Halloween… A month Later

So time for the low down on what happened on Halloween.

I didn’t really feel my best, I felt bloated and fat in everything I tried on, so I decided to wear leggings and I instantly felt way more comfortable. I wore my blue birthday dress which had room in it for dinner. Sure it wasn’t “the blue dress” that I have been trying to fit into. I got my nails done and they were a nice matte navy colour. My hair wouldn’t behave at all. it ended up being tied into a simple ponytail and adding a few flowers, no idea how it actually looked. But I wear pony tails practically everyday.

So the morning didn’t really go to plan. But the trains were running perfectly on time for us, we got in to London early. We went and saw the fantastic beasts wands outside St Paul’s cathedral. I hate to say this, but it wasn’t quite what my other half and I thought it would look, it didn’t live up to our expectations, but chocolate moochi balls from wasabi made up for that… Turns out we really like them.

So, as nicely as we both were dressed, we definitely felt like we stuck out like a sore thumb when we reached the Savoy, very out of place. But I think some of that might have been a bit from the morning of not feeling great. But that being said, we had an amazing evening. The building is beautiful and grand but that is nothing compared to how amazing the food tasted.

The meal started with an amuse bouche of a lamb croquette, gorgeous! So delicouse. The staff were so amazing and attentive, they really were incredible. The starter, we both got the same, a seafood raviolo with lobster vinaigrette and tomato (fondue? or something like that), truly amazing and delicious. Oh did I mention the bread basket, the bread was so gorgeous, warm and so perfect. So mains, the other half had steak (which was delicious) and I had pork cheeks with mashed potato and pickled turnip. Turns out I don’t like pickled turnip. But the side order of chips were delicious but I didn’t love the mushroom side simply because I don’t like basil, and it had basil oil on but aside from that it was delicious. Oh but pudding… Spiced apple Eton mess. PERFECTION, I could have that again in a heartbeat. So beautiful. If I could eat any meal again it would be that one.

The show, The Phantom of the Opera, well that was incredible, the cast were great, I really loved the way Christine wasn’t the “weak” character, neither was Raoul, they were played in a way that was refreshing, strong, protective. The other half and I however found that the Phantom was very over emotional for us. I think for me, the Phantom however bruised and broken he is, is a very strong character. I think Ramin Karimloo will always be my Phantom, and that’s ok, but it is also a very big bench mark.

Halloween was an incredible night, I loved it and it was the best way to have a last blow out date for the year.

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Author Update (November 2018)

November news?

Well, I’ve mostly been at work, but there has been some semi-reprieve.

There was the trip on Halloween since my last update, the post goes live next week. Safe to say it was a truly lovely evening. But there was some sadness.

My other half’s grandmother passed away and so we went to Yarmouth for the funeral, bittersweet, our last trip there was to celebrate her 90th birthday. From all the stories I have heard, she was a wonderful person. I really do hope that she is resting in peace now. I think she waited for that last day, a trip to the beach with her children, a goodbye and a peaceful passing, she was ready. It was a really beautiful ceremony.

I’ve got to be honest. I have done nearly nothing in terms of writing, which is the total opposite of nanowrimo. I managed to dye my hair red, as in cherry red kind of colour. I think not writing this month has been sheer laziness and finding excuses sadly. But then again at the moment the level of procrastination is horrific, I will find an excuse for almost any reason sadly. There is so much to do that I haven’t even bothered to try to make it more bite size chunks. Today is the first day that I have done any writing in a while.

It’s not even like I’m doing lots of knitting, which is my usual procrastinating activity.

Our heating’s been broken for a month now, we’re waiting on the parts for repairs and the guys who do it, hopefully next week that will change. Until then my blanket lasagna at bed time has gained some layers.

I don’t think there is much I can really update on. But be sure to check back soon. I have every hope that I can write more about exciting things for next months update.

So Darling Daughters is OUT NOW , so for those of you wanting to get your hands on the ending… here is the link for Darling Daughters!  OUT NOW!

The Diary of Elliot Parker  Ninety-One to One hundred and Twenty!  OUT NOW!!!

Or if you want the whole collection in one neat and tidy book, here is the link for the Complete Collection! OUT NOW!!!!! 

Nothing changes here in terms of throwing plugs in for my amazon books on my author page… I haven’t lost my hope just yet.

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA

xxx

New Hobby Curiosity

Ok So you all know I knit, I write and I dabble with cooking…

I am very very hap-hazard with cooking. To be honest I don’t follow a recipe properly, I tend to dabble and I rarely measure anything or agree with so called serving suggestion quantities. My idea of portion control is laughable… Could be how I fail all my diets.

But I am wondering about new hobbies, like things that I could learn.

Learning to crochet wouldn’t be a far jump from knitting I guess. I could start with a super simple blanket maybe? I’ve always wanted to learn crochet, or at least understand it, without getting a headache. I mean I look at knitting patterns understand it and still end up confused with a headache and I’ve been doing that for maybe ten to twenty years at least.

I would love to be able to do lace, but it looks like even more of a headache, although I think it would be amazing. How many times have you looked at a piece of something lace and been like that is incredible, especially as it used to be something made by hand a long time ago.

Sure embroidery looks incredible, but I barely, rarely have the patience to do cross stitch and even then I don’t bother with fancy stitches or outlining… It always looks super weird when I try. I don’t think embroidery is for me.

I could learn something physical, learn to ice-skate properly… Sure I can go forward and smash into barriers because I still haven’t learned how to stop yet. But again, smashing into barriers hurts.

I could learn to dance, but I always feel like an elephant trying to do ballet super clumsily and squashing people. It doesn’t come naturally to me. AT ALL.

