Thursday, 28 May 2009

A Poll

I do like polls and so I have added yet another one to my blog. It goes pretty much like the previous ones have, but I really would like it if you would please, please take a wee moment to click on it...

My birthday is coming up next week, and as is customary, I need to do something / get something for myself. I'm undecided as to where I will go, or what I'll do. My funds are limited, as is my time...and motivation is sadly lacking.

Where should I get a piercing?? Why should I age gracefully??...I'm not too old to get a piercing! Ha! I shall cling on to what youth remains...and if it looks shit, I can always take it out ;)

So go

Monday, 25 May 2009

- Nothing in particular -

'On the Road' is finished. What a great book and totally life changing, as promised by Bob Dylan on the back cover. I feel inspired. Not so restless as I thought I would be, but inspired. I have wonderful visions of bohemians, hippies, beatniks, libertines...

I want to adventure.

I've been listening to Edith Piaf loads and day dreaming about what it'll be like in Paris. I want to go back to Liverpool too. I want to eat proper nachos in Mexico. I want to read all the classics. Watch beautifully made films, listen to music made by people with fascinating lives. I want to be brilliant.

I lack the necessary energy.

Last night I fell into a dream-filled sleep. I dreamt of my family, all of us scattered across three continents. I woke up realizing I'm not a child anymore. I want to be 20 again...20 knowing what I know now. This year, I’ve decided to turn 27 again...27 has been wonderful…

I’ve started 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater' by Thomas De Quincey. The title promises stories of debauchery and indulgence and scandal. I hope it wont disappoint.


My ideas and thoughts are a little messy right now. I’m thinking about my birthday, the Isle of Wight festival, my Lee, London, Paris, visas, books and music. I’m thinking about castles, road trips around Ireland…I’m feeling that old curiosity too. I’m excited.

This is what 16 was like.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I met Yvonne and the family at the hotel on Tuesday morning. I was up at five, walking across Hambleden Estate at half five. It was lovely to walk across the fields at that time, I saw bunnies dodging into the hedges, it was cool and damp and my feet got soaked through my shoes. I got the bus to Henley, the early direct train to Paddington and the Piccadilly line to Heathrow. I walked up and down Terminal 2 looking for where I get the hotel hoppa buses and found myself at the Crowne Plaza at half nine. Everyone was tired, Martin was sick and the room wasn't ready yet. I got us a taxi to Windsor.

Windsor castle. We spent some time being tourists, taking pictures, looking about. We all got hungry and we had a pub lunch and a pint of ale across the road from the castle. We went back and finished off looking inside the castle state apartments and debating the height of Henry VIII. Afterwards we finished off with tea and apple pie at a lovely tea room across from the pub we lunched at.

I said goodbye to them by the large Victoria statue, hugs, getting into the taxi, waves goodbye and then followed the signs to the station, got three trains back, the bus and walked back to Hambleden. I drank tea in my bedroom and looked at the pictures and felt sad. I suppose next time I see them all, it'll be in Canada. More travels and more places to explore. Still, I wish my family weren't spread over three continents.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Extravagance and sloth

What a delightfully lazy day. I got up before five this morning to let Lee out so that he could get back to Belfast and to work for ten o'clock. I wrapped up warm with my scarf, gloves and thick coat and walked him to his car to say goodbye. It was already light outside, I think it had been for a while already. After going back to bed and sleeping until ten, I got up and had my breakfast. Andy and Shiela were already in the kitchen preparing for the lunch time, boiling vegetables, making apple crumble and huge pans of cooling food were all over the counter tops. I made my tea and poured out some cereal and ate it in the snug bar with Clare.

I've been planning my trip to London tomorrow and think I finally have my journey all planned out. I'll be leaving the pub before six to walk a mile, get the bus and then three trains and another bus to reach my family at the hotel by Heathrow early enough in the morning. To congratulate myself on finding the fastest and cheapest transport option, I've been reading some 'On the Road', lying in bed with some buttered soda bread and pink champagne. I've left 'The Weepies' on repeat playing from my ipod through my speakers, such pretty songs and lyrics, and voice.

