Sunday, 11 January 2015

Penarth Pier

Today Nat and I headed just outside of Cardiff to Penarth for a walk in what turned out to be a freezing cold, windy day. Penarth pier pavillion has recently undergone a full restoration and is now looking great, I've been visiting the pier since I was a toddler but I've never seen it restored so today was a bit of a treat. Now it's home to a cinema, cafe, restaurant and gallery. We decided to pop into the cafe to check out the space and ended up staying for a quick bite to eat, I can vouch that their fresh pasties are very tasty. I'll definitely go back to try out their breakfast menu in the future.


Monday, 5 January 2015

Three months of online dating

Back in October I decided to give online dating a go for a bunch of different reasons. This has given me a chance to see what some of the men of South Wales are like both online and in person. Here's what I've learnt.

All of the guys I've been on dates with have lied about their height, they've all been at least two inches shorter than their profile stated.

Doing the online dating thing means that you have no idea of what they sound like, this means that when they open their mouth to say hello when you first meet you can get a shock. One guy I met had a voice that just didn't match him, which I realise makes no sense, but I still can't believe how he sounded. 

I know within seconds of meeting someone if it'll go anywhere. Snap decisions ftw!

Any man that gives his longest relationship as being less than two years by the age of 30 will be avoided. No matter how attractive they are and how great their profile reads, if they have 'less than one year' as their relationship history an alarm goes off in my head.

I will judge a guy by the clothes they're wearing in their photos. I'm awful, I know.

Walking into a coffee shop or restaurant on a first date and trying to spot your date is always scary.

Any man that reminds me of a friend's ex boyfriend is an automatic no.

A lot of men apologise for liking football in their profiles. Why, what's wrong with liking football?

Some men are very honest in stating what body shape they want from a woman. One guy was explicit in stating that women who didn't exercise and had a few "extra pounds" on them shouldn't message him.

Almost every guy "loves" the gym.

Some men have no qualms about messaging you to tell you that you have a nice figure. I guess it must work for them sometimes.

Other men will message you with just "Hi." I really do wonder how often this gets a response from women.

The whole Nice Guy thing is alive and well. I dared to get into a conversation with a guy who seemed nice, but the more he messaged me the more red flags I could see cropping up so I stopped responding. He then proceeded to send me multiple messages asking why I hadn't responded to him as he was clearly the man for me (I kid you not). After getting fed up of this I replied to say I wasn't interested, I then got a message back telling me that I had wasted his time, I didn't know what I wanted and that I was lucky that a guy like him had even looked at me. What a charmer. It's guys like this that give genuine nice guys (capitalisation not needed for the real ones) a bad name.

I have truly learnt to trust my gut instinct. 

So here I am, three months on and still single. I'm putting dating on the back burner for a while, the world of online dating has tested my faith in the men of South Wales and at the moment there's not a lot of it left. I applaud those bloggers who only blog about dating, I don't know how they do it (although I suspect that living in London as many of them do must help). Who knows, maybe the right guy will come along next time I'm sat in Starbucks or wandering the aisles of my local supermarket.


Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 Recap

What a year 2014 has been. It started off in a shaky fashion with me still reeling from the breakdown of my marriage the previous September but the periods of time in between feeling down and crying gradually became longer until I got to a stage when I couldn't remember the last time I had cried because of it. 

I'm not one for making resolutions, but this year I challenged myself to say yes to new experiences and I'm so glad I did as 2014 turned out to be a fun year. The year started with a trip to Nice to watch the Cardiff Blues take on Toulon, I'd quite happily forget the game but Nice proved to be a lovely city and well worth a trip back at some point.

At the end of January I experienced my first ever ceilidh and oh how I loved it! Nat and I headed off to Chapter Arts Centre for a Burns Night ceilidh, I'll admit that I was nervous but once I was up and dancing it was non stop fun all night. This started my ceilidh obsession. Cue a blurry picture of the back of my head.

In June I discovered Monknash beach for the first time, it was a glorious day and I really wish I'd taken a towel so I could have gone for a proper dip in the sea. Definitely need to go back this summer.

June was also when I finally went up Pen y Fan for the first time, managing to tick it off my list

In July I became a volunteer dog walker at Cardiff Dogs Home, this is probably one of the most rewarding things I've done this year. 

After 29 years of paddling and never really going beyond stomach level in the sea I finally swam properly in the sea in July, I even got to do it at my favourite beach (Whitesands Bay, Pembrokeshire). Why not pick freezing cold Welsh waters to do it for the first time, right? The internet isn't ready for the photos that exist of me emerging from the water so here's one of my fully clothed at Freshwater West instead.

September saw me tick off one of my summer aims and I ate lobster at the St Fagans Food Festival. I'm hoping that 2015 will mean more lobster for me thanks to Burger and Lobster opening in Cardiff. 

September was a pretty good month as I flew off to Zakynthos with Nat for a week of relaxation, I had an incredible time and just a week away ignited the travel bug in me. 

This year has held a lot of firsts for me, I've had lots of fun and made some wonderful new friends. I was asked earlier this week if I'd really had such a great 2014 if I had got divorced in the middle of it, my honest answer is yes! I'm not letting the fact that I got divorced last year define my year, the good really outweighed the bad and really a piece of paper arriving in the post caused me less upset than someone in front of me at a coffee shop getting the last croissant did on the same day (if you follow me on twitter you will have read all about that heartache). 

The new year is already heralding fun, today I'm going skateboarding for the first time and then I'm off to watch the Cardiff Devils in the evening. I have a trip to Edinburgh planned for April, in July I'm bridesmaid for the best friend a girl could ask for and there's a trip to Berlin planned for the end of the year. Oh, and I turn 30 this year. OK, so this isn't the life I thought I'd be living going into my 30th year, but it's not a bad life to be living.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2015. 


Friday, 2 January 2015

New Years Eve Beach Trip

After nearly two weeks of being cooped up in the house I was in desperate need of some fresh air and with Nat returning from her Christmas break to Scotland we headed off to Ogmore beach, which is about 3 miles from Bridgend, to blow away the cobwebs. Unfortunately the clear and crisp weather we had been experiencing had given way to grey skies and stormy seas, but stormy seas are much more fun to photograph.


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Christmas 2014 in Pictures

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas, my Christmas day was relaxed and involved plenty of good food and drink as well as the company of my family. I've been off work for nearly two weeks now, which is been amazing but it's back to normal on Monday...time to think about booking a holiday I think. 

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