Posted in Living

#BEDM 1. Intro

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I did the Blog Every Day In May challenge last time around (or was it two times ago? I can’t remember) and quite enjoyed it, so I signed up again this year. Of course, I’ve had a pretty busy week since I decided to do so, so haven’t gotten round to even starting it until now. So I’m blogging retrospectively every day in May for a bit.

The first set topic is to introduce yourself, so for anyone who hasn’t been reading this for years, firstly, you’ve really missed out (ho ho, not) and secondly, here’s some fascinating facts you might not know about me already.

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1. My day job is in television – it sounds exciting but it’s really not anything than a relentless endurance test of the soul, mind and body. I work in Access Services which is providing subtitles, audio description and sign language translation for most of the UK’s broadcasting companies (everything except ITV and Channel 5, basically). I used to be a live and pre-recorded subtitler but I’m now a duty manager, planning who does what and then making sure it all happens. It’s all the stress of live television but none of the glamour.It’s long hours, stressful at times but you do get to watch a lot of telly. Sometimes, I remember that we’re providing a magical service to some people who would be lost without it and that makes me happy. I’m really great in a crisis though, as a result of my job. It’s the one thing I can blow my own trumpet about without cringing – bring me a problem and I can think of 5 ways to creatively tackle it quickly. It’s why I think I am pretty awesome at my job.

2. I’ve been running my own business for over 10 years. Some aspects of it I really like, some I don’t. Some days, I have an overwhelming urge to pack it all in and never think of it again and others I want to drop everything and immerse myself in it. Lately, I’ve been enjoying not worrying much about it and taking time to create things for myself or friends. It’s made me remember that it can be fun and relaxing to cross stitch!

3. After vowing never to buy another house, I recently did. Other things I’ve vowed never to do include: get married (11 years this year), sell on Etsy again (considering a return for the VATMOSS headache for my patterns), go in a hot air balloon (so far, so good).

4. My brother lives in Siberia. I was hoping that he’d blog/instagram more when he moved there, but so far, all he’s done is talk about the weather and ask us to post him gravy granules. It’s not as cold as you’d think it is there but it is apparently a lot harder to make a stew than you’d guess.

5. My husband and my dog are both Welsh. I’m outnumbered by Welsh males in our house. We sort of rescued our dog, Max. He was taken in by a 93 year-old lady in the Lake District after his original owners had to give him up the day they were moving house. He’s a big Labrador, and quite active, so he soon proved too much for even a sprightly almost-centenarian. We were starting to think about getting a puppy when my friend Sarah suggested that we drive down and meet Max. We agreed, on the understanding that we were not taking him home with us that day. A few hours later, we were driving back with him in the back because he was just adorable. He’s really a massive part of the family and I can’t imagine life without him. I’m forever grateful to Sarah’s parents living next door to the old lady who took him in.

6. I really like giving things to people, gifts, unwanted possessions, etc. I am always the one who brings cakes into work. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I am forever giving things away. I just like making people happy in small ways.The joy of gift-giving is something I’ll never tire of. I like helping people find great gifts for people that are really well-suited to them.

7. I really like driving. I only passed my test a few years ago, later in life, and since then, I’ve become quite a confident driver. However, the past month or so, I’ve had a string of incidents where I’ve been completely abiding by the rules of the road and other drivers (all male, all white BMW/Audi/van drivers) have cut me up and then verbally abused me rather rigorously, which has knocked my confidence a bit. I’ve started driving different routes to work to mix it up a bit, but it’s really stuck with me and I hope my stupid brain lets me forget it soon or it will be sad that I’ve let them fuck my mojo up.

8. I do all my best thinking in water. I can spend hours in the bath, or in a pool, and a lot of my best ideas have come from wallowing in water. I’d love to swim more but I don’t often get the time. I’m a Pisces, of course.

9. I’d love to live in America one day. My family in Cincinnati really want us to go out there, too, but we’ve been unable to secure jobs/visas so far. I firmly believe that it will happen one day though. Until then, we’ll just make do with frequent trips there. Next time, I might even pluck up the courage to try driving on the wrong side of the road.

