A Mouse in Trousers 🌟

So, I went MIA. Yeah, I know, but I lost the knack, I didn’t know what to write. I was struggling, trying to get to grips with new things that left we a little confused. I was getting caught up in the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘buts’. The glass was always half empty at best. I had to summon all the self confidence, all the sass and all the guts I could and just jump in. I’m usually very cautious. It can make me seriously awkward and shy, I’m so scared I’ll be a disappointment or do something wrong, that, at times, I don’t try.

But, to paraphrase my favourite character to ever be created, to fly you need a happy thought and it’s easy if you try.

So, I went and found some happiness in what many call the happiest place on earth… or at least on of them.

Yes, I upped sticks and went to visit the mouse in trousers: Mickey. I hopped on the Eurostar and headed straight for Disneyland Paris and honestly, I really needed the time away. I was with one of my closest friends, no internet, limited phone signal, days in the sun, in the world of Disney, where the scary, adulting things couldn’t touch me.

I hadn’t been away for five years and hadn’t been able to properly relax and enjoy myself in that time. I didn’t realise just how important this trip would be for me or my mental health. I just needed a break, a break from everything and Disney gave me that respite I was so desperately craving. It sounds silly but some of the things we did on that holiday, just meeting characters or wandering around the castle grounds, meant a lot more to me than some may give credit for. I actually managed to let go and feel the magic, something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.  Now, I feel more refreshed, like I can restart and try my best again. Sometimes we all need a little break.

Guys, be prepared for an onslaught of castles, characters, accessories and magic… because this is all I can talk about right now!

IMG_8615.jpg copy

 

ckcsignoff

London Calling| Super Slides & Smashed Tea Cups.

Oh London, as much malice as you can carry, you’re a bloody little charmer.

18555197_10155300756676310_2050241688_n

We, we being me and my pals, had a fun day full of curiosity.

We stopped for lunch in a crammed Costa because they do cheese and Marmite toasties. They didn’t do cheese and Marmite toasties, they’d run out. Who even discovered the cheese and Marmite toastie? I mean, who had the brain wave to put those two things together and toast it? I can see the connections though. Y’know visualise the train of thought that lead to this strange sandwich. There’s weirder things in the world than cheese and Marmite I guess.

We started with a little bit of light edutainment. A little frolicking towards the end of Exhibition road, and for free may I add. Yes, we hit up the Science Museum. I used to be a boss at science. When I was about 12/13 years old, my school had me down at Ford Dunton building robots as part of a nationwide event, getting girls into engineering. There was only about ten of us from my school too. True story bro. I’ve still got the certificate.

MOONEXCKC

Anyway, we had a little gander. I got swept up in all the different exhibits. Ones about the body, about transportation and medicine through the years. However, there was no time for such frivolity. No, no, we don’t have time to look at old cars and Edward Jenner’s yeast water. No, we were on a mission to get to the “good bit”.

What do we want? Interactive exhibits! When do we want them? As soon as we find them because the building is so big and no one can stand still long enough to read a map.

We found it eventually. We found the “Wonderlab”. However, this, this is not free – it was £8. Yet, with our handy 2for1 vouchers we picked up at the station and what with one of us being a student, we paid just over £4 each. Honestly, a travel tip when using most overground train lines in the UK is that they often a) offer a discount on train tickets when 3 or more of you are traveling together and b) tend to have 2for1 brochures with a load of vouchers in them that you can just pick up.

LIGHTSCKC

There was stuff. There were people doing stuff. There were people showing you how to do stuff. I was cornered by a person science-ing at me. I’m not very good at sudden social interaction. I wasn’t prepared for such an onslaught of cleverness. I kind of stood there like a potato and went “yeah”, “mhm”, “oh right”, “I dunno.” I did know. I knew most of it anyway, I just couldn’t get the words to travel from my brain to my mouth. Well done Kate, you absolute tit box. Then my pal wandered over and came out with all this delightful small talk and there I was, just derping next to her like the gherkins picked out of a Bigmac and left on the side waiting to be loved by a pickle enthusiast.

