The blog is back…

…Probably temporarily. 

I’m in a contemplative mood today and was going to write a rambling, self-indulgent Facebook status about it, but then realised that it was too long for Facebook so I’d write a rambling, self-indulgent blog post about it instead.  Thanks for your patience in advance.

Last year was a brilliant one in many ways, but my platelet probs kept rearing their ugly head and I haven’t been well the past few weeks either so had been feeling a tad glum.  (Get the violins out, will ya?!)  However, today I left the house for the first time since Tuesday and spent the evening at my nan’s.  She told a few stories that made me realise that, really, I’ve got nothing to whinge about at all, and made me look forward to the year ahead with renewed relish.

She talked about her brother who died at the age of 18 – he died of pneumonia a few days after going swimming in a freezing cold lake on a roasting hot day; he had a tumour on his lung that nobody knew about.  She mentioned that her “school” days mainly consisted of going to a neighbour’s house one day a week to learn the basics.  And she spoke of her sister and brother being evacuated during the war – “Did you miss them Nan?” “Dunno.”  HOWLING.

I’ve heard these stories before, but only today did I realise that all of the above are things that we almost certainly will never ever have to experience.  Her brother’s lung problems would probably have already been detected and treated if it was happening in 2016 and not in the 1930s.  Going to school is something that we have all just taken for granted.  And imagine kids being evacuated anywhere now?! “OH I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE WITHOUT ME MUM/ME PHONE/SKY PLUS/A DECENT JUST EAT DELIVERY CHOICE.”  (Or is that just me?)

I left my nan’s feeling all inspired and like I should be cartwheeling down the road screaming “SEIZE THE DAY!” to anyone and everyone I met.  I settled for making a list instead (and oh, how we love a list) of how I am going to spend my time wisely this year.  (Also I can’t cartwheel so that would never have been an option anyway.)  (Also I turn 30 this year AND LIFE IS TOO SHORT.)

1.  Go to more gigs.  I used to go to loads but the past few years this has tailed off.  Why?  Not entirely sure.  But so far I’ve secured tickets to Father John Misty, Little Mix (YEAH YOU ‘EARD) and Sound City.  So I am doing quite well with this one already.  WELL DONE ME.

2.  Learn to drive.  Me and the 10 bus…it’s been emotional, it’s not me, it’s most definitely you.

3.  Resurrect my blog.  Again, this appears to be going well so far.

4.  Travel.  The furthest I’ve been is Cyprus, for God’s sake.  There’s a whole world out there and I’ve seen approximately 0.00064% of it.  MUST.  ADDRESS.

5.  Lose weight.  I put on two stone over the summer and now everything beautiful in Zara and Topshop is off limits. (Granted, the issue may also be that the aforementioned shops only stock clothes for tiny people, but still.)

6. Win a gold medal in Rio.  But that’s been a work in progress for four years, so definitely won’t be a problem. 

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Top 10 highlights of 2013…

All together now! Sing! “It’s the most, wonderful tiiiiime, of the year!”

I’m obviously referring to the many “best of” lists that are now upon us.

Naturally, being a lifelong list lover, I’ve compiled my own. Here, in no particular order, are my top ten highlights of 2013.

1. Flying Ant Day

Or, rather, the lack thereof. Despite daily texts, Facebook alerts and Twitter messages from concerned pals who are well aware of my flying ant phobia, I only saw about seven of the blighters all summer. I fervently hope that 2014 is similar.

2. Alex Turner’s vocals on Do I Wanna Know?

Specifically, the lyric “simmer down and pucker up.” Never has the Sheffield accent sounded so alluring.

3. My birthday

Nothing especially spectacular happened. But I spent it with fabulous people and had an absolute ball. Even better, I didn’t cry once on the actual day, which is a first since I was about 21. PROGRESS!

4. Maria and Phil’s wedding

One of the best days of my life, never mind theirs, I will forever hold dear the memory of bellowing Never Forget at the top of my lungs, with about 200 brilliant people surrounding me. Good times.

5. Abersoch

Our family holiday to Abersoch was a highlight for me, mainly because I got to wake up to this stunning view in one of my favourite places on the planet every day for a week. Bliss.

abersoch view

6. Andy Murray winning Wimbledon

FINALLY. So proud!

7. Breaking Bad

Late to the party as ever, I devoured the whole thing in the space of a couple of months and became obsessed with it about three episodes in. Unfortunately, the lasting effect of it is that my fellow Breaking Bad-loving friends and I say “yo” to each other at the end of sentences. I used to think we were doing this ironically but now I’m not too sure. Ah well. It’s chemistry, bitch.

8. Roberto Martinez

Before David Moyes managed to piss off Evertonians the world over with his outrageous bid for Fellaini and Baines, I was distraught to see him go. I need not have worried – Roberto is working wonders. Plus he looks better in a suit.

9. Starting a blog and joining a choir

Trivial and unimportant events, you may say. However, they were both things that I kept saying I’d do and then, for one reason or another, kept putting off. I would seriously recommend both to everyone – so very therapeutic!

10. Kerry Katona’s high-five getting blanked

Sometimes, if I am feeling sad, I watch this video and I immediately feel happy again. Comedy gold.

Abersoch, I love you

I got back from Abersoch on Friday, but am only finding a spare minute to blog about it now due to all my time since my return home being dedicated to watching Breaking Bad (blog on that to follow shortly.) As you may remember from my last post, I was just a tiny bit excited about our trip to Abersoch. It more than lived up to our expectations.

