Mid-year recap and plans for the rest

July is very much here and I spent the weekend at Castle Combe race circuit for the RSOC track day with my dad and our friends. It’s been my first proper car day of the year and it was great fun. I passengered all but one session with Dad in the Subaru and had an ace time.

Dad’s new trailer, but hang on a minute – that’s not a GTR inside!

Half of the year is gone already! I’m still enjoying my little job and it’s keeping me out of trouble, though I’ve not had nearly as much time to do my writing or even my blog as I’d have liked. I manage to get up early enough to do maybe an hour before work – or I get up earnestly intending to do an hour before work, but I usually mess around on social media and news sites for about half an hour. As for my blog, it looks like I manage my book review and that’s it!

Things I’ve achieved so far

I’ve finished my third draft of my book! This is the big one, so now it should just be a brutal edit and then I’m hoping to send it out to agents. I’ve started editing the first part and so far have cut a chapter out, which bodes very well as in total I wanted to cut 6 – 8 chapters. Considering once upon a time the story had about seventy chapters and 350,000 words I’m not doing too bad condensing it down.

We’ve got on a bit with the other house. I’ve cleared most moveable stuff away into storage (or the wheelie bin) and so now we’re looking at the big things. Dad pulled a load of the kitchen units out and I had pulled up all the carpet tiles in there so now it’s on to picking out cookers and worktops! The kitchen and bathroom are the two big jobs so once they’re done and the new flooring is down we should be on it. I spent ages weeding the garden and pulling out monstrous dandelions. Like a bad blogger I didn’t take any before or after pictures of the garden. I’m really excited to live in a bigger house and especially one that has such strong family connections.

I’ve kept up with my reading challenge! I’ve managed to read each of my books for the month and some months I’ve read quite a few extra. It’s a great thing to do as I purposefully diversified the books on my list, and this month I’m reading a non-fiction book about the British navy. I’m trying to read all the books I have on my bookshelves before buying any more, as part of both my decluttering and money-saving goals for the year.

I managed to get my hanging baskets done and they look so pretty now that they’re filling out. I really like being out in the garden and really enjoyed making these. I did nurture a dream of making a little business out of it, but the time is passed (as with all such ideas I have). I’m trying in earnest to keep on top of my wild little garden but every time I turn around there are weeds everywhere, and I have terrible problems with bindweed coming from the wilderness next door, strangling my Viburnum, which makes me so mad. I keep nagging my dad to come and cut my hedge because it’s almost as bad as the one next door. Some lovely flowers are coming out though which is lovely to see.

Things to do for the next half of the year

Edit my book – aggressively, but not to the point where I lose sight of what I’m trying to say. Having a little break since finishing the draft has helped, as I’ve managed to – so far – approach the chapters with a slightly more objective view. I struggled with chapter one as I knew that everything my writing group had said about it was right and I was scared to try and remake it in a more effective way, but after a couple of false starts I think we’re there! I want to get on with it a bit quicker. I’m trying to get up at the same time every morning (earlyish) to spend a little bit of time on it each day. It’s silage time too so while Scott is busy on the farm (and I can’t help) I can sit and write, which I will do, without the telly on or anything.

I really want to get back into making things. I’ve not done much baking since I bake a lot at work, but I’ve not done any crafting at all. I have lots of kits – needle felting and cross stitch, including something I’ve been making for my mum for a birthday for yonks now – and I just haven’t got on with them at all. I also wanted to design a series of Christmas cards starring Bilbo (as he looks so very Christmassy) and did a trial run in March/April for Mum’s birthday, making this picture.

So I want to crack on a bit more with that – design my cards, maybe make a picture or two, and try to do some more cross stitch.

Obviously the house is still a big priority. We want to move in while I’m still pulling a decent wage (though I still want to get a job for over winter) so I can build my savings back up, and also so I can afford to buy nice things for the house – not that I feel much like shopping at the moment. I can walk round a shop and see loads of pretty things and yet not feel compelled to buy one! There are bits to do to the garden in the new house and I just need to finish the little bits inside that I can do before we have to get in workmen.

