19.

I’m taking some time to be a bit self indulgent. I have barely written a blogpost lately due to complete exhaustion from work, so I needed something easy to write about to get me back into the flow of things. Apparently that means writing about myself. Egotistical? Perhaps. Boring to read? Quite possibly. But relaxing to write? Very. And hey, it is my birthday after all.

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March in review: We are running with this diary thing

It is the final day of March and I’m a bit dazed. It has been pretty non-stop, and April promises little chance of recovery as I head off to Kent on Friday to begin my steward work for Snowbombing festival – by the end of the week I will be in Mayrhofen, Austria, working 8 hours a day into the early hours of the morning, then hitting the slopes with my free ski pass. I’m a little bit (very very very very very…) excited.

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I went to Durham: A tale of coffee shops, schnapps and friends

Ramblings from a coffee shop
I have begun writing this post sitting in a coffee shop of which this will be my third visit, partly because it is just so good and mainly because I don’t know where else to go as a non-resident of Durham. It feels a little bittersweet to write a post about how brilliant Durham is as I had my heart set on studying here for so long, so I already knew what a wonderful place it is. In fact, I did have concerns it would be a little upsetting to be here and be so involved with the student lifestyle I once thought I would be living. However, this visit has so far reassured me that although Durham is wonderful, Bristol is the city for me after all and I can continue to write this post about my wonderful trip with no bad blood or dramatic sobs of ‘WHY OH WHY?!’. So now I’m going to carry on sipping my raspberry tea whilst I wait for my friend to join me and enjoy the rest of my time here with a refreshing sense of contentment that everything has worked out for the best.

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Up, up, up… Down?

It has been an up and down kind of week.

Last weekend a lot of my friends returned from uni, and I’ve been like an excited puppy. An afternoon of coffee and catching up last Sunday got me wishing the week at work would go much faster than usual. Which of course meant it felt slower than usual.

But that was okay because I had plans to fill the week up – so many plans! Too… Many… Plans…

Tuesday, I went into Liverpool with my mum to get some Christmas bits which mainly meant I needed clothes for parties. Need. Want. Okay, I wanted clothes for parties. I usually don’t spend loads on one item of clothing, but I felt like treating myself a bit and headed to topshop. For about 2 hours. Phewf. I did leave with a playsuit and ordered another online that they didn’t have in store in my size but I loved. But I was exhausted. I then treated my mum to a meal at TGI Friday which I’d never been to before (Highly recommend, apart from the extremely loud music. I’m such a party pooper).

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Wednesday was a super busy day at work, which I wasn’t quite expecting. So then when I went to Nandos and the pub with my friends after work, I subsequently fell asleep in the pub. It wasn’t even late, oh dear. So by the time I got home, I felt pretty rubbish and then had a rubbish conversations with a friend and ‘bluergh’ sums up how I felt to be honest.

So after all the excitement, it went a little wrong and I got ill. Well done, Rhiannon. The next morning involved me slowly trying to get ready for work but when it hit 7.45 and I still was sat on my bed feeling like death I decided I best call in sick. Which completely sucked as it was the Christmas concert and my general studies class, and I felt pretty bad about letting people down. I did, however, go see the Christmas concert and it was very nice, even if I felt ridiculously ill afterwards. The pupils even got me a little Thornton’s chocolate with my name on to thank me for my help, even though I ended up doing very little, which was very unexpected and very lovely of them.

Sadly I had to take today off too, which was sad as it was the last day of term. I’m also stressed about marking now as I didn’t see my general studies students to get all their work off them and also set them homework over Christmas. I’m trying not to stress. But I’m a little stressed. Phewwww. To top it off, is the fact it is the work Christmas do tonight and I don’t know if I’ll be able to manage it. I’m hoping I’ll be okay-ish, but currently I’m not so sure. Sob sob sob.

HOWEVER. I’m moaning, but it is Christmas, my friend’s are nearly all back home and when I’m feeling a little under the weather I know my friends will pick me back up again ^_^
I’ve had such an interesting year; not all good but definitely not all bad. In the grand scheme of it all, missing a couple days of work and maybe a party really isn’t a big deal at all.
I have a post coming up on something I’m making for my Secret Santa gift and the gifts I’ve done for the rest of my friends, but I won’t be giving them the gifts until at least the 28th I think, so you will have to bear with me on that one.

