Monday Music

So, Monday. Yeah. Again. The worst day of the week. Ever. Fact.

What makes everything better (apart from chocolate, I can’t give out chocolate, sorry)? Music. So, Monday has become Music Monday. Each week I’ll share a mini playlist  – things I’ve heard that week, new releases, old favourites, songs I can’t stop listening to etc. and hope that they make you smile, that you occasionally pick up something new you like and most of all that you’ll return the favour with some tunes of your own…in the words of Bowie, let’s dance…

Track 1: Why’d you only call me when you’re high? Arctic Monkeys.

This week I’ve been listening to Arctic Monkeys new(ish) album A.M., I like it, but I’m not sure I’m going to rant and rave over it the way the reviews seem to be. Maybe it’s a grower. One thing’s for sure, I love the insightfulness of the lyrics as always with Arctic Monkeys, they never fail to make me smile and nod along in that “yeah…” kind of way.

Track 2: Viktoria Plzen. Piskie Sits.

I first heard this song and this band last month on 6music and loved it straight away – a real feel-good, bounce along sort of song. The rest of the album is definitely worth a listen too.

Track 3: Gloria. Patti Smith.

This has been on the radio loads recently and it’s so fun to sing along to – what more do you need on a Monday?

Tracks 4 and 5: Loud Like Love/Nancy Boy. Placebo.

I was listening to the new Placebo album at the weekend too. I like it, and I think it’s definitely another grower, but I wonder how much of that is just out of loyalty. It’s good, there’s some definite Placebo vibes – those vocals, classic drums and guitars (like on this title track), but it’s just not like it was in the old days. Whatever. I’d still marry Mr Molko given half a chance ;)

Tracks 6 and 7: This Charming Man. The Smiths/ Hand in Glove. Sandie Shaw with The Smiths.

So, Morrissey’s autobiography came out this week (causing outrage by being published as a Penguin classic immediately – thoughts?). I will definitely be reading it, I’m not much of a reader of autobiographies, but this one is just a little too intriguing (and well written from the snippets I’ve heard) to pass. I will not be paying stupid prices for it though and will be waiting patiently til it turns up in Oxfam. I’m finishing with the most aptly named Smiths song I could think of for a book which apparently (and unsurprisingly) tears into many, and a cover/collaboration that I heard on the radio the other day and thought was a bit of a grower.

What have you been listening to this week?

Six on Sunday…

So, no Five on Friday and no Saturday or Sunday Savings – partly because this week just got away with me, and partly because I have been awful at saving this week (thanks espresso martinis and dinner party hosting – yeah, turns out it’s totally possible to host a dinner party with no furniture!). So, I’m summarising with a 6 on Sunday before trying something new tomorrow…

So this week I have been…

eating…pie. On Friday I had some friends over, friends I met almost 10 years ago and used to visit and meet up with regularly in Manchester for gigs and parties and nights out and suchlike. We’d lost touch since I moved to Madrid, so I was a little nervous – and it felt very strange for them to be visiting me in Manchester – but we had a great night. (Although it did strike me how grown up they all seemed to be and how happy they seemed to be about that…I’m not sure I’m ready to feel glad I’m not young and going out every night of the weekend or ready to want an allotment just yet…) I baked a pie, from this Hairy Biker’s recipe – it was the first pie I’ve ever baked and it was yum – I wish I’d taken some photographic evidence – especially since I bought a funky little pueple pie/casseroel dish for it! Next time I might even make the pastry… ;)

image[2] (2)working…   too hard! I have been surrounded by assessment files, learning journeys and post it notes this weekend. But, as I pointed out to my mum – I’d rather have a weekend like this occasionally than be one of those teachers who works at home every night and every weekend, I love my job but I refuse to let it take over my life. (And I say this after spending the entire night texting my friend to work out what else I can do for one of my little sausages!)

image[5]making… a card for my sister. It’s her birthday next month, and I’d asked her if we could not buy for each other this year (since as we know I am poooooooor!) She said since it’s a ‘big’ birthday for me she still wanted to get me something, but didn’t mind if I didn’t get her anything. As we were talking she mentioned wanting a pandora bracelet and I mentioned that I still had one I never wore that she could have – we agreed this could be her present so I sent it (a month!) early this week along with a card.

