Tuesday, 25 November 2014

On The Year That's Been

This year has been tough, no?

Maybe it's just me. Maybe it isn't just me. But in 2014, I've started  new jobs (twice) and moved cities (twice). I've lived in four different houses, with nine different people. I found a boyfriend. I broke up with that boyfriend. I've played for multiple korfball teams. I've visited Dorset and Cornwall and Wiltshire and Lincolnshire and Norfolk and Kent. I've been to Barcelona and convinced a waitress I speak fluent Spanish (I don't). I've made friends and drifted apart from friends. I've celebrated engagements. I've mourned the loss of a grandparent. I've lost weight- and gained it all back again and more. I've baked a wedding cake, and brownies and countless cupcakes. I've drank wine and gin and something like 371031 ml of tea (I worked it out. I''d say I drink an average of four half-pint (284 ml) mugs of tea a day. So 284 x 4 x 365 = 371031. Jesus). I've drank so few cups of coffee they could probably all be counted on my fingers and toes. I've sobbed and I've laughed and I've found myself lying on the floor wondering what the hell is going on- both drunkenly at 3am and soberly at 3pm.

I've had to deal with so much this year, and my poor little brain has just about given up on it. This year I've been fine and not fine and everything in between. 

But it hasn't been the worst year on record. It really hasn't. It's not been the best year on record either though.

I've achieved so much this year. I'm really so proud of myself for being so bloody BRAVE this year- both in ways people know about (like moving jobs) and in ways people don't (which I'm not going to talk about). I've impressed myself, and I've apparently blown other people away. I've been generous and I've been selfish and I've been kind and I've been mean.

I feel like I'm ending 2014 knowing myself a little better than I did on 1st January. I've been SO unbelievably hard on myself this year when I should be proud of everything I've done. But while that isn't in my nature, I at least have a camp full of cheerleaders yelling and screaming for me every step of the way. I'm finishing 2014 feeling battered and bruised and hurt and lost and sad but just a little hopeful. At one point, I never thought I'd make it to 2014, let alone the whole way through it. And maybe that in itself is something to be proud of.

2014 has been a rollercoaster. And we still have another whole month left of 2014. But at least I have socially-accepted daily chocolate (more on my AMAZING advent calendars to come) and more mince pies than I can shake a stick at to get me through December.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Happiness Is... (vol. 88)

I should probably branch out in my breakfast choices, but porridge is just so bloody delicious that I kind of don't want to. And when you stir raisins and blueberries through, then add more blueberries and walnuts on top? It's a little bowl of perfection, let me tell you. And it's even sweeter knowing that I rescued these blueberries from the reduced to clear section. My local Tesco has the world's worst stock management system, which means treats like this happen on a pretty damn regular basis. Is that a bad thing? No, no not at all.

I'm waffling. (Porridging?). This week, happiness is...

... finding half a packet of sweets in your coat pocket, left over from when you went on a walk four weeks ago. Is it just me who does this? Who tucks sweets in her pocket for long walks, and then forgets all about them? It's so much fun to find them though, when you jam your hands into your pockets when you're on your way to the supermarket. 

... finding the perfect black jeans. I mean seriously. Uniqlo's Ultra Stretch Ankle Length black jeans fit me perfectly (and the ones I ended up buying are two sizes smaller than I originally thought I needed). I haven't actually worn them yet- I knew I'd be baking yesterday and decided black jeans weren't the best thing to wear for that- but I am so excited to pair them with a stripy top and ankle boots, or white blouse and a maroon blazer. 

... coming home to the most ridiculously clean flat. We got a cleaner, you guys. It's not because we're lazy- though we kind of are- it's because two out of the three of us are just a little too busy to want to clean in our little bit of spare time, and the third was starting to get a little resentful. She is amazing and it's the best money any of us have ever spent.

... Fiorentina hot chocolates, consumed sitting at a pavement side table (in November!) in Marylebone with your oldest friend who is more hungover than you, and cheers you up with some of the best boy stories I've ever heard, told in the most entertaining way possible.

