Well that escalated quickly…

Oops. I do apologise for the rather lengthy absence, rooted in my terrible talent for procrastination…

It has been quite the year since my last blog post. I’m not entirely sure what happened to blogging along the way – there were times when I just didn’t feel like sharing what was going on in my head, and other times where procrastinator supreme “I’ll write a post next whenever” prevailed. But now life has evened out a bit, and I want to get back to my original reasons for starting thins in the first place – revelling in the small things!

A debrief of the last 12 months would have to include the following highlights:

  • I survived two months travelling solo in the South Pacific – more about that here!
  • I graduated! (Still convinced they’re going to decide that was a clerical error one day…)
  • We moved across the country and managed to navigate the traps of house-hunting; our well developed damp-sensors once again proving invaluable!
  • I started my first job (and have thus far survived!)
  • My little (6ft) brother has finally found his calling and has been given the opportunity to go follow his dreams in September – super proud!
  • We ticked a few places off our travel bucket list.
  • And finally, and most excitingly…
    • My aforementioned other-half asked me a very important question, to which the answer was a very slightly hysterical YES; we are now enjoying bumbling through the world of wedding planning together!

As I said, quite the year! I will be blogging a bit about my travels, and a few important bits and pieces, but mainly trying to focus on the little smiles just like before.

Thanks for staying interested if you’re still reading!

LSO x

 

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On being somebody’s Valentine…

Four years ago I left home to start university. Everyone was busy telling me how much I would love it, how much if would thrive. I, on the other hand, had spent the preceding summer convincing myself that I had not got my A level grades that would secure my place. I had already part filled next year’s application forms, booked a few driving lessons in and applied for a few jobs so the blow might not fall so hard. So when the big fat confirmation letter fell through the letterbox in August, just a month before term was due to start, I found myself in a bit of a pickle.

Just 4 weeks later, I found myself alone in a room that didn’t feel like mine, on a corridor of the most eclectic mix I people I could ever expect to meet. It was almost a perfectly representative sample if every clique from college. The loud and bolshy rugby lad, the crazy party girl, the punky chic into all sorts of weirdness that she felt needed sharing loudly over dinner, the quiet kid that didn’t speak, and then there was the boy next door.

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. In fact I spent the first few weeks of term convinced his name was Steve (it’s not…) and only really had any interaction over pleasantries such as whose milk this was in the fridge, and could I please borrow a tea bag.

I found myself deeply miserable at uni. I suddenly found myself stressed to the heavens about everything, gave myself gastritis that rendered me a nauseous wreck the majority of the time and realised that my cooking skills did not even stretch to basic at best. I was strongly considering dropping out and seeing if I could defer a year on health grounds. So when I got a text from said boy asking if I’d like to go for a drink sometime, I baulked and knocked it out the park. How could I possibly entertain the notion of dating when I could barely hold myself together for a day of lectures?!

A few months of persistent efforts and truly horrendously awkward dates later, we finally gave up and called it official. This was a boy who would sit with me while I spent hours forcing down tiny meals, with my phone in his hand threatening to call my mum if I didn’t finish that chicken sweet and sour. A boy who had seen me in my PJ’s at 3am fire alarms with bed hair and sleepy eyes, seen my horrific attempts at cooking, heard me throwing up near enough daily, and yet was still interested.

That first year, I told him that I didn’t do valentines day. Mainly because I honestly didn’t really buy all the sappy ‘one-and-only’ stuff. I figured mostly you just ended up with someone convenient and muddled along with them for a while. I thought it was so commercial; after all, why do you need one day to appreciate the person you supposedly love all year round?

To some extent, I still believe that, about the commercialism. However, four years later, having fallen totally head over heels for that boy next door, I can’t say I don’t believe in love anymore. It’s amazing to have someone who is unconditionally there for you, and so in sync with the way you think that there are times when you don’t have to say anything at all. And to be able to celebrate that, and have a day to show them how much that means isn’t all that bad. Not with presents and lavish expense, but with time. Setting aside a little time to spend purely with each other, no distractions. So that was how our valentines day went. We had a lazy morning with American Blueberry Pancakes watching a live-streamed band contest in our PJs. Then we went out for dinner at our favourite local Indian, challenging each other to try something different to our usual order. We’re both massive foodie people, so this was just perfect. We ended our evening curled up on the sofa with a good film. To some, this would seem boring and unimaginative, but for us, just spending time enjoying things we have in common is just fine.

So now, I would say yes, I do ‘do’ valentines day, but I do it my way.

LSO x

Smile no. 6

A few days behind this week… whoops!

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I went out for a wander on Saturday, just to pick up a few bits and pieces, and just nipped in to L’Occitane. It’s not a shop I go into usually, it’s a little out of my student price range, but I find that their shea butter hand cream is one of the few that actually stops my knuckles cracking wide open, despite the large amount of handwashing I do in my job. (And it smells really good!)

When I got to the till, I was informed that that particular day, there was a promotion running whereby if I signed up to the emailing list, I would get a little gift bag, and 25% off my next shop. This seemed like a pretty good deal, and for the £8 I spent on my hand cream, I walked out with this lovely little pack also containing comfort cream, toner and cleanser, and a squirt of some very nice perfume on the tissue paper that made my living room smell nice for hours:

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For the store, it’s just an easy passing way of getting more advertising to more people, but to me, it’s a little unexpected surprise treat that made my day. People say it’s all about the small things – and for me it really is. This put a smile on my face all afternoon! Simple things please simple minds? I’m not so sure. I reckon the people that can find the smiles in the small things are just happier people!

LSO x

Smile no. 4

Well, this week, it’s more of a big cheshire cat grin!

Back in December, I had a very lonely birthday. I’d had a day out the day before with my boyfriend, but my actual birthday consisted of an academic progress meeting and a slightly less than exciting lecture, followed by a very lonely evening in. Being a December baby makes birthday arrangements tricky to start with, and this year my friends were all spread out across the country, throwing even more spanners in the already clogged up works! So anyways, long and short of it, I felt my birthday feeling a little sorry for myself, and totally fed up with adult life.

But I actually have the best friends. Last weekend, we managed to engineer a bit of catch-up time, where I was presented with this:

Caterpillar Cake!!I must have said at some point during one of our many reminiscing chats about the impending doom of adulthood that I’d always had a caterpillar cake at home for my birthday. So they decided the tradition should continue, regardless of the number of candles that definitely now don’t fit on the cake…!!

Of course, this did kind of mean relaxing the cold (chocolate) turkey January (See Hello World) for 1 day but I figure that it doesn’t count when it’s your own birthday cake!

It’s only really been over the last 12 months that I’ve realised how seriously great the people in my life are, and how much I really, really need them. They know who they are, and this is a thanks for being so awesome.

LSO x