image[4] (2)wearing…  the amazing glasses one of the children made me

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drinking… espresso martinis and white russians (two of my absolute favourite drinks) on the date I went on Wednesday. I had a great time – we laughed a lot and chatted about everything from books to people in the bar to art to why we could never watch ITV to music to manchester’s rain to films to the weird patterns on the screen in the bar to Christmas to Eid to…. we raced across roads in the rain and agreed that we’d like to see each other again…

image[3] (2)…which means since then I’ve been waiting…  for that text! Well, sort of. He text me after leaving on Wednesday and we texted on Thursday. I hung on til today then text again, so just in the process of navigating the minefield of what he wants, whether there’s a second date on the cards and how to go about asking for it this eve.. wish me luck!

How was your week? Which cocktails would you have chosen on a school night?!

Sunday Savings: everything in moderation

So, the whole reason Sunday Savings (yeah, Saturday Savings became Sunday Savings since I realised I’d never get it posted on a Saturday!) came about was that having just moved to a fab city that I love, I was excited to go out and enjoy it (not to mention meet some men in it), but I was also skint.

Determined not to let this stop me, I have made a sort of ‘rule’ that I can do at least one fun thing a week. Some weeks will be more expensive than others, so juggling the budgeting to allow for some cheap (or free) weeks and some more expensive ones is the key. Some weeks, I’ll go to a free exhibition or out drawing if the weather’s good, for example. Other weeks I might have drinks or food in mine with friends rather than going out, and others I might have a full-on night out. But, I’m allowed (and aiming for) at least one ‘fun’ thing each week (not to mention a bottle of wine on a Friday).

Some of you will remember that back in January, I made some goals, one of which was to go out and do more – see exhibitions, join groups, draw, go for drinks or coffee etc. Whatever, but just basically to enjoy the place I was in. That in mind, finding ways to get out affordably now I’m here is really important…and really difficult! But, so far so good. In September, I pretty much managed it…

image-1…and so far this month, a night out last weekend, life drawing and drinks on Thursday, a meal in mine next Friday and potential date next Sunday look like I’ll manage it too.

Next month’s challenge will be to fit some more gigs into it all – there’s so much amazing live music on in Manchester and I’m missing some great bands that I’d love to see at the moment because I can’t afford it, but one step at a time!

Now, I realise there’ll be divided opinion on this. I know some people feel that if you’re saving, well you should be really saving. Cutting out absolutely all non-essentials for a shorter time rather than cutting back on them for a longer time. I get that, but in the same way that trying to diet in a way that never allowed me a treat would cause me to give up, trying to go without doing anything that costs me money would make me so entirely miserable it doesn’t bear thinking about. There’s a good post on it from The Happiness Project, here. Which are you – an abstainer or a moderator?

Now, I realise there’ll be divided opinion on this. I know some people feel that if you’re saving, well you should be really saving. Cutting out absolutely all non-essentials for a shorter time rather than cutting back on them for a longer time. I get that, but in the same way that trying to diet in a way that never allowed me a treat would cause me to give up, trying to go without doing anything that costs me money would make me so entirely miserable it doesn’t bear thinking about. There’s a good post on it from The Happiness Project, here. Which are you – an abstainer or a moderator?

Five on Friday…

Five things I did this week…

1. Read ‘The Prisoner of Heaven’ on Tuesday. It’s a Carlos Ruiz Zafon one, in the Shadow of the Wind trilogy (it’s good though, because it’s one of those trilogies in which the books stand alone too). I thought it lacked the magical mystery of the other two novels, which in my mind made it better than Angel’s Game which took that a bit too far, but worse than Shadow of the Wind (which was just a brilliant book). Overall, an easy read with likeable characters, but nothing too deep. 3 out of 5.

