Sunday, 13 April 2014

...catching up (a March rundown)!

I ha so many plans for blogging in March - reviews, finishing my New York posts, college/work chat. Clearly, none of that happened, but I reckon if a do a wee March catch up I can get a few of them done in the next couple of weeks.

 So, in March, work was pretty busy. As well as work March held the end of a block at college, which meant a lot of essay writing and researching (And watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer while I wrote). I'm please to say I've passed these blocks, and I even got 100% for an assignment  this has never happened before an probably never will again - I am a solid 70-85% student. I'm off for two weeks for Easter just now, but the week before, we started the SVQ unit and Protection of Vulnerable People, which are both tough, for different reasons.

One of the things I wanted to work on this year (and one of the reasons this here blog has been neglected) is doing fun things and seeing freinds and family more regularly, despite working shifts and having college. I've managed this pretty well over the last month. I had the second weekend in March off, and I took Hazel for a birthday afternoon tea to Mrs Sloan's Cake Salon. Tea, cake, fizz, company, and lovely surroundings. An excellent afternoon!

A Starbuck's and a photo before we caught our trains home

That's a salted caramel cupcake. it has salted caramel IN THE MIDDLE.

The same weekend, I met up with my Dundee girls in Edinburgh, it was the first time we've managed to all get together in about two years. We had lunch and cupcakes at Cuckoo's Bakery, and I had an excellent cupcake (and I think cupcakes are overrated). We've planned to meet up again in summer and try to make it a regular thing.

On March 23rd, Dave and the band released their new album,  Doctors and Dates, with the release show being held at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow. The supports were ace, the venue is ace (it has entire walls of backlit pallets. Very cool.), and the menfolk played the best I've seen them play. It was rather good.

Small stuff - I bought myself a new handbag, and Mhairi brought me a lovely mustard purse home from a trip to Rome. I've lost another little bit of weight. We've been watching music documentaries on Netflix, and have started watching 30 Rock in an attempt to fill the void left by Parks and Rec. Most of my reading has been uni or independence referendum related, so I am on the hunt for new fictional books if anyone has any suggestions! I finally found a chest of drawers for our bedroom, and above it hangs the deco bevelled mirror Dave's step-mum got for me. I had to rejig furniture, so the bookcase below has returned to the living room, and this wee spot if one of my favourites - the daffodils help.

Friday, 7 March 2014 a Feminist (International Women's Day)

Today is International Women's Day, and the theme this year is Inspiring Change. One of the things I am really grateful for in life is that I am surrounded by inspiring women and feminists.

I've had the opportunity this week to contribute to TYCI Blog's 'This is what feminism looks like' series, and I am immensely proud to be even a small part of the work this brilliant, creative, forward thinking collective. The other posts in the series are smart and honest and inspiring.

Quite a few of my favorite people have contributed to Any Other Woman's international Women's Day series. The posts are varied in topic and beautiful, and they centre around inspiration and change and strength.

Please do click through the links and read. It's through reading posts like these, through subsequent discussions that I've discovered the scope for change that feminism as a movement - and an intrinsic belief - offers.

So, THIS is what some feminists look like. Me and other Lisa-Marie - you can read about her feminism on TYCI too.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

...still here

Oh, my poor, neglected wee blog. That last month has been pretty busy. Work is full on, I have college assignments coming out of my ears, and to top it off, last week I got faint-in-the-pizza-fridge-of-the-Co-op level ill. I'm more or less better now, but clearly some things have to give, and with all my writing attention on assignments, blogging is one of them.

