Wow, we have come to the last day of blogtober!
Happy Halloween everyone…
First of all here is an open letter to Squiggle…
Be yourself. You’re awesome. Remember to always see the best in all situations, attitude is everything! And know that I am here, always. I love you more than anything.
All my love
Secondly, here are a couple of letters from my mum, that she sent me almost 20 years ago now, when I was working abroad in Tenerife. I am so glad I kept them all this time!
Last day of Blogtober tomorrow!
I don’t really know what to write for this! Whilst I don’t tend to blog about some personal matters (specifically re Squiggle’s health), that is simply because I feel it should be Squiggle’s choice to share, or not, so I respect her request for privacy. Personally, I tend to be honest and open, especially in real life. But Squiggle is her own person and feels more comfortable only sharing with people she knows well. She knows she can talk to us about absolutely anything and she does, plus she has great friends that understand and support her too, and that’s all that really matters! So I keep within her boundaries and stick to blogging about topics that don’t cross that.
But anyway, I digress! So, three confessions, hmmm. They aren’t going to be very exciting I’m afraid…
1. I am currently rocking pink and blue hair. But that’s not a confession! The confession is that I snuck out after Squiggle went to bed last night, to a costume party, so I coloured my hair quickly for it before leaving. But it didn’t wash out as easily as I expected! So when Squiggle asked today why my hair is red and blue, I couldn’t tell her the real reason, so I said it was a mummy challenge that I had to do for work! Oops! Sorry Squiggle!!!
2. I think I have already mentioned this recently, but I practically never eat chocolate. It’s very weird I know, I’m just not a fan!
3. A few months ago, I watched a snapchat story of a concert that I could have been at; I had free tickets but passed them onto friends. But the confession is that I then full-on cried when I saw how many surprise guests were there and who. I’m 37 for goodness sake! Embarassing fan girling moment right there 😉
They are my confessions. What are yours?
I am quite selective over what goes in my IG gallery, so I really like pretty much all of the photos in my collection tbh. But of course for this post I am going to pick ones of Squiggle and not just use it as an excuse to showcase my photography lol 😉 So I do have five favourites that stand out as I scroll down my feed. Here they are in no particular order…
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I would like to live in a world where our future generations are free of stereotypes and never feel limited in their choices. For all people, regardless of gender, to have the freedom to pursue their passions and interests without regard for whether they happen to be male or female. For there to be no difference between boys and girls choices of activities or jobs. For no woman to experience judgement, extra challenges or resistence just because she is female. For every woman in the world to treated with equality. #InternationalWomensDay
Ooh, now this one is easy; I have written about places I would like to visit already, in the About Us section. Check it out to find out my answer!
Top 10 all-time favourite songs is far too hard, there is no way I could narrow my favourite ever songs down to just ten; impossible task! So I decided to attempt my top ten albums of all time instead, which I am still working on so will have to post that separately when it’s finished. But I have made a (much) longer playlist of songs that were favourites at sometime in my life, are somehow significant to me or represent a phase of my life. So I guess it’s sort of my own version of ‘Soundtrack of my Life’ done a little differently.
So here it is, in chronological order, including any stories or explanations to go with each song that I would like to share with you all too!
1. Love of the Common People – Paul Young: I used to listen to this loads as a young child and I remember my parents singing it. It is the one song that really sticks in my mind from early childhood.
2. When Will I Be Famous- Bros: The first band I was ever really a massive fan of. I loved all of their songs, I had their cassette (I think the first album I personally ever chose to buy myself perhaps?) and their posters were on my wall!
3. Song For Whoever – The Beautiful South: I loved their whole album (it makes my top ten list of all time) but I just picked out one song at random to represent them on my soundtrack. This was also my first concert.
4. Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer: I wasn’t sure where to put Bon Jovi in terms of chronology of my life as it reminds me of many parts of my life in various ways, spanning over decades. So I have put them at the beginning; when they remind me of my mum. Not on the list but Cliff Richard and Simply Red also remind me of my mum watching their music videos (on VHS!)
5. Holiday – Madonna: This reminds me of our concert at the end of Primary School, when the year 6 leavers put on a talent show; we choreographed a dance to this song!
6. Wig Wam Bam – Sweet: This one reminds me of holidays with my dad and cousin as a young teenager. Fond memories.
7. Gangstas Paradise – Coolio: As a teenager of about 15/ 16, a group of us used to go to a local hangout called The Coconut Club. This is one of many songs I could have chosen to represent that era, but this one was a particular favourite.