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2. Watched Catfish. To try and summarise in a spoiler-free sort of way, a photographer builds a relationship with a young artist and her family over the internet, but all is not as it seems. This was really good – I got really into it, and even though you could see what was going on and watch it unfold, you didn’t know how it would be dealt with or what the characters would do, so it didn’t spoil it the way knowing it sometimes cab. Really loved the filming style too (and it didn’t hurt that the main character was easy on the eyes! Except the chest hair – bleurgh!!!) 4 out of 5.

3. Went to my first life drawing session since college. I did Art at A-Level and hated life drawing, because it was hard! But I was really excited to give it another go and even better, one of the girls from work was coming with me (see number 5). We had a great time – it was really hard, as predicted, but we felt like we got better even just over the evening and I can’t wait to go again (although I’ve found what looks to be a better session for next time). I also loved meeting a 71 year old semi-retired art teacher at the end whose drawings were amazing and who was inspiring and a big reminder of two of my art college tutors and their advice.

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4. Made a friend. Well, I think so. The girl from work who came to life drawing with me…and then out for drinks where she naively nearly ended up getting us both hit on by a weird guy from life drawing and his rather pretentious friend, where we sat and giggled and looked at boys over wine and made plans to go for food, keep drawing together and chit-chatted! Hoping we’ll be good mates – making friends is a funny thing, isn’t it?!

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5. Enjoyed a bath. Finally! After six weeks of waiting, pestering, emailing, complaining and calling my bath was eventually fixed this week, so last night, I got in from work, cleaned it out, put some chilli on low to cook slowly, poured a large glass of red, put Tom Ravenscroft on the radio and got into a lovely, hot, bubbly bath. I have never stayed in a bath so long or enjoyed one so much! Must be partly because it’s mine too, but it was the best way to end the week!

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Hope you’ve all had a good week!

Saturday Savings: Dating on the cheap…

…is nigh on impossible! So I am open to ideas here!

I’ll be honest, this week’s saturday savings post is also a chance to update you on the dating situation (apologies to those of you not really interested in girly gossip type posts, feel free to skip to the end!). I am back online looking for love (well not really, but definitely looking for some good fun!), which brings me to

Dating on the Cheap Rule Number 1: Do not pay for online dating sites. Some of the sites are SO expensive, so go with a free one and save your money for the actual dates! My sister uses pof and I use OKCupid, both of us are pretty happy. I would pay in the future if I had more money, but I think for a free site OKCupid is brilliant (I used pof in Spain and found you needed to sift through more dodgy types, but still met some nice guys on there and my sister says she likes it).

So, online dating profile set up, I was ready to go again. So, a couple of weeks ago I had my first date. We arranged to go for drinks and he asked if I wanted to get some food too, since we were going straight from work I knew food would be a good idea if we were drinking, but also knew I had very little money, so

Dating on the Cheap Rule Number 2: Be honest. If you have limited funds, say so. You don’t have to go into details and you can always use an acceptable excuse – you don’t have to make it sound permanent (even if, as in my case, it is!) In this case, I went with the fact that I’d just moved and didn’t have too much cash.

I was also messaging another guy who asked if I wanted to meet up, and again I followed my rule – yes, I want to meet up, but I can’t until payday. If he’s that interested, he’ll wait and meet up then and if not, not worth it anyway. He made a good point and checked that I wasn’t just trying to fob him off or waste time etc., which I didn’t mind, because people must do that, but I made it clear that I just wanted to be honest, didn’t expect him to pay and couldn’t afford it right now and he was happy to wait. I think this rule also paints you in a pretty good light in terms of you being honest should it come to a relationship too.

So, I told date number one, ‘R’, I was happy to get food, but we’d need to go somewhere cheap and cheerful (obviously by cheap and cheerful, I’m not suggesting a date in McDonalds or anything, but more pub tea than fine dining!), and leading on from that…

Dating on the Cheap Rule Number 3: Share. Tapas, sharing platters, half and half a pizza, split a starter or dessert instead of having one each etc. Cheaper and a good way to break the ice.

We met up and had a good night (two bottles of wine and the last ones out of the place good) so arranged to meet up again. We’d been texting and he’d mentioned that he liked to bake, I’d joked about not being very good at it and used this to suggest a baking date at mine for date number 2 – no paying for meals or drinks etc.

