100 Happy Days – Week 12

We’re into the 80s now… and Lou seems to have given up without any further explanation. Well I shall persevere on without her in my quest for ongoing happiness!!

LOU’S WEEK

Day 78

Watching my cat do yoga.

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Day 79

Treated myself to a new fridge magnet.

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Day 80

Finally home and glad to still be alive after driving to London for the first time ever. Horrific. One particular roundabout of death will haunt my dreams forever. Time for an emergency dead dog sitting pose!

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Day 81

Receiving a lovely text message from Nicole. Almost as wonderful as receiving a text message telling me I’m entitled to 3 grand for that recent car accident I had….

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Day 82

. . .

Day 83

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Day 84

. . . Err Lou, are you there?!

BECKY’S WEEK

Day 78

BBQ and Pimms with the gorgeous Becki and Matt. Love them so much!!!

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Day 79

Day out at the beach with these lovely people!! And Elliot :)

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Day 80

Early finish from a most pleasant day at work. Now it’s time for a stroll home in the sun listening to Iggy Iggz yo

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Day 81

These beautiful roses from Matty!! Technically this should have been yesterday’s happy day but they are still making me smile today :)

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Day 82

Om nom nommmm

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Day 83

My Mummy shared her sandwhich with me at lunch time because mine had mould on it. These are the perks of working with your Mummy

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Day 84

Getting my song featured on the official MTV Catfish Casting Page has kept me smiling all day long :) Wonder if Nev or Max will finally hear it?!

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Week 11

Wow the days are just flying by now, we’re in the home stretch!! Lou has now reappeared with her happy days, who knows if her missing ones will ever turn up, but let’s just pretend she never left us… ;)

LOU’S WEEK

Day 71

My new Yoga gear has just arrived!

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Day 72

Birthday doughnuts to mark the end of a great 30th year and to celebrate the beginning of even better 31st year…so many adventures to look forward to this year! Many thanks for all the birthday love, folks!

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Day 73

Time to get into my pyjamas and crack open this birthday bad boy…

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Day 74

Having rice milk for the first time again since my holiday! Cows are now dead to me…

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Day 75

Flights to Israel booked!! Roll on the 5th October!

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Day 76

Amazing birthday presents from my BFF!

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Day 77

Purchasing nibbles for the CIN 2 Singstar Party tonight! 

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BECKY’S WEEK

Day 71

Reunited with my Lee Lee <3

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Day 72

Kacey Musgraves tonight with Co and co!!

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Day 73

Songwriting with Pete, Chris and Ashley Hicklin, writer of two Belgian Eurovision entries!! Learning a lot and loving this track :)

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Day 74

Morning high fives from Kitty <3

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Day 75

Wearing my lovely new bicycle scarf to work which I got in Landan :)

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Day 76

Catching up with I Wanna Marry Harry with Loubear. We have about five eps to watch and I’m so excited. This Harry lookalike is a right perv too, just look at him…

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Day 77

Making a letter all about Portsmouth for my penpal in Kazakstan <3

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Weeks 9 & 10 (Becky’s Weeks)

I have been hanging on to update my Happy Days these past few weeks as Lou has gotten totally out of sync with them since swanning off to Spain for a week of Paradise!!

This is why I am updating my weeks now… WITHOUT HER! But I’m sure she will send me her pics soon for her own update ;) Incidentally it is her birthday today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOU!!!

Becky’s Weeks

(I am starting a day out as I put too many pics up last time, man this maths malarchy is hard….)

Day 58

Cookie Monster Cupcake. Need I say more?

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Day 59

Plotting a new idea on my lunch break whilst eating from my fabulous new lunchbox (courtesy of Chris and Jen)

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Day 60

Reunited with Ellie Wyatt after 6 months for a fabulous songwriting session!

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Day 61

Going to Mum and Dad’s for a pre-birthday dinner and early presents!! Oh yay!!!

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Day 62

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!! And I’m having a wonderful day! So many lovely cards and messages, a gorgeous lunch with Matty, shopping until I drop in Guildford… And tonight we are seeing the new Studio Ghibli film at No. 6 Cinema! It’s a perfect day!

(NOTE: we ended up staying in and watching My Neighbour Totoro instead, which was just as fun!!!)

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Day 63

Been wearing my new birthday perfume today and it smells lovely!

