Digital dating

Dating is fun, so everyone tells me…..

When Mr Long Term and I parted company, I was like a rabbit in headlights.  I had absolutely no idea what to do.  I hadn’t been on a first date for 10 years and now I was faced with starting from scratch.

Although to some I appear confident, bubbly and a total extrovert, I am most definitely not.  I am rubbish at making small talk, have low confidence and have a ‘unique’ sense of humour which doesn’t appeal to everyone.  Recent test results (Myers Briggs profiling) show that I am actually an equal measure of extrovert and introvert.  In addition to all of this, I know I can be very hard to please.  Good luck to the potential suitors out there!!

So anyway, back to dating.  Because there is absolutely NO chance of me approaching a hot guy in a bar myself, I decided that I would follow the advice of friends and join Tinder.  Wow.

Full of men, on your doorstep (or further if you wish).  You select the ones you like the look/sound of and if the feeling is mutual then it’s a match and you are free to chat away.  Here’s my breakdown of the guys I matched with:

  • 85% – match with you and then NEVER talk to you
  • 10% – Wanting hookups only
  • 3% – Those who want a penpal only
  • 2% – Normal people

But you know, it saved me from having to talk to people in the real world and end up tripping up, knocking their drink flying or saying something completely ridiculous without being able to hide behind my phone so I went with it.  I was then also recommended to Plenty of Fish, another dating site. I know a few people (in real life!) who have had success so thought it was worth a try.

Since joining these sites I have been on a few dates.  Most of them with guys I had met online.

The first one, well, I was sooooo nervous it was horrific.  The guy was actually really sweet but WAY too enthusiastic about everything.  Too excitable for me.

Then there were a couple with different guys, all difficult as chat was running dry at points.

Then I met up with a guy in London and we went for a drink (I was driving so just one for me).  He was really nice (bit short) but we got on well.  Then we went to a comedy club in Leicester Square which was great.  Except my date got completely hammered and kept heckling the comedians (REALLY not the one when you are on a first date) whilst stroking my neck and playing with my hair.  Anyone who knows me knows I can’t bear to have my personal space invaded or be touched by people I don’t know.   Last time I drive when on a first date.

Then on a night out at a gig, and thanks to my wing woman Anna, I met Mr Perfect.  It was normal-ish (after Anna pretty much saying ‘my friend fancies you’).  We chatted, it was clear we got on, we exchanged numbers and the rest was history.

Since Mr Perfect turned into Mr (not so) Perfect, I have only had one date.  He was a sweet guy but young, too keen and not for me.

Tonight I have another date (with someone else who is uber keen) and again I suspect, not for me.  That isn’t where the similarities end though.  For the 48 hours leading up to both dates, I have not wanted to go.  Like REALLY not wanted to go, mainly because I’m apprehensive and nervous. But, I will of course go because you never know.

Tomorrow I have my third date since Mr (not so) Perfect, with a guy I met in a pub this week and I am really looking forward to it.

So what’s the difference?  It’s most definitely the Chemistry.  Ridiculous as it sounds, you can feel whether there is a spark instantly when you first meet someone.  So when you meet someone for the first time under normal circumstances (i.e. not online) you already know whether it’s worth giving them the time for a first date.

As a result of this, I have deleted all online dating apps from my phone.  I can’t be doing with having to turn up on a date wondering whether they are tall enough, know how to hold a conversation, they will think I look better or worse than my pictures and ultimately, whether we will have that spark.

Bye bye Tinder, PoF and Happn.  Hello having to practice approaching guys in public, making small talk and hopefully some more comfortable first dates!

Katie xx

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A Recipe For Happiness!

It’s been a while since I updated you all on my #100daysofhappiness (the point of this blog!) so here we go….

Day 14 – Saw some old faces at work today from my secretarial days at Head Office.  Reminded me that when I want something enough, I can achieve it!!  Never give up!!

Day 15 – 3 bottles of prosecco with the lovely Anna!

Day 16 – So….. this happened.  Eeeeek!

