Reading, Watching, Listening, Doing #7

This preamble often seems to take stuff from my “Doing” heading, so I’m launching straight in – here we go!


So I might have to do this a little different than usual and go back to my separate posts with book reviews. The reason? I joined the library and read ALL the books this month! Considering that I wrote out my “Doing” heading before this one and am already at 1100 words and counting, my usual 250-300 word book reviews x8 on top of that is just going to get silly!

So check out the mini reviews of all these books here, but here’s what I read this month with a quick rating – full discussion at the post linked!

  • Room by Emma Donoghue – 8.5/10
  • Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh – 8/10
  • Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan – 7.5/10
  • The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen – 6/10
  • The Liar’s Weave by Tashan Mehta – 8.5/10
  • After Supper Ghost Stories by Jerome K. Jerome – 4.5/10
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell – 8.5/10
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – 8/10


Well, we failed this month with watching – we got behind on all our murder mysteries and crime dramas and planned to catch up, but Ben’s got himself so obsessed with Disney park Youtubers that they’re literally all we’ve watched! I’ll try to do a round up post of all our faves one day, but here are a few new ones we’ve discovered this month:

WDW CoupleThis is a couple who have recently relocated to central Florida, have annual passes to Disney and are DVC members, so we’re really enjoying their video content right now.

Damian & IndiaGenerally we’re not big fans of UK Disney vloggers – we can’t quite figure out why, but we seem to enjoy US ones better, even though we’re from the UK?! But we’re loving Damian & India’s Disney vlogs right now.

Blair Lamb: Blair isn’t solely a Disney vlogger, but she has several Disney related vlogs so we’ve added her to our list!

In other, non-Disney, Youtube related news, I’ve discovered another few channels I’ve been enjoying recently:

Doddleoddle: (and her vlog channel, Doddlevloggle) I discovered Dodie through her quirky music then started watching her other videos. She’s super fun, cute and relatable, so I’ve been enjoying her videos. And I’m also obsessed with this song (which I guess I should put under “Listening”?!).

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard: Jessica is a vlogger who has a very old Hollywood glam style and talks about life with her wife, disabilities and chronic illnesses. I fell into her videos from watching others about sign language then ended up a spiral of her old videos!

NativLang: Ooookay, this is where I get geeky! I’m a little obsessed with languages, specifically linguistics and the evolution of languages, but since leaving uni, I haven’t really been able to get my fill of these. I discovered this channel and I’m OBSESSED. I spent hours the other day watching these then trying to tell people about what I’d learned, but no one was interested!!


Um, maybe I’ll get rid of this heading one day as I’m still on the same podcasts as last month!


Snow day

So after all the “lovely” snow I talked about in February, I thought we were done with it for March…apparently not! (And maybe not even for April either, according to our weather forecast, argh!). I woke up one morning to snow coming down fairly heavily, but that day hadn’t been forecast to be too bad, so I set off to work. It only became apparent about 10 miles into my journey just how heavy it was, and then when I reached the dual carriageway, it was even more apparent. I take a more “main road route” when the weather is bad that is quite a bit longer, but a lot safer, but this day, that wasn’t the case. Particularly when I reached my slip road off the dual carriageway to discover that about 10 cars in front, someone had got stuck and was sliding back down…then the next car decided to try its luck, and they were now sliding down together. Basically, I sat there for about 40 minutes watching it all happen, partially on the slip road, partially on the carriageway, worrying that a vehicle might come skidding into me at any second, until finally they got out the way and the other cars could continue up. Fortunately my snow tyres got me up the slope with absolutely no problem, but the snow was even heavier and I was too shaken up to carry on to work, so I turned right back around and went back home. Great start to that day!

Wedding hair trial

The month did get more fun though! I had a “Bridesmaids Day” where all my lovely ladies came round to help me make paper cranes and to get our hair trials done. I’m having my usual hairdresser, Kellie, who comes to our house to do our hair for the wedding, and that’s awesome because I already know her well. Because my hair is RIDICULOUSLY thick (and deceptively so, as ever hairdresser I’ve ever had has told me!), I have to have it set in curls for the day, so I got to sit under this fun machine! It was at this point that a man turned up with our Tesco delivery so all my poor bridesmaids had to help him sort it out while I shouted (literally shouted, I had no idea the machine on my head was quiet to them but loud to me!) instructions at them!

Then the drama got even more intense as my final bridesmaid came rushing in apologising for being late, but our other friend who was due to have a baby in mid-April had gone into labour and was in hospital. So as soon as my hair was finished, Rosie and I abandoned all the other bridesmaids at my house to make cranes and rushed down to see her. Frankie was born 6 weeks early and had to be in hospital for 2 weeks, but fortunately they’re both out now and doing well. We didn’t get to meet him on the day as he was in an incubator and only family was allowed, but we got a very quick peek as we took Helen down in her wheelchair! I have now met him in person too, and delivered a tuna fish flan to Helen on the same day…

Tuna fish flan

Okay, so tuna fish flan – that’s an odd thing to throw into the middle of this but bear with me – tuna fish flan was an infamous dish when we were little at school. The school was only a small one that’s since closed down, but every person who went there remembers the tuna fish flan – it was everyone’s favourite! I tried out a recipe to make it…and it worked! So tuna fish flan all round – despite how odd it sounds!

