My first piece of art.

It was a few Sundays ago, and as usual, I was getting bored. Ben suggested we go for a drive to our favourite reclamation yard. I agreed and off we went. There wasn’t much new there, and it was nearing lunch-time, so what to do now? Something to eat? Where? We got in the car and Ben just drove for a while. It was a lovely day and we ended up in Framlingham. It’s about 40 minutes from our house, but we’d never been in the five years we’d lived in Suffolk. Driving through looking for a place to park, we noticed what a pretty little place it is. I mean, really pretty. Lots of little independent shops, cafés, restaurants and even a castle. We parked up and had a wander; not much was open, it being a Sunday, but it was still nice to have a good shufty. After ambling alongside all the restaurants and cafés we settled on a pub just next to the Castle. I forget what it was called, but we sat in the sun and had a baguette each.

As we’d driven in a little vintage shop had caught my eye — Carley’s Yard. Yes, we must go in there, I thought. So after lunch we walked down and found it again. Inside were lots of little vintage knick-knacks and pretty things. As we walked to the back of the shop, we found ourselves in a little art gallery, full of the most beautiful animal prints. Ben instantly fell in love with them and after finding a lovely print of a robin, he decided he was going to buy one. What you probably don’t know about Ben and me is that we have so many lovely prints that we haven’t got anywhere to put them… plus we haven’t even gotten round to buying bloody frames for them yet. There is a large stack of pictures waiting to go on display, but I doubt they’ll ever make it up to the wall. Still, he wanted it — it was a limited edition, after all.

While he was poring over the robin, I had been glued to the spot. A painting hung on the wall, surrounded by other, smaller ones. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was so pretty and lovely at first glance, and then, to look at it again was incredibly sad.

I said to Ben that I wanted to buy it. He turned the price tag over and said that it was an original oil painting… At over £400. I left without it. I went to bed that night, thinking about how beautiful that painting was. I don’t know why, but I decided that I had to buy it!

A couple of days later I called Carley’s Yard and asked them to hold it for me. I paid over the phone and collected it that afternoon. When I arrived to collect it, I was told someone else had been umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether to buy it a few days ago. I’d seen it was on Twitter in March and now, all that time later in August, two people wanted it. Phew! My precious painting was wrapped up and it felt like Christmas when I got it home.

It now hangs in pride of place where I can always see it. “Making Friends” is a beautifully sad piece of art by Sophie Colmer.



Returning from a very long break…

Well, stumbling upon my old friend, BunnyKind this morning, I was horrified to see my last post was in 2012. Two years!? Where have two years gone?

A lot has happened to Ben and me in the last two years; we’ve added two more felines to our collection, got married and even bought a new ironing board cover. So to start, we have two new additions to our home — Lily, who was hit by a car and lost her left rear leg, and Angel (we didn’t name her!), who is a mature lady that came from my mother’s house. We’re pretty sure that when the landlord said we could have “cats”, he probably meant two cats. Now, looking to find another house to rent with the reply “We have five cats… Yes, five.” is, as you can imagine, difficult. But, until we get kicked out, I guess we’ll have to stay put.


The committee in their morning meeting.


Lily. This is the friendliest she’s ever been.


The mature lady, Angel.


On Saturday 5th October 2013, Ben and I exchanged wedding vows and rings and got married. It was indeed a very quick day, and I am glad that it is done and gone. Unlike most young women, I was most looking forward to the marriage bit, not the wedding bit. You know, sitting on the sofa watching Traffic Cops and wafting farts over to your husband who is sat in his pants, dying from noxious gas inhalation. I don’t thrive well on stress, and my wedding day was full of it. Trying to be in control of the day was nearly impossible, even though I had spent an entire week writing an hour-by-hour itinerary of the day. I handed copy after copy to the wedding party, of which only Ben and I looked at. I was so worried about timings and the like that after the ceremony, Ben and I dashed out of the building and into the car, forgetting that we were supposed to stop for some photos… Whoops. Anyway, the day turned into night, everyone except me and Ben got pissed and then we left. I suppose I had a lovely day; the best bit was actually getting married to Ben, though. Then the honeymoon.


