Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Lady Gaga should be proud

I am getting better and better annoyingly answering Amy's questions with questions.
I'm glad actually, because Amy's answers are getting better and better too.
Or maybe it's the questions that are good in the first place.
Either way, this is our conversation from earlier.

Amy: What is God's favourite song?
(She goes to a Catholic school so talks about God a lot.
Apparently God's taste in music is not on the curriculum.)
Me: What do you think God's favourite song is?
Amy: Probably Lady Gaga.
The 'rah rah ah ah aahh' one.
Me: What 'Bad Romance'? I don't think it would be that one.
Amy: What about bad boys then? (Alexandra Burke)
Me: Hard to say. 
Could be either.
Why don't you ask your new teacher when you go back to school next week?

Apparently I'm also learning the fine art of passing along children's unanswerable/awkward/embarrassing questions (unanswerable in this case) off to other people too. 
Nannying is teaching me so many valuable skills.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

You're married? Say whaaaat!

Photos from 3Poppies Photography
Whenever I meet anyone new and they inevitably ask me to tell them about myself, I have a list of facts that I easily reel off.
A completely memorised speech that comes easily.
I'm Becky. (Obvious start!)
From Sheffield originally, but I moved to Leeds when I started university.
I'm going into the final year of my degree, where I'm training to be primary school teacher.
I also work part time as a nanny to two munchkins - a two year old boy and a five year old girl.
I love to read, write, cook, take photos and just in case your wondering, I'm a cancer.
Oh, and my husband's name is Ross.

I can pretty much guarantee the two questions that come next.
- What, your married?
- Wait a minute, how old did you say you were?

Yes, I'm 21 years old and I've already been hitched for a little over a year.

Normally, people don't know how to react to that.

Probably because they make some ridiculous assumptions about why I'm married. 
People think that either... 
1). I had to have a shotgun wedding,
2). I'm an immature person that thinks that I'm living in a fairytale, 
or 3). I don't care about having any life experiences.

None of which hold any kind of truth.
Is it not enough to just know that I'm in love?

Anyway, I find the last one the most ridiculous.
What? Just because I'm married it means that I don't want to go out and do anything?
Go and see things and visit cool places?
Have any interesting experiences?
Have any kind of fun at all?

Well, let me tell you.
I have plans.
I have places I want to go to, things I want to do, experiences that I want to have.
And I'm intent on making all my plans into reality.
And, I already have someone that I love will come along and do it all with me.
How lucky is that?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Weekend in video

Here's a little something a made earlier.
No biggie.

I had such a good weekend.
Actually, the word 'good' isn't really an adequate description of how much I loved this weekend.

Time with my family, 
good home cooked food, 
a trip to beautiful York, 
(I did get a better picture of the Minster if anyone cares?)
Chinese food, 
BBQ pizza, 
a cheeky lie in, 
time with Ross' parents, 
the bright colours in the CARNIVAL, 
jerk chicken with rice and peas, 
and a chance to take some photos.

That, my friends, is a weekend that is close to perfection.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

Yes, that is me quoting Elton John.
I'm all about using lyrics as song titles apparently.
I promise that I'll make it stop soon.

So, like I already mentioned (three times actually) today is Saturday.
That means that its the weekend.
And this weekend is particularly sweet, because its an extra day long.
All praise the hallowed bank holiday.
Whoop whoop.

Ross is on call for work today.
Sad face for him.
But I'm not letting him drag my weekend down with his.
So I've made plans that involve me going to York, 
eating Chinese food, 
seeing my family,
and hopefully getting a better picture of York Minster than this.

Although with the weather today, I doubt that will happen.
No matter, here's to a rockin' weekend.

Friday, 26 August 2011

This is a story about a girl named Lucky

Yes, that is me quoting Britney.
Embrace it & love it.

Ross worked a long day yesterday.
Thirteen hours.

When he got home, he gave me a massive hug, kissed my forehead and then this is what went down.

