Monday, April 30, 2007

A weird and wonderful weekend…

Well I chose that title mainly for the alliteration, to be fair. It’s been a fairly odd, slightly dull, kind of hard weekend. Lots of work and study and stuff, and nowhere near enough fun, banter, or hanging out with fun people. It was fairly weird though, so the title isn’t a complete load of codswallop.

These weekends come to us all, right?

I think the true signifier that this was a bit of a craptacular weekend occurred in the first five minutes of my driving lesson….I’m feeling good, confident, OK and then a whopping grass snake / adder (at least a foot long) slithers in front of the car.

Argh!

Emergency Stop!

Much girly flapping of hands.

It’s not so much that I hate snakes, or that I wish them any ill….I’m just not the biggest fan. I think it’s the whole lack of legs thing (lizards are cute…snakes are..not). Or something similarly inane. I just kind of dislike the creatures, but not in a hugely active way. They’re a bit like ex-boyfriends – I’m OK if I know one’s coming (say, when I watch a movie or similar – this would be the snakes, not the exes. None of my exes are movies stars. Well, not yet, anyhow), but when one suddenly just APPEARS? Gives me the heebie jeebies like you wouldn’t believe.

So that was….fun? My instructor then proceeded to freak me the heck out with horror stories for the rest of the lesson. Guess who f***ed up every single manoeuvre after that?

Gah.

Saturday night was lowkey, but OK. A few drinks, and then a bit of a sing….lots of work done, so that’s great. Sunday was church then work. I am working waaaaay to much at the moment, but it’s the usual thing – isn’t it amazing what a motivator a little unrequited love / lust / whatever can be for a girl?

My classroom is more spangly than ever, my resourcing is kicking ass, I’m reading books, my flat is spick and span, I’ve rewritten half of my medium term plans, my friends are getting more letters and emails and texts than they probably ever anticipated, I’m practising my singing, and this evening? I am baking. I should sustain a bruise to the heart (metaphorical, not literal!) more often!

So everything’s fine here, just a little crazy. I can also feel a bit of a weep coming on though, so I’m hoping to head it off at the pass this evening by watching Amelie or La Vita e Bella or Magnolia and just letting myself have a good cry. I’ve been bottling stuff up for a while, so a decent tearfest is totally overdue.

Haha, I am so freaking touchy-feely happy-clappy sometimes. But we all have to do what we have to do to survive.

Seems for me I have to waffle on inanely, make cookies and cry. It’s not such a bad deal, really.

Have a great week, everyone!

Cxx

PS Just call me nature girl…at hometime today (Monday) I was launched into a mission to save a lost racing pigeon. Life’s never dull, right?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cheating?

So, I'm flat out here (again). So this is me popping in to say:

a) Have a fabulous weekend you lovely people! It's sunny and balmy here, so even marking and reporting seems more fun. Especially when you pair it with Pimm's!

b) If you're bored and like angsty girl poems, please do check out my 'other' blog: http://madwomanwords.blogspot.com/ - they're a little rough and raw, but it feels good to be trying again.

c) I've started replying to comments, in my comments, once again....so if you want to know where I'll be in Canada this autumn, or my thoughts on cheese on toast, or about my sad fangirly love of Brian Wilson...do scroll back.

d) To close, some classic wisdom from 'Ol Blue Eyes: "I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes. "

With love and blessings to you all,
Cxx

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mwahahahahahaha

Oh my gosh. How pathetic was yesterday's post? Talk about your cases of sorry-itis! Just a clearcut case of a Claire who was feeling tired and hungry and overworked and having a wee bit of a whinge, I'm afraid. I'm such a wuss.

And of course, as soon as I did get home, and grabbed a shower and made myself the regal supper that is cheese on toast (oh my. Soooooo good) and watched Ugly Betty I thought of oodles and bunches of stuff to be grateful for.

Like the fact that my kids have all settled back in really well after Easter - my tutees this year are such a lovely bunch and they are genuinely wonderful kids.

Like the fact that this time in six months I'll be in Canada. And I'm going to see Brian Wilson in September. And Caro is over to visit in August. And next month I'm treating myself to something very fun (more on that soon).

Like the fact that I'm happy and healthy and loved and I have eleventy million blessings to count everyday. Not to mention a passle of buddies who forgive me my occasional moments of Eeyoreish behaviour.

I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

And I love when I remember to remember that!

Hugs to all, and yay to tomorrow being Friday!

Cxx

PS I love this Audrey Hepburn quote: “I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.” That's so so me, it's actually disquieting. And this other quote from the great lady: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”? Is officially my new mantra...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Late....

It's late. Far too late to be in school....but I was on boarding duty, so I wasn't done there till almost eight....and now it's nine and I'm hoping to make my escape by half-nine. You know when teachers claim to work crazy hours? This is what we're talking about! I've been on the go all day, I've just checked in on myspace and my emails, and now I'm going to head home and read up on Buddhism (due to a rather creative 180 on the RS front :-)). I love it though.

Am just here, typing a quick hello, listening to 'Late' by Ben Folds, about the great Elliott Smith, staring past the primary coloured frenzy of my classroom out into the darkness beyond. I wish you guys were here.

Cxx

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The devil makes work for idle hands...

....oh, for a chance to be idle.

So, term is now in full swing, with the prerequisite piles of marking, demands for exam papers to proofread before making our poor wee ones sit the darn things, reports to start planning, planning documents which (of course....:-)) all the heads of departments want overhauled, rounders matches to sort, end of term shindigs to start pulling together, and children, children everywhere! The change of pace from the Easter break is pronounced!

But busy-ness is OK. I just wish I didn't keep daydreaming....

