Category Archives: Journal

finally, he’s here

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It’s been stressful getting to this point but I am so relieved he is finally here. There have been nightmares and moments of panic that I am making the wrong decision but I suppose only time will tell. I wish I had taken some pictures of him before getting into the wagon and on the wagon but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

He was a bit of a swine to load to begin with but he went on on his third attempt. The journey was completely uneventful, he was a dream passenger and all my worrying was for nothing! George got to his new home safe and sound around 3pm on Wednesday the 28th of September.

This weekend I have been down to see him twice; unfortunately during our time apart he has lost his stable manners and the alpacas are proving to be a somewhat scary beasty for him. But with time and some TLC he’ll be back to his normal self!

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

#KeepTheSecrets

Of course I’m not going to write anything regarding the play here as I will not be the one to reveal the secrets. Suffice it to say it was a great experience and the composition of the play differs quite significantly from the movies. For some this may be a breath of fresh air, for me I’m not quite sure what to take from it but I loved it nonetheless.

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My friend and I managed to obtain tickets for the Cursed Child back in June. That morning was a whirlwind; I sat in work with my phone, a laptop and my desktop, refreshing the page to purchase tickets. The second release date (22/06/16) was publicised the day before. Those on the mailing list were invited to join a virtual queue to purchase tickets at 12 noon BST. I joined at 11:50 and already there were thousands of people in the queue.

Seeing twitter alive with elated Potter Fans announcing their success at obtaining tickets and any date I selected I was unable to get through to check out, I was starting to lose hope. Eventually it happened; the random dates I clicked on went through. It felt like I had 5 minutes to rush through my card details to secure these tickets, but it happened. A well done page appeared and my friend and I had secured our opportunity to go and see the Cursed Child in it’s first year on Shaftesbury Avenue.

From there the following months proceeded to fly by. We decided in the weeks running up to the show that we would go all out and also visit the Harry Potter Warner Bros Tour; you can never have too much Harry Potter right?

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I’m not sure what was more amazing the play or the tour; the level of detail included in the sets, the amount of work that went into creating each and every scene is simple outstanding. If you ever get the opportunity to do the tour I strongly recommend you do it.

hike to Henrhyd Falls

For weeks I have been wanting to make the hours journey from my home in Cardiff to Waterfall Country in the Vale of Neath. Finally on the 18th of September I got to have a little peak at this magnificent land scape visiting Henrhyd Falls.

I always thought to see such incredible, intact scenery I would have to travel by plane. It just goes to show what you can find on your doorstep through a simple google search!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A reverse bucket list

I have stolen this idea from another blogger who’s posts always seem to speak to me. The idea is simple – instead of creating a list of things to do, create a list of things or accomplishments you have already done/made.

So here goes…

  1. Aged 11 I learnt to ride a horse; his name was Buttons and he was an adorable little dark bay!
  2. Went to my first concert – it was Snoop Dogg and I was 12 or 13. My brother and parents were also there!
  3. Got my Izzy big dog, unfortunately due to the novelty of camera phones we no longer have any pictures of her as a puppy.Izzy.jpg
  4. Visited the continent of Africa for the first time, I went with a friend and her parents to Egypt. This trip to Egypt contained some other achievements:
    1. Went on a submarine (it was yellow)!
    2. Parasailed for the first time.
    3. Rode a quad bike through the desert!
  5. Learnt to surf, it didn’t go well and I haven’t done it again since.
  6. Attended my first music Festival: Wakestock in Abersoch.
  7. 2009 – visited Cyprus for the first and only time (so far).
  8. I’ve visited Disney World Florida too many times to count and Universal Orlando.
  9. Got over my fear of roller coasters.
  10. Learnt to drive and passed my test first time, aged 17.
  11. 2010 – I got my gorgeous chunky boy, George!george
  12. Visited Disneyland Paris twice, once for my 20th birthday.disney.jpg
  13. Went to University.
  14. Did my first paid modelling job.
  15. Saw Watch the Throne in Manchester.kanye.jpg
  16. Got my first real job.
  17. Moved out of the family home.
  18. Went on my first holiday with my boyfriend; we drove around Europe together in my Brera. We went to Ghent, Antwerp, the Nurburgring, Arnhem, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Bruges all in one week
  19. Moved in with my boyfriend.
  20. My boyfriend and I got our first pet together, our F4 Savannah, Kevin.
  21. Moved away from Cheshire to Peterborough.
  22. Went to New York with my boyfriend to celebrate his 31st birthday.
  23. Then I moved from Peterborough to Cardiff.