Ross: "Let me just quickly get changed 
and then I'll come through and give you a massage."
Me: "'ve just worked a thirteen hour day, 
it should be me giving you a massage."
Ross: "Ahh, I'm alright, 
but when I spoke to you on the phone earlier, 
you sounded sad, 
so I wanted to do something nice to make you happy."

This is why I'm Lucky. 

PS. Does it make me a bad wife if even after a 13 hour working day I let him give me a half an hour long massage?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bakings and queens

Oh, (pause for dramatic effect) the comforts of baking.

Seriously, there are few things more comforting than knowing that if you take some eggs, butter, flour, sugar and other cakey ingredients, combine them and stick 'em in a hot oven that good things will happen.
Unless you are a bad baker.

I used to be a bad baker.
Just ask my Mom.
She will tell you several stories about the humble efforts that I made in my food technology class at school that only ever yielded very poor and unsatitisfying results.
I would always proudly present my creations to her and force her to try them.
Normally, we both ended up disappointed.
Think encouraging 'mmmm' sounds at first and then pretend choking.
Don't think badly of her though.

Just like the time I cried because I couldn't reverse the car onto the drive 
(unfortunately that is as pathetic as it sounds) 
and with little sympathy she told me to stop being ridiculous and just do it., 
she taught me that if I do hard things, 
they'll eventually become easy to me.

Case and point.

Raspberry cupcakes with vanilla icing.

Shortbread & brownie cupcakes.

And most recently, bread.
But I don't have any pictures of that, because I was too eager to eat it while it was still hot and demolished nearly half the loaf as soon as it came out of the oven.

Anyway, my baking efforts are significantly more successful in recent years.
And more gratefully received by all who have eaten them I might add. 
The next batch of cupcakes are for you Momma.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Imagine all the people

There was one day last week where it didn't rain at all.
It was actually quite a nice day, with blue skies, a little bit of warmth and a little bit of wind.
(The weather kind, not the...other kind.)
So first and foremost being English, I knew that I had to make the most of a nice day, because even in 'summer' the aforementioned conditions are never guaranteed,
and secondary to that being a nanny, I knew that if we spent the day away from the house the day would go by that much faster.
So I packed up a little picnic, bundled the two munchkins into the car and took them to Kirkstall Abbey. 
Fast forward the car journey and the picnic
(although as a picnic related side note, what is the appropriate way to react when a child spits out a completely masticated cheese sandwich and just lets it ooze out of his mouth and down his chin? Gross)
and freeze frame at this moment...
 Amy folding her arms and looking borderline grumpy.
At first I mistook this for her physically showing me that she was sick of me taking her picture,
but it was actually her five year old way of trying to work out something completely ridiculous to her in her own mind.
"Becky, why does this place not have a roof?
Where has it gone?"
Keen to nail down my role as an annoying, cryptic adult, I naturally answered her question with a question.
"What do you think happened to it?"
She's silent for a few minutes and then offers me two options.
1). The Queen of the witches used to live here and when she moved out she took it with it her.
(Why had I not thought of that? It seems so obvious now...)
Or 2). Some robbers and burglars stole it.
(Actually, she said some robbers and burgers stole it, 
which makes for quite an interesting mental picture, 
but I'm pretty sure she meant burglars.)

Couple this small display of her imagination filling in the gaps,
with her falling over a baby squirrel in her bedroom
and a thousand other examples of her being completely content to play in the recesses of her own mind and you have to admit, this kid has quite the imagination.
But wait, don't all kids?

I was a kid once, where has my imagination gone?
Actually, has it even gone anywhere? Or has it just changed?
Because when I made dinner last night, I didn't follow a recipe or any instructions.
I just took some ingredients, made up a method and served up some stuffed peppers. Bam.
It takes imagination to do that right?
And when I get dressed everyday I think of how the colours, patterns and textures of what I want to wear will look together as an outfit.
That takes imagination too, right?
And for crying out loud, I'm going to be a teacher.
Surely pretty much everything about that requires imagination?