I've always been a daydreamer. I used to get into quite a lot of trouble at school for it...the teacher would be explaining square roots, or the Tudor line, or something else equally elucidating, and I'd be looking out of the window, away somewhere else. And lately I've started to do this, more than I have in years. I'm marking quite happily, or doing chores, or sat in yet another staff meeting, or listening to a reader (a very nice part of being a teacher, but far too conducive to daydreaming!)...and then I just kind of drift away, thinking nice thoughts, painting pictures with memories.

When I say I have the mental age and attitude of a seven-year-old, I ain't playing!

Sweey (day)dreams, all,

Cxx

PS Added to this, I'm feeling a little homesick...I think it's just the whole 'staring down the barrel of four months without respite from Middle England', but when you start to even think of the spinners of the High Street with fondness it's a bad sign!

Monday, April 23, 2007

So....

...I did a long and rambling post yesterday, full of chat and things, but then my computer ate it (hey, it's a step up from the dog! ;-)). So instead you get me writing a little something something....oh hang on...what's this? Aha, document recovered! It's not even that good, but it is classic Claire randomness, so please enjoy:

Singalong Sunday, April 22nd.

Well, it has been a while….so I thought I’d roll out a singalong. I love how they always wend their own sweet way, and I haven’t really got a theme to write on, so a singalong sounds ideal, if you’ll indulge me?

My flat smells of Sunday evening…laundry drying and grass that’s been mown earlier in the day and the faint remnant whiff of cleaning products (who said Sunday was a day of rest?). And I’m very tired. Bodes well for the rest of the week, huh?

Singalong!

1. Call and Answer ~ Barenaked Ladies.

Oh great. So we start with a song that always makes me cry when I think about it…. Fantastic! Well, at least it’s a great song, it just always gets me right…there, especially at the lyric “I’m warning you / don’t ever do / those crazy messed up things that you do / If you ever do / I promise you / I’ll be the first to crucify you.” Brutal. The whole lyric is awesome actually, and I think anyone who’s ever been in love (real or unrequited) can connect with it.

Man, I love BNL.

So last night was babysitting for next door, which was a major blast from the past – I half expected to have some Modern Studies homework to be getting on with and needing to remember to watch the repeat of Dawson’s Creek! I’ve been babysitting for over ten years (no, not just in one big slot!), so it had the combination of making me feel very young and very old all at once. Next door are lovely though, and their daughter’s a poppet, so I hung out with her, got her scrubbed, tubbed and sleepytimed and then….well then it was me and the dogs, just hanging out.

2. Ball and Biscuit ~ The White Stripes.

The bassline on this song is filthy. That is all I have to say on this one.

So anyway, wee one went to bed and then it was 9.30 on a Saturday and I was in someone else’s house…TV and DVDs, anyone? I watched ‘The Holiday’ (better than I was expecting, but I empathised a bit too much with Kate Winslet’s character at points!), had a glass of wine, caught up on some ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, had a coffee watched some MTV…and it was still only half-one. They finally rocked up at three a.m……just before I nodded off over my book! I can stay up that late quite happily if I’m out, but on a comfy couch in a cosy house? Hard work, you guys!

3. Just When I Needed You Most ~ Dolly Parton & Alison Krauss.

Oh wow, this song is beautiful…the harmonies are just stellar in the choruses. Mmmmmm, harmonies.

So anyway, I was home by three-thirty, and the debt monkeys have been staved somewhat, I hope. Little by little, piece by piece.

4. On’s On ~ Missy Elliott.

Yay Missy! It’s wrong how much I love a lot of this woman’s oeuvre. I know she’s lippy and can be rude and swears up a blue storm, but my life the woman can put a track together. I love the layers in her tracks….she’s like the Phil Spector of hiphop, without the crazy hair and alleged murders, naturally.

Killing the debt monkeys is of course part of the work of the list, and we’re probably due an update on that right about now…70 things in five years, we better hope I’m on it! We’re a month in…let’s see what progress have I made on this list, shall we?

*gulps*

Number 5: I would like to take this blog to over 1,000 posts. Well, I’m blogging more regularly….but the 1,000 posts may take a while!

5. Superstar ~ Lauryn Hill.

Oh Lauryn. I still love you.

Number 15: I would like to learn how to apply liquid eyeliner. Oh man, this one is offering me such hilarity! At first I would wind up looking like a cross between a panda, a Fall Out Boy fan and an extra in A Clockwork Orange but it’s improving steadily!

Number 23: I would like to learn how to drive. Oh my, I am working so hard on this. Please send any good vibes you have…I find driving pretty difficult, but I would love to pass sometime this year!

Numbers 28 and 29: I would like to visit Toronto…and Montreal. In October and November of this year I should be visiting both. Thanks again, Scott and Bee!

6. Something’s Coming ~ from West Side Story.

Yay musicals…..

Number 38: I would like to be featured on a CD (singer / handclaps / lyricist / whatever!). Well my friends have a band (they’re really good actually. You should totally check them out! www.myspace.com/danagainsttheworld, and a shameless plug :-)), and if and when they cut an album I *might* get to feature in some way. Possibly. Maybe. Triangle? Body percussion? Who knows!

7. That’s What Friends Are For ~ Dionne Warwick and Friends.

Pure musical cheese. I wish I could have had a bar mitzvah (or rather, a bat mitzvah), just so I could play this and sway with my friends, a la Seth from the OC.

Number 41: I would like to have a poem published. My poems are ruuuussssty at the moment, y’all. But in a move to get this sorted, I’m going to set up a sister blog to this one (http://madwomanwords.blogspot.com/, fact fans!), just for poems and stuff…that way I can practice and get feedback without everyone having to laugh / endure my attempts at the most concise of written forms if that’s not their scene.