8. Killing Me Softly – Fugees: Same era but this one reminds me of hanging out at school revising for GCSE exams with friends.
9. Oasis, Spice Girls and Alanis Morrisette are all representive of my teenage years; parties, hanging with friends etc… I struggled to pick a particular song for each band, so I went for any song just to symbolise the actual bands. What’s The Story Morning Glory by Oasis and Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette make my top ten albums of all time. Definitely. I loved Blur too though and am now wondering why I haven’t included them in my list .. especially when I totally used to fangirl over Damon Albarn!
10. Laid – James: American Pie and venture scout parties!!!
11. Build Me Up Buttercup, Love Shack and Copacabana (or anything Barry Manilow!) represents my not-very-secret love of cheesy music. This phase lasted many years from late teens to mid 20’s (ok…and beyond), alongside other styles of music. Other contenders to represent this phase could be I’m A Believer, Tragedy, Barbie Girl, Come on Eileen and many more… Grease songs also need to fit in here even though not included because I LOVED the film and went to see the musical in theatre over half a dozen times with my mum and dad!
12. I chose Rhythm is a Dancer for the playlist but any 90s dance anthems: reminds me of my first parent- free holidays abroad with friends! Oh and then I moved to Tenerife to PR for a season at 18-19 years old too of course!
13. High – Feeder: My housemates introduced me to this band early in their career while we were house sharing in our late teens and they became a firm favourite. It also reminds me of going to indie gigs.
14. Angels – Robbie: My mum loved him. This was her funeral song. Moving swiftly on…
15. Remix To Ignition – R Kelly: This and any other noughties R ‘n’ B is for my uni days. I also put I’ll Be There (For You) by Rembrants on to symbolise my massive love of Friends!
16. Left Outside Alone – Anastasia: My first teaching job (a collegue played it everyday!)
17. McFly, Busted, Blink182, Girls Aloud, Pussy Cat Dolls, Nelly Furtado etc… all remind me of my mid 20’s parties during weekends away. (I listed my top faves in the playlist but loved so many more!) Different era but Squiggle calls Underground the mummy song because I used to sing it loads, so that’s on there for both reasons!
18. Come As You Are – Nirvana: I love Nirvana and their songs would fit in to any point of my life as significant to that time. But I put them here to symbolise my huge love of Singstar in my mid 20’s lol! I also included It’s Tricky, Somewhere Only We Know by Keane and Light Up by Snow Patrol for the same reasons, but could also be any of the other million fun Singstar karaoke songs!
19. Foo fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Killers and Kaiser Chiefs all remind me of festivals and gigs. They are all also easily on my top favourite artists and albums lists of all time. Easily. (See what I did? ;)) And I will never forget screaming the lyrics to Best Of You with 100,000s of others!
Kings of Leon, Razorlight and Snow Patrol are on my list plus many other songs that I didn’t include, because they are also from this festival and gigs part of my life too.
20. She Moves In Her Own Way – Kooks: This also remind me of Reading festival, this is possibly the only gig I ever watched alone and was totally worth it. Another solid album for my list too. (Squiggle also loves Seaside, not listed).
21. Poker Face – Lady Gaga: By now I’m a mum and my young toddler loves ‘singing’ to Lady Gaga with me, we love the whole album but especially this one.
22. Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling, and Holiday by Dizzee Rascal remind me of Squiggle as an older toddler dancing around, as do a few others that I didn’t list.
23. Badman – awesome song, awesome album. Another hit with Squiggle when she was younger too. Another of her big favourites of the time was ‘Forget You’. For me, One Day Like This by Elbow is a stand out feel good song of roughly this time too.
24. Bills is included to bring us into the present (this is Squiggle’s Haven song!) So here we are back in the now with songs such as Shake It Off, Price Tag, Cheerleader and Happy that are representative of Squiggle and I in recent times (e.g. from our fun dance classes together). Plus for me, not included on the list, but I love dancing around at home to songs like Shut Up and Dance and Cake by The Ocean. I also love the entire Stay Together album by Kaiser Chiefs and have been to their gigs recently, so have included Hole In My Soul to represent this. (And some of the songs chosen for previous parts of my life are also just as relevant in my life now too, as they are often still played currently by cover bands on nights out!)
Phew! As you can see, I have a varied musical taste… And I love music too much to be selective about it!!! I admit 50 songs is a rather mammoth playlist lol!