Highlights of this exhibit include: the ferrofluid, making paper aeroplanes, the photobooth the experimentation with shutter speed, a show about fire and blowing s**t up and the slides. I enjoyed the slides the most. I also enjoyed face planting the padded wall at the end of the polished, wooden slide. I felt like the most beautiful, little bowling ball. YAY SCIENCE!

FERROFLUIDCKC

Then it was time for din-dins and a show. Pizza happened and too much dough was consumed to be legal. I was then rolled to The Vaults like Violet Beauregarde to see, or more so participate in, Alice’s Adventures Underground. Yes, that old chestnut (check out my previous trip down the rabbit hole with Les Enfants Terrible >> here <<)

With a team of 10 and a new and improved experience ahead, off we all went, gallivanting around Wonderland as part of the resistance. Re living the old and revelling in the new. A a run in with a jam tart, a tea party with a mad tart and a tonne of smashed up china cups (we had to cover one of my friends eyes when we saw the scene. She has crockery attachment issues.)

Once we had all enjoyed our fun and games it was off into the bar for a very aesthetically in keeping kilner-esque jar full of water, as I was sweating garlic butter from the cheesy bites at dinner, and a boogey to the Labyrinth soundtrack. You heard me. Labyrinth. Yes, they played Magic Dance and my God was it the best song of the night. They were playing absolute bangers and we danced amongst the dodo birds and drag queens. It was all so fabulous and I didn’t want to leave!

WONDERCKC

Then I had to go home and didn’t have time for a wee. Luckily, Fenchurch street have free toilets. Free wees are the best wees.

Moral of the story: always read the map, don’t eat too many carbs before adventuring and if the opportunity for a free wee arises, take it.

ckcsignoff

Fantastic Beasts of the Forbidden Forest.

PASSSSWOOORD?

If you said Caput Draconis, we can be friends.

EXTCKC

I did it again. I went back. I might as well have a direct debit and reserved parking at the damn place. Ugh, just take my money. What can I say, once a die hard Potterhead, always a die hard Potterhead.

Yes, I went back to the Warner Bros Studio Tour London: the Making of Harry Potter. I had to, you see. They opened the Forbidden Forest exhibition AND they had some of the Fantastic Beasts bits there too and I just had to fangirl, ok?! I’m not even the tiniest bit embarrassed or apologetic for my actions.

What was that? Visiting four times is starting to get a little excessive? You think it’s a bit sad? Well says you good sir, SAYS YOU. Muggles back off.

SCAMANDERCKC

Now before we follow the spiders, please be aware that ahead lies SPOILERS for the studio tour. So if you’re planning on heading there any time soon, AVERT YOUR EYES! Unless you don’t care. Then read on my fellow magical folk.

For anyone who hasn’t been, the Harry Potter Studio Tour resides at Leavesden film studios in Watford, a working film studio where the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts were filmed. Yep, if your maths is pretty good, you’ll realise that they were filming Fantastic Beasts as thousands of magical folk like me were wandering the cobbles of Diagon Alley, in the same place!

The tour is mainly comprised of three areas, or “lots” (I guess could also be described as retired studios/filming spaces.) The first ‘lot’ houses the majority of the sets including The Hogwarts Express, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Malfoy’s dining room and the Great Hall, amongst other things. The second ‘lot’ or the ‘Backlot’, which comes with it’s own cafe and Butterbeer stand, houses a few of the exterior sets and set pieces, such as Hagrid’s Motorbike and Number 4 Privet Drive. The final ‘lot’ showcases the props and special effects, focusing on the art and design work. Don’t worry, if you have been before, most of the pieces you know and love are still there and centre stage (the last room 😍.)

BEERCKC

The forbidden forest exhibit comes just before platform 9 3/4 and seems to take up a chunk of what was the green screen experience, which has also changed (goodbye Ford Anglia, hello wanted posters.) In this change up they have also added a few more interactive pieces in the first and last lot, such as the chance to control you’re broom like our favourite first years do in their first flying lesson and the opportunity to operate Dobby and see the stages of motion capture animation.

