Thursday, September 29, 2011

journal day - "looking at all of the life you've lived so far, can you pinpoint one time frame or instance that you feel truly contributed to your growth as a person?"

Danielle at Sometimes Sweet has set another Journal Entry so here goes:

"Looking at all of the life you've lived so far, can you pinpoint one time frame or instance that you feel truly contributed to your growth as a person?  This may be a turning point, a positive or negative experience, a moment or collection of moments that stand out in your mind...something that changed 
you as a whole."

Firstly I'd like to apologise for how long this post is! I got started typing & couldn't stop! Yoink!

At the start of my second year at uni we were given the chance to lengthen our course so we could spend our 3rd year in industry. I jumped at the chance of gaining experience in the Textile world & when asked where I wanted to go I asked for anywhere abroad thinking I'd get sent to New York or Paris or Milan......but none of these came up, the only country on offer was India! I'd never even thought about visiting let alone living in such a different country. I'd travelled abroad but only to America & Europe, no where like India! I went home & discussed it with mum&dad as well as Art & anyone else who'd listen.

At first mum&dad were a bit nervous about it all. I guess it was a bit of a fear of the unknown, but once they thought about the valuable experience I’d get in the textile/fashion world & they thought about the great time they’d had on a teacher exchange to Oregon in the US, they really supported me. I went & bought a Rough Guide for India & read it every night. I'm not sure how confident I seemed on the outside but deep down I was so scared!

The last month before going was horrible, I'd have a knot in my stomach permanently as I tried to be brave about going. I've always been so close to mum&dad & had never been away from them for so long or so far away. The day before I was due to fly mum, dad & I stayed in a hotel near the airport & I felt so sick & upset to be heading off (even writing this now that horrible feeling is back & if I ever go to India with work from Heathrow Terminal 3 I get it there too!). The morning of the flight we went to T3 to meet up with Becca, Emhen & Nat (all from Lufbra) & Art came too. He gave me a card that I couldn't open till on the plane (& when I did boy did I weep, it still makes me tear up now!) & a photo montage he'd done of me with all my uni mates. It was so lovely. I put off going thru security until I couldn't leave it any longer & finally set off to meet the others who'd gone off ahead all excited & eager to get there.

The flight seemed to take forever, partly cos I was dreading it & partly cos the company we would be working for had paid for the cheapest option so there were lots of stop offs. That’s about all I remember of the flight & I don’t really remember being greeted at the airport & driven to our new home, I just felt numb & kept crying (I must have been so annoying seeing as I was the one who'd been up for it right at the start & needed more people to come along or else I couldn't go!).

The first month was so difficult. We were living in a little village called Bommasandra outside of Bangalore, South India. Our apartments were just like cheap Spanish holiday villas with one bedroom we shared between two. Outside were stray dogs, pigs, cows, beggars & every night we had a security guard who walked around all the flats blowing a whistle & banging a metal pipe on the floor to reassure us all was well, (it drove us mad at first but after a while it was a normal noise that was worrying if you didn't hear it.). Cockroaches were one thing I never got used to & poor Becca (the girl I was living with) would wake up to find little pots all over the floor where I'd trapped them but was too scared to do anything with. Our other regular house guests were geckos that were lovely & I often shared a shower with one.

Work was just down the road & I designed Woven Textiles for companies like Max Mara, Tommy Hilfiger & Phase Eight as well as furnishings with Becca. Everyone we worked with was so welcoming & we made some great friends & even travelled to some of their native places to meet their families.

Another side to Bangalore that I wasn't expecting was the nightlife. Fan (a French girl also working at our company) took us out for a drink at Cosmo Village one night & me being the mardy cow I was back then declared that I hated beer so didn't want anything to drink & just had a soft drink with no ice & no straw cos I'd heard you could get sick from both.

