Monday

The only titles I could think of for this post were either alliterative or cliche, both of which I am far too tired to cope with (they annoy me on a good day). So you’ve ended up with a one-word statement of fact. A statement of fact that is only a statement of fact for another 58 minutes, and which will probably be no longer so by the time you read this post.

We had a lovely weekend away in Scarborough – post to follow next week (this week’s will be a photo post on my birthday camping trip) – with lots of sea air and some time out together. It was a shame to come home really, to a house full of boxes and paint and half-finished rooms! But the end is in sight :)

Today was my last month-end at IVP, thankfully, I’m not going to lie. I find them pretty stressful, and had about 2 weeks’ worth of work to do in one day today which was particularly trying. I was in from 7am-5pm, followed by Street Pastors work from 5pm-10pm. This two jobs malarkey can’t end soon enough!

While we were out, Dougal (who, having been ill and on a forced fast for the past 24 hours, had decided enough was enough, and went on a forage) managed to find (out of a zipped-up rucksack no less), open and consume upwards of 20 hard-boiled lollipops (courtesy of Street Pastors), a bottle of hair conditioner and 2 plastic carrier backs. We got home to find him lying in a sugar-induced sleep-coma on a pile of shredded plastic bags, with a suspicious trail of sticky sticks (lol) and wrappers leading away from him in the general direction of the rucksack, from which the original sweets had been pilfered.

And so, on that note, I leave you – with a sincere apology for the amount of parentheses used in today’s post and 47 minutes for you to read it before it has a defunct name.

Warmest regards,

Exhausted, from Nottingham

Crazy days

Escape Attempt

Andrew and I are heading for a quiet weekend away together, so last night we dropped Dougal off at my mum’s. He was totally hyper-active all evening. ALL. EVENING. And he’s a pretty big dog, so his hyper-activity is hard work to put it mildly. Even after we left he was driving my mum and my mum’s dog, Charlie, totally mad.

This morning, I spent an hour doing some work in Costa Coffee before heading to my new place of work for staff prayer and breakfast.

Enter a hysterical text message from my mother – BOTH DOGS HAVE ESCAPED. YOUR DAD IS AT THE DOCTOR’S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN AND CAN’T COME AND HELP.

I didn’t take much notice, and carried on my merry way. An hour later, the dogs were still missing and mother dearest was having a major panic attack. We had this phone call:

Me: I’m just leaving the Malt Cross, I need to ring work and tell them I’ll be late in, I’m going to try and get to yours and find the dogs.

Mum: Ok, I don’t know where they are or what to do. I don’t know how they got out. I was in the bathroom and I looked outside and they were gone.

Me: It’s fine. I’ll be there as soon as I can. Ring the police and tell them what has happened, and then ring the local pound and let them know.

Mum: I don’t think there is a pound.

Me: Mum, it’s a major city, of course there is a pound; where do you think all the stray dogs are?

Mum: ….

Anyway, it turned out I had to be at work and couldn’t get to my mum’s – thankfully, both rascals turned up a few streets down. An elderly lady had managed to bribe both of them into her house, and she rang the dog warden to report that she had found them just as my mum was on the phone to him reporting them missing. So it all worked out in the end.

Tonight, Andrew and I are heading away for a couple of days. I’m hoping that a “Friday Favourites” post will be published automatically tomorrow, but it’s the first time I’ve ever done it so excuse me if it doesn’t work.

What are you doing for the next few days?

Happy Thursday!

Recently Reading

Well, I’m sure this blog post is happy to be getting posted, finally!

We’ve had a marvellous weekend, and I’m feeling relaxed despite all we have to get on with this week. These books were read a few weeks ago, but personally that still counts as recent (because I said so and it’s my blog so I’ll be as demanding as I want).

On with the show! Please remember that I don’t like to give the plot to books away, so my critiques generally focus on whether I think a book is “readable” or not.

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This week’s books had mediocre covers to say the least.

the other hand

“We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it.

Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it so we will just say this:

This is the story of two women.

Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice.

Two years later, they meet again – the story starts there…

Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.”

My lovely sister-in-law recommended this book to me. All she warned me was that it’s sad, because I hate sad books and like to be warned so I can steel myself. I was expecting the “terrible choice” to be more horrible, but I don’t know if that says more about me than about the blurb on the back… The story is intriguing and catches you up into itself, always wanting to know more, what happens next, how is it going to end? You can’t help but become emotionally involved in the characters, which gives the story progression even bigger impact. Chris Cleave has written a couple of other books that are on my “to read” list, but I keep putting them off because apparently they’re pretty miserable.

7/10: potentially unsatisfying

sweet tooth

“The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. Britain is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism. Serena Frome, in her final year at Cambridge, is being groomed for MI5.

