Yup, another month down!

Things were a wee bit quiet over here during September. As you may be able to see my wee blog got a bit of a make over. I moved from Blogger over to self-hosted WordPress and got a fancy new theme from Pipdig ūüôā

And, when I say I moved over from Blogger, what I really mean is Mark moved my blog from Blogger over to WordPress. My contribution to it was getting the self hosting sorted and picking a theme I liked. Mark did everything else including moving all my content over from Blogger and making sure everything looked just how I wanted it. What a bloody champ! He is definitely a keeper (obvs for more than just his coding ability and never ending patience with me when I’m being a teeny bit demanding!).

Although things have been quiet on here while lots has been getting done in the background, Mark and I had a really fun, busy month! September is my birthday month, and this year it was a bit of a big one for me as entered Club 30 (eeeeeek!). As well as taking the day of my birthday off, Mark had a further two weeks off work for us to spend some time together.

My month kicked off with some mate dates though. Me and my bestie grabbed lunch and a really long overdue catch up at my favourite cake place EVER (Tea Jenny’s in Falkirk incase you were wondering)! Despite it being months since we’d seen each other, it always feels like it has been no time at all, she cracks me up and my face is always aching from so much laughing when we meet up! I also got to see her before she set off for a month long road trip round Europe with her husband. What an amazing way to celebrate turning 30 right?! I’m not at all jealous…

I also went to The Luna Cinema to see La La Land. It was a pretty cool experience, and the first time I’d been to an outdoor cinema. We had our blankets to sit on, thermos filled with tea, Tunnock’s Tea Cakes to munch, and because it’s Scotland our rain coats on. Just as well we did too, because it rained pretty much the whole time! Ryan Gosling more than made up for it though and the film was a lot better than I was expecting.

Then came the big 3-0…! Thankfully being 30 doesn’t mean I have to grow up, and this was perfectly demonstrated by the presents Mark got me – a Hello Kitty instax camera and backpack. We headed through to Edinburgh and got some froyo and a couple of drinks before I went to get my hair cut and then headed to my Mum’s for (what was meant to be) my birthday non-party…it was a full blown party! I can confirm that the hangovers don’t get better, there is no tolerance that is built up with age. The next day I felt rough, McDonalds Big Mac rough. And that night I was surprised with Mexican food with the friends group from Fife, I love Mexican food but the hangover was so bad I actually made my dinner choice based on the lack of cheese in the dish!

We kicked off the official start of Mark’s holidays with a trip to Wallace Monument, and it just so happened that we picked the day that was the 720th anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. There were reenactments throughout the day (which admittedly made me cringe slightly) and birds of prey. After managing to make it through about only ten minutes of the reenactment we headed up into the monument to climb the 246 steps to the top. Now that doesn’t sound like a lot but when there are people going both up and down in the a space that is definitely not big enough it really feels like a challenge to get up. The views across Stirling make it completely worth it though, although we didn’t stay at the top too long cause it was just a bit windy!

It was also Doors Open weekends during September. We headed through to Glasgow to see the Winter Gardens in Springburn, which involved a walk round Springburn Park while learning about the history of the place and the plans to restore the derelict Winter Gardens. As interesting as it was I can’t deny I was a little disappointed we didn’t actually get to go inside them, I have a thing with abandoned/derelict buildings.

Which brings me nicely onto the next thing – a trip to St Peter’s Seminary, an abandoned building that was used to teach people wanting to become priests. The brutalist architecture of the building is really something and the graffiti shows that despite lying unused and fenced off people have still managed to sneak in.

The weather when we were off was pretty disappointing, some may just call it Scottish, but we managed to pick the best day of the two weeks to bag another Munro – Cairn Gorm. It only took an hour and a half to get to the top but it was a pretty steep climb! It meant Munro number six for me, and three for Mark.

I got invited along to the Fresher Festival in Glasgow, a two day long event giving students everything they need for their uni experience. There were food stalls, people there from clubs and pubs, Glasgow Subway, glasses company Iolla and a VIP area hosted by Yada events. Seeing all the stalls related to alcohol reminded me just how much of being a student involved a lot of time in the pub!

The last weekend in the month Mark and I headed to Edinburgh to take part in Maggie’s Culture Crawl, a 10k walk round the city with access to buildings/parts of buildings you would otherwise not get in to. It was a fun experience and I will be writing a blog post all about it soon.

So there you have it, my mega busy September. How was your month?

 

 

All photos taken by me

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I feel like all months fly by but, man, August felt like a blur!

We went on holiday last month which probably helped it feel so quick.

After quitting my job at the end of July I really felt like I needed a bit of a break. Now, considering I’ve only worked in a proper full time job for three months this year a break might sound insane. But while I wasn’t working I was studying, job hunting and constantly stressing about my lack of job which is actually pretty tiring in itself!

