Blogger Q&A: Who is HodgePodgeDays?

Colette from We’re Going On An Adventure has tagged me in a Blogger Q&A. I thought it might be nice to share some random information about me with you all – especially if you’re a newer reader!


When was the last time you cried?
I cry all the time over almost anything. I think the last time I cried was when my son won a prize at school. Which was on Thursday. It’s some kind of miracle I’ve not cried for three whole days!

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
I think so. I think I can be pretty good company. I’m a good listener and pragmatic with the advice I give. I’m a bit of an introvert though, if I want to hide in my cocoon I will do, which might leave you wondering where I’ve disappeared to.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Yes. I’m incredibly sarcastic and most people don’t get my sense of humour which has been described as “as dry as a bone, actually, even drier than that”.

What’s the first thing you notice about people?
Their eyes. Then how they treat other people. I’m pretty big on kindness and respect and if you aren’t kind or respectful to me or other people then I won’t have much time for you.

Scary movie or happy endings?
A happy ending please. I don’t like being scared, if I did do I’d just look at my bank statements.

Favourite smells?
I’m weird. I like solvents. My Dad worked with chemicals so there are certain chemical smells which remind me of him and remind me of my childhood. There’s a printing chemical which is used to wash printing presses called “blanket wash” which for me is the nicest smell in the world.

On the flipside I also like herbal smells, particularly rosemary. It’s just a very calming smell.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?
America when I was 13. I feel very wedded to Manchester and have no great desire to be far from home for too long. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to go away on holiday, but a fortnight is about my limit.

20 questions Sol Katmandu Hotel, Majorca with Jet2Holidays

Do you have any special talents?
Not really. I asked a few friends and they told me I can write pretty well and also when I make my eyes go big I look like a Snapchat filter. Only one of these facts will make it onto my CV.

Where were you born?
Didsbury in South Manchester. Apart from my three years at uni, I’ve lived here all my life.

What are your hobbies?
I’ve recently joined the WI and I like crafting and baking, I blog about both of those quite a lot. I also like going to the pub but I’m not sure that’s technically a hobby.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I wanted to be a writer. I went to uni and studied journalism, then left and wrote for a local paper for a while. I ended up getting a series of admin and managerial jobs to pay the bills, but when I started blogging in 2013 I felt like I’d gone back to doing what I always wanted to do.

How many countries have you been to?
Hmm let me see (it’s not a massive number)…
Spain, Germany, America, Holland, Cyprus, Ireland, Sweden and Norway.

What was your favourite/worst subject in School?
I pretty much hated school and don’t look back on those years with any kind of fondness. At school I hated maths and I think the subjects I tolerated most were drama or English. I was pretty badly bullied at school so those years have very few redeeming features.

What is your Favourite drink?
Lager, gin, lime and soda or a nice cup of tea or coffee. Depends on my mood and where I’m drinking. I’ve currently got a weak orange squash on the go. Exciting yes?

What would you (or have you) named your children?
My son is called Ben, had he been a girl he would have been Scarlett Eleanor, or Red Nell for short. I had different ideas back then.

Fractional Mesotherapy

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?
I don’t really watch much on YouTube. I realise this marks me out as some kind of dinosaur. There are two very different channels I subscribe to but always catch up on when I can are Colette from We’re Going On An Adventure and JaackMaate.

How many Boyfriends have you had?
Very few. I met my husband when I was 16 and we got together two years later.

Favourite memory from childhood?
On Thursday nights, my Dad who was a magician used to have his friends come round to hone their magic tricks. We used to sneak downstairs in our PJs and his friends would show us their tricks. It was always the highlight of our week.

How would you describe your fashion sense?
Scruffy casual. I live in jeggings and plain tops. I like to be comfortable and working from home I hardly see anyone, so there’s no need to dress to impress.

Tell us one of your bad habits!
I bite my nails and I check Twitter every 8.4 seconds. These two facts are unrelated!

I’m tagging some other bloggers who I’d love to do this Blogger Q&A – over to Rebecca, Helen, Latoya and Emma

At least 5 things every blogger has on their desk

Inspired by pictures of the desks of some of my blogging friends, each looking like a calm oasis of creativity, I decided that I needed a proper desk of my own. I wanted something simple but stylish. Somewhere that was all mine. Somewhere which wasn’t covered in Paw Patrol stickers or my husband’s trade magazines. So I bit the bullet and ordered a new desk, it arrived last week and I’ve spent the last few days organising myself and getting settled in. I love it.

