oh happy day. 

Supposedly it’s #internationaldayofhappiness today. 

Yes, some person somewhere chose a Monday in what seems like the longest month ever, to declare a day of forced happiness. 

You really wouldn’t know it from the number of horns I heard blaring on the way to work this morning. Or the number of miserable faces I encountered as I trekked through the rain to get lunch. 

But still, in a bid to embrace this most marvellous of days…here are 21 very special things you may not already have known about me. 

21 things that make me HAPPY! 

1. My children…of course! When they aren’t making me want to pull my ears off, or hide in a cupboard that is

2. The husband. Kind of have to say that. Feel’s like it would be wrong to leave him off the list! 

3. Hendricks gin…most marvellous


4. Talking to my mum…last year they went away on a cruise for pretty much a month, and I couldn’t speak to her. I couldn’t even text her. It was awful. She makes me rage quite often, but she’s fabulous and I can’t be without her. 

5. Summer…mainly for the ice creams


6. Hot dogs. With ketchup AND mustard. Oh yes. 

7. Fireworks. No matter what time of year. But woe betide anyone who lets off fireworks that wake my children! 


8. Memories of our wedding day. Including dancing the night away, kissing before we were supposed to and time alone spent watching our guests…

9. Friendship. The most wonderful thing on the planet

10. Tulips

11. Milkshakes, especially super thick strawberry ice cream ones – Ed’s Diner seems to be the best place  for these at the moment 
12. New York. Or more like memories of New York and films/books/TV shows featuring this amazing city 

13. Harry Potter. Just that. Love it! 


14. Home. 

15. Parties. Big ones, small ones, discos, boozy…I just love a gathering. 

16. Seeing other people happy


17. Fearne Cotton’s cook book…not that I am super keen on all the different ingredients she uses, but for the Spag Bol alone it’s worth it #nom


18. Love

19. Typography. I just love seeing it, searching out new fonts, fiddling around with lettering, reading old quotes in new and interesting formats! 


20. Interior design. Not in a pretentious Kelly Hoppen, yas daaahling way, but Pinteresting the heck out of a Monday evening to get some inspiration for doing up the utility room type stuff…and spending money I don’t have building new kitchens in my head! 

21. Hot chocolate. For the win. Always. 


So there’s my list…

There’s plenty more (I missed chorizo, generally eating, sleep, hot baths and cuddles to name just a few) but why go whole hog on #internationalhappinessday?! Too much of a good thing is bad for you, right?! 

What makes you happy?! Share folks, share! 

friendship.

I sent the message on a Saturday at 6.45am, apologising for sending it so early.

We’re nearly all mothers now, so really I have no idea why I apologised for sending a message so early. I knew full well that the majority of them would already be awake, but you know, I was probably trying to be polite! 

I was asking them for a photo of themselves.

A photo that captures who they are.

A photo of each one of the most special people that I am lucky enough to call my friends**

Friendship is a wonderful thing, isn’t it!?

I’m so lucky to have found so many great friends throughout my life…and to still have them now, after so many years.

I’ve had to call on my friends so much recently. Their input and their ears have been invaluable during what has been a really difficult few years, and I value their friendship more now than ever – so I wanted to celebrate them!

I love that I still have friends that were my friends at primary school and that, even though I now live so far away from them (and hardly ever see them), they are still my friends and I know that if I ever needed them they would be there.

St. Wilfrid’s CE High School brought me some of the best friends I will ever have. 7 years is a long time to get to know people – the highs and lows of teenage life brings fights and fall-outs, but these were some of the most fun and best years of my life. The common room that no longer exists was where I found myself, and where I cemented friendships that will last forever more…

University found more friends coming on board, very few of them are still in my life but thanks to the wonders of Facebook and Instagram I can see what they’re up to and it’s lovely to share in their moments of joy and pride…

And then there was Vauxhall. The best year of my life.
Friends…laughter…hangovers…work experience…debt…hangovers…
And the joy of that year still lightens my mood at even the darkest of times.

