Reasons to be cheerful

Because counting blessings is a talent of are some things that are making me grin like a loon lately. Oh how I love living in my little "Claire bubble" sometimes!

* Cooking! I am loving having a bigger kitchen and because school hasn't started just yet I have time to play in it also. Matthew's enjoying this passion for all things culinary too, I think. I love cooking and baking. Oh, and Henry? I MADE SOUP! All on my own, no recipe or anything! It was goooooood.

* Reading! All the journeys I'm taking on the tube are affording me hours in a week in which to read. I'm getting through loads of books and really enjoying that lovely relaxed bliss that comes from reading a good book. I've also joined a library for the first time in four years...I love libraries...

* My favourite season is getting closer! Yep, it's August 26th today. Which means it's less than 4 months until my favourite celebration, the joy that is Christmas. I have a shiny book all ready to fill with ideas....good heavens I adore all things Christmassy. I also love autumn and early winter, so I'm a happy bunny right now!

* London! Oh, but I am falling in love with this city. The hustle and bustle, the lush greenness of the parks (even if I do keep getting lost in Regents Park), the things to do, the people to see. My gregarious nature is kicking in big style!

* Blogging! If you'd told me when I first started how much I'd come to enjoy blogging, I would have doubted you to say the very least. I'd never managed to keep a journal for more than a few weeks. I wasn't particularly good with computers. Almost four years later, and I love my little blog. I love the people I know through it. I love the people I've met through it...and those I'm looking forward to meeting soon (RK and PG, I'm looking at you! :-)). I love the inspiration I get from the blogs I read regularly, the laughs, the tears. I love feeling part of my little blog family.

* LOVEFiLM! So I caved and joined (I think the US version is called Netflix?). I had so much fun making a list of movies to see last night and can't wait till they start arriving. Please do comment me up if you have any suggestions for good movies to rent!

* Dancing! Most nights now, after dinner, while the boys are glued to their computers or watching the football, I go out in the back garden and have a wee dance. Just me, my iPod, and the night. Lovely.... I really must start doing some proper dancing again soon.

* Baths! Especially with Jo Malone grapefruit bath oil...

* Friends getting good news! In the last two months there have been a raft of engagements, new jobs, exam passes in my circle of friends. I thank God for all the joy he's gifting to those that I love and am so happy for them all right now!

* Cuddles and kisses! Is there anything better?

* Mlle Wilson! My girl gets into town in 2 hours! I have missed her so very much and can't wait to drink lots of tea (and wine) and hear all about what's up with her! Love her dearly!

* Entertaining! Dinners, drinks, coffees, brunches, movie nights. I am so loving being in the city close to so many friends! I am so blessed to have the people I do in my life, and spenidng time with them is one of my very favouritest things.

* Bridesmaiding! Over the next year I am to be bridesmaid for not one but two of my lovely friends, and I am oh-so-very-excited about it! It's such a delight to be able to help and share in the joy of this special season with two such special ladies. Roll on October for a Texan wedding, and roll on the upcoming jaunt to Glasgow for dress shopping and wine, say I!

* Projects! Next year I'm going to do a little project each month, where I change my lifestyle or eating habits a bit. This stems from a conversation I had with Christy, Siobhán, and SMatthew, about doing a "month of cheese". Well now I might try and do a few challenge months (vegan, no caffiene, no refined sugar, exercising every single day...). It's just the seed of an idea right now, but it may prove entertaining!

What's making you smile today, lovelies?

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New school...

So, the last week-and-a-bit of the glorious summer break is upon us, and it is almost time for the lovely season that is back to school to commence. I'm super excited (and nervous!) to be starting at my new school - being the new kid is always tough, I guess, even when you're nearly thirty! Ah well, a childhood as a military brat will stand me in good stead as I get used to it, I hope.

After weeks of moving and then weeks of travelling, I'm ready for some good old routine, I must say. Early nights, dinner with friends, coffee and drinks in town, getting settled in at work, cuddles, working out in the gym...just settling into a rhythm, I guess. I'm so glad there are fun things various on the horizon too, but I'm ready to be in the same space a little too.

