Back to work 

In my post yesterday I briefly touched on the fact that in the last few days I had a job interview that went really well. Well enough in fact that they offered me the job later on that same day. 

It’s at my local university and will see me in a role that’s a bit similar to what I was doing down in London but then quite a bit different too. I like this a lot, I’m always up for new challenges but having some familiarity will make the transition into a new team and new setting that much easier. 

When I made the decision to move back home if you’d have asked me what the dream scenario for the future looked like this is pretty much exactly it so I’m feeling pretty lucky. I’d have loved the process of getting to here to take a little less time, but at the same time while it’s been a real slog of never ending application filling out I’ve also been able to spend some quality time with friends and family and really settle back in back home. I’ve got a couple of weeks until I start so I’m going to fill that time with as much activity as I can while I wait to be able to get sat at my new desk and start learning my new role.

General · Life

A list of happiness.

Over the last couple of days I’ve loved reading posts by lovely bloggers Grace and Donna, both joining other bloggers in writing a list of the things that have made them happy this week. I love this idea, I’ve talked before about how I’ve learned the value of focusing on the positive and happy in life no matter how big or small. I can’t resist joining in so here, slightly delayed, is my list of things that made me happy over the last week.

Drinking coffee in the garden before it got too hot to be out there. Making headway with catching up with some of my favourite TV shows. Getting my hair done. Refinding my reading mojo and racing through a trio of books. Friday morning coffee and cake. Putting the finishing touches on my secret knitting project. Wonderful news from wonderful friends. Building geeky Lego. Watching the Beaver Scouts conquer the climbing wall. The cold side of the pillow. Sitting in the dark watching Ed Sheeran at Glastonbury. Walking into a job interview feeling confident. Walking out of the job interview feeling confident. Getting the phone call offering me the job. 

What would be on your happy list for last week?

Life · Music

It’s the little things

I got home this afternoon from my long weekend to find a mystery parcel waiting for me. I eagerly opened it to find the most perfect mug inside, a gift from a friend who knows me so well. 

It’s one of my absolute favourite song lyrics, largely because it could have been written about me – no matter how late I get in I still make that last cup of tea to take up to my bed with me. It comes of course from One Direction’s Little Things and while not all of the lyrics are quite so perfect it remains a song I love. (And has a video I love because it’s made up of studio type footage which is something I can’t get enough of.)

Days Out · Life

Hunting Bears and Gruffalos. 

Today has been a day of literary hunts and it’s been brilliant. 

This morning I went with my friends and their young boys to the Bournemouth Pavilion to see We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. It’s the first time I’ve been to see a show aimed at young children since I was one myself, and I was so impressed. They had taken the book and translated it to the stage in an engaging show filled with catchy songs and entertaining performances. The length was just right, it felt like you’d got your money’s worth but wasn’t too long for young attention spans.

This afternoon we followed it up by heading to Moors Valley to follow the Gruffalo Spotters Trail. These can be found in woods across England, they’re about 1 mile long and have clues all the way along them as to which character from the book you’ll find next. There’s a free app you can download, at each character’s location there’s a sign to scan that then uses augmented reality to display the character in the woods where you are and allows you to take photos. 

The trail was great, well sign posted and easy to follow. The idea of the app and the augmented reality is brilliant and when it worked it was great. We did have a lot of moments where a child ran between the phone and the sign that you had to scan for the augmented reality which blocked the signal, when the link was re-established you had to watch the character’s little animation again before you could take a photo which meant you ran the risk of losing your cute photo opportunity. It would be good to have an option to skip straight to the photo taking bit. 

At the end of the trail we also found two large scale models of the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child which the boys loved and allowed for some easier last pictures. 

Everyone’s exhausted now but we’ve had such a happy, fun day. It’s been great. 

Life · Scouting

Back to Scouting

Last night was a special night for me. It was the night I returned to my Beaver Scout colony after a little more than 2 years away. I’d been with them for a little over 6 years but had to leave them behind when I moved to London.

I’d hoped I’d be able to continue Scouting in London but the logistics meant it just didn’t work. Beaver Scouts at 6 – 8 years of age are the youngest in the movement – meetings therefore happen in the early evening (my colony meets at 6pm). I didn’t finish work early enough to be able to then travel to get to a meeting and there were no colonies near my office.

I’m home now though and so I contacted my old Beaver Scout Leader and asked if she’d have me back. Happily she said yes and so last night was my first evening back.

So good to be able to get these all back out.

