If you want to feel Christmassy…

It was cold. That’s true. Not many others were braving the weather to visit this corner of the world. The wind was forcing them to wrap their scarfs tighter and their glove covered hands were well and truly hibernating in their pockets.

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The Needles, that’s where they were visiting. She had never heard of them, and to be honest, they didn’t look like how she imagined, but that bit’s not important.

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Unexpectedly, before the landmark, they walked into an amusement village. A bricked street with wooden, shabby small shops each side, all closed, of course. It was cold. 

Her step slowed, the wind quietened but her surroundings felt alive.

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She heard a Christmas song, already half way through. It must have been playing the whole time but it was only just noticed. She looked around and saw little speakers at the top of each shop. All of them turning cream and weathered, playing a classic.

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She could see into the deserted shops at the trinkets and sweets. Little glimpses of a world but frozen in place like photographs.

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She stopped. 

Everything seemed right. 

She felt like the world had stopped, for just one second.

A little glance at peace.

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Something had changed in her. She took a step forward and the world started again. She could hear the wind, the sea slapping The Needles, her Dad calling her to hurry up but no longer the music.

She smiled.

Nothing would be the same.

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I once visited The Isle of Wight for the first time near Christmas time. I must have been 16, or there abouts, so parts of this memory is hazy and I think I filled in the grey parts with my imagination.

I have written about it before too, which seems strange I’m obsessed with this imagery in my brain considering there’s a less colourful truth and, most importantly, nothing happened. It’s one of those things I have never shared but plays out in my mind.

The imagery I made up has just stuck with me.

I’ve Googled The Needles since and it doesn’t look like this. Nope. Over the years this idea has transformed into something it isn’t, and definitely inspired by The Polar Express.

Everything should be inspired by The Polar Express.

These photos were taken in Rochester at 5pm. This is the closest to the idea in my mind and I felt ever so Christmassy.

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Autumn goals – they’re more like guidelines

Today I would like to do an update on all the wonderful goals I had planned for Autumn, but as soon as I declare I want to do something it doesn’t happen. 

Not to say I’ve been sitting on my arse watching the time go by and with it each spec of dust that lands on my neglected goals sheet. I’ve actually been continuously busy, which like I said in my summer goals, I think these goals only push me to do more.

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So no I haven’t gone swimming every week (I actually was, but as soon as I wrote it I stopped). No I haven’t flown a kite, still. No, that print for charity isn’t sorted. And no, James and I haven’t done anything particularly special – but we’ve had a great time with little things, plus sometimes planned ‘dates’ aren’t as fun. Our relationship thrives on spontaneity.

I suppose, one out of four isn’t that bad. That one was the most vague though, and almost impossible to not achieve.

Things I have done

Now that’s a different story. Though probably a boring one.

To look more decorative lets say the story is filled with all things autumn and cosy.

Which I share on my Instagram if you want to have a nosy.

I’ve had a thought that maybe I should base these seasonal goals on things I actually don’t want.

Put on more weight

Drink alcohol every day

Try and be more anxious

In hopes I ignore them too and go my own way.

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Part of my brain is shouting Pirates Code! (though don’t know how that applies) and the other part is saying the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rulesPersonally, I’m siding with Captain Barbossa on this one.

I’m only joking anyway, it doesn’t upset me. I’m actually proud of myself at the moment, I’m doing good.

I’d still like to fly that bloody kite though.

What you been up to? Self care, getting crafty and a whole load of photos in my ‘November’ album

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– Fetch a cup of tea before reading –

Week one and I can say my mind is calmer.

I suppose my ‘whybut’ idea is like a bullet journal, except it’s more random and messy – which suits me to a T. As soon as there are rules or too much structure I just walk away. I don’t want an empty space screaming ‘YOU DIDN’T FILL OUT MONDAY!’

I wrote down a list of things I want to do that week – under work, lifestyle and personal. Then each day I’d pick what I want to do (and added more) and wrote a separate to do list.

I didn’t do it every day this week, so by accident I have evidence how doing this cleared my mind and not only helped me be more productive – but made me feel satisfied. Which is all I want from this.

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It stayed on my desk, so it is technically unnecessary when it comes to lifestyle lists. Plus most of my lifestyle – socialising, going out – is impulsive. So this book will only be handy with lifestyle when it interlinks with one of the other categories. For example, pumpkin picking was lifestyle, but I wanted to do a blog post about it.

Enough about the book – lets sum up what I achieved for the first week.

Got most of my main lists ticked off.

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Made my bleached pine cone table name card holders – but more about that another time.

Finished up this Halloween idea which I can’t share till a years time. Which sounds so bloody awful but it’ll all make sense in January.

Less blog posts as usual, but I had a few bad mental health days – which comes under lifestyle and looking after myself.

Cleared my desk a little, but other than that I’m currently surrounded by mess. I can’t see it when I face the wall. Saturday isn’t over yet anyway.

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It is the 4th of November and I can proudly say my ‘work November 2017’ folder on my computer already has 210 photos in.

Made a tiny start on my rewrite of Chapter two of my book.

And, of course, James and I started Stranger Things season two.


 

In therapy I was taught to write out all my anxious thoughts when I have them. I’ve also heard the technique of talking to yourself, saying your problems out loud – just so it’s out of your head. Then you can start feeling a little better.