Dating on the Cheap Rule Number 4:  Stay in (or if you’re outdoorsy, go out!) and do something you both enjoy. Obviously I wouldn’t suggest this for date number one, neither would I suggest staying in regularly for your dates with the same person, and I think it may not be something you do til after a few dates, depending on you, your date and how it’s all going. But it is a good option to break up the cost of going for drinks, meals, cinemas etc. Find something you both enjoy (surely there is something you have in common for you to be on a date in the first place, this is a good way to find out more about each other too!) and stay in to do it together – baking, drawing (L and I used to play silly drawing games in Madrid when he came over-it doesn’t have to be serious), watch a film on DVD instead of going to the cinema, have a trashy TV night, cook a meal together rather than paying for one, raid each other’s music collections, have stupid competitions (see my lego bhuilding below), if you like being outside go for a walk or bike ride (clearly these last two are not top of my list)…

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So, ‘R’ came over, we made brownies, drank wine, and ended up building lego dinosaurs  - it was loads of fun and cost me the price of a bottle of wine (and that was on offer!) He did ask if I wanted to go out again last week, but I ended up double booked (and then not going on either of them!), which brings us to…

Dating on the Cheap Rule Number 5 Timing is everything. Plan ahead and schedule things to spread the cost. I know that sounds boring – not very spontaneous and romantic, but it’s more a question of when you arrange to go on a date, choose a day when you know you haven’t got lots of other expenses – for example, this week, I cancelled my date because I knew I was out with friends this weekend and couldn’t afford both, but this week coming I have no weekend plans, so I’ll go on a date but stay in next weekend.

So, things with ‘R’ have cooled down since I asked to rearrange. He’d been pretty keen and texting a lot, and I just wasn’t sure how I felt. I liked him, we had a great time, but there wasn’t really a spark – I’d see him again if he got in touch again, but only in a very casual way. But, I said I was going out tomorrow, right? Yep, tomorrow I am meeting ‘A’ – the guy who has patiently waited til after payday for me to meet up with him. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure we have that much in common in terms of our tastes, but he seems like a nice guy, looks good and I’m prepared to accept that opposites can attract, so one date can’t hurt! We’ll see what happens!

There are loads of other tips and tricks for dating on the cheap, but I’m hoping I can share them with you alongside the next installment of gossip!

In the meantime – any suggestions? Things you’ve done that worked well (or things you’ve done on a date that you’d never, ever do again or recommend?!)

Five on Friday…

Five things I will do better next week.

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This week has been horrible. A really long, tiring, stressful week where nothing seems right. It didn’t help that I forgot my determination to stay positive and optimistic and dealt with it all in the wrong way and let myself get all stressed out and down about it, but next week will be better! Next week, I will…

Stay calmer and have more patience. School has been hard this week, a combination of things, but I have really let it get me down and it’s made me irritable. Next week, deep breaths and…

Smiling more. I’ve been really happy and positive since I moved and I need to keep myself in check and remember how much I am loving being here, even when it has all gone wrong. Even when it’s difficult. And even when I get stuck in the rain with no umbrella (actually I managed that one this week, but since I’m here in manchester it’s likely to happen again!). 

Eating less and exercising more. Ok, two in one here, I’ve been pretty good at hitting the gym actually, so that’s more of a keep it up. I have not however been so good at the diet side of things, so next week I’m kicking that right back into action (after a weekend of drinking and girly giggles…oh and drinks on monday…and thursday…and then it’s the weekend again, and it would be rude not to have a celebratory glass of vino for that…well, in between all of that, I’ll be trying to be healthier next week too!!)

Being more arty and drawing more. I started trying to draw every day again and it was going pretty well, but having a bad week this week has left me feeling too tired to do anything til Thursday, but I’m jumping back on it and I’m even going to my first life drawing session since college on Thursday, even better I’m going with one of the girls from work – have I possibly, maybe found an arty buddy?!

Hope you all had a better week than I did! What will you be trying to get done/get better at next week?

