This isn’t how I thought my life would be.

I could have guaranteed that by the age of twenty one, I would have graduated from university, would (hopefully) have a job that would be starting my career and I wouldn’t have been living at home. None of that has happened. I’m still studying for my degree, I have a part-time job to support me through my studies and I am still living at home. Pretty much the opposite of my plan but life got in the way.

I had never even considered not going to a conventional university. It had always been the goal but when it actually came to it, there were simply too many factors going against it. The main being that my dad was seriously ill at the time. I decided to withdraw from the University of Lincoln and take a gap year. I stayed living at home with my mum and I got a job. It was only when one of my mum’s friends suggested the Open University that I realised that this could be the ideal solution. So, in the summer of 2013, I enrolled for my degree in English Literature with the Open University and opted for an introductory year studying a module called ‘People, Work and Society’. And it worked for me. The flexibility, the opportunities and the cost were even more enticing!

I have stayed working with the recruitment agency that I joined during my gap year and it’s slotted in perfectly with my studies. Plus, I’m gaining invaluable experience in a professional setting that will stand me in good stead when I’ve finished studying.

As I said earlier, life tends to get in the way. And oh boy, has it gotten in the way. Over Christmas 2013, my dad was in hospital in a high dependency unit and his body was shutting down. His kidneys, liver and pancreas were failing, his heart problems got worse, he had a septic infection, his went into respiratory failure and he then suffered from double pneumonia. The day before Christmas Eve, he was given the Last Rites and we were told to say goodbye. Somehow (and every doctor I’ve spoken to since has told me how astounded they are), he pulled through. After months of hospital stays and residential homes, he was released. Due to his unstable physical health, mental issues and newly acquired Drop Foot (paralysis of the foot), he was in need of a carer. My mum being the amazing person she is, took him into our home and despite them being separated, helped him when he needed it most.

I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason. And If I had gone to the University of Lincoln as planned, I wouldn’t have been there for my dad when he was so poorly and it’s possible he could have died and I wouldn’t have had the chance to say goodbye.

What’s the point in me telling you all of this? Well, sharing is caring, and I think I’ve rambled on these past few months without you knowing a great deal about the real me. The events of the past few years have really shaped me as a person and made my life go in a completely different direction. Things have worked out for me though, better in fact. I’ve been given opportunities to do things I never would have before. I have a brilliant job and I’m studying a subject I really love. I have travelled solo to Italy to volunteer for a week. I’ve been able to see all my nephews on a regular basis. And, I’ve met some cracking people. Hell, I’ve even gotten to ride in a helicopter!

This isn’t how I thought my life would be but I can’t moan. I have my health, my family and prospects. Sure, it can be a tad lonely at times and, in comparison, I’m not the most social student but that’s not the end of the world. Things are definitely moving into place for me though and the wrinkles are finally starting to smooth out.

**edit** It’s funny. I wrote this post a week or two ago and then Adele released her new single Hello. As I was editing it today, I couldn’t help but feel the song was fitting. So, to play us out…

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Great Scott!

It’s happened. The day we’ve all eagerly waited for, has arrived. 21st October 2015. Otherwise known as, the day Marty McFly visited the future. Marty McFly and Doc are the legendary duo from the Back to the Future films. The classic trilogy is loved by so many people so it was only natural that we celebrate its 30th anniversary on such a poignant day. From the iconic DeLorean to the flux capacitor to the characters themselves . Who couldn’t help but love Doc and Marty, and their adventures?

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It wasn’t all smiles and rainbows yesterday though. There were a few complaints. Mainly, wondering where the hell our hoverboards and Nike Mags were? We were promised self-lacing shoes and crazy fashions but so far, they’ve yet to materialise (ok, maybe the crazy fashions have).

There were so many different celebrations Deloreanand tributes yesterday for the film, and it was an international affair taking over the world for the day. In the UK, there was a whole channel devoted to it, showing the films back to back all day. The only break being for a tribute show created by Keith Lemon (a self-confessed Back to the Future superfan!). Our local Police also joined in the fun with this Facebook post …

After watching the first film yesterday, I’m still in a little BttF bubble, day-dreaming about my own DeLorean and time travelling. If you’re in the 0.0001% of people haven’t seen the film, shame on you. No, seriously, what’s wrong with you? Go watch it, now!  You’ll follow the ups and downs, crush on Marty, sing-along to the classic tunes, want to punch Biff, and give Doc a well-deserved hug. It’s true cinematic magic ❤

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!!

1-0-0 followers!!

Wowza!! 100 hundred followers!

I cannot believe I have reached one hundred followers. The fact that a couple of people liked my blog enough to follow it was extremely flattering but then for that to reach twenty then fifty and now hundred is just amazing. It just makes me want to keep improving my blog and make it better for all of you that take the time to read it.

I have lots of exciting ideas to grow my blog and, while university is starting up again and you might have to bear with me occasionally, I’m confident that you’ll all love them. I really hope that one day I’ll be blogging my thanks for my 1000 followers!!

So, all that is left to say is, thank you. Thank you for all your support you lovely, lovely people!

5 reasons I need to visit Liverpool.