I spent a lot of the first week crying all night either on my own or down the phone to mum&dad or Art (until I maxed out my phone bill & they blocked it!). I don't know what happen in my mind to make everything change but suddenly after about a month I was happy. I saw India as the beautiful, colourful, friendly & exciting country it is & not just dirty, scary or lonely. The best/worst thing that happened to me was that I got a taste for kingfisher beer! My social life was amazing & much better than it ever had been (& probably ever will be), I went out about 6 nights a week always starting at Cosmo (either with the girls or not, sometimes I'd just go on my own & enjoy meeting lots of new people). Usually I'd walk in & one of the waiters would spot me, run off ahead & a cold Bottle of Kingfisher would be on the bar waiting for me to climb the steps to the 3rd floor. I had my own little Cosmo family too & the person who meant the most to me out there was Seamus, he was brill & we had so many hilarious nights.

Mum&Dad came out to visit at Easter & when they saw the place we'd been living dad actually apologised for making me stay each time I'd cried on the phone when I’d first arrived but by that point I didn't care, it was my home & I loved it so much.

After our 52week contract ended we had a month to travel, we started off as the original 4, then Becca & I went off together & finally I travelled a bit on my own which I never dreamt I'd be confident enough to do. My last week was spent partying in Bangalore with everyone before Seamus drove me to the airport & again I burst into tears. I didn't want to leave! Again the flight home was really tough & when I landed back at Heathrow although I was happy to see everyone I still missed my second family in India (who says women can never make their mind up?!).

Before I went to India mum&dad had told me never to turn down an opportunity cos you never know where it might lead & boy were they right. Seeing as I very rarely said no I met some ace people, saw places I'd never have seen if I hadn't pushed myself & also ended up with a job for when I graduated thanks to Seamus introducing me to someone.

Due to the terrible traffic I learnt not to stress out so easily over things you can’t help. If I was due to meet someone at 9pm but were still hours away stuck in traffic then chances were the other person was too & if not they understood & waited. I liked that part about me in India & I think I’ve forgotten to think like that now I’m in London. If the tube sits at the platform or in a tunnel for longer than a minute I start to get stressy & wondering why it’s stopped.

Although I went a bit OTT on the partying/drinking I had the time of my life. Being in a new country & socializing gave me a new confidence I never had. I think if I'd have stayed in the UK & done a placement there instead I wouldn't have grown anywhere near as much or had the confidence to move to London straight after uni & start my new life here. Also I’d have never started my little old blog so wouldn’t even be here right now (not sure if that’s a good or bad thing?!). If you want to read any of my posts while I was living in India (hopefully you’ll never get that bored!) they’re in the archive for 2005 from Jan – Aug.

Ttfn x

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I've been bitten by a bug..

