Dear Diary… (22 May 2018)

Dear Diary… (22 May 2018)


What’s this? A new regular (hopefully) style post? Why yes, yes it is. Y’girl decided that as this here blog is meant to be a record of my life, capturing my memories, it made sense to write more regularly about what I’m doing, how I’m feeling and what’s been whizzing around inside my head. Writing monthly updates as I have been is all well and good but I wanted to get back to my roots a little, back to the days when I used to write daily (LOLS, that’s never gonna happen now) and made this website much more personal.


Don’t get me wrong, there will still be some of the more ‘bloggy’ type content on here – reviews etc (gotta earn those dollahs and if I’ve got to do a tax return every year then I might as well earn some money to make it less painful!) – but now I’ve fully accepted I missed the boat for my opportunity to be a big blogger, writing full-time for a living, I think I want to get back to basics and use this little online space of mine in a way that is, I guess, a little more ‘me’.


Also, while we’re here, catchy title eh? I literally couldn’t think of anything better, so there you go. Creativity = 0.


This past week has been a pretty good one but, as clichéd as it is, I can’t believe we are marching towards the end of May. I feel like this year is passing by so quickly and my feet aren’t really touching the ground. It’s not a bad thing though, it’s good to be busy, but I am looking forward to a bit of downtime in the next month or so. Ben and I are deliberately starting to reserve weekends in our calendar for absolutely nothing, just so we can potter around at home, get all the little jobs that need doing done, and reset our batteries a bit.


Work is busy, as ever, but with the end of our financial year at the end of June, it means that it’s all hands to the pump as we try to smash targets. That means my days are packed full and, for the most part, they’re passing pretty quickly, but the evenings do much the same which isn’t ideal – when I rule the world I’m definitely going to introduce 3 day weekends. All in favour?


Now the warmer months have (finally) arrived, we have started trying to get our garden in good order. We laid turf last year which, due to the garden being half shaded and being susceptible to standing water when it rains, has half died off. Having a dog using it as a toilet doesn’t help either, but Ben is working really hard at trying to save it and every evening after work he’s out there tending to it and coaxing it back to life. I popped a few plugs into some planters a week or so ago and was very excited to see little sprouts of green breaking through the earth, only to be greatly disappointed when they turned out to be dandelions – none of the flowers have grown but I’ve managed to generate a very healthy little set of weeds, so that’s something I guess. I also want to get the fences all painted, clean all the paving stones and about a million other jobs so we’ve definitely got our work cut out.


The Royal Wedding was this weekend just gone and despite having absolutely zero interest in it during the weeks beforehand, I woke up that morning feeling inexplicably massively excited and ended up watching the entire thing and getting a bit emotional! We popped down our local pub to watch it thinking there would be a fair few people, but there were less than 10 including us which was a bit disappointing – I was hoping for a bit of an atmosphere, but at least we got somewhere to sit! We then spent a little bit of time out in the beer garden before heading home for the FA Cup Final.


One thing I’m finding strange this year is having to be so aware of being in sunlight. My Consultant told me I am allowed only my forearms in the sun and only for a maximum of 15 minutes a day, so I have to consciously remind myself to move around with the shade and keep myself covered. It’s a very bizarre feeling to be wearing long sleeves and trousers when it’s blazing sunshine, but I’ll get used to it and it’s all for the greater good. I definitely think I might struggle when I get into the 35 degree heat on holiday though – I’ve bought some outfits especially for it and was very kindly sent some bits by Debenhams too which I’ll share with you once they’ve arrived. Not sure you’ll get any polished and posed blogger-esque photos of me wearing them, but I’ll see what I can do… I’m far too awkward to be in front of the camera!


I’ve also been focussing a lot more on self-care in 2018 and it’s massively paying off, I need to sit down and write about it because it’s honestly been an absolute revelation and I haven’t even done anything major, it’s all been little adjustments and minor changes to my every days that have had a huge impact on my overall life as a whole.


I’m definitely feeling more geared up to get back into blogging now that I finally know what I want, what I am and what I’m not. I was doing really well for such a long time, then life happened and I lost my footing and found myself back at square one, which took some time to get used to but I’m genuinely not fussed about it now. I’m back to writing on here because I love it rather than feeling like I have to because I need to retain the page views, follower count or interactions that are so important when you’re blogging for a career or money. It’s much more laid back like this and I am all about the easy, stress-free life these days. Stick me in a hammock and hand me a Pina Colada, I have mentally checked out of the rat race!