8. Northern Star ~ Hole.

Courtney Love has a pretty jacked up voice…but yet I like it. I’d much rather listen to an album of her than one song by Celine Dion. Aren’t human beings quirky?

Number 42: I would like to have really long hair (past elbows)…It’s now the longest it’s been since early on in Aberdeen… it’s getting there!

Number 47: I would like to sort out my finances. Babysitting? Trying to pay stuff off and save? Staying in more? Working for half of summer vacation? It’s a work in progress, but I am so on this one!

9. I Just Threw Out The Love of My Dreams ~ Weezer.

Oh my life in heaven. I love this song (it is especially fun to pogo along to while you put through a big photocopying job. Um, not that I’d know, of course…).

Number 68: I would like to beat P in a game of badminton. I think I did this over Easter break…but I can’t remember. Have just called S to confirm, but one may be done! Mmmm, list geekery.

10. Are You Ready For Love ? ~ Elton John.

“Are you ready for love? / Yes I am.”

If only it were that simple, right?

What a random post, I do apologise.

Hope your weekend has been divine, your week to come is fabulous, and that the desires and wishes of your hearts are on the way, even if they are taking a wee while.

Hee. I need to go to bed now.

Love,
Cxx

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A small personal triumph and a weird reason to post...

Yesterday I managed to teach/other-boarding-school-task (serving chocolate pudding, doing break duty etc.) a twelve hour day wearing this ensemble and didn't get a single stain on it...


Yes, I know.

I wore a pure white cardi and a silk skirt and came away unscathed. The heavens must have been smiling....

Hey, it makes me smile.


It's been far too long a day in the classroom, but it's been a productive one at least. And now I'm just posting this, checking my email, and then it's home in time for the Doctor. David Tennant makes me smile.
And then tonight? I'm babysitting. I'm caught between giggles at the whole teenage-esque factor and giggles at my grownup-ness, kicking the debt monkeys into touch one night at a time....
May your Saturdays be fun & your Sundays be merciful, loves.
Cxx
PS Those of you with mobiles I apologise in advance for any texts sent tonight....I will be stuck in a manor house with a sleeping child (albeit a lovely sleeping child) and may have an attack of the bored :-).

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yay, it's almost the almost weekend!

Woo! It’s Friday! And as I’m supervising ‘board games’ (a.k.a. the fairly lazy activity slot I’ve been granted this term after two terms of double drama on my evenings) it gives me ample opportunity to chill a little and finish off this survey, taken from the lovely Amy/Inky earlier this week. Today is one of my twelve hour plus days in school (in at 10 past seven this morning, oh yes!), so I feel less guilty about the whole chilling-a-little thing :-).

Cxx

1. What is your best friend's Dad's name?
Oh my gosh. I’m not sure I know…I tend to be pretty formal with people’s Dads!

2. What body part do you hate on the opposite sex?
Some parts make me smile, some parts make me laugh (stop sniggering NOW, Mlle Wilson and Jean!), but there’s no part I hate.

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had?
All of my teachers were not hot at all (although one of my classmates disagreed – when she moved up to VIth form at our school she slept with not one but two of them. Odd girl. Odder teachers).

4. What body part do you wash first?
My face / my hands.

5. Do you have any piercings?
None whatsoever.

6. Do you have any tattoos?
No. My deadly combo of being indecisive and accident prone has put me off :-).

7. Is your driveway steep?
Our driveway is flat. And hard to drive round and negotiate, what with the electric gate and all, if you are a learner driver.

8. What's your favourite flavoured Pringles?
Mmmmm. Pringles. I’m off them, but they are delicious, even if Banana and I are convinced they must be laced with crack.

9. Have you ever been tied up?
Not yet.

10. What was the worst thing you ever got grounded for?
My parents have never grounded me. While I was away at school though I frequently got ‘confined’ (the RAAS equivalent of grounded) for a wide range of misdemeanours….going out of bounds, getting caught off site, messiness, playing pranks, lateness…. I really went for the whole teenage thing.

11. Have you ever had two dates in one night?
Niet.

12. How many times have you been cursed at?
Frequently, and often lovingly. My friends are the love.

13. Which shoe do you put on first?
Doesn’t matter. I’m shoebedextrous.

14. Have you ever kissed someone you didn't know?
Yep. But then I knew him ;-). Ah, first year.

15. Have you ever been to a gay bar?
Yes, Princess Sho and I went as moral support for a friend who’d just come out and wanted to go. We also took her to the Gaylidh, an annual event at our uni, where a girl from my film class marched up to me and went “Oh my God, you’re gay? Awesome!” and launched into an uber-chat and I had to explain to the lovely girl that I was actually straight and taken…once we’d cleared that up though, we took to the dancefloor. Good times!

16. Have you ever had any friends with benefits?
Not really, which I think is good. I almost did in first year (yep, those were crazy times), but I U-turned at the eleventh (well, tenth!) hour. So glad I did in hindsight…that kind of arrangement is so not me!

17. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common?
Only really inane things like the fact they make me laugh…but that would cover all my friends also….I think there are some things that tend to come up, but there are no universals. To paraphrase what Mlle Wilson said last year after meeting my crush-de-mois….”I thought I’d figured it out, but no. Your type is impossible to fathom.”

18. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting?
No. Can you actually tip cows? What does Wikipedia say?

19. Who is the last person you usually think about before you fall asleep?
If there was somebody, would I write it here? Hahahaha. Time for the stock answer: George Clooney.

19. have you ever had a song written about you?
Not that I know of. But if there was one, I’d hope it kicked ass. Or involved Dolly Parton in some way.

