March 2013tori's tales: March 2013

30 March 2013

A (delayed!) tale of my parents visit

As I've been completely useless this week regarding my promise to post every day, and I've still yet to put together a post talking about my Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (grrrrrr!) I thought I'd publish one that's been waiting in the wings, ready to be released on the world-wide (we can but dream!) public. 

This is a tale that's been a long time coming, all about my parents visit back in mid-February. This was their first trip up together since coming up to Nottingham on moving day (Mum has since been with Auntie Ju, during which the 3 of us took a day-trip to York). I was very much looking forward to them coming up so we could all spend time together, in the flat, and in the city.

They arrived around midday and came in for a cuppa and biccies before we took a quick trip into town to pick up some bits for lunch. We then went for an afternoon walk to the embankment - met by geese and windy weather (tis a regular occurrence) - before spending the evening in Zizzi (our first visit to Nottingham's offering from the chain). The food, and the company, was most lovely, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there (and the day in general). We then deposited them at their hotel which is literally opposite our flat (hey, we offered to have them, Moom just likes a little bit of luxury - and hotel breakfasts!) before taking the short trip back to ours, and on to bed.

The next morning Moom, Dodge and I left the boy in the flat, with university work for company, and took the small stroll into town for a wander around. Of course, being before 11am on a Sunday, nothing was open, so after pointing out a few noteworthy buildings we stopped for a (thoroughly well-deserved, teehee) break at Patisserie Valerie (my first visit since the boy and I went there for breakfast on my birthday back in November). We all opted for something to drink and eat (because who pops out for a cuppa without purchasing something to keep it company?!) then, after suitably filling our bellies to the brim, met up with the boy for a walk through the city, to The Park - a private, gated, Victorian residential estate near the Castle (so posh it even has its own website, Ooooooo!)  and along the river (to nosey at the canal boats). The route itself is a fairly sizeable one, but it was lovely just to amble along whilst chatting, as well as being able to show my parents a little more of the city outside of the centre. After the walk I cooked us all a (veggie) roast before we bid my parents adieu!

Here are a few piccies of the weekend.

St Mary's Church opposite our building
Walking up our road

One of my favourites in the town centre - The Prudential Building
For some reason it always reminds me of Prague!
The beautiful Council Building
Perusing the pastries in Patisserie Valerie
The painted roof inside the Council Building
Nottingham Castle entrance
The view from Nottingham Castle entrance
Nottingham Castle
Castle entrance to The Park
Beautifully unusual architecture
A good ol' lamp!
Photo to prove I wasn't on my own! Moom, Dodge and the boy crossing a road in The Park
Canal walk - view of the back of Fellows Morton and Clayton
An obligatory Canal-boat shot!

29 March 2013

As the sun sets....

Today has been emotional.
With the sunset comes thoughts of a brand new day.
And with this brand new day comes a first time meeting with a special someone.
I can't wait.  

28 March 2013

Tale's of Easter, no. 3 (the first meeting with the bestie!)

Posting this a little later than I had hoped - already I've slipped and am not making my one post a day as promised! It's ridiculous how tired I've been getting, not sure what's going on there!

My second day at home Tuesday was also the boy's last (after the briefest of brief visits!). We met up at midday, for our last face-to-face conversation for a week (and lunch) before he set off, dropping me at my bestie's on the way (well, 10 minutes down the road) for our first face-to-face conversation for 2 1/2 months! We had a lovely afternoon, me and my catfish chum. As we talk multiple times via various social media platforms throughout each day, we didn't have too much to catch up on (although she did surprise me with a few forgotten pieces of info) but it was bloody nice just to sit in her room and see that gorgeous, smooshable face of hers. We managed to drag ourselves outside (although about 2 mins after leaving her house we did wonder why we had chosen to do so!) and took the little walk into town. I spied a few buildings along the way that I never had before, down a few paths I had never taken (rediscovering my home-town!). Upon making it to town we headed for our favourite little haunt, Cafe Monde, where the bestie had a late lunch (with a standard accompaniment of 3 beverages)  and I had my usual cuppa and caramel shortbread. More nattering followed, before we left for a little spot of shopping. Catfish purchased some black jeans - I always find you come across the best jeans when you aren't actually looking for them, it takes the pressure off! - and I finally managed to get myself a new mascara (Maxfactor False Lash Effect in case you were wondering. Although I very much imagine you weren't). We then parted ways, on our separate No. 1 buses - me for my home, catfish for hers. We are meeting up again today, for a full day of bestie banter. I can't wait!!

