My perfect day off (PDO) begins with coffee. Many of my days do, but my perfect one starts with a tall caramel macchiato from Starbucks, with a couple of sugars and a smile. All days should start with a smile. Not from me – I am very far from being a morning person – but from someone, preferably a special someone who has brought the coffee. The PDO will then move downstairs to breakfast. This is nothing fancy, perhaps smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. Maybe in a bagel.
I have a problem. It’s one I’ve faced before and I’m sure I’ll face it again. But I’ve never experienced it in such a debilitating way before. It may not seem like a problem to you, dear reader, but for me it is a cause of great concern.
So it’s been three months since I moved up north (blimey doesn’t time fly) and today, finally, the big day has arrived. The day I have waited for since seeing the house and realising it would be my home for the foreseeable future.
My office has furniture in!
University already feels like a distant memory but it was less than two months ago that I handed in my final piece of coursework. Since then I feel like a thousand things have happened to me and compared to the three manic years of studying I don’t feel like I’ve achieved very much. And I think I’ve figured out why.
Uni has finished. I have moved house. I have started a new job. I am living with the Bearded One. I have lost two wonderful pets. All in about three week.
And it turns out that real life is much harder A.U. – after uni. Before uni (B.U.) it was get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, sit in front of the tv, go to bed, repeat. But now I have dreams and goals and aims for my life and friends I want to spend time with and a new home to explore.
I honestly never thought life would be so hard to juggle. And this is not in any way a complaint. I have loved moving away from Bristol, despite leaving my friends and family behind me. I love the fact I can share this wonderful village and countryside with them when they come and visit me, and the fact that when we see each other we will have so much to catch up on. But I miss living with some of my best friends. Granted, I am living with one of them, but the rest are a long way away when you need a girlie catch up.
One thing that has been easier than anticipated is living with the Bearded One. He is a wonderful housemate. He cooks, he cleans, he makes me write when I need to and we can snuggle up together on the sofa in the evening. After two years of long distance where the best we had was Skype it’s something we are still grateful for every night.
But fitting everything in – that’s not going so well yet. We have had a mad weekend of socialising during the annual beer festival that takes place a few miles up the valley. It was great to get to know the Bearded One’s pals up here, and one thing I did miss about uni was having guy friends. I grew up with two big brothers so was always used to having lots of guys around. Everyone is so friendly and lovely up here and after a few ales we were getting along like a house on fire.
A note of sadness is the passing of two of my wonderful pets. First of all, the irrepressible Bean (the bunny) left us very suddenly just before I moved up country. His poor little heart was too full of love and he went during the night. I found him the next morning and the amount of affectionate comments I had from the many people who had met him genuinely touched me. He is greatly missed but I know he’s hopping around with some great company up there. He was joined not so long ago by my parents beautiful German Shepherd Belle, a sprightly puppy of 14 who was put to sleep. She was one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever know and I considered her one of mine even though I never lived with her. I know my parents were devastated by her passing but it was the worst kind of situation where it was the best thing for her. A couple of downs in my crazy valley of a month!
As for writing. The blog has been seriously neglected due to lack of an internet connection. That is somewhat fixed thanks to our lovely next door neighbours being more than generous but it does mean I have felt rather cut off from the blogosphere. The novel is still coming along though. My new goal is to have first draft finished in order to start a new project (or rather reincarnate an old one) for the July Camp Nanowrimo. I’m so close to finishing draft one that I almost want to skip the remaining chapters and go right to the end.
Overall though I’m incredibly happy and at peace right now. It’s the right kind of manic for me and I hope it doesn’t slow down – not really. I mean, life is pretty short, and you have to make the most of it while you have it. Right?
Every now and then a film/book/tv series is released and becomes THE thing to see. It takes over – all of your friends have seen it, it’s on all the social media sites and before you know it there are songs in the charts and merchandise everywhere.
I am one of those people that always misses them. Sometimes it’s because I tried it and I’m not keen (Game of Thrones springs to mind) and sometimes out of pure stubbornness. One of the stubborn moments occurred around the release of Disney’s Frozen. Very quickly it was everywhere, even at university, and I was told time and time again ‘You have to watch this movie’. The song was everywhere, there were quotes thrown around and people were giggling at the concept of Snowmen who wanted to see the summer.
