Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sunday sunday

Gah it's August tomorrow, this year is zipping by. August and six and a half months into this visa malarkey. Three quarters of the forms are filled in, Tuesday I hope to get my "immunisation" records [if that alone doesn't confuse my little countryside Drs surgery] and book my posh medical in London. Work are getting a bit sarky about the whole thing - one women wants more hours so probably wants me to leave quickly, others probably think I won't end up going. Another girl revealed on Facebook she's got engaged, while i'm totally happy for her i wish me and Joe got the same respect as a couple, i think we often get doubted and thought less of because we're long distance. Plus there's the matter of people at work not knowing we're engaged ...yeah that's a major secret.

Sitting outside this afternoon ended up being covered in those creepy thunder-bugs - aren't they awful little critters! Make me itchy thinking about them again. Yesterday was spent baking millionaires shortbread and chocolate muffins - I call it training to be a housewife then did even more sorting. Its going well! That and i've started wearing my gran's ring more - [it's the one on the left in the picture], it's one of the few jewellery pieces I really liked and I always thought it was a bit of a shame hiding it away in a box, i'm not a real big ring person but it suits well against my engagement ring. Plus I crazily came up with the idea of wearing half my bracelets onto the plane to America, I have rather a lot and i'm surprised at how much they weight, but i'mma not leaving them even if they stretch my arms off!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Blogging birthday

Two years ago randomly back in July of 2009 I started blogging. The reason why I started was needing a place to pen things down, I was in my MA year at university, battling with the big wide world, of being in messed up relationships, being single, not knowing what to do with my life, being torn between wanting my independence and being smothered by the parents for being their only kid and of being a shy tattooed girl. A blog let me type things out and think about things outside myself. 

I would never have believed you two years ago that I would still be blogging yet alone be in an amazingly strong relationship (which itself reaches two years in September), engaged to my American boy, be in the processes of living my home country for love. Yet I would have totally have moved the visa thing faster if I had known two years down the line i'd be back living at home nearly at the age of 25 and thrown my degrees in the air and ended up working in a chemist. The two years have had their ups and downs most of which I hope people got to follow along on here even after the months I abandoned blogging completely.

You've all probably come to see that my blog means a lot to me in having a space to put up my photographs. I upload them randomly as and when onto facebook but at least on this little space they get some recognition. I'm not a professional and i never will be, I just take them because it makes me happy and i can escape reality and the future and pressures and just focus on what's surrounding me. Any comment I get regarding my photographs totally makes my day and I'm glad they get viewed and appreciated.

As for the next two years who knows what may happen, the next few months will be life changing whatever way the coin falls I just hope you'll all stick around and follow the twists and turns with me.

Thank you everyone of you who has popped by and viewed or commented!
Image from

Sunday, 24 July 2011

YORKSHIRE: Dalby Forest

So after the complete downpour upon the Yorkshire Moors (the story got slightly sidetracked by the visa letter appearing) we decided to hop over to the other side of the road and into a different valley to visit Dalby Forest - a Forestry Commission forest drive with pull ins, walks, mountain bike tracks and visitor places. Even though the majority of things are outside there's at least a tourist information centre to shelter from somewhat. Luckily the weather was totally different, even with the odd tiny shower we managed a good (yet steep) walk into the forest, caught sight of a gorgeous selection of butterflies and bees, wild flowers and bird song.

You could spend hours walking around the numerous trails, you can even hire bikes and have a tour around which I could imagine being excellent fun. Sometimes its just nice to stop and just hear the peace and quiet and watch the birds fluttering around. While it does get popular on the summer weekends and during school holidays on Tuesday it was nice and quiet, easy enough to escape the rest of civilisation.

Today I spent the afternoon printing off the countless visa forms I need to fill out. Last count was eight forms. Gah but i'll probably write much more about that in the near future!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Part eight; a letter

So yesterday (Thursday) the letter (yeap that one in the photograph) came that I was half dreading half excited about. My first acknowledged letter from the USA embassy in London. You might wonder why should I be dreading a letter that sets the next cog into working about moving and being with my boy. But to me this letter represents all the things I could do wrong. I could mess up all the paperwork, totally fail the medical or the interview. Or both. Or all.

I was half imagining a huge posh buddle but in fact it was a tiny white, USA marked envelope with one page basically telling me to go onto a website, print off all these numbered and lettered forms and book a medical. Apparently I can't book my interview till they have all that. Or something. You hear one story from the American side and another from the British side. It gets confusing.

