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Hello Charlotte Speaking

I dance to the music that plays in my head.

Dear Man in Glasses,

Hello.
You don’t know me, and I don’t actually know you, but we’ve been in each other’s lives now for almost 7 years.

You get on my train on a morning.
It’s not really mine though, not for much longer anyway. I supposed you think of it as yours. Let’s it call it ours for now.

Maybe you haven’t noticed me but I have noticed you. I don’t mean this to come across as creepy but when you get the same train every day it’s hard not to remember the regular faces.

I noticed how you were always dressed so smartly, with what the middle-aged person in me can only describe as a ‘trendy vibe’. It always struck me that you looked like you should be getting on the big train to London rather than the rickety old thing to Leeds.

Then one day I saw you were reading some sort of optical textbook. Something about eyes and how they work. I assumed you were studying biology something.

At some other point along our crossing paths I saw you in one of the opticians in Leeds. I just happened to glance that way one lunchtime and there you were chatting to a customer. It all started to make sense. That’s why you were reading that text book. You’re clearly training to become an optician or maybe an optometrist (as a non-glasses wearer I don’t really know the difference).

6 and a half years is a long time, even in 20 minute train journey chunks and over that time I formulated a little story in my head for you. A story where your ambition in life is to pass your eye checking exams and move to the big city.

There you’ll get a job as an assistant optician to start with and save up all your wages while living in a tiny little flat. You progress up the ranks all the time squirrelling the money away into your savings account. Then it happens. You get called in by the big boss. He wants to promote you to be branch manager. You’ll get a massive pay rise. You’ll have your own office. You’ll be in charge of everyone. Free glasses for life!

And you say no.

You turn down this amazing opportunity because it’s not your dream. You turn it down because that very same day you secured a deal on a little shop of your own. Your dream boutique opticians. That’s why you saved all your money up. That’s why you always worked extra shifts. That’s why you used to get the train into Leeds everyday to make this possible.

This probably isn’t your dream, the chances of it even vaguely resembling your life is minimal. But I want to tell you that I will miss seeing you on the train, that I will occasionally remember you and think ‘I wonder what The Man With Glasses is doing now?’ If opening a boutique opticians in London isn’t your dream, I hope you get whatever it actually is.

Yours,
Anonymous Train Stalker.

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Feel Good Friday #20


Friday 31st March

Jennie Friday.

Getting some nice emails about me leaving.

Having a catch-up with my team leader about my leaving plan. It’s starting to feel real.

Saturday 1st April
Helloversary number 3.

Helping to make some progress on the bath installation.

Watching Doctor Strange.

Sunday 2nd April
Going for a big walk with the boy to celebrate our 3rd Helloversary. We went to Fewston, Coldstone Cuts and somewhere else that I don’t know the name of.


Tasty ice cream at stop number one!

Having a Pagoda for tea!

20773 steps!

Monday 3rd April
Back to work for my final month in my current job. It feels very surreal.

Getting (nearly) all the alphabetising done.

Making a start on my April plan and to do list.

Ordering my friend’s 21st birthday present.

Buying part of my mum’s birthday present.

Sunny.

Tuesday 4th April
Going to the Armouries at lunchtime.

Nice walk home with The Boy.

Discussing where we want the loft window to be installed because there might be a roofer coming to visit tomorrow!

Wednesday 5th April
Really busy but fun day at work. Sometimes it’s good to be busy, to be up and down and all over the place solving problems and fixing things.

Finding out we can get some cheap materials to do part of the bathroom with.

Planning to go to a vintage fair later in the summer.

Thursday 6th April
Emptying my whole wardrobe out and having a good sort out.

Sorting out some banking.

Paying the roofer. We should have a new roof ridge, some tiles fixed and A VELUX WINDOW by this time next week!

TTFN
Charlotte x

Feel Good Friday #17 – 18


Friday 17th March

Nice steady day at work

Going to Filey after work with the boy

Having Stir Fry for tea

Saturday 18th March

Having stir fry for lunch again

Going for a Pokémon walk

Having a nice bath

Watching blues brothers

Sunday 19th March
Tasty bacon breakfast

Final stir fry of the weekend!

Going a new way home 

Monday 20th March
Having a tasty healthy salad as second lunch when I ate all my lunch early.

Getting through the day. So tired but I made it!

