Wellbeing

Jen’s Happiness Ten: August 2015

September 25, 2015
Crux Earrings

Ok, ok. These are getting later and later and I’m limping over the finish line of September having not written August but y’know, life.

We’re not here to judge, ok? 

Here’s a unicorn wine holder sculpture to make up for it.

BUT… I feel responsibility to also let you know what you’re in for here. This particularly tormented reviewer has had quite the time since acquisition:

‘I bought this unicorn thinking it would bring luck, joy and rainbows into my home. Instead he just sits there, staring through my soul with his cold black eyes, just daring me to steal his bottle of sweet nectar. Then when I finally get the courage to take the wine all he does is throw judgement my way for days. Every time I pass I get the “oh hey, there goes that thieving wino again” look.’

Purchase at your peril.

So…

1. Viktor E. Frankl – Man’s Search For Meaning

This book was recommended to me and I’m P R E T T Y embarrassed about it not making its way into my possession before now. I’m completely guilty of throwing around superlatives of an evening but this book is INCREDIBLE. If you’re not one of the nine million in the world to have picked this up, do it right now and have your mind opened and your heart broken.

Viktor Frankl

Read it. Just read it. Immediately.

2. Stylist’s Rejection Letters Sent To Famous People

I don’t think this is particularly new but I’ve just stumbled across it. It just gave me hope, ya’know? Hustle, hustle hard and never give up. <Insert life-affirming Instagram quote here>

But seriously, imagine. ‘Hey, you know that thing, that piece of you that you spent years almost-literally-but-obviously-not-actually-literally pouring your heart and soul into?

I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.’

I’m sure Madonna in particular took her rejection well.

Get it here.

Sylvia Plath Rejection Letter

Dear Miss Plath…

3. My new Crux earrings

I’ve written about Katie in a previous Happiness Ten. She is one of our tribe (tribe being type 1, and the tribe of also being a generally kick-ass human being), and she also produces gorgeous shiny things for a living as Crux London, which automatically sends anyone up in my estimation. We’ve as yet not managed to sit down to eat cake together because she’s super busy and I’m super useless, so I went to a jewellery sample sale she was part of in the hope of catching her there. Alas, she was at another event (see, BUSY GAL) but I DID manage to pick up these ridiculously cool silver earrings that she went and made with her fair hands. For an absolute steal.

I went to take a nice photo to show you what they look like but this doesn’t really show you them at all, plus it makes me want to be a bit sick in my mouth.

Crux Earrings

Here I am, just totes casual in my room looking slightly deranged with my high vis jacket in shot. I woke up like this, you know?

So I felt like this one was a better choice. Nailed it.

Crux Earrings

#nofilter

4. …And a necklace to match

Ok technically I bought this in September. But let’s not get fussy, yeh? I’ve been looking for a simple silver necklace for a while, as surprisingly the £4 purchases I insist on repeatedly making have a penchant for tarnishing like a mother after a few weeks, subsequently giving me something not dissimilar looking to jaundice when I persist in hanging it around my neck in spite of the rusty tinge.

I’m also a fussy one about these things. I don’t really like ‘girly’ stuff. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I can put my hand on my heart and openly tell you that I got through my teens without being affected enough to purchase a Playboy branded poster, bed cover, necklace or any other form of Hugh’s merchandise (SOMEONE TELL ME HOW ANY OF THAT MADE IT INTO THE ARGOS CATALOGUE PLEASE).

I stumbled across this baby (note: not actually a small human child) in a gift shop in Cornwall, and have been assured it is sterling silver. So far, so beautiful.

Necklace

Rose gold. Will never let you down.

5. My fave photography career moment so far…

As mentioned elsewhere, I went to Ibiza for work purposes. Cool job, right? Right.

Photography is not the main part of my job by any means, mostly because I couldn’t tell my ISO from my aperture if my life depended on it, but I do seem to have a creative knack for taking a photo and I find it THE MOST FUN to do. I have photographed some ridiculous things in the last few years (Miley Cyrus stood next to a mostly naked Greg James sat on an inflatable wrecking ball, for example), but I think these shots take the crown as my favourites to date. It’s Faithless, guys. FAITHLESS.

Luckily I think I managed not to fuck it up. Well, I say that – judge for yourself.

Faithless_1 Faithless_2 Faithless_3 Faithless_4

Faithless_6

Faithless_5 All images © BBC

6. Some real talk from Gizzi Erskine

Gizzi Erskine is, in my humble food-loving eyes, queeeeeeeeen of many things. There’s the hair, the eyeliner, the no bullshit talk, but most of all the cooking like a hot damn champion.

Living in the London bubble of Survival of the Fittest, it’s easy to get caught up in the newest, the coolest, the quickest, so it’s nice to see a very healthy and very got-her-shit-together woman who has racked up years of experience telling it to us straight about food, as she does without apology in this article. This girl’s got sense and I like it.

Give it a read, bookmark it, print it out and stick it on your fridge next time you’re tempted to fill said fridge with hemp seeds permeated with the essence of a ‘vintage’ taxidermied otter’s anus.

Look, we all make mistakes, ok?