..the camping bug! We decided to escape the hustle & bustle of London for 3 days & headed 35min down the road to a lovely peaceful campsite in Loughton. It was great to think that we don't have to drive for hours & hours to feel cut off from our every day lives & hopefully this'll mean we'll have a weekend away more often
After about an hour we got the tent up which wasn't so bad seeing as we'd never done it on our own before. Once we'd been to the little cafe for a jacket potato we came back & tweaked it slightly seeing as the ground sheet was a bit wonky then we were ready to start furnishing our little home away from home.
Since our first camping trip we've been stocking up on things we've seen on sale (as well as a few additions from mum&dad) so now we've got lots of things to make us feel more comfortable.
We decided to take a wander into Epping Forest where the campsite backed onto & found a scrummy blackberry bush so we had a bit of a nibble before carrying on.
All we could hear were the birds & no cars, it was bliss! There wasn't really a path either so we just went on a wander & tried to remember which tree to turn left at to get back to our tent.
To the side of the forest there was a Deer Sanctuary that was fenced off so we perched on a log & watched them for a bit.
I thought this picture below brought a new meaning to tree hugging!
Once out of the forest we were on a hill that had lovely light just as the sun was about to set so we played around for ages with the light & various woody props. Adam channelled the forest by first becoming a tree & then a stag about to charge, scary stuff!
We then got rather carried away with silhouette shots. I'm so chuffed with the way these came out & couldn't have asked for better, well it's always good when you have a willing model too!
Of course I had to have a little go too. I can't believe how high Adam manages to jump, these were the only 2 pics where my feet were above the tree line. I think he must have had hidden springs in his shoes for sure!
When we got back we lit the BBQ for hot dogs, beans & hot rice pudding before shuffling into the tent for a game of Scrabble Scramble & a hot drink. Thankfully we had our trusty hot water bottles ready cos there was a sudden drop in the temperature so we tucked down into bed about 9:30pm.
After a chilly night we emerged about 7am & I went to fill up the kettle. It was lovely to be greeted by a misty morning & the sun just peeking through the trees.
We felt a bit more human after a warm shower & headed off to a nearby carboot sale. We didn't find much but I did come a across a Polaroid Camera in it's original case & with a flash bar that still had a few shots left. It seems I got a pretty good bargain & although the original film (SX-70) doesn't exist anymore it seems that a website called 'the impossible project' do a new version & it's not that expensive, though still enough money for it to be a special occasion camera!
Seeing as we weren't that very far our of London Adam's parents came to visit for lunch at the cafe & say hi. We went for another wander to see the deer after another cuppa (I've drunk so much tea this trip!). Once we'd said bye we checked out the other 6 fields that were part of the campsite & found a play park. Of course we couldn't miss a chance to play on the swings even if my hips were kinda wedged into them!
Tea this time was curry but because the wind was quite strong we had to cook inside the tent which proved to be quite handy cos it kept the tent warm for later on! The rice was a bit crunchy hence the thumbs down but the rest was good.
After washing up the Scrabble came out again, obsessed?! Us?! With a bottle of cider the game went a bit better than the previous night but Adam still won. Grr!
As you can see from my face I didn't get the best choice of letter sometimes!
Then again neither did Adam, but he still beat me twice! I then introduced him to the card game Sevens & after that Top Trumps, but by this point we were really struggling to read the cards so we took that as a hint to get to bed.
We had a bit of a lie in Monday morning after an early venture to the loo. As we woke up at 9am it just started to spit so we took our time over breakfast before packing up. Just before we left we saw a perfect outline of our tent on the ground so Adam decided to lie in the bedroom bit as if I'd just whipped away the tent from under him like a magician. Love it!
We had a great mini-break & I was really sad to leave it all behind. I don't think we'll get to camp again this year cos most campsites close at the end of September & also it's getting a bit chilly for the ones that stay open! So here's to lots of camping come 2012!
Ttfn x

Sunday, September 25, 2011

what Katie did......

Well it depends which one you mean cos there's loads of us in the blogging world!

Out of all the blogs I read I follow 4 other people who are lucky to share their name with me! They all write in lovely styles, share wonderful stories, take stunning pictures & have great lives. So if you've got a some spare time take a gander around & see how awesome other people are with the same name as yours truely!
* colour me katie
* i go by katie
* katie's pencil box
* skunkboy creatures

Hope y'all are having a lovely weekend whatever you're up to!
Ttfn x

Friday, September 23, 2011

lost shoes needing a loving home....

As I sat down on the tube the other day I looked across from my seat & was met by this sight. I put on my detective hat & came to the conclusion that there were 3 possible reasons for the shoes being there:
1. an invisible person was sitting there but their invisibility cloak didn't quite reach their feet (they also sit in a very awkward position & yes I have tried!)
2. the shoes belonged to one of these 2 guys but they were too embarrassed to pick them up when they left (I like to think this is the correct assumption!).
3. the most probable & boring - someone got off the tube after a day's work, their feet killing & either left them there on purpose (due to some nasty shoe bites) or forgot them. I wasn't even on the train that late so I don't think it can even be blamed on random drunken-ness. I wonder if she decided she'd had enough & pulled on some lovely comfy slippers & shuffled home, that's what I'd like to do some evenings.

