Thursday, 29 December 2011

New Pandora charm!

Mam gave me a green glass Pandora charm two years ago as part of my birthday gift on my new bracelet but as I've collected charms over the years it didn't fit the theme, (quirky silver charms, basically). It was only when she suggested that I ask here in the shop in Cardiff if I could exchange it for another one that I considered doing anything with it. It had lived for two years in a box, looking brand new, in my chest of drawers. Every time I would have a clear out I would open the box and look at it and think of Mam. I would never have thought to exchange it myself, (I think the word I'm looking for is shy? Polite? Scared to offend?).
So here it is. My lovely new aeroplane charm. There. On the far left, next to my Christmas tea pot. Cute, huh?

Go Karting.

What a brilliant day! We had lunch at Frankie & Benny's then went Go Karting. I can't believe I could keep up with the boys (I came in behind Boyfriend on lap times #smug). I already want to go again. I'd recommend you wear converse or similar footwear, my Uggs were fine just too warm as the engine underneath my right arm in my Kart made everything a bit hot. Leggings and a tshirt are enough under your overalls. Helmet and gloves are communal so germophobes probably won't cope well, but they do spray them with germ killing stuff regularly. Everybody should give it a go. I haven't had that much fun in ages. Skidding around hairpin bends, nudging ahead and trying to overtake, not knowing your lap times and simply trying to drive faster and faster. Loved every minute.

The Helicopter.

Here is what I gave Boyfriend for his birthday this year. I was gushing with pride that he loves it to bits. It's only small, the main bulk of the body is about the size of my hand (and I have small hands). It's pretty nifty and it's a proper boy toy, remote control, screw drivers, batteries, flashing LED lights, blah blah.  The propellers make this shredding, buzzing noise too. I'm also terrified of it. It seems Boyfriend finds nothing funnier than to target areas above my head in which to hover this noisy, unstable contraption. The Christmas cards are all knocked over in the living room. I fear for our paper lamp shades. It's a death trap! Perhaps the less I love it, the more he does. (No doubt in my mind).

Team Geek.

I could not be more excited! Today we're celebrating Boyfriend's birthday in style. Sadly his birthday was actually yesterday but as I was mostly in work he spent it with his family and today is our day. We're going Go Karting and I am all jumpy and ready to go. I used to go with my family in Spain (there's this cool track down in Fuengirola we liked) but I haven't been for years. Super excited. (:
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Monday, 26 December 2011

Thank you.

Christmas shouldn't be all about the presents, but I am so very grateful for my amazing gifts off my friends and family. Amongst my amazing gifts (guess I was on the Nice List?) I've been given two bottles of Miss Dior perfume (my favourite!), make up, L'Occitane creams, Jack Wills nail varnish, a new tea pot Pandora charm, and a brilliant Clinique lip repair balm. I have been absolutely spoilt and I am in love with all of my gifts. Thank you very much!
(What did you get for Christmas?)

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Merry Christmas.

Christmas is evolving. Once a wholly Pagan celebration (the Feast of the Son of Isis - Goddess of Nature), then adapted by Romans as their Pope declared December 25th a day to celebrate the Lord's birth. Nowadays we use Christmas time to remind our loved ones that they are special to us by giving luxurious or meaningful gifts, we gather our close ones and family as a way of raising spirits.
For me Christmas is a reminder that life is good, a season to appreciate our loved ones and eat too much good food, drink naughty drinks (if I'm in the mood - damn this flu!), turn the heating up, listen to cheesy songs and cover the house in fairy lights to forget about the cold, grim weather and to cheer us up in the short dark days of winter.
Happy Christmas everyone! May your Yuletide be a cosy one. xx (or a time for raucous partying, whatever floats your boat).

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Oh, Christmas tree...

Here it is. I have found the loveliest Christmas tree.
Behold the marvelous display by Sarah Morton and family.
Please share your Christmas tree photos! (:

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

My beautiful cousins.

I just have to say how amazing my cousins Kathryn and Rachael are. After such awful grief they are getting on with life. It seems with more loss and strife, we become stronger. Thinking of Auntie Ann & Uncle John today. R.I.P. xx

Monday, 19 December 2011

Cosmo, anyone?

I'm going to try and make cosmos for New Years Eve. 
Here is the quickest recipe I've found:

40 ml vodka
15 ml Cointreau (or other triple sec - Curacao, Grand Marnier)
15 ml concentrated lime juice
30 ml cranberry juice

Shake vodka, triple sec, lime and cranberry juice vigorously in a shaker with ice.
Strain into a martini glass, garnish with a lime wedge or the more traditional coin sized piece of orange 'flamed', and serve.

How wrong could it go?

*Famous last words:
Okay so I actually looked up how to "flame" an orange peel...

Friday, 16 December 2011

Beyoncé, you're my favourite.

Katy Perry is an all-American beauty. GaGa is a creative genius. Rihanna is an exotic urban princess.
But it's Beyoncé who tops them all. Perhaps the biggest feminist of them all (not to be confused with a man hater, far from it!). Her message envelopes something deep down we all believe, that women are strong, beautiful, powerful, intelligent, emotional, careful, sexy, creative, maternal, friendly creatures. I'm not ashamed to admit that when I see her on tv, or hear her on the radio or my iPod I just want to get up and dance. Even on the bus home from work I have to stop myself from having a little stomp. (I'm sure other passengers can see me having a little wiggle in my seat!). Of my four favourite female music sensations, Beyoncé is my absolute favourite.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Congratulations Mia & Mike!

An enormous congratulations to Mia and Mike who welcomed their beautiful daughter, Alisha, into the world on November 25th. She's a little angel! I can't wait to meet her in person. xx

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Drug Addict.

Caffeine! If I could wear a big badge that read 'caffeine' I would. Coffee is one of my favourite things. I am friends with the baristas in Starbucks in town and I make a mean cup o' Joe at home too. I always like it black with as many sugars as I can take. The only trouble is that the general british public aren't that clever when it comes to brewing good coffee. Please don't give me Nescafe or another granule based beverage. Bleugh.
I haven't enjoyed milk in coffee since I was 18, but I always ask coffee shops to 'leave space for milk' as it really bugs me when they fill it right to the top and then it spills all over your hand, even if they put a lid on it.
I like simple coffee. But it's ever so easy to get wrong.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A day to remember.

This was one of the best, lazy, easy days of this summer. It was in my friend's Sophie's big green garden in Whitchurch in Cardiff. We had booze, happy music and oodles of glorious sunshine. I really look forward to another secret trampoline party. Thank you for a day I'll never forget Sophie.
(Follow Sophie on Twitter @Soph_Olive).

Monday, 5 December 2011

My first true love.

I had my first notion of Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin's irreplaceable leading lady, Tank Girl, when I was a very young girl and the older traveller girls had photos, canvas prints, tee shirts and even hair styles devoted to her. I would dress up as this majestic demon of a tomboy for Halloween when I could find enough tatty punk clothes small enough, or enough camouflage print fabric and a plaster for my forehead.
When I was 14 years old my Dad gave me two thick paperbacks. The back to back comics of Tank Girl, right from the very beginning, with a new insight to her childhood and the roots of her rebellion.
Her real name is Rebecca Buck, something few people know. She has a boyfriend called Booga, a mutant kangaroo. I guess it's no surprise that she drives a tank, and actually used to work for the government until she was outlawed for obnoxious behaviour and became a bounty hunter. The comic's style was heavily influenced by punk visual art, and strips were frequently deeply disorganized, anarchic, absurdist, and psychedelic. The strip features various elements with origins in surrealist techniques, fanzines, collage, cut-up technique, stream of consciousness, and metafiction, with very little regard or interest for conventional plot or committed narrative.
Basically she never grew up, never gives in and never lets you down. I wouldn't have it any other way.

True Colours.

I am a fickle, materialistic little girl at heart. I can admit it.
But new nail polish makes me so happy.
I had walked past these Rimmel nail colours in Boots quite a few times, but it was yesterday when I had finished all of my Christmas shopping and I had pennies to spare I took a chance and bought them.
I'm so glad I did because they are beautiful!
I'd had 'Barry M' mint green and lilac polishes, but they were old and clumpy. I was pretty geared up to just replace them with the same, but after using Rimmel polishes for the last few weeks I am happy to announce that it's the range for me.
So, dear Internet, I present to you 'Rimmel Professional Finish' in '500 Peppermint', '420 Aqua Cool' and '312 Ultra Violet'.
For work today I've gone with Aqua Cool.
Ahh the benefits of working the late shift.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas Cheer.

Today I finally finished all of my Christmas shopping, well, for presents at least. As I am wandering through Christmas shoppers, surrounded by decorations, I found a small brass band playing lovely soft festive music.
That, my friends, surely is one of the best ways to spread Christmas cheer.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Presents for blokes?

I could buy anything, just anything for any of you girls and you'd be chuffed to bits. A tea cup with a funny moustache on it, or a necklace from Topshop, or a new bit of make up. Anything.
Pointless stuff for guys is utterly pointless. Somebody as tried and totally FAILED to come up with tat for blokes. A speaker that looks like a rubiks cube? WTF - LAME! Even a snow globe with a photo together in it seems a bit too soppy. A book of jokes? Great, that's original. Even bodycare sets are a bit rubbish. 'Here have a bodywash that you might not like the smell of, and a razor with a blunt blade because of health and safety reasons'. Brilliant.
What about another tshirt? What witty slogan will he like, should I just get one with a photo of boobs printed on it? How about a racey calendar, is it too cliche?
Someone, please. I genuinely need help.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Torre del Mar market.

On my quick trip to Spain my friends took me to Torre del Mar market. An experience I have taken part in numerous times, but if it's sunny (and it usually is) it's a nice way to spend the morning, strolling around after a good coffee. I bought a mango that was about the size of my head. A neon woven bracelet from some south americans with JULIA sown into it (the Spanish call me that instead of Jillie). Ballerina pumps for 4€.
It's really busy and there's tonnes of colour but to find something of real use you have to dig quite a bit. The food is good though, loads of fruit and veg and sweets. Far too much to look at :) 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Flight 8611 is now ready for boarding...

I love airports, planes and flying.
I always find packing a bit tedious, I stress and pack too much and then empty my case and do it all again. But then you get out the door and you're on your way. I love travelling to the airport, I just get so excited, my body knows where we're going.
It's been a long time since I had a big good bye scene at Departures, so for the last few years check in, baggage drop and security have been over and done with quickly. My case was 2 kilos overweight but thankfully my check in attendant was decent enough to let me cram 2 kilos into my hand luggage. I should have just paid the £10 charge, as the zip on my big hand bag then broke. It's okay, I think I can fix it.
The new North Terminal in Gatwick is excellent. At one point I was certain I was at a space station. Lots of new areas that are all chrome and glass and white and blue lights. A striking contrast to the old decor throughout the rest of the building (cream walls, green and blue carpets, yellow signs).
Thank god for Duty Free. I've said before that I never buy anything, but I seriously waste some concessions time by trying make up, drowning myself in different perfumes. I love it. It is in this cloud of scents that I march towards my gate, after 45 minutes of nervously glancing at the screens.
After a painfully long wait at the gate we all rush on to the plane and I manage to get a window seat towards to back. I immediately sink into my book (Carla from work lent me the Sookie Stackhouse novels, True Blood, and I've had them ages and haven't had brain space to get stuck in) hoping to forget the boring taxi phase of my flight.
Then it's happening. The most exciting part of flying - take off. I love it, as soon as I feel that lurch of the plane heaving itself off the ground I starting grinning like a lunatic. I can't help myself, it's just a happy place for me. Then we start the climb to 30 thousand feet and I can watch the earth beneath us float away. Cars on the motorway, rivers, houses. Then you hit the clouds and suddenly break through to a different world. Above the clouds where the sun is just starting to disappear. It's uber dreamy.
Flight highlight? Asking for a black coffee with sugar and I got served Starbucks?! :) It doesn't take much to keep me happy.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

It's been another year already?

