Thursday, 29 November 2012

This Week I...

Cardigan - made by Mother
Shirt - H&M
Dress - Debenhams
Converse - gift clothes!  I'm 4 days into a 5 day week - I can't handle the constant blackness, I don't have that many black clothes so I've basically been rotating this dress with a skirt and many top layers.  I'm rather cosy today though, handmade knitwear is definitely the warmest :)
The A-Team - the movie version!  Hilarious and ridiculous as ever - sometimes it's nice to just switch your brain off and stare at Bradley Cooper with his top off...
Love Actually - I started my Christmas movies a bit early this year...
You've Got Mail - I remember liking this at the time but it was very dated and irritating ten years on - holy faff, try fourteen years actually, wow! (I actually forgot internet existed that long ago, feeling rather old now)
Rise of the Guardians 3D - I print checked it this morning, it's wonderful and magical and festive, take the kiddies and yourself to see it soon!
Homeland - This was one of those things that EVERYONE hyped up and I just didn't care that much...  It wasn't bad, but I didn't find it ground-breakingly amazing either.  Still trying to decide if I'll watch season two.
Peep Show - It's back!  And even more hilarious somehow ('Jeremy, Gerard's died of the flu' 'Bullshit!'), I was in fits the whole way through.

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling - Hmm... I did like this, but nothing really happened until the last thirty or so pages.  And it has so. many. characters.  My brain was confused every time I picked it up.
Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon - My friend is a huge fan of this writer so I've read all her books now, and just started this one, which I got hooked on last night.  They require no brainpower and you may snort in disbelief occasionally but I've been eating them up ;)


Eh, no Christmas pressies so far, but I did buy a new (used) compact Nikon camera and some replacement ear buds on eBay - exciting stuff!

NikNaks (many many NikNaks - I've gone off them now!), Dairy Milk Oreo, more Lidl baked goods and Mars Caramels - all great junk food really!

listened to...
Lots of dance music, since I finally got over my cold and started running again, yay!

How's everyone's week been?  Anything exciting going on?


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Knitting jumpers and new jeans...

Jumper - handmade
Top - Long Tall Sally
Jeans - Vera Moda via TK Maxx
Slippers - BHS

 I finally finished knitting my jumper!  This was after running out of wool and not being able to find anything matching anywhere, so I had to shorten the sleeves a bit...  Not ideal but it's done so yay!  I made it a size up so it was nice and slouchy (clearly a mistake where the amount of wool was concerned), and I did make sure I had enough wool, really I did!  It must have been because the pattern recommends you use a certain type, but surely 50g is 50g regardless?  Or am I being dense about maths again?  Meh, who cares, it's done!  I need a new project now - think it's time to raid Mother's stash again ;)
  I found these jeans in TK Maxx last week IN MY SIZE!  Ok, they were a size up, but they still fit and most importantly, they have a 36" inside leg, perfect.  I'd never heard of Vera Moda before but I may have to hunt them out if they're gonna be useful in future!

  I'm in slippers cause it's been a sewing and movie day since I got in from the gym - I'm hemming my friends trousers and trying to make an incredible vintage skirt fit me by moving the zip a bit.  It seems easy enough when I'm merrily unpicking things but I generally faff something up by miscalculating the sewing it back together part...   Altho that can wait until tomorrow since I'm working tonight and I'm totally not prepared yet.  Anyone taking advantage of Orange Wednesday?  What are you seeing?


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Faff Favourites...

  Well I've been fairly productive today, being that it's a Sunday, the day when it's ok to be lazy.  I even went to the gym!  Which was in fact a great idea, the place was dead, my favourite state.  I also realised that my new gym top (Nike from TK Maxx) says I support Inter Milano...I just liked the fit of it...  Afterwards I went to Lidl to test more of their bakery goodies - I picked up a cinammon swirl, multigrain loaf, some ciabatta rolls, a pumpkin seed roll and another pretzel.  I can safely say the cinammon swirl wasn't a patch on, well any other one I've ever had, but they also had chocolate croissants and a variety of donuts, so I'm still testing!  Anyway, here's a few quick links - I've just realised Mermaids is on tv and I must watch it in tribute to my childhood self :)

43 People You Won't Believe Actually Exist - how I laughed.  Probably too much.

DOGS!!! (with sounds!)

This DIY project is too cute

A Time To Grow Up - no idea when that'll be...

I wish I could be more like this lady... there's a chance I'm not quick-thinking enough!


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Exploring an abandoned carpet factory...