Hmm, I think that a lot of people believe that you grow out of your imagination.
Like you leave school and suddenly see the world as adult, in all its realistic glory, so you gently fold away your imagination and put it in the loft with the rest of your old school books. 
But really, how boring would that be?
Now please excuse me, I have to go and brush my unicorns silky purple mane.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


Don't hate me for admitting this.
I've always been one of those annoying people that got through school, 
with pretty sweet grades I might add, 
without having to try that hard.

Don't let me delude you - I did all my homework and junk, 
but revision...
What's that?
In the entirety of my life I've probably only done about 10 hours of revision.
SATs, GCSE's & Alevels.

Oh wait.....
University - completely different story.
Dude, uni is hard!
Writing assignments sucks the life out of me, 
reading academic books makes me want to do anything (ANYTHING) other than actually read the suckers
and Harvard referencing.
The less said about that the better.
Coming to university was a bit of a rude awakening for me.
Good grades don't just happen here, you have to earn them.

But I'm going to tell you a secret now.
And it has to be kept a secret, because as soon as anyone says it out loud, that means its not a secret anymore, but a goal.
And goals require hard work.
This one especially.
I want to graduate with a first.
Even writing it down makes me a little bit nervous.
Because this is my last year to make it happen.

Somewhere, deep down in the recesses of soul there's a little voice, a quite whispering of subconscious that is trying to convince me and gently tell me that I can do it.

"You averaged a first last year, remember?
It's completely within a realistic realm of possibility.
But you're going to have to put in the hours.
First class degrees don't just appear out secret hopes and good intentions. 
They need work you know.
And lots of it.
But you can do it."

So there you go.
I want a first.
But shhh, because as soon anyone mentions it, I kinda have to make it happen.
And that scares the bajeezus out of me.

Monday, 15 August 2011

R is for Rebecca

I'm not sure if they did it on purpose, but I think that my parents gave me a very sensible name.
A transitional name, perhaps.
One that can change with age.
Shortened to Becky as a child.
Everyone still calls me Becky - I'm in touch with my youth y'know.
But to think of myself as a Granny one day, Becky doesn't seem to fit.
I always imagine being old and people not calling me Becky anymore.
No, when I'm old and grey people will call me by my birth certificate name.

A few days ago, I was pushing the boy I nanny for in a swing and casually chatting with the woman stood next to me who was also pushing a little one in a swing and before I even knew what I was saying, I told the woman that my name was Rebecca.
I didn't even consciously make the decision to introduce myself as Rebecca, but it happened.
And then a very scary thought washed over me, that still makes me shudder to recall.
I'm becoming a grown up.
I pay bills, own a car, cook my own dinner, wash my own clothes and do a plethora of other grown up activities.
When did this happen?
Because I swear in my head I'm still only 15 years old.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Weekend wrap up in 5

1). A typical gray day in England made more exciting by going go karting.
Apart from it was boys only, so I wasn't actually allowed to go near a go kart.
I spent the afternoon cooing over baby Hudson instead, which was actually very fine by me, 
thank you very much. 
2). We went bowling and because the bowling alley in Grimsby is small/slightly still in the dark ages, I had to play with the bumpers down.
I felt like a proper adult - I normally play with bumpers up, because I am bad (BAD) at bowling.
And then after such a personal triumph, after the game had ended I even bowled a cheeky extra ball down our lane. 
I'm all about thrill seeking y'know.
3). We went to a wedding on Saturday.
Our friends Dave & Rosie got married and it was so beautiful.
I practically ODed over all of the gorgeous cupcakes, flowers, colours and food.
Congrats Mr & Mrs Lawrance. 
4). This nacho salad was as good to eat as it looks.
I think the perfect accompaniment to good food is even better company.
Grays, Boome, hurry your buns up and move over here already.
I'm giddy to have you as possible neighbours.
5). If you can guess what this is a picture of, you can have 100 points.
And what do points make?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Watching the people get lairy

It's not very pretty I tell thee.
The Kaiser Cheifs were pretty much on the money when they predicted a riot.