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Day 64

A surprise birthday package from my Kazakstan pen friend. Thank you so much Alina, I love it!! <3

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Day 65

Cocktails in the sunshine

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Day 66

Amazing surprise present from Loubear <3 Can’t wait!!!!

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Day 67

I just made pasta bake all by myself, totally unsupervised!! All my friends who know what a terrible cook I am will know this is a big deal!!!

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Day 68

This bad boy just made my walk home oh so sweet

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Day 69

HANNY!! PIZZA!! YAY!!!

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Day 70

Walking back in the sunshine after a great writing sesh with my friend Ed finishing off our country song yeeehaw

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Week 8

We’re over the halfway mark, and this week the sun was out!! Plenty of happy moments to come then :)

LOU’S WEEK

Day 50

(Day 50 – halfway through!!) – a very random Saturday night out at a village ‘club’ (yes, it did look and smell like an old people’s home….)

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Day 51

Brunch.

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Day 52

Have just woken up from a 3 hour ‘nap’. FUN FACT: regular napping apparently increases the risk of early death by a third….

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Day 53

Enjoying a Tropical Tina (lime, coconut and butterscotch). Lush!

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Day 54

 Date night with Anne Ward.

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Day 55

Enjoying a lovely afternoon at the beach with these two gorgeous girls and their supermum Becky Stiles (better than a yogurt any day!)

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Day 56

Packing for a week of happy days in Spain!

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Day 57

(Lou is now off on holiday so I expect she will upload her pictures from this point after she has returned!!)

BECKY’S WEEK

Day 50

Just bought the best thing ever for the garden!!!!!

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Day 51

Come to Mama….

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Day 52

Post-work chocolate Baileys. Scrum.

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Day 53

Finally watching Frozen for the first time! It’s me and Lou <3

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Day 54

Coming home to find this postcard from Loubear <3 <3 <3

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Day 55

One of the ladies in the office gave us all a free Cornetto!! It melted but it was still amazing!

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Day 56

Noodle soup from the Chinese shop, yum.

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Day 57

Fun in the sun with my lovely buds

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

New York Adventures – Part 6

DAY 6 –Sat 26th October

Central Park, The Zoo and….Poor Gus….

So by Day 6, our apartment was an absolute mess. We were literally living in our own filth. There were clothes and food packets scattered everywhere. There was make-up all over the kitchen counter. We hadn’t washed a single item of clothing because the washing machine in the hallway was far too complicated and we were terrified of asking Mr. S. for help after the whole DVD player debacle. But hey, holidays in America aren’t for washing and cleaning! And thus, we left the mess as it was.

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The weekend had rolled around so quickly and we decided the best way to spend our Saturday was visiting the world famous Central Park. It was another glorious, blue-skied day and we couldn’t wait to see the zoo and take a carriage ride around the park!

We had already been to the area before as it was the same place the Sex And The City Tour left from, but we hadn’t properly explored it the first time. It really was very cool with horses and carriages clip-clopping all along the road and plenty of pretty greenery everywhere.

We picked a horse and carriage to approach and enquired about their prices, which led to a bit of an argument with the slighty scary Irish carriage driver. In our New York Passes it told us we got a discount on any carriage at Central Park but our driver was adamant that deal hadn’t existed for years. I was very much in an “everyone and everything is trying to con me” kind of mood on this holiday so I dug my heels in and demanded to know why it was advertised in the booklet if it didn’t exist. He told me anyone down the street would tell me the same price so in the end we relented. I felt a little bit guilty because I’m not usually someone who likes to be difficult in these situations and the guy was only doing his job, but with the amount of people trying to screw us over on every corner I just wanted to keep my wits about me! In the end it turned out New York Pass was in the wrong and had outdated instructions for getting the discount in the booklet (we were supposed to go to a certain place I think that wasn’t really advertised). When I wrote to complain to the company they were pretty dismissive and defensive in their response back so as a result I would never particularly recommend getting a New York Pass to anyone!!

Our little dispute aside, our driver turned out to be pretty good and we really enjoyed our ride around the park. Our horse was called Rudy and was super cute! We got go round the whole area (I think the ride lasted about 20 minutes in total) while the driver told us lots of different facts about certain buildings or parts of the park. It was all really cool stuff about famous film scenes and where celebrities live, it was especially cool when we recognised places he pointed out from the television! Here’s some pictures from the ride:

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After our ride we went exploring around the park – it honestly is huge! The scenery is really lovely with beautiful patches of green and water.

