Sunday, 30 December 2012

To 2012...

2012 has been quite a busy year, looking back I didn't put enough time into the things I enjoy but I am determined to change that. Looking back I can't really remember much from January, work was tough trying to get back to normal after the chaos of a record breaking Christmas. We had a week off in February which didn't get off to the best start with the worst sickness I've experienced in years but we carried on to Manchester for a few days. I had never visited before and really enjoyed our little explore of the North West including our first trip to Blackpool and marvelling at the Comedy Carpet. If you haven't been to Blackpool I recommend going just to see it as the quotes from so many much loved comics, films and TV shows is fabulous.

In the spring I got my first DSLR, a lovely Nikon D3100 :D very different from my old compact and film SLRs, I had it just in time to capture the blossoms in the park.

May saw us adventure up to Scotland for the third time in recent years. We stayed in Edinburgh again and visited St. Andrews, Glasgow and Blair Castle where my lovely boy proposed to me :D The weather was absolutely boiling for Scotland in May, I can't recall the last time we experienced heat like it but it was so good to have a holiday without any rain, even if we lugged our raincoats up with us on the train. In Glasgow we visited the new Riverside Museum, in February 2010 we went to the old Transport Museum just before it closed down so we were pleased to get to see the new museum and look at all the collections they had out on display.  

June was quite something as we got flooded out in work for the first time, a small team of us battled to keep the water out when staff in other shops on the retail park ran away and let the water take over.

We had exciting news at the end of June that our store was to have a re-fit to a new store type, called "Store of the Future" which in turn meant we got to go away to Newcastle-Under-Lyme for a week long training course to let us know what to expect. After that we were lucky enough to have a long weekend off since that week we were meant to be holiday. We visited the beautiful Biddulph Grange Gardens near Stoke, we went last year and got soaked, the same could be said of our visit this time too. Oh well, hopefully next year I will get to go when it's sunny. David did enjoy feeding the ornamental carp, I like to imagine he was thinking how he would fillet them hehe. After Biddulph we drove across to Wrexham for a couple of nights and visited Erddig, Chirk Castle and on the Sunday had a trip on the Llangollen steam railway before heading up to Bodnant Gardens. It was a bit of a trek but well worth it, especially to see all the beautiful water lilies in Bodnant.

August was spent watching the London Olympics and I attended my second course, this time in Chippenham where I spent a week discovering lots of new cheeses and salamis and my least favourite thing, olives. I met a lovely guy called Ed who does the same job as me in Ross-on-Wye, it was just us and our trainer Tom sat nibbling lots of nice things all week!

I spent most of the summer searching online for my perfect wedding dress as we decided to get married in October as we didn't want a big expensive day. I eventually found the dress I wanted from Monsoon on ebay for a fraction of what it would have cost new, £225 at full price, I got it for £24! I couldn't believe my luck! The big day, 17th October, soon came around and we became Mr and Mrs in the Mansion House in Newport. I had a hard time deciding on flowers as I liked so many different things but when I spotted the brassica cabbages in Tesco I fell in love and had to have them. The registrars hadn't seen them before and really liked the idea. We had all our family there and just had a lovely day, it did go incredibly quickly but I wouldn't have changed anything about it, well maybe I wouldn't have felt so ill but apart from that.

Our honeymoon was a little adventure in itself. First we visited the beautiful Kingston Lacy in Dorset and spent a night in Taunton before going to Dunster Castle and the village. Our second night was in Exeter and afterwards we started the trip down to Cornwall, taking in Cotehele and Lanhydrock (both fantastic National Trust properties) before we finally made it to Porthleven where we had a little cottage for the week. We had a full on week, visiting Penzance and St. Michaels Mount, St. Ives, Falmouth, Newquay and Mevagissey. The weather wasn't that great overall but we did have some lovely sun on our last morning and we stopped off at Nightshayes Court on the way home.

Since honeymoon we haven't really done anything that exciting, we had our re-fit in work which was quite stressful but we got through it and since then all we've been doing is getting prepared for Christmas. This year was the first one we spent together in our six years together, we only got three days off but had a nice rest without needing to travel.

