Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Project Life Tuesday: Finishing off March!

The Mom Creative


Well, here in London it is half-term break (read: time to nap and write up reports ;)), which leaves me with a little spare time to catch up on some Project Life work and able to link up with Jessica for Project Life Tuesday.  I have to say, I love that I'm doing Project Life this year as it's tunring out to be such a fun. exciting year!  Today I have finished up my pages for March, and the next step (hopefully up next week) will be April (Cornwall, Gran Canaria, getting engaged!).

March moments - Matthew was working some very late nights so the kittens and I had a lot of time together, ha!  On the weekends Matthew and I completely re-did our back spare room and I'm so pleased with how it has turned out.  The blue with hints and splashes of yellow is so welcoming and friendly!

March was also a month of getting little jobs done, wandering the city, playing games with my class, going to alumni talks....life is rarely dull around here!

The first few days of Easter break were divine - lots of guests over for tea and cake, a tonne of reading, and plenty of fusses with Leela, Poppet and Fry!  As mad as termtime can be, I know I am so blessed to get the vacations I do!
So that's March done!  Only one month behind now.....looking forward to getting some more done soon!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Five Minute Friday: View


In the busy world, five minutes of calm.

Five minutes to write, think, relish, ponder, treasure.

I adore what five minute Friday does for my writing, and for my soul.

Today's prompt is: view:

GO.
 
 On first glances, my classroom desk chair doesn't look like much.  As I think of it here, typing away in the early morning light, it's hard to picture....almost nondescript.  Standard size, blue and black.  Down at the smallest setting, so my little legs can reach the floor and so I can tuck in under the teeny tiny desks of my Year 4s when I need to pair work, mark or chat.

 But that chair is magical.  Because of the view I have from it.

I see boys growing over the year we spend together.  The faces look a little less babyish, the limbs grow a little longer.  The reactions and emotions change over the year too - from the rambunctious puppies that joined in September I now see a sea of Thornleyites when I look out across the seats.  Thornleyites to a man, each one his own person with his own talents, hopes and dreams, but also now very much part of the party line of the classroom - kind, funny, thoughtful, polite.  I love seeing 'my' boys growing up and taking on the lessons we learn together.

From my chair I can also see....forever.  These boys, these little kittens, have so much ahead of them.  Exams and schools and fun and adventures.  I see all the things they have to look forward to and it makes me smile - here are the writers, the leaders, the lawyers, the doctors, the bankers, the artists of tomorrow.  I tell them I save their cards and letters and drawings to show to The Times when they win the Nobel Peace Prize, or win the Oscar, or write their first book, or become Prime Minister.  The chance to be a tiny part of the tapestry of their lives is humbling and so special.  

So while I could have written about another view - of sea, of city, of mountain - instead the view that springs to mind is the view in my classroom.  Of little boys learning and laughing, and the places they will go.

STOP.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: 13 Year Old You

Dear Me,

How are you doing?  Please don't freak out, but this is a letter from your future self.  I'm sat here writing this in 2013, and mailing it back to you in 1994.  As you read this you're probably sitting in the common room waiting for the tuck cupboard to open.  Or maybe you're in the dorm with Alex, Linda and Jo, gossiping and sorting out your lockers.  I remember how disorganised you/I used to be.  Perhaps you stuffed this into your pocket as you hightailed it across the campus to orchestra (were you late again?) and you're reading this behind your music folder as Miss Cutter rehearses the strings.

Wherever you are, I hope you have the time to read this.

You have so much ahead of you, both good and bad, and I want to let you know - it's going to be okay.  Even on the dark days, in your loneliest moments, when you hate yourself (I know you do sometimes - I am you, remember), please know that you are going to be just fine.  While you might not be able to see it, all you need is right there inside of you.  And when you get to here, you are going to be so happy.

When I realised I could write to you (I would explain how, but it's all a little Star Trek!), I was tempted to give you some heads-ups, to let you know some things to avoid.  But then I realised, that's not the way life is supposed to be.  Just as the wins, the successes, the happy highs are part of life, so are the bad moments, the losses, the disappointments.  How I wish I could sheild you from them....but again, if I did, you might not wind up here.  And I really want you to.  Here is good.  Very good.