I have loads of clothes I want to sell on eBay too, nice things that I’ve worn once or twice and never got round to again. I also want to go through my CD and DVD collection and take a load to Cex and/or list on eBay. I’m getting fed up of living in a world of clutter, and while a lot of that comes from having too much stuff in too small a place, I still don’t want to just fill the new house up with stuff (which is very easy to do).

Finally, this blog! It needs a good lot of work. I need a new header, loads of photos, and a few more posts. My blog is meant to support my writing, and be the backing for my eventual website. Someday I would like to make a Facebook page plus host a Twitter chat for my writing. I’m really inspired by the Canadian musician Leah, who is one of my favourite artists of all time (and I’m totally not saying that just because she followed me on Insta, such love!!), who doesn’t tour to support her music while she raises her children, and yet is super active on social media and has amassed a great following. I think nowadays it’s so much easier to connect with fans and potential followers, and it’s something I need to be making use of more.

So tell me about your achievements so far, and your mid-year goals!

Don’t give up the daydream

You’ve heard the old saying. Somebody does something stupid, or funny, or badly, and you go, “Don’t give up the day job”. And usually it’s comic effect – haha, we all laugh, how funny, and go about our merry way. Because silly Sandra never really planned on being a professional juggler, or an impressionist, or whatever. She’s quite happy doing whatever it is she’s doing.

But I’m here as the advocate of daydreams – and their bigger, badder cousin, The Dream. Because I have A Dream (a song to sing…) and I’m sure as hell not giving up on it.

Continue reading “Don’t give up the daydream”

26/10/15 – Retrospective

This is a bit of a late retrospective! It’s been a busy couple of weeks… in that all I’ve done is watch Grimm and Supernatural. Things might be changing a bit soon, but shhh, more on that later!

Listening to

I’ve become a late convert to Spotify: since I’ve been on a slight frugal curve, I’ve put a stop to the worst of my spending, basically my Amazon account. As such, a few albums I’ve not purchased, but have instead streamed off Spotify. One of these was Lana Del Rey’s latest, Honeymoon. I loved Lana Del Rey since I heard the haunting Video Games, which arguably is her best, and somewhat different to all of her other work. I remember reading an interview after Born To Die when she said she wasn’t going to release any more material, as there was nothing left to say; considering there have been two LPs and the Paradise Edition EP since then, I think it’s fair to say she dug a bit deeper. Honeymoon is definitely on the more Ultraviolence themed side of things, musically at least: a lot slower and gentler, somewhat less on the wild vocal lines as Born To Die, but consistently Lana Del Rey in lyrical content. To be honest, I think Honeymoon is much more solid than Ultraviolence: the second half I essentially bypassed, as it all essentially sounded the same, about bad men doing bad things to the starlet persona, with jarring key changes and choruses. There aren’t many bum notes at all with Honeymoon: from High By The Beach to 24 there isn’t a skippable song. Definitely music to get drunk to in a hot dry summer, sumptuous and self-indulgent, but who doesn’t love a good bit of that every now and then?

Watching

I have finished series 3 of Grimm on Netflix and in anticipation of series 5 premiering on Watch soon, I downloaded series 4 off Amazon. Totally binged on it! I’m only a couple of episodes from the end, but poor Nick is having a right time of it. Adalind is seriously getting on my nerves – I’m not necessarily sure that the correct response for someone taking your baby is to disguise yourself as that person’s girlfriend and have sex with them. I know, I know, it was Prince-Not-Eric’s idea, but still, it’s got Adalind up on this high horse and considering she is of no fixed abode, with no reliable income (and, let’s be honest, is everybody really sure that that baby is Renard’s? Paternity test! Paternity test!), and with a track record of rash and questionable decisions, she’s hardly mother of the year material. Renard had it right when he said to her “I so wish I could believe you” (hint about the baby’s paternity??) yet it appears Nick, our puffy-eyed Grimm of woe-is-me, is quite happy to follow Adalind’s breadcrumb trail of deus-ex-machina. It’s nice to see Juliette coming into her own: as a strong character she was getting a bit underutilised as Nick’s piece, though I still want her and Renard to get together: now they would be a powerhouse couple!