BUCKCKC

Back to business; the Forbidden Forest. It’s short but sweet and they pack a lot of punch into a little bit of space and time. It’s an interactive experience for the most part, where you find yourself plunged into the surroundings of the creepy woods that line the edges of the castle. You might meet a few friendly creatures, be sure to keep an eye on the Hippogriff, and a few not so friendly ones. However, if you’re afraid of spiders, don’t follow the path into the woods (there is the option to skip the exhibit, don’t worry) or at least keep your eyes to the floor!

Honestly, if you’re a HP fan and able to go, take the Potterhead pilgrimage. It’s so worth it. Even if you’re just interested in any aspect of film making, they cover it all. Stunts, special effects, editing, set building, costume, make up, art and design, lighting, screenwriting, directing, adaptations, and so much more. I have an MUA friend who went, having never seen the films or read the books. She walked out with a box set of both. It is absolutely magical and so well done, there’s something packed into every corner and there’s no time limit. Once you’re past the first part, it’s entirely up to you how long you spend wandering through the halls of Hogwarts.

If you fancy a gander at a few more photos from the tour, the link to my last, incredibly picture heavy (because I was so overexcited) post is linked >>here<<. If you want to have a sneaky peek at the Christmas exhibit ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’, you can check out that post >>here<<.

Have a magical day!

Burgers on the Beach.

ROCKCKC

My friend has been off gallivanting around South Africa for two months, having the time of his life and I just wanted to live vicariously through him and see all the photos… mainly the ones of the elephants, ngl. We decided lunch was in order so he could tell me all about his wine tasting at Richard Branson’s vineyard and climbing table mounting and trekking the desert to see the sun rise. I regaled him with stories of the time I actually climbed out of my hovel and encountered actual sunlight. What an adventure.

I am always up for trying new things and so he suggested that we try out a little Jamie Oliver number, Oliver’s on the BeachSet up by the Oliver family, this little cafe is right on the sea front… and I mean RIGHT on the sea front. Scoot it an inch further back and it would be on the sand.

BANOFFECKC

It’s a teeny, tiny little kiosk, which holds about eight or so tables. It’s friendly, cosy and the menu is so big for such a tiny place! At one point my pal leant over to me and whispered, “this is what frustrates me the most. I just don’t know how they make food like this in a kitchen that small!” These are the questions that keep him awake at night, obvs.

Everything seems to be hand selected, hand made and what they could, they sourced locally. Apaz theres the odd Naked Chef exclusive on there too… I dunno what, I just like good food, of which there was plenty and a wide variety at that. From sandwiches to full English Breakfasts and burgers to seafood. Plus, there was a specials board as long as your arm and desserts to boot.

BURGERCKC

I decided to go for what I knew. A homemade burger it was… make that a cheeseburger. My friend was eyeing up some form of pie that was displayed stylishly on the counter, which we later found out was called ‘Paglesham Pie’. A sort of pork pie with egg, bacon, tomatoes and the like layered in there too. I have it on good word that it is, “so, so good and no you cannot have a bit, eat your burger.”

We followed that up with dessert, as it was agreed that if we didn’t have dessert there, we were going to walk about five feet and get an ice cream. I went for a banoffee pie and my friend, a coconut and lime panna cotta. Omnomnomnom. That’s all I can say. They were beautifully presented and super tasty.

PIECKC

It wasn’t kitch or twee, but it was comfortable, modern and clean. The staff were wonderful and even though we had a short wait on our hands, the waitress took our details and said she would give us a call when there was a table available so we wouldn’t have to waste the sunshine. It was such a good system and, to be honest, we didn’t think we would get a table at all since it was a) lunchtime and b) a very popular little place. Just lucky I guess. Also, can I just say that four courses and four drinks came to about £19 each. Guys, we’ve found a right, old gem here, I’m telling you.

A beautiful location, looking out at the Thames, right on the beach, in sight of the pier, with good, honest comfort food and a few fancy pants dishes, fabulous vibes and a wonderful team… I think I’m going to take everyone here now!

ckcsignoff

 

A Very Grimm Week.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

So, I was just in a play. A kids play. Running through Easter half term in the U.K. It was an adaptation of a selection of stories from the fairytale back catalogue of the Brother’s Grimm: Hansel & Gretel, Rumplestiltskin, The Fisherman & his Wife, The Moon, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. A few we all know and a few we don’t.

