NaBloPoMo: Rainy days

Today the weather is very miserable. I have just returned home from a girls night in at my friends and I want nothing more than to curl up in bed with a cup of tea.

When it is raining outside I love to put my joggers on and a big hoody, my lazy day clothing. My mum hates it if I ever go out dressed in this attire but she cannot complain if I wear it around the house. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong in braving the winter storms in comfy clothing. I would only ever nip to Sainsburys or the corner shop wearing joggers and UGGs.

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It makes me happy knowing that I am nice and warm in the comfort of my own home whilst the rain lashes down outside.

Today, I plan on doing a little blogging and I will probably end up getting into bed to watch a film later on this afternoon. My usual rainy day film of choice is Harry Potter.

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NaBloPoMo: Bold 2 in 1

The smell of fresh clothing makes me happy.

I love it when my clothes have been washed because they smell delicious.

It makes me feel clean and tidy.

I remember sitting behind a boy in school and he used to smell of freshly washed clothing all the time. I think the powerful smells of his clean, white shirts made me go a little crazy and a little crush was formulated.

NaBloPoMo: Memories

Thinking back on all the wonderful things that I have done makes me happy. I’m sure recalling special memories makes many people happy.

I remember going skiing as a child. All wrapped up warm in a onesie style ski suit. Gliding steadily down the slopes, with my sister trailing behind as I followed my dads tracks.

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I remember finishing work every afternoon, ringing my friends and arranging to meet at the bench before heading to the beach. This was the famous summer of 2006.

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I would pack some lunch or pinch some sausages from the fridge to cook on a BBQ for lunch. The boys would always be in control of the cooking. Why do men always like to cook on a BBQ?

Everyday, my friends and I would spend hours playing in the sea and building fires from wood stolen from a hotels dustbin.

On the odd occasion we would all go to my friends pool and spend the day at his house. Pool days were always fun so we often tried to sneak into the big hotels that had nice swimming pools.

It was surprisingly easy to gain access. You simply had to confidently strut past the reception desks as though you were a guest.

At night we would leave the beach and head to the fair. Have a few goes on the bumper cars before returning home. It was a great summer!

I remember when my nan and grandad bought a swing for my sister and I to play on when we visited their house.

That swing provided endless hours of fun for us both. We used to climb on the sides and swing as high as we could.

I remember making pancakes with my dad on pancake day. Mum would chop up lots of fruit to go inside and we would accompany the fruit with chocolate spread or sugar. He taught me how to flip the pancakes and I would always be scared incase it didn’t flip right.

I remember P.E lessons at school, causing havoc on the rugby pitch. Covering our cheeks in mud and stomping our feet.

I remember maths lessons, writing stories with my friend and flirting with the boys I sat near.

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I remember nights out in a nightclub that served free drinks before midnight. Everyone from school would be there, dancing like idiots. I used to curl my hair and pin it up in a messy fashion. I thought I looked great.

Part of the fun was the getting ready beforehand. A few of my close friends and I would go to someone’s house to get ready together. Gossip, giggle and plan out outfits.

I remember living with rats (we named one Pablo) in my second year at uni. We had thousands of flies flying round our house. It was disgusting but my flat mates and I all laugh about it now. We will never forget living at 1 Norley Road!

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Memories are what keeps me going whenever I feel down. Memories help formulate who we are in the present, whether they are good ones or bad.

‘We do not remember days, we remember moments’ – Unknown Source.

NaBloPoMo: Mango on Brooklyn Bridge

Whilst I was in America, I really struggled eating all the fatty foods that were served in the restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are plenty of lovely restaurants that serve other things than fries or burgers but unfortunately I couldn’t find anywhere that was in my price range.

Everything seemed to be served with fries and the portions were so huge. That is why I was so happy to find a man selling fresh mango on the Brooklyn Bridge.

I was so excited to be holding a delicious mango, on a stick, in America. I only wish I could have walked along the bride every day just to buy the mango.

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For an in-depth post on my time in New York City and Brooklyn, please read one of my previous posts, Travel: I love being a tourist.

NaBloPoMo: Big baggy tops

When I go to bed, I am the least glamorous dresser. I love wearing big baggy tops that are very unflattering but comfy.

