Things I Learnt In October

Ok... so here we go with everything that I learnt in October. Feel free to share your own learning experiences in the comments.

If you share a lovely upbeat and slightly funny video on Facebook then one of your childhood heroes (in this instance it was Doris Pearson from Five Star) might 'like' it and comment on it.

Those posts you wrote about Back To The Future five years ago [BTTF1 | BTTF2] will come in useful one day. That day happened to be #futureday - 21st October 2015.  Still no bloody hoverboard though...

Back To The Future, #futuredate, 21st October 2015, BTTF

If you stay true to yourself and your blog you could get noticed and mentioned alongside a bunch of much younger, cleverer and more successful bloggers (and very famous vloggers). And that's lovely and gives you a much needed boost.

Choosing Christmas presents for those "difficult to buy for" people just got a whole lot easier with and their subscription service, You might want to check out their Hub too as there's some great *cough*mine*cough* articles on there.  *this includes an affiliate link* 

Friends will always help you almost solve a mystery especially when they have access to ancestry records.  And as I have the next week off work, I'm considering contacting the Museum of Wimbledon to see if they want the postcard in question for their records. What do you think?

[Here is the running section...]

Running your first ever 10k leaves you elated and wanting more even though you're bricking it for your first "race" next week. Note that the word 'race' will always be in inverted commas simply because it's only a 'race' if you think you can win. I prefer to call it A Challenge (no inverted commas).  

runclips, run clips,I'm currently logging my journey from 5k to 10k in a small journal. I bought it from the Pocket Notebooks website and upon hearing about the way in which I was using my Adventure Log from Word.Notebooks they invited me to write an article for their website. So I did (and you can read it here). I'm actually going to write the whole experience in more detail when I've finished so you can keep an eye out for that too.

Safety pins are so passé. RunClips are the new way to pin your race number to your shirt (I might be slightly behind the times with this but y'know... running and all that)!

[Here endeth the running section. It was very short this month.]

If you have a bit of spare cash, you should treat yourself to an Amazon voucher and add it to your own account. That way, when you see a new book that would look great on your Kindle you surprise yourself by having the money ready and waiting for it.  You can swap 'book' out for any treat that suits your fancy.

Dressing up at work to raise money for charity feels very much like World Book Day for adults... but without the books.  I frigging hate dressing up. 

My Video Of The Month stars... ME! I was asked by Hotter Shoes to show how I'd style their Loretta scarf so I teamed it up with my classic mac, a pair of black skinny jeans and the Briony riding boots - also from Hotter - and demonstrated three ways I like to wear my scarf in the Autumn/Winter months.

Next month I will include the story of the doppleganger.  Apparently everyone has a 'twin stranger' and I'm no exception. More on this story as it develops but you can hop on over to Facebook to have a quick look at this video that a friend shared on my timeline. It's caused quite a stir and I'm trying to get in touch with the girl in the video.  

So it's over to you again. What did you learn this month?


The Mystery Found In The Vintage Postcards Of London

Last year I was gifted a pile of vintage postcards, all of which depicted the sights of London. I came across them again last week when tidying my office space before taking photos and remembered that I'd never shared the mystery found within the vintage postcards.  When first looking through them, I turned each one over to read the description and tourist information, trying to find a print date (none available) and was really surprised to see that one was handwritten, stamped and postmarked.  It had actually been sent to someone.  

vintage, postcard, London, Tower Bridge

vintage, postcard, London,, handwriting, postmark, stamp, 1962, Wimbledon, Tower Bridge,

Postmarked Wimbledon, 9.45am, 17 JLY 1962, SW19
(and a stamp that was 2½ pence)

I was really sorry to hear the news on your P.C. Tried to phone you last night but no reply. How is the job going? and how about popping in one night (not Thurs or Sat). Do give me a ring. Love Audrey

Sent to
Miss V. G. Hawtin
54 Leopold Road

Doesn't it sound remarkable that someone would send a postcard to another person even though they live in the same area? I started to fantasise about who the two people were; maybe mother and daughter but then why would she sign off as "Audrey"? What does "P.C." stand for in the pre-computer days that this postcard was sent? Did the picture of the open Tower Bridge have meaning or was it just that it was a choice between spare postcard instead of a notelet to send a quick note.

