Category Archives: Everyday life

23 Questions

I have 46 questions left on the 365 Provoking Questions Challenge. I’ve decided to split them in two, therefore to 23 I’m going to answer today and the rest next month. Let’s start.

1. What good comes from suffering?
Maybe a few lessons, if the person suffering has the ability and the willingness to learn.

2. What are you uncertain about?
Well, things that most people are uncertain I would think. For example the future, what can happen with North Korea, what opportunities I will find (work related), if the neighbours will still be here next year and not very noisy new ones.

3. How would you spend your ideal day?
Playing with the dog, going somewhere with my husband to visit something we haven’t seen before, having a lovely meal and some drinks.

4. What do you admire most about your mother and father?
I admire my monther’s strength.

5. What is your most striking physical attribute?
I would say my eyes.

Continue reading 23 Questions

My October

October was a fun month. We’ve had lots of celebrations. On 2nd October it was the anniversary of the day we’ve met, many years ago. I went to Liverpool Fashion Week.

Another fun thing I did this month was to see the donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary. I bough funny slippers and a new iPhone. When it comes to blogging, I took part in a lovely campaign about the things we feel free to talk with our family and friends – TENATalk. I blogged about all of these.

I also enjoyed a fab meal at intu Trafford Centre in Manchester and I’m going to blog about it this month. I visited Football Museum and that is another thing I’m going to blog about later this month.

Yesterday Bake Off had ended. Last year and the year before I baked along at least one of the challenges each week, this year I didn’t because I don’t like the new line-up. I don’t think the new presenters are a team like Sue and Mel, not keen on a few of their jokes either. I was a bit annoyed of the constant compares with Bake Off and “this is the most amazing cake in the whole Bake Off series”. I feel it is not as it was before and I miss the old Bake Off and Mary and the challenges and the excitement I had before.
Besides the Bake Off, F1 was a bit annoying too. Lewis Hamilton was crowned 4th times world champion with 2 races to go. I’m not a fan of Lewis, but I think he fully deserved the championship. He was a better driver, more mature and confident. Vettel acted inappropriately a few times and made stupid mistakes, his actions made him lose the championship. Verstappen was amazing, I hope the Red Bull will have better cars next year to have a chance for the championship. Some annoying things happened too, like Verstappen getting a penalty when others did the same thing and didn’t get anything, in US, then in Mexico, Grojean got a penalty while Vettel didn’t.

Last month was very busy work-related, my volunteer work and with blogging too. I have many plans for this month too. I have some interesting books I’m keen in reading. I have a new volunteer position for a special project. I’m very excited about that project too.

New iPhone SE

After looking for a new phone for a few months, I finally decided to get an iPhone SE. This is my first iPhone, so it will take a while to get used to it.

iPhone SE

I chose iPhone SE, see more details on apple, because is a new-ish model. The phone was released in March last year. Considering is not the latest, it was much cheaper. I’m not keen on having the latest model, so it was an easy option for me.

Why an iPhone? Because I never had one and I wanted to see the difference between a Samsung and an Apple. It might sound strange as a reason to buy a particular phone, but well, that is it. I’ve read one of Steve Jobs’s biographies, I worked on Mac (I still prefer Window laptops).

The iPhone SE has great specs. The camera takes good pictures indoors and I’m very pleased with that. Another feature I love is the Touch ID, basically I use my fingerprint to unlock the phone and I can also use it for payments. I’m yet to discover the second part, but it’s something I might use. I love the techiness of it, very James Bond-ish. It’s not new, Apple had this feature from iPhone 5s, but it’s new for me.

I use the phone as a hotspot and it works great. Even if the phone is downstairs, the internet works great upstairs too. I’m very pleased with this. Today I’m going to use Maps. By the looks of it, it will work fast. After having issues with the Samsung, I hope the iPhone will work better. There are a few things worse than hearing “GPS signal lost” when you are about to leave the motorway and head up some minor roads.

iPhone SE comes in 4 colours and I picked rose gold. I like the colour a lot, is a small phone and it gives it a girly feel. I need a case for it and hopefully I will get this weekend. It’s a matter of having the time to go to the shops to get it.