It’s that late September lull. Work is back in full swing, university is due to start in a week or two and the heating has been switched back on. The nights are drawing in and the weekends seem shorter, and as much as I love winter, I can help but want to drag out that exciting, adventurous part of me that summer brings.  So, I’ve been planning and I’ve decided that I need to visit Liverpool in the very near future. There are so many things to do and I’ve narrowed them down to my top five reasons to visit this glorious city.

  1. TukTuk Tour
    What better way to see the city then in a tuktuk?! And bonus, they’ll show you the sights and tell you all the important facts about the place. City TukTuks Tours have a whole bunch of tours and you can even choose a Selfie Tour or add a glass of bubbly on.
  2. The Cavern
    As an iconic part of music history, The Cavern is a must-see for any visitor to Liverpool. Having had famous musicians like Gerry & The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and, of course, The Beatles making their début there, need I say more?TWFT-7
  3. The Beatles Story
    You can not visit Liverpool without learning about The Beatles. It’s just not allowed. As one of the most famous bands in the world, it’s only right that we visit the sights and learn about their history.Beatles
  4. Central Perk
    You may think I’ve mistyped or mixed Liverpool up with New York but I have not. A wonderful person has created a replica of the famous Friends’ coffee shop and opened it up in Liverpool. With everything from open mic nights to Gunther’s birthday coffees to the notorious orange sofa, this is heaven for any Friends’ fan.
  5. Mersey Ferry
    I’m a sucker for a river cruise and sailing down the Mersey would be a great way to end a fun-filled weekend in Liverpool.

There you have it! My five reasons to visit Liverpool. It’s a wonderful city and I really hope that (ok, I know it won’t be this weekend but…) someday soon I’ll be visiting and ticking these top five off my itinerary.

Bake Off Wednesdays.

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Hump day is no longer the mid-week lull in Britain. Thanks to the return of the Great British Bake Off, for the past few weeks millions have sat down on Wednesday evenings to criticise people’s baking skills, flavour combinations and the sogginess of their bottoms (FYI to those who are from outside of Britain, soggy bottoms isn’t a sexual term but a one coined to describe damp/mushy pastry underneath baked goods). Thursday morning gossip has gone from discussing plans for the weekend to how Ian won Star Baker again. And we all love it.

To people who have never seen the program, shame on you! Only joking (I think). It’s basically a competition to find the best amateur baker in the United Kingdom. It’s sounds quite dull d56f9f4f75ed106d9d2427084b244f6fto be honest but it’s addictive and once you watch one episode, you’ll be hooked. There are many aspects that make the program great and that made it pull in an average of 9.3 million viewers during the first episode of this series. The hosting duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are hilarious and full of puns while the judging duo Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood play good cop-bad cop, respectively. Add in the stress of the three rounds (signature bake, technical bake and show stopper) and the polite, British competitive nature of the contestants then you have the Great British Bake Off. It’s a recipe for brilliance (pun totally intended).

Some people don’t always realise the drama that can go on during the Bake Off, for example the great Custard Theft of 2013. The most noted was Alaska Gate. Last year when Iain’s Baked Alaska was taken out of the freezer by Diana and consequently melted, Britain went crazy. It took over Facebook, Twitter and the news. It even went as far as someone changing Diana’s occupation on Wikipedia! We take the Bake Off deadly serious.

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 This year’s contestants are brilliant and I have a couple of favourites who I’d love to win – Mat, Paul, Tamal and Flora to be specific. Tonight’s episode is only a few hours away so the countdown is on. Bring on the Bake Off!!

Don’t buy a hat anytime soon…

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, I didn’t meet the love of my life at speed dating. To be honest though, I didn’t really expect to. Both my friend and I went into the evening with a positive and open mind but not believing we’d find the one.

Let’s rewind and I’ll tell you all about my experience from the start! My friend andTWFT-584 (2) I began the evening in a bar with a bottle of wine (bit of dutch courage and all that!) before heading over the restaurant where the speed dating was taking place. When we arrived, we signed in with the Fastlove representative and were given a name badge, a table number and a scorecard and pen. He briefly went over the set up, letting us know that we had three minutes to talk to each bachelor and score them before the next one appeared.

As people started to arrive and mingle, we headed back to the bar, grabbed a cocktail and went to find our tables. Then, it began! Fifteen guys rotated around the room and fifteen women sat twirling their straws in their drinks.

TWFT-585Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You all just want to know about the guys I met and whether I had any matches. Well, I met a real mix of men. Some were chatty and quite funny but were definitely more friend material than boyfriend material. A couple were good looking but the personality was just lacking (I mean, one of them didn’t like live shows and gigs! That’s just a big no-no for me). One of the guys was just creepy and a total a****** asking lewd and inappropriate questions. Then a few were just plain weird – one guy spent the three minutes talking about his cat and it’s facial expressions, and another rambled on about different beards and their pros and cons for the whole time. I know everyone will have been nervous but come one, cats and beards as conversation topics?!

I didn’t get any matches. Big shock, I know. When I received my email with the results, they did let me know that a few of the guys did tick that they were interested in me. While flattering, I doubt I’ll be perusing any of them.

It was definitely an interesting experience and I’m really glad I did it. Would I do it again? Hmm, I’m not sure. I didn’t exactly meet anyone who I thought I like-liked but realistically, it might be on the second or third try that I would. For now though, I’m hanging up my speed dating shoes and going about finding a man the old fashioned way. Through a cheesy chat up line in a bar!