  Another random derelict building tour for you!  This one is from a few weeks ago, and wasn't remotely scary, unlike the castle...  Much like the castle though, there were quite a few pigeons present, my favourite! (not really, I'm not very fond of birds in close vicinity - and these ones did not like being disturbed from their homes in the stairwells.)  The carpet factory is pretty much right between my place and Moffats, and since we only live a mile from each other it was deliciously nearby!  The factory shut in the mid 1970s due to declining profits, and most of it hasn't been inhabited since then, although the back part was used as a DIY showroom until a few years ago.  I'm sure you'll be able to guess from the pictures which part is which ;)

We found the bosses toilet right at the top of the building, with the best view, loving it!

Who can spot the piles of bird poo on the beams? (far too easily amused, I know)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Florals, knitwear and essential baked goods...

Knitted jumper - charity shop
Dress - F&F via charity shop
Shoes - Matalan (here in satin)

 Yesterday I decided to actually get dressed on a day off - yay...!  This had nothing to do with the fact that I'd run out of junk food (unusually), I just took a rare notion to get out of the house for a wander.  I went to the pound shop to get some wrapping paper for eBay parcels and realised the Christmas lights switch on was gearing up to happen, so it was a rather quick wander...being around crowds of people has started to annoy me, I'm very much a believer in personal space!  Luckily I only live a few minutes walk from town, so I grabbed what I needed then went a wee detour to Lidl.  Which has a bakery now.  Faff.  If there's one thing I consider essential to life, it's freshly baked bread products.  Bagels, pastries, baguettes, every kind of crusty roll - I'll try them all at least once.  And often much more.  I don't care two hoots for the pre-packed stuff - it wouldn't occur to me to buy sliced bread and morning rolls (although I do have a soft spot for New York multi seed bagels, mmmm) - but bakery bread sure makes up a decent part of my diet.  I was quite well behaved and just picked up a wee baguette for dinner and... a pretzel!  They had pretzels!  I'm afraid I'm a bit obsessed with pretzels at the mo, probably because they seem to be the one thing you can't just go out and buy in a supermarket (can you?) for some reason, and my town is not exactly good at spotting a gap in the market (we have three Greggs on one street...).  It got scoffed a bit too quickly for me to get a pic, but I fully intend to go back soon to do further tests - at 39p each I'm quite prepared to do multiple tastings, just to be sure I like them ;)

  Oh and I'm wearing new shoes too!  I don't buy flats very often (Converse go with everything, I find...) but I spotted these in Matalan and couldn't resist.  Plus some of my old shoes bit the dust recently so they were a totally practical purchase...yeah...

Feel free to share your bakery recommendations in the comments - I'm loving Tesco at the mo since they've revamped their range of rolls, but I'm also thinking Lidl needs another visit so I can taste more of the new products!


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Faff Favourites...

 Moffat sent me some of the pics he took on our castle outing - now you can see how I dress when I'm being utterly practical.  Raincoat - check.  Cosy bobble hat - check.  Borrowed wellies - check.  I really need to get me a pair of wellies now don't I, that's twice this fall they've come in handy.  I swear I won't start wearing them around town though, that's just one step too far...  But next time I need to climb a derelict staircase coated in pigeon poo, they'll be on my feet!

So, you'll be wanting some Sunday links to fill your afternoon with faffing, right?  Me too.  Here ya go then :)

Sarah wrote a great post about how she comes up with blog posts.  This is going in my bookmarked collection.

Following on from the ideas post, Five ways to be a more efficient blogger.

I love Ashley's writing anyway, but I've just downloaded her debt e-book and I'm excited to read about her journey.  Not that I have any debt but I love reading about how other people spend and save money.

20 Hilarious Twilight Comics.  You will laugh.  A LOT.

Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me.

31 Insanely Easy and Clever DIY Projects.  The name says it all.  Fabbyness.

These sketchbook pages are so cool!

How to trick people into thinking that you have it all figured out.  No-one takes me seriously.  It's starting to bug me.  So I may test out some of these ideas ;)

Meredith's sweater makeover is insanely cute.

7 cheap ways to switch up your space.  My living room is bugging me right now so I'm gonna start moving furniture around...some of these tips should come in handy!


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

This Week I...

Jumper - H&M mens
Shirt - Topman
Vest - Topshop Tall
Leggings - Topshop Tall (here)
Converse - gift
 ...and similar comfy clothing!
ER DVDs! - Finally learned to knit on the round!
Found a totally pointless book in charity shop - My 'new' Christmas party dress!

