Things from July

July seems to have both flown by and lasted forever in equal measures. Don't ask me how that works, I have no idea, it just feels that way.

HEIST AWARDS

We started off the month with a work trip to Manchester for the HEIST Awards (higher education marketing something something awards, I really don't know what it stands for...). Not only did we come away from the evening with three awards and a 'highly commended', it also meant I got to put on a pretty dress and get my make-up done. I'm not saying one was more fun than the other, but let's just say I spent way too much money at Charlotte Tilbury. It also marked my first proper trip 'up north'. Yes I know I am horrendously southern and I can only apologise for that.

TLSP

Fast forward a week and I was spending my Wednesday evening probably the closest I'm ever going to get to Alex Turner. In other words, I went to see The Last Shadow Puppets and I would 100% recommend, if only for Alex's shiny gold shirt.

Santorini

I also headed off to Santorini with my mum for a few much needed days of hiding in the shade and playing Scrabble. Santorini is beautiful. Santorini airport is the worst airpot experience I've ever had. 

In other July news:

  • I attended the lovely wedding of my friend & colleague Steph and her now husband Ben 💕
  • I took my first ever trip to Brownsea Island — despite having lived in Dorset for 17 years — thanks to Charlotte. She packed a picnic and also took the photo above. I contributed my fantastic company. 
  • We finished Issue 2 of OPOA Magazine. It's full of cool stories, photos and advice and, not that I'm biased or anything, you should definitely take a look.

The Nostalgia Series — Growing up

nostalgia

noun

  1. a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

I'll be the first to admit that, despite my better judgement, I spend far too much of my time living in the past. It's not because I'm not enjoying the present — in fact I'm probably the most content I've been in a long time — it's just that I seem to be very susceptible to large bouts of nostalgia.  

Photos such as the above, the first few bars of a certain song, or a waft of a particular smell, can have me in happy tears within seconds. So, because there's nothing I love more than a bit of self indulgent reminiscing, I'm dedicating a whole series (or just the one, because I'm great at being noncommittal) of posts to the topic of nostalgia.

Whenever I talk about my childhood, I'm sure I must verge on being that super smug girl who won't shut up about how great it was, and I'm only kind of sorry for that. I'm no Peter Pan but if someone offered me the option to go back and re-live the ages of 3 – 10 again on repeat, well, I wouldn't turn them down.

A few months back, my Dad decided it was time to clear out the loft. I can never bring myself to get rid of things, just in case. Just in case I might need it for fancy dress one day, or might want to re-read it one day, or lend it to someone, or need it for reference. The list goes on. But, for once, my excessive hoarding paid off.

Alongside the boxes of long lost photos and birthday cards, Christmas decorations and toy shop's worth of Sylvanian Families, came far too many nostalgic memories to deal with in one go. I found myself faced with school reports from 1999, exercise books which totally reaffirmed the fact that Science is not my strong point, and so many photos.  

I've lost count of the amount of times I've been told that, the older you get, the quicker time seems to pass. But it's true. Suddenly I'm 23 years old, but I'm pretty sure last time I checked it was my 16th birthday.

I don't write letters back and forth to the fairies anymore. I don't spend my weekend's hanging out with my invisible friends. I don't get excited at the prospect of shopping for new school shoes, or whether they'll be selling 20p doughnuts in the playground, or spending my Friday night trying my absolute best to stay up past 12am for a midnight feast. But I did do all of those things once upon a time, and I'm so happy that I have such great memories to feel nostalgic about. 

Things from June

I'm not quite sure where to begin with acknowledging June. It started off busy, which then set the precedent for the rest of the month. I don't feel like I've stopped.

A lot seems to have happened in the small space of 30 days, that I've really struggled with writing it all down this month. So, to spare everyone my rambling, I'm sticking with bullet points.