Gizzi

She might look nice enough, but she wields knives for a living. Image © David Harrison for Foodism UK

7. Visitors from the other side of the world

Two of my best friends from college live in Australia. Which is slightly inconvenient when we try and organise meeting for coffee, so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I head out and join them, because if not for friendship, then obviously for flat white. (I’ve also been saying that for the last decade and still haven’t managed to book that ticket so bosses, if you’re reading this – we’re all good). I haven’t embraced these gorgeous ladies (and gents) for two and a half years since I travelled over to see Brum get married, so to have not one but BOTH of them staying with me last month (alas, a bloody week apart GIRLS WHY MUST YOU TEASE ME IN THIS WAY) was some kind of magic. Fleeting, and precious, yet so very magic.

Somehow I spectacularly failed to get a picture of my first visitors so here’s precisely why you should love them as much as I do in pictorial (not pectoral) form:

There's a reason these people are my friends.

There’s a reason these people are my friends.

I learnt my lesson a week later. I captured these babies. I captured them good and proper. (AKA I took the world’s shittest phone photo, just to contradict my earlier declaration of having above average camera skills. PLEASE will you just hurry and send me a decent camera so we can all move on with our lives).

Brum and Clinton

Brummy plus Aussie, who’s wearing a GB t-shirt. My brain hurts.

8. The UK seaside on the right weekend with the right kinda people = life

Having returned from the aforementioned definitely-in-no-way-awful trip to Ibiza, I spent the weekend in Pevensey for my dear friend Jenny’s 30th birthday. Or to call her by her real name, Foxy Keoghpatra, but that’s probably a story for another time.

It was hot. Hot as balls. Hotter than Ibiza. Probably. We were there with Jen’s family, extended family and all her friends, many of whom I get to call my friends too, which shows I am capable of social integration sometimes. She also lives with my best friend, who took my room when I decided to co-habit with a male for reasons of love (I KNOW), so my bestie was there too which equals all the selfish jackpots for me. We slept with the sound of the waves crashing in our ears and HOT DAMN we need to bottle that shit up and sell it because I had the best night’s sleep of my life.

Wait, there are machines that do that already?

Oh.

Then the next night we slept in a tent at the bottom of the garden like kids. Drunk kids, mind, but it was nostalgic and innocent (apart from the drunk chat which was definitely not innocent) and almost as wonderful as hearing the waves crash the night before. That was, until around 8am the next morning when the blistering sun came up and made the tent a greenhouse of HANGOVER HELL.

So we got up and made eggs and jumped into the sea even though it was entirely freezing and I took this goofy, geeky, cheesy picture of me looking bald on top but not really giving a shit to remind me of how wonderful I felt at that point and how the world definitely didn’t hate me or Jenny, which was nice because sometimes you forget these things.

Oh hey, freckles. There you are.

Oh hey, freckles. There you are.

9. Witnesses

SOMEONE TELL ME YOU’VE WATCHED THIS. I’ve exhausted Ian with my incessant observations and idiot questions about what’s happening in this Jen’s-almost-crapping-her-pants-with-suspense series, and now that it’s ended there’s a slightly terrifying but beautifully shot subtitled French drama (complete with pretty random wolf symbolism) shaped hole in my life that no amount of ice cream will fill. I don’t know why I went from French thriller to ice cream but this is the kind of dangerous leap to comfort food I make when I’m mourning a loss and you’re going to have to ride it out with me because we’re on number nine and you’ve made it this far through the post.

Now all I can think about is Haagen Dazs Pralines and Cream so here’s a link to some info about Witnesses – be assured you really should watch it if you can find a way. There’s only six episodes so I feel like it’s probably the kind of investment you’ve just about got time for. Game of Thrones, I’m looking at you.

Marie Dompnier as Sandra Winckler

Marie Dompnier as Sandra Winckler. She’s windswept. It means something.

10. Meeting Pumplette and the Understudy Pancreas Clan

Let me tell you about this family. Wonderful Annie of the Diabetes Online Community asked to meet for the first time IRL on a day when I was seven days into an eleven day working week and feeling bit like I needed a long lie down under the desk, possibly never to emerge. The clan were down in London from Somerset, but by London I mean Teddington which is possibly the furthest you can get from my house without suddenly being in the wilds of Wiltshire without a clue how you got there.

BUT.

Oh my god, the approximately ninety minutes of my life I had to spend with this most uplifting of families before I had to head back to Oxford Circus quite selfishly brought me SO MUCH JOY. Annie is a wonderful woman and her girls are absolutely a product of that: an astonishing, enchanting whirlwind of jokes, energy, laughter and Rapunzel-esque hair x3 that I am not ashamed to admit I am entirely jealous of. Pumplette (non-diabetic readers: she is the type 1 link that brought us together) really reminded me of me when I was her age if that’s not too indulgent to say – full of life, interested in everything, active, happy, 100mph, 24/7, with an incredible zest for life. Insightful chats aside, one thing’s for sure: it made me perk up my sorry downtrodden London-lagging inappropriately whiney ass and be a bit more grateful for my life. My only hope for next time is that I get to stay a bit longer so that I can fully integrate this family, invited or otherwise, and thus fully revert to my 12-year-old self. I’ve also been promised some really serious Somerset cider but that has nothing to do with anything…

Annie, Pumplette, Small and Tall: you’re WONDERFUL.

The Understudy Pancreas Brood

Monkeys x3. Only one of the above is masquerading as an adult.

Phew. You made it. We made it.

Worth waiting for right?

Sorry. Here’s the link to that unicorn wine sculpture again. I’d say that you need the wine more than you need the unicorn at this point. Good job, because I’ve heard he’s a bit of a nightmare.

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