Monday, 25 June 2012

Whilst I find a moment to breathe...

I think I say this in every post on my blog lately...but how QUICKLY is this year going?! It will be July next week. I just think it's crazy!!!

I just wanted to post a catch up really. I'd love to be able to post more regularly but just finding the time to sit at a PC for half an hour is a pleasure at the moment. Anyone else feel like that or is it just me?

1) I finally handed in my notice and my contract is signed for my new job. So it is officially official that I am leaving. I had a moment of panic last week and nearly asked for my notice back purely for fear of change. But I have to realise that change is healthy and I need to do something else. So my leaving date is the 25th July. I wanted to leave the following week but my manager put me on night duty over the days I am meant to be going to see the Olympics. Even though I requested those days off to go back in March (and was given the okay) she still put me on nights. So I'm having to leave a week before then. My provisional start date is Monday 6th August! Eekk!

2) This weekend Simon went to Spain with his Dad to play Golf and my parents went to Ibiza for 2 weeks. So that means I am home alone with my two younger siblings. They have already filled the living room up with pizza boxes and cola cans....

3) This weekend coming up I am going to Henley Regatta! It is a formal rowing event that takes place annually. A bit like Ascot for horse racing, this is for rowing! I have never been and I am really looking forward to it. I just hope the weather holds out. I would LOVE mother nature to make it a good day weather wise! I also really like my dress for it. I will share more next week.

4) A big CONGRATULATIONS to my blog friend Callie who is expecting her second baby! She already has stinkingly cute Wyatt so I am so pleased she has another on the way. I remember when Callie struggled to conceive Wyatt. So for her to have the blessing of having another is a true gift!

5) I have been a terrible aunty. And I really mean that. Cohen is now 8 weeks old and I have only seen him 3 times. My Mum and other siblings have seen him way more but because of work I just haven't had the time. But this coming Friday I get to spend all afternoon with him and I really cannot wait. It's been long overdue! Here are some updated pictures of him. He is a spit of his Daddy!

 He started smiling last week which is so darn adorable. He can lift his head and he can also turn himself over which freaked Nicola out a little at first.

We nick name him 'Spud' because he has a potato head (like his Daddy!).

6) Last week Simon and I saw Rock of Ages in the cinema. Go see it! It's a great sing-a-along.

7) If you pray or can send good wishes to my friend Laura Anne then please do. A high school friend of hers (Cara) lost her friend (Sheree) from transplant rejection this weekend. It just highlights the importance of getting yourselves on the transplant list and giving blood. It saves lives and even though it didn't save Sheree's life it should be a legacy of hers to get more people to sign up! It takes only a few moments. Do something good in death as well as life.

8) We just booked a trip to go to the Lake District in Cumbria for 3 days in mid July. We're taking our bikes up with us to go cycling around the lakes. It's on my bucket list so I am really excited to go!

9) 7 weeks until I go on holiday with the girls to see Oli in Menorca. I need some sun. The weather in England is depressing. Some "summer" we're having!

10) I love making cards on the internet at the moment. You can personalise them, change the fonts etc and I think it is way more fun. Plus, it costs the same as buying them in the shop. It was my Mum's birthday last week and I made a card for her through MoonPig. Here is one I did for my friend Jaimie last week. She really wants a Micro Pig so we gave her one!

Oh and that's another thing... if any of you are happy to email me your home addresses I would love love love to send you snail mail someday or birthday greetings. My address is on my contact page. 

That's pretty much what is happening in the world of me lately. 

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Lovely Blog

Over the last two weeks I have been given a blog award. I'm sorry it's talekn a while Holly and Laura Anne to get round to posting about it!

I was given the Lovely Blog award. I love this ladies and thank you very much for giving it to me!

So now in order to keep the lovely blog award love moving I need to nominate 15 other blogs that I think are L-O-V-E-L-Y and have L-O-V-E-L-Y people who post on them.

And now I have to share 7 random facts about me. Since I have been blogging a while I think I will struggle to bring up new material.

1) I have recently fallen in love with cooking. Up until last year I would much preferred to have eaten out most nights. But since I have started cooking I much prefer some of my meals!

2) I have a scar at the top of my forehead from when I was 9 years old. I was playing shadows with my friend and fell into a fence with a nail sticking out. I ripped my forehead and now I have a lovely scar there.

3) I have a dark birthmark on the back of my right leg. It only really appears when I have been in the sun.

4) If I ever get to go on honeymoon my holiday destination will be Bora Bora!

5) I LOVE my leggings! I wish they were part of pyjama sets!

