30 Sept 2017

September Reads | The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight

Disclaimer: I say the word ‘fuck’ a lot in this post. 

I’m not really a self-help book person. Sure, I’ve barely read any but the ones I have, I found irritating and, ironically, extremely unhelpful so that explains why.

This isn’t a traditional self-help book (as the title suggests) but I still don’t know if I would have deliberately sought it out.

But after a week of feeling particularly frazzled, I found myself in Waterstones (sometimes I go there to feel calmer; books have that effect on me) and this book caught my eye, and the title and tagline immediately made me laugh.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck.

How to stop spending time you don’t have doing things you don’t want to do with people you don’t like.

It’s a book that teaches you how to stop giving a fuck about things that aren’t important without being a twat. 

Direct quote:

‘…people who don’t give a fuck fall into one of three categories: children, assholes, the enlightened.’

Sarah’s Not Sorry Method encourages you to stop giving so many fucks to obligation, guilt and shame and start giving those fucks to things that actually make you happy instead.

She explains that your fucks are divided into 4 categories: things, work, friends, acquaintances & strangers and family and should be tackled in that order. You’re encouraged to create yourself a Fuck Budget where you list everything you give a fuck about in each category. You then question whether you truly care about each of those fucks. To do this, you ask yourself: does it annoy? If the answer is yes, stop giving a fuck asap and dedicate that fuck to something that doesn’t annoy.

She manages to make it seem so simple, then tackles all your ‘oh wait but what about…’ questions and then make you realise it actually can be simple to stop giving a fuck about shit that doesn’t enrich your life.

So, as you can tell, I bought it. And I’ve been raving about it ever since. I don’t know if it’s the excessive use of the word ‘fuck’, the fact that it genuinely made me snort with laughter on several occasions or that it just made so much fucking sense; but I’ve vowed to make life changes after reading this book. Maybe you will too?

(I’m also currently reading Sarah’s next book Get Your Shit Together: How to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you want to do. It’s not as good but still thoroughly entertaining.)

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight

28 Sept 2017

Lessons From The World Of Job Hunting

Lessons from the world of job hunting

After I finished university, a big secret was revealed to me. After being told for pretty much my entire life that education was extremely important and that I must have a degree and then I would be absolutely able to get a job, it turned out that LOL NOPE JUST KIDDING, you actually need experience of working in the relevant field.

Which I didn’t have because:

A) a degree in creative writing is very non-specific in terms of jobs or careers. You can go into a whole host of sectors and roles so naturally, most degrees in the subject don’t include placements or internship opportunities as part of the course.
B) I had no freakin’ clue what I wanted to do after leaving university so I’d just focused on actually getting the degree. So sue me.

Turns out, having a degree and my experience in waitressing and studying were not enough to give me a chance in jobs I was interested in. The day that truly hit home was a real fun one, I tell ya.

It took me just under a year to get a full time, paid job relevant to my degree and interests (and that’s not including the summer of working in a wedding venue and pretending I was still a student). In that time, I did two un-paid internships, a random one-off waitressing shift, a three-week stint in an admin role that required you to be good at excel (which I’m not) and a lot of job hunting.

Here’s what I learned:

Prepping for an interview will only get you so far 

You can’t prep for the interviewer who brings her dog to the interview or for the interview that took place on a sofa or for the interview question “if you were a biscuit, what would you be and why?”. You should be prepared yes, but don’t give your life and soul to that prep because there are some scenarios you just can’t predict.

A custard cream in case you’re wondering.

A lot of recruitment agencies are like the land that time forgot 

I’ve had SO many bizarre experiences with recruitment agencies. From the leaflet reminding me to shower before an interview to the recruiter who tried to ask me out on a date during interview prep to the many soulless rooms I’ve been forced to sit in to complete one of those BLOODY MICROSOFT TESTS. Unfortunately, you just gotta suck it up cos you need a job but don’t worry if being there makes you feel like you may never escape this soulless place. I think that’s normal.