20. If you had to choose to not ever wash your bed sheets again or ur bathtowel.
I would never make that choice. Ewwwwwwwww.

21. Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable?
Parents’ rooms are not where you snoop. Ever.

22. What was your childhood nickname?
As a baby I was ‘Bright Eyes’ (and wow, did my mum over play the ‘Watership Down’ soundtrack…), and then I sort of became ‘Claire’. Hehehe. At boarding school I was ‘Prickles’.

23. When was the last time you played the air guitar?
At a worship thing on Saturday. I was very, very bored.

24. Have you ever peeked in the opposite sexes locker room?
Nope.

25. Whats the weirdest thing you've done while driving?
I’ll let you know.

26. How do you normally eat your Oreo cookies?
Eat top biscuit, eat cream stuff, eat bottom biscuit.

27. Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't want any one to know about?
If I don't want anyone to know about it, why would I post it on Myspace?(blatantly plagiarising Amy’s anwer for this one!)

28. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk?
Between 2 and 7. I’m fairly lightweight, but it does depend what I’m imbibing.

29. Why are you doing this survey?
The usual reason - seemed like a good idea at the time!

30. Do you have any strange phobias?
I have a few.

31. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?
No.

32. What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar?
Falling flat on my face must count, surely? How about bursting into tears? Kareoke?

33. Have you ever called your love interest by another girl/guys name?
No, by some miracle!

34. Have you ever gotten caught sleeping while on a date?
No. How rude would that be???

35. Have you ever played naked twister?
Not yet.

36. Have you ever been drunk at work/school?
No, but the morning after the Christmas dance was touch and go for most members of my S6 I think.

37. Have you ever found your date's/lover's brother or sister to be hotter than your date?
Nope. Score!

38. How many Bryce's do you know?
Nary a one.

And that’s the lot!

Cxx

PS This took me forever. Why? Because the boys (there are twenty four of them currently crammed in my room) were particularly taken with the game I devised. They build something….I smash it (by sneezing / falling / dropping it, whatever). Hilarity for all!!

Have a great weekend, all!

PPS It then took me even longer because we had a long and winding conversation about sign language, the occult, David Tennant and Jammie Dodgers. Always fun!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Don’t you just hate when that happens?

I made sure I was tucked up in bed at ten, after winding down watching ‘Ugly Betty’ and brushing my teeth, ready for a few chapters of my book (now reading, ‘The Call of the Weird’, by Louis Theroux) and a good nights rest.

Could I relax and sleep?

What do you think?

Haha. Well I decided to go with it and get some stuff done (work stuff, letters, mix things etc.), but it’s still frustrating…I’d much rather be feeling perky and fabulous for the first day back with the kids tomorrow, but it looks like sleep may prove elusive. It’s just past 11 now, if I can’t get to bed my midnight I’m just going to get up and do some reps on the weights and some aerobics to tire myself out!

So the start of term craziness has begun in earnest. I love how the day before INSET (for those of you who don’t teach, that’s what we call our training days) starts I always tend to think, “Yep. I’m ready. I’m prepared.” And then I have two days of being bombarded with information on assessment, reporting, performance management, risk assessments, a million and four other things…..and now I just feel full of ideas and queries, with no time to deal with them before the kiddibuns arrive back.

The joys of the job.

I think that’s probably why I find it hard to sleep the night before term starts….and I think I find it hard because ordinarily? I’m an awesome sleeper (hmmmm, who do we think might try and make something dirty out of that? My money’s on Wiwille or Hulles!). But seriously, minds out of the gutter, I am the crown princess of getting rest on a normal day (well, night) – head hits pillow, prayers duly said, a brief think and then….zzzzzzzzzzz. So when sleep proves harder to settle into it rattles my cage somewhat.

But now I’m going to go finish up my geography work and read a chapter of my book and then, hopefully, get some sleep. I have to be up at 5.50 tomorrow to walk into school early (I always like to doublecheck my classroom before the kids get back!), so I’m going to hope I drop off soon….

What a random post!

Have a great couple of days all ~ almost the weekend, yay!

Cxx

PS The story has a happy ending - I was fast asleep by midnight, woke up with a smile at 5.50, and am currently in my classroom having arrived at 7.20 - off to sharpen pencils now :-).

Have a great day!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Monday!

So, it’s almost 10 p.m. Sunday, and I’m back from my weekend with the youth. And many things are craving my attention…so I think it’s time to break out the subtitles…

Inspiration!

One nice thing about blogging is that for the first time in years I’m feeling an active compulsion to write. As a teen I took a notebook everywhere, scrawling down stories and poems and ideas, copying quotes and lyrics and definitions, making a soup of words and thoughts and just…..stuff. It was great.

And while I don’t always have the notebook now, it’s nice to feel that I’m writing something (oftentimes, anything….) and that I’m back into it. Who knows where it might lead? Knowing me, probably back here!

Inspiration?

So, I spent my weekend at a Christian get-together and I learnt some things:

1. I still don’t like what I’m going to refer to as ‘mass hysteria’ (for want of a better descriptor). You can take the girl away from sociology and anthropology….but you can’t take the sociology and anthropology away from the girl. I am so happy for people to worship in whatever way they see fit, but some of the stuff this weekend? Felt a little staged, a little off, a little manipulated. Maybe I’m a cynic, but it just didn’t sit well with me.
2. I am waaaaaay too young to work with our youth. I love our teens to bits, but I fear if I carry on working with them problems may arise…I just think being so close in age to them and having some alternative views might end badly.
3. Sweeping generalisations? Just plain p*** me off.
4. Fairground rides are great fun….especially when you have a wrist band that lets you go on AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WANT. Awesome.