I'm getting all ready for the start of school. I somehow managed to refrain from buying any more pens (seriously, I have about three hundred!), but I do have some school bits to buy - notebooks, water bottles, etc. I'm also going to get a coffee cup to take on the tube each morning (reading and a cup of joe - what could be better?). I've got lots of little tasks to do, and a few pieces of clothing to buy (I swear, I enjoy back to school as much as I did when I was 6...).

Intellectually, I'm ready too. I want to do some work, some planning, some thinking.... The summer break is vital to recharge after the craziness of a school year, but now I just want to roll up my sleeves and get into it. I am enjoying the last bit of summer too though (fear not, gentle readers!), with a visit from Mlle Wilson tomorrow, friends round for dinner, a wedding on Saturday and a visit to Matthew's parents all over the next few days, but then?

Time to get back to school!


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I know it's late...

...I know you're weary...

Well, I am.

Which is why I'm doing a meme as I wind down for the night, stolen from wigsf. Who stole it from JLee. Life gets a little calmer (ish) in the next few weeks though (you know, with the roadtrip north and the whole going back to school thing....) so blogging should resume a fairly even keel...

Hey, you never know!

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
A chicken mayo sandwhich. It was good.

2. Have you ever kissed anyone named Matthew?
Yes. Lots. And I try to as often as I can (one particular Matthew, naturally. I don't just jump on Matthews sporadically!).

3. Where was your profile picture taken?
On my blog it's an old pic I snapped late at night in my flat...on facebook it's me at K6 with Team North Bear.

4. Can you play Guitar Hero?
Richard's teaching me. I should have a song down by, oooh, 2011?

5. Name someone that made you laugh today.

6. How late did you stay up last night and why?

2.30 am. Comedy show, and then packing.

7. If you could move somewhere else, would you?
One day.

8. Ever been kissed under fireworks?

9. Which of your friends lives closest to you?
Matthew and Dave.

10. Do you believe ex’s can be friends?

11. How do you feel about Dr Pepper?
If you can't find Irn Bru, it'll give you a sugar fix.

12. When was the last time you cried really hard?
'The Time Traveler's Wife', last Saturday. Good heavens, I WEPT!

13. Where are you right now?
The little study at home.

14. What bed did you sleep in last night?
A bottom bunk bed.


15. What was the last thing someone bought for you?
A beer on the train.

More glamour!

16. Who took your profile picture?

17. Who was the last person you took a picture of?

18. Was yesterday better than today?
My days are all pretty awesome, really.

19. Can you live a day without TV?
Without a single problem.

20. Are you mad about anything?

21. Are you upset about anything?
No. I'm quite a chilled bear, really.

22. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it?
Yes. Whatever "it" is!

23. Are you a bad influence?
Sometimes (shopping, kareoke, baked goods....)

24. Night out or night in?
Both are great, but you need a mix. Too many nights out = overtiredness and burnout. Too many in = a wee bit stagnant.

25. What items could you not go without during the day?

26. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital?
I genuinely don't know. I've taken people, but can't remember who I last visited.

27. What does the last text message in your inbox say?
Something about badgers.

28. How do you feel about your life right now?
Definite room for me to improve myself, but I kind of love my life. I'm a blessed young lady!

29. Do you hate anyone?
Not a soul.

30. If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find?
Emails planning japery and silly in-jokes.

31. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass?
With flying colours.

32. Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
Nope. In fact, I think I may be the polar opposite of perfect!

33. What song is stuck in your head
None. Because I'm listening to music right now no other songs can get in!

34. Someone knocks on your window at 2am, who do you want it to be?
Matthew. Or George Clooney.

35. Wanna have grandkids before you’re 50?
No thank you. Before 60, sure, but 50 would require some pretty drastic changes and life choices!

36. Name something you have to do tomorrow?
LAUNDRY! So...much...laundry.

37. Do you think too much or too little?
A little too much sometimes.

38. Do you smile a lot?
Oh heavens yes!

39. Who was your last missed call on your Mobile phone?
Katie Boo.

40. Is there something you always wear?

41. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Chatting with the boys.

