Monday, 12 September 2016

AUTUMN WISHLIST

I know Autumn doesn't officially start until next week, but I am ready for it! I am a bit hopeless at this in-between time, where nights are getting darker, but it's still weirdly warm and humid. How do you dress for 23 degrees, when it's also cloudy AND raining AND 85% humid? Aargh. Bring on crispy leaves, cold days and cosy scarfs, and rainy Sunday afternoons.

This Autumn I'm planning to properly embrace the art of hygge, and I've put together a bit of a wishlist to help me do just that.

I want to curl up in my cosy flat with millions of candles burning (I bought the pine tree version of this candle last year and it was amaaazing), and if I have to leave the flat then I want suitably autumnal clothes - a silk woodland creature scarf to tie round my hair, a galaxy-themed dress to pair with thick tights and silver boots, and a fluffy bobble hat!


Top row

Middle row

Bottom row

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

HELLO AGAIN (LIFE UPDATE!)

Hello there! It feels really strange to be sitting, writing in this blog again. Fun, stressful, exciting things happened, and first I was too busy to keep up with blogging, and then a horrible, awful, heartbreaking thing happened, and I was just too broken to even think about blogging.

But here I am. I've made it through the worst of it (well, I bloody hope I have), and I'm starting to pick my life back up again. I miss the routine and fun of blogging, so I'm going to ease myself back with an follow up to one of my last posts... a list of insecurities that I was SURE wouldn't actually turn into anything. Ahem. Who knew I was so good at predicting the future?

1. Insecurity: starting a new job!


I started my new job at the Edinburgh International Film Festival one week before the programme launched, and just a month before the Festival started. Starting a new job is scary, regardless of how prepared you are, and it was just a whirlwind of exhaustion, fun, stress, excitement and films. Some things went really well, some things were INSANELY stressful, and most times I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

Luckily, the core team were absolutely lovely and welcoming (and answered all of my daft questions), and I got through in one piece, and now have a year to shape my department into how I want it before the next Festival hits. I have so much to do (so much, my god), but the team is lovely, and the Festival is really cool, they sent me on the world's most motivating training course, AND my office is in a cinema (which is a nice place to be).


2. Insecurity: my relationship!

Well. This has been the most horrendous thing that has happened to me in a very, very long time. Out of the blue my relationship ended, and it was just AWFUL. We had been together for years and had lovely future plans that just suddenly stopped, and it rocked me to the core.

I naively thought I had already gone through my big adult break up, so coming to terms with being single again (so alone!) and 30 years old (so old!) has been a bit of an adjustment. But my head and heart are sorting themselves out, and I am once again very, very appreciative of my wonderful friends who have rallied around me all summer. I drank loads of wine (too much wine), I cried watching Bridget Jones, I cut my hair to fulfill all break up cliches, and then I went on an impromptu trip to Venice with two of my pals because moping is for losers.


3. Insecurity: being a rubbish blogger


I am a rubbish blogger, I'm sorry. It's been over three months since I last updated,  and I have no idea if I have just driven all of my usual readers away (er, if so, come baaaack), but I hope not.

I am determined to get back in the swing of things though, and I have loads to talk about. I went to Copenhagen! And Croatia! And Venice! The August Edinburgh Festivals are in full swing, and there's ace shows to recommend (hot men performing zombie circus, anyone?)! Aaaand I'll probably have a bit of a reflection on life and love (because rambling cheers me up & everyone's lovely when I whinge on about life being tricky). Plus I bought ace new shoes!

So thanks for sticking with me, if you have done. Here's to the rest of 2016 not quite being such a bastard, aye?

Sunday, 1 May 2016

SUNDAY LINKS

Hello! I'm cheating a bit and writing this post in advance, as I'm currently in Copenhagen (presumably having a lovely time eating danish pastries and drinking coffee in beautiful cafes). It's been a fun week, I've cheered up considerably since writing this blog post (over-sharing on the internet DOES work!), and I've had a busy week of pals, fun, and pubs.

Here's the best bits I spotted online this week. Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!