I’ve been thinking I might make a note in these (hopefully) weekly posts of those things I’ve been loving, rather than whacking them all into an end of month post as I was before; I think the monthly posts might die a death if I keep up this more regular diary style writing, but we shall see…


What I’ve Been Watching

Designated Survivor (Netflix)– It was the Season 2 finale and despite a little twist at the end I didn’t see coming, I thought it was a little bit disappointing, especially when the mid-season break cliff-hanger was so good. I’m a big fan of this programme and think the change in President Kirkman in this series compared to last is a really clever and gentle manipulation of the character in response to the things he’s been through recently.

The Terror (AMC) – For the first couple of episodes of this I wasn’t really sure what I thought about it, but let me tell you, it’s bloody excellent viewing! Following the tale of two exploration ships in 1848 that become trapped in ice in the Arctic and all the trials they face – mutiny, starvation, a horrible monster of some kind that keeps killing them, plus the freezing temperatures and the unknown of what is to come. I’m really enjoying it and 100% recommend giving it a watch!


What I’ve Been Reading

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – I never read fiction, it’s just not my thing, but I saw so many people raving about this book that I thought I’d give it a whirl and I’m so glad I did! I couldn’t wait for my commute to and from work each day so that I could lose myself in the story and by the end it had given me such a load of good feels that I felt all warm and fuzzy. Definitely recommend, it’s not like any fiction I’ve read before.

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark – A written account of the GSK (Golden State Killer) murders this is absolutely gripping. This book had been on my To Read list for quite some time, but when the GSK was caught a few weeks ago, I pushed it up my list and made it my Must Read Right Now. It was genuinely gripping and, as someone with a strong interest in Criminology, is right up my street.

The White House Farm Murders – I’m part way through this and, in a rare turn of events, am reading an actual real life book, not just from my Kindle. Being a local-ish murder, within Essex, this is one that I remember hearing about when I was younger and has remained on my peripheral. This book pieces together witness accounts and police information to reflect what really went on at White House Farm.

In Cold Blood – This book is a recommendation that Amazon suggested to me having read I’ll Be Gone In The Dark and, honestly, it’s spot on. Looking at the murder of a family in America in 1959 the author reconstructs the investigation that lead to the culprits being caught. I’m only partway through it but so far so good, a definite to add to your reading list if you’re in to true crime.


Insta Photos Of The Week

If you’re not following me on Insta, why not? My username is @apenny_for_them – come find me!


We spent a sunny Sunday afternoon visiting the village I used to live in, having lunch in the pub and admiring all the cute little country cottages. I am desperate to move back there one day and keep on hinting to Ben… maybe one day…


Friday evening was spent round my friend Rachael’s house, having dinner and watching a film with her and her kids. I’ve known them since they were toddlers and now they’re almost teenagers and I don’t know where the time has gone! They are amazing kids though and I love the bones of them.


My love of London is no secret and this picture sums up one of the many reasons why – old buildings rubbing shoulders with new buildings; the past and the present co-existing all around us without looking out of place. If I could go back in time I would definitely go back London during the Victorian era; I am fascinated by it and would love to experience it!


I recently bought these bamboo toothbrushes and I wholeheartedly recommend them. With so much plastic filling up this planet of ours I’m trying to do all I can to minimise my own footprint and toothbrushes are one of the everyday plastic items we just don’t seem to notice! Bamboo is a massively easy commodity to grow (I have bamboo growing in my back garden and it’s ridiculously fast-growing) and so it makes the perfect material to make everyday items from, and it’s easily disposed of by popping it into your green recycling or compost heap! Unfortunately Gondola haven’t yet formulated eco-friendly bristles but they’re working on it – in the meantime, these can just be snipped off before throwing the bamboo in your green waste to decompose naturally.


I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to write these diary entries on a set day – or even every week – but I definitely think it’s the way forward for me to keep a better record of my life and everything that makes it.


Back soon,


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  1. May 22, 2018 / 10:45 pm

    Yayyyyy, the White House farm murders! How satisfying is having a real book too!!

    • Penny
      May 23, 2018 / 1:22 pm

      I found it really weird to hold it first of all, it’s been that long since I read an ACTUAL book haha! It’s really interesting though!

  2. May 23, 2018 / 8:22 am

    I am not the best with words so I will keep this simple and just say I loved this post. Looking forward to reading more in the future, this is my kind of blog! X

    • Penny
      May 23, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      Those words are more than good enough for me, thank you so much! I definitely think casual and chatty is more my style x

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