Hen Party invitation

I was also given my invitation to my hen party on the bridesmaids day – eek!! I already knew which weekend it would be, but now it’s official! They presented it to me tied to a helium balloon in a box that floated up to the ceiling when I opened it, with iced biscuits too! All I know is that I need my tiara, yoga clothes and a Gatsby inspired 20s dress – I’m already onto that part!

In other news, we also went to see Sarah Millican’s Control Enthusiast in Leeds. This was an outing that we’d got tickets for last year and basically we both forgot about it until the tickets arrived in the post! It was brilliant, as always – we’ve seen Sarah Millican twice now – and it was super fun as it was a “school night” – we never go out on school nights nowadays!

We also had a major garage clear out in preparation for Ben’s sister moving house. Their house is as yet unfinished so they can’t get all her stuff into it straight away, so our garage is being used for storage for the time being. We normally do a major “spring cleaning” garage clear out at Easter every year – it works out well because we moved into the house at Easter 3 years ago – but we had to do this one a couple of weekends early so it was ready. It meant a few trips to the tip and a few bags to charity – particularly as we also emptied the loft at the same time. I’ve majorly pared down the “stuff” I own recently and am planning to try to only buy things when I need them now, so I’m feeling a lot lighter as a result. We did steal a mirror and a chest of drawers from Beth that she was planning to throw away though, and the mirror fit perfectly above our “bar”!

I also had 2 “dates” with my “work wife” Sarah. We took one lunch break to go into town and get henna tattoos…just because! I’d seen this place on Facebook that did eyebrow threading then spotted they had henna tattoos too, so we were all over that! It didn’t really help that we had to walk back in the rain though…

Our second date was with the partners in tow – her boyfriend Beeley also works at Bronco, so Ben’s the only one left out! They came to our house for drinks (although Sarah and I don’t drink, so we were on the squash – chocolate milk next time!), then we went out to a local pub to eat. It was so exciting to do things with another work friend out of work!

We also had a poorly cat this month – Belle had to have a trip to the vets for a bladder infection, and as you can tell, she was not at all happy about it! This picture was when we’d got home from the vets and she decided to show that box who was boss.

Is it just me or do you really not recognise the brilliance that is “Easter Holidays” when you’ve been in full time employment for a little while? This past weekend truly felt like an actual holiday to me – granted, we were allowed to leave work early on the Thursday afternoon and had found Easter Eggs on our desks on Thursday morning from the “Easter Bunny” (just a couple of many reasons I love where I work!). When I started working here, I was slightly terrified as I’d come out of school, straight to uni, then back to a school to teach – I’d never had the prospect of so little time off before. And to make it worse, my school was one with long holidays – Easter for me was always 4 weeks. (We had long days – 8.40am till 5.45pm – and had Saturdays at school too). So my one struggle with full time work has always been the lack of holidays. And this year, I fully appreciated it when Easter came round!

And as such, I made the most of it…in a way that didn’t really make the most of it. We had plans but only small ones. The rest was all stay-at-home-and-do-as-little-as-possible!

Thursday night was…unexpected, let’s say. I had a phone call from an eerily calm Ben who informed me he had just crashed his car and needed me to come get him. Without going into too much detail, he was fine, his car is a bit battered and we’re waiting on news from the insurance. It did mean though that we were late to a planned meal with Charley and Frankie for a pizza and wine deal at a bistro that has just opened up locally. Fortunately we got there in the end, had yummy pizza (and starters and puddings), then went home for a game of Rummage (which is a super fun board game, highly recommend!).

Friday was spent sorting out recovery for Ben’s car and sewing. On Saturday, we went over to my parents for pulled pork and donuts (obviously!). On Sunday we had Sunday lunch with all of Ben’s family, celebrating his cousin William’s 7th birthday and Lydia’s 1st birthday back at Ben’s Aunty Sue’s house (where Ben’s grandma and Aunty Sue were convinced that the calculator on Ben’s phone was a game…again!!). Then Monday was spent picking up a van from Ben’s work (so he can get around this week) and reading. A pretty successful Easter, I’d say!

And now we’re back to work again, sigh! We’re off Brownies for Easter though, so this week should be fairly quiet. I also had Laura, who I used to work with, round on Tuesday night to catch up. We managed to do some yoga together, I taught her how to make cranes and Ben made us a green Thai prawn curry – although it transpired that the prawns were still in their shells, woops! Still super tasty and a lovely night to catch up!

And finally, I got a preview of my wedding flowers as Jane created me a mock up of my wedding bouquet, so here’s a sneak peek for you! Although technically that carnation will actually be a rose of a similar colour, so it’s not all that great of a sneak peek, but it means I get to keep it a secret for a bit longer!

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