Our wedding day — Mr & Mrs Bartolf

Our honeymoon was paid by Father-in-Law and Step-Mother-in-Law and it was amazing. No, we didn’t go to some tropical island or go skiing. We chose a hillside cottage in Acharacle, in very West Scotland. It was a holiday of a lifetime for me. We drove for around thirteen hours to get to our destination (the day after the wedding), getting on a ferry and crawling past demon-eyed sheep on the roadside. Arriving in the dark was probably the best thing we could have done. We had absolutely no idea what our surroundings looked like, and there was no lighting whatsoever to hint at anything. I think we arrived (after knocking on someone’s door and asking where we were) at about midnight and were taken aback at how fantastic our accommodation was. “The Seashell” is a circular house that is open plan and is specifically designed for honeymooners. We bedded down for the night and had a lovely lay-in. I think I was the first to wake, and sneaking a peek through the curtains, I remember being totally awestruck at the views in front of me. A low cloud hung in the air, so it was misty, but all around was a rugged, raw landscape. I’ll never forget that feeling when I opened the curtains.

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The view from The Seashell, Acharacle.

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Ben getting ready to eat our big veggie breakfast.

 We had an amazing time in Ardnamurchan and, being nature buffs, saw lots of fantastic wildlife that we could never had dreamed we’d see. Golden eagles circled above us as we walked through the forests, seals frolicked in the water and best of all pine martens visited us on our last night, feasting on the peanuts we’d left for them. On our last holiday (also Scotland) we went on an RSPB guided walk, where the seasoned guide said she had never been lucky enough to see a pine marten… Ben and I glanced at each other with a knowing smile… We have!

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The elusive pine marten, nibbling on some peanuts.

 So, that’s really all that’s happened over the last two years… Oh yeah, and the new ironing board cover — it was on sale at Sainsbury’s, for £6.00 (how could I walk by?).

But hey, let’s not leave it so long next time.

10 Reasons I Shouldn’t Write My Life Story

#1 I am far too young. What could I tell you? I’m barely out of senior school… Or at least that’s how I feel. Sure, a few interesting things have happened in my life, but most of them happened to someone else. It’s like asking Justin Bieber to reveal how he lost his virginity…. There’s just not much to tell yet.


#2 I have done nothing of interest to the world. I was born, I went to school, flunked, got a job and here I am. I’ve managed to be in consecutive relationships since I was 16, but that’s not really page turning info. Oh, I did a charity skydive and didn’t die. I haven’t ever been arrested, gotten into a fight or run to be elected as the local MP. I haven’t even sniffed cocaine! (and battling a drug addiction is a must in an autobiography)


#3 I wouldn’t want my autobiography next to Katie Price, Kerry Catona, Alan Titchmarch or any other Z-List celeb. Imagine walking into Waterstones and finding all your hard work sat next to Cheryl Cole’s “Et’s cuz ya wurth et” face. Good-bye street cred.


#4 I’m too busy writing rubbish and doing housework. I have far too many of these lists to write, and the dishwasher always needs stacking.


#5 I’ve got a terrible memory. I wonder if I have some sort of condition because I can never remember important things in my life. Like [insert important event here] and [another important life event]. If I’m honest, I’d probably just be making it up if I wrote my life story. And that’s not fair on anyone!


#6 I am a nobody, therefore nobody would read it. I am trying to make myself un-invisible. But until then, I’ll leave the autobiography industry to the above Z-listers. I’ll do something really cool and outlandish one day.


#7 I haven’t met Nelson Mandela. Isn’t that in the criteria?


#8 I don’t think I’ve ever read another person’s life story, so I think it’d be a bit unfair to expect people to read mine. I have no desire to read about peoples’ lives, unless they’re family and then it’s likely you’ll know the people they’re talking about.


#9 It would be embarrassing. I was a very awkward teenager and even thinking about my youth makes me cringe. I was a fat little idiot with an obsession for Eminem and pizza.


#10 I haven’t had sex with more than four people… And I’m from Essex.

Losing Faith

I used to think that God existed. I also used to think vegetarians were all hippies who slept in trees. I’m not knocking Christianity (or vegetarians!); I have been christened and have a bible under my bed. But just recently, I’ve started to wonder if He really does exist. The only reason I believed in God was because of outside influence. My parents are both Christians, and I went to a C of E School. We would sing hymns at assembly and have an annual Nativity play. I never questioned my faith and would always turn to God if ever I was troubled. It often seemed to work too.