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It’s split into loads of different sections, so it’s sort of like a few different parks in one. We got to see a couple of well-known spots like the bridge which is in Home Alone 2 (Lou made me watch that movie when we got back home, it’s Central Park-tastic!)

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Although Central Park was lovely, it wasn’t quite how I had imagined it was going to be. It’s such a famous landmark and I had envisioned it to be some kind of buzzing hive of activity with loads of street performances and cool, interesting people everywhere. In reality it was pretty peaceful and a place for Mums with buggies and old people going off for a ramble. There were a couple of people playing instruments here and there but it was more serene than hip-happening. Not that there is anything wrong with a pretty, peaceful place… of course it was absolutely lovely! I had just hoped for a little more adventure from it!

One of my favourite places in the park was a little area where you could sit outside and play chess with your friends – or strangers! A cool old guy beckoned me and Lou over for a game but we didn’t really have enough time to get into a game. I thought it was such a cool idea though, the stone chess tables were amazing. If I was in New York for a longer stretch of time then I swear I would spend so much of my time there! (We didn’t get any pics unfortunately, but it was so lovely!)

After a while of looking around, we headed into the centre of the park for our next super-fun destination – Central Park Zoo. This is actually the very zoo that the Madagascar films are based on so we were really excited to go round it!

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We really loved the zoo, there were so many amazing animals and moments but here are some highlights in bullet point form…

-          Me buying the world’s saltiest pretzel from a food cart as soon as we got there. I started off loving it and about halfway through I thought I was going to black out from the amount of salt I was inhaling. The pretzel was so delicious though so I just started scraping all the salt onto the floor so I could bravely try and finish eating it.

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-          SEA LIONS OF JOY!!! We got to see a whole sea-lion show where they did amazing tricks. They are so adorable and kind of dog-like in nature. They even played fetch! I was pretty amazed at how intelligent they were. I was not as amazed with the disembodied droning American voice presenting the show who was listing off endless sea-lion facts in a monotone drawl (and making loads of mistakes in the process.)

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-          Me falling off the steps that led to the sea lions and nearly crashing into their tank…

-          The fat penguins who were super cute. We nicknamed one Bobbo because he was too fat to actually get out the water and just bobbed about a lot instead. There was also a really pensive one who was just staring forlornly into the sky as though in some kind of existential crisis.

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-          Red Pandas. THE CUTEST THINGS IN THE WORLD!!!

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- Monkeys! Lou got some really good photos of these little fellas

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-          A really fat sheep at the petting zoo. Lots of these animals were pretty fat actually… Oh and I couldn’t enjoy the petting zoo as much as I wanted to because of all the STUPID CHILDREN around that I had to let go in front of me and stuff. PFFT. As if petting zoos are for kids….

-          A terrifying statue in the middle of the park of a lion mangling a bird. Because what else represents animal-based family fun?

-          Our best memory of the zoo was the fact that loads of the best exhibitions were closed. We always find stuff like this funny because Lou and I are like black clouds of doom that curse everything fun we touch so if we didn’t laugh about them then we would endlessly cry. Snow Leopards were CANCELLED.

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But worst of all was that Gus the Polar Bear was, erm,  no longer available…

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As we were reading the sign, an American lady walked past with her partner and sighed “Poor Gus” in the most sincere tone you can imagine. I’m not sure why but that just set us off into hysterics and became our favourite quote of the holiday. We then for some reason thought it would be the most hilarious thing ever to change a sign saying “Polar Circle” to “Polar Circle OF DEATH”. I am not sure what to say about this… we were sleep deprived….

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Smile Gus….!

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I would definitely recommend a trip to the zoo if you are ever in Central Park, it was such great fun and from what I remember the ticket price was pretty reasonable too. After we had seen all the animals we made our way out of the park and over to the main strip of road so Lou could buy some lunch.

This was our perfect excuse to visit The Plaza – the big posh hotel as seen in Home Alone 2. Not only is it a real hotel but there is a big food court inside of it. Here we are stood in the famous foyer…

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I was really regretting already having a pretzel by this point because there was soooo much lovely food and drink on offer in the court, it was kind of too much to take in! We had a little mose about and ventured into the English Food shop that sold anything and everything other than any actual English food. Lou got a posh veggie wrap thing and we went outside by the big lovely fountain to eat it. A great idea in theory, until we found ourselves being splashed by freezing cold water every time the wind picked up. HAPPY LUNCHTIME!