So instead of providing spoilers, I'll leave you with some advice.  Please realise that you are neither 'fat' nor 'ugly'.  I know that Peter and Debbie and Paul tell you this daily, but please understand that they are wrong.  And that in a couple of decades you won't even recall their surnames.  Please remember to floss, and take up the challenges set before you.  Be brave.  Be kind.  Be you.

Enjoy the ride, thirteen-year-old me.  It's worth it, I promise.

Love,
Thirty-two year old me/you/us

PS Yes, one day you will learn how to tame your hair.  You'll actually learn to love it. /spoiler alert /worth it

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Dream Job


Today on BEDM, we're two-thirds of the way through and today we are writing about our dream job.

I'm very lucky, because I do my dream job.  Well, one of them.

In my youth, once my fantasies of becoming Oprah, Meryl, Mary Poppins or John Craven had subsided, I had boiled down my career choices to four clear favourites: teacher, writer, singer, mum.

I always tell my class that I'm very lucky.  I have not just one, but three or four vocations, and I get to enjoy them all.

I love to teach.  Spending my days surrounded by wee folk, helping them, encouraging them, guiding them....that's my idea of a good time.  I also love the sector I teach in - being in an independent school is a different ball game (while still startlingly similar - all teachers have plenty in common!), with some different skills required (while others which are needed in spades in state education are left unused).  I love that I get to specialise in certain areas - English, Maths, Humanities and pastoral care - while still working with the age group I adore the most (7-11).  I'm also most fortunate in finding my niche so early in my career - it turns out my boundless energy, sense of humour and Labrador-esque levels of enthusiasm works well for teaching classes of boys!  That said, I loved teaching co-ed too, and every so often the thought of trying girls only education flits across my noodle (when I'm not marking/planning/workshopping!).

My other loves work into my life in other ways.  I write a lot, both here on my blog and elsewhere - poems, stories, limericks for my class.  While my singing has taken a back seat since I moved to London, I can still carry a tune, and have enough remembrances from my youth to recall my singing adventures.  The mum thing may or may not happen, but I'm lucky enough to have a bundle of friends whose children I will spoil rotten if it doesn't!

I am an infinitely lucky girl.  I get to live my dream.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Traditions


I love a good tradition.  Coming from a military family, there was a healthy whack of tradition to what we do.  To this day I still spring to my feet the moment the national anthem plays.  Which was quite embarassing in our Jubilee concert rehearsals last year, as my whole form rolled their eyes at me when I was the only person to do so.  Well hang it.  It's tradition.

Springing to one's feet for the monarch notwithstanding, my school is fairly traditional, and I love the fact that it is.  Our boys wear uniform, learn how to place their cutlery at the end of the meal, the importance of taking their turn - for the good and the less-good things in life, and how to approach exams.  They also stand for an adult entering the room....a small and uber-traditional touch which I LOVE.  From not really having an opinion on such things, I now am convinced that this is important in setting the tone for the classroom and the lesson.  We operate as a school with respect for all members of our team, but that standing up at the start of lessons is a subtle cue to all of the expectations of the study ahead.  It might not work for every school....for our bright, keen boys it definitely does!

In my personal life there are certain traditions I like to keep.  Thank you notes for favours, parties and gifts (I fell off the wagon a little with this in the past eighteen months but am getting back into it).  Sunday lunch or dinner as a focal point in the week.  The weekend phone call to my parents, springing naturally from the weekend letter home they would make us write at boarding school.

We also have a few traditions here at home too - catching up over a cup of tea at the end of a day.  Cards on Valentines (but no gifts) and a meal out on any day but the 14th February.  The early morning texts (Matthew and I started out as a long distance relationship, and this habit remains).  And the many, many Christmas traditions - the drinks party, the meal, the stocking, the twelve days gifts.