Grimm series 5 is on Watch on Tuesdays at 9.

Now, I may very much be late on the bandwagon here, but I’m totally into Supernatural. I’ve been hitting our local CEX and tracking down the early series (is the plural of series serieses?). I stormed through Series 1 and loved it. It is quite scary! I thought it would be more like Buffy, but a lot of it is based on ghost stories – a lot of which are the kind that are represented in every society around – and those are the kinds that in the light of day you can scoff at, but when it’s dark and cold and you’re not sure what that weird tapping noise is outside the window or in the corner of the room, they seem a wee bit more real. I just finished Series 2 and loved it! The chemistry between the two leads is great and there are some fab comedic moments as well as some truly chilling scares. This long-running show will definitely keep me going, especially when I’ve nosied ahead (you can’t help it, SPN fandom is all over Pinterest) and seen demons and angels and what even is Destiel?!

Reading

I’ve finished book thirteen! Bard the Bowman and I now embark on the last one… I am a little apprehensive to tackle A Memory Of Light: the biggie, the Last Battle. Often books that build up to an armageddon conclusion wimp out on the last couple of hurdles. I really hope this isn’t the case! I’m thinking of running a live Twitter feed as I progress through. I’m fairly sure Rand must triumph over the Dark One (does he have a name? You hear Dark One, you think Rumpelstiltskin) but getting there looks like a gargantuan task. This series has some of my favourite female characters in it: Nynaeve, Moiraine and Egwene. I’m pleased that Egwene has solidified her perch as the Amyrlin Seat. I’m also dead chuffed that we found Moiraine, after an age of a hiatus (Moiraine and Thom?!), but I’m sorry, who didn’t see Mazrim Taim coming a mile off? If you like more of this sort of drivel, please follow me on Twitter! I’ll think of a clever hashtag.


Making

While Ma and Pa were in Poland visiting Auschwitz, I had a nice long weekend with my doggy. I attempted another Pinterest recipe (somewhat hesitantly, after the too-simple turkey and sweet potato burgers didn’t quite come off) and made some brownies topped with peanut butter. I have learnt to follow your instinct – this is something that is never new to me, yet I need to be reminded of it constantly. The recipe told me to microwave the chocolate for the spread, but I was tempted to melt it my way in a bowl over simmering water. I wish I had followed my own advice! The result is scruffy but they taste amazing – sickly indeed. I will be such a little fatty after scoffing the lot.

For the past few weeks I’ve turned my hand to cross-stitch, which seems to be the revitalised WI craft of choice at the moment. I got a little one from Hobbycraft to start me off, and I’m pretty pleased with my progress! Since the picture below I have actually progressed a wee bit more, and all the flowers are done and the grass is complete!

5/10/15 – Retrospective

5/10/15 – Retrospective

I can’t quite believe that if things had turned out differently – if I hadn’t made a huge decision that, to put it melodramatically, changed my little life – I would be up to my elbows and my eyeballs in marking and lesson preparation and a quagmire of stress and panic and general disillusionment with life. Yet I’m not! Granted I get back from work late, and by the time I’ve made my tea, eaten up, washed up, bathed and sorted my life out, there isn’t much time for relaxation – more just rest. But I make do as best I can!

What I’m doing at the moment…

Reading

At the moment I’m nearing the close of The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan’s definitive fantasy epic. I’ve spent most of this year reading this series: currently I am on book thirteen of fourteen, The Towers of Midnight. I hope to finish the whole set by the end of the year, which is looking pretty likely!