42. Did you have an exciting last weekend?

Yes, thank you. You?

43. Have you ever crawled through a window?

44. Have you ever dyed your hair?

45. Are you wearing a necklace?

46. Are you an emotional person?
I think so, yes.

47. What’s something that can always make you feel better?

48. Will this weekend be a good one?
It already is.

49. What do you want right now?
A snack, a book, a cuddle, and bed.

50. Have you ever worn the opposite sex’s clothing?

51. Have you ever worked in a food place?

52. Whats on your schedule for tomorrow?
Groceries arrive, make fry up, do laundry, sort diary, cook roast, clean house. But all in a very lazy way!

53. Does anyone know your facebook password?
Nope. Sometimes not even me.

Good night lovelies!

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Live from Edinburgh

Man, I love my iPhone.

I am typing this whilst sat in All Bar One drinking a cup of tea, ready for some more shows (four scheduled for today). Matthew and I are having a lovely relaxed time, and I think it's doing us a world of good to be out of London for a wee bit and just hanging out together. We met at last year's Fringe, so it's fun going back to places. We also both love comedy, so seeing two, three, or four shows a day is excellent!

We are also catching up with some good friends - Jenna and I had a girly evening and went to see 'The Time Traveler's Wife', we had lunch with the lovely Laura and Garry (two very dear friends from my uni days at Aberdeen, who have recently become engaged, yay!), and we met the always fabulous Jo and Elliot for a between shows drink yesterday.

Really, really loving it here. Have to dash now though, another show beckons!

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Seven thousand (and a bit...) words

Because a picture tells a thousand words, right? Here are seven photos from the fun and silliness of the last couple of weeks...completely out of order because Blogger is like that and because I'm in a rush to go out for the night and I haven't yet packed my bags for our (our being Matthew and I) week away in Edinburgh. We leave at 9 tomorrow....eek. And Christy goes back to Canada - I'm going to miss her loads!

Christy and I took a "night flight" on the London Eye. My pictures are awful...but the views were spectacular. I do love my city. :-)

Ladies in Loch Ness.

Fridges on a speedboat! To learn more about this, please click here... These boys are fundraising for an excellent cause. How wonderful to be so motivated at 18!

Fridges! And their friends, Marcus and James.

The lovely Siobhán and her Matthew.

Christy and I wedding it up, Scotland stylee! Huge congratulations once again, Colin and Maria!

Christy on the beach at Findhorn.

How are you guys?

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What a weekend....

A wedding of a dear friend. A Join Meet. Lots of shopping. And fridges on a speedboat.

And fear not, gentle reader, I have photos of all of the above...

Joinverness was lovely, as ever. Simon described it as a "middle aged meet" due to the lack of partying, but a good time was certainly had by all. Just good chilled times. And Maria and Colin's wedding was such a nice occasion, full of love and happiness.

So it's all nice and busy here, and having Christy to stay is proving both lovely and comedy filled. We appear to be a mutual bad influence whenever we enter a mall though - I might have to hide from my credit card statement next month!

This week is similarly busy - as I survey our room right now (strewn with purses, books, clothes - travelling makes me live like a teenager again) I'm finding it hard to believe that this time tomorrow we'll be packing up Jessika to head south! Can't wait to visit with Team Loverpool and see Jamie and Amanda's new pad! And then I get to see my boy! :D

A couple of days of fun in the city after that....

....and then Edinburgh!

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This post is for my girl Christy...

I saw a tree.

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PS Excuse the silly post... I promised Miss Christy my first post from my new phone would be a shout out!
PPS We silly girls are having a tonne of fun. Expect pictures to follow of fun, frolics, Scottish weddings and fridges in speedboats...
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Things I'm looking forward to...

It's been a weird few days. I love being at home with my parents and brother, but at the same time, it's odd. This isn't my home, or my life, really, so it can get a bit strange. Yesterday evening in particular I was being a real sap. Then I watched 'Grease 2' and laughed, and felt a tonne better.