For someone who's also a self-confessed hippy at times, I do love me a tradition!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friends

So, I didn't blog yesterday.  But as I am shockingly verbose and prolific on here anyhow, I'm betting that makes next to no difference to you ;)  But today I am back on it and writing on Rose's chosen theme for the day - 'best friends'. 

Like many people in their thirties, I don't have a best friend, but instead I have an awesome crew of close friends.  Friends from school, uni, uni again, work, Junior League, Join Me, blogging...the crazy cast of characters in my life never ceases to amaze me and make me so, so grateful.  My friends are awesome - clever, talented, beautiful, cool, loving, kind and funny, funny, funny.

Last weekend Matthew and I were lucky enough to be joined by some of our wonderful friends for our engagement drinks - here's just a small selection of the wonderful people we work, play and hang out with.  These photos really capture the fun of the evening and the laidback vibe :)  Wherever we are, if our friends are there it's a good time.  Looking forward to catching up with even more folk over the summer!


Dan, Henry and Siobhán.

Matthew with Caroline and Sy, two of his work colleagues.  Caroline is a fellow Junior League girl too!

Holly and Lindsey - I've been to both of their weddings as Matthew's guest, am looking forward to seeing them at our wedding next year!

Jane and Kate - two of the kindest, nicest people you'll ever be lucky enough to meet.

I *love* my JLL sisters - Natalie, Lauren, Hayley and Bejay are all so funny and cute.  Bejay came for drinks after a whole day volunteering (alongside Eileen, my friend who has now joined JLL too) - what a trooper!  Later on, still more JLLers were able to make it - what a treat! 

My stunning colleagues, Emer, Jo and Margot - they are the other girl teachers in my building.  I was so pleased they could join us!

Tom, Matthew's cousin Jo and his mum.  It was so wonderful to have Matthew's parents to stay, and their faces when Jo and Tom arrived were a picture.  I really hope we can see more of them , they are a fab couple.

Laura, one of my dearest friends (and one of the many members of my awesome bridal squad) was able to come down for the weekend from Scotland.  She's so sweet and so clever!

I love how well all my friends get on!

Hayley, Rory, Eileen, Dan - I can't wait to party with these lovely people at Rory and Eileen's wedding in two weeks! 

My friends always make me grin.

Alastair and Laura.  Alastair and his lovely girlfriend Emma I first met at Laura and James's new year's eve party.  Laura is impossibly pretty and spit-take funny, and engaged to James, one of Matthew's best men.  James and Laura are also getting married next year! 

Laura, Jo and Aksinia.  I was Laura's maid-of-honour a few years back and Jo gets married in 2014 as well (it's going to be a busy old year!).  Aksinia is a true darling and it was so good of her to pop along after a long days work! 

Jo and I being ridiculous.

My colleagues are such fun!

See?

I truly am blessed to have friends like mine.  Time spent with friends is always a real treat!



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Pampering


Pampering.  Relaxing.  Taking it easy.

For all the busy-ness of London, I am a seasoned pro at chilling out.

I love to block out an hour, an evening, a day, or even a whole weekend to take some time to relax and step back.

Favourite things include:

A long hot bath, preferably while reading a trashy novel or a glossy magazine (Tatler, Grazia, Us Weekly...the bath is no place for cerebral reads!).

A steaming cup of herbal tea and a fun TV programme.

An afternoon in bed with a good book.

A PJ day, full of reading, writing, napping, and far too much Pinterest.

A good haircut.

A girly brunch - huevos rancheros at Giraffe, pancakes and decadence at The Breakfast Club, fruit and coffee chez moi.

Getting my pile of stationery and writing some cards.  I love post and mail!

A good long walk - whether in the sunshine, being whipped by the wind, or getting soaked puddle-jumping, it's always a treat!

Ah, lovely.

I must schedule all of these....soon!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: Life's A Lesson



Now, I'm a teacher.

I love a good lesson.  I like nothing more than picking up a new skill, whether it's a new method for multiplication, a hair styling tip, or some little piece of trivia or knowledge that enlightens and inspires.