That’s why there was no post last week. I was recovering from a triple show day + a get out (when you dismantle the set, clear the performance space, re-set the lights and vacate the theatre) + an after show party + an early start for a cast and crew breakfast date.

In short, I was knackered.

MOONCKC

Family theatre is difficult to perform as children are absolutely savage. They are your harshest critics. They won’t politely clap, or sit quietly and slip out at the interval if they don’t like it. They start chatting, mucking about, expressing their boredom or disgust very loudly in a darkened, quiet room whilst you’re doing your best to entertain them.

However, I’m glad to report that every show they were hooked. I mean, at one point a kid dropped a Malteser and it echoed. Not a peep from the audience. The only time I remember there being a bit of chattering was when a small child was so engrossed they began repeating the lines and copying all the actions back to their Mum. It was like having the most magical show relay and I wasn’t mad about it one bit.

FlowersCKC

I loved my characters, it was an even split between us all. We all took the limelight and we all sat back and watched. We all narrated a story or two, we all used a puppet, we all had costume changes and we all got to play a villain and a good guy, the comedian and the straight man. We dabbled in shadow theatre, we broke the fourth wall and were rewarded by rounds of applause, laughter, sighs, gasps and big, beaming faces… even a few little ones waving back when we bid them farewell at the end. It makes it all worth while.

I have to say I miss the cast. It’s the smallest show I’ve ever been part of. Just four of us. Three girls, one boy. Jumping around on the astro, whizzing in and out of our tent, hanging fairy lights, playing vinyls, having (controlled) water fights and making each other laugh until our faces hurt. It genuinely was the closest I’ve come to a ‘show family.’ There was stress and tears in the run up, when the pressure began to mount, but in the end it was so wonderful I didn’t want the run to finish.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

We managed it.

Four actors, Four crew & creatives, one technician, 60 minutes, over 30 characters, half a dozen different accents, 105 specially designed props and pieces of costume, 13 pieces of custom built set, eight pieces of which moved, six handmade puppets, nine shows and six stories.

It was deliciously Grimm and I loved every second.

ckcsignoff

Seaside Adventure.

The sun appeared! The sun actually came out from behind the clouds and shone… in England. I know, I’m just as confused as you are. However, this did mean that my friends and I jumped to, pulled on our coats (just ’cause the suns shining doesn’t mean it’s not a bit nippy) and went for a stroll.

BEACH1CKC copy

We decided that the seaside is where it’s at, so we synched our watches, jumped in cars and on trains and pootled off to find the sea and a good meeting point. That point was as close to a soft serve ice cream vendor as possible. Who doesn’t want a 99? For anyone who doesn’t know, a 99 is typically known as a vanilla soft serve (one of those below) with a chocolate flake stuck in it.

ICE CREAMCKC copy

It’s not every day you can wander along a seafront comfortably and it is one of my absolute favourite places. There’s a sense of beauty and calm I feel around water. I think the movement of the waves and the way the sea seems ethereal yet deadly at the same time is relatively hypnotic. I don’t know why I love it so much.

Maybe I’m actually a mermaid.

BEACH2CKC copy

We also found a fairy castle! I stood there looking at it like a right div, for about 20 minutes, completely mystified by a concrete, cartoon sculpture. It was just such a sweet, unexpected and fairly odd thing to stumble across in amongst the rocks, trees and pathways. It made the blisters worth while (note to self: don’t give your new high tops their inaugural trip paired with trainer socks and a 5 mile walk.)

CASTLECKC copy

What can I say, I’m a big believer in fairies. As a kid, I used to have a fairy house right next to my DIY snail hotel, worm spa and ladybird villas. Six year old Kate: catering for all garden dwelling creatures… that I liked.

Ah, the great outdoors… sometimes you can be alright.

ckcsignoff

“Ta-ra, You Utter Flapjack.”| Beating Disappointment.

CHERRYBLOSSOMSCKC

Disappointment.

Everyone gets disappointed. It happens. It’s part of life. However, it can be pretty overwhelming at times.

According to the English Oxford Dictionary it means: “sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.”

