Bring on ’16.

People always ask, where do you see yourself in five years? What are you going to do once you’ve finished your degree? What do you want to do for your career?  And I always fumble out some response and manage to change the subject. Not because I don’t have a plan but because I know how easily things can change. I’ve always had a vague idea in my mind about how I’d like my life to pan out but I don’t like to have too many things set in stone. Tackling things in small doses, with a movable end goal in sight, is how I’ve begun living my life. I still have a solid plan but I like to think that it’s written in pencil rather than ink.

With that in mind, I was thinking about the upcoming year and all the things I want to achieve in those twelve months. I grabbed my trusty notebook and jotted down everything I could think of, and came up with my main five.

  • Reach my ideal weight – having worked hard on achieving this goal for the past months (and having lost 16 pounds so far!), I know 2016 will be the year I reach my target weight.
  • Get my second tattoo – I know what I want, I just need to figure out where to get inked this time!
  • Visit Liverpool – I know I’ve mentioned my eagerness to visit this city before and I’m hoping to get this in motion next year.
  • Eat in a Michelin star restaurant – already booked! You can read about it in my previous post here.
  • Put myself first –  in my mind, the most important item on my list. I’ve put a lot of work into myself and my self-worth, and I want to keep pushing forward.

I absolutely have more than five goals for 2016 but, as I’ve said previously, baby steps. Not need to run before I can walk!  I also have some more personal goals that are for me and me only.

Above all though, I want health and happiness (and if at all possible, a little touch of wealth ;)) for all my friends and loved ones.

What are your wishes for 2016? What do you hope to achieve through the year?

 

 

 

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Two weeks to go!

Two weeks today, I will be on a plane to Dublin and I can’t wait! There are so many reasons I am excited. The main being that I’ve never been to Ireland and that it’ll be 1st December, and the official countdown to Christmas will have begun.

My mother and myself decided early on that we needed a Christmas shopping day and we looked at getting the train to all different places; York, Manchester, Lincoln, Sheffield. We wanted to have a fun day somewhere new where we could how a lovely, big lunch and shop until we drop. It was then that I remembered seeing an offer for really cheap flights from our local airport to Ireland. Chancing it, I had a quick Google and was amazed. We could get a direct flight to Dublin at 7am and a return that evening for the whooping total of £19.98 each! So, of course, we booked it.

Since we are going to another country and have the entire day there, we’ve decided to make the most of it and tick off a few tourist-y bits and pieces too. In addition to our shopping extravaganza and embracing Dublin’s Christmas-y atmosphere, we’re also hitting the Old Jameson Distillery and a few other hot spots. If any of you have been before or have any tips for where to go, I’d be so grateful. Especially, if it’s any restaurant recommendations!

The countdown has begun now and I have my passport and debit card at the ready! I intend to eat, drink and be merry from the time I wake until I drop into my bed later that night. Bring on the 1st!!

 

Just booked my next escapade.

I’m super excited! I have just booked a table at the (newly accredited) Michelin stared restaurant The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds! The chef patron is Mr 85DW_HMichael O’Hare and he’s known for his eccentric look and even more eccentric food. Here’s a little picture of him ->

He’s recently become more well-known after taking part in the TV program The Great British Menu (click here to learn about it) and people are eagerly booking into his restaurant to sample his food.

As per, I’m dragging my mother along with me to sample the twelve course tasting menu and she’s just as excited as I am. After watching Michael O’Hare on the Great British Menu, and reading the rave reviews about his restaurant, I’m giddy at the thought of what magical creations I’ll get to try.

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Unfortunately, since reservations are so in demand, I have to wait until March 2016 for our booking. It’s a bit gutting that there’s such a wait but I know it’ll be worth it. In the meantime, I’ve found a sample menu to drool over and I’ve posted it below so you can join in.

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So, I am counting down the days until I’m sampling all the delicacies Mr O’Hare can throw at me! Bring on The Man Behind the Curtain!!

The best busker you will ever see.

This isn’t some young hopeful with a wonderful voice and a heartfelt tale. This is CLFJg7cWoAAksw6one man who has wowed the people of Leeds over the summer. He plays the keyboard on one of the main streets in the centre of the city and attracts massive crowds. Now, when I say that the busker in question wears a horse mask you may think I mis-typed but I can assure you I didn’t. He actually does wear a horse mask as he plays so no one really knows who he is but many love him.

The horse-busker has a whole repertoire of music he plays and on occasion, a little tambourine on his shoe to accompany himself. Some of the highlights of his performance are the little neighs and whines, as well as slamming his horsey head on the keyboard! Even as I’m writing it sounds so strange but it’s something you just have to see. I guarantee you’ll laugh and love him just as much as I do.

He was the highlight of any visit to Leeds and I’m gonna miss him when he returns to school/work/life of some sort. If you’re in the city over the next few weeks, head over to Briggate and see if he’s out serenading the people.

Useful links!
See him play (credit to Windy Kippers) -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSO_mkmBbws

It’s small world.

So many people tell you what a small world it is and I’ve never really thought much of it. With 7 billion people living on our planet, it seemed more like a saying than a possibility. I have been proved wrong though.

It turns out a fellow blogger on this wonderful website is the daughter of one of my mum’s friends. I stumbled across her blog and really enjoyed reading about this mother who was originally from Yorkshire and had moved to the Middle East with her husband. It wasn’t until I saw her mum at a  function a few weeks later and she pointed out that Mrs Lady Muck was actually her daughter that it clicked! Mrs Lady Muck was someone I’d heard all about already and I’d just not connected the pieces.