I’ve loved this series. It takes a lot of investment to follow a fourteen book series, and I did initially give up halfway through when i first started, but this time round I have persevered, and I’m glad I have! Things are starting to come together and the Last Battle is definitely imminent. This has been quite a journey for me so I intend to write a full blog post about this.

Watching

At the moment I’m watching a bunch of different things. Wednesday is good telly day for me! I’ve been watching Nashville and Bake Off, but both finished this week; one nicely wrapped up with a bow on top, and the other with a mega load of cliffhangers. I didn’t cry at Bake Off unlike apparently the rest of the UK, but I did get a bit misty-eyed at the end of Nashville.

Once Upon A Time has started again and Netflix are uploading each episode a couple of days after it broadcasts in America. I do like a good bit of OUAT! I know it’s dead cheesy and has appalling special effects (and how many “lost memory” curses can people really be put under before their brains start turning to mush, honestly?), but Robert Carlyle is fab in it as Mr Gold/Rumpelstiltskin and who can’t beat a bit of Killian “Captain Guyliner” Jones as the dashing Hook?

But really every night I’m watching a couple of episodes of Grimm, my current favourite programme. And series 5 will be shown over here in November! Only problem is I’m halfway through series 3 and series 4 isn’t on Netflix yet. At the moment I’m into my cop shows and I’ve always loved my supernatural shows, so Grimm combines the two. While Nick is gorgeous , I am definitely a Sean Renard girl. Especially when he’s holding a baby. Even if I am totally jealous of Adalind, and I’m not sure I am meant to be. I do worry that too many people now know Nick’s identity, and the location of the super secret trailer. Something major is about to happen! It’s a great series, even if when I tried to explain it to Louise at work, she commented that it sounded like a “bad American soap opera”! Maybe with werewolves.

Listening to

At the moment I’m listening to the radio a lot more. I have a routine: in the morning now I listen to Minster FM, on my drive to work until I get out of range, then I switch to Viking. On an evening I try to catch the Confessions on Radio 2, then if I the music or chat is decent I stick with that, until I get in range for Minster. I tuned in to Radio York accidentally the other day and I heard about the visibility of Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. I got up early to see Venus and Jupiter but I think I was too late for the two other, less visible ones.

Whilst sorting through some things I found a CD I hadn’t really listened much to, and after playing it a bit on my way to and from work, I can’t really understand why! Tuomas Holopainen’s first solo album sounds a bit ridiculous, The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, and yet is anything but! As the main songwriter for Finnish band Nightwish (“mastermind behind” is what the sticker on the album case says) despite this not being a metal album, there are all the hallmarks here: listening in retrospect with Endless Forms Most Beautiful, I can definitely hear the precursors to that album in here. It is a story album and yet it isn’t a ram-it-down-your-throat concept album: the story is overceded (so not a word) by Holopainen’s stunning music. He does know how to make a good song: while I love Epica and some of their songs are my favourites, I still feel like they need to learn a lot from this outstanding Finn on how to meld a heavy bit into a softer bit. Even without the operatic vocals he so utilised well with Tarja Turunen (sorry, fangirl) he’s created a perfectly ethereal moments with the voices here. And the occasional chiming bells totally get me in the mood for Christmas!

Learning

This week at work I found out I’m covering the maternity leave of one of my colleagues in sales & marketing, which means I’ve been learning how to put things onto our website and change things – I’ve also been learning html as well! Only a little bit, and while I am using it, I’m not sure what it all means, but it’s doing what I want it to!

Other things I’ve learnt this week… fresh air makes you sleepy! Saturday Nana invited me to watch Pickering Town play at the Rec Club, a match sponsored by the family in memory of my grandad. It was a top day out – we got to have our lunch at half time brought to us and we had a little table all laid out for we six ladies and we had a right good time! Pickering won 2-0 which made it even better and I loved being involved. I’m not that big into football – I am a Liverpool supporter but I find watching footie on the telly a bit numbing; nothing beats actually being there! I definitely will go to another match. But all that fresh air and excitement sucked it out of me; I was reading upstairs (Strictly was too loud and bright and brassy to concentrate on my book) and I must have just laid down to “rest my eyes” and next thing you know, it was gone midnight! I think I might be old before my time.