So, I asked Mark to get time off work so we could go on holiday. I think it was needed by both of us! While I’ve been spending months stressing, Mark has had to put up with me. Not fun I’m sure! We had a few options for places to go, but we decided on Berlin. We had a great time, saw lots, ate so much food (I love German food) and drank a fair amount of beer. The history geek in me was loving the city! I’m still sorting out the photos from our trip but I will get a post all about it up soon.

August in Edinburgh is Festival month! The city is buzzing and there’s so much to see and do. Although I spent a fair bit of time in the city we only went to one show. I just love soaking up the atmosphere though. There’s always good foodie stuff going on at this time of year too and we had fun at the Festival Village: Waverley sampling some of the amazing food and drinks. I was all about the halloumi fries!

I spent more time at Business Gateway events last month, this time focusing on ones for starting your own business. We’re planning our next EBC event for December and in the process of setting up the business! Scary and exciting times! During the month we had a few team meet ups and meetings for the next workshop. We now have all our hosts secured which is awesome! This is going to be another amazing event (you can buy tickets here).

I feel like every month we end up with a trip to St Andrews. It’s one of my favourite places in Scotland and I feel really lucky to live so close. A trip to St Andrews was a proper day out from where I lived before, it took me a hour and a half to get there (so far I’ve had mini-holidays in St Andrews!!) and now it’s less than half an hour away. I love the quirky shops and Jannetta’s ice cream is always worth the wait in the queue on a sunny day! If you haven’t been St Andrews should definitely be on your list.

How was your August?

Photographs taken by me
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Your period, time of the month, Aunt Flo, monthly visitor, lady time, painters in, code red.

Whatever we call it I think we can all agree it’s (roughly) five days of the month that totally suck!

Personally, if given the choice I would stay in the house for the full five days, hot water bottle firmly on my tummy and blanket¬†wrapped round me. Ok, so now imagine this was never an option for you, even for one day of your period. Imagine you didn’t have a sofa to curl up on, no kettle to fill a hot water bottle. Imagine being homeless and getting your period?! No access to sanitary products or even a shower to get clean. Doesn’t really bear thinking about does it.

Our lady time is no longer a subject we can’t talk about, and why should we keep quiet about it? A huge chunk of the population experiences a period every month. And our periods have hit the news recently for a couple of reasons, mainly because “tampon tax” has been a topic of conversation for some time now. The tax that is added to luxury items also applies to sanitary products. I think all women would agree that a tampon or sanitary towel is far from a luxury item! And also because of “period poverty”, this is when women are in the position of having to make a choice between sanitary items and other household essentials.¬†But when it comes to the homeless we often forget about the need for sanitary products. There are women having to use the likes of toilet roll and old rags in place of tampons or sanitary towels!

Simon Community¬†Scotland¬†have just launched a new initiative aimed at helping women during their time of the month. Simon¬†Community help over 500 women experiencing homelessness¬†every year. Through their street team in Glasgow they reach out to women and provide gender specific assistance supporting women in getting their lives back on track and providing emergency¬†accommodation. Yesterday (23.08.17) they launched Period Friendly¬†Points (PFP) throughout Glasgow to support women to get through their time of month with dignity. Period Friendly Points are places specifically set up for the homeless although it is hoped that this is something that will extend to other locations and will include the likes of¬†coffee shops. These PFP will have free sanitary products, pants, disposable bags, wipes to¬†allow women to feel clean and¬†information leaflets offering¬†help with using the products. As well as the essential products to get¬†women through this time of month, there are people available to talk to, whether it’s a question about Aunt Flo or just to have a chat. Many of these women have never spoken to anyone about their period, some don’t know how long a tampon should be¬†kept in or even what a period actually is!¬†As well as the PFP the street team will be handing out Period Friendly Pax. These are compact bags¬†containing the¬†essentials.

A five day period costs Simon Community and their suppliers £15. This is for five towels, twelve tampons, three pairs of pants, travel wipes and disposable bags. You can help by donating. You can also offer your time as the charity are always looking for volunteers to help with re-stocking the PFP, sorting out supplies and packing the Period Friendly Pax or even just lending an ear to women who visit PFP and need someone to talk to.

To donate text PFPR28 to 70070 with the amount you want to donate Р£5 or £10.

And next time Aunt Flo pays a visit, think about how lucky you are to be able to snuggle up on the sofa under your blanket.

xxx
 
Image provided by Simon Community Scotland
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Last month was nice and busy!

I would love to say that we had a month of summer in Scotland, but that would be a lie… We probably got about a week of sun and a¬†whole load of rain!