Serena is sent on a secret mission – Operation Sweet Tooth – which brings her into the world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.”

This was one of those “If I buy this, I’ll get another one half price” purchases in Waterstones. You know, where you know that you’re going to buy it anyway but you spend 5-10 minutes talking yourself into why it’s a wise financial decision. Justifying yourself. I had been eyeing it up for a while after someone on Facebook said it was brilliant, so I bought it and got stuck in as soon as I got home. I read it in under 20 hours (mid-week, so work and a small amount of sleep were both in there somewhere). Ian McEwan has a habit of being quite depressing, but this book was surprisingly uplifting and has an ingenious plot. My only criticism would probably be that the blurb implies more of a James Bond-esque set-up, which isn’t the case, but I’m pretty sure it’s the editors who write the blurbs normally so I can’t really judge Monsieur McEwan on that. Serena is, despite some foolishness, a likable main character. I can imagine this book making a good film.

8/10: “unputdownable”

the big over easy

“Dead bodies never look like this.

It’s Easter in Reading – a bad time for eggs – and the shattered, tuxedo-clad corpse of local businessman Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III has been found lying beneath a wall in a shabby part of town. Humpty was one of life’s good guys – so who would want him knocked off? And is it a coincidence that his ex-wife has just met with a sticky end down at the local biscuit factory?

A hardened cop on the mean streets of the Thames Valley’s most dangerous precinct, Jack Spratt has seen it all, and something tells him this is going to be a tough case to crack…”

This is the first book in a series of Jack Spratt “Nursery Crimes” books. I first discovered Jasper Fforde by reading The Eyre Affair, which is the first of the Thursday Next series, and I absolutely fell in love with it. Jasper Fforde is a literary genius, his books are full of the artfully crafted surreal and absurd. Puns layered upon puns, wordplay of every kind. If you love literature, his books are a wonderfully hilarious and playful escapist way to kill a few hours. In terms of how compelling this book was to read, this wasn’t as good as The Eyre Affair and other things of his I’ve read, hence the low score.

6/10: he’s written better

Check out Charlotte’s Web, where this review format was originally used :)

What’s on your Recently Reading list? What do you think I should read and review over the next few months?

Burn out

Hello my little following of fabulous friends!

I know it’s been a while, and I know I keep saying I’m going to get back to it. Unfortunately blogging has fallen way down my list of things to do since the start of this year, what with all the energy it has been taken to just function on a basic level. I really do miss it – I love writing, and I love following the community of lifestyle bloggers I normally read.

I’ve got a new job – more on that in another post. I’ve started a few hours a week already, on top of my current job which I finish in 3 weeks or so and then I go full time at the new place. I’m so excited about it, it’s an amazing opportunity that I’m deeply passionate about and I’m pretty sure that it’s going to help my stress levels no end.

I have a “Recently Reading” post lurking about, I’m *going* to post it on Monday.

It’s my birthday tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to a lovely weekend with family and friends – I’ll post pictures next week :-)

I’d love to hear your news and how you’re all getting on, so if you stop by then please do take a minute to leave a comment! I love reading them and responding!

Muchos love, amigos x

P. S. Genuinely adoring the polka dots on this layout. How do you pronounce “polka”?

Tuesday… No, Monday… No, Tuesday.

 

 

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Bank holidays really mess with my brain.

We totally wasted ours yesterday. We spent most of the day cleaning, tidying and stripping wallpaper.

But then I made UHMAYZING burger and potato skins for dinner, and we went to see What Maisie Knew at the Broadway. It was a really good film, you should definitely go and see it.

Today, I’m back at work, and I just realised that it’s less than a month until my 23rd birthday, and so far I’m set to reach like 2 of my goals. Total fail. I’m blaming all the redecorating we’ve had to do, it’s totally eaten all our free time over the past 5 months.

In better news: we just bought an awesome tent for £25. We’re picking it up on Friday. Win.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Last week

Last week, Andrew and I were pretty brain dead because of leading on a (really awesome) youth camp the week before.

My lovely mum-in-law and brother-in-law were over staying with us from Northern Ireland. It was super fun having them, and it’s always lovely being able to spend quality time with Andrew’s family who are normally so far away!

I got home from work, and my aforementioned lovely mum-in-law and brother-in-law had spent pretty much a day deep-cleaning my kitchen and rearranging my cupboards so that everything that was previously on floors and counters is now tucked away nicely behind doors. [this is as a result of water damage in the kitchen, we had to rip out a whole lot of cupboards – it has created a nightmare – a blog post is on the horizon wholly dedicated to this nightmarish episode, what fun]

We spent our evenings eating, walking, chilling and having oodles of fun and laughs.

