2015

Standard
Life’s an interesting little thing, isn’t it? Perhaps through bad decisions, or just bad luck, I find myself once again single. I rooted through an old blog and found some posts from 2010-2011 when my marriage broke down and wanted to review the words and plans and see how I feel about those things now that my (almost) 4 year relationship has ended.
********
Plotting. (Written in 2010, after marriage ended.)

It’s been a crazy few weeks, emotionally and mentally speaking. My head is constantly whirring with thoughts, desires, plans, dreams, fears and reality. It’s getting to be pretty loud and I’d quite like some quiet.

I’ve really taken stock of where I am at the moment, what I want – what’s important to me out of the list of things I’d like – and what I need to work towards.

Travelling. Once so important. Now insignificant in comparison. I think my desire to travel crops up when I want to run away from something. I’m very much of the opinion that I can visit places I want to see on holiday. I also think that I have too much faith in the human race to travel. I trust people too easily and would easily be taken advantage of in some far off place where someone offers to lend a hand with someone but really only wants to pinch my credit card.

The original plan was to be in Spain for up to 18 months before going off around the world.

The plan as it sits at the moment is this:

— Stay in Spain long enough to get a deposit together for a room in Bath/Bristol as well as a few months’ rent if work is short.

— Get enough money together to pay for my Foundation Certificate in Funeral Studies.

— Complete the course.

— Get a job as a trainee Funeral Director.

— Qualify.

— Be happy.

— Move to a flat – preferably after course completion but that depends on money.

— Get a cat.

— Decorate.(Home and self)

— Save money.

— Take holidays.

— Bag a man. Have some babies.

— Enjoy life. Make friends.

I really think that living on my own is an important step for me. Some time to think about things.

The reason for the change in plan? Well, my original plan was never set in stone. It was always flexible. So, with the change of priorities comes a change of plan. I have wanted to be a Funeral Director since I was 11 years old. That takes so much more precedence to me. As previously mentioned, I can see places on holidays. I’d be happy with that because I get to see them.

I think this plan makes so much more sense. I feel a lot more focused.

************

Footloose and fancy-free, allegedly. (Written in 2011, just as I met the 4 year guy.)

Once again I find myself feeling ponderful. Blogging seems the way to go at times like these!

So here I am. 26, single and starting out at where I probably should have been eight years ago. Making up for lost time yadda yadda yadda. Well I certainly haven’t wasted time doing that.

I’ve met some fantastic people since moving to Plymouth and had lots of fun. But it seems to me that there’s something missing.

Perhaps it’s because I have spent such a lot of the last thirteen years (up until June last year constantly, in fact) in relationships that I am more aware of the lack of emotion involved in random encounters. I’m aware how that makes me sound – just to clarify that I am certainly not expecting emotionally involved encounters when that’s not what was agreed upon but there’s something almost…hollow about them sometimes.

Part of me misses being in a relationship. Part of me wants to run screaming at the prospect of a relationship. Part of me wants a relationship. It’s a very conflicted place to be, inside my head.

I’ve been asked out. I considered it. He’s a lovely guy, funny, has a good job etc. but, having thought carefully about it it’s not a route I want to travel. While he’s lovely, I know there are things about me that would have to be toned down/stopped altogether and that isn’t something I’m willing to do. After my first long-term relationship and the aftermath of mental fuck-upedness that still ensues to this day I swore I would never change for anyone again.

If a person wants to be with me they get me: kinks and quirks and insecurities and all. I won’t compromise on who I am to fit into someone else’s ideal.

Relationships aren’t about changing the person you’re with; they’re about loving and wanting them for exactly who they are.

I think celibacy and becoming best friends with my hitachi is the way forward. It’s far less complicated (although costs more in electricity.)

*************

Back to 2014.

There are some pretty important things in those posts:
1 – Travelling. Once so important. Now insignificant in comparison. 
Wrong! Travelling is very important! I think my previous distinction between “holiday” and “travel” was silly. There’s no reason a holiday can’t be travelling. I am going to visit places (with my bestie) and it shall be awesome.
2 – I have wanted to be a Funeral Director since I was 11 years old.
Still do! 2015 is the year that it will happen for me. (Please.)
3 –  I know there are things about me that would have to be toned down/stopped altogether and that isn’t something I’m willing to do…I swore I would never change for anyone again.
I swore it, and then I broke that promise – 4 years later I am back to where I was!
3a – If a person wants to be with me they get me: kinks and quirks and insecurities and all. I won’t compromise on who I am to fit into someone else’s ideal.
See point 3.
3b – Relationships aren’t about changing the person you’re with; they’re about loving and wanting them for exactly who they are.
See points 3 and 3a.
4 – I think celibacy and becoming best friends with my hitachi is the way forward.
Not necessarily. Hitachi, yes. But sex, too, maybe with a few people. Carefully selected. I’ve never really been one for just banging strangers.