The Sapphires - I was really looking forward to this movie and I did like it, but... I'm not sure, maybe it wasn't as lightweight or funny or realistic as I was expecting?  Which is slightly ironic considering it was based on a true story ;)
Chernobyl Diaries - a slightly (ok, very) daft horror movie that my flatmate rented, but I have a bit of a curiosity about Chernobyl so it wasn't a total waste of 90 minutes.
Skyfall - again!  The first time I saw it was when I was print checking it at work in a lovely empty screen with my tea and the volume booming...this time the screen was rather full, which I find distracting, but the movie was very much as fab as the first time.  I think Casino Royale was still slightly better, but this film did have a super origin story included.  And once again I spent the whole movie wishing to be THAT cool - maybe my next career change should take more of Bond direction...
Legends of the Fall - it was on TV the other night so I had to watch it.  I kinda love this movie for whatever reason - it might be a bit depressing but Brad Pitt was definitely at his hottest here!
ER (season 15) - I'm so close to the end I can almost taste it!  I'm about half way through the season, and I'm finding it all a bit boring, as if they're just plodding along to finally reach the end point.  The start of the season was pretty shocking - Abby and Kovac left (my faves) and Pratt DIED!  Did not see that coming, gutted.  I've heard the end is good tho, gonna just push through and get it over with! (that's what she said?)
Girls - Mother has been recording this for me so I've been watching it when I come to visit.  I think we're about half way through the season now, still not sure how much I like it (I don't find it remotely funny, maybe I'm missing a point?) but clearly enough to keep going...
Married to Jonas - now, I'm a bit of a reality TV hater (unless we're talking about the Duggars, I LOVE that family!) but I was channel flicking the other night and settled on this out of curiosity.  It's not the worst thing ever... it follows the oldest Jonas brother Kevin and his wife - think Newlyweds but with a smarter Jessica Simpson character (just remembered I used to watch every day after school, sigh...) They both seem kinda lovely so I can't really be irritated by it...yet ;)

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes - I do like a good Marian Keyes novel - I seem to pick up so many random books in the library that it's nice to go back to something familiar sometimes.  I'm slowly reading my way through her books, and I think this is one of my favourites - it follows Rachel, who is in complete denial about being a drug addict, despite almost dying from an overdose.  The story is told from her point of view and mostly takes place in a rehab centre - I do like these kind of books where you get an insight into random situations that you'd normally never be particularly interested in!
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien - I've just started this and all I can see in my head are the parts of the trailer where the dwarves are hanging out in Bilbo's house...that's as far as I've got, but it's a nice easy read so all good :)

listened to...
Red by Taylor Swift - I still can't get enough of this album!  My faves are 'The Last Time' with Gary Lightbody (my other fave singer!), 'The Moment I Knew' and 'Sad Beautiful Tragic' - basically all the depressing songs, I can't help it, I love her sad voice.

The Beekeepers Quilt - I finally faced my fear of knitting with those double pointed needles to have a go at this pattern - and it's so freaking easy I want to kick myself! It's like when I put off learning to link the blu-ray player to our projectors cause it looked so tricky and it was the easiest thing ever.  Anyway, I purchased this pattern recently as a 'filler' project - I tend to start knitting bigger things then lose interest half way through, so I figured if I had something to do in the inbetween times I'd at least still be knitting... and I reckon this could be a long project!  I'm also making a jumper and I'm so close to being done...except that I've run out of wool and not a single shop has anything to match, so I'm gonna have to shorten the sleeves in order to finish it.  Grumpy Face.  But at least it WILL be finished thank god!

A completely awesome 80s party dress that I found in the window of the charity shop yesterday.  I was going in anyway but I made a beeline for the ladies at the counter and asked to try it...and it fits!  Mostly, I just gotta take in the bust a tiny bit (which is usually the opposite problem of wearing vintage for me!), but for £5 I'm quite happy to get my sewing machine out.  I still have the petticoat from this dress which I'm thinking might work with it for added twirling!
I also picked up an interesting looking book - This Diary Will Change Your Life.  It is a diary (unused) but it also seems to be a book of random facts and challenges.  Really I just wanted a better look at it and for 50p it seems worth losing a few hours over.

Cinammon and oat star biscuits from Asda bakery, a cream slice from the local bakery and tomato soup with plain bread (the one with the burnt looking chewy crusts!) - heavenly!

I want to know what everyone else has been up to!  How has your week been?


Monday, 12 November 2012

Exploring an abandoned castle...