Continue reading New iPhone SE

A little Auto love n care

I was invited to take part in the campaign A little Auto love n care by Fife Autocentre. I blogged about my car before, my day-trip essentials, the importance of having the right tyres. This time I’m going to talk about car love. The car we currently own is our 3rd car. We got our first one 10 years ago.

I am smitten with having a car, I rarely use public transport. I went a couple of times with the train in London and once with the coach and it was tiring and actually more expensive than driving. Around Liverpool and Manchester we always use the car and this means we need the car to be reliable. The last thing we want is to get stuck on the side of the road with a broken car. While this might happen no matter how good we are taking care of the car, it’s still pretty important to show it a bit of Auto love.

A little Auto love n care

I thought about it and these are my 5 tips for car maintenance:

1. Tyres. It’s so important to have the right tyres. Check them regularly, check the tyre pressure and the tyre tread. If you need new ones, there are plenty of options available. You can order tyres in Dundee online on Fife Autocentre website. My husband and I always pick good quality tyres, at the moment we have Pirelli, even though they are more expensive, they last longer, consume less fuel, are better on wet and are quiter.

2. Whippers. Make sure the whippers are doing their job of cleaning the windscreen. Used whippers aren’t as efficient as the change in temperature, in time, affects the rubber. Have a look and change them if is needed. You don’t even need to go to the service for this, it’s an easy job to do. Also, check you have enough washer fluid, so you don’t run out when is muddy and you really need it.

3. Change the oil and filters. I think it’s better to change them before the recommended time passes. For our car, is recommended every 5,000 miles. Some suggest is better to change them at 3,000 miles. Because we tow the caravan, we should change it closer to the 3,000 miles mark. It doesn’t take long to do it. It’s true that is a hassle and it’s an expense, but is surely better than having problems with the engine afterwards. From time to time, check the oil level and top up with oil if is needed.

4. Don’t let it run dry on fuel. This is another thing that can cause issues in the long term. Fuel can have impurities and if the car runs on low fuel, those impurities can get into the engine. So, make sure you have plenty of fuel. I know we don’t always make sure we have enough fuel and it happened to run out of fuel exactly when we’ve entered the petrol station, but make it a goal to refuel even if you still have £15 worth of fuel in the car.

5. Check the lights. It is obvious that you need good lights, is mainly a matter of safety. As with the tyres, I would suggest buying a good quality brand as they will last longer. You might not realize you have a problem, especially if you are mostly driving in a well lit city. Before leaving for a longer drive, especially if it means leaving the city and going on country roads, check the lights. It takes only a minute to do it. Also, is not difficult to change the lights, so make sure they are working.

I hope you found my tips for A little Auto love n care campaign helpful.

* Post in collaboration. All opinions are my own.

Questions about me and others

A new questions post from the 365 provoking questions with 21 Questions about me and 21 Questions about others.

Questions about me and others

Questions about me

01. What do you do to relieve stress?
I read, I walk the dog, I try to analyze why I’m getting stressed and to solve/avoid the issue.

02. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Surely not something I would like to share on my blog. I have no idea though, let’s say my political views.

03. When you have a random hour of free time, what do you usually do?
Read or play a game.

04. What makes you weird?
Nothing. There are things that make me different, unique, special… but nothing that makes me weird.

05. What white lies do you often tell?
I avoid telling lies, but if someone would press me I would say a white lie.

06. If you had to be someone else for one day, who would you be and why?
I like how I am, so I wouldn’t want to be anybody else. I would like to try things that others do, but like myself.

07. What’s something you don’t like to do that you are still really good at?
Telling white lies, see no5.

08. What has fear of failure stopped you from doing?
I’m not too afraid of failure. If I know I did my best, then I will try it.

