Super Bowl 2015

So normally I would write a little about how great or terrible the Super Bowl was. However last night this was all I really got, Vernon Kay (dickhead), Man vs Food guy, ex-Blue Peter presenter. Channel 4 coverage began straight after Dragon’s Den on BBC2, and I was falling asleep during that last Dragaon’s Den pitch. I understand the Patriots won – despite them being bastards, I’d much rather them than Richard Sherman after he slaughtered the Bronco’s last year.

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Just before going to bed

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#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 84 – 90

Day 84 – Mexico vs Croatia, I always enjoy watching Mexico with the Mexicans, they always get so excited! This was an afternoon in the Walkabout in Birmignham with all the Mexicans, they wouldn’t put it on the big screen, despite there being way more Mexicans than Brazilians, Brazil got centre-stage.

Day 85 – Sometimes I get to Guides a bit early on a Tuesday, and I sit and enjoy the silence of the church grounds. Then the girls arrive and all hell breaks loose.

Day 86 – After losing my job I was going through the interview process, and on this day I had an offer made to me, but everything inside me was saying “don’t take this”. So I had to get a few pieces of advice. Work was very good about it and allowed me to use the side office to make all my phone calls. The Morph doorstop kept my smiling through a very rough day.

Day 87 – Aaagh the night before this photo, there was quad bikes racing around the road outside our flat. This was taken at 21h30 and there was no sign yet so I was enjoying the quiet night.

Day 88 – I got a job! Well, the one that I really wanted! A different job to the one on Wednesday, I declined that one, twice. So I look forward to starting with them on 4th August, that gives me the whole of July off!

Day 89 – Saturday, my grandmother is in one hospital with dementia and my Mom is in another one having a full hip replacement. I was very happy to see my front door after a long day of hospital visits.

Day 90 –  Back at the hospital with my Mom, my sister and I fight to the death in the Battle of the Crutches. Very, very fun afternoon with the family.

#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!

Un coup de Marseille

Place Thiars, Marseille. It would be really pretty without that ugly fountain. High buildings, restaurants and cafés then leading out onto the Vieux Port. Marseille was a really strange experience, I was sent for work to improve cohesion and communication with the French sales team, and then – very unexpectedly – I was asked to stay there permanently. I remember sitting for hours on the side of this fountain, in the crêperie just nearby for a whole weekend, toying with my future. I’d just starting seeing Daniel, I was living in a nice house in Moseley and had good friends in Birmingham. Should I stay or should I go? The longer I sat the more beautiful that clumsy fountain became, and the longer I sat the more I was resolved to come back to the UK. But I still think about that weekend in Place Thiars, where my life could twist either way. When I see that ugly fountain, I’m glad I’m not there, it was too hot anyway!

Place Thiars, Marseille

Written for Ailsa’s Travel Theme : Twist

Five pieces of advice I wish I’d had…

Twenty years ago… To my eleven year-old self, I wish someone had advised me that physical health and fitness is as important as intellectual challenges and being sociable. Also, don’t worry about how popular you are, this is just one life stage, there’s much better to come!
Fifteen years ago… At sixteen I would throw that careers advisor’s words back in her face and advise myself to do Chemistry. I wish I’d received what I tell people now, study what you want, there are no limits at university and in life, you can do Psychology with English Language, you can do Mechanical Engineering with French. Stick to what you want to do, don’t listen to anyone else because you might just end up scraping a pass at Economics and regretting it for the rest of your life.
Ten years ago… At 21 I was in Spain, and already enjoying the best piece of advice I’d ever had, two years previous one of my Italian friends (Erasmus in Leicester) told me, “Katherine, Don’t study on your Erasmus year, just party – all the time!” Luckily my grades there didn’t count for anything on my Leicester course, so I did indeed do just that! Back to uni though for the final year, I wish I was advised that hard work pays off, you cannot rest on your laurels because you enjoyed the class, you have to deliver in the exam. Read the books on your course, don’t just skip through or find the plot on the internet.
Five years ago… I was 26, I was advised to start a pension which I still pay into. But I wish I had been advised to start saving for a deposit on a house, or at least start managing money better. At that point I didn’t care, I was going on holidays, moving out of my parents and having a taste of real freedom again, I was still planning to go to Spain in the long run, so it was the least of my worries.
One year ago… Start exercising, regularly. Physical health and fitness is just as important as having a job you love, a wonderful fiancée, and a loving family. You’ll regret it when you’re older. And I’m still telling myself this now.
Looking at this, is it really advice I wish I’d been given? Or advice I wish I’d listened to? The media, friends, family, every conversation results in a piece of advice, every question you ask, every doubt you have, every motivational picture you see on instagram imparts advice. From “Don’t wear red and green together…” to “This mortgage is better for you because…”. It’s easy to blur the lines between the conversations you have and the things you see on TV, for example, every advert suggests you need this thing, it advises that this thing is good for mood, lifestyle, social status, health etc. You talk about products between friends, skincreams, pension plans, new cooking sauces. Everywhere you look, advice, advice advice!

#100happydays Days 7 – 13

Day 7 – I was told it was cheating, but I was just so relieved to get those files off my desk at work. Even the little victories at work make me happy, as soon as I know that vessel has sailed it’s like a relief that my part in that shipment is done and finished.

Day 8 – We did some campfire songs at Guides, no matter how horrible a day I’ve had at work they can always make me laugh. They are full of riddles and card tricks they all want to show me. This one was for the Bunny Badge, a version of A Penguin Came to Tea.

Day 9 – We tried the new French patisserie the The Cube on Wednesday, Madeleine. Here’s the yummy plum tart Daniel and I shared with a hot chocolate and a coffee after work.

Day 10 – Looking through my old blog blog from uni, I came across this little vocab gem!

Day 11 – After talking about having a curry all week at work I realised I hadn’t had a proper curry in months. So when a friend suggested it on Thursday I couldn’t refuse, the Balti Triangle really is the best place to indulge!

Day 12 – Saturday and we did a lot of things around the house, so in the afternoon I decided to be all domestic and make some cakes. It’s not really the cakes I was happy about, but the recipe book. It was the same one that my Mom had when I was a child, so the delight in recreating the same recipes from 25 years ago always makes me happy and nostalgic – I wouldn’t dream of using anything modern!

Day 13 – A lazy Sunday morning reading in bed in the sun. The weather’s still lovely at the moment, and hopefully it will stay like that.