Saturday, 22 December 2012

The High Life

Yesterday I met up with an old friend for a bit of a catch up, and to walk his dalmatian. Obviously. 

Being the shortest day of the year and all, it was getting dark rather early so we decided to give our usual Purbecks trip a miss, and go local, rather than braving the hills and the rain. Unfortunately, we made a bit of a mistake (possibly my bad choices) and went for a wander in some local fields that surround the river Stour.  Needless to say everything was a bit muddy, and by the time my boots were sunk, we decided it was time to abandon ship, and so headed to the beach which was much less squelchy. 
Throop Mill

Squelchy Fields

Charlie the Dalmation

Flooding River

 We topped the evening off with an incredibly civilised dinner (made entirely from the reduced section of Tesco) including Crab Salad, Coffee Martinis and Ben and Jerry's

Crab and Salad. Om nom nom.

Coffee Martinis. Oh yes.

New Festive Flavours!
I can wholeheartedly recommend. 
All in all a very fun, very Christmassy day.

PS - This is my new favourite website - it recommends drinks based on your music choices! I can't think why I didn't come up with such an idea. It's called Drinkify

Friday, 21 December 2012

Truth for the Shortest Day of the Year

None upon Earth I Desire Beside Thee

How tedious and tasteless the hours,
When Jesus no longer I see!
Sweet prospects, sweet birds, and sweet flow’rs,
Have lost all their sweetness to me.
The mid-summer sun shines but dim,
The fields strive in vain to look gay;
But when I am happy in Him,
December’s as pleasant as May.

His name yields the richest perfume,
And sweeter than music His voice;
His presence disperses my gloom,
And makes all within me rejoice:
I should, were He always thus nigh,
Have nothing to wish or to fear;
No mortal so happy as I,
My summer would last all the year.

Content with beholding His face,
My all to His pleasure resigned,
No changes of season or place
Would make any change in my mind.
While blessed with a sense of His love,
A palace a toy would appear;
And prisons would palaces prove,
If Jesus would dwell with me there.

Dear Lord, if indeed I am Thine,
If Thou art my sun and my song;
Say, why do I languish and pine,
And why are my winters so long?
O drive these dark clouds from my sky,
Thy soul-cheering presence restore;
Or take me unto Thee on high,
Where winter and clouds are no more.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Festivities

The past few weeks have been a blur of essays, reading, notes, scraps of paper and slightly stressful trips to the library, so needless to say, I have been more than a little bit thrilled that Uni is finished for first term, and I have nothing but Christmas plans for the next few weeks.

I have returned to Bournemouth, and the joys of the South Coast, but so far it's only rained, and with my family at work and school and most of my friends from home still away, today has been a little dull. Still, Christmas films and mulled wine will be occurring this evening, so I definitely can't complain. 

The past weekend was full of Christmas excitement, firstly with a trip to the cinema to see The Hobbit, which I can safely say I have been waiting for, for probably close to ten years. It was a bit of a childhood dream, and as such I think I need to go see it again. It was full of quotes from the book, and there was an abundance of dwarves, so it was definitely an evening well spent. We also attempted to behave like dwarves in the toilets...

Dwarfish Friends

Saturday saw an early Christmas day with my housemates, with a trip to Borough Market to educate one of my friends on the joys of running around trying all the delicious, but expensive food for free. Being a week and a half before Christmas, the market was at it's best, but also it's busiest so we had to elbow our way through crowds to try Christmas pudding, and all the cheeses and olive oils you could ever want. Totally worth it though. We even popped into Southwark Cathedral which was looking especially beautiful with all of the decorations, including some foliage around a statue of Shakespeare. Go check it out. 

Housemates round the Tree

In the evening we made about a hundred biscuits, prior to cooking the best roast dinner in existence. With chicken stuffed with lemons and fresh rosemary, potatoes cooked with garlic, flour and sea salt, and real stuffing, we were all incredibly proud of our cooking accomplishments. We even had a guest, so we managed to get an actual photo of all of us ready to stuff our faces! 

Hungry for a Feast
We finished the evening off with biscuit decorating and Miracle on 34th Street, the perfect end to a very festive day. As a house, we're all rather busy and so often don't see very much of one another, so it felt like quite a treat to spend a whole weekend together. Sunday morning I had a friend over for brunch, and then we took a long walk around Victoria Park in an attempt to deal with our cravings for countryside. It wasn't quite the same, but still impressive. 

Victoria Park and The City

The weekend was topped off with not only a bit of Harry Potter, but an amazing Carol service at church. Over 1,000 people went to the two carol services, and Christchurch pulled off an incredible evening. I was proud to be part of it all. 