So boiling it down to just one lesson is tricky.  Unless I choose to be cliché.

Ah well, cliché it shall be....

The best lesson I've ever learned?

Is be kind.

Be kind to others, to animals, to children, to friends, to family, to your partner, to the people that drive you doollally, to yourself.

(Some of those people are easier to be kind to than others!)

Be kind, even when you're tired or stressed or busy or ill.  Be aware that the energy you put out into the world can be a force for good or for bad.

I slip up.

I get it wrong.

But I'm trying.

To be kind.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: An Impassioned Ode To My Favourite Food







I like food.

I really do.

My hips would be a dead giveaway to this fact.

I love shopping for food, cooking, baking, eating, inventing...I love nothing more than a day in the kitchen followed by an evening around the dining room table.  I am evangelical about good cheese and free range eggs, but can also appreciate the necessary-ness of a  late night curry from time to time (but certainly no time soon - we are healthkicking around here!).

I love restaurants and going out to eat too - from the McFlurry to the finest cut of beef, I'll gladly sample.  From a timid youth of plain and boring foods (indeed, I'm large from far too much cheap meat and cheese and Smartprice pasta and cardboard bread back in the teens and twenties) I'm now much more adventurous foodwise.  Sushi, Thai, Meze, Tapas....I'll give it a whirl.  Unless it's offal.  If it's offal, I'll hide.

However, my very favourite food in the world, the best thing ever, the any-time-any-place-anywhere one?

Is toast.

 I flipping love toast.

A good, yummy slice of quality wholemeal toast makes me a very happy bunny.

Toast with banana.

Toast with beans.

Toast with butter and jam.

Toast with eggs.

Toast with honey. 

Toast with hummus.

Toast with peanut butter.

Toast with tomatoes.

Toast, man.

Toast.

I propose a toast....to toast!*







*Yep, directly after writing this I had some toast for breakfast!

Project Life Tuesday: Getting On, and a list of plans!

The Mom Creative
Another week, another chance to link up with Jessica and tell you all how I'm getting on.  It is so nice to see the book coming together, even if busy weekends like last weekend (visits and our engagement party) mean that I have a hot date with an awful lot of catch up on the cards soon!
I'm also starting to plan ahead for a few double page spreads that I'm going to work on over the summer - as much as I am enjoying taking pictures as and when, I'm thinking targeting a few key events, people and things will really add to the book.  The sort of things I'm thinking of are:
1. Eileen's hen do - so excited to celebrate our girl!
2. The madness of the end of term at school - exams, reports, parties, end of term trips and treats...
3. Our trip to Vienna for Eileen and Rory's wedding - four days away, a beautiful wedding and fun in a fantastic city.
4. An update on the house and how the decorating is going.
5. Matthew's 30th.  A bunch of our friends are heading down and it should be a chilled, fun evening!
6. Our trip up to Forres for my mummy's birthday.
7. Wedding planning - looking at venues, our save the dates, planning things.  One of my awesome bridesmaids, Hannah, is going to make us a wedding scrapbook (how kind is she?), but I'd like to include some elements of the journey in Project Life too.
8. The Edinburgh Festival - so excited to catch tonnes of shows!  It's actually where we met five years ago.
9. The tea party I'm planning in July to celebrate one year of our having the cats.  Love our furbabies!
10. Summer fun - picnics and girldates and barbecues.
So many fun things to record!  More on my pages next week, but for now I'll close with some pictures from the fun this weekend - I've just sent them off to be printed for our 'engagement party' page!
So lovely to catch up with friends!

Love our wedding ducks!

At lunch with Laura the morning after - Matthew and I cheesing it up! I really need to work on my 'ring' pose!

Isn't my colleague Emer a cutie?

Junior League girls always liven up a party!  Love these ladies.

Speaking of love....my ring arrived on Friday.  I love it so!

It was so sweet to have Laura visit.  She is such an awesome friend.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: Go Green

Today on Elizabeth's 'Blog Every Day in May' project, we're writing about green issues and the environment. 