Early bedtime

Tuesday 21st March
Going to the Waterstones cafe. It was the nicest place. I got a bonus stamp on my card for being enthusiastic!


Posting some important paperwork

The boy staying for tea. Pie. Yum

Wednesday 22nd March

Going to IKEA

Getting a part of of The Boy’s ‘Hello’ present.

Seeing the stars. I can only ever identify Orion’s Belt but I hope to learn more.

Thursday 23rd March
Sorting out our credit card payments

Doing an email clear out

Having lasagne for tea.

Friday 24th March
Seeing Jennie.

Eating cookies

Having a full 5 portion salad for lunch

Going to Filey

Saturday 25th March
Helping my dad out with a job for work.

This yummy baked tomato for lunch!


Going for a nice walk.

Having tasty fruit and coconut ice cream for pudding.

Sunday 26th March
Giving Mum her Mother’s Day present

Taking my uncle for fish and chips

The sunshine

Buying this chair!


Monday 27th March
Getting some work done in the office

Not spending any money at lunchtime

Making plans to see friends

Tuesday 28th March
Listening to tunes on the way to work and being in a really good mood.

Getting an extremely positive voicemail!

Such a nice sunny day.

Wednesday 29th March
Going to Waterstones Cafe for lunch and having a tasty cheese toasty

Getting some Easter bits at John Lewis. Nigel, the man on the till, you were delightful!

Officially getting the call about a new job! I can say this now as it’s all sorted at my current job but any cryptic comments before this we’re probably relating to this!

Thursday 30th March
Doing all the singing along

Catching up on YouTube videos

Having a tasty noodle dish for lunch

TTFN
Charlotte x

Feel Good Friday #17


Friday 10th March

A big thing happened. I’m not talking about it yet and this goes on the internet but a big thing happened that I think is going to be very good for.

Getting to the tidiest state I’ve been in for months. Still not great but I feel so much calmer with less clutter.

Going out for tea to Sloanes with the Boy. It was lovely.

Going to see Alice In Wonderland at Wakefield Theatre with B&G.


Going to The Beer Exchange for the first time after the show. I had fruit juice not beer but it was tasty!

Saturday 11th March
Accidentally going to Leeds an hour too early. This sounds bad but it lead to the following:

  1. Seeing these beautiful lights
  2. Finding out that there is a place in Leeds that smells a bit like a cave. Which I like.
  3. Catching this cool new Pokémon!
  4. Having a cheeky mini shop in Primark. Brilliant because it wasn’t busy yet and still tidy!

Reading on the train. Such a nice journey.

Going to Thornton-le-dale and getting lots of nice things.

Sunday 12th March
Waking up after a really good nights sleep.

Going for a nice walk and getting donuts!

Catching all the new Pokémon!


Monday 13th March
Going for a nice walk at a reservoir.


Hitting the stick! (There was a stick swing hanging above a river that we spent FAR TOO LONG trying to hit with stones). 

Going out for tea for The Boy’s mum’s birthday.

Tuesday 14th March
Painting the bathroom ceiling.

This Daffodil!


Watching a Call The Midwife with mum.

Making a tasty lunch of Halloumi, salad leaves and couscous.

Wednesday 15th March

Getting the train to work with a friend. 

Going back to the office and catching up with everyone after having time off.

Getting past an anxiety led moment. No further comment. 

Thursday 16th March
Painting the bathroom ceiling again.

Going for tea with The Boy and the Clarksons.

Making plans for adventures.

TTFN
Charlotte x

Feel Good Friday #16

Friday 3rd March
Pensions clinic at work. Really helpful, made me feel like I know what I should do now with my money.

Hatching a brand new Pokémon from a 10k egg. I hardly ever get 10k eggs so I’m always worried it’ll just be another Syther that I don’t want or need.


Getting my 5 a day in for three days in a row!

Saturday 4th March
Working in the bungalow, working on the coving and… wallpapering a ceiling!


Going to The Hepworth to see the print fair. I would’ve bought some too if I’d actually had some money! And someone where to put them. Maybe next time.

Pigs in blanket hot dogs for tea!

Sunday 5th March
Putting all my clothes away.

Filing a lot of paperwork. Feeling organised!

Homemade veggie feast pizza for tea.


Monday 6th March
Helping the managers at work with a display board- had to lie on the floor and was told it was ‘above and beyond!’ Funny.