Choir and Band, with some fake snow too.
With so much going on I wasn't too prepared for an evening of interfaith workshops and discussion on Monday night, but it turned out to be a great evening of catching up with people I met in September, and discovering more about what people think. We finished the evening with a rather heated three person rant about feminism on the tube on the way home. I fear we might have been filmed. We probably were a bit of a sight. 

Tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing with some old friends. 

As much as I like time to chill out, I definitely need lots of sociable time, and a day of watching Homeland by myself was possibly not the most productive use of my time. 

I shall update you on more Christmas happenings soon! Much love x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Friends and Things

Considering some of my oldest, bestest friends now live in London, we still don't see each other enough for my liking. My wonderful friend Sarah came and hung out for the evening tonight though. She's a bit beautiful. I rustled up some fajitas, she brought pudding and we scoffed food and watched Love Never Dies. There was a lot of banter. 

I'm a bit of a people person, and the friends I have from school, are some of my favourite people in the world. We've survived most of them doing degrees, moving towns and houses, and more recently getting pregnant and things, but it still saddens me that we don't all live in the same place and spend every day together. Don't get me wrong, we're all stubborn enough that I think we'd kill each other surprisingly quickly if we lived together, but I miss seeing their faces and laughing hysterically at absolutely nothing. 

 Some of them are meeting up this weekend but I'm in Kent so can't go so I am excited about Christmas and seeing them all together, in the same place at the same time. It has been TOO LONG. This C.S. Lewis quote always makes me think of them. Our friendship is based on mutual geekiness, a love of all things strange, and a willingness to let-the-crazy-out. I love them a lot.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

This past week my wonderful american friend has been visiting London, so lots of time this weekend was spent grabbing a couple of hours with her, whilst balancing work and other things. 

Saturday was a great day. I spent a really chilled morning hanging out at home, organising (one of my favourite things) and sorting things out. Then headed over to The National Gallery to do some work. Now, possibly not the best place to visit on a rainy Saturday afternoon when you can't move for tourists, and the floor is so wet from the torrential rain that you fear falling over and breaking your head on marble, but definitely worth a trip. 

The National Gallery is a bit of a favourite place, possibly because it's based in Trafalgar Square, possibly because there is the most amazing view across the square, Nelson's column, and Parliament, all in perfect line of sight. Oh, and because the art is amazing. Saturday I spent time focussing on the Impressionist rooms, as I've got to write an essay relating them to DH you do. Still, I was rather impressed, some of the paintings were astoundingly beautiful, and not what I was expecting at all. My housemates and I bought some postcards then retired to a coffee shop to do some reading, some writing, and thoroughly bask in the feeling of being cultured Londoners. Sort of. 
Trafalgar Square in the rain.
This weekend also saw the opening of Winter Wonderland, the epic, glittery fair and market that sprawls over Hyde Park for about six weeks around Christmas. It may have been November, it may have been a stormy night, and we may have somehow managed to get lost, and forget to take cash with us, but we had a great time. It was SO festive. I mean, I love Christmas, so I'm a little biased, but the lights, and the smells of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts was all a little wonderful. I shall be going again, mainly because I'm desperate to check out the Feris wheel. Yes, I am a big child. 

Winter Wonderland Festivities
Feris Wheel!
Sunday I was back at Christchurch, after being in Bournemouth last weekend. It's crazy how much I miss church when I'm not there, and so it was great to catch up with people and get to spend time with Jesus. That's really been the highlight of this weekend. 

Today it is once again...raining. I feel like we should all evolve to have flippers and fins at this rate, but still, a Lindt advent calendar arrived in the post(!!!!!!!!) and I don't have lectures today, so my main jobs involves reading Virginia Woolf for tomorrow. Oh the delights of an English student. So instead of procrastination, I should probably return to her. Not a particularly exciting prospect, I must confess. I shall keep you posted. 

Much love amigos. x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

London and Bournemouth Combined

Rather shamefully it's been a few long weeks since I last blogged, and even longer since I blogged anything of significance. University essays, a trip home, and generally being inundated with things to do has kept me away from the laptop for a little. But no longer, I'm back to fill you in on a few things. 

Firstly, this is my new favourite retreat...The Gallery Cafe

They're based in Bethnal Green, so just up the road from me, and they've got the most chilled, casual atmosphere. Good coffee, good looking cake (alas I cannot say I've tried it) and all their food is vegetarian and vegan.With a conservatory type area at the back, overlooking a garden, and free wifi, it's the best place to go and do work. I was there late afternoon, and with fairy lights, and darkness settling in outside, it was more than a little bit atmospheric. Nicely inspiring. 

I'd heard a few people from Uni go on about these guys, but they really are great. And what's even better, is that they're involved in helping the local community! Super ethical; means eating cake is totally fact, it's encouraged! 

Secondly, I'd like to reiterate my absolute love for the Purbecks. Coming from the south coast, I've often forgotten just how lucky I am. The beach is ten minutes down the road, the New Forest is one side of my town, the Purbecks the other. 