I can not believe the disarray in my beautiful England right now.
Riots, looting, fires, fighting, general disrespect.
It makes me sick.
How can people think that its ok to set fire to cars, houses, business', police stations and all manner of other things?
Who told them that its alright to smash the windows of every shop they see and just help themselves to whatever they find inside?
They complain that its because the government is crap and they have no money for stuff, but how can they not see that their actions are destroying the livelihood of others?
And since when was stuff the most important thing anyway?

It's not a case of Robin Hood syndrome.
You know, taking from the rich and giving to the poor, all in the name of justice and fairness.
It's the selfless and the brainless taking from the hard working and giving to themselves. 
There's nothing just of fair about these peoples actions at all.

I am a proud Englishwoman.
England is my beautiful, green, hilly home.
It breaks my heart to see people senselessly, heartlessly and brainlessly trashing it, 
and it makes me ashamed to say that the people that are doing it are English too.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Further boddelings of my mind

We were in the car, driving through the beautiful hills of Scotland - just past Gretna Green - when we saw a little hand painted sign, blue it was, that said 'the last house in Scotland', and had a small arrow pointing to a house.
Then we drive past said house and a hundred yards down the road and see another sign.
'Welcome to England.'
Just like that. 
Scotland one second, England the next.
And just as quickly as we've crossed the border back into the Motherland, two boddles enter my mind.

The first one is this; do the people that live in that humble abode that is signposted as the last house in Scotland, feel as patriotically Scottish as some average Scot that lives in Edinburgh or Dundee?
Because they're practically in England.
They could walk for a minute straight out of their front door and be in Cumbria. 
Their nearest town might be in England - they might do their weekly shop in England.
Their most trusted mechanic might live over the border.
The church that they go to every Sunday might be in England.
But all that being said, are they still Scottish and proud?
My musings on this subject are not limited to this 'last house in Scotland' situation, but for any person that lives on the border or two countries.

My second boddeling was along similar lines.
What accent does a person that lives on the border have?
As suddenly as I jumped (I didn't jump, I drove..) from Scotland to England, does the accent change from Scottish to English?
Or is it just a jumbled up mix of the two?
And if it is how far would you have to travel in each direction until you came across a traditional accent?

Ohh, my head is full of so many questions right now.
I think I need to go and drink a big glass of water whilst I hold my breath to calm my mind, before it EXPLODES.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A continual search for balance

In the past I have fallen into one of two categories.
1). Insanely, possibly even manically busy.
Sometimes I give myself lists of jobs that I have to do, that day.
I choose to say 'give myself jobs' rather than just work through a list of stuff that I have to do, because like I already said, when I'm busy, I get manic/insane.
If I have an essay to write, I'll make a list of everything that I need to do to get it done.
Just usual stuff like...
- make a note of which books I need from the library
- get said books from the library
- find quotes/things to cite
- etc, etc.
And then I'll add on stuff like...
- do the food shopping
- clean the bathroom
- put on a load of white washing
- empty the bin
- etc, etc.
Stuff that I could deffo put off doing whilst I spend time working on my essay.
But I add it on anyway.
And if I don't get everything on my list done that day, I feel like I've let myself down.

The second category that I often fall into is
2). Completely lazy bum.
This is pretty self explanatory, but I mean to the extreme.
I'll sleep long past the time that Ross has gotten up and gone to work and then when I do get up, I'll just transfer myself from the bed to the sofa and catch up on Come Dine With Me.
All day.
And then it'll get to the end of the day and I'll realise that I've literally done nothing more than vegetate on the sofa and I'll feel terrible.
Like I've let myself down.

Now, I realise that these are two pretty extreme situations and even though I do find myself in either one of them fairly regularly, my life isn't like that all time.
What makes me happiest is when I have a balance between the two.
So after some subconscious doing and some very conscious thinking, I came up with a list of things.
A list of things that if I just complete each day, I can feel like I've achieved something. 
If I have nothing to do one day, I can make sure I do these things and the day isn't wasted.
If I have loads to do each day, I can just quickly work through this list and then anything else that I manage to do is a bonus.
Either way its win/win.