Pinterest recipes are very hit and miss. I’ve trialled a few, and some I’ve used again and again – I make Almond Joy granola every couple of weeks and it’s gorgeous, though I tweak the recipe a bit (maple syrup is so expensive!), yet I made some turkey and sweet potato burgers, and they definitely didn’t go according to plan. Whoops! I was suspicious by the lack of breadcrumbs and egg to bind them together. They were tasty though, so a bit of tweaking may be involved.

Stay tuned for next week & see what I’ve been up to!

What I did this summer

“What I did this summer”

Hmm, that sounds like a horror movie title… well I don’t think my little life is anything quite like an American horror movie!

It’s been a busy summer and I’ve been trying to write this blog post for a few weeks now, to very little avail. 2015 has been a big year for me – though it doesn’t rightly feel like it, but I’ve made some big decisions and I’m happy to say they were all for the best – and it’s not over yet: who knows what will happen? This summer has flown by – and it’s not really been much of a summer. My vegetable garden is about six weeks behind; I’ve only just managed to harvest my first courgette and have been eating fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for the past two weeks or so. But more on my garden in another post! (She says, with all intents and purposes, as if it might actually happen…)

First things first, I’m writing this from my shiny new laptop! My trusty Dell, which I’ve had since third year uni, started spitting the dummy out a few weeks back: halfway through a major plot point in Grimm season 2, my computer decided to overheat and refuse to come back to life for more than 20 minutes. Maybe it was telling me my Netflix habit was getting out of control, or maybe it was just showing its age. Dad took it apart and cleaned up the fan but it was probably just the start of a few more problems – a five year old laptop has probably run its course. So after Dad losing his temper in PC World, with me and Mum chasing after him (queues + back to uni shopping rush = not a good day for the Loys), I picked up my shiny blue HP from Currys Digital in the Prospect Centre and, aside from adjusting to a new keyboard, I’m dead chuffed.

Mum and I entered our village horticultIMG_6954ural show: cue momentous stress and rage as pastry refused to play fair, rules were lately acknowledged (if at all) and little victories. Overall we were pleased with our hauls: a first prize apiece and a handful of seconds and thirds between us, we now have enough cake to last us through the winter.

Recently I got a Netflix subscription: I’ve been addicted to Grimm (Captain Renard, all the way!), caught up with Once Upon A Time, not to mention I’ve bookmarked a whole load of other shows to watch. However after seeing about a million fandom references on Pinterest, I bought the first series of Supernatural from CEX, and now I’m hooked. I may have to take in all my old DVDs, CDs and games to pay for the rest of the series. So instead of blogging like a good little girl, I’ve been sat in the sewing room scaring myself silly watching ghost stories.

IMG_6790When I’m not watching the Winchester brothers or wasting hours on Pinterest, I’ve been ploughing my way through a mammoth book series. At the beginning of the year, shortly after leaving the PGCE, I began to revisit a series I’d gotten about half way through a couple of years back and stalled on: Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. I’m currently over halfway through book twelve of fourteen! It’s been a bit of a quest getting hold of the books: I had books 1 – 8 already, purchased generally in bulk from the second hand bookshop in Pickering, but when they didn’t have the next ones, I think I went to every charity shop I could find within walking distance of work (or walking distance from St Stephens, I should say) to track down the rest. I now have all 14 and am so close to the end, it’s a bit scary! Stay tuned for a full post about this series.