... Fortnum & Mason. It's so unbelievably charming, I wanted to move in. I picked up a couple of foodie gifts for Christmas presents and I am going to find it so hard not to just keep them for myself.

What's making you happy this week?

Saturday, 15 November 2014

What Are You Doing?

I'm aware I'm really a shockingly bad blogger.

I think the problem is that I'm not really feeling blogging in the same way as I used to. I'm finding myself drawn to posts about thoughts and feelings and happenings and considerations these days. I've long loved Meg's blog, and perhaps I'll take this space of mine in that direction- more writing, less waffling. Or perhaps not. Chances are though, I'll just keep it here to update as an when I want, about what I want.

I don't care about page views. I don't care about follower numbers. I don't care if this is just a shout into the void and no one reads it at all. If a blog post is written and no one reads it, does it exist?

But if you are reading... 

Lately I've been listening to Serial. If you haven't heard about it, oh my god you are missing out. It's an incredibly interesting true story of the conviction of Adnam Syed for the murder of Hae Min Lee. I don't want to say any more than that, but do listen to it- just perhaps not when you're walking home alone along the side of Clapham Common in the dark, okay?

I told him the walking-home-in-the-dark-listening-to-Serial story in the pub on Friday and he looked at me dead on. You didn't actually do that, did you? I told him that of course I had, I'm a big girl and I'm braver and stronger than I look, and why does it matter anyway? Apparently, when walking home, I should have no headphones in, my keys in my hand, sensible shoes on (ready to run), and just paying attention. Bless.

I think he overreacted. Or perhaps that's just another example of being reckless with myself? Who knows.

I've been sort of falling apart at the seams. My mental health really isn't the best right now, and admitting that is a pretty big deal. I kind of dropped it on my mum over the phone while I was shopping in Fortnum & Mason on Saturday morning. I just kind of went "Mama I got really sad after I'd been in the pub last night" and she guessed straight away exactly what I meant. She's worried, I'm worried, my boy bestie JH is worried- but I am okay, and I will be okay. So there's that.

I'm making headway on Christmas present shopping! I have something ridiculous like eighteen people to buy for, so it's kind of necessary. I've sorted my cousin and his partner, and I'm nearly there with my brother and my sister-in-law-to-be. I know what I want to get for my little sister, and I think I know what I'm doing for a few others... so I'm getting there. Time is an issue- I'm so busy over the next few weeks- but at least I have ideas, right?!

This is my first full weekend in London in about six weeks, and I'm making the most of it. I did some proper London shopping (I hit up Fortnum & Mason, Liberty, and Selfridges, in one morning). I sat outside a cafe with my oldest friend and drank thick thick hot chocolate while we screamed with laughter over her boy gossip. And I'll be making mince pies, soda bread, and sleeping in this weekend too, while listening to yet more of Serial (I have catching up to do), and Euneirophrenia- go on, click the link and give your ears a treat. Euneirophrenia is also a great word- it means the peace of mind that comes from having pleasant dreams. It's a new favourite.

I'd say that's enough for now. I'll be back soon, promise.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

To The Men I Fall In Love With On Trains

In particular, this is to the beautiful beard-sporting, tweed-coat-wearing, sheet-music-reading man I saw on the train to Wiltshire early on Saturday morning. He genuinely made my heart skip several beats.

Here's to spotting a handsome stranger on the train. 

Here's to angling yourself ever so slightly more elegantly in your seat. 

Here's to sneaking glances to see what they're reading. 

Here's to carefully choosing the music you listen to, in case they should by some random chance ask you about it. 

Here's to those moments of eye contact where your heart suddenly starts thumping in your chest. 

Here's to glancing away, only to glance back seconds later. 

Here's to finding him still looking at you. 

Here's to feeling your heart pound, just hoping he'll come over and say hello.

Here's to watching him gather his things, two stops before yours. 

Here's to sadly watching him step off the train, perhaps with a wistful smile. 

Here's to sighing and sinking back into your seat, feeling bereft. 

Here's to the next time.