A Brief History of Time Travel

Excuse the sneaky promotion, but lovely husband and his writing partner have been working their socks off to get their radio sitcom off the ground, and they have managed to get it funded (yay!), but I thought I would just post it here so that if any of you are interested in Radio 4-style comedies in the vein of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with proper celebrity guest stars (Scrapheap Challenge’s Robert Llewellyn!) you can pledge a small amount (£5!) to get all 7 episodes – one of which will only be available to people who pledge in the next couple of days!


Originally published at Quiet Contentment. You can comment here or there.


I <3 NYC

I’ve been writing about my trip to New York – I’m not sure how to blog it, so I thought I would write it all down, and then piece it together after. Consequently, it might be a few more days before anything goes up, but for now, I suppose this is just a bit of a love letter to the city.

People told me I would fall for New York, but I never expected to fall as hard as I did. We had pretty much the perfect weather, Blue skies and warm enough that we didn’t need coats, we walked the streets of Manhattan, drinking it all in.

New York is strange and surreal. Everything is startlingly familiar, but at the same time, it’s all so very different. Mars bars are called Milky Ways and Coke has a strange aftertaste. You feel like you know the streets, and in way you do – they’re so omnipresent in popular culture that you recognise glimpses here and there and hailing a cab feels like you’re in a scene from a film.

Everyone kept saying I would find it all very overwhelming – that NYC is bigger and nosier and smellier and just MORE everything than anywhere else. I didn’t though, it just felt busy and alive. On the first day, James and I walked up 6th Avenue for 30-odd blocks, and we just drank it in. Tried not to take photos of absolutely everything. Tried not to point everything out and look like tourists.

I think we packed a lot in to the 8 days we were there. We walked miles. We walked until our feet hurt, and crashed out in our hotel room the evenings, exhausted, planning the next day.

I am so grateful that James wanting to go to NY Comic Con meant we went when we did. If we hadn’t, we would have more then likely been there when the storm hit. The pictures coming from New York and especially Lower Manhattan where we were staying are breaking my heart. We got to experience this amazing city at it’s best, and I can’t wait to go back and see it’s recovery.

Originally published at Quiet Contentment. You can comment here or there.


The beginning of an end


Perhaps this is an overly dramatic title, but I'm really feeling the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn quite keenly. J is out at the moment, and I'm on the sofa with a mug of tea, knitting and grand prix on. It's cold and dark and wet outside, and I couldn't be happier.

This summer was pretty awesome. We went to Latitude as we have for the past few years, and for the first time, it was just the two of us. It was a lovely long weekend, if slightly cold and wet, and we saw some awesome things. We became slightly addicted to the Olympics, and watched more sport then we have, I think probably in the rest of our lives. We had drinks in pub gardens, dinner outside, and generally enjoyed the sunny days we had. A couple of weeks ago we had a last hurrah and spent an evening on Richmond Green with friends where we were bitten to pieces by mosquitos and planned fun things to do when we go to New York in a couple of weeks.

And now it's autumn, probably my favourite of all the seasons. I was in bed shortly after nine last night, with a mug of tea and some knitting, and QI on iplayer, and it was genuinely wonderful. I love Sunday afternoons in the rain, where I'm cosy inside and can hear the rain on the windows, but know I'm safe and warm inside. I've made plans for Christmas crafting, and am making a start on my cards. I'm finding blankets to drape over the arms of our chairs for those cold evenings, so people can curl up and be warm. I'm plotting soups for lunch, and counting down the days until its cold enough for me to wear my fleecy tights. Digging through books to find some slow cooker recipes. Working out when I can invite friends over for an afternoon of board games and warm dinners. Bring it on autumn, I've been waiting for you.


Originally published at Quiet Contentment. You can comment here or there.



Tidy seems to be the theme of my life right now. Those who have been to our flat will know that although we both try to keep things tidy, we both have a lot of Stuff, which makes things hard. We both have hobbies that don’t lend themselves to minimalism, and a bit of a book problem. I’d estimate we’ve got rid of in the region of 250-300 books in the last year, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Add to that the magazines, comics, CDs, DVDs, craft stuff, and general life detritus, and you might get the picture ;)

We recently bought a new printer which can scan, and I’m attempting to clear down some of the craft magazines I have, by scanning in the tutorials and patterns I actually like and am likely to ever want to make, and then I will somehow dispose of them, probably through ebay. I’ve also bought a Kindle, after getting a nice voucher following a horrendous train journey, so I can use that for the throwaway reads I don’t want to keep the book around for.  Slowly but surely, I want to try and reduce the amount of stuff I own, and when we decide to move at some point, it will hopefully be easier.