09. Who would you like to please the most?
Myself, why should I be bothered of pleasing others? I have my own principals and morals and aspirations that I have to care about. If I would have tried to please others I wouldn’t have been where I am today in terms of location, diet (veggie) and so on.

10. What do you sometimes pretend you understand that you really don’t?
There is a polite amount of “sorry” you can say.

11. In one word, how would you describe your childhood?
Nice.

12. What celebrities do you admire?  Why?
I don’t know if celebrities is the right word. I admire Michael Schumacher (F1 driver) for his determination and the way he handled pressure, his beliefs in himself and his amazing relationship with his wife. I also admire Max Verstappen (F1 driver) and his father too. Max is only 20 years old and he managed to change so much, become so mature in a short space of time. He is an amazing driver too.
I admire business men and women like Lord Sugar, Debra Meaden, Gordon Moore and Andy Grove (Intel, I’m reading a book about them at the moment) and a few others. I admire them for what they achieved.

13. What is your biggest pet peeve?
People talking loudly.

14. Who was the last person you said “I love you” to?
I said it to my dog this morning, but, if you don’t consider him a person, then the answer is my husband.

15. What is your biggest phobia?
Acrophobia (fear of heights).

16. How many hours a week do you spend online?
A lot of my work and what I’m studying at the moment is done online. So, as much as I should.

17. What bad habits do you want to break?
Not exercising regularly.

18. When did you not speak up when you should have?
I usually speak up when is needed. That being said, I don’t bother to reply to most things. It’s not my business to educate the people around me.

19. What is your favorite quote?
I have more than one, so I’m going to share three:

“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.” – Dean William Ralph Inge (yes, he was a priest)

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Star Wars

20. What is your favorite fictional story?  (novel, movie, fairytale, etc.)
Hmm, this is a hard question. I like Jamie Fraser from Outlander, I like a character from one of Mary Balogh’s books. I like Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen.

21. Whom do you secretly envy?  Why?
I don’t secretly envy people. I don’t publicly envy people. I would like to have some of the opportunities others had along their way, but I don’t envy.

Questions about others

01. How many people do you love?
That depends on what do you understand by love.

02. Who is your mentor and what have you learned from them?
I don’t have a mentor.

03. Would you rather your child be less attractive and extremely intelligent or extremely attractive and less intelligent?
It depends what “less” means. Regardless of how a child is born, nature can do so much, nurture has a greater impact. An intelligent person can fail if his talent is not cared for and encouraged. Same goes for beauty.

04. Whose life have you had the greatest impact on?
Close family members, obviously.

05. Who impresses you?
I mentioned it in the previous questions.

06. What is the one primary quality you look for in a significant other?
I’ve been married for 10 years with a man I met 15 years ago. If, hypothetically, I would look for a significant other now, my answer would be different than it was 15 years ago. Now he should have the same moral values and principals. 15 years ago I was a bit more tolerant regarding these things. My husband and I changed and consolidate our values through the years, things that come with maturity.
I’m sure he would say the same. While neither of us care if our friends have the same political views, for example, I can’t say the same about the other half. (mainly because for us, political views, is not only about a vote, but a view of how the country should be managed and what we expect from the government and local councils)

07. What type of person angers you the most?
After my answer to the previous question it might sound strange, but an intolerant person. I think anybody should be able to do what they want, as long as they don’t impede other people’s rights.

08. When you meet someone for the very first time what do you want them to think about you?
That I’m nice.

09. In one sentence, how would you describe your relationship with your mother?
Complicated, well, that was only one word.

10. What simple gesture have you recently witnessed that renewed your hope in humanity?
Who said I lost it at some point? These “renew my hope in humanity” things are so annoying. We, humans, kill and pillage and plunder and steal and lie and hurt others (people, animals and the planet). This is how we are and we are never going to change. I don’t live in a fairytale land where we all are going to love each other in the future.

11. How many friends do you have in real life that you talk to regularly?
Real life comparing to an imaginary one? All my friends are in the real life. Or maybe is “real” vs “online”, well, in this case, all my friends are real, because even if I talk with them online they are real people and not bots.

