New Year Resolutions

I’m seeing lots of talk of Dry January, banished chocolate, happiness and new fitness regimes on my Facebook and twitter feeds, and it got me thinking about New Year Resolutions.

I’m not usually a fan of doing NYRs – mostly because New Years Day falls at such an inconvenient and weird time of the year. Not only does it take me until February to know what day of the week it is after two weeks of everyday feeling like a Saturday; I believe us humans should be doing what most animals do over winter – we should be hibernating. We should have slowed down in an attempt to avoid the cold and dark, and we should have put on a couple of kilos so we know we can survive the elements. We shouldn’t be fighting nature, we should go with it. Winter ends in March, so we need our creature comforts for a couple more months.

But apparently the first day of a new year is a great time to give up the treats we enjoy, dramatically change our personality and set ourselves crazy goals! According to a study by some University, here’s the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2014, with my motivational insights…

1. Lose Weight (this will happen in Spring when we get active post Winter hibernation)
2. Getting Organised (organisation is subjective. I know where everything is in my messy desk draw!)
3. Spend Less, Save More (sometimes you’ve got spend to save, and you can’t take all that money with you!)
4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest (how? By not dying? Yep, this is on my list for 2014)
5. Staying Fit and Healthy (getting fit is usually a good start, but because you want to not because you feel you should)
6. Learn Something Exciting (learning is always exciting, and we should always be learning)
7. Quit Smoking (can’t disagree with this one. Unless you also want to lose weight. The two rarely go hand in hand)
8. Help Others in Achieving Their Dreams (Dreams aren’t real. Although Angelina Jolie can help mine come true any day!)
9. Fall in Love (done, unexpected as it wasn’t on my to do list that day)
10. Spend More Time with Family (unless you’re too busy getting fit, saving money, etc!)

Some of these resolutions are so fluffy, I’m not sure how people work out if they achieved them or not? Why not set ourselves specific, measurable, attainable, relevant resolutions to do in 2014?

So, say I was to make a NYR for 2014 what would it be?

Clare and I eat out, a lot. Maybe once a week we’ll pop to TGIs, Nandos., Pizza Hut etc. We occasionally wonder if do it too much or have got lazy. We played with the idea of not eating out for a month but, to be honest, we’d probably starve or end up eating one of the cats. It’s not that we don’t enjoy cooking, but we like a change in scenery and sometimes the cupboards are a little uninspiring.

So what’s our new year resolution? What life changing goal have we set ourself? What dirty little habit are we going to break whilst enhancing our wellbeing and happiness…

Yep, that’s right, we are going to continue eating out, whenever we want, and as often as we want…

But we are going to make a change, a little one that we hope will enhance our experience. We’re going to eat at small, local and independent eateries instead of hitting the same big chain brands.

We are going to try and review our new eating experiences on Trip Advisor, as we find it a great resource when looking for places to eat.
So, if you know of a restaurant we should try please support our NYR and let us know!

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My letter to Santa

When I was younger I believed in Father Christmas
A magical man who made my dreams come true.
I would sit on his knee and tell him everything I wanted
But, thanks to Mrs Claus, he already knew.

He was warm and loving and laughed with all his heart,
He knew everything, and I thought he was so smart.
He knew if I’d been good or bad, but he wouldn’t judge
and it never changed how much he loved.

Father Christmas wasn’t just with me once a year,
He was with me every day, and I proudly called him Dad.
I wish I could write one last letter asking for things I cannot have,
Christmas has lost its magic and it makes me feel sad.

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The Crazy Life of a Lazy Camper

Having just returned from an amazing 6 days at Wakestock festival, my first ever festival, I felt it was only right I shared some of the crazy things I’ve seen, heard and learnt…

Staff toilets are better than campers toilets, but artists toilets are even nicer. However artists still don’t always follow great bathroom etiquette and protocol. For example, a drummer of a headline act had a wee with the door open in full sight of everyone, and then didn’t wash his hands. Tut tut, what would his mother say?

Kids drink cheap vodka. Like really cheap vodka. The stuff that burns your insides and gives you the voice of a 76 year old, 20-a-day smoker! Unfortunately I know this because I tried some. But it was mixed & served in a Coca Cola bottle with my name on, so it wasn’t all bad.

Our lovely Lazy Campers love getting a shout out on twitter. However the iPhone Twitter app sucks when it comes to posting photos.

Playing skittles with 6 wheelie bins as the pins and your entire body as the ball, does indeed look really really funny, and getting a strike was very impressive, but it will get you rugby tackled by security and escorted out. I’m also thinking it may hurt when you wake up.

Sometimes a massive headline act can’t leave to catch his flight to Serbia for another festival because an Air Ambulance has to land. Priorities.

Watching the sun come up is very different to watching the sun go down. Sunrise – calm, gentle and uplifting. Sunset – crazy, crazy, crazy. Not often I see both in one day either!

