A Room with a View

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Enticed back to blogging by the ever faithful meme...

Thanks ever so much to Seeking Solace and my fellow Brit Sidonia for luring me out of my blogging stupor by tagging me...I've been really struggling to find the motivation to write anything at all. I'll do Seeking Solace's meme first as I'll have to spend a bit of time thinking about five (vaguely interesting) things that you don't all already know about me.

So, the five things that I do everyday in order to be successful...

Hmmm. Actually, before I start, I should say that I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about how I define success and how I am/am not successful in the various areas of my life. Leaving my PhD programme made me realize that I've spent most of my life defining my success by my achievements in academic pursuits (and some other competitive fields). I'd never really explicitly considered that I could be successful by having good relationships, being a good friend, being healthy, being involved in the community, and even just being happy and content. I've been fortunate to have had many of these things in my life, but I never thought of myself as successful because of them. Clearly, the way I view success has changed monumentally. Perhaps it had to after my long period of depression and my long period of physical illness last year? Perhaps it had more to do with my decision to leave my PhD? I'm not quite sure, but I'm thinking about this a lot as I try to figure out where I'm going from here. I'd like to write about it some more too, but, for now, on with the meme where I'll interpret 'in order to be successful' as meaning feeling generally good about stuff!

1. Like Seeking Solace, I! must! have! coffee! Usually, I'm a skinny latte girl, but the weather's warming up which means my addiction to mocha frappuccinos will soon resurface. Yum!
2. Wash my hair! I know that lots of people (including my hairdresser) advise against it, but I just feel totally yucky if I don't shower and wash my hair every single morning. To compensate (or at least assuage my guilt!) for the relentless washing that I put my hair through, I do splash out on lovely shampoos, conditioners and other treatments. (Bonus OCD confession: Even if I go to the gym first thing in the morning, I can't workout properly unless I wash my hair before I go, which means that quite often I wash my hair twice a day. Please don't tell me off! I've already stuck my fingers in my ears so that I can't hear you! :))
3. Tidy my home. I know that's very boring, but I can't get any work done if the flat is messy, so I try to make sure it's relatively tidy before I go to bed, otherwise I end up procrastinating by tidying/cleaning for way too long in the mornings...
4. Spend at least some time chatting and hanging out with my husband. He's just the best and almost always helps me to feel better and figure stuff out. He's also tons of fun.
5. Listen to music and also not listen to music! Yes, I know that sounds odd. I love music and no day would be complete without listening to some. But, I also need to have quiet times too. My husband doesn't get this. He'd happily listen to music from dawn until bedtime, but I really do need noise-free time.

I'm not sure who's done this already, but if you haven't and you'd like to, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Musings and Cat Blogging

I just realized that I haven't posted for three weeks. I started and saved lots of posts and I've thought about even more, but I seemingly haven't been able to actually hit the publish button. I think that in itself is quite instructive about how I've been feeling recently and how things are progressing in my life. A lot's been happening and a lot of things are in the really early stages of development, and, to be honest, just thinking about them is pretty draining. My life has changed so much in the past year that it's difficult to get my head around it all (even though almost all of the changes have been massively positive). I want to think about it all because I need to bring some clarity and order to everything and to figure out where to take things from here, but it's hard work and I've been avoiding it for no good reason. I need to stop doing that. Hmmm, I realize that this sounds cryptic, but it's not intentionally so, just that I really can't get my thoughts in shape to make it more specific. So, I'll ramble no longer and simply leave you with a photo of my fluffy houseguest from last week. He may look cute (and indeed he is!) but he's also very demanding...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Questions from Profgrrrrl

I thought that doing a meme would be a good way to get back into blogging a bit more, so I was only too happy to take Profgrrrrl up on her offer to ask five me questions. If anyone else hasn't already done this and would like to play along, leave a comment and I'll email you five questions...

1. How often do you actually eat pink cupcakes?
I love cupcakes but haven't actually eaten a pink one for three years - I hope that doesn't mean I have to change my pseudonym! During my first year of grad school, I had a friend who would buy mini pink cupcakes for her three or four closest friends whenever something good or something bad happened to one of us. Being in grad school, something good or bad was always happening, so we ate a whole lot of pink cupcakes that year! The reason I gave myself the pseudonym was because my friend (who is very French and very theatrical!) would often write me notes that began 'My dear Pink Cupcake' (If you knew her, it wouldn't seem so odd!). However, as I almost never buy cakes myself (I've only had one cake in the last 7 months!), I've been letting my pseudonym down of late...