After lunch, we did what any self-respecting pair of grown women in their late-twenties would do…  and went back to the giant toy shop! Oh yes, FAO Schwarz was just across the road and we couldn’t resist another little look around. This time we found MUPPETS. Actual MUPPETS.

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And I found my MUPPET DOUBLE!!!! I kind of wish I’d bought her now…. (Shame she was so bloody expensive!!)

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We also had our fortunes told by ZOLTAR! The actual fortune teller from the Tom Hanks film Big. It is the very same toyshop from the movie and also has the giant piano from that very famous scene (which we saw but didn’t go on because too many kids were on it haha).

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There were a few other shops and things around the area so after spending far too long in the toyshop for a second time we had a little mooch around. There was an authentic “Sample Sale” outlet down the street (which I always think of being a totes American thing) but it was all real fur coats and accessories so to be honest it was a bit scary. Why would anyone pay ridiculous amounts of dollars to hang a dead animal around their necks, especially animals that may be endangered (from what I remember it wasn’t just rabbit fur or anything).Gross.

We tried our best to nonchalantly edge our way out of the scary fur place, then we went to another iconic New York landmark… Tiffany’s!

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Sadly it was too late for breakfast there (hahaha … ahem…) but we did have a look at all the floors of shiny expensive things. There were lots of nice things to see, and plenty of posh ladies behind cabinet counters looking us up and down and knowing in one eye-scan that we were tourists and not buyers.  It was all rather intimidating and it seemed like the sort of place I shouldn’t stay in long in case I broke something.

We had to go to the engagement ring floor to see all the sparkly rings that probably cost as much as a small house. It was really funny because the room was full of gorgeous, scowling ladies who were picking out rings with their partners (most of whom were much older and looked thoroughly bored to be there). It was hard to believe this was supposed to be such a happy moment for these couples, I think for many of them it was like a business transaction. I always read trashy novels about people like that but I never realised they actually existed!

In the late afternoon we were going to go to the little independent French Cinema in the area (the same one Carrie goes to in Sex And The City) – but the film we had seen advertised when we were there a few days before had changed to something we didn’t fancy at all. This gave us a good excuse to go back to Harlem early and have a relaxing evening doing nothing much. I think we probably needed it after how busy our week had been so far.

We went to our favourite local deli for dinner and had the most delicious take-away Ravioli ever. We even got free cheesecake slices because we had to wait a long time. They were really nice there, it seemed so stressful with a lot of moany/crazy people coming in and giving them grief… but they rewarded their patient customers!

I think we must have got an early night by this point… I think we were going to bed by 8pm, we just couldn’t get into New York time at all! But it meant we were up bright and early for another day of fun.

Additonal Notes Worth Mentioning:

-          “I could swim… IF I WANTED TO!!!” (Us imitating Bobbo The Penguin)

-          Getting lost on the way down at Tiffany’s despite there only being a few floors… I think we had to ask someone for help actually…

-          Me buying a $5 pack of gummy sweets from a teenager in the park who told me it was to help his basketball team buy uniforms and reach the finals of some big game.
Lou – “I think you just got conned….”
Me – “Well, it was a really elaborate story. He put in a lot of effort so I think he earned it!”

-          (Fining out the film had changed at the Paris Cinema)
Lou – “It might be good?”
Me – “FINANCIAL THRILLER?!”
Lou – “Yeah… Maybe not…”

- This picture:

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- And also… this picture:

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- And while we’re at it…. THIS PICTURE!!!

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-          Lou climbing over my toilet stall at the zoo to take a picture of me BECAUSE THAT’S MATURE RIGHT??

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-          And on the subject of maturity… This may or may not have been our handiwork at the toyshop…. *innocent whistling*

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NEXT TIME…. Little Miss Sunshine, Thrift Shopping and Guy Spotting

Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Week 7

WE ARE NEARLY HALFWAY THROUGH!!! This is exciting news, but there are still so many more happy days to come! This week features an awful lot of ice cream….

LOU’S WEEK

Day 43

Having one of those ‘is this my life?’ days….hopefully a whole tub of half-price Ben and Jerry’s will lift my spirits (whilst adding to my backfat)

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Day 44

This is my life right now! Good, innit?

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Day 45

Have just worked my last Monday until 7th July! Just four more days of pre-leave hell to get through now…..

