Life's Cup of Tea

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016: The Year that was

Another one in the can. And in good old continuity, it would be rude not to do a round up of the year as in 2014 and 15. It's been a rocky old year, very rocky. Almost cliffy. There's been glimmers of sun and lot's of rain. Cold, hard rain. But here's to hoping 2017 looks as good as 2014 did!

2016 was the year that....

... I got my heart well and truly smashed up. All horrible in a take your breath away, stabbing, snotty slobbery mess kind of way. A giant tub of Ben and Jerrys didn't help this one. Blue Peter was the only show that didn't make me want to cry, And Adele had just released her new single. How very considerate. Needless to say, this gal eventually decided change had to happen. And so 2016 took a wild turn...

... I joined Tinder. Oh God. No more need to elaborate on this one!

... ALL my best friends got engaged. All to lovely lovely people which makes me all tingly and happy inside.

... I quit my job. My high paying, living the life job. There were a lot of reasons, I needed change. I wanted a challenge. And that's what I got.

... I dusted off my trusty pack and went off on a last holiday hurrah with the famalam to NYC before taking off alone around South of France and Italy. Even won myself 7 Euro by furiously hitting the same button in the Monte Carlo casino. #win

... I moved to the Isle of Wight. No biggie. Cheshire to the IOW. It wasn't really my choice, but I'm enjoying it so far!

... I started my teacher training on the job, By day, I teach a class of 34 ickle pickles, by night & weekend I study / mark / plan / write essays.

... I decided that having smashed my heart up which made me make a drastic career change and essentially move abroad, I was still very much in love with The Boy. So a couple of vodka lemonades were had and second chances were given. Apparently lot's of my nearest and dearest don't really believe in the old second chance thing. Do I? It's going really good so far, we'll see what 2017 holds!

So there's 2016 for you.  A year of mountains and ravines, of swings and roundabouts, and ending very differently to the beginning of this year. Question is: What on earth is 2017 going to hold?

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #2

Christmas // 25 christmas' down and I am still absolutely loving them. Though this year we were allowed a bit of a lie in and only just finished opening presents before The Queen graced our screens, it's all magical. Oh, did I mention that I had the biggest present under the tree? It was as big as me. No word of a lie *

Morning lie ins /
/ I am the Queen of lie ins. The ability to lie in bed for ages with a tea and smooth radio** is a luxurious luxury. Sure it means half the day is gone. But it's Christmas. It's lazy time, right?

Kitty cuddles // Nothing actually beats a kitty cuddle, being at the parent's house this week means that there is more than enough time for this.

Feeling 🐷// When else in the year can you sit on the sofa cradling a wine having eaten a 4 course dinner (cheese of course) and still feel totally un-guilty at polishing off those last few roses in the tin. It's December, no calories right?

*It was a heated clothes airer. Can't be young forever I suppose!
**This post is not doing my want to be forever youthful any good.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wonderful Wednesday #1

One of my favourite features on some of my favourite blogs, like Life as Unusuals and Life outside London, is Wonderful Wednesdays. Sometimes we all need a little pick me up and reflection on these midweek days right?

Half Term | At 3 'o' clock on Friday, I waved my class out of the door for the last time for a week and at that point sighed the biggest sigh of relief that I have survived my first half term as a primary school teacher. It has been the toughest 2 months of my life, and have had no life for that entire time!

Cats. Cats. Cats | Manchester has recently opened a new cat cafe which I HAD to go and check out with the Mr and some other friends. I am not sure what excited me more: the cats or the all you can drink menu. The hour we had sped past in between ordering hot chocolates, macha and huge teapots of tea and stroking the kitties.

Northern Adventures | Despite my new island abode, I still am absolutely in love with the North-West of Blighty. They say you don;t know what you had until you lost it, so going back and driving through the peaks, feeling the cold autumn air and admiring all the beautiful old mills was a lovey way to spend my weekend. This weekends agenda included taking a train ride around Rudyard Lake, a trip into Manchester and an afternoon in Macclesfield, which happens to be one of my favourite places int he world.

Driving me crazy | Given that a year ago I was still too scared to drive out of the town I lived in, I shocked myself when this week I drove into central Manchester (and paid the extortionate parking fees!*) and only broke a sweat a couple of times. Well that's my interpretation of the events, the Mr. might tell you otherwise....

*if anybody would like to tell me any cheap places to park in Manchester, I am all ears!

I believe that Wonderful Wednesday is the baby of Sallytangle, thanks Sally!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

On the move

It's been a bit quiet round these parts from the last few months (try a year!). In exciting news though, this cup of tea is about to get stirred up. Having spent almost 2 fantastic years living in Cheshire, I am biting the bullet and making another drastic move. Two years ago I was so scared to  make that move, if only I could go back and tell younger me that I was about to set off for some of the best times of my life. 
Reading that post makes me feel even better about this move, this time to the Isle of Wight, even though I am feeling exactly the same apprehensiveness as I did before then. This time I am leaving behind my boy, a well paid job and the first adult life I made. But I know that the boy will visit, the job is something that I am passionate about and I can carve the next chapter in this little life of mine. 
In the meantime, being a mature student again means I have a lot of work to catch up on, and a lot of back blogging to do!

Monday, 4 January 2016

Travel: The Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

I dare you to type the Phi Phi Islands into Google images. That my friends is what heaven looks like. Even if you aren't a wander-lusting pinterest-pinner, you have likely seen the Phi Phi's in any magazine / book describing Thailand and probably on the big screen as this was where Leo filmed 'The Beach'. 
As we were staying in Ao Nang, it was relatively easy to book ourselves onto a day tour of Phi Phi for not a bad price at all. as with every tour we went on in Thailand we were promptly picked up and deposited at the speed boat we would be spending the day in. It's about a 90 minute ride to the islands from Ao Nang, make sure you sea sickness up. It gets a little bumpy. Our first port or call was Phi Phi Leh, the seconds largest and uninhabited island of the lot. Have some photos... lots of them! 

We stopped and snorkeled - well they snorkeled. I got out of the boat for 5 minutes, saw fish, felt ill and quickly got back out again while swearing to improve my fish stamina by the Great Barrier Reef. We slowly made our way past The Viking Cave (top picture), a top place for the bird nest industry apparently. 

Our guide then excitedly told us we were heading to Leonardo Cappuccino's The Beach. We had no idea what this beach was supposed to look like, we'd never sen the film (a miracle, I thought I had worked my way through most Leo films!)  In all the hysteria our guide was creating, we peaked over the side of the boat and saw the above beach. It was stunning but tiny. 'How did they fit Leo on there, let alone a camera?' I asked my travel buddy. 'Where did he go to the loo?!' she asked me back. Feeling we'd just seen a piece of Hollywood history, we desperately took hundreds of photos of the tiny strip of sand as we sped past. 
Now this next photo may shatter every dream you had of this dream like beach you may have seen. I am sorry. 

We landed on the real 'The Beach' aka Maya Beach. Imagine the sound of someone repeatedly trying to kick start a grass strimmer, add the sounds of a motorbike revving, a bit of smoke and a chatter of people and that is what you have as you try to shut your eyes and relax in this 'world beauty site'. 

There was no denying that the Phi Phi islands were in part stunning. The sad thing for me was that I could see tourism ruining them, and yes hands up, I was one of those tourists! It is one of those places where you are never going to see it as it is in the tourist and pinterest photos for all the people and polluting boats - unless you do some careful cropping like me. Were I to go back again, I would NOT go on a day trip, instead going by ferry or longboat and planning our day as we wanted, spending more time in the places we wanted and less in the money traps and snorkeling.