I know I’ve been inundating you all with Happy Days updates over the last couple of days but after this one, I am finally up to date and I can finally move onto other things with a clear conscience! One of the greatest feelings in the world is knowing that you have finally caught up with yourself; you are organised and in control. Or at least it is for me! It’s hard to believe I am nearly two-thirds of the way through this 100 day challenge! If you’re participating in #100happydays, let me know! It makes me smile to see and read about the little moments that make everyone happy 🙂 And with that, I give you the next instalment of the 100 Happy Days of Char Bar!
Day Fifty-One. Saturday, 15th March. Someone said something to me today which made me smile. You know those people who don’t give much away, but when they do you just know they are being genuinely honest and sincere. So much of life is fabricated. The one thing everyone has in common is the freedom of choice; the choice to tell the truth or to lie. The internet has assisted in the portrayal and romanticism of creating a new truth on a whim. This may be the paranoia talking but it is refreshing to have a conversation with someone and not have to wonder if there is an underlying reason behind it. Sometimes in life, you have an unspoken connection with someone; a mutual respect and understanding that both of you have agreed to but neither of you have actually articulated. It’s a mixture of this and a couple of kind words that made me happy this particular evening #cryptichappydays
Day Fifty-Two. Sunday, 16th March. I met a couple of friends for brunch on a rare Sunday off work. While I was sipping my americano, they produced a bag stuffed with white tissue paper. “A present for you for just being you!” I was told. I quizzically placed my hand in the bag and took out the following items. A Yankee Candle in the scent vanilla satin, a ceramic travel mug with ‘Time For Coffee’ emblazoned on the front and three fridge magnets with the following words of wisdom:
*The hours between coffee and wine really have no purpose*
*Hooray!! One more job to do and it’s gin and tonic time*
*I drink coffee because I need it and wine because I deserve it*
All I can say is my friends know me far too well – all my favourite things in one bag!
Day Fifty-Three. Monday, 17th March. aka St Patrick’s Day, or as we Irish like to call it, Paddy’s Day. And before anyone comments, no it is not St. Patty’s Day – if you EVER say this to an Irish person, be prepared to feel their patriotic wrath! This was my first Paddy’s Day to be (a) not working and (b) actually living in Ireland, so I took full advantage of this and went to the Cork City Parade with my favourite South African. It was his first Irish St Patrick’s Day, and the mix of his excitement + his hilariously inappropriate commentary made sure I felt especially Irish! Of course the celebrations didn’t end there… I got rid of the green hat and dolled myself up ready for a night on the town, but that’s a story for a different day!
Day Fifty-Four. Tuesday, 18th March. Sometimes you just need a giant bowl of pasta. And a green smoothie. And chocolate and crisps. For breakfast. It was the morning after St Patrick’s Day. ‘Nuff said!
Day Fifty-Five. Wednesday, 19th March. Just in case you have been living under a rock (in Ireland and the UK anyway), there has been a little thing called the No Make-up Selfie doing the rounds for Cancer Awareness. How does it work? Someone nominates you to take a selfie of your naked face (and no, our helpful filter friends are not allowed girls) and you must donate to Cancer Research before taking your own #nomakeupselfie and nominating women of your choosing. As everyone knows, I am partial to the odd selfie every now and again, but nothing like this. I like to wear makeup because it gives me more confidence. Plus I just like the routine of it. It is a part of me, like working out is a part of those super fit gym-aholics I am so envious of! The one product I will ALWAYS wear is mascara because I look scary and ill without it. However, as it was for a good cause, I put my inhibitions behind me and snapped myself in the ‘facial nude’ before bed. Yes, it was scary putting my ‘real’ face online when I spend 15 minutes every morning covering it up. Yes, it was empowering and felt good contributing to an extremely worthwhile cause. And yes, it made me realise that if the least of my worries is what I look like to the world, then I have it pretty damn good right now!
Day Fifty-Six. Thursday, 20th March. I eat really healthily… when I’m not at work. When I am at work, there are too many temptations around me and I end up either eating just sweet things or nothing at all! I’m trying to make a conscious effort to eat better both at work and at home. My new favourite breakfast is green tea and watermelon (when I know I’m going to have an early lunch!). So sweet. So refreshing. So gooooood! My housemate walked into the kitchen this morning and started laughing at me for “eating the watermelon like I was holding a bowl”. How else was I going to eat half a watermelon while reducing the amount of washing up to do?! I had the other half of the watermelon with a cup of camomile tea that night 🙂 Delish!
Day Fifty-Seven. Friday, 21st March. As a single girl in her mid twenties, one would assume that I’d be out on a Friday night, right? Wrong! Friday was my Spring Cleaning Day. I cleaned the entire house before declutering all my electronic devices, my schedule and my life in general. By the end of an eight hour intensive spring cleaning session, I burned the candle I was gifted the previous Saturday and did five crossword puzzles before moving onto getting lost in the pages of a new book, and then writing Happy Days 26-37! A calm, relaxing, yet highly productive evening. And it was wonderful!
Day Fifty-Eight. Saturday 22nd March. aka Family Fun Day! I met my parents and my little brothers for lunch and then we went to see Muppets Most Wanted – I cannot recommend this enough. I never liked The Muppets until this afternoon, seeing Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and too many other celebrities singing and dancing alongside Kermit & Miss Piggy, I could not stop laughing. Yet this popcorn eating, fanta drinking adventure was not the highlight of my day! I have a bit of a coffee addiction. Just a little one. Teeny tiny really. I stumbled across an on-the-go cafetière.. that’s right, a travel mug with a plunger and everything. DAY MADE! I also treated myself to some yummy Cork Coffee Roaster beans too. In doing so, I broke my rule about keeping coffee in the house – my tea addiction prevails at home – but hey, rules are made to be broken, right?!
Day Fifty-Nine. Sunday, 23rd March. For the last few days I have been incredibly homesick. Homesick for a place I only lived for three months. Homesick for a lifestyle I completely embraced. Homesick for a country & culture I instantly fell in love with. It really is the strangest feeling. It’s no secret that I adored my time living in the Netherlands and I am still determined that I will return. Lately, I have been avidly devouring blogs written by students and expats in Amsterdam, Maastricht, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Groningen… any Dutch city, it doesn’t matter which; I am living through them right now! This evening at work, I caught sight of a postcard stuck up on the noticeboard in the office. It was a postcard I had sent my colleagues in November just to make sure they didn’t forget about me (like they could ever!!) 😉 The front depicts the Dom Tower (a Utrecht landmark) and the canals at night. Never has the phrase ‘as pretty as a postcard’ been more true. The city really does look like that in reality. You never fully value a moment until it becomes a memory. I treasured my short time in the Netherlands, but it isn’t until now that I truly understand how much the country actually means to me. I’m happy I experienced it. But I’ll be even happier when I get to experience it all over again!
Until the next time,