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Day 46

Spending the evening doing case summaries and chronologies before I go on leave….DID I MENTION THAT I AM GOING ON LEAVE?!

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Day 47

A day full of highs and lows but treating myself to a Twister ice lolly after work was a moment of sheer joy…

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Day 48

There will be no happy picture today….the World Cup is already ruining my life….

Day 49

NO MORE WORK FOR TWO WEEKS!! My bitter work colleagues scoffed a load of ice creams in the office today and didn’t even offer me one….nevermind, bought a whole box of my own to devour tonight!

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BECKY’S WEEK

Day 43

Pandy Love <3

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Day 44

Pac-Man Battle Royale with Denzy and Matty. My fave arcade game!!

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Day 45

Recording session vocals for a J-Pop song. It’s so awesome getting paid work doing what you love… And even better, Chris Wortley bought be a dessert for break time!

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Day 46

Today I discovered that two of my fave songwriters Colbie Caillat and Meiko have randomly released new music. Download time!!

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Day 47

Hanging out with Denzy and Leo en route to see Danica’s art exhibition. Good times <3

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Day 48

Lunchtime in the sunshine! Whilst reading a nice email that had cheered me up no end!

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Day 49

Getting to play all the students computer games made in a week at work today. Was a nice little way to break up the day and the games were so fun and creative!

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Week 6

We have a couple of crossover pictures this week, because let’s face it… Lou and I spend far too much of our life together. But on the plus side, there is not one single picture of a cat to be found for Week 6! ;)

LOU’S WEEK

Day 36

It’s new and it’s chocolate so I’m all over it….

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Day 37

(Day 37 – will this ever end?!) – starring in the music video for Hobo Husband by Becky Jerams and playing the lead role of Hobo Husband. I had a bulge and everything! Video to follow soon!

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Day 38

well I was supposed to be going to the cinema tonight with my hobo wife Becky Jerams which was obviously going to be my happy moment for today. However I have been blown out for some old slapper putting on a show in London so I have had to find solace in a Muller Crunch Corner instead ;)

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Day 39

Loved it!

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Day 40

*tumbleweed*

Day 41

A work colleague called up to the office to see if we wanted anything from the cafe downstairs, I replied ‘the will to live’ and this is what she bought me! Thank you Lorraine Riggs!

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Day 42

Social work done, housework done, car tax renewed and dinner in the oven…let the weekend commence!

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BECKY’S WEEK

Day 36

Elevenses at the Rooftop Terrace Cafe with Jen. Lovely!!

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Day 37

Recording a video for Hobo Husband with Lou in the starring role. She has really missed her calling as an award winning actress!

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Day 38

Spontaneous London gig!! We managed to get tickets last minute to the sold out Sara Bareilles show and she was PHENOMENAL!!! Literally in floods of tears I was so moved!!

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Day 39

A lovely cinema trip with Loubear to see the awesome Maleficent!! I loved it! And I had a yummy ice cream, can you see the chocolate splodges?

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Day 40

Chilling out in an empty shop, listening to me choons and doing me price list. This most definitely beats working at Homebase/Blockbuster/insert every crappy job I’ve ever had here!

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Day 41

Checking out some interesting reading from the library. Time to learn all about dresses and thrifty living!!

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Day 42

Dinner at Mummy and Daddy’s and catching up after their holiday :)

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Week 5

Week 5! We’ve lasted so much longer than anyone expected!! I have been told by Lou her missing photos from last week are purely a Facebook error…. so maybe I’ll fix that later….

LOU’S WEEK

Day 29

Making brownie party pops from a recipe in a Jaqueline Wilson kids magazine. They looked nicer than they tasted ;)

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Day 30

Becky checking online to see if I have blood cancer and then giving me the all-clear. I feel like I’ve got a second chance at life! #feelingblessed

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Day 31

Dossing on the sofa with my fluffs after finally dragging my carcass out of bed at 2pm.

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Day 32

She’s dead!

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Day 33

Receiving an email at work from my future wife Anne Ward telling me that she misses my face (in a totally lesbian way). Then she tells me that this needs to be my happy moment for today. Well, it was either this or another yogurt photo….

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Day 34

Driving home from the gym with a rush of endorphins and this absolute choon comes on the radio..

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Day 35

Surviving another week at work without getting the sack…..yesssss!

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BECKY’S WEEK

Day 29

Had an amazing day geeking out at MCM expo dressed as Kiki the witch. I even got to meet Zainab from Eastenders, she was soooo lovely!

