Just Jane 002

A semi-regular series in which I share a fact or three about myself.

Me, circa 1984

I’m one of six children; chronologically I come fifth, though intellectually, I’m obviously at the top. (Just kidding, any siblings who might be reading this.) We’re three boys and three girls, and that many siblings mean that I’m an aunt many times over (five nieces, five nephews, a great-niece, two step-nephews, a step-niece, and a step-great-niece). I love being part of a big family, and I can’t imagine it any other way.

I once made the statement: “I never wear lipstick.” (It was swiftly followed by “Sometimes I wear lipstick,” which has gone on to become one of those things that my friends repeat with much hilarity due to how overwhelmingly ridiculous it is.) Pretty much since that day, I’ve found that wearing lipstick is a really good way to lift my confidence. This is not news; it’s been the way of the world for many years, but it took me a while to cotton on. Now, you can usually find at least two lipsticks in any bag I own, and I’ve bought the same MUA colour about sixteen times (without using any up first).

I really like my name. I never, ever find it on personalised things like bookmarks or pencil cases, but I’m mostly OK with that. I like that it’s a bit of an old lady name because it means that I rarely meet people of my own age with the same name. I like that it’s one syllable because it can’t be shortened but it can be lengthened. I’ve been known as Janey and Janus in the past, though mostly now I am just Jane.

A love letter to… 2015

EST. 2015

Dear 2015,

Well, what a funny old year it has been. I dropped a line to your predecessor this time last year, and I thought it would be a nice tradition to continue.

You’ve not been a great year for blogging. I’ve always had an up and down relationship with this strange hobby, but this is the first year it has taken a real back seat to real life. This is mainly due to the fact that I just haven’t had the time, but also because for a while, I fell out of love with blogging a bit. We’ll see how things develop, but I finally feel excited again about things at Is That You Darling.

Personally, you were something of a milestone year, as I officially moved out of home. I went to university as a mature student, and when that was over I wasn’t in a position to move out, but finally, at the grand old age of 32, I managed it! I now live with my friend Hannah in a tiny little flat near Colchester, and aside from the fact that it’s almost unbearably cold in the winter, I love it, and I’m happy to have finally ticked off a major box in the adult column.

I’ve had a lot of fun with you, 2015. As with last year, though I might have spent too much money on clothes, I’ve been trying to concentrate on making memories, and I have some special ones to cherish. I saw Ward Thomas (again), and visited a town called Ugley. I went to Scotland for the first time, visiting Edinburgh to see Radio 2 broadcast live (a dream come true). I went on yet another caravan holiday with my best friends, and had the usual amazing time. I went to my first book launch, and was in the same esteemed company as Stanley Tucci for a couple of hours. I went to see The Proclaimers (!), I went back to Hyde Park for Radio 2’s Festival in a Day and saw, amongst other people, Bryan Adams, The Corrs and, yes, of course, Ward Thomas and The Shires once more.

I’ve gained a couple of new members of the family too, in the form of a new niece and nephew. I’ve seen my family much less than I used to when I lived at home, which has taken some getting used to, but I guess it just makes the times I do see them all the more special. It would help if I could drive, as my new home isn’t *that* far away from most of them, but I can’t. Hopefully that will change in the coming year, however!

And, even though this letter is already too long, I can’t finish it without a mention of my continuing interest in the work of Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode. You were the first year in many that saw a live broadcast of Wittertainment, but as I was working, I was spared the disappointment of applying for tickets and inevitably failing to get them! I did, however, see Simon Mayo during my aforementioned Edinburgh trip, and I finally managed to see a Dodge Brothers gig, in Camden, with my Wittertainment friend Chloe. And miraculously, you were a year in which the good doctors released a book, which I was lucky enough to review, and when I headed along to the accompanying tour date in London, Mark and Simon were very kind to know who I was based on my review. When I headed along to the second London date, I ended up on stage, which was amazing and surreal, and resulted in my receiving a t-shirt that says ‘I’ve been seen by the Movie Doctors.’ All in all, quite an amazing turn of events!

All in all, 2015, I’d say you’ve been an up-and-down kind of a year. Some very exciting things have happened alongside some real contemplative moments, and while I know I’m lucky in many ways, I won’t look back on you as the best year of my life. So thanks for the memories, and I hope 2016 is even better!

