26 Jul 2016

Getting In The Garden This Summer

Can I just start off by saying how much I genuinely adore my garden.

It's pretty small and basic but to me it's what a wand is to a wizard and what the sea is to a mermaid.

I could honestly never live in a flat because I spend so much time in the garden, especially now with this just-pour-a-bucket-ice-cold-water-over-me-now weather we are having, that I literally would not know what to do with my time otherwise.  

I imagine me without a garden being a bit like when Harry freed Dobby from the Malfoy's and then after being super excited for ten minutes about being finally being a free house elf, he found himself wandering around with nothing to do so decided to dedicate the rest of his life to being Harry's protector. That would be me trying to keep a poor house plant alive, expect I wouldn't be as successful as Dobby was!

I mean how much is too much water? I just never know.

There are times (even when the sun is shining because believe it or not the sun doesn't always make everything better!) when the idea of putting on half decent clothes, doing my make up and hair so I can venture outside the front door without scaring the neighbors, is jut too much effort. Life can feel suffocating sometimes but there are way to overcome it all.

Why, as soon as it reaches 25 degrees, do we Brits have to go rushing off to the beach? Or the sea side like our lives depend on it?

Why can't I just sit in the garden on the new Miami garden furniture we brought and enjoy the sun in the comfort of my own home. And FYI you would totally want to because those babies are the comfiest seats ever and the chairs have arms.

They have arms people!

Living the dream.

And in your garden it is acceptable to do a lot of things you wouldn't dream about doing in public.

It's acceptable to wear the shortest pair of shorts you own and not have shaved your legs because who's time for that when you gotta catch all those sun rays.

You don't need to worry about your face or your hair or your borderline bingo wings; nobody can see you. They can't see you throwing caution to the wind and only applying sun cream to your arms because duh those pale things you call legs NEED some sun. They can't see you slowly eating your way through a family sized box of Fab Ice Lollies, which are actually like heaven.

No lie.

Nor do they see you sipping on jug fulls of Pimm's with homegrown strawberries, cucumber and mint at eleven o'clock in the morning. What is so bad about that anyway, didn't your mother ever tell you to keep hydrated in hot weather?

Aside from all the jokes, though, a garden is a little piece of paradise. It just what you do with it that  makes it special.

It's a place for hosting BBQ's, for camping under the stars, for growing fresh fruit and veg from teeny tiny seeds, for watching flowers that you planted bloom from buds that seemed as though they were never going to open, for admiring bees and butterflies as they bumble around the leaves, for free entertainment and most importantly for being in reaching distance of food, drink and wifi!

There is just something about being able to step outside and explore within the safety of your own property and knowing that if you don't get up in the morning to water the plants, they will be fried by the sun.

Plus by the look on my cat's face at the moment as he is stretched across the hot patio, under the shade of the umbrella, he seems to like the garden too!

So lets all get out there today. If its in a mess why not pop down to your local garden center, buy a few pots of plants and position them around the garden, nail up hanging baskets or plant your own full of strawberry seeds, treat yourself to a brightly colored watering can or one of those paper windmill things you stick in the ground for the wind to blow or hang up some bird feeders and leave food for the local hedgehog.

Please, don't mop around in doors all day when there is so much to be discovered right outside your back door. Talking of which, I'm off to eat a big slice of Victoria Sponge Cake in the sun.

I mean, why not?

Surprisingly enough this is not a sponsored post. I just love Pimm's and garden furniture!  

17 Jul 2016

Work Experience: Finding Your Path

I'm not going to lie, on Monday morning I was practically crapping myself. 

Picture the scene: a sleep deprived bedraggled girl curled up in the fetal position in bed desperately dreading the sound of her alarm going off as she knew that would signal an hour before she had to be her two work experience placement at the primary school she went to six years ago. 

 I have explained before about my plans to go to university and become a teacher, so I thought it best to get a real idea of what it's like to be working in a school. I'd been for a interview the a week before and saw lots of little kids mooching about and thought "ahh aren't they sweet, I can't wait to get started." 