Our abode for the week was slightly more luxurious than the house we used to stay in…

State of us, eh?!

State of us, eh?!

Not bad at all. It featured beautiful grounds, a tennis court, and the following stunning view:

*sigh*

*sigh*

However, I refuse to let a bad word be said about my beloved Olgra (the house where we used to stay), and stated on many an occasion during the week that, when I win the lottery, I am going to buy Olgra, do it up so that it is ULTIMATE BLING, and then none of us will ever be stuck for a place to stay. What a plan!

The weather was, by and large, very kind to us – I even have a slight bronzy, complete with white tan-line across my back, and a white ridge on my nose, thanks to my sunglasses. On one of the drizzly days we made the classic trip of yesteryear to the rabbit farm. I don’t even know where the hell it is, I just know it is an absolute winner when the weather is crap.

This is probably my favourite photo of the entire trip.

Our new alpaca mates at the rabbit farm

Our new alpaca mates at the rabbit farm

We also re-enacted an infamous rabbit farm photo from back in the day…

Then...

Then…

...and now!

…and now!

I have to say, I think our excitement during the rabbit farm trip surpassed the levels displayed when we were actually children. We appear to be regressing.

We also managed to fit in a few visits to the beach, a pub lunch in the Glyn Y Weddw in Llanbedrog (best pub food in the world), an epic barbecue, a 60th birthday tea for Wendy and a football match contested by all males in the party which resulted in Dan being unable to walk properly for the rest of the week. Hashtag pray4Dan.

All in all, it was so good to go back to Abersoch. Such a beautiful place, it reminds me of great people and great times. This trip added to these happy memories – my favourites were the Saturday night in the pub and the slightly rowdy aftermath, and singing along to She’s Electric at the top of our voices another night – and my cousins, siblings and I all made a pact while we were there this time to keep the tradition going.

Long may it continue!

The majority of the gang.  We all look a bit special, but very happy.

The majority of the gang. We all look a bit special, but very happy.

Pair of legends.

Pair of legends.

We’re all going on a summer holiday…

…no more working for ELEVEN DAYS, to paraphrase ol’ Biff Richards. I’m off to Abersoch in North Wales tomorrow, with nearly thirty family members, just like old times. IT IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.

Been a bit quiet on the blog front recently, for a few reasons. Firstly, my life is currently DEVOID OF MEANING due to the fact that Made in Chelsea and The Apprentice have both ended. (This will change when X Factor starts up – apologies in advance. I will be blogging incessantly.) Also, I’ve become addicted to Breaking Bad, and every waking hour is dedicated to watching it. Finally, I’ve only seen about eleven flying ants all year, so as you can see, I really do have nothing to blog about.

Here’s a daft one to ensure that my blog doesn’t go cobwebby through neglect. It’s about some of my favourite holidays ever.

Abersoch

We used to go every single year and stayed in a mad old house called Olgra. It featured bedrooms with about six sets of bunk beds in each one, and baths that were full of sand, and an industrial-sized kitchen, and it was the best house ever in the history of all the land. An entire week with all my siblings and cousins, on the beach, whether it was freezing cold or blisteringly hot, was the highlight of my year, every year. And I cannot wait to make our long-awaited return tomorrow. Just thinking about turning the corner and catching that first glimpse of the harbour is making me want to do a happy dance!

Abersoch, the early years.  Best thing about this photo is the sign for the loos behind us.

Abersoch, the early years. Best thing about this photo is the sign for the loos behind us.

Llandudno

Another North Wales hotspot, we went with the school in Year 6 and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in all my life. Our bunk beds collapsed, we all spent about a grand in coppers in the 2p machine in the arcade, one of the lads confessed his love for me and my “beautiful blue eyes” which would crack me up now, but nearly killed us off with mirth at the age of eleven, and we all looked a show in questionable sportswear.

Soundtrack – MmmBop by Hanson. WHAT. A. SONG.

Never fails to make me chortle.  WE.  ARE.  BAD.  SHOWS.

Never fails to make me chortle. WE. ARE. BAD. SHOWS.

Cyprus

The last bit of sun I think I got on my tragically pasty limbs, this was my very first proper sunshine break abroad (I know, bless me, right?) Our mate Helen got married in Protaras to Anthony and obviously we weren’t missing that for the world. We became obsessed with bingo and gin fizz cocktails, we met the completely gorgeous little Joe, ever-present in the pool, Katie had murder with someone in Ayia Napa – “SHE bumped into ME!” – and I fell into the sea halfway through the wedding reception. Oh, and one of our best mates got married. Not a bad couple of weeks.

All the girls on the Lackeys' wedding day.

All the girls on the Lackeys’ wedding day.

I just love this one!  Sob!

I just love this one! Sob!

Soundtrack – That shufflin’ song, because it was on about a thousand times a day.

Barcelona

We, for some reason, thought that because we were going to Spain, the temperatures would be balmy. We forgot that it was February and therefore froze for the entire time we were there. I got pooed on by a bird at the zoo, we went to Razzmatazz which was probably one of the best nights out in my whole life, and we got told off for being noisy drunkards by our fellow hostel-dwellers. Whoops.

Soundtrack – Torn by Natalie Imbruglia. It was playing when this photo of me was taken, and whenever I look at it I am reminded of how very, very happy I was at that precise moment.

Best night ever.

Best night ever.

So, good times aplenty. Here’s to many more, starting from tomorrow.

P.S I really need to try and travel further afield than the E.U.