Why am I bothering to tell you this? I hear you ask. Well, because today I met her for the first time and she was just as delightful as I thought she’d be. It was so nice to chat to her and to have someone to talk all things blogs with. We met at a local cafe with our mums and it was a lovely morning. And most importantly, she had some gorgeous shoes! *sigh* I knew I’d like her …

So, why don’t you guys bob over and check out her blog – it’s a great read!! I even put a little link in HERE so you can get there.

Useful links!
Mrs Lady Muck’s blog – http://mrsladymuck.com/

Ey up!! It’s Yorkshire Day!

Yesterday, the 1st August, was Yorkshire Day. Yorkshire is a region in England (where I happen to live) and the 1st August is dedicated to celebrating the beauty of the county. A lot of actors, writers, sportsmen and well-know personalities have come from Yorkshire – Sean Bean, Emily Bronte, Sir Patrick Stewart, Dame Judi Dench but to name a few. So you can understand why we’re so proud of ourselves.

**Fun little fact for you! During the London 2012 Olympics, Yorkshire won seven gold, two silver and three bronze medals which would’ve placed us 12th in the medal table, if we were an independent country.**

Yorkshire, also known as God’s own county, has a very specific dialect and we have a quite a few words that aren’t always found in other parts of the country. (We, also have lots of other wonderful things, like Yorkshire Puddings, but that will have to be saved for another post!) As a Yorkshire lass born and bred, I thought I’d share with you a few gems.

1. Any road.
To change the conversation or end a conversation.
“Any road, did you see the football last night?”

2. Mardy
To be moody or miserable.
She’s so mardy today!”

3. Maftin’.
To be uncomfortably hot.
“It’s absolutely maftin’ in here”

4. Chuddy.
Street name for chewing gum.
“You got any chuddy?”

5. Chuffin’ eck.
An exclamation of surprise.
“Chuffin’ eck! When did you get here?”

6. Got m’dander up.
To become annoyed or angry.
“I’ve got m’dander up now!”

7. Now then.
To say hello (friendly greeting).
“Now then, how’ve you been?”

8. Go’t face-on.
To be in a bad mood.
“Why’ve you go’t face-on? What’s wrong?”

9. Cack-handed.
To be bad at something.
“You’re so cack-handed”

10. Wazzock.
To be stupid or an idiot.
“What a wazzock!”

 

There are plenty more weird and wonderful words but those are just a few of my favourites. If you know any more Yorkshire phrases or have words that are only known where you live, why not share them in the comments below. In the meantime, maybe try one or two out on your friends and family. Or, if not, grab thy Whippet, flat cap and get your sen off t’pub!

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Useful links!
Yorkshire’s Wiki Page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire
Yorkshire Dictionary – http://imfromyorkshire.com/yorkshire-sayings/
Yorkshire Puddings – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshire_pudding
Whippet – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whippet

Surprise helicopter ride, anyone?

Yes, you read that correctly. For my work’s end of term party, we were all surprised with a helicopter ride to our destination. Since we work in education, we always have a party at the end of July to celebrate the end of the academic year and as a well done from our boss for our hard work through the year.

We all finished work (or arrived at work, for me and a few others who only work term-time) at 10:30 and were handed our first glass of prosecco of the day. After a few photos, we all clambered into our rented minibus and we drove a whole five
metres before stopping and pulling up at the side of the road. Our boss had left a little earlier and we were told we were waiting for her. Now, the wonderful thing TWFT-512
about our boss is that she’s very generous and always plans a surprise or two for the day. Last year, for example, we went go-karting and had a party bus booked to take us around town afterwards for some karaoke and sight-seeing. So, of course, we all began guessing what she could have up her sleeve until one of the guys said it could be a helicopter. We all laughed and rolled our eyes but then we heard what sounded like a helicopter outside the van. We looked out the window to see a helicopter in the sky and our ‘driver’ aka the boss’ husband just smiled at us all. Feeling speechless, we all stared as the helicopter landed on the land opposite our office block and our boss emerged. Shocked, would have been an understatement.

Turns out, we weren’t being driven to York but we were being flown there! It was TWFT-495one of the biggest surprises of my life. I had never been in a helicopter and when I woke up that morning, I had no reason to believe that this would be the day that would change. We were split into two groups and I was in the second group to be flown to our destination. We watched and waved as half our work mates took off then spent the next quarter of an hour or so giggling excitedly as we awaited our turn. The entire plan for the day was to have afternoon tea then attend the races and watch Tom Jones perform afterwards. We just didn’t know we were landing on the racecourse in a helicopter first. Sorry, if we upstaged you, Mr Jones!

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When it was our go, my nerves did kick in a bit but it happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to get too anxious. The ride itself was so smooth and seemed to go so fast. Then when we actually arrived, it was just so surreal – I felt like a bond girl landing on that racecourse!!

Still in a delirium, we grabbed a taxi into the centre of York and settled into a bar for an hour or two before we headed to The Star Inn the City York for our afternoon tea. We drank more fizz and ate delicious little sandwiches and slithers of brownie and cake. Feeling sufficiently stuffed and a little tiddily, we made our way back to York Racecourse to drink Pimms and bet on some horses. I only made a few bets and then quit while I was ahead so I didn’t end up spending all my money in a couple of hours.

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Once the last race finished at 8:30, we all piled out front to see the legend that is Mr Tom Jones perform live. We boogied the night away and enjoyed the sight of a few men whirling their ties and jackets around their heads during ‘You can leave your hat on’ and I may or may not have done a little Carlton dance when ‘It’s not unusual’ came on.

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The entire day was absolutely amazing!! It was just brilliant from start to finish and I feel so lucky to have experienced it. From Tom Jones to copious amounts of prosecco to a frigging helicopter ride to the late night McDonald’s run on the way back home. What a fantastic day of treats and surprises!

#listoftia

Useful links!
York Racecourse –  http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/
The Star Inn the City (York) – http://www.starinnthecity.co.uk/