Posted in Friends, Life, Random Thoughts, Relationships

My ex is now gay… How am I supposed to feel about it?

I’m not sure why I am actually writing this as I know I should not have any angst about my ex being gay. But yet, I sort of do.

 

Our History

My ex is one of the world’s loveliest people. We met at University where he ‘had a crush on me’ for a year before we finally decided to start dating. All was great for about 9 months. Unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of time together and we were coming up to an exam period then a whole year away from each other so we had a very amicable split (there was still a lot of crying involved). We remained friends through our final year at university and I last saw him and his family at our graduation ceremony just over a year ago. All his family and friends (aswell as my family and friends) cheered when my name was read during the ceremony… I still tear up thinking about it.

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Our friends encouraged us to get together and my mates had a standing joke that even though we weren’t together, in 10 years time we would be married and living on a farm.

(Side note: I didn’t believe I’d actually marry him, it was just a joke between our friends, I’m in a happy relationship of my own)

This Year

After Uni I moved across the country and he went travelling so we haven’t really spoken.

Last week, I noticed that he changed his relationship status to ‘in a relationship’. My initial thoughts were “Aww that’s great” I know that he was close to a girl in our final year at uni but that he’d not been in a relationship since we broke up in 2014. I did the ‘normal’ thing of scrolling through his page to see if I could find the girl as she wasn’t tagged in the life event. Nothing. I decided to leave it. (usual comments from friends saying “so happy for you” “really pleased for you” etc.)

This weekend, whilst trawling through the usual garbage on my phone I see that he’s been tagged seeing a show in the West End. Nothing particularly unusual there, I’ve not really known him to go to the theatre and he’s never particularly liked musicals but I pretty much ignored it.

Then there was another tag… and another. Clearly the friend he was with is a prolific status updater.

Finally a photo appeared, I recognised the other guy from the pictures on his page. The caption underneath “You two look so cute together, so happy for you both”.

It all fell into place.

Cue immediate text to my friends.

He’s gay.

Disbelief.

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Now

We went to a university where there is maybe one openly gay person, no one really minds but it’s just not particularly common.

Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with it, my oldest friend is gay and I’ve supported her through every girlfriend and break up since she told me in 2010. I love her to bits and couldn’t care less who she’s seeing as long as she’s happy. Why would there be any problem now?

But there is – not a problem, just a weird feeling.

I know I shouldn’t care, I know I need to just be happy that he looks so happy.

I know that I shouldn’t be replaying old memories to try to find any sign because I know there isn’t any.

But how do I wrap my head around it? There seems to be so many unanswered questions..

Has he always felt like this?

Was it something that happened during his year travelling?

Is he gay or bi?

Should I talk to him about it?

 

None of these questions matter. I haven’t spoken to him in so long that it would seem strange to message him out of the blue now and ask any of them. He will be going through enough emotions so it is not his job to deal with any angst that I may have.

I totally understand that making this public won’t have been a decision he will have taken lightly. I know his parents will treat him exactly the same and won’t care in the slightest, our friends won’t either.

I just can’t understand how I am supposed to feel. We have so many memories together and now I’m questioning how happy he really was. Am I supposed to be disappointed? Angry? Sad? Pleased? Jealous?

I don’t feel any of those emotions, more just curious and a slightly confused. There is no prescribed feeling for this or even an agony aunt letter with a helpful reply so I’m really just venting my frustration at the emotionless void I have.

When not even google has an answer, I know it’s not worth worrying about.

 

I apologise for the length of this post. I do not intend to offend anyone and I know that it shouldn’t matter how I’m feeling when it is someone else who has to now cope with the unfair idiotic prejudice against them.

 

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Posted in Clothes, Fashion, Life, Random Thoughts, Thighs

My Autumn Wardrobe is coming out

September is well and truly here and that can only mean one thing for me… It’s Autumn!

My favourite season has started.

Technically a british Autumn season begins on the 22nd September but as I type this I can see from my office widow the trees are beginning turn a warm shade of orange and the air con in the office has been shut off for another year. It seems that the good old British summer started and ended in May.

The feelings of guilt and sadness that plague me through summer are over. No longer will I worry about not having that Summer Body (until next year).

My ghostly white complexion will not stand out, my legs can be covered without any of the “aren’t you hot in jeans?” comments, my scarf collection will make its appearance!

Yes, it really is the best season.

I’m taking the opportunity whilst I’m visiting home this weekend to dig out my winter wardrobe and grab as many blankets and onesies as I can carry.

 

My Outfit Planning

During Autumn, my outfit planning becomes less and less traumatic. I know that an average September day can be both frosty and hot. Meticulously designed outfits would be rendered useless. I can happily stick to the classics.