The Future is Naps - Enamel pin
So, Beyonce released Lemonade, and it's all everyone is talking about. Here's why it is so important. Also, wondering who 'Becky with the good hair' is? This is why you should not care.

Game of Thones is BACK, and I am so delighted that my favourite brutal show is here again. I thought the first episode was a pretty solid start to the season, but it's weird to see new stories - I'm so used to knowing what's next in the tv show! I'm also a bit alarmed at how much I still love Jaime Lannister. Gah. 

A totally fascinating and mammoth look at Uber, and how it conquered London.

I absolutely loved Carrie's DIY embroidered bomber jackets! I want to go on a girl gang trip to Paris now, it looks amazing!

Did you know that Denmark is the world's happiest country, and they have the best work-life balance in the world? I need to move there, stat!

Why are so many celebrities dying in 2016? Mainly, there's just more celebrities than ever.

Aaaand despite my very whingey post earlier this week, I am genuinely fine, but I really loved this article- 8 ways to tackle the life crisis you think you're having. Thanks to all the real life and internet pals who reached out, or emailed, or commented though - I really appreciated the love!

Friday, 29 April 2016

COASTAL CARRIAGE

Earlier this month, Josh and I went on a trip up North. We had both just worked the Edinburgh Science Festival (which was 18 days of non-stop festival work, and months and months of prep beforehand), so we were in need of sleep and peace and quiet.

We had been swithering over where to go - originally the plan was to go camping (open fires! Gorgeous views! Nature!), then I went on a bit of an enthusiastic tangent and starting planning a walk of the West Highland Way (lol), before we realised that we were both too knackered and the weather was too unreliable to do anything but find somewhere snug and cosy in a quiet location.


After a fairly stressful bit of last-minute searching, we came across Coastal Carriage - a reclaimed railway carriage on the Banffshire Coast. Owned by the same people who run High Seas Hobbit, it ticked all of our boxes: relatively cheap (£70 per night, plus a discount as we were staying for 4 nights); a quiet, scenic location; a wood-burning stove; we didn't need a car to get there; and it looked pretty quirky (we've stayed in a gypsy caravan and a treehouse, so a railway carriage was the obvious next step!).

We'd been keen to avoid hiring a car (to save £££s), so travelled up from Edinburgh using public transport. This meant getting a train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen (2.5 hours), a bus from Aberdeen to Rosehearty (2 hours), then a lift from Rosehearty to the Carriage (the owner very kindly picked us up on the way there, and we ordered a taxi back to town for our way home).


The Carriage is situated on a quiet, family-run farm in Aberdeenshire - in farming country near Fraserburgh and Banff. It looks out over the Moray Firth (you can see dolphins if you are lucky!), and  there's loads of beaches, cliff walks, castles, and other interesting historic things nearby.

We were pretty lazy for most of the trip, but went on a big walk to New Aberdour beach - a beautiful big pebble beach, with loads of rock pools and caves to explore. There was also a cute doocot near by, and an interesting old graveyard, with a memorial to a chieftain who fell at Culloden.


The Carriage itself was pretty simple, but cosy enough to just curl up and chill in. At one end there's a really comfy bed (I spent about 80% of my time here), and at the other there's a wood-burning stove, a small table, and some chairs. The Carriage has french doors that look out over the sea, so it's a pretty beautiful place to nestle down in - although it would benefit from an armchair and a rug to make the space a bit nicer to nestle in!

The wood-burning stove took a while to get going, but was very toasty in the end - even when the weather went bonkers, and alternated between sun, sleet and snow in one day. I'm lucky that Josh is such a good cook, so we ate amazing food all week - slow roasted lamb stew, spatchcock poussin, steak and chips, and baked avocado, eggs and bacon. YUM.

There's no electricity (so you really are forced to switch off), but there's solar powered lights and lanterns, so you aren't sitting in the pitch black every night. There's also a bush shower in the Carriage, and a toilet in a hut nearby.


We spent the week reading, playing yahtzee and cribbage, and listening to a totally ancient Jurassic Park audiobook (which I loved!). It was bliss!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

INSECURITIES

I generally try and keep my blog a happy, positive place. I like writing about the things I like, and on the whole, I'm an optimistic, happy-go-lucky kind of person. I'm good at finding the silver lining, and even when I am a bit grumpy, it generally doesn't last for long.

