Monday, 31 October 2011

Another Workplace, Another Crazy T-shirt!

Hello! So those amongst you who try and keep track of my crazy life will know that I've been looking for a Christmas Temp job whilst working on my grand plans to take over the world through play. Needless to say, it has been a struggle to do both of these things, but one more so than the other.

So now I shall declare that I am back in the working world (very briefly, until January) and I have another work t-shirt to add to my ever increasing collection of ex-work shirts. This selection, of course, includes the infamous Ikea t-shirt and really, compared with that, I never thought I would have anything brighter. Until today.

That there is but a section of my shirt. IT'S LIKE THAT ALL OVER. I've never, ever, liked pink in the first place and now? Well. I have to apparently take pride in wearing this thing. ARGH! You know, it's a good job they keep me busy cos if I got bored and inspected my attire, I would be ashamed every time to see what I'm wearing pink. I'm so sad.

But I'm so happy! I'm employed again! Wooo! :) In a cool workplace! Yay! :) I suppose it could be worse... they could give me pink pants too I guess.... o.O

PS. Yes I will keep you guessing as to where I work. Don't want to do unnecessary publicity for people do I? :D

Sunday, 30 October 2011

More Shop Goodness! :)

Today we discovered that the Pop-Up Play Shop has been mentioned on the BBC Website. You have no idea how excited I am about this. So excited I could go all CAPITALS! Eeeee!

Here it is, look at it! Isn't it delicious? Can you spot my name, mentioned in there? I'm gonna be a semi-famous person, riding on Morgan's fantabulous fame! :)

I also found the Shop on the Shopping Center's website which as made me glow with pride. I'm so proud of Morgan and her Pop-Up Play Shop. You need to go visit, it's so awesome! :)

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Street Art

I've always enjoyed wandering the streets of cities, taking note of the graffiti and street art that I pass on the way. This week, I saw more than I would usually, so I thought I'd share some good ones with you :)

The front of an electrical box...

And the back of the same electrical box!

Great aspirations...

Alice in Wonderland! :)

It's been a nice sunny week, but if today is anything to go by, there's miserable weather to come. Let's hope that there are lots happy things to help us through this winter! :)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Vegetable Friend

I made a new friend today.

His name is Patrick. Patrick says hello! :) He's here for one week only. He was a fun friend to make :) Hoorah for Patrick! :)

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Remember the other day when I was day dreaming about fish pie on the bus? Well, I thought I'd actually try it out and see if I could make myself some yummy fish pie. :) Here it is! :)

Nom nom nom nom.... I was worried cos I've never made it before, but it turned out alright, and was pretty yummy! :) Yay! :)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Blogs, Trains and Other Mind Explosions

I have noticed that I haven't been able to post anything on my blog on a Tuesday for quite a few weeks now, so I thought I'd make an attempt today. I had to consciously make a mental note about this while I was on the bus today trying not to fall asleep and inbetween ideas for making fish pie. You see, Tuesdays in my busy day at uni. Not only am I there all day, but I have two very intense lectures that tend to hurt my brain. I guess Mike Wragg and Fraser Brown wouldn't be doing their jobs if I didn't at least feel vaguely challenged at the end of each lecture. So Tuesday is always a good day, but very tiring. Hence the crazy thoughts on trains and buses.

Anyway, onto other less intense things: I've been mentioned on a blog! Wooo! :) After visiting the Pop-Up Play Store in Cardiff over the weekend Morgan posted up some stuff about me on the shop blog and I was really excited to see another entry of my name that has been catapulted into the world of the interweb! Absolutely awesome stuff. :)

Anyway, I leave you with an interesting image that I took in the shop. I love textures and distance in photos. This one is particularly awesome cos it's a pic of people but you can't tell who! :) Or can you.... ;)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

A Visit to the Play Shop :)

This weekend, I went to visit my lovely friend and colleague, Morgan, in Cardiff! :) I went to see her lovely home, and the Pop-Up Play Shop that she has set up in one of the little shopping centres in Cardiff City Centre. Here are a couple of pictures from my visit, and lots of photos of the Play Shop! :)

The chickens that live next door to Morgan.

