Thursday, 17 December 2015

Something never done.

This is going to sound strange and I hope people don't find this insensitive but today I went into town to buy my boyfriend's dad a birthday card when it occurred to me that this is something I have never had to do before.
Image from Pixabay. 
          My dad died when I was 5, very young, hard to say how its affected me as it's all I've ever known. So because of this I've never been out and purchased something that says 'Happy Birthday to my Dad' or whatever on it. I don't know why and I don't know where this post is going but this thought struck me so much that it stopped me dead in my tracks and I had to write the feeling down (by texting my mum to start with of course).
        I just thought, this shop assistant thinks I'm in here very casually buying a card for my dad who I'm probably going to give this card to and say 'Happy Birthday Dad or Daddy or Pop' or again, whatever people say when in reality its something I can't even remember doing. I know I'm rambling now and this probably isn't interesting to anyone else. The thought didn't actually make me sad either, I was just surprised.  Surprised by my reaction to something I said I would do so offhand and not given it a second thought and also surprised that I hadn't thought of it before. I very suddenly felt thoughtful that we see so many people everyday doing such mundane things yet that could be the strangest thing they've done that day, or something brand new to them or something that for them has been very difficult. Even something so little as buying a birthday card. 

       Maybe a therapist will read this and have a field day, or maybe it will just be the people who normally read my blog (hello, thank you) wondering why I'm rambling on about a birthday card that will be forgotten by the end of the year. 
Thanks for reading my rambling, pointless post. I just needed to get the thoughts out of my head! 

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

A community that should be proud. #CumbriaIsOpen.

As I'm sure you've all seen Storm Desmond hit parts of the UK this weekend. We're currently living in Carlisle which has been hit terribly by devastating floods throughout the city. Thankfully we haven't been flooded, but the waters came up to the end of our street and we were without power for a few hours. Massively lucky in the grand scheme of what has happened round the city.

8am Sunday. 
What I'm going to write about here isn't about how terrified I was when the rain wasn't letting up and I was checking the severe flood warnings religiously every hour to see if the red line had crept up our street yet, it didn't, it stayed just about 10 metres away, but rather I'm going to talk about how proud the people of Cumbria, and particularly Carlisle (because thats what I've been exposed to) should be about how well the community has come together.
We only moved here in July so looking as an outsider, I can't imagine how it must have been waking up on Sunday morning knowing that your city was under water again, or even worse, watching the severe flood warnings on Saturday and knowing that evacuation and losing so much was inevitable. Following what was happening on twitter there were preemptive offers of places to stay that would be free of floods, people offering comfort to each other and making sure people they didn't even know were safe. It immediately felt like a community gathering even on the internet.
When we got up on Sunday morning we could see the water from our bedroom window and despite it being 6:30am there were people everywhere looking to see how they could help. We were without power but thankfully we had running water. Sam went off for his 13 hour shift at the hospital which his fellow doctor left a flooded flat by boat to get to so he wasn't covering the wards on his own. So I was home alone with no power and no one around that I knew.
I was going to go round and offer hot drinks with water boiled on the hob but someone had beat me to it and there was a steady stream of tea being passed around the people stood looking at the damage and those helping that could, people who had electricity were offering to let others charge their phones to stay in contact with relatives and all the while twitter was still inundated with offers of help and places to stay for people who were stranded. It really was something that Carlisle should be proud of. There was massive devastation throughout the city and yet all people could think about was others.

I have since seen unbelievable offers on the internet of help. I'm linking some here in case anyone in need hasn't heard, and so everyone else can be as amazed as I am about the lengths people and local businesses are willing to go to.

Free hair wash and blow dry for anybody affected.
A rally for all builders/plumbers/electricians/plasterers etc to help where they can. 
Hairdressing seats and equipment for the hairdressers who have been flooded. 
Generous money donations.
Pet sitting. 
Restaurants and cafes taking food to the refuge and community centres. 
Carlisle football team helping those affected. 
Lots of cafes who weren't affected were offering hot food and drink to anyone out on Sunday and Monday.
And more than I could ever list throughout Carlisle and the rest of the county.

The floods around us looked devastating and seemed they wouldn't clear for days because of the huge expanse of water that just looked endless, lots of homes and businesses near us were flooded. I have been amazed at the clean up, in less than 24 hours this was the difference, and by Tuesday morning, only 48 hours after the flood, the road around us was open again.
3pm Sunday and Monday afternoon. 
This has really made me realise how scary nature can be, especially being new to the area and not particularly remembering the devastation in 2005 or 2009, this relatively small place has banded together so impressively and stood up to show that even in the face of such devastation they are proud to be Cumbrian and they will not be defeated. Shops are opening, people are out doing their shopping, neighbours are helping each other with the clean up and the small businesses are the ones offering whatever they can to help.
Be proud of yourselves Cumbria, I am feeling very grateful to be living here with all of you.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Mini Lush Haul/ Advent.

I'm a bit late getting this up because I've been working through some stuff but I hope you'll forgive me! I've only used one product in the first week of December so I thought I'd still publish the post. Let's get to it! This year Sam had the idea that he wanted me to have a Lush advent calendar of sorts, however I felt it would be too indulgent to buy their 12 days of Christmas gift set, which is awesome but slightly out of budget so I was instructed to go into Lush and buy 4 things, one for each week of December. This is what I got!

I think I've put this on my blog before but it's one of my absolute favourites, it gives off amazing amounts of bubbles, isn't too smelly in that you're sat in a cloud of perfume and is so moisturising. This isn't a christmas special product, I haven't been overly impressed with their selection this year, but I know this one will be an all time favourite. I usually get 2 baths out of one of these. 

Another favourite of mine! Yoga bomb is my perfect Lush scent, I think it's the sandalwood oil in it that I love so much. It's relaxing but uplifting and this unassuming bath bomb is so beautiful when you put it in your bath. I mean, I don't want to ruin the surprise but there are all kinds of swirls of colours that come from this when you drop it in. I've also found that it takes a while to fizz out which makes me feel like you get more from your money. 

Karma was one of the first products I tried from Lush back when it was just an orange oval. The smell takes me back to school and reminds me of my Mum because she always wore the Karma solid perfume, special request to my Mum, please buy that and wear it again. I don't feel like I can pull off the scent ;).  She gives off much more of a hippy vibe which suits the orange and patchouli in this product. This is the first product that I actually used in the first week of December and I'm not sure if it's because of the new formulation but I wasn't all that impressed by the bubble pay off, this is quite a large bubble bar but I had to use the whole thing to get a decent amount of bubbles. The smell was obviously still amazing and it turned the bath water a lovely rich purple that miraculously didn't stain my bath but I'm not sure I'd get this again. 

This is the only festive Lush product that I've been really impressed with this year, and I have been really impressed. I think I've bought it 3 times now. This bath bomb is described as smelling like cinder toffee and thats the best description I've heard. It's spicy and sweet but not sickly and it's not just for watching it fizz around and look pretty. There are huge chunks of moisturising Shea butter in there, thats the bright yellow chunk you can see just on the right. It feels like it's doing amazing things for your skin and is so calming, I can't wait to use this one again, if I'm feeling really fancy I'll use half of the milky bath bubble bar as well. Swish. 

Hope you enjoyed this look into what I've bought from Lush for the month of December, let me know if there are any of their festive products that I should be trying, once I can actually get into my bath, I'm currently on crutches but thats for another time! 
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