Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Sunday 20 March 2016

Plus40Fabulous - things I'm proud of

Hello there

The theme for this months Plus40Fabulous post is things that make you proud - be they big things or little things.

Now I remember doing something similar to this when I worked at the Civil Service (yep - I'll admit to that). The thing that stuck in my mind from that exercise was being told that all the things I'd chosen were invalid, things such as relationships, owning your own home etc etc. As you can guess, I wasn't too impressed! I think what makes you proud is a very personal thing. It's easy to sound like bragging or showing off, but it's not. For me, it's things I've worked hard for and things that have made others happy.

For this post I haven't included relationships etc as the other half is not into social media of any shape or form so I don't like to drag him into that. Maybe one day though (if hell happens to freeze over...). we go...

Learning to drive

As long as I can remember, I was desperate to learn to drive and as soon as I was 17 I was there having lessons and even got myself a Saturday job in WH Smith to pay for them. My driving instructor was called Henry and was the most eccentric person you could hope to meet. He used to sit there doing his nails while I wobbled through junctions and down dual carriageways. He wasn't adverse to swearing at bus drivers either - what a great teacher!

I am so glad though that I learnt early. I think when we're young we there are some things we're braver about. I never remember being scared about having accidents or breaking down. But if I was to learn now, I'd be terrified after watching all those programmes about road rage, traffic accidents etc. Plus in my day, there were no theory tests or parallel parking assessments.

My first car was a little mini, and it took me everywhere - I can't find any photos of it unfortunately - but it gave me the freedom to just jump in the car and go. And to some extent, I still have that mindset today. I'm not going to claim to the worlds best driver by any means, but I'm not a nervous one. Most importantly now, being able to drive means I can take my mother out whenever she wants, I can help friends when they need it and we can have holidays exploring hidden places here and abroad (driving in France will always be terrifying though)

(this isn't how I normally drive - honest)

Getting my degree

When I left college, going to University wasn't the automatic next step it is now for students (although with increasing fees, that seems to be changing now). I always wondered what if - but as I had no idea what I wanted to do - I could never have decided on a course.

Well, after a few career changes, I ended up in the Civil Service where I received funding to do a degree as a mature student at Aberystwyth University. This was an amazing opportunity which I am so very grateful for. The course was primarily distance learning with 3 residential modules. Those modules alone gave me the taste of student life that I thought I had missed out on. The cold showers, cheap booze at the student bar, trying to find my way back to my room in the early hours while a little worst for wear, making friends and bonding over impossible assignments.

After 4 years, I ended up with a degree in Information & Library Studies. I even got to wear the funny hat and do the whole graduation experience.

Myself and my Mother in 2003, I can't believe it's been 13 years since I graduated! Getting my degree opened up so many doors, and now I'm in the early stages of being self employed. Scary but exciting and all possible because I grabbed the opportunity and made the most of it (Plus I discovered that I liked Malibu and lemonade...)

Taking my Mother to Graceland

My Mother is a huge Elvis fan and I'm not adverse to a few good Elvis songs either. Elvis died before she ever got the chance to see him live so the next best thing would be to see his home, Graceland, in Memphis.

We often say that one day we 'must do this' or we 'must go there'. Well, one day, we did just that. I knew that Mother is not a fan of organised or regulated tours. So we planned a holiday where we did all our own things at our own pace and off we went to Memphis - just me and my Mother. You could say we seized the moment!

This I think is my proudest achievement. It was Mothers dream to see Graceland and we did. We stayed in Memphis, hired a car and drove to Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis and took a paddle steamer down the Mississippi. She loved every moment and I'm so pleased I could help make those memories for her.

Our photos are all in boxes at the moment, so this blurry effort was the best I could find. Hopefully it gives an idea of what we got up to! I really want to take her again.

Looking back through this post, I think that as well as having lots of things I'm proud of, there's also a common theme of grabbing an opportunity as you never know where it may lead you. But it's not just the big things, it's the little things too. Relationships and friends come to mind here.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane - be sure to check out the blogs of the other lovely folk taking part:


Thanks for reading




  1. Love this! I too learnt to drive at 17, three months between my 17th birthday and passing my test (I lived in the middle of nowhere and was DESPERATE to get some independence). I totally know what you mean about having the teenage invincible feeling and to some extent that's never left me either. I wonder if early driving test passers mostly feel like this....!

  2. This is a lovely, heartwarming read Cathy! Ah, I wish I'd learned to drive young (or at all!) I'm glad you had a lovely time in your uni days, and your holiday with mum sounds glorious! xx


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig