Friday, 17 April 2015


It's a funny old thing, independence, don't you think?

Over the years, I've been told off on multiple occasions for bottling things up, not letting people in, keeping things to myself.Not long ago, Mama CupandSaucer sent me a text telling me It's okay to let people look after you Alice. As long as you don't take advantage- which I know you won't- then it's okay to accept offers of help.

I'm ferociously independent. I have no problem with taking myself out for lunch, or coffee, or flying alone. I have problems with people trying to do things for me. I'm small, and sometimes that makes people think I'm dainty, and need looking after- and I like to prove that I don't, by standing on kickstools in five inch heels to put posters up, or balancing precariously on the edges of things so I'm able to reach something before some tall person reaches it for me. I brush it off when I walk into things, or fall over, or get hit in the face with a ball, because I can't bear to admit that I need help.

In fact, when I was interviewed for my current job, they asked me, "What would you say your biggest weakness is?". I thought I'd already messed up the interview by this point, so decided I had nothing to lose by being totally honest. "I won't always ask for help when I need it". I gave good examples, and managed to turn it around- and clearly, it didn't damage my prospects, as they gave me the job- but even now, my boss will sometimes say to me, "Why on earth didn't you say something?!" when I fill up during a one-to-one, or threaten him with the Nerf gun he bought me because I'm so stressed. I remind him that I told him on Day 0 that I don't ask for help, and he sighs, shakes his head, and reminds me that that's what he's here for. His job is to make sure I can do my job.

The problem is though- once I let someone in, and accept their help, I become scared of relying on them. I'm scared that I'll lean on someone too hard, and they'll step away, letting me crash to the floor. It's happened before, and it will happen again. When people ask me why I won't let them in- in the past, ex boyfriends have got very upset over it- I remind them that everyone leaves. And sooner or later, they up sticks (or, in some cases, I do), and they prove me right.

A is away at the moment, and I miss him. I miss him more than I should. I'm scared that I'm too reliant on him- but at the same time, I know that he and I rely on each other. We support each other because we get each other. And that's not me losing my independence. In the early stages of our relationship, A used to laugh at the fact that I'd have to schedule him in a couple of weeks in advance because I was so busy. Now, he's my three-legged-race partner. We look out for each other, knowing that if one of us trips, the other is there to catch them.

I'm independent. But suddenly, I've realised that being independent doesn't mean I'm not allowed to depend on someone else sometimes too.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Happiness is... (vol. 98)

On a day where work felt almost too much to bear, and life feels hard, and my heart feels heavy, and my eyes are tired- these are the days I need to write happiness lists. These are the days I need reminding that while things may sometimes seem awful, they perhaps are not endlessly so. This too shall pass.

Being greeted at the door with a gin cocktail on the warmest day of the year so far.

Wearing heels to work three days in a row.

Saturday morning coffee dates, with a man who brings me flowers.

White t-shirts tucked into swirly midi-skirts.

 Completing the crossword. Between us, we do it almost every time.

Green tea.

 Feeling like I'm becoming the woman I always thought I would be.

Thank you cards, hen parties, and save-the-dates.

Carrying armfuls of flowers and second hand books home.

Craft fairs and croissant dates with beautiful friends.

Menu planning.

The warmth of the spring sunshine on my shoulders.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Morning, Early Riser

"Morning early riser, couldn't you sleep?"

So he greeted me this morning. He's keeping an eye on me- sitting me down, pulling information out of my brain, making me think carefully about what has to be done now, and what I'd prefer to do now. What I can delegate up, what I can delegate down.Whether I'm sleeping. What's going on at home.

He keeps joking that I'll have my own office and department by the summer; I keep telling him I'll be Queen of the Universe by the time I'm 30. He tells me I have a lot of common sense for such a little person; I threaten to punch him for patronising me. I might be small, I tell him, but I can hit hard and pull it out of the bag when I need to. He knows that, he reassures me. He has every faith I'm not going to mess up.

We tease each other, bounce ideas off each other, keep an eye on each other. I value these moments. The half an hour of quiet conversation when the office is nearly empty at 8am. The offer of proper coffee from the little shop across the way- every morning, despite the fact he knows I've given it up for Lent. The giggly conversations while others look on in bafflement. The times he goes to put his hand on my knee and stops himself, or when I go to rest my head on his shoulder before realising I really shouldn't.

It's something. It's always been a thing. And at the same time, it's not a thing. It's nothing at all, actually.
 I'm happy- tired, and busy, and stressed, but happy. And having support from all sides- and knowing I'm loved by a multitude of people- helps. And A. Always A. A, who makes me forget about this and who needs me as much as I need him. A, who deserves only the best things.

Is it any wonder I wake early?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Happiness Is... (Vol 97)

There's literally only one thing I can talk about today. 

On Saturday, my baby brother married his girlfriend of 8 years. I've known A since we were 11- she was in my year at school- and I honestly cannot think of anyone more perfect for him. I don't think I have ever felt happier, more excited, or prouder than I did when I saw A walk into the church in her beautiful gown, escorted by her dad, with tears streaming down her face, and E just looking so unbelievably happy. It was an unbelievably magical day, and I can't believe it has now been and gone.

So this week it's all about Saturday- and happiness is...

... gaining a new sister-in-law, as A officially became part of the family.

... being involved in the ceremony, by delivering 1 Corinthians 13 in a way that was apparently good enough for 75% of the guests to come and congratulate me after the fact.

... catching the moment when JR kissed E on the cheek as the photographer blinked. 

.... hanging out with these little monsters.

... getting on famously with A's brother's girlfriend. She's amazing.

... bashful receiving compliments on my cupcakes. 

... Playing drinking games on the table during the speeches. I do NOT recommend agreeing to drink everything someone says "thank" in a wedding speech.

... the incredible food. I've rarely been so impressed by a starter.

... JR and AS having the most incredible dance off to Star Wars Cantina

... being totally surrounded by family and old friends and godparents

... The sweet table. I decided a wedding was a good time to have a day off Lent

... The INCREDIBLE magician, who made my great-grandmother's ring appear and disappear and totally floored my older brother with it all

... Dancing with friends and family to the most wonderful band ever. Seriously, if you have an occasion in Devon, I strongly recommend booking Jessica and the Rabbits

... Ending the night in a circle, squashed between JR and my aunt, singing and dancing to Hey Jude while E and A swirled in the middle. Just so perfect.

I couldn't be happier for my brother and new sister-in-law, and I hope they have a long and happy life together. 

What's making you happy this week?