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Day 30

I got my Loubear and I got my Thomas The Tank Engine spaghetti. What more do I need on a Sunday afternoon?

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Day 31

Lovely afternoon in Petersfield for Matty’s birthday with lots and lots of lovely people :)

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Day 32

Oh how I love the wonderful world of Harvester! Happy birthday Matty!!

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Day 33

Buying random songs off iTunes with the voucher I got from Carphone Warehouse months ago. I thought it was about time I completed my Hilary Duff collection.

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Day 34

Really starting to nail this track with the Halo writing team, think it’s going to sound epic when it’s finished!!

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Day 35

Waking up to find the video of Every River has gone up on YouTube. So cool to hear a track I co-wrote being performed live on Belgian TV!!

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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

100 Happy Days – Week 4

Has it really been a whole month since we started this challenge?? I think Lou pretty much gave up this week but she shouted at me a lot when I told her she would be disqualified and not get her book at the end. BECAUSE WHAT AM I, THE KEEPER OF THE BOOK?! Well… I should be.

LOU’S WEEK

Day 22

Glorious sunshine, polo, fab company, a random bit of sunburnt and the BBQ of Death which turned out to be the BBQ of Dreams! Top weekend!

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Day 23

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Day 24

Doesn’t exist (Lou died)

Day 25 and 26

S O C I A L W O R K !

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Day 27

How well does Facebook know me?!

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Day 28

Being treated to fantastic live performances of every song from Frozen!

(This was a lovely video so I had to take a screenshot!)

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BECKY’S WEEK

Day 22

Yummy meal out at Jamie’s. Here’s Matty and his Daddy, cheers!

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Day 23

Daddy’s got the BBQ going!

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Day 24

Chilling with our buds in the sunshine

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Day 25

Finishing the last song I’ll ever write in my Hannah Montana lyric book. 77 finished songs in these pages, feels like a real life achievement!!

Becky 25
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Day 26

Lucy Beale’s funeral on Eastenders was well epic tonight!! Max Branning you schlag!!

Becky 26
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Day 27

Wrapping Matty’s birthday presents whilst watching terrible reality TV

Becky 27
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Day 28

Great writing session with Andy and Leonie of Tremain

Becky 28
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Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams

New York Adventures – Part 5

DAY 5 – Fri 25th October

NBC, Top Of The Rock And Brooklyn Baby!!

I started off Day 5 by accidentally dropping my sock down the toilet. This was followed by a Subway ride into Times Square sat in total silence where we were both so burned out we couldn’t even find the effort to speak. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most glamorous start to the morning. This was most definitely our grumpiest day, but luckily it was all uphill from that point onward!

Our first stop was the NBC Studios where we had booked a guided tour through our New York Pass. We weren’t a hundred percent sure if we wanted to do the tour or not because it was based around a lot of TV shows and News Programmes that we don’t get in UK, but we decided to give it a go anyway. Even though we didn’t get the references, it was still really interesting to get to see the inner workings of a TV studio so we enjoyed it a lot more than we had anticipated.

At the start we lined up along a glass cabinet filled with different things such as old radios, Broadway costumes (dresses from Wicked eee!) and a Lamb Chop puppet. (I looooooved Lamb Chop as a kid!!) I tried to get a photo but it was a bit tricky and from this point on we weren’t allowed cameras so you’ll have to use your imagination as you read on….

Our tour guide was a show runner from the network and had a really sarcastic sense of humour so Lou and I loved her. You could tell she had to give the same old spiel every single tour and was kind of dead behind the eyes because of it. We liked that, reminded us of home. We were all ushered into a movie room by her and shown a film about all the different NBC shows and the history of television. I didn’t recognise many of the shows and all the news clips seemed so silly and contrived to me, give me BBC any day!!

We were then shown around behind the scenes in a group to loads of different areas of the studio. We saw the big set where Saturday Night Live is filmed (through a glass window, but it was pretty impressive!) , one of the newsrooms and a room filled with plaster cast faces for making up celebrity guests. It was really interesting to see all the camera equipment and learn some of the “TV magic” that make the sets look much bigger onscreen than they really are.