It’s been a long time since I had a desk to call my own. It’s been nearly four years since I left my job in the NHS and decided to do this for a living instead. I’ve not regretted my decision for a single second, but I do miss having colleagues and having proper office desks to sit at and organise myself at.

At least 5 things every blogger has on their desk

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s you need somewhere you can work and somewhere to keep yourself organised. Three years ago I appropriated a corner of the spare bedroom, but it’s turned into the dumping ground for everyone in the house. The table I used as a desk is now used by my husband and I’ve had to go back to using my laptop on my knee whilst sat on the sofa. That’s no good for anyone’s back, least of all mine.

Now I’m settled in and I’ve got my knick-knacks, notebooks and pens where they need to be, I feel like I do have that calm oasis of creativity I’ve been craving. I’m going to try my best to keep my desk tidy, organised and free from clutter and the lovely work space it is now. 

At least 5 things every blogger has on their desk

At least 5 things I keep on my desk

Laptop – obviously. I can’t work without it and this is a permanent fixture and almost an extension of myself. I could probably do with a new one soon though, this tired old faithful is starting to show its age.

Notebooks – as the daughter of a stationer, my obsession with notebooks started at an early age and shows no signs of waning. My husband thinks I have a problem, but you can never have too many notebooks. Lined, squared or plain paper, all have their place and their use. pretty covers are a must. I use them for lists, notes, ideas and sketches. I could never go paperless!

Pens & Pencils – like notebooks, my love for pens started early. I am very particular about my pens. Give me a decent ball-point pen and I’m happy. I am very fond of the pack of pens I bought a while ago in all different colours. This allows my inner geek to colour code my work, each pen has a different meaning and use. Yes, I probably do need help.

At least 5 things every blogger has on their desk

Sentimental stuff – wherever I’ve worked, my desk has always had a little bit of me on it; even in places where such displays of personality were banned. My desk is currently decorated with a beautiful “Bee Happy” picture my friend made for me. I added some fairy wands we made at the Just So Festival, some lights and a family photo. There are a few other touches; a coaster I bought in a lovely shop on holiday in Bude and “love” cut out in wood because there was a gap on my desk it was perfect for. I’ll probably change things as I go, but I like the homely simplicity of it all.

A decent cuppa – I need a brew. There’s no two ways about it, I need a brew by my side when I work. If I can’t have a cuppa then I need a drink of something, water, diet coke, gin and tonic. Snacks are optional, but often gratefully received.

What’s on your desk?

At least 5 things every blogger has on their desk

This post is in collaboration with Kit Out My Office.

It’s my blogging birthday – 3 today!

HodgePodgeDays is three years old today. I remember sitting with my laptop one quiet evening three years ago. I had a head full of words and I just needed to write to get it all out of me. I set up HodgePodgeDays on WordPress, had no clue how anything worked or what to do or anything, but that was fine, it was about just getting those thoughts and feelings out of my head and if anyone else looked at it, then wow, what a bonus!

A lot has happened in those three years. I’ve physically recovered from my spinal surgeries as much as I ever will, but I’m left with neurological issues and chronic pain. I’ve come a long way from the spiralling mental health problems which came as a result of being laid up for so long. My baby has grown into a boy, a beautiful boy who I fall in love with afresh each morning.

My blog is my job now, I can’t work in a desk bound 9-5 anymore, so this *waves hand around my blog* has to earn me an income, enough to feed and clothe my family, pay some bills and have enough left for the occasional gin. It doesn’t, it doesn’t yet, but I live in hope.

But I wouldn’t be here without you.  Thank you. Thank you for every encouraging comment, every social share, every like. The people who read my blog, who have read my blog from the start, who have seen me stumble my way from there to here, you have been some of the best friends I’ve made. We’ve laughed and cried together. Drank gin, wine, cocktails and warm orange squash together. We’ve applauded our victories and commiserated our failures.

It’s not been the easiest three years of my life, but I’m glad to have my memories here to remind me of how far I’ve come and what I have endured.  I’m equally pleased that I have almost weekly, sometimes daily photos of my son and the things we have done to remind us of our adventures together. 

The last three years have been the best of days and the worst of days, but to me they’ll always be Hodge Podge Days. Thank you xx

blogging birthday