The extra special aunt spiker Friday five: 06-10-2017

My darling Aunt Spiker

The end of months of revising harder than anyone I’ve ever known is almost at an end and I am SO SO PROUD OF YOU. 


You have persisted through the highs and the lows, the moments where you’ve really struggled and those when it’s all come together and you’ve thought “I’ve got this”. 

Just know that when you step into that exam room (over two days! Urgh!) you have so many people rooting for you. We can’t wait to celebrate with you and see you get your weekends back! 

Thought you might like a little mood booster before next week so darling, this is for you:

Listening: Well, how could it be anything other than your Friday song?! Remember ‘Everything is Awesome!’ 

Drinking: Hard earned cocktails in Bali – very soon…

Watching: Anything with a Tom, we know you love a Tom. 

Loving: Us all! Loving you loving us right back! What a lotta love. Also: loving it almost being over. 

Mantra: How can you believe in a positive outcome with negative thoughts? Always believe in yourself no matter what. 

Jungle Boogie cocktails on me when it’s all over, 

Love you, love you, mean it, mean it! 

Hipflasks and snow plans forever, 

Aunt Sponge xxxx 

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#56 sing loudly on top of a mountain

Cruising along the Kancamagus Highway en route to Portland, ME and my sat nav had a ‘moment’ shall we say and I needed to pull over to give it a good whack. I pulled into a car park and soon realised I was in a ski resort which wasn’t open yet. Being petrified of heights I decided in my infinite wisdom to get in a gondola and go to the top, ironically called Loon Mountain.

There wasn’t a soul up there apart from the guy pressing the up and down button so I went and took a seat in their outdoors amphitheatre for a ‘think’ before standing up and belting ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ like I was Heath Ledger in that film. Not sure why I chose that song but it seemed right in the moment. Yes the guy did give me a side eye when I headed to get down.

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#60 DO FALL IN NEW ENGLAND

I came, I saw, I leaf peeped like a champ. I drove from Boston, MA out to East Hardwick, VT going via Franconia Notch and ‘The Basin’. I then drove from VT along the Kancamagus Highway (stopping approximately every 10 minutes to take MOAR PHOTOS) out to Portland in Maine before working my way down the coast back to Boston. Dream of a trip.

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A-Z: Essentials I Can’t Live Without

I’m not about to get all LeAnn Rimes on your asses because I could survive without these but it wouldn’t be as much fun. 

Front and centre it needs to be my friends because although you think you might have the greatest group of friends in the world I’m afraid you’re wrong. Of particular note are of course my Urban Family, the Urbs. My true blue ride or die homies who I would do anything for. From the outside looking in we probably look mental, but we’re a-okay with that. 

Ice cold water – I know, none of us could live without it but for someone who doesn’t drink hot drinks, rarely drinks fizzy drinks, and can’t drink fruit juice (because heartburn) my choices of drink are wine, gin, or water. And I don’t think my boss would be too chuffed with me being pissed out of my tiny mind in the office. I drink 3 litres a day without fail, sometimes more, and yes I whizz like a racehorse. 

Lip balm – because I get lipstick on my teeth and even though I drink water until I piss like Shergar I always have dry lips. I’d like to be chic and I’d like to be the elegant sort of woman who can sweep her hair into a chignon and slick on some perfect lippie without a mirror but… I’m not. The best I can do with my hair is bung it up with a chopstick, y’know like I’m Mandy Moore circa 2001 and I’m off to the Teen Choice Awards with a slip dress on over my stonewashed flared jeans. I always have a collection of lip products in my handbag which currently include 2 pots of the same lip balm, one of a different brand, and a blue lipstick. I’m not trying to channel Björk, it only looks blue but comes out a sheer berry hue in case you think I’ve gone mental.  

WhatsApp – with 23 chats on the go, some of which go back to 2015 it’s clear I’m a bit of a junkie. Of course the large proportion of the chats must NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. If I die, someone needs to go in and erase them before they go viral. 

My denim jacket and a pair of Converse – it sort of sums up my style that this is my go-to confidence outfit.  With a pair of Chucks on my feet and my ‘so cheap it was almost criminal’ denim jacket on my back I feel like I can take on the world. Plus sometimes I pop my collar and shove my hands in the pockets and I feel a little (very very little) like Sandy from Grease. 