6) I am not really into all the "bad luck" (e.g. opening an umbrella inside) nonsense but I don't like walking over triple drains. Don't ask me why!

7) This July (25th) will be my 5th year if blogging. It has gone crazy fast!!!


Friday, 15 June 2012

New Job. New happier me.

I'm sorry it has taken a while getting around to posting this. If you follow me on twitter or are friends with me through Facebook then you will know the news.

I got the job I applied for!!!

I feel so much happier in myself and I am looking forward to the new challenge. The interview process was not as plain sailing as I expected. I turned up on Friday and found out the lady who needed to interview me (hospital director) had to go home sick. She left me this very sweet apology note and I was interviewed instead by another lady. However, I still needed to be interviewed by this other lady too so I had to go for another interview on Tuesday. 

Anyway a lot of questions and hand shaking later I got the call that I have been offered the most senior post with a pay rise. I am over the moon.

I will now be working in the private sector but under the NHS provider. For those who are not familiar with our health service we have a National Health Service (NHS) which is free for everyone and we all pay mandatory tax to fund it. However, we also have the private sector where you can buy health plans (which I am guessing is a little similar to the US?) and that is optional. The private sector has been hit quite badly from the recession with less people taking out private healthcare. However, due to the sheer number of people using the NHS and all the bed shortages. We now have the private sector taking on some of the NHS load. To me it still sounds a little confusing! But I will be the lead person helping the hospital making that transition and once complete I will then be a senior surgical nurse on the wards there.

I need this change. I kinda need a break from the NHS too and plus my long term goal is to do health visiting either next year or the year after. So I need to show progression into other areas and sectors on my CV.

Although nervous I am really looking forward to joining a smaller sector and a smaller team. I start in August! Wish me luck and thank you everyone for the congratulations. They have meant the world!!!

The day I found out Simon and I decided to celebrate so we took a trip to London. We went to Buckingham Palace and took a walk down the Mall. It was still decorated from the jubilee a week before which was really cool. Then we went to London Dungeons and then saw We Will Rock You which we LOVED!!! 

It was the best day!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Friendship Series: 1) Making Friends.

Callie over at Through Clouded Glass has started a Friendship series which I just LOVE the idea of! The friendships I have made over the years have become some of my favourite people and I treasure them beyond belief.


This week's topic is about starting friendships but I'll also talk about what I think makes a good friend and the social media aspect of 'making' friends too.

I guess I count myself quite lucky as I have always found it easy to make friends with people. I am quite outgoing and love to talk! So making conversation in the initial stages of forming friendships has come quite easily to me. I don't think there is a set way to making friends. I think it is a natural process unlike that of meeting a potential partner (you know all that rubbish about reaching certain bases etc!)

I think my only downfall when starting friendships is that I am quite opinionated. I form an opinion of whether I like someone or not in the first couple of minutes. If I am not keen on that person then I won't bother trying to form a friendship. And although I hate to admit that and it may not sound so nice it is just how I have always been. So I guess having that way of thinking could have stopped me from making great friends!

Instead of trying to make sense of how to make friends I thought I would talk about how I met some of my best friends and how that developed.

I met my best friend Kathryn at school. We met at the lunch table in the hall in year seven and have pretty much been best friends since. I remember we just talked at lunch and then we had a few classes together where I we got told off for talking when teacher was teaching. After a couple of months we started going shopping/cinema/sleepovers on the weekend and since then going through school, college, university and now our careers together.

                                    Kath and I at age 15.        Kath and I last year - 7 years later.

I met Oli on holiday in Menorca. I was playing sharks in a yellow plastic boat and he joined in on the game. I remember we chatted in that boat all afternoon and even though we live in different countries we still make a resolute effort to talk all the time and see each other a couple of times a year!

                                      Oli and I in 2007                      Oli and I in Barcelona this year

I don't think making friends should be an effort at all. I know some people are quieter and are encouraged to join clubs and groups etc to help them interact. But if you are going to be friends with someone then the whole getting to know them, the of sharing life and seeing each other should never be an issue but just apart of life.

This may sound really cheesy but I think the most important aspect of being a good friend is to just be who you are. There is nothing worse than getting to know the fake side of someone! Because at the end of the day you want a friend who will stick with you when you have an argument, who will see you cry, who will offer support in hard times and encourage you when the going gets tough. You want a friend who will cheer you on, who will go through major life events with you and most importantly I know I want a friend who will still be my friend even when I make silly mistakes, or not hold it against me when I cant see them as much as I want to at times.To just be totally accepting of who you are and vice versa!

