The commuter’s nightmare

I’ve been in full time employment for nearly two years now and I drive to my place of work every day. Sitting in rush hour traffic gives you far too much time to think, far too much time…

As my blog seems to be dedicated to my various thought processes, this post is dedicated to what annoys me about driving to work every day. I’m sure that a lot of people will read this post and relate my love/hate relationship with other commuters.

The double lane road

An example I will use for this is the main road I drive down to get to work, Abbeydale Road. At one point, the road forks into two sections for commuters to turn right onto Woodseats Road. Now, I fully acknowledge that with this stretch of road you are allowed to drive straight ahead in both lanes. However, when there is a massive queue of people waiting to go through the traffic lights in the left lane, it irritates me so much when drivers nip and go down the right lane. We are all British here, British people are not afraid to queue (whether we grumble about it or not), so poo poo to those people who can’t be bothered to queue for an extra two minutes and instead would rather block up the junction and actually make the waiting time longer!

The bus lane jumpers

Sheffield has a LOT of bus lanes, and many of the main roads in Sheffield will start out as public road, the slowly merge into a bus lane. Another irritating habit that some drivers of Sheffield will have is even though 99% of us have already prepared for the fact that the bus lane is coming and have merged into the other lane there are the 1% who will zoom straight down until right at the last minute and then expect you to just let them into your lane.

NO NO NO

This is the same problem with above, that people can’t bare to wait an extra couple of minutes and would rather block up and irritate other ‘well behaved’ motorists. And don’t give me an evil look when I won’t let you into my lane, you’re the one in the wrong, just acknowledge it.

But I want to cross here Pedestrians

Back onto Abbeydale Road again. There are plenty of traffic lights on this road, and yet there are so many people who will try and cross the road in a random place, in busy traffic when there is a crossing literally 5-10 metres down the road from them. And they won’t just do this when the traffic is stationary, I have had to swerve out the way of these stupid people before! What is the point? And don’t give me evil looks when you’re the one in the wrong.

It’s even worse in winter, when driving home at 5 o’clock means that it’s pitch black outside. The ‘but I want to cross here’ pedestrian are now camouflaged by their desire to wear all black clothing.

Please stop this, for your own safety and for my genuine fear that one day I’m going to hit someone =S

Cyclists who ignore the rules of the road

I don’t mind cyclists, no seriously I really don’t. What I do hate about cyclists though is when after they moan about cars not letting them cycle down the road, they then ignore the basic rule of the road – stop when the traffic light is red!!!!!

If you were in a car you’d get pulled over by the police, fined and given penalty points. But for some reason if you are on a bike, it’s perfectly acceptable. If you want to be respected on the road then abide by the rules of the road.

People who speed in 30 zones

You really don’t need to be there in that much of a hurry, it’s 30 for a reason, stop being a dick.

Start the year as I mean to go on

January…

Who invented the month of January?!

I hate January!!!

I can see why they call it the most depressing month of the year, because boy don’t I feel depressed! We all spend most of December celebrating in some form or another which I do love and enjoy. But come January there are no celebrations going on and no one has any money thanks to the 6 week gap between pay days. I also hate how early the sun sets in the evening, making the days feel really short. I don’t know how people cope with living in places like Sweden when it is dark for 20+ hours a day at times, I think I need to go somewhere with hotter weather and a calmer environment.

This month is also ending up being a waiting game for me and Andy. Even though we only got married 8 months ago (but still, where has the time gone?!) we are now in a position where we are buying our first house together! We have had an offer accepted on an amazing 3 bedroom house, but we’re now in the waiting game for everyone else to get their act together.

The thing I am most struggling with with this house sale is the lack of control I have over what is going on. I love knowing where I stand in a situation and if something is going wrong, then I can solve it – simples. But with the house move, everything is out of my control and there is very little I can do about it. With being a first time buyer, there is an added stress of getting our mortgage approved for the first time and when life and technology makes it impossible for things to move on, well, it’s not making me a happy Hannah.

It’s interesting how the media focus so much on how impossible it is for first time buyers to get on the housing market, but from first hand experience, I completely see why it is so hard for first time buyers. For a start, the deposit is a killer, especially when you live in a city like Sheffield, where house prices aren’t exactly cheap. At times, I almost felt pressured to move out of the city I love just to get a cheaper house (but as if I’d leave the Steel City!).

Next, it’s the mortgage companies. I’ve never felt more judged in my life and conscious of how much money I have in my bank account. I’m always paranoid that I’m going to be quizzed on the money I have in my account. And dear God the process for getting this done is soooooo slow!!!

I shouldn’t really start my first post of the year with a moan, but sometimes in life you’ve just gotta get stuff off your chest. I think this year I really need to focus my writing in this blog into a specific subject area. I think this’ll focus my writing skills and hopefully improve my writing skills. I just need to get focus, and try not to spend too much of my time moaning…

More than just a dog

I realise that I haven’t written a blog post in 3 months (bad Hannah) and I apologise that my first post back will not be the most cheerful post. But I felt I had to write, as a tribute, about the sad death of our family dog last week.