Good stuff this month:
+I've submitted all of my assignments early. And I appear to be passing college.
+Dave and Woody played the Barrowlands on Saturday. And they were on the Reporting Scotland.
+a couple of Saturday's ago, I helped the boys make a music video, and then we celebrated at the Bull Inn. I laughed lots!
+ We went to see Mark McCabe at Nice 'n' Sleazy's - beautiful, thoughtful, resonant acoustic music (and I got a T-shirt. I love merch!).
+ I have read Drieser's 'The Genius' and Curtis Sittenfeld's 'Sisterland'. It feels good to read non-college related books!
+I helped throw a surprise party for Mhairi. She was surprised, the party was epic, and I had a lot of cocktails.
+I delivered my first WRAP training. I think I did it effectively!
+Today and tomorrow I will mostly be chilling. This happens very rarely!

Friday, 3 January 2014

...having a Happy New Year

We spent Christmas in Wales with Dave's parents and his step-grandpa. I took almost no pictures, which was quite remiss on me, being a blogger and all!
We came back last Friday, and I've been working since. We had a small family gathering on Hogmanay - family and food and fizzy wine. Lovely.
And now, a New Year. Last year was mostly really good for us - new jobs for both, our fifth wedding anniversary, our New York trip, college for me, great gigs for Dave, lots of family time, nice meals and good times with friends. We've both gained loads from moving back home.
And so we come to this year's intentions...
...all the work and college means I've had less time for home stuff, which has lefy the flat in a bit of a guddle, so I'm going to do the Apartment Therapy January Cure again and get it sorted, de-Christmassed and organisedfor the coming year.
I'm going to try to do fun things on non-college evenings more - my work-life balance is a bit too work heavy, and I aim to fix that.
And lastly, some learning goals; I'm going to learn to drive, keep up with college, and try to learn basic German - we've a trip planned in April, a good incentive!
Happy New Year lovelies! Feel free to share your intentions for the year ahead - let's hope it's a bright one.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

...a day away from ALL the festive fun.

Blogging appears to be falling to the wayside a bit for me again. The last few weeks have been really busy, and this seems to be one of the things that feels easier to miss out. Except I miss it. Life in the week is still busy - work, college, sleep, repeat. But amongst that, there have been evenings and weekends of nice things...
Google did this twinkly thing. I kind of love it!

...Our first REAL tree, all twinkly with fairylights and long-collected baubles.
...wrapping presents, mince pies and mulled wine, Christmas films.
...a Sunday spent present swapping and carol concert watching with my sister.
The Arches Community Choir.
'It's a Wonderful Life,' in the Marquee at George Square

Sisters. Mulled wine. Woolly stuff!

Paper snowflakes, crochet stars.

Mulled wine, mince pies, prsent wrapping.

Harry Potter, Christmas tree!

And I am very close to five days of loveliness - One more shift at work, an Dave and I are headed for Wales, to see his parents for Christmas. Five days in the countryside, presents and walks and films and the odd pub trip. Food and films. Kitten cuddles.

Merry Christmas my lovely friends. I'll see you all on the flipside. I wish you much delicious food and fun and warmth. :)

Sunday, 1 December 2013

...feeling a little festive (and a tiny bit proud).

Bunting from Hanna Werning print card.
It's the first of December. The last bit of November flew by, much like the rest of the year. I worked ten days in a row on the run up to this weekend. I squeeze in an ace gig and I managed to do some cooking (which has been lacking in my life lately). I continued to go to college, and finished the first block of my HNC. The last three days of those ten at work were WRAP facilitator training, which invloved me overcoming a major personal (an professional) stumbling block, and co-delivering fascilitation. I am petrified of any sort of presentation or public speaking. I once burst into tears in front on 70 of my classmates during a group presentation. I'm happy enough talking in a group, an I taught children no bother, but there's something about getting up in front of a bunch of aults that reduces me to a teary mess. Or, I should say , reduced. Because there were tears at training, but they wear relieved, slightly proud ones after I id my first training introduction. And they were no tears, and fairly well hidden nerves when I did my last practical - delivering an entire section of the training with my co-facilitator. I still can't quite believe I did it. 
Turtle Lamone - Piano Punk Rock. TOO GOOD.
These are now lovely roast veg soup!
I love this spirey-turret. It's on my way home from training.
Fog and frost - winter in Paisley.

