Tuesday, 12 June 2012

I blame King Alfred

Apparently, the phrase 'dog-tired' derives from a tale about Alfred the Great, involving a competition he used to set for his two sons. Athelbrod and Edwin were sent out with King Alfred's hunting hounds on a long chase, and whoever caught the most dogs would get the seat at the right-hand of their father at that evening's dinner.

We have just acquired one dog, and she is not a hound: she is a 14 week old stray rescue German Shepherd mix (we're not sure what with - possibly Collie or Husky) from the Char-Meck Animal Care & Control centre. She is, however, making us dog-tired. Alberta (or Bertie for short) is the most adorable, smart little lady, but obviously being so young means she has a lot to learn. That currently means lots of play and training during the day, and learning to sleep at night (instead of howling and crying and barking for seven hours straight, which is her current choice of nocturnal activity). Add into the mix a new kitty too, who is settling in brilliantly but is a bit unnerved by one excessively hyper-friendly small dog and one oddly-interested large dog, and we have the recipe for quite the challenging second half of 2012. Not to mention joyful and rewarding!

Because of this, I am having trouble answering my phone, let alone writing back to emails or on this blog. So, if Queen's English is a little quiet over the next few weeks/months, this is mainly why. We also have Amber coming to stay this time next week, and work is ticking over nicely too. All lovely things!

This peace lasted for about five minutes.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

In vino veritas

I am writing this post with the slightly fuzzy head of one who thought that not two but three bottles of wine between two girls was a good idea. And a beer. However, it was one fantastic night out and I got to spend time with a lovely lass that I've known through Ben et al. for a while, but never met as she wasn't in Charlotte until last week. Add into that some live music, excellent wine (which I think I mentioned), and tasty food, and you have a very happy lady.

This last week has been really positive, and very heavy on the seeing people and celebrating side, which is wonderful! We had a Diamond Jubilee party last weekend, which was super: everyone brought food or drink (or both!) from one of the countries in the Commonwealth or former British Empire, and there were themed party games, bunting, Union Jack napkins, and The Beatles karaoke. Perfect!

I also had a proper girly sleepover and date night with the gorgeous Jess, who is probably the sweetest person on the planet. As I hadn't been feeling too great (read: as I am a grumpy cow sometimes), she made me a 'rainy day basket' complete with Muppet plasters (band aids), a framed photo of us, a delicious-smelling candle, pyjama bottoms with watermelons on, glasses to match the jammies, and a DVD of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' - and all topped off with a beautiful, thoughtful card. So, so lovely!

The diet has been... less strict this week, as I had the weekend off so I could sample all of the delicious food brought by our kind guests, and while I have not gone crazy (simply allowed myself veg or salad every day, and some potatoes too) I am definitely feeling better for eating a range of foods, instead of non-fat dairy and protein alone. I still need to lose a substantial amount of weight for me to be happy, but eating meat and veg and adding in more bike rides is the way to do it. The moods aren't worth the results!

The next big thing on the agenda is my friend (and essentially adopted-little-sister) Amber coming to stay - in less than two weeks' time! We've already made some plans, as she has meetings scheduled at UNCC and NC State universities with a view to doing postgraduate study over here. It's going to be so much fun! Lots of girl time, showing her around the city, and of course my favourite thing: people I love meeting each other and EVEN MORE LOVE happening.

As for work, we've done a couple of shoots this week that were really fun: one for the 25th anniversary cover of Creative Loafing, and one catalogue shoot for new Charlotte magazine NFocus. Next week we have an event shoot and some on-location head shots, at both of which I will be shooting, so that's exciting!

Tonight, Ben and I are going to Good Food on Montford, which is one of the best restaurants I've ever been to, and only a 30 minute walk from our house - bonus! We're celebrating our six month wedding anniversary there, which seems crazy! Time is flying by. But what a wonderful six months it has been.