GBBO

Day 17 – Sunday’s are for pampering!  Had a lovely lie in, did a hair mask, face mask and soaked myself in body cream!  Bliss!

Day 18 – A few things today.  Ibiza flights are BOOKED!!!  Someone said I looked like a Barbie (LOVE him!) AND I did a one handed spin at pole!

Day 19 – Good discovery today!  Tapas Tuesdays at All Bar One!  4 Tapas dishes and a bottle of wine for £20 xx

Day 20 – Got my annual charity quiz night invitation today! Love a quiz night! xx

Day 21 – Ran 5k at the gym tonight!  Love our little motivational Whatsapp group ‘Team Beefa!’ xx

Day 22 – Lovely, lovely evening with beaut friends xxx

Day 23 – Had such a fun night with fab friends xxx

Something potentially massive happened on Day 16.  I sent off my application for a place in the BBC’s Great British Bake Off this year.  Eeek!

I am under NO illusions that out of the thousands and thousands of applicants, I will get picked.  I know it’s highly unlikely and I have no expectations whatsoever.  I am not nearly good enough, and I don’t think that I have the experience they will be looking for.  But do you know what, I decided that I have absolutely nothing to lose so I just went for it!  Every year, people always tell me that I should go on it and I always say ‘oooh I don’t think I’m good enough’ or ‘I don’t think I could take the stress’.  All the excuses.  Well not anymore, at least I can now say I applied, regardless of what happens.

Ever since I can remember, I have loved baking. The stand out toy from my childhood was my A La Carte Kitchen, I baked cakes for family members birthdays, at the age of 12 I cooked a 3 course dinner for my parents anniversary – there are many memories.  My ‘speciality’ is baking and decorating cakes.  I’m not claiming to be amazing (I’m definitely not amazing), but I feel proud of the creations I’ve made to date.  I’ve had one 2 and a half hour cupcake decorating lesson and a 3 hour Macaron making lesson, the rest is completely self taught and just came from practice, practice and more practice!

I find baking very therapeutic – iTunes on shuffle, zoning out into my own little world and you can’t beat the smell of cakes or bread baking in the oven, it’s so homely.  Then finally, I love seeing people tucking into the tasty treats that I’ve created!  It’s a real sense of achievement and also a great honour when someone asks to you make them a cake for an occasion that is very special to them.

Here are a few examples of some of my bakes…

Baking

Everywhere I look lately, there is something or someone talking about happiness.  I’m not sure if it’s always been that way or whether I am just noticing it more now because of the blog and my #100daysofhappiness.  One of the things I saw was a little plaque entitled ‘Recipe for Happiness’ – I have most of the ingredients in my store cupboard, just one I need to nurture and perhaps once I have all the ingredients, every day will become 100% happy again!

Recipe For Happiness

Ingredients

1 Bag of Smiles
2 Cups of Sharing
2lbs of Positivity
1/2 Cup of Good Humour
1 Cup of Self Esteem
2 Spoonfuls of Simplicity
1 Dash of Goodwill
4 Drops of Easy Going
and
1 Packet of Life Loving!

So there you have it, a recipe for happiness, which hopefully will be the best thing I ever create!

Love Katie xx

PS – Coincidence that my mum and dad have just returned from a weekend in my other ‘happy place’ – Swanage, Dorset – with this little gift…

BakePlaque

 

 

Music to my ears…

I promised I would blog some more about my happy things and nothing makes me happier than music. I love music. REALLY love music! I love listening to music (rather than watching TV), love going to listen to live music and even like playing it.

I am so lucky to have seen many incredible artists live. It’s one of my most favourite things to do, always has been. From The Killers to Katy Perry, Bastille to Britney Spears, Rod Stewart to The Rifles…. You will see I have a very eclectic taste in music. But really, I just love to listen to it all live, no matter who it is.

