Monday, 30 November 2015

My Month in Numbers 2015: November

Hello. Tell me, how did November treat you?

I think here in the UK we're at the point where we can no longer kid ourselves that it's still 'mild for this time of year'. If you look down the street you might just be able to see the back of 'Mild's head as it sprints off into the distance ...
Because it's now officially 'Cold':
James and I huddling together for both a selfie and warmth along the promenade at Saltburn this month.
So let's dive in [not in to that flat, grey, and icy North Sea behind us ... that wouldn't be advisable!] but into how the last, increasingly chilly, 4 weeks totted-up. Here's my month ... in numbers ...

[As always ... you're welcome to join me, check out the full details here].

I had 3-4 inches lopped off my hair: 
It's pretty similar to how I had it in the summer which grew out but, perhaps counter-intuitively, it's is the ideal length for me to have at this time of year. One of the most annoying aspects of having long hair in winter is the way it constantly gets trapped inside coat collars and scarves and chopping it all off solves that problem in one sitting!

That said, I do like to keep it feeling long-ish or - as I told my stylist  - "I want it shorter, but I still want it to feel like I have hair". She called me a chicken. And from out of that debate ... came this:
You can tell I was happy with it. I took a selfie!

While this particular selfie wasn't taken with my phone ... it easily could've been because ...

I've now had a smartphone [and have therefore officially graduated to the 21st century] for 26 days! 
I've been saying for years, that I needed one and had been actively trying to choose one for months ... to no avail. In the end, like so much in life, fate stepped in and had my provider phone me on spec to see if they could offer me a better deal on my ancient, dying, phone. I ended up mentioning I was looking for a smart phone, he offered me one, I asked lots of newbie questions ... then said 'Yeah, I'll go for it'.

And so I'm now a signed-up-connected-on-the-go member of the 21st century ... which naturally means ... I'm now on Instagram

I've posted 13 photos to my 'withjuliekirk' Instagram account:
While of course, of course, you're more than welcome to follow me ... anyone who loves Instagram for it's perfectly styled interiors, or exotic locations, or fabulous outfits will come away utterly underwhelmed! 

So far I've shared photos of the Radio Times, a broken bottle of holy water, the area where students go to sleep in the library at work ... and a chorizo. 

Don't say you weren't warned!
Actually this next photo is something I would've Instagrammed if I hadn't been too busy shopping ...

Somebody was missing her 7 Dwarfs ...
So, there we are, me and 2 friends, browsing the always delightfully whimsical Gray Finch in Ripon [North Yorkshire, UK] when we looked down and spotted this:
Crikey Snow ... talk about making it hard for a guy. How's your Prince charming meant to wake you with a kiss when you've nodded off inside a shop display case?

If you're ever in the area do make sure to drop in, there's always something to grab the eye in there.

I bought this repro-vintage doll's head [left]making her 'Head No.5' of my head collection: 
Turns out that it's only after you say 'She'll go with my head collection' out loud, in a shop, that you realise you might need to explain to your friends just what you mean. Which reminds me ...

Janet ... that's my head collection!

And, before we leave Ripon ... despite this having nothing to do with numbers ... this notice, on a shop door, wins my prize for 'comforting sign of the month':

I managed to scatter 3 items of clothing to the four winds this month.
First there was a 2 day period where I literally could not hold on to my hat; first I left one behind in my Dad's car and, when he phoned to let me know me I confidently said he didn't need to bring it round for me as "I've got another one".

The very next day I left that 'other' one in the library at work and had to sprint back for it when I couldn't find it.

And then there was the time I dropped something smaller, something less seldom seen in public than any of my hats ... here's how I shared it on Facebook:

16 November 2015.
Earlier today, in a changing room: I take my jeans off, look down at the floor and see a pair of pants laying there. Think: 'Oh my goodness I've whipped my knickers off along with my jeans!'. Clutch bottom to check - am still wearing pants. I look at the pants ... they're mine ... the ones I wore yesterday. Which is when I realise they've evidently been inside my jeans all morning ... *picks up pants and stuffs them inside bag, is relieved no one saw any of that.* Thank god communal changing rooms are a thing of the past.

And in another November tale told on social media ... I tweeted the following [which does at least have one number in it!]

24.November 2015:
Picked up tape measure, unrolled it, + suddenly each hand had a tape measure in it! Thought I'd done a magic trick #‎idpickedup2tapemeasures‬

I read 4.5 books.[You can find links to them all here on my Pinterest board]

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  • The Mistletoe Bride by Kate Mosse 
  • Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James
  • How Much Land Does a Man Need by Leo Tolstoy
  • and, so far, half of  Eternity's Sunrise: A Way of Keeping a Diary by Marion Milner.
By the way ... I read read the Tolstoy as part of the Lucky Dip Book Club which I told you about back in October.  And - if you were interested - yes, it is still going ... and yes, they do still want people to join in remotely ... it;s just ... things are taking a little longer than they planned to get a blog or Facebook page set up. [It's tricky for us bloggers who  please ourselves and answer to no one to remember how other official organisations have processes and protocols to follow]. I'll share some of the work I've made - in creative response to the books so far - at some point, as well as a list of the books we've been randomly picking out of the hat ... but I'm afraid I can't do the official bit!

While we're talking about random surprises ...

