Summer loving…..and hating

Hello chaps and chapesses!


If you’re here in Britain you’ll have been baking in the heatwave we’ve been having over the last couple of weeks.  Lots of people have been loving the heat and the sunshine, but I’m not really a summery kind of girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I like a sunny day as much as the next person, but I’m more at home in jeans and boots and chunky scarves in the autumn and winter (and, let’s be honest, at least half of the spring in Britain…).  I’m just not as comfortable in the warm weather.

I have a love-hate relationship with summer – there are some things about it that are just glorious, and others that make me grumpy and irritable.

I love the light evenings, so we can take our time walking Toby, rather than rushing to take him out before it gets dark.

I hate the muggy, stifling heat that makes it feel like walking through treacle.

I love barbecues.  And picnics.  And beer gardens.  Eating and drinking al fresco in general.

I hate the flies, and the mosquito bites.

I love fresh summer strawberries.  Especially with ice cream.

I hate not being able to sleep properly at night.

I love painting my nails in seasonally bright colours.

I hate having to sit in a warm and stuffy office all day in the warm weather.

I love that my drive to work is quieter and quicker because there are no school buses.

I hate not being able to run as much in the summer – I physically can’t make my body do it when the weather is hot, I just have no energy.

I love being able to dry laundry outside.

I hate having to shave my legs more often so that I can wear shorts and skirts.

Are you a summer person?  Do you love the hot weather, or are you counting down to the first day you’ll have to wear a coat this autumn, like me?

52 Lists: What’s in my bag

Hello chaps and chapesses!

Is it just me, or do you find that the bigger handbag you have, the more stuff you find to fill it with?


Here’s what I’m currently carrying around with me every day:

1.  Purse

2.  Phone

3.  Diary

4.  Notebook

5.  At least 3 pens

6.  Lipstick and lipgloss

7.  Painkillers

8.  Address book

9.  Umbrella

10.  Sunglasses

11.  Hand cream

12.  Keys

13.  Hairbrush

14.  Chewing gum

15.  Compact mirror

What do you carry around in your bag?

The 52 Lists project was the really rather wonderful idea of Ema.


This week’s obsession

Hello chaps and chapesses!

I’m one of those people who goes through phases.  I come across something and I get really, really into it, and it becomes one of the only things I think about for a while.  And then it passes, and something else comes along and I do the same thing again.  I’m not talking about big, life-changing things like changing career or religion or anything, just more trivial, day-to-day stuff.

For instance, I’ve been pretty into Toby Stephens recently.  More specifically, Toby Stephens as Mr Rochester in the 2006 BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre.  I absolutely adore Jane Eyre, and I finished re-reading it for about the gazillionth time last week, and it got me thinking I’d like to watch that BBC version again.  If you haven’t seen it, or read the book for that matter, I highly recommend it.  As well as the lovely Toby, Ruth Wilson is brilliant as Jane.

I also do that thing where I get caught up in a book and fall a little bit in love with the leading man as well.  In literary terms, Mr Rochester was my first love, and boy does Toby Stephens do him justice!



There are loads of adaptations out there, but this one is my favourite.

You know how a lot of people say that Colin Firth is their favourite Mr Darcy?  Well, Toby Stephens is my favourite Mr Rochester.  I think he really brings out the sexy side of the character, and makes me fall for him all over again.  Rawrr.



Something about the wild mane of hair, and those great big sideburns.  Just look at that expression – doesn’t it make you go weak at the knees?  Even his eyebrows are hot!  And that suit – man how I love a good period drama!

Okay, I may be laying it on a bit thick, but you get what I mean, right.

Are you a Jane Eyre nut like me?  Who’s your favourite Mr Rochester?  What’s your favourite period drama?  Toby Stephens – would you tap that?

52 Lists: My life essentials

Hello chaps and chapesses!

These are the things I need to keep me going.  My go-to things when life occasionally gets a bit sucky, and my basics for when life is generally pretty chipper.

1.  Alone time.

2.  Fresh air.

3.  A project to focus on.

4.  Quality time with Graeme.

5.  Quality time to catch up with friends.

6.  Cake.

7.  A LOT of tea.

The 52 Lists project was the really rather wonderful idea of Ema.


52 Lists: Things I need to let go of

Hello chaps and chapesses!

The theme for this list is ‘things I need to let go of”.  To inspire me, I had a little solo sing-along session to this:

Couldn’t resist.

Seriously, though – I’m only human, and like everyone else, I carry some extra baggage around.  Although it’s not always easy to let that stuff go, life would be so much lighter and brighter without it.

1.  Negative self-talk.

2.  One-way relationships.

3.  Fear of failure.

4.  Feelings of not being good enough.

5.  Social shyness.

6.  Feeling guilty for doing what makes me happy.

7.  Comparing myself to others.

8.  Living by other people’s rules.

What baggage do you need to let go of?

The 52 Lists project was the really rather wonderful idea of Ema.


52 Lists: Things I’m currently excited about

Hello chaps and chapesses!

1.  Our holiday to the Scottish Highlands at the end of September.  There are still 13 weeks until we go, but I’ve already started planning (read: making lists).

2.  Graeme’s new career.  He’s worked really hard to get to where he is, and we’ve both been waiting for him to sign on the dotted line for a looooong time, and now it’s finally happened and he’s in!  It’s going to mean changes and adjustments for us, but it’ll be worth it.

3.  Girl time.  I’ve got plans to meet two friends for coffee and cake this weekend – one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  There’s nothing quite like a natter and a catch up with your girlfriends is there?  Restores the soul.

4.  The end of sunburn.  Graeme and I both got stupidly sunburnt when we climbed up Snowdon last week, and we’ve now gotten past the sore, lobster read stage, and have reached the lovely peeling stage of the process.  Totes fit.

5.  Getting my bake on.  I’ve been looking around at some healthy (and some not-so-healthy) baking recipes, and can’t wait to give some of them a go.  Home-made custard creams, anyone?  I will of course share the ones that go well.

6.  Working towards a career as a freelance copywriter.

What’s got you feeling all excited?

The 52 Lists project was the really rather wonderful idea of Ema.


52 Lists: Summer to-do list

Hello chaps and chapesses!

Oooh I do like a good old fashioned to-do list, especially when it’s a list of fun things I can look forward to.

Hopefully, summer 2014 should look like this:

1.  Hike up Snowdon.  Graeme and I actually did this on Monday, but it’s always good to start with something you’ve already done – spurs you on.

2.  Have a fun day out at Alton Towers.

3.  Go on lots of picnics.

4.  Read in the hungry, voracious, insatiable way I used to when I was a kid in the summer holidays.

5.  Explore some new music.

6.  Wear more dresses.

7.  Paint my nails in bright colours.

8.  Stay fit and healthy so I can make the most of the good weather.

9.  Get out and about in the countryside.

10.  Gave some daytime drinks in pub beer gardens.

What have you got planned for the summer?

The 52 Lists project was the really rather wonderful idea of Ema.