I’m a f***in idiot…..

I can seriously say that this is the dumbest thing I have ever done and I’ve done some really dumb things in my lifetime. Mr C wanted to go camping in our van Hannah, reluctantly I agreed. “It will be great” he said “we will have so much fun, it’s going to be a glorious weekend.”

It lashed it down and we spent most of our time sat under this gazebo. Even Eric wasn’t impressed.This ine

So what else do you do when you’re camping and it’s lashing down with rain. If you’re Canadian,  you’d likely put on a waterproof and go hiking but no, Mr C had done a great job getting me to agree to go camping in the first place, there was absolutely no way I was going hiking in the rain when I had no where to dry off and  chill afterwards. In hindsight, we should have done exactly that though, maybe then, we wouldn’t have been so fuckin dumb……..

We were probably about half way through the box of wine (oh, don’t judge, it was lashing down, what else were we supposed to do) when Mr C first bought up the subject. It was a strategic move, he knows that after a few glasses of wine my inner Beyonce comes out of hibernation stretching her “we can do anything positive bullshit attitude.” The conversation went something like this:

Mr C: “babes we should do a racing the planet event”

Me: “what’s that?”

Mr C: “A race across the Atacama desert in Chile”

Doesn’t sound bad eh, in fact it sounds pretty awesome. We can go to Chile taste all the good wine and the food, maybe pop to Bolivia. We’ve never been to South America so we would be crossing off another continent (only one more to go after that (smug AF and don’t care)).

Me: “sounds fab babes let’s do it. Can you refill my glass.”

Mr C: “of course babes just completing our registration.”

And that was how I managed to get myself signed up for a 250 km multi-day ultra marathon through a fuckin desert. We leave next week with the race starting the following Saturday. Am I prepared? I get asked this all the time and no, I am shitting myself! This really is the dumbest thing I have ever agreed to do. Much dumber than starting a riot in the desert or strategically throwing up after day drinking tripple, tripple Baileys to keep up with the lads (remember that Pale & Interesting, when they wouldn’t let us leave camp until we paid our tab down the pub on adventure training?? Still think they were out of order for increasing the price of our drinks because it was after 5 pm).

Anyways, so yeah we’re are taking part in a Racing the Planet event at the end of September. Here’s a video of stage 1 of the race.

The good thing is, that I am doing this with Mr C, who has made me do lots of dumb things that I never would have done if it wasn’t for him. Such as, scuba diving in the terrifying ocean (my massive fear) becoming a certified Rescue Diver, reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (he dragged up the last part after I almost fell apart at the false summit) and snowboarding (well that was actually a fuckin disaster that saw me throw a  full on tantrum on a mountain) but you see where I’m going with this. I know it’s going to mad hard but how boring would it be if we were just going to an all inclusive to chill for a week in Hawaii (I am so booking our vacations next year).

So my lovely friends, as this is going to be mad hard will you please be so kind as to make a donation to one of our chosen charities. We have chosen two charities, one Canadian and one British. The Canadian one is the BC SPCA we wanted to support this charity because they support animals with their tag line being ‘speaking for animals’. As you all know Eric is our boy and we absolutely love him to pieces. Dogs are awesome, they teach us so much and give us their unconditional love and loyalty, yet some cretins treat them so badly, taking them into their homes welcoming them into the family only to discard them when it no longer suits. I have read numerous stories about dogs being found abandoned, waiting in the same place for days for their owners to come back. Fortunately, there are charities out there that give these dogs another chance at the life they deserve, such as the BC SPCA, who welcome any donations in order to keep this work up.

Click here to donate.

Eric
Thanks for your donation. Love Eric x

Our British charity is Veterans Aid. They are an amazing charity who assist veterans in crisis, regardless of time served. The reason we chose these guys is because simply, they provide assistance to Veterans who are in crisis with much of their work focused on providing homeless Veterans with shelter.

It’s hard to describe the camaraderie you experience when in the military, for me, I can honestly say that joining the Army saved me from a life that doesn’t bare thinking about. I remember the first day I put on my uniform and stood with my fellow recruits on the parade square. I looked like what we would call a ‘bag of shit,’ my uniform was not ironed very well, my boots did not shine and my feeble attempt of putting my crazy hair into a nice tidy bun under a hair net was pathetic. My Corporal shouted/screamed at me in a Welsh accent that I indeed did look like a “bag of shit” and proceeded to take the piss out of my accent, nicknaming me Shanahana ding dong. Despite all this, as I stood there listening to other recruits being told similar, this feeling went through me. It’s hard to describe but it was physical, it felt safe, like belonging, like I had finally found my home.