To say i'm dreading the medical would be an understatement. I hate Drs, well not them personally but the idea of going to the doctors to get checked out fills me with dread. Of having all the tests and being prodded and poked like they are trying to find something wrong with you.

I'm leaving it a couple of days before I crawl onto the website and print everything off and sort it all out. I wish moving could be done without all this paperwork, go back to the time where people where free to move and seek new adventures and land without tests, medicals and interviews. Or having to prove every element of your life. I need to start getting positive which is hard when you have a negative mother.

Positive positive positive. 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


So yesterday (Tuesday) was my day off and with the parents still having their second week of the holiday I really wanted to go up onto the Yorkshire Moors. I'm  not really sure why, maybe it's because of its remoteness, the chances of playing with my camera and catching some wildlife. The English summer weather had other ideas of allowing it however. 

We decided to go up by Levisham railway - a stop along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway just north up the road from Pickering. We arrived just after a shower - long enough for me to grab the above pictures (the only pictures) and have lunch. I'm trying to get better at my landscape shots. As you can all probably tell I love my macro flowery pictures yet I never seem to manage artsy or interesting landscape photographs -  it's something I need to work out.

But then the skies greyed over and the heavens well and truly opened. The next hour was spent watching the rain running down the car windows and the Moorland sheep getting wet and hiding by the stonewalls. At that point we gave up and went to Dalby Forest but that's a post for another day!

Isn't everyone else totally fed up with this "summer" weather?!

Monday, 18 July 2011

YORK: Treasurer's House

I ended up going for a wander right up the other end of the main touristy part of York on one of my lunchtime walks. I eyed up having a lazy sit in Dean's Park behind the Minster but it was a tad windy so I had to keep moving. On the way past i'd spied a notice on the wall by the garden entrance to the Treasurer's House claiming a wander into the garden was free. With a camera in my bag how was I going to turn that down?! 

While it was breezy outside, the sunken walled garden was a sun trap and gorgeous one at that. While it's not large - you could wander around it within five minutes, its worth a look around the edge of the lawn, one kept in by gorgeous English bedding flowers, statues, climbing roses and sweet little benches both wooden and stone. 

Until the late 1500's this medieval building was as the name suggests, home to the treasurers of York Minster although the current stonework is said to maintain little resemblance to the original building. One of the most infamous tales is regarding a occurrence from the cellars. Harry Martindale was undertaking maintenance work alone down in the basement in 1953 when he claims to have heard a horn sounding twice, ignoring this until a horse appeared through the wall of the cellar, to be followed by a marching band of Roman soldiers. Although cut off at the knees (apparently reflecting the level of earth in Roman times) they marched through the wall and into the cellar tired and dirty. It's a tale that is retold on countless ghost tours you can partake every evening around York and to some, this tale alone proves apparently to many the existence of ghosts because of the level of detail Martindale could describe regarding the clothing of the soldiers - only data proved years later with greater historical insight.

There's a few little gardens, parks and churches hidden away in York, hidden just an alley or a wall away from a street packed with tourists yet its amazing how many get walked past without anyone ever knowing. I think I want to be extra nosey and find them all!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

LIFE: Soaking Sunday

Sadly the rains have been pouring all weekend so any excuse and endeavour to get into the garden for my weekly Sunday flower/random pictures have been rained off. So i'm continuing with some of the remains from last Sunday. Which are still as fitting for today - those clouds alone sum up the weather perfectly. Just add a bit for angry grey to the clouds and your there. 

Yesterday I finally got myself a new laptop - well netbook. I realised the old one was never going to bring itself back from the dead of it's back light so it was just easy enough to treat myself to a sweet little netbook. One of my stresses about my old one was regarding it's size (it was a big wide screen properly designed for films) kinda laptop which I feared about carting over to the US of A. This was is far far smaller and ideal for what I do - which is just play around on the net and talk to Joe. It'll be a hell of a lot more easier to stick into hand luggage and let it have a life over there.

Geekily, one of this weekends highlights was Joe being able to track down for us the Powerglide transformer. I will admit I'm not the biggest transformer fan but he is, and he's corrupting me. It's taken us numerous shop hunting trips on both side of the Atlantic to track him down. Now i'm sounding like a transformer geek too lol.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Part Seven. Stuck

I spent the night eating ben and jerries and drinking lapsang tea. Both are "me & JJ" things. Things JJ got me into, the tea bags are left overs from our holidays and BnJs the only ice cream I can face eating. Things are tough, I miss my boy, I have no idea where my paperwork is - it's meant to take three to five weeks to reach me, and the five week marker past by on Thursday. Plus they aren't replying to our enquiries. Term for July is definately stuck.