Even in the midst of these revelations, I did find some inspiration at the conference, albeit from an unlikely source (no, not the fairground rides!). One of the random highlights of the day was a screening of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’…and it was amazing, really informative and entertaining. I’m so glad Al Gore has made this film, and recommend it heartily. I’m going to go sign some petitions and write to my MP right after posting this – I am feeling very inspired.

Changes

Oh yeah, and this term is going to be different. Honest.

The exercise is back on, I’m going to ration some of my ‘naughty’ things (drinkies, CD purchasing, daydreaming about utter nonsense, internet access(eek!)), and I’m going to do more singing practice and read more books (I have three on the go now – one great one, one good one, and one OK one….guess which one I started last but will probably finish first?).

I feel I need to get some things sorted.

So now I’m off to hang up some laundry, make another detoxifying cup of tea (mmmm, random flavour), and sleep. In an actual bed! With covers!

Amazing.

Love,
Cxx

PS It’s Monday morning now, and I was late in to attack the paperwork because the great book kept me in bed reading till nine-thirty. This morning, not last night, of course. Staying up till nine-thirty in the evening wouldn't be too impressive, would it? Also, as I wrote the bulk of this post at ten last night, it would also be temporally impossible.....

Anyway, really amazing book and the start of something fun and good, methinks!

PPS It’s incredibly sunny here again today. We’re meant to hit 25 degrees at lunchtime. And this is April? Eek.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Sunny Side of the Street

"So yeah, I think I can say, I'm happy about 90% of the time."

There it was.

I'd said it.

And no sooner had I said it, than I realised it was probably true.

The thing is, I haven't always been this way. And I'm not crazy - I know all too well that life contains sadness, and loss, and, and sorrow, and disappointment, and hurt, and horror. I've seen some pretty dark times, and even now in my fairly-charmed-and-cheery life, there are still bad times. But in the main, I am happy most of the time.

Sure, there are things that upset me. There are things I want that I don't have. There are bad days, bad lessons, bad meetings, bad dreams.

But they are definitely the exception rather than the rule.

And cheesey as it is, I'm really, really grateful for that. 5 years or so ago I was such a different person, living such a different life, and now? I'm happy. How freaking awesome is that?

Now, before you all start barfing, this joy is tempered somewhat - my life is happy, not perfect :-).

But in the main, life is good. Good friends, good times, more music and books than I can get through in a decent space of time, a job that I love (even if it does turn me into a little bit of a biatch on wheels sometimes....that will be some of the 10%), the chance to travel and learn and write and sing and dance (because, after all, "there's no such thing as bad dancing").

So I'm being grateful today.

I like how it feels.

I hope you all have blessings aplenty to count also.....and look forward to hearing of more to come.

Have a great weekend!
Love,
Cxx

PS Am just about to spend my weekend in Somerset, sleeping on a church floor in my 70s sleeping bag, going to 'Spring Harvest' and generally corralling our youth from church....will this affect the 90/10 ratio, one wonders? ;-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Say hello, wave goodbye….

And lo, my Easter break is coming to an end (in other news, three weeks? Awesome amount of time for a holiday). As I type this I am lying in bed (listening to ‘Holiday’ by Madonna, as it happens), reflecting on a fun, fun holiday of good friends, fun times, scarpering hither and thither, discovering new music, watching old films, sleeping too much, being a myspace geek…it has really been fun.

And now, the end is nigh. I fly back today at lunchtime, then it’s Spring Harvest with the youth (oh my….), then preparation and inset, and then the kiddiewinkles get back and it’s the summer term.

Good things about the summer term:
Sunshine!
The last three weeks of term.
Compiling the kids records of achievement ~ I love looking back on a year well spent.
Rounders!
Expeditions (Scafell Pike or Brecon Beacons…hmmmm).
Hopefully finding out what I’m going to be responsible for next year.

Not so good things about the summer term:
Exams (the kids are only seven and eight, after all)
Reports. X 2.

Seems fair.

Right, I’d better go shower and pack. I stayed out till half one this morning playing Wii bowling and the stick-a-name-on-your-head game…and now I’m going to have to book it to get everything sorted.

Farewell Scotland, a bientot; Hello Englandshire…what on earth will you have in store for me now?

More soon, no doubt!

Love,
Cxx

PS This is hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_gebFHutLw

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Confessions of a twentysomething drama queen…

Sometimes, just sometimes, I worry there is something wrong with me. Nothing too sinister, just a small inkling, a pervading mood, a strange anomaly of factors. Hee, “anomaly”. Guess who’s been watching a lot of House recently?

Anyway. I’m 26 now, and sometimes I just worry that I’m, well, not a proper grown up. Loads of my friends are settling down, buying flats, having kids and getting engaged…whereas I’m still kind of a nomad, buying lattes, having far too good of a time and getting as many CDs as my pittance can afford.

Is this normal? I’m not sure.

But then, I think it’s one of those mind tricks you play on yourself. You know, like when you’re down in the dumps about being single, so your brain gets into the (ever so slightly pathetic, it must be said) everyone-is-loved-up-and-I-am-all-alllllooooooone frame of mind. You don’t stop and think of all the friends, acquaintances and colleagues you have in the same place as you…your focus is off.

I think the main reason my mind is on the whole being a fake grown up thing is probably being home….I adore my parents, but when they hint at houses and babies, I have to do a fair bit of counting to ten… I just want to say “I don’t know what it is I want…yet. Give me a few years, please?” And I know they are proud of me, and they just want the best for me, but sometimes I worry I’m sort of letting them down. Am I mental?

The thing is, I’m not ready to be a proper grown up just yet. I’m quite happy with work, I have a kickass bunch of friends, and I’m probably one of the happiest people I know. I kind of float around in a little Claire bubble of fun and music, and generally have a ball. And really, I think that’s OK.