Hope everyone is well and I’m sorry my life isn’t particularly interesting at the moment!! 🙂

Southern Fun; London, Halloween and Italian Food

I said I would do, so I did it. Here it is; my trip down south (*everyone applauds, fans screams, people faint etc…*)
The day after I got back from Cardiff, I was back on a train and marked my third trip to Birmingham New Street in 5 days. This time, however, instead of hopping on a train to the land of the Welsh, I hopped onto a Virgin train (ooh fancy) which headed towards London, as I was off to visit my ‘lavely’ friends and their ‘lavely’ dog. How ‘lavely’. Mel, Dave, Max, Leah and Willow. Can you guess who the dog is? (no, it isn’t Dave).

Here we go again.

Here we go again.

On the way to b'ham. Upper Crust and I are good mates.

On the way to b’ham. Upper Crust and I are good mates.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Isn’t she gorgeous?

The first full day was very chilled. Max, Leah and I went into the town centre for a bit and met up with Mel, but the miserable weather scared us off a little, and we headed back and made plans to see a film. So off to the cinema Max, Leah and I went, and we saw ‘The Maze Runner’. I haven’t read the book, and the only thing I knew about the film was from a book YouTuber who recommended the book – so basically I knew very little than the fact people are stuck in a maze. Needless to say, it was pretty good. Definitely was following that dystopian feel that we have seen through other franchises like ‘The Hunger Games’, but it was pretty different, and I quite liked it (I don’t like reviewing films too much, feel silly, let’s pretend that didn’t happen).

The evening we headed to Prezzo, and I was treated (thanks, guys!!) to a wonderful meal. I was very impressed with myself as I ate a whole calzone, then hazelnut covered ice-cream. Be proud, guys. Be proud. (Thank goodness I joined a gym, is all I can say). We went back, and Dave introduced me to Spaced. (I like it a lot. We watched a fair amount of Spaced whilst I was there.) I also wore my new heels that I got for a bargain and didn’t break my ankle, so it was just a night of successes really.

Sharing platter of yummy breads

Sharing platter of yummy breads

Phewf

Phewf

I don't like olives...

I don’t like olives…

The next day, we went to London. Ever since I went to London with some of my friends over the Summer, I have been dying to get back. I always liked London, but that trip just made me fall in love with the city. With it only being a twenty minute train journey from where my friends live, I had to go. So Max, Leah and myself got on that train and headed straight to Camden Market to have a wander. I really like the feel of Camden So many different people there, but all pretty chill. It is wacky and wonderful, and as someone who loves Affleck’s palace (which is just afflecks now apparently, who knew?) in Manchester, Camden feels like the ultimate extension of that, with it’s Gothic stalls and vintage corners. It is hipster central, but that’s probably why I like it so much. You can judge me, it’s okay, I just like kooky places (it is a well known fact that I am this ‘hipster’ of my friend group, I mean, I’m going to study French and Russian, I had no chance).

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Iconic, right?

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What size would they be?

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Pretty cool

Once we’d spent a little time in Camden, and I’d bought a scarf for me and my best friend, we decided to head for lunch. This meant catching a few tubes to Baker Street, and heading to Ask Italian. If you have never been on the tubes before, they can be summed up quite easily; hot, stuffy, sometimes very claustrophobic but incredibly fun and the best game of dot-to-dot ever. I really love working out which stations to hop on and off and what lines to get – I could ride around the tubes for hours if I’m honest. Plus I’m a nesh, so it is one of the only places that I am warm (the tubes and the staffroom at work).

Baker Street is such a wonderful station. It is ridiculously Art Deco and feels very grand, and you just want to take pictures of it and pretend all tube stations in London look like this (spoiler; they don’t). So here are some photos of Baker Street which is TOTALLY like all other tube stations. Definitely.

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Indi33

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There is also a really fat pigeon in this picture.

I thought I had more pictures than that. Awkward. You get the idea though, right?

Ask was, not surprisingly, fab. But that isn’t a shock, because I just love food a lot. I’m sure you’ve realised that by now, considering I talk about it so much. I’ll just show you pictures this time though, because I still have a lot to talk about, and FOR ONCE food isn’t my priority (is this still Rhiannon writing? Who is this imposter?).

GRAB THE DOUGHBALLS

GRAB THE DOUGH BALLS

Lasagne for Leah, yum.

Lasagne for Leah, yum.

Lasagne for Max, yum yum.

Lasagne for Max, yum yum.

They are the best.

They are the best.

Carbonara for me, yum yum yum.

Carbonara for me, yum yum yum.

After we had stuffed our faces, we decided to go see the poppies at the Tower of London, as we were lucky enough to be there for the run up to Remembrance Day. For some reason, I had it in my head that it wouldn’t be that busy. Half term. London. Once in a lifetime event. Really, Rhiannon? Needless to say, it was absolutely buzzing, which was lovely to see. The only downside is we didn’t get very close to the poppies, nor did we stay for very long. But it was truly stunning and such a wonderful tribute to those who died in WWI.

Poppies

Poppies

Busy at Tower Hill

Busy at Tower Hill

:)

🙂

After a lot of tube journeys (the circle line is the only line that confuses me majorily. IT ISN’T EVEN UNDERGROUND HALF THE TIME?!?!), our final stop of the day was Leicester Square, where we ate a lot of Häagen-Dazs ice cream. Phewf. Leicester Square was, as usual, busy and full of life, and was the perfect end for little day trip to London Town 🙂

Circle line has the modern tubes. It also doesn't stay underground. Circle line is so weird.

Circle line has the modern tubes. It also doesn’t stay underground. Circle line is so weird.

ice creammmmm

ice creammmmm

(I didn't finish it)

(I didn’t finish it)

And that concludes our little trip to London. Ah, I love London.

Later that evening Max and Leah went out to explorers and I spent my evening with Mel and Dave, where we went to the very swish hotel that Dave works to get a pumpkin (don’t ask). We actually ended up getting Cosmos. Pumpkins. Cosmos. It was a crazy night.

<3

Best selfie ever!

Best selfie ever!

My final full day was Halloweeeeeen. That apparently entailed Max and Leah sleeping in until the mid-afternoon, but I got a lot of my book read (you lazy fools). But as soon as they were up and ready, we headed to Tesco to buy lots of baking goods as we decided to spend our day baking some Halloween themed cupcakes. This had to be my favourite afternoon of all. Music on, us three in the kitchen making a bit of a mess (we cleared it up, don’t worry), singing loudly and making some slightly naff cupcakes (bar Leah’s)It was just a good laugh, and reminded me why we are all still friends after all these years. We all just get along so well.

Voilà

Voilà

Ooooh

Ooooh

Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh

The rest of the day consisted of preparation for Halloween parties. Which, for me and Max, mainly involved sitting around wearing moustaches, and then a lot of weird white paint (I am so, so sorry, Max). Then I went to a party with Max and his friends, who were all very lovely. They were all a bit younger than me, so I felt like that “cool, older person”, but I’m not that cool, and I’m not that old. It was good fun though, and nice to just have a laugh at a party for a change 🙂

Serious business

Serious business

"I look like Keith Lemon"

“I look like Keith Lemon”

Getting there

Getting there

DAT POUT. How cringey.

DAT POUT. How cringey.

hehehehehe

hehehehehe

bloomin' terrifying

bloomin’ terrifying

And that is it! That is my few days away… I FINALLY WROTE IT!

I really had the best time seeing them all, and I can’t thank them enough for having me there. Miss them already, and I hope I see them much sooner than another year (love you guys! x).

Aw, soppy.

The cliché blogging round up of the things I’ve learnt, or at least feel are notable enough to bullet point (because who doesn’t love a good list?):

  • Spaced is weird as heck, but a very good TV series.
  • You can NEVER have too much Italian food.
  • Naively thinking that just ‘a few’ people will go to see the poppies at the tower will lead you to be very surprised by the very full tubes and heavy security at Tower Hill.
  • Willow the dog is smaller than I remember, but just as lovely and cute.
  • Playing Ring of Fire with southerners is highly unfair when someone pulls a 9 and chooses the word ‘grass’ for me to rhyme with.
  • I really like travelling alone on trains.

