Thursday, 24 February 2011

The First Step

I have so much to post about this week, but very little time in which to write it all down. 

I have been celebrating my birthday this week, which has been lovely. Such an incredible reminder of the wonderful people I have in my life. 

Here is one of my favourite little presents. It is a tiny blackboard with its own chalk, wrapped up like a little sweet.  

It is currently and very beautifully labeling the two drawers that Andy cleared out for me this week.

I don't actually move in for another few months, but this very small, first step feels so deliciously exciting and lasting. 

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Antiques and Curry

It has been a bitterly cold weekend in Sheffield. It actually snowed yesterday. We decided to warm the cockles by pottering around some antique shops, looking at cozy, homely, old things. It was amazing. So many things I wanted to buy - if only I had more money and more space! 

Andy found some brilliant old scales and I got very excited by this scooter. It was all I could do not to jump on it and whiz off down the road! 

They seemed to have a rather extensive collection of stuffed pandas. I love the one on the left. He looks so unimpressed! 

To continue warming ourselves up, we went to our favourite restaurant: East and West. In my experience, it is the best Indian food outside of India. We had this incredible Thali. It took me straight back to all of the delicious meals I have eaten in India and all of the wonderful people that I ate them with. 

To quote one of them(the beautiful Casey Heffron), 
"it made my heart so happy!" 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


I've been doing a lot of that lately. I've been musing on what exactly I am doing, why I am doing it and how on earth I'm meant to get it done! 

The idea that, by July I will have written an entire thesis and three more chapters of my book is quite unfathomable. The thought both depresses me and scares me. I have been whittling away at my concerns about it for a while now and have been feeling really down. It's not like me to feel like that. I'm usually sickeningly upbeat about things. 

I had very good reasons for wanting to this extra degree and it will be worth it in the long run, but just at the moment, I can't seem to feel anything but indifference towards it. I don't hate it, but I don't like it either. All I seem to be able to muster is a sort of dispassionate mental shrug. 

I am trying to reignite myself over this by imagining how good it will feel once it's all over and how much I will have achieved, despite feeling distinctly uninspired, at times. 

Sorry to go all philosophical on you. I'll leave you with something that really does inspire me. 

Sunday, 6 February 2011

A Relaxing Weekend in the Steel City

Andy and I have been through the mill a bit recently. He has been preparing for interviews and teaching sessions, whilst I have been writing the latest chapter of my book and madly trying to get my experiments going in the lab. 

We have barely had a moment's rest for the last couple of weeks and weekends have largely blended into the rest of the days of the week. Andy, being the hero that he is, therefore decided to treat us both to a mini holiday. 

Instead of travelling away, we booked ourselves into a swanky hotel in the centre of Sheffield. We checked in early and checked out as late as we could. In between, we worked off the stress in the gym, swam in the pool and chilled out in the spa as well as drinking champagne and eating a delicious dinner and an inspiringly large breakfast! 
It was simply divine.

We spent this afternoon at the Kelham Island Museum: a museum of the steel industry in Sheffield. It was a fascinating insight into the history and personality of the city that we love.   

We rounded off the weekend with a three hour stint at Spa 1877: a rebuilt Victorian Hammam. We sweated away in saunas and steamrooms, plunged ourselves into pools of water so cold that we couldn't breathe and rubbed ice crystals into our skin until it tingled. It all felt very Roman and decadent. 

It was like being a proper grown-up. If I wasn't so relaxed, that might be quite a scary thought.