Sunday, 30 June 2013

What's in a dream?

What do our dreams mean? What does it mean if we don't dream at all? What if we have a reoccurring dream? And what if our dreams are not dream-like at all? Many questions I'm sure most of us have asked ourselves at some point or another. I don't think we have any satisfactory answer of real substance. Dreams continue to be a land of mystery for me. However, particularly as I will soon be practicing as a trainee therapist, people occasionally ask for my thoughts on their dreams, perhaps hoping for the most part that I have some psychic power to offer an insightful and worldly interpretation of their minds most inner and subconscious musings. But usually my response is to ask that person if they can make any sense of it themselves - for the most part this will be far more accurate and personal than another person's independent interpretation. Perhaps it's the talking about it that helps; the vocalization of something that has previously been hidden, or the narrative aspect of re-telling their night-time tales. Or perhaps it's because I can never possibly understand another's world in the depths that they experience it, at least not through the telling of one dream. After all, what use is another person's meaning if it resonates only in their mind and not in our own? We only have one mind each and it is entirely our own.

I write about dreams because for the past two nights I have experienced two very different dreams. None were uncomfortable or displeasing. In fact, quite the opposite; both were very real and of course I was left wondering what on earth both of them meant and why now. The second one I am fairly certain is a fantasy scenario playing out in my mind so much so that even my subconscious cannot rest. I'm quite aware it's either unnecessary worrying or my positive thinking working severely overtime.

The first dream is a story which is significantly more unlikely to actually happen. Yet I understand the exact meaning of it's narrative. I was in an old place. Of course, old is familiar and safe and comfortable and the people are kind. Yet this is a very significant old place. I know it very, very well. It is a metaphorical safety net. But the kind of safety net that I never wish to be held in again. I yearn for it at times. But it is paradoxically associated with both comfort and pain. The only thing different in this dream is that someone new was there. Someone I care about greatly, and I have to wonder why I would sink back to this place and bring this person with me? Or alternatively why this person would allow me to sink back there? I'm yet to work this one out... Whether it's about the details or just the overall theme. I wonder.

Regardless of whether our dreams mean something or nothing at all, they still provide a platform for such insightful thinking. And for a Sunday evening whilst watching the Mumford & Sons Glastonbury performance, what more could I want... This Mumford & Sons performance, by the way, is absolutely beautiful. Such beautiful words and music. I'm not actually at Glastonbury, and haven't even been following this weekend's events. But it would be bordering on a crime if I was to miss the BBC's coverage of this finale. Contrary to what I wrote above about my second dream and my uncertainty about whether the meaning is in the detail or the theme, I am now listening to the detail of these songs and I always have my breath taken away by these guys and the words they sing. To string together music like this and sing about choosing life and recognizing triumphs despite the loneliness and struggle of being alive... It's without a doubt the detail that makes this music so beautiful.

So, this is a Sunday evening of dreams, meaning, and the final performances of Glastonbury

Only on a Sunday

It is Sunday morning and I currently sit in my bedroom debating whether I have time or want to go to the gym quickly this morning. It will only be a brief visit because I am expecting the arrival of my sister soon. However, when Brys visits we usually eat lots of delicious food and do some baking so I think the gym really might be a good idea this morning. Decision made: I shall finish my coffee and head over there. Yesterday I discovered that I have access to the entire archives of Downton Abbey on my iPhone whilst I'm working out on any of the cardio machines so I did just that! I have been intending to watch Downton Abbey ever since it began on ITV a while ago, due to my adoration for Maggie Smith and many recommendations from various friends. But as ever, time to watch TV is very rare and often at the bottom of my priority list with the great exception of Grey's Anatomy. So Downton never became something I embraced until now, putting my womanly multi-tasking abilities to a very productive use.

Yesterday morning I awoke to a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered at my home from my boyfriend who is away in Scotland at the moment. Now I know that perfection is an internal ideal which doesn't exist in any form of reality, but in my books if perfect ways to wake up existed, they would look a little something like this.