10. I really like horses. I enjoy a trip to the baseball. I love the beach. I’m addicted to Coca Cola. I lived in Thailand for a bit a few years back. I have an irrational hatred of lollipop ladies. I could happily eat soup for breakfast and toast for dinner. I’m a bit addicted to Netflix, too.I don’t eat fish or seafood of any kind because ewww, it’s been in the sea and I’ve peed in there. I just want everyone to get along and have a quiet life, really.

FIN.

Posted in Living

Summer Loving

Oh, man, has it been hot here. Not Thailand hot – when I think about how hot I am feeling, I just remember being on that train to Prachinburi. And then the train back, standing for three hours with my face in a Thai man’s sweaty armpit before I could get a spot hanging off the side of the train – that was amazing. Anyway, I digress. Here’s some snaps from the past couple of weeks, from what will be remembered in years to come as the glorious summer of 2013.

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>> 1. Lots of al fresco dining > 2. The picture postcard field behind our house > 3. The heat gets too much for Maxie sometimes, poor chap > 4. But when it’s shady out front, he does love lying on the grass, as do I > 5. I can make rainbows > 6. Potting table – the garden is bursting with plants! <<

 

NB: I drafted this post last week. It’s now pissing it down and we’re back to torrential rain and thunder storms. Meh.

Posted in Travel

Walk To Work

If I was to walk to work, it would take me a long time. I live about 20 miles away from work, so I drive instead. Here’s my hot wheels.

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Ah, back when I’d just got it and it was still clean, them were the days. Without wishing to get all Top Gear, this car costs me a bloody fortune. I have idly been thinking about trading it in for something more economical for a while but I really like it.

I’m not sure there is anything interesting about my commute – it happens at random times of the day and night, so I’m usually pretty focused on the road, trying not to fall asleep. I did see a dead body once though, that wasn’t very nice. Someone had jumped from a bridge over the motorway and I happened across it just afterwards. Some other people had already stopped and were dealing with it but that stuck with me for quite a while. I’ve also seen plenty of dead animals and live ones, too, including a giant badger which ran out in front of me one night. It was the size of a dog!

Much more interesting was my commute to work when I lived in Thailand. That was a feast for all of the senses. You can see my photo set of that here.

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I’m blogging every day in May as part of BEDM. Find out more here.

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Posted in Living, Travel

Chao Phraya

 

 

 

Tonight, Marceline and I went to the new (to us) Thai restaurant on Buchanan Street, Chao Phraya. We’ve been meaning to go for weeks but finally got round to it.

I’m no restaurant critic (though I love writing a snarky review on Tripadvisor about a terrible experience as much as the next person), but it was pretty good. The building is incredible and my first thought as I walked in was “I wish I wasn’t carrying a Tesco carrier bag…”. There is a small army of staff on hand to get you in and upstairs to the main dining room, though it’s a pity many of them preferred to huddle together, chatting, than y’know, actually taking our order.

The food though, was pretty good and authentic, too. I feel qualified to comment on that given my time living in Bangkok. The thing that had me harking back to those days most was the smell – it smelled just like a Thai restaurant in Thailand does – which is quite a vague and abstract thing to quantify, so I won’t try. Trust me, it does.

I had my absolute favourite Thai dish, sweetcorn fritters. These were super-crispy and just right. And a rather generous portion (though at £7.95, I should jolly well think so). My main course of spiced pork belly was also really tasty, though a bit too hot for my liking. I had intended to ask for it without the fresh chillies, but was distracted when ordering as I had a bit of dust in my eye. I went off to the toilets to break out the Optrex just after ordering and realised my mistake. Then I got stuck in a toilet cubible for a few minutes due to some shonky ironmongery on the doors – I was momentarily panicked but managed to get some super-human Hulk strength to help me wrench the door open before Marceline wondered where I was.

My work colleague and fashion blogger extraordinaire, Kirsty, has written all about it having been on a jolly there earlier in the year. It’s pretty swanky but I don’t think I’d hurry back unless it was a special occasion (ie, someone else was paying).

For old time’s sake, here’s some of my photos of the real Chao Phraya:

 

 

 

 

Le sigh. I wish I was there right now!