I’ve also created lots of very special memories at gigs and festivals. Bonding with my family, just the four of us, at The Roundhouse watching The Twang. Pulled my Killers tickets out ready for the gig the next night only realising I should have been at the O2 right then (luckily I got some production seat tickets last minute). Having Tinie Tempah pop up at the back of the crowd, just where I was standing (see pic below). I saw a guy propose to his girlfriend at a Kings Of Leon gig (this spurred a drunk Mr Long Term to say that if Oasis ever reform, he would propose… awkward). 30 year old me realised I may still ‘have it’ when I snogged a 24 year old at an Arctic Monkeys gig and then meeting Mr (Not So) Perfect watching The Enemy (how apt) in Camden. There are so many more but really, you would get very bored.

Tinie
Musicians, songwriters and bands never cease to amaze me. They write a song and/or perform it and I don’t know if they always realise how much of an impact it has on people in that very moment. Those thousands of people are there to watch and listen to them. What a feeling, I can’t imagine.

What I love the most though is the way that a song can immediately take you back to a moment in your life like it happened yesterday, reminding you of a person, a place, a special occasion. Amazing.

Think about people’s first dances, every time they hear it they must be taken straight back to that very moment in their life, like being transported. You can remember the feeling, the smell, how things looked. Every one of the senses alive and all because of a song.

I wonder if songwriters know how many people in the world have or will experience that exact feeling or emotion that they have just written about? As you all know by now, I love a quote. But I am also a fan of lyrics! That’s why when Mr Not So Perfect told me in the beginning that the words of a song summed up what he felt about me I was smitten…. Cue Latch (Acoustic) by Sam Smith.

I’m so encaptured, got me wrapped up in your touch.
Feel so enamoured, hold me tight within your clutch.
How do you do it? You got me losing every breath.
What did you give me to make my heart beat out my chest?’

Then after everything that happened I found it too painful to listen to that song, in fact, the whole album. Trouble was I’d bought some tickets as a birthday present for Mr Not So Perfect and me to go and see him live later this year. I said I didn’t want them (because in truth I thought I would stand there sobbing my heart out.)

BUT last week, iPhone on shuffle, and on come Latch. And guess what? I didn’t cry. Yes it reminded me of him but I was fine. I sang along, thinking about how talented this guy is and then I decided I wanted the tickets back. As if HE deserves to get the privilege of seeing Mr Smith live and I don’t!!!

Later, whilst still on shuffle, on came the Queen, Beyoncé. Best Thing I Never Had. And that’s when I realised I am going to be ok….

‘Thank God you blew it
I thank God I dodged a bullet
I’m so over you
So baby good lookin’ out

I wanted you bad
I’m so through with that
‘Cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
You turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I’m gonna always be the best thing you never had
Oh yeah, I bet it sucks to be you right now’

And because I felt unbeatable, I asked for the tickets back (a bit cringe, I know). I don’t want to miss adding Sam Smith to the list of legends I have seen live and now I know I can go without shedding a tear, that makes me very happy. I’m annoyed that I let a douchebag almost take away something that I feel so passionate about, he nearly made me stop listening to an awesome record and that my friends, is not cool.

To quote one more lyric…. Don’t worry, Be happy.

Love Katie xx

Felicidad (That’s Spanish for happiness!)

When I started my blog, I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t being all self righteous and let’s face it, annoying. No-one wants to hear me harping on about the meaning of life and so on. With that in mind, I decided that I would use some posts as a way to share the love about things that make me happy! A bit of an education, but also therapeutic for me to write about something I feel passionately about.

We all have that place; the one place that you know you will always be a happy place. The sort of place where you have already made so many memories but you know there will be so many more, the place that you know no day will ever be the same, your second home in the world, where you feel comfortable and where literally anything goes.

My number one happy place in all the world is Puerto Pollensa. A small fishing village in the north of the beautiful island of Majorca. It’s hard to explain to people why it is amazing, and how once you visit you will also hold it dear in your heart so I won’t try, you will just have to take my word for it and see for yourself!