We kicked off the month with the wedding of one of Mark’s friends. I’m not a fan of weddings. Like at all! So I wasn’t¬†really looking forward to it, I also didn’t know anyone else going. This isn’t always a great situation for a shy person to be in! Despite really not looking forward to it, the day was actually good fun. I’m going to put that down to the company, I kinda like my OH and have good fun with him, even when we’re doing stuff that isn’t really that fun! Plus, I actually had a wedding outfit that I liked and felt like me. There have been so many weddings I’ve been to where I have worn what I think you should wear to a wedding and I’ve felt like a tit. Must be something to do with age (and no longer giving a f**k) but I want to wear something that is me rather than what I think you should wear. No fascinators for me and I wore shoes I could keep all all day and night! I finished the look with my leather biker jacket ūüôā

One of the sunny days we got was spent in Glasgow, not all fun ’cause I had to go into the Apple shop to get my phone fixed! But after that we headed to see my family who stay in Glasgow. We sat in the sun outside in the garden¬†and had a BBQ.

I got to catch up with two of my favourite¬†people for dinner at Candybar in Edinburgh. Leaving my job at the start of the year meant not getting to see two of my best friends every day anymore. As glad as I am that I took¬†redundancy, not seeing their faces every day is a major downside! Group¬†messaging is all well and good but in reality it’s not the same and you definitely miss out on things that are going on in people’s lives. Bonus was also getting to eat at Candybar, I love the food there and this time round I even had space for dessert!

July is Mark’s birthday month. Obviously when he was younger it always fell in the school holidays and he had the day off. This is¬†something he has continued in adulthood and he takes the day off work. Of course I did too, and we headed into Edinburgh for the day. Our first stop was Calton Hill, a place neither of us have been before. A bit mental considering we¬†actually don’t live far away from our capital! We also climbed up onto the monument, which seemed like a great idea until it came to getting down and my body didn’t¬†physically want to allow me to jump! The National Museum of¬†Scotland is¬†somewhere we both like too so we visited there next, some new galleries have opened since the last time we went together which was cool.

Leonardo Hotels opened a new hotel in Edinburgh near Haymarket. Mark and I headed along to the launch night where we got to sample some of the food, (non-alcoholic) cocktails and got shown round some of the rooms. I wrote a post on it which you can read here.

The last weekend I did a charity walk, 10 miles along the Fife coastal path from Leven where I live, to Elie. We were so lucky and got a glorious morning for it, it was chucking down with rain later on in the afternoon! We managed to raise £800 for Homelands Trust, a charity based in Fife that provide accommodation for people with specific requirements. The money raised is going towards buying new specialist equipment for the lodges.

How was your July, did you get up to anything exciting?

xxx
 
Photographs by me
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This week sees the start of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in my opinion the best time to be in the city.

The city is absolutely buzzing with street performers, people handing you flyers and so many food and drink stalls. Often the Royal Mile gets so busy you can barely move. It’s bloody fantastic!

So, for anyone¬†who doesn’t¬†know about the Edinburgh Fringe (are you even human?!), it’s basically a festival¬†that runs for the month of August in our fine capital city. It’s often where comedians start their career, but if comedy isn’t your thing you can also see¬†theatrical performances too and there are so many street performers you’re not short of choice. There is really something for everyone.

We went to our first of this year’s shows last night at the Gilded Balloon, Gillian Cosgriff: To The Moon & Back. A one woman show, it’s Gillian, her keyboard and loop pedal. This is a musical comey, and despite the fact that I’m someone who isn’t normally into musical comedy I freakin’ loved this show! She is looking at irrational fears, and in¬†particular the fear of¬†space (yup, it’s really a thing. It has a name and everything – astrophobia). The show starts with Gillian coming on stage in a NASA space suit, complete with helmet and gloves. Gillian claims that on the matter of visiting space there are two types of people – people who would jump at the chance to visit space if space travel were something the common person could do, and the type of person that absolutely does not want to go to space. Turns out Mark and I fall into different camps…he wants to go to space, I do not.

As well as space, Gillian talks about yoga and her fear of marriage and the fact as women it’s expected that we have reached that point of proper adulthood by a certain age and that you’re a failure if you have not.

Like many of the shows at the Fringe you’re in a small, intimate venue which is either great or very awkward and uncomfortable. This performance falls into the first category, Gillian engages with the audience in a way that is good – not like being singled out by a comedian just because they can see you. When she took her space helmet off she completely acknowledged the fact that she had lipstick on her chin and just rolled with it. It makes her relatable to the audience.

The songs were funny, especially the space song where she talks about Uranus and confirms that actually deep down we’re all really still 8 year old kids that can’t help but giggle at that word! I cannot confirm or deny if there will be any Savage Garden in the show…

If you’re putting together your list of shows to see this year then definitely go and see this, To The Moon & Back is running from 2nd-27th August (no show 15th August) at the Gilded Balloon – The Turret. You can buy your tickets here.

Do you have your Fringe calendar organised for this year? I would love to hear any recommendations from shows you have been to.

I was gifted with the tickets for the show by Gillian Cosgriff, all opinions are my own.

 

xxx
 
Images provided by Gillian Cosgriff
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