ttfn x

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

346 days to go

I know, I have planners of planners of planners but this very lovely wedding planner was different, honest!
I started a big old Excel "To Do" list recently to keep track of everything & to try & free up my brain so there's less wedding stuff flying around & more space for day to day things. Also, since more things are getting confirmed I wanted somewhere to keep all the info together & that's where this beauty comes in. Each page has sections to fill in for everything you need to know & the way it's been designed it'll make a lovely keep sake afterwards. Most people get shivers when they try on their wedding dress, I got shivers when I saw this book, that's how obsessively organised I like to be!
I can't wait to find a lovely pen so I can start filling in the gaps & adding photos. I loved the fact that on the Best Man page you have to rate how reliable he is on a scale of 1-5! There's even a page for working out the dreaded seating plan (which I'll be tackling with pencil for the first 20times at least that's for sure).
Recently I've realised that the Bride is the only person involved in a wedding who knows absolutely everything that's being planned (apart from additional surprises). There isn't one person I can tell everything to without them finding something out that was supposed to be a surprise. I've ended up with an original chart that's for my eyes only, one for Adam & I, then there's one that's slightly different for the bridesmaids & that's slightly different to my parents one. Even when this book's all filled in it'll be like my secret diary until after the wedding day. Maybe I should confide in a random that's not even invited to the wedding & then I don't have to keep this secret for another 346 days without popping?!
ttfn x

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the A-Z trend

I first saw this post on Katie's blog & loved the way she did it from her & her son Max's point of view. When I then saw it on Mari, Danielle & Diana's blogs I realised I had to jump on the bandwagon too, so here goes:

A. Age: 27 (you have no idea how long that took to work out, maths ain't my strong point! Yoink!)
B. Bed size: Double - nothing as exciting as Queen, King or Super-duper-mega size, just plain double, but flipping comfortable!
C. Chore that you hate: Dusting - as soon as it's done there seems to be more dust, I hate it!
D. Dogs:  Not yet but holding out for a little black Pug one day :)
E. Essential start to your day: Sh*t, shower & shave as most of my blokey mates would say, then back to sleep as soon as I sit down on the tube to work!
F. Favorite color: Tricky, it used to be pink but now it changes all the time, right now it's minty green
G. Gold or Silver: I always preferred silver but my engagement ring is gold & my wedding ring will be too so maybe the tables are turning.
H. Height: 5’2 - tho I'm convinced I'm shrinking or everyone else is getting taller cos I never felt this short before!
I. Instruments you play: Used to play the flute & kinda miss it, though don't think the neighbours would appreciate me picking it up again!
J. Job title:  Men's shirt designer & trend setter extraordinaire! FACT!
K. Kids: None
L. Live: London (wow that starts with an 'L' too!)
M. Mother’s name: Lynda
N. Nicknames: Everyone knows me as KtP or just P.
O. Overnight hospital stays: More than I'd wish for - squint opp, overnight stay cos I had a stiff neck & it got mistaken for Meningitis & the best one - burst Appendix TWICE!
P. Pet peeves: People chewing with their mouths open, I have to leave the room/move tables/change seats if it gets really bad.
Q. Quote from a movie: I was really hoping to come up with something profound but all I can think of is from The Lion King - "the buzz from the bees is the leopards are in a bit of a spot, the baboons are going ape over this, I told the elephants to forget it, but they cant....."
R. Right or left handed: Right handed.
S. Siblings: Only child  & no I'm not spoilt before you ask!
U. Underwear: Weird one - er yes & no I'm not going to elaborate!
V. Vegetable you hate: Aubergine - love the colour hate the taste!
W. What makes you run late:  Very little, I'm at least 15min early for everything, unless the buses or tubes are delayed, but I've normally added an extra half hour to my journey just in case of that so sometimes I'll arrive an hour early for something.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Foot, hand, dental, neck....I think there's many more but can't remember, I'm always hurting myself.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Nothing too adventurous, but I do make a scrummy stir fry & choc chip banana bread.
Z. Zoo animal: Sloths - cos they're most like me!

ttfn x

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scrabble Scramble Sundays

Last night we decided we didn't want to just sit in front of the tv so instead we dusted off the Scrabble Scramble set that I'd got about 3years ago & never touched. While playing though my inner blond-ness sure did show through! Yoink!
I wasn't off to a very good start when I spelt 'merth' & thought that was correct (my English teacher would be having kittens right now!). That was after I'd complained about getting blanks cos to use them I had to use my imagination.
My next go wasn't much better when I shook out these letters & realised I didn't know any Polish words.