But then on Sunday, I thought "oh my frickin God, tomorrow I'm going to be in a real working environment with real life adults that aren't my parents in class with a bunch of eight years old and expected to look after them with basically no experience or knowledge what so ever. I mean what the hell have I let myself in for! 

What if I hated it? What if the children didn't like me? What if I didn't like them? And I never wanted to teach again? What if all my plans for the future would be ruined and I'd have to go back to the drawing board? 


So that morning I nervously walked up to reception, muttered something about doing my work experience there and tried in vain to open the door into the building, not realising that it wouldn't open because it was one of those doors that the receptionist had to press a button to open and I just looked like a complete plonker standing there yanking at the handle. Then having been set some party bags for the end of term to fill and tie up by the class teacher, I proceeded to forget which classroom I was meant to be in but found it eventually thanks to a rather lovely (attractive!) maintenance guy. 

When I walked into the class I forgot to factor in that a group of 30 plus children would be sat there staring at me as I had just interrupted a lesson and the teacher (who also taught me about six million years ago and is still there!) introduced me as Miss Dale. I mean come on, nobody has ever called me that in my life. Yet the whole class of eight year olds cheered and clapped and I died and went to heaven because I had not been in the room more than five minutes and they already loved me. 

They wanted to know how old I was, if I could guess their name, if they cause guess mine and if I could help them work out a maths problem they were stuck on like I actually knew what I was talking about. Some kid even decided he really wanted to hold my hand so proceeded to yank me around the room with my hand firmly gripped in his while he showed me all his wonderful work that I couldn't read. 

Me:   Oooh that's a lovely drawing of a dragon
Him: What? That's a drawing of my mum! 
Me:    ... 

And after listening to them read what seemed like the easiest books ever after struggling through Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudiced during my English Lit lessons, we did PE. And if there is one thing you should know about me is that I bloody hate sports with a passion but watching all the kids run around the field playing rounders and knowing that all I had to do was score...was surprisingly enjoyable. Mostly because I was the one torturing them, not the other way around. And it was fun. Not least because some cute girl with special needs let me play with her Nemo toy and I was like this is so much more fun than learning about the Oedipous Complex (if you do look this up it is fucking weird!) and what the hell carbaminoheamoglobin is! 

Not only that but in the space of a week I've been on two trips, one to forest school on Tuesday where we built camp fires and toasted marshmallow and a type of soda bread called Australian Damper Bread which was just so awesome and like the most amazing comfort food ever that I just had to get the recipe off the woman cooking it. Then on Friday we ventured to the The Haven Plotlands in Essex, where we wandered around a house built in the 1930s, attempted to do washing with a mangle while at the same time keeping an eye on all the kids so they didn't suddenly decide to wedge their fingers between the rolling pins and become fingerless and galloped around the vegetable garden on those wooden horses you stick between your legs. 

Such fun!

I still have one more week with them all and for the first time in forever (their love of Disney is rubbing off on me as you can probably tell!) I am actually excited about Monday morning. 

I mean when does this ever happen. Like seriously. 

I swear if I worked in a school like this for the rest of my life I would die happy. Even if I hadn't become a multimillionaire, visited all the countries in the world and ticked off every single item on my bucket list, it could not top the moment you see a child begin to understand something that YOU have taught them or when on your first day, kids actually fight over who gets to sits next to you and one of them says "your my new favorite teacher!" and I just melt. Just physically melt inside from happiness and pride! 

There have been many times when I have felt like I don't fit in with the people my age who go out boozing and partying all the God damn time, but suddenly I feel like I have found the path I'm meant to take. 

That this is my time to shine.

 I hope for those of you who haven't found that contentment and positive outlook of the future that you one day will, but know you sometimes have to force yourself to do the things you really don't want to do. 

You have to go outside your comfort zone to places that make your knees shake and heart race and mind worry because more often than not it turns out flipping amazing in the end. You just have to keep working at it. Keep talking to people. Keep learning. Keep exploring. Discovering. Seeking for what really makes your heart soar because once you find your calling, it's like you are looking at a whole new world. 

*Cue cheesy song from Aladdin- see what I mean* 

And if anyone is seriously considering working with children, go for it! 

