My July so far…

It’s been quite an eventful July for me.  Eventful being the operative word and the understatement of the year.  It’s been a doozy.

My father has been ill and in and out of the hospital again.  We’ve been through a lot since he suffered a stroke two years ago and he was diagnosed with artherosclerosis.  But he is stubborn.  Wonderfully stubborn.  I think his stubbornness has buoyed him and coupled with his determination to get better, he has overcome a lot of obstacles.  But he is now back home again.  And I am so thankful that he is such a fighter.

We’ve had a mini-heatwave and I’m suffering!  Can you believe it?  The Filipina who has lived in a tropical country for 4/5 of her life is now suffering in temperatures that would be considered cool in the land of her birth?!?  I’m still recovering from a possible heatstroke from being in London last weekend!

Work has been work and I constantly get on the work carousel where I love it and hate it in a sequence.  At the moment, another change has happened that I’m really pleased about.  So I think I’m going to be happy waking up most mornings and logging in to open my emails.  I just need to pace myself because I think my carpal tunnel syndrome is rearing its ugly and horrible head again.

But the unthinkable happened on Thursday.  I lost my phone.  And it’s not something I can blame on someone else.  It was all my fault.

The trains were late on Thursday (surprise, surprise!).  When the trains finally arrived, I got on the usual carriage and noticed that it was strangely empty in the front half.  I simply thought, “oooh more seats, yay!”  Little did I know that the front half of the carriage was empty because of Mr Smellyman, sitting in the 6 seater section.  I plonked myself gratefully on the seat and my phone beeped.  It was a text message from home.  When it’s from my sister or my mum or my friends, I kind of drop everything to look at the message.  After I replied, I noticed the stink.  It was horrible.  It was then that the reality sunk in that the reason that part of the carriage was empty was because of the man I was sharing the 6-seater section with!  In my haste to vacate the premises, I must have put down the phone on the seat instead of into my bag.  I only realised that I lost my phone after the train left Marks Tey and it was probably too late by then.

When I got home, I rang my number and it went straight to voicemail.  My heart sank because no amazing and kind soul handed in my phone at a train station.  But I still lived in hope.  You hear all these wonderful stories about people handing phones and purses in.  I, myself, have done that a few times.  I’ve handed in a shopping bag with lots of purchases, a man’s wallet, someone’s ticket holder with cash, a Blackberry when it was still fashionable to have one (around 2011, I think) and the first incarnation of a Samsung Edge.  I had hoped that someone would also do that for me, if I lost my phone.  It’s been 48 hours since I lost the phone.  No one has gotten in touch and no one has handed it in.

I have accepted that I have completely lost my phone.

And yes, it was quite painful…I am still recovering.

To date, I think this is what I’d call my mense horribilis.

When disaster strikes

I made a cake for someone last night and finished it early this morning.  It was a chocolate Guinness cake.  And it was beautiful!

So I went to work, on the train as usual.  When I got to the office, I opened the cake box to check on the cake not expecting anything.  The trip was uneventful.  I didn’t swing the cake, I didn’t hit the box with anything, no one hit the box…it was a really good train journey.

So imagine the shock when I find the top layer of my cake cracked right through the middle with a section of it fallen off.  My heart tumbled down to my tummy then broke a little during the journey down.

I had to make the difficult call to my friend to say the cake broke and that I couldn’t give the cake to her for her party.

cake breakThe silver lining?  Everyone at work got the chance to have chocolate Guinness cake with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Oh yes.  It was a VERY rich cake!

The day we celebrate our uncaped superheroes

They wear ties, suit jackets, lab coats, overalls, steel capped boots, trainers, glasses, gloves…and nary a cape in sight.  But they are our superheroes – able to leap to our rescue, hold back floods of tears, amaze us with their strength and creativity, make things happen for us, save us from ourselves, allow us to gain the power to control our futures.  All this strength coupled with the gentleness to hold our hearts and our delicate egos so they don’t get broken.

They are our fathers.  The ones who, apart from our mothers, loved us first.  They are ordinary men with the extraordinary capacity to love us, warts and all.  They are our uncaped superheroes, our everyday supermen and powerful paragon.

Today is the one day of the week we are officially supposed to fawn over our amazing fathers.  And fawn over them we should.

To my dad, who is recuperating in the hospital, get well soon Abbadabbadoo!  You are my own very personal superhero and strong man.  I love you!  Happy Fathers Day!

HappyFathersDay

A gem off the beaten path: Coleman Coffee Roasters

Coleman Coffee Roasters frontWe came across this lovely café quite by accident.  We were exploring Lower Marsh and the rain started to come down quite heavily.  We were also looking for a place to have breakfast because our usual cheap eat favourite Marie’s on the same street was closed.

We took shelter and the smell of coffee  wafting from the beautifully gleaming vintage espresso machine was amazing!  We were greeted with a really welcome “Hello guys!” so we went further in and looked at the menu.  We were intending to be polite and just have coffee and possibly cake.  But they served Staffordshire oatcakes or “oaties” and there was quite a choice from sweet to savoury fillings for the oat pancakes.  We’d never had oaties before so our curiousity was piqued!  We chose to have bacon and stewed tomatoes.  The aroma of cooking bacon was amazing, and boy were the oaties oh-so-fabulously good!  It rated an “oh-my-God-this-is-amazing!” with my mouth full of oatie-bacon-tomato goodness!  The oaties were light but surprisingly filling.  I expected to feel full and bloated after, but I didn’t.  It was heaven on a plate.

oaties!Now. let’s get to the lovely brew!  I opted for drip coffee because it’s what I do when trying out a new coffee place (my better-safe-than-sorry coffee measure).  I was offered a choice between the Guatemalan and another blend (I think it was Costa Rican blend) and I chose the Guatemalan.  It was very nostalgic for me because it was served on a Duralex looking cup, which reminded me so much of the French coffee cups that my father favoured.  At first I was worried because the drip coffee looked light and watery.  But oh no, was I VERY wrong!  The coffee was rich, comforting and oh-so-flavourful.

Mmmm coffee!The staff are lovely, very friendly, so very helpful and they know their products.  They’re happy to explain what they sell, what you’re options are and they give you lovely recommendations.  They also love what they’re selling.  That’s key!

This isn’t quite on the main road from Waterloo Station, but this is definitely worth a visit.  The space is small and there are only a few seats, but that’s part of the charm.  If you have the opportunity to wander around Lower Marsh, pay the lovely folks at Coleman Coffee Roasters a visit.  It is DEFINITELY worth it!

Coffee and oaties!

That face!

If you can, pay a visit to the Colchester Zoo.  I’ve not been to ZLS London Zoo but from the looks of it, Colchester might provide you with more value for money.  I think this opinion is slightly biased because I do love what I call my local zoo!

Sharing with you one of my favourite snapshots of the red ruffed lemurs who love lounging above in the beams of one of the thatched roofs in the Lost Madagascar enclosure.

Red ruffed lemur

Wallpaper photos: pink flower

I’m quite pleased with the photos that I’m taking.

This is one of my favourite photos and I’m using it as my Samsung tablet wallpaper.  It’s a close up macro photo (I’m just spewing out photography terms and I don’t even know if I’m using them properly!  Ha!) of a bunch of pink flowers that I saw at Colchester Zoo.

Nothing earth shattering just me giving myself a pat on the back!

pink flower