Love Jane

A Love Letter to… is an ongoing series (that admittedly could do with a few more entries!)

The Week That Was

Spreading the blog love

♥ A slightly older link, but the best news evs for Louisa at Duck in a Dress. Congratulations!

♥ Terri-Jane is telling ‘should’ to do one, and I’m on board.

♥ Elise took a tour of Glasgow Central Station, and it’s left me wanting to do something similar.

♥ Elizabeth from Margot and Barbara is one of my favourite bloggers, and her post about her allotment supper is one of the reasons why.

The rest of the web

♥ I love this mash-up – the music of Inception over the trailer for Inside Out, creating Incept Out.

Five summer looks in films.

♥ $129 for a mystery flight in 1950.

Tweets I’ve liked this week

Three worders

Monday ~Excited for Imelda

Tuesday ~ Lunchtime squats – ouch!

Wednesday ~ Anticipating a downpour

Thursday ~Foraging course booked


Right now, I am mostly…

Trying : I’m trying to get away with the fact that I should have written this yesterday, but didn’t get around to it. I’m almost trying to get back into the swing of blogging. Sometimes my blogging well dries up because of a major life event, and sometimes it’s just because I can’t find any words to write. This time it was the latter – I have posts I want to write, I just haven’t had any motivation to write them. I think that’s OK though; no big announcements about coming and going, just a gentle re-entry. I’m going to try and be a better blogger in July.

Walking : We’ve recently moved offices, and where we used to work was perfect was a lunchtime walk. We were concerned that the new environs wouldn’t afford the same lunchtime pleasures, but the surroundings are lovely, and weirdly, lunchtimes seem to last longer! Last week we took three dogs out with us, none of which belonged to anyone walking, and had a lovely ramble!

Ticking : I ticked off a 33 Before 33 item at the weekend, and anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter will know which one it was, but there will be a post to follow for those who don’t!

Visiting : I went to Bournemouth on Sunday, completing the tri-fecta of British cities beginning with B that I’ve visited in the last few months for work, without seeing much of the city at all! I got to see a bit of the beach, and the inside of the Pavilion, but it was nice, and I’d like to go back. The journey there was blissful, taking just over three hours; the jouney back was hellish, taking over five. Gah!

Watching : Again, I need to seriously pull my finger out and do some blogging about the films I have watched recently, but needless to say, I have long since passed my 52 goal, and I’m hoping to hit 100 by the end of the year!

Celebrating : I went out on Saturday night to celebrate my lovely friend Lucy’s birthday, and I had a lovely time. This was down to a) spending time with my lovely work friends, and b) feeling as though I looked good when I left the house. This is such an unusual feeling for me that I feel it needs celebrating. I actually said the words “I look fierce” which is such a ridiculous thing for me to say, but I felt great!

Accepting : I recently accepted a request to be a bridesmaid (not the greatest syntax in that sentence, but I had to work it round an -ing word!), for the seventh time. I know, right. Seven times a bridesmaid, you have to be joking if you think you’re ever getting married. I’m pretty sure that’s how that saying goes. I’m excited though; it’s for my niece (I know), and it’s happening in warmer climes!

Reading : A reading round-up is well overdue, as I missed my May roundup. Again, a blog post will follow, but I’ve been really enjoying the books I’ve been reading lately. I am almost certainly not going to reach the 75 goal that I set myself every year, but I’m pretty zen about that at the moment (ask me again in December!).

Receiving : I bought my first ever Lucky Dip Club box last month, and I was very excited when it arrived on Friday. Anything advertised as having a Dinosaur Disco theme was always going to get my vote, and I wasn’t disappointed. I love my T-Rex necklace the most, though I’m very taken with the dinosaur tape too!

Writing : I’m not much of a poet, but I do enjoy using words to throw together a poem every now and again. To go along with my Twitter Poetry (using my @ replies to make a poem), I’ve just started writing Predictive Poetry – using predictive text to throw together a poem. See above for my first one!

Enjoying : I wondered along to an exhibition at the London Museum Docklands last week when I was in London; Soldiers and Suffragettes. It displays the photography of Christina Bloom, generally considered to be the UK’s first female press photographer. It’s really interesting – she photographed mainly soldiers and suffragettes (obviously), as well as high society and royalty. Definitely worth a look if you get a chance!