Certain people will like to suggest you should ‘just’ get a job in admin whilst you job hunt 

*Prepare for a rant*

These people tend to have walked straight from university into a well-paid office job (usually via connections). Not to suggest these people don’t work hard, because they do, or there’s anything wrong with using your connections, because there isn’t. But there is something wrong with their snobbery around administrative roles.  This dismissive idea that admin is a job you can just grab hold of on your way to your main goal, like grabbing a coffee on the way to work; well, it’s unfair and, quite frankly, absurd. I’ll tell you something, if you work somewhere with a poor administrator, you know about it. You have to be freakin’ organised, intelligent and ON IT to be a good administrator and to prove you are capable, you have to dedicate just as much effort, produce just as good application form and perform just as well in the interview as you would any other job.  So feel free to tell those people to pipe down and stop talking rubbish.

Waiting to hear back from interviews is like waiting for JK to write another HP book

Try and do ANYTHING but sit and stare at your phone like a crazed junkie waiting for their next hit. Also, don’t put your emails on loud cos that little ‘ping’ will constantly give you a heart attack and 95% of the time it will be Pizza Express emailing you their latest 2-4-1 deal. And, no, you can’t afford it.

Interviewers will insist on asking the question ‘so, where do you see yourself in ten years time?’

Despite the fact it’s the MOST absurd question. Well, apart from the biscuit one. I don’t have a step-by-step ten year plan and I’m pretty sure that makes me the normal one pal.

Every single person, except a fellow unemployed graduate, will want to offer you advice on how to get a job 

Even if you haven’t asked and even if they have NO experience of being unemployed. And all their advice will be chuffing useless. So many fun conversations to be had.

Recruiters will ask you to ‘pop in’ to their office in central London just to sign a form like it’s no biggie 

Um pal, I live an hour away and have 3p in my bank account. Could we not just like, email?

People will expect you to be applying for jobs 24 hours a day 

Like if you take a break to wee or, ya know, eat then you’re a lazy youth living off the state. SOZ FOR EMPTYING MY BLADDAR.

Most people don’t actually know how to conduct an interview

So they’ll ask a question HR insist they ask but won’t know what they’re actually asking, and neither will you. So you’ll answer with something equally as non-descript without knowing what you’re actually saying, and neither will they. And the merry dance of bullshit continues.
Most employers will allow you to take leave for pre-booked holidays 

You got a job! And then it turns out your already-booked holiday falls in your second week. Not ideal but the majority of employers will let you take it even if it is inconvenient because, let’s face it, no one wants to be the twat that tells someone they have to cancel their holiday and lose shit loads of money. Not great for staff morale is it? The point is, the holiday is a metaphor for life. Don’t arrange your life around a hypothetical job you may or may not get.

Getting any job is hard work

Whatever role you’re looking for, there’s the endless searching, CV perfecting, application writing, not to mention the interview outfit, travel, preparation and nervousness. And that’s just to get to the effing interview. It can literally take days of your time and effort, and often at the end of it, all you’re left with is an automated email telling you it was all for nothing. So when people are making you feel like you’re a failure, useless or are judging of the waitressing shift you’ve taken on because you’ve had endless rejections for writing roles and have no money…. Feel free to punch them in the face.

You haven’t failed, it’s just an awful process

Mostly, getting a job is dependent on circumstances that are nothing to do with you. Most interviewers decide if they like you within 3 seconds of walking into the room so there’s not much you can do there. There’s so many factors and an awful lot of luck involved. So don’t beat yourself up, you’ll get there kid.

24 Sept 2017

5 Reasons To Holiday At Home

Holiday at home_St Albans

You know what one of my pet peeves is? People who bang on about how much they love to travel, of all the benefits of travel, like it’s a revolutionary concept.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually agree with them. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love a good adventure. Travel, holiday, trip; whatever you want to call it, abroad or in the UK, I’m probably a tad obsessed with exploring new places. I get kinda angsty about always having something booked in, a trait that regularly causes G to roll his eyes and hide the credit card.

But I just can’t get on board with the patronising, ‘gap-yar’ vibe coming from those people. You love to travel? Yeah well, you and every other freakin’ millennial pal; have you seen the number of passport-at-the-airport Instagram shots? *insert eye-roll emoji*.

(Just think about it, a reason to holiday at home is that you AVOID THOSE PEOPLE. Oh the smugness.)

Anyway, rants about gap-yar wankers aside, this post is actually about not travelling. G and I both had five days off at home at the end of August but didn't actually go anywhere. We booked leave, we had a holiday, but in our local area and now I am very much an advocate of doing this every now and again. Here’s why (spoiler: it's not just cos you save on the pennies):

You get into usually-rammed local restaurants 

Or have the time to actually go to local restaurants.