I must add a quote from 'On the Road', 'cos I just loved this...

"They rushed down the street together, digging everything in the early way they had, which later became so much sadder and perceptive and blank. But then they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'..."


Pink champagne is lovely. I've switched to some Edith Piaf while I read about her on wikipedia. I have such a short attention span. She too, is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery, as I think is Oscar Wilde...I must google that.


Back to Jack Kerouac and an early night.

Guitars in the Public Bar

A great weekend has just ended, and as Lee put it, it feels like the end of a good holiday. Work wasn't as busy as it has been and I ended up with loads more time off, and the chance to spend more time just lazing about, talking, drinking Baileys, playing with plasticine, giggling, making plans, and paging through travel guides.

I'm feeling pretty happy right now, I think I may have peaked above that flat line of contentedness I usually hang around.

It's so easy to write when things are bad, or I'm cranky and cross. I find it more difficult when things are good, and I'm battling now. Where do I start anyway? Should I talk about what we did this weekend? How glad I am that I have a Lee? How cool he is, and talented on his guitar (amongst other things)...

He arrived on Friday. My heart did jump a little at the sight of him walking past the kitchen to go upstairs, he always looks so good in black. I finished work and we spent some time together chatting in the room. On Saturday evening after my evening shift in the kitchen we started playing with the huge tub of plasticine he bought for me last weekend (after a discussion of our favourite childhood toys). We made animals and a snowman and our countries flags (with help from the internet...I am a dork), and we lay around talking. I worked on Sunday and had four hours off in the day between shifts. We spent a lot of time talking and laughing, making plans, booking flights to Paris and looking through the Paris travel guide he got for me in Marlow. Flights are booked for the last weekend in September and we're going to Paris for four nights :) So far our (and see if you can guess which ones I came up with ;)), plans include:

Drinking Absinthe in a seedy Parisian bar whilst wearing a floaty scarf and a stripey top.
Visiting Jim Morrison's grave at Père Lachaise cemetery.
Walks in parks and along the river.
Drinking coffee on sidewalks outside little French cafes.
Drinking wine everywhere.
Dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge.
The Louvre.
Lots of photos of the pretty buildings.

I opened the bar up on Sunday evening and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Matt brought his guitars and amplifier over and him and Lee sat in the public bar playing guitar together, while I stood behind the bar, impressed. The ale flowed, and it was just us in the bar, and Willie and John and two other blokes from Oxford and Reading.

Going to South Africa :)

A pink dog, pig and piglet.

Matt and Lee from behind the bar.

I still have so much to look forward to :) :)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Pictures on my door

I don't know what happens to my time. I think I can account for most of it, but it just goes so damn fast! This week has been pretty cool starting off with days off and London hotels. Wednesday saw me walking the mile over the fields to Mill End, a colourful Karen in my yellow top, decorative wellies and blue hat...the cows were paying too much interest and followed me, freaking me out just a little. I found Hambleden Lock, which I knew was around, just not where. It was pretty big, and awesome...very impressive indeed. I took lots of photos, but they're for later, I suppose.

Re-living my youth :) I cleaned my room, like a proper spring clean. I went overboard on the decorating and felt like a teenager again sticking these pictures up on my cupboard. I think they're pretty though, and so, they shall stay.

I had lunch with Carissa and her sister in Henley on Thames yesterday. We went to Marlow first, had a walk along the Thames briefly, then headed for the local Weatherspoons in Henley and had a burger and a pint of Strongbow. It was cool to see her and catch up a little since our last meeting in York in December.

But now, I need to get out of bed, dress, feed and go back downstairs and work again. I really need to be more productive with my time I think. Think faster, read faster, sleep, and definitely eat less!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I'm back from a day and night in London. I always love London. It didn't disappoint again. I arrived at half past four and met Lee at Covent Garden tube station. We ate dodgy dirty Chinese food from the market in Camden then got back on the tube for Angel and Filthy McNastys where we drank Guinness and Strongbow. I woke up with a headache and spent the morning lying about in the hotel room reading the newspaper, met Lee for lunch in Covent Garden and got the train back to Henley on Thames. I got the bus to Mill End and started walking down the fields back to Hambleden but remembered that I didn't have the pub keys with me and had to wait until six o' clock. I spread myself out on a grassy patch beside the river and finished reading 'Nineteen Eighty Four' (finally). I'm pleased 'cos now I can start reading Jack Kerouac 'On the Road'. I just can't read more than one book at a time.

