#100happydays Days 90 – 100

Day 91 – Another afternoon of playing cards in the hospital with my Mom and Daniel.

Day 92 – My first day of Garden Leave turns into Balcony Leave on the eighth floor. Enjoying the quiet and the sunshine in the flat.

Day 93 – I’m staying with my Mom for a few days after her operation, and my early morning run takes me right into the countryside around Wythall (Worcestershire).

Day 94 – Reteaching my grandmother how to play some of the card games she taught me as a child is both very sad but I spent a lovely lunchtime with her.

Day 95 – Daniel had to do some paperwork with the Mexican Embassy so we took a daytrip down to London. Then while he’s in the embassy I took the opportunity to catch up with a friend from university before she gets married in a few weeks and won’t have time for anything!

Day 96 – Daniel makes me happy every single day. I love the little conversations that we have, the Spanglish and the gestures are our own little language. And he’s been wonderful during this period of redundancy. Now that I’m hope properly from my Mom’s house it’s back to a lovely little normality.

Day 97 – I’d forgotten I had this skirt. Found it in a bag that my Mom brought round a few weeks ago, it was too big but having put on about 5kg it should fit again now.

Day 98 – Waiting for some very stressful news at the hospital, we finally got a call from my cousin at 20h05 to say that everything is OK.

Day 99 – My Guides again, one of the Brownies made me a heart-shaped something out of pipecleaners. It went straight in my hair, naturally.

Day 100 – Having a look through the photos at my grandmother’s house. Then seeing her face light up when she sees them in hospital.


#100happydays Days 77 – 83

Day 77 – The 2014 World Cup in Brazil, marking the return of the Erasmus Fit List. Sitting with my Erasmus girls in the Irish Bar, or in the park or in the back row of our Historia del Arte Moderno class, we compiled a list of all the celebrities that we fancied. Every so often we try and add someone new to it.

Day 78 – Making fake skin and fake blood and even more disgustingly, fake pus with the Guides. For the Brownie’s 100th Birthday there is a challenge badge and this was one of the things. We were supposed to follow it up with a short first aid session but the girls decided to do a murder mystery treasure hunt for the Brownies, it sounded more fun so I didn’t stop them. In fact I think it was my idea…

Day 79 – Feeling blue? Glitter Mariachi are playing for you!

Day 80 – I saw this graffiti on my way to the pub to watch the England vs Uruguay game, after I’d stopped to call the Police for a drunken man passed out in the street. Doing my bit for society without voting UKIP.

Day 81 – My friends got married, outside! It was a beautiful day!

Day 82 – Putting the iPod on loud and having a sing-song in the car on the way home from the wedding.

Day 83 – I cleaned my engagement ring, Being blue it does get dull very easily and in some lights it even looks black, so I cleaned it and had forgotten how shiny and brilliant it is! Note to self – do this more often!

#100happydays Days 70 – 76

Day 70 – Getting ready for the World Cup with my favourite World Cup song! Ok, it’s four years ago – and France – but it always makes me giggle!

Day 71 – Nutella, and ice lollies and wine, basically. Something happened at work, so that was all that could make me happy that day.

Day 72 – Silly conversations, who would win out of Zeus and Huitzilopochtli?

Day 73 – The simple summer morning sunshine across the city. Beautiful!

Day 74 – Guess who I am supporting? Love casual Fridays!

Day 75 – My sister and her wife, being idiots as usual. Lovely weekend. We also went to choose my wedding dress.

Day 76 – Finally trying out Caffè Chino in The Arcadian, a Chinese vintage tea room in the heart of the Chinese Quarter, lovely!

#100happydays Days 63 – 69

Day 63 – The King of Spain has abdicated, and the very dashing Felipe and the beautiful Letizia open a new chapter in the history of Spain.

Day 64 – An early night! Finally!

Day 65 – Last year the council made this part of the Birmingham Ring Road into a wildflower garden. I’m excited to see this year’s version.

Day 66 – A juevebes, with Daniel in The Craven Arms.