This is similar. I constantly think, mainly about things I want to be doing. Like I said in the original post, I often feel guilty when doing one thing and not another. Mindfulness and meditating would probably be handy for this, maybe that should be on my list this week.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that the days I wrote down what I want to do and could achieve, something lifted off my shoulders. It was out of my brain.

No one can do everything at once. I’m guilty of looking at the whole picture. I need to focus in, because nothing seems as such of a big task then.

It’s all alright really.

What have you been up to?

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Or what I like to call ‘Whybut?’

When I have a productive/successful week I feel pretty good about myself. When I don’t… Well, I’m never sure what’s wrong.

I’ve managed to categorise this into three sections. Three sections which if I can balance right will give me the level of satisfaction I need to not question what’s the point with anything.

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Lifestyle.

Work.

Personal.

I’m really not good at balancing them (nothing to do with my perforated ear drum when I was 10. Though that is why my balance is shite.) Most of my decisions in my life are based upon what I’m currently obsessed with (really not disciplined) and the chosen one for that week is usually under one of these categories.

So my week is centred around that. A week of tidying and redecorating. A week of writing my book. A week of sorting out things to sell. A week of writing blog post after blog postA week of writing my book.

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These three sections, altogether, create a happy life for me.

Could you imagine if I could sort myself out to do something from each section in a week?!

I am imaging it and that would be a perfect week for me. Rounded. Then hopefully I wouldn’t feel guilty when I concentrate fully on one thing. No more thoughts of ‘I really need to do this’ while I’m currently doing that.

Everything interlinks still and I am guessing that is the way my brain is though, jumps around. But surely because it jumps around I should be able to get the right balance of Lifestyle, Work and Personal.

I’m making a commitment to sum up my week on Fridays (hopefully every week on my blog), a summary of what I’ve achieved because, damn it, I want to achieve them! 

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I know what I’m capable of and I believe in myself – I’m just not really doing it fully.

And being 26 has been so good to me so far, I may as well give myself something back.

Thoughts after pumpkin picking

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You know at the end of the year so many people say ‘it doesn’t feel like Christmas’. Well, I think it doesn’t feel like October. Not only because the weather is all kinds of crazy at the moment, and my plants loving it, but because I don’t feel the same as last October. (Not that my memory is ever good enough to remember that far ago)

Halloween doesn’t mean much to me, so it’s not a momentous occasion (like Christmas) where I can declare ‘it doesn’t feel like Halloween‘, there’s not a bookmark in my brain for this time of year. I can happily say we have been pumpkin picking for 3 years now. Pumpkin picking is now the tradition where I can look back at years past and feel comforted by it or shocked at whoever that person was.

But it’s never that these month are different to other years, it’s not that the magic or thrill has run out, (never say a statement like ‘Christmas is for kids’ or ‘it’s not the same for adults’) it’s just that I’ve been on such a big journey in a year, just like us all, that it doesn’t feel like last October.

That’s all.

I’ve moved in myself. I’ve changed. Always am. No year will feel like the next, and there’s this international sadness that routine and traditions change but really there’s so much excitement in that.

Oh how gimmicks work on me

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A bottle of wine with rustic packaging.

A positive quote in fancy lettering.

Make up endorsed by a celeb.

A yellow phone.

Anything to do with Harry potter.

And now

Reading glasses that mention my favourite book on the packaging.

I don’t actually need glasses, but I went for an eye test and apparently my eyes aren’t as perfect as I once thought they were. Especially my left eye. I keep getting awful headaches and she suggested its working on computers all day and I can get weak glasses to give my eyes a break. I won’t be using them continuously, only when it starts to hurt at the computer or reading.

I wanted to buy some nice ones, rather than Poundland ones that my family buy that get thrown around and sat on daily. I had big, old, geeky ones in mind. You know the type, fashionable ones I suppose. Turns out I just can’t get them to suit me. I have a hat face, not a glasses face.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, is my number one, top dog, the bees knees, and the rest of them sayings, all time favourite book. My copy, which was bought from a boot fair when I was 18 for 20p, is falling apart and looking worse for wear. It’s probably my most prised book.

I don’t collect as much stuff to do with Jane Eyre as I do Harry Potter (it’s hard not to go anywhere without seeing something Harry Potter nowadays) but I do have a card on my shelf to do with the Bronte sisters – You’re On It Like A Bronte Bonnet! 

When I saw these in TKMaxx, and James told me time and time again that the smaller ones suited me better, it was like the stars had aligned and I could live my gothic, romantic dreams. Whilst James gives me strange looks out the corner of his eye. Just imagine it.

So what’s these glasses got to do with Jane Eyre?! 

I have no idea.

Other than that warm feeling I get in thinking I have something associated with it. That’s clearly enough to make me buy them.

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Time to retire my sandals

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People dressed up for a snow storm. Snowflake prints, fluffy hoods. Boots, ankle and knee high. Cold wind pushing along the fallen leaves.

And here I am, trying to prolong the use of my favourite sandals.

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At least there are women in cardigans, children walking to school without their jackets, sunglasses, bare legs, harem trousers, people lingering in no rush, short sleeve shirts, car windows open. My shoulders don’t feel as lonely now.

I have warm arms, a warm middle and a belly full of warm tea, while the podcast Accused is playing from my phone. Waiting for James while I people watch and write. A few of my favourite things.

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