This weekend I went home to see the family, whom I've missed A LOT. It'd been about two months, and I was in need of my cats and a roast dinner. Also some friends from home, were rather wonderfully also back i this weekend. I spent a lot of time trying to relax, and eating good food, and chatting. It was just what I needed. On Saturday the family and I went out to Durdle Door, and though it'd been grey and rainy the entire day, the sky cleared and we saw the most incredible sunset. 

The Purbecks and I are good friends. It always just seems to work out. It's like they know I'm not there too often. 
So anyway, I'm now back in London, had a packed day of Uni, meeting up with an old American friend from last year, and then we headed to the recording of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Free entertainment is the best. 

I'm finally beginning to feel like I'm winding down, perhaps it's the alleviated guilt now I've finally written about some of the things I've been meaning to! 

Lots of love xxx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


This is hugely entertaining, even if, as a woman I won't be taking part and growing a 'tache. x

Monday, 29 October 2012

Visits and Things

London has apparently jumped with both feet into the season that is a hybrid of autumn and winter. Something like autunter. There are piles of leaves outside my door, perfect for running through, and yet it's freezing cold, and I'm still wearing winter gloves whilst on the tube. Funnily enough, I'm actually kind of loving it.

This weekend saw friends visiting from all over the place. The beauties I went to school with were about, and considering I've not seen one of them since June, it was a mighty good chance to catch up. This essentially meant doing what we do best; eating and chatting. Friday night we made a Moroccan concoction, and spent the night discussing the past few months. We might also have watched a lot of David Attenborough on youtube. I feel his voice helped us sleep, despite our excitement at being reunited.

Saturday we visited the coolest exhibition, by someone called Mr Brainwash. Kinda bold, slightly garish, and very, very uplifting. Oh, and it's free. Yes, that's why I love the city. We got to go and have our photos taken with a gorilla made of tyres, and then got free posters. It was a pretty sweet afternoon, made even more so by the wonders of the Fleet River Bakery. This cafe has to be one of my favourite spots in the city. It serves Monmouth coffee and is hidden down an alley not far from Covent Garden. I might have been there twice in the last three days.

And then this morning, some of my closest friends from Citygate in Bournemouth, who've been in London for some things, had a spare couple of hours to catch up. Again, friends I love seeing nearly every day when at home, I've not seen in months, so there was lots to talk about.

My day was completed with Church activities. It was a little bit of a special afternoon, with some training time and another epic Sunday at Christchurch. It seems to be a real time for challenge and change and growth and I'm really loving being surprised by what God does each time.

For the sake of the world burn like a fire in me. Light a flame in my soul for every eye to see. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Brilliance of Sundays

With a cup of Earl Grey in hand, I'm looking at my day and am just blown away by mercy. My afternoon at church and evening at Vine Sessions was absolutely what I needed after a fairly rubbish morning. 

Today was ChristChurch London's eighth birthday and it was incredible looking at what has gone before, and what the next year will look like. I cannot wait. There were also Krispy Kreme doughnuts as birthday cake. Best. Church. Ever. 

Tonight was also Vine Sessions, a music night that my friend Raz runs. We have similar music taste so I seriously love the people that he has play. Hilary Repko was one of them (she lives near me and is super cool, with a voice like gold.)

The bar was absoluuuutely packed with people, so it was kind of like playing a giant game of sardines. I somehow acquired a tiara amongst the thoughtful thinking and dancing things. Coming home I was warned that I needed to avoid social media or watch Downton Abbey immediately. Little bit heart broken that I did the latter rather than remaining in ignorant bliss. Still, it's reduced my desire to live in the twenties (I would rather have proper medical care thank you very much!)

So on that note, this tired lady is heading to bed. I have a ridiculous amount of reading to do, as well as phone calls to make. Socialising postponed for now.

Laters alligators xxxxx

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Fun Facts

  1. My day began with Bon Iver, blueberry & banana pancakes, and a group of friends.
  2. The District Line has utterly failed me this weekend. It meant I was 35 minutes late today.
  3. St Paul's Cathedral used to be known as Eastminster (because it's the other side of the city to Westminster!)
  4. There's a statue of Charles I in Trafalgar Square. Every sign in England uses this as it's central point when directing people to London.
  5. I have become officially ginger.
  6. My house is freezing cold unless you're wearing fifteen pairs of socks. No, that is not an exaggeration.
  7. When it's sunny and raining, there's not always a rainbow. Today proved that.
  8. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad holds no appeal at half nine on a Saturday night. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Jesus like Cocktails?!

