It’s September and I don’t mean to be a cliché but… where has the year gone? It seems like only yesterday I was getting ready for my sister-in-law’s hen weekend and that was way back in January! 2017 really has flown by.
August was a bit of a weird month. As I’ve said before, 2017 as a whole has been an absolute rollercoaster for me and August continued in much the same vein, serving me up some low points amongst the (majority of) highs.
It got off to the best possible start with the birth of Rocco on the 1st. This little boy was so anticipated and so loved before he even got here, I can’t think of a more perfect way to begin a brand new month!
Within the first week of August I had one of my standard check-ups with my consultant at which he told me he was concerned about two other areas on my body that he felt might be harbouring this evil little disease. I had another procedure to remove those two areas and, after a week of worry and fear, I was relieved to be told all was ok – one of the areas was fine and the other was on the brink of turning into cancer but hadn’t got there yet. I don’t have to see my doctor for another few months now and, if at that appointment I still have the all-clear, I’ll be officially discharged and only have to be checked once a year from now on. Cross your fingers for me!
We spent a weekend at the beautiful Langar Hall in Nottinghamshire with friends. We played croquet, ventured into Nottingham City Centre, gazed at classic cars, drank cocktails, ate incredible food, and chatted around the garden table as we watched the meteor shower overhead. Ben and I stayed in a cute little wooden cabin situated slightly away from the house and it was so cosy, I definitely want to go back again!
This year I turned the grand old age of 32 – that’s, like, a proper grown-up age isn’t it? I never do anything major for my birthday (I don’t think I’ve ever arranged a single night out with friends to celebrate it in my life!) and this year was no different. Instead Ben whisked me up to London for the day where we wandered, pub crawled and went for dinner at The Gilbert Scott. We went to the same restaurant last year and it’s honestly incredible. After eating all the food we could manage and a surprise little birthday cake from the staff with a candle in it, we popped into their bar where I sipped on my signature cocktail (an Old Fashioned) as I looked up at the sky falling dark behind the silhouette of the station clock tower. It’s little moments like that when I feel suddenly very aware of my existence and thank the stars above that I’m here.
Earlier on this month, a member of my extended family sadly passed away having taken their own life. It is such an incredibly sad thing and has left a lot of questions to which there will never be an answer. Mental Health is something that is definitely becoming more addressed in society but there is still so much more to be done, more help that can be given, and more efforts that need to be made to remove the stigma that surrounds it. It’s also another reminder of just how precious life is and how important it is to tell the people around you how much you care about them, because tomorrow really is promised to nobody.
Childhood dream come true! I. SAW. BOYZONE. LIVE. And, honestly, it was bloody brilliant! As we couldn’t attend the more local one, my childhood best friend and I booked tickets for their gig in Hastings and made a night of it by booking an Airbnb. The flat we stayed in was amazing (review to follow) and the concert itself was everything I hoped for and more. So many people, when I told them where I was going, looked at me like I was mad, but Boyzone were my absolute heroes as a kid and I used to spend hours dancing around my bedroom, singing along to their songs as I read the lyrics off the back of the cassette tape cover (yes, cassettes, I’m old). To actually see them in real life was such an amazing thing for me and just the thought of it makes me grin from ear to ear!
Changing My Barnet
I think I might be having some sort of mid-life crisis, or at least something along the same sort of lines. This year, if nothing else, has made me really aware of my own mortality and how precious each and every single day we have here is. So, I’m actively making an effort to really LIVE – to take chances, to say yes more, to step outside of my comfort zone. So, in a bit of a spur of the moment thing, I decided that after years of thinking “I’d love to colour my hair” but being too scared, I was just going to go ahead and do it. I booked the appointment at 2pm and by 4pm I was sat in the chair at Rockalily Cuts undergoing the transformation. It’s still a shock when I look in the mirror as it’s the first time in my entire life I’ve changed the colour of my entire head of hair, but I feel like it’s given me a little bit of a kick up the butt and that’s just what I needed.
33 Before 33
Speaking of grabbing life by the balls, my birthday in the middle of the month saw the beginning of my 33 Before 33 challenge. A list of 33 things I want to achieve before my next birthday – not too fancy, just little bits and bobs that I hope will make this next 12 months full of fun and excitement!
This is the first year in a long time that I haven’t written a blog post for my sister on her birthday. There was no real conscious decision process behind this, that’s just the way it worked out. She would have been 35. That seems insane, to think of her as a woman in her mid-30’s when she will never actually ever been any more than a toddler. There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think about her. I wonder what she would look like, how tall she would be, if she would still have blonde hair, what job she would have been doing, what hobbies she would have had… We’ll never know but your brain can’t help but wander and think about how things might have been had life panned out differently. That said, losing her taught us a lot and I’m a great believer in looking for the silver lining no matter how dark the cloud is. This post – A Tribute To My Sister, Finding Positives In Loss – written a few years ago, still sums up how I feel.
Wilf and Devon
This year Wilf and Devon turned 11 years old – I don’t need to tell you how much these little furballs means to me, I shout it from the rooftops constantly, but the past decade and a bit with them has been nothing short of perfect. They will always be the best decision I ever made.
The Bank Holiday weekend saw the annual BBQFest that we have with our friends, usually spanning two days, this year it was just one due to other engagements but it was a great day. The sun shone, the food kept on coming, and the drinks flowed. I count myself very lucky that Ben’s friends are now my friends, they really are the best gang to spend time with.
Work on our back garden has come to a bit of a halt due to running out of funds, but it still looks so much better out there than it used to! The turf has taken really well and the flowers are bright, colourful and genuinely make me smile whenever I look out the window. We’ve also now got two ornamental Acer trees in pots either side of the steps which I’ve named Arthur and Martha (my lack of green fingered skills mean I have taken to naming plants in the hope that if I do I’ll work harder to keep them alive…)
So there we have it, August done and dusted and, with it, summer finished for another year. I’m not a big fan of the colder months but this year I’m going to embrace them – bring on the steaming cups of tea, the cosy Sunday’s on the sofa, and the world lit up after dark; it’s going to be awesome.