I am by no means a saint when it comes to green matters, but Matthew and I do do various things around the house to improve the environment - we recycle, we're working on wasting less food, we're always looking for ways to cuts down on waste, to re-use things (I'm currently collecting lots of jam jars for wedding decor, for example), to make things last longer (haha, my attempts at learning to sew are comedy gold!).

Next on our list of things to pursue is our garden - at the moment it's a tad barren - flagstones, empty beds and a kitty house and table.  Next month, however, the wonky fence of doom is being fixed and at the same time we are having our beds cleared and filled with fresh soil.  Then we are looking forward to planting lots of pretty, low maintenance shrubs and plants.  It will hopefully make the garden look nicer, give the kitties a new playspace and improve the air quality a little too.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Collecting


I like collecting....

1. Badgers

2. Books

3.  Friends

4. Quotes

5. Necklaces

6. Tickets

7. And things on lists.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: Book Love


I am a dyed in the wool bookworm.  Even my degree is in English & Film, so I spent four years in academia surrounded by poetry, prose, film and music, and I adore the written word as much as any English specialist I know.  After a few years in the wilderness I'm back into reading a lot for pleasure.  Last year I managed 52 books....this year I'm aiming for 62.

For this post I thought I'd write about the five books I love the most - the ones I'm always pressing on others.  Even this was tricky - there are many firm favourites that have not cracked this list - but five seemed like a good, solid number.  Succinct enough to force me to be decisive....long enough to allow some generosity.  My favourites, in no order bar alphabetical by title - asking me for one favourite is like asking a parent who their favourite child is - are:

Gone With The Wind*- Margaret Mitchell

I adore Margaret Mitchell's book.  It has is all - drama, history, romance, tension, one liners, humour, horror, redemption and cliffhangers.  I read this book, all 1011 pages of it, at least every other year and never fail to laugh, cry and rage along with it.  The sublime film is a fantastic complement to the text.

Join Me - Danny Wallace

This silly, quirky book is not only an enjoyable read, but also changed my life.  After reading Danny Wallace's book, I sent off my passport photo and joined his kindness collective/ cult/ ragtag bunch of friendly folk.  That was seven or so years ago, and since then I've met so many wonderful people because of this book - not least my darling fiancé (the friend who introduced us, the lovely Lou, is a Joinee!).  On its own, the book is fab.  As far as lifechanging tomes go, for me it's completely turned my world upside down.  In a truly special way.

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Eight-year-old me lived and died by this book, and thirty-something me still loves it.  I reread it every year over summer break and still cry at the crucial moments!  I have made peace with the fact that I'm more of a Meg than a Jo, and adore the portrayal of the the relationships between the March sisters.  Louisa May Alcott writes so generously and charmingly - it's a warm, cosy, familiar book for me.

Love is a Mixtape - Rob Sheffield

This book combines a cracking romantic story with music and mixtapes, so I was always going to fall for it hard.  Witty, wise and honest, it manages to wrench the heart-strings and raise a smile, often on the same page.

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

The big cahuna, which I did not read until my early twenties.  Jane Austen's writing I just love - her descriptions, her incisiveness, her wit - and her characters are never more stunningly drawn than in P&P (although Sense and Sensibility and Emma are both also firm favourites!).  A justified classic.

Good heavens, I love to read.  I am looking forward to finding some recommendations today on the other blogs taken part in #BEDM!

*brilliantly, this typoed as Gone With The Wine.  Possible autobiography title?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Travel dreams



There are so many places I'd like to go.  Hawaii, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy.

There are so many places I'd like to go again.  Toronto, Paris, Bruges, Madrid.

I like travelling, and plan to do more of it.

I've been unwell today....this is my way of meeting the 'blog every day in May requirement!'

Where would you most like to visit?

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

Five Minute Friday

Linking up with Lisa-Jo once more, because that's what we do on Fridays.

Today's word, is comfort.

GO.

