august break 2014

Not that I need an excuse to be a lazy bitch but I've got one now thanks to gorgeous Susannah.

I heard about the august break last year but was too late to take part, needless to say I love the idea, how divine to have a summer holiday from blogging, a chance to recharge, rethink and maybe get started on some new projects.

I'm already imagining the excitement of getting back to it again in September, be like getting ready to go back to school, always my most favourite time of the year. Any excuse for a new pencil case is good for me but I'm getting ahead of myself here, we've still got the long, happy month of august to go and this summer already feels never-ending, just brilliant.

So I won't be writing anything in august however I will be taking part in the photo challenge on instagram and perhaps posting the pictures here if they're not too shit.

I've never done a photo challenge before, I see them all the time and often have a wild few seconds of thinking I'd like to join in but I'm way to inconsistent to even attempt it, and lazy. Should be interesting to see if I manage this.

Happy august everyone, enjoy the summer, summer, summertime, let's just sit back and unwind.


on running

I have a love/hate relationship with running.

It seems to me to be a pursuit that's equal parts ridiculous and essential. I fight it, I embrace it, I punch it in the face, I hold it in my arms. Gah.

It would perhaps be less troubling if I was any good at it, in my head I'm leaping down the road like a baby gazelle, however the reality is much, much different. I can usually manage to look quite normal for the first half a mile but after that I'm struggling every step of the way and it shows. I literally have to fight my bloody legs to carry me, fight my bloody head to keep repeating that I can do it, I can do it, I can. It's this internal battle that doesn't seem to lessen with time that's led me to wonder why I bloody bother.

Maybe it's because even if you are shit at running and look a holy mess whilst partaking of it, it doesn't matter because you've got off your arse and gone out and done something haven't you? I always think 'good for you' whenever I see somebody running, maybe because I know how hard it is, not just to do the actual running thing but to get your bum off the sofa, struggle into skin-tight lycra and open the front door with your trainers on and the world's largest iron-clad running bra strapped to your boobs.

Then there's the challenge of it I suppose. If your body and your mind are both screaming no but yet you still carry on then that is immensely satisfying, no? But quite freakish too, because if your body says no and your mind says no then who exactly is it that's saying yes? What part of you is carrying you forward? Your ego, your spirit, your soul? Your magical, mystical imaginary friend?

Is it possible that all that talk of running being a zen activity is true? Did I scoff at those theories prematurely? I think the answer is yes because whilst I'm dragging my old body round my run route and hurting every step of the way, I know once you've pushed through the first bit of pain (am I really saying this) you settle into this wonderful zone of invincibility where your body feels relaxed and soft, your mind has settled into the plod, plod, plod of your feet and you feel like you could go on forever. A painful, lung screaming, over-heated, vomit inducing forever but a forever just the same.

Run anyone?


when mice attack

We are under siege.

It is truly terrifying, scary and stand on a chair with my skirts pulled up scream-worthy.

A crazy ass mouse is stalking us and it's playing havoc with my nerves.

I've been seeing it now and then scampering about the garden at dusk and everything was fine with Mr Mouse being outside, all was fine. I would prefer him to bugger off but still F.I.N.E.

Then it happened. The mouse made it's move. He came into my house.

The cheeky bleeder just trotted right up the steps and into the house, I was sitting on my own in the dark watching telly and I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye and Mickey was boldly on his way in to my manor. I leapt up and shouted "Noooooo" thus scaring the little shit off, shot to the door, slammed the door, panted at the door and then ran, heart pounding in my chest, upstairs to tell on it to Darren.

Firstly I will say this, he did not and still does not believe me, I don't care what he says to the contrary, his inability to be freaked out at the thought of sharing our home with a rodent together with his relaxed "I don't give a shit" attitude have led me to realise that I am in this on my own.

Me against the mouse.

The mouse is doomed.

I will not stop until I am convinced that it has found a new family to terrorise.


things you don't know about holidaying in France that will make you happy

France is just as you expect it to be, the clichés do not disappoint.

I had waited so long for a holiday in the south of France that I would have felt robbed without the fields of sunflowers, the grapevines, pretty shuttered houses, tree-lined roads, rustic farmhouses, good bread, cheese and red wine. It was exactly like that, exactement, and heaven knows that made me one happy lady.

But it was the things we didn't know about France that made our trip so really brilliant, the things that nobody told us, the things that people had said would be perhaps a 'challenge'.

The unexpected laid-backness of the place being top of the list, it's just so amazingly chilled out in France, it really is. The uptight, rigid culture of corporate homogenisation and extreme busyness that is so abundant here hasn't taken hold over there and it's rather refreshing to walk into a supermarket where people don't wear uniforms, where the fruit is all bashed and bruised and real looking, where every petrol station looks different and the shops are shut on a Sunday...and a Wednesday...and for two hours at lunch time on all other days.

People walk to the boulangerie to get their bread in the morning and stop for a chat along the way, stop for a chat in the shop, stop for a chat with the postman. There's no hurrying, no rush and the streets are wonderfully devoid of the unrelenting march of a branded coffee cup.

It was lovely to slip off the uptight english overcoat for a short while and relax, once the initial panic of forgetting your schoolgirl french and not being able to buy food on a Sunday has gone, you can't help yourself. The French countryside is a dream, there is literally no traffic anywhere, we would go on short day trips expecting UK-type car chaos and not see one person. We were continually wondering where everyone was and constantly delighting at the lack of vehicles and abundance of parking spaces.

And to top it off we found it friendly, we had been told not to expect smiles and civility but the peoples were wrong about this too! Betsy helped, being so freaking cute, especially once we taught her to say 'bonjour' - that was it, local hearts melting all over the south of France, big smiles and hearty slaps on the back everywhere.

So get thee to France, it's brill* and have yourselves a very bonne journée!

*except for the flipping eurotunnel which had an 'incident' on the day we were travelling home which left us stranded at the terminal for over eight hours....yep.