The first friend I made shared the same room as me, I think there was 8 bunks but can’t remember. We became friends after she plucked my eyebrows for the first time ever and I accidentally dropped a bottle of her perfume (I was devastated, I’d never had perfume before and saw it as a massive luxury). You’d think we wouldn’t become friends but we became the best of friends, which got me through basic training, the many jail visits and the first half of my military career!

Being in the military was like having a massive family, the years I spent in, saw me form my chosen family of  amazing supportive people. Even those that I am no longer in touch with played a part in who I am today and for that I will be forever grateful. Not everyone who leaves the military have the support needed to transition into a ‘civvy’ and without that support it is so tough. Veterans can find themselves struggling and in need of help, that’s where Veterans Aid comes in. In 2018, Veterans Aid homed 154 people, they need funds in order to continue the work they do.

Click here to donate

Me
Thanks for your donation. Love Shanahana Ding Dong

You will be able to follow us some how on this crazy race, I will post details once I know how that works.

Many thanks for any donations and have a fab weekend.

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You what love?!!

I was sat in the Slug & Lettuce in Manchester Piccadilly, a couple of glasses of wine in and struggling to keep my composure.  The tears were threatening to start falling and there was a sob inside me that was willing me to let it out. Why do you ask were you on the breaking point of an emotional break down? Did someone offend you? Was it actually happy emotions because you were back in Manchester and was able to go to the bar, order your massive glass of wine (with no fucker judging because it’s a standard glass here) and not have to sit at a table waiting for a server, to tell them you would like a glass of wine, for them to tell someone else you would like a glass of wine, then have to wait for that person to pour the said wine, then wait on the server to bring it to you (I do love Canada but this irks the shit out of me).

Maybe it’s the stylish decor and the comfy seats or the delightful familiarity of being surrounded by people who get as drunk as you but it’s okay because it’s a laugh.  Maybe it’s tears of laughter because you witnessed a table of birds shoo a very drunk bloke away who was trying to convince them to sing happy birthday to his mate. Or could it be that someone came in wearing leggings on a Friday late afternoon, nah not in Manchester.

Ok, I can sense you are being impatient and want to know right now or maybe you don’t because I’ve waffled on for too long, so now you don’t give a fuck. Bye Felicia……

My niece made me cry, yep that bird who I am super close to and would murder anyone who hurt her (declaration: before anyone gets excited, obvs I wouldn’t really murder someone and this is not a threat……….) had me on the brink of making a right twat of myself in the middle of a bar in Manchester. What did she say you might ask? Did she say wtf are you doing here? Did she say, well you look a right fuckin mess (which would have been fair after an epic journey from Vancouver)! Did she point out the hairs on me chin (oh fuck off, we all get them and if you don’t yet, you have it all to look forward to).

Nope, none of that, my niece said  “I am so proud of you” and even now writing this, it chokes me.  My awesome cool, trendy, successful niece, who achieved a first for her Bachelors degree, has a job that she loves designing shit and travels more than me, said that she was proud of me!

Now, I imagine you are wondering (or not), why I would have that reaction to my niece, saying she was proud me. Those words are not the typical words I grew up with; In fact the first time I remember hearing those words, were from my Platoon Sergeant in basic training, when he told me that I had successfully completed my course. You could see the utter confusion on his face to have this tough cookie, who spent a lot of her training doing press ups and marking time in jail, bawling her eyes out in front him. These words were alien to me and I think another part of it was that, I was also damn proud of myself; I had literally just succeeded in dragging myself out of poverty and was about to start the chapter that would define the rest of my life.

So the point, what is the point of this post?!! Firstly just to brag about how awesome my niece is, she also writes a blog called Pack and Paint, which if you love art and travelling is defo one for you to follow,

Secondly, never underestimate the effect you have on people.  Even if you don’t know someone on a deep personal level, your words can have a huge impact on their lives.

Thirdly, if someone did have a positive impact on your life and maybe doesn’t know it, reach out and tell them and say thank you.  If someone had/is having a negative impact on your life, forget about them, cut them off.  For some reason, we seem to give these toxic fuckers far more attention than they deserve. Picture yourself pushing them over a cliff in your head (IN YOUR HEAD) and letting them go, such a good exercise.

Chat soon x

We are moving……….again!!

So despite us getting a pre-approval, the bank decided to fuck us off for a mortgage because Mr C is a contractor and well, I don’t have a job!! We find ourselves having the opposite problem of most people; we have a deposit but not enough pay slips! That’s okay though, there are lots of changes happening in the Real Estate world here in Vancouver. It will be interesting to see what affect these changes have on house prices and you never know, maybe this time next year we will be able to buy a 2 bedroom rather than a 1 bedroom apartment!

We have found a great place to rent for a year, which we are moving into next weekend, it has a massive patio and I am so excited to start having people around again. Think we will do a BBQ for the house warming, hopefully the neighbours are v chill!!