Time to stop blogging and begin my day. Yes, only on a Sunday can a day begin at 11am.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Living room blogging

Mission fitness is now underway. I have signed up to a gym membership probably due to a number of reasons. Me being the over-thinking and over-analyzer that I am, I have successfully pinpointed a few of those reasons. Firstly it is more economic to pay for full membership rather than a few classes per week. And secondly, I have realized more so now than ever, that 'time off' just isn't something I can enjoy. I need to keep going, even just for the timebeing in this odd in-between stage where I am just finding my feet in the next part of my adventure. These reasons are for the most part, productive and healthy reasons - It's all smaller but by no means insignificant components of the bigger picture. I can do 'health' in the sense of healthy eating but fitness is a fundamental aspect of a healthy mind and body for me. In order to feel good, to be a brighter person, to give out a positive kind of energy, I have to work from the inside out. So providing I don't excessively relish in my relatively new found activities, I am confident it will only bring about positive change. I mention excessive activity only now because I see that's the reason for my hideously swollen ankle and my inability to walk up or down stairs without limping!

In other news, I have now successfully bagged myself a second and slightly more career focused job as a disability support worker at University which will begin in September. Thank goodness for a little more financial security in my life! I currently sit in my Mum's living room as I have arrived back in Harrogate after a casting (which I really hope I get) to spend some time with my Mother and perhaps my sister if she shows up. I'm not usually so hopeful about castings - most modelling jobs I book are direct bookings rather than bookings from castings - I'm still yet to analyse that one! Not to selfishly detract from any goodness out there for all the other human beings in this world and not to assume that I am especially deserving of anything extraordinarily wonderful; I know more than anyone that I am not. But despite my being no more or less deserving of individual and special treatment, and despite the unlikely odds, knowing fully and categorically that all I am is me myself and I, I still really, really hope that the universe is on my side today. Maybe for today, me myself and I is enough. 


A few backstage snaps from Max Mara last week..

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

When working..

One wears hats and walks... It's the simple things.

Just another Tuesday

I seem to have grown out of the habit of documenting days as they happen. But this day seems to be document-worthy, so here goes. This day has been full of so much goodness that it seems a shame not to write. It began with an ever so slight accidental detour of my journey on my way to Manchester this morning. I ever so confidently jumped on the familiar trainline which runs from Manchester Airport to Scarborough/Middlesborough, with York mid-way to find half an hour later that I had indeed arrived at Malton and not somewhere en route to Manchester. Malton is the opposite way to where I was heading.. Needless to say I hastily made my way off the train and boarded the next one back down the line to Manchester. I was an hour late to my job but luckily this seemed to be OK. To say this has been the only downfall to my day is quite a blessing. And even this downfall proved to be one of considerable comedic value. Not even the ticket man on the train thought to alert me to the fact that I was travelling in the opposite direction to my destination!

My journey was now an hour longer so I enjoyed ample time listening to Mumford & Sons, reading a wonderfully compelling book, and taking in the sun rays from the window as I travelled across the country. I have grown to both love and despise train travelling; my lucky boyfriend was the recipient of the projection of my loathing for Transpennine Express multiple times last week when the scheduled trains were all cancelled and Leeds train station became my temporary home until the early hours of the morning. Anyway, with the bad always comes the good, and travel is more often than not quite a pleasant experience, particularly when with either good company, a good book, or an exceptionally good soy cappuccino!  On the other hand, perhaps this is just a learnt appreciation because I seem to remember being quite violently travel sick when I was a child so goodness knows what changed. Maybe I grew older and became less timid and nervous, therefore learnt the art of combining patience, anticipation, and appreciation. Since so much time is spent on the road, one really must learn to appreciate the good otherwise insanity might just take over. Trains have become familiar. That feeling of being home that most of us crave and some of us rarely find.. Not even being on a train, just being in transit; going from A to B and being somewhere in between. I think this was the beauty of my accidental trainline mishap - I enjoyed the extra time. I also received two wonderful emails - One email was my mark for an assignment which I have astounded myself with my grade. It's interesting - how easy it is to always so persistently doubt our own abilities until absolutely and categorically proven otherwise. The another email invited me to interview for a trainee counsellor placement for my post grad course. Needless to say, it was a really beautiful summers day but it could have been grey and rainy and dull outside and I still would have been filled with joy. 

