Oh dear, it’s been a very long time since I posted, hasn’t it?
So my last post was when? February? That’s literally eleven months ago (nearly twelve!!! Ridiculous!!!) I mean, I knew my blog had been somewhat neglected as of late, but I hadn’t realised that my last post was pretty much A WHOLE YEAR AGO?!
Shocking behaviour – especially since I’ve given my card out to a couple of people since then. Oops.
Where have I been then? I wish I could tell you that I’ve been off doing something super interesting and exciting and generally worth writing about, but I have not. I’ve barely moved from my little nook in the corner of the sofa.
I suppose by this point, this is a “revival piece” rather than a continuation of what I’ve done in the past. Unlike the last time I took an accidental hiatus, I haven’t come back and re-branded, or given my blog a complete overhaul. I’ve tweaked the visuals a bit, but other than that it remains relatively unchanged.
Do you want a re-cap of my 2018? No? Well you’re getting one anyway because I feel like I should provide you, my loyal readers, with some sort of context.
Even though I didn’t really manage to document much of last year in words, a lot of big, exciting things happened that I could have (and should have) written about. 2017 had been…difficult at best, so I had pretty low standards to start off with.
Good job really, as within the first week of 2018, we said goodbye to our 19 year old cat, Max – three months to the day since we lost our dog, Barney. They were inseparable in life and in Barney’s final days, Max rarely left his side. Nobody was really surprised when Max crossed the Rainbow Bridge to reunite with his best friend, but it certainly didn’t make his passing any easier. He was one of a kind – he technically belonged to our next door neighbour, but he waltzed into our house one day, bold as brass, and decided he liked it there very much. Eighteen years later and he still hadn’t left.
Max had been such a prominent figure in my life growing up. I think I must have been about 6 or 7 when I first met him – and now I’m 25, so I can’t really remember life without him. It’s still strange going back to my parents house and him not being there – and weirder still that last Christmas was our first without him. The wonderful Rachel Attrill did me a beautiful memorial tattoo of both Max and Barney, and captured them both perfectly. They’ll both always hold a special place in my heart – and now on my skin too.
On the very last day of 2017 (so I’m counting it as happening in 2018) I started my new job at Whittard of Chelsea, a tea & coffee merchant that’s been knocking about since 1886. I’m still there now and still very much enjoying it. I’ve gone a bit mad with my tea collection – when I first started, it only took up one small corner of the kitchen – but now I probably have about 70 different types and I’ve had to dedicate an entire bookcase to it. If I offer someone a cup of tea, I pretty much have to give them an entire menu.
Then, in February, Clark and I went to Edinburgh to celebrate his birthday. Although we had a great time, I had a difficult experience with a member of the public that somewhat put a downer on things – I’ve written a post about the whole affair, so keep an eye out for that later in the week.
In April, after getting the go-ahead from our land-people, we took on an eleven week old Cavalier King Charles called Otto to act as a therapy dog for my fibromyalgia. I’m pleased to say that now, he’s very much a part of the family, but it wasn’t such a good start for me. For the first 48 hours, I thought we’d made a colossal mistake in getting him, and my mental state took an absolute hammering. I barely ate, slept or moved from my misery-nest and, until my wonderful parents swooped in to save the day, I was on the verge of taking him straight back to the breeder.
Needless to say, that didn’t happen – and thank God for that. Otto’s amazing, he really is – he’s a clever lad, and so full of love and joy that, now we’ve gone through the difficult scary part, he’s changed my life for the better and I’m so much happier with him in my life.
May passed by quite peacefully – I was still trying to adapt to looking after a puppy, so I didn’t really have much time for anything else. I popped into Pet Pantry, an independent, family owned pet shop at the top of Winchester High Street one day to buy a smaller bed for Otto (the one we’d gotten was massive – I’d definitely expected him to be bigger than he was) and ended up leaving with a (second) job.
The end of May was my 25th Birthday, and I spent it in bed eating pancakes, before afternoon tea at The Ivy in Winchester and cosying up with ice-cream and The Greatest Showman.
In June we went for a weekend in my favourite city – beautiful Brighton. I had a little self imposed social media ban, and gave up using Facebook – something I’ve extended indefinitely. We spent the days trawling the Laines, stopping for coffee and banana bread along the way, accidentally stumbled across a swing dancing night and finally, I dragged Clark to see Legally Blonde The Musical (courtesy of our friend Paige)
August to November was a complete non-event. I took on a third job to get a bit of extra income. In my head, everything would co-ordinate perfectly. I thought that if I played it right, I could do my three contracted days there, fit my contracted hours at Whittard into another three days and still have time for a day off.
Obviously that’s not how it happened in the end. Looking back at my calendar I had a total of four days off between August and the October – and I worked every single day between 13th September and 13th October. By some miracle, I’d managed to escape a bad fibro flare (largely because I’d been taking CBD oil every five minutes – more on that soon), but my mental health did take a bit of a battering. Not only was it depressing AF looking at my calendar and seeing that I was working 31 days a week, but I was also spreading myself so thin that I wasn’t a lot of use to either place, or at home – which wasn’t great for the ol’ self esteem.
Weirdly though, the stress of the whole situation forced me to make what turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in a long time and…
In October (two weeks later than everyone else, obviously) I did the one thing I swore blind I’d never do – after six gap years, I went back to University. I’d considered it last year, but Clark and I decided to move in together instead. After a year of coasting with no direction and no idea, I took a big risk and applied to go to Winchester University to study Creative and Professional Writing. As I was literally about two days away from the final October deadline when I applied, it happened super quickly – I think I applied on the Friday, was accepted on the Monday and my first lecture was on the Wednesday. It did feel like a bit of a mad rush – especially when I had to break the news to all my employers that my plans had suddenly completely changed.
Now we’re in back in January, and the start of another year. I feel pretty optimistic – I’m absolutely loving my course, still enjoying my job and feel pretty good about the future, for once. I’m hoping to revive my blog (I’ve got a few posts lined up and plenty of ideas for more. Seeing as I’m doing a Creative Writing degree, it makes sense for me to also write stuff outside of that. I’ve unexpectedly taken to writing poetry as well – I did a couple in a desperate attempt to provide content for my publishing module, and was surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. I’ve got a dedicated Instagram (@ego.poetica) for it, but I think I might try and showcase it here too.
Well, I think that’s pretty much everything for this revival piece. It kind of turned into a 2018 Review and I know it’s probably not that interesting or entertaining, but for me it’ll be nice to have a summary of quite an important year to look back on. I just wanted to get some sort of foundation down before I start posting more regular content again.
Anyway, if you made it this far – thank you very much. I’ve got a few (hopefully) more entertaining bits scheduled for this week, so if you’ve reached the bottom of this one, then I’m sure the other bits will be a walk in the park!
Until next time,
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