In a few years I’d love to be a proper grown up. And I think I’ll get there….eventually. But why buy a house when I don’t know where I want to settle down yet? Why worry about weddings when I don’t even have a boyfriend? Why fret about kids when they are nowhere near the table, let alone on the actual table, just yet?

Roll on the future, but let's not forget today!

To conclude, I’m odd. But I’m starting to think that’s OK.

Cxx

PS Good Lord, I’m emo this evening ;-)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The eternal question....

“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

(Rob, High Fidelity)

Ah, the double edged sword of pop….a mixed blessing, if you will.

It always occurs to me that my life has a definite soundtrack. I have a pretty eclectic range of musical taste, but time and time again I find myself drawn to certain songwriters, particularly those with lyrics which I connect with. And those lyrics change with time, situation, and mood….this post will be interwoven with twenty lyrics I’m currently feeling, well, just because, really! Hope some of your faves make the cut…it’s more or less a singalong, but here the words are taking centre stage!

For me, each song is like a poem, a set of words that capture an exact moment in time, like a lyrical snapshot. As an erstwhile poet and a wannabe lyricist, this tends to resonate with me. The lyrics that follow…some of them are eternal, some of them recall times past, some of them talk of the here and now, others talk of hopes of what’s yet to come.

But each and every one of them is a killer track!

So grab a cuppa, get comfy, and enjoy.

Love, as always,
Cxx

I never loved nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart truly
I got lost
In the sounds
I hear in my mind
All of these voices
I hear in my mind all of these words
I hear in my mind
All of this music
And it breaks my heart
And It breaks my heart

(Fidelity – Regina Spektor)

Though you don't call anymore
I sit and wait in vain
I guess I'll rap on your door
Tap on your window pane
I wanna tell you, baby
Changes I've been going through,
Missing you
Until you come back to me that's what I'm gonna do

(Until You Come Back To Me – Aretha Franklin)

Anything plain can be lovely, anything loved can be lost
Maybe I lost my direction, what if our love is the cost?
Anyone perfect must be lying, anything easy has its cost
Anyone plain can be lovely, anyone loved can be lost
What if I lost my direction?
What if I lost sense of time?
What if I nursed this infection?
Maybe the worst is behind

(Falling For The First Time – Barenaked Ladies)

So if you want to be with me
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides maybe this time is different
I mean I really think you like me

(The First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes)

Anyone who ever loved
Could look at me and know that I love you
Anyone who ever dreamed
Could look at me and know I dream of you
Knowing I love you, so
Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me too
You couldnt really have a heart
And hurt me like you hurt me
And be so untrue
What am I to do?

(Dionne Warwick– Anyone Who Had a Heart)

I could talk to you for days
You make me laugh one thousand ways
And I realise - you fill me up
Like hot water - in my tea cup
I'm enchanted by your smile
I must admit it took a while
For me to see that - this was something
More than - he's my friend, it's nothing
I hope to God you feel the way I feel
Cause this could be amazing
Something so super real

There's something about you and you don't even know it
I'm telling you now that you got me good
There's something about you and I can't help but show it
Damn right, you got me good

(Jamelia – Something About You)

I roller coaster for you
Time out of mind must be heavenly
It's all enchanted and wild
Just like my heart said it was gonna be
If this is gonna run 'round in my head
I might as well be dreaming
Run 'round in my head

(Out of the Woods – Nickel Creek)

But why'd you have to break all my heart
Couldn't you have saved a little bit of it?
Why'd you have to break all my heart
Couldn't you have saved a minor part?
I could've clipped and saved and planted in the garden
Damn you, guess I'll have to get a new one

(14th Street – Rufus Wainwright)

Never fails to avoid disappointment
Never wind up with a broken heart
Got no target it’s impossible to miss
You can’t lose if you don’t take part

(Aim Low – Mary Lou Lord)

Me and my head high
And my tears dry
Get on without my guy
You went back to what you knew
So far removed from all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I'll go back to black
We only said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to.....

(Back To Black – Amy Winehouse)

Staring at the wall, I sink inside
I think about it all, I get caught up in my life
I can't think straight, because it's tearing up my mind
I feel like I'm on fire, nothing I can do
I'm troubled with doubt, though I know it is not true
And it's times like these when I am dying to speak to you
Dying to get through, dying to get through

(Lost In You – Ash)

The clock never stops, never stops, never waits
She’s growing old
It's getting late
And so he forgot, he forgot
Maybe not
Maybe he’s been seriously hurt
Would that be worse?

(Annie Waits – Ben Folds)


You are so very far away
So when a memory escapes
I roll over, and let it go
I roll over, and let it go
I don’t know what I’m gonna do
Oh, every time I think of you
I roll over, and let it go
I roll over, and let it go

(Rollover (Let It Go) – Charlotte Hatherley)

Can you remember who I was?
Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain?
Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.

We’ve walked both sides of every street
Through all kinds of windy weather.
But that was never our defeat
As long as we could walk together.
So there’s no need for turning back
`cause all roads lead to where we stand.
And I believe we’ll walk them all
No matter what we may have planned.

