Well that escalated quickly…

Oops. I do apologise for the rather lengthy absence, rooted in my terrible talent for procrastination…

It has been quite the year since my last blog post. I’m not entirely sure what happened to blogging along the way – there were times when I just didn’t feel like sharing what was going on in my head, and other times where procrastinator supreme “I’ll write a post next whenever” prevailed. But now life has evened out a bit, and I want to get back to my original reasons for starting thins in the first place – revelling in the small things!

A debrief of the last 12 months would have to include the following highlights:

  • I survived two months travelling solo in the South Pacific – more about that here!
  • I graduated! (Still convinced they’re going to decide that was a clerical error one day…)
  • We moved across the country and managed to navigate the traps of house-hunting; our well developed damp-sensors once again proving invaluable!
  • I started my first job (and have thus far survived!)
  • My little (6ft) brother has finally found his calling and has been given the opportunity to go follow his dreams in September – super proud!
  • We ticked a few places off our travel bucket list.
  • And finally, and most excitingly…
    • My aforementioned other-half asked me a very important question, to which the answer was a very slightly hysterical YES; we are now enjoying bumbling through the world of wedding planning together!

As I said, quite the year! I will be blogging a bit about my travels, and a few important bits and pieces, but mainly trying to focus on the little smiles just like before.

Thanks for staying interested if you’re still reading!




Smile no. 6

A few days behind this week… whoops!


I went out for a wander on Saturday, just to pick up a few bits and pieces, and just nipped in to L’Occitane. It’s not a shop I go into usually, it’s a little out of my student price range, but I find that their shea butter hand cream is one of the few that actually stops my knuckles cracking wide open, despite the large amount of handwashing I do in my job. (And it smells really good!)

When I got to the till, I was informed that that particular day, there was a promotion running whereby if I signed up to the emailing list, I would get a little gift bag, and 25% off my next shop. This seemed like a pretty good deal, and for the £8 I spent on my hand cream, I walked out with this lovely little pack also containing comfort cream, toner and cleanser, and a squirt of some very nice perfume on the tissue paper that made my living room smell nice for hours:


For the store, it’s just an easy passing way of getting more advertising to more people, but to me, it’s a little unexpected surprise treat that made my day. People say it’s all about the small things – and for me it really is. This put a smile on my face all afternoon! Simple things please simple minds? I’m not so sure. I reckon the people that can find the smiles in the small things are just happier people!


Into the Unknown…

Challenging myself seems to be becoming a bit of a recurring theme in my life at the moment. This week, we made the huge decision to move out of our current little nest three months earlier than we’d originally planned, just before I fly away for two months.

I am usually that person who likes to have every detail of a plan mapped out; logistics sorted, arrangements made, with as little room as possible for uncertainty. Now, I’ve pretty much signed up to 6 months of having to go with the flow – it’s going to be a pretty major challenge to not get worked up about things and trust that it’ll all work out! But I’m going to have to do my best not to get my feathers in a flap.

The major uncertainty comes from the fact that I could be literally anywhere in the UK from July, and I won’t find out until March/April time. We keep discussing scenarios and potential ways of working things out so they work the best for both of us, which is tricky because we both need pretty different things from life over the next year or so.We usually end up coming to the same conclusion every time, that we’ll just have to play it by ear and see what happens.

It will be easier come March, when I should know roughly where I’ll be at least. Until then, I just have to deal with the fact that there’s not an awful lot I can plan or suss out. It’s a steep learning curve, but I keep trying to look at it from a positive angle – who knows what fun might come along just taking things as they come and enjoying the ride!

I’ve also finalised my big trip – only 90 days away!! This is another huge challenge for me. I’ve been travelling before, but always as part of a group, where things have been organised for me, or with my boyfriend. We travelled round Sydney for a month together a couple of years ago, but he’d been out there a few months already, so I had my own personal tour guide. This time I’m flying solo, to a little island in the South Pacific. It’s part of my course, so I’m also going to be working, in a new place with totally new rules, new language, new people. It’s all terrifying… but also exciting. The last time I really struck out on my own was when I moved to university, which didn’t go so well. But now I’m five years down the line, a lot more confident in myself, and not quite so bothered about what the world thinks of me, so I’m looking forward to proving to myself that I can take on the world standing on my own two (even if both left) feet!


Smile no. 3

My smile this week is slightly early – I’m off for a very important weekend trying on some bridesmaid dresses for a very important wedding so I’m posting this tonight!

The last few months of my degree are formed of a rural and a foreign placement. My rural placement is just over an hour’s drive from where I live, and this was the subject of much complaining, protestation and general negativity from me when it was allocated. However, it’s actually proved so far to be a truly fantastic experience, far exceeding my not-so-cheerful expectations. The team I’m based with have made me very welcome, and even the drive isn’t so bad. It’s become just part of the routine. I really enjoy sticking the radio on and hollering along to a well-chosen tune – try it… seriously liberating!

NB – on that note, my smile for the week was very nearly when Mah Na Mah Na burst through my car today and I just couldn’t help but sing (and dance, as much as one can when restricted by a seatbelt and a steering wheel…) along! There may or may not have been accompanying facial expressions…

But instead I chose this:

 A view over Worcestershire towards the Malvern Hills and beyond, the Cotswolds.   © Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

A view over Worcestershire towards the Malvern Hills and beyond, the Cotswolds.
© Copyright Richard Webb and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

This is just a snippet of the view I get on a route I sometimes travel as part of my placement. I can’t claim the photo this week – I don’t keep a camera in my car… maybe there’s a lesson there! At the peak of the road you can park up and just sit and marvel at just how far you can see. There are at least three other peaks in the 360 view. So despite going into this placement grumbling about the long daily drive, without it I’d never have discovered this truly beautiful little pocket of the country that I get to explore as part of my job. I can look at my fuel bills and frown, or smile at all the little discoveries I’ve made exploring new places!