Tag Archives: 2016

Plans for Life

HSGS in the Lobby - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

Mr Hello and I have spent the weekend making grand plans. Grand, extension sized plans.

You may remember that we’re renovating our Victorian terrace in Rochester (part 2 of the series so far is here). The thing about old houses is that they are always a bit of a money pit.

More than needing you to spend all of your money, however, these old houses simply demand that you spend all of your time on them as well. That is what is breaking our metaphorical bank at the moment – where is all this time supposed to come from? I’m in time debt to myself and my home and I can’t seem to make the repayments.

Instead of housework, or pottering about on the allotment, or marking the several thousand school books I always need to mark, yesterday we simply curled up on our sofa together, got our laptops and measuring tapes out, and spent the day planning what we want our house to look like in a few months time.

We have a rather snazzy set of drawings that Mr H pulled together, and now all we need to do is find the people we want to turn those drawings into their wonderful, life enhancing reality.

When the house is all said and done, surely, surely then I will have some more time? That’s the way it works, no?

Until then, let’s just take small comfort in the fact that the blue in our small lobby is deliciously on point.

Life Lately :: March 2016

Life Lately March 2016 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

Long time, no blog! I’d apologise, but….I won’t. As the title of this post suggests, life kind of got in the way of documenting it. I’ve made peace with this style of blogging, and I hope you have too!

Since last we spoke, I’ve had a week’s half term (by which I mean, 3 days since I tend to work a couple of days during each break), and then have headed straight back into teaching, which I’m sure most of you can understand, is undertaken at quite the relentless pace.  Ho hum.

I also had a suspected broken nose after spectacularly hitting myself in the face with my car door. It was dark, I was trying to check my parking, and was sufficiently convinced of its poor quality that I went to move it and – WHAM. Door to the face time. Noice.

In the spaces between, here’s what I’ve been up to. Clockwise from top left:

  1. Super bargainous £4.50 hat from the M&S outlet down the road. Headache-inducing-frozen ears no more!
  2. Getting my allotment on – after a couple of month’s break Mr H and I got the ol’ wellies on and trekked up the hill to our piece of earth. There are few things as good for the soul as a couple of hour’s worth of fresh air.
  3. Work, bitch. I spent a small, insignificant, teeny, tiny (I swear!) portion of my most recent paycheque  in the Body Shop last week. I wanted to check the wear on it, so pre-work selfies it was. Plus, let’s all agree that the eyebrows are on point, no?
  4. I made a thing. A trial run quilt for a couple of lovely pals who are currently pregs. I completely and utterly winged it (shock horror), and to my actual surprise, it turned out rather well.
  5. Planting seeds in trays – I’m sure there’s a technical name for that, but let’s not dwell. One more example of my current obsession.
  6. Champs in front of the TV because broken noses hurt and being tired is laaaaame.
  7. I’m getting….older?! The shape of my face is changing, and getting a bit saggier, but I actually quite like it! Another example of the Body Shop Fresh Nude Foundation in Yorkshire Rose. It smells really nice, and it has Aloe Vera in it, so my skin has been rather good lately! I also picked up the Fresh Nude Foundation Brush, which is seems to be a cross between a regular foundation brush and a kabuki – I like it!
  8. Getting in to work at revolting-o’clock isn’t quite so bad when you get to see a sky like this.
  9. My main man. Over half term we went out on mini-dates several evenings in a row, and it was double delicious spending time out of the house, on a school night, with him. We made a pact to get out more during the week once the weather improves!

The days are now becoming lighter, and so I am taking it upon myself to take a few more photos for this here blog, and even once coat weather has been banished, perhaps even a mini shoot! What do you think, pals? Can I do it without being totes awks? Not sure.

Hope all is well for you all out there in Blogtopia.

xx

Sam

Living Brave :: 3 Weeks In

As I mentioned in my post on COURAGEworks, I’m currently in the middle of a course on vulnerability, created by the wonderful Brené Brown.

You may not be as into self-helpy stuff as I am, but if you are at all interested, do read on. I’m usually turned off by things that claim to have the secret to ‘changing your life’ or ‘unlock wealth’, but I am very pleased to report that this course promises neither.

This class is about “being brave, and showing up in our own lives”. It’s about recognising that vulnerability is the root of all human connection, creativity and joy in our  lives. It’s crazy when you think about it.

I’ve always been an open person, in fact I think this blog is testament to that fact. There ain’t much I ain’t willing to share, to be honest, but something that’s rung true for me in the last lesson or so, is that being such an open book isn’t always being wholehearted and vulnerable. I’m learning so far to think whether the people have earned the right to hear my story, and what is my intention in sharing parts of myself.  Maybe it’s time to hold back a little.

This certainly isn’t a way of saying I’m no longer posting here – in fact it’s the opposite. There’s nothing here that I’m embarrassed about or wouldn’t want people to see. But in my personal and professional lives, I’m going to *try* and remember the truth of being wholehearted and vulnerable, and live those values as best I can.

So, in short, the course is great. It’s thrown up a few questions for me that I haven’t yet answered, and that is exactly what I hoped it would do!