I don’t see why I need to look presentable when I am asleep.

A lot of the tops are sort of souvenirs from places I have visited or friends that I have made, so I guess they possess sentimental value.

I have a collection of t-shirts from my time in America this summer.

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My friends and I had one of them especially made which has all our nick names on it and a famous quote from the summer.

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Whilst I was at camp, a friend from Israel gave me a t-shirt as a goodbye gift.

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One of my friends from university bought me a top for my birthday saying ‘Brizzle is the Shizzle’ on it and this reminds me of my first year at uni and of Bristol. I have worn it a lot which is why the lettering has started to come off.

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When I ran a 10k race with my dad we both wore the same t-shirt so our supporters could spot us both amongst the other runners.

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I have many more baggy tops but these are my favourite.

My large and often paint stained tops are that comfy, I find it hard to get out of bed in the morning. The memories they hold and how comfy they are makes me happy.

NaBloPoMo: Photography Books

Over the past few years I have taken a liking to buying photography books.

They are not just normal books, they are big, heavy and smell delicious. They are filled with inspiration and I just love owning them.

My most recent purchase is a big orange hardback titled 50 Photo Icons: The Story Behind The Pictures.

Front of book features Alfred Eisenstaedt, 'A Stolen Kiss'

Front of book features Alfred Eisenstaedt, ‘A Stolen Kiss’

The book presents us with in-depth descriptions behind some of the most well known photographs. It concentrates on the most important pictures that have been taken throughout history.

As I have been taught, during my degree, photographs have an interesting way of shaping and sometimes developing the way in which we see the world.

Each chapter focused on a different image, most of which I had seen before, but the book allowed me to view some of the photographs in a different light, due to the description and analyses that accompanied each image. The author uses aesthetic, historical and artistic contexts as a way of delving deeper to reveal the true power behind the image at the time it was taken.

Naturally, the book begins with the very first permanent photographs by Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre. In 1827 Niepce produced an eight-hour-exposure of a rooftop and in 1839 Daguerre became famous for his street scene.

Nicephore Niepce, 'View from the Study Window' (1827)

Nicephore Niepce, ‘View from the Study Window’ (1827)

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, 'Boulveard du Temple' (1838)

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, ‘Boulveard du Temple’ (1838)

The book then continues its journey throughout history, stopping at very significant landmarks such as the avant-garde photography in the 1920s, Robert Capa’s ‘The Fallen Solider’ (1936), Alfred Eisenstaedt, ‘A Stolen Kiss’ (1945),  to more recent images by Martin Parr.

Robert Capa, Falling Solider' (1936)

Robert Capa, Falling Solider’ (1936)

Martin Parr, 'A Temple in the Viewfinder' (1991)

Martin Parr, ‘A Temple in the Viewfinder’ (1991)

I absolutely love this book and I cannot wait to have my own house so that I can proudly display all my photography books on a shelf in my lounge or study (at the moment they are stuffed on top of my bookcase because they are too big to fit on the shelves).

I am currently saving for my next purchase, ‘the eye of eisendstaedt’ which features the work of Alfred Eisenstaedt.

NaBloPoMo: The hairdressers

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It may sound very sad but one of my favourite things to do is to go to the hairdressers.

I go to a place called Andrew Hill which is situated in Newton Abbot. Andrew (the owner) has worked all over the world, winning competitions that include the International Gold Trophy.

The place itself is pretty swanky inside, with a big chandelier that hangs proud in the centre of the room. It has a spiral staircase, large gold mirrors and chairs that massage you whilst you have your hair washed.

I absolutely love having my hair played with so when I have my hair done I am in my element. I am very particular when it comes to choosing a hairdresser. Now that I have found one, her name is Victoria, I cannot have my hair cut by anyone else.

When I go to the salon I usually ask for half a head of highlights, a cut and blow dry. Only when I have saved up a bit of money do I ask for a full head of highlights.

My hair is naturally quite light in colour and Victoria does the highlights very finely so many people do not realise that my hair is not my natural colour. I am quite lucky in that respect, there is nothing worse than light highlights and dark roots!

I usually go into the salon not knowing how to have my hair cut and come out loving whatever Victoria has done to it.

I especially like the way she blow drys my hair and I always wish I could recreate the look myself, but no matter how much I try, it never looks as good.