Usually summers for me are a bit of a haze. Most people look forward to summers: teachers for obvious reasons, gardeners for the fruition of months of preparation, and others for, I don’t know, warmth, heat, sunshine. When you work in summer schools, it’s a little different: summer is our busiest time (or rather, May onwards). I’ve worked in summer schools now for six summers (which sounds like an age) and so I tend to spend the best parts of summer in apprehension of what’s going to go wrong next; I’m good at forgetting my birthday in the middle of July. Usually the end of summer is marked for me by a trip to the Nurburgring, and this year was no different! We went at the end of August and it was scorching: I got some interesting tan lines as well as a few laps in. Got some pretty good pictures as well, which eventually I will upload in a separate post about this bi-annual pilgrimage. Last trip of 2015 – sad times!

I’ve got a week off work now, hurrah, so will have time to prep a load of posts, but also to do all those things I’ve not gotten round to yet… like watching the rest of Supernatural series 1 and Grimm series 3, and get closer to the end of the Wheel of Time! ^.^

I’ll make a promise here, too: separate posts on what I’ve learned this summer in my garden, a recap of our trip to Germany, and a rambling incoherent piece about my book series.

Until next time!

Turning 25: Quarter of a Century, Half a Year

This Friday I’m going to turn 25! How scary is that?! A whole quarter of a century, and I still feel like I’m far too new to life to be allowed out on my own.

Sometimes I worry that I’ve not achieved everything I wanted to have done by now. So many people I went to school with have had babies, are having babies, are getting married, are married, or are divorced by now. That’s a wee bit freaky! Facebook is a terrible thing for that. I suppose I’ve done some pretty cool things myself – driven the Nurburgring, travelled alone, done a Masters degree (despite still not being entirely sure if it’s Masters or Master’s or even Masters’!), and I do have to keep reminding myself that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to other people – just because that particular thing is their sole goal in life, doesn’t mean I am a failure for not achieving it. And sometimes being on the outside means you see the whole picture of a situation that those inside of it are totally blind to.

Not only am I turning 25 this Friday, but it also is a different milestone for me. I would have been graduating for my PGCE as well. I can’t quite believe that over half a year ago I was in schools doing my teaching practice. I may not know exactly what I want to do or what I’m meant to do in life, but I definitely know what I don’t want to do – which I think is a lot more than many people do. A lot of people told me I was brave for deciding that teaching wasn’t for me and stepping out of it. I never once thought it was brave: to me, it was just a horrible situation, and one that I couldn’t bear to be in any longer. And I can honestly say, hand on my heart, that it has been a decision I’ve never regretted! I don’t think I would have made it to graduation in any case.

This weekend I went to see Into the Woods performed by the Hessle Theatre Company, and then I went to a Garden Party raising money for MIND. I feel like I’ve had a busy weekend, away from home, and going to the Garden Party really helped me put things into perspective, especially since it was held in honour of someone who has passed away. It was an absolutely wonderful event to attend, and I think my friend Karen and her partner Mark did a fantastic job!

I may not have gotten married or popped out a sproglet, however I have a professional job which I hope I’m good at (!!!), some amazing friends, a wonderful family, and, possibly the best bit – I have managed to grow a cauliflower! An actual cauliflower! I’ve managed to do some writing: it probably wasn’t Booker-Prize-winning, but it was sincere; and I’ve actually got to Book Nine in the Wheel of Time. I won’t say anything about work, to not jinx it, but I do feel pretty happy right now.

So please feel free to wish me a happy birthday!

Katy x

A Rainy Day Recap – A Break from #summerschoolmadness

It’s been a while since I’ve done much blogging. I work in a company that runs summer schools so naturally we’re entering our busy time! Since I’m in recruitment, this is pretty much the story of my life – getting emails like this:

Activity Leader wants time off

I’ve been in my garden/greenhouse today a bit, though it has been raining on and off all day, which isn’t exactly ideal. I had managed to get quite wet walking Bilbo so I thought I might as well continue as I started.

Can you tell the photos I took on my iPhone and the ones on my DSLR?

