Blogmas

It’s Blogmas! Well it’s our interpretation of Blogmas anyway.

I know many people like this time of year but we absolutely love it because just between Christmas and New year, 3 years ago, we started speaking online so it is a special time of year for us as it is the start of our journey together.

With tomorrow being the first day of December and the day we normally put a blog post up we thought we would take this opportunity to share with you all our favourite things at Christmas time leading up to the big day. Our traditions, anything we get to try and review and also the food (THE FOOD!!!!)

We will continue to put a blog post out every week on a Tuesday and Thursday but we are also doing Vlogmas so you may see some more posts up in the meantime.

For us we really enjoy this time of year as it just gives us a real opportunity to look back over the past 12 months and really recognise what we have accomplished.

Firstly – we got married this year! I can’t believe it’s been 6 months already!

We started our Vlog at the same time as getting married and the blog 4 months ago.

We have been doing lots of home improvements and we have been really trying to get the best out of our lovely little home.

Rupert’s ear infection issues finally got sorted and we are looking forward to a new addition to our family at the end of the year too when we get a new niece.

This definitely means more than gifts to us, we don’t really buy much for each other at Christmas as it’s definitely about the food, family, festive films and fun around this time.

Do you enjoy this time of year? Do you like to reflect on the past year?  Are you excited for the festive period?

 

 

 

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So last week I spoke about 3 things that really bothered me – namely rudeness. I did however say that luckily I see far more good in people than the situations I recently found myself in and so I wanted to share 5 things that really float my boat – a stark contrast to my previous blog.

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Kindness

I just love to see kindness in people – as I am sure we all do.

I am a firm believer that if you demonstrate good qualities such as kindness, then it becomes infectious and people are more inclined to ‘pass it on’. Now this doesn’t have to be grand gestures, a simple smile to a stranger, helping to pick up items knocked from a shelf accidentally in a shop, letting a car out of a junction or a little compliment to someone. The list is endless. It costs absolutely nothing to show kindness yet the value and worth is priceless. The difference you can make to someone’s day, and in turn your own is invaluable.

Recently Leah and I decided to put up our Christmas tree. We were excited as we had purchased a new tree (our old one looed rather lack lustre and sparse and was only good for the recycle centre). We had a lovely day, decorating the tree and putting up our new Christmas bunting and baubles.

Then came the time to put up our stockings. Leah, Rupert and I all have a red and grey tartan personalised stocking which hangs from our shelf in the living room. But ,,,, the stockings were no where to be seen. Yes, you guessed it, they were in the old Christmas tree box – now at the recycling centre or stocking heaven. Gutted. These stockings were new last year and I felt – and still feel terrible.

Leah was  so kind – telling me it wasn’t my fault (it was!) and that it didn’t matter even though I am sure she is as upset about this as I am. That simple act of kindness made all the difference to me. I know the event wasn’t that significant but her response was. Everyone should reflect at the end of the day and name 3 kind things they did that day!

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Christmas

I absolutely love how excited most people I know or see on social media are about Christmas. Now some people have had issues with folk putting up their Christmas trees early but us festive friends place that negativity on the tree, throw a little glitter and tinsel on it and light it up with fairy lights…voilla! Negativity be gone!

Christmas is over with so quickly so why not start it as early as you can? Being around a lot of children, I cannot imagine ever losing that magic and excitement that this time of year brings. I don’t know if it’s the cosy nights, the pretty colours and  lights, the magic of Santa Clause or the mutual love of Christmas music but people just seem to get along more at this time of year. Perhaps I just imagine that. Perhaps the gingerbread, gifts under the tree and twinkly lights have gone to my head and I walk around in my own North Pole wonderland but that’s how it feels to me.

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Food

I just love food. So so so so much. Too much. Food really floats my boat. Leah and I really enjoy eating and always make sure we eat together. We  love to eat out, we love a bits and pieces dinner, a roast or a snack on the sofa. We just love food. As I type a chocolate orange beckons … but I shall not be distrac….oooh chocolate…..mmm.

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Family

I am such a home bird family girl. Leah, my parents, sisters, nephews and niece (the most wonderful people age 10 and under I know), brothers-in law, mother-in law and sister-in law are the world to me. I love my wider family too obviously but these are the people I see and speak to as often as every other day (daily for Leah obviously). My family, as cheesy as it sounds, really are my best friends. I laugh the hardest and longest when I am with them. We are silly, inventive, creative and compassionate. We all share the love of family and enjoy every second of each others company. Nothing is too much trouble for anyone and we all feel very blessed. I am sure lots of people feel the same and I love that thought. They say you can’t pick your family …. well this may be true but If I could choose I would pick my family time and time again.

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Rupert.

Rupert, our boy, our 4 year old chocolate Labrador is wonderful. We love dogs in general and Rupert sees his brother from his litter each week as he lives with one of my sisters, and also his cousin (my parents border collie) Meg.

Rupert is extremely loving, cheeky, selective with his hearing and  so puppy like with his bounciness. We adore him.

The other day Rupert started limping. This lasted around a minute and was probably from sleeping funny but within that minute I had planned what I was saying to the vet whilst they would be on loud speaker as I would be in the car rushing to the out of hours vet. Dramatic yes. Unusual for me? No. I am quite reasonable and realistic in most aspects of my life but not with Rupert. He is precious and any pain literally makes me cry. I had tear filled eyes whilst Leah was trying to reassure me and she was offering treats to Rupert to make him walk back and forth in the kitchen to see what the problem was. It’s funny how their pain (or pretend limp as it seems) can cut a dog owner like a knife.