I think this is one reason I love social media. The internet, blogging and things like facebook and twitter have made it so much easier to make new friends because we share so much of our lives on there! I have even met some bloggers like Laura Anne in Edinburgh, Ruth in London and April in Vegas! And rather than call them virtual friends I'd like to think of them as more than just acquaintances now. Simply they know who I am, what I like and we're there for each other in our own little way on the net and beyond.

Here I am with Ruth, Laura Anne and Mike in November 2011 - all whom I met through social networking. We had just been to the theatre together here.

I could not live without my friends and I look back fondly at each of them and how we met on many occasions.

If you want to take part in Callie's Friendship series then please click this link to find out more.

Thanks, friends.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Jubilee - Long Live The Queen.

I think I can speak for the whole of the UK and Common Wealth that this jubilee weekend will go down in history.

I know I have said in the past that I am not a huge fan of the Royal Family. I think if they paid taxes then I might feel a little less hostile towards them. In saying that there is one thing I do love about having a monarchy. 

They make me feel very patriotic and extremely proud, at times like the jubilee, to be British. I know I am biased but I love being British. I love my country and it will always be my home. I adore our history and the traditions and cultures we have created. And I know the British monarchies have had a major influential role in that. 

Just sometimes we lose sight of that and that is one thing the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations allowed me to reflect on. That in a time where the world seems constantly under attack, where there's so much unjust in the news and rivalry between nations...that sometimes you forget where your roots are and don't celebrate it enough. 

I think it's a fantastic achievement for the Queen to reach 60 years in reign. Yet, despite some of my opinions on certain members of the Royals they have brought a lot good to the world and helped me realise that we're all in it together.

Plus, the UK know how to put one one heck of a party! I was on holiday when they did the flotilla along the Thames. But on Monday night Simon and I watched the Jubilee concert which I thought was fantastic!!!!!

It wasn't just the music. It was the waving of the flags, the sheer volume of people dancing and letting themselves go, the way Buckingham Palace was lit up. It was absolutely brilliant! And the following day watching the fly past and salute to the Queen. Amazing!

Prince Charles did a really moving speech to his Mummy I thought. What stuck with me was when he said this "Thank you for your selfless duty....thank you for making us proud to be British" and that will always stay with me.

This is my favourite picture from the jubilee celebrations. I love the London sky line, the fact that the UK lives up to it's rain and I just LOVE the rainbow. This country will always be the land of hope and glory to me.

Well done done Jubilee 2012 - jolly good show!!!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Malaga - Spain

Last week Simon and I went to Spain for a week in the city and resort of Malaga. We had the best time. With me feeling so burnt out and miserable at work it was nice to get away. Plus, Simon is one of them people who never uses up his holiday leave so it was a real treat to get him away from work too!

His parents have a house in Spain that they worked hard to save for. The house is stunning and set in the most beautiful mountains. I have never vacationed in mountains before - apart from when I stayed a night at Yosemite in March. If there is one thing you should know about Si's family is that they love Golf, and maybe I am pretty biased, but Simon and his Dad are awesome golf players!!! I love seeing the bond they share over it.

The weather was wonderfully hot and I have a little colour to show for it. I tried a hand at golf, drove a golf buggy for the first time and enjoyed eating out instead of cooking! The last 3 days of the trip Simon's parents joined us and it was nice to spend time with them as well. They're two of the nicest people you could hope to meet and the way Simon is with me is only a credit to the way they have brought him up.

Instead of showing you a select few pictures and talking about them, Simon made a video which I love. It shows where we stayed (you cant miss the majestic mountains!) and where we visited (Puerta Banus, Malaga, Mijas and Marbella). I hope you enjoy it!

In the reel there is a picture of a car radio saying 'Global' and hopefully this next spiel will clarify why it's such an odd one out. The song used in this video is one of my favourite songs ever!!!! Train - Drops of Jupiter. I fell in love with it years ago when it first came out but I could never chuck the CD of it when I went onto digital music. In 2008 I was standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower and a man next to me was singing this song. When I stood outside the Colosseum last September a band of guitarists were strumming to this, and whilst flying over the Grand Canyon in March the helicopter pilot told us "there will ever only be one song for this natural wonder"and a couple of minutes later this song played. It was then that I shed a few tears in the helicopter. I was flying over this amazing scenery and one of the best songs my ears have heard was playing. This songs means the world to me because I've noticed it seems to follow me proven on our last night in Malaga this song played just before we spent our last evening there. Since returning from California I have listened to it nearly everyday...and I now hope it becomes my wedding song. 

Oh I do miss the sunshine!

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