Mum's garden Katy applesIMG_6622IMG_6614IMG_6613IMG_6612IMG_6611IMG_6610IMG_6609IMG_6608IMG_6607IMG_6606IMG_6605IMG_6604IMG_6603IMG_6602IMG_6601

 

Top marks for anyone who can name everything in all these pictures! We had home grown turnips with tea – and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I can actually grow cabbages! I’m sure loads of people will think that’s the saddest thing they’ve ever heard, but after last year’s brassica-related incident with horrid beasties, to see hearts forming on my greyhounds makes me rather excited! My potatoes look to be coming on well and I’ve about got everything set up in the position I want it to be.

Just need some sunshine now! I’m sure this time last year it was hot, sunny and dry.

 

What day of the week is it? – a quickie and an update

What is it about Easter week? Fresh off a four-day weekend and I feel like I need another long weekend to get over this one!

And what a full-on weekend it was! I felt like I never stopped. I went to Harrogate to see my best friend from uni on Good Friday, on Saturday I washed Dickie and did loads of gardening, Sunday we went to the Big Breakfast Car Meet at Specialist Cars of Malton where I took loads of photos, and then I baked Mum’s birthday cake in the afternoon, and then Monday was Mum’s birthday so we were pretty much full up with visitors and trips.

I don’t even know what day of the week it is! Is it Wednesday? Thursday?

I was poorly today so had to be off work. I still don’t feel 100%. I have an awful throat and a pounding head. I slept from about half nine yesterday till about half one this afternoon. Oops! Then I took it easy in the afternoon and pottered around in my garden/greenhouse a bit.

I was very happy to see this little buddy peeping up!

Hello little Carmen!
Hello little Carmen!

Now according to gardeners and my Nana, cucumbers are difficult to grow. The back of the packet is enough to put the fear of God into you – must be kept at these temperatures, the first few days are the most important; it’s like getting a puppy! Whatever you do to this cucumber while it’s germinating is something it will remember for the rest of its life. So naturally I was ready to chalk up cucumber growing to my now rather lengthy list of failures (not exclusive to gardening, I might add) – however I am now happy to say so far I have four out of the five seeds all happily germinated and poking their ways upwards into life in my greenhouse!

Hurrah!

Might this be a sign of good things to come? Oohoo, I shall take it as so! If I can nurture a cucumber into life, who knows what I can achieve? Making myself well enough for work tomorrow would be a start!

I will have more updates later on, I promise! On…whatever day of the week it will be!

Katy

x

Single Belle on the Farm – 10 Reasons Why Being Single is Good

Single Belle on the Farm

Why it's OK to be Single
Why it’s OK to be Single

I wouldn’t say I’m an “eternal” singleton, though I feel often pigeonholed as one, but I am certainly not against romance (do you know of anyone who is single and available, preferable with an interest in cars, gardening, prepared to only ever go on holiday to the Nurburgring, likes cats and big excitable fluffy white doggies, and prepared to deal with zombie me during the week/summer? Then please do get in touch!) However I am definitely not one of these people who view the “single status” (eurgh) as a cursed plague. The people who have never not been in a relationship since they were 15 (and I don’t just mean in the same relationship!) do bamboozle me.

So I thought a bit, and came up with a list of things that are amazing and only apply to you if you are single. celebration of the singleton, if you will!

I didn’t want this list to be like those you find in Cosmo, etc: you know the type! With a snappy title, “33 reasons why being single is amazing”, and then once you’re reading it, it’s a list written by someone in a couple who has gone through all the annoying things their partner does and condescendingly told we eternal spinsters “at least you don’t have to put up with someone stealing the duvet/shaving your legs everyday/pretending to like football/cars/gaming”. I also didn’t want this to fall into a Bridget Jones kind of territory.

I want this to be a bit more serious. Being single isn’t some frothy frivolous idea that we do for a laugh; nor is it some disease that is catching, akin to boyfriend-poaching or the desire to have lots of cats.

It is a conscious decision to never settle for less, and one I believe in very much!

A wordless wednesday motto

Now these are in no particular order! These are just as they occurred to me.