Quiet time – if you know me in real life you know I’m gobby, can talk for England, and love relaying a story. But being ‘on’ also means I need time when I’m ‘off’. I sit and read, I nap, I walk by the water. I just ‘be’. 

Aaaaand fuck me that sounds wanky. 

Artwork – my ideal house has white walls that are crammed with art. Big art, small art, funny art, serious art, just art. I’m collecting it as I go to make a gallery wall in my living room and my style is, well it’s quirky. Tucked away I have a little collection of Anna Wintour cartoons building up ready to have an ‘Anna’ corner behind the door, and I have so many prints saved on Etsy I could open my own shop. 

My medications – I thought long and hard about putting this on here because recently I’ve proved to myself that I can live without anti-depressants (although I weep, I weep at the oddest things) however my other medication keeps me sane. Literally. We’re moving towards a place where we can be open and honest about mental health issues and so that’s what I’m doing. My tablets keep me upright and there’s no shame in that. 

What are your essentials? What do you keep around? 

Friday Five: 08-09-2017

Reading: This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay. If you want to have babies maybe read it well in advance so you have a chance to recover from the hideousness of some of the stories. Adam used to work in Obstetrics and Gynaecology AKA ‘Brats and Twats’ or ‘Runts and C****s’ Yes, I’m still banging on about it. GO AND READ IT NOW.

Listening: Bit of a curveball here but the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar. I saw an incredible production of it last year with my buddy Rachel and it was so good we’re going to see exactly the same production again tomorrow. And I might be going to see it next week as well. It’s open air theatre and it’s September so it’s probably going to piss it down but we have our love of the show (and Prosecco) to keep us warm. It’s a very modern production and the costumes look like they’ve come from Kanye West. It’s more like Yeezus Christ Superstar…

Watching: ‘Celebs Go Dating’ has just started again in the UK and it’s just incredible. Incredibly awkward – they sent a posh girl on a date with a stripper who kept talking about his caramel chopper and how it’s so big that when he windmills it there’s a breeze. Incredibly classy – They sent a Northern bird on a date with a guy and she asked him to get his bum out in the restaurant, which he did. And incredibly fun to watch.

Lusting: Neon. I’m not talking about donning my best tight and bright clothing and heading off to get off my nut on WKD Blue, I mean neon signage. I have an entire Instagram collection called ‘Neon of Dreams’ and want to fill my imaginary Pinterest-worthy house with all of it.

Loathing: I actually can’t think of anything… must mean all is right in my world. That or my medications have finally kicked in (it’s more likely to be this.).

Hello… Is It Me You’re Looking For?

Longtime readers will know I sometimes take little breaks from this whole shebang. I once tried to make a portmanteau of “blogging” and “holiday” and came up with “bloliday” which is quite possibly the worst word in the history of the universe.

Anyway, writing furiously and then taking my foot clean off the gas for a while is just what I do. This little mini break is a LOT shorter than the last which lasted a couple of years so you should all feel incredibly grateful. Feel free to kiss my feet. 

But where have I been? 

Well I’ve been being sick. A lot. 

It’s not a new thing and it’s terribly boring and if you’ve ever been out for a meal with me over the past ooh… four years (?) then I’m afraid to tell you I’ve been sick after it. 

As I said to my surgeon yesterday I have been sick in some fancy, and some weird, places. 

Royal Ascot – ✔️

Henley Regatta – ✔️

The Royal Suite of a posh hotel – ✔️

Into my own handbag – ✔️

All over myself whilst doing 60mph in my car – ✔️ 

Into a fruitbowl during the speeches at the wedding of some dear friends – ✔️

The list goes on. And on. And Ariston. 

It’s bloody boring and if I’d saved the money I’d spent on lovely meals out only to then horf it back up again I’d have my own private island right about now. 

So I finally got off my slack arse and contacted my wonderful surgeon, Mr S. I saw him yesterday and we came up with a plan. Sadly it involves yet more surgery but if it means I can start living normally again then I am here for that shit. 

In a twist of ‘isn’t the NHS simply brilliant’ fate my wonderfully talented brilliant bastard of a friend Adam has written a book about his six years hard labour at the coalface of it. You can buy it here and you really should. I read it in one emotional rollercoaster of a sitting, I laughed, I cried, I laughed while crying, and the ending gave me goosebumps and I had to have a little quiet sit to let it sink in. 

God bless the NHS.