Last night we had our open evening for school.  This event is tiring, but worth it - a chance for prospective parents to tour the school, meet the staff and boys, really get a flavour of what we're about.  And even though I had a cold (as I type this I've been awake most of the night coughing and spluttering as the fever tries to move the sniffles on), even though it was late, even though I felt heavy with lemsip and raw from nose-blowing, I was struck by the comfort I felt - the ease with which I can talk about our school and our boys.  I love what I do and the pupils I teach - I'm always ready with facts, quips and discussions. 

Our school is a warm place, I always think, and there's a definite element of comfort to the way we operate. While we want our boys to be ambitious and hardworking and driven, we also want to have school be a haven, a comfort, a place where they feel comfortable.

Because that's so important.  It's in the warm safe places of comfort, as much as the cut and thrust of the playing field, the exam, the competition, that we learn and grow.  That we explore.  That we are nurtured and replenished.  I always feel blessed to have a home full of comfort - a roof, a love, food to eat and cats to cuddle, and am aware what strength this gives me out in the world.  I think classrooms should be the same - a safe and sacred place where learning, kindness and thoughtfulness should rule the roost.

So let us seek comfort, and let us help other people to be comfortable.  Let our words, actions and thoughts build up, nurture and bless.  And let us all appreciate the comfort and peace we are lucky enough to enjoy.

STOP.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: Favourite Social Network

And so we continue with Rosalilium's 'Blog Every Day In May' challenge.  I am so enjoying having these prompts to cogitate upon and am thoroughly enjoying the range of bloggers I am getting to encounter and enjoy through it.  Such fun.

Today we are talking about favourite social networks.  I use all of the big five (facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, youtube) but in very different ways, so it's quite tricky to choose a favourite one.  They each fulfill such separate functions for me.  So instead of playing favourites, here's what I like about each one....

Facebook is great for just staying abreast of what everyone is up to!  Babies, engagements, uni projects, parties - all the big announcements tend to crop up here!  I can find it really tedious and invasive at times (I actually disconnected entirely for a few months in 2011) but ultimately, as a communication tool, it's hard to beat.

Instagram, I very much enjoy, and it has been so useful in reminding me to take pictures, whether it's to print them out, use them on my blog or add to my Project Life binder.  I love that is encourages me to look for the little, quiet shots too.  Many of my friends are incredibly talented photographers, but instagram allows normals like me to play a little too!

Pinterest is my addiction - even more so now there's a wedding to plan!  I can happily while away an hour pinning recipes, home ideas, quotes and pretties.  It's also very useful for finding resources for the classes I teach.

Twitter I love for humour, news and views.  It's often one of my go-to sites now when news breaks.  I like being able to 'follow' writers and bloggers I know and getting a picture of their process - a real insight.

Youtube is so amusing.  Whether it's music videos, bloopers, or the latest viral video, I'm bound to visit a few times a week.  I'm not really active on the posting and commenting front apart from the occasional vlog, but I love watching entertaining videos.

So that's my take on the social networking thing.  I'm aware I haven't spoken much about G+, but that's because I'm still feeling my way over there.  It has much to recommend it, but I think it'll take me a week or so (probably over summer break!) to truly get the hang of it!  You can find me on any of the networks mentioned by using those little buttons up at top left - always happy to have a few more lovelies along for the ride!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: First Job



Today on BEDM we are writing about our first job.  I'm going to write about two - my first part-time job as a teen, and my first 'career' job, as a teacher.

My first paid job as a teenager was working in a greengrocers in my hometown.  For the princely sum of £2.15 an hour I arranged displays, sorted produce, greeted and served customers and got *amazing* arm muscles lifting sacks of potatoes (seriously, better than kettlebells).  I did it throughout my summer break and really enjoyed it.  There's something so cool about your very own pay packet - that weekly brown envelope was such a fun event.  £30!  Or £40!  Or £50!  Mine, all mine.  What to do?  Go to the movies, buy a present for a friend, catch the bus through to the *big* library?  (Seriously, I am a dyed in the wool nerd :)).  At the end of the summer I went back to school but I had such a fun summer working at the shop.