We kicked off our holiday at The Boot, a local pub two minutes from our flat, with their Fish ‘n’ chip Friday. We’ve wanted to do this for a while but it’s very popular and by the time we get back from work, the place is rammed and we can’t get in. But this time round, we arrived early, got a table no probs and ordered our food. The deal is essentially two fish ‘n’ chip meals for £20 and you can choose from beer battered haddock, cod or halloumi served with triple cooked chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. We ordered one cod and one halloumi and then shared between us and it was crackin’.

We also finally got to try out The Breakfast Club. Every time we’ve attempted to go here on a Saturday, the queue has been coming out the door and down the street and I have such little patience for queuing to get into a restaurant. But when we showed up on a Tuesday morning, boom, tables to spare. We enjoyed amazingly thick and soft blueberry pancakes with bacon and maple syrup plus smoothies and it was all so good.

You can be a tourist in your own backyard 

Because when do we ever make time to do this? Sure, it depends where you live, but I live in an area people actively come to visit and yet I’ve gone and done tourist activities in several other places before taking the time to do touristy stuff in St Albans. We chose to do the Cathedral Tower Tour (more here) and I loved learning all about the cathedral and a bit of local history. Nearly everywhere has something interesting do to locally – do some research!

Holiday at home_St Albans

Holiday at home_St Albans

Holiday at home_St Albans

Treat yo’self

One day, I had my hair cut, had a snazzy pedicure at the city spa, went shopping and then came home and made us a huge plate of oh so cheesy nachos with a big pile of guacamole and sour cream. Being on holiday is about treating yourself and, well, you've saved all that money on flights and hotels by staying at home…

You appreciate your own area more

Holidaying at home is like the longest, sexiest weekend you can imagine. You’re not running for the train, doing your weekly shop or in any kind of rush. You can walk the long way home, stop to take pictures of the cute bunting they’ve put up in the centre of town and while away an afternoon in the pub because you have the time. It gives you such an appreciation of your local surroundings and that feeling continues way after you’re back in the office.

There’s no packing 

No un-packing. No post-trip washing load. NO WAITING IN BAGGAGE CLAIM. Oh so beautiful.

Holiday at home_St Albans

Holiday at home_St Albans

20 Sept 2017

Cathedral Tower Tour | St Albans

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

I know I always throw around the phrase ‘we live right next to the cathedral’ all casual like but, well, we really do live right next to St Albans cathedral. I’m talking literally in the shadow of the thing.

It has pros and cons.

Mostly, it’s really rather glorious. It’s such a romantic setting, tucked away from a main street, with beautiful views of this historic building right out the window and the bells chiming away; I love all the different tunes and the sound gives you this feeling of innate Britishness.

On the downside, those bells can get a tad annoying first thing on a Sunday morning. Cos I’m more of a wine and lie-in kinda girl rather than a chipper, Sunday-best churchgoer. You get my drift; whether we love or hate the bells is very much dependant on what time of day it is and whether we were at the pub the night before.

I should also point out that St Albans clock tower is also only 200ft from us. Those bells like to chime every second for six minutes at 7:54 in the morning. We have yet to figure out why this is necessary (if you know why, please do put us out our misery!).

Now, given how close the cathedral and clock tower are and given we live slap bang in the middle of both of them, you can forgive us for assuming that those 7:54 bells were coming from the cathedral, as do all the other bells. Turns out we’ve been sending a lot of undue irritation towards the cathedral at approximately 7:54am every weekend for the past 18 months (soz babe).

We only learned this because we finally got around to doing the St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour recently. We’re proof that no one is a tourist in their own backyard; it is literally in our backyard and we went up the Empire state building before we went up St Albans cathedral.

Anyway, it was so good! We climbed 140 feet, which is approximately 193 steps, up medieval staircases, all the way through the tower and right up onto the cathedral roof.

The stairs and pathways were extremely narrow – as G pointed out, people were clearly a lot thinner back in 1077 (definitely no longer buying the ‘fat monk’ stereotype) – and I felt a tad claustrophobic if I had to stop in the middle of one of the pathways or spiral staircases but luckily there were different points where they broke out.