Catching the cute teddy bear Pokémon.


Trying creme egg biscuits. Tasty.

Tuesday 7th March
Getting through day one of Ofsted. I think we did good!

Really interesting and potentially exciting chat at work.

Getting free cake!

Wednesday 8th March
Day off!

Going for a walk and catching/hatching two new Pokémon.


Filing all my paperwork and feeling so organised!

Thursday 2nd March
Catching up on YouTube.

Taking two walks in the sunshine

Preparing myself for opportunities.

Going to see a colleague off who is leaving work. She is an awesome woman and deserved a better send off. I wish her all the best in her future.

It’s been such a full on week. My mind has been whirring and whirling. You will notice there are quite a few Pokémon highlights to this week and that is mostly because those have been the calm moments. The times when I wasn’t worrying or stressing or letting my mind run off without me. I’m hoping that next week will be a bit calmer and that there will be more variety in the good things. 

TTFN
Charlotte x

The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime

Wow.

Wow.

Just. Wow.

I am not going to be able to do an accurate review of this show because it was so all absorbing, all encompassing, it drew me and when I came back out I was, frankly a little dazed. I can’t remember all the details. I don’t need to. I know you have to see it.

I knew I had to see it when a friend suggested it because I had read the book and had similar feelings. I read the book way back in high school I think and couldn’t really remember what happened. I knew there was a dead dog and a boy with Aspergers. 

I knew he liked prime numbers. 

I knew he wanted to investigate what had happened to the dog. 

I couldn’t remember anything else.

But I knew I had loved the book. 

That the book had made such an impression on me that even though I didn’t know what the story was anymore I knew it was an amazing one.

This story is amazing.

If I use the wrong words, or cause upset of offence to anyone with and ASD then I apologise, it is not meant with such intent.

Christopher, our main character is an interesting character, in the way that I wanted to understand how his mind worked, and how it was different to mine. He was engaging and gripping and drew focus.

Siobhan, his teacher was so calming, so understanding, so soothing and still encouraging. I feel like I need a Siobhan in my life.

His parents were contrasting, both experienced having a child with Aspergers differently but both points of view felt real, felt understandable. Whether or not you agree with their choices, you could really see how they had come to them. They felt real.

There was also a fantastic ensemble cast playing various other side characters and helping to convey the world in the way that Christopher experiences it.

The best is a scene where Christopher finds himself talking the London Underground. The show’s cast become commuters who sweep him along, the lights the sounds the movements couldn’t have been more descriptive in how that clostrophic environment feels. At times, Christopher was literally scooped up and passed around from person to person, walking along the walls and tumbling around. It was beautiful choreography absolutely demonstrating the somehow organised chaos.
Stay for the carriages. Christopher explains a maths equation and I’ve never seen so many people as gripped on a maths problem. And I’ve been to see a comedy show based entirely on maths and science.

You have to see it. Please see it. I can’t even explain why. It’s amazing. Beautiful.
TTFN

Charlotte x

Things I’m Loving Right Now: Part Five


This is the fifth and final part of my first ever Weekly Series. A five part weekly series where this week I’m looking at Things I’m Loving Right Now. Little things that are making my day to day life that little bit better.

Life Cycle

This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are my own.


My name is Charlotte and I like graphs.

I don’t quite know why but there’s something about a graph that I really like. They can convey so much information in, what to me at least, is (usually) a very simple way.

I think maybe it’s because I’m a visual person. Do you prefer to take in information through pictures and diagrams? I do. And I think that’s what it means.

Life Cycle basically runs in the background and using GPS, the good old Internet and by hooking it up with other apps, tracks where you are and what you’ve been up to. It then puts everything into a lovely pie chart, called Donuts in the app. You can compare daily donuts, weekly, monthly and eventually yearly.


I really like seeing how many steps I’ve done, how much time I’ve been asleep, whether or not I’ve been shopping or whatever all together in one simple visual. There are in app purchases for trends which you can access for 30 days for free before subscribing but I want to get a bigger backlog up before I try this out so there’s plenty of data to analyse.

I don’t really do much with the information, but I find it interesting and if I wanted to, I could use it to see where my time is going and to make changes if I wanted to.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this weekly series about things I’ve found have been adding a little bit of something to my day to day life. Please let me know if you did, or even if you didn’t! I’d like to find out.