Full playlist is here: YouTube – Soundtrack Of My Life
I have just realised it would have been a great idea to do Top Ten Favourite Songs of 80’s, 90’s, 00’s etc… Doh, annoying I only just thought of doing it like that!!! But I will do this sometime anyway, maybe as a series of future blog posts, it will be fun and abit easier than all time faves lol!
What songs make your list?
This is going to be a quick one. My answer is going to sound horribly cliché and cheesy I know, but those who know me will know I mean it! If I could have a superpower I want it to be something that brings about change for the global good; healing our planet, bringing peace to the world… so maybe the power of healing?!
I needed some inspiration for this one so I googled Disney character quizzes to see what it came up with. The first one I found suggested I was most like Mickey Mouse; born leader, problem-solver, good ideas and makes best of things.
Not a bad start! But I found another just to see some other answers. The next one was Mary Poppins… hahaha, Mary Poppins I am not!
I decided to try third time lucky and got Belle; smart, caring, kind, bigger dreamer and a little different. I’ll take that lol 😉
But the Disney Character I relate to most is Pocahontas. She has a wild and free spirit, spends much of her time outdoors, is truly accepting of others and fiercely stands up for what she believes.
Hertfordshire has a wealth of parks, nature reserves, conservation areas and other beautiful outdoor spaces, important historical sites, major attractions, and other lovely places to go and things to do. It is just outside of London, with easy routes into the capital city, so that is also an added draw to the area.
I could easily pick far more than five things to mention but rules are rules, so here goes…
St Albans is home to the ancient site of Verulamium, a large Roman town, features of which are still present today. There is a hypocaust with beautiful mosaics, Roman theatre (considered one of the best examples in the country), an award-winning museum, and even remains of the Roman wall within Verulamium park itself. There are also Roman baths in Welwyn. Great for history enthusiasts!
Much of this world famous movie series was filmed at Leavesden, which is now home to the hugely popular WB studio tour. A must do for any Harry Potter fan. Film fans might be interested to know that Elstree studios and Pinewood studios are also nearby.
This stunning cathedral is voted top by Tripadvisor for things to do in Hertfordshire. It has the longest Nave in England, bell tower, extensive medieval wall paintings and gorgeous glass painting, The Rose Window, unveiled by the late Princess Diana in 1989. People have been visiting the shrine of St Albans for over 1700 years and it is a national pilgrim site.
St Albans Clock Tower is also nearby.
There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces to visit in Hertfordshire. Some of the most notable places include Cassiobury park, Verulamium park, Aldenham Country Park, Ashridge estate and Fairlands Valley Park to name just a few.
Paradise Wildlife Park, Willows Activity Farm, Natural History Museum at Tring and Hatfield Aviation Museum are all popular days out within Hertfordshire, with many more nearby in neighbouring counties and London boroughs.
Ok, my 10 favourite foods, meals and places to eat (in no particular order) are as follows:
1. Fruit and veg smoothies- not technically food but given I drink one daily for breakfast it made sense this would be at the top of my list! I generally throw in whatever fruit and veg we already have at home that needs using, rather than follow recipes. I also sometimes freeze fruit and veg bought from fresh if we have extra, so that it will be ok to use for longer- so that often gets chucked in too!
2. Seeds- I love adding seeds to my smoothies, they are such a quick and easy way to pack in more nutrition. My favourites are chia seeds, hemp seeds and poppy seeds.
3. Bananas- my favourite fruit and my ‘go to’ snack when I need a boost.
4. Popcorn- once reserved for watching movies, this is now just an easy to grab late night snack for me!
5. Crisps- I try to avoid these, I really do. But they are my achilles heel! I generally go for red pringles or kettle crisps.
6. Vegetable stir fry- my favourite dinner at home. Noodles, brocolli, peppers, onions, beansprouts, carrots and any other veg we have thrown in, ideally made with coconut oil… yummy.
7. The Green Kitchen– not a specific food, but a great place to eat delicious vegan food. Highly recommend.
8. Jacket potato with baked beans- I realise this is pretty boring, but I like it because is such a quick and easy meal to grab, so it’s going on my list regardless of how dull it is!
9. Harvester – specifically the new beetroot and halloumi burger with sweet potato fries… SO tasty.
10. Ok, so this last one is the final reminiscent of old eating habits and goes against everything else for so many reasons, but I’m going to keep it real and include it anyway lol… salt and pepper chicken from the chinese take-away. I just can’t help it, I love it. Sorry, but it’s going to have to stay on my list!
(And no, I don’t really have a sweet tooth… hence no cakes, biscuits or CHOCOLATE on my list… I know, strange but true!)