Today was just another Tuesday but today was a good day - the sun and the warmth helped of course. But the shoot was great. Really great people, nice chilled atmosphere, great shots, and it's always good to catch up with people. Today was a gentle reminder that a 'good day' is to be appreciated. After the most crowded Northern train I think I've ever experienced, I arrived home, went for a run, witnessed the most incredible sunset on the outskirts of York, and discovered a somewhat unusually swollen ankle. (let this be a lesson not to over-do the exercise!) I then spent a couple of hours with an impromptu visitor this evening discussing all the worldly issues of life the universe and everything. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

A soul pleasing to-do list

This weekend I am absolutely unashamed to admit to neglecting the written to-do list of my diary in favour of my very own 'alternative' and much more soul pleasing to-do list. These have been much more enjoyable tasks such as spending an evening with a friend eating sushi and macaroons watching Saturday evening TV (I would usually be highly ashamed of this, but we opted to watch The Voice - which I happen to find really, really brilliant, probably due to Will. I. Am and his ability to be consistently ever present and highly, oddly, and wonderfully real). I have been running and practicing yoga, feeding my heart with Damien Rice's music, and catching up on some TV, consuming copious amounts of green tea and fresh lemon, and venturing to the store to stock up my kitchen cupboards. All of this has been a considerable attempt to eliminate all unwanted tension and stress.

I have, however, spent this evening sending out yet more emails. Emails at almost midnight on a Sunday evening might be interpreted as a number of things... I'm not quite sure what this says about me or how that will be potentially interpreted, but hey. At least they will land in the pile of unread mail in someone's mail box and be first in the list for Monday morning. An email is an email regardless of the time in which it was sent to the recipient. I had contacted six potential placements, of which four already had trainee places filled, one has requested my CV and a covering letter, and another has sent me their application form. I realize this isn't enough, so I have now contacted another six... Let's hope for some successful responses!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Not much has changed

On Wednesday evening this week, following an interview and mentoring and then a rather wonderful run in the sunshine, my journeys took me back to my old high school to watch my sister perform in her devised GCSE Drama piece. After the performance, I insisted that Matt and I took a walk around the school grounds purely just to feed my own nostalgia. I have so many memories there, and so many more that I'm sure I could remember if only I unblocked the part of my brain which conveniently (yet sometimes annoyingly) feeds my inablity to recall certain events and experiences. My memories are for the most part really wonderful, and I realize that not many people say that about their own high school experience. Of course the awkward nature of those teenage years are heightened when you happen to be a painfully shy and timid ginger kid. Six years down later I still don't know if I was uncool or if I just thought of myself as uncool and it was more a case of 'I think therefore I am'. But nevertheless, they always told us that when you leave that school, it will always be a part of you. And in that respect I'll be saddened when Bryony leaves in three years time, because there will be no more Beethams there. But if we look at the present moment, it was really nice that evening to explore the grounds again and find that not much has changed.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

bare footed living

Another day, another Saturday, but not another show - finally a day off. It feels like i have been working at a lot of shows lately. It strikes me how some are really great; really positive vibe going round, lots of energy, relatively organized and overall happy people. Yet some can be the complete opposite and it is highlighted just how misguided and misconstrued the majority of people's misconceptions are regarding modelling and the fashion industry. The sheer contrast leaves me wondering why... I am booked to do the same thing each time, so why is it that my experience is often something entirely incomparable? Yes, all of them accumulate and do tend to merge into one. I struggle to recall many jobs because there has been a lot and my memory isn't the greatest anyway. But the minor details, which are often the ones which carry the most weight in my book can vary so very much. So much so that they colour my entire experience. And I still cannot predict which way the wind will blow when I wake up each day - We can never quite predict much of life. This unpredictability is the core of both the beauty and the anxiety of what we do and how we live.

