Author Archives: olliestales

About olliestales

Wannabe zen person, blogger, adventurer, serial dieter, dreamer.

So this is 2017?!

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So this is 2017?!

One of my friends from work mentioned to me today that she had found my blog, I was actually quite surprised as I rarely update or share on social media feeds, but it did remind me that I haven’t updated for a while.

So Christmas came and went, it was both quiet and busy. Our family was quite subdued and quiet really as my grandmother passed away two weeks before it, so we were still feeling a bit weird about celebrating Christmas. My step-grandfather came over with the dogs though for Christmas day and we toasted to “absent family members”- my brother is also away with the army at the moment (nowhere dangerous!)

For a bit of escapism I went over to my boyfriends where things were far busier.. He has a massive family, full of hot-blooded French folk too, so lots of (what I hope was lighthearted) bickering, laughter, and crowded spaces. He has a great family though, they’re all good at conversation and warm and welcoming so it’s never a problem going over there, though I do find myself getting a tad oversocialised as it’s difficult to deal with long conversations with people you don’t know very well.

I have been attempting to grow up a bit as of late (ha! yeah right!) I opened a ‘Help to Buy ISA‘, in the hope that one of these days I will move out and stop being a late 20 something living at home at their parents. I don’t think they mind me being there though as I have been cooking up all sorts of feasts for my parents lately with a focus on it being nutrient dense and lower calorie. I also opened an additional savings account for rainy days, further education and hopefully a couple of cheeky holidays so it’s not all bore and snore.

I have also recently taken an interest in minimalism, and done a massive chuck out of clothes, old cosmetics, paper, books and just general clutter whilst repeating the mantra of Joshua Fields Millburn “Does this add value to my life?” Every time I am tempted to buy something I repeat this to myself and usually discover that the answer is “no“. It has been working for nearly a month, and I have actually seriously saved a shed load of money with this mindset (might be exaggerating slightly). It’s also made my life neater and more organised. It takes far less time to do housekeeping on my rooms. I know exactly where I need to locate important documents and I have actually found myself way less stressed as a result of just being tidier and fretting less over my stuff.

Concentrating on boiling my life down to the essentials has also made me think about my life in a much more holistic sense and made me question how I actually want to live. I have started questioning the career paths that are more visible to me. I still have no idea what I want to do, but I know now what I am not willing to do in the name of money when there are other ways that just require a bit more work to discover or even set up on my own steam. I have reassessed some of my life goals and I am figuring out ways to lead a life that is more fitting with my beliefs in terms of health, inner happiness and environment (cue loads of hippie barf on its way). No not really, just live a better life.

I think much of this has been aided by changes at work. I have actually decided that my last team leader is a guardian angel of sorts, and though massively inconvenient for him, he made sure I got out of a position that was making me more miserable than Eeyore. I am eternally grateful and will do my damnedest to make sure I buy him several luxury beers. Sure, I’m not in a better paid role as an administrative assistant, but my head is the clearest it has ever been in about 5 years and I actually have the space in my brain to think about what is really important rather than just hating on customers, management, everyone else for seeming so bloody happy (wake-up call, they’re not). I have energy to cook real meals with actual fresh vegetables and ingredients, to write, read books rather than passively wiping the drool off my chin as I stare at the moving figures on a screen (I am joking of course, this hasn’t happened yet- give it another 60 or so years!).

So that just about brings me up to date. Well done if you have made it this far! I will also make a sort of late new year’s resolution to update this more frequently!

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My day off!

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My my my, what a long time it has been since I last updated this page. I have been dabbling in all sorts since I last wrote on here. What can I say about my life? My bucket list makes me sound very slutty and worldly, but I am not really like that, and I’m not sure my boyfriend would be game for all of it….that aside, I have had a day off after a quick weekend in Leeds where I met one of my best mates from uni and watched Placebo with her.