People get mad at me when I talk about London. Possibly because it happens a lot. But, I feel I'm justified in blabbering about the city so much because everything I say about it, is true! Don't get me wrong, it's not my universe, I mean, it doesn't have beaches to start with (and no the sand banks of the Thames don't count!) and it doesn't have all my friends, or my family, and you can never really see stars. 

Still, as places go, I'm quite a fan. And particularly of East London. Yes, the hipsters run riot, it's like their not-so-secret hideout, but you've got to grant it to them, they know how to make things cool. There's a place called The Breakfast Club. Looks like a bar or restaurant, and yet there's this uber cool little fridge inside. Yeah, you won't have guessed it...but it leads to a cocktail bar. 

To me, that's what East is all about. The surface is one thing, but it gets exciting when you dig a little deeper. 

This week, last night in fact, was the launch of something called Connect. As part of the student work that my church runs, we've just multiplied our mid-week student stuff (mainly because there's too many of us) and so I and my friend Joel are leading the group out East. It's one of those amazing things that's just kind of happened, and last night was full of surprises, and full of grace. 

If East is all about digging deeper, I reckon it shares a lot of parallels with Christianity. Most people assume on the surface that it's kinda boring, not really the place you want to live. And if you talk about it, they think you're a bit nuts. And then you dig deeper, and discover that it's not about the restaurant on the surface, it's all about the secret cocktail bar behind the fridge. Getting to know Jesus is a bit like cocktails. It's this blend of wonderfulness, this constant surprise, and you just keep wanting more. 

All we'll be doing out East is focussed on showing people that there's life in Jesus, and he promises that it's life to the full. And if he promises it, then we want to pursue it, digging through all the surface level stuff to find that epic Mojito hiding just out of sight.

So with all of that in mind, you should come along. We'll be meeting at The Williams pub in Liverpool Street most Wednesdays. It's going to be a good time, and if you're really lucky, I might just buy you a cocktail one of these days. 

Big love! xxx

Monday, 8 October 2012

Tea Cups and Grace

After what has been an absolute mad week, full of illness, visits, dinners, parties and, of course Uni, I was all set to have a bit of a restful weekend. 

Unfortunately I had plans that meant I needed to be the other side of London by 9.30am on Saturday. Doubly unfortunate was the fact I slept through my alarm, to be awoken by the friend I was travelling with, calling me to ask where I was. Needless to say I was late, but said friend was an absolute BABE and came to my house so I wouldn't be late on my own.

Now that's friendship.

It was a great day of training though, and the team I'm doing some things with this year get on so well that it was an absolute joy to spend time planning things, even though it was a tad intense. Still, there was a continuous supply of coffee and pastries, and I came home with a plate of cake, so I definitely shouldn't complain. 

My evening was gloriously chilled. I watched Notting Hill for possibly the hundreth time, and laughed at the naked welsh man just as much as ever. 

Today was another busy one, with things to do, and Church to be at. Still, with so many new people about at the moment it was great to get to meet some of them! The night was finished off with a sweet potato and chick pea curry (an attempt to boost my terrible immune system) and then some Downton Abbey and the first new episode of Homeland. Bit of a contrast, but equally loveable. Downton has the affect of making me 'oooh' and 'ahh' and pine for the twenties. Homeland just has meet falling off the edge of my seat. And possibly flinching in fear. 

The result has left me feeling somewhat alive for the early hours of the morning. Yet I'm in charge of letting the gas man in tomorrow morning and looking after the TV delivery, which means being awake and probably dressed by the time that either of those things is possible. Woops. 

Still, the highlight of all that's gone on, is just the assurance of grace. The past few weeks it's felt as if I've been stacking plates on top of tea cups, higher and higher, and ever more unstable. Too much on my plate. Try too many plates. And yet, life continues, and has yet to crumble or collapse. That is grace. And it's grace that I'm even aware how blessed I am. Days like today, I count my blessings and marvel at where my life is.

Despite fresher's flu, a tower of things to read, and a kitchen that desperately needs a good clean, I'm feeling like life is fairly sweet. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Icelandic Fairytale

Sometimes, this looks like my absolute idea of heaven.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Catching Up

Whether it's a hangover from being ill earlier this week (and no, I don't mean an alcohol inflicted ill), or perhaps just the volume of things I've agreed to do or am being forced to do with my course, but I have a great desire to curl up into a ball and catch up with a number of things.

Top of this list would be friends. Not all of my favourite people live in London, and that's sad. I desperately need a few hour-long phone calls and skype conversations. Not far down would be reading. My reading load for this year is impossible. In fact, I think I'm going to alternate which module doesn't get a look in. But, that doesn't stop my inner people-pleasing-self desperately trying to cram two huge, hefty novels into two days that are filled with lectures, people, and meetings already...