 

The journey continues!

if only Fate played a role

Since reviving my blog I must have applied for around 50 marketing roles (this might be a slight exaggeration) and I’m yet to hear a thing on any of them. I know the deck is stacked against me; there are bound to be candidates applying for these same roles who either have the qualifications, the experience, or both, and for me to get picked before them would be a miracle. But I still can’t help feeling disheartened.

I’m not one for fate, I can’t just tell myself it wasn’t meant to be or when it’s right it’ll happen. I need to do something pro-actively to change my odds. I contacted the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) a few weeks ago regarding their courses and they’ve been analysing my CV to determine which level I should start my studies.

CIM offer 4 levels of study:

  • Level 3: Foundation Certificate in Marketing
  • Level 4: Certificate in Professional Marketing
  • Level 5: Diploma in Professional Marketing
  • Level 6: Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing

Thinking I’d be advised to start on the foundation course I was pleasantly surprised today to learn their suggestion for me was Level 4. The course commences in January and there are multiple ways I can choose to study; virtual, blended or residential. Each has it’s own merits but this will require a little more thought.

The only ‘problem’ is they don’t start until January – but hopefully just being signed up will demonstrate my commitment to the profession and help me get out of this IT mud I’m currently stuck in.

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously I never had aspirations of working in IT. In fact I bumped into an old friend recently who when informed of what I was currently doing looked at me quizzically and advised he never had me down as one to have a career in IT. It’s just not the right fit for me, I ended up here more through a series of unfortunate events than a grand plan I had designed throughout my school years.

But things will change. Eventually.

have your Cake and eat it too?

This proverb literally means you cannot keep your cake and eat it too; it really is one or the other.

I’ve realised recently that this is what I have been trying to do. While I was still living at home I was never the tidiest person, I always thought to myself that when I moved out I’d miraculously change and I’d become a domestic goddess; that my life would suddenly become like something out of a disney film and nearby animals would flock to my assistance and I would whistle while I worked.

That’s not what happened.

I moved out over two years ago and I’m still as messy. Now I just want to clarify I’m not unclean my home isn’t worthy of a hazmat suit & quarantine, but I am an unwitting fan of a floordrobe, my kitchen table becomes a dumping ground for my make-up, my handbag and other bits and I may have a few empty shampoo bottles in the bathroom just because.

At home it was always my mum who curbed my untidy habits. But now I’ve moved out and in with my boyfriend it’s him who clears away after me. I’ve noticed I moan at him a lot for not necessarily being forthcoming with saying how he feels but I’ve only recently realised that he shows his love in a different way. He shows me how he feels by doing my washing, by cleaning up after me in the kitchen and just generally looking after me.

I’ve somehow managed to have my cake and keep it too, but I think enough is enough.

what makes us Shiver?

I’m not talking about our bodies reaction to being cold. I’m talking about our emotional response to stimuli. Like the tremor we get when we hear a good piece of music or the goose bumps we get when we watch a particularly moving scene in a film.

For me I always get that feeling when I watch Finding Nemo not only the opening music but one particular scene always gets me; when Nigel is telling Nemo and the rest of the tank fish about Marlin’s journey across the ocean to find his son. Emotion seems to catch in my chest and make it feel heavy yet at the same time elated.