Because that’s what friendship is. And that’s what it does to you.

What is the saying, “There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little better”?

And that couldn’t be more true…

Hiding me from teachers in the common room…Eating bacon sarnies on break time…Eating so many Chupa Chups you think you might be sick…Singing to Bryan Adams waaaaaay too loud…Carrying me home after one too many…Laughing so hard it feels like your sides will split…Shooting down water slides in Gran Canaria…Calming me down in my angry moments…Listening to my hurts and making them better…Holding my babies and loving them so much…

And now, my work friends that have become so, so much more than just colleagues, and my fabulous, wonderful, amazing Mummy friends that keep me sane, invite us round for play dates that involve cake and Prosecco, take me out to the cinema to watch Bridget Jones, join me for cocktails and talk and talk and laugh and laugh until closing time…

To all my friends, near and far, thankyou.

Life without you all in it, in all your various shapes and sizes would be that much more difficult.

Thankyou for the fun.
Thankyou for the laughter.
Thankyou for being you.

Always.

What are your best friendship memories? I would love to hear them in the comments!

Speak soon, x

**I haven’t actually used any of the photos that they sent to me in this blog post – I have instead used far more embarrassing ones. That’s just how I roll!

 

 

itchy.

Before you start, don’t worry…this isn’t a post about some grotty skin complaint or a post about nits  (although now Ruby has started school this could well be a topic at some point, blurgh!).

Tomorrow marks seven years since Mr O and me were married and so, by rights and if all the old wives tales surrounding marriage are to be believed then we should start feeling it.

The Seven Year Itch.

“Seven years?!” I hear you shout. “How can it possibly have been seven years already” and “you’re not old enough to have been married for so long”! Well, I was quite obviously a child bride (pffft!)…and seven years has flown by in the blink of an eye.

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So much has happened in the last seven years…two homes, a nice selection of awesome holidays, too many cars to mention (naughty husband), some brilliant meals out at some of the best restaurants, LOTS of arguments, the arrival of a kitty cat, the loss of loved ones, too many strops to mention (and those are just his!), oh and the small matter of two children.

How, then, does it end up flying by so quickly and what is the key to staying happy and (hopefully) not feeling the effects of “the itch”?

We went out last night (that hardly ever happens and so was VERY exciting!) and it was a topic that came up…what keeps us together? Are you happy? Are you going to run off with an exotic dancer named Trixabelle at any point in the future, or is it more likely to be Maureen from Finance?!

Thankfully his answer was, and apparently always will be, no. He’s not going anywhere. And that for me is just wonderful, since I loves him and all that.

We seemed to come to the conclusion that our friendship, the fact that we don’t take each other too seriously and that we still make time to make each other happy are all factors that help us avoid The Itch. We argue (he is a d*ck and so am I!) and we disagree lots, but we always make up and forgive each other. We work hard.

We met in 2004 when we were 20 years old. It was the start of a wonderful friendship…even though at the time he was the most grumpy person I think I’d ever met.

He never smiled. He was super tight with his money. He ate sweets by the bucket load and then couldn’t eat his dinner so we would all have to sit and wait for him to finish before we could have our pudding! He was obsessed with the gym. He wore outfits that consisted mainly of the colour brown. He was safely in the “friend zone”.

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Until he wasn’t anymore.

He sent me an email one day, asking to take me out on a date (how romantic hey!). We went to see ‘Closer’ and I didn’t think I could feel more uncomfortable on a first date. Ever.

But when he kissed me at the end of the evening I knew. Somehow I knew that this friend was actually my one and only. He had been right under my nose all along.

Today I’ve been in bed most of the day after being really sick all night. He has looked after me and the children, entertained my parents, tidied the house and cooked a roast (and only once did I notice a bit of a meltdown!). He’s pretty special.

And I get to keep him.

And I don’t feel itchy at all.

Happy Anniversary husband. Here’s to many more.