I also went over on my ankle on the Thursday morning on the way to training. For about 30 second the searing pain was so sharp I felt nauseous and couldn't hear properly. It is now quite swollen and a particularly nasty brown/yellow/purple, but only aching rather than being very painful. It has also been a good excuse to relax a bit this weekend. So far I've spend most of it pottering about the flat, watching cheesy Christmas films on C5, eating stollen and doing a bit of housework. This morning I got our advent calendar out an filled the pockets with chocolates, and I've begun to festive up the flat - with old favourites, the odd new decoration, and letter bunting made when I should have been doing research. We'd usually put our tree up on the 1st, following the tradition Hazel and I had with our mum, but our fake one broke beyond use last year. We've decided to get a real one this year and Dave is gigging today, so we are going to get it next weekend. I feel like I'm still carrying on the family tradition if I decorate a bit.

The rest of today holds a bit of research, Christmas editions of my favourite magazines, mince pies, spiced apple juice, an more decorating. If anyone would like to share their festive chat, I'd love it!

Monday, 18 November 2013

...rounding up - October and Early November

I realised today that having arrived back from NY a month and a half ago, I haven't really posted about general goings on.
Work - Left, at home and right, at work. That wee frog is my training pal.
Dave arrived home on November 3rd, much to my joy. I'd been home for six week then, and to be honest I'd been struggling a bit. Work stress and college two nights a week and emotional stuff around the anniversary of my mum's death did not a balanced and happy Lisa-Marie make. I found it a bit of a struggle to deal with everything. I'm happy to say I'm finding it a bit easier to now.
In Wales we went to a sheep dog sale. There were lots of dogs and sheep, lots of  4x4s, and about six women among the hundreds of men. There was also a catering van that gave you your tea in an actual mug. It was good fun! Clockwise from top left :family, tea van, lots of people watching dogs herd sheep, sheep!
So, college. To register with the Scottish Social Services Council, which everyone working in social care has to do, I need a qualification. I could have done an SVQ2 through work, but with career development in mind and a serious need for some academia in my life, I've opted to do HNC Social Care part time. I have three hours of tutorials two nights a week plus homework, and I am enjoying it. A lot of the subject matter crosses over into what I studied as a trainee teacher, and I'm enjoying studying sociology again. It means that almost every week, I leave the house around 8am twice and don't get back till 10pm, which feels quite punishing. It'll be worthwhile in the long run though, and my first assignments are done and dusted and passed. Additionally, through work I am training to be WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) facilitator, which is really exciting, both in terms of career development and because I believe strongly in the program.
Relaxation time - A vintage find, reading and knitting, bara brith (Welsh tea loaf), and Cadi,  The sweetest dog ever.
As is probably obvious, this was all a bit of an adjustment, and until a few weeks ago, the 'fun stuff' side of life had fallen to the wayside a bit. I'm getting the balance back again, and have done a few nice things - Bonfire Night at a friend's house, a ladies lunch with my sister and aunt, a baby shower, fireworks at my SIL&BIL's house with their kids and neighbours, and a visit for our nephew's third birthday. I'm slotting small stuff back in too. Time for reading and a bit of knitting, the odd bit of telly, and keeping on top of housework.
Farm life.
Looking forward, I have ten days straight at work, but at the end is a weekend, that will include a Christmas Market, and a bit of Christmas card writing and decoration hanging. The following weekend well have our first REAL Christmas tree, and later in December, a concert and ice skating in Glasgow with my sister. There will also be work stuff and assignments, but I'll deal with them when the time comes!
clockwise from top left - Mhairi's lentil soup, plum cake for B's baby shower, Royal Exchange Square all shiny,  Puddings at Wagamama with other Lisa-Marie, more sparkles, Cranchan lunch with sis and auntie, and a glorious Glasgow evening!