Near the end of the tour, there was a little bit where two kids from the audience got to play with the green screen and we had to watch them like we were a real audience. Two little boys who were around 11 or 12 were picked to be a weatherman and a newsreader. We all sat and watched expecting them to be adorably gawky as they played the roles. BUT OH MY GOD, they were literally amazing!! Especially the kid playing the newsreader who read the autocue with more intonation and articulation than a grown adult! I told him that he was awesome on the escalator out and he seemed pleased – as he should be, I was dead impressed!! One thing I noticed in general while we were in New York was that people seemed to interact much more with their children. Kids seemed a lot more well behaved and engaged in things around them than many of the children I witness in Portsmouth. It was a nice thing to see.

Overall it was well worth doing the tour – here are some more quotes from our favourite tour guide:

“(In the make up room)

GUESS WHAT? WE’RE ALL GETTING MAKEOVERS!!

(Everyone’s eyes light up in excitement)

Not really.

(Everyone hangs head in disappointment)”

- – -

“(Someone in the camera-room) Err, excuse me… are we being filmed right now?

Of course not!

But… that camera has a light on…

No. Of course you’re not being filmed. (shifty eyes) Err, let’s move on.

(Everyone: …..)”

- – -

“(Talking about what happens if the TV cuts out due to a power failure) If there’s no power for *however many days* it will take *however long to get back on air”*…. If there’s no power for 14 days…. Well you need to stop watching TV and gather your loved ones because the apocalypse is here.

(Kids cower into their parents arms)”

- – -

Oh man, we loved that lady!!

We definitely felt in higher spirits after such a good tour and our next stop would cheer us up even more – shopping in the Rockefeller Centre!!

I love shopping at the best of times, and I love it even more when I’m in a different country and can peruse all the cool stuff we don’t get in UK. We didn’t waste too much time in the shops but we did have a good mose around a couple of places including a card shop which was selling loads of amazingly tacky Christmas decorations. I got a Taylor Swift guitar that plays “Long Live” when you press the back (I swear it’s the most amazing Christmas related item I ever bought) and Lou got her own Elmo tree decoration. (What is up with America’s unhealthy obsession with Elmo?!)

There was also a whole rack of Halloween cards which was a bit of a novelty for us. I bought one for Mat and my Nana, but you could even get “Happy Halloween From The Dog”. What the heck haha!

We looked in a few other places including a cute book shop and a supermarket for US snacks to bring home. We also grabbed a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from a shop that did flavours we had never even heard of before. AMAZING!

Inside the Rockefeller Centre was the entrance to Top Of The Rock, which aside from shopping was our mean reason for coming in. Top Of The Rock and The Empire State Building are the two highest views of the city and since we went to the Empire State at night we thought we would do the second view in the daytime.  There were designated time slots to go up and as with many other attractions, there was a whole tedious security system to go through before we were allowed in.

As we took off our coats and jewellery to put into the plastic scanner trays, a very stern man started barking “BAGS, CAMERAS, PHONES” over and over as he pointed at the trays. He must have had to say it for hours, I can’t imagine a more horrible job in my life!! Then as if he wasn’t bad enough, there was a loud, repetitive photographer forcing everyone to pose for a souvineer photo of the iconic workers on top of the steel structure. She made everyone take a “nice” photo then yelled “AHHH, YOU’RE FALLING!!” to make everyone pose and gasp as if they were falling off the bit of steel.  So here’s the scene… We are shimmied into this tiny dark tunnel bit to watch a film about the history of the building… But from the left we can hear is “BAGS, CAMERAS, PHONES” and on the right all we can hear is “AHHH, YOU’RE FALLING!!!”. And it goes on and on like this for literally a thousand years. Lou just looked at me and said “I think this is our slow descent into hell….”

Finally the movie ended and we could escape the endless repetitive loop of horror. We got the lift up to the top of the building and it was another really amazing view. I don’t think it wowed me in the way seeing the city at night did, but it really was beautiful and looked so different in the daytime! There were a few different levels to view from so Lou managed to get some nice pictures from a variety of angles.

I was trying to get some nice shots with my video camera and was worrying I’d accidentally drop it off the top. It was a long way down!! Lou said she was going to push me off….

According to our New York Pass Guide, there was a Fire Station tour just around the corner from the Rockefeller Station. It sounded really interesting and I remember my friends from college meeting hot firemen when they went on the class trip so when we got back to ground level we went to check it out. When we got there, we were told by a grumpy fireman in no uncertain terms that 1) it was a health and safety lesson, not a guided tour 2) it was for CHILDREN and 3) it wasn’t running anyway. We were well gutted. We were however permitted to take souvenir fire truck photos.