Cardiff Castle tower.

The best shop in the whole of Cardiff!

Look at all the exciting play things!

First customer of the day.

Wheelie Chair Wheels Spinning...

Customers hanging out in boxes

Pretty in a pink-totally-handmade-and-very-awesome tutu! :)

Morgan investigates huge knitting needles!

I had a wonderful weekend of play and play discussion, and had many many inspired thoughts whilst I was away from home. It's wonderful to see playwork in action in unlikely places and it's good to see people getting the right idea too! I'm a bit tired from travelling, but I am filled with renewed readiness for my degree assignments and for future Pop-Up Play Shop developments. Yay for Morgan and yay for Pop-Up Play Shops! :)

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Things that make me smile

The sun that rises after I've risen.

Early morning weight loss regimes.

Classic British awesomeness

Stamps of some of my favourite places in the UK. :)

I'm going to Cardiff for a couple of days to visit Morgan and the Pop-Up Play Shop so I might not be able to blog at all. We'll see though :) And I'll have lots of things to talk about when I get back. Yay! :)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Mini-Pie! :)

I forgot to blog about the most recent freebie on the way to uni - a free mini mince pie! :)

First mince pie of the year! Yay! :) And it was free as well! :) Double yay! :)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Oh Happy Day! :)

My Auntie got baptised today and my parents have gone to celebrate it! It's a very happy day and I know that my mum's super happy! :) I'm uncle-sitting today, but I wish I was there too, witnessing a very blessed moment! I bought her a balloon and my mum got her these gorgeous flowers!

Yayayay! Congratulations Auntie Tsang! :) We're all so very happy for you! :) Woooo! :)

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Rainbow Awesomeness

I've been exploring the world of Etsy for a while and today I've decided to post up some very happy, very colourful things to show you that I absolutely love. Ready for a hint of colour? :D

Rainbow fishies!

Totally unsubtle ninjas.

Rainbow cake earrings - just like the cake my sister made!

Awesome lego man soaps. Soaps! 

Oh how I love the crafty creative world! :) So much inspiration to do my own stuff! :) Yay! :)

Friday, 14 October 2011

My Crafty Side

I've been inspired by Morgan's Pop-Up Play Shop to use my time very constructively whenever I'm trying to stick the broken parts of my brain back together again. So I've been getting crafty! :) I have been drawing, knitting, folding and bending many of my ideas into reality.

Now here's the thing, Pop-Up Play Shop is a project run by Pop-Up Adventure Play. It's a fantastic opportunity for Morgan and myself to explore the idea of free play in unlikely environments in the UK. We are still however a not-for-profit organisation, seeking help in all sorts of ways from volunteering time to volunteering ideas.

My dear friends, a fun thing for you today, can you volunteer some ideas on what can I make with the following design that I can raise a few pounds with?

I'll let your imagination run with it for now. I'd love to hear your comments! :)

For more exciting news from Pop-Up Adventure Play, come join us on our Facebook page! :)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hello Ladybird!

When I stumbled across this little guy in the loo today, I had a vague recollection that I'd seen the humble ladybird out of season and context earlier on this year, and hey presto! I found the entry! Bit odd to keep finding ladybirds when I'm not supposed to. I hope they're okay and not confused about the warm weather we've been having!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Theories, Theorists and Theoretical Thinking

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been bombarded with something called Critical Thinking, which basically means I have to take other people's theories, unpick them, and then put them back together again in my own way.

What this has actually translated to is me taking a theory I have previously not questioned, tear my brain into pieces, then use lots of tape to stick it back together again. It's been a rough couple of weeks.