Rupert is the equivalent of our child as we do not have our own children so he is always at the forefront of our plans. We even planned our wedding and honeymoon around him so that he could be with us. We sound obsessed – we really are not, but he’s our baby and we don’t have our fur babies for that many years – it’s only right we should fit a lifetime of happiness into that time together.

So…those are the 5 things that did float my boat over the last week. What has made you happy recently?

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So I wanted to write a blog post on my recent experience of phoning for a joint appointment for my wife and I.
Whilst the topic isn’t really about the appointment itself, it is one that I’m getting tired of facing. It’s 2016 folks! …. so let me start from the beginning.
The scene is set. I’m on the sofa, phone in one hand, diary in the other. Ring ring. Ring ring. Hello, how may I help?
And so it began. I went about explaining to the lady on reception that I needed a joint appintment for my partner and I.  Perhaps this is where I went wrong. Perhaps I should have been more specific and said wife? Anyway, I booked myself in and and then proceeded to book my wife in. I gave her full name, even spelling every word out. I referred to her as ‘her’ or ‘she’ throughout.     The receptionist then asked if my husband had ever been before.
Cue my silent but exaggerated thought sigh. I corrected the receptionist and she apologised.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a personal gripe with the receptionist herself. She apologised and I don’t have a chip on my shoulder but it got me thinking about the numerous occasions things like this happen to us, and I’m sure millions of same sex couples out there. I have even faced a barrage of questions at the doctor about what form of contraception I use if I’m not actively trying for a baby. I wait and wait for the penny to drop that perhaps they just haven’t asked the right question yet and then I end up explaining I’m in a same sex relationship hence the lack of needing anything to prevent a pregnancy. The person asking the questions always apologise, normally with a flustered shuffling of paperwork or busying themselves with clicking a pen on or off and they always end up more embarrassed than me.
After mentioning this recently on Facebook, I can see I am by no means the only one this happens to. A friend said he often gets an apology when he corrects to ‘husband’ and his response is ‘don’t be sorry, I chose to marry a man’ which is a response I love!
I know, there are so many establishments and individuals who never make the mistake of assuming and so many companies who are proactive within the LGBTQ community, but for those who make these assumptions my question is why?
Is it the responsibility of the company during induction training to ensure staff don’t make any assumptions? Is it the responsibility of the individual to realise that family dynamics are so wonderfully diverse so to not make assumptions? Or should those of us who are at the end of the assumptions (and that’s by no means just same sex couples, the list is vast!) just deal with it for now because, well, look how far we’ve come?
For my wife and I, as individuals and as a couple, we will continue to challenge assumptions and stereotypes, racism and prejudice because that’s the people we are. We believe deeply in equality for all and whilst this situation does not overly offend us in any way, it just shows, sadly, there’s still a way to go.
Have you experienced assumption or prejudice? Racism or stereotyping? How does it make you feel? How do you respond? We would love to hear your views!

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I can’t believe that we have been married for 4 months already? I thought it would be good to do a post about things we have learnt since we got hitched!

There are still letters coming through with our old surname on

It’s so hard to remember every little thing to change your name on, your driving license and bank is easy but electoral roll and TV license are not really things you remember until you get a weird reminder.

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You still find you say ‘Girlfriend’ or ‘Partner’ instead of Wife.

It’s still weird to say Wife but it still gives a little flutter of excitement when I do remember.

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We’re thinking of boring things, like life insurance and wills

Suddenly you realise you have a ‘family’, however small. Your unit is now your most important thing and you feel so much more protective.

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The big day is already a distant memory

Yes it’s only 4 months but it really is over in a flash. You analyse all the good stuff and you still want to do it all again!

Your dresses still haven’t been to the dry cleaners

Not yet prepared to send them to the dry cleaners so they are hung up…waiting to go…when we can part with them.

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There is still plenty of your wedding day perfume left

It was a big bottle, it’ll never run out, will it?

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The honeymoon period is a real thing

We’re still currently floating on air from the day and 4 months on it feels like it couldn’t possibly be any different.

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It has been a glorious 4 months and of course we are so very happy that we did decide to get married.

And for those that keep asking ‘So, how’s married life then?’ I will keep responding ‘Brilliant, recommend it to everyone!’

What did you learn after you got married? Do you still get stuff with your old surname on too?

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It’s not often we go out and we’re not the clubbing kind but our guilty pleasure is a night out at our local Bingo. Leah and I absolutely love visiting Mecca bingo in Chesterfield and when we do go it is usually with family on a Saturday night. Saturdays are the best value for money in our opinion.
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Last week I received a voucher through the post … this is the second time I have received this and cannot believe what an amazing deal you get!
2 x free bingo games
2 x free main meals from the £7.49/£7.99 range
2 x free soft drinks or tea/coffee.
The offer was for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We decided on Thursday as we had so much to do earlier in the week.
We arrived around 6.15pm, collected our tickets and ordered our food. Leah chose macaroni cheese with garlic bread and I chose BBQ chicken and chips. The food is pretty basic, somewhat microwaved but tasty all the same. Service was a little slow as it was so busy and we ended up eating into the game but we don’t mind at all.
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All in all we had a great night … played a few of the table games as well as the paper games and although we didn’t win, we still love the excitement of the game. A member of staff actually gave us an envelope containing £7.50 worth of winnings… obviously a mistake so we had to shout her back as it wasn’t ours to win. However it still felt a little like we experienced a win!!
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The atmosphere at Mecca in Chesterfield is always lovely and relaxed. The bingo callers have a real sense of humour and get you involved in calling out, and having a little sit down dance to the music.
Date nights with my wife are my favourite … and when they are free they are her favourite too!