I knew this week would be madness to say the least. But madness and a busy diary means productivity, and this does always bring me happiness. In this case, I have happiness, very sore legs and feet, some new contacts, and I am reminded once more of how much other people affect our own being. The Yalom book I'm reading almost supports my way of thinking about this.. My 'alone time' has been very limited this week, because so much of life has been happening, and inevitably this involves being with others rather than being alone. I have been thinking of my 'aloneness vs company' debate a lot this week - particularly because one of my very closest friends, Zana is currently in the air heading towards Beijing for summer. We went out for Japanese dinner and cocktails as a 'send off' evening, and it was just a beautiful night. Having already spent a summer in Asia modelling, we were talking about what it would be like, what to expect from the model apartment, castings, food, the other girls, the agency, jobs, communication, living, and general life in Asia. And it reminded me of my own stay in Japan, which was two years ago. Not only has this time flown by faster than I can even articulate in words, but I do often wonder how I would manage it if I went out there again. I have turned it down two summers in a row now. Not to say I haven't considered it; I have considered it to great lengths, but just concluded that it didn't feel right.

My thoughts are full of ironic representations of life, or so it seems. The essence of them being that the one thing I tried very hard not to do, whilst staying in Japan was the one thing that prevented me from having what could have been the time of my life. I have been away and travelled to parts of the world, but by no means have I seen anywhere near enough to consider myself an expert. But I do know that when travelling, the biggest restriction is failure to embrace. We can know what embracing means and we can even attempt to do it, but if we cling onto the comfortable safety of familiar routines we are never truly living or travelling in the way in which we are born to do. It's like walking on sand whilst still wearing shoes. We wear shoes because they are comfortable and it's what we do every day before we leave the house; wake up, get dressed, washed, shoes on and out of the door. And sure, we'd get rather odd looks from passers-by if we roamed the streets barefoot and fancy-free. We'd hurt our feet and it would be very uncomfortable. But when walking on sand or on a beach, the environment has changed. We are no longer in the environment we are conditioned to live in, so we either adapt, embrace, learn what feels comfortable in the here and now with open eyes, or we stick with the old, because the risk of change is too great to consider taking.

If we wear shoes on sand, the grains get into our shoes, we struggle to walk because shoes weren't made for sand, and we have to adjust our entire way of walking just because of our desperate need to wear/have something which is no longer required. What we think of as comfortable is in fact, very very uncomfortable and becomes a struggle. However, if we were to take our shoes off and walk with bare feet, we would not only experience liberation and freedom, but we would be able to walk.. to run even. And not only walk and run, but to feel each grain of sand underneath our feet. We would experience and feel the things that we would otherwise fail to notice. When these metaphorical 'shoes' are gone, there is a new part of our mind freed to experience and learn new things; the new things we want to learn but unknowingly fight against.

Not a bad thought to have whilst sharing sushi and wine with a friend. I do wonder how I would embrace a similar trip now. So many friends are going away. The traveller in me hopes to do the same soon. Home is great, but the world is great too. But I think that maybe my next adventure is more an adventure of change rather than an adventure in a new location. Once more, I have blogged rather than done the things I was meant to do. I am now due to spend an evening with coffee, sushi and wine, and a good friend. I hope to continue living life with my new found bare feet.. where appropriate.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Mantras and views

I am currently on a train (nothing new!) which is delayed due to 'animals on the track' - something a little amusing there. Iiving in Yorkshire this really shouldn't be a surprise! As I sit in the carriage, i finally have a little time to myself in the middle of a hectic day. The windows are open and the sun is just so beautiful. This, as I'm well aware by now, is my prime 'contemplation' time, which more often than not leads to me writing a post. I had a conversation with a good friend a couple of days ago as we sat in the Uni costa and had a cup of tea. The conversation sparked off some thoughts that are still very much in my mind.