Writer’s block? Surely not.

I started writing a blog post nearly two weeks ago, and thought that I would finish it the next day, but then I got distracted (and also slightly exhausted) by my job, as it seemed to have suddenly got the busiest it has ever been.

Please don’t think that is me complaining though; I love my job more than ever at the moment. I have been running a debating club with some of the lower school, and I was little nervous they would be bored or not want to do the activities I had set, but they were all absolutely fantastic. They were all so enthusiastic and bubbly. As for a GCSE general studies class I teach – well, they are just brilliant, and I’m feeling very much in my element at the front of the classroom. I’ve done so much photocopying for all my students though, blimey. Killed way too many trees (I’m sorry, Loz x).

So other than my busy life recently, why haven’t I posted? Lack of motivation? Slightly. But mainly I actually struggled to write about my few days away down south a little (a lot).

After Cardiff, I went to see some friends who live just outside of London and I have just felt a little overwhelmed about writing a post. It wasn’t like we were doing stuff non-stop or anything, I just couldn’t quite work out how to write a post that would make little sense to those not involved.
Don’t get me wrong, we did do lots and lots of lovely things, but in a way I didn’t feel like writing about every single thing, as some of the funniest and best moments of that trip, were when I was just sat around with my friends having a giggle. I don’t get to see them very much, and the last time I saw them in person was over a year ago, so every time we meet up is always fun no matter what we do. I just love them all lots. I have known them since I was about 6, and to me, they are like my family (I know Mel will read this and go aw).
So what I’m really trying to say is yes, we went to London for a day. And it was fab. And yes, we saw a film. And it was cool. And yes, I went to a Halloween party. And it was a laugh. But the things that were the highlights for me, aren’t something that I can write about exactly. How do you articulate inside jokes, sitting round and catching up… And make it cohesive for someone who wasn’t there?
But again, maybe that isn’t the point. I write for me, I write because I love writing and this a diary of my gap year.

Still struggling though.

So here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to write a post about my trip. I’m going to get it done. I can’t promise it will be inspirational, but if I don’t do it, I’ll be stuck forever.

I’m also going to write to baking recipes. And talk about the play I saw recently. Maybe I’ll even write about this weekend. Phewf. I have a lot of catching up to do. My friend is much better than me, he gets posts up every week, and puts me to shame.

This has just been a spiel of words and thoughts, but bare with me – I’ll get there. I hope everyone is well, and I apologise for my lack of presence on my blog lately. November is looking pretty quiet, isn’t it?

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As a final note: I left work to this today. It doesn't quite show how lovely it is. I love living by the sea, and working by it even more.

All you need to know.

Sooooooo…

I have plenty of excuses as to why I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks.

One is that fact I wrote this blog post about some passionfruit curd filled, meringue topped cupcakes I made, and then something went wrong and I lost the whole post and it went up blank, and I was very annoyed. So I didn’t blog.

Another is that I had a weekend of being down in the dumps last weekend and I really didn’t want to do another ‘woe is me’, especially as I don’t feel that is a very accurate representation of myself, considering I’m generally quite happy and positive at the moment. So I didn’t blog.

The third is the fact is I’ve been very busy, and with that comes being fairly shattered and also a little overwhelmed as I didn’t know where to start on the blogging front. So I didn’t blog.

The last; I’m a bit lazy and I didn’t want to force out blog post when I really didn’t feel like writing one, and so I didn’t. Perhaps that means I’ve been a little unmotivated, but whilst I’ve been unmotivated on the writing front, I’ve been extremely motivated in other aspects of my life.

I still don’t know where to begin particularly. I’ve done lots recently. I went food tasting in Liverpool at a Jamie Oliver Restaurant, I got paid for the first time, I bought lots of train tickets, I bought lots of books, I bought lots clothes and shoes, I bought lots of body shop stuff… (I’ve never had this amount of money to spend before, don’t know if you can tell?)…

Book wise I’ve only actually bought two, and got another 7 for free at a free bookshop we have. You just put a donation if you can, it is really fab. I also got this gorgeous book that wasn’t really a book out of pure luck. I was looking in the foreign language books for something French but saw this Russian book sticking out so had a look what it was. It was in fact a load of post card style pictures of Moscow, it is wonderful. I might do a post on it more in depth one day once I have translated some of the Russian and had a proper look at the all.

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Isn't this cover gorgeous? I have read Eleanor and Park, and it was a nice easy read, so I thought I would buy another Rainbow Rowell.

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Reading this at the moment, it is great. Wordy, of course, but I like it so far.

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One of my favourite authors.

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For obvious reasons.

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Well, I couldn't resist.

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Woohoo, free copy!

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Why not?

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Thought it looked charming 🙂

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Is it a book?

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Wait, what?

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LOOK!

So yeah, books. Can’t help myself. I’m also reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover right now. Make of that what you will. (Like I say, I love D.H. It’s purely innocent even if he isn’t…).

Other than spending all my money I have been keeping fairly busy. Work has got crazily busy all of a sudden which is exactly how I like it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have time for a bit of fun. Last Thursday I got roped into a very hilarious bowling might with my workmates. I was a bit nervous as I’m a fair bit younger than my colleagues, but they were all lovely and we had a great laugh, even if it was mainly at my awful bowling skills. Exaggeration? Sadly not. I scored 28. The second lowest score was 49, and the highest was over 100. So that gives you a bit of a picture of quite how poor I am. But I wasn’t wearing my glasses so it was definitely just that. Definitely.

I’ve also seen some lovely friends, and had a pizza night with two of my best friends who were my best friends all the way through high school. We had a good old reminisce and laughed at some hilarious photos of our younger selves. Definitely hold onto those friends who you have tonnes of memories with, nothing beats when you meet up and get a bit nostalgic.

My best friend was also back for the weekend from uni and we went for coffee and had a good old natter and a hug. To be fair though, she has only been gone a month and we both agreed it didn’t feel like she’d been gone that long at all in some ways. We’ve gone longer without seeing each other, such as last summer (I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned I got Scarlett fever over the summer…) so it was just like normal. Which was weird. Paradox.

So that’ll do. I will be posting much more I think this week, and apologise for slightly disappearing. Have a selfie of me being confused about my recent goth phase (it happens every Autumn).

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I wear so much black that you can't even see it in the photo.

I’m feeling sentimental, (this post will make you cringe)

It has been a weird day. It feels like the realisation that the majority of my closest friends are going all over the country, and our friendships will be tested through Skype calls, Facebook messages and occasional visits for the next few months has hit me again, as I haven’t had the distraction of my job. I’m lucky that I know I will stay in contact with a lot of those friends, and I honestly don’t think I’m naive in saying that. There is something about my lovely group of friends; we all just click, and want to support each other all the time – it’s like we’re each other’s fan clubs, with the amount of supportive (often drunken, I will admit), pep talks we give each other.

The majority of my friends have been my friends for an incredibly long time – I’m talking primary school years (which, when I’m only 18, probably doesn’t seem that long to a lot of people, but shhhhh, I’m trying to get sentimental and soppy). Then there are the few who I was lucky to meet at high school. They have put up with my awful hairstyles, Muse obsession and general loudness, and are somehow still my friends (sorry, guys). Then there are the one’s who I met in the past couple of years of college. These last two years with such a great group of friends have been some of the nicest – and sometimes slightly most dramatic and stressful – two years of my life. But even though there has been some silly, petty drama, I have never been so close to a group of people as I have been with my lovely, crazy friends.

The other night I went out for some cocktails and nachos (you know, I love my Mexican food) with a few friends as they aren’t going to uni until tomorrow. It was the first time I have really cried like a baby about my friends leaving, as I hugged one of my best friends, and oldest friends, outside my house and we sobbed a lot cause we are emotional fools, and she is the best ever (we are going to handwrite letters to each other, we’d make an adorable couple), and it scared me a little because I realised she wouldn’t live 5 minutes away any more, and very few of my friends would be a bus trip or less away from me. Sob.

