3rd year in UK

Today is the anniversary of the day I arrived in UK. Last year I’ve wrote an article about my new life, focusing mainly on what I like.

This year I want to write of how I feel. In the last 3 years so many things have changed, as a natural process of evolving through new experiences. Improving different aspects of me or my life is something that I’m always striving for.
By moving to UK, I had the opportunity to learn about a very new approach to everyday living . Not only that, but also, I was able to see the positive aspects. I observe and analyze, and having studied psychology only emphasized my natural tendency. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy with me, I’m always happy with me (well, that’s the high self-esteem talking), but I know I can be an even better me.

I’m constantly looking for my limits, because I want to push them further. Realizing you want something it’s only the first step. I had (and have) to find the means and motivation to make all the changes I want to. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m on the right track.
Now I am able to let go more easily of things that use to annoy me a lot. If there is nothing I can do in a situation, what’s the point in holding to anger or any sort of bad feelings? Sounds pretty basic, but we all know is hard sometimes. It’s an ongoing process, sometimes I talk about things that annoy me, sometimes I can let go in a matter of seconds.

Another thing is that I can enjoy simple things, like nature in a more peaceful way. I always loved going for walks, no matter how was the weather, but now I don’t feel a rush to go faster. I can relax more easily and for an workaholic this is a huge progress. I’m still driven, I still need plans and spreadsheets and I still have so many ideas that I drive my husband insane (it’s a miracle we are still together after renovating the house).

Now I can only embrace the changes and have patience (another aspect, obviously) to internalize the peace.

Christmas tree

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As it is 1 month to Christmas, it was time to set up the Christmas tree.

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We were very well prepared for this task with mulled wine (the recipe will follow) and mince pies (shop-bought!, very naughty, but had no time to make ones at home).

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Festus was keen in inspecting the tree. As he assured us everything is in order, we could proceed in setting up the tree.

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He was there at the making of the tree and for decorations as well. It’s so cute Festus want’s to be involved even if he can’t really do anything (well, he could brake things, but that’s a different story). He does this every year.

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The stockings are ready for Father Christmas.

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At the moment they are filled with empty jewellery boxes to keep their shape, as on our new modern fireplace it’s impossible to hang stockings.

And a couple of pictures with the lights off and the fireplace on.

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I couldn’t be happier with the Christmas tree in our new and beautiful home.

Transforming the porch

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The house didn’t have a lot of curb appeal when we’ve bought it and there still are some things that we need to sort out, like the driveway (1st on our list for next Spring).

The porch was unusable, as it’s very obvious even in the pictures. It is quite small, but there is enough space to store a couple of shoes, jackets and Festus’s lead. Also, the interior door has big windows and a downside is we had little to no privacy in the evening, with the lights on.

In the beginning we’ve wanted to extend the porch, add one more square meter (to remain within the 3sqm allowed without applying for planning permissions). But it would have been too much of a hassle, even without building permissions, and quite expensive. So, as it didn’t worth the effort to get an extension, we looked into other solutions.

Hubby came up with a great idea, applying frosted film on the windows. It was great! We’ve ended up spending under £50 and we’ve installed the film in a few hours!
It is quite easy to apply, I took a lot of pictures to make another post with details and tips&tricks, if anyone is in the mood for a light DIY.

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I put the potted plants near the window in a futile attempt that we’ll have more privacy.

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I love the way it looks now. We have a lot of privacy even in the evenings. Another great aspect of the film is that we still have a lot of natural light coming thru the windows.

The film sticks to the window with a very good adhesive. This makes it ideal in a porch, as it’s a circulated area. Other options, like vertical blinds weren’t as suitable, as it would have been impossible to have hooks for jackets.

We’ve installed the film a couple of weeks ago and so far I have no complaints about it.

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My birthday

Yesterday was my birthday and we’ve decided to go for a drive in Peak District. As we were so busy with the house and work this last 2 months, I wanted to spend time outside, enjoying the peace and quite. I thought long about this, as I was inclined to say lets go to the Ice Bar in Liverpool city centre, but I decided against it.

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In the morning the weather didn’t look that nice, but the rain or cold doesn’t really bother me. It was a very good idea, as at lunch time the sun was shining.

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We’ve stopped to Peak View Tearoom for lunch and it was a good choice. It was busy considering it was Friday and it is in the middle of nowhere, more or less.

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I had jacket potatoes with Stilton and beans. It was very well prepared, the Stilton was not overpowering the beans. I was very happy with it and I’ll have to try it at home in the next few days. Hubby liked it too.

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Hubby had Stilton and cheese. I taste it and it was very good.

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Hubby had a syrupy sponge with whipped cream.

Nice, even though he ordered it cold and it arrived hot. We had some laughs about the mix up of the desserts. I’ve ordered plain scones and I’ve received fruit scones. Didn’t say anything and hoped they were not too sweet. They weren’t, so it was better in the end.

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Overall the tearoom is nice, the food was well prepared. We would go there again. After lunch we went for a walk on the hill. I had no intention in walking off-road, this is why I wore heels. But it was too nice and sunny not to go for a walk.

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This is a 200 years old pub, The Cat and Fiddle Inn. They say on their website that it’s the 2nd highest pub in England. We’ll stop there next time.

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The sheep were shy and a little scared of people. I’ve applied my knowledge in dog education and I’ve avoided eye contact with them. I looked down and I’ve tried to have my face on a side. It worked! They were looking at us and not running away as they did before, when we’ve stepped out of the tearooms.

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Isn’t he a cutie?

Morning walk

We walk the dog every day, usually in the morning, no matter if it rains or it’s cold or hot. Although the British weather is mild for us,  as we are used to higher temperatures in the summer and lower in the winter.

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Festus was so happy we were going in the park. At 5 he still wants to play like  a pup.

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Well, like a very powerful pup.

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Tired from his play, the lead was loose and all he wanted was to eat and sleep as soon as possible.

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He looks a little scruffy after a play, as he has no interest in keeping his fur clean. We’ll have to give him a bath and a blow dry.