Tonight they turned on the Christmas Lights in Cardiff. I think most of the county poured into the capital just to witness the event. I guess it happened shortly before I left work today at five, as when I left through the staff doors Queen Street was jam packed. Anyway, this now means - IT'S CHRISTMAS!
Let the Christmas tunes roll in, let's go shopping for presents, get wrapped up in scarfs and gloves, sip hot chocolate in 'red cups', decorate the apartment, calls from grandparents, writing out Christmas cards.
I must admit that until recently, I think I... (I warn you, this is a bit harsh...) I hated Christmas.
I hated Christmas music, shopping for stupid presents, I missed warm sunshine, I wanted hot beverages in a normal cup, I liked our tidy apartment, I could talk to my grandparents any time, I dreaded the wrist cramp from writing out pointless cards.
I wasn't always brought up to hate Christmas, my parents and family went to a lot of trouble to make sure our Christmases were pretty damn good. I think when I 'grew up' and I knew it wasn't a celebration of really anything, that I began to lose interest. I wasn't brought up to disbelieve in God, but rather to believe in my own version of God. So I never went to church, I wasn't baptised, or christened (unlike both of my parents). So Christmas wasn't a religious event.
The biggest family Christmas I can remember was when we all lived in Gill Gill Cottage in Nenthead. I can remember all four of us kids tearing down stairs, after our parents had only gone to bed an hour or so before preparing all of our presents. I can remember all eating together. I can remember all of our toys. The huge fire (at least it seemed huge at the time). The tinsel. Eating sweets and watching Christmas shows on the teevee.
Boyfriend is fanatical about Christmas time. I like to think he has brought it out in me. Put on some Bing Crosby, switch the fairy lights on, rustle the wrapping paper and he's like a ... well, a kid at Christmas.
I'm sure the saying goes, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
(p.s. It's only 44 sleeps until Christmas!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Can't get enough!

Recently downloaded all Coldplay albums, and I forgot how much I love this song! "Shiver" (released in 2000!).

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Old photos from Dad's place. Holiday next week!

Dad just called to confirm he's collecting me from Malaga airport next Monday so I couldn't be more excited. I'm happily surprised that he remembered I'm visiting and that he called to make sure everything was still going ahead. I swear that man is getting sensible with age. I'm going to see Dad, wife and baby brother and my 2 best friends in the whole world one of which is heavily pregnant, oh I can't wait!
Love going to Spain, it feels like I'm going back to my childhood home. My favourite view in the whole world is from my Dad's first house, out over the Axarquia valley.
Planning a big girly night in for our Mum To Be, pyjamas, good food, nail painting, face masks... Which should be excellent. Not to mention - A WEEK OFF WORK! Sadly, going it alone, Le Boyfriend is busy working. Gutted he won't be with me, but I guess our reunion will be like the stuff dreams are made off.
All in all - very excited.
(Did I mention it's like going back in time about 20 years? So no real connection to the outside world for me for FIVE WHOLE DAYS, ugh).

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Do I want to give in?

Ladies, I need your opinion. Do I go for foundation that is just a smidge darker than my usual tone - of course only a very slight shade "darker" as I don't wish to have tan lines like I've held my face in dirty dish water for hours - or not? I tried my friend's foundation as I was feeling a bit naked in work and her tone wasn't quite like mine, but I swear to god, I looked a whole new me. Actually a bit healthier.
Now, I am naturally oh so ghostly pale, which I have embraced, whole hearted. (If only I looked like Nicola Roberts!). Do I betray my inner pale face and head for the bronzer? I don't know if it's a mentally stable route to take. Where would my "darker" foundation quest lead me? Would I feel a bit "healthier" if I had a sunbed? (God forbid - no offense to those who do, but it's not for me). I don't want to hide my 'natural beauty', but is it wrong to wear a bit of war paint to feel, in a healthy way, more confident? Like I said, ladies, I need your opinion.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Married, Single, Other?

Relationships, the definitive social status. Couples dinner parties, double dates, inquisitive parents, expectant friends, eager onlookers, watching the phone, checking your email. Do we build relationships based on other people's expectations? What have we become?
I, for one, have had enough of other people and their expectations. In fact, expectations all together.
Thankfully I have decent relationships (partner, family, work and friends). Do our relationships define us? No doubt. Am I 'married' to my partner, 'single' in the work place, and 'other' amongst family and friends? If I want to be. As long as everyone is happy we don't have to rise to what other people have defined. Not one relationship is the same as the next. At the end of each day, when you close the door behind you on the world and it's chaos, if you and the people near by are at ease it doesn't matter one tiny bit what the world thinks.
So, cliched ideals, screw you.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

We did it!