Day 67 – Speaking French with friends at the Digbeth Dining Club for #100jourscontents

Day 68 – The first Hens at the Party, old friends enjoying all the pre-wedding fun.

Day 69 – A new box-set to be getting on with, spelling a lazy Sunday!

Bon Bons and Floral Gems and Bubble Gum and Kali

I talk a lot on here about being British, not being British, being part of that enormous world citizenship, travel and culture and discovery. Then I walked down the Coventry Road and spied a newsagents. And I’m not ashamed to say I bought some sweets, in sheer Random Delight. Something pulled me in, it might have been the smell, or the shade on a sunny day, or a tiny ping of nostalgia in my head.


Newsagent, Coventry Road

My actual #100happydays finished yesterday (I’m way behind on my Sunday postings) but this newsagents would have been today’s. Selling sweets and magazines and a random collection of wares at the back (toilet roll, toys, greetings cards, baked beans), the newsagents must be up there among the Great British Institutions. Also known as the Corner Shop, emphasis on the first syllable as though it’s all one word, it must be part of the collective childhood upto about 1999. With the turning of the millennium childhood might have changed, these giants turn up everywhere, I bet there’s nearly one on Baldwin’s Lane now too!


Ruining a childhood near you!

For a split-second in there, the newspapers were on the counter instead of on the rack, I was transported back to the time we’d wait outside school, begging our parents for 20p to run down to Lacey’s News, all the sweets in jars behind the counter, the blonde lady and the black-haired man with a moustache who ran it, they had a big yellow dog too. We’d spend what felt like half an hour in there, choosing our sweets carefully, a quarter of this, six of those. Then wandering back down the road to our Moms ready to go home from school.

From Lacey’s to Naj to the Corner Shop in Sandy Hill, then I grew up and now my corner shop is a Spar, the next corner is a Tesco Express. That split-second brought back all that innocence, then I step back outside to the dirty Birmingham roads.

What has given you a split-second of childhood this week?

#100happydays Days 56 – 62

Day 56 – A lovely walk through town to take photos for our wedding invitations.

Day 57 – Tidying up the Guide cupboard at the Church, three hours and eight bin bags later, done!

Day 58 – Daniel put petrol in the car. It really is the little things that make you smile.

Day 59 – Car2Go, take it, park it anywhere, great stuff! (Since this the scheme has been taken out of the UK – bastards!)

Day 60 – Reunion, friends back from Australia for their wedding, a delicious family curry.

Day 61 – So the biscuits were a bit of a disaster, but regressing to childhood and licking the icing off the mixers was brilliant!

Day 62 – Tidying up in the spare room I found the “banner” that my Erasmus girls made me when I left Spain, nostalgia!

#100happydays Days 49 – 55

Day 49 – Daniel’s friend was coming to stay with us for a couple of days, so I had a massive house clean and tidy-up and treated myself to a bit of trashy telly afterwards.

Day 50 – Normally after Guides on a Tuesday I fall straight into bed, not this Tuesday! We had went out for a few quiet drinks in some of the new bars in town. This is Cherry Reds on John Bright Street, lovely for a quiet late-night beer.

Day 51 – Everyone was out of the house, I’d tidied up on Monday, so it was lovely to bask in the quiet sun in the flat.

Day 52 – Pyjamas. It’s true that introverts expend a lot of energy in socialising, I couldn’t wait for a night on our own again and relaxing in front of the TV in pyjamas.

Day 53 – So, we went to New York and basically ate everything, with all the burgers and beer and everything, I’d put on about 4kg in just 10 days, so how happy I was to find on Day 53 that I’d actually lost 2kg already!

Day 54 – Went to a friend’s barbecue, pudding was some beautiful cakes from a lovely bakery in Harborne, my moment of joy on Saturday was being told by my friend “you’ll thank me on your wedding day!”. I wasn’t allowed a cake but her words just made me laugh so much!

Day 55 – A big glass of water in the sun after another long run outside!