  As I mentioned in yesterdays post, my friend Moffat and I went exploring round an old castle near where we grew up.  The castle itself has been derelict since the late 1960s, when the roof was removed so as to avoid paying tax on the property (or so I was told), but the servants house was occupied until about twelve years ago, funnily enough by the family of a girl I was friendly with at school.  I could probably call this my first ever explore actually, since she took me up there to look around about a year after they moved out.  And boy has it changed since then.  A mixture of the natural elements and vandalism has not been kind to the whole place, although as you can see from my pics the exteriors still looks stunning.

First we looked around the servants area.  The main building sits opposite the castle with a big overgrown courtyard in the middle.  Above you can see the back of it, where the car garage and stables were.

 Inside the part of the house my friend lived in - I didn't fully appreciate the extend of the damage until I was looking at the pics on my computer this morning...  As you can imagine, it also smelled pretty strongly of damp.
 In what was the kitchen (obviously).  I remember this room pretty clearly from years ago and it's sad to see just how much it's changed in that time.  My friend had her own space upstairs with two bedrooms, which I also have vivid memories of, since they were bright and the walls covered in quotes.  We managed to get up the stairs but couldn't actually walk on the floor since it was so rotten.
 And here's the castle!  It's a beauty isn't it?  This is actually the new castle - when the original family lived there 200ish years ago, they lived in another castle along the road, then build this one slightly later.  Then extended it on either side.  I guess they had space issues ;)
 The servants house from the front.  Moffat said there were few windows and doors on that side so the family didn't have to look onto the poor folks...  That actually sounds crazy enough to be true!
 We entered the castle through a basement door just below the main front entrance.  Now here's where I started to get uncomfortable.  Maybe I've been watching too much Downton Abbey, but it was a bit depressing walking around the many, many rooms down there where an army of servants worked to keep the place running, just for it all to fall to pieces in the end anyway.  In case you can't tell yet, my morbid fascination with old buildings always leads to a bit of a depressed, nostalgic mood at some point, I have that kind of personality!
 An old cooking station.
 A room full of bread ovens (and Moffat creeping around...) - there were two more of these rooms as well, clearly they were into baking! ;)  We both agreed they were a bit morgue like tho...
 A dumbwaiter!  We looked inside and could see the whole height of the building, what a great invention.
 We found a wee spiral staircase and went up to the ground floor, partly cause I get claustrophobic and was on the verge of freaking out being below ground level, despite all the windows!  It was also starting to get dusky outside, which wasn't helping my overall frame of mind (neither was the fact I watched Chernobyl Diaries this week - if you've seen it you'll know what I mean!)  All the floors inside have been removed, so the castle is just a shell now.

This is the main staircase - another spiral!  It was hard to get in a good position for photographing it, but it's really quite stunning.  Many years ago I climbed up to the top and you could see for miles - now the debris gets pretty bad about half way up, making it unadvisable to try that again.  Plus my freaking out was getting quite visible at this stage so we decided to call it a day.  After almost getting lost in the overgrown gardens, we found the path back to the car again, and I interrogated Moffat about the history of the place so as to distract myself from thinking about how it was dark, I was in the middle of a forest and our torch battery was about to run out...  All in all though it was a great place to explore, if maybe slightly late in the day by the time we set off.  We'll definitely be back earlier next time so I can see the other castle too!  And I will not be wearing tights, since my legs were scratched to pieces by the overgrowth... (my tights seemed shockingly unscathed tho, go Tesco!)

Has anyone else been exploring?  Got any tips for me?


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Faff Favourites...

Something very important and exciting happened yesterday... I got to hang out with one of my all time fave bloggers Sarah Rooftops!  (yes that's totally her full name)  After discovering each others blogs last year, we've been pretty much yapping non stop since - especially since we discovered the joys of Twitter...  Anyway, we decided ages ago it was time to meet up, so Sarah picked Glasgow and I happily agreed, since it's a mere hour from me and I'm insanely lazy I love any excuse to head up there.  After some pretzels and LOTS of yapping (mostly about our past careers as projectionists!) we headed to the cinema for The Sapphires and ice cream, and I liked Sarah even more when I realised she wasn't one of those annoying folk that talks through movies ;)  Some wandering about in the rain was done afterwards, when we tried to find a place to take some self portraits - we ended up in a random alleyway, hence the one squinty picture I managed to get!  I know Sarah got some cool architecture pics too so look out for a future post from her!

Afterwards I went home to Mothers, since I realised my train ticket could get me there without paying any extra, yes!  I spent the rest of the night faffing online, so here's some fun links for ya'll...

5 Tips For Dressing For The Cold (especially the 'wear thermals' one)

Someone must have seen inside my head when they wrote this super review of the last episode of Downton Abbey! 'it’s amazing JF managed to tie up almost every plotline in the series quite so neatly, and with such little pay off.'