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

Our first stop was the North Transept gallery where you got amazing views looking down on the interior of the cathedral (not one for you though if you’re scared of heights), and of the stained-glass window (called the rose window). Seeing the window up close was really something; it was absolutely stunning. We also could see the Presbytery ceiling up close and our guide told us all about the meaning of the different crests. It was really interesting to learn a bit of local history.

We then climbed further up, into the roof space actually on top of that ceiling. Although dark with a fair share of pigeon poo, you saw a completely different side of the cathedral. Less grand and much more practical, and our guide told us all about how the roof was built and how it’s maintained to keep such an old building standing.

Next up, we climbed more stairs and came to a pathway with a view over the front of the cathedral and the Hertfordshire countryside. Every single person in the group emerged onto that corridor from the dark stairs and went ‘oh wow’! Even though it was cloudy, it was still a gorgeous view. From that pathway, we went into the bell ringing chamber where, you guessed it, the bell ringers ring the bells! There was a miniature model of a bell so our guide could show us how the ringing works and we saw all the ropes the ringers pull leading up through the ceiling to the bells above. Our guide also showed us the number sequences that the bell ringers work from to play certain ‘songs’ – it looked very confusing but that might just be because numbers are not my thing!

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

We then went up to the floor above to actually see the bells up close. They went off whilst we were in the room and wow are they loud. Everyone jumped out their skin when they went off, even though we were all half expecting it. I loved seeing them up close; there is something majestic about them, particularly as they're several hundred years old.

Finally, we went up onto the actual roof of the cathedral where we could look out across St Albans, the surrounding countryside and down at our own flat from the highest point in the area!

Going down the stairs was more nerve wracking than coming up and we had to avoid smacking our heads on a couple of very low beams! But we made it with no casualties and spent another hour or so wandering round the cathedral on the ground (which is stunning) before having sandwiches and shortbread in their café (currently located in a marquee on the side of the cathedral whilst restoration works go on – but it’s quite cosy hunkering down inside with the heaters whilst the rain comes down outside).

Would absolutely recommend doing the cathedral tour if you’re local to Hertfordshire (and even if not) and especially if you live right next door!*

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

St Albans Cathedral Tower Tour

*I’d be worried about revealing my address on the internet but there’s actually a surprising amount of people living in close proximity to the cathedral/clock tower. I’m surprised there isn’t some kind of therapy group named ‘the bells woke me up again’ tbh.

18 Sept 2017

A Nostalgic Hangover

A nostalgic hangover

So I’m currently sat on a slow (read; snail pace) moving train to London and I’ve taken an unnecessary dislike to the girl sat opposite me. I mean, it’s incredibly unfair but I’ve sorta hit a point in my day where I don’t really care about the fact that I’m being unreasonable.

The main reason I’ve taken against her is that she’s immaculate. Like immaculately dressed, immaculate hair, immaculate make-up. She also has a designer handbag and the latest iPhone.

These are not reasons to take against someone (sorry innocent stranger) but yours truly over here is sat in her sweatshirt and jeans with un-brushed hair, a lack of make-up, purple bags under her eyes and a general smell of alcohol and regret about her.

Sitting opposite Miss Immaculate being one of those regrets.

Ah hangovers.

Yeah okay, I’ll admit, I have drunk excessive amount of alcohol in the last few days. Some people might call it a 3 day bender but I won’t. I still have some of my dignity left (lol, what a lie).

G and I were in Mayfair (sticking out like a sore thumb I might add) on Thursday night for a friend’s art exhibition (not a sentence I say everyday) which somehow, despite saying we would just pop in for an hour or two, turned into being in a pub, swapping shoes with a guy I’d just met and a 1am train back home.

Then I had a friend’s leaving drinks on Friday where I swore I’d leave at a reasonable time and then suddenly it was half 1 and I was drunkenly cooking cheesy pasta.

And then I headed to Bristol on Saturday for a reunion with some uni friends. I didn’t even bother pretending that was going to be a quiet one which is a good job cos I was still awake come 4am.

I’ve had a ball. But, jesus, is my body protesting in a way it never used to.

I don’t really do this anymore. I mean, I do hangovers obviously; it’s no secret G and I love a good pub and sometimes spend a Saturday regretting that last glass of wine.

But I don’t do incapacitating hangovers. I don’t do 3 nights out in a row. I don’t do bars with thumping music. I don’t do all-nighters.