This very much has a 'message in a bottle' feel to it. Wouldn't it be wonderful to track down the sender and the recipient? 

It also got me thinking about our lines of communication today.  I'm more inclined to send someone a text or a message via Facebook than write them a note.  Do we spend as much time tweeting and emailing our friends as our modern ancestors spent writing letters to their nearest and dearest? I don't think we share written correspondence as much as we should and when I received an actual postcard from Tanya in July I realised that I need to be more proactive with this myself. So all those little notelets and one-off cards from stationery boxes that I've saved for 'a special occasion' are going to get an airing and I'm going to start sending messages to friends... just because I can. 

Vintage Postcards of London


Soundtrack To My Life - Vicky

Soundtrack To My Life

I'd like you to meet Vicky who is sharing her Soundtrack To My Life today.  I've followed her for some time, marvelling at the way she embraces her disability and life in a wheelchair crossed with her interest in beauty and fashion, alongside being a very busy mum! I don't know how she does it!!

I love all the tracks that Vicky has chosen and the story behind each of her selections is very personal. So, for now, it's over to Vicky...


DJ Sammy - Heaven

For my daughter. Although I love the Bryan Adams version, this version was out when my daughter was born nearly 13 years ago. I was listening to the radio and holding her when it came on the radio and the lyrics made me shed tears of joy.

Snow Patrol - Run

This song reminds me of a very important time in my life when I finally worked up the courage to leave my abusive ex husband. It was the start of a whole new life for me.

Alanis Morissette - Ironic

The soundtrack to my youth, when Alanis topped the charts with one of her cheerier songs and completely misunderstood the definition of ironic. Now THAT'S irony!

David Guetta - Titanium

Because I am wiser and stronger than I've ever been. Shoot me down, but I won't fall - I'm a strong independent woman. Those are the lyrics, right? ;-)

Wilson Philips - Hold On

Though this song falls into the category of 'cheesy pop' I really love it's uplifting message. It's helped me get through just one more day when I thought that carrying on was impossible.


Soundtrack To My Life
You can find Vicky speaking very openly on her blog and you can follow her on Twitter as @curlywurlygirly and on Facebook.

Read and listen to all previous Soundtrack To My Life entries by clicking on the mix tape to the right or follow the Pinterest board. If you want to participate please complete this form and I'll be in touch very soon.


[Review] The Filofax Refillable Notebook

Regular readers will know I'm a bit of a notebook addict; there's my BOAT (Book Of All Things) for a start and then my recent obsession with pocket notebooks and Midori-style planning systems. All this probably stems from high school when were were provided with two types of planners to use throughout the year. The first was a Homework Diary that was forged by me signed by my mum each week to verify that I'd completed all tasks set for that week. The second was our "jotter" which was an exercise book that was used to take notes during lessons. We were allowed a new jotter when it was full but if it was "lost" (or you'd fallen out of love with the boy who's name you'd doodled all over the front of it) you were allowed to buy a new one for 10p from the school librarian.

So now I'm a bit of a notebook obsessive. There's always a reason to have a notebook, whether it be for a bullet journal, a craft planner, a sketch book, and so many more ideas that we all have.  Also attentive readers will remember me saying that I had completely moved out of my Filofax so are probably now wondering why I'm writing about another Filofax product.

Filofax Refillable Notebook in orange, collage,

Filofax A5 Notebook 

The goalposts moved when I found out that Filofax have introduced a range of notebooks, organisers and eAccessories in glorious neon colours. As well as the notebook that I've been reviewing there is a Saffiano organiser and a Saffiano iPad organiser - both in the colour Pear.