It was great, slightly overwhelming (so many names to learn and put to the right faces) but complete and utter fun. I unexpectedly had to step up and lead an activity which meant I was kept completely on my toes – I’ve since thought of so many ways I could have done it better, but I did it and it was fine so felt like an achievement.

We’ve got a great programme coming up for this half term. We’re out and about visiting somewhere different every week. I’m really looking forward to all the adventures we’re bound to have.

Life · Photography

May in Pictures

At the end of every month I get a Monthly Collage email with a collage of my Instagram pictures for that month. I’m doing a photo a day challenge throughout 2017 on Instagram so it’s a pretty nice round up of my month. Here’s my May.

Looking at it I can see that I’ve been so focused on my 100 Days of Cross Stitch challenge that I’ve let the rest of my photo snapping slide a little. I’m looking forward to adding more variety this month and having a busier, more entertaining summary June grid to share at the beginning of July.


It just doesn’t matter.

I bumped into someone today, someone who’d known me many, many years ago (we’re talking no interaction any time in the last 18 years or so). I say bumped into, we’ve both been in the same coffee shop at the same time every Friday since I moved home but today for some reason she decided was the day to speak to me, to say that she’d only just worked out who I was.

Now this could be true, of course it could. But I don’t believe it for a minute. For starters I’ve changed so little throughout my late teens and adult life that if you knew me as a teenager you know me now. Then of course there’s been the regular coffee shop visits – I’ve been with my mom every week, and for the first few weeks with my dad and my uncle too (until they both got better offers for how to spend their Fridays). So the idea it’s taken her 12 times seeing me to work out who I am just seems entirely implausible.

All of that aside, the conversation was uncomfortable, particularly trying to answer the question about what I’m doing with my life. Generally I’m pretty okay with the fact that I’ve been home for a few months and still haven’t found my next job. Obviously I would love to have found work by now, I didn’t expect it to take this long, but at the same time I know that going about this process the right way to find the right role for me is the most important thing and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I wasn’t going to start explaining that to someone who is effectively a complete stranger to me though.

I’ve spent most of the afternoon working on another job application, feeling more than a little bad about the morning’s conversation. To start with I felt bad that I didn’t have a good answer, that I didn’t have some impressive answer of what wonderful thing I was doing with my life. This changed though to feeling bad about even caring. What does it matter to anyone other than me? And why does how impressive it is even begin to matter?

I realise that it doesn’t matter. At all. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have a coherent answer to the question at the moment (even if I’m thinking maybe I’ll give a little thought to thinking of a basic one for any future random conversations, just to avoid this). And it certainly doesn’t matter what the answer is now, or in the future. I’ve known for a long time that being happy and healthy is the most important thing, and that’s the way I’ve been trying to live my life for years now. None of the rest of it is important, and it absolutely doesn’t matter.

I just need to remember this now. Always.

Life · Personal

Finding balance 

Today’s been a really quiet one. It’s been a day of taking things slowly, resting, doing things that require little energy or concentration. I’ve watched some telly that I’d recorded or that had appeared on Netflix while I was away, I did some easy crafting, I played my new favourite low brain power game on my phone. 

And now? Now I’m tucked up in bed with my last cuppa of the day, quickly writing something here before I crack open my copy of American Gods so that I can make a few pages start on reading it before starting to watch the TV series. 

This is what my looking after myself after I’ve overdone it looks like. I had a fantastic long weekend away but the consequence of having a few days away like that is the need for downtime to manage the pain and fatigue that overdoing it brings. The fun I had seeing my friends and their boys is definitely worth it, but now I have to balance myself back out. This is one of the sides of having an invisible disability that most people don’t see which in itself made me decide to blog a little about it tonight. 

Craft · Life

A crafty cuppa.

Last Saturday was Yarn Shop Day across the UK. I was away so couldn’t get to my local participating yarn shop so I suggested my mom went along anyway. She brought me back some giveaway goodies that have made my future projects list grow longer again, and treated us to these.

I think they’re great fun, my cuppa is currently resting on the crochet one and hers is on the knitting one. I’m sure they’ll get swapped around plenty!


The sea. 

On Friday afternoon I found myself on the beach at Bournemouth with one of the friends I’m staying with at the moment and their three boys. It was warm enough but windy, it was late in the afternoon so there weren’t many people around. 

Within minutes of getting there I felt properly chilled out, being by the sea always does that. I live a long way from the sea but I get so much out of visiting it that I’ve decided this year to seize every opportunity I can to visit whichever bit of sea I can get to. Even if going does end up with a little burial of the feet…

(I guess it was my own fault for assuming my over the ankle height boots meant I’d be safe from getting sand in my socks!)