 

More recently I experienced a different kind of shiver. Over the British bank holiday weekend I travelled to Nice in the South of France. Walking along the promenade I saw it. The memorial for those killed in the Bastille Day Massacre. It wasn’t just seeing the candles and the flowers it was the teddy bears that had been put out to mourn the children who had also suffered a terrible fate that night.

Actually standing in the exact spot where something so horrific happened was harrowing. It’s hard to find any words to describe the feeling of being there. My heart goes out to those who were there that night and to those who lost relatives and friends.

I couldn’t take pictures of the scene, for me it just didn’t feel appropriate.

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I had the same feeling when visiting Ground Zero in Manhattan. The silence that filed
the area nothing can describe it. Of this I did capture a few images; around the infinity pools the names of those that lost their lives were engraved. In some of these names a single white rose would reside.

I just remember the shiver that overcame me when the magnitude of these two atrocities hit me. The tears I shed for people I’ll never know. It’s hard to comprehend.

Fiery by Nature, or am I?

Growing up my dad always told me that as a ginger I was fiery by nature; this entails not only being a passionate person but being fierce and quick to temper. And I have recognised this as part of my personality all my life. When I choose to do something I give it my all; why bother doing something otherwise? I have also noticed the other side of my fiery nature; on occasion I can have a wicked tongue and I say things I inevitably regret.

However, the other week I had an encounter on my way home from work that tested by beliefs about myself. I got on my usual bus home,sat down and took out my phone. Like every other passenger I was minding my own business; checking through emails, surfing Facebook and looking to see if any interesting job listings had been posted that day.

As the bus began to pull off there was some commotion to my left. I stopped to observe a man hounding and poking another man, shouting in his face about what I do not know. My first assumption was the pair must have known each other. But as the antagonist of this situation turned and started to verbally abuse another passenger, once again leaning over so his face would meet hers, I realised this man was just looking for anyone to abuse. This time I did hear what was pouring out of his mouth. The victim on this occasion happened to be an older woman of the Asia/Pacific region, she was happily chatting to a younger lady and their conversation was not impacting anyone on the bus. However, this man thought otherwise and he started to racially abuse this woman, telling her ‘how dare she be up in his country speaking her own language’. The woman paid no attention to him and he lost interest, but she didn’t continue her conversation.

The next person to get this man’s attention was me. I thought great, I’ll give him a piece of my mind, how dare he stand and shout racial abuse at an old lady. But as he opened his mouth and started bullying me in a way I had not experienced since school I froze. No quick witted, volatile responses came to me. And his abuse just kept coming, this man that I had never met and didn’t know me from Adam was hurling abuse at me in front everyone on this crowded bus and I was shrivelling away.

I ended up putting my headphones in and ignoring him but I could feel this rush of emotion coming and it took everything in me to stop myself from crying.

Eventually he lost his interest with me and he moved on. When we got to the next stop the driver shut the engine off but he didn’t move. The man kept toying with the idea of getting off but clearly he couldn’t resist bullying a few more people before his departure. A girl intervened. She started to scream at him and she continued to berate him until he got off the bus. Why couldn’t I do that? Where was my confidence to stand up for myself?

When I got in that evening I cried; my fiery nature had failed me.

a Thought

I wrote the below in June while sat down watching 12 Years a Slave and reflecting on the instances of police brutality that have been filling the news and my Facebook feed.I’m still not sure about sharing this publicly but maybe these things need to be said?

I am always saddened by the apparent and excessive cruelty of our being. To know that by our collective hand there has been such harm caused and I am at a loss to reconcile it with myself that we could ever be better.

What cruelty will we bestow upon this world, on our fellow men for decades, centuries or millenniums to come? By nature we put other beings beneath ourselves. We murder animals for our needs regardless of theirs. We have forced men, women and children to serve us with no rights, no dignity and no liberty. We have read from scripture and other sources to confirm our conviction. But what gives us this resolute belief that we are above any other creature, any other man, woman or child?