The Filofax notebook has a leather-feel cover and a wire spine and closes with a colour-coordinated elastic. It comes with the traditional Filofax bookmark/ruler, 56 pages of 100gsm lined paper and four dividers - one of which has a front pocket - and an additional refill pack with four pages of squared paper and four pages of blank paper. All pages and dividers are punched and cut in line with the spiral spine so they can be added, removed and repositioned with ease.  And because of the design of the spine, the notebook opens flat and also folds completely back on itself. 

The notebook currently retails at £12.99 and the refill packs are priced from £2.99 for 32 pages (this is the A5 price - the pocket size is slightly cheaper).  This does make it a high-end priced 'notebook' so if you write a lot then you may find yourself purchasing refills very regularly. 

I haven't yet thought of a project to use for this notebook yet (any suggestions?) but there are two things that I totally love about it already. (1) you can't actually house many pages in it (the 64 leaves plus four dividers and ruler make it totally full) therefore it won't be too hefty to carry around and (2) the cover feels sturdy so once you've used the pages and need to refill it then the cover will withstand the test of time.  I'll definitely come back to this and revisit it in, say, a year. 

Filofax Refillable Notebook in orange, collage,

I was provided with a Filofax A5 Notebook for the purpose of this review
For more details please view my disclosure policy

The History Of Strictly Come Dancing

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing and I provide a running commentary every Saturday night. It's like stepping inside my head for the duration of the show.

If you're a true super-fan like me you'll be able to remember each of the winners and will, of course, have your favourite dances.  For me, you can't beat a good Argentine Tango but the Rumba is always a bit embarrassing to watch. it's always interesting to see who is shining though and who really does have no rhythm whatsoever.

Knowing how much I love the show, Great British Bingo sent me this fantastic infographic which displays the "History of Strictly" and is full of really interesting little factioids from the past eleven series.

Once you've browsed it you can tell me... who  has been your favourite couple EVER and who do you think is going to win this year?

strictly come dancing, infographic, facts, #strictly

This is a sponsored post.
For more information please see my disclosure policy


A Tour Around My Home Office

desk and accessories, stationery

Ok, I warn you now, this is going to be a move away from my normal style of blog post and it's going to be very picture heavy. I've been meaning to do a tour of my home office for a while but just never got round to it. I commandeered the guest bedroom a while back so that I had a space to work in when I was building my digital consultancy service last year. I also wanted to have a desk to leave stuff on so that I could go back to it.

spiral bound notebooks, purple journals

Most of the time, having this space works perfectly. I don't clutter the rest of the house up with my knick-knacks and I have plenty of room to keep all my stationery, my craft stuff and my handbags (don't ask...) and I've now acquired a sewing machine, keeping it up here means that I don't have to drag it onto the kitchen table when I want to use it.

Rexel purple notebooks and journals

The decor in the office/guest bedroom was kept fairly neutral but I have tried to inject colour into it in various ways. I'm no Anna Ryder-Richardson so nothing really matches but I always try to surround myself with accessories that I'll actually use! You may notice an injection of purple around my desk. I've got some great products from Rexel here at the moment which really brighten the place up.

Shall I take your round the room? It's fairly small (just 9' x 7') and it adjoins our main bedroom. At one point we were going to convert it into an en-suite but bringing the necessary pipework from the back of the house to the front of the house was going to prove too costly.

bed, storage area, office chair, wombles, Jenny Maizels,

The first picture is taken from the doorway. Above the bed (in the alcove) are six shelves full of videos that we will probably never watch again. There are box-sets and rare ones and we just can't bring ourselves to clear them out.  On the wall is my cork noticeboard. At the moment I have my race numbers on there and some personal keepsakes (cards, notes, postcards).  To the left of the picture (out of sight) is the whiteboard I use for day-to-day reminders and for subliminal messages when filming my YouTube videos.