Also on the list is New Girl. Everyone needs some Schmitt humour to lighten up life, and I'm definitely craving a bit of that right now. I'll also add baking - I've invested in ingredients, but am awaiting more than a spare twenty minutes where I might get to do some actual cooking. This is also true for washing. My lack of clean clothes is going to prove a problem, in about three days. And by that, I mean I might need to leave the house in my onesie.

There's also a concern that I might collapse from rickets, or some other malnutritious-type disease because there are NO vegetables in my house, only carbs, Mainly in the form of frozen bagels. Not even good bagels.

And well, in amongst that list, one could always do with a light nap, some time off, and some real relaxing. I wont be adding those to the to-do list though. Lets keep things reasonable hey?


Monday, 1 October 2012


I don't get sick very often, which makes me even more angry when I do.

Stupid monday, stupid feeling ill, stupid amount of reading.

I've come over all sulky and shall be retiring to bed with the aim that it'll feel less like the world is ending, come morning. Or at least, I'll want to throw up less.


Love plague face x

Friday, 28 September 2012

Three Weeks

I've been back in London for three weeks, and without internet for most of them. But, have no fear, the house is back in the land of the living, and speedy internet has allowed me to blog once again. 

Life has seemed more than a little busy recently, with a three day residential training session for the ParliaMentors programme I'm currently on, as well as returning to Uni and getting ready for some big student stuff I'm taking on with church this year. With all of that, as well as getting settled into our house (and being terribly grown up) I've felt a little overwhelmed, as much as I've been excited about being back in the city.

One of the best things, is that I now live only 15 minutes from one of my closest friends from home, and another friend has also moved to London and lives nearby! I believe I'm seeing them tomorrow for some quirky touristy things. 

I started lectures again this week, and have discovered that I'm going to be reading about four books a week. I'm not actually sure this is physically possible, so I'll keep you updated on that front....! I've also rekindled my love for Downton Abbey (I brought the box sets back to Uni when I popped home the other week) and these have been my much needed respite from the madness of life. It does mean however, that I feel I should be swanning about in evening gowns and gloves, getting married to a Lord, and scorning the Americans. I will overlook the fact I am part American in all of this. Still, it makes me much more inclined to speak 'properly', and act like a lady. This is something that doesn't happen very often when you live in a rather chilly student house. 

Anyhow, it's about time for bed. We're having house brunch in the morning (mainly as an excuse to use the plentiful bananas we've been collecting that are in need of cooking) and then I've got to go entertain myself with fun things whilst I still have the excuse my Uni books have yet to be delivered by Amazon.

Ta-ta for now darlings. xxx

Friday, 7 September 2012


With the sun shining, and my to-do list growing longer than my legs, I think I am feeling a tad overwhelmed by all the things I need to get done.

Oh dear.

I return to London on Sunday, and as the past week has been full of sadness, and organising, the uni situation has somewhat taken a back seat. However, Sunday is arriving rather soon and my lack of sorting is making me panic a tad.

However, after lunch today with a friend that's been living in Kenya for the past year and a bit, and a speedy coffee with one of the besties, I feel a tad more normal. Sort of.

PS - A friend made me LYCHEE RUM.

So, with the rum, a few clothes, the arrival of another close friend in London, and the promise of a busy few weeks, I should probably get off the computer.


Monday, 3 September 2012


Yesterday was a really sad day, for a number of reasons. I think it's going to take a few days for it all to sink in, and I'm not looking forward to have to leave the family.

We had a family day, full of blackberry picking, bad day time TV, lots of tea, napping and some tough phone calls. It's strange that I find peace in these things, despite the sadness we all feel. The sun was shining and we spent time attacking the garden and fighting the brambles. I think the crumble I've made for dinner will be a bit better than most because of the work that went into collecting the fruit.

Tomorrow we begin to sort out my Nan's things. Though we did some of this a few years ago when my Nan went into the Nursing Home, tomorrow I feel is going to be a challenge in a whole different way. Too many things and too many memories.

She taught me some of the most important things I know, from kindness, to banana bread, gardening to patience, sewing skills to generosity. I'm going to miss her lots.

Friday, 31 August 2012


I'm sat in a thick woolly cardigan in August. As you can assume, I am in England and it has been raining.

As such, I am missing Italy, where I've spent the past week with some of my favourite friends. The weather was very, very hot, and although there were enough mosquitos to eat me for dinner, the whole place was rather beautiful.

We stayed in this gorgeous old house, full of beams and stone steps, with grape vines and peach trees in the garden. The house was at the top of a hill, behind the bell tower, and was surrounded by mountains and the rest of the town. Which was essentially a village.