Teacher Tuesdays: Sharing

One of those things teachers, especially those of us down the tiddly-tiny end, battle with constantly is sharing. How many times a day do you hear/say “remember we need to take turns…are you sharing nicely?…well so-and-so is using it now, then you can have a go…what about if you have a go then gtive x/y/z a turn…etc. etc.”

However, this is much harder when it’s me that has to do the sharing. Which I’ll get to in a moment, because I have been sidetracked by an interesting article by  as I searched for photos (click on the photo to read it).

I think there’s a fine balance to be found here, for example I praise my children and encourage them to give others a turn, as I think this helps them consider the feelings/needs of others and develop ideas of helping each other, and generally being kind and thoughtful. While in later life I-want-it-so-I-get-it doesn’t happen, good manners and helping each other out are always pretty decent traits to have picked up along the way. That said, I’d never take a toy from a child just so another child could have a go, and if the toy belongs to a child and not the school, I always make it clear that it’s up to them if they share or not – I emphasise that “it would be kind to share it with you, but they don’t have to – it’s their toy, so it’s their choice.” This is just my take on it – what do you think?

Funny Family Ecard: He who dies with the most toys... ...is still dead.

So, as I said…sharing is all well and good, unless it’s me having to do it. This year, for the first time in the past 6 years I do not have my own classroom to do with as I please. Instead, I share a giant room with 10 other adults (and just over 100 kids). This is wonderful in a lot of ways – there’s more of us to share out the workload, come up with ideas and grin despairingly and keep each other going when it’s all going horribly (case in point: Thursday when we had explosive diarrohea, vomit and a fire alarm in the space of a couple of hours).

Funny Reminders Ecard: Let it be known sir, that sharing is overrated.

However, I’m finding it really hard to not be able to make my classroom areas look like I would normally have them – feel like I can’t put my mark on anything. And seeing Ari’s gorgeous room this week just made me even more frog-green with envy :) It’s also those tentative “maybe we could…it’s just a thought but…” suggestions that you know are likely to be stomped out because “that’s not how we do it” (often, I hasten to add, because of management rather than the staff I directly work with, but…)

I think as teachers, we get very used to the way ‘we’ do things, how we like our rooms, our own routines, methods and management etc. It can be hard to step away from that and start doing things a different way. It’s almost like going in on supply, being told how it all works and just assuming that role, none of it feels like mine. Maybe it will soon. In the meantime, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s really good experience to work in such a big team and to have to compromise so much more on things, that really it’s not about how pretty I make everywhere, but how much I give the kids from me, and I think we’re all getting on very well indeed and I’m already having so many of those “Ah! So-and-so has just ‘got it’/done it/said….” so I’m trying to focus on this, stay positive and not let my lack of direction bother me…

What do you think – any teachers been in a similar situation? What about teaching kids to share – for or against?

teacher tuesday

Saturday Savings

So, as those of you who have been here for a while will know I never, ever have any money. I was hoping this would change on moving back to England and being put on a better pay rate. However, this has just meant more tax and ridiculously high pension contributions, so I am as skint as ever (in fact probably more so thanks to having just moved house!).

So, I’m starting ‘Saturday Savings’ as a weekly post on things I can do/have done/have found to try to save money, or articles etc. related to it. Hopefully, though it will be more focused at my sort of lifestyle – there’s a lot of blogs/sites/forums our there, but many of them aimed either at home-owners, families or students, so this little weekly post will be done more with single (and I hate this phrase) young professionals in mind (and yes there’s a reason I’m saying single), although hopefully everyone can add to/take from it, just as many of the ideas on the other sites are still useful to me.

So, over the next few weeks, I have a few ideas planned out – food being an obvious one, socialising will take a few, budgeting…but first an explanation of why ‘single’ young professionals.

So, this week: Saturday Savings – Singledom.