I have the bed across the far wall and this is used as a storage area when no-one is staying over.  The bed is covered with the first blanket I ever crocheted and behind the chair is a basket full of my handbags. Also on the bed are two collapsible boxes with a London Underground print on them (two for £8 from The Works). One of these boxes contains all my running accessories (hi-vis vest, The Whistle Of Power, bum bags, hats, gloves, et al) and the other is full of stationery items. On top of these sit another box which contains all my sketching accessories from my Jenny Maizels Sketchbook Club

There are two cushions on my chair. The first one is - coincidently - a Jenny Maizels "rock" cushion which I won in a competition (there's also a 'pop up' card with London landmarks on the noticeboard which was in the same prize package). The second cushion is a pillow but the pillowcase is my own original Wombles pillowcase from when I was a little girl. Yes, really!! It's almost as old as I am!!

office desk

Moving round to the desk, it's actually full of useful bits and pieces which are all in handy little pots and holders. My large notebooks are in a file holder from Ikea (I rescued four of these from Mum's house) and then I have a neat little filing tray from WHSmith which currently holds all my pocket notebooks, my BOAT (Book Of All Things), my external hard drive and a few other bits and pieces. Next to this are two little compartmental boxes for stationery bits and pieces such as my mini post-it notes and stickers, the washi swatch book, paperclips, bookmarks, stamps, bulldog clips, etc. I also have space for my laptop and my brand new adult colouring book and pencils from Derwent. You can also see the orange Filofax notebook that I'm reviewing at the moment and my Runners World magazine (ironically, the 'stay injury free' edition).

office desk

At the other end of the desk I have my sewing machine and my daylight lamp (which is GREAT for lighting when I'm recording the previously mentioned YouTube videos). You can also see my pots (three of them... all ordered in a specific way) full of pens, pencils and other writing implements, my mason jar full of washi tape and my Sonny Angel - a Yan To exclusive. There's also a USB charging unit tucked away there and my sewing maching (only on the desk for the purpose of the photograph - it's usually covered up and on the floor when not in use).

Just in front of the radiator are two wicker hamper baskets. One holds all my 'spare' yarn which is awaiting new projects and all my cross-stitch bits and pieces and the other houses all my Filofaxes and inserts that aren't currently in use.

My printer is balancing on one of the 'emergency chairs' that only get used when there are more than four people eating at meal times (i.e. Christmas). I should really invest in a little storage unit or have a look for something in a charity shop but I've just not got round to it yet. I've also got my Snowball microphone and my sound cancelling head phones here too.

wall art, running medals

This wall... well, I know things don't balance to the eye but it's a work in progress. The picture on the right was a present from my daughter. It's a canvas of a photo I took of her and my two granddaughters on St Annes beach. It's my favourite picture of the three of them and also her favourite picture of the three of them; it was a click-and-go picture one afternoon after we'd been for a walk on the beach. In the middle is a picture of a sunrise taken on 29th July 2009. It wasn't taken by me but that date is significant because it was the day this blog was reborn and is a reminder of a date important to me.

You can also see a collection of my medals from various running events.  They are currently hanging on a single nail but I have my eye on a proper metal medal-and-race-number rack and I'm undecided whether to treat myself or request that one of my children buy it me for Christmas. 

shelves, books, knick-knacks, keepsakes, memories

I have two shelves in this room. You can't seen the top one but it holds A4 files full of my old Open University work, a HUGE purple folder full of receipts and (paid) bills, folders full of my mum's old writing (I keep meaning to blog more about this but here's a taster) and a box full of never-used gadgets and old mobile phones. The shelf you can see fell off a few weeks ago but has now been screwed firmly back into place. It houses files stuffed full of trip memories such as concert tickets, blogger event memoirs and magazines that have my articles printed in them. The books are all my 'business' research and information guides and the picture that you can hardly see is of me riding a quad bike in Tunisia (it's actually a great picture of me - I should have it in a proper frame). The rest of the shelf is a place for all my personal ornaments; presents from the children and grandchildren which have "Mum" or "Nana" on them, a Tatty Teddy 40th birthday photo clip, a couple of snow globes and some holiday souvenirs.

I'm very grateful that I have a place to escape to if I want and somewhere that I can be creative and/or just walk out of and shut the door behind if need be. Do you have a special corner of the house just for you? 

A Tour Around My Home Office, desk tour, spare room,

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