So with these lessons in mind, I really want to think about 2015. It’s a big year. I’m turning 30.
Really?! When did that happen, please?
Anyway. I’m turning…well yes you heard me the first time…and I think it’s time to formulate another plan. Update it and see what fits.

In 2015 I would like to:
1 – Get to work in funerals. I have done a fantastic course and have done a small amount of work experience. I’d love to continue the work experience and see where it takes me. If this could be the year that it finally happens, it would be so perfect. I’d also like to look at setting up a Death Café locally, but that’s not a necessity. Making my dream a reality is top priority.
2 – Get to know myself. I think that I have lost myself somewhat recently. There isn’t anyone to blame for that, things have been really difficult the last year…three years and while I have learned things about myself, it’s almost as if I am forgetting who I am. I have been living a fairly mundane life (in as far as not doing very much goes) and I think that I need to spend some quality time with myself. It may sound ridiculous but I think it’s important if I am going to stand by my “not changing for anyone” advice. I have no idea how to do this, however. Tips?
3 – Reconnect with my spirituality. I’m not a religious person but I really would like to figure out what it is that I actually believe. I definitely want to reconnect with the nature stuff that I love, and I want to re-learn a lot of things. I want to read more on Buddhism and see what that’s like. Oh and read more on Heathenry, too.
4 – Read more books. Write more. I’ve been so slack with this since I got a television again. Now I am just lazy and my writing muscles are atrophied. I need to get Tabitha back out; my friend has put so much work into it and I feel awful with the distinct amount of non-effort I have put in. I know things haven’t been good at all but maybe I can start up again in 2015.
5 – Get off my butt and lose some weight. Not for anyone else but me. I have wobbly bits that I don’t like and only I can change that.
6 – Stop worrying. (Or at least, worry less.) It’s turning 30 that is doing it, I think. The realisation that I do want babies one day and that I am single, and 30 and that my eggs are shrivelling by the day. I have bills that I need to pay which are taking far too long. I need to celebrate the small victories more. Yes, I have some bills, but I am up-to-date and they’re coming down slowly. That’s better than not at all. I’d like to try and significantly reduce the bills this year, somehow, but if I can’t then I will keep on chipping away.
7 – Commit to a baby back up plan. I will revert to the following: If, by the time I am 35, a miracle hasn’t occurred and I haven’t met someone who is Mr or Miss Right then I will go it alone. Find me some swimmers and be a god damned excellent Mum. (Okay so that counts as one ticked off the list.)
8 – Get a cat.  Sometimes, plans don’t change! (This has been on the list since 2010). Living in Bath was also part of the original plan. I did that in 2014 and loved it. I miss it a lot. It was beautiful.
9 – Make friends. I think this is important, too. I have friends, of course, but I’d still like to meet more people to Geocache with and whatnot.
10 – Travel a bit. Some trips are planned. Sweden to have a break after Christmas – despite the positive outlook and acceptance of the end of the relationship, I am still upset about it because I did/do love him. Some time with my bestie will help, and it won’t be as raw by the time I get there which will also be good. Then Spain in February for my birthday with family and my bestie is coming from Sweden! November will see me and the bestie return to Tromsø to see the whales and maybe the Northern Lights. Other than that, who knows? Maybe I will galavant to somewhere for the day or a weekend. World=oyster.

2015 is going to be my year.

Charity!

Standard

I am raising money for 4 charities in January by shaving my head.

My hair will be donated to a charity called The Little Princess Trust who make wigs and hair pieces for children who’ve lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

The charities I am raising money for are:

Macmillan Cancer Support

Rowcroft Hospice (palliative and respite care)

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice (palliative care)

Tommy’s (a charity for premature babies)

If you are able to spare even just £1, it would be appreciated.

My fundraising page is http://www.justgiving.com/teams/xowiebrandt where you can read my story and select who you’ like to donate to.

Thank you so much.

Gosh!

Standard

Things happen quickly, don’t they?

Environmental Health called me back and said that as soon as I have booked my inspection and food hygiene course, I can start trading! They said that because my business would be considered “low risk,” it may take longer than 28 days for the inspection but they said that as long as I have a basic foundation of cleanliness knowledge then I can get on with it in the meantime.