Jeans, Vest, Chunky Cardigan, Boots.

Pinterest has this style nailed.

I’m excited to get back into skirts this season, which I know may sound strange as we’re coming out of one of the hottest summers on record but with my chunky, pale and sometimes prickly legs (why is it that whenever I shave my legs there is always a bit I miss) I avoid all skirts when it’s warm. All those girls that have experienced the dreaded “chub-rub” will sympathise.

Now the tights are out. Black tights go with everything, thermal tights are one of the best inventions of the 21st century, even clear tights can even out any irregular tan – from a bottle, don’t get too excited, my skin only burns in the sun.

My wardrobe also houses a large collection of boots – in summer this isn’t exactly useful but coming into the cooler months it’s a god-send. They work with almost every outfit. From the Ariana-Grande-inspired-thigh-high boots that took me weeks to find (chunky thighs mean only lace up ones fit) to my ever-growing obsession with the Chelsea boot. My bright pink Doc Martins may even venture out from their solitude.

 

Sale Shopping

September also brings one of the better perks of summer, the end of season sales. A chance for me to leisurely waste time flicking between websites looking at all the summer clothes that I can either buy for next year or transform into autumnal outfits.

Yesterday saw the beginning.

I regularly shop on online discount websites – why spend loads of money on something that won’t fit me if I lose weight (optimistic outlook).

For the first time I found a website selling clothes for under £5… I’ve already spent my university years shopping in bargain bins and then slowly worked up to everything5pounds.com as I crawled out of student debt.

Now lessthan10pounds.com is my new go to site. My latest purchases:

(Photos taken from lessthan10pounds.com)

 

Top1

The pretty floral top, well, it’s pretty. I love cold shoulder tops and even if I don’t get to wear this till next year, it will be cute in spring. At a cost of £4.50, I think it will be fine to wear if the weather warms slightly this month.

 

 

 

 

Top3

The black floral one, I think this will be nice for relaxed evening drinks this month. Trying to meet new people is difficult and my aim is to join something before I get to winter and refuse to make the effort.

I already work in black jeans so to throw this in my bag with a pair of chunky heels and my leather jacket means I can go straight from the office to the bar.

 

 

 

Top2

 

The cobalt blue cami. I love love love swing cami tops. It always seems like a slightly dressier way of wearing a vest, and it covers my slightly podgy tummy.

Blue dominates my wardrobe so I did have to really think about buying this but for £2 how could I not?

I’m going to wear this at the weekend (assuming it’s delivered on time) with ripped jeans, ankle boots and a beige chunky cardigan (‘vintage’ cardigan bought for my late grandma 21 years ago). Effortless and comfy.

 

I’m constantly looking for new outfit ideas and I can guarantee that I will be able to find something in one of the hundreds of charity shops that fill my home town and there are always the forgotten gems at the back of my wardrobe.

 

I’m mainly excited to dig out my scarf hoard!

Posted in Fat, Food, Life, Random Thoughts

I Created the Perfect Creme Brulee

A tough claim I know. But I did. It was glorious!

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Up until last month I have never had any interest in either cooking or eating a creme brulee. Mainly down to the fact I HATE eggs. When I thought of a creme brulee I thought of an eggy mixture with sugar on top. How wrong I was.

Despite my 20-odd year hatred of eggs I will eat an omelette (as long as there are enough ingredients to mask the egg taste), french toast, fish pie (the type with cut up boiled egg in), and egg fried rice. With the exception of the latter, you’ll notice that non of these dishes have the egg in the name – a crucial point. The moment that one of my friends offered me some eggy bread for breakfast I pulled a disgusted face and refused, when only a day before I was eating French toast which is basically the same thing.

That said, my parents always bring me six eggs from our home farm when they visit. I google “What to do with eggs when you don’t like eggs” regularly. A lemon creme brulee recipe suddenly popped up.

 

This recipe from a page called Foxes Love Lemons looked incredibly rich but more importantly, incredibly easy.

I halved the ingredients so that I wasn’t wasting a large amount of cream if everything went wrong. It is Wrong with a capital “R” to waste something as delicious and pure as double cream.

For my recipe I decided to try to make 2 creme brulees with the following ingredients

1 cup of cream

3 tablespoons of sugar

2 egg yolks

Zest of 1 lemon

A drop of vanilla

 

My method was slightly different to the one suggested on the website.

I put my oven on to heat up (150C/300F/Gas Mark 2)

I put the kettle on to boil and placed 2 ramekins in an oven dish

Putting the cream and 1 and 1/2 spoons of sugar in a pan to heat (not to boil, stopping before bubbles appeared)

While this was warming I added the lemon zest, vanilla, remaining sugar and egg yolks in a big green mixing bowl (colour of mixing bowl optional) and beat with a whisk.

Little side note – zest the lemon first, it was a lot harder than I had planned and the cream would have caramelised by the time I’d finished.

Once the cream was warm I slowly added it to the lemon-eggy mix drop by drop whilst whisking. I’ve watched too many cookery programs to know that a hot mix could scramble the eggs. Thank you Bake Off!

I poured the mix into a jug (through a fine mesh sieve, although I’m not sure what this achieved). The jug made it easier to pour into the ramekins. Hot water went into the oven dish, the dish went into the oven.

 

The first time I tried this, inevitably it went wrong, I set my oven to 300 degrees until about 25 minutes through I noticed they looked more like souffles and I was working from an american recipe on a british oven, I’d made the crucial mistake of not checking the temperature first. In the UK, it should be 25 – 30 minutes at 150 degrees C.

Checking at 20 – 25 minutes is also a huge relief, I don’t want to burn the little pots of loveliness.

Pulling them out of the oven, giggling at the satisfying wobble and leaving on the side to cool, I marvelled at the light lemony scent floating around my flat. As the recipe stated (and my stomach disagreed with) I put the ramekins in the fridge for 24 hours.

 

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Before the Brulee

 

At this point I remembered a little pearl of wisdom my mother imparted, pull the ramekins out of the fridge and let them come up to room temperature before hitting them with the heat of the blow torch.

 

It took me 4 days to find a gas canister to fill up my mini blow torch and about 5 minutes to fill my father with horror when I called him to say that he didn’t need to do it for me.

“Go outside and don’t blow yourself up!!” comforting advice

Once the blow torch worked and I was satisfied that I wasnt going to blow up my apartment, I sprinkled a thin layer of sugar over the yellow custard and attacked it with blue fire.

Result? A perfect looking desert.

Awk's Creme Brulee 2
The Perfect Result

It took so much will power to make it to my sofa and let the top cool slightly before hitting it with my spoon to see the sugar layer crack.

The sunshine coloured silk that lay below was the best thing I have ever made. I was in heaven for a full 4 minutes whilst I devoured every single spec of goodness. Who cares about the calories?!!

 

The best thing? Apart from it now obviously being my signature ‘go-to’ dish… I have another one in the fridge for tonight!

Posted in Family, Friends, Life, Random Thoughts, Relationships

More attached to my Car than my Partner

My latest relationship failure has made me think more about the fact I’m more attached to my cars than my relationships.

Is that my problem or theirs?

Please don’t take this the wrong way, I do not have any sort of physical relationship with my car. I would never go so far as to be someone who marries their vehicle. The people who ‘come out’ as being in a relationship with an object confuse me, but hey, as long as their happy right?

I have just noticed more and more that my attachment to them is stronger than that to my exs.

 

Dorian, 1.9, GSOH, OH (Good Sense of Humour, Own Horn)

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I bought my first car at 19, a 2001 Land Rover Freelander. It became a bargaining chip between myself and my parents, I could buy any car I wanted (with my own money) if I took my driving test again – I’d failed a couple of times and was refusing to go back through the hell of it all.

The car, I named Dorian, was my soul mate. I loved every inch of that little silver beast. He cost me £2,500, looking back this was a rip off but I didn’t care. £1,000 on insurance and about £300 on car tax was a small price to pay for the freedom he offered.

A 1.9litre deisel was never going to be fuel-efficient or environmentally friendly but he offered comfort, safety and a hell of a lot of fun.

I’ve loved Land Rovers all of my life and now I’m proud to say I had one for my first car.

He had multiple ‘operations’ where I* changed starter motors, several crank shaft pulleys and the battery *with the help of my father. The garage changed all the breaks, pads, disks, shoes, cables, as well as corroded housing, oil lines, anti-roll links, exhaust pipes etc. He was almost a completely new car under the bonnet. I even needed a new horn, my road rage had worn out the old one.

The day he finally gave up on me was heartbreaking. The head gasket blew and the plumes of black, white and blue smoke that poured out of him showed me that it was time to say goodbye. I cried more over my baby Landy than any boy.

He sat still for 4 months before being sold to a friend’s son. I’m proud to say he started up and drove onto the trailer before being taken away, it was like a final goodbye. He’s been completely restored and is back on the road in the hands of another Land Rover enthusiast who I hope enjoys him as much as I did for the 3 years we were together.

3 years, that’s 8 months longer than any relationship I’ve been in.