I am however beginning to get the hang of it. I'm beginning to relate other people's theory to my own practice, and questioning things that I hear on the news and wondering about the fragility, validity and reason behind many things that I wouldn't have normally thought about. I have to say the first few times I did it, it was pretty painful. But I think I'm getting used to the notion that sometimes I have to unpick something to make sure that I was right to begin with. 

And I have to arm myself with a load of theorists that will back me up.

I found took a picture of something that sums up how I feel at the moment:

Going crazy, but surviving it and will be a better Zan when I come out of the other end.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Eat - Uni - Sleep

I'm easing back into uni life now, eventhough I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. Seems that I have to do an awful amount of reading this year, which only means one thing - a fidgety Zan! Especially when she's had no sleep! It's okay though, I only have another year of this (and by this I mean 6am starts and 3 hour commutes) and then I'll have more delicious certificates to prove I'm a playworker! Degree in playwork! Woohoo! :) I can't wait. Then there will be lots more things to deal with. Busy-ness is good too. Hmm... yummy work! :) I just need to survive the sleep deprivation I'll have this year. Roll on July! :)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Quiet Start to the Week

For some reason, it took me the bulk of the weekend to recover from my first full week at university. It must be my age showing here, but I used to function fantastically on 4 hours of sleep a night. Now if I don't get at least 7, I don't look remotely human the next morning!

Anyway, I decided to get down to business today and do some reading for uni. I have all sorts of bibliographies to compile this year, which is not particularly hard but very labour intensive. I have to read lots of stuff to do with play, and then discuss them with myself in an essay. Wow, that sounds pretty schizophrenic.

I did take time out to go outside and wander today. And I found a dinosaur. RAWRAWRAWR! :)

Friday, 7 October 2011

Finally Friday

I've finally made it to the end of my first full week at uni and it feels like it's been a whole month since the last time I slept properly! o.O

I don't have a photo for today. I'm just absolutely shattered. I did make some little apple tartlets to keep the parentals happy. As long as they are happy. It's gonna be chill out then lights out for Zan! :)

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New Shops

In the spirit of shop openings and such, my mum and I went to nosey in a local M&S Simply Foods that has opened today. We were pretty impressed with it all - I was the most impressed with their selection of cakes:

Morgan's opening day was a very happy day too. Again if you live around Cardiff and have a few moments on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, go and visit Pop-Up Adventure Play UK's first Pop-Up Play Shop in Queen's Arcade. I trust you will have a lovely time there! :)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Pop-Up Play Shop: Cardiff

Ladies and Gentlemen! I would like to introduce to you the Pop-Up Play Shop! Set up my my wonderful friend and colleague, Morgan Leichter-Saxby, the Pop-Up Play Shop will be Pop-Up Adventure Play's answer to play on the high street in the UK. Look how big it seems:

I'm really excited to announce that the Cardiff Play Shop will be having it's first session tomorrow! After all the work that Morgan has put into it, I am hoping that everything goes well for her with her grand opening. :) There will be plenty of photos to look at once the store is open. Keep checking the website for more updates! :)

If you're in the Cardiff area, please check out the store. If you poke around inside and see the only adult playing with the kids, that'll be Morgan - tell her I sent you and tell her how awesome everything looks! :) I'll be going down for my visit to the store at the end of October and I'm SO excited about it! :)

Hoorah for Pop-Up Play Shops, hoorah for Morgan, and hoorah for Pop-Up Adventure Play! :)

Competition at the Train Station

Busy really isn't the word...

Probably one of the most daunting things to deal with first thing in the morning....! :)

Monday, 3 October 2011

Happy Birthday Papa Zan :)

Hope you enjoy your pouch of sugar free sweets! :)

Saturday, 1 October 2011

October on the Beach

The remaining members of my family and I went on an impromptu visit to Southport today. The random autumn heatwave gave good reason for us to go, and we had a nice afternoon out and about by the beach.

It was a nice day out, and good for Uncle to get some sea air. If the weather sticks around, we'll have to go on another little trip out next week! :)