I took no pictures of the day (because I'm bloody useless) apart from my mascaraed eye, so I may as well give you that because I've nothing else to offer you! I know, I know, I'm a poor excuse for a blogger. I hold my hands up at that. But I promise to take some pictures today so I do have something much more interesting to show you than a mascara and an eye!

The excitement that is my new mascara off, and on, my eye!

Please click below to have a look at my fantastically-talented friend Chloe's new website!

26 March 2013

Tales of Easter, no. 2

Yesterday, my first full day back, was lovely. After waking up early I tried, and failed, to get some exercise in before sitting with Moom for breakfast. Then, after a bit of faffing here and there, we took a trip into a local town (I'm not sure that's the correct term but I can't be bothered to look up what constitutes a village/town/city) with my Dad, stopping in Costa for a chat before he left to go back to work. A couple of chores later, I found myself in Superdrug, with photos of some of Estee's recommendations on my phone to refer to, in the hope of purchasing myself a whole new face wardrobe! As ever, things didn't quite go to plan.

My main product hope was for a foundation and, having searched through previous posts and YouTube vids, I had decided that I would chose between Boujois' Healthy Mix Serum Foundation and Revlon's Nearly Naked with the thought that I would be able to make a more well-informed decision in person although this was, of course, was too good to be true. Not being able to do so, I went on to have a look at a few other products and thankfully came away with MUA's 'Heaven and Earth' palette as planned. Having been unable to choose a foundation, nor a mascara (my next most important item) I decided to visit Boots. However, being a small town, the size of Boots followed suit. The branch typically didn't stock Revlon, and I couldn't make my mind up about the Bourjois. Also, I was thoroughly frustrated to discover they now plastic-wrap the mascara's (I guess that's how long its been since I last bought myself one!) and not all of the wands are displayed, therefore I also walked away without a mascara. I did, however, purchase both the blush and concealer pictured below (3 for 2, Moom also made a purchase) although, without a foundation, I can't do much with them but, hey-ho, at least I tried!

Anywhoo, after meeting up with the boy for lunch, Moom and I went to see Auntie Ju, and the three of us had a right good old natter for a couple of hours. I was very kindly given my Easter gift - which you can again see below - of a new book (which I've just started and am enjoying), my bunny choc's and a muffin tin that I'm excited to put to good use! After the natter we ventured back home for me to cook the roast for the 4 of us (the boy popped over). I then settled in for the evening with some Galaxy choc and a cuppa to read the day's posts I'd missed and then to watch Broadchurch for the first time on a real-live actual TV (normally it's a catch-up on the laptop jobby!)
I then retired to my bedroom (that's my attempt at making my words seem high-brow), read a little then succumbed to sleep.

My purchases - MUA Heaven and Earth, Natural Collection Blush in Peach Melba and Collection' Lasting
Perfection Concealer in Pale
The happily-received Easter gifts from Auntie Ju, alongside the Company Mag and socks Moom presented me with
yesterday when I got home :)

25 March 2013

Tales of Easter, no.1

I'm back home! (and back to making my room look 'lived in', i.e. as messy as I can make it!). Being the first day I don't have to wake up early - no uni, birthday, or trip home to prepare for - I of course woke early (7:30 is early when you don't need to get up, right?) and am already thinking about the day, and week, ahead. It's going to be full of visits to see the people I love, catch-ups with films I've yet to see (Looper, Ted, the final Twilight, a cinema trip to see Oz) and a few, good ol' chin wags over a cuppa or two (and cake, I'll fit in in somehow). Bliss. Today I will be spending the day with my family. I'll be popping out to pick up some bits for tonight's dins (I'm cooking a roast at Mother's request!), going to visit my auntie and then seeing my boy before he drive's home tomorrow (when I will then be seeing my bestie, yay!) It's going to be a lovely day and I can't wait for it to start. Meanwhile, I'm typing in bed (something I never do back in Notts) and debating whether or not to get up and have Jillian Michaels rip me to shreds (coz I sure as heck ain't shredded yet! And I say yet pretty loosely, coz I don't think that's going to happen!)