My first real boyfriend told me he was an atheist, although I don’t think he really knew what he was. I never took much notice of his religious views and he didn’t mine. It wasn’t until I was 20 and I met a very intelligent young man at work. Ben had a very dry sense of humour and I loved listening to him talk because his points of view fascinated me. Everything I had ever had a view on was completely different to his, it seemed. So we got to know each other and eventually got into a relationship. His views on God and Christ were totally opposite to mine. I didn’t like to hear it because what he was dismissing was my entire belief system. But the more I thought about it, the more it niggled away at me. He never pressured me to change my beliefs, and encouraged me to carry on with my faith. But as time went on, I began to find the whole thing a bit hard to believe. I had never sat and discussed this subject with someone who wasn’t a Christian until I’d met Ben. My argument started to sound silly against his very logical views.

And now, looking at it from another’s perspective, I find many cracks in my once sturdy faith. Suddenly, I had a realisation: If there isn’t a God, then I’m free to do as I wish. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I am free to enjoy my life and not worry about eternal damnation at the end. I do have quite strict morals, but this is more on a societal level. I don’t eat meat now because I believe it is wrong to use another sentient animal for my gain. I don’t use products tested on animals for the same reasons. My vanity should not come before a life. I don’t steal from people because I don’t have a right to take things from others. Would I kill a person if I could get away with it? If there is no Judgement at the end, I would only have to serve my prison sentence. Although I don’t think I’d have the guts to kill someone. Heck, I can’t even tell someone when they’ve pissed me off. But that’s some freedom, isn’t it?

But here’s something I can’t get my head around. I still move dead animals out of the road. Why do I do that? Some morbid interest? Perhaps. If I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in Heaven. So it’s not like they’d be able to see me doing this. But I feel a real need to give an animal dignity in death. Is that a trait of Christianity, or a trait of good morals? Who knows.

I’d like there to be a God and a Heaven, but I’m not so sure any more. So many people say there is, so many say there isn’t. There’s only one way to find out, and I’m prepared to wait for that!

The Blue Shadow

I see you there

Behind my back

Watching every

Place I track


A permanent resident

Everywhere I walk

Enjoyed your company

But now we need to talk…


It’s… just lately

I’m starting to find

You’ve become

A bit of a bind.


So with this verse

I’ll say Godspeed

And leave you now;

I’m off to Leeds.


Your Shadow.

Alphabet Poem

A little writing excercise.


Alphabet letters are very important

Because of the words they help us to make

Could you imagine a world without letters?

Decidedly fake.


Every person must learn those odd shapes

Fingers can’t help when you must make an ‘H’

Girls and boys all over the world

Have to make all their words come unfurled


Infinite possibilities lie in this big list

Jiggle them up, juggle them ’round

Kaleidoscope of letters

Leaping about


Making a word is as easy as pie

Nothing’s impossible

Once you know how to try

Pick out some letters


Quick as you can

Rest them together and

Sound out the plan

There is your word


Upon the white page

Vivaciously bright

Waiting to engage!


Xenolalia is what

You may become

Zipping about where the sun is quite hot!

A Letter of Complaint to my Conscience

Dear Sir / Madam of my Conscience,

I am writing this letter of complaint as I am having trouble sleeping. While you were away all those years, I had a wonderful relationship with my bed. I never laid awake, pondering all the problems in the world. But since you have suddenly appeared in the depths of my brain, I can no longer doze off into a wonderful dream-world. You suddenly conjure up pictures of all the things that worry me and it usually happens about four seconds before I would normally drift off. This, I believe, is totally unacceptable. I am not a monster. I do not kidnap children, shoot people or steal money. And since your arrival, I have even stopped eating animals. I can understand what you’re trying to get at, but why must you metaphorically elbow me in the head at 11:59pm on a work night? Some subjects I can cope with. But when you bother me with subjects such as ‘What’s going on in those fields across the road?’ and ‘What happens in all those slaughterhouses?’ I just can’t cope.

I really don’t mind you bothering me, but please come find me at a more appropriate time of day. I am rather partial to a nap in the afternoons, and although I enjoy it, I would rather be woken by you and your morbid subjects so I can get it out of the way early. Thanks in advance.