So that was 2012, a generally good year and now I look forward to 2013 :D

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A very Aberystwyth Christmas

Just a quick post today, hope Christmas has been wonderful whatever you have been doing. This is the first time myself and the now husband have spent Christmas day together, it did feel a bit strange this morning as Tuesday is normally our day off so was like a normal day off until we stumbled into the living room and saw all the lovely pressies under the tree.

My mum got us some lovely bits and pieces from TK Maxx, will share more later. My favourite presents from my beloved were a Hello Kitty from Build-a-bear (I am a tad obsessed with them), a subscription to Vogue and Coco Mademoiselle. It has been really nice not to have to go anywhere or do anything except decide what time to have dinner. The turkey was delicious and there are lots of leftovers for nice sandwiches tomorrow.

I spent this afternoon looking at the sales online in search of bargains. I ordered some more nice things from the dotcomgiftshop, I got the tea light holders you can see in the photo above from there last month I think or was it earlier this month? Anyway, so I've got those to look forward to and I'm currently on the hunt for more good deals. I'm not someone who queues outside shops at silly times of the morning though, would much rather do all my searching around online, I know some people prefer going to the shop but living here it can be a bit difficult to do that if we don't have it in town.

I enjoy decorating the house at Christmas, hopefully this time next year we might have a house of our own but only time will tell. For some reason blogger is being difficult and not letting me upload any more photos at the moment so will have to post more photos later. Off to settle down for Call the Midwife and Downtown now :D

Friday, 21 December 2012

The name game

I'd love to say my blog title is inspired by a love of crafts and all things hand made but alas, my sewing skills are near non-existent despite my mum teaching me to cross stitch when I was younger. For some reason sewing and me never went any further. I hope to change that in the future as one of my long term ambitions is to become more into hand made and thrifted goodies, this has been fuelled by a love of Mollie Makes magazine. I first discovered MM as I browsed magazines on a day out in Birmingham back in January and I fell in love with all the gorgeous projects I could do and quickly set about buying back issues on eBay. More on my love for MM to come at a later date, maybe when I get round to deciding what I'd actually like to try and make first!
Back to the subject in hand, the blog title. The line 'a metre of white ribbon' comes from a poem called Nudeness I wrote nearly a decade ago. In 2003 I was seventeen, most waking moments were spent deep in poetic thought about the future and what I wanted to do after I finished school, despite that being two years away at the time. I would happily dream many lessons away thinking of lines to add to new poems and plots for short stories. I even wrote a short novel, how I would kill to have time to enjoy like that now. Originally Nudeness was written in English with a literal French translation mirroring it on the other side of the page. It was different and sparked a new train of thought within my poetry, I experimented more with language and avoiding the logical. I was deeply in love with anything with a double or hidden meaning, my imagination was captured by a certain individual who very much shared my interests and was encouraged by my interest in interesting things as it later transpired. I started a poetry diary back at the start of 2004 and the entry on Tuesday, 3rd February was Nudeness. I wrote it in a German history lesson, looking back now I have virtually no memory of writing it but it wasn't unusual for me to sit in my lessons and scribble poems in my notebooks after dreaming them up. My lack of attention in class lead me to entering Nudeness in a writing competition up at the local university where I was a runner-up. At a lunch for the winners I was asked if all my poetry was 'erotically charged' and I remember not knowing quite what to say, especially in front of my parents. When I left home in September 2005 to study history in Aberystwyth I set about decorating my sea view room with lots of beautiful and quirky pictures and some of my poems. I can't remember how I came up with the idea but I decided it would be interesting to print the words out to Nudeness and stick them on an actual metre of white ribbon and put it on my door for everyone to see. It just worked and I loved it. I still have that piece of ribbon although the words have long since been removed. It's somehow symbolic to the way I've felt in a creative sense over the past few years, the thoughts have still been there but have been locked away in a corner of my imagination that isn't as free as it once was. Perhaps over time it will open up again, we will see but for now, here is Nudeness.