There are many things that we think we know about ourselves - some based on previous experiences; tried and tested hypothesis some might say. Others might be based on assumptions, and some based on internal or external ideals which we either project onto others in the hopes that somehow we will in turn begin to act this way too, or we attempt to project ourselves as the ideal image so much so that it almost becomes a false identity; a false sense of self. Whichever one of these it may be, we think we know many things until we are proven otherwise in often a shocking or unexpected manner. Most certainly a reality check for the most part.

For instance, I am a calm being. I like aloneness, I prefer quiet bars and small gatherings to loud clubs and raves. I rarely communicate anger, and when i do, its a passive and subdued kind. Because of this innate calmness, I assumed I also possessed such a thing we call patience. The past six months have awoken me to the reality that I not only lack this ideal patience which I long to have, but I am severely impatient at times. Is this quality good or bad? There are neither good nor bad qualities, they just are as they are - and some we may choose to practice a more healthy or appropriate way to communicate and express! This lack of patience, however, does show me that life matters. That time matters, and that I care about the decisions I make which often requires time and perseverance in order for things to follow suit. This is where my mantra of 'let it be' falls suitably into place. For a person of impatience, this is the healthiest and most helpful mantra to remember.

Whilst I let things be with a gentle (sometimes less gentle) push in the desired direction, I also learn that 'free' time is such a foreign concept now, so I have begun a few new projects - one being a project of fitness. I can eat healthily with no problem, but our being is a whole being and fitness is part of the wholeness of health. Therefore, I made time to do my third run of the week before leaving for the train. It's so beautiful outside at the moment that it requires such little effort to spend time outdoors. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

new happenings

Life seems to be happening. This is a really busy week - so much to do/'sort out'. I have a fitting later this afternoon for a show this week and many things to tick off my to-do list in the meantime, yet for some reason I find myself blogging instead. I suppose this is the beauty of non-academic related to-do lists and deadlines; my time is unusually flexible and yes - I can blog at 11.35am. I seem to be on the train to here there and everywhere for work or castings or other non-work related trips, whilst simultaneously still on my mission to secure some form of permanent work so that I feel more comfortable planning my post grad study knowing I will have sufficient funds available to support me.

Modelling, as I always say, is fine.. And perhaps it is enough. Or perhaps it would be enough if I was taller/thinner/better hair/more beautiful, etc... (says the ever present inner-critic) But regardless of these personal and unalterable factors, it does not feel enough. As the case may be, my head might be finally catching up with my heart; perhaps years of working in an industry in which at times, feeling like you never measure up is the one and only motivator to both give up entirely and push forward because the only way to 'do' better is to 'be' better. (or so we think...) Perhaps this is why now, more-so than ever, I'm pushing for something different. On the other hand, the instability and uncertainty of this way of living might also be a factor. Regardless, even financial considerations disregarded, for my own fulfillment and sanity, my soul needs more too.

So here I am, booking jobs, taking up numerous new projects, beginning writing work very soon, re-igniting a running and yoga regime and reconnecting with friends and family when time permits. I am also researching into possible partial funding for my post grad study whilst emailing some potential professional placement options for my very first trainee therapist position. Very exciting and new adventures happening...

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A series of unfortunate events

Following multiple events today, it feels as though I could somewhat successfully re-write Alanis Morrisette's 'Ironic', perhaps with the song title adjusted more appropriately to 'unfortunate irony'.