Our bookshelves

Does anyone have awesome tips for organising and decluttering that don’t involve spending huge amounts of money? So many things seem to promise you a beautifully tidy house if only you spend $99 on this awesome drawer organiser! Err no. For one I don’t have the money to spend, and also buying things in order to declutter seems a bit…ridiculous.

Once media has been done, then I think it will be time to attack my clothes, and chuck out the dresses I’ve had since sixth form, and the skirts I never wear because I am really weird about wearing skirts that I think are too short…

Originally published at Quiet Contentment. You can comment here or there.


An owl and some ramblings.

I’ve been remiss. I’ve got a post here that I worked about the wedding, then I didn’t post it, and now it seems silly to post it, so long after the event. I might do though, so there’s a record of it. It was so fricking awesome though.

So have an owl that I made! He’s not yet got a name. I kind of balked at crafting for a while – I think sewing 150m of bunting will do that. Glad I did though! I’m now a bit black work loopy, and want to make a sampler type thing, but not in black and white. Pale blue and ecru are the favoured colours at the moment.

I’ve been married for…eight weeks now. Seems in some ways much more and in other ways much less. I like being married though, it feels…comforting? Secure? Either way, it’s lovely. He’s lovely. I’m soppy.

Originally published at Quiet Contentment. You can comment here or there.


State of the Union address

So, 2012. Gulp. It’s a big year for me, and for us. I mean, we’re getting married in a few weeks! More on that in a minute, but while I didn’t want to do a full on year in review type blog post, I do want to acknowledge a few things!

I guess this big thing is the engagement. That was awesome. And I’m excited to be getting married. I’m not sure why tbh, I never really thought anything would change, but it obviously is going to, and I like it :) I’m learning a lot about our relationship, and it all seems good. We work together well, we’re a team and I’m excited for the future. I’m excited for us.

I’m excited about the wedding as well. I’m realising that it won’t be the fairytale wedding the magazines tell us we should want – it won’t be a traditional wedding at all really. We’re doing it quickly so I’ve had to let go of a lot of the ideas I wanted. I’m not going to be able to make napkins for the table. I’m not going to be able to make all the invitations and orders of service. What I’m hoping it will be is fun with good food and a chance to see all my friends and family together for a good time. We’re not fussy people, and I think if I tried to create a wedding that would look at home in the pages of a magazine, I’d spend the day feeling awkward and uncomfortable, and I kind of want to enjoy the day!

I started a WI as well! I’m pretty proud of myself on that front, if a little daunted by the responsibility I feel towards the group now. Knowing people have made friends through it and that they come for the social aspects as well as the speakers – that feels pretty good!

I got a new job! Did I mention this? I don’t think I did. I was facing redundancy and had to apply for a new role at work, which was awful, but I got the job, and the person I was up against has been offered a new job which she’s excited about, so that’s good as well :)

It’s going to be a good year I think. And I plan to enjoy it. I’m not going to beat myself up over resolutions and lists of what I should be doing, other then the vague ‘enjoy myself’. And maybe this by Neil Gaiman. I like this.

Sunday night with tea and biscuits
I love winter in a weird way. I'm currently in bed with a cosy blanket as well as a sunggly duvet, wearing warm PJs and drinking tea that tastes like mulled wine. You can't do that in summer. In fact, summer evenings normally find me lying on top of the bed, wailing how I just can't get cool enough to sleep, and repeatedly turning my pillow over and over to try and get some relief. 

Yesterday James and I went to Boring 2011, a conference organised by James Ward in East London, that promised to celebrate on the ordinary and focus on the minutiae of daily life. We had talks about hand dryers and the sounds of vending machines and small talk and the whole thing was finished off with an awesome talk by Adam Curtis which started with a talk and video of tiny snippets of video from the ends and starts of old BBC tapes. James took a photo of the running order and I want to blog properly about it, but he's off doing something else at the moment, so that will have to wait.

