Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Happy Day 47: Belly Laughing

#100HappyDays Day 47: I was hanging out with a friend who has a broken screen on her phone, as she was typing a text the phone suddenly started typing letters of it's own accord.... it was horrifying and yet hilarious, and we both started laughing and it kept going until she smacked it against the desk and then turned it off. Luckily it sent some normal texts after that, but for a while I thought it was possessed or something. The ghost in the machine maybe? Who knows, but it did make us giggle. For a really long time. Muhahahahahaha.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Happy Day 46: Back at Work

#100HappyDays Day 46: It's the first full day of term, I've met three of my students, had four classes and a lovely chat with my boss. I'm knackered but I'm looking forward to seeing where this term takes me.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Happy Day 45: the Food Fair and Flowers in my Hair

#100HappyDays Day 45: I met up with G and we went to the food festival and had a wander around. A little girl came up to me, tapped me on the leg and handed me a flower. It made me so happy! She gave Cindy one too, which she put in my hair :)

There were all sorts of yummy things to be had. For lunch we had portobello and halloumi with garlic mayo, chilli sauce and roast onions, with a side of chips with salt and rosemary. We got some coffee and some juice and played with some dogs in the sunshine. We sampled lots of fruity gin, chocolate, chilli sauces, jam and cobnuts covered in chocolate. In general, it was a lovely day!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Friday, 26 September 2014

Happy Day 43: Chatted Up

#100HappyDays Day 43: I spent all afternoon with my friend Cindy and I don't know what vibes she's giving off but every man who talked to us chatted her up. Mostly they were very lovely, though I did worry about the mental health of a couple of them. The chap who vacated this chair interrupted our conversations every few seconds to talk to her and even invited her for breakfast tomorrow and promised he would bring some brandy to put in her coffee. She politely declined saying that she would be at work, but when he walked away he still swaggered like some one who'd scored so who knows what he's expecting...

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Happy Day 42: Learnings

#100HappyDays Day 42: the first lesson of my British Sign Language course - it's a year long and we have an exam at the end. So very exciting! And as a bonus I got to go out for a coffee and a good old chinwag with G afterwards.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Happy Day 41: Miss T Entertains Me

#100HappyDays Day 41: I spent the afternoon with Miss T - she made me pasta with mushroom and stilton sauce, we drank wine, played ridiculous Power Ballad play list while we got ready to go out. We then hung out for a bit and played a trivia game.

Me: What is the name of the Star Trek spaceship?
Miss T: Um.... Big Momma?
Me: (might possibly pass out from laughing so hard)

We also swapped presents from abroad too, so this handsome chap is now living with all the other snails on Miss T's bookshelf

Then we finished up our wine and went out dancing. It was a really lovely night - it was lovely to see everyone and I'd forgotten how much I love dancing!

Snails, Trivia and Dancing - what girl could want more?!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Happy Day 40: Geeky Goodness

#100HappyDays Day 40: Reading 'Innocent' labels always gives me a chuckle - and who doesn't love Vulcans?!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Happy Day 39: Getting Lively

#100HappyDays Day 39: Term starts soon, and I popped up to campus to get some paperwork done. The sun was shining so I sat outside and watched all the students buzzing about, it's nice to see the campus getting lively after a sleepy summer.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Happy Day 38: Florence the Fox

#100HappyDays Day 38: Middle B knows when I'm feeling a bit off, so she gave me cuddles and this fox... she made her a scarf, some socks and a hair bow herself. If you pick her up she nods to everything - she is a very positive fox!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Happy Day 37: Cute Hat!

#100HappyDays Day 37: This afternoon when we were in the park having lunch, we saw a couple being all smoochy and romantic and some musicians serenading them. Then a couple of other chaps ran over and started shouting their congratulations saying they were all in on the act because they knew the musicians. Then they all had another little singsong and a bit of a dance around. When the couple walked past us, the lady was grinning ear to ear. We weren't close enough to hear, but I think it's safe to assume that as proposal was made and accepted... it was really sweet and lovely and delightful!