I feel like one of the rich and famous whenever I am at the hairdressers. I think it is all the glitz and pampering that makes me think this. I definitely come out feeling like a new person.

 

NaBloPoMo: Decaf tea

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Every morning I wake up and enjoy a cup of decaf tea. (It has to be decaf because I suffer from migraines.)

That morning cuppa sets me up for the day ahead. Whilst I drink it in bed I am able to mentally prepare myself for whatever it is the new day will bring.

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I also love to go to Marks and Spencer’s cafe with my mum. They do lovely decaf tea there and the cakes aren’t bad either.

We used to make regular visits to M&S when my Gran was alive because she used to love the lattes.

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Another great place I like to visit it Angels tea rooms. This is more for the cream teas than the tea though. But you cannot have a scone without a cuppa to wash it down.

Drinking tea and eating cake in lovely cafés makes me happy.

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NaBloPoMo: The smell of a bookshop

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I absolutely love the smell of new books so walking into a bookshop really makes me happy.

When I lived in Liverpool I used to sit in Waterstones on Bold Street with one of my friends and we would look at all the architecture books for inspiration.

At the time I was in my first year at Liverpool John Moores studying Architecture. I didn’t really enjoy it because I found it hard to get inspired about designing a building.

Whilst I sat in this bookshop my friend would be reading away next to me whilst I pretended to do the same. Instead I would just be sat there enjoying the smell and the peace and quiet.

That year at uni was very hard. I was far away from home for the first time. My halls were hellish with maggots in the kitchen and old, grubby bathrooms. I guess Waterstones was my safe haven. A place I could go to escape the hustle and bustle of university life, a place to recharge my batteries.

Now, whenever I go into a bookshop, I am reminded of my little spot of luxury, hidden away at the back of a Waterstones shop.

I also remember my time in Liverpool as one of the most life changing episodes of my life so far. I grew up a lot that year, learnt to cook, clean and survive in a big city on my own.

Thankfully I made some great friends that also helped me along the way and discovered that Liverpool really is a great place to live.

If any of you ever feel like life in a busy city is getting to you, I advice taking a time out in a gorgeous smelling bookshop!

NaBloPoMo: The family

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I have to admit that I found this post a little hard to write. I planned on doing it in my series of what makes me happy because nothing on earth makes me happier than having a loving family like the one I do.

I guess what I found so hard about it was finding a way to put into words the extent to which my family actually make me happy, without sounding cheesy. I quickly realised that, that is probably unavoidable when discussing this topic. And anyway, who cares?!

Both my mum and dad have always been there for me and I couldn’t thank them enough for all they have done for me as I have grown up and for what they do for me now.

As I look back at my childhood I feel truly blessed to have been brought up the way I have been.

I remember when my dad taught me to ride a bike. We were out in the street near my house and he was holding onto the back of my bike as I peddled and tried to stay in control.

He did this for a while until he must have felt confident enough to let go. I don’t think I realised he had let go until he started cheering.

We then got my mum and nan out of the house to come and watch. That is one memory I will never forget and it makes me happy when I think about it.

I will also never forget the camping holidays we went on. In the pouring rain we camped. I guess everyone has to experience a very wet camping trip once in their life!

We also went horse riding up a mountain and cycled up hills on rented bikes in the New Forest!

I will never forget the walks we used to go on. My family would try and make it fun by pretending we were on a big expedition. My dad would chant, ‘I don’t know what you’ve been told’ and we would repeat after him.

I felt like we were trekking through a big jungle. I remember once we walked for three hours because we got lost. My poor nan was exhausted and we all still laugh about it now.

I have gained a lot of my mums traits and many people say I look like her. I’m pleased that I take after her in most ways.

I have however tried to learn from my dad’s free spirit. His ‘what will be, will be’ attitude. I quickly learnt that worrying about what could happen is pointless and being sad about the past won’t make you happier in the future. It took a while to understand his train of thought but now I try and apply it to my day to day life.

I don’t think I could have made a happy list without including something as important as my family. I also must point out that these posts are not in order of what actually makes me happiest. If it was I should be classed as a very superficial person ranking painted nails above my family.

I have so many good memories that I have to thank my family for creating with me.