12. What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend?
I never thought about it.

13. Where or who do you turn to when you need good advice?
To the people that are trained in the area I’m looking for advice.

14. Who or what is the greatest enemy of mankind?
We don’t have enemies.

15. What do you know well enough to teach to others?
Work related stuff.

16. What was the last thing you furiously argued about with someone?
I try not to furiously argue with anybody.

17. What is the number one solution to healing the world?
Less pollution.

18. What could society do without?
A lot of things, sadly those things will not go away.

19. What is the most insensitive thing a person can do?
Imposing their views or will on anothers.

20. What simple fact do you wish more people understood?
Science and manners, these are two, but both important.

21. What makes someone a hero?
Hero is a word beeing used too much these days. To be a hero, someone has to do something amazing, out of the ordinary.

My September

September was an amazing month for me, more than usual. I want to make a big change and I’ve decided to wait for another year after having endless chats with my husband. This month I had the opportunity to see what options I have. Sorry to be so vague, but I’m not ready to talk openly about my plans on the blog just yet.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach. We went to the pleasure beach. I wasn’t 100% happy with it, so I’ve decided not to make a special blog about it. It was fun, maybe on a sunny and warm day it would have been better.

Bananas

I bought Manzano bananas, they are 6 times more expensive than regular bananas. I heard about them, but only now I saw them in the shop. As they are in this picture, they are still not fully ripe. These bananas have to have small black spots on them to be ripe. I had one as it was and it wasn’t nothing special. I had another one after it was ripe and it was amazing. I loved them, the taste is different, more sweet and lovely exciting flavour. I’m glad I’ve tried them.

Continue reading My September

3 reasons why I love owning my home

I was thinking to celebrate the 3rd home anniversary by writing a post on the 3 reasons why I love owning my home. I blogged about the 1st home anniversary and the 2nd home anniversary, if you fancy a read.

It’s obvious that owning a home is not always great. For example, if some noisy neighbours are moving in next door it’s unlikely we could sell the house and move in a matter of a couple of months. That might sound a bit random, but in the three years we’ve been here, one of the neighbours got married and had a child, while before she was out every night. Another elderly couple sold their home and new neighbours moved in, with a cat, dog and kid. Luckily for us, everybody is amazing and polite and we don’t hear noises from dusk to down.

3 reasons why I love owning my home

1. I can decorate how I want.

All our walls are white. It’s not exactly a bold statement colour, but before that our rented home had magnolia. I can’t express enough how much I dislike magnolia, I think I would rather had dark red or black. If, by chance we want to change the colours, we can do that. It’s unlikely as we both love white and the furniture is mostly white too. It’s a great colour to have on the walls if you have a dog, as we can wash and paint over if we need to.
The same applies to pretty much everything else in the house. We were able to modify the lights and we have now all the cables through the walls. The TV is looking like is floating on the wall and I love that.

2. I build up equity, not waste money on rent.

This is the most obvious one. Instead of paying rent, the money go towards an asset. It feels great every time I think of it. I really can’t say anything more on this, it’s just as simple as that.

3. My home is not checked by letting agencies or landlords.

This is one of the things that annoyed me most when renting. While the visits were ok when we were there, it happened once not to be at home. We’ve notified the agency and they replied that they can’t change the date, even though that meant only a week before or the week after, and it wasn’t their first check either. So, being away and knowing that someone comes into what I’ve considered my home to check how clean it is was awful.

I think the law should be changed and landlords shouldn’t be allowed to check a property if the tenants aren’t in. Just think of all the stuff we had at home, we were supposed to trust the guys from the agency will not take anything or will not open a drawer from our furniture… while checking if we are trustworthy with the house we’ve been renting for a long time. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I would understand landlords entering without permission if they were denied access a few times or there are a few complaints from the neighbours.
Owning our home means we don’t have to deal with that. It feels more secure and that we have privacy.

Do you own your home? What do you love about that?