I plan to blog once a day from here (she says!) so I will speak to you all again very soon!
Doing my best to clutter up my shelves and not eat any of the bloody choccy eggs (none of which are mine!)

This post helped me when I was feeling a little down about everything last. All three of these women - Bella, Christina and Meg (have a click on her 'About Me' photo) - have fantastic blogs, from their layouts (they are all wordpress, hmmmm, maybe I should have looked into that a little more?!) to their photographs and, of course, their words. Oh those words. They are all wonderful, beautiful writers and just completely deserve to have their words read. So, please, have a mosey-on-over, get those specs out (why did I say that?!), grab a cuppa (that makes more sense!) and have a read. If my blog could come across even as half as well as theirs, I'd be a very happy girl indeed.

21 March 2013

You're not the only one that time has got it in for honey, that's where you're wrong

With term nearly up for Easter, it's got me thinking about times ahead (best to ignore the fact I have 2 essays to hand in, 3 weeks of lectures and 6 exams to go once I'm back after the break!) but also times gone by. This Summer will be an odd one for me. I know, realistically, I will have to look for a job although goodness where I will start (the boy has got himself a trial shift tomorrow - super proud of him - as he wants some hours during the week to keep him busy amongst other things - oh haiiii, lazy Tori!). Besides that, we will be going to Glastonbury - my first ever trip, Mike's 3rd (I think) - in little Mr Eric (you'll be introduced to him down below). Please all let's all pray for someone decent to headline (current rumours mean a disappointed Tori!). The lyrics I used may give an inkling as to who I'm hoping to see. We are then off to Scotland for a month of travelling in August. Pretty exciting stuff you'd think. And it is. But it does come tinged with a little sadness.

Right, Eric. He is the boy's (well, our) motorhome. I won't go into the story of how he's got him - because it's long-winded and I don't want to unnecessarily bore you with the details - but yes, got him he did, way back in 2007, ready for his and JS's 6 month trip around Europe (they were only 19!). Since we've been together - March 2009 - we have taken two trips in him, 2 1/2 months around Europe in 2010, and our last trip back in 2011 (how have I not been out of this country for nearly 2 years?! That time has flown by!) for another 2 months, revisiting some countries as well as visiting new ones. I've now been to 13 in total. Crazy amazing thought.

I miss travelling. I realise I'm incredibly lucky to have been able to have done it so I won't hark on about it. I'm certainly not going to moan about it (too much!) but it definitely does feel like it's been out of my life for a little too long now (hey, once you are bitten!). Scotland is going to be different for us. I'm expecting rain (nothing we haven't handled before) and beautiful landscapes (ditto!) but also lots of tears. We are going to be making the absolute most-est of it because this will be the last time we will be travelling in him. After Scotland we will tidy him up, get everything that needs to be fixed, fixed, and send him off to his next home. It's a weird feeling. If we could keep him forever, we would, but storage and insurance costs are pretty pricey. I hate that money gets in the way of things. We built memories in Eric. We had some lows - on our first trip in 2010 we were broken into only 4 days after leaving home - but also some ridiculously amazing highs - our time in Salzburg on both trips, realising how gosh-darn beautiful Germany is when journeying through its landscapes, fires by the mountainside in Grimentz (the boys favourite place, in Switzerland), walking along the quietest, and tiniest of beaches in Lake Garda, dreaming in Venice, singing loud on long journeys. The boy read his first ever Classic and started on the path that made him the wonderful man he is today in Eric. I spent my first lengthy amount of time away from home in him. We both visited countries and places that will forever be etched on our hearts. All of these things we would never have experienced - nor could we realistically afforded to have done so - without Eric. I am so so grateful to Grandad Eric for giving my boy the chance he did, and for letting him, and I, live our wildest dreams. Not many people get to say that. I'm still surprised I do.
The beginning of our very first trip and me, happy to be in Brugges!
The incredibly peaceful campsite we escaped from the city to after our break in
Glorious German architecture - Munich's Rathaus (town hall)
The stunning view of Neuschwanstein Castle (inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle
as well as being the castle they fly over in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) from a scarily rickety bridge incredibly high up!
Sound Of Music shot in Salzburg
Trip number 2 and the obligatory Copenhagen picture!
More of Germany's architecture, this time in Hamburg
One of my favourites - Berlin - and me in the worst picked outfit for the occasion (it had been raining and was chilly
right up until we left for the train station - I was melting!) 
Back to Salzburg and one of the most beautiful views I've been lucky to witness
Another Sound Of Music fan picture - for all those who share a love for this film, you'll know this as the
lake from the scene where Maria and the children are out in the boat (with the Von Trapp family home and
the convent in the background)
Not one to be outdone, Vienna pulled out all the architectural-stops

