Friday, 4 July 2014

On hold...

Since returning from San Diego I haven't wanted to blog at all.  For a long time the fun of blogging had gone away and compiling content felt like a chore not a pleasure, no hobby should become a chore.  I originally set this blog up three years ago to chart the progress of our hand-made wedding, at the time I enjoyed prattling on about my everyday life but in the last year and a half it has felt too introspective.  Whilst reflecting on your life is good, it's not good when you feel a compulsion to document everything about it just to have blog content.  Also, who am I kidding?  There are many blogs out there with much better content, photography and energy..

This isn't an end, just a pause.  Thanks for sticking with me this far!

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Wow where did the last month go?  Travelling, working, holidaying and not blogging have been the go for me and I am very behind with my #100happydays so I'm going to bundle a bunch of them together.  Here are days 71-86:

71. Mewster investigating...

72. MozzyMr and I visited the Gilbert and George retrospective at the RAMM museum in Exeter, it was great but we weren't allowed to take photos so here is a picture of some taxidermy.  I visit to the RAMM wouldn't be complete without a visit to the bird room!

73. I LOVE this time of year, all the seedlings coming to life in the polytunnel, when you pull back the doors it smells amazing!

74. One of the many perks of working in a University International Office is getting snacks from around the world.  Now I appreciate wasabi peas are not difficult to get hold of in the UK however these blow your head off!

75. One tin foiled desk to send our colleague off!

76. More visits to London, this time to attend Secret Cinema, which involved dressing up in 1920's style clothing and having a lot of fun!  (Being Secret Cinema I can't really tell you anymore....)

77.  My runner beans were doing so well, until I planted them out before leaving for San Diego, when I got back they had been eaten by slugs.  Every last one of them.

78. Oh boy did I miss this little face whilst I was away, since returning she has been super clingy and appreciative of us being back.  

79. The rewards of all that hard work I put into making the back garden nice last year, so many of the plants I put in have established and are flourishing it's really nice to be out there in the evening.

80. The San Diego conference centre where I was based for the first week of my time in the US.  The conference was incredibly tiring but worth it, my hotel was a stones throw from the centre and every single day the sun shone!

81. Finally I had my last meeting and then I was on holiday!  MozzyMr joined me at the end of my week of work and we moved from the hotel I was staying in during the conference to an apartment North of Balboa Park.  This photo was taken in Balboa Park, so much colour!

82. It is fair to say we put on a little extra weight whilst we were abroad but hey you have to make the most of the food that's available to you!

83. San Diego had succulents and cacti absolutely everywhere you turned, I was in heaven!  My phone and my camera are jammed with pictures.

84. On our final evening we went out to the Harvey Milk American diner where I had this gin, it was supposed to be with tonic but I'm fairly certain they put soda water with it.  It wasn't that nice to be honest, but I did love the mason jar it came in.

85. My draw for the world cup sweepstake at work, not too shabby.

86. Last weekend I was in London once more, my brother and I did the double show of the Drowned Man on Saturday and one show on the Sunday.  We had the executive tickets for the Sunday as it was to be my final show, all three shows were great and it is with a heavy heart that I look at this picture and think that it was my last time seeing it before the production closes.

#100happydays round up:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Apps I love

I may be addicted to my smartphone... I blame the apps, too many good apps out there!  Here are some more of my faves:

I'm surprised I've taken to meditation as much as I have, using the Headspace app to do short meditations everyday has made a dramatic difference to how I deal with almost everything in my life.  I love that I can have this resource with me wherever I go and would recommend the free 'Take 10' package you can download.

Ha, this Cat Snaps app is just daft, but I love that it means I get pictures of Mew such as this....

Printic is such an easy way to print your Instagram photos, I love that they are printed to look like Polaroids. I stick mine to the inside of the kitchen cupboards so that every time I make a cup of tea or fetch something I get to see them.

I've been shuffling back and forth to London quite a bit this year and without a doubt this has been the app I've used the most whilst visiting, it is the best tube map app I've come across.  It's really easy to use and the route planner is super quick and reliable.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

My A - Z of books

I've mentioned before how I never really laugh out loud.  Not because I lack a sense of humour, a soul or any joy in my heart *gip*, I just don't laugh out loud seemingly.  I would love to, especially when I go to see a funny film or a comedian I look like I'm dead inside sat there with a slight smirk on my face nodding my appreciation like an emotionless robot.  SIGH.  What has this got to do with My A - Z of books?  Because this week is 'L' for 'Let's Pretend This Never Happened' by Jenny Lawson, and goddammit, it's made the list because it made me actually LOL!

Lawson's memoir is hilariously honest, engaging, ridiculous (zombie dog story) and her love of weird taxidermy only raises her further up the pedestal I am happy to place her on for making me LOL.   Lawson was a blogger before she was a writer and as such I found her style more engaging, she is a better storyteller, less focused on writing for other writers which seems to be a thing now.  I read a quote on Pinterest that said 'seeing a person reading a book you love is like having the book recommend the person', I think if I saw others reading this book, chuckling along to it there is a good chance we would get along.  