I do believe in the goodness of the world and humanity, but I have to stop once in a while, particularly on days like today and remember that sometimes, with all the goodness in the world, it really does feel like we are fighting against the inevitable. Perhaps it's times like today when the fight is insignificant... Perhaps not to fight but to accept is more helpful than to fight the things that ultimately, bitterness and anger unfortunately cannot change. This day of unfortunate irony began when I awoke at approximately 5.45am for no reason whatsoever; today was a day off. The day ended with me being stranded at Leeds train station for an hour and fifteen minutes in the early hours of the morning because trains to York were unexplainably 'cancelled until further notice'.

I shall make a conscious effort not to reel out a list of events; such a list would defeat my aim to always focus on the good. So instead, I shall make a very conscious effort to note how grateful I am to be home and that I can reflect on today with a good sense of humour.

On to the next adventure tomorrow...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A rare opportunity

This is myself and Bryony last night - the evening I ventured home to see the family because sometimes family is needed. It is very rare that I visit Harrogate and see all three of my siblings and my mum. In fact, my visits to Harrogate are fairly rare anyway, which is ironic considering I live a very feasible forty-five minute drive/train ride away.
But last night was nothing short of bliss. We had my mum's goats cheese salad, sat in the garden, and soaked in the evening sun. I am really grateful that life at the moment has given me the time to do this. My visits to see family are rare and the time available just to relax is rare... But when these two things happen, the rare opportunity is not to be neglected.

655 (2)

655 (part 2)
A selection of pictures...


655 miles on a train.

Last week was a week of travel. 655 miles to be exact. Not exotic out of the country high-flying travel, but travel within England. I had aimed to almost blog my way through the week as a means to document my journey/journeys. But as concluded in a chat between myself and a good friend last night, sometimes the gaps in our writing whether that be journalling or blogging or text messages and emails... Sometimes these gaps or silences do not represent nothingness, but they express life and living. If we were to look back at the times we did not write, we (I) would fill in the majority of blank spaces with goodness and stories of living. I write 'I' in brackets because this is not a generalized statement - I know that for some, the blank pages epitomize exactly that; the dark rooms and empty corridors. In other words, such loneliness. Whereas for me, the blanks at least for now equate to life being simply lived. This can only ever be a positive thing in my books. It might be lonely at times, but what kind of life isn't lonely at certain points? Particularly whilst travelling and away from home? In fact, I became so much in need of my own family that I took myself to see them all this evening and it was the best form of medicine I could hope for.

Following the Birmingham and London work, I arrived at the house of Anna in Loughborough where we spent a few days together and did the things only we know how to do best. We ate sushi and drank cocktails and wine along with many caffeinated beverages. We attended art gallery exhibitions led by a psychology lecturer, we experienced NLP therapy, and we had the best kinds of conversations in the sun regarding life, the soul, and love, mainly whilst drinking wine in the evening. Friends like this are for keeps.

I could have stayed with Anna for longer, but I headed home for a very short evening and then to Sheffield for a job. Life is just very busy... I had feared so much for my own sanity if anything - worrying that once University had finished I might be left with precisely the black nothingness that I describe above. But in fact, I am left with an adjustment period which one can only resist the urge to fight against. Being with Anna was a small reminder that sometimes, the most powerful and helpful thing to do is to 'let it be'. Of course, let it be with our feet very well grounded in reality, but let it be nonetheless. Amongst the good old need to cling onto the familiar and hide from the unnatural and new aspects of life which we can't help but associate with that wonderful concept we know as 'change', there is so much more life to be discovered. So much more than even a week and 655 miles can ever hope to bring.

A lot of 'life' is happening... And I have two new very exciting projects about to begin.

Here's to the month of June - it's already shaping out to be a wonderful June.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

London to Loughborough

Following a brief couple of days working in London I am now writing this post on my trusty iPhone as I'm on the train somewhere in between St. Pancras station and  Loughborough. It is nothing other than purely gloriously sunny and warm outside. I know because I was sat out for a couple of hours before I took the train and I am almost certain I'm a little shade pinker and I have a acquired a good few more freckles on my knees, elbows and cheeks.