In other news one of my good friends ate enough Beets (Beetroot for any Brits. I know, weird eh, it took me a while to drop the root part) last week to turn her pee red. Yes, these are the type of conversations I have with my friends. You don’t have to be crazy to be one of my friends but it sure does help!

So as well as packing, and applying for jobs next week, I will also be experimenting to see how much Beetroot I have to eat to turn my pee colour.  Such a busy week ahead of me, I best make sure I get plenty of chill time in today. Sunday roast, walk to Granville with me boys then pub later for a couple of glasses of ‘Mystery’ wine with some random birds I met on Facebook who I plan on forming a running group with.  I haven’t ran in a while, lets hope me legs still work when they actually want to meet up for a run!!

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See I am a runner, I have all the kit and everything!!

 

 

 

Judgy Bitch Part 2

I know, can you believe I have another story about being a judgy bitch within a matter of days of the previous one (for anyone nodding their heads saying ‘nope not surprised at all’ fuck you)?! I was waiting at the bus stop (proper embracing being a bus stop wanker) minding my own business, thinking about the awesome curry I was going to make tonight and how all this shitty snow makes for a perfect weekend of nothingness. A homeless (totes assuming this cause well, he looked it) guy says “like your hat.” I obvs plastered a big smile on my face and replied “thanks mate” expecting him to keep on walking.

This guy grabs a piece of cardboard pulls out a pen and starts drawing me; he said that I was pretty and asked if I was a model. I laughed and told him that right there and then I was his model but no I am not a model! We had a good old chat about music, I told him that I loved country music and he said “country music is the only music you can make a steady income from.” I asked him why and he replied “because everyone likes to cry.” Now I kinda see where he was coming from though I get nothing but joy from one of my fave country songs right now It Ain’t My Fault.

So he gave me the drawing and I apologised as I didn’t have any cash and had no cigarettes that he asked for. I said to him “thank you, I feel terrible that you have given me something that made my day yet have nothing to give you.” He asked if I would go to the store across the road and buy him some pens to which I agreed. The store was Shopper Drug Mart (like Boots if you’re in the UK). We walked in and I thought here we go, he’s going to ask me to buy him some over the counter drugs. My opinion was justified when he said we needed to go upstairs where the pharmacy is; in my head I was debating whether I should actually buy him drugs or not (it’s fuckin freezing and what else would he do with his money).

Imagine what a c**t I felt when he took us to the stationery aisle where sure thing, there was marker pens. Even when out of pure guilt I said “mate get whatever you need” he picked up one pack of markers and was so thankful. We went to pay and I spoke to the server in the disdainful manner she showed my new friend (judgy bitch) who had way better manners than me! Outside we said goodbye and he went to shake my hand and though my inner voice was screaming at me not to, I gave him a hug (probably down to the two glasses of wine I had with lunch), like a proper hug that I give my lovely friends. He ran off not looking back once, yelling thanks. What a c**t!

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“Like Your Hat”

Judgy Bitch!

Have you ever tried to be one of those lovely decent human beings who don’t judge themselves or others? Well after reading a lovely book called The Four Agreements I decided that from now on, I will not judge other people and indeed myself. However, saying and sticking to this agreement is mad hard (is that just me or what? Is it a terrible personality trait? Omg I am a terrible human being!!! Fuck, now I’m judging myself argh).

So off I went with this delightful thought in my head and sunshine firing out me bum; I was off to ‘Wine Wednesday’ to meet a bunch of strangers I’d met on Facebook (don’t judge). I get on the bus, which is busy and see that some guy is sat in the very middle of the back seat taking up much more room than he should be. I’ll show this fucker I thought and I did. I marched right to the back of the bus, gave a curt “excuse me” and plonked down into the seat, making sure I took up the exact amount of room that I was entitled to.

Once settled and resigned to the fact that the assignments the guy on the other side of me was marking were in French, I went back into me head to think about not judging. Now earlier that day I had witnessed a man not picking his dog poo up and according to my new angelic way of thinking, I was not to judge him. How can you not judge someone who does not pick up their dog’s poo?! It is just pure laziness, if you’re not going to pick up your dog’s poo, then you shouldn’t have one. It’s those fuckers who get us responsible families banned from beaches and parks, bunch of ****s (don’t want anyone judging me for using such a misunderstood word).

Okay so it can be difficult to not be judgy but not picking your dog poo up and man-spread on public transport is surely fair game right? I look around the bus at my fellow bus peeps with a big smile, radiating positivity and then you will never guess what I see; A Millennial gets on the bus, now baring in mind it was snowing and freezing here in Vancouver yesterday, this muppet was not wearing socks!!!!!! I know it’s a thing to not wear socks, it’s trendy and makes your Converse look cute but mate your feet must be freezing.