Slovenia offered its own beautiful sights - Kamnik (a campsite stop)
We had some of the best parking spots! Soave
This was the time when we went all culture-vultery and visited the opera - Aida at Arena di Verona
The beach at Garda on, you've guessed it, Lake Garda
A photo to prove we were actually on the trip
This was in front of Milan's Cathedral
Oh Venice!
You spoiled us so
Although Novate Mezzola offered up it's own wonders

Some hiking action in Grimentz
Before the climb up
The end result was worth it - Lac de Moiry
Some lucky buggers view every day!
Smiley, happy people :)

19 March 2013

Lilies and short stories

My new book, standing out amongst all of the boy's classics (hmmmm, Anna Karenina's sorry looking
spine may have been my doing :/ )

This morning I became the proud owner of a brand new book - Miranda July's 'No One Belongs Here More Than You'. It was an impulse buy (if you can really call purchasing a book an impulse!) as I have no idea what it's really about, only that it's a collection of short stories, but July's name has been bandied around a few times in articles I've read, and her films are those on my list of 'to watch' (along with about a thousand others that I'm not sure I'll ever make the time for, sigh), so I thought I'd give it a go. Not only that but I can't remember the last time I picked up and finished a novel. A good few months back now. So I think short stories are all my pretty sparrow-like attention span can handle right now. I'll let you know.

Are there any books you've read and have/haven't enjoyed recently?

Thank you Dodge and Moom!
In other news, look how pretty our flowers are! 9 days on and they are still going strong, with all the lilies in bloom now. Flowers certainly do perk up a room and every so often my gaze falls on them and I can't help but smile!

18 March 2013

The tale of Tori the procrastinator

The past few days have been full of nothing but procrastination. I know I'm not the only person who suffers from it - the vast majority of people I speak to who have uni essays or assignments to hand in, or work deadlines to meet, have gone/are going through the same thing as I - but sometimes it feels like I am. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I am the worst when it comes to writing essays. You may scoff, and offer yourself said title, but you'd be doing me a disservice because I don't think you actually realise just how bad one person can be. I mean, hey, I am all about the giving of advice to other people re: writing an essay etc. but do I take my own advice on board?! Do I heck!
No matter what, every single essay process starts this way, and each time it happens the more stressed I become. I have an essay due in Thursday but I have to hand it in Wednesday because of a 2 hour lecture Thursday morning that I can’t miss because the lecturer jam-packs it full of info he negates to put down, in any way, shape or form, on our handouts/lecture slides (I hope you made it through that incredibly long sentence in one piece!) Yet despite this deadline being ridiculous close, I've not even begun to start writing it. Which is a little worrying. No, a lot worrying.
I started the day today thinking I was going to write about one topic. Knuckled down to do some reading for it. Un-knuckled back up to not do said reading because I couldn't understand anything past the first sentence. So I changed my mind, going back to a topic I first thought I was going to do when I originally contemplated writing the essay in the first place (some 3 weeks ago now, wouldn't it have been heavenly if I'd actually made a start on it then?!). I began to do some reading, panicked, stopped reading. Panicked again about what to do. Made a cuppa and ate some chocolate buttons. Panicked (you probably sense a pattern emerging here) then changed my mind, again, and chose to do the topic I really wanted to leave until the after-Easter deadline because I love it and wanted to take my time doing it but because it's the only topic I actually bloody understand, with the time constraints (imposed on myself, as is my life!) I've got to go with it. The only problem is that, because I like the topic, I've almost read too much on it, so now have thoroughly confused myself and keep changing my mind regarding how I feel about the question. URGH!!

Anyone else living for the weekend?!! :)

In case you were wondering what it looks like - here's me in the flat, before I started writing.
The calm before the storm as it were. And look, I even tidied for you!