Today was spent doing not much at all. I mean, I did a pile of ironing, and made a vegetable stew and cleaned the kitchen, and had a bath, but it was all vey relaxed. I felt a bit out of sorts today, which I am sure if a reaction to the reaction to the horrendously stressful week I've had. I've got the best outcome for me, but this has been at the detriment to someone else (not my doing I hasten to add!) The quietness of just pottering about was what I needed, and following a bath, I feel much more ready to face the world tomorrow. 

This week I've got a WI committee meeting, and our wedding photographer is coming round on Wednesday night to discuss the details - at that point we'll be less then 12 weeks out. Gulp.

T-112 days

I promise I will try not to spam this blog with wedding stuff. I even started a separate blog for that, but allow me the odd post, please? ;)

I know we'd always planned a spring wedding, and people sucked air through their teeth at that, but things are happening a lot quicker then expected! I spent most of this week trying to get through to our preferred venue, only for it to constantly go through to an answerphone I wasn’t able to leave a message on, or for it to just ring out. Thursday afternoon I tried again, sticking it on speakerphone, only to have someone pick up! I asked about availability in March/early April, only to be told they had July 28th, the last weekend in October, or February 25th.

A quick call to my mum who spoke to the caterers we’d been looking at, a call to Warwick registry office to see if they had someone available, a call back to confirm - and suddenly we’re getting married in a little over 100 days.


I knew we were operating to a tighter schedule then most couples, but this now seems incredibly close. I’m not as worried as I feel I ought to be, which perversely is worrying me more. We’ve got a lot in place - we’ve got the venue, the caterers and the registrar. We’ve managed to book the wedding photographer that I really, really wanted. I really hate having my photo taken, so finding an photographer that could come up with easy relaxed looking photos was important to us, and I adore her style. I’ve pretty much decided on a dress. We’ve figured out a colour scheme, and I’ve got a good idea of how I want the place to look. The majority of our decorations will be homemade, and fairly simple - we want big, clean shapes and for everything to co-ordinate.

We've not got the money to spend on a lavish wedding, and to be honest, we don't really want that. We're aiming more for a party then a Reception with a capital letter. We want it to be easy and relaxed, for people to have fun, and to celebrate with us. We're ironing out the guest list, and I feel awful that there's so many people we cant invite - if I could, I'd invite everyone, but then we'd have to change so much about the wedding, and the whole feel of the thing would change. We're thinking about having a party back in London for all the people we can't invite - would this seem weird to you, if you were invited to a separate party but not the main wedding? I do know that whatever we do, people will be offended, and upset - I think I've already upset someone by inviting someone else, but I don't know what to do - in an ideal world, everyone we invited would come and have a great time, but I know realistically that that won't be the case.

Maybe we'll just run away to Vegas and be done with it ;)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


(no subject)

I'll do a proper post later, but look what J and I picked out 2 weekends ago and picked up last night! We're hoping to get married early next year - after 11 years it seems silly to wait for ages before getting married! I'm really, really happy, I love my ring, and I promise not to turn in to a Bridezilla!

Horticultural delights

Sigh, four day weekend is nearly over, and I’m not lucky enough to have the three days off in-between as we’re so busy at work. Oh well – it’s been a lovely few days off. And, it’s only 3 days at work – that’s nothing! Then, another four day weekend! I’m planning to do not a huge amount – this weekend meant doing all the housework in preparation for my Mum’s visit so that’s all done for a couple of weeks, save pushing the hoover round…oh, and attacking the huge pile of ironing – anyone fancy tackling that for me? ;)

Horticultural delights by nikki m
Horticultural delights, a photo by nikki m on Flickr.

I’d forgotten how pretty our flat looks in the sun – we’re north/south facing, and the lounge and kitchen especially look gorgeous in the sun. My windowsills are full of flowers and herbs, and the armchair in the bay window in the lounge is my new favourite place to sit with a cup of tea, and knit or read, with the breeze blowing through, and the birds in the tree outside.

I’ve also got vases of freesias around the flat from a couple of bunches Mum bought me – I split the stems out in to long ones for one vase, and then the little ones growing off the stems I put in to little vases, including one for my bed side table :) They’re starting to smell gorgeous and I’m looking forward to them opening fully :)

Originally published at Quiet Contentment. You can comment here or there.


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