Puerto-Pollensa-Beach

The beaches have white sand, the sea is turquoise blue and warm like a bath, there is a stunning backdrop of the Tramuntana mountains, the mood is laid back, friendly and you are always made to feel so welcome by the locals. Public transport is fantastic and because the island is relatively small, it gives you the opportunity to explore some of the other amazing places dotted around and if you hire a car, well, you can go anywhere!

Here are just a few of the things I would suggest doing if you are ever planning a visit to my happy place….

1 – Get the bus to Palma for a day trip

The capital has so much to offer, really something for everyone. Great architecture and art plus fabulous shopping, bars and restaurants. Don’t miss seeing the Gothic cathedral (La Seu) and the Almudaina Palace too. The bus ride will take around an hour and half so don’t forget to take a book.

Palma

2 – Soller

I can highly recommend this trip, it’s something else. Hire yourself a car and drive to Soller. There’s a lovely square where you can have a bit of Tapas and browse the quaint shops. Once you are ready, hop on the tram which takes you down to the port. It’s a beautiful ride and although technically you aren’t supposed to, at times you can reach out and grab lemons or oranges off of the trees as you pass. Once you get to the port, you can relax on the beach or perhaps enjoy a drink while taking in the views and if you prefer, you could eat in one of the restaurants here rather than in the town.

Tram

3 – Lluc

Again, you will need a car for this but it’s something very special. In the mountains sits the ancient monastery of Lluc. The monastery is a very peaceful place and is still run by monks of the Sacred Heart. In the 16th Century the boys school on the site formed a choir, The Blauvets, to sing at Mass. This choir still exists today and if you visit on a weekday, you may be lucky enough to hear them.

Lluc

4 – Formentor

A beautiful secluded beach which can be reached by car, bus or boat (I suggest the boat trip). If you do decide to drive be warned – it’s VERY mountainous but you will be rewarded with the absolute best views of the island. Formentor is an exclusive area, one very expensive hotel (frequented by the rich and famous), a sandy beach and not much else so I recommend taking a picnic. If you are taking a trip by boat, you may spot Michael Douglas’ house in the mountains!

Formentor

5 – People Watching

One of my favourite activities. And Puerto Pollensa is the perfect venue. I would say take a seat at the Daina Bar on the front, or at Bony’s in the square and just sit back taking it all in. You won’t believe some of the things you see!!!

Daina

If you have ever been to Puerto Pollensa you will understand its attraction and will indeed hold some of your very own memories. It’s truly a special place but you will have to see it for yourself to believe it!  I can’t wait to go back in September.

Let me know if you have visited and your favourite memories, it will feel good to reminisce!

Katie x

Stop Waiting For Friday….

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions yet again but I’m happy to say that there have been more high moments than low ones which is a step in the right direction!!!

Day 8 – opening your money box (yes I am 12) to discover that at some point during the year you’d put some notes in there. With those, the £2 coins and some birthday/Xmas money I’ve just paid off my trip to Rome in August!!!

Day 9 – today I ran 2 miles. I know that’s not much to some people but I am proud of myself! Just another 11 and a bit to go before June!!!

Day 10 – not having Sunday night blues as I’m not back at work until Wednesday

Day 11 – Camilla and I shared a pole with this lady tonight Click Here. All the lols!! (And 2 other happy things today… Ibiza 2015 is ON! And I booked my flight to Puerto Pollensa… My number 1 happy place in all the world!)

Day 12 – ticked off a few things from my ‘personal’ to do list. Feel like life organisation is taking a step in the right direction!

Day 13 (today) – after some ‘constructive feedback’ to the bar I went to for my birthday, I have bagged a £50 bar tab there! I get to repay my friends for being so fabulous to me lately (and always) xx

So you see, by looking at these #daysofhappiness, I’m not sure that you would be able to tell that I had my absolute lowest day on Day 10 all because of Mr (not so) Perfect. Or was it?

At the time I thought it was but each day since I have grown a little stronger and then this morning I saw another quote (sorry, but have always been a lover of a quote!!).

‘Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.’