Festival fashion is generally a cool combination of shorts (we’re talking short shorts that don’t actually cover yer bum cheeks), flipflops, sunglasses, and 3rd degree sunburn. Use sunscreen kids. Baz Lurrman told you all about this. Listen to him.

The constant smell of burger vans is not that bad. However eating burger, hotdog & chips all day everyday isn’t great for the figure or skin. Thank goodness for wood burning pizza oven stalls.

Nobody tells you about Festival Snot. That’s because nobody wants to acknowledge such horrors can be generated from ones body.

Wearing flip flops (thanks to the amazing Gandys Flip Flops, for 4 days will result in cool and tanned feet, well at least i think they’re tanned – they could just be embedded with dirt!

Playing table tennis and beer pong with bands and DJs is pretty cool. Even when you lose!

Bananas, beroca and chilled water are your best friend. Any of these can be subsisted with Red Bull but remember – what comes up, must come down!

And finally… working 18 hour days is tiring, like full on, could fall asleep typing this, shattering. But, you know what? I can’t wait to do it all again in 2 weeks!

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Life As A Lazy Camper

So after nearly 3 months of working at The Lazy Camper it was time for the final part of my ‘induction process’. It was time for me to spend a whole night in a tent, in a field, like actually, camp out for real.. Something I have never done. Ever.

As I prepared to embark on my journey of discovery I remembered when My grandad told me we were related to the great explorer Captain Scott. I was 7 years old and I believed him. Like you do. Tonight, I felt that connection rekindled. I might not have pushed the boundaries of human exploration in the past 24 hours, but I have certainly pushed my own! My comfort zone is now a little bigger and includes a greater love and appreciation of wet wipes.

Captain Scott’s great great great granddaughter I am not, but I am the newest member of the festival family. I still have another 80+ hours of Wakestock left, but so far so good!

I am also pleased to report no signs of frostbite.


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Wish you were here…

Wish you were here...

Life at The Lazy Camper HQ has been busy; I’ve had a few spare days to hang out with friends, and managed to squeeze a week in the Greek sunshine. Life is good!

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Life in a strand of hair.

It’s easy for me to say I’ve been so busy enjoying life that I’ve not made time to reflect on how far I’ve come as an actual grown up human being and how much I’ve achieved. I’ve maybe taken for granted what has built up around me and the impact I’ve made on others in the working world I’ve been part of. I’ve maybe forgotten to enjoy the sense of achievement when I do something for the first time, or when I’ve stretched myself and actually made it – especially in work.

But you know what… it’s so important to take time to reflect on these things… now I’m making time, I’m realising just how good it feels, like, really good.

To be able to bottle the emotion as my 7 year old niece got on her bike and set off around the garden – WITHOUT STABILISERS! As she proudly pedalled in a circle she beamed a fabulous smile full of pride that said ‘I practised this and I can now do it and I want to show everyone that cares about me that I can do it too!’ Apparently you never forgot how to ride a bike, so why do we forget that feeling of butterflies when we first ride down the road on our own…

Making time to reflect on our achievements as grown ups is sometimes hard to do. It’s easy to measure your life in years, celebrating big birthdays, laughing at photos of when you were younger. Ticking off the ‘grown up’ list – graduate, get a job, buy a house, get married, have children/ adopt cats. But how far have you managed to pedal without stabilisers, without wobbling or falling off, and just how much road have you travelled. And how much has your hair grown?!

It was about 6 weeks ago when I last got my hair cut (it’s short and it grows quick! ). I paid with actual cash which Clare lent me as my redundancy money had nearly run out! I was telling Vicky (my fab hairdresser) how much I was enjoying time out, digging the allotment, and we chatted about our holiday plans and if I was looking for a job (which I wasn’t). But 2 hours after that appointment my life changed. A pint in the SU Bar was going to make a bigger impact on my life than the fateful perm of 1984. I didn’t really appreciate it before, but when I got my hair cut this Wednesday, I realised how far I’d come in the time it had taken to grow 2inch!

I’ve now got an amazing job working with awesome people. I’ve got a new sense of positivity, focus and direction back in life. I feel motivated and excited. I’m reminded daily how much I know and can do and excited about how much there is to learn.
– On Tuesday I spent time hanging out with 2 actual real life Knights of the British Empire & a Royal Highness; I regularly chat with millionaires and being back on university campus means I’ve been able to see lots of familiar friendly faces, who seem pleased to see me again.
– Mum’s allotment is looking (and sounding) fab – all the hard work we’ve put in digging and weeding over winter & spring has paid off, and there’s more fruit & veg planted & growing than humanly possible to eat. Lets hope the birds keep off the sweetcorn this year!
– Clare and I now have a house with cavity wall insulation and a properly insulated loft, and looking forward to lower energy bills with The Co-operative.
– I’ve helped give the cul-de-sac a spring clean with the aid of the neighbours industrial power washer.
– I’ve experienced my first (and hopefully last) jaeger bomb.
– 3 months after decorating and getting new furniture for the lounge, we’ve finally purchased the elusive extra cushion for the sofa we’d been wanting but couldn’t quite find in the right fabric, colour and pattern!