We drank lots of beer and had a traditional Wetherspoons dinner accompanied by beer and then followed my more beer at a German pub originally named ‘Bierhaus’ followed by even more beer at the gig itself (I think by this point I had had about 6 pints and was definitely a bit woozy). Placebo were once again fantastic and I am still humming little ditty snippets of ‘The Bitter End’ and ‘Special Needs’ intermittently. Last night I just got home and lay in bed, then my boyfriend came and joined me for a nap and left again a couple of hours later (I think he was also a bit hungover from having spent the night playing games and drinking wine in a caravan with our other friends) so we snoozed and cuddled for a while then he had to go home to get ready for work the next day (Not I, for I was a genius that booked the next day off!).20161203_215916

So that was the weekend, and the reason I had booked the day off, and what better way to spend it than with another good buddy of mine, Rosa? We had a lovely lunch at a local vegetarian café called ‘The Whale Tail’ where I had a sumptuous feast of falafel, pitta bread and tzatsiki followed by a cafetiere of coffee. We then walked off our lunch with a lovely wander along Lancaster Canal and down through an orchard that leads back to Rosa’s place. Next we sat down and made yet another large cafetiere of coffee and painted some glass jars! Mine was awesome, but I think I might have gone a little bit wild on the colour scheme. Oops. Still it was cathartic, I feel calm and ready to rumble until Friday when I have another day off and plans to cook and drink wine with Rosa and our other friend Rachel. img-20161205-wa0000

Bucket list

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OK, I have never actually seen the film ‘The Bucket List’ but I have seen enough American films and TV shows to know that it’s basically a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. So here goes…

  1. Visit every single American state
  2. Find out about my ancestry
  3. Write a book
  4. Own a business
  5. Quit a job and make it the most successful job quitting there ever was.
  6. Be size 12 ( a sad state of affairs for women, but I do know I want to at least know how it feels to not be a whale)
  7. Run a marathon (probably whilst coinciding with the above)
  8. Kiss a boy in the rain-  next step errmm sex in the rain?
  9. Go to the Grand Canyon– I think I need to go back and do that one again
  10. Have a glass of whiskey in a checked shirt in a mahogany room in a mountain cabin
  11. Smoke a cigarette with a strong coffee at an outdoor table by the Seine, hopefully whilst gazing at the Eiffel Tower
  12. Go to Iceland (not the supermarket) and have a bath in one of those hot outdoor lakes and breathe in the sulfuric fumes.
  13. Stand underneath the Angel of the North with my arms out whilst someone takes a photograph of me.
  14. Climb up a mountain on the Isle of Skye and look around, hopefully with a massive DSLR camera capturing the beauty of it.
  15. Do the Go Ape Zipline trail through Grizedale.
  16. Go to Budapest.
  17. Visit an obscure Eastern European country for a weekend
  18. Go to Asia
  19. Go to Africa and take a photograph of an elephant and a giraffe. Maybe try and befriend the giraffe.
  20. Take a kid to a petting farm
  21. Get a diploma in something cool and obscure like pottery or homeopathy
  22. Read a philosophical piece of literature, without skipping chapters and refer to it at every available opportunity.
  23. Read all the set texts from university that I never actually read but wrote misguided essays on.
  24. Get an Alsatian rescue dog.
  25. Tell someone I hate what I really think of them.
  26. Tell someone I love what I really think of them.
  27. Write a song.
  28. Be the coolest auntie when my siblings have kids.
  29. Maybe have a kid of my own someday.
  30. Or adopt one.
  31. Do 20 unsupported press-ups in a row.
  32. Go to Munich and visit the University where Sophie Scholl dropped all the anti-nazi leaflets in the film, Sophie Scholl.
  33. Learn to speak fluent French again.
  34. Speak fluent German again.
  35. Read the German books my mum gave me.
  36. Visit the Harry Potter Warner Bro’s studio.
  37. Watch a show in London.
  38. See a TED talk.
  39. Make a radio appearance.
  40. Buy something I actually like in Topshop, then condescendlingly look a member of staff from that Godforsaken store up and down.
  41. Attend a political rally.
  42. Start an activism campaign.

Another post about cycling in short sentences.