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Today would have been Candy’s 14th birthday so I am writing this post in her memory. Candy is a Bichon Frise who to be honest was probably related to a sheep somewhere down the line. She has been in our family for the past 6 and a half years and has filled our lives with plenty of noise but a whole lot of love. Her death to me was unexpected, even though she was an old girl, and it has been a very long time since I have grieved this much for a loss.

Candy was the friendliest, happiest and silliest dog you would have had the pleasure to meet. She was always pleased to see you no matter how long it was since you last saw her, whether it was 1 minute or 1 month.

The innocent look...

She was also a madam, I’ll give you that! She was always demanding to sit on your knee and it was known that she would get very cross with you if you weren’t sat in the room that SHE wanted to be in!

Like most dogs as well, if she had the opportunity to eat something a bit rebellious she would take full advantage. I’ve known her on walks to eat egg shells and cigarette butts. She also famously ate my birthday cake and has managed to eat a whole packet of chocolate coins (even taking the wrappings off).

The pictures I have put up as well also do show her at her whitest. One of her favourite (and most disgusting habits) was finding the smelliest poo she could roll in, and then looking perplexed when we would then give her a bath, as if it was our fault…

Now my dad’s house is so quiet without the padding of paws around the kitchen and the background noise of her usual whining. The pain of losing a family pet is definitely equal to that of losing a family member, how could you not grieve for a pet who was in your life all day every day? Things just won’t be the same without her, no laugher as she head butted the floor after a sneeze, no squeaks from her basket as she is trying to scratch that itch on her head, no warm dog to sit on your knee and lick your jeans (don’t ask, she had a weird obsession with jeans!).

So Rest In Peace Candy, Cand, Cand Dog, Peewwwwch, Candyfloss, Stinky Dog – I really will miss you…

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This post is written with the blessing of my dad and step-mum.

Holidays vs Parenting

I was watching the news this evening whilst the husband cooked the tea (check me out delegating!) and there was an article that came on about the quite alarming rise of parents being fined for taking their kids out of school during term time in order to go on holiday. The number of fines being issued was up something like 77% from last year.

I understand that holidays are expensive, and I do think that it’s a massive bitch that holiday companies deem it acceptable to bump up the prices of a holiday during peak periods. But isn’t it setting a bad example to our kids by taking them out of school?

I know that I’m not a parent, therefore my argument is pretty weighted, but I got really tired of these parents only justification being “we save a couple of hundred pounds” when the fines for taking children out of school is £120ish per child. Your kids are missing out on education!!! I found it hard especially at A Levels to catch up after missing one day at school, let alone a week! Surely it’s almost selfish making your kids fall behind in their education? And it’s setting an example that it’s ok to not go to school, something that I definitely wasn’t brought up with.

And what about teachers? They have their holiday exactly the same time as kids, they can’t just take a week off work to go on holiday because it’s cheaper for them. They’d get sacked.

Surely the solution is to crack down on the travel companies who put the price of holidays up by ridiculous amounts for 6 weeks of the year. Everyone wants to go on holiday when it’s hot anyway, so people will still book, in fact, people will surely book more holidays if prices were lower? Think about it travel companies…

I’d love to get the view point of parents, like I’ve said I feel pretty biased not having a kid myself. So please comment below and share your points.

 

 

The Scapegoat

Only and idiot will have not realised that the World Cup has been on for the past month. Just like any other tournament, this one has been filled with its own dramas, upsets and controversy. I already knew that England wouldn’t go far (any Brit knows that), so for me the biggest upset was how shockingly Brazil crumbled without their star player.

Yet, the result of their downfall seems to be Luiz Felipe Scolari resigning as Brazil’s manager. Now, I’m not claiming to be a massive football fan (cue man: “ha ha, go make me a sandwich” *yawn*), if anything perhaps my opinion from an outsider makes things less biased. But this screamed in my head when I read about Scolari’s resignation:

WHY DID YOU RESIGN WHEN THE TEAM WAS SHIT??!!!

It wasn’t Scolari on the pitch kicking the football. It was the 11 players who couldn’t not physically cope with their star player being injured. I have never seen a bunch of footballers collapse from greatness so quickly to the extent that it was embarrassing. They shouldn’t have to be so reliant on one player to get them through each match. I mean, 7-1 to Germany!!! I know they ended up winning the World Cup but 7-1 is a result you’d expect from Germany vs Ireland, not Germany vs Brazil (sorry to pick on you Ireland). 

When you are a team, you work together and when one of you is down, the team carries on. A good team doesn’t crumble under pressure and I don’t for one second think the fault of a group’s actions should solely rely on the manager. But yet, you won’t see any of Brazil’s football team resigning – it’s the manager who takes the brunt of it all. Scolari helped (as a TEAM) to win the World Cup in 2002 and now a nation seems to have turned their back on him. It’s not just Brazil where I have seen this happen. My home team, Sheffield Wednesday, are also big culprits of this – after the amount of managers they’ve been through, how long will it be before they realise that perhaps the fault is with the players and not the person trying to bring them together.