First of all I was keeping score but after the following comments....
"....I can't add 5 to 2 so had to start with 5 & add the 2"
"....If you let me do it on my fingers & don't rush me I'm fine"
Adam decided it would be better if he carried on!
My Scrabble mind was getting the better of me by this point cos I thought this spelt 'dust' with no problem at all!
My next go threw up these letters & lead to the following conversation:
K - "When I see these letters I immediately wish I could spell Meerkat"
A – "I'm so glad I don't have your brain, it must be a living hell"
I'm pleased to say that after a shockingly bad start I actually beat Adam. Goodness knows how! Woop woop!

It was really fun playing a game together & it's something I always thought we'd do regularly when we moved in but never got round to doing. Well if it's good enough for Katie & Tom it's good enough for us!
ttfn x

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm finally giving in......

to the Autumnal weather. I've been trying & trying to put off getting my Wintery stuff out (it's only September for goodness sake!) but the time has finally come. So today I packed away all of my lovely summery sandals to the top of the wardobe & got my boots ready.
My excuse for keeping them out was that I was due to go to India in October with work so I'd need them then, but now the trip's off, so I've had to admit I probably won't wear them again this year. I can't believe I've only worn my new gingham sandles once since buying them! I'm not complaining too much though cos Autumn & Winter are my favourite seasons, bring on crisp sunny days, the nights drawing in & being snug as a bug in big coats, scarfs & hats, nowt better!

(Sod's law we'll end up having an Indian Summer now!)
Ttfn x

Thursday, September 15, 2011

engagement shoot - let's adore & endure each other

What a great piece of graffiti! These shots were taken as part of our first Engagement shoot with Lou (see here) but needed a bit of a tweak. Adam did his magic fingers thing on Photoshop, edited out a lamppost & we're left with these lovely pics :) Seriously what council numpty puts a lamppost right in the middle of this?!
Yay for lovey dovey graffiti!
See our second shoot with Lou here
Visit Lou's Flickr here
Ttfn x

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

just keep swimming......

All hard work was interrupted yesterday afternoon when David Walliams swam past our offices in aid of Sports Relief (you can just about see him in between the rowers).
I can't believe he managed to swim 140miles in 8days in the filthy Thames. During that time he rescued a dog & battled Thames Tummy - that's dedication.
When we saw him the tide was in his favour so he was zooming along pretty quickly & as we all clapped & cheered he even interrupted his stroke to wave at us all. What a legend!
If you have a spare couple of pennies follow the link to sponsor him, I know I will.
ttfn x

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Isabelle's special day

Last Sunday it was Isabelle's Christening. It's been a while since I saw all of Adam's family together so it was nice to have a good catch up with them all. I had a text the night before asking if I'd be official photographer so as soon as we arrived the Lumix was out & snapping away. Isabelle's turning into such a smiley cutie & a pleasure to photograph.
The service was held at the church Nick & Lisa are getting married at next July so it was nice to get a sneak preview at the beautiful building. While we were waiting for the service to start Brandon & his pals all got together for a catch up, I love this photo below.
Afterwards we all headed back to Nick & Lisa's & as we got back it started to pour down, typical, so the kids were all piled into Brandon's room to play instead of having the garden space to run around in. I didn't see the state of it after we'd left but I didn't envy the tidying up!
Adam was Isabelle's godfather (well if we're being technical 'Christian Sponsor') & he got a lovely little Godfather kit. It contained:
~ ping pong ball - to help you bounce through the journey of being a Godfather.
~ pencil - to 'write' their wrongs.
~ candle - to be your Godchild's guiding light.
~ tissue - wipe the tears of joy & mop the tears of sorrow.
~ puzzle piece - you're an important part of their life.
~ crayons - to colour their future bright.
~ mint - Godfather....your job is worth a 'mint.'
~ seeds - for sowing the seeds of wisdom & knowledge.
That's about it for now & I'll just leave it to the girl of the day to say bye.....