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I cycled to Morecambe today, after a whole morning of writing yet more amendments to my CV. I took some photos of the sand and the sun. I almost skidded down a jetty on the slippery seaweed which covered it. I listened to lots of good music whilst I rode. My favourite track for doing cycle sprints is “Take Off Your Colours” by You Me At Six” because it is quite an aggressive song. It makes the blood pulse a bit faster through my veins. My favourite song for going slowly, is a toss up between ‘Magic’ by Coldplay and “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garkfunkel.

Here are the photos I took. They’re not very good, because photography isn’t really my thing. I hope they will convey how beautiful the view was nonetheless.

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Peace out. xxx

Blog rampage

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In an attempt to get employers to see that I can maintain a personal blog, without too much swearing and a variety of thematic pieces, I am inviting you on a quick trip down memory lane to review and re-read some of my personal favourites. I know this is a very blatant, vain and self-centred attempt at advertising one’s visibility on the internet, but I’m really clutching at straws to get noticed at the moment, and hopefully land a job in copywriting/ other creative industries. Here are my three top picks:

Fancy a trip down Pretzel Lane?

http://sarahsberlindiaries.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/best-and-weirdest-scents-from-germany-7/

Internal Revolutions

http://sarahsberlindiaries.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/how-the-year-abroad-has-changed-me-22/

Short on musical ideas?

https://whatshouldsarahdowithlife.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/2012-a-playlist/

 

Juxtaposition after yesterday’s bitter bite

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDPW_g2AhAU

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So yesterday’s post was a little on the bitter and dark side (quiterightlyso). I don’t want people to get bored of my blog and just think it’s rant rant moan moan- it’s not intended to be the emo-teenage-angst diaries 7 years too late, so I thought I would try and juxtapose it by speaking a little bit of the positive elements in my life at the moment. Here is a bit about the exhilaration of mountain biking.

The first time I went to work in Megève, my utmost priority was figuring out a way to pack my much beloved mountain bike onto the plane. I still consider her my most beloved possession, largely because of the amount of money she’s saved me in bus tickets as well as the endless fun and adventure she has brought me when juddering down single-track trails at alarming speeds. What’s not to love? The paintwork, although a little chipped and worn these days is pretty and I decked her out with some super-cool customized handlebars from Superstar Components, which arrived in the post accompanied by some Haribo.

So after returning from Megève a second time, having had my feet shoe-horned into tightly buckled boots and clicked into skis, I was all too ready to throw myself atop my Trek and power down a mountain. Now bear in mind, despite doing a lot of physical labour all day everyday and skiing a few times a week, I am still not in the greatest shape at the moment (largely due to cheeky extra helpings of the sumptuous afternoon-tea spread), and so that extra bit of power that I really could have used to propel myself up the hill, was somewhat lost on just carrying up the extra pounds of cake. 

So my brother came home on some leave taken from the army and decided that he would give me a day of jock-style boot-camp (he’s in the Scottish Regiment), to try and kick-start me into some sort of regime. We headed up to Grizedale, listening to his driving playlist, a combination of classical rock, alternative and what I like to call ‘man-pop’. He had intentions for us to do the red-rated Northface Trail, 16km of single-track around the forest and I was feeling slightly apprehensive. Admittedly for the first 4km I was a bit of a nervous wreck, having not done much MTB for about 2 years and shaking like a shitting dog. Drop-offs were sort of stepped down in a faux-mountain biking way, bike clutched between trembling thighs as Brother Dear of Mine looked ahead trying to suppress the smirk that was attempting to escape across his face. Eventually though, I got into the swing of it, and started getting more and more daring, by getting onto the ramps and trying to pick up some speed on the steeper parts.

By the end of the trail, I had a go at more and more drop-offs and gave myself some thoroughly sore wrists by the end of it. The sensation when you finally let go of your fear and let it roll is what I imagine it’s like to take ecstasy, as that is exactly how I felt, ecstatic. With the handlebars juddering my wrists at Earth-shattering seismic levels and taking to the air like I couldn’t do anywhere else, I retained a memory which is still sending shivers down my spine a week later.