I also made a list of things I'm looking forward to.

I'm looking forward to Christy arriving in a matter of hours! I love my bloggy friend to pieces and I'm looking forward to showing her around the old hometown and then introducing her to London. I've met some awesome people through this blog, and I'm looking forward to lots of silly chat (and maybe even a drunken silly post, as that is one of Christy's fortes!).

I'm looking forward to seeing my friend Maria at her wedding dance on Friday night, when she will be married to her lovely Colin. Their love story has been wonderful to behold, and I can't wait to help them celebrate in style!

I'm looking forward to Joinverness, the most northerly Join Meet (pictures from last year here :-))! It's going to be a smaller affair this year I think, but will no doubt be super fun also. RAoKing, friends, fun, and a trip out to Loch Ness? Aceness.

I'm looking forward to getting back to London! I'm missing my friends, my house, my boy. I want to get back into the thick of things. And then leave more or less within 48 hours, because....

I'm looking forward to a week away in Edinburgh! Matthew and I met at last years festival (thank you once again Lou, for introducing us! :-)), so we are both looking forward to a week in one of our favourite cities, watching comedies, relaxing, catching up with friends, and generally having a ball.

I'm looking forward to the release of 'The Time Traveler's Wife' (August 14th, trailer here. Even the trailer made me well up a little!). I loved the book, which made me weep buckets! I also loved that the two protagonists are named Claire and Henry....because guess what my best guy friend's name is? I always thought that was neat. Anyways, I can't wait to go see this movie, with a giant box of tissues. I will *not* be taking Matthew. It might break him. ;-)

I'm looking forward to getting back to the gym. Yeah, you read that right. I've got an appointment with my new gym instructor on the 24th to make up a new programme, and I'm pretty excited. I want to get stuck in.

I'm looking forward to the start of school. Yes, it's scary, and it'll be busy and demanding and stressful....but I'm dying to get started now!

And that's just the next month of looking-forward-tos. Truly I am a blessed young lady. And then in the autumn there are sooooo many pleasures and excitements ahead. Texas, one year, Hallowe'en, the nights drawing in, having to break out welly boots and cosy jumpers....and then on to my favourite bit of the year!

Here's to enjoying the present, but looking forward too!

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The gorgeous and hugely talented Jennisa, who did my blog redesign for me a few months back (a redesign which I adore, by the way! Jennisa got everything 'just so' and was an utter delight to work with to boot! Thank you once again, lovely girl!), is having a re-opening celebration over on her site, Once Upon A Blog. Click on the button below to sign up for the giveaway she's doing this month:

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People I love, part 2

Way back in March I started this series, with a post on my darling friend Naomi. Since then many names have gone on my list of people I'd like to feature in one of these posts but life and love and work and moving have conspired to stop the series progressing. But tonight, finally, I can tell you about my second member of the gang.

The lovely Jenna! (a.k.a. you're me!)

Jenna and I became friends when I moved up to Forres for the last two years of high school, bonding through a love of singing, a class we took together (Jenna's younger than me, but we took Art module together. Man, I sucked at that class. I was too busy being all angsty and teenage!), and a mutual friend. We got on well, but when I went off to uni, drifted apart. As you do.

However, five years later, we found one another online....I think it was myspace?...and got to chatting about memories of our silly days in Euphoria, what we'd been up to since school, music....the whole shebang. And slowly but surely the friendship rekindled.

Over bottles of wine in Edinburgh and chats on facebooks, silly postcards and flying visits we once again became each others silly, kooky friends.

And how blessed I am to have a friend like Jenna. She's clever, funny, and witty. She's fiercely loyal, but also the kind of friend who won't shy away from telling you the truth, even if it isn't pretty. She's wicked talented, possessing a truly beautiful voice (which just goes perfectly with her beautiful heart, as is only fitting).

She is a girl in a million, and I'm so glad to be part of her life and have her be part of mine. And I cannot wait to be her bridesmaid come October. Just one question, Jenna - as it's in Texas, can I wear a Stetson?

Love you honey!

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PS Part three....soon....

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