Since I didn't get a photo of any of that, here is a hat that I saw earlier.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Happy Day 36: Cute Toes

#100HappyDays Day 36: Before coming back home today I managed to meet up with cousin who is on a one day stop over between flights. We spent some time with Mum before heading back into central London together so she could go meet friends and I could catch my train home. We are about 10 years apart but we are so similar! We had a good old chat about family and spiritual matters and our mental health and our emotional health and it was really inspiring and wonderful and connected. I was really delighted to see her, and I was also really really delighted by her shoes, they just made me giggle the whole time. I told her that her shoes would be my 'happy thing' for today and she said she was honoured! We're both a bit rubbish about keeping in touch but we're going to try.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Happy Day 35: Iced Coffee on the Balcony

:#100HappyDays Day 35
We had brunch after the ceremony and then came back and had iced coffee on the balcony - the weather was splendid and it was beautiful and it didn't quite soothe my aching heart but almost

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Happy Day 34: Old Dogs and New Babies

:#100HappyDays Day 34
We started off the day by visiting my cousin who has a three week old baby, then we met up with an old school friend of my Mum's who threatened to adopt me and then we ended up by visiting some family on my Mum's side who have the most delightful dog - we totally made friends- so I ended up with quite a day. Somewhere in the middle of all that, we managed to have an amazing salad for lunch which involved quinoa, lentils, sweet potato, mushrooms, almonds, watercress, mint and feta with some carrot juice on the side

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Happy Day 33: Family Time

#100HappyDays Day 33: I've kept missing my dad but we finally managed to have a lovely catch up last night - thank goodness for Skype! I'm off with my mum for a few days so it's family day all round.

Obviously this is not a pic of me Skyping my dad, but it is my dad and my step-mum on the beach so I reckon it counts.... I could have taken a screenshot I guess, but that would need me to be much more technologically competent than I am - something to aim for maybe. Apart from anything, this is a much more exciting pic, so you know, all's well that ends well.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Happy Day 32: A Bit of Inspiration

#100HappyDays Day 32: My Grandma donated her body to science, so when she died a year ago they took the body away. They have finally released the remains so Mum and I are going back to be there for the burial. We'll have a memorial service in December which will be more like a proper funeral, so this is just burying her, but I wanted to be there all the same. Her death has shaken me, it's brought to light a lot of beauty and a lot of the muck and mud in my mind too. Some days I feel so disconnected from everything, but then the universe throws me something to hold on to and I realise that I am protected after all.

'The clouds must weep before the
meadow smiles'

'Teach yourself not to be afraid'

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Happy Day 31: Sunday Strolling

#100HappyDays Day 31: Miss T and a friend and I went for a stroll for a couple of hours through the public gardens, along by the river and out through the orchards and back round again. We brought tupperware with us and collected more blackberries, picked some apples and even a stray pear.

We encountered quite a few dogs, quite a few cyclists, and made friends with some horses - I think the apples may have helped that along a bit. (They actually trotted along side us all the way to the fields edge as we walked down the path).

It looked like rain so we decided to head home and make blackberry and apple crumble with custard.

Fruit Crumble

1kg fruit (we used apples and blackberries)
100 - 200g sugar (if you think the fruit needs it)

200g flour
100g butter or marg
100g sugar

- Put the oven on at 200 C.
- Peel and wash the fruit and mix with the sugar. You can heat it up for about 10 - 15 mins in a pan if you want to speed up cooking time, or you can just put it in an oven dish as is. If there is a lot of liquid from the fruit you may want to drain off some of it. 
- Meanwhile, rub the flour and the butter together between your fingers until they are completely mixed together and look like bread crumbs, then mix in 100g of sugar. Cover the fruit with the crumble topping so that it covers the whole surface area of the dish.
- Put in the oven for 15 - 20 mins if you have already cooked up the fruit, about 50 - 60 mins if you haven't. Make sure it's piping hot before serving. We dished it up with custard, but I reckon cream would be just as good.