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Allotment geekery

Less than a week to go before I start my San Diego adventure!  I am so excited but stressed as well, there is so much to do before I go and both MozzyMr and I have caught a cold.  It's like we're competing for most disgusting nose blow, or loudest cough the whole time.  On top of that I've bruised a bone in my foot, I'm not even sure how I've managed it but it has kept me from the gym and I was counting on these last few classes before I fly out to calm me down!

Last weekend we were in London attending Secret Cinema (which was awesome!) so all the allotment work that has been piling up is being condensed into this weekend.

The allotment is just bursting with all sorts of gorgeousness at the moment, these little flowers are everywhere at the moment, as are buttercups is that a thing this year?  I see them in abundance everywhere I turn.

This year I am trying my hand at companion planting, in this raised bed we have shallots and carrots.  Monty says the smell of the shallots should deter carrot root fly, as most of my crop of carrots were attacked last year I'm hoping this works... At any rate the shallots are popping up and doing well so that's good :)

The apples have started to make an appearance, we might give cider vinegar a try this year.  

That's a whole lotta egg shells right there.  We've been saving them up since the autumn (giving each shell a thorough wash before crushing and storing) so we can protect our runner beans from slug attack.  Since owning an allotment you start reusing things more and more, seemingly everything that is thrown away can be used in one way or another on the plot!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Life lately

I've been MIA of late.  Life is busy, but life is good so I don't mind it being busy, here is a little of what I have been up to:

1. Hanging out with this muppet
2. Mewster's new trick is to stand on our shoulders as we walk about the house, parrot cat!
3. Mewster obsessed much?  If there is a box to explore she'll be there.
4. Robo feeder broke for our last weekend trip so we just had to pile Mew's bowl high and hope she didn't eat it all at once (she didn't, good cat).
5. So much growth happening at the allotment, so much to do before we go away to San Diego eeeeeep!
6. As you can see there is still ALOT of digging grass out to be done at the plot :/
7. Sometimes after a shitty day the only thing that will make it better is gin.
8. Disney cake made by friend Katrina for other friend Marte who left work to return to her native Norway
9. To send her off in style we wrapped her whole desk in tinfoil, including the contents of her desk, our boss was PISSED about it.  

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

My A - Z of books

No image this week because the book I am referring to is actually in the shed on my allotment... This week 'K' is for Kevin Forbes, and his book 'Keeping an Allotment'.

MoMa bought it for me, it's a very straightforward guide to growing veg, no fancy photography and very functional illustrations.  The reason it has made it into my A - Z is because I am constantly referring to it, if I had a scan of it you would find mud on almost every page as I stand in the middle of the plot thumbing through it's pages to get advice on planting beans or carrots!

Here is a recap of my A-Z so far:

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My A-Z of books

Here we are at 'J' and this week it is for Jon Rosenberg.  I came across Jon Rosenberg's books when I finished reading the Ben Aaronovitch's books and my kindle recommended The Digital Wolf the first in Rosenberg's Hidden Academy series.

I loved his books, they were so readable, daft, funny and frankly moreish!  I blogged about Rosenberg's books in January 2013 as part of my Month of Reading posts.  In January 2014 whilst sat in the Picture House at a livestreaming of the National Theatre production of Shakespeare's Coriolanus an email popped up on my phone (MozzyMr was hating every second of the play and was being just a little distracting so I checked it...) it seemed to be a comment from Jon Rosenberg himself:

"Hi Anna,

I'd just like to say thank you for such a lovely set of reviews. There are many perks to being a writer but few match that of seeing people enjoy what you've put out into the world. 

Currently I'm twenty four chapters into the next volume in The Hidden Academy series and hope to have it out and available to be read sometime this spring. 

Best wishes and many thanks, 

Jon Rosenberg"

EEeeeeeep!  It took a lot to contain the excitement, I hope the comment is from Rosenberg because frankly that would be cooool.  

Friday, 2 May 2014


Ooo I'm a bit behind with my 100 happy days, not because there hasn't been a lot of happy to document, simply because work and life has become so hectic!  Here are days 61 - 70:

61. Easter bunny treats AND a reward sticker in the same day? (Yes there are reward stickers at work and it is remarkable how much people strive for these!)

62. Good grief, Mew is too cute sometimes, she sits on my phone a lot, I had it on the arm of the sofa whilst she had a little wash above it and got this little snap.  I love it when cats wash their heads they look so content.

63. I won an award at netball and received a I heart netball t-shirt, and you know what?  I really do heart netball, with all the gym classes and netball classes I'm really notice my stamina improving and my team mates are so lovely :)

64. True dat.

65. What is a 100 happy days post without a trip to London?  This time it was with friends Iain and Derfel and we went to see the musical Billy Elliot.  We were in the cheap seats but actually the view was great!

