New York City, baby!!

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Us in Central Park - just after the proposal <3

Us in Central Park – just after the proposal 

Those who know me know I am obsessed with New York. I absolutely love, love, love the city. I get all emotional just thinking about it.

I can’t remember how old I was when I first realised I just had to go, but I know its all I spoke about during University. So, when I finally managed to convince Steve it was about time we went, to say I was excited, well it actually was the biggest understatement of the century. We decided to go just after New Year; our flights were booked for January 3rd – perfectly planned for ice-skating in central park and of course, the January sales.

I started my countdown early, 10 months, 9 months 30days, 8months – you get the idea. Absolutely every single one of my Facebook friends were fuming with me by the time we went. I’m surprised no one actually told me to give it a rest!

Anyway, I had the trip planned to a tee. We had a full-blown itinerary. There was not a chance I was wasting one single moment in the city. I was making the most out of every second there.

I’d booked tickets up the Empire State (day) and Top of the Rocks, (night) trip to the Statue of Liberty, a 4-hour Sex and the City tour complete with free cupcakes, visit to the sex shop and time for a quick jaunt into Marc Jacobs and Jimmy Choo on Bleaker Street. We also managed to squeeze in a ride around central park, dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant Maze, followed by tickets to see the Lion King on Broadway. And, of course, there was time scheduled for shopping.

Now, even I didn’t think that this trip could get any better – I’d been to Tiffany’s and got my necklace (we also nipped the toilets whilst we were there, as you do, and well, even the restrooms sparkled!) I’d visited the New York public Library (the inner geek in me just had to) and I’d filled my boots with pizza, pancakes and cupcakes until I felt as sick as a dog… But, well, it did in fact get much, much better…

On our second to last day we went to central park. And that was where the 2nd best moment of my life happened; Steve got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Now, I am a girl of a lot of words, but all I could manage was ‘oh my god, oh my god.’ I did eventually get out a yes! I was over the moon.

That whole day past in a bit of a whirlwind and it wasn’t really until I got back home that it hit me – bloody hell, not only was I engaged, but I was engaged in New York City baby!!!

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A Thursday Thought: Peter Pan on Ice (at Venue Cymru)

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Recently, our student newspaper Seren was invited to attend a performance of Peter Pan on ice at the local theatre, Venue Cymru. As an occasional writer for the paper, I jumped at the chance to be the one to go and review the show – I absolutely love the story of Peter Pan and what could be more magical than telling that story on ice. I managed to convince one of my colleagues to attend with me, partly for a second opinion but also because I had a strong suspicion that I might be sobbing during the performance and a girl cannot be left to sob in a theatre alone.

We arrive at Venue Cymru with minutes to spare but thankfully the helpful staff showed us quickly to our seats and we made it in before the show started. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the auditorium was relatively full considering the mid-week performance date and the audience ranged from really young to old. I was so excited…The lights dimmed, the music started and I prepared myself to be taken on a magical journey right back to my inner child.

The opening scene started well and I was surprised so see that there was actually real, genuine ice on the stage. My colleague Rhys has asked me on the way where the ice would come from – he was adamant it was going to be called ‘ice’ but that cast would in fact be on roller skates. Oh ye of little faith, I knew Peter Pan would not let me down.

A few minutes in, the tale started with one of the performers who I assumed was playing JM Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. I eagerly awaited the voice of the narrator, to tell the story of how Wendy, John and Michael came to find themselves in Never Land with Peter Pan and TinkerBell.

Ten minutes later, although I could not fault the skating one single bit, (in fact, although I am no expert I would say it was world class) I was slightly disappointed that there was an ‘author’ who occasionally skated onto the stage, took off his jacket and top had, had a bit of a dance with the children’s distraught mother and then passed her back to the equally distraught father (who by this point was probably more worried about loosing his wife to JM Barrie than his missing children!) but not once did he utter one single word. I mean, WHERE WERE THE WORDS. This was not what I had expected at all.

Now, despite my initial disappointment at the lack of words, I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy the show; in fact, the more characters that came onto the stage, the more I enjoyed it. There was certainly no shortage of talent in the Russian ice-skating company, from the main characters of Peter, Wendy and TinkerBell all the way through to the Native American Indian, the lost boys and even Peter’s shadow. (Although it did take a couple of seconds to figure out who the guy with the tights on his head was!) But, I will be honest, I did miss the words. Now, I’m not saying every character had to have a full on conversation with each other, but a few scene setting words from the ‘author’ would have been nice and added to the ambience the ice-skaters were creating.

What I did love about the show was the ability for the cast to bring humour to the stage, without any words at all (of course!) I loved Captain Hook and his crew – the buzz that the pirates created on stage was fantastic, considering the little space and props they had. Tinker Bell’s skating technique was outstanding; she really pulled off the flirty, lustful side of the fairy. There were several points throughout where I was left open mouthed and there was no shortage of applause throughout both act one and two.

However, I have to be honest, my favourite part was most definitely the crocodile. Not only was it amazing to see a person skating in a full on crocodile costume, when said person began to do the worm, in said costume, across a stage of ice, you can’t but not applaud. If only the crocodile could speak!

Would I recommend the show? Yes, I would. Did I miss the words? Yes I did. Do I now have an undying urge to go and take up ice-skating? Erm… Would you believe me if I said ive already got my first lesson booked.

Watch out Wendy, you’ve got some competition.

 

For better; for worse?

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This weekend I went jet skiing for the first time in 2014 and I have to admit, I totally forgot how much i enjoyed it. There is nothing better than whizzing across the sea, feeling the wind in your hair and being miles away (well sometimes just a few hundred meters, but its enough!) from the rest of the world and the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

It was last summer when my husband text me saying “wife, I’ve bought you a jetski!” Not your everyday text – but still a pleasant one all the same. As you can imagine I was eager to get out on the water. Having only ever been on a jetski once in my life before, of course I insisted I was a pro and jumped on without hesitation. (Although Steve did insist on giving me a full on watercraft instructor course before hand, typically of him!)