I wonder what will happen before my next haircut?!


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New episode downloading

No, not the latest episode of Game of Thrones, but the next chapter in my little book of life…

Despite not looking for one, I have got myself a new job… And an awesomely exciting one at that.

I was really chuffed to be asked to be the Marketing Manager for The Lazy Camper, working with Jacob Hill – a young entrepreneur studying at Huddersfield Uni. It’s currently 2 days a week ‘in the office’ but as with any great job I’m switched on 24/7. Working with a Jacob creates a fresh and dynamic environment, working at a speed much faster than I’m used to; it’s all very stimulating and it feels really good to be back in the game.

As the summer progresses its likely I’ll increase my working days, but I’m not quite ready to give up the quality time-off I’ve got used to. I’ve still a list of jobs to do around the house & in the garden, recipes I’ve not yet cooked and days out to be had with loved ones. Plus there’s all those onions, potatoes, peas, and sweet corns that need watering and tending to down at the allotment.

I’m sure at some point I’ll get time to tell you all about, it but in the meantime why not give @thelazycamper a follow?

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The good life

Now that it actually feels like spring, life has got busy down on the Scott Allotment.
Nestled in the picturesque Aire Valley with Harden Beck running alongside, Mum and Dads allotment is far from the shabby back garden of the loveable Tom and Barbara in The Good Life. However, it produces an amazing supply of fresh fruit and vegetables and is the most tranquil place to dig, sweat, pause and breathe the fresh air. Shame it doesn’t grow biscuits and Irn Bru or it really would be on a Carlsberg advert.
Charlotte and Anya potatoes, garlic, 3 types of onions, broad beans, salad and tomatoes have all been planted this past fortnight, and the fruit trees pruned. The green house has been cleaned, tidied, remodelled and is full of freshly planted seeds. It’s great to see the allotment ‘spring’ back to life after sleeping over winter, and my mouth is already watering at what we’ll be able to eat come harvest time.
We’ve still got 5 onions left from last season to eat up, think we’ll be enjoying an onion tart for dinner one night next week. See Clare for table reservations…


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Playing by the rules

When working 9 to 5, life is governed by rules and routine. Some are obvious – get to work on time. Others are more subtle – you can’t go to work in your pjs! I decided early on that I’d need to set myself some rules whilst on my TimeOut. I didn’t want too many dos and don’ts, this was ‘time out’ for a reason. I said them out loud to make them real.
* Get up, washed and dressed before mid-day
* No daytime tv
* No afternoon naps
And I’m pleased to say I’m conforming quite nicely, kinda…

When I saw on Facebook that Margaret Thatcher had died last week I felt compelled to watch the news. I don’t know why as I certainly wasn’t a ‘fan’ of hers; it just felt like one of those ‘where you you when’ moments. I remember when she announced she was stepping down. We were in the design tech studio at high school. We were allowed the radio on (standard for most school art and design studios) so our class heard it first. Someone wrote ‘maggie resigns’ in the condensation on the window and that’s how it spread across school. Gotta love those pre-internet days! Anyway the news was pretty dull and I found myself engrossed in ‘strictly come saving’ or something. Watched it for 10minutes before I managed to turn it off. Yellow card.

Today I was up and dressed as Clare left for work, the sun was shining and with no rain forecast I knew this was my chance to get the decking stained. It was done before my 10am toast and Berocca. I was on a roll… next was the side gate. We hadn’t painted this for years and I’m quite aware that BronzedRust isn’t the new black, so i got to work sanding, cleaning and painting. By 1pm it was done. Sparkling and looking like new. Lunch was consumed whilst catching up with one of our neighbours and then, there it was, a glint in the corner of my eye. The sun was hitting the armchair like a flashing neon arrow saying ‘afternoon nap here for free’. I sat down, catching up on twitter and Facebook and I could feel the nap monster taking hold of me. The warmth of the sun hitting the back of my neck, the kitty basking on the pouffe gently snoring, the sound of birds happily tweeting.
Then it happened…
I was delivered from temptation – the bread machine bleeped and the watching machine announced I could partake in my favourite chore of hanging out the washing. Woohoo.
Becki 1 – nap monster 0.

Playing by the rules and winning!

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When I’m cleaning windows

Top tip… (Two for the price of one!)
Don’t clean your windows when it’s sunny, as tempting as it is. The sunshine will not so gently show you just how filthy they are… But don’t do it. Inside or out. They will look worse. Wait until it’s a grey day and get out the Mr Muscle (or newspaper and spit if you are on a budget!)
Also when you’ve got a big long list of jobs to do, try not to spend an hour talking to the window cleaner about football.

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