Happy Sunday. I am pleased I have another weekly post up and on my new site! I know most of you will know about the changes before reading this post but I am happy it came together so quickly. My week ended last week in Lincoln, a city I have definitely underestimated. We didn’t get to spend much time there but we did eat the most delicious tapas at Ole Ole and glugged down a few jugs of Sangria, which got me 100% set for summer. Lincoln has so much wonderful architecture I hadn’t really ever considered it for day trips but it has been added to the list of ‘relatively close cities to explore’.
This week was a tough one which despite some amazing highs and achievements I will be happy to see the back of. It was a reminder to never underestimate or take for granted the importance of self-care and gratitude journals. After a few shit days with my mental health I really benefitted from jotting down and sharing just four or five good things which had happened that morning or day either in a journal or on Twitter. I sought out things which made me happy, content or laugh and within a few days, I was back to feeling my good old positive, motivated self. (I will add about 30,000 cups of tea were involved in this process). This is my weekly roundup.
A new website
As you will most definitely be aware because you are here and also because I plugged the shit out of it on Instagram and Facebook I have a new website! The change was rather impulsive as are most of my decisions and actions but after my Mum convinced me to buy a new camera (I got the Sony A6300 FYI not so impulsive, I’ve been researching since September). I wanted to make my website/ blog more reflective of all my hobbies and not just my blogging and writing. Within a day of finding a new theme combined with a free afternoon on the sofa, I decided to do some reading and change it all myself.
My previous theme was purchased and integrated by pipdig, but in light of the recent dramas surrounding them I was happy to be moving, although the decision wasn’t sparked from that, I actually was blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding when I decided to jump ship. Pipdig themes and templates were the perfect starting block when I wanted to start blogging on a self-hosted site to make my blog look a bit more polished. The direction I want to take my site in now, however, means they are no longer the right fit. This time I had to do all the work myself but it seems to have worked well and as always I am impressed with how much you can learn thanks to Google and a few print-screened tutorials. The photos are not as uniform as I would like them to be, a lot I have put through Instagram and were in my media file. Eventually, as and when I have time and as my portfolio grows I will add some more in but for now, I am happy. It cost me hardly anything to do other than a couple of hours of my time and the functionality of this site compared to my old blog is far greater for what I hope to do with it going forward.
After work hack out on Rooney
On Tuesday evening after work, I managed to squeeze in my first after work ride. A hack for anyone, not horsey is just simply riding a horse on the road or across a bridleway (footpath for horses). A much better phase because riding Rooney after work, when people don’t know I have a horse is always misconstrued in the worst way.
I always look forward to the clocks changing in March for this reason alone. There is no nicer way to finish a day than spending some time with the horses. I was only able to fit the one hack in because the weather turned and I have been busy but I am excited for my evenings with the animals to return. I just need to change up my routine, get my ass to the gym before work so my evenings free-up.
Home improvements – Finally
After what feels like a lifetime of living in housework turmoil we finally have some home improvements complete. The new door which started on the 16th March enduring a lot of hiccups due to my pain in the arse house has been finished. We appropriately renamed the house the Bermuda Triangle of tradesmen because usually once a tradesman has looked a job at my house we never see him again but thankfully this carpenter/ joiner came back and he does such a good job. These were jobs I have wanted completing for so long I can’t believe they are finished. I also added an Andy Warhol print to above the ‘fireplace’ aka the hole in the wall which I have wanted for years and years. I originally wanted the ‘I like boring things’ poster which I am going to use on another feature wall but I think this is slightly more positive as a centrepiece. There are a few things still left to do in the living room and dining room, mainly aesthetics and touch-ups. I am so happy with how the place is slowly shaping up considering I have little interior flare and I despise DIY.
A good dose of selfcare
I have had one of those weeks where my anxiety has been sky high, resulting in tormented battles with my own conscience and sleepless, troubled nights. It had been pepped with conflict I thought I had left behind years ago and just no longer have the capacity or patience for.
Thursday afternoon I had planned to head to Olney near Milton Keynes to meet my friend for a dog walk. Whilst I was beyond excited to see her, a catch up which never fails to have me in tears of laughter, the overwhelming feeling of having so much on my mind and an hours drive ahead of me was just adding to the cause. So when my friend messaged to say ‘the weather wasn’t looking good should we arrange?’ A wave of relief passed over me. I was sad I wasn’t going to see her and had she not text I would have happily headed off to Olney, Dougal in tow with a podcast on, confident I was going to have a lovely afternoon. Yet with plans cancelled I had been handed a completely empty afternoon which I was going to take advantage of and give myself a bit of ‘me’ time.
I headed straight into town for a wander around charity shops. This is something I have started doing thanks to my Friend Fliss. She has an incredible eye for pieces and sells them on. I am finding it useful as a form of mindfulness. I nip in once a week as a way to switch off in my lunch hour instead of running around trying to get things done. After a few nice new purchases and a totally random LOA moment when the book I put in my Amazon basket that morning was on sale for 50p an hour later – FYI it’s not a popular or well-known book.
After, I headed to my favourite little homeware shop in my town which sells a small collection of ornaments, very nordic and picked up a house warming gift for a friend. I ran some errands and took my new book to Costa to read whilst I waited for my Mum to arrive for lunch. It was nice to just be in the company of my Mum after a shitty, week before heading home to get under a blanket, light some candles, binge through This is Us on Amazon prime and work on my website.
I was so satisfied with myself by the end of the day, I had achieved so much and felt so rested and recharged. I took Dougal for a nice walk, despite the rain, popped and podcast on and enjoyed the sound of rain tapping against my hood before heading to my sister’s for my favourite meal with her, my older sister and my Nephew.
I had also purchased Racing Stripes DVD for him from the charity shop which I think my sisters and I enjoyed as much as he did. I forgot how much I loved this film.
It was just one afternoon to get on top of things, rest and get back to feeling myself. We must always remember the importance of self-care and a good support network. Sometimes a few candles, nice food and a catch up with your mum is all you need.