So because I'm in a giving mood today, here's my list.
1). Wash my face. 
(It probably seems like a weird thing to have one my list, but if I'm feeling particularly lazy in the morning, I skip this off and if I've had a hectic day I go to bed without doing it.)
2). Say a prayer of gratitude.
3). Search for truth. 
4). Go to bed with a sink empty of dirty dishes.
5). Take a photograph. 
One at least, more if I get the chance.
6). Spend some time outside.
Even just taking out the rubbish counts, because I've found if I literally stay inside all day I start to get cabin fever. A little bit.
7). Make dinner
8). Spend some time with Ross.

Friday, 5 August 2011


British summers are famous for being...
how can I put it...
poor, disappointing, pants, rubbish, crap...
Choose any of the above, they are all adequate and accurate descriptions.
But even more certain than our let down summers are the conversations that surround them.
Us Brits can quite often be an awkward nation, so when we get stuck during a conversation, we talk about the weather.
"It's meant to be a heatwave this summer."
"Yeah, I hear it's going to be the hottest since records began."
"Finally, a proper BBQ summer."
Then inevitably the heatwave never comes, the BBQ's never happen and the temperatures aren't even worth recording.
So then we turn into a nation of moaners.
"What happened to this heatwave that we were meant to have?"
"There's absolutely no chance of having a BBQ. It'd definitely rain. Or at least be cloudy."
And once the moaning starts, it never stops. 
Even if we have nice weather. 
In fact, especially if we have nice weather!
One optimistic soul will say...
"Nice weather we're having at the minute."
"Ohhh, no it's too hot."
"No, this is sticky weather, it's not nice heat."
"But it's not hot like abroad hot, this is muggy."
"It's too humid. My clothes are sticking to me. It's making me sweaty."

Well, I say make the most of this kinda sunny weather we're having right now, because before you know, it'll be snowing and we'll complaining about the cold.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A lesson in tact and imagination

It's probably a universally accepted fact that children are hilarious.
The two that I work with are absolute crack ups. 
Being all young and innocent (usually) they are lacking in tact.
(As a side note, I remember when I learnt what the word tact meant. 
I was probably about nine years old and my Mum had just told me for telling my Uncle that if he carried on smoking he would DIE!)
Anyways, back to a more current story.
Yesterday, we're walking around the park and a man with a half sleeve tattoo is walking towards us.
Amy notices it as he's about two meters in front of us and then looks up at me, then back to the tattooed guy, points her finger and then very loudly declares...
 "he is a very bad man!"
I squeeze her hand and quietly shush her whilst offering the tattooed man an apologetic smile, and then she says...
"WHAAAT?! Look at all of his DIRTY tattoos.
That means that he is a BAD man!"
Que me quickly dragging her away before she opens her mouth again.

Fast forward half an hour and we're back at home.
I climb the two flights of stairs up to her room, where I find her wearing a purple dressing up outfit with matching high heels in her bedroom.
I stand outside her door for a minute and listen to what she's doing.
I peek around the door and see her twirling and spinning around her bedroom.
"I wandering and spinning through this magical forest.
The birds are singing and everything is just wonderful.
Oh no! I've fallen over a baby squirrel."
Que her dramatically falling to the floor with her hand resting on her forehead.
"Where or where is my handsome Prince Charming."
It was at this point she noticed me watching her.
I was kinda disappointed that the show was over.
So I took her downstairs and put on another Disney film and hoped that she would get inspiration for the next time she dresses up and pops off into her little imagination.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

We only part to meet again

God be with you till we meet again;
by his counsels guide, uphold you,
God be with you till we meet again.
with his sheep securely fold you;
God be with you till we meet again;
when life's perils thick confound you,
put his arms unfailing round you;
God be with you till we meet again.
God be with you till we meet again;
keep love's banner floating o'er you,
smite death's threatening wave before you;
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet, 
till we meet at Jesus' feet;
till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.