Aaah, it's Thursday evening and this week is finally nearly over. I'm on leave next week and I'm already a bit demob-happy. I did get lots of good work done today in the office, as well as getting to have a nice lunch with some of my colleagues from my old department, which was ace.
I thought I'd mark another pair of shoes off the list for Shoeperwoman's Shoe Challenge today as well:
Shoes No 24: Irregular Choice Mermaids in Red
These shoes rubbed my toes a little bit today on the walk back from the office to the railway station, but it's totally worth it. I wore them with one of my most-loved dresses, you can probably guess it's another one from Fever, and it was one of the first ones I bought from them. Not pictured is the red cardigan I wore with this dress. I bought it the other day from Marks and Spencer, it's bright red and has a crew neck and covered buttons - I love it! As I have lots of red clothes it will go with everything as well, hurrah!
I've been feeling stressed again this week, but nowhere near as badly as I have been recently. Work has been getting on top of me a bit and I really am desperately in need of a bit of a holiday. I think that's partly why I'm so giddy about the thought of getting home to Northern Ireland, just the thought of having some time where I don't have to do anything except for relax. I've been getting very excited as well today because I've been making plans to see some friends when I'm home. One of them is my friend E, who I last saw at Christmas when the pair of us got drunk on champagne and had an amazing evening. It's not always easy to get to see her because of her job and the fact that she is a bit of a flake, but it's always worth it when I do see her. She and I have had lots of ups and downs, having been friends for a long time. Our friendship has changed a lot, and we've both changed a lot as well. I'm happy and grateful that we've found a way to make room for one another in our lives and I'm really looking forward to seeing her.
The other person I'll be seeing is my friend Paul. It's funny, having read both Nat's and Caroline's blog posts today about the relationships that shaped them, because I had been mentally composing a similar one about Paul. I got a text message from him this morning confirming our plans for next week and started to feel really emotional. Paul and I have been friends since I was about 15, having met at a summer school where I was a student and he was not quite a teacher. He was a few years older than me and very patient with my adolescent chatter and we struck up a friendship via letters. 12-13 years later and we're still the best of friends. I count myself very lucky to have had his friendship for all this time. His advice and care helped me through various teenage dramas and his uncomplicated, undemanding friendship meant that I always knew I could count on him. Our friendship has evolved a lot and in lots of ways he has watched me grow up, and has been a really important figure in my life. The last time Nic came home with me, in September, we had a night out with Paul and it was one of the best nights out I've ever had. It was just the three of us, sitting around and chatting and drinking and having fun. It made my heart swell with love and happiness to see how well Nic and Paul hit it off, and it made me happy to spend time with Paul again. I can't wait to repeat the experience next week!
I also feel extremely excited about seeing my family. I've missed them terribly over the past few months and will get a good dose of them when I'm home. My parents' house is noisy and sometimes a bit chaotic as my siblings all live at home, and my sisters' boyfriends are pretty much permanent fixtures as well, and I love it - it means I always get good value out of a visit home! I am really lucky to have such a wonderful family, and it'll be good to be able to remind them what I look like! Another thing to look forward to is visiting my grandma and aunt, both of whom have enormous crushes on Nic - that is always good fun! Nic fits right in with my family and they all adore him, it always makes me happy to see my Dad teasing him, or my sisters chatting to him. So, you know, I wish it would hurry up and be the weekend!
I do have lots of nice things to look forward to. Although I have to go to London tomorrow, which is rubbish (it's always worse on a Friday) we're heading out tomorrow night to celebrate our friend N's birthday. Nothing fancy, just some drinks in our favourite pub. Nic has a surprise planned for me for Saturday, which he's keeping very tight-lipped about...but as his last surprise was so brilliant, I'm not going to try to guess what this one is.
Now, as the sun is still shining I'm going to head out for a walk, and then Nic and I are going to watch a film, and then I'm going to daydream some more about going home and going to Paris. Have a great evening, everybody!