I could try running, but no. Just no. That is so not going to happen, I won’t even run for a bus. Which leads on to I wont ride a bike because its far too dangerous to ride a bike in Croydon.

I could try bird watching but like… outdoors means bugs… eww!

I could learn extreme coupon-ing but I am super lazy and that looks like a full time job and I feel like I have three…

I feel like every idea is met with an excuse or reason not to. For all of those except crocheting so maybe once I finish my current knitting projects and the ones that follow immediately after I could try learning to crochet something cute… Oh one day I want to make a teddy bear or something… one day…

Feeling Christmassy yet?

The time is almost upon us!

So what gem am I about to write? Well, I’ve been feeling Christmassy since September. I completed and wrapped up all of my Christmas shopping in October, so well on schedule. Why start that early? Simple, it is cheaper, closer to the holidays things become more expensive and the winter months feel much much more expensive…

This weekend I will be doing my Fiancee’s Christmas wrapping for him… I am being paid in food so I don’t mind. But that is the thing I always forget, Christmas wrapping can make your back hurt and your patience run thin. I normally finish off all my Christmas wrapping early and end up in the lead up to Christmas doing my families wrapping for them, and it seems I now do the other halves too. I must be some kind of Christmas Elf.

But really, I encourage you all, who hate to think of Christmas until November or even December to begin your Christmas shopping earlier in the year, see how much money you can save and see just how many more things you can get up to in the lead up to Christmas or even in the sales with those paychecks no longer having to juggle the bills and the Christmas shop. It has saved me having to consider using credit cards or over spending in those winter months. Sure money is hardly a Christmas topic, but it will play a large part in what you are able to do.

I am a little Christmas coach/motivator/elf for the people around me.

The first thing I always suggest doing, write down a list of people you need Christmas cards for, and buy an extra 20 or so because you will forget someone… (Buy these in the January sales for bonus points and extra savings)

The second thing that can be done almost immediately after is write down all the people you have to buy Christmas gifts for. Next to their names give yourself a realistic budget of how much you can spend (or want to spend) on each person, total that up, re-evaluate. Shopping earlier in the year and keeping your eyes out all year round for Christmas gifts is a great way to see how much you can save…

January Sales Tip

Save roughly £100 or something like that earlier in the year, when the sales hit, use that to pick up a few Christmas presents cheaper than usual and put them away somewhere… I use a storage box and sort of hide it at the back of things so no one finds it, it’s a great way to stock up on things that can bulk up the Christmas gifts, buy with someone in mind and use it as a boost to their Christmas gifts as it wont be part of the budget (I recommend this method for your immediate family when it comes to sale shopping)

Plus if you save a little extra you might be able to snag that thing that you saw for yourself that you liked that no-one else brought you a bit cheaper…

 

Safe to say, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when I hit poundland, buy a tonne of battery operated fairy lights and gift bags… My room is currently filled with Christmassy gift bags ready to go to their future homes… I have a love of fairy lights and safe to say battery operated is a lot easier and lighter than electric cables. Plus, Poundland is great for getting and making DIY Christmas stuff when you butcher the decorations and go all Frankenstien on them…

Oh during Halloween I also pick up their coloured fairy lights (they do red, orange, green or purple) I tend to go with purple but I found the orange ones really cute this year, So you could in theory have a room lit up all in purple or a Christmas tree or something if you are doing a specific colour scheme somewhere, it is a great bulky buy and takes 2 AA batteries. Oh as for the battery packs… I haven’t worked out how to make those “pretty” yet… so get good at hiding them.

 

Uncertainty

I am sure that I am not the only one who feels that, or uninspired, or unmotivated. Or in other words, it can be called doubt.

Lately it feels as though it could eat me alive. I am sure I am not the only one who feels that. I think that it is highly likely to be the cause of this writers block. It is all to easy to doubt yourself, doubt the things that you are trying to achieve. Being creative is not enough, it is doing something with it. It is finding inspiration in darkness and light and in any chance you can to find something that can spark the story you want to tell, that you didn’t know you wanted to tell.

I think emotional stagnation, being trapped in one feeling for too long is counterproductive to being able to write something, or do something that inspires you as a human, and others. I suppose that loving the fantasy genre, loving the idea that you can be your own hero is something important. Having a “real” job doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t make you happy.

Sure recently at work I’ve been able to come to peace with the idea I am selling my time to make someone else’s vision real. But I haven’t been willing to do that for myself. Is it easier to believe in an established corporation than to believe in yourself? Without a doubt. Betting on yourself, on what you want to achieve feels way more risky than going into work, selling your time and then coming home and relaxing and having a cup of tea. Perhaps it is time I make writing easier to get to, easier to do than pulling the knitting from the side of the sofa and watching Netflix.

Time to act on all those inspirational things I see on my instagram feed and start betting on myself more. Sure I might not be certain about a lot of things but I know without a doubt I am certain I am passionate about writing, I want to do myself justice. I want to be able to say to my kids one day, sure I doubted myself, a lot, almost all the time, but I knew one thing. If I didn’t try, if I didn’t push forward and learn and try again and again, I would never be really happy with myself. Doubting yourself is just life, but doing what you love anyway, doing it no matter how many times you fail, doing it and never giving up on something that you are passionate about and makes you happy (even if you “fail” spectacularly) that is living. That is believing in yourself. Even if it doesn’t sound like it.

Failing is a part of life, don’t be afraid of it. Embrace it and use it to make you better.

You can do anything… If you let yourself! 

I had forgotten about that reminder, I once wanted as a tattoo, I probably could do with the reminder permanently etched on me somewhere, just a little self belief and a little convincing and you can conquer the world and turn uncertainty into something entirely certain. A little refueling of passion never hurts.

May luck and adventure be on your side in this uncertain world.