Get on the floor,                                                                           




I’m vulgar,                                                                                                 




like you.                                                                                                         



What do we do?                                                                                     




I bind your hands together                                                           


with a metre                                                                                                 


of white ribbon.                                                                                          




Your lip splits                                                                                       


I savour your blood,                                                                               


The taste of sweet bitter blood                                                 


forever lingers                                                                                   


on my palette.                                                                                                     



From the floor                                                                                                 


I see you rise up,                                                           


Out of the ashes,                                                                                     




and firmly shut the door                                                            


against me.                                                                                                        


© Phillippa Rayner 2004

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

50 Facts

A bit of a getting to know you post today with 50 facts about me, some are a little random and they don't really follow any order.  

1. Our wedding date was halfway between our respective birthdays.
2. I don't read as much as I should these days but that doesn't stop me buying more books.
3. I get annoyed quite easily when driving, especially if I don't know where I'm going
4. I used film and digital cameras and would find it difficult to pick one over the over.
5. I hope to start a family in the next two years.
6. I have an unhealthy magazine habit.
7. I work with cheese.
8. I have eclectic taste in music, I will listen to anything once.
9. My favourite dinner is my dad's pasta with peas, parsley and Parma ham.
10. I had purple hair as a teenager.
11. I've lived in Aber for 7 years.
12. I like to visit National Trust properties and take lots of photos.
13. My dream job would be in the Fashion Museum in Bath.
14. I drink too much Diet Coke.
15. I couldn't pick a favourite colour.
16. I have a ginger cat called Henry Biscuit.
17. I've won prizes for my poetry.
18. I'm 5ft 8 and never wear heels.
19. I love marshmallows.
20. I have my belly button pierced.
21. I would rather be too cold than too hot.
22. I adore vintage fashion.
23. 23rd October is my birthday and my favourite number.
24. I'm not the biggest fan of the dentist.
25. I've written a journal since 2004.
26. I'm a Postcrosser.
27. I spend rather than save.
28. I'm an amazon addict.
29. I love Hello Kitty.
30. I am easily amused by inappropriate things.
31. I hate my feet.
32. I would love a little daxie puppy.
33. I wear Coco Mademoiselle.
34. My drink of choice would be Bombay Sapphire Gin.
35. I studied the eighteenth century at university.
36. I drive an Alfa Romeo Mito.
37. I had brassica cabbages as my wedding bouquet.
38. Lana del Ray is one of my favourite artists.
39. I wish I had lived through the 1960s and 1970s.
40. I don't like heights.
41. I kept a poetry diary for four years.
42. I collect Nouvelles Images postcards.
43. Autumn is my favourite season.
44. I enjoy baking and collecting baking books.
45. I took a black and white photography course and learnt to use a darkroom.
46. I am an eternal pessimist.
47. I spent my childhood holidays in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.
48. I'm an apple and android girl.
49. I love all things Cath Kidston.
50. I've completed two project 365s and hope to do one for 2013.


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Well hello there

Hello and welcome to my new little corner of the world. I've thought about how I would start this blog off for a long time and have even planned some future posts but finding those first words has been difficult. I haven't felt very inspired over the past few months to do any thing much creative that I enjoy, work has played a major role but I want to move away from being so concerned with that and look towards doing things I like to do in my free time. I'm looking forward to it being this time next week and spending my first Christmas with my husband, despite the fact we have been together for almost six years this will be our first festive season together. Usually I go home to my family in one part of the country and he goes off to his in the opposite direction. I should really introduce myself, my name is Phillippa or Pip and I live by the sea in the lovely town of Aberystwyth on the mid Wales coast. I arrived here back in 2005 to study history at the university, where I ended up meeting my now husband, David. We got married back in October, and now both work in a local supermarket where nearly all the managers and supervisors have degrees, a sign of the times I feel. We do love it here but I'm hoping to move closer to mine or David's family one day. As I said above, I really want to use this space to talk about and share the things I love. My main passions are photography and writing as well as reading and collecting lots of interesting bits and pieces. I enjoy travelling around the U.K as I believe so many people aren't aware of just how much history and heritage we have here but perhaps that is the historian in me trying to get out. I like to ramble on sometimes and go off on tangents but the next post I'm planning is some facts about me to try and keep me on track. Until then...