If I was living with a partner, my rent and bills would be half the cost. If I was married to them, I’d also get some extra money just for this. How nice to be financially rewarded just for being lucky enough to have found ‘the one’. Yes, I hear you say – I could share! Oh, yes. And how many happy couples would you expect to share a house with someone else? But because I’m single, it’s perfectly reasonable for me to be living with someone and sharing personal space when I’m/they’re tired, ill, hyper-excited and lively, grumpy, busy etc. I’m almost 30, why would I want to do this?

To illustrate this point, I have compiled a selection of (I think) very amusing pieces of evidence supporting my case for living alone (although if I was in a good mood, I think some of these would be hilarious to come home to):

funny notes from roommates passive aggressive

(Images from various websites- sorry I haven’t credited all individually as I found through google image search – please let me know if you’d like to be credited…although I’m guessing if you’re Ashley you may not want it).

So, yes, I have ‘chosen’ to pay double rather than share with someone I don’t know, and yes it bugs me quite a bit that it costs me more money to be single. However, I have my own space, I can do what I like, when I like and that is totally worth it, so while I’m highlighting the fact that I hate how expensive singledom is, it is more the catch-22 of the situation – to go out and meet people, to go on dates etc. all costs a lot of money, which I don’t have, because I’m paying for my single-person flat, which I’ll never escape, because I can’t afford to go out, because… you get the idea!

And with two dates lined up this week, this problem is particularly relevant! So, next Saturday’s post will revolve around dating on the cheap…

The Move

Yet more apologies for my absence, however I am now fully installed in my new flat, as is my internet. Luckily I managed to get a second hand laptop too, so I am good to go – thank you all for being patient with me while I moved, back to it now :) Well, it seems like I moved ages ago now, although really it was just three weeks ago, and before that I have a few Summer things to catch you up on, so this week is likely to be a week of back-dating, catching up and re-acquainting if that’s all ok with you all!

So, I moved on August 30th, but before that I had to do a bit of furniture hunting. I still need a lot of things, but I plan to get things I like gradually rather than stock up on IKEA straight away. Just a personal preference – there’s pros and cons to both ways obviously, but after several IKEA-filled flats, I’m ready to choose things I love and want to take with me if/when I ever manage to get on the housing ladder for real…

As I mentioned I managed to get a free sofa and TV (thanks neighbours and step-uncle!), my mum and I found a great little bench which I wanted for my TV, but the colour was too light for my tastes (and the coffee table which I already had-a 21st present from my dad), cue my first ever DIY…

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Then the packing began. When I got to the end of the first case and had packed nothing but shoes (with some left over) I knew this would be a long job!

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Eventually, packed and strategically crammed into a van borrowed from my stepdad’s friend, we were on our way. We arrived (well, I met my mum and stepdad there, as I detoured to sign and pick up keys), and began the mission of unloading everything from the van and getting it up to my 4th floor apartment!

image[6]Luckily for us, the painters were just finishing off in the flat and stopped to help us carry box after box upstairs – proof that human kindness does still exist, and a reminder to me to keep those random acts of kindness going (do something kind for a stranger today!).

After several sweaty, achy hours we were done. “Start saving up for a removal company now, we are never doing that again.” (my stepdad). “Don’t worry, I’m staying here forever, I am never doing that again either.” (me).

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So, I was in. That night, the furthest I got was this..

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so that I had somewhere to sit, drink my first beer and recover…except that just as I sat down, I realised mum still had my phone charger in her handbag and the airbed didn’t inflate, so with 30mins before the shops shut I dashed out on a Challenge Anneka-like mission(minus the bumbag)  to buy charger and airbed (it was worth it, the airbed I came back with was bigger and better, I don’t think the one my mum had dug out of the loft from 11 year old me’s school camping trip and sleepovers would have done me for 3 weeks!)

Mission accomplished I crashed out for the night, ready for the monster unpack the next day. Sadly, the flat had not been left very clean, so what I hoped would be a day of wiping down and unpacking became a day of scrubbing and cleaning and general hard work, before I could even begin the unpacking of this little lot.

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I started with the kitchen, because I knew it would make me feel better to have that done (and it did)

1239849_10151856081601013_1600395986_nIt also meant I could have a nice cup of coffee before moving on to the rest!

