is I might switch to Strava. Who knows what could happen.

14. Funny, strong, bright women

Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham - I know it is a cliche that I love you, but for every hilarious speech I see you give, and every inspiring word you write, I give in to that cliche just a little bit more.

15. Actual Cannibal Shia LaBoeuf 

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