For me, wanting crumble means that autumn is on it's way - soon the nights will be drawing in, there will be a chill in the air and we'll be in woolly tights, scarves and berets, jumping in piles of fallen leaves.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Happy Day 30: Father and Son

#100HappyDays Day 30: I was hanging out in a cafe and I noticed a father and son skateboarding and messing about outside. I watched them for a while, they were having so much fun. They came in to get coffee and sat on the sofa and had a snuggle, it was so heartwarming that I had to get a snap of them. Later on I noticed quite a few fathers out with their sons displaying a lot of affection - one boy ran up to his dad in the supermarket and threw his arms around him and they had a cuddle while discussing what to have for dinner, another dad was happily chatting away to his four year old while shopping. Truly delightful.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Happy Day 29: Charity Shop Rummage

#100HappyDays Day 29: I like charity shops - you never know what you're going to find. Mostly I go in for the clothes, but there is one shop in town that has loads of vintage sewing supplies and amazing hats and other bits and pieces that I love rummaging through.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Happy Day 28: Homemade Beauty

#100HappyDays Day 28: Homemade beauty remedies
As some of you know I've been doing a month of 'no shampoo' and using natural things like baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead of shampoo and conditioner. I like the idea of using minimal ingredients in beauty products, better still if they are edible. There are many recipes on Pintrest and on various blogs that look simple enough so I decided to make my own face cream. I tried my hand at making Coconut Rose Body Cream from the amazing blog Fresh Picked Beauty

The basic ingredients are coconut oil, jojoba oil, cornstarch, you melt all those a bit and mix them together. Let them cool down in the fridge for a bit and then add in essential oils (I used lavender and rose) and beat them together until the mix gets fluffy and creamy. I have no idea how my face will react to this, but it smells really good! That blog is brilliant, so I'm sure I'll be trying more of these recipes soon.

As a little aside, my hair is much less frizzy since I started 'no shampoo', I hardly ever have to straighten it and my curls are more clearly defined. I still have to wash my hair every couple of days, but maybe that will settle down over time as well. My bottle of apple cider vinegar fairly much lasted me a month, and I went through about 700g or so of bi-carb. I think I'm going to stay on it and see what happens, I'm really happy with the results so far.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Happy Day 27: Late Night Coffees Out with Friends

#100HappyDays Day 27: I went out for a coffee after dinner with Miss T and another friend.
I actually saw loads of different vicars and priests wandering around today and two old ladies with multi-coloured hair and a man in a top hat, but I didn't get photos of them so you'll have to make do with this:

It was a very yummy mocha I must say. The moon was looking particularly clear and beautiful peeking out from behind the Cathedral. I tried to get a decent photo but the lights were in the way. I reckon you can approximate from this a little bit:

You get the general idea! In a totally unrelated thing, I found out that my lovely lady that I worked for last year got a 2:1 in her degree! I properly squealed when I found out. I'm so proud of her. I can't wait to see her in her mortar board. It's all very exciting!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Happy Days 26: Someone remembers me!

#100HappyDays Day 26: I went into Lush to buy more soap and the lady recognised me as soon as I walked in the door and, not only that, she remembered that I have sensitive skin and came over to help me choose soap so she could have a chat. It's really nice to be remembered. I ended up getting a parsley soap and she told me that I had to come back in and let her know if it works out.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Happy Day 25: the View

#100HappyDays Day 25: It was such a beautiful day today, properly sunny. This is the view from the top of the hill - this photo doesn't do it justice at all, but it was glorious I assure you.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Happy Day 24: Lentil Dhal

#100HappyDays Day 24: Mrs Im makes the best curries, which is just one of the many reasons I love visiting. We had dhal for dinner last night and I got to have it for breakfast this morning. Yum!

Basically she puts some lentils in a fair bit of water with some turmeric, garlic, ginger (I used paste from a jar), onion seeds, a couple of cardamom pods, a couple of cloves, a cinnamon stick and some whole green chillies with slits in them to let the flavour out. Boil that mix until it is bubbling like a volcano.

In the meantime make rice (or put the kettle on to make rice and get waylaid making coffee or blackberry gin or something). Add some salt to the bubbling volcano.