1234087_10151856080806013_881993081_nI tackled the bathroom next. Sadly, it had been left covered in scale and took a lot of scrubbing to clean. Even worse, the scale has totally wrecked the plug on the bath, so my much-anticipated bath still can’t be used (3 weeks later) – got to love renting, right?!

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Still, it looks nice! I also have a little wet-room with my shower just off the bedroom, so that got a clean next (luckily that works, so panic not, I haven’t been stinking out the classroom for the past 3 weeks!).

My shoes took over most of my bedroom, and I will be living out of suitcases for the foreseeable future, so I spent some time reorganising them so I can find things easily and left my bedroom as done as could be for the time being!

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Then came the living room, and my stacks of books, DVDs, CDs and magazines (currently doubling up as door stops in all my rooms – luckily I hate having doors shut and they don’t stay open, so two bird with one stone!

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Then my even greater stash of children’s books…

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Before I knew it, the weekend was over and the next day I started work (proper post on that to follow!) so my art supplies had to wait a bit longer, but are finally unpacked. I have most of them ready in my spare room, but I’m most excited to have a little space for a stash of my most used down the side of my sofa – it’s so handy and definitely keeping me journaling/sketching (I’m trying to draw every day again) and generally art-ing more regularly.

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My bed finally arrived yesterday, so I had my first proper night’s sleep.

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My internet is on. I have an oven (and a dishwasher, which will never get used, but still it’s exciting!) Hopefully, I’ll have a bath soon. I am on the doorstep of all the best bars and shops. I can stand on my balcony and look out over the city.

1234493_10151856081141013_1794469241_nI don’t even mind the rain, especially when it brings rainbows…

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I am happy.

How are you?

 

So, how are things?

Apparently moving is all-consuming (and I haven’t even moved yet!) – my main problem at the moment is being laptop-less! I’m borrowing my mum’s as and when, but not having my own right there seems to be making me fairly internet-absent unless there’s an app for it! So apologies for my lack of visits and posts – how is everyone?

IMG_0283I am back in England! So, I will attempt a whirlwind recap of the move back, beginning with…

IMG_0335…a last shopping trip (complete with new dress and ring in the sale!) and drinks in some of our favourite areas and bars.

IMG_1120…box-packing, furniture moving and relaxing by the pool…

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…lunch and brunch and dinners out…

IMG_0330 IMG_0337…mix-tape compiling, photo album arranging and present giving (with the help of L who came for a couple of last evenings and brought the CD I needed for me saving Katie and Jim’s present!)

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IMG_0015…cleaning, emptying, furniture selling, packing and leaving…

IMG_0342I landed back in England to grey skies, cold breezes and drizzle – it certainly made my teary emotional state even worse, but steak, wine and a game of scrabble back at my mum’s sorted me right out!

IMG_0344And since getting back I have had a great time – trying out new bars in Liverpool that have opened since I left…

IMG_0097…drinking lots of tasty cocktails…

IMG_0212…and pints of Mahou (previously thought to be unobtainable outside of Spain – result!)

IMG_0314…Going for dinner then watching films – Frances Ha, which I LOVED (and which we found hilarious because so much of it was like watching me!) – and Alan Partridge: Alpha Pap, which I thought was so-so. I’d have preferred a new series, some parts were funny, but in general Alan Partridge is a hundred times better in 30min episodes than over the top film. And tomorrow Wadjda that I’m really looking forward to…

IMG_0247…buying pretty things for my flat, like this cute purple kettle and toaster…

(I don’t have the breadbin, but I couldn’t find a pic of the others on their own!)

and this bargainous tea-set (£20 from the charity shop!)

IMG_0326I have managed to acquire a free sofa and tv (no repeat of the two years sofa-less that was Madrid at least!) and will be buying a bed, otherwise though I will be furniture-free for a while – moving home is expensive!

So, a bit of a photo-heavy post, but hopefully we’re caught up now and I can use this as a lesson not to leave it so bloody long til the next one! Looking forward to checking back in with you all, but please forgive me if my visits are not quite as frequent as normal yet!

It’s good to be back!