Wollaton Picnic

Wollaton Park is a particular favourite – we had a delightful picnic there where Dougal finally learned how to play “fetch”. The sun was glorious, the surroundings were stunning, and the company was superb.

Fetch

All in all, it was a wonderful week, and we were sad to say goodbye on Monday morning. Especially as it means we now have to get back on with decorating.

Two years.

Whoah.

Image courtesy of Geoff Whaley

Image courtesy of Geoff Whaley

We’ve been married for two years.

Two years ago today, I was being forcibly stopped from leaving the house to go and put finishing touches to the decor at our venue.

Two years ago today, Andrew and his best man were buying last-minute trousers.

Two years ago today, in classic Menekse style, I was half an hour late to our wedding.

Two years ago today, I married the most kind-hearted, loving and wonderful man I’ve ever met.

Two years ago today, Andrew and I became part of each others’ wonderful families.

Tonight, we’re celebrating with dinner and a show. I’m looking forward to just hanging out with my husband and talking about all the exciting things we have to look forward towards together.

Two years has flown by, and it’s made us realise how precious time is and how easy it can be to waste it. It’s made me more determined to keep blogging, to keep somewhere we can record the little things that make life wonderful.

Life is wonderful.

Hello.

Hello, bloggy world.

I realise it’s been a number of weeks since I last blogged (bad Meneksh), but I really miss it :( so hopefully I’m back this time for good.

The reasons for my absence are threefold:

1. Google really messed with me when it told me “Google Reader” was shutting down. BOO. Anyway, Bloglovin’ is taking a while to get used to. So nailing it now.

2. I have been *excessively* busy at work. To the point of making myself ill. (Ok, so that reason had two sub reasons). This has involved not getting home until around 6.30-7pm most evenings since March, coming home and just sleeping. My poor husband.

3. We have loads of “renovation” stuff going on in our house, which is causing unprecedented CHAOS. House mantra since January: “It will be lovely when it’s done.” We shouldn’t have to put up with this, WE LIVE IN RENTED. Anyway, plus side = it will be pretty much exactly as I’d like it once it’s all finished. Big plus :)

Anyways, it’s made me a bit miserable if I’m honest, because our social life died (it was barely breathing, extended working hours were the last straw) and I just felt/feel really crappy. Suspected stomach ulcer, bouts of insomnia, tension headaches. I’ve decided that I am going to stop waiting for work to calm down and just get on with stuff, who needs sleep anyway?

So, I’m off to get used to Bloglovin’ a bit more, and see how to add this bad boy (girl?) onto it. Any recommendations for blogs I should “follow”? I’m going to do a post on my favourite blogs soon I think :) aren’t you lucky.

Life.

Things have been… Hard work. We’re coming up to year end at work, and we’re short-staffed in our office, which has meant I have been doing 10-12 hour days for the past 2 or 3 weeks not had a social life at all, not read any books, not done anything significant by way of housekeeping, not been keeping up with my favourite blogs, not keeping on top of my studying (obviously this is the least important).

Fun, huh?

I don’t know who this guy is. He’s from Google. I hope he doesn’t mind his face being on my blog.

On May 1st, I am veggin’ out big time. And on May 6th, I am SLEEPING ALL DAY. I may wake up to read a book or some such other luxury. w00t for bank holidays.

Other things that are happening in our lives:

  • We’re getting confirmed in less than 2 weeks. We have to go and practice getting confirmed this week, so we do it right on the day. I think a “lol” is in order.
  • I took my first ever set of minutes last night. That’s right. I have somehow managed to become the minute-responsible secretary for not one but two management committees.
  • Dougal is starting to lose his puppy fur. This is creating major grooming problems, because it’s getting all matted into his newly-sprouting grown-up hair.
  • Our kitchen is still awaiting new plaster and new decor. It’s getting quite depressing now.

There’s more, but nothing I’m overly keen on sharing in cyber space.

Now I’m off home to do some studying and/or to take a nap. Having been at work since 7.25am, I think it’s acceptable for me not to stay past 6pm today. Especially as my head now contains a braingetable.

Things to do before I’m 23

puppehMarch heralded my half-birthday. I’m now just over 22.5 years of age.

So I decided it was time to make a few little goals to reach before I’m 23. And I’m sharing them on here, which means I have to work towards them now or I’ll risk looking a fool to all 4 people who read my blog.

  1. Read the Bible through twice.
  2. Reach my goal weight.
  3. Have healthy eating habits.
  4. Learn to knit.
  5. Become financially efficient.
  6. Work out 4 times per week.
  7. Become proficient on the machine used for sewing.
  8. Get up at 6am, at least every weekday.
  9. Have an organised laundry basket. This includes ironing, puke.