So, this all keeps making me think they are rethinking my application; or so many people are fleeing to the USA that there's an immense back log that no one knows about. Just confusing when we came finished the first phase under the average we're stuck in limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo.

I often hide that i'm not scared about moving to others and sometimes to myself. Don't get me wrong i'm totally excited about being with JJ and living together and getting married and everything that is about us. It's the being eight hours minimum flight away from the UK, the feeling that when I open my mouth i'll be noticed as being totally different because I have an English accent, or just being known as the "english girl" then of just not knowing anyone. I'm not too hip on the sterotypes of English people - I just know I don't speak like the Queen, live in London or a castle. Just have a feeling I won't fit in at all.

All these worries will be totally irrelent if I can't even move. Then I worry about the mess i'm leaving behind, if I don't move I rip me and JJ apart which I can't, can't do. I can't walk away from what we have, but then moving and being an only kid means my parents being without me and what will that cause? I know they need to step back from my life but thats natural anyway, i'm 25 in September and i need to reclaim the independence I had when I was at university. Moving makes me feel so very selfish at times.

I try to escape into my job, even though I don't really like it, but I just try and get my head down and focus on that for the time being. But i'm swamped in collegue converstations about cheating husbands and affairs. I'm that invisble worker that just gets on with her work and doesn't say much. I dyed my hair a more reddy colour and noone mentioned or commented on it, a girl is leaving and I wasn't asked about going to a leaving drink. Maybe its' because i'm quiet, maybe i'm making my own suffering?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


As an ex gradate of Newcastle University I get their Arches publication which gives you a random round up of old more successful graduates then myself. In this years summer addition in a tiny paragraph in the book section a photographical documentary is reviewed. Insideout: the Bigg Market is Pierfrancesco Celda's photographic encounter of one of Newcastles nortious drinking and party areas. Captured across three years whilst undertaking a PhD, Celda describes his project about the frality of the human condition;

The Bigg Market is a small area in Newcastle city centre that comes alive at weekends. Here, people from all around the country, gather together to organise hen, stag and birthday parties. The project soon became an interesting way to analyse how I personally perceive and visualise the idea of "socialisation” and "entertainment”.Sometimes entertaining ourselves is a necessity. It is a mechanism used to try to forget the complications of daily routine, especially during the last few years of financial difficulty.

To me, after spending four years in the city it captures the party heart of Newcastle, while it may capture the sterotypical imagery of wearing hardly anything when it's snowing, kissing with strangers, throwing up, getting lost, partying hard - half of that makes Newcastle memorable for what it is. But what I love more is being able to see the city through someone elses eyes.

You can see more about the book on Celds's website and on the assocated facebook page.

Sunday, 10 July 2011


Watching through sleepy eyes there was a news article on the early morning BBC regarding a lady (in my neck of the woods) working within a co-operative who was aiming to positively challenging the influx of foreign cut flowers on sale within the English market. Currently only 15 per cent of the flowers we buy are grown within the UK, which as a nation of apparent green fingers surprised me somewhat.

I myself, am not green fingered in the slightest, but I do love flowers as you've probably noted from my countless Sunday snapshots of them. And while I might be getting married in America I'm planning on sourcing the flowers for my wedding bouquet with a bit of an English twist if that's at all possible in getting English-like flowers in the suburbs of Detroit. But for now, the TV article inspired me to bring some life into the grey showery day was today. With sweet peas grown on the parents allotments, accompanied by lavender, roses, daisy's and greenery from the back garden, not only does this posy smell divine it's a welcome splash of colour.

When me and Joe manage to get a place with a yard, I want to fill it with traditional flowers to get lost within, flowers to get the insects and the birds flying in. Something to bring colour and fun.

If your interesting in reading more about Gill Hodgson's attempt at increasing the scale of British flowers within the cut flower market you can see the BBC article here and the video here.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Technology death

Whenever I get a good run on blogger my laptop gives up. Like it has again this morning. I was all fixed for a chat with the boy -waking him up at an ungodly hour and chatting till he wanders off to work. But low and behold the evil monsters of bad luck have returned to my doorstep. My screen seems to be having issues, maybe is on strike for better working conditions. All I know is that it worked perfectly yesterday and now it's refusing to really act as a screen should. Turning the screen on and off allows me to get about five seconds of use out of it, before it goes blank again. Guess i'll have to hijack the parents laptop as much as I can for now.

To say I have no idea what so ever about it, is it putting it mildly. It's just adding to the frustration of having no boy close by for snuggles, msn hardly working on my phone and now no laptop for virtual snuggles and snogs. Oh and three and a half weeks down the line and no visa paperwork. Frustrated much!