It is this question that I could not shake while watching the events Solomon Northup painstakingly wrote of his experience of being kidnapped and sold into slavery. That any other man could be less than another purely based upon the colour of his skin. Did these people ask for their ancestors to be ripped from their homeland? The white people of many nations treated these people as though they were unworthy to live in their country but they brought them their in the first place. Uneducated, poorly treated and without prospect; how could man do this to his fellow man? To not see they are the same as him; not inferior, not a lesser being, no different on the inside than they themselves.

I would pray for a better world but I’m not sure there is anyone up there to answer, let alone change the world.

A good piece to read is Know your history: Understanding racism in the US  written by A’Lelia Bundles for Al Jazeera. This piece was written in August 2015 and I must have read it several times since.

George

IMG_0277I relocated to Cardiff in March, but I haven’t lived near to my big Georgey boy since I moved away from Cheshire in August 2015. It’s been a year now since I had the convenience of being down the road from him and I am starting to realise just how much I miss him.

I got George for my 18th birthday and that first year of owning him was a whirlwind. I learnt so much not only about horse ownership but myself. We had our ups & downs as with every relationship but he’s my baby and it’s time I brought him home to me.

Only recently have I started to consider the events that could happen in the near future; George was born in 1997 and at an unknown date next year he will turn 20. I have decided I would like the comfort of having George near to me as should the worst happen I would want to be there with him, reassuring him and knowing that my love was that last thing he felt.

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I can imagine moving a horse 150 miles is not easily done and with George’s age and my over-protective-ness I want to ensure I make the best decision for him and not myself. I’ve only looked at two yards so far but they are poles apart. The first was a riding school with dozens upon dozens of people coming and going every day and the second was a gorgeous small yard nestled out in the wonderful Welsh countryside. I suppose you can tell which way I am leaning. But it still doesn’t help me make the decision so I was hoping the following would:

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Yes, I’ve created a spreadsheet along with a scoring system for the yards I am considering (there are more but I haven’t yet completed them). But really what I need to get a handle on is whether I think George will settle and be happy. I know he’s currently happy where he is (at least I think he is) but I’m not happy about him being there. I have to make this as much a selfless decision as possible because I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I moved him and he was unhappy.

When I met George he was a little overweight and not being looked after they way he deserved; unfortunately the woman who had him would rather keep herself in cigarettes than keep him in bedding. I had George on loan originally, and saw to him 3 times a week, after a few months his owner announced she was moving abroad and was selling George. Having been ripped off I brought George to his new home in the July before my 18th birthday. As I had never owned a horse before and I knew I had a lot to learn, I chose a larger yard which had a score of people that were always around. Things were great at first but it soon became apparent that George and I were coping fine but the yard was not everything we needed it to be. The other owners spent too much time bitching and the yard owners were more concerned with their profit margins than the horses welfare.

Our next yard was gorgeous:

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Photographer: Ryan Davies – MonoColour Photography LTD @RDaviesLTD

Jane the lady who owned the yard was wonderful and the horses always came first with her, even if it meant telling an owner off and George loved her. It was also very quiet and tranquil, it was a wonderful to escape here to see George. But as I’ve already said, life got in the way and I lost touch with a lot of the things I love.

The cost of this yard started to catch up with me and I had to find somewhere cheaper for George. As I was no longer riding I found a retirement yard for him and he’s been there ever since.

The yard I went to look at today was beautiful even on a rainy Welsh summers day (though nothing can compare to the above) and there’s meant to be beautiful hacking just down the road, so George and I can spend some lazy Sunday mornings walking through the countryside enjoying each others company once again. The woman who runs the yard is lovely and none of the stables are enclosed so I don’t have to worry about George being stuck without a view and coughing with the dust. This yard also has alpaca’s and given George’s reaction to Shetland Ponies I can imagine he’ll be even more fascinated with these curly haired little guys!

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I hope I make the right decision.