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.

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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.

NaBloPoMo: Downton Abbey

Every Sunday I look forward to watching Downton Abbey, on the sofa, cup of tea in hand, with my family…this makes me happy.

Tonight, I await to hear the final sound of the servant bells that symbolises the beginning of the programme for the last time this series.

This will be the fourth year that I have been glued to my television screen every Sunday evening, and it definitely hasn’t gotten old or boring, as a shocking and controversial rape scene hit our screens.

I think what shocked the nation the most was the choice of the rape victim, the lovely Anna (Joanne Froggatt). I beg for a happy ending for poor Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle)Β and Anna. They have been put through enough over the past year with Bates nearly being hung for a murder he did not commit. Don’t they deserve a happy ending?

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Will Bates find out who the evil rapist is on tonights episode? Let’s just hope that he doesn’t do anything stupid!

I also can’t wait to see what comes of the scandalous affair between Lady Rose (Lily James) and the black bandleader Jack Ross (Gary Carr). I think this storyline is brilliant and has been handled with ease and grace, unlike what was anticipated by many critiques prier to Carr’s first screening.

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Creator, Jullian Fellowes, hasn’t made Carr’s appearance on the period drama, as the only black man,Β a vehicle for a sob story, nor has he concentrated in on any racial slander. He was invited by whimsical Rose to an event at Downton and was allowed to play his music, admittedly with a few raised eyebrows from the family.

According to Gary Carr, the fact that he was invited to stay at Downton Abbey would have been possible back in the twenties, because it wasn’t uncommon for Jazz artists from the US to tour Europe.

On a side note, I also think he is a lovely singer and apparently he has been singing all his own songs on the programme.

In the adverts we glimpse a British Bake Off style garden party which I cannot wait to watch. I wonder if Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) will have sorted out her pregnancy problem, or found the man responsible, in time to sit down with a piece of cake in the grand grounds of the Abbey?

Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) has also provided endless humorous remarks throughout this series and I think she plays a great a part.

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I cannot forget my favourite character Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), with all the suitable bachelors circling her, I do hope she is able to find her happy ending in one of them. I do not think we will find this out until the Christmas special though.

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As always, this series has proven, with its 12 million or so fans, that Downton Abbery is a quality period drama.

After tonights episode is over, I will surely have no idea what to do with myself on a Sunday evening, until the Christmas special is aired. I may have to watch re-runs to keep me entertained.

NaBloPoMo: Freshly painted nails

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It may be a strange one but freshly painted nails actually makes me happy.

I can’t stand it when my nail varnish is chipped.

One of my favourite brands of nail varnishes is Essie! It lasts forever and they have lots of lovely colours.

A favourite colour of mine would have to be Funny Face by Essie. I feel as though it can be worn in both winter and summer. I like lots of pink or coral colours and I have a number of different shades in each.

NaBloPoMo: Photography

I have decided to try and blog once a day as part of the National Blog Posting Month challenge.

I hope it will encourage me to regularly update my blog with new content, rather than leave it from week to week, like I do at the moment.

Whilst I was at camp lots of the staff started a happy book. The idea behind it revolves around finding out what makes other people happy. The owner of the happy book goes round to all their friends and gets them to write as many things as they can think of that makes them feel happy.

I thought it was a lovely idea and a great way to get to know someone. When I read some of the entries I found out new and interesting things about my friends that I did not know. Most of the things were silly and insignificant but it still allowed you to understand that person on a deeper level.

It also helped you relate to each other because you realised that you had more in common with someone than you previously thought.

I have decided to focus the majority of this months posts on what makes me happy and maybe some of you will be able to relate to me.

Were appropriate I will probably post pictures to go along with my posts as one of the things that makes me happy is photography.

I think this is were I will begin…

I really enjoy going to new cities and taking photographs of the people, architecture and interesting things that catch my eye.

A favourite subject of mine is my dad. I just find him interesting. He hasn’t got a stereotypically photogenic face but for some reason I enjoy capturing him in his natural surroundings.

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I also find it a personal victory whenever I am able to catch a great shot of an unusual person I see on the street. Street photography is extremely difficult and I take my hat off to all the street photographers out there.

I guess when I have my camera in my hand I am in my own little world. Wondering around taking pictures of this and that. It is just something I enjoy to do.