Butttt, that's obviously not always the case. And currently, I'm feeling a bit out of sorts and unsure of myself. I think it's a combination of leaving a long-term job, starting something new and exciting, and  the last six months being pretty manic and intense overall - I bought a house! I moved! I spent months panicking about cancer! I delivered a massive festival! I got a new job! I've had about two weeks to do reporting that normally takes six weeks! Aaaaargh.

Courage, dear heart - Etsy print
So, in no particular order, here are the things I am currently feeling insecure about. Because I figure writing them down will stop me squirrelling them away, and then I can just get on with things. Right?

I am starting a new job
In two weeks I'll be about to start my new job. The good thing is that I'm really confident about the work I'll be doing - I'm moving into a very similar position to the one I do now, and I know I'm good at it, and I understand festival life. But I'm nervous about all the little things. I have to make new friends, and I'm starting during a really busy period, when no-one will have time to hang out with me. And I've got a track record of things going really wrong in my first week of a new job (e.g. spilling coffee down a white dress, accidentally kicking my shoe off and it FLYING across an entire office) so I am nervous about the small, stupid things I can't control.

I will not be working with Josh anymore
I currently work in the same office as my boyfriend, and while I fully appreciate that it is going to be a Good Thing working in different places, I still feel insecure about it. I currently get to see him every day, and now I won't. I'll miss him. I'll miss getting to go for lunches with my boyfriend whenever the whim takes us, and making coffees together, and all the nice little moments that make office life so much sweeter. Aargh.

I am seriously unfit
This time last year I was well into training for a 10k race, and feeling pretty good as a result. I tried to restart running earlier this year, but gave up pretty quickly (because it was dark and rainy and I am definitely a fair-weather runner). Now I'm starting to get back into it, but I'm slow and sluggish, and I've started feeling sluggish and uncomfortable in life too. I know that I need to embrace the fact that I'm making healthy changes in my life, and keep exercising/eating healthily, but aaaah, I feel podgy and I just want to feel fitter INSTANTLY.

I am scared of my mortgage
I love my flat, but the responsibility of having to pay for it, and ANYTHING that needs fixed, stresses me out. I didn't realise how much I liked the safety net of renting (and passing any scary bills to your landlord), until I didn't have it anymore. I hate feeling nervy about money.

I don't know what to do with my hair/clothes/anything
This is probably all linked to just feeling a bit BLAH in my appearance, but I'm just feeling pretty over my current style. I have a haircut booked the week before I start my new job, which was meant to be a nice treat so I'd feel all ace when starting, but now I am SO UNSURE what to get done, and I don't know why it bothers me so much. I'm over-thinking my whole wardrobe, and panic-buying clothes I do not need, which is not a good thing.

I am a rubbish blogger
I cannot make time for blogging when I have any sort of work or life stress, which is why I drop off the blogging radar several times each year. But then when I do have time, I love it! I love writing, and  I love the achievement of having posts scheduled for the week, and I love hearing from people who like reading what I write. But I worry that I'm just too inconsistent, and I'm driving readers away. I get jealous when I see bloggers like me that are nailing it (I want to be cool and have a signature style and work with brilliant brands!), and I question whether my chat is even relevant anymore, and if it's worth the effort trying to post three times per week, if all I'm putting out is mindless nonsense. AHH.

I don't make time for creative projects
I don't consider blogging 'being creative' (although I do logically realise it is), so I get mad at myself when I don't make time for painting or drawing or writing fiction. I love those things! They make me happy and seriously help me destress and feel better. So why don't I do them? Why do I spend my time watching terrible movies like Divergent, that I hate so much I end up just mindlessly scrolling twitter on my phone? Whyyyy?

I can't dance
God, I'm an awful dancer. I really don't know what to do about that.

And WAH. Pity party over. I know it's going to be okay really, but it helps to acknowledge all the little things that add up to anxiety. I'm really excited about what's ahead of me, and I'm sure it'll work out fine - I just need to avoid light clothes/hot drinks in week one of my new job!
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