I'm also trying to think up things to do tomorrow in between my shifts. I've been pretty bad at exploring my area and think I need to venture off to Reading at some point. I also want to see what Wargrave and Shiplake are like, since they're on the Henley branch of train line. I'll have my lil' run through the woods too. I will read, clean this place up and go adventuring on my own for a while.

But now, I need another cuppa tea and some strawberries and ice cream.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Up late staring at the screen again

I've been living off of stolen chocolates, buttered pieces of bread and Guinness this weekend. I've been working too hard and I'm tired. I can't go to sleep though as I feel like I need to catch up time spent on the internet, blogging, looking at pictures...just staring at the screen. I've not even emailed my mom yet. I must.

I got to spend a few hours with Lee this weekend, and even though I was too tired, too cranky and too distracted, I was still overwhelemed by his patience and love :)

I worked my first Sunday night on the bar by myself tonight. It was just me. It was a little scary, but everything went well, and except for the smelly and arrogant farm boys, it was pretty quiet. I felt kind of 'rock 'n roll' in my black dress, manly socks and straight but unbrushed hair. I was upstairs again by half past ten, the pub all closed up, locked up and lights off.

And tomorrow I'm off to London...

Some Camden, beer, Filthy McNasty's, Lee, pictures and public transport. Good times :)

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Thinking and planning

I went for a run in the woods this morning. I like how it's so cool in there, I dont get quite so hot and sweaty, which is gross. I was accompanied by some awesome Kings of Leon and MGMT and towards the end, Ken, the old man who lives across from the pub who was out walking his dog.

I've come back to the woods now, to sit under a tree, breath some fresh air and collect my thoughts. Introspection can be a good thing on occassion. And it helps for me to remember why I am here and my reasons for doing all of this in the first place. A life less ordinary and all that, you know? It's going to become even less ordinary soon too and I'm eagerly anticipating a few months of adventuring with Lee around Europe. We have all sorts of cool plans right now...we're going to get rail passes, cool hats and comfy shoes and go wherever we like! And why not, I ask? That's what Europe is there for, surely?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Rock 'n Roll Carl Barat air ;)

I feel so tired, I usually do, but I think this time, it's more justified than most others. The pub was so busy this weekend, I worked hard...and I had late nights, spending time with Lee. Early mornings delaying getting up and having to work, snooze buttons, long hours, ale in the garden with the sun on our backs, beer in the garden after evening shifts, MGMT, The Weepies, Dirty Pretty Things...Libertines, rock star hats and gloves, eating other peoples left over toast for breakfast. And a lovely dinner at The Hand and Flowers in Marlow. That place was awesome...rustic large table, great atmosphere, pink wine, the tenderest chicken and cool company.Today was great. We had a late breakfast of eggs Benedict and walked it down in the park in Marlow and along the Thames. It was warm and windy and the perfect day for a walk. We got to talk more than we had all weekend and it was good. It was all good.
I'm going to try for an early night tonight. Sod the fact that my room is a bit trashed and I have a whole lot of laundry to wash. Everything can be done tomorrow.

Friday, 1 May 2009


I woke up yesterday morning feeling like death. At first, I put it down to over-tiredness - a 24 hour trip, going straight back in to work and late night or early morning phone calls from Belfast (sigh).

Once I got up, however, I realized it was something altogether far more unpleasant than that when my poor stomach contained absolutely nothing anymore and I was left slumped over the bathroom basin. I somehow pulled it all together, got dressed and finished my first shift. Slowly. After that, I got back in to bed and slept for four hours, bathed, made myself some toast and Marmite and went back to bed. After a 12 hour sleep I'm feeling much better and just as well too because tomorrow...

Yup, it's tomorrow! My Lee is coming from Belfast to see me! Such excitement :)