Surprisingly, I actually managed to glide around the bay we were skiing on quite successfully, I even managed to do it without falling off! Steve was the proud husband taking photos and videos of his skillful wife, until of course, the inevitable happened… CRASH, BANG, WIFE…

The only thing i could say that evening was, well husband; love of my life, apple of my eye… we did say for better or for worse. Looks like you’re stuck with me! 🙂

#ThrowbackThursday

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Many, if not all of my blog posts are like mini stories, most people who know me, know that being concise is not something that I can do very well. In fact, even this short and snappy post is turning into more of an essay than I intend…

Anyway, with this very thought in mind, I have decided that each week i am going to challenge myself to do one short, snappy and maybe even thought provoking blog post.

So, here goes, short snappy post numero uno…

#Throwback Thursday – a day to look back through our archives of photos and memories, to repost and rekindle those  #goodtimes with #noworries and #yolo’s and in my case way too many #drunkenstudentnightsincollege

So, I propose, that instead of ‘throwing back’ an old picture and wishing we were still living the highlife, back in those simpler time, why not embrace the complete idea of ‘throwing back’ – and physically relive that very moment again…(within reason of course, after all Thursday is a school night!)

I mean, I for one would love to throw on my pj’s, go to my friend Julia’s house and spend the evening dressing up as the spice girls, thinking that one day we might actually make it..

In fact, who am I kidding, Im texting her to arrange it right now. Like, seriously, what are you waiting for.

#ThrowbackThursday – #embrace. #it.

 

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The one where it all began

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This coming weekend my husband and I will be celebrating our very first wedding anniversary (how fast has that flown?) and it got me thinking about where it all began…

First I need to take you right back in time to a day in my sixth form when we were sent to the library to work on our personal statement and start filling in our UCAS forms.

At the time (though recently this has been queried as to whether it was a scam – but that’s a whole other story for another time) you had to pay to apply through UCAS – it was £5 for one University and £15 for 2 or more, up to a maximum of 6. Me, being the savvy spender that I am (ha!) decided that I wanted value for money – so although I only wanted to apply for 5 University’s, out of principle I was going to apply for 6 – to get my money’s worth of course! I spent the next 30 minutes scrolling through the UCAS list at the other University’s that offered the course that I wanted to study. Pretty far up the list I came to Aberystwyth but due to my lack of ability at the time to pronounce it I moved swiftly on. The next interesting place I came across was Bangor. I had no idea where Bangor was, if it was a town or a city or that it was actually in Wales – but trusted google filled me in on the fact that it was a small city in north wales, close to Anglesey. That’ll do, University number 6 – application sent.

And that was that. Who would have thought that I would end up picking Bangor as my first choice later down the application stage, or that I would end up loving the place so much I decided to stay, get married and have 3 ducks!

Now, I am known to leave things to the very last minute – but I very rarely miss a deadline. So when I read that anyone who applies to halls before the end of June is guaranteed a place, I didn’t really see what the rush was. I spent hours looking over all the halls I could stay in and picking my top three. As you know, I have a bit of a fear of public toilets so that last thing I wanted was a shared bathroom and of course I needed a hall of residence with internet – I mean who doesn’t just love a cosy night in on msn messenger. (We are going back a fair few years remember; when myspace was the Facebook!)

Anyways, as it turns out there was a rush, as rooms are allocated on a first come, first preference basis – so to say I was devastated when I discovered that my halls not only did not have an en-suite, they also had no internet was the biggest understatement of the century. I literally cried for days and at one point, may have even refused to go to University full stop. Hindsight however it a wonderful thing – as actually applying late (but within the deadline might I add!) was the best thing that ever could have happened…not only did I meet some of my very best friends (even now) in those halls – I also met the man who would become my husband and best friend.

Skipping forward to the first day on University – I literally cried when I arrived and realised that my halls of residence was at the top of the biggest hill you have ever seen – it was literally vertical. Then I saw the halls and they were not the modern ones that they show you in the prospectus at all…it was a real life nightmare.

My family quickly moved into gear and transformed my dull box room into something that resembled comfort and we left to explore the place. When we returned I met Steve – the guy who would live down the hall from me and he was drinking out of a large Winnie the Pooh mug. Of course, that was the first thing that we conversed about – Me: I like your cup, it’s awesome. Him: I got it from Matalan earlier – they had loads of different ones. Me: cool, I’ll have to get one!* It was the dumbest conversation i’d ever had!

Later on after waving goodbye to my tribe I wandered down the corridor and asked Steve what course he was on and he said marine biology – I was like ‘woah that’s cool, ive always wanted to learn how to dive.’ Or words to that affect.

Now, I have absolutely no idea why I said this, as if truth be told – I had never, ever in my life had a desire to learn how to dive – I wasn’t much of a fan of water, like i even hated getting my face wet in the shower. But as fate would have it, of course the next thing he said was ‘well, you’re in luck, I’m actually a dive instructor – here’s my card, I can teach you if you want?’

Well, shit a brick – there was definitely no getting out of this now. So I did what any respectable 18 year old girl who had said something in order to impress someone that was completely untrue, would do… I ran to my window and yelled to my mum, “I’m going to learn how to dive!!”

And there you have it, the one where it all began!

*I should add that 2 days later I opened my kitchen cupboard door and Steve had in fact gone to Matalan and bought me my own Winnie the Pooh mug – he bought me piglet as that was who he thought I was most like (such a sweetie eh!!)

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