 

 

Gaston, 1.9, ISOSTR (In Search Of Short Term Relationships)

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After getting over the heartbreak and being at a complete loss without a vehicle, I decided to ask my parents to find me something fun. They succeeded with a 2005 Vauxhall Tigre – convertible, 1.9l ball of enjoyment.

There’s a huge difference to driving a 1.9litre four-wheel drive and a 1.9litre convertible. Size and speed couldn’t be more different. I introduced the convertible to as many people as possible, it was just so much fun, annoyingly it was also more expensive, at least in insurance terms.

I still dream of the day my insurance is under £1,000.

The main issue I had with my little convertible, Gaston, was… he couldn’t climb trees.

3 months after I bought him, he was sold for scrap. Long story short, after a lot of spinning we parted ways in a ditch, the only casualties being the car and a few trees that got in the way.

 

Time to look for car number 3. Car shopping is not fun when you’re being forced to do it quickly and with no money, similarly to choosing a partner.

 

 

Vince, 1.6, Tall Dark and Handsome

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I settled, after a lot of shopping around, for the new Suzuki Vitara. Vincent was collected in December. The glossy black paintwork shone in the evening sunshine.

A sublte-but-sexy, modern, four wheel drive. Less power, more safety features. He came with all the gadgets (because I demanded them). If I’m spending the next 3 years paying for this then I want everything.

It took a while for the pride of a brand-spanking-new car to wear off but now I’ve begun my new love affair with this pretty guy.

I’ve had around 5 partners (give or take) to my 3 cars. I’ve cried more over a scratch than I have an argument. I definitely have spent more on the cars, both in terms of both money and time. I might not be able to cuddle my car but it provides so much more fun and general satisfaction.

 

I might not have found “the one” but my car is keeping me happy.

Posted in Food, Random Thoughts, TV

I do love a good Bake-Off-Menu-Berry-Lawson-Everyday cookery program

Are you, like me, slightly obsessed with cookery programs? I feel the need to tell the world (or anyone who’ll listen) about my secret love.

Whilst the rest of my office and most of the country are fixed on Love Island, or my closest friends eagerly awaiting the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race (yes, I do love a good episode of Drag Race), I have been mourning the loss of my favourite program.

Friday saw the end of the Great British Menu. For the people who haven’t seen it I’ll attempt to summarise.

Every week, 3 professional chefs, cook one course a day to be judged by a “Veteran Chef”. The top scoring 2 chefs then cook their whole 4-course menu for a panel of judges on the 5th day of the week. This happens for 8 regions across the UK. The 8 winners go on to a final where they repeat each dish and 4 are picked to cook the 4 courses at a prestigious themed banquet. This year was Wimbledon.

It has been the highlight of my day for the last 9 weeks. My closest friends and family know that every night between 7:30 and 8pm they do not contact me. My mother then calls at 8:01 to discuss the episode.

Now it’s over I am at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my evenings. They were timed perfectly so that I would eat my dinner during the episode and then not feel hungry watching the delicious dishes being prepared.

I have an issue with becoming hungry whilst watching cookery programs. Can I blame some of my weight issues on Nigella Lawson? I think yes.

The Great British Menu isn’t the only program. Everyone loves The Great British Bake Off (with the exception of one grumpy friend). It’s the best program on TV (was on TV). I am addicted to watching any old episodes on the food channel even if I’ve seen them 100 times before. Nothing has made me laugh more than the not-so-subtle double-entendre from Mel and Sue, or the accidental innuendos from Mary. Even Paul’s scathing comments have given me a giggle. I will miss this more than most, from series 1 to the final episode it has been like 4 old friends that visit every year. I will try to be open minded and watch their replacements, but who are they kidding, it’s not the same.

 

During the difficult period between the Menu and Bake Off I trawl through episodes on the food channels looking for inspiration. Knowing I’ll never actually cook the things they make doesn’t deter from the fact that I love to watch a good/bad chef whip up something so seamlessly.

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My current recommendations are The Barefoot Contessa and The Pioneer Woman. Both American ladies cooking things that I’d never try and also giving my mum and me a good giggle. From Ina and her laugh-at-everything approach during scenes with friends to Ree using bacon as a base ingredient, I’m not complaining but now a salad isn’t a salad without bacon.

 

However

I’m not sure if it’s the new attitude to my weight but I seem to have lost my desire to wade through the food channel and I’m now, for some unknown reason, spending my evenings watching dinosaur and shark documentaries on Netflix (then waking up at 1am after a nightmare based on the episode).

This surely isn’t normal. Has a sudden lack of food prompted this? Has anyone else had this issue? Is it an unknown scientific fact that sharks are the natural replacement for flapjacks?

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