I’m not quite sure how it has come about, but in a little over 7 days I will have completed all my classes, submitted all of my coursework and will essentially be finished with my undergraduate university career. Wowzer.
It’s been a lot of hard work. Some moments have been downright awful, some have been fantastic and every one has been new to me. Right now I am looking forward to a few days with nothing to worry about. In the last three weeks I have handed in 8,000 words and have another 12,000 due before the week is out. These last few deadlines have been the hardest of them all, not necessarily because they have been more complex (though they have), but mainly because I am so tired.
Recently it has felt relentless. No sooner has one submission gone in that another has been imminently due. I consider myself luckier than most as I don’t have any exams to worry about, but the downside of that has been 20,000 words in a month.
I’m looking forward to the end for a number of reasons, some of which I’ll list below.
1) I’m tired. I can’t wait for a few days of sleeping, lounging around in my pjs and catching up on some movies that have been on my ‘to watch’ list for a very long time. Lazy and perhaps a little selfish, but a reason nonetheless.
2) I’m ready to be a grown up again. I’m glad I waited a few years before I came to uni. Being a ‘mature’ student has meant that I know what my focus is and I haven’t been concerned with being at every party, socialising at every opportunity. Sadly it has meant that I have missed the freedom and pleasure a regular wage can bring. Again shallow and this time materialistic but true.
3) I miss the Bearded One. Almost two years of long distance it’s really starting to wear thin. Plus he’s moved into our new house in the beautiful lake district and I want to be there!
4) I want to do something with everything I’ve learned. I have improved my skills in so many ways, learnt so much about myself and what I can do and I want to get out there and put everything into action. I think I can be really good at whatever it is I want to do and I want to get out there!
As mentioned already, only a week and all of this will become all too real and I will no doubt be wishing for my student life again. But that’s a whole week away. Feels like a lifetime right now…
Many apologies for any typos, nonsense or rubbish in the body of this post. As stated in point one, I am tired. Be gentle with me.
Wow. It’s been a hectic week. There have been shows to tech, deadlines to meet, essays to plan and Easter to arrange (escape to the North – hurrah). Therefore I come to Sunday and I have ideas for posts but no actual energy or inspiration to write them. So I shall save them for another week and this week instead I shall indulge myself and share some of my creative writing with you. I’ve been tidying and organising my computer recently trying to get everything in the same place and have managed to bring all of my writings together. Some of it I would go so far as to say it is good, other stuff…needs work, shall we say. But I’ve chosen a few pieces to share with you over the next seven days.
The one I’m going to start with is the thing I have been working so hard on for the last three months. Once Upon A Fairy-Tale (working title) is a novel I have been writing for my Creative Writing module at uni. It’s a new genre which I have titled an Anti-Fairy Tale, kind along the lines of Gregory Maguire’s Oz works. The thing to remember with it is every creature you come across is the opposite of what you would expect.
Those who have been following this blog will remember back in November I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and managed to write 30,000 words of a novel in just a month. While this was technically a failure by their standards (you’re supposed to hit 50k) I was pretty chuffed to get that much down in such a short space of time. I haven’t looked at it since, being too occupied with uni work and the novel I’m writing for one of my modules to even think about editing.
I am, however, desperate to finish both of these novels. I love the story for both of them and have had many people interested in the concept of both of them, saying they would love to read them when they are written. So, despite the dissertation (and the other 12,000 words of other assignments) I have signed myself up to Camp NaNoWriMo. Basically, it’s the same as November, with a few minor changes. Most importantly for me this time, you can choose your own word count. So I can choose an achievable amount of words each day and still be able to focus on my uni work… in theory!
So last night I started a new blog (because I had the idea so I figured I might as well just go for it). It’s purely about writing prompts and getting people’s work published also. You can find it here. It has daily writing prompts in and the opportunity to become a featured writer once a week, with links to your blog and social media sites. Please feel free to have a look and follow it.
Many thanks all 🙂