My friend has started taking me along to explore abandoned buildings with him - it's super fun!  (although today's adventure involved a creepy castle, come back tomorrow for pics!)  I totally love these pics of the Japanese version, featuring theme parks...

32 Mistakes We're All Going To Make.  (Un)fortunately it's kinda accurate...

I usually don't care two hoots for recipes but... BROWNIE STUFFED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!!  I am there!


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Visiting Caernarfon Castle...

  My favourite thing we did in Wales was explore Caernarfon Castle on the first day (that one day it didn't rain).  It was just along the road from where we were staying, so it was pretty much the first 'touristy' place we came to and therefore we had to act like proper tourists and have a nosy :)  It turned out to be a lot of fun - after you pay admission you can run around most of the building and museum, and there were all sorts of nooks and crannies and random staircases and passageways.  The staircases were fine on the way up but, being so narrow, were horrible to get down!  Eventually Mhairi and I gave up and parked ourselves inside in the museum, which was also spread over a few levels but with real modern staircases for big feeted people!  I couldn't resist taking about a million pics so be grateful I managed to narrow it down...

  Hours later, we eventually resurfaced and got lunch nearby, then drove to Anglesey and walked on the beach, where Mhairi paddled in the water and I climbed up some rocks without falling.  A successful day all around I'd say!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012


  Is it just me or does it suddenly seem way more difficult to get out of bed lately?  Personally, I'm blaming the temperature.  My flat is not particularly warm at the best of times but the past few weeks I've been taking a hot water bottle and hoodie to bed, so when I wake up in the morning I'm so cosy toasty sizzling warm that getting up just seems like some horrendous torture, second only to stepping out the shower into a freezing bathroom.  Luckily, I can usually sleep in a bit since my shifts tend to start post 12pm most of the week, but I've also become even less productive than usual.  I have however finished a lot of books, so I'm keeping my local library open ;)
Cardigan - charity shop
Dress - Next via charity shop
Converse - gift
Belt - charity shop

  When I actually do manage to become vertical and get dressed, I've been reaching for my thickest, cosiest knitwear.  This cardigan is definitely a fave - thick AND colourful, win win!  I've actually been dragged out of the house a few times already this week - Friday night was dinner and drinks night with friends at our local pub (5 minute walk from my house, mwahaha!), then on Saturday my pal Moffat pulled me out the library in the afternoon and we went to explore an abandoned factory nearby.  I've been pestering him about taking me urban exploring for ages and it was extremely interesting - I'm gonna check out how my pics turned out so watch this space!  Afterwards we inhaled a McDonald's for dinner and he went off to a Halloween party - I managed to plead no costume as an excuse to stay on the couch, somehow I don't think my 'shepherd' look would have been acceptable...  Sunday Mother was off work so she came up to go to the shops, and of course I had to tag along, since lunch was included!

  I'm now counting down the days til my next week off - 4 more shifts to be precise, then freedom!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

A lazy ass Halloween costume...

Thursday night was our Halloween party at the Cubs, and as far as I was aware, being in costume was expected.  Especially when I had a school trip in my work earlier that day consisting of half my cubs all wanting to know what I'd be wearing.  Sigh.  Not being someone who dresses up like, ever, I really had to stretch my imagination to come up with something wearable, and in the end I clearly decided my brain had been stretched too much and went with something simple - a shepherd!  Now I'm aware this may not be obvious from the pics (no I am not just wearing my usual nightly attire, as if, pah!) so let me talk you through it...

  Shepherds look after sheep first and foremost, so I made sure I had lots of them.  Luckily I'd just sewn up some new pj's with fabby sheep fabric, so I had hundreds there!  Then I added my slippers and Red, easy!  I went on to assume that shepherds also wear woolly jumpers, hair ribbons and glitter eyeliner (ahem) and my outfit was complete!

  This is possibly the best fabric ever!

  Admittedly this kid gave me a withering look when I explained what I was...but look at him!  Clearly he put in more of an effort than I did, so I let him off ;)  In fact all the kiddies looked fab - one had stuck a zip to his face and covered himself in gory makeup so it looked like his skin had been unzipped (like this), then topped it off with a hooded cloak to add to the creepy effect, it was awesome!  Unfortunately the zip fell off before I could get a pic, which he was most annoyed about.

  I'm afraid this post is a bit later than I planned, my net broke down again and I'm finally getting a new dongle send out so hopefully I'll be up and running by next weekend!

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