I've spoken to the experts and the overall feeling is that it is the best and most rewarding job in the world. No two days are the same and it's practically impossible to become bored of seeing those smiling little faces looking back at you in adoration. It's hard work behind the scenes, challenging and demanding with long hours and not the most amazing paycheque but the fact you are changing lives every minute of your working day makes it all worth it. 

So worth it. 

Funny how life works, eh? 
Love Beth xx

5 Jul 2016

Why University Terrifies Me

Well I was all ready for my great blogging come back about how even the word 'university' makes me physically want to vomit over myself.


Then life happened and evil germs spontaneously decided to invaded my body and make me sound like a chain smoking man wearing one of those weird swimming nose peg things! And my Mum always told me you only caught a cold from going outside in the winter with no coat on...mother lied.

So now I'm struggling through this post, dosed up on paracetamol and thinking shit what would I do if I were sick like this at (here comes the dreaded word!) university and there was no one to make me gloriously runny eggs in the morning and cover me with a blanket when I fall asleep on the sofa because AHHH is that miniature person drilling into my head again?

Anyway. Uni.

Everyone I meet is actually frickin' obsessed with asking me if I'm going to university and what I'm going to study and am I going to be able to survive living on me own and do I realise how flipping expensive it is and blah blah blah. So for those people, the truth is this:

I don't really particularly want or have some desperate urge to go to university. The only reason I am going is becase for as long as I can remember (apart from the time I wanted to be a vet and then I found out it was nine years plus at university and was like nope!) I have wanted to be a primary school teacher, not for the money or the flipping amazing holidays but for being surrounded by children and knowing that you are shaping their future every day of your life.

I think the original idea stems from being surrounded by my younger brother and his friends for much of my life with their innocent little chubby faces and unfaltering optimism that yeah I'm gunna be a millionaire astronaut when I'm older and have a hundred girlfriends because that's totally not weird at all and why the hell not. However, to become a primary school teacher, there is pretty much one option and one option only. University.

So if that's the price I'm going to pay for reaching my ultimate goal, then that's what I'm going to have to do. Even if it does make the shy, introverted girl inside me scream in horror.

I mean the very prospect of packing up all my belongings and starting up what is essentially a spanking new life in a city I hardly know with people I hardly know, is basically my worst nightmare.

Some people like change. I, on the other hand, hate it.

 My comfort zone is very comfortable thank you very much and if I had it my way, I doubt I would ever leave. But I have to and that is something that I am slowly...very slowly coming to terms with. A bit like when you dropped your ice cream cone on the floor as a child and just stared at it for a good ten minutes like did that really actually just flipping happen or will I wake up any minute and find the remains of the creamy goodness smeared around my chops?

So far I have forced myself to attend three university open days and a university convention at Essex University and if I do say so myself, I think that deserves a pat on the back and/or a Thornton's Chocolate Hamper or two.

Or three.

However, the more I think about it, the more it kinda, sorta excites me. And someone please shoot me now because I can't believe I actually just said that.

No but seriously my life is pretty dull at the moment having lived in the same town for the past sixteen years, it feels like I've discovered and seen everything there possibly is to discover and see and I'm bored. I'm tired of going to the same places and seeing the same people and doing the same thing time and time again like I've pressed replay a song and I. CAN'T. STOP. LISTENING. TO. IT.

At the moment, I'm the quiet girl. The one wears black, keeps to a small, trusting group of friend and who tries desperately to blend into the background and get on with whatever she needs to get on with in a way that will draw the least attention to her as possible.

But now I really dislike being that girl.

However, the problem is I can't change because could you imagine me walking into class tomorrow shouting out the answer to every god damn question and volunteering to reenact the entire works of Shakespeare in front of the whole school. People would think they had been abducted by aliens!

So now I feel that University would be the perfect opportunity to allow me to be break free from this personality and share a side of myself that never normally get's shared because these new people I'll meet won't know any different.

Sure at the moment I know what to expect every day when I wake up and I don't get filled with anxiety at the thought that I'll get lost and end up somewhere in Hong Kong when I step outside the front door, but I just feeling like I'm ready (kind of!) for something new.

Who knows what will happen. I just hope it will be good.

Have you been to Uni or are you still thinking about going?
Love Beth xx

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