1. Not having to compromise. Everything is for you: not to be shared. Now I am an only child, so I’m not used to sharing anyway. But from my experience, in relationships it’s all about the consultation: can we do this, do you want to do this, we have to do this instead of this. But when you’re on your onesie, who do you have to compromise with? No one (except maybe the devil/angel on your shoulder!)

2. Not having to justify! When you spend your money – buying whatever you want or need, be it shoes, dresses, handbags; a new camera, tickets to the football, or a new car – it’s your money you’re spending; not somebody else’s! I couldn’t imagine having to hide purchases, or lie about them, because someone else would judge me – or worse still, attack me for them. This is my money which I’ve earned – to spend on me!

3. Feeling free. There is a sense of liberty in being single. You are free to do whatever you like: go travelling, go abroad, move abroad; you can move to a different place, be it in this country or another, as your flexibility depends on you rather than on two. It doesn’t have to be restrictive to that: I dallied with spending a little time abroad and ultimately didn’t like it; but I still had the opportunity.

4. Being wholly in control. This leads on from the one before. Naturally this maybe applies to where you are in your life: if you’re a wee bairn with your life ahead of you, control is maybe edged towards the people you still depend on; I myself am still a wee bairn at heart. But controlling what you do with time/money/life is a big deal.

5. Having no one to answer to. I don’t know about you, but I hate somebody wanting to know the reason why I did this or that. Is this one a little too much like 2? I suppose another way to look at it is to think that you don’t

6. Your time is your own. This is sooo important. As someone who has always been characteristically a bit of a loner and leaning towards introvert in her person, having to suddenly share my time – my most precious asset – with somebody else, whose ideas often run at a very different angle to my own, is something I don’t take to very well. I’ve been me and just me for so long I’ve gotten quite nicely used to it.

7. Appreciate the little things. Usually things like a peaceful night’s sleep and cooking what you want without having to cater for different tastes and allergies and whatnot. But also being able to get in from work, chuck on the appropriate slob clothes, and watch whatever rubbish there is on telly (usually Keeping up with the Kardashians or Say Yes to the Dress). These are important things!

8. Get out of ‘Keeping up with Mr & Mr Jones’. Some people in couples love this! I swear some couples are solely based on this. Such-and-such got together, so we have to get together; they went on holiday, so we now have to go on holiday; they bought a house; they got married; they’ve split up… wait?  I sound bitter, but please bear in mind I am observant, and especially observant of people, and some things are so obvious to the outsider it’s almost scripted.

9. Enjoy your quirks! So I like various things that aren’t going to be compatible with everyone: I like metal music, I like listening to German radio stations, I like researching healthy food ideas that most men would call ‘rabbit food’, I like writing about my life on my blog, I like watching The Big Bang Theory over and over again, and my favourite movies are Japanese anime (Studio Ghibli!), I like being on my own, and I like spending a whole day up to my elbows in soil and compost and a bit of manure. Hmmm, do you like the sound of that? Sign your name below!

10. Focus on today, and making today great – not next week, next month, next year. This is probably applicable to all of life, but I’m very good at obsessing over things I have little control over right now, or perhaps things that won’t yield results till much later. I think my inherent impatience is something contributes a lot to my sporadic blasts of creativity, imbued with an edge of desperation. Ooh, that was almost poetic! That must be the third glass of moscato talking.

So, it’s taken about ten revisions and a week of writing… but I think that’s your lot! Not bad for a Saturday night, eh?

I think we are very much pre-programmed, at least biologically to find a mate, but we’re also brainwashed by the media, and by films and television and books and everything, that finding a partner and being in a relationship is key to success. Being focused on ourselves is now considered selfish, which in itself is now decided to be a bad thing. Pah!!! Being single is good. Because I do firmly believe that we should never settle for anything less than the absolute best we can achieve.

Let me know. Do you agree? Or am I indeed an alien? Have I simply not found “the Right One” yet? Or might I be onto something? Give me your thoughts! Though please, no pity parties!

Till next time, from Single Belle on the Farm!
Till next time, from Single Belle on the Farm!