TTFN
Charlotte x

Day 1: Spreadsheets = happiness
Day 2: Spending day by day
Day 3: Points make prizes
Day 4: Water your plants and yourself.

Feel Good Friday #15

It’s March! A new month, a new set of opportunities to find good things! And I think the closer to spring we get the easier it will become.

Friday 24th February
Seeing my friend Jennie at work.

Having a MASSIVE pasta salad for lunch.

Getting a cheeky Abdul’s for tea and chilling out with The Boy.

Saturday 25th February
Working on a secret project that I hope in the long run will help me feel better.

Making homemade burgers for tea. They were delicious.


Watching Dinnerladies. The Boy has never seen it and it’s one of my all time favourites. Much laughter.

Having a lush bath. The item of choice was the Rose Jam
bubbleroon. Not only did it make lovely bubbles, smell gorgeous but BONUS points. It didn’t leave a colour mark on the bath. Sometimes I have to Cif the bath after a lush bath and not having to was a definite plus point to this particular product.


Sunday 26th February
Going to the charity shop and finding 6 books that were on my book hunt list! For £3 total!

Measuring up for loft windows in the bungalow.

Finishing off a part of the secret project.

Applying for a new bank account! 7 day switch service here I come and hopefully with bonus cash for switching!

Monday 27th February
Getting lots of inputting done.

Going to collect some tickets at lunchtime. So exciting!

Arranging to meet a friend for a coffee soon.

Tuesday 28th February
Big day at work: we had a crane arrive!


Having a relaxing browse around John Lewis and not actually spending any money!

Pancakes for tea. 5 pancakes!

Wednesday 1st March
Eating the best packet of ready salted crisps.

Crossing so many things off my to do list during the work day.

Getting a freebie at paperchase!

Seeing my friend Alice and going for tea and a show! 

The Allotment Shed at Trinity Kitchen. We had roasted veggie wraps and they were delicious!


Thursday 2nd March
Checking my credit card’s interest free period. Still got a year to go so we’re safe if we need to make any purchases.

Doing DIY work and singing songs.

Ordering my mum’s Mother’s Day present. I feel glad to have that sorted.
I have high hopes for March. February has been an interesting month and I’m looking forward to trying to make some positive steps going forward. 
See you here next Friday!

Charlotte

Things I’m Loving Right Now: Part 4


This is this is the fourth part of my first ever Weekly Series. A five part series where this week I’m looking at Things I’m Loving Right Now. Little things that are making my day to day life that little bit better.

Plant Nanny

This post is not sponsored. All thoughts are my own. 

I don’t drink enough. Not alcohol obviously, just in terms of General hydration. I know I don’t because in days there I do have plenty to drink I always feel so much better and function to a higher level than dehydrated me ever managed. My problem is just that I forget. Or I decided maybe I’m hungry and that should just have a biscuit. (This is never the case but so often I go for this option). So I need something to help me keep track and provide an incentive.

I have an iPhone. And before that I had an android. On my my lovely little android phone I had a FANTASTIC app called Drink Water where you recorded all the drinks you had during the day as a method of tracking your water intake. It was fantastic and I was most upset to find it wasn’t available on the App Store. It’s probably the only thing I have struggled to find a good replacement for. Until now.


I have tried countless water tracking apps but they just weren’t doing it for me, they were boring. You couldn’t customise the cup size or icons to represent differs drinks which I was used to. They didn’t show a back log of what you’d had that day, just the running total.

Plant Nanny doesn’t really do that either. You can have limited icons and to a degree adjust the amounts (although it is only to the nearest 50ml so trying to record a 330ml can of pop is a nightmare).


What it does do is give you a virtual plant that you wanted every time you record a drink. After a while it grows and levels up until you get to move it from your window sill and out into the garden.

If you don’t drink enough one day, the plant looks seriously poorly the next. Apparently it can die but I’ve never let it get that far. I feel too much responsibility towards my fictional foliage friends!


The anticipation of how each plant will grow up is really an incentive for me. I’m not sure why, but it’s been working for me for a good while and anything that helps me to live a healthier lifestyle is good in my book!

Come back tomorrow for the final part in this Weekly Series to see what the final thing I’ve been loving is.

TTFN
Charlotte x

Day 1: Spreadsheets = happiness
Day 2: Spending day by day
Day 3: Points make prizes

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