Then fry up the tarka: Melt some coconut oil in a pan and add in some urid dhal and fry until they start to change colour to be more pink. Then add in a teaspoon or so of black mustard seeds and fry til they start to spit. Put in about ten or so curry leaves and leave until the dry out and get crispy. Then add all this to the lentil concoction (when you add it, it makes the best sound!).

All you need now is some fresh coriander as a garnish and you can tuck in. Beware of the whole chillies when you eat it, feel free to pick them out together with the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Happy Day 23: Blackberry picking

#100HappyDays Day 23: You know autumn is starting when the blackberries are ripe enough to pick. Mrs Im and I grabbed some Tupperware and headed to the park to pick some fruit. We got enough to make three bottles of blackberry gin and I still have a tub to take home with me.

We washed the blackberries well, poured the gin out of a bottle into a jug, then added about half a bottles worth of berries. It is worth weighing this as you go because we then put in the same weight of sugar into the bottle and then added the gin back in. And due to the laws of physics there was obviously some displaced gin that would not fit back in the bottle so we're in for a few gin and tonics tonight. Yippee!

In a about three months time, when the fruit is looking all bleached out and ghostly the berries need to be strained out. Then the gin is left another month or two to steep and then it will be ready - just in time for Christmas.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Happy Day 22: Getting Settled

#100HappyDays Day 22: I went back to my Mum's the other day to sort through some of my grandma's stuff. I ended up coming back with a few clothes and some of her pictures. I've had a few pieces lying around anyway and it was high time to put them up on the wall. My lovely flatmate knows much more about DIY and also art galleries so I got him to help me hang things up. Now that it's done my room feels more my own.

It was quite an emotional experience bringing my grandma's pictures back to my house, it means I'm really connected to her and at the same time highlights that she's not with me anymore. Putting up her pictures actually felt quite settling, because before they felt displaced whereas on the wall they look like they are in their natural habitat. It is interesting to see them in a different environment and I quite enjoyed figuring out where I wanted to hang what. I still have a couple of extra pictures of my own at the framers, but in general I feel like this has made a real difference to the atmosphere in my room, a certain stability has been created maybe, or the feeling of bringing together certain elements of my life in a cohesive way.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Happy Day 21: Tiny Greengrocers

#100HappyDays Day 21: The greengrocers of wonderment! They only sell fresh, they only take cash and they only have seasonal produce, but most of all they are small enough for me to buy quality veg without taking one look at the amount of choice and then running away from overwhelmedness. And in addition to that, all the staff are really lovely and they love it when you give them piles of loose change. Everyone's a winner.

One girl and her dog are coming by for dinner and I'm off to cook up all that lovely veg.
Update: I spent the whole day humming 'hold me closer, tiny grocer......' hee hee hee

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Happy Day 20: A Soothing Stroll

#100HappyDays Day 20: I've been a bit vulnerable and a bit all over the place the last few days, it's no big deal I get that way on the odd occasion. When it happens I try and take good care of myself by sleeping in, eating well and doing whatever I need to do to relax and revive myself. Today that meant making roast vegetables, having a nap and then taking a stroll in the late summer sunshine. It was beautiful! And I even ran into a couple of lovely people along the way and got some interesting conversation and a lot of giggling in.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Happy Day 19: Handwritten

#100HappyDays Day 19: I love getting handwritten post! Getting this postcard from Middle B through the post was unexpected and delightful.

I've been a little bit up and down lately - I had to go to Mum's house to sort through some of Grandma's things and it was a little emotional and there have also been a few other changes about the place that have thrown me off center. When I feel vulnerable, I'm trying to just sit with it and feel things without turning away - and, whew!, that's been difficult sometimes. Evidently preparing for the unexpected is clearly the way to go because my fortune cookie message said 'Prepare for a sudden needed and happy change in plans' and my yogi tea message today was 'Take time to notice the unexpected' - do you think someone is trying to tell me something?!

Other unexpected things that happened to me today: I was supposed to be meeting a friend but I ended up having the day to myself. I was out for coffee and someone came and sat with me at my table, once she had gone a gentleman came and sat down and shared my table - there was plenty of space so I was surprised but it was quite nice. And I saw some buskers on the high st drumming - using pots and pans! In general, quite unexpected.