But I used to. Once upon a time, mainly as a student, I lived a very specific kind of lifestyle that regularly involved all of those things. Particularly the all-nighters.

I wouldn’t change my life now, not even a little bit. But when random circumstance throws a week like I’ve just had at me, I’m hit by this humungous wave of nostalgia and I get lost in memories of those people, those nights, the 19/20/21-year-old version of myself. I suddenly can’t quite work out when life became what it is now, when I became the person I am now. Five years is such a short space of time in the scheme of things but I’m fascinated by how much life and a person can change in that time.

It’s such a strange feeling because there’s not much you can do with it. There’s nothing to change or regret or mull over. I don’t want to go back or do things differently, but I wish I could have slowed those times down or perhaps relive that life just for a day. Because sure, it was a freakin’ unhealthy lifestyle, but it was pretty glorious all the same.

12 Sept 2017

Lavender Biscuits

Lavender Biscuits

After our trip to Hitchin Lavender, I was a little stumped as to what I was supposed to do with my little bag of freshly picked lavender flowers, aside from putting a bunch in a vase. But then on our way back to the car, when we were still on the farm, I overheard a mother telling her children that they were going to go home and make lavender shortbread.

Thank you random mother.

Yes, it does feel slightly weird putting something that smells like your moisturiser in with butter and sugar but, ya know what, the end result does work. It’s a quirky flavour, velvety and cosy, and creates a divine smell when cooking.

Lavender Biscuits

Lavender Biscuits

For lavender biscuits, you will need:

2 tablespoon fresh lavender 
175g unsalted butter 
100g caster sugar
25g demerara sugar  
225g plain flour

Finely chop the lavender flowers (removed from stem) and soften your butter with a quick blast in the microwave (if not already at room temperature). 

Beat the butter and lavender together. By doing this thoroughly, you ensure you get the maximum flavour from the lavender. 

Next, beat in the caster sugar.

Stir in the flour and then knead into dough until smooth and no longer crumbly.

Cut the dough in half and roll out into two ‘sausage’ shapes, approximately six inches long. 

Roll in the demerara sugar until evenly coated. 

Wrap the ‘sausages’ in foil and chill in the fridge until firm. 

Pre-heat the oven at 180c. 

Once the ‘sausages’ are chilled and firm, cut into slices and put onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until a pale golden brown. Leave on a wire rack to cool. 

Lavender Biscuits

Lavender Biscuits

Lavender Biscuits

Lavender Biscuits

10 Sept 2017

Little Gems: 29

Little Gems: 29

Ah weekends. Not sure I’ve ever been so pleased to hit a Friday as I was this week. It felt like a very intense first week back after a holiday; all about work and not much else. Urgh. G and I went straight to the pub after we both got back from work on Friday evening and, despite claiming we were just going for one, ended up with a hefty hangover on Saturday morning. So Saturday pretty much consisted of eating cheese, hummus and bacon bagels and having two baths in the space of five hours. Cos baths cure all ills.

We just got back from our local pub after a lovely Sunday roast with my parents and my sticky toffee food baby and I plan on spending the rest of the evening curled up in a warm, cosy heap on the sofa. Shrek 2 is on in the background and there’s left over hummus in the fridge should one require a snack.

Given all the utterly rubbish things currently going on around the world, I appreciate all the small things even more right now.

So here are some of the lovely little things from recently:

Sandy toes. G persuaded me to kick off my shoes and socks when we were on Bamburgh beach during our mini holiday last week. The water was freakin’ freezing hence my initial reluctance, but there’s just something about getting your toes stuck in to the sea and sand that is just so good for the soul.

GBBO is back! I know, I know, it’s controversial this year but I’m pleased Channel 4 have barely deviated from the structure so it’s still really enjoyable. I miss Mary, Mel and Sue but I do think Noel Fielding is going to be crackin’ once he truly gets going. Plus it’s a great excuse to have cake every Tuesday night.

TV in general at the moment! I am loving the Cormoran Strike novel adaptations; the BBC have absolutely nailed it. Doctor Foster is back and I’d forgotten how much I loved it. Kill him Gemma, kill him. I also really enjoyed Trust Me, another BBC drama about a nurse who assumes her best friend’s identity as a senior doctor. It was unbelievably tense and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for ages afterwards. OH and I’m 4 episodes into The Handmaid’s Tale after reading the book and so far, I think it’s a bloody marvellous adaptation.