But from recorder concerts to the interact show, from Wales to Amsterdam, from 30 Seconds to Mars to Muse, and from primary school to this in-between year, I’ve had some brilliant friends there to keep me happy, positive and call me out on my ‘hipster’ ways. I don’t really know what the point of this post was, other than to get a bit sickly and make everyone cringe whilst reading it, but I know that a lot of my friends read this blog, so I hope they know that they are awesome, I will miss them a ridiculous amount this year, but I am incredibly excited for them all. You guys rock x

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Rolly for life ❤

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Christmas 2012

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Summer 2013

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Jan 2014

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Ice Skating 2014

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Love this one 😉

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🙂

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Cheese!!!

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😀

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Harrods!

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HP Studios!

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Love these guys

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We will have many more Skype calls, I’m certain (Also, coolest fancy dress ever, right?)

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Where’s Wally?

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Sob, sob, sob, miss this one lots.

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🙂 🙂 🙂

I give everyone permission to throw up now. We got through the cringe together, we made it.

It’s been one of those weeks

And by ‘those weeks’ I mean, up and down and up and down. I’ve had some really lovely days this week, but also had to say goodbye to some of my closest friends as they go off to Uni, hear some things that made me question how valid a friendship I have with people and see a relationship, that has meant so much to me, end.

It all sounds very dramatic, and to be honest, in my current state, it feels it. I’ve had my final coffees with some friends this week, my final open mic at the pub until they all get back from uni, my final kiss off someone I care about a lot. And it kind of sucks.

But what I have learnt from this week is that:

1. No matter how long it is since you’ve had coffee with someone, sometimes, if you are lucky, you will have that person that you always have plenty to talk about and it will be like nothing has changed. If you are really lucky, you will have a few of them.

2. Nero is a great place to talk; whether that is gossiping, opening up or saying goodbye. They also have earl grey tea to make everything better.

3. Wallowing in bed for many hours – although necessary, I feel – is not going to make you feel much better. A shower, strong coffee and focusing on a new job, however, will.

4. Even when your best friends are leaving, it is okay to be weirdly excited for them. It is okay to not actually feel too sad when you hug them goodbye, because it doesn’t mean it is the end, it just means they are off to have fun. And that is great.

5. And having a vase of sunflowers in the window really does cheer you up. They look so cheerful when you reach your house after a tough afternoon, and brighten up your morning when you open your curtains with swollen eyes after a night of sobbing like the melodramatic teenager that you are.

So yeah, bit of a depressing post, but I’m in a very thoughtful mood, hence the pretentious sunflower nonsense. But honestly, I highly recommend getting some.

Keep cheerful – I’ll try if you try 🙂
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Bittersweet selfies and headbanging tales

It’s funny how scary you look when slightly intoxicated in a sweaty club. Last night I went to a ‘pre uni bash’ held by one of my best friends, and it was so worryingly typical for a load of 18 year old British kids, it could have been an episode of Skins. Hmm. Maybe not actually, we aren’t quite that risqué.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

I can’t say that I drunk a lot last night, but when we got to the clubs the music seemed to intoxicate me more than any amount of tequila ever could. Muse, Kasabian, Two Door Cinema Club, The Fratellis… All blasting out as I jumped around shouting “THESE ARE ALL MY FAVOURITE BANNDSS!!!!!!” and continued to headbang (my neck isn’t too sore today however, as it is surprising how regularly I end up headbanging).

It was quite a bittersweet night however. The name of the event itself meant something different when I first said I was going, to when I actually attended. That is to say, when it was first organised I was also off to uni and this would be one of the last times with all my friends before we all went to various corners of the country. But last night, it was a chance for me to say goodbye and wish my friends good luck for their new adventures, whilst I explained what I would do on this gap year… With no actual clue, myself.

So in between all the rapping to Kanye, dancing to Girls Aloud and ‘Ring of Fire’ fun, I listened to my friends confess all their worries, their hopes and how excited they were for University which is so scarily close now. And I’m so so excited for them too. And surprisingly okay about it all. In fact, last night proved to me that I have so much to look forward to, and I’m not missing out even slightly.

I will miss those crazy weirdos though.

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