A lot of it is common sense and I learned about food labelling when I worked in various pub kitchens. I will get some separate utensils for business use.

I am so excited! I have got a first draft logo drawn up which friends are looking at for me to help get it looking top notch.

What do you think?

Image

I have spoken to the local market about getting a stall on my days off from my regular job and that seems like it could be a goer once I have all of the certificates and inspection done with – that will be in time for Christmas too. They did say that they have had a couple of applications for baked goods stalls so there could be competition. The application is judged by a panel of 3 people so I’ll just have to make sure I stand out enough to make them want me!

In the meantime, I am coming up with a menu. Suggestions for flavours would be much appreciated!

Squeee!

I’m going to do it…

Standard

…I have called the Environmental Health people to see about getting registered with them, I am going to book on a food hygiene course for October.

I have decided on a name, I just need a logo now.

Follow my baking business blog at http://bakeuppayourcake.wordpress.com and wish me luck! I’m going to need it! 😀

The Verdict.

Standard

The verdict is in on the red velvet cupcakes of yesterday:

“You must, must, must open a cake shop! All thought that they were shop bought . Abs loved the decoration as well.”

Well! That’s quite  the praise. My fella and I shared one last night and I have to say they were pretty yummy.

I never use electric mixers etc. when baking, I do it all with good old fashioned elbow grease. Do you think that makes a difference to the results? Has anyone ever compared both methods? There’s something about it that I love; mixing it and really putting yourself in there. I guess it’s a more personal experience for the baker. Who knows. One thing is that if I were to start baking from home I may need to consider electric tools. Or perhaps the fact that they are made without could be my selling point.

All that mix making has got to be good for getting rid of bingo wings, right?

My first proper cupcakes!

Standard

image

Red velvet with cream cheese frosting. I don’t get to try any so hope they work out!

Norway, baby!

Standard

I just got back from a wonderful holiday in Norway with my bestie, Sonne. We hadn’t seen each other for around 4 years (she lives in Sweden and I live in the UK so it’s tough!) but what a way to get back together!

While we were on the train, half delirious from lack of sleep, we started writing our “Quotes of the Day” which I have kept track of in my diary. I thought they were too good not to share.

1. Sonne: I think I’m meant to be Norwegian.

Xowie: Well, we’ll find out won’t we? If you come up in a rash, it’s probably not meant to be! (June 24th)

2. Sonne: Am I saying “clean” or am I saying “reindeer”?

Xowie: Could be one or the other.

Sonne: I dunno, if someone gives me a bleach sandwich, I wouldn’t be happy. (June 24th)

3. Xowie: My god! We’re in Wales! (June 24th)

4. (Imaginary customs official) Do you have anything to declare?

Xowie: *Motions “No” while eating all the animals. (June 25th)

5. I can’t get no…re-e-ception. No, no, no. Hey, hey, hey. (June 25th)

6. Xowie: These nanimals make me happy. Om nom nom nom. (June 25th)

7. Sonne: It’s getting more fjord-y, isn’t it? PS. I have butt ache. (June 25th)

8. Xowie: We’re in Herbal Essences territory.

Sonne: Possibly bordering into Timotei land. (June 25th)

9. Xowie: *sitting on a coach* Ooh, I felt like I was on the train still, then.

Sonne: (Later on) Oh I just felt like I was on a train too. It changes your perspective on reality. Like sea legs, but train eyes. (June 25th)

10. Sonne: Is that my ring? (June 26th)

11. Xowie: Bottoms up!

Sonne: Bottoms up, balls north! (June 26th)

11. Max (Underdawg Tattoo) High five for the British! (June 26)

12. Idunn (from Tromso Bed and Books) The only whales I’ve seen are…dead. (June 27th)

13. Xowie: *clutches tummy after mountains of food* I wish I could levitate. (June 28)

14. Sonne: Got an infection? Come to Norway! (June 29)

15. Sonne: Margery, this isn’t on. Who brings a Humvee to a camping site? (June 29)

16. Sonne: You’re in Scandanavia now, love; whip ’em out. (June 29)

17. Xowie: I can’t just sit outside someone else’s tent and fart. (June 29)

18. Xowie: Go away, Liam Neeson! (June 29)

19. Xowie: Sometimes, when I run back from the kitchen, my thighs clap me along as if to say “Well done, Xowie, you CAN exercise!” (29 June) 

20. Sonne: Norway makes me violent. (Every day)

Love those crazy days!