66. Absolutely my favourite time of year allotment-wise, all the seedlings poking through.  I over planted purple sprouting broccoli so shared them around with my friends at work, one has an allotment and the other is giving veg growing a try for the first time.

67. How could these little cat paws make me anything but happy?

68. The strawberry flowers are blooming which means jam season will soon be upon us, as we only have one jar of last years jam left this makes me very happy indeed!

69. Morning spring sunshine is gorgeous especially when it highlights the ever maturing tomato plants on the windowsill.

70.  I was lucky enough to meet this little lady, she's called Maggie and she is just THE most adorable little pup.  She makes me want to get a dog so much, sadly MozzyMr won't be having that at all.

#100happydays round up:

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

My A-Z of books

This week is 'I' for Irvine Welsh.  Believe it or not Irvine Welsh marked my transition from teen fiction to adult fiction, and boy was that a transition...

Irvine Welsh wrote Trainspotting but The Acid House was the first of his books that I read.  When I was at secondary school our English teacher had a poster for The Acid House in his classroom, I chanced upon it in a bookshop when I was on a daytrip with my mum.  Boy was this book an eye opener, be assured if my mum had known the content of it she wouldn't have bought it for me.  Well anyway, at the start of each English lesson we would have ten minutes of reading time whilst reading The Acid House my jaw hit the desk, my friends wanted to take a look.... that caused quite a stir.  Long story short the book was confiscated until the end of my time at school.  I did read the rest of Irvine Welsh's books and enjoyed them.. angry man that he is. 

Here is a recap of my A-Z so far:

Monday, 28 April 2014

Allotment geekery

What is to be done on a weekend when you planned to dig the allotment for two days and it did nothing but rain?  Well the exciting news is... pot on your purple sprouting broccoli, boo-yah!

They were beginning to get leggy and were too crowded.

The best time to pot on your seedlings is when a true leaf appears (usually the third or fourth leaf to grow)

Never hold the seedling by the stem only hold it by a leaf (apologies for the blurry photo the damn thing wouldn't stay still).

If at all possible have a cat trying to get your attention throughout the whole process..

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Apps I love!

I doubt many of the apps I list here will be a new find for many of you, but these are my current favourites so I thought I would share them with you!

My brother recommended Device 6 to me, described as being 'A surreal thriller in which the written word is your map, as well as your narrator.' it is basically a text based strategy game.  It comes as a welcome respite from the mindlessness of Candy Crush, Farm Saga and the rest of that ilk of game, the graphics are amazing and the gameplay is so challenging, real mind bending stuff!! 

Ha!  So Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is next on my list mostly because it is ridiculous, funny, pointless, good to look at and strategic.  MozzyMr and I are currently in an unspoken battle to level up the quickest, he is of course winning but I'm not far behind, do you think anyone will mind if I put in a couple sneaky minutes here and there during meetings?  Yeah, maybe not.

Evernote.  Ahh Evernote, I've had this app on my phone for a while and I've just added it to my work iPad because it is ridiculously useful.  You can store everything on this app, lists, useful links, photos, memos, reminders etc.  This app was recommended to me via the app store for quite a while before I finally downloaded it, I just didn't really understand why it was useful as I had apps for notes and reminders already but actually it keeps it all in one place with a really great user friendly interface that works for all my work and personal tasks.  As long as I don't lose my phone or iPad I should be fine.... 

Spotify.  At the start of the year I tidied up a lot of the apps that I subscribed to but just didn't use, such as the Mollie Makes magazine ireader, Netflix and others as they no longer represented good value for money.  I previously had a free spotify account but let it lapse so was a bit dubious about setting up a new account and paying the monthly subscription but actually having an account has proven successful for me.  I have Spotify on my work computer, phone and iPad so my music is synced to all of my devices and I can listen to it wherever I am and whatever I'm doing.  As I walk to work and listen to music whilst at work via headphones this is a real bonus, it also allows me to follow many of my Facebook friends and listen to their public playlists.  It turns out my friends have great taste and have introduced me to Jackson and His Computer Band, White Denim as well as The Drowned Man soundtrack which someone painstakingly compiled!

Big surprise!  Bloglovin is on my list.  To be fair I couldn't exclude this obvious app from my list because I do really love it, I think the simple display is perfect for browsing my list of blog reads and looks great on the iPhone plus managing my reading list is really easy.  

I am a massive fan of ASOS and buy the majority of my clothes from this site, it is the only clothing shop whose app I still have on my devices I've tried the New Look and Next ones (amongst others) but haven't liked the fussy interface and clunky nature of them.  The ASOS app is easy to use (too easy sometimes, bye bye pay check, bye bye!) and I really love the style compilations they have on it.  

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