The worst thing I think you can do with that sadness is bottle it up. I have found that, if you let it linger too long, it can be all encompassing. Disappointment seems to be the chameleon of emotions. It can turn into despair, frustration, anger, panic and can leave you feeling alone, hurt and completely at a loss… that is, if you let it.

 Fear of disappointment, or disappointing others, led me to sell myself short constantly, to not expect too much, or anything at all. It taught me to settle, so I wouldn’t feel it as much or so it wouldn’t affect me… it also taught me that none of the options above are the right thing to choose. Instead of running away from feeling disappointed, what I needed to do was figure out how to curb feeling so down when I did face it. I needed to find a way to get out of the blue headspace so I could get myself moving forward and away from things that leave me feeling like a used kleenex or not good enough.

Whilst long term solutions are a matter of circumstance and of the mind, there were and still are a few things that work for me in the short term, to help me avoid festering in my own disappointment, tackle the situation and face the feeling head on, so I can steer clear of getting too down in the dumps over something beyond my control.

1. Select a banging playlist, put your headphones on, turn the volume up until you can’t hear anything else over your tunes and jump. Just jump. Jump around. Flail your limbs. Lip synch to epic proportions. Close your eyes, pretend you’re headlining at Wembley to a sold out crowd. Give it some welly, g’waaaannn. You’ve got to get rid of that energy before it turns into tears or rage.

2. Pick up a pen, grab a sheet of paper or open a word document and write. Doesn’t need to make sense, doesn’t need to include grammar, spelling, punctuation. Just write. Get it out of my system. Write about whatever. Just let go.

3. Talk about it. I mean you might sound like a nutter, but just talk through why you’re feeling so crappy out loud, to yourself, step by step, point by point. If you can detach yourself from it emotionally, even the tiniest bit, you might be able to figure out the exact reason why you’re feeling so pants. It might not be the reason you think it is. Figure out the real reason behind it all and you can move on from it that much quicker.

4. Is it going to matter in 5 years time? If not then don’t concern yourself with it. Don’t waste moments of your life feeling negative, even if it’s swallowing you up whole. Try and find the positive things this situation could lead to. Even if they are teeny, tiny or sound silly, if it’s a positive thing then that’s good. There are pro’s and con’s to every situation, except, when we’re feeling down for any reason, the con’s are much easier to find.

5. If it is because of a person, if you come to realise that they don’t need or want you around, then you owe it to yourself to save your time, emotion and energy. Turn around, give ’em a smile, wave and shout, “Ta-ra, you utter flapjack. All the best. Have a good one.” Then turn back around and walk away.

…and here’s the secret: whatever happens, don’t turn back. If you turn back to take one last look, you run the risk of walking backwards into the mess you left behind. The pain is worse the second time round. This time, you need to be strong. Stronger than you think you are.

We all get disappointed. Maybe it’s over a missed opportunity, being told we are not right for something, being let down by people, being let down by things around us. We can all move on and overcome things. We can even use disappointment to motivate us to prove others, and ourselves, wrong. Good things come to good people, don’t let one set back stop you. Tackle the fear, tackle the sadness and carry on.

ckcsignoff

Am I a BFFL?

A BFFL.

I mean, you’ve got your BFs, then your BFFs, then your BFFLs… but what does it all mean?!

BEACHCKC

Ah the language of a noughties teenage girl. The other night, when I was four cocktails in and didn’t care enough to keep these childlike thoughts to myself, I began to speak in 2007 text language and asked my friend, “am I your BBF? Or your BFFL? Or just a BF?” However, I held my tongue on the fourth option, the one I dare not mutter… am I just an F?

When I say BF, I don’t mean boyfriend. When I say BF I mean best friend. Hang on, let me decode for any of you guys who aren’t down with the MSN abbreviations. This is the pyramid of best friend-ship. You’ve got your ‘best friends’, your ‘best friend forever’s and your ‘best friend for life’s. I meeeaaannn, looking at it now, forever is longer than a lifetime but y’know. Don’t fight the teen-dom logic, ok? Just roll with it.