2. What is your favorite chocolate treat from your favorite chocolate shop?
I only eat chocolate very occasionally (yes, I realize the whole no cakes and no chocolate thing is making me sound like a boring health freak, but I'm interesting and fun honestly! :)) , but, because of that, I always treat myself to my favourite handmade chocolate. It's a really creamy white chocolate with raisins and tiny nut pieces in it and it makes my mouth water just thinking about it! They break it into rough bite sized chunks and serve it in traditional stripy paper bags. I also love the Vienna mints that they sell. They're awesome with espresso after dinner. Such dark chocolate and intense peppermint. Mmmm...

3. What do you most hope to do this weekend?
That's easy. I want to run! I only started running a couple of months ago, but I've really fallen for it, and have entered for quite a few 5K and 10K races this year. I don't just enjoy the fitness benefits it gives me, but I also find it a huge stress-reliever and a great way of getting myself to think clearly. The only problem is that although it's what I most hope to do this weekend, I'm not sure that I'll be able to, as I've injured a tendon in my right calf/foot area. I've rested it quite a bit (which is SO hard for me as I just want to keep running!) and done the whole RICE thing, but it's still not totally better, so I'm going to see a sports injury specialist tomorrow. Please keep your fingers crossed that I won't be out of action too long!

4. If you were given $100 (or should I say £100?) and told to spend it on the spot, what would you buy?
A few weeks ago I would have definitely said a pink ipod nano, as I'd been coveting them for ages, but now I have one! So, I'd spend it on clothes instead. I know that's not particularly interesting, but having lost 77 pounds, I literally have two pairs of trousers and couple of tops that fit me (except for workout type clothes). I desperately need to go on a shopping spree!

5. What holiday do you celebrate most enthusiastically?
Christmas! I'm not particularly religious and I dislike all the unnecessary spending, but I love Christmas carols, mulled wine, christmas trees, twinkly white lights, thoughtful gifts, good food, watching It's a Wonderful Life and hanging out with family and friends...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Teething Troubles

I've been feeling a little out of sorts with my blogging of late. It's fantastic to be back again, but I don't feel as if I've really got into the swing of things yet. I got so used to not blogging for quite a while, that I got out of the habit of doing so. There are many things that I want to write about here, but it just isn't happening naturally at the moment. It's not that I don't have the desire to blog, which was how I felt before I took my hiatus. I want to write about so much, so why don't I just do it? Perhaps there's so much I want to say that I'm paralysed by it and feel like I can only write waffly Random Bullets, but I'm not sure that's whole story. Perhaps it's because I'm going through so many (good) major changes in my life and I'm not quite sure how to articulate my feelings about them. I'm both exhausted and excited by all the things I'm trying to process and I really think it would help me to write about them here. Hopefully I'll get my flow back soon...

I also feel like a bad member of this little bloggy community. I've been so appreciative of all the wonderful comments that you've left me since I've been back, but I haven't been very good at all about commenting on your blogs. It's not that I'm not reading or that I don't find plenty of things that I want to comment on, quite the opposite. I think I just got used to skulking around under the cover of bloglines during my hiatus and it feels a bit weird to venture back out into the open again. I realize that sounds a little silly.

Hmmmm. I want to think some more about all of this, and, you never know, I may even write some more soon...

Saturday, February 17, 2007


At 6.32am, exactly 30 years ago, a little Pink Cupcake was born. I was a very little Pink Cupcake indeed. In keeping with my lifelong desire to never be late, I was born 6 weeks prematurely and was a pretty poorly little thing, spending the first few weeks of my life in an incubator. Of course, things soon took a turn for the better and so many wonderful (and some not so wonderful) things have happened to me in the last three decades. But, it still doesn't seem possible that I'm thirty already!

I've had a lovely week leading up to my birthday. Mr Cupcake took the week off work and we've been on some lovely long walks in and around our beautiful city, stopping off at ever more scenic coffee shops along the way. The downside to this is that Mr Cupcake's presence at home all day has a rather detrimental effect on my blogging, which is why posting's been more than light. I'll be back in the swing of things next week, and have naturally informed Mr Cupcake that he will have to cancel any further planned time off. ;)

So, my plans for the big day...I'll pretty much be keeping to my usual routine for the first part of the day. I was up at 6.45am, as I am every Saturday, and will head off for the gym at 8am. Hopefully my legs will be in the mood for a good run. After that we'll head to Starbucks for our regular post-gym skinny latte. Then we'll head home to open my cards and gifts (yay!), before popping out for lunch (mmm...Italian food!). We'll probably go for a walk along my favourite stretch of the beach this afternoon, and this evening we're staying in and will share a bottle of one of my favourite champagnes (just about the pinkest champagne you can get!) and some chocolates from the best. chocolate. shop. ever.* that is less than 50 metres from our home. I can't decide whether that's a blessing or a curse!

Have a great weekend! Cupcakes for everyone! :)

* I realize that the chocolate shop link gives away the city I live in. I'm fine with that, but would prefer it if the city wasn't mentioned by name in the comments. Thanks!