From there I had a variety of part-time (and often full-time during the vacations) jobs - babysitter, receptionist, daycare worker, waitress, barmaid, hotel monkey, day nanny, shopgirl, special needs carer.  Each and every one had good elements and parts I enjoyed less, but they taught me so much about work and life and just being decent.  Plus, they helped me to pay to live alongside the student loan while I was studying for my degree, so yay for work!

After uni I worked as a boarding assistant at a school before heading off to do my PGCE.  After qualifying, I got my first job, as a Year 3 tutor and KS2 teacher at a private school in Northamptonshire.  I had four very happy years there before London called me and I moved to my current job.  I'm now heading towards the close of my eighth year of teaching, and I'm one of those lucky/blessed/infuriating people who adores her job.  I truly have a vocation for what I do, and find my job intellectually stimulating, emotionally satisfying and  just tremendous fun.  I love my job 90%-95% of the time, and even when it's stressful or challenging, it's still worth it - I think if you can say that, you're doing the right thing.  I also think I'm very lucky because the holiday time gives me ample to to study up (another passion) and write (which I adore).

Looking forward to reading about everyone else's first jobs!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Blog Every Day In May: Pets



I am so enjoying the Blog Every Day In May challenge!  Today we are sharing about pets.  Matthew and I have five pets.  Two everlasting goldfish called Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy (they are six and half years old!), and three cats, Poppet, Leela and Fry who we adopted from a shelter last year.  We got them from the wonderful Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT) who do SO much great work for abandoned cats and feral cats here in East London.  Whenever I visit I want to adopt more though, so I have to ration myself when it comes to visits!

The cats are absolutely adorable and have truly made our house a home (albeit a rather furry home sometimes - the joy of moulting season!).  Poppet is the mummy and Fry and Leela are her kits.  Last spring their previous owners abandoned them, leaving them behind in an empty flat utterly alone.  It makes me so sad to think of poor Popps miaowing for help and none coming.  Luckily, a neighbour heard and called CHAT who took them to their Canning Town centre.  A couple of weeks later, Matthew and I went to the centre to pick out some cats - we knew we wanted either two or three as we wanted them to have company when we were at work.  They said they had a little family for us to meet, and the rest was history.

Picking the names was really easy - Poppet was Poppet because she was and is so sweet and gentle.  The very first thing I said to her was 'Hello, Poppet,' and she seemed to like it, so the name has stuck.  Leela and Fry both have double duty names - as well as the Futurama link, Leela is also a Doctor Who companion and Stephen Fry is a legend!

We've had our cats ten months now and they really are just lovely.  It's been so great to see them grow in confidence as the time has gone by - especially Poppet who was so reserved and wary to begin with.  Now she is absolutely chilled and loooooooves cuddles.  I can't wait to have a tea party with the aunties in July to celebrate their first year with us.


Little Leela loves to hide and jump.


Poppet and Fry napping.


Kisses!


Cleaning up for dinner!


'Helping' to pack.


Herding cats....is as hard as it sounds.

Project Life Tuesday: Catching up

The Mom Creative

Linking up with the lovely Jessica as I attempt to stop squeeing about being engaged / working / planning long enough to catch up on the PL work I've missed.  Last weekend I finished off February and headed off into March :)


Pictures from my pre-visit to the Roald Dahl Museum!  I was thrilled to learn I am exactly the same height as Miss Honey from Matilda.  My class thought that was pretty super too!


Sunshine, wine, cats, Matthew - some further glimpses of half-term break.  Matthew and I went to The Wolseley and The Ritz - such a treat!


More of the late winter spring and the excitement of seeing Book of Mormon in its preview weeks.  So much laughter.


Glimpses of Shona's visit in early March.  Love that girl!

Next week I'll hope to whizz through March, and then it's just a hop, skip and jump to the present (she said, no doubt all too confidently!).  Looking forward to catch up with everyone's posts over a cup of coffee later!  

Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.

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