  • I started off the month in London with work for IMATS and Graduate Fashion Week.
  • Headed back up to London a few days later for Here 2016, a super cool symposium curated by It's Nice That.
  • Birthdays 
  • A few more work related events including Summer Shows and Open Days.
  • The return of OITNB aka the most I've cried at a TV show in a long time.
  • More birthdays
  • Back in London to see Aladdin the musical. Good, but not as good as Lion King.
  • I read some great things including Laura Jane William's Becoming and most of the archives of She Did What She Wanted.
  • We then rounded the month off with Graduation. Working at it. Not mine, I missed the boat on that one.

The thing is, whilst June has been a whirlwind of things happening in my life, it's also been a whirlwind of things happening in the world. Or I suppose maybe hurricane would be more apt. 

June has felt like a never-ending series of waking up to more and more heartbreaking news each day. I've spent a lot of it angry and the rest of it sad and disappointed. There are a lot of thoughts going on in my brain right now, which I think warrant more than just a mention at the end of a monthly round-up. So, if angry rants about the state of the world are something you're after, please do stay tuned. 

Things from May

May seemed to fly by in some sort of whirlwind of birthdays and balloons and friends and food. I booked the first week of May off for my birthday plans and celebrations, but in some cruel twist of fate I ended up poorly and plagued with wisdom teeth pain for over half of it. Despite this, I still think my May turned out to be pretty great.

Birthday

Fortunately for me, I started to feel better the day before my birthday and was able to fully appreciate the super sprinkly cake pictured above. I spent the day eating pancakes, drinking prosecco and spending time with my favourite people.

Sunshine

I'm not sure how it happened, but we were lucky enough to have more than a few sunny days this month. For once I actually embraced the sun and the outdoors by spending an afternoon walking round some beautiful gardens, followed by tea and cake of course. 

Busted

You know when something makes you so happy and full of butterflies that all you want to do is pull a hideously excitable face? Yeah, well that. Since they broke my heart back in 2004, I longed for the day when a Busted reunion would come my way (rhyme not intended) and wow was it worth the wait. Charlie and his eyebrows have come back for me and I couldn't be happier.

I was too busy being 10-years-old again so I have a severe lack of photos/videos, but you can head over to my Instagram to see a super short clip of my favourite Busted song, Meet You There.

In other May news

  • I finally got round to watching the 1989 World Tour and it was the best Saturday night in I've had in a long time. Yes I may have been dancing alone in my kitchen, but I'm totally ok with that.
  • I booked a holiday to Amsterdam with my two favourite people for August. Any recommendations of things I must do/eat/see on a postcard (or in the comments, up to you).

Clean

"The sky turned black like the perfect storm."

Disclaimer: Very aware this sky is not black like a perfect storm.

Disclaimer: Very aware this sky is not black like a perfect storm.

When my relationship ended last year - 18th of August 2015, if we're being precise, and not that I'm keeping track or anything - my first port of call was Taylor Swift. Who better to sing you songs about heartbreak, right?

All the tracks I'd once listened to and simply appreciated for being a good song suddenly had so much weight behind them. 

I spent weeks playing I Almost Do on repeat, before moving onto All too Well and eventually Breathe. All in all it was very therapeutic and, because the last thing I ever want to do is actually talk about my emotions to real people, it was almost akin to talking it over.

Then, on 15th May 2016 - still being precise here - it finally happened. I had my long awaited Clean moment.

Let me set the scene: It started off with the beginnings of a very light-hearted blog post about everyone's favourite dating app. Feeling slightly disenchanted with the whole swiping thing, I figured that, if I wasn't gaining anything else, I may as well get some good blog material out of it. Just call me Carrie Bradshaw.

As I was typing away, the words "I think I'm finally ok. Actually I'm really happy." appeared on the screen in front of me. And, in that moment, suddenly all the pieces started to fit together and I knew I'd finally got there. I understood Clean.

So I played the song and spent the 4 minutes 31 seconds to follow crying. But, for the first time in months, they weren't tears of anger or loss or sadness. In fact, the only way I can think to describe them is just, Clean. And then I cried some more, because people tell you that one day you'll be ok, and for so long you wait and wonder and then out of nowhere, you realise they were right.

So I suppose, for anyone else who is still in their All Too Well stage, you too will have your Clean moment and, when you do, suddenly it will all make sense.

"She lost him but she found herself and somehow that was everything."