November brought me 2 happy mail parcels: 
Sandie was very kind to share with me a selection of her papery treasure including these French ledger pages:
And Kimberley  totally spoiled me by sending me one of the Golden Girls greeting cards she'd bought .... just because I'd said I loved them when I saw them on her blog
I was a lucky girl in November. 'Thank you for being a friend' ladies!!

And, finally, while we're talking about friends ...

I went on my 13th 'crafting-in-the-country get-away with 8 friends. 
This was the view outside:
The view inside was mainly of paper and food and people struggling with the heat in the converted barn as its 12" thick walls do tend to hold in the heat!  Other weekend statistics include:

  • the 6 cars that were driven there, including 1 that - due to a mechanical problem - had to be hired at the last minute or else our crafting gear and, worse still, our food, would've had to stay behind at home! [We could have squeezed 5 people in one car ... but not with all our 'stuff'! along for the ride]
  • The 5 areas of the UK we all set off from to converge in the dales! 
  • The 3 of us who stopped off in Ripon on the way [where 1 of us bought a head ...]. 
  • The 5 bedrooms we shared.
  • And the zero phone reception or internet signal I could receive while I was there. My poor new phone was all dressed up with nowhere to go! 


Well, that was my November. How about yours? 

Feel free to share:
  • as much as a blog post 
  • OR as little as a tweet @notesonpaper
  • a photo on Instagram @withjuliekirk 
  • or a comment below if there's anything statistically story-like you want to share.
Same goes for December ... you're welcome to use any of those methods to get your numbery tales out there! [Use the hashtag #MonthinNumbers and let me know!]

So, like the last few hours of November, I'm going to quietly step to the side and allow December to twirl its way into our lives wrapped in twinkling lights, handing us a hot cuppa and a car window scraper as it enters whispering "Here, you're going to need this" and leaving a paper trail of lists in its wake. 

In the blur and flurry of the season make sure to grab some of its magic as it passes you by. 

Julie x


  1. Well I did giggle about the jeans for sure ... and always nice to find a new instagram account to follow. Off to look now.

  2. You've now got the kind of hair I've always wanted!! With crinkly bits at the ends. It's absolutely lovely, really suits you. You'll be heading into December in style :)

    1. Thank you!! The crinkly ends are all down to curling it with my straighteners!

  3. I love the jeans/knickers comment! Done it myself.
    Also turned up for work wearing my gardening shoes. Also worn blue tights with an all black outfit!
    I blame the dark in the mornings!

  4. Laughed out loud at your description of 'Mild'. Be grateful the pants didn't work their way out your jeans leg .... now that IS mortifying, believe me (and I was very early 20's so didn't have the life experience to laugh about it). I've also left a very posh restaurant toilet with my skirt VERY much in my pants (oh the shame). I have a 'smartphone' but it doesn't like to connect to the internet so an upgrade needed here too.
    The new hair do is fab by the way x

  5. You had me chuckling Julie, love the idea of 'Mild's head sprinting off into the distance. We are still enjoying some of 'Mild' and didn't put the heating on yesterday and some nights I've had to throw the duvet a side for a moment or two as I was feeling hot. Counting myself lucky. I've been away from the computer these past couple of weeks, catching up on other things after my 30 day Blogging Challenge, but hope I can join in again this month with My month in Numbers.
    Love the head you bought in Ripon. We visited there on our roadtrip in September but unfortuantly arrived in the evening so all the shops were shut. Sleeping Beauty was a bit of a surprise! Good window display though - that looks like a shop I'd want to visit too!

  6. Lovely new do - haircuts seemed to be a theme out in blog land. Oh it was funny about the jeans & underpants. I am laughing with you (really). Cell phones are a curse to me, I'll say no more for now. A second go at my month in numbers, thank you for inspiration. A HEAD COLLECTION?!? I'll need to go back into your post vault to read more about this ...

  7. Love the new hairstyle! LOL at the jeans and pants story!! Good luck with the new phone. Off to find you on Instagram!

  8. Love the story about the pants - thank goodness it was a second pair and not ... no don't even go there! That Sleeping Beauty is a tiny bit creepy, let's hope Prince Charming gets to her soon so they can change their window display. Great to see you on Instagram!

  9. - here is my month in numbers.

  10. Fascinating month! Love the are SO lucky to have gone on 13 scrappy retreats. I've been on 1 & I'm 52. Imagine how many you'll have been on then if you keep going at your current rate! On that note I'll leave you...... ;)!!!!!!!!!

  11. I like your new hair do! I must get myself better organised and join you again with month in numbers in the New Year. (It's all in the planning as I learnt from your Push up Bra blogging course). Glad you are now on Instagram I will follow you as soon as I can locate my phone!! My Instagram name is Starspotter if you wish to follow me.

  12. Ok, the dolls' heads freaked me out somewhat ... in fact, I've forgotten what else I've just read because I can't stopping seeing them in my mind!
    PS: I also got to the end of the 300 comments post ... so much to take in that I simply cannot think of a coherent comment to leave. Apologies for that!

  13. I love this post and the idea of posting a month in numbers. If I remember, I might join you for December! (Oh and things I didn't think I'd read today: "Janet ... that's my head collection! " )

    1. You'd be more than welcome. This month, next month, any month!


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