Sadly I don’t think football will ever change, and I hope that Naymar does get better soon. But how many more managers will have to suffer because of the overpriced babies that they have to organise ever week to kick a football around a pitch? 

Now where’s the bread to make that sandwich…

So I tied the knot..

It finally happened! The wedding that I’ve been blabbering on about for months and months finally happened! And it was by far the best day of my life so far :-) Now I know that there will be plenty of brides to be that will read this blog so I hope you get some inspiration from the photos below. Image My dress was a beautiful fitted corset top and A line skirt  (from Francesca Bridal Sheffield) and I have to say I felt like a princess wearing it. It fitted beautifully (thanks to a very talented seamstress)and I felt like a prope10171796_10154210267965524_8808693599388522178_nr grown up! And everyone commented on how good I looked – especially my now husband. Doing WeightWatchers for the year before hand certainly paid of. Not that I’m stopping with the diet mind you.

I decided to wear a veil as I had a church wedding and felt it was more traditional. I did end up taking it off for the evening reception as it did feel a bit heavy after a few hours but felt it went very well with a strapless dress.

I had some fabulous shoes and jewellery (from Debenhams) and a garter that my mother-in-law gave me (from BHS). I really loved how I managed to get a matching tiara with the jewellery, it helped to compliment the outfit.

Besides the dress, my other favourite aspects of the wedding were the flowers and the cake. Our wedding cake was a four tiered heart shaped cake made by www.katiescakes.biz – the layers were: sponge, lemon drizzle, chocolate mint and bubblegum. She also made us perso10371021_777252532319586_3439902913253239592_nnalised figurines for the top – with Andy holding a tiny xbox controller and me holding a little music book. She also made us 6 lactose free cupcakes. I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

The flowers were done by www.valerieofdore.co.uk and they created all the bouquets, button holes and table pieces (the glass bowls in the picture). They also made corsages for our 2 mums and 2 step mums and they matched the colours of each corsage to each mum’s dress. To me that is going above and beyond and created a personal touch which I don’t think you would get in other florists.

Everyone said that our day was wonderful and I hope that everyone had a good time. We ate, drank and were very merry until the early hours of the morning and I was so sad when the day ended. Two and a half years of planning were over in one day – it’s no wonder that so many brides claim to get depressed after their big day.

I keep wondering whether I feel any different now I’m a married woman, it still feels far too grown up for me! The one thing I have noticed is that getting dressed in the morning, my brain has a tendency to say “Hannah – would a married woman really wear that outfit?!” Crazy I know…! But I do really love being called someone’s wife and I am quite settled into married life already. The next step will be saving to buy our own house, which in Sheffield the deposit alone will probably cost as much as the whole wedding! Plenty of people at the wedding asked if there were to be kids on the horizon – not for a few years yet. Andy is still completing his part time uni course on top of working full time and we both want time to enjoy married life as just the two of us. We have started on the next chapter of our adventure and where it goes – we’ll just have to see…

The Diet – One Year On

So this time last year I wrote quite a sad blog post about myself and my weight issues and how I was struggling to find be happier within myself and lose the weight I’d gained over the years. https://ramblingsofayorkshirelass.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/another-weighty-issue/

Well, 1 year on and it’s a very different story…

I decided to join Weight Watchers on the 18th May 2013 – I honestly felt that I had nothing left to try and this was a last resort…

Why the hell didn’t I do Weight Watchers sooner!

It’s the best experience I have ever had and I’ve found the portion control and control over what I eat the easiest thing I have ever done. And most importantly I have lost 2 stone 12lb!!!

My life has changed so much since losing that weight:

1. I’m in much smaller clothing now (having gone from a 16 top/18 bottom to a 12 top/14 bottom) and I find that I’m wearing skirts and dresses more often.

2. My fitness levels are getting better – I can walk further without breaking into a sweat and can walk for longer periods of time

3. My mood has drastically improved. A lot of the depression I had last year has gone, I now just get the occasional ‘blue’ day that every human being has.

4. My self confidence is coming back. I don’t ever think I’ll be 100% happy with myself (years of bullying destroyed that). But I can now look in the mirror and not see a big fat lump staring back at me. I see someone who has fresher skin, curves in all the right places and has a smile back on her face.

I still feel that I have a long way to go. A lot of my friends do the “now don’t lose any more will you” routine which actually I’ve come to ignore. I’m not aiming to get as thin as possible, that defeats the whole point of trying to make myself happier. But I do have my target weight in mind (slap bang in the middle of a healthy weight range) and I shall continue to go to my meetings, count my points and have a laugh with all the friends I have made. I can’t wait until I reach my goal and I know that I’ll feel a lot better for it.

I do feel that once I’ve reached my goal the biggest task will be to maintain my weight, but I feel this time around I have the right tools to keep the weight gain off and go forward in a new chapter of my life :-)