Feeling suitably embarrassed after our chastising, we went back to shopping for a bit. There was an amazing MOMA book shop which had gorgeous art-related gifts including cultured children’s books about artists and cities. It was so cute and inspiring! We also went to a Body Shop where the sales assistant was super excited to be serving British people. She told us she loved how big our eyes were (which we think was due to being deliriously tired rather than any UK make-up trend, they must have been boggling out of heads). She also told me I sounded like her favourite singer Adele which led me to jokingly sing “Someone Like You” at the counter which she loved. Afterwards Lou was like, hang on… Adele is really common and rough spoken ha ha. Oh yeah, maybe it wasn’t so great a compliment after all…

In the afternoon we decided to go somewhere new and caught the Subway up to Brooklyn, home of the “real New Yorkers”. It was quite far out from where we were and tricky to navigate around but I really loved the area. It felt very different from the glitz of Times Square, it was much more urban and gritty whilst still having some beautiful scenery.

There were lots of police cars along the street when we got there (proper NYPD blue ones).

I’m not sure what was going on but everything seemed quite chaotic and all the traffic on the road was being diverted. It was very confusing figuring out where and when we could cross the road and I even had a rude New Yorker barging me with a buggy and insisting I cross the road – “Go on! Go ahead!” -  To which I replied snappily, “Well there’s cars coming. So no.” Ahh felt just like being back in Portsmouth!

We were trying to find the famous Brooklyn Bridge, we could see it in the distance but we just couldn’t get to it for some reason. After all the crossing confusion we ended up walking along some unknown side-streets in the vague hope we were going in the right direction. As we ambled along, a man in a Kebab Van spotted us (or should I say, he spotted Lou) and started driving very slowly alongside us and asking us how we were. I’m not going to lie, my life did flash before my eyes a little as I had visions of us being kidnapped and stuffed into the back of the van. Luckily he drove off after a little while of stalking us – this was just the first of a string of eligible bachelors who were after Lou’s heart on this holiday, but you’ll hear about the rest later.

We soon ended up in this lovely park area out-looking a stretch of water and the bridges. I’m sure this place and water has an official name, I don’t know what it was called. I do know that the view was completely stunning.

It was a glorious day and I just tried to drink in the view.  I know it sounds cheesy but it uplifted me in ways I can’t explain. I knew this trip was changing me as a person and I wanted to actively remember these beautiful scenes.

We carried on walking along the area – there was a dog park behind us and further along a giant merry-go-round where a pair of newlyweds were taking some wedding photographs. It was so lovely!

In the end we didn’t manage to find the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge and we got a bit too tired to keep searching for it. We did however stumble across a pizzeria which Lou had really hoped to go to as it was famed for having the nicest pizzas in New York. We ordered a massive pepperoni pizza to share and it was GOOOOD!! Lou took photos that made it look like I ate the entire pizza myself, but I assure you that she was stuffing it into her own gob just as heartily as I was.

It was a very cool, authentic place with amazing pizzas and was a lovely way to end our jaunt into Brooklyn. We headed back to Harlem soon after and decided to have a nice evening in being friends again and watching DVDs from Mr. S’s collection out in the hallways. This idea turned out to be a disaster because we couldn’t get the DVD player to work and when I rang Mr. S, he had absolutely no intention of coming downstairs and helping us in any way, shape or form. We didn’t ask for much from the host of our apartment but considering we were two young girls on our own, you’d think he would come and give us a tiny bit of time to fix the TV which was supposed to be working. Having no evening entertainment really did put a dampener on our trip because it gave us nothing to do but retreat to our rooms and read. Sometimes all you need is to veg out and watch music videos or the shopping channel or ANYTHING!! I will never take my television for granted ever again!!

So there we go… no Four Weddings And A Funeral for us. :( But we did have lots more adventures ahead! :)

Additonal Notes Worth Mentioning:

-          A Stanley Tucci lookalike being in our NBC tour group

-          In my notes I have written “pizza toilets with lock on the hinges”. I don’t really remember this, but it obviously traumatised me a lot on the day.

-          Lou: “What would you do if you woke up in the night and I was smothering you with a pillow?”

-          Lou: “Bags, Cameras… wait, what was it again? It’s not that catchy!!”

NEXT TIME…. Central Park, The Zoo and….Poor Gus….

 Written by Becky – Send her a tweet here: @beckyjerams