Yes, yes, we finally went roller blading and I'm happy to say that we didn't fall over once :) of course two days later and my muscles are still aching, we were out there for two and half hours! Anna is an absolute dare devil, flinging herself down viciously steep hills while I creep behind holding on to the rail. Still, amazing fun and I can't wait to try it again. After hitting Roath Park we stopped at Milgi's Cafe for lunch and I gotta say, it was lush! Definitely stop there again if I had the chance, full on veggie cafe, quirky decor, mismatched tables, giant yurt in the back yard, amazing food, cocktails and music? Brilliant stuff. (Mam, I'll take you when you visit!).

Thursday, 27 October 2011

I didn't forget you.

Hello blog! Sorry I went away... Has it really been ten days? Doesn't time fly when you have to work ALL weekend, and then most of the week. But it's all over now. Six days of full on, hard core work. I feel like such a trooper! Thankfully I now have THREE DAYS OFF. All at once. One after the other.
(I know six days isn't really very long, I used to work a six day week not so many years ago! But on a particularly busy week, and feeling ill to boot, I very nearly didn't make it!)
This almost never happens. I can almost see my free time stretching out ahead of me and I can feel myself grinning like a maniac. Tom has made the transition of Crazy Work Jill to Happy Relaxed Jill much easier by handing me a dish of hot food as I drag my swollen, blistering feet through the door. Now he brings me a small bowl of chocolate, half a bar broken up in pieces, into the office. What a sweet heart (this is REAL LOVE).
Day one of my weekend off will be devoted, in most part, to sleeping. Maybe a really hot bath and clean pyjamas at lunch time. Order in a take away.
Day two is a little more sociable. Getting up early to meet Anna Mac for a practise run on our roller blades in the park - I've checked the weather forecast, thanks - then lunch. Afterwards it's back home to get ready for Mr. Morgan's Halloween Party. (Which, by the way, could just be the party of the year. Bossman Morgan has high standards).
Day three, nurse hangover. Do house stuff.
All in all, a damn good weekend ahead.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Roller blades! Hurray!

Would you just feast your eyes on what I got today...
Fran, you are a total legend for getting these to me, I owe you a big favour - you've brought me such joy! I can't wait for mine and Anna Mac's roller blade adventures! Next day off = Day 1 of Practising. We'll start off in Roath Park, then once we're good... no wait... once we're not as shit then maybe we'll try Cardiff Bay. Free roller blades. Today has been a great day.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thanks Boyfriend!

Tasha's 21st :)

Happy 21st Birthday Tash! Hope you had a great night! You looked gorgeous and it was lovely to see everyone :) Thank you Revolution for having us (and putting up with us). Such a laugh.

Friday, 14 October 2011

I love True Blood!

So I've got my hands on the entire forth series of True Blood. I've barely had any sleep, I've just watched episode after episode. I think I need help!
I'm not going to screw about with spoilers, let Wikipedia do that (and trust me it does!).
All I can say is it's absolutely AMAZING and I need series five.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

My favourite movie.

Let me tell you why.

The music is fantastic. I have the sound track on my iPod and I listen to it a few times a week. It's a small reminder that good music is out there and other people are aware of it. I think I was 9 when I first got the cassette.

The highly irrelevant plot is smothered by fantastic screenplay. The dance contest - "I do believe that my husband, your boss, told you to take me out and do whatever I wanted. I want to dance, I want to win. So dance good.", the car journey with Vincent and Jules "What do they call a Big Mac in France?".

The characters are all bad ass. Jules and Vincent. Mrs. Mia Wallace. Butch. Marcellus. Jimmie.
It makes me laugh, cry, think, dance about and sing along.
The title hits the nail on the head. A juicy, pulp filled fictitious roller coaster. The 'swept under the rug' social issues of crime, gangs, rape and drugs, all addressed and tossed aside and tied up with a big Tarrantino bow.
Then it's all over, you turn the telly off and it's over. Just a gritty story. I love it.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


I've lived in Cardiff for nearly four years and I'd wondered where all the sheep were?
Seriously, you might get the odd one or two in a passing field, but for all the cocky jokes you hear about Wales and sheep I was expecting there to be a pest problem.
Well I found them. They're all congregating up in Aberystwyth (yeah, I've spelled that right).
I'm no stranger to mountains and fields and sheep, but there were gangs of sheep as far as the eye could see. Clinging to steep rocky hillsides, wandering across big green fields.
Sheep country. (Also, it was a pretty gorgeous drive there from Cardiff, up over the Brecon Beacons. Thank you sunshine!)