So this laptop lasted less then two years. So now i'm considering a netbook, it seems pointless slashing out on an expensive one when all I seem to do is kill them. Plus with moving it seems pointless getting anything big and fancy when Joe has a proper computer. All I do do every day on my laptop is blogging, facebook, mess with photographs and read random news things. That's all I ever really do. I could do without a CD drive really. Until then i'll be scheduling some posts to keep this blog ticking away nicely!

So people, are netbooks decent when you really only do use the net and play with photographs? Or anyone know any magical clues for blank screen of death?

Monday, 4 July 2011

We may have ink, but we're still beautiful

I briefly mentioned this in passing on Sunday about work colleagues having issues with tattoos. Sometimes I think they forget I have ink - we have uniforms and mine are on my back so they are always (sadly in my view) covered up. Although in the right light you can see them through the material. And I'm possibly not the stereotypical girl that looks like she might have tattoos. 

But back to the tale ... One lady had been at a wedding the weekend before, I wasn't playing much attention until I heard her comments of "she had tattoos all over her back, you could see them all with that dress, it was awful". I'm probably over thinking it but being a girl who's inked and has a wedding dress that shows her tattoos I was slightly offended. I've often heard of girls wanting to cover up their tattoos when they get married with creams and so on - its like they regret having them or they are too concerned about what everyone else thinks of their ink.

I know these comments shouldn't bother me, but they do.

Time and time again I always wonder what is so wrong about people having tattoos? I agree they can be offensive if the show or have offence meanings, or the extreme sides of tattooing to the mass could be off putting. But for the rest, the sleeves, the hands, the feet, the backs? They aren't hurting anyone, they are merely self expressions. I stumbled over an article on the Daily Mail website about a lady who was refused a cleaning job in a supermarket because she had a tattoo on her hand (think Cheryl Cole in style). I'm not really sure how a small tattoo like that effects the manor in which she could work.

If I could i'd love to get tattoos on my arms, at least on the inside of my forearms, maybe even at the top but I feel I can't because of how society still judges tattoos. I need to get on the career ladder and do something with my degrees but I have no idea how tattoos and research and careers are all viewed. Maybe its different in America, maybe they are more open minded?

Sometimes having a rant about it gets it all out of the system.
All images from weheartit

Saturday, 2 July 2011


At the moment on the high-street there are some really good sales if you fancy having a rummage and walk around in Zara, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins to name but three that I had a look in. This weekend I thought i'd treat myself and get out into the shops on my Saturday off for a change. 
The shopping outfit: Cardi and vest top - New Look, skirt - Zara, necklace - H&M
First up was Topshop - it's a shop I rarely ever head into mainly because I think its rather over priced although they do tend to have some nice stuff, some of it's rather odd. However their sale line brings their products down to the normal price of other shops and they normally have pretty odd offers and in numerous sizes still available. I fell for this blue skirt with pale brown leather belt. Its the shape and style I tend go for, but all was left was one size, a size one bigger then my own. Was worth a try on;
Skirt - topshop (sale)
I loved how the top hemmed and ruffled up higher then the belt, yet the size really was too big and would have sat on my hips then my waist if it hadn't of been for the belt. With an aim of trying to loose weight I think I'd of out grown it. Shame because I loved it.

Next up was Zara I wasn't intending to shop there but the sale signs dragged me in, I'm glad they did - it became the most productive visit of the day.
Skinny Jeans - Zara, shoes - New Look (purchase from the week before)
If you can see past how messy I can be in changing rooms. Between my own clothes and failed items i've tried on you'll see one of my newer purchases - a pair of the comfiest shoes I've brought in a long way from New Look. I brought them on the off chance, saw them - grabbed them kind of moments. Anyway the jeans are part of Zara's TRF range which I love, they fit perfectly and I love the colour, they had them in navy, green and red too.
Skirt - Zara (sale)
So the only sale item I ended up buying was this flowery statement of colour from Zara, reduced from £22.99 down to £9.99. Zara's skirts tend to be the only ones that fit me properly, the joy of having hips and curves! The mash of colours at least gives me a huge range of contrasting tops to work and wear it with (not the stripes though I think that's a fail). Thank god there's a Zara in Chicago!

Also ended up adding to the cardi collection with a basic yet handy browny coloured cardi from H&M and some hair clips from Accessorise (again in the sale). All in all a very good shopping trip but my feet are feeling it now, so I'm spending the night msn'ing the boy and watching True Grit - heard really good things about this film so I'm hoping for big things!