So this led me to wonder today. Was I really sobbing my heart out over this guy, the perfect one who I loved? The one that doesn’t actually exist. Or was I sad (and slightly panicked) because I’m back to square one, single at 31, living with my parents and wondering if I could ever love anyone else more than this man (even though he is a turbo ‘c bomb’ – thanks for that nickname Vicky – it’s gone international)? And if this was the case do I think that red eyes, dark circles, and a miserable face was going to help me achieve what I want in life? No. Of course it won’t.

I can’t wait for everything I’d like in life to fall into my lap, I’ll have to make an effort to go and find it and work hard to get it. Career, property, holidays, a man, a family… The list goes on. I’m not going to get served it on a plate and why should I?

I’ve always worked hard at every job I’ve had (and there have been many). Really bloody hard, and that seems to have paid off so far. Now I have an amazing job, which I love but it’s not something that was gifted to me. I worked so hard and made sacrifices in life to get here. Thankfully, there are some very lovely people (some still on this earth, and sadly one not) who saw the desire, recognised an ounce of potential within me and collectively they took a chance on me. I don’t think I’ve let them down!

So if I can put that same passion and desire that convinced those people to take a chance on me into my life, into meeting new people, making new friends and learning new things perhaps the outcome will be the same eventually? Today I feel confident about that.

Katie xx

The first 7 days of the next chapter…

A tweet caught my eye this week…. ‘Happiness is contagious. When you’re positive, people are naturally drawn to you.’ How true is this? Very.

In the past I have gone out of my way to avoid those ‘drains’ who suck happiness out of you because they are constantly unhappy. Don’t get me wrong, I really try to be there for someone who is having a difficult time. Lend an ear, give a hug, put the world to rights, get drunk and anything else I can do to try and take the pain away BUT when someone is constantly a misog, you find it can start to affect you too.

I do not want to be that person. I DO NOT WANT TO BE THAT PERSON!!!! So a week ago, I decided it was time to bring back #100daysofhappiness and here’s what’s happened.

Day 1 – Spent the day with my beautiful family and special friends. Lucky to have them in my life. Happy Boxing Day!

Day 2 – Whilst sitting around in PJs all day a very good friend and I came up with a plan. I’m going to blog my days of happiness if people want to read in more detail. Link coming soon xx

Day 3 – Delivered some pressies to some lovely kiddies in my life AND my blog is LIVE!!!

Day 4 – Nice little evening at the pub with 2 of my best girls watching my team win 4-1 xx

Day 5 – Lovely evening with my sister from another mister and her beaut kiddies xx

Day 6 – Seeing in new year with some of the best people in my life xxxx happy new year everyone xxx

Day 7 – I have 2 things today. Firstly, have had a lovely day strolling through London. Love that city. Secondly, although incredibly sad about Stevie G I’m proud that he was a red and lucky I got to see him play.

My #100daysofhappiness have not always come easily this week. I have had to post a couple with my vision blurred by ‘watery eyes’ but I was determined to see the good somehow. Christmas and New Year is always an emotional time for lots of people and I am no different, especially at New Year, but I am very lucky that I have lots of bloody brilliant people in my life who keep me smiling (I was going to say sane….but no….ha ha!).

I have an amazing family and I have a fabulous circle of friends. Longest serving ‘sister’ since I was 4 years old, my school friends and I celebrate our 20th anniversary this year (eeek!) and I have some other very dear friends who have been around for at least a decade. They’ve really been something else lately and through their actions have reassured me that there are still wonderful, honest and loyal people out there.

Day 7 we had a breakthrough! Even though New Year’s Day could have seen me sobbing into my bacon sandwich (usually New Year + hangover + not much sleep = a totes emosh Katie), today I didn’t have to force a smile, it came naturally. Yippee!!

I do believe this is down, in part, to #100daysofhappiness (and maybe a little bit because of the talks about girls holiday, trips to weddings in Rome and new challenges in the shape of a half marathon)

Wishing you all a fabulous 2015. I hope that it brings you many smiles and happy memories xxx