This is all proving to much for me and my non-judgy mind so I blank everyone out and go back into me head. I managed to remain there for all of five seconds until what I can only describe as the horrors of sweet overpowering Joop aftershave attacking my senses and breaking my blissful running through a flowery meadow vision. I open my eyes glare around the bus trying to work out who would do this. Non sock boy is still there, fuckin idiot, his feet must be blocks of ice by now.

As going into me head wasn’t working, I decided to be a normal person, put me head down and look at me phone. Wondering who else was going to be at the ‘Wine Wednesday’ I decide to check out the event details. Guess what…………………’Wine Wednesday’ is next week. Get off this bus you fuckin idiot!!!!

I didn’t get the job……

I went to the interview feeling v confident, I had done my research was prepared and stood in front of the mirror telling myself how awesome I am. I made small talk with the receptionist and did some power poses as suggested in Amy Cuddy’s fab TED Talk. Fuck I was ready, bring it!

The interview went brilliant, I connected with the interviewer and smashed his questions. It went that well, he even told me “you’re a strong candidate, you would really fit in with the team and your salary expectations will not be a problem.” We even discussed my start date as I am heading to Montreal this weekend.

I left on cloud nine and went straight to the pub for a celebratory wine……or two. I even went to H&M to buy a new shirt for Tuesday morning (though got totally distracted by a beautiful red non work top).

So you can imagine my dismay when I received an email late yesterday afternoon informing me that they chose another individual. WTF this has to be a mistake they said “I would make a great team member.”

Did I say oh well never mind let’s remain positive and see what I can take away from this experience. Did I fuck! Did I let the rejection slap me in the face and make me look in my rear view mirror initiating a full on pathetic pity party, fuck yeah. Did I crumble into Mr C’s arms when he came home from work and he said “are you sure you’re okay” like a fuckin baby. Did I make a pathetic little noise when Mr C asked if I wanted him to go and get some wine, fuck yeah and make it two bottles one of each!

Did I wake up this morning with a slight headache feeling ridiculous for letting something so silly turn me into a pathetic whiney bitch, sure did. Did I work out, have a motivational chat with Oprah and go and get a new hair cut, I did indeed!

Job hunting is difficult as is the rejections that come with the territory. Don’t take it personally or over analyse, learn from it and stay positive. There were lots of positives that came out of this rejection:

#1 I have a fabulous new Red going out top

#2 I found my new hair stylist the lovely Jessie

#3 My hair looks cracking on my new Medical care card

#4 I have a long, long, long, long, long, long weekend coming up

#5 I did smash the interview, turns out they also interviewed someone with adequate experience and much lower salary expectations, which pleased HR.

In other news, we are off to explore Montreal tomorrow woop woop!!

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Always Blue skies for me!!

 

Hi My Name Is Michelle and I Didn’t Finish The Book…..

This was me last night at my first meeting of my new potential bookclub; as I said these words I wondered what their reactions would be. Would they be a bunch of judgey bitches and reluctantly welcome me to the table, would they caveat this with my silence whilst they all discussed the intricacies of the book. Would I be banished to sit at the bar until their discussion had finished? Would that glass of wine I had before heading out give me the guts to come out with a sassy but dignified reply if they did shun me. There was nothing to worry about, they welcomed me with open arms, informing me it doesn’t matter if you read the book; I sat down relieved and vowing to not tell them that I am currently not working so could have finished it, I just didn’t!

I knew they were the perfect book club when a girl sat down next to me announcing that she hated the book, then another appeared stating she doesn’t really read but just wanted to meet people and had been sat at the bar for the past hour speed reading. Yes, my kind of straight talking birds.

After a quick intro about the girly bookclub (it’s an international bookclub and we are the Vancouver chapter……..I’ve never been in a chapter, check me out) we got down to discussing the book, which was The Things We Wish Were True.  As I mentioned, I hadn’t finished it so it was full of spoiler alerts and got me excited for tonight when Mr C is out and I can cosy down with a glass (okay bottle) of wine and finish it off.

I read the other day that 30 percent of young people in Vancouver are lonely; what a sad stat; it is hard to make new friends especially when you move to a new city.  I first discovered Meetup when I moved from the UK to Edmonton, Canada 4.5 years ago, it was awesome then and is great now. I met a good friend on there in another bookclub in Edmonton who now also happens to live in Vancouver. There are even groups specifically for those who are shy and not comfortable with being around a lot of people. So if you are in Vancouver and feeling lonely pop over to Meetup and see if any of the groups interest you.

In other news, I was at a lovely Christmas party on Saturday dressed up and even wearing heels…..it was those fuckers (okay it might have been the mixture of cider, wine and eggnog) that made me go flying like a sack of spuds when we left, which caused me to have this complete over reaction breakdown in the taxi on the way home. It was that bad even the taxi driver said “hey sister, it’s okay.” Oh well tis the season!