However, it dawned on me just recently that I’m not sure if anyone considers me gold standard in the BF olympics, so to speak. I am so very close to people, but there is always someone one step in front of me that will, from time to time, make me think,”huh, maybe they don’t need me around after all.” I feel like one of those seat fillers at the Oscars. I’m just around for when the BF vacates their spot and the others need someone to fill it momentarily, incase a spotlight is shone on them, so they don’t look like a loner.

Now, I am not saying all this because I’m petty or immature, or even insecure. It’s just a thought that was spinning around in my mind, like a kid on a sugar high who found a wheely chair. It seemed so important as a teen to identify your ‘best friend’ and be someone else’s in return. That’s when the ‘friend stealing’ comes into play.  That old chestnut. When some monster decides your BF is their BF and you can do one. Yet, as kids we forget, everyone can have other friends, it doesn’t mean they like you any less. That’s something you learn as you get older. Your friendship group shrinks; the toxic ones get expelled, the ones who don’t care leave and the flaky ones flake a little too far from the pastry to grab back on, if you catch my drift there (achievement unlocked: pants metaphors.) Then you’re left with your “best friends.” The ones who have your back when the world around you falls to shit.

It’s an odd concept, to be surrounded by people, people who do care and who you care for, but not feel deeply connected to any of them. Yet, being someone’s “BFFL” isn’t the be all and end all of the social cycle. It’s nice to feel wanted and relied on. To have someone who gets it, who will listen to the crap little things and understands the in-jokes. Yet, those people don’t need to be there all the time, to talk to you every day or live in your pocket. It’s ok to be your own best friend, it’s ok to not have one. It’s ok to not be someone else’s, even if you are so very close to them.

What is important is that you are there when they need you and they are there for you. You are comfortable, confident and reliable. What matters is not how many times you text someone in a day, how long you’ve known each other or how many nights out you’ve been on, but that you respect each other’s feelings and boundaries. That you can survive together and apart. That you give as much as you take and have a balance. You don’t need to be someone’s BF, someone’s BFF or indeed a BFFL, you just need to be the best friend to that person, and yourself, that you can be, regardless of others.

Who wants to be called a BFFL anyway? It’s bloody weird.

ckcsignoff

Fajita Faux Par.

FAJITACKC
Now, everybody sit down, I don’t know how you’re going to take this. I’ve had screaming, disbelieving impressions of a cod fish, threats to disassociate with me and, almost, a slap round the face.

Before this night, I, Kate, had never had a fajita.

Dun-dun-duuunnnn. I know, I know. It’s a strain on all our relationships, but don’t worry, I’ve remedied that. You can call me a fajita aficionado now (or don’t. I’ve only had them once.)

This is not just a love letter to the Mexican majesty that is the fajita through. It is also a post about a revelation I have had, because my friends and I fell up a step in the adulting game and didn’t even know it. Yep, my girls and I finally had some sort of dinner party.

CHICKENCKC

Geez, we’re getting old! I’m just sitting here, biting my knuckles, trying to hold back the tears… and the incontinence. Ok, so there was no wine and cheese board, so we’re not properly adulting yet, but a dinner party is a dinner party, regardless if it’s a ten course, Nigela inspired banquet or a couple of bowls on the table and a hazy “help yourself.”

 It wasn’t your aprons on, hostess out, ten pans a boiling, nine wines a pouring, eight extra courses, seven timers beeping, six palette cleansers, five finger bowls! Four napkin rings, three tiny swears, two burnt sides and a f**k tonne of washing up, type of dinner party.

Nah. This was fajita night. Communal cooking, communal eating, laughter and possibly a slightly burnt nacho no-one cared about.

PEPPERSCKC

Everyone was just jumping around each other, chopping, heating, throw this over here, chuck that over there, sprinkle that in the pan. You get the peppers, I’ll get the onions. Then, carrying all the plates and dishes together, setting up our grand feast before sitting, together, three a side, passing the cheese up and down the table, giving each other tips on the best filling combinations, throwing Doritos (naughty) and daring each other to try the different flavours of wraps.