(Don Mclean – Crossroads)

Well, maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

(Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley)

I can see,
No matter how near you'll be,
You'll never belong to me.
But I can dream Can't I?
Can't I pretend
that I'm locked in the bend of your embrace?
For dreams are just like wine,
And I am drunk with mine

I'm aware my heart is a sad affair.
There's much disillusion there,
But I can dream, Can't I

Can't I adore you although we are oceans apart?
I can't make you open your heart,
But I can dream Can't I

(I Can Dream Can’t I? – Mama Cass)

You look like a perfect fit
For a girl in need of a tourniquet
But can you save me
Come on and save me
If you could save me
From the ranks of the freaks
Who suspect they could never love anyone

(Save Me – Aimee Mann)

I want to tell you something
That I should’ve, long ago
I wish that you and I had those kids
Maybe bought us that home
I wish that we were stumbling fast
Down on irving and 14th street
I wish that we were still in your room
In your bed and you were holding me

(Somehow, Someday – Ryan Adams)

Just hold me close inside your arms tonight, don't be too hard on my emotions
Cause I need time. My heart has no feeling.
So while I'm still healing,
Just try and have a little patience.

(Patience – Take That)

The days start to fade out of the frame
Like their blurring into to someone else's name
You try your hardest to rewind the tapes
But you're prepared everyday
To make the same mistakes
Step out of that life
It's nowhere near your time
Just remember you called it all bullshit
Well, it is and if you stop giving into it
You can walk away the freest man

(The Freest Man – Tilly and the Wall)

Man, I love music.

Cxx

Friday, April 06, 2007

"Who's a rock star?"

(Major kudos if you can name the crappy teenybop film my title is quoting!)

So, it's half past ten and I am blogging in my pyjamas. On a Friday night. To be fair this was not part of the original plan but man-flu, station closures and siblings needing to stay in (to watch Austen adaptations, natch) led to a more laidback evening than I had originally envisaged! Nevertheless it was fun, good phone call with Banana, watched half of All About Eve (have you seen that film? Bette Davies is a goddess amongst women!), had some singing practice and then watched American Idol. Wow, some of those singers are....well.....not....good. To put it nicely. However, I really like Blake, Melinda, LaKisha and Jordin, so I like to check out how they are doing.

It's been a busy couple of days, in a fun way. Yesterday I went down to Aberdeen to buy stuff and things, and have lunch with the delightful J and her gorgeous wee girl the Dot! It's the first time I have ever met the Dot (what with J and her husband O insisting on living in Texas ;-)), and she is truly, truly lovely. Such a cutie - photos soon, I promise. The shopping was....interesting. I tried on about eleventy million things, but then gave up and went to buy CDs and DVDs instead! I know, I'm a wuss. Bought Begin To Hope by Regina Spektor, Entertainment by Gang of Four, Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits (I am so learning 'Heartbreaker', 'Walk On By' and her version of 'Anyone Who Had A Heart' now. She's amazing!) and an awesomely cheesy 80s movies mix (including the theme from 'Ghostbusters'! Heck yes!).

Today the sibs and ma and I went through to Elgin for yet more shopping fun, and I actually found some clothes. I got a lovely outfit of an apple green dress and a white cardi - I now just need an event to wear it to! I also got fab shoes and the most comfortable jeans in the world.

And then I got to meet Maz for a coffee, huzzah! Despite a bout of man-flu, she was on form, and we had a fun couple of hours. The most amusing part was probably when we thought we'd been pooed on by a bird....

What had actually happened? Well I'd been smelling conditioners in the store (hahaha, long story) and had evidently squirted myself, then hugged Maria, and then viola, alleged bird poo.

Sometimes I worry I'm so dim that I may forget to respire ;-).

A weekend of nothing much stretches ahead, but I may try and make a cameo in a pub of some description Sunday because Lent will be over :-D. And then Monday evening I'm off to Glasgow to visit Dr L....yayness.

I'm loving being on holiday, but the time is just flying. I'm also grappling / dealing / working on something off blog, which may explain why my mind is racing but my writing's just average this evening...

I'll try and be more scandalous next time, mmmmkay?

Have a great weekend!

Cxx

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Lovely day....

Aw, you guys. What a nice day I've had. Haircuts and good chats and musicgeekery and banter (that Forres essential) and photos and loveliness. It has just been another gorgeous spring day here, all blue skies and nothing much to do, that intoxicating mix. And now I'm blogging before bed, relaxed and happy and just...feeling good, I guess. Don't you just love when you get to the end of a day and think, "Yep. That was a day well spent. Even with the lack of kiteflying ability (;-))."? More to follow, I'm sure, but I'll leave you for this evening with a pic of the sibs and I, taken this eve, in a rare Mum-attempting-to-work-technology moment.


With love and blessings to you all, as always,

Cxx



PS Charlotte Hatherley's latest album? Kicks ASS!

PPS Aberdeen tomorrow! Yay! I'm gonna meet Miss Iola, at long last.

PPPS New hair, hmmmm.

PPPPS Man, I am in such a good mood. Not even the Elliott Smith I'm listening to right now is getting me down :-)


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Dirty Little Secrets....

Another day, and after a brief photo respite, another meme…..the ultimate in holiday blogging! Dirty Little Secrets – swiped from MyUtopia and Christielli. Thanks girls!

1. The phone rings; who do you want it to be?
George Clooney? NME asking me to write for them, rather than having to slog it out with the anklebiters? Mark Ronson or Amy Winehouselooking for a backing singer? Haha, no, anyone fun will do – so long as it’s nothing to do with work or (eek) the bank!

2. When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?
Because I have to get everything home on a moped, I never get to use a cart….I always return my basket though!

3. In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?
I think I’m a mix of the two – certainly people tell me I’m a good listener, and I am also a total chatterbox. I tend to be pretty shy around new people though.

4. Do you take compliments well?
Yes, it’s a skill I’ve made myself acquire!

5. Do you play Sudoku?
From time to time, yes. It’s on my phone now, which is always good for airport queues / train journeys.

6. If abandoned alone in the wilderness, would you survive?
Not at all. I’d be OK for, like, two days, then I’d so eat something poisonous (I could never recognise those stupid plants!).