London has been great. Hair shows mean I return with shiny new red hair and somewhat sore feet, but we had a great evening. The evening consisted of shows, wine, wine, more wine, mojitos, amazing dinner, George Lamb and Alexa Chung, soho bars, and a few hours sleep once the sun rose this morning. Not to mention really great company.
Next stop: Loughborough. I have never been to this town... And this can only mean one thing - I'm visiting Anna. In approximately forty five minutes we will be reunited. I am also blessed with a fairly quiet train ride. It severely lacks any mobile phone or Internet connection but at least I have leg room and no unwelcome travel companions. 

Monday, 3 June 2013

From Birmingham

I type this sat in my hotel room in Birmingham following an afternoon of hair prep and dinner. Dinner was a 'mystery' vegetarian meal which happened to be not my cup of tea whatsoever. Unfortunately this meant I was left with shiny new red hair, great company, good wine, but still rather peckish.

So I sit here with my Nakd wholefoods bar, juice, tea, tissues, and 'cold and flu' tablets. It seems that months and months of hard work are finally catching up with me. I can disconnect my mind from this feeling with great ease. This is done by distractions and keeping busy and focused on the next thing, on bettering myself, on the new and exciting adventures. Keeping that 'no rest for the wicked' momentum in full swing. My brain is an expert on fighting these things! But there is only so much my body can do to fight it off. I fear I am crashing... Not ideal when I have a week of suitcase living and travel ahead.

I wonder if I will have had a miraculous recovery when I wake in the morning... Does my positive thinking stretch that far?

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June 1st: 'time off?'

June 1st, Saturday. It has been two days of glorious sunshine. Yes, pure English sunshine. This sunshine is certainly wonderfully timed because these are the first days off I've had since Christmas and there isn't a rain drop in sight. As ever, I am a person of the sun. The sun makes me feel at home, at peace, and at one. However, I have realized that the concept of 'time off' is somewhat alien to me, therefore I have to admit to not embracing this break quite as much as I anticipated. In fact, I have spend a considerable amount of time worrying ridiculously about things that even with the best will in the world, I cannot change. This was, until my Mother kindly reminded me that worrying about what's already done does not change a single thing. I have to remember three core things: patience, trust, and acceptance. She made an executive decision when she decided that self-prescribed shopping would be a more productive use of my energy but I'm not entirely sure this worked for me. It did however work for her.

'Time off', even if just for a couple of days, has been spent with the people I care about. Time has been spent with the sun, with my emails, with my books, with next weeks itinerary of multiple travel plans, work plans, travelling, and with writing plans for the following weeks. I have also just completed proof-reading my Mother's latest endevour - she has written a rather interesting case study which I enjoyed reading and having my eyes widened a little more.

Determination is a gentle understatement. Determination and patience? This, I anticipate, will be a fine, fine art.


Last week, in fact it was over a week ago - it was our summer ball/end of year event at University. Having already done the 'ending' and with it being significantly cold temperatures, it didn't really feel like like a typical  'ending' or a 'summer ball' - but it did feel like an incredible night with some equally incredible friends. We spent the first few hours enjoying wine and being at Uni spending time with everybody. I even located Steff, who turned 22 that weekend and was also celebrating her birthday. But the majority of the evening was spent with some of the most marvelous people I know, those being the two beautiful ladies I shall hopefully be embarking on the next two years of my post graduate study with. Matt came through from Harrogate to join me, Ruth, Penn, and Penn's husband Mick. There are not many people I can happily and quite easily spend hours upon hours drinking wine with, in a state of being what can only be described as hazily, drunkenly aware, content, and together. I am still unsure as to how I survived my second 24 hours straight of working, drinking, and being alive. But I did, and we concluded the evening at the Minster watching the sun rise.

The real moment - we were in the taxi driving back home in the morning and Ruth and I looked out of the back window of the taxi to see the morning sun rise above the city buildings and the Minster. It was so warm and bright and beautiful. We looked at each other, took a breath, and took the view in.