It was honestly delicious and great fun. It was simple, and with the help of Old El Paso and a Tesco nacho kit, we were all in and nothing was too complicated. See, we didn’t even do it all ourselves. That’s how easy it is (and lazy we are.) There was an odd sense of calm that came along with the domestic atmosphere. As if there was no judgement there, we were all cooking for each other, all preparing, all sharing, all eating as one.

It didn’t feel like a dinner party, it felt more familial than that.

NACHOSCKC2

There’s nothing better than quality time spent with friends and this is something just a little different than normal. Different to movies and popcorn, or popping to the pub or for a wander down the high street, and yet, I got more out of this evening than I have numerous trips window shopping and stopping for coffee.

If you’re lost for ideas or want a new way to hang out with your pals, give cooking a meal together a go. It’s worth while, cheaper than take out, way more fun and fajitas are just one option (plus, they’re are tasty af!) You could try making pasta, pizzas, burgers or even a picnic or buffet of some sort. It’s all good when there’s food and friends. You could even class it as educational… because we all need to learn to cook or we might die.

And if all else fails, you could do what they did on Come Dine With Me once and just order a take out and pretend you cooked it.

ckcsignoff

You’re Gonna Be Just Fine.

It’s the start of another week.

I love new things. The start of a new week, month or year. It gives me the idea, casts the illusion, that we, as humans, can start again. It’s a blank page.

flowerckc2017

That’s how I see it. Each week is a blank page, each month is a new chapter and each new year we start writing a new novel, the sequel to last years, once it’s been closed.

The trouble, turmoil and heartache can be left to yesterday.

At first I thought I was just feeling a bit sad, then I thought I was feeling generally low, then I thought I was just feeling nostalgic. But oh no, my mind starts up the disco ball, cranked up the sound system, brought in the tinsel curtain, started a drum roll and screamed, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, in all it’s glory, the QUATER LIFE CRISIS!”

I genuinely nearly did a Britney. I had this wild idea that sudden change was good, cleansing for the soul, so decided I wanted to hack my hair off. I didn’t in the end, don’t worry. That was a bit of a rash decision. I cried into a bag of Revels and binge watched The Mighty Boosh, wishing so desperately that I was a teenager again instead.

snowdropckc2017

I’ve always had super long hair, hair I could sit on at one point. There was only one time when I went to the hair dressers and asked for it to be cut to ‘boob length’, at least that’s the scientific term for it I believe. Apparently, my boobs are up round my ears. I’m flattered that she believed them to be that perky, but my long-bob, or ‘lob’ as the cool kids call it, wasn’t that attractive on me. Luckily my hair grows very quickly, within a month or so it was at the optimum length, so I wasn’t mad.

I started going grey when I was 16. I used to call it my ‘Rogue streak’. Someone once said I looked like Princess Anna and someone once said I looked 80 … so y’know, swings and roundabouts. The only thing that it did do was open me up to change. Just a little bit of change; dying my hair. I didn’t want to at first, my Mum didn’t want me to, so I got a colour the same as my natural hair. Then I went a bit redder, a bit redder, a bit redder, until I was full on ginge. Then I just went purple. I just went for it and dyed it purple… and I had never felt so great. With one small action, something so un-like me made me feel more like myself than I had in years. It’s amazing what a little change can do for you.

yellowflowersckc2017

Small changes are good. No matter how small they seem. The next page, a clean slate. You’re growing, moving forwards, no matter how much you want to go backwards, don’t. You were a different person. The good thing about moving on is that you learn, you change, you have the ability to be better and stronger than you were yesterday. Even if it seems impossible to climb out of the rut you’re in, you can and you will. Just put your chin up, look to the sky, the sunshine, and remember you can and you will. You’ll do it, you’ll pull through. Little steps forward. It doesn’t need to be a leap of faith. Any move forwards is good. It’s scary, terrifying even, but good.

So do it. Dye your hair, paint your nails, use that crazy coloured lipstick, listen to that ‘guilty pleasure’ song, flail your limbs and call it dancing, sing in public, run because you can, eat that piece of chocolate, laugh at your own joke, buy the new trainers, wear the crazy sunglasses that none of your friends will approve of. Just do it.

It’s Monday. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off. You’re doing great and you’re going to be just fine. Start writing.

ckcsignoff