7. Do you like to ride horses?
It’s OK – I enjoyed learning the basics, but I’m by no means a huge expert or a massive fan.

8. Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Cub camp, guide camp, band camp (hee)…yep. We could never afford holidays, so we got our holidays that way instead!

9. What was your favorite game as a kid?
Hide and seek, or “making bases”.

10. If a person was pursuing you, but you knew he/she was married, would you go for it?
No. I hope.

11. Have you lied to get out of a date?
Define lied? I’ve ommitted / stretched the truth, shall we say?

12. Could you date someone with different religious beliefs than you?
Yes. Tolerance is the key, I feel.

13. Do you like to pursue or be pursued?
Oh man, how I would love to be pursued. I kind of suck – I don’t pursue, and tend to be clueless when being pursued….

14. Use three words to describe yourself?
Kind, warm, funny. (Is that right?)

15. Do any songs make you cry?
Sooooo many songs make me cry – “The Luckiest”, “Wise Up”, and “Call and Answer” can always get me.

16. Are you continuing your education?
If teaching = learning, then yes. I’d love to study more in the future though.

17. Do you know how to shoot a gun?
Goodness no.

18. If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you grabbed?
Photos, laptop, Jockey Bear.

19. How often do you read books?
I’ve always got a book or two on the go.

20. Do you think more about the past, present or future?
I think about past and future more than I do present. I need to learn to live in the present. (I am so stealing this answer, Christielli!).

21. What is your favorite children's book?
Little Women / Matilda / Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Anne of Green Gables.

22. What color are your eyes?
Blue-grey.

23. How tall are you?
5 feet 5 inches

24. Where is your dream house located?
I don’t know yet…

25. Have you tried sushi?
Not yet.

26. Have you ever taken pictures in a photo booth?
Yes… many times when I was a teenager / student.

27. When was the last time you were at Olive Garden?
In a past life?

28. When was the last time you were at Church?
Sunday.

29. Where was the furthest place you traveled today?
Up to Forres House to play badminton…..woo!

30. What was your favorite job?
Teaching, working in a cinema, the playscheme.

31. Do you look like your mom or dad?
I think I look more like Mum, but there are elements of both in there.

32. How long does it take you in the shower?
5 – 30 minutes, depending on ablutions being tended to and how much hot water there is and where, exactly, I’m going to be going.

33. Can you do the splits?
No. Hahahahahaha.

34. If you could fast forward your life, would you?
Can I rewind back? If I could rewind, I’d fast forward out of curiosity. But I would like to live each moment. (Seriously C, I am so plagiarising this answer also!).

35. What did you do for New Year's?
Went to a party at Erin’s, realised I was still sick, came home and watched bad music TV with the fam.

36. Do you think The Grudge was scary?
Didn’t see it, because I am a wuss.

37. Could you relate to a character in Mean Girls?
Most days I feel like a weird hybrid of Cady, Janis, Damian and Karen. Yes, I have watched that movie a lot, how did you guess?

38. Do you own a camera phone?
Yeah.

39. What do you buy at the movies?
Drinks / candy / popcorn / ice cream / nachos / it depends. I’m a big fan of sneaking things in tho!

40. Do you wear your seatbelt?
Always.

41. What do you wear to sleep?
PJs / teeshirts/ joggers / nowt.

42. Anything big ever happen in your hometown?
We won Britain in Bloom? Several years ago? Honestly, I don’t know, I‘ll have to check the Gazette!

43. Ever been to L.A.?
No.

44. Do you steal or pay for your music downloads?
No comment.

45. Are you a gullible person?
Sometimes, yes.

46. If you could have any job what would it be?
I would love, love, love to sing for a living. I don’t want to be Aretha or anything, I’d just love to do what I love for a living. What a blessing that would be, to sing and make people happy and love it :-).

47. Are you easy to get along with?
I think I’m very easy to get along with.

48. What is your favorite time of day?
Ooooh, there are too many to choose – bedtime, first thing in the morning, any time I get to see me friends…

And with that, j’ai fini!

Viva les vacances!

Cxx

Monday, April 02, 2007

Return of the (Erstwhile) Native....And Adventures In The City

And I'm back.

A very whizzy weekend of good things, a Sunday of packing mania, a Monday of Luton loveliness, and now I'm back in the bosom of the fam, bossing around my siblings, eating far too much yumminess and drinking nigh on gallons of tea. It's nice to be back :-).

The weekend with Peachy was lovely - I showed her my pad, my village, the neighbour's parkland....




And my second home...



Then we travelled into London...

We were based at a kickass hostel in Bayswater (cheap, clean, easy to get to and from - I recommend!)....


We managed to NOT get into Westminster Abbey again - something of a theme with us, I regret to say!

Had a funfilled trip on the London Eye (I had a minor vertigo moment, haha, but more or less enjoyed the whole time!)....


Wandered around London in the balmy twilight....



Ate fish and chips....(YUM)....


Then said goodbye (Take care Peachy, and come see me again soon, please!)...


And on Sunday I got to go to the park with Hoti. Ice cream and ducklings and chat and anecdotes and banter....Yay! (And good luck in Yemen, old thing!)....

And now I'm back and ready for a good old time in Scotland. Well, I hope it's a good time! More to follow, I'm sure.

Love, as always,

Cxx


PS It is the funniest (and potentially the geekiest) thing - whenever all three of us are home on a weeknight, we form what we call the laptop club - S and P and I take over the dining room, and drink tea, chat, relax, check forums, blog, record stupid ass ringtones, call people, find music, read, watch TV, whatever...it's really sweet, and it's what we're doing right now. Glamorous it may never be, but it sure feels good to be home!

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