St Albans annual pub crawl. Can you call something a tradition if you’ve only done it twice? Wannabe tradition? Anyhoo, on bank holiday weekend last year, G and I hosted a St Albans pub crawl as a housewarming thing and we decided to go again this year. It gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling to have a bunch of your favourite people come visit for a lot of drinks and chat <3

Denim jacket. The oversized denim jacket from New Look I’m wearing above is my new current love and no other jacket can get a look in right now.

Meeting Eliza. On our way up to Newcastle last week, we stopped off to see my cousin and her baby, born in July, and omg was she just lovely. I’m not broody, swear…

Lush. I am a tad obsessed with Lush products at the mo. Particularly anything that creates a particularly sexy bath. Their comforter bubble bar is just divine.

Jamie’s 5 ingredients cook book. I’m really excited to get stuck into the recipes in this book, which I bought on a bit of a whim when I saw it discounted in Sainsbury’s. The concept is just what I need in my life; the biggest thing that puts me off trying new recipes is the long ingredient list cos girl does not want to spend all her free time wandering around supermarkets when she could be tucked up on the sofa in her dressing gown.

Autumn. There are orange leaves on the ground people. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I love this time of year.

Hope your weekend was full of wine and baths and Sunday roasts.

Little Gems: 29

Little Gems: 29

Little Gems: 29

7 Sept 2017

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

My Instagram feed has been FULL of lavender fields this summer. And because I'm easily influenced by anything that looks like my camera and I will have fun, I was like I wanna go, I wanna go!

What with one thing and another, it took us a while to get round to it, but we managed to squeeze in a visit to our nearest lavender farm, Hitchin Lavender, just before the flowering season was over.

It meant that the lavender wasn't at peak purpleness anymore but it was still pretty lovely.

We arrived at Hitchin Lavender farm, paid £5 each for entry, a pair of scissors and a brown paper bag, and then set off into the rows and rows of lavender.

It was, quite literally, a breath of fresh air. The wind whipped my hair around my face, we meandered through the flowers, collecting the lavender. We watched kids running in and out of the rows, and played spot-the-secret-photo-shoot (you’re supposed to pay to conduct professional photoshoots in the farm).

Right at the top of the hill, there were some glorious views; miles and miles of Hertfordshire countryside stretching out in every direction.

We collected lavender at a very leisurely pace before heading back down to the little cabin café at the bottom of the hill which was full of various lavender products; lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade. We had slices of cake sat in the sunshine and debated what to do with our freshly picked lavender when we got home!

Photos and a little video from the day below.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

4 Sept 2017

Back to it

Back to reality after a holiday

I had this idea that today would have a fist-pumping, go-get-em, taking-over-the-world kinda vibe. It stemmed from that feeling of a fresh start I always associate with September. We just got back from a holiday, G headed off to his new job this morning and I was all ready to crack on like all the kids in their new school uniforms and fresh stationary heading back to school.

Uh huh. That happened.

It was more scrabbling around to find the to-do list I scrawled out before going on leave whilst wearing my joggers, if I’m honest. I don’t feel I’ve even slightly got on top of my work emails and the flat seems to have developed an arctic chill whilst we were away, which has no correlation to the temperature outside. There have been some builders talking and drilling right below the back-room window for the majority of the day. And my suitcase is sat in the middle of the kitchen floor very much unpacked. I also can’t remember if I’ve brushed my teeth today so that’s nice.

So, yeah, I didn’t really nail today after all. Ah well.

We had a crackin’ week off though. We split the week between holidaying at home and a trip up north, travelling between York, Newcastle and the Northumberland coast. It honestly felt like it lasted ages for once and I have come back very much in love with my own country. So much so that I’m currently throwing around ideas of some kind of UK road trip adventure for 2018.

In the meantime, holy heck, it’s September! My favourite time of year is here and my beady eyes are watching those leaves on the trees for signs of colour change. Everything is about to crank up a notch at work, I have a lot of plans for the next couple of months and my brain is buzzing with novel ideas. Before you know it, it’ll be 1st December and I’ll be singing Fairytale of New York at the top of my voice like the irritating Christmas-lover I am.

Come on Autumn, let’s do this.