 

The Seaplane Works :: Rochester

This weekend contained one of the best Saturdays I’ve had in a while. I achieved approximately nothing, but I got to hang out with my guy, pottered about and then even squeezed in a mid afternoon nap! The stuff of legends.

A particular high point was the half-hour or so that I spent sipping a rich hot chocolate in The Seaplane Works, the latest addition to Rochester’s burgeoning hipster coffee scene, courtesy of the renowned artist Billy Childish. It didn’t disappoint.

HSGS at The Seaplane Works 1 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

HSGS at The Seaplane Works 2 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

I think it’s testament to the quality of the hot chocolate that the only picture I have is of the bottom of the cup!

HSGS at The Seaplane Works 3 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

The café has a small but perfectly formed menu, with a focus on no-grain whole foods. I haven’t actually eaten here yet, but a couple of my friends are positively evangelical about the salads.

They have a minimal online presence at the moment, but the Seaplane Works Facebook page states that they cater to paleo and vegan diets. I am neither, but still found a couple of items on the menu that piqued my interest, for sure.

HSGS at The Seaplane Works 4 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

The hot chocolate itself was perfectly sweet without being sickly, had a creamy consistency and most importantly, was hot! I can’t stand it when hot chocolates are tepid, because you end up finished about 3 years before your partner. It’s a hard life.

HSGS at The Seaplane Works 5 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

While it was quiet when we first entered, the atmosphere soon picked up and before too long the place was happily bustling. The café itself has got a great modern London-ish feel to it, which I think is exactly what Rochester needs.

It could, in my humble opinion, do with a little more paraphernalia or artwork on the walls, but all in all, it’s a wonderful addition to our High Street and I urge you to go, forthwith!

January Joy: Try Something New

Courage Works 2016 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samanth
Image via courageworks.com

I didn’t make any 2016 Resolutions as such, but instead I focussed on 3 feelings I wanted to foster in my life this year. These were:

  • Calm
  • Organised
  • Prosperous

Coinciding with the inspiration to focus on these elements in my life, I got a wonderful Christmas present from my Mum – the Living Brave Semester, the first e-course from Brené Brown‘s COURAGEworks programme.

Focussing on two of her books, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, the  12 week programme ‘provides participants with the opportunity to explore what it really means to fully show up in [their] lives – to be brave, lean into vulnerability, and to rumble with the challenges that come with living a daring life’.

Now, does that sound like my cup of tea or does that sounds like my freaking cup of tea? (It does).

I’m not going to lie, it’s a big commitment of time in a period of my career where I have less time to myself than ever before, but knowing what I know about Brené Brown, and knowing what I know about giving time to the things that are important to you, it feels like it’s manageable. I’m damn well looking forward to it.

The first lesson starts tomorrow morning my time, and so I’ll spend this evening catching up on my pre-lesson reading (seems I am still working on the feeling of ‘organised’ in 2016….it’s only January!).

I’ll try and report back on how it’s going over the 12 weeks, and if you’re interested, I really do recommend you give it a look!

Dryathlon 2016 – 1 Woman, 30 Days, 0 Drinks

Yes, it’s true pals, I’m doing it. During what was a rather spectacular festive blow-out, I seemed to see adverts for the 2016 Dryathlon everywhere. It was the universe making itself known to me – it was time to get my social drinking in hand, hopefully shed some kgs and do a good deed in the meantime.

Sam's Doing Dryathlon 2016 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

A few days after signing up, a friend of ours revealed some terrible news – her partner has cancer and the prognosis isn’t looking good. It’s brought a whole new level of meaning to the Dry January challenge, and if the meagre funds I manage to raise have any hand in preventing one more family from going through the hell of a Cancer diagnosis, then 30 days is the least I can do.

So far? So good. Three days in and I haven’t yet been tempted, although I don’t return to work until tomorrow, and one never knows what’s around the corner! As a rule I don’t drink during the week, unless I’ve got an event, but I have to admit that I am probably a binge drinker on the weekends, polishing off a bottle or two on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Wine? Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Says Yes

Drinkaware states that binge drinking is drinking more than 8 units of alcohol for men (about 3 pints of strong beer), and 6 for women (only 2 large glasses of wine!!!), in one sitting. Needless to say I could probably drink all of that in one night if I’m in the right mood.

It’s not been good for my waistline, as the wine makes me hungry and even a slight hangover even more so! It hasn’t been great for my productivity either – in my job I regularly have to do a couple of hours work each weekend, and it seems like such a drudgery when I’m tired, and snuggling down on the sofa seems like a necessity.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been merrily beavering away at my planning this weekend, and secretly I’ve actually quite enjoyed myself. Going back to work tomorrow doesn’t seem nearly as depressing when I’m organised, and I really do feel like being alcohol-free this weekend has played a part in that.

Having said all this, if you could be compelled to part with any of your hard-earned dosh this month, I would be forever grateful if you’d consider sponsoring me.

Although it’s been smooth sailing so far, I fully expect the first weekend back at work to be a major challenge! I’ll be sure to check in here and let you all see me in my misery!