The week was spent trying not to faint or get burnt, whilst simultaneously seeing all of the cool things that were near us. We spent a day in Pisa being the cheesy tourists that climb the tower (and then nearly die climbing down the leaning marble steps), as well as visiting Florence for lots of ooohing and ahhhing over the ridiculously romantic city. I have decided that if I ever get proposed to, it should be there. And, if I ever need a sabbatical to write, it should be there. Or if anything else poetic is needed, it shall occur there. I really loved it, if you hadn't noticed. Full of statues, piazzas, sunshine and market type stalls and shops, it was a bit of a geek fest for someone that likes history and literature and italian. And by italian I am rather partial to italian food and funny words.

One of the girls made a rule at the start of the week, that we had to try one different type of gelato every day (this being the famous italian ice cream). Without hesitation, we all agreed this was essential holiday happenings, and embarked upon our challenge with gusto. This was made much easier with the aid of the local gelato man, who was about 20, and italian. He served us three types of ice cream, every day, for two euros. I think we might've eaten our body weight in ice cream.

And then there was pasta, and pizza, and barbecues, and Tiramisu.

Forget the body weight of ice cream, I fear we ate all of Italy.

Now that I'm back in the land of Olympics and rain however, I must face the fact that I move back to London in a week and must therefore attempt to get organised. This would be easier if I had a clue what I needed to do or how to accomplish it. Still, all things work out in the end,.

In the meantime, take a peek and get a little jealous... XO

Monday, 20 August 2012


So I'm currently still in pyjamas. I don't feel guilty about this, in fact I'm relishing the opportunity to laze about as the past week has been seriously hectic.

Last night I got back from Newday, a festival aimed at 11-18 year olds. The focus is worship, teaching and social action...and a whole lot of fun. This year, as I've stopped doing youth work since moving to London, I decided to go and join a cafe team. 

Along with about twenty others, mostly friends from London, we ran the Global Cafe. This essentially meant making 600 milkshakes every afternoon, dancing non-stop to ridiculous music and shouting insane things in a bit of competitive rivalry with the other cafes. Needless to say it was rather full on. Still, with it being the first time I'd seen a whole bunch of friends from London in over two months, it was a well needed bonding time. Nothing like a bit of family when you live in tents with one another for a week.

We got to meet with God, and one of our team got amazingly healed of a rugby injury, after six years of back pain and needing physio! So that was super exciting! 

We also saw loaaads of shooting stars which has to be one of my favourite things when you go camping. There were unfortunately LOTS of mosquitos and I am sufficiently bitten to wonder whether there is any blood actually left in my body.

Anyhow, I'm trying to sort some last minute things out before heading off to Italy on Wednesday for a week of glorious sunshine with the giiiiiirls. Enough tired rambling, I need to go by some shorts!


Saturday, 11 August 2012


I have had so much caffeine that, despite lunch and a non-caffeinated drink, I am still shaking. I think dancing might aid the crazy right now. Buzzzzzziing! 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Peace and Quiet

The Scots have descended, and my life is a chaotic blur of work, strange dates and a house full of people. I have about an hour (if I'm lucky) with no one in the house. I am blasting some of my favourite music and sorting things out before I need to be sociable once more.

I cannot wait to finish work this week. I don't know what it is, but I am just done. It's been such a blessing, so many summers, and the money is great, but my motivation has shrunk to nothing in the past few days. Perhaps this was due to a few too many days off last week, and some slight craziness whilst I am at work, but all in all I am seriously looking forward to the end of the week.

And then I am off camping. And I get to sing a lot, and dance a lot, and make a billion milkshakes, and a few friends, and catch up with some old faces that I've not seen in far too long. It sounds like bliss, despite the threat of mud, mud glorious mud, and therefore a soggy tent.

And then I'm off to Italy! Some friends and I are having what might be the last girls holiday for a while, and have booked a villa in the middle of Tuscany. I envision wine, pizza, old buildings, sun baked skin and laughter.

So, there is lots to look forward to if I can get to the end of the week. Fortunately tomorrow is interrupted by a family trip to Longleat. Lions and tigers and bears - Oh my!

Oh aaaand I got a final email confirming that I have a place on the programme that I desperately wanted to work with and never ever thought I would get. I am so, so excited about the opportunity, just because I know I could never have sorted it for myself and God is just so involved. So, serious hurrah for grace.

Time to go and make a cuppa, and make use of the peace and quiet.

That is, if the next door dogs would ever learn not to bark.


Unexpectedly Free

This week I had a rather unexpected amount of time off from work. Working only two days freed me up to do some exciting things. We ventured out to Salisbury on Tuesday and visited the market, and I spent an obscene amount of money on new make up and smart jackets. These things I have termed an 'investment' and therefore justified them. I'm not sure that a silk jacket and primer are essential to life but I refuse to consider these things too deeply.

Wednesday involved more shopping and a very civilised girly lunch in front of huge open windows. We played a hilarious game of 'Pig or Horse'. Choosing the appropriate animal for the face walking past brought new hilarity to people watching. 

Thursday I went on a not-really-but-then-yes-really date. That was amusing. But also a little awkward pyjamas. Hmmmm. 

Friday and Saturday involved drinks with friends, hennaing my hair and causing lots of mess and then celebrating a couple of birthdays. Pizza, cocktails and dancing was the perfect combination, and the sun even  came out to aid our celebrations. There were also animal masks. I'm not sure why, but it was very good. The bar we in had a band that played blues covers and so this required a fair amount of dancing and loud singing. There was also a return of the cocktail in a tea pot. OM.

Here's a few pictures of the last couple of days. I bloomin' love my friends. 
Rabbit, Zebra, Giraffe all went out to dinner.
Chillin' by the River.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Pimms and Peacocks

The past couple of weeks have been a blur of work, and seeing friends. I've been a little dazzled by the sunshine too, hence the lack of blogging. Also, I recently acquired a phone that hasn't come from the Stone Age and so I've been spending less time procrastinating on my laptop.

So yes, LOTS of work. It's been kinda great I've had hours so I'm super thankful about that. Did involve me working 51 hours last week though, and being out every night doing things too. I am tired.

In the past couple of weeks I've enjoyed a lot of good food. Some friends and I cooked pizza from scratch, dough and all, and then layered the very best combo of ingredients on top. This involved prosciutto, goats cheese, olives, and rocket. Om. I also went out to Brownsea Island for one of my favourite evenings of the whole summer. It was a baking day, and we sailed across the harbour, taking the most luxurious picnic I think I have ever experienced. There was wine, and a lot of M&S food, and a wicker hamper and wool picnic rugs. And then we watched Shakespeare in the open air, as the sun set. It was stunningly beautiful.

Friday night I went and had very civilised drinks on the beach with the mother, and were surprised by a rather nice firework display, and then it was back to the beach for a birthday BBQ on Saturday. In fact, I feel like I've been living at the beach recently. Think someone needs to build me a house down there; it'd totally be worth it. 

Yesterday was one of my favourite days. Sundays are always wonderful. I love going to church. The fact I get to see friends after is an added bonus. We went out to one of my favourite picnic spots in the New Forest, and then migrated to the pub when it began to pour with rain. There was a lot of laughter, and a jug of pimms, and it was just beeeautiful.

And then today I got some really good news, and that combined with the promise of adventures in Salisbury tomorrow and shopping on Wednesday, makes me rather cheery. Summer is just superb.

Pizza Extravaganza

Early morning beach walks.

Brownsea Island Peacocks.

BBQ's, Friends and Sunsets.

Quaint Dorset

Pimms and Pubs.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Take these hands, I know they're empty, but with You, they can be used for beauty.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Swimming to and from Waterloo

*I began writing this a couple of days ago but needed a break. So, here you go!*

With work every day, and torrential rain, life in Bournemouth has felt pretty slow. Home is great when the sun shines... and not so great when it doesn't, so I've found the past few weeks a tad tough.

It was great then, to be able to get away for a couple of days. I had an interview back in London on Monday, so went up Sunday morning (rather early I might add) to do a few things and catch up with people.

The train pulled into Waterloo, I met some friends that were waiting for me, and we walked along the Southbank, dodging the rain drops and the tourists, until we could take refuge in a cafe for brunch. Brunch is one of those delightful meals. All the joys of breakfast without the early morning, and all the joys of lunch, but with better food. We spent three hours enjoying 'brunch', until I had to head off to meet a friend for coffee about half an hour away. I walked along the river bank, past some of my favourite buildings and across the Millennium bridge. The sun even came out! I had coffee with a friend and caught up on London news, before we headed into church. It was just so good to be back, and it was great to see people again.

Afterwards I met my friend and we headed back to hers for beans on toast, red wine, and the Sunday papers. It was the perfect end to a great day.

Monday was a bit scary pyjamas. With my interview taking several hours, I was definitely in need of coffee and chill time in my favourite coffee shop in Trafalgar Square before seeing an old friend for dinner. Our parents had grown up together and when we were a bit younger we were pretty close, but she lives in the middle of nowhere and we ended up drifting apart. It was hilarious catching up on the last few years and laughing at where we'd come from.

Unfortunately I had to run to get on a train that got me back home before the wee hours of the morning, so our time together was cut short. More unfortunate was the guy I sat adjacent to on the train that turned out to be a bit of madman. I seem to have a nack for finding them. Or attracting them. Whichever.

Said Crazy, was, on appearances rather normal. Except he just watched me read. And drink tea. And listen to music. And then he moved from the window seat to the aisle seat to get a better look. And then he offered me half his KitKat. And then...he woke me from my nap to ask if I needed to get off at Winchester.

Needless to say I didn't...but he took this as ample opportunity to ask me about my life and quiz me on the most ridiculous things. I played up the fact I was a student, which he definitely was not. And then he told me about his apparent triplets that wanted to be vets, tiger tamers and motorbike specialists. I'm not convinced the triplets from his third marriage were real...

I was rather pleased to arrive back home after such adventures, and with a lovely lunch yesterday seeing a friend from London, I feel a little more sane to attempt to continue the rest of the summer.

Apart from I don't think I have a job any longer.. but that's a story for another time!!

Today it continued to rain, so I went to work, returned home and watched Harry Potter and then saw my sister in her school musical. It made me feel very old. But also proud. She's one stupidly talented girl. 

Now for bed. The Olympic torch arrives tomorrow, and I think I'm having breakfast with a few amigos. Should be pleasant!


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Reading and Writing

Late night creative session... well, listening to yummy music and trying to write a presentation for an interview I have. EEK.

I'm not sure how well it's feels sort of bland. I need to spice it up a bit but at this time of night (which appears to be the only free time I ever get these days!) that's not going so well. Hmmm. 

Today I went to a new cafe that was delightfully scrummy. Full of vintage knick-knacks and billions of books, this place was very cute. They didn't have that many tables and chairs though, so my friend and I felt somewhat guilty sat there for a couple of hours. Still, I bought a couple of Margaret Atwood books and a James Baldwin title, so I have plenty to sink my teeth into. And, the Baldwin is for Uni, so I don't need to feel totally guilty either! YES!!

I also went to work today, but definitely spent all of my wages before I started, by buying these exciting things! I feel so stupidly grown up. It's a little scary.

Anyway, time for sleep, or at least to retire to bed with a bit of Wuthering Heights. The English geek is out in full swing today.

Good night cherubs.


Thursday, 28 June 2012

Mmm Tasty

At home I live right next to a huge fitness centre...thing. As you can tell by my lack of knowledge, I don't frequent the place very often. In fact, pretty much never. I am not one for the gym, but they do have a swimming pool.

I've met some friends twice this week for a morning swim, which has worked out pretty great as I'm working crazy hours in the evening! And I get to do my dying dolphin impression, otherwise known as trying to swim. 

Today I swam and then spent the afternoon in the garden in the sun, and a tasty bowl of fruit and yoghurt. OM. I also managed to catch up on some reading, and a bit of news. 

I should probably go and get presentable and consider dinner before work, but I'm feeling somewhat sun-dazed and might just watch re-runs of How I Met Your Mother for a bit longer.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Catching Up

True to form, I've somewhat struggled to blog regularly since coming home. It's been a bit of a blur since coming back, and though I'm still struck every so often for Mile End and the joys of city life, I've got used to being back in the south. 

(After watching the football the other day, which in itself was a bit of a surprise, I caught some of the hackney weekend being aired and all I could see was the beautiful East. I might have squealed and got a tad emotional. Woops.) 

Anyway, tonight is my only evening in for the next two weeks. I've somehow acquired a job, but unfortunately it means working til midnight most of the time. Boo. I fear this could hinder seeing friends, but we shall see! The pennies will certainly be helpful as we've finally booked our summer holiday! to PISA we shall go. Well near enough, it's some sort of villa in the middle of nowhere. I am insanely excited considering it is months away. 

So for some more recent news, I've been to the beach and the forest a fair bit, might've got caught in some some sort of bog a couple of days ago too. Oh and it was the bessie's 21st birthday, so we had a huge BBQ and a lot of pimms. Today I went swimming, and then watched Toy Story 2 which was an absolute treat. I am one of those shocking people that has yet to see the third one, so I was getting prepared. 

I've also begun to learn guitar. Well, I say learn, I've learnt the strings or whatever for about five chords. I was greatly saddened by the need to chop my nails off though, so have yet to proceed. Also, it hurt my hands!

With all of that going on, there's not been much time for blogging so I do apologise. I've just found photos from my last days in London and my return to the coast, so enjoy some cocktail inspired photos, and a few with a nice dose of nature.

Jubilee Celebrations

Afternoon Tea at the Primrose Bakery

Our last night out in Shoreditch

The overflowing car as I packed up my life!

The view from campus to Canary Wharf
The hometown

The lake by Hengistbury Head

Watching the Sunset

A rather disgruntled cow

That's probably enough photo spamming for now! No doubt there'll be a few more over the next few weeks. I am ever so excited about the return of the rest of my friends. They've all become very old and are graduating and such, which is nothing but scary pyjamas. I am uber proud of them though, and think they're the absolute bees knees so I can't wait til we're all reunited!

Enough rambling, I must go to bed. In the meantime, I hope you are all as freaked out as I am